Destiny 2 Root of Nightmares challenge this week: Rotation, guides, and rewards

Destiny 2
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Destiny 2's raids often drop some of the best rewards available in the game, as their weapons generally have incredible perk pools and raid-exclusive armor pieces typically have high-stat rolls, too. You'll get lots of great loot by beating them normally, but by completing raid challenges, you can get special bonus rewards on top of your usual drops.

Challenges for the Root of Nightmares, the game's latest raid that came with the Lightfall expansion, are now available. Here's a complete guide on everything you need to know about them, including which challenge is active this week, the bonus rewards you can get when completing them, and guides on how to beat each one.

Note that this guide assumes you understand how to complete the Root of Nightmares raid normally and understand how each encounter's mechanics work. If you need a walkthrough for the raid's standard mechanics, check out our full Destiny 2 Root of Nightmares raid guide

Destiny 2 Root of Nightmares raid challenge this week

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The active Root of Nightmares raid challenge this week is "Planetary Equilibrium," which is available during the third encounter, Macrocosm. You can find a guide that explains how to complete the challenge in the sections below.

Note that just like every challenge in Destiny 2's other raids, the Root of Nightmares raid challenges rotate. The challenge rotation takes place every weekly reset, which is currently scheduled for every Tuesday at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET. The rotation order begins with the challenge for the first encounter and ends with the one for the final boss fight against Nezarec. After the end of the rotation is reached, it resets.

Destiny 2 Root of Nightmares raid challenge rewards

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When you successfully complete a raid challenge in the Root of Nightmares, your fireteam will be rewarded with some extra and/or unique loot drops compared to what you'd get if you completed the encounter normally. However, what you get will vary depending on what difficulty you're playing the raid on. Here's what you can earn from both the Normal and Master Mode versions of the Root of Nightmares when you finish a challenge:

Root of Nightmares Normal challenge rewards

When you complete a raid challenge in the Normal Mode version of the Root of Nightmares, you'll get an extra loot chest that drops a second piece of gear in addition to the one you'd get normally. This gives you an additional chance to get something you'll be happy with, so if your fireteam is willing to attempt challenges, they're worth doing.

It's worth noting that this second drop will also be a piece of Pinnacle Gear, so consider doing the weekly raid challenge to increase your Power Level faster. Even if the item you get isn't worth keeping, having it in your inventory will increase the Power Level of future Pinnacle drops. Alternatively, you could also use it for infusion to boost up weapons and armor pieces you enjoy using.

Root of Nightmares Master challenge rewards

If you complete a raid challenge while playing the Root of Nightmares on Master Mode, you'll get an Adept version of one of the raid's weapons. These have better base stats compared to regular Root of Nightmares weapons, and can also be outfitted with uniquely powerful Adept weapon mods. This week, players can earn the Adept version of the Mykel’s Reverence Sidearm.

In the future, Bungie plans to allow players to ascend their Adept Root of Nightmare weapons and make their perks enhanced — exactly like what you can do with Destiny 2's weapon crafting system. This functionality will apply retroactively to Adept Root of Nightmare weapons earned now, so if you get a god roll, keep it.

Note that once you complete an encounter challenge on Master and get the Adept weapon associated with it once, you can use Spoils of Conquest to purchase additional drops from the chest that spawns after Nezarec is killed in the final encounter.

Destiny 2: How to beat the Cataclysm 'Illuminated Torment' challenge

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  • Challenge objective: Tormentors must be killed by a player that has the Field of Light buff.

The Cataclysm encounter is the easiest encounter in the Root of Nightmares, so it's not surprising that its raid challenge is also a walk in the park. To complete it successfully, all you have to do is make sure that players with the Field of Light buff land final blows against each of the Tormentors that spawn throughout the encounter.

Note that other players can still damage and weaken the Tormentors without failing the challenge. Doing this is important, as it ensures that your runners won't have to spend much time finishing the Tormentors off and can primarily focus on completing their plate sequences. Alternatively, you could have players from the ad clear team stand on the glowing plates whenever the runner player returns to get Field of Light, as they'll also get Field of Light when the runner shoots the orb above it. By doing the challenge this way, the runner can finish plates as fast as possible while the other Field of Light-buffed players can deal with the Tormentors.

