Destiny 2: A guide to Exotics and where to find them

Veterans of the original Destiny will know all about exotics, but for players new to the series exotics are a special kind of legendary item that are often stronger, and carry additional bonuses compared to their purple legendary counterparts.

Of course, Exotics are much more than just an additional tier of gear that you can get your hands on with some careful looting. The effects they apply make them ridiculously overpowered and the only thing limiting their insane ability to make a character absolutely ridiculous is the fact that you can only equip a single exotic weapon and a single exotic piece of armor respectively. That means out of every exotic weapon and armor piece in the game you only get to equip TWO at any given time.

So choose wisely, and keep in mind that even the weakest exotic gear can be infused, boosting its power level by a magnitude equal to the weapon you infuse it with, which means that you should almost never dismantle exotic items if you think the effect will be even remotely useful in the future.

It’s important to note that you get three exotics just for progressing through significant moments in the campaign and for the first two the quest giver gives you a choice of one out of three possible pieces of gear, so choose wisely based on what effects are most important to your play style.

Titan Campaign Exotics

The first set of exotics, and likely the first exotic you’ll get a crack at in the game is a reward for clearing the early quests on Titan. These three exotics are a reward for completing Riptide, the quest where you have to clear out all the hive gunk on Titan’s generators and then reset the circuits to feed power to the resistance.

Once you’ve finished the quest, you can speak with Sloane to pick your exotic reward, these exotics are class specific and you’ll only get one so choose wisely.

Titan Options:

  • ACD/O FEEDBACK FENCE – Titan gauntlets that hate getting punched but love punching, when a player gets a melee kill these gauntlets store up to three charges of explosive energy, detonating in a blast of damage when struck by an enemy melee ability.
  • DOOM FANG PAULDRON – Titan gauntlets for the Captain in all of us, these gauntlets reduce the cooldown rate of shield throw when you get kills using the shield bash super melee ability, and melee ability kills reduce the cooldown on your sentinel shield super.
  • ACTIUM WAR RIG – Titan chest armor that passively reloads your equipped auto rifle’s magazine.

Hunter Options:

  • MECHANEER’S TRICKSLEEVES – For the fast fingered weapon specialist, these Hunter gauntlets boost your sidearm weapon ready and reload speed.
  • RAIDEN FLUX – Hunter chest armor for players that like to polish their arc staff, quick attacks with the arc staff boost the damage and duration of the super.
  • LUCKY PANTS – Cayde’s pants, a set of hunter leg armor that boosts the ready speed and initial shot accuracy of hand cannons.

Warlock Options:

  • EYE OF ANOTHER WORLD – A Warlock helmet that highlights targets and improves the cooldown reduction of warlock abilities.
  • WINGS OF SACRED DAWN – For warlocks that love to fly, a warlock chest pieces that allows you to hover for a short amount of time in mid-air when aiming down sights, precision kills extend the hover duration.
  • SUNBRACERS – For players that like to watch the world burn, a warlock set of gauntlets that boosts the duration of solar grenades and reduces your grenade cooldown when you deliver solar melee hits.

IO Campaign Exotics

The next set of exotics you’ll encounter in the campaign appears a few planets later on IO, where after completing the opening story missions involving the Taken you’ll be able to pay a visit to Asher Mir, the crochety old scholar screaming in your ear for most of the mission.

Unlike the first set of exotics on Titan this time you’ll have three options, but they’re the same exotic weapons no matter your class or orientation.

  • SUNSHOT – A fashionable hand cannon that fires explosive round, highlights your targets, and that causes enemies to detonate with solar energy when killed by the Sunshot.
  • GRAVITON LANCE – Exotic pulse rifle that deals extra damage on the third shot in the burst, and also causes enemies killed by this weapon to explode.
  • RISKRUNNER – An exotic submachine gun that activates an ability called arc conductor when the player is hit by arc damage, with arc conductor active Riskrunner deals higher damage and fires rounds that trigger chain lightning and potentially restores ammunition to the mag.

Zavala Free Exotic Engram

The final exotic you get from the campaign comes after defeating the final boss and progressing to the new base area, you’ll have a short series of epilogue quests that introduce you to some of the post-campaign activities and that in general show you where to find all the important characters again.

