Destiny, the console-only MMOFPS, is getting a sequel this year, and it’s coming to PC. That means we finally get one of the PS4’s most-hyped FPS games on a platform that can actually support accurate sharpshooting! (Oooh, burn!) If you’re interested in playing, you may want to have a read of this handy guide to everything we currently know about Destiny 2.
Check our Destiny 2 class guide for the details on what you should play.
We’ve got everything Destiny 2 related here – scraps of footage, tweets, leaks, gameplay changes, character imports, and all. Consider this your one-stop-shop for all the important stuff.
Destiny 2 release date
Destiny 2 will release for PC on October 24. That's almost two months behind the console version, which launches on September 6.
You can see our interview with Destiny 2’s head of PC, David Shaw, above, where he explains that the decision around the PC release date was a hard one. They even considered delaying the console version, but eventually settled on a staggered release schedule. The final point, Shaw said, is that they wanted to “make sure we get it right, that we nail it, stick the landing,” and that required a little extra time.
Destiny 2 PC beta
There's an open beta for Destiny 2 on PC coming coming August 28-31, so it's not long until we can all shoot and loot through its sci-fi landscapes. Click here for minimum and recommended system requirements.
The beta itself includes six of the game's subclasses - it's a popular theory that it will in fact have nine at launch. Check out our Destiny 2 class guide for an in-depth look at them, skill trees and all, and start picking your favourite.
On the PvE side, you'll get to experience the Cabal attack that kickstarts Destiny 2's plot in the action-packed Homecoming story mission. You'll also get to try the more substantial Inverted Spire strike - strikes are a bit like dungeons in any other MMO, and are the meat of Destiny's mid-game.
Competitive types will want to check into the Crucible - Destiny 2's PvP mode. The Counter-Strike-inspired Countdown mode will be playable on the Midtown map, while the more casual, flag-capturing Control mode is also available. In the only significant change from the console beta, we get to play Control on Javelin, a brand new map.
Here's Matt's take on the console beta, while Rich's experience made him go off on a nerdy rant about balancing. Fortunately, it seems some of his concerns are getting addressed, and we'll get to try out Bungie's tweaks in the PC beta.
Destiny 2 story
Destiny 2 is putting increased focus on plot and story, and it all starts with The Red Legion. They’re a faction of a militaristic alien race called the Cabal, and they’ve attacked Earth's Last City in overwhelming force. Their commander is Dominus Ghaul, who believes that the Traveller – Destiny's big, iconic white orb – made a mistake in granting its powers to you rather than him. He's out to convince it to change its mind, seemingly by holding it hostage: a big ship in the centre of his fleet can be seen unfurling and wrapping around the Traveller.
When this happens, all Guardians (that's you) are de-powered. You lose your gifts and stagger, defenceless, away from the fight. In contrast to the original Destiny's shrieking ghouls, Ghaul is a thinker; he's organised, he's got his stuff together. In the words of game director Luke Smith: "he's like Alan Rickman's character in Die Hard."
The City falls and the Guardians are scattered to the winds. It's your job to find and reunite them, get your powers back, and take back your home.
If you’re a long-term Destiny fan and were hoping to discover what the mysterious Darkness is, then don’t get your hopes up; Destiny 2 won’t reveal anything more. The focus will be on Light, and game director Luke Smith has even said that Bungie themselves don’t really know what the Darkness is.
For more, check out our Destiny 2 story guide.
Destiny 2 planets and worlds
As with the original, Destiny 2 will launch with four planets. These will be: Titan, Io, Nessus, and Earth, but don't worry about recycled content; we're off to Earth's European Dead Zone, rather than the Cosmodrome. Bungie say the European Dead Zone will be the largest place they've built by a "factor of two." It'll be the first place you go after the City falls, and will have a new hub area named The Farm.
Nessus is a planetoid that's been almost entirely overrun by The Vex, another returning enemy race from the original. They've transformed it into one of their giant computers, and it's started growing its own red vegetation. It looks pretty striking. It also seems Nathan Fillion's Cayde-6 has got himself trapped here, so you'll probably want to rescue him.
