So you've got Destiny 2 on Game Pass. Here's how to get started

Destiny 2 xbox game pass
(Image credit: Bungie)

There’s nothing better than free stuff, eh? I love me some free stuff. Thing is, too much free stuff can be confusing and intimidating. Thanks to Game Pass, you’ve probably found yourself in this predicament with Destiny 2. It’s overwhelming. Where do you start? Where does it end? What’s important? And what do you need to do now

It’s a lot to pick apart. But fret not, because I'm here to help. Here’s our guide on what to do now you're downloading Destiny 2 via Xbox Game Pass.

Destiny 2 on Xbox Game Pass: Tips to get you started

Complete the campaigns

Destiny 2 is full of stellar campaigns and nothing quite beats the stories offered in the Red War, Forsaken, and Shadowkeep. First you should complete the Red War. It was Destiny 2’s initial campaign and Ghaul’s iconography can be found throughout the solar system. You’ll then want to dive into both the Forsaken and Shadowfall campaigns, which further the story and provide some of the most emotional moments in the game. 

To get started on these campaigns, travel to the Tower and visit Amanda Holliday. While looking through Amanda’s inventory you’ll see that Amanda has several quests available. These are the initial Destiny 2 campaigns. I recommend you play them in the following order: The Red War, Curse of Osiris, and Warmind. After that, you should complete the Forsaken on the Tangled Shore campaign followed by the Shadowfall campaign on the Moon. 

Level up

While not the most enthralling aspect of Destiny 2, it's always cathartic to chase increasingly bigger numbers. Every piece of gear in Destiny 2 has a Power Level (PL). These levels act as content gates to specific events (and prove your toughness on the battlefield).  A year ago, Bungie decided to set everyone to 750PL, but in that time Destiny 2’s PL peaked at 1060. For the initial set of levels, also known as your soft cap, all gear drops will slightly boost your various pieces of armour or weapons until you hit 1,000.

After that, you will need to pursue something called ‘Powerful Gear’, which is basically a specific reward from various mid-level activities. Powerful Gear takes you right up until 1,050. Finally, and this is only for the die-hard fans, you can gain an additional ten Power Levels—peaking at 1,060—by pursuing ‘Pinnacle Gear’. Pinnacle Gear is only attached to the hardest activities in Destiny 2, like raids, seasonal quests, Nightfall: The Ordeal strikes, and dungeons. 

Get the best guns

There are a lot of great guns in Destiny 2—some might say too many. Not all of them are fun to obtain, though. Some take a little bit of grinding, while others don’t live up to the hype. When it comes to exotics, try and pick up Riskrunner, Xenophage, Whisper of the Worm, Last Word, and Worldine Zero. While some of these weapons might not be the pinnacle of Exotics, each boasts a fun, unique quest. 

There are also some legendary weapons you’ll want to keep your eyes out, particularly Falling Guillotine with the relentless strike/whirlwind blade perks and Gnawing Hunger with Zen Moment, Rampage or Demolitionist. As far as hot tickets go, these are the spiciest currently available. You can obtain these weapons as world drops or from Destiny 2 Umbral Engrams fairly easily. They are receiving some minor nerfs in time for the Destiny 2: Beyond Light expansion, but they still hold the potential to be top contenders even when that does happen. 

(Image credit: Bungie)

Try all of Destiny 2’s game modes

There are a lot of modes and activities, and we mean a lot. You have Player-versus-Player (PvP) modes and Player-versus-Environment (PvE), and combinations of the two. Activities are split between three, four, and six-player teams allowing you to scale up or down depending on the activity you’d like to play. 

For hyper competitive players, head for The Crucible. It consists of casual playlists, competitive playlists, a monthly Iron Banner, and the Trials of Osiris which appear every weekend. The Crucible will ease you into the PvP environment with casual matches, let you test your steel in some skill-based game types, and allow you to get a feel for the maps without your Power Level impacting the experience. Iron Banner, meanwhile, lets you flex that Power Level where the Crucible doesn’t. This control-based game mode is where battle-hardened Guardians bring out the big guns in a flexible game mode. 

(Image credit: Bungie)

Finally, there are the Trials of Osiris. Trials of Osiris is as unforgiving as it is competitive. Lives are finite and so are the teams. It’s where guardians are pushed to the limit in some of the most gruelling matches available, all in pursuit of a visit to the Lighthouse: A special location only available to players who win seven matches in a row.

If teamwork is more your thing, Destiny 2 has you covered here, also with raids, Strikes, open-world activities, and dungeons. Some activities, like raids, require you to form your own team of six guardians, but others have some stellar matchmaking, putting you with other solo players or smaller teams. 

Then there’s Gambit. Gambit is for players who like a healthy mix of PvP and PvE. Here, two teams are tasked with killing smaller waves of enemies and earning motes of light. These motes are deposited in a central bank and, when enough motes are deposited, will open a portal to the other team’s side to disrupt their mote collection. It’s unique, and more than worth your time. 

(Image credit: Bungie)

Experiment with all the classes and subclasses

There are so many different builds and classes in which to invest in Destiny 2, so you’d be forgiven for just concentrating on one. Then again, you’d be missing out on a whole world of different playstyles. Every class and its subclasses have something new and fun to offer be it Hunter, Titan, or Warlock. There are many benefits to having three guardians, like being able to complete weekly bounties three times and treble your season pass armour rewards.

Pay Xur a visit at the weekend

I’ve already highlighted a few weapons to acquire, but there’s another, far easier method of obtaining some of the best equipment in Destiny 2: Xur. Xur is a mysterious trader that appears every weekend in a variety of locales. Every week Xur offers your four set pieces of equipment; One weapon, Hunter armour, Titan armour, and Warlock armour alongside a special engram that will reward you with a missing exotic from your collection. If you’re a hoarder that likes to flesh out a collection and have legendary shards to spare, Xur is definitely your go-to vendor for everything shiny and yellow. 

If one thing's certain, it’s that Destiny 2 offers a whole lot of game, which Xbox Game Pass now gives you at no additional cost. I’ve lost the better part of 52 days worth of time to Destiny 2, and you might, too.