Everyone’s Obsessed With Destiny’s Loot Cave

Everyone’s Obsessed With Destiny’s Loot Cave

What began as an easy way to earn loot and experience points in Destiny has become a full-blown phenomenon. The internet has caught Loot Cave Fever.

The Loot Cave, an area in the corner of Destiny‘s Russia map that lets you mindlessly farm experience points and gear, has been a known commodity for a while now. Last weekend it rose in popularity — that was when I found out about it, anyway — and these days, it’s become something of an obsession among Destiny players around the world.

It was a symbolic cornerstone of my review of the game, to boot. Here’s my take:

The Loot Cave is what’s known as an exploit, a trick the game’s developers didn’t anticipate that allows players to bypass the game’s carefully-scaffolded progression system and earn experience points and gear faster than the developers intended. That so many players would so eagerly latch onto an exploit like Destiny’s Loot Cave only makes sense, given the game in question.Destiny itself is brazenly, almost inhumanly exploitative, so it’s only natural that players would take every opportunity to exploit it right back.

Others have been discussing the cave as well — critic Sparky Clarkson had some similar thoughts:

In perhaps the biggest game of the year, one of the things players are spending a lot of time doing is shooting, for hours on end, into a cave. They’re not doing it for fun; I’ve tried it for just a few minutes and I can confirm, it’s incredibly boring. But, it’s also productive, in the sense that it gets players more of what they want, what they in fact need if they want to progress. So quickly, before it gets nerfed, gaze in awe upon the wonders of… The Loot Cave.

Lots of other people, of course, are just making jokes. Here are some of my favourites:


Here’s a video from Matt Lees (seen above after quitting caving cold-turkey) as he attempts to explain the Loot Cave to a friend:

Hitler weighed in on the Loot Cave as well, in this video by Ray Frenden:

The Loot Cave is even turning up on Whisper, the service used for sharing dark secrets:

The official Destiny forums have been alive with Loot Cave chatter, including one user who quotes the great poet Astley to capture his feelings about the cave:

Never gonna give you up

Never gonna let you down

Never gonna run around and desert you

Never gonna make you cry

Never gonna say goodbye

Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you

There’s also this steamy Loot Cave fanfic:

he blindfold obscured my vision, I couldn’t see where we were going. But I trusted Captain Fal’ric as he carried me in all four of his big strong arms. “We are near.” he said, his voice deep and commanding, yet soothing and seductive. He unwraveled the scarf around my head, we were standing at the entrance to a forboding cave. “They call this the cave of treasure.” Captain Fal’ric said. “It is said that you will find many treasure in it if you wait long enough.”

“It looks dangerous” I said, holding onto him nervously. A year ago, I would have never believed I would fall in love with a Fallen. Yet here I was clinging to Fal’ric as he took me into the cave. The pitch black blinded my vision, but my eyes quickly adjusted. But I immediately recoiled with horror when I saw several Hive acolytes staring back out at us from the darkness. “Relax….” Fal’ric said. “They mean no harm. In fact, they are going to help me give you a treasure you will always remember.” Immediately they moved in close and started rubbing their hands up and down my body. I couldn’t help but let out a long moan, a moan that reverberated through the cave. The unholy creatures were working some sort of sinister magic on me…but I didn’t want them to stop. Many limbs caressed and explored my body, I couldn’t defend myself….I didn’t WANT to defend myself. Falric held my arms up high, exposing my sides and my front as the hive did their work, making me squirm all over the back wall of the cave. Just when it got very intimate, an explosion rocked the chamber. Before I knew it, I could see my dead body on the ground, my ghost holding it in stasis. My legendary and uncommon weapons scattered all over the cave floor. Suddenly other guardians came in and took the loot and went out. More hive rushed out in rage, furious that our moment had been interrupted.

Another poster offers a solemn prayer for the Cave:

Our Cave who art in Stone,

Hallowed be thy Adds.

