Destiny 2 Beyond Light's pre-load requires 186GB hard drive space, but shrinks in size

As always happens with a big Destiny expansion, Bungie will be taking down the game's servers in preparation for the launch of Beyond Light. They'll be switching off at 7pm PST today, which is 3am Tuesday morning for UK readers. The servers are scheduled to go back up at midday PST (8:00pm GMT) on Tuesday November 10, but any Destiny veteran will tell you to take that with a pinch of salt: the smooth Destiny updates are the exception, and Beyond Light is perhaps the biggest overhaul the game has ever seen.

After the servers go down, Steam players can begin pre-loading Beyond Light at 9pm PST (5am GMT), though thanks to an unusual installation process you'll need much more free space than the game's eventual requirements: a whopping 186GB. Following the installation, the game will reduce to around a third of that size. 

Destiny's engineering director David Aldridge has written about the reasons for this, acknowledging that it was a pain for folk with slower or metered connections, but adding that "due to a combination of culling unused or replaced content, install size optimizations, and moving some content to the Destiny Content Vault, Destiny 2’s install size will shrink to between 59 and 71GB (depending on platform)."

We've spoken to Bungie about what Beyond Light means for Destiny 2, rounded-up everything we know, and pondered how weird it is that the Destiny 2 we once knew is being locked-away. The wait is almost over, and the proof will be in the playing.

Correction: This article's headline previously claimed the pre-load download size would be 168GB, rather than the free space requirement.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."