There’s a lot of extra loot to be gathered for finishing up the campaign, but our target is at the very end of the line where Zavala waits for you at the end of a overlook, speak with him and he’ll reward you with an exotic engram that can be decrypted for a random exotic piece of gear that should give your power level a heck of a jumpstart.

RAT KING Exotic Sidearm

The RAT KING exotic sidearm is a pistol that you receive after solving the riddle of the rat king’s crew, by its lonesome it’s an impressive weapon with a stylized barrel and a high damage output, but what makes this weapon truly special is its unique ability to get a damage buff when near other members of your fireteam that have the RAT KING equipped, and its Vermin ability, which allows you to temporarily disappear if you reload after killing an enemy.

It’s a really cool weapon, and it’s a guaranteed exotic, but as a result the quests to complete it are a bit more of a challenge than most other weapons on this list.

That said, to get your hands on this exotic weapon you’ll need at least one friend, a power level of at least 230 (although 260-270 is advised), and quite a bit of skill, you’ll also need to make sure you’ve finished all the story missions on Titan as well as Destiny 2’s campaign.

To get started, you need to head to Titan, and if you’ve completed the story missions for this stormy world you should see a new quest titled “Enemy of my Enemy,” marked with a blue crown on the map.

To get your hands on the first piece of the puzzle, you’ll need to complete this quest and each quest that follows, it’s a pretty standard Destiny 2 affair except that you find yourself oddly bonding with a fallen captain as you progress, and you can optionally save and spare him at the end of the final quest, or slaughter him, it’s up to you.

Either way, approach the reactor and you’ll receive a Rare item called THE RAT KING’S CREW in your kinetic weapon slot.

Unfortunately, this is only the prologue. RAT KING’S CREW is essentially a riddle scroll, and the more you unwind, the longer it gets. To simplify, each step is a different challenge, and the crew portion of the riddle requires that you complete each challenge with at least one other player in your fireteam who also has the RAT KING’s CREW quest or already has the Rat King equipped.

Step One: Complete three patrol missions with at least one other player in your fireteam.

Step Two: Complete two public events, again you’ll need at least one other person in your fireteam to fill out the “crew” requirement.

Step Three: Time to get competitive, this riddle point directs you to the Crucible, where you’ll need to complete two matches, and you guessed it, you’ll need to bring a friend.

Step Four: The final riddle is the trickiest, and to pull this one off you’ll need to have unlocked the Nightfall strike (you’ll need Power 230 and to run a few strikes for Zavala to unlock it). The key here is the reference to the number five in the riddle, which indicates to solve this final puzzle you’ll need to complete the Nightfall strike with five minutes left on the clock. It’s not impossible, but it takes a good strike team and careful attention to the rotating elemental mechanic in the strike to pull it off. Based on the element displayed over your super meter, you’ll deal additional damage with weapons of that type. Again, you’ll need to make sure you also do this with a friend in your party if you want to complete the riddle; a full fireteam of players over 260 Power is highly recommended.

Once done, you’re golden, or silver at least, and this gorgeous exotic revolver is yours forever.

MIDA MULTI TOOL Exotic Scout Rifle and MIDA MINI TOOL Legendary SMG

Thankfully, the MIDAS MULTI TOOL is much easier to get your hands on than the RAT KING, the only real barrier is the 260 recommended Power for the starting quest and the sheer time investment to completing each challenge. We assume that it’s possible to start the quest without it, but if you’re running it solo we imagine it’ll be a nightmare to complete.

Either way, once you complete the campaign if you return to the EDZ you’ll notice a new quest titled, “ENHANCE!“ marked on your map, you’ll need to complete this quest and all the quests that follow to unlock a chance at the MIDA MULTI TOOL. It’s your standard mission for the most part and isn’t particularly challenging on its own, but you do get the added bonus of listening to Devrim Kay’s sultry accent while you’re there, which is always a treat. You’ll know you’re done when Devrim rewards you with the MIDA MINI TOOL SMG.  

