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A group of Guardians stare up at the Spire of the Watcher

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Destiny 2 Spire of the Watcher dungeon guide and walkthrough

Head through the time-rifts on Mars to climb Destiny 2’s latest and most vertical dungeon

Image: Bungie
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Destiny 2’s latest dungeon is also its most vertical, and it will see you climbing down, up, and then down again through a Warmind-inspired tower. Spire of the Watcher includes three lootable encounters — pretty standard for a dungeon — as well as a few puzzles throughout to teach you the mechanics. Best of all, the dungeon is packed with cowboy-themed loot, so you can walk into Lightfall dressed to the nines and ready to ensure that Emperor Calus has yee’d his last haw.

In this guide, we’re going to teach you how to navigate the Spire of the Watcher’s new mechanics and encounters to help you take down some truly ancient Vex.

Bonus chests and collectibles

A Guardian holds a Long Arm scout rifle while wearing a cowboy hat Image: Bungie

Before we get started with the actual walkthrough, we want to make sure you know how to get a bit of extra loot and find all the collectibles. It’s worth noting that bonus chests can only drop loot from the dungeon that you’ve already acquired, so you should avoid getting the first chest during your first run.

Note: Our screenshots below don’t give much away outside of the chest locations, so we don’t consider this section much of a spoiler. However, if you want to go in completely blind and you’re just using this guide to double check that you’re moving in the right direction, we recommend you skip this section and come back later.

Bonus Chest 1

A Guardian runs down a long bridge toward a bonus chest Image: Bungie via Polygon

The first bonus chest is before the first “real” encounter, but after you go down the slide. Proceed along the path until you enter the giant chasm filled with Vex. Shoot them down and cross the area using the scaffolding. When you land on the single edge on the side of the wall — Vault of Glass-style, if you’re familiar with the raid — climb up the nearby scaffolding until you reach a sky bridge. Stop.

A bonus chest sits on the side of a column in Destiny 2 Image: Bungie via Polygon

Instead of moving toward the obvious objective, turn to your left and jump around the column that’s supporting the scaffolding you’re standing on. You’ll see a platform on the side of the column. Jump over to the little bridge to your left and then around the next column. You’ll find the chest sitting on a small platform.

Bonus Chest 2

A Guardian looks down at a broken vent in Destiny 2 Image: Bungie via Polygon

The second bonus chest is all the way at the end of the dungeon, just before the final boss fight.

When you’re descending the Spire of the Watcher and activating the red wires, you’ll eventually drop into the center of a room with a bunch of Tesla coils going on in a square around you. Defeat all the enemies inside and open the room up so you can proceed. Do not drop down the corners just yet, however.

Once the room is clear, go around to the four stairs in the room and look under them. Under each set of stairs is a vent that you can destroy. One of these vents — it’s the same vent each time, but the room is a perfectly square so you’ll probably need to check more than one — houses a secret compartment.

Blast open the vent, crawl inside, and grab the second bonus chest.

Devilish Recordings

There are only six collectibles in the entire Spire of the Watcher dungeon, and you will find all of them before the dungeon’s second encounter — a far cry from previous dungeons’ collectibles.

If you need help finding these six recordings, we recommend checking out our separate Devilish Recordings guide.

The opening encounter — learning the mechanic

An army of Vex swarms around a Warmind door in Destiny 2 Image: Bungie

Is that a new dungeon smell, or just the reek of time dilation all around you? It’s hard to say.

Welcome to the Spire of the Watcher, Destiny 2’s latest dungeon added in Season of the Seraph as part of the Witch Queen Dungeon Key expansion. This dungeon’s main mechanic is relatively simple compared to some of the game’s other dungeons, and you’ll need to learn (almost) all of it before you can enter the dungeon in earnest.

How the wires work

A Guardian runs around a small town activating wires in Destiny 2 Image: Bungie via Polygon

Spire of the Watcher’s main mechanic is all about restoring power to unpowered machinery. This is done by activating nodes along a giant wire.

Each wire has a beginning node and an end node, and usually there are several additional nodes along the way. The beginning node always has an arrow box next to it letting you know the direction of power flow. The end box is usually attached to a generator.

To activate these big, yellow wires, you’ll need to have a special buff called “Arctrician.” (Yes, that’s a play on electrician but with Arc, the Destiny universe’s version of electricity.) Each encounter has special orange-bar Minotaurs with Void shields who roam around causing trouble. If you kill them, they’ll drop a pool of white liquid on the ground. Unlike most pools of white liquid in Destiny, this one will not hurt you to stand in, and will instead give you the Arctrician buff for 30 seconds.

