Gaming

Dominate the Crucible in Destiny 2: A Comprehensive Guide

Destiny 2, now in its third expansion – Beyond Light – and with plans for an exciting future in 2021, continues to captivate players with its PvE content. However, it’s essential not to overlook the Crucible, Destiny’s challenging PvP mode. Featuring multiple modes, diverse maps, and powerful gear, the Crucible offers an engaging and worthwhile multiplayer experience. But how can you overcome the initial learning curve and become a formidable opponent? Look no further than our Destiny 2 Crucible beginner’s guide, where you’ll find all the information you need.

The Basics

You can’t access it right away

When you first load up Destiny 2, you may be eager to jump into Crucible matches. However, the game’s New Light update requires you to complete an introductory mission in the Cosmodrome before accessing the Crucible. This mission familiarizes you with the game’s mechanics and leads you to The Tower, Destiny 2’s main hub. Once at The Tower, you can open your menu, navigate to the Destinations tab, and select Crucible to join the PvP action. While it’s tempting to dive into matches immediately, it’s better to follow the New Light questline. Completing this questline unlocks PvP bounties and quests, progresses your character, and rewards you with better equipment, ensuring you don’t enter the competition with subpar gear. Additionally, following the questline sets you on the path to earning your first Exotic weapon, a powerful firearm with exceptional perks.

The modes

Screenshot from the Crucible in Destiny 2
Bungie

Destiny 2 offers a variety of Crucible modes, all accessible from the start. However, some modes may prove more challenging for beginners. Each week, a different selection of modes is available, so it’s beneficial to try them all and familiarize yourself with each one. The available modes are:

  • Clash: Earn points by eliminating enemy team members.
  • Team Scorched: Use Scorch Cannons (rocket launchers with infinite ammo) to eliminate the enemy team.
  • Mayhem: Rack up points by eliminating enemy team members. Enjoy faster respawn times, increased Power Ammo drops, and quicker Super and ability energy recharge.
  • Rumble: Compete in a free-for-all match, earning points for eliminating enemies.
  • Control: Capture marked zones and maintain control to accumulate points.
  • Momentum Control: Capture marked zones and hold them to earn points. Enjoy faster capture times and increased points for kills.
  • Lockdown: Capture and maintain control of at least two zones to earn points.
  • Countdown: Defend/detonate a bomb or eliminate the enemy team to win each round.
  • Breakthrough: Fight to capture a single “Breaker” zone, then use it to attack or defend the enemy’s base.
  • Supremacy: Gather crests dropped by defeated enemies to earn points.
  • Elimination: Achieve a team wipe (eliminating the entire enemy team) to win the round. Players don’t respawn but can be revived by teammates.
  • Showdown: Defeat the enemy team as many times as possible before time runs out.
  • Survival: Exhaust the enemy team’s lives to win each round.
  • Survival Freelance: Kill all enemies to win each round.

How to start a private match

If you prefer not to play with random players and have a fireteam large enough to create two teams, Destiny 2 allows you to start a private match. Since the game’s 1.2 update, you can head to the Crucible on the destinations screen and select the icon in the bottom left. From there, you can choose any game mode and map, set the time limit, match score limit, and respawn time.

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Freelance

The Freelance playlist is a valuable addition to Destiny’s Crucible, especially for solo players. This playlist groups together players who are playing individually, ensuring that a team of random players doesn’t go up against an established six-player squad. Beyond Light’s DLC introduced the Freelance mechanic to the Iron Banner Tournament as well. If you prefer a more casual Crucible experience, you’ll enjoy the Freelance playlist.

Understanding your Crucible rank

Lord Shaxx from Destiny 2
Bungie

Update 1.2 introduced a ranking system for the Crucible that revolutionized the gear acquisition process. It introduced two new statistics – “Valor” and “Glory” – tied to quick play and competitive play, respectively. However, with the removal of specific playlists in New Light, Glory is now solely awarded for playing in the competitive Survival mode, while Valor is awarded for all other Crucible modes.

Winning matches in non-Survival modes automatically earns you Valor points, gradually increasing your rank as you reach specific milestones. Losing games does not decrease your Valor rank.

