Why High-Level Destiny Players Are All Shooting At The Same Cave

Why High-Level Destiny Players Are All Shooting At The Same Cave

Go to the Russian countryside in Destiny. Head left past the plane graveyard, through the building where you first encountered the moon-wizard, and out the back. Hear that gunfire? A handful of high-level players are probably standing there, shooting at a cave.

They’re shooting at the cave because if you do that for even a little while, the cave winds up looking like this:

Yes, this is the latest technique for farming in Destiny, and it’s by far the most effective I’ve found. Spend an hour or at the Murder Cave and you’ll get so many engrams that you’ll almost surely get something you want. You don’t even have to shoot a single enemy — loot spawns if you’re in the vicinity, so your neighbours’ kills still give you loot.

If you’re lower level, you’ll generate XP very quickly, even if your loot drops aren’t that exciting. Valleywag‘s Sam Biddle hung around the cave with me and Jason last night and went from level 16 to level 18 mostly by sitting around, cracking jokes, and occasionally shooting things.

The technique, as shared in this video by Force Strategy Gaming (thanks BlitzKaiser!), has become so widespread that I’ve yet to go to this area of the Cosmodrome and not find at least one or two 24s or 27s sitting out there shooting.

The rules are simple, and agreed upon: Everyone stands behind the rock slab, everyone is sure to kill all of the hive thralls and acolytes before they get too far (if they escape, the constant spawning stops), and everyone takes periodic breaks to run into the cave and gather loot/ammo. It’s kind of beautiful, really.

If you’re down in Russia this weekend, it’s worth swinging by just to see everyone working together so effectively. Might as well stick around to get some loot, too.


  • Since this game came out, most of what i have seen is how people are finding ways to exploit the game. Is it that flawed that its no fun to play without breaking?

    • Never farmed a second and I have all legendary gear plus an exotic weapon. Farming is a waste of time in my honest opinion.

    • I would say yes for three reasons. One is that there’s no real point in being anything less than level 20 since that’s when you can actually do the interesting things. The second reason is you need to dismantle weapons and armour for parts so you can upgrade your gear and become a little less likely to be one-shotted in the crucible. The third is that you need to earn XP to unlock upgrades and abilities. To do this, you either find an easy place to farm, or you do bounties and strikes ad nauseum.

      • Which, honestly, are plenty of fun and challenging.

        My wife and one of my friends have played roughly as obsessively as each other, my friend farms my wife doesn’t. My wife has the better gear and has cleared all the strikes multiple times of various difficulties. My friend mostly shoots at this cave and mostly has spare parts for upgrading. I’d wager my wife has had more fun.

        That said, for some people looting is king and it’s own kind of fun.

        What I don’t get is people making uninformed comments like “oh, all people do is farm, the game must suck”.

        • I had a bit of a play with doing this on an alt warlock, after basically finishing everything there is to do on my titan main, while waiting for our next attempt at the next bit of the raid.

          Went from 7 to 24 in about four hours. Four hours is a long time to spend shooting into a cave, but I stuck with it out of morbid fascination with just how absurdly efficient it was. It actually broke my heart a little at how well-geared my alt is now, when I had to work so hard against the sadistic bitch cruel mistress that is the RNG by grinding out endless runs of THAT ONE GODAMN STRIKE THAT ALWAYS COMES UP FIVE TIMES IN A ROW. (I swear, I started out kind of liking Ceberus Vae strike, but after several instances of having it five times in a row before getting jack of it and quitting every time it loaded, I never want to see that map again.)

          In the time spent doing that, I’d say that farming the loot cave actually matches patrol missions in terms of complexity and difficulty. Depending on how many people are there, you need to juggle the challenges of making sure there’s no runners escaping, controlling ammunition so that you’re maximizing the efficiency of plugging rounds into waves (ie: generating loot) instead of running back and forth, while keeping your inventory clear of junk items.

          Unexpectedly more challenging than most patrols with more teamwork required.
          Which is kind of perverse that this can be said of something that probably wasn’t intended.

          • Tried this last night as I’ve only just started playing Destiny and felt a bit behind the 8-ball. Went from level 5 to level 11 in two hours after having a bunch of beers first. Was actually quite fun. Ended up having to keep dismantling low-level gear as I didn’t have enough available space to pick up all the engrams on the floor, ha ha.

          • The more challenging (and fun) part is 1 – the community event (good change of pace for a few mins). And 2 – when the enemy’s start coming at you from 3 different spots, now that is actually some of the most challenging stuff ive done (more so than most strike situations as there are so many enemies with very large amounts of health and shields).