Titan is a moon of Saturn. It'll be a big methane ocean with no landmass, but the monolithic ruins of humanity's Golden Age constructions stick out above the waves like oil rigs. The Vanguard's Commander, Zavala, retreats here to lick his wounds, suffering a personal crisis after the loss of the City.
Io is a moon of Jupiter, and is said to be the last place in the Solar System that the Traveller's Light touched. As such, it's sacred to Guardians, particularly Warlocks – this is where Ikora Rey flees in a fit of rage. It looks very spooky, and will be the furthest from Earth we've been in the franchise so far.
For in-depth details, check out our Destiny 2 planets guide.
Destiny 2 classes and powers
Destiny has three classes that roughly conform to the classic Warrior, Mage, Rogue stereotypes: Titan, Warlock, and Hunter. Each class also has specialisations, or subclasses - we've seen six so far, but many players are confident the game will launch with nine.
The new subclasses are the Titan Sentinel, the Warlock Dawnblade, and the Hunter Arcstrider. Each has an elemental affiliation (Sentinels are Void elemental, Dawnblades are Solar, and Arcstriders are Arc). They join the returning Hunter Gunslinger, Titan Striker, and Warlock Voidwalker.
Each subclass has its own devastating Super ability, plus three lesser abilities on shorter cooldowns. One applies a special effect to your melee attack, another is your grenade, and the third varies by class: Hunters get a dodge, Titans a deployable shield, and Warlocks an area-of-effect buff.
Each subclass also has a skill tree with perks to tweak all these abilities, plus passive effects - you can see the Gunslinger's in the image above. This allows you to further hone your role on the battlefield.
For a full breakdown of the six subclasses revealed so far, skill trees and all, check out our Destiny 2 class guide.
Destiny 2 activities
The worlds of Destiny 2 will be filled with a variety of activities, quests, and events to keep you occupied. These are broadly split into four categories: story missions, strikes, raids, and open-world activities.
We've been promised much more dynamic story missions for Destiny 2's campaign, and the action-packed 'Homecoming' mission in the beta certainly bears that out. Story missions can be completed solo or in parties, generally take between ten and twenty minutes, and if Homecoming is any indicator, may feature the occasional bit of passive multiplayer.
The campaign is Destiny 2's early game. When you're done, you'll move on to strikes - meatier missions designed to be completed in teams of three. They feature puzzles and boss fights, and take roughly 30 to 40 minutes depending on the difficulty. The toughest strikes, Nightfalls, might take longer still, though this screengrab shows they're now available in two difficulties. In form and function, strikes are similar to dungeons in any other MMO: they drop a lot of loot, and are integral to the mid-game 'gear grind' through which you'll prepare for the raid.
Raids are the pinnacle of the PvE game: lengthy, six-person dungeons with obscure or complicated mechanics and powerful bosses. They can take hours to complete and require skill and teamwork, but drop the best loot.
This is all standard Destiny so far, but the open world has seen a big overhaul for the sequel. In this mode of play, you can roam freely across Destiny 2's planets, completing tasks both big and small with no loading screens between them (an exciting change from the original). Lost Sectors are mini-dungeons that might take some time to find, adventures are bite-sized quests that'll unfold a little story, while world quests are bigger quest chains that'll peel back the mysteries of each planet. Open world tasks are even being included in the end-game loot system with Flashpoints, a weekly activity centred around a specific world.
Check out our Destiny 2 open world guide for full details.
We know that for some activities loadouts will be locked. In the original game you could swap your weapons and even subclass at any time, allowing you to react to the situation provided you had the right tools in your inventory. Bungie have yet to reveal which activities will feature locked loadouts, but the restriction could encourage tactical thinking in regard to weapon selection, and an increased focus on the roles played by individual players. It could also promote a restrictive meta where the community shuns players who don’t own the ‘correct’ weapons for the activity. Only time will tell if Bungie have got this decision right.