Glory, on the other hand, fluctuates based on your wins and losses in competitive matches. It requires consistent top-tier performance to see an upward trend in your Glory points.

Each time you unlock a new Valor or Glory rank, Lord Shaxx grants you access to new gear. Once you reach the maximum Valor rank, you have the option to reset your rank and start the climb again. Resetting has no downside and offers additional gear rewards, making it a worthwhile endeavor.

Tips for winning in the Crucible

Stick with your team

Destiny 2’s multiplayer, reminiscent of Halo, requires teamwork due to the extended “time to death” stage. Guardians possess shields and more health than in games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare or Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. Consequently, it’s crucial to stick with at least one teammate to face targets together, especially those who have separated from their group. Even the most skilled Destiny 2 player will struggle against two opponents attacking simultaneously. Additionally, teaming up becomes particularly vital in objective-based modes like “Control” and “Countdown,” where capturing and maintaining control points requires coordination. Splitting your team into groups, each focused on a different objective, forces the enemy team to divide their attention, potentially allowing you to eliminate stragglers. If you manage to capture multiple zones and establish a clear lead, regrouping to roam the map and secure easy kills can be an effective strategy. However, be prepared to disperse as soon as the enemy team adjusts and starts recapturing zones.

Power Level doesn’t matter, but gear does

Season of Arrivals gear from Destiny 2
Bungie

Unlike in PvE, where Power Level affects offense and defense, Destiny 2’s Crucible disregards Power Level. This ensures a fair playing field, preventing veteran players from having an unfair advantage over newcomers. Nevertheless, gear significantly influences Crucible matches because weapon and armor stats still matter. Since Destiny 2’s launch, Bungie has revamped the stats on weapons and armor, making them more nuanced and offering new ways to customize loadouts. Each expansion introduces additional weapons, adding further variety. To excel in Crucible, aim to obtain gear with excellent base stats and utilize mods to enhance it further. The current armor stats in Destiny 2 are:

  • Recovery: Increases health regeneration speed.
  • Resilience: Enhances defense against damage.
  • Mobility: Boosts movement speed and jump height.
  • Intellect: Reduces Super ability cooldown.
  • Strength: Decreases melee ability cooldown.
  • Discipline: Reduces grenade cooldown.
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Every stat serves a purpose, so consider your preferred playstyle when optimizing your build. If customizing a build seems daunting, prioritize Recovery, as it is generally the most crucial stat for PvP. Destiny 2’s longer time-to-kill allows players with higher Recovery to rejoin battles swiftly. Mobility is also valuable as it provides the speed required for chasing enemies or retreating. Resilience is less vital than Recovery but still important in preventing instant deaths from powerful weapons. For cooldown stats (Intellect, Strength, and Discipline), focus on the ability that aligns with your playstyle.

Choose the right weapons

Gear from Destiny 2
Bungie

In Destiny 2, each weapon possesses distinct stats that affect PvP performance. While Power Level is inconsequential, you may find yourself struggling against opponents if your weapons don’t match up. The weapon stats in Destiny 2 are as follows:

  • Impact: Determines damage per shot.
  • Range: Dictates the effective distance before damage reduction and loss of accuracy.
  • Stability: Controls weapon recoil during firing.
  • Handling: Governs weapon draw and aim speed.
  • Reload Speed: Influences reloading speed.

Choosing the best weapon stats for Crucible is subjective, as each weapon type boasts varying strengths. Moreover, personal playstyle plays a significant role in determining preferences. Nevertheless, Range and Handling are generally crucial in PvP. They facilitate quick target acquisition and efficient elimination at a distance. It’s also essential to consider the latest weapons available. Beyond Light introduced a range of high-powered weapons, each with unique mechanics. These weapons can provide a significant advantage in defending zones against multiple enemies or avoiding death while reloading. Additionally, perks play a vital role in customizing your loadout. They can enhance damage output, reload speed, or offer other valuable benefits. While some weapons come with specific perks, the potential pool of available perks is vast. Finding the perfect combination can be a challenge, but it is crucial to optimize your performance based on your playstyle and preferences.

