Everything we know about the Destiny 2 Lightfall expansion

Destiny 2 Lightfall release date - Guardians on Neptune
(Image credit: Bungie)

The Destiny 2 Lightfall expansion isn't too far off now, taking us to the neon-soaked techtropolis of Neptune's capital city to fight Calus and his newly formed army of darkness-wielding Cabal. For the first time, we're not heading to some ruined colony, or Hive-infested planet, but to a fully-fledged sci-fi city.

Alongside the new destination comes Strand; the second darkness subclass, all about weaving and unweaving the psychic strands of the universe to tie up enemies, play around with fancy-looking rope darts, and grapple our way across Neptune's futuristic skyline. On top of that, we've got a new raid, and all sorts of changes coming to weapons, crafting, and exotics.

If you're still plugging away at the Season of the Seraph, some info about how to get Revision Zero and its catalysts might be handy, as well as where to find all the Resonance Amp locations for more Ikelos weapons. There's also a list of Security Drone locations so you can open that secret door in the Seraph's Shield mission. Either way, here's everything we know about the Destiny 2 Lightfall expansion.

Destiny 2 Lightfall release date

(Image credit: Bungie)

The Lightfall release date is February 28, 2023 on Steam, which will coincide with the release of season 20. Bungie kept details about Season of Plunder and Season of the Seraph pretty close to its chest, only announcing them on the day of release, so it's likely we won't know anything about the new season until launch. 

The Lightfall expansion includes the new Strand subclass, a story campaign (with a legendary option same as Witch Queen), the Neptune destination, new weapons, exotics, and a brand new raid which should arrive a couple of weeks after launch.

Destiny 2 Lightfall trailers

There have been four Lightfall trailers so far. The first was during the reveal showcase, the second was during the game awards last year, the third shows off Neomuna's environment, and the fourth is all about the new weapons and exotics:

The environment trailer:

The weapons trailer:

Destiny 2 Lightfall Strand

(Image credit: Bungie)

Lightfall introduces a new subclass to the game: Strand. Similar to Stasis in Beyond Light, Strand is a 'darkness' subclass that effectively tears open reality and lets players "tug on the wires that connect all living beings." What that means in practice is entanglement, blades, and unweaving. 

The standout subclass feature is a grappling hook that lets you grapple onto thin air or attach to specific objects. You can see a hunter grappling onto a Titan doing a Thundercrash super in the trailer, or onto a moving train in the original showcase. The grappling hook will also add another layer to your exploration of Neptune's capital city, with secrets and areas that are only accessible through using it. While we don't know much about specific abilities, we have seen the Strand supers for each class:

  • Threadrunner (Hunter): A roaming super where the Hunter creates a rope dart made of Strand that can perform AoE attacks, or stab out at specific targets
  • Tyrant (Titan): A roaming super that looks similar to Fists of Havoc, where you form blades made of Strand and can perform spinning AoE attacks, or strike at individual enemies
  • Architect (Warlock): A projectile super firing a barrage of three Strand missiles that unweave on impact. Slightly unclear what that means, but it looks to add a kind of AoE damage after effect

It also looks like the Hunter has a Shatterdive-esque ability that can lift enemies into the air and pin them in place with Strand.  

Destiny 2 Lightfall Neptune

(Image credit: Bungie)

Neomuna is the new destination in Destiny 2 Lightfall; a long-lost human colony that has survived since the collapse, when the pyramids appeared in Sol for the first time. I say human, but the residents of Neptune are perhaps more comparable to the Awoken, who were also human colonists who were cut off and developed by themselves. One key difference is that the Neomunians don't have the light, and instead have self-appointed defenders known as Cloudstriders. From what we've seen they ride flying surfboards, are super tall, and have pretty advanced technological weaponry. 

The capital city of Neptune itself is a "bright neon metropolis with a harbour, office buildings, and an arcade." With the introduction of Strand's grappling hook, players can expect a lot more verticality in terms of how they traverse the patrol zone, but also in terms of discovering secrets. Neomuna is lived in, but the area we'll be venturing into is occupied by Calus's Shadow Legion of cloned Cabal, with his gigantic ship featuring prominently on the skyline. In a recent TWAB, Associate Game Director, Robbie Stevens, talks about Bungie's aim of "putting more secrets into Destiny 2" from Lightfall and beyond, so like the Throne World, Neomuna should have some hidden discoveries.

Destiny 2 Lightfall raid and dungeons

(Image credit: Bungie)

There is also a raid coming with Lightfall. As with Vow the Disciple in the Witch Queen expansion, it should launch on the weekend of the week after launch, making its release date around March 10. There isn't much info about the raid, other than a brief description on the official site that reads: "A haunting presence has been detected within [REDACTED]. Guardians must explore the mystery and discover everything they can about this threat."

During 2023 you can expect two new dungeons and a returning raid. As with Duality and Spire of the Watcher in the Season of the Haunted and Season of the Seraph respectively, season 21 and season 23 will receive their own dungeons with armour sets, weapons, and an exotic. If you want to unlock these, you'll have to purchase the annual pass/dungeon key. The returning raid will appear in season 23, but like King's Fall, it should be free to all players.