Once completed you’ll get a new quest back at the Tower from the Gunsmith, he’ll task you with nailing 50 precision kills and completing 25 multi-kills with a Scout Rifle. The precision kills go surprisingly quick, and we suggest farming Red Legion enemies because they’re generally plentiful on the EDZ and have good-sized pumpkins for heads, which makes getting precision hits a little easier. Getting the multi-kills is a little more difficult and involves getting multiple kills in quick succession without reloading your weapon. Keep your eyes peeled for groups of three or more enemies and focus on nailing precision hits and you should manage to get the kills you need before your scout rifle runs dry.

With both tasks completed return to the Gunsmith and he’ll reward you with yet another challenge. Fortunately, this one is technically simpler, but you’ll need to find five rare or legendary Scout Rifles, which the Gunsmith wants you to dismantle for parts. If you don’t have five extra scout rifles just lying around you’ll need to hit your favorite gear farming route and just hope for the best. This part can take a while, so buckle up.

Once you’ve finished gathering parts, return to the Gunsmith and he’ll give you a final task, which requires you equip an SMG and nail 50 kills while in midair. This one’s pretty simple, and just requires you make sure the final blow from your SMG lands while you’re floating like a butterfly, we suggest giving the MIDA MINI TOOL a test run for this challenge if you haven’t already, it’s steady enough as far as recoil goes to make nailing these shots much easier.

When you’re done, return to the Gunsmith a final time and pick up your prize, the MIDA MULTI TOOL, which just like in the original Destiny it massively boosts your movement speed, and gives you your radar while aiming down sights, making it the perfect weapon to give you some extra situational awareness no matter what you’re shooting. It’s also worth noting that if you equip the MIDA MULTI TOOL and the MIDA MINI TOOL together, you’ll trigger an additional effect on the MINI TOOL that makes you move even faster while your new SMG is equipped.

The STURM Exotic Hand Cannon and DRANG Legendary Sidearm

The STURM is possibly the most frustrating exotic weapon on this list to get your hands on, because it combines the RNG of most exotics, with the need for a fireteam that you see with the RAT KING. Despite this, the STURM and the DRANG work together extremely well, which makes it worth grabbing if you’re a fan of Hand Cannons and smooth recoil sidearms. The STURM will reload any energy weapon you have equipped whenever you get a kill, and the DRANG specifically refills the STURM’s magazine, additionally getting kills with the DRANG gives your next clip with the STURM bonus precision damage, so they’re a fun little combo to run around with if you hate reloading and love killing enemies with headshots.

To get your hands on the STURM you’re going to need to run over to Nessus to complete yet another quest line, if you’ve completed the campaign you’ll find a new quest titled “EXODUS BLACK on the east side of the map.

Complete EXODUS BLACK and its little quest babies and you’ll receive the DRANG and a kinetic item that requires you return to the Cryptarch at the Tower. Do so and the item will transform into a quest that requires you gather and decrypt five legendary engrams (reputation engrams from faction heroes count towards this), kill 10 fallen with the DRANG on Nessus, and somehow get your hands on an exotic engram to decrypt. The latter is the real crutch of the matter, and if you haven’t already decrypted the exotic engram you receive for completing the campaign this is a great opportunity to get two exotics for one. Otherwise you’re going to need to focus on farming gear from public events, lost caches, and strikes to get your hands on one of the rarest pieces of loot in the game.

Once you’ve finished this particular grind return to the Cryptarch and he’ll pass you another quest which will send you back to the Farm (can be fast travelled to from the EDZ map) to speak to Tyra Karn. She’ll send you on a quest to defeat 10 powerful Fallen with the DRANG, which can be accomplished extremely easily by completing glim harvest public events, every one of the marked enemies count as a kill as long as you score the final hit with the DRANG. She also wants you to get 10 multi kills with the DRANG which like the MIDA MULTI TOOL quest, just requires that you kill at least three enemies in a row without reloading.

Return to Tyra Karn and she’ll deliver one final quest, which asks that you return to Nessus and destroy the Servitor Kendricks-7 in the Exodus Crash quest. Technically the quest suggests you bring a fireteam, but we’ve had reports that it isn’t strictly necessary.

Once Kendricks-7 is dead and buried, return to Kyra a final time and you’ll be able to claim an exotic engram that you can redeem for your precious STURM.