Players are strongly recommended to use a well-rolled Legendary Linear Fusion Rifle or the Sleeper Simulant Exotic Linear Fusion Rifle to kill the Tormentors. These weapons will easily finish off weakened Tormentors in one shot, and since the crit spot on their chest is easy to hit, it'll be an easy shot to land.

Destiny 2: How to beat the Scission 'Crossfire' challenge

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  • Challenge objective: Players from the opposite side of the arena have to shoot the switch for each of the boopers.

To complete the Crossfire challenge, runners (and any other players on the side they're on) cannot shoot the switches for the boopers they need to use to cross the arena. Instead, you need to have a player from the opposite side shoot the switch from across the arena for you. This can be any player, so we recommend assigning an ad clear player on each side to this role since making a runner do it would distract them from completing their plate sequences.

We recommend using a medium-to-long range weapon like a Pulse, Scout, or Sniper Rifle to shoot switches on the opposite side, as it'll be a little difficult to quickly do so with Sidearms, SMGs, or Auto Rifles. With that said, it can still be done with these weapons, so if you're confident in your accuracy, go for it.

Note that runners can't cheese this challenge by using movement techniques like Eager Edge jumps or Well/Shatter-skating to cross the arena, as successfully completing it requires each booper switch to be shot by players from the other side.

Destiny 2: How to beat the Macrocosm 'Cosmic Equilibrium' challenge

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  • Challenge objective: Swap the two correct planets on each plate instead of the odd planet out.

The Macrocosm encounter's challenge is simple, but will test your team's endurance and ad clear capabilities. To complete it, you have to get all of the Darkness planets on the Light (left) side and all the Light ones on the Darkness (right) side. This is accomplished by swapping the two "correct" planets on each plate instead of the odd one out.

Since you don't have time for more than two Planetary Shift phases and two planets need to be moved per plate instead of one, you need to have the top and bottom runners swap planets two times. This means the encounter takes twice as long as normal, which in turn means double the ad spawns. As a result, the two ad clear players need to kill as much as possible, and on Master difficulty, runners should chip in against ads as much as they can as well.

Destiny 2: How to beat the Nezarec 'All Hands' challenge

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  • Challenge objective: Every player must activate a plate on both the Light and Darkness sides of the arena, and both final nodes must also be linked around the same time.

The All Hands challenge requires each player in your fireteam to complete a plate on both the left and right side of the arena using the Field of Light and Flux of Darkness buffs (this resets after each damage cycle, otherwise the challenge wouldn't be possible). Notably, both final nodes also need to be completed around the same time, so as a team, you can't all focus on one side and then all focus on the other side. Since there are six plates in each side's sequence, there's just enough to make this possible. If any player activates more than one plate on either side, the challenge will fail.

This shouldn't be too difficult for most teams, though since these restrictions slow the encounter down, you'll need to deal with Nezarec and his ads much more than you would normally. Whenever you're not activating a plate, do your part to thin out any Cabal you come across and try to take Nezarec's Hatred if the person he's currently attacking needs time to regain their health.

Note that depending on what type of refuge you need to make to survive Nezarec's wipe mechanic, you might have to abandon progressing on one side to quickly activate plates on the other so you can create a safe zone. When doing this, make sure everyone keeps track of where they've activated a plate (Light, Darkness, or both) so nobody accidentally fails the challenge by activating two on the same side. Remember that since you'll have to progress both sides in order to activate both final nodes simultaneously, you shouldn't be focusing too much on one side anyway.

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, get access to Strand subclasses and their unique abilities, and more. It also unlocks the Root of Nightmares raid, allowing you to challenge the deadly forces within.


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. The DLC also gives you access to the Root of Nightmares raid and all of its sweet, sweet loot.

See at: Microsoft | GMG (Steam)

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.