Destiny 2: How to go from zero to Forsaken-ready

In just a few short weeks, Destiny 2’s Forsaken expansion will arrive, bringing with it sweeping changes to the existing game along with a whole heap of new content for players to sink their teeth into. For those who have yet to dive into Destiny 2 proper, the sheer mountain of new stuff that’s coming with Forsaken can seem more than a little intimidating, but it is technically possible to start fresh right now and be ready to greet the new expansion when it launches on September 4.

In fact, as this guide will show, now is probably one of the best times to give Destiny 2 a try since you’ll be able to bypass many of the growing pains that plagued the game’s first year of operation.

Getting started

Before we begin, I want to clarify that the purpose of this guide is to get a brand new (or at least relatively new) Destiny 2 player ready for the upcoming Forsaken expansion as soon as possible. Destiny 2 has technically grown quite a bit since its initial launch last year, but even when playing at a semi-casual pace you can still reach a point where you’ll be able to immediately hop into the new Forsaken campaign the moment it arrives.

Now, granted, it is technically possible to become Forsaken-ready by merely purchasing the expansion since doing so grants a new level boost item which will immediately bump a single character up to a power level that’s adequate for the expansion’s new content. However, there are several reasons why the immediate gratification of the level boost might not be in your best interest.

Maybe you want to experience Destiny 2’s first year of content for yourself rather than just skipping over it, or maybe you already have an existing character who you want to take into the new expansion (level boosts can only be applied to brand new characters, not existing ones). Maybe you’ve already invested in Destiny 2’s expansion pass and you don’t want to feel like you “wasted” your money by simply skipping over the previous two expansions you already paid for. No matter the reason, if you want to take a fresh new character from zero to Forsaken-ready ahead of the expansion’s launch, this guide should help you do just that.

Step 1: Finish the core campaign

This one’s a bit of a no-brainer, but your first major goal should be to finish Destiny 2’s base campaign which pits you against the Cabal overlord Dominus Gaul and his Red Legion. Overall, the campaign doesn’t last more than a few hours, and it helps in familiarizing the player with many of the various gameplay systems that will also be present in Forsaken.

When you finish the Red Legion campaign, your character will automatically be bumped up to level 20 (the base game’s level cap) and the gear you receive as a reward for finishing should be more than enough to make you eligible for the first post-launch expansion: Curse of Osiris.

Step 2: Complete Curse of Osiris and Warmind

Next up, it’s time to move on to Destiny 2’s first two expansions: Curse of Osiris and Warmind. These two smaller expansions don’t really make any radical changes gameplay-wise, but they do allow you to visit interesting new parts of the solar system as you work through their respective story campaigns. The Curse of Osiris campaign is admittedly a bit of a slog, but the new gear you earn from playing through it should help in reaching the power level necessary for Warmind.

Warmind’s campaign feels much more dynamic and streamlined than the Curse of Osiris campaign (mainly because it incorporated feedback that Bungie received after the launch of Curse of Osiris), and by the time you finish it, your character should ideally be at the current level cap (level 30) with a total power level of around 340. Now, 340 power should be enough to access the new Forsaken campaign, but if you want to push that number a little higher, you have several options available to you.

Step 3: Complete endgame milestones for powerful gear engrams

Currently, Destiny 2’s endgame feels a bit formulaic, but that’s actually not such a bad thing if you enjoy having a sense of consistent routine. When you reach Destiny 2’s endgame, you’ll be able to unlock a series of weekly milestones which, when completed, award a ‘Powerful Gear’ engram that’s virtually guaranteed to be an upgrade, and in many cases can even be an Exotic item.

Towards the end of the base game campaign, you’ll receive a quest to re-activate the planetary patrols system, and you should do so as soon as you’re able since it will unlock the weekly Flashpoint milestone. Flashpoints are one of the easiest weekly milestones to complete since all you have to do is go to a designated planet and participate in public events until the Flashpoint quota is met.

Other easy-to-complete milestones include finishing a series of Crucible PvP matches (Call to Arms) and, if you’re in a clan, finishing the clan score milestone (you can even get credit for the clan milestone while you’re completing your other milestones).

If you’re feeling brave, you can attempt some of the harder milestones like completing the Heroic or Nightfall strikes, or even taking on the Leviathan raid. High-end gear can also drop from the two currently available raid lairs, Eater of Worlds and Spire of Stars, but reaching the requisite power levels to attempt such activities might take quite a bit of effort so close to Forsaken’s launch.

Optional: The Solstice of Heroes

Once you finish Destiny 2’s base campaign and reach the Tower social space, you might notice it looks a little more festive than usual. That’s because an in-game event called the Solstice of Heroes is currently live, an event which involves completing a series of specific challenges (including special ‘Redux’ versions of Red Legion campaign missions) to upgrade a special Solstice armor set.

Making it to the end of the very long and very demanding Solstice of Heroes challenge series is currently the only way to earn a set of 400 power armor (since the game’s current power level cap is 385), whereas finishing the prestige versions of the game’s two raid lairs is the only way to get 400 power weapons.

You’re free to attempt the Solstice of Heroes challenges for yourself, just know that they are very demanding in terms of both challenge and the time you need to invest into them. You also only have until August 28 to finish the challenges since on that day the Solstice of Heroes will end and Destiny 2’s pre-Forsaken game update will deploy.

The Forsaken pre-patch

The August 28 update will shake up Destiny 2’s existing gameplay systems in many different ways, so you’ll definitely want to familiarize yourself with what’s changing sooner rather than later. You can see a brief overview of what’s changing in the update via this development roadmap over at Destiny 2 developer Bungie’s website. It should also be noted that everything listed on the development roadmap will be free for all players regardless of whether or not they purchase the Forsaken expansion.

For a more in-depth look at how the August 28 update will be altering the core game, you can also peruse this recent This Week at Bungie blog post which also contains a VOD of a recent combat and sandbox livestream that Bungie held.

The livestream delved into the nitty gritty of how the pre-Forsaken update will revamp the existing weapon mod system and implement brand new systems such as randomized weapon perk rolls so it’s definitely worth a watch.

Once the August 28 update arrives, many of Destiny 2’s more experienced players will actually be in roughly the same boat as newer players since they too will have to acclimate to the various changes the update implements ahead of Forsaken’s September 4 launch.

It can seem like a little much to take in if you’re a brand new Destiny 2 player, but if you follow what we’ve outlined in the above guide, you too can ensure you’re properly prepared to leap right into the Forsaken expansion alongside your fellow Guardians come September.