Thy engrams come.

Thy will be farmed,

On Old Russia as it is on the Moon.

Give us this day our daily glimmer.

And forgive us our freeloading,

As we forgive those who grief us.

And lead us not into rage quitting

But deliver us from the Cryptarch.

For RNG is the kingdom,

and the legendaries, and the exotics,

for ever and ever.


I’ve already said my piece on the cave itself, but I continue to find it both fascinating and enjoyable how so many people can wordlessly agree on the rules for one specific thing like this. I love this kind of emergent cooperation, even if (actually, particularly if) it’s not what the game’s creators intended. Everyone — well, everyone except the dummies who get too close and stop the Thralls from spawning — knows what to do. Even now, it’s a bit uncanny to see it in action.

No one’s quite sure whether Bungie is planning to shut or nerf the Loot Cave at some point in the future, though most people seem to think the end is probably pretty nigh. For now, though, it’s been fun. We had some laughs, we got some levels, we scored an engram or twenty. Thanks, Loot Cave.


  • Haven’t seen the cave yet, level 23 without it and its kinda putting me off playing the game, mate I started and finished campaign with has gone from level 20 to 28 in a matter of days, last I checked I was about 3000 kills in 23 hours played, he was 17,000 in 3 days played, with my crucible score being double his.

    • Why does it put you off playing the game? Because he has better gear in a shorter time? So what? Boo hoo, my friend has nicer digital armour and guns in an imaginary universe where I shoot aliens together. #0thworldproblems

      Look at it this way: he can more effectively help you raid!

    • I’m in agreeance, somewhat.
      While it’s not putting me off playing the game (cause I play for myself, and don’t care what others do), I think it’s a little against the grain of the whole coop centric approach if you’re just gonna sit and shoot at a cave for hours on end to farm better gear.

      Like, yeah, the loot drops obviously need a bit of tweaking, but I’d rather actually play the game than use exploits.
      To each their own though.

      If you’re that desperate for better gear that you want to mindlessly shoot at a cave for hours, then go for it. No skin off my teeth after all.
      I just prefer to earn my own gear is all.

    • Been to that cave once at the request of my friends. Bored the sh*t out of me, and didn’t get anything that would make me want to continue doing it.

      Still, level 28 and have only done that small amount of “farming”. Have full legendary warlock armour (Even before the Queen’s missions), two exotic warlock armour, full legendary hunter, three pieces of legendary titan armour. 4 legendary weapons and three exotic weapons.

  • I have mixed feelings on doing my own farming but I find the fact that the loot cave exists and unified so many people towards a singular purpose is at least noteworthy.

  • ive been to the cave a few times to have a look… spent maybe 10 mins farming got a blue engram which game me purple boots so im happy 😛 haha!

    though i rarely ever see anyone over there maybe 1 other person if im lucky.

  • I have AFK farmed this for 3 whole days while writing my Thesis. Thanks loot cave.

    Is that..purple? It IS purple! /Runs/ It’s A LEGEN-heavy ammo.

    • The enemies won’t spawn if you’re in the cave. Each piece of loot exists for each person in the area – one of the reasons it’s been so popular.

      I’ve been to the cave a few times and never seen a legendary piece, but it has helped me level up a bit with different blue decoherent engrams. I actually find it quite relaxing just sitting there and shooting the Hive with another random stranger. It’s even better with a mate, where you can just chat and catch up while doing something relatively productive.

    • Some people do sit in/near the cave and grief the looters, which draws some nasty messages apparently, but no, there’s no friendly fire in PvE – you can only harm other Guardians in the Cruciple/PvP arena.

      • A few of us were pottering around at the l00t cave last night and some jerk-off and his 2 buddies would do the following: EASE(??) would decide to go for dinner and/or take a dump and just stand next to the cave mouth for 10-15 minutes. His buddies would go off and just dick around in the general vicinity. When their fearless leader EASE decided to make a reappearance, then it was time for them all to reconvene and begin again. Not really sure what they were playing at with that mentality……

        Edit: other than they were purely griefing.