With the buff active, you’ll need to try to activate as many nodes along the encounter’s wires as possible, going in order from start to finish. Each time you activate a node, the powered section of the wire goes from yellow to blue and you’ll gain about five additional seconds on your Arctrician buff. That means if you go fast you can complete most encounters without running out of the buff and needing to pick it back up again.

Once part of a wire is powered up, you can’t de-power it. So even if you run out of Arctrician juice halfway through a wire, you have all the time you need to get it back.

There is one slight variation to this mechanic that we’ll get to later in the guide, but once you understand how to power up yellow wires, each encounter kind of solves itself outside of the damage phase.

How to open the Spire and reach the first encounter

A Guardian looks down at a door connected by a group of wires in Destiny 2 Image: Bungie via Polygon

When you first land in the Spire of the Watcher, proceed forward and into the tiny town filled with Vex. Kill the Minotaur and grab the Arctrician buff.

Make your way to the massive generator in the center of town, beyond the huge black doors in the ground. Work backward from the generator to reach the genesis point of each of the four wires. Hit the first node and then follow the wire (being careful not to run into Supplicant Harpies, who will blow you to hell), activating the nodes along the way until you reach the generator.

Repeat this process until you’ve activated all four of the nodes on the generator and completed all four circuits.

When this baby encounter is finished, the doors will open under you and you’ll be able to slide down. This is a long tunnel, so be prepared to slow yourself down or you’re going to splat against the ground and die.

Follow the “secret” path (up and to the left) out of the room, through the massive chasm, and up to the middle point of the Spire. Once you place the Rally banner flag in the computer room, jump out the window, climb up the tower, and get ready for the first real encounter.

Spire Ascent encounter

A room filled with old computers looking out at a chasm in Destiny 2 Image: Bungie

The Spire Ascent doesn’t have a boss fight and is really just a fun race to the first boss. However, you can technically fail this encounter if your entire team dies, so be careful as you climb.

How the fight works

A Guardian shoots up at a wire node in Destiny 2 Image: Bungie via Polygon

This fight is a larger and more hectic version of the entrance encounter. You’ll find yourself on the outside of the tower, working with two winding wires per floor to activate a grav lift and send you closer and closer to the top.

Grab the Arctrician buff and find the genesis point for both wires. Activate them both and carefully jump around the tower activating the other nodes in order. You’ll need to complete six total circuits on three different floors to finish the encounter. But once it’s over, you’ll finally get your first taste of dungeon loot.

Tips and tricks to go fast

This encounter is a ton of fun for first-timers and repeat runners, albeit for different reasons. On your first time through, we recommend scouting out the nodes and the wires before you get the Arctrician buff, as some of them are hidden pretty well under stairs or on the sides of scaffolding.

Once you and your buddies have checked things out, grab the Arctrician buff and try to go as fast as possible. You should be able to finish each floor without ever dropping the Arctrician buff. And if you go really fast, you can still have some Arctrician left over to start the next floor.

Akelous, the Siren’s Current boss fight

Akelous, the Siren’s Current boss from the Spire of the Watcher dungeon in Destiny 2 Image: Bungie

Once you reach the top of the Spire you’ll need to face down Akelous, the Siren’s Current. If you’ve played the Garden of Salvation raid from Shadowkeep, this creep should look pretty familiar to you. Carefully make your way around the tower to the Rally Flag, as the fight will start if you get too close to him.

How to remove Akelous’ shield

A Guardian ignites a node in Spire of the Watcher in Destiny 2 Image: Bungie via Polygon

The goal of this fight is to lower Akelous’ shield and then blow him up. To do that, you’ll need to activate some wires.

The arena for this fight consists of a small square platform in the middle and four long scaffolding arms extending off of that platform. At the end of each of the four arms is a fuel rod, and there is a generator in the middle of the square platform.

Grab the Arctrician buff from one of the Minotaurs that spawns on the arms and activate the four nodes in the middle of the square arena. These are the wire starting points. Go along each arm with your Arctician buff and follow the wires to the fuel rods, activating nodes as you go.

Once you’ve activated three of the four fuel rods, gather your group up together before activating the fourth ...

Tips for killing Akelous

A Guardian aims down at Akelous with a linear fusion rifle in Destiny 2 Image: Bungie via Polygon

When you activate the fourth and final fuel rod, Akelous will get flustered and fly over to face you. It’ll flare out its Harpy wings, which are filled with little eyes. Blast the eyes as quickly as you can. When all the eyes are destroyed, a giant glowing point in the middle of its body will open up, allowing you to damage it for real.

We recommend using linear fusion rifles and snipers like Izinagi’s Burden for this fight. Start shooting the harpy as soon as the critical spot opens, and move forward along with the boss, which will be floating backward toward the square arena.