Destiny 2 PvP
Destiny is primarily a PvE game - you'll have to shoot at least some aliens to get anywhere - but competitive multiplayer is still a key component, and indeed it looks like Bungie are taking it more seriously in the sequel.
PvP is now always 4v4 (it used to be 6v6 or 3v3), and available across a variety of game types, grouped into two playlists: 'quickplay' is a casual playlist with quick matchmaking at the expense of skill, whereas 'competitive' will take longer to match you, but emphasise skill rating and connection speed.
Game modes confirmed so far are:
- Control - returning with small tweaks from the original and available in quickplay, Control is like COD's Domination mode. Teams compete to capture and hold three flag zones, which generate points and add a score multiplier to each kill. Winners are the first to hit the points cap.
- Countdown - available in the competitive playlist, Countdown is clearly inspired by PC classic Counter-Strike. Teams take turns trying to plant a bomb in one of three sites, and win each round either by protecting it until it goes off, or by killing the enemy team. First to five points wins the match.
- Survival - available in the competitive playlist, this is a 'spiritual successor' to the original's small team tactics mode, Skirmish. Both teams have a pool of eight respawns, and the winning team are the ones who exhaust their opponents' respawns first. Power ammo spawns in the centre of the map, pulling combatants together.
- Supremacy - it's not officially confirmed, but we know it's coming back thanks to the Crucible trailer that dropped in early August. The red dodecohedrons that dead Guardians drop at 0:25? Those are crests that dropped in Supremacy in the first game, and they function like Dog Tags from COD's Kill Confirmed mode: you don't get credit for the kill until you pick them up.
Expect the final game to ship with a couple more game modes, at least. Maps will be set across a range of planets, both new and old - Altar of Flame, for instance, is set on Mercury, which isn't a fully-featured PvE location in Destiny 2. Or Destiny 1, come to think of it.
PvP has always existed across multiple layers: as part of The Crucible for general play; in Iron Banner mode for those wanting to use their Light level gear; and in Trials of Osiris for the really hardcore. We know Iron Banner is returning, and last we heard, a 'Trials-like' mode will be added to the game before its first expansion.
Destiny 2 will not launch with ranked PvP, but don't rule it out. Bungie recently said they're proud of their "long tradition of being active in the competitive realm" - that's a Halo reference, there - and if the community decide they're interested in "propping up" Destiny in that way, "then that's something we think we are interested in." Many players also felt the changes to Destiny 2's loadout and ability systems were designed with better PvP in mind. Don't rule out better competitive features, and maybe an esports push, around the time the new Trials mode launches.
For more, check out our Destiny 2 PvP guide.
Destiny 2 clans and guided games
Clans will be supported in-game, akin to MMO guilds, and leaders will be able to set a clan name, motto, and create a banner design. These communities of players can group up from an in-game social menu in order to complete activities like raids and Nightfalls together.
For anyone not in a clan and wishing to play a raid, a new system called Guided Games can help. The lack of matchmaking in the original meant you'd have to form raid groups with people from your friends list, which meant around 50% of Destiny players never tried one. To change this, a group of players who need an additional one or two people can advertise via the Guided Games system. Solo players looking to raid can then answer the call, allowing them to get stuck in without needing five friends online. Essentially, it takes the looking-for-group sites that so many players previously relied on, and puts them into the game.
Due to the difficulty of raids, Guided Games will only be available for normal difficulty raids and Nightfalls. This means that serious players doing heroic difficulty activities won’t be teamed up with potentially unreliable solo players and end up having a bad experience.
For more, check out our Destiny 2 raid guide.
Destiny 2 DLC
We know that Destiny 2 will receive DLC. The first game saw two DLCs in its first year, two bigger expansions after that, and a variety of free seasonal updates. The Destiny 2 expansion pass suggests we can expect a similar approach in the sequel.
