Destiny 2 is making it easier to farm Exotic god rolls, but there's a catch
An alternative to the Lost Sector grind is coming, but it won't be cheap.
What you need to know
- Destiny 2 is adding a new Exotic armor focusing system when Season 21 arrives on May 23.
- This system will allow players to decrypt Exotic engrams into specific Exotic armor pieces, giving them another way to farm Exotic armor god rolls.
- The catch is that you can only focus random Exotic engram drops, and that the cost of doing so will be very steep (three Ascendant Shards, an Exotic Cipher, and a whole lot of Glimmer).
- Currently, it's unclear if engrams from Season Passes or vendor reward tracks can be focused. We also don't know if the stat drops are guaranteed to be high or if they can be manipulated with Ghost Armorer mods.
While there are lots of ways to get high-stat god rolls on Legendary armor pieces in Destiny 2, the same can't be said for Exotics. Because of their unique and powerful perks, Exotic armor pieces are often one of if not the most important component in the best Destiny 2 builds. Yet because the only way you can get Exotics with both high stats and the stats you want is by grinding solo Legend and Master Lost Sectors laden with RNG (Will an Exotic drop? Is it the Exotic you want? Does it have a good roll?), it's very difficult to obtain them in a reasonable amount of time. Sure, you could wait and hope that the Exotic vendor Xur sells what you're looking for on weekends, but with nearly 200 Exotic armor pieces now in the game and only three in Xur's rotating inventory, the chances of that happening are pretty low.
This is currently one of the biggest issues with Destiny 2's endgame buildcrafting experience, and players have that feedback for several seasons now. Thankfully, though, developer Bungie has announced it's introducing a new system when Season 21 goes live on May 23 that will finally make farming Exotic armor god rolls easier: Exotic armor focusing. Similar to the way you can focus Seasonal engrams at the War Table for specific weapons, Exotic armor focusing will allow you to narrow down which Exotics you get when you decrypt an Exotic engram with Rahool in The Tower. However, there is a catch (or rather, two of them).
First, you'll only be able to focus Exotic engrams that drop randomly while playing. That means that any engrams you get from Lost Sector farming, Neomuna's Vex Strike Force Public Event, or Nightfall completions will auto-decrypt and give you a random Exotic armor piece. Since random Exotic engram drops are very rare in Destiny 2, focusing them probably isn't something you'll be able to do often (it's unclear if engrams from the Season Pass and vendor reward tracks will be focusable at this time).
Secondly, the cost for focusing Exotic engrams will be pretty steep. Advanced Decryption (focusing an engram into an Exotic from an expansion year) will cost an engram, an Ascendant Shard, and 30,000 Glimmer, while Precision Decryption (focusing an engram into a specific Exotic) will require you to cough up an engram, three Ascendant Shards, 60,000 Glimmer, and an Exotic Cipher. Ascendant Shards are tough to consistently come by unless you do some serious Grandmaster Nightfall grinding, and you can only obtain one Exotic Cipher per week by completing a quest from Xur. Bungie says you'll soon be able to stockpile up to five Exotic Ciphers thanks to a stack limit increase, though.
Overall, I'm glad to see a new way to farm for Exotic armor, though I can't help but raise my eyebrows a bit at the system's restrictions and resource costs. Only being able to focus random Exotic engrams is concerning, as in my experience, they only drop about once or twice every two weeks — and I'm someone that plays the game heavily. Also, three Ascendant Shards and an Exotic Cipher seems like quite an expensive price per Exotic, but when you consider that the best Exotics are some of the most desirable pieces of gear in the game, I suppose it makes sense. The stat rolls better be high and manipulable with Armorer Ghost mods, though.
Destiny 2: Lightfall is available now on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles, Windows PCs, and PlayStation systems. In it, you'll take the fight to Emperor Calus, gain access to Strand subclasses and their unique abilities, and more.
Destiny 2: Lightfall
The Lightfall expansion takes players to the neon-soaked city of Neomuna on Neptune and pits them against the fearsome Shadow Legion — all while the threat of Darkness Pyramids, The Witness, and his new Disciple Emperor Calus looms overhead.
See at: Microsoft | GMG (Steam)
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Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.