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Destiny 2 season 18: Release date, Arc 3.0, and the new raid

Destiny 2 season 18 teaser
(Image credit: Bungie)

Destiny 2 season 18 is right around the corner, and it's set to be a pretty big one. Though we don't know exactly what the seasonal activities will entail, we do know that the Arc subclass is getting its sorely needed rework to be in line with Solar and Void. We're also getting a new raid, likely to be a returning favourite from the original game.

Alongside that we have the usual weekly story missions, seasonal weapons, armour, ornaments, as well as returning modes like Trials of Osiris and a brand new killier version of the Iron Banner. That said, here's when Destiny 2 season 18 releases and what you can expect from the new raid, Arc 3.0, and the Crucible and Iron Banner.

Destiny 2 season 18 release date

(Image credit: Bungie)

The current Season of the Haunted is slated to end on August 23. The usual weekly maintenance happens at 6pm BST (10am PDT, 1pm EDT, 7pm CEST), so after that's done you can expect to head right on into the new season. Servers usually get overloaded right after the reset, but you should be able to play after a few hours. 

Bungie are also holding their Destiny 2 showcase on the same day, giving us a look at the upcoming Lightfall expansion and what it might portend for the game and its characters. That's also when they are announcing the name of season 18 and specific details of what we'll be doing. You can watch the Destiny 2 showcase on the Bungie Twitch channel, though we don't know the exact time yet.

Either way, expect week-by-week story missions, a seasonal activity, more new and returning weapons to loot, and Arc 3.0

Destiny 2 Arc 3.0: What to expect

(Image credit: Bungie)

Season 18 will revamp Destiny 2's Arc subclass, the same as with Solar 3.0 (opens in new tab) and Void 3.0 (opens in new tab) before that. There will be an array of aspects and fragments to unlock and equip, changing your playstyle, but there will also hopefully be a new damage super for Hunters since they only have one right now. Considering the Arc exotics already in the game, it's likely that chain-lightning or blind might play a significant role as keywords, but it's anybody's guess right now.

If you want to prep an Arc build, be sure to grab any Arc-based exotics you can from Xur in advance of the new season. You should also try to get a hold of the Trinity Ghoul bow. As with the Solar-based Incandescent perk this season, Arc will probably receive a new Arc-specific weapon perk in season 18 that will be worth building into.

What is the new Destiny 2 raid?

(Image credit: Bungie)

Season 18 also sees a new raid arrive in Destiny 2. While the specific raid won't be revealed until the Destiny 2 showcase on August 23, we know that it's a revamped raid from the original game (opens in new tab), similar to Vault of Glass. It goes live on August 26 at 6pm BST (10am PDT, 1pm EDT, 7pm CEST) and as usual, there will be a world's first race to see which fireteam can complete all of the required challenges. 

The raid will launch in contest mode for the first 24 hours and after that you'll be able to access it normally, the expected power level will be 1560, though.

While we can't say for sure which raid it'll be, we do know it's either King's Fall or Wrath of the Machine. King's Fall is arguably the most popular raid ever, from the first game's Taken King expansion, while Wrath of the Machine is from Rise of Iron.

What about Crota's End? When we talked to Destiny 2's game director Joe Blackburn last September, he said on the topic of bringing raids to Destiny 2: "We know we want to bring back a banger. So it's really about the complexity of bringing the raids from D1 to D2. I think by saying it will be one of the big raids, that takes one out of the equation." Given Crota's Ends small size and scope, we can confidentially say that it's off the table.

Destiny 2 season 18 Iron Banner and Crucible

(Image credit: Bungie)

As with Rift in the Season of the Haunted, a new Iron Banner is coming (opens in new tab) in season 18 called Eruption. This mode is all about kill streaks; the more kills you get consecutively, the more points you score, and the more energy you regen for your abilities and super. The only kicker is that when you get five-kills and become "Primed", you'll explode after 15 seconds if you don't keep scoring kills. Eruption will replace Rift next season.

The Crucible is also getting a significant overhaul. After pointing out the current disparity in terms of PvP matchmaking (opens in new tab), Bungie has said that they plan to introduce skill-based matchmaking in the Control playlist next season in an attempt to make PvP a little more fair and beginner friendly. However, they don't plan to add this to every Crucible playlist, and will keep tuning as the season progresses. 

Guns

Finally, some weapons are being taken out of circulation next season: 

  • Peacebond (Iron Banner sidearm)
  • Archon's Thunder (Iron Banner machine gun)
  • PLUG ONE.1 (Nightfall fusion rifle)
  • Hothead (Nightfall rocket launcher)
  • Eye of Sol (Trials of Osiris sniper rifle)
  • The Summoner (Trials of Osiris auto rifle)

You still have a chance to get PLUG ONE.1 in the weekly GM Nightfall that starts on August 9, and you can also still grab the Trials of Osiris weapons during weekends. 

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.