Destiny 2 Lightfall exotics and weapons

(Image credit: Bungie)

Since the reveal of the weapons and gear trailer, we now know the Lightfall exotics coming with the expansion: 

  • Final Warning (Strand sidearm): A Stand-element sidearm that can fire tracking rounds when it's charged
  • Deterministic Chaos (Void machinegun): A rhythm-based Void machinegun that weakens enemies every fourth shot and makes enemies volatile on the 16th.
  • Winterbite (Stasis Glaive): This Stasis glaive can fire Frost Orbs that freeze enemies and look a little similar to Warlock Stasis turrets
  • Quiksilver Storm (Kinetic/Strand auto rifle): Currently a Kinetic auto rifle that might be updated to Strand, the catalyst allows its grenade kills to create Tangles you can throw at enemies

Exotic armor

  • Cyrtarachne’s Facade (Hunter helmet): Using Strand grapple gives Woven Mail which offers flinch resistance and possibly other resistances
  • Abeyant Leap (Titan legs): Barricades spawn additional Lashes, which are ground-based projectiles that entangle on hit
  • Swarmers (Warlock legs): Destroying Tangles similar to Warmind Cells spawns Threadlings that seek out enemies and attack them

We also know is that Bungie plans to rebalance heavy weapons in Lightfall. To quote the relevant TWAB: "Tinkering with bringing some less effective options up while bringing some damage outliers down" and a "large rebalance of the airborne effectiveness stat". It seems likely that power grenade launchers will receive a long-awaited buff, but it's almost certain that linear fusion rifles will be nerfed since they are the current kings of DPS. Continuing the trends of exotic reworks, several older exotic weapons will also receive subclass keywords to bring them up to standard.

Destiny 2 Lightfall LFG, loadouts, and player experience

(Image credit: Bungie)

Bungie is looking to improve the experience for both new and existing players in Lightfall by adding an in-game loadout and mod manager, as well as the Guardian Ranks system. In the presentation, the mod menu was compared to Bungie's armor cosmetic system, and will let players create loadouts and then apply them in-between activities. Currently, most players use Destiny Item Manager for loadouts and inventory management, but it's reliant on the API, which has caused issues this season.

Alongside these loadouts, Bungie recently outlined how it is overhauling mods in general. The relevant blog post has all the changes, but the main points are:

  • Elemental Wells are being replaced with Armor Charge. Depending on your mod setup, you can gain buffs when you have stacks of Armor Charge, or can consume those stacks to provide specific effects. You can further tweak how much Armor Charge you carry, its duration, and the duration of your buffs by slotting other mods
  • Subclasses are each getting a version of Ionic Traces: Firesprite for Solar, Void Breeches for Void, and Stasis Shards for Stasis. You'll spawn these based on your subclass setup and they'll provide ability energy and effects based on the aspects and fragments you have slotted
  • You'll be able to stun different champions with your subclass keywords. For example, Volatile Rounds will stun Barrier Champions, Jolt will stun Overload Champions, and Blinding will Stun Unstoppable Champions. The full list is available in the blog post above.

Besides that, there's the new Guardian Ranks system of eleven brackets that help players puzzle out how the game works, and reflect your overall mastery in Destiny's various content. It sounds like some of the ranks require you to sherpa or help newer players complete activities, dungeons, or raids. At the end of activities, you can also give out commendations, which will further reflect how reliable of a fireteam member you are.

Though it won't launch alongside Lightfall, Bungie also has plans for an LFG fireteam finder. It looks kind of similar to the system that the Destiny 2 app currently uses and will let you search for fireteams doing specific activities, or post an ad looking for players to do an activity with. This is expected sometime in 2023.

Destiny 2 Lightfall enemies

(Image credit: Bungie)

While the big bad of Lightfall is The Witness, we'll be facing the exiled Cabal emperor, Calus, who's become the newest disciple of the darkness. Calus's army of Cabal clones is now called the Shadow Legion, and alongside a visual overhaul, they have access to some darkness powers, such as being able to deploy shards that can block ability use. 

Fighting with the Shadow Legion are Tormentors, ancient denizens of darkness a little similar to Rhulk from the Vow of the Disciple raid. These free roam bosses sound like Lightfall's version of the Hive Lightbearers, able to attack from range, but also drain Guardians of lifeforce. I've no idea what that means exactly, but it sounds deadly.

Destiny 2 Lightfall crafting

(Image credit: Bungie)

The weapon crafting system is receiving some overhauls with Lightfall, too. The broad strokes are:

  • Removal of non-craftable Deepsight Weapons
  • More ways to earn crafting currencies other than Deepsight Weapons
  • More options to let players target which craftable weapons they want to unlock
  • Master raid weapons will get enhanced perks so they don't fall behind craftable ones

If you have any non-craftable Deepsight Resonance weapons tucked away, you should complete them before Lightfall, which is when it'll be removed. More details about crafting will appear when the expansion releases. 

Destiny 2 Lightfall economy

(Image credit: Bungie)

One of the big changes coming with Lightfall is the removal of blue engrams, so any activities awarding blue gear will now give legendary purple gear instead. Umbral engrams are also being replaced with new seasonal engrams that you can use to focus legacy weapons and armor. 

There's a pretty extensive list in the relevant Bungie blog post of what will be available, but it includes Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris armor, and the Vanguard is finally getting weapon focusing, too, including for Nightfall weapons. From Lightfall onwards, Ada will also sell a wide array of shaders that haven't been available for some time—the full list is also available in that blog post.

Sean Martin
Guides Writer

Sean's first PC games were Full Throttle and Total Annihilation and his taste has stayed much the same since. When not scouring games for secrets or bashing his head against puzzles, you'll find him revisiting old Total War campaigns, agonizing over his Destiny 2 fit, or still trying to finish the Horus Heresy. Sean has also written for EDGE, Eurogamer, PCGamesN, Wireframe, EGMNOW, and Inverse.