  • There is a group of people that are getting so mad about this, but I just don’t get it. This isn’t a problem with the community, it is the short sightedness of the games design;

    Whats that you hit 24 through legit means, but you need at least 26 to do the raid that is being hyped and the conventional drop tables are being beyond harsh after ten hours of grinding through strikes and crucible? Well you could probably continue to either farm strange coins, motes of light or pray to the RNG gods for some luck… or you could somewhat take luck into your own hands by throwing a couple of hours at a cave in hopes that the truck load of blues turns a gem or two.

    This has a lot to do with how the content providers didn’t think to maybe give you a chance at a yellow for 20 at pre 10 levels, its all investment of time so why not reward that with even a chance at sparkly stuff. It has created a problem with the community and its only natural that people will find a way to expedite their rise to raid level.

    This is coming from some one who has only been 27 since Friday when he dumped 46 motes of light and 26 strange coins only to still not get exactly what he needs for the raid.

  • I know what I’ll be doing tonight then, I’m only lvl 18. But should still be alright as long as other players are around I guess.

  • Heh, just checked it out. A level 5 and a level 22 were doing it, both of them must have ran straight over to the XBOX after watching the first 30 seconds of the video because they were standing too close for the Thralls to spawn.
    Side note, anyone looking to troll can just sneak behind the cave.

  • I was a level 12 and was there with a level 3 and a level 27, had no issues, just maintained a steady rate of fire at the opening, I use a pulse rifle which times in well with the waves. Got some half decent gear, nothing amazing though

    Where is the person who takes special coins? I know he only appears on weekends, and how do I get special coins?

    Lastly, can you do anything with material like helium coils and spinmetal?

    • Xur is located outside the speakers room (when you spawn in the tower head left and when you get to the speaker turn around) but you’ll want to be quick, he leaves soon!

      Strange coins you get from blue and purple engrams. This week Xur had a new feature, you could trade glimmer or resources for strange coins (limit of 3 per person) which I would of suggested using, but unfortunately people abused the shit out of the system and that feature was removed within hours.

      Spinmetal/helium etc etc can be used for 2 things. you can trade 50 of each to a couple of different people which gives you faction rep, glimmer and marks depending on who you traded them to. Later on these resources are also required to upgrade weapons at later levels.

    • This week he is across from the staircase nearthe speaker. You get them as a reward for doing weekly strikes (lvl 22 up from memory). You can find them on the left side of the navigation map. Also have a chance to get them when decryping engrams or as rewards in the crucible.

      For those two materials you use them to upgrade higher level guns (some blues, purples and yellows). My advice: when you are a lower level collect them whenever you see them so you have a small collection when you do need them.

      If you need more there isn’t too much you can do except running around hunting for them. There are guides on youtube for ‘routes’ that you can take which run through places that they commonly spawn in. However, it still comes down to luck as their spawn points are randomised. A chest that may spawn in one cave, might not be there on the next run through.

      For the spinmetal I like to run laps around the edges of the Mothyards (place with rusted planes) checking around the planes, cars and caves/rooms but not going up the ramp like the guy did in the video above. I tend to get 16 in about 15 – 30ish mins depending on my luck.

      For Helium I just circle between the starting area on the left hand side and the hellmouth. Inside the buildings there coils and chests seem to spawn fairly often. I then ride my sparrow up to the hell mouth (path behind the area I mentioned above) and check around the buildings in the middle and the little camp/outpost on the right.

      There may be better routes but they are the ones I use. Not sure if any of that helps but good luck 🙂

    • Me too! Saw a bunch of people doing this over the weekend. The first time I came across it (Doing the Array mission), a bunch of mobs spawned in that room on the back wall, so I thought that was the farm spot. Now I know better!

  • I’m surprised bungle hasn’t changed the spawn time of that mob yet, it’s been almost a week since it was discovered.

    Really good spot for farming, I spent some time there yesterday with a bunch of randoms,shooting every now and then but mainly watching ufc. Ended up with over 50 blues and close to 10 purples over a couple of sessions.

    If you run out of ammo you can wait 30 secs and it will refill, saving you from running to the cave. If you waste your secondary and special ammo first by the time you are almost dry of primary your ammo will get refreshed before you can run out, so you can keep laying fire down continuously!

  • No, the rules are not agreed upon..

    More often or not, there will be a group of players who will stand, or sit in the cave just to be jerks.

      • If it was that much of an “exploit” bungie would of done something about it by now…

        When people exploited the strange coins Xur was trading it got shut down within hours.

        If you see a group of people doing their own thing, which doesn’t effect you at all and you go out of your way to ruin their fun, then yes you are a jerk.

        If people want to farm so what?

      • Yes. A huge jerk. One of the biggest dickheads around.

        Someone upset that others aren’t ‘playing the game as intended’ will willingly do exactly the same thing themselves (sit in one spot, not ‘playing the game as intended’)? It’s the perfect hypocrisy. You’d have to worry about the utter lack of self-awareness of someone who would actually do that.

