Everything You Need To Know About Destiny 2’s New Armour System

Everything You Need To Know About Destiny 2’s New Armour System
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Kotaku Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

On a livestream Wednesday afternoon, Bungie showed off its forthcoming overhaul of Destiny 2’s armour system that will come when the Shadowkeep expansion arrives October 1. It’s a pretty thorough rework of how armour works in the game—and while it’s sorely needed, it might make Destiny even more of a grind depending on how it’s implemented in the final release. Here’s a summary of what we found out on the stream.

Currently, every piece of armour in Destiny 2 comes with a Power level and a set of perks. The armour Power contributes to a character’s total Power level, and the perks give subtle stat boosts and benefits that let you do things like find more ammo of a certain type.

They ostensibly make a difference, but in most cases, they’re quite subtle in a way that only hardcore players really appreciate as they try to optimise their character builds.

In Shadowkeep’s new system, each piece of armour will start with two numbers attached: a Power level and an Energy level from 1-10. Power functions exactly as before, but Energy is a new stat that functions as a budget for mods—which replace the basic perks armour used to come with.

Basically, mods you equip to your armour — like a traction mod that boosts your mobility stat, or an ammo finder mod that makes it easier to locate special ammo when you have a sniper equipped — will cost a certain amount of energy. If you don’t have enough energy to equip a mod, you’ll either have to change your mod loadout or upgrade your armour tier, which will increase your energy level.

And of course, energy type matters, so void armour can only accept void or neutral mods—a decision that unfortunately may just extend grind time.

It’s unclear whether or not perks as they exist on armour now will be gone—Exotics will still have their unique abilities, but throughout the stream, the developers said that players might want to hunt for better “rolls” of their armour in the new system. That suggests that either some perks, which are now randomly generated, will remain, or that the kinds of mod slots available on a piece of armour will be randomised.

Like any change in Destiny, this means changes to the economy. Upgrading your armour tier will require a new currency called Ascendant Shards, while mods become another bit of loot to chase. You’ll be able to find them in engrams or buy them from the Gunsmith using mod components, which are a currency already in the game.

The new armour system also brings a renewed focus on stats. Currently, characters only have three stats: Mobility (which affects movement speed), Resilience (which affects how much damage you can take), and Recovery (which affects how quickly your shields recover).

These stats all have a hard cap of 10. With Shadowkeep, that cap is raised to 100, and three stats from the original Destiny are added back into the game: Intelligence (which affects super cooldowns), Strength (which affects melee cooldowns), and Discipline (which affects grenade cooldowns). In order to make the differences in these stats more palpable in-game, every 10 points you’ll get a bonus—like a percentage increase to your base movement speed for increasing your Mobility.

On the cosmetic side of things, you’ll be able to equip any Ornament (Destiny lingo for cosmetic armour/weapon skins that don’t have any impact on gameplay) to any piece of armour, so you can look however you want—and, ostensibly, make it harder for other players you’re competing against to know exactly what you’re working with at a glance. (Exotic armour, however, will always retain its unique appearance.)

A few more notes:

  • Mods are not consumed but kept and able to be equipped across different pieces of armour. If you find a mod, it’s there for you to swap out and try across whatever armour sets you like without penalty.

  • Tweaks to supers and subclasses were teased—the bottom tree of the Hunter’s void subclass in particular has been reworked. More might be coming.

  • “Seasonal Artifacts,” a new type of equipment coming in Shadowkeep, were mentioned (and visible in the menu) but details are forthcoming. It’s implied that they’ll provide another way to get mods, among other things.

  • The glimmer cap is being raised to 250,000.

  • Old mods will not be deprecated. You can keep them, though they probably will not be as useful as the new set of mods. If that’s the case, you can dismantle them for mod components and buy new mods.

  • All Exotic armour in the game has been reworked in the Armour 2.0 system. To get the new version, you’ll just have to pull it from your collection.

  • Legendary armour has also been reworked, but if you want version 2.0 of any Year 1 or Year 2 armour, you’ll have to obtain it in-game, either through vendors (with fixed rolls) or as drops (Random rolls).

All told, it’s a hell of a lot to take in, and it’s difficult to assess how compelling it is without toying with it in-game. There’s stuff here that has potential to be cool—a lot of non-exotic armour in Destiny 2 is straight-up boring and does little to impact your playstyle the way weapons do, so any change is welcome.