  • thats because they are using a controller to play FPS, the loot cave is the best option, you dont have to move.

  • I did it for like an hour and half over 3 different occasions found maybe 4 legendaries all blue so decided to farm rep instead a few days later I had lvl 2 dead orbit and 2 legendaries the next day when crucible reset I had another legendary then did the Queens kill order mission then I had full legendary amour also lucked out in crucible and got a exotic handcannon hawk moon or something
    So yeah no point farming the cave when their is 3xRNG at play in destiny they just need to make strike missions reward better never gotten a legendary from a strike mission other then the Queen missions

  • The cave is great but I am over it, farmed it for about 4 hours total over a couple of days, but now I find I get more loot from just doing actual quests. I gave up the cave about 4-5 days ago and since then have leveled from 21 to 27 by just doing quests.

  • To be fair, the loot cave has to date been the most ‘co-operative’ experience I have had in Destiny. Everything else I’ve played so far has more or less been 3 players all playing lone wolf whilst chatting together (which is a shit load of fun.)

    This or the dance parties, that is.

  • The loot cave is almost a necessity for people who play solo and want some decent gear without having to spend months replaying the same patrol missions and public events over and over. You need vanguard/faction rep and vanguard marks to otherwise buy this stuff the legit way, but even if you’re happy to farm this way the vanguard marks are limited to 100 per week anyway. So to kit yourself out with some decent stuff and then upgrade it you have to be in it for the long haul.

    It’s great to want to do strikes and raids with a team of friends for the sake of the challenge and to get the most out of the game, maybe coordinate for exotic weapon bounties to get a leg up, however if you don’t have those friends then you’re kind of stuck.

    As for me, I’ll usually visit the loot cave once every play session for around 30 minutes. It rarely nets me purple engrams and when it does they almost always end up being blue items or somesuch. The positive is that decoding them levels up the cryptarch and the package they send can be rewarding (except for the last time where I got the same legendary sniper rifle I already have… and I don’t use sniper rifles anyway).

  • I know I shouldn’t be ragging on people playing a game in a different way then I would. I’ve always been trying to improve the Halo series with changes to options and maps rather then removing everything until it looks like another MLG match. I do find it annoying people claim you’re “not a gamer” because you never played/liked Ocarina of Time or anything.

    But for fucks sake, you’re all shooting at a cave for hours on end! For a small chance to get something that you’re planning on replacing! It’s not even necessary to complete or enjoy the game.

    I don’t know, but I think there’s seriously something wrong with your game when collecting all 200 light orbs in Prototype sounds more appealing.

  • If someone’s sitting in the cave to prevent spawns (a bit of a useless idea), all you do is run off to the next area, cone back and you’re in a new instance of the cave area and bam, thise guys are gone.

  • It may not be nerfed but there is a nasty kicker if you’re there too long.

    Out of the blue you’ll get enemies spawning from every spawn point and converging on you and your team. I’ve had it happen 3 times so far. And it’s awesome. We had it happen when 6 players were hanging out. We were able to kill more enemies in 3 minutes of unlimited spawn than you could do in an hour on the loot cave.

    But it does have a downside. The server will eventually crash and kick you out – that’s usually only after a few minutes of the unlimited spawning beginning.

    • I love it when “Your enemies are moving against each other…” (or something like that), but haven’t had the crashes or drops outs you mentioned.

  • i really think they should renovate the cave, maybe place a nice pond in it. edit. i do love how public events drop straight ontop of where the looters are camped

  • The best thing about the loot cave for me is that I’ve noticed alot of chest farming spots on the different planets have become less congested haha.

  • 7 Legendaries from the cave, 1 from strikes. And that 1 was a worse version of the leg armour that I already had. I am enjoying the strikes though.

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