If you’re like us, you’ve already started to lose track of the hours you’ve sunk into Bungie’s Destiny 2, leveling up your Guardian and exploring everything that the ambitious game has to offer. Much of that content can be experienced solo or cooperatively, but the game’s Crucible is a robust competitive multiplayer option that you shouldn’t ignore. Packed with several different modes, a great selection of maps, and an array of powerful gear, it’s well worth your time. But how do you deal with the growing pains of the mode and actually become a force to be reckoned with? Find everything you need to know here in our Destiny 2 Crucible beginner’s guide.
You can’t access it right away
We know you’re excited to blast other players and capture strategic points in Crucible, but when you first load up Destiny 2, you won’t be able to access it. The game first runs you through a series of campaign missions that introduce you to the basic mechanics. An early story moment strips your Guardian of the “Light” power, which is needed to perform most of their abilities. Once you’ve retrieved it, you’ll head to a social area called The Farm, where you’ll find a character named Lord Shaxx inside a nearby hut. Talk to him, and you’ll be able to jump into Crucible matches.
At first, your only available option will be “quick play,” which throws you into a multiplayer match with other players for a more casual competition. You’ll still be able to play classic modes like “Control” and “Clash,” but you’ll find that many of the players using the quick play mode are new to the game and might not have the best strategies. After playing two quick play matches, you can switch to “competitive” instead. Here, the players are typically much more skilled, so the learning curve will be a little bit higher. However, you’ll also be witnessing good examples of how to complete Crucible objectives.
Neither quick play nor competitive play allow you to pick which individual mode you want to play, so you’ll have to become acquainted with them all in order to succeed. If you find yourself struggling with one of them, you’re only a few minutes away from getting to play something else. The modes are as follows:
- Clash: Kill the enemy team to score points
- Control: Capture and hold key positions to score points
- Supremacy: Collect crests from fallen enemies to score points
- Survivor: Deplete the enemy team’s reserve of lives to win each round
- Countdown: Defend/detonate a bomb or eliminate the enemy team to win each round
Stick with your team
Destiny 2 multiplayer is comparable to Halo in its long “time to death” stage, or the length of time one can typically expect to live before being killed. Guardians have a shield and quite a bit more health than you see in a game like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare or Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, so you’ll very rarely take out an opponent without him being able to react and fire back. Because of this, it’s crucial that you stick with at least one teammate to take down targets together, preferably those who have split off from the rest of their group. Even the most skilled Destiny 2 player is going to have a hard time dealing with two enemies attacking at once, and it will be much harder for the other team to ambush you if you have a teammate with you.
Teaming up is particularly important in objective-based modes like “Control” and “Countdown,” which see Guardians battling in a few specific areas of the map. Taking and keeping a Control point as a solo player is possible if you’re a skilled player, but beginners will likely quit in frustration if they attempt it early on. Instead, split your four-man team into groups of two, with each going after a different objective. This will force the enemy team to split up as well, and you’ll ideally be able to pick off some stragglers who haven’t found a buddy.
Stats don’t matter, but your guns still do
Just as in the original Destiny, the statistics on your equipment and weapons don’t do anything in Destiny 2’s standard multiplayer modes. This ensures that better-equipped players won’t have an unfair advantage over newcomers, so finding that superpowered scout rifle during your last mission won’t really give you an advantage. Clothing follows the same rules, so feel free to pick whatever you think makes you look the most menacing.
However, your weapons are still extremely important for Crucible matches, because certain classes of guns are better-suited for particular maps. The icy “Vostok” map, for instance, features several confined spaces, so submachine guns, pistols, and assault rifles are going to perform better, with shotguns being the “power” weapons of choice. On a map with longer lanes like “Midtown,” scout and pulse rifles will fare better, as will sniper rifles. It can help to have both a short-range and long-range option in case a target charges forward or tries to run away, but don’t feel obligated to do so on every map.
Don’t forget about your melee attack
Remember the “commando” perk in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2? It essentially turned your knife into a human magnet, sending you flying at an enemy for an instant kill. In Destiny 2, your knife isn’t quite that powerful, but it’s still a crucial part of your arsenal. Pressing the melee button near an enemy will cause you to lunge a short distance and strike them once, which can often take down their shield during a firefight. Another knife blow will earn you a kill, and in close quarters, it’s often quicker than trying to hit them with your gun. Once you’ve leveled up your Guardian enough, you’ll even earn some extra buffs when you get a melee kill, including a quicker follow-up attack.
But don’t get overconfident in your melee abilities. If a target is firing a longer-range weapon at you – or even if they’re more than a few yards away – you’re going to get killed when you bring a knife to a gunfight. If you have a grenade, you can also try to throw that first and kill your enemy with a melee attack as they attempt to avoid the explosion.
When in doubt, get the hell out
You might fancy yourself a sharpshooting Crucible master, but there are some battles that you just aren’t going to win. Instead of getting yourself killed and waiting several seconds to respawn, it often makes more sense to turn in the other direction and use some evasive maneuvers like a spring, slide, or double-jump. With fairly small multiplayer maps, you can often trick enemies into chasing you right into your own team, turning the tables on them. This is particularly important in modes like “Survival,” which limit the number of lives your team has each round. Killing an enemy is satisfying, but staying alive is often more important.
Your slide can also be crucial for quickly completing objectives. “Supremacy” mode is Destiny 2’s take on the Call of Duty “Kill Confirmed” mode, with Guardians dropping small crests when they die. You have to grab an enemy’s crest to earn a point, but you can also grab your own teammates’ crests to deny the enemy team points. Your slide is crucial for doing this in intense fights, as you can quickly snatch the crest and take cover before you’re killed.
Go “Super,” but don’t waste it
Each Guardian has a special “Super” ability that corresponds to their class and subclass. Hunters, for instance, initially have the “Arcstrider” subclass, which uses a powerful melee weapon, and they can later unlock the “Gunslinger,” which allows you to kill enemies with one shot for a brief period of time. You’ll only be able to use these Super abilities once or twice per multiplayer match, so make sure you don’t waste them. If you’re at the end of a multiplayer round in a multi-round mode, don’t use your Super ability needlessly, as you’ll still have it charged when the next round begins.
It’s also crucial to only use your Super when you have a chance to maximize its effectiveness. Arcstrider isn’t going to do you any good if the other team is all the way across the map, but against a group of tightly packed enemies, you have a chance to rack up some serious kills. If you see an enemy use their Super, particularly the Titan’s Sentinel, don’t get too tempted to use yours as well. Instead, flee and wait for them to use their ability up before you use your own. If you pop your ability just as you’re about to die, you’re going to waste it – even if you don’t get a chance to use it, this resets the progress bar and forces you to wait before you can use it again.