        It would seem that their priorities would be: Being a dick > Playing the game > Farming. Only being a dick looks exactly like farming, only instead of some people getting good things, everyone wastes their time. Net loss for all involved.

        You’d have to be a real prick to think of it as any kind of moral high ground.

        • I got bored and went to check it out, and sure enough there were 5 level 20+ shooting into that cave. So I walked into the cave, sat down (which stopped the spawning). Immediately they all converged on me, slashing me with their melee attacks. I then went and watched anime for an hour while still sitting in the cave. It was quite humorous. Not so much for them.

          Hopefully they fix it before I run out of anime

          • If you get much more smug than this you will disappear completely up your own ass.

            And to think, that feeling of smug self satisfaction only took the sadness of 5 other human beings!

  • I did this today and ended up getting rushed by about 50 mobs, about 1/4 of them yellows. Captains, wizards and knights. Was hectic even though they were level 8 and I am level 24. Is this normal, or has Bungie caught on and thrown extra mobs to disrupt farmers?

  • I came across this last night. I was doing a mission in that area and I get a PSN message telling me to “move FFS”. I was near the top of the cave where the building was. It was stopping the enemies from spawning.

    So curious, I moved where they are and realised what they were doing.

    I didn’t spend much time there but have used the exploit a few times. I might have a item that requires me to be a level higher. So if I’m not far off from leveling up, I’ll go there to quickly get there. I’m level 19 now, close to 20 and might use it to level up. After that, I won’t be fussed as I will have access to factions etc.

  • Did this for an hour at level 23-ish, got a bunch of greens, four blues and a legendary. Decrypting gave five blues, all far worse than my current gear – unless you’re a low-level looking for free XP or green equipment, or as a high-level looking for mats, or just need money, I don’t see it as worth the time.
    I don’t try to stop people from doing it – they’re free to play as they wish, as long as it doesn’t affect me – but I’m happy that Bungie seem to have come up with a design that means that farming has little effect on game balance.

    • RNG’s a bitch. Do you remember playing with my mate Devil? Stuck perpetually at 23, frustrated that everyone’s been able to get to raid without him due to nothing but luck? He got five legendaries out of that cave in about two hours, one of which was an exotic.

      This is a major problem with the majority of loot being from a throw of the dice instead of known objectives. The dice can be unbelievably cruel to some.

      • I have had two legendary engrams decrypt to legendaries (out of nine or ten, now), both for the wrong class. Got every legendary I’m using atm from Vanguard vendor – I was stuck at level 23 for a long time, too, until I started focusing on strikes for vanguard marks. Now I’m doing the 28 Heroic stories for upgrade mats, while hoping for good drops in the raid, and working on an exotic bounty to finally move beyond my blue weapons. RNG is a bastard at times, but there are other ways to succeed, with persistence in the right areas.

  • People can farm all they want – doesn’t change the randomness.
    I’m cryptarch rank 6 – I’ve turned in at least 6 purple engrams and probably 50+ blue engrams during the entirety of my playthrough so far..

    I have yet to receive a single purple (legendary) item… at some point that will change and there will be much rejoicing…

  • I just reached lvl 21 through just doing strikes… kinda pissed about the loot drop rates. especially when you can be top stats in the dungeon and get 1 shitty wep at the end and the 2 people you just carried get 2 engrams each…

  • Went and did some farming here and its pretty sweet.
    Few things tho, occasionally there is a warsat that drops right where you are shooting from so when it is incoming you might want to move and secondly, when the “Enemy forces are moving against each other” message pops, run straight at the cave and just spam all you have in there till they stop spawning… So much easier than fighting them when they leave the cave and this way you probably wont end up with 2 factions surrounding you.

  • I got bored and went to check it out, and sure enough there were 5 level 20+ shooting into that cave. So I walked into the cave, sat down (which stopped the spawning). Immediately they all converged on me, slashing me with their melee attacks. I then went and watched anime for an hour.

    Glitch abuse is bad kids.

    • “Glitch abuse” … This isn’t item duping. If people want to bore themselves out of their minds by shooting a wall for hours on end, let them – it doesn’t impact you in any way. It’s akin to telling people off for listening to crap music when they’re wearing headphones and keeping the volume down.

      • and if I want to roleplay cave man and sit in a cave while said cavemans lord and master puppeteer wanders off to watch anime, whats so wrong with that?

  • I got bored and went to check it out, and sure enough there were 5 level 20+ shooting into that cave. So I walked into the cave, sat down (which stopped the spawning). Immediately they all converged on me, slashing me with their melee attacks. I then went and watched anime for an hour while sitting in the cave.

  • The best gear I’ve got has been brought (from factions) or earned (Exotic bounties) and not from this cave because the RNG Gods hate me.

  • Thanks for the tip , scored a Sweet legendary Hand cannon and helm , and an exotic shotgun all in a few hours

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