Don’t underestimate your melee attack

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Destiny 2’s melee attack is a crucial part of your arsenal. Pressing the melee button near an enemy allows you to strike them, bringing down their shield during a firefight. Following up with another melee strike eliminates them. In close quarters, relying on your melee attack can often be quicker than using your firearm. As you level up your Guardian, you’ll unlock additional buffs when landing melee kills, including a faster follow-up attack. Additionally, each class possesses a unique melee ability. These abilities take time to recharge but automatically replace your standard melee attack once available. Hunter’s Arcstrider subclass, for example, comes with a powerful melee weapon, while Warlocks can unleash a long-range lightning strike. Experiment with different abilities to find the one that best suits your playstyle.

However, exercise caution when relying solely on melee attacks. Engaging enemies with longer-range weapons or those positioned far away generally results in death. To gain an advantage, consider using a grenade to weaken the enemy before executing a melee attack.

Retreat when necessary

Iron Banner gear from Destiny 2
Bungie

While you may consider yourself a formidable Crucible competitor, there will be battles where victory seems impossible. Rather than dying and enduring a respawn cooldown—while inadvertently granting points to the opposing team—strategically retreat. Destiny 2’s compact maps often allow you to lure enemies into your own team, reversing the situation. This tactic proves particularly effective in modes like “Survival,” where each team possesses a limited number of lives. Killing an enemy is gratifying, but surviving is paramount. Your slide ability also becomes crucial, enabling you to complete objectives swiftly. In “Supremacy” mode, quickly sliding to snatch an enemy’s crest and take cover before being killed prevents the opposing team from scoring. Remember, staying alive allows you to contribute more to your team’s success.

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Utilize your Super wisely

Each Guardian possesses a special “Super” ability corresponding to their class and subclass. These abilities recharge after a significant cooldown period, so using them effectively is crucial. Consider saving your Super ability, especially in multi-round modes, as wasting it needlessly deprives you of its power at critical moments. Timing is key when employing your Super. For example, a Hunter’s Arc Staff is most effective when facing tightly packed enemies, allowing for multiple kills. However, if the enemy team is far away, deploying the Arc Staff becomes futile. Similarly, if an enemy player activates their Super, evaluate whether using yours simultaneously would yield desirable results. Using a Warlock’s Nova Bomb to counter a Titan’s Fist of Havoc can be a game-changing move. On the other hand, activating your Super when an enemy Hunter unleashes their one-shot killer Golden Gun is a waste. Additionally, when uncertain if your Super can fully counter an enemy’s, employing evasive maneuvers might prove more advantageous, potentially forcing the enemy to waste their Super chasing you instead of killing your unsuspecting teammates.

Iron Banner: The Crucible’s prestigious event

Felwinter's Lie shotgun from Destiny 2
Bungie

Destiny 2 introduces the Iron Banner, an exhilarating Crucible event reminiscent of its predecessor. Active for one week each month, Iron Banner captivates PvP players with its elevated stakes, stat boosts tied to gear, and fantastic rewards. While the Iron Banner no longer requires completion of end-game content or raids, investing ample time is necessary to reap the event’s benefits. To earn Iron Banner Reputation and exquisite event-specific gear, you’ll need to rank up your Iron Banner Reputation by winning matches and completing an Iron Banner-specific questline. For players near the game’s Power Level cap, the Iron Banner provides a significant advantage, as high-level players deal more damage and receive less damage from lower-level opponents. However, lower-level players can still compete efficiently with dedication and skill. Iron Banner armor boasts an impressive aesthetic across all ranks, ensuring you won’t be embarrassed to wear lower-level gear while climbing the ranks. If you fall short during a particular event, you can save your tokens for the next one.

Final Thoughts

Destiny 2’s Crucible serves as a thrilling PvP experience, complementing the game’s PvE content. To master the Crucible and dominate each match, teamwork, gear optimization, and strategic decision-making are crucial. Remember to stick with your teammates, choose weapons and armor wisely, and utilize your abilities effectively. Whether you’re taking on the competitive modes or participating in the prestigious Iron Banner event, these tips will guide you toward becoming a formidable force in Destiny 2’s Crucible. So, grab your gear, rally your fireteam, and prepare to conquer the multiplayer arena.

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