Here's what you should know about Umbral Engrams in Destiny 2

how to open destiny 2 umbral engrams
(Image credit: Bungie)

Every season in Bungie's shooter MMO has a gimmick and this time it's the Destiny 2 Umbral Engram. In the opening moments of Season of Arrivals we are met with goopy Legendary Engrams known as the Umbral Engram. Mysteriously, however, their use is not yet known. 

However, with a little bit of patience and perseverance, all becomes clear. Umbral Engrams are just like Legendary Engrams, but there’s a catch. In fact, there’s more than one catch. So let's get into everything you need to know about the Destiny 2 Prismatic Recaster, Umbral Engrams, and how to make a smart start to season 11.

What is a Destiny 2 Umbral Engram?

In short, an Umbral Engram is like a Legendary Engram in that it draws from a loot table of armour and weapons. They drop at your current Power Level, or thereabouts. And they are purple. So far, so simple. 

Where they differ is in how you redeem them: Instead of tossing them to the Cryptarch, Master Rahool, to access the gear within, you need to make a deal with the Drifter to gain access to his Umbral Decoder, affectionately referred to as the Ramshackle Cryptarch.

An Umbral Engram's loot pool can be focused through the Prismatic Recaster (another one of the Drifter’s contraptions), which can be upgraded with Twisted Energy, to provide certain loot. The nature of the loot is governed by your season pass level and some new materials: Altered Elements and Trace Overrides. The Umbral Engram may guarantee anything from a weapon from the current season to a armour with particular stat preferences. 

How to unlock the Destiny 2 Prismatic Recaster

Thankfully, you won’t have to jump through too many hoops to start playing with your new toys. When you first load Season of Arrivals, you’ll be tasked with finding Eris Morn on Io. 

The mission, In the Face of Darkness, requires you to fight your way to the end of The Cradle and defeat one of Savathun’s Witnesses in Savathun’s Court. After you’ve defeated this worthy adversary, Eris intervenes and pulls you back to The Cradle to receive the new Seasonal Artifact, the Seed of Silver Wings. 

After that, you must visit Titan or Io and participate in the new public event, Invasion Site. Here you’ll need to fight waves of enemies and collect motes. Once you gather these motes, you must deposit them in the bank. Sound familiar? Yeah, that's because it’s Gambit, but on Io.

(Image credit: Bungie)

There are four waves, with a final boss at the end. You should be around 1040 Power Level, as this is where the enemy levels peak, and bring with you seasonal Unstoppable, Anti-Barrier, and Overload rounds on your weapons to deal with tougher enemies. 

Next, speak to the Drifter and gain access to the Umbral Decoder, which gives you your first opportunity to decode an Umbral Engram. But, the quest doesn’t stop there. After this you’ll need to complete a Strike, a Crucible match, or a Gambit match before providing the Drifter with some Twisted Energy before you can finally gain access to the Prismatic Recaster, which is right near the Drifter in the Tower. 

Once you’ve done that, you can then start to focus your Umbral Engrams. The first three basic Umbral Engrams you can focus each week are free, but all other Umbral Engrams will cost at least 50 Altered Element and can go as high as 250 Altered Element, and a Trace Override.

(Image credit: Bungie)

How to get Altered Element, Twisted Energy, and Trace Override

The main source for Altered Element is through completing the new daily bounties on offer through the Prismatic Recaster. Twisted Energy can also be earned through weekly bounties and from various triumphs in the seasonal tab. Trace Overrides, however, need to be purchased for five Legendary Shards via the Prismatic Recaster, when you reach Umbral Research Rank 7.

Twisted Energy is the gateway to new purchasable rewards. It takes 500 Twisted Energy to level up the Recaster, but 1,000 Twisted Energy is available as a weekly bounty reward every week and they are character specific, allowing you to earn a minimum 3,000 Twisted Energy a week. 

With each Umbral Research level you also gain access to a gift that can be redeemed for additional upgrades to the Prismatic Recaster. These upgrades are divided across three ranks, with each rank becoming accessible after all the available bonuses in the previous rank have been purchased. There are 21 gifts in total, and seven per rank. The benefits start small, like offering slightly increased chances of finding more Umbral Engrams all the way up to offering a total of six free focuses per week and reducing subsequent focusing costs by 50 percent.