But this new system also seems like it could make armour less distinct—reducing the armour hunt to a min-max grindfest where you look for the pieces that have the optimal set of slots and equip whatever cosmetics you’ve purchased with real money.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Destiny if a potentially cool addition didn’t come with any sort of drawback.


  • >Legendary armour has also been reworked, but if you want version 2.0 of any Year 1 or Year 2 armour, you’ll have to obtain it in-game, either through vendors (with fixed rolls) or as drops (Random rolls).

    This seems to imply all legendary armour will be 2.0 compatible when shadowkeep arrives.
    They previously said this wouldn’t be the case, and going by their previous laziness i would be inclined to believe that more.
    So are they actually going all out on having something ready day 1 (like they should) for once in their lives?
    Or is this a misunderstanding (whether by the article writer of what bungie said, or by me of what the article is saying)?

    • All forms of old legendary armour in Shadowkeep will drop as 2.0. So you have to get new versions of it, the version you have will not change, nor can you pull it form collections. (not that you can do this now if it is randomed rolled)

      So are they actually going all out on having something ready day 1 (like they should) for once in their lives?

      Huh? this is an always online game that is in a constant state of change often many new features are always enhanced as the game goes on. Nothing is ever truly finished. Lets take the new pursuits tab, everyone (well the complainers on reddit) freaked out because it had some quality of life issues, but it was always going to have those issues, because it was a stepping stone. It didnt make the game worse, and it wasnt bugged so there was no reason not to release. The next steps could then be taken based on feedback and seeing how in work in the real setting. Just like masterwork cores. When the new gun system game in last year. Its not that they released unfinished merely over time they grow and develop like what happens with every MMO on the market.

      • Solid lol at the downvote. “how dare you point out the objective truth of bungies very poor development timelines and lack of forethought for changes”.
        Im saying, in year 2 they added random rolls to armour and brought forward like 3 year one armours to that system, meaning we had like over half the armour in the game being entirely useless.
        Now a year later they are bringing out a new armour update, and it sounded like it was going to do the exact same thing. Except this time it would be 2/3 of the armour in the game being useless because bungie are excessively slow at doing anything.
        Hence my surprise that it seems like they would have ALL armour immediately ready for armour 2.0

        So they actually flat out confirmed that all armour currently in game will have a 2.0 version? You just have to get that drop again?
        It’s a little grind to get it again, but if thats all, i’ll take it because its SOOOOO much better than i expected of them.
        Guess that means a ton of escalation protocol again to get that sweet midnight exigent gear.

        >features are always enhanced as the game goes on
        Haha if only. half the time bungie is going backwards, or wasting time on pointless changes (like pursuits as you’ve mentioned).
        I somewhat kid here, but really they do like to f*ck things up a lot.

        • but really they do like to f*ck things up a lot.

          no more than other game developers and a lot of the time it is not that they have necessarily screwed up but as soon as they change anything the public freak out and instead of learning to adjust, they demand change. So Bungie has to back pedal because lets face it, like mums with little kids having a tantrum, sometimes the only way to quiet down the rage is to just give in and give them the treat. Until next time they scream.

          Pursuits was a stepping stone, it wasnt perfect but people were acting like it was a completed feature and hated on it on such a juvenile scale it was simply embarrassing.

          The reason why downvoted you was because in this instance (it looks like) Bungie is doing the right thing (based on the details in the Steam, we wont know for sure until Oct) and they clearly learned from their previous mistakes and even then people still have a go, even though they are basing their views on mistakes that were made in the past. Whats the point of them trying to do good if some keep dredging up the past?!

          • Yes instead we should all be asskissing this company that has more often retread the same mistakes, just because they finally have done one thing properly from the get go.
            I’m gonna stop replying to you because you are purposely missing the main point of each of my posts and kinda just saying tangentially related things to make everything sound wonderful.
            Do you happen to work for bungie?

          • Bungie has been on an upswing for well over a year and gaining strength to strength, wile most of the bad decisions they have made in that time are really just annoyances, beyond being gamebreaking or company destroying. Often those ‘same mistakes’ just come down to some gamers continually expecting the games dev to only do what they think is right.

            As with anyone in your life who has bad reputation and tries to make an amends, there has to be a point when you show maturity and accept that they are on an upswing of positives, and that makes them better, not perfect, but better.

            Its a lot better use of one’s time, that holding a grudge for mistakes that are now in the past.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!