Destiny 2: Lightfall's Day 1 raid will be easier with this massive change

Destiny 2
(Image credit: Bungie)

What you need to know

  • Destiny 2 developer Bungie has announced that Contest Mode will be active for a full 48 hours when the Lightfall expansion's raid goes live on Friday, March 10, rather than the usual 24.
  • Contest Mode caps a player's Power Level at 20 under each of a raid's encounters, making enemies more resilient and dangerous. The raid's mechanics will also be unknown by players when it launches, meaning that teams have to figure them out on their own.
  • This is being done to give players more break opportunities while trying to earn the exclusive "Day 1" emblem, and also gives players with Friday commitments a chance to participate.
  • The change is a controversial one, with some arguing that the time extension erodes the prestige of completing a raid on Day 1.

Bungie's space fantasy looter shooter Destiny 2 has a variety of prestigious endgame PvE activities, but none of them are quite as challenging or special as Day 1 raids. While these six-man missions aren't terribly tough once players meet their recommended Power Level and master the mechanics of their encounters, completing a new raid on the first day it's available is incredibly difficult. Not only do fireteams have to go in blind and figure out the raid's mechanics on their own, but the enemies and bosses encountered in the raid are buffed by Contest Mode — a modifier that caps your Power Level at 20 under each encounter. This makes foes hit harder and take less damage from your own attacks.

Historically, Contest Mode has been active for 24 hours after a new raid goes live, and players that manage to complete it in that timeframe are awarded an exclusive emblem to commemorate their achievement. Ahead of the release of the Lightfall expansion's raid on March 10, though, Bungie has announced that its raid will have Contest Mode active for 48 hours. This doubles the amount of time that players have to get the Day 1 clear.

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According to the developers, this change is being made to give players more opportunities to take breaks, while also helping folks that have commitments on Fridays — the day that Lightfall's raid is going live on — get a chance to participate. Notably, Day 1 raids previously released on Saturdays, but Bungie moved the date to Fridays after its out-of-office staff struggled to resolve technical issues with the launch of The Witch Queen's Vow of the Disciple raid.

The change has already proven to be a very controversial one. While some players believe that Bungie should be commended for prioritizing player health and ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate, others have argued that extending the Contest Mode time limit makes getting the Day 1 emblem a less impressive achievement.

Regardless of how you feel about it, one thing is clear: this is a massive adjustment that will make completing the Lightfall raid on Contest much easier. If you've never done a Destiny 2 Day 1 raid completion but are interested in giving one a try, there's never been a better time to go for it.


Destiny 2: Lightfall

The upcoming 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.

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Brendan Lowry

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.