We don’t know exactly what it contains, but we can guess based on the symbols on its box art: The first, a golden eye, represents Osiris, while the second, a blue winged diamond, represents Rasputin. Osiris, of Trials fame, was a prodigious Warlock exiled from the Tower for philosophical disagreements with the Speaker, while Rasputin is an AI, originally designed to protect the Earth via a network of satellites and Doomsday weapons, but who is hinted to have developed its own agenda. These figures cast a huge shadow in Destiny's lore but are still under-explored thanks to the first game's poor storytelling, so this hint that we'll see more of them is pretty exciting.
Thanks to a deal with Sony, the PS4 gets a few exclusive things at launch, including a strike mission. It is, thankfully, only a timed exclusive: we’ll get this DLC on PC in 2018.
Destiny 2 character importing
In case you strayed to console to try the first one – there's no shame in it – Bungie have announced their plans for character transfers to Destiny 2. As we saw in the reveal trailer, all your stuff is gone – only your characters' cosmetic features will carry over to Destiny 2, though there will be some emblems to recognise your achievements in the first game, if any.
Though this means characters will only persist in the most technical sense, it's good news for any potential cross platform play, as new PC players won't have to worry about getting stomped by console veterans rocking high-end gear. It is uncertain at this time if console players will be able to import their character from the first game to the PC version, so look out for further details.
Destiny 2 PC features
A big question on everyone's mind is exactly what the PC version of Destiny 2 will have to offer. After the gameplay reveal stream we now know – pretty much everything you could ask for. Here's the list from the press release:
- 4K Resolution Support (3820x2160)
- Uncapped framerate
- Full mouse and keyboard support with custom key mapping
- Text chat
- Adjustable Field of View
- Detailed PC settings screen
- 21:9 monitor support
It will also be distributed – exclusively – through Blizzard's Battle.net.
Destiny 2 system requirements
Destiny 2’s system requirements for the PC beta are:
- CPU Intel - Core i5-2400 / AMD - Ryzen R5 1600X
- GPU Nvidia - GeForce GTX 970 / AMD - Radeon R9 390
- RAM - 8GB
- CPU - Intel - Core i3-3250 / AMD - FX-4350
- GPU - Nvidia - GeForce GTX 660 2GB / AMD - Radeon HD 7850 2GB
- RAM - 6GB
At the launch event and E3, the game was running at 4K/60fps on the following setup:
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 1080 Ti
- CPU: Intel Core i7-7700K 4.2Ghz
- 16GB Ram/500GB SSD/Windows 10
That's some hardcore hardware, and it would be more worrying if it didn't run on that sort of gear. Hopefully, and almost certainly, minimum specs will be a damn sight smaller.
For more, check out our Destiny 2 PC performance guide.
Destiny 2 pre-order
Pre-orders for Destiny 2 are now live on the official site and Battle.net. As said, pre-ordering gets you early access to the beta. If you're looking for info on the Destiny 2 Collector's Edition, check out our dedicated post at that link.
On Battle.net, the standard edition is going for $59.99/£44.99, the game plus the expansion pass for $89.99/£69.99, and the digital deluxe edition for $99.99/£79.99.
Destiny 2 trailers
This is the Destiny 2 Crucible trailer, which clearly wants you to know how hectic and action-packed its PvP is going to be.
The first Destiny 2 teaser trailer stars Nathan Fillion as witty rogue Cayde-6, reciting war stories in a bombed-out bar in the Last City before striding out to join the fray. The tone is equal parts bleak and humorous, lending depth to Cayde that he was missing in the original.
The 'Last Call' teaser was soon followed by the full reveal, in which the Vanguard leader, Commander Zavala, represents the inspirational, dramatic voice that Destiny has always had. The difference is, he's nicely juxtaposed by Cayde's comic relief; expect Destiny 2 to dial down the melodrama.
The E3 trailer showed us a little more of the Red Legion's attack on The City.
That's all we know of Destiny 2 and the plight of The Traveller so far. We'll update as and when we learn more from The Speaker (if we can ever find him).