If you manage to get through the glowing part of the boss’ health bar, you’ll stun it and be able to do damage for another couple of seconds. If you don’t reach that halfway point, the boss will eventually close its shield up and shoot out a shockwave, which will boop you backward and (potentially) off the tower if you aren’t careful.

Either way, the boss will eventually become immune once again, and you’ll need to repeat the process above for activating the fuel rods.

The Descent

A overhead look at red wires in the Descent section of the Spire of the Watcher Image: Bungie

Once you’ve felled Akelous, the middle platform will open up and you’ll be able to grab some loot on your way inside the Spire.

As you climb down, you’ll encounter the only real twist on the yellow wire formula: red wires.

How to activate the red wires

To activate red wires, you’ll still need to have the Arctrician buff from a Minotaur. However, you won’t need to activate red wires in any particular order. Instead you’ll simply need to tag all of the nearby red wire nodes with the Arctrician buff within a short time period.

If you do this correctly, all of the red wires should be blue and you’ll activate the circuit. If not, all of the red wires will lose power and you’ll need to activate all the nodes again.

Persys, Primordial Ruin boss fight

Persys, a giant wyvern and the final boss of Destiny 2’s Spire of the Watcher dungeon Image: Bungie

At the very bottom of the Spire you’ll find Persys, Primordial Ruin, the dungeon’s final boss. This jerk is a massive Wyvern, and it’ll stomp around the arena shooting at you and attempting to squash you with its massive feet. Thankfully there’s a way to take it down, but it’s a bit trickier than the rest of the dungeon.

How to remove Persys’ shield

A map of the wires in the final boss room of the Spire of the Watcher dungeon Image: Reddit user HoldenAGrenade, with their permission

Like Akelous before it, Persys has a giant immune shield to keep it safe. If you want to get to the soft and squishy boss inside, you’ll need to take care of that shell first.

The Persys arena is divided into two rooms. The room you spawn in is what we’ll call the big room, and the room Persys spawns in is the reactor room. The goal here is to power up the reactor room with Persys inside and you still in the big room, which will lower its shield. But it’s going to take some work to do that.

When the fight starts, go to either side of the room and take out the two Vex Hydras that appear. This will cause the Minotaurs to spawn. Kill a Minotaur and steal its Arctrician buff.

On the four columns in the middle of the room (facing toward the Rally Flag), and on top of the big door leading to the reactor room, you’ll see a total of five red wire nodes. Use your Arctrician buff to activate the entire red wire circuit. This will activate two yellow wires in the room, allowing you to continue the fight.

Quickly locate the two active yellow wires (on the opposite sides of the four columns in the big room). Follow the nodes and activate the wires, following them from the big room into the reactor room and eventually the generators at the end.

However, do not complete the final circuits for both wires just yet, as it will start the reactor meltdown. You need to wait for the boss to lumber into the reactor room before you complete the circuits. Thankfully the boss mostly just chases your fireteam around, so it will likely follow your friends into the reactor room as long as you’re all together.

Once the boss steps over the threshold, finish the two circuits. You’ll get a notification that the reactor is going into meltdown mode and that you need to take cover. Head back into the big room — don’t worry about the boss, as it’ll be too preoccupied with the reactor to notice you.

Grab another Arctrician buff if you need it and keep an eye on the red wires you shot earlier in the fight. Shortly after you exit the reactor room, all five red wire nodes will become active again. Shoot all five with the Arctrician buff as quickly as you can. If you’re successful, you’ll shut the giant door between the two rooms, locking Persys inside.

When the reactor explodes, Persys will be vulnerable for a few seconds, which is your time to strike.

Tips for killing Persys

A Guardian aims at some generator nodes in the final boss room of Destiny 2’s Spire of the Watcher dungeon Image: Bungie via Polygon

There are a few methods for killing Persys, but be forewarned, it has a lot of health.

We recommend standing in the middle of the big room with a Well of Radiance and either three rockets (including one Gjallarhorn, ideally), or two linear fusion rifles and one Divinity. Rockets deal far more damage than linear fusion rifles, but you’ll run out of ammo much quicker, and you may not get much back before the next phase. Linear fusion rifles, on the other hand, are far slower but much more consistent.

After a few seconds, the boss’ shield will come back online and you’ll need to start over from the very beginning of the fight. Thankfully this entire process is actually quite quick, so it won’t be too long between damage phases.

Once you have finally liberated Persys of all of its health, it’ll fall over dead and you’ll get two pieces of dungeon loot for your trouble.

Congratulations on conquering the Spire of the Watcher dungeon!