The Things I Learned From Destiny


When I first started playing Destiny I had many questions and not many easy answers. Trial and error was alright for me, but those that do not have the time to make, what could be, a character disabling mistake, I put together this small “what I learned” guide to aid in the decision making process. There is a lot to do in Destiny and taking the time to explore every vendor and Faction in the Tower is a great starting point to understanding the workings of this game.

Character Sub-classes:

Unlocked at level 15

  • I found the easiest way to level them was by switching to the Sub-classes and then turning in bounties, thus rewarding experience to that Sub-classes instead of the main class.
  • Once the sub-class has its grenade, jump, and super activated it is good to use it on Patrols to level it further while trying out all the new skills that sub-class has. Also, taking the sub-class into the Crucible after those three things are unlocked is a great way to level it.
  • I do not recommend doing any Heroic Strikes with a low level Sub-class. It can become frustrating.


Unlocked at level 20

  • New Monarchy, Dead Orbit, and Future War Cult are all that are available now. Each Faction offers different armor, weapons, emblems, and class items. Choose one and stick with it if you want to unlock everything that Faction has to offer.
  • Choosing a Faction is as easy as buying a class-item with Glimmer and wearing that class-item.
  • While wearing that class-item the points you obtain for bounties, mini-missions, and the Crucible go to that Faction's level instead of the Vanguard level. It took me about a day to level Dead Orbit up to Rank 2 and then their Legendary armor became available to purchase with Crucible points.
  • Factions are worthwhile and your characters are not locked into one faction. Simply take off the class-item and resume gaining points for the Vanguard or a different Faction.

Weapons and Armor:

  • All drops are RANDOM.
  • Engrams are non-decoded items that are taken to the Cryptographer in the tower. Turning in the engrams to the Cryptographer rewards the Guardian with something random. A Rare engram could present a Legendary piece of gear, or, it could present a Common or Uncommon piece. Turning in engrams for decoding is how to level the cryptographer. The higher the level the higher chance for better drops and better decoded items. 
  • Each weapon and piece of armor has skills or character modifiers attached to it. Using the weapon or wearing the armor levels up that piece and then Glimmer and other parts or items are used to enhance the damage or armor rating of an item.
  • Some weapons with the same name and look will have slightly better damage stats and different modifiers. Choose according to play-style.
  • Armor works the same as weapons.
  • Legendary and Exotic gear are meant to be used for a long while with some pieces having four or five levels of increasing damage or armor/light.
  • Leveling up the Cryptographer by decoding Engrams is a great way to get Legendary Engrams. When reaching level 5 of my Cryptographer Rank I received a good amount of Glimmer and three Legendary Engrams to be decoded. Leveling up the Cryptographer also increases the chance to get Legendary Engram drops of enemies.
  • Breaking down all the weapons and armor that are not going to be used is crucial. When breaking down armor or weapons the Guardian is given materials needed to upgrade future gear.

End-Game and Light:

  • Light is what gets the Guardian past level 20 and is a part of the armor stats.
  • Rare, Legendary, and Exotic all have light along with boosts to Intellect, Strength, and Discipline vary depending on the armor. The same armor could have very different stats and modifiers.
  • Only one piece of Exotic armor and one Exotic weapon can be used at a time. Striving for the rest to be legendary is a must.



This mode is a great place to get good drops.

  • Completing mini-missions gives out Glimmer and Vanguard/Faction experience.
  • Finding Spinmetal, Helium Filaments, Spirit Bloom, and Relic Iron is something to be done in patrol. Each material can be found on these planets, respectively: Earth, the Moon, Venus, and Mars. 

The option to turn in Spinmetal, Helium Filaments, Spirit Bloom, or Relic Iron is something that can be done once 50 of each item has been collected. These are turned in for experience that goes to leveling the character and weapons. However, turning these in for experience is unnecessary and all the materials listed above are needed to further level Legendary and Exotic gear. So, save them until you have around 70 and then turn in 50 if the extra experience is needed. 

  • Some armor and weapons require Relic Iron to upgrade, so saving at least 20 at all times is worthwhile. In fact, applying that “always have 20” rule to each of the above materials is a good idea.


  • There are bounties for exploration/story mode and bounties for the Crucible.
  • Five bounties can be held at a time.
  • A Guardian should always have Bounties to complete, because they offer great experience point rewards, as well as, a good amount of Vanguard/Faction points. 
  • Upon turning in 30 Crucible or 30 Patrol bounties a group of Exotic Bounties will be offered. These Exotic Bounties have many steps before completion, but once completed reward an exotic weapon. 
  • Always, if possible, do all the daily bounties. 

Vanguard Points and Crucible Points:

  • These points are acquired through simply playing the game, but a Guardian can only obtain 100 per week.
  • Once 100 points is reached no more can be gained. If some points are spent on gear, those points cannot be regained until the following week. There is not spending points and then gaining them back in the same week. So, save accordingly as some gear costs 120 points.

One final piece of advice: Do every kind of game mode and mix it up. Everything gives out experience and gear. Do not get discouraged if the game gives you terrible drops; it is all random and that realization made me enjoy the game a little more.

I hope this was helpful and feel free to comment with questions. If I can answer them I will. Check out the review as well as some video we have posted of Destiny.


Christopher Martin

My name is Christopher Martin, or, if you're into being brief, Chris. I have been playing video games for over half of my life. They are a form of therapy and entertainment simultaneously. Video games also led me down the path of building my own computers, which is fun, but expensive. My other passion lives within writing or reading a brilliant book. I am stoked to be mashing my two loves together here at BT. Cheers.