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Destiny 2: How to unlock and upgrade the Hammer of Proving

Destiny 2‘s Season of the Chosen is here, kicking off the first season of the game’s fourth year. It’s clear Bungie has a lot of plans for the season, and even in the first week, there’s a lot to do. Before you can do anything else, though, you need to know how to unlock and upgrade a new artifact for the season: The Hammer of Proving.

The Hammer of Proving is at the heart of Season of the Chosen’s progression system, allowing you to earn season-exclusive gear and net a little more loot from the new Battlegrounds activity. It’s critical to the new season, so make sure you follow the steps below before jumping into any playlists.

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How to equip the Hammer of Proving

To unlock the Hammer of Proving, you need to complete the Decrypting the Darkness quest, followed by the Challenger’s Proving quest. As long as you’ve played Destiny 2 after February 9 (when the Season of the Chosen launched), you should already have the first step done. These quests walk you through the new Battlegrounds activity, reintroduce players to Umbral Engrams, and unlock the Hammer of Proving.

They’re both very straightforward, asking you to complete a few Battlegrounds tasks and activate the various vendors and services available in the HELM. For your efforts, you’ll earn a few Umbral Engrams, as well as rewards for the Battlegrounds activities you have to complete.

You don’t need to equip the Hammer of Proving to use it. It’s an artifact that you can find in the Quests screen, and it’s already available to you once you unlock it.

How to use the Hammer of Proving

The Hammer of Proving is mainly around for Battlegrounds. After you unlock it and infuse it with an Etched Challenger Medal — more on that soon — you can use the Hammer to smash crates at the end of Battlegrounds activities. These caches award gear in addition to the loot drop at the end of Battlegrounds. Smashing a crate will also earn you a Hammer Charge, which you can use along with an Umbral Engram and some Legendary Shards to unlock season-exclusive gear.

You need to earn Cabal Gold to infuse the Hammer of Proving with an Etched Challenger Medal, and thankfully, you don’t need to go out of your way. As long as you’ve unlocked the Hammer of Proving and completed the Challenger’s Proving quest, you’ll start earning Cabal Gold for doing just about anything. Strikes from the strike playlist net the most efficient progress, giving you 14 Cabal Gold per strike. Gambit and Crucible award eight Cabal Gold per match.

You can also earn Cabal Gold from dungeons and public events, but Strikes are the best way to go about it.

Reason being: Strikes award 14 Cabal Gold, and you need exactly that amount to infuse an Etched Challenger Medal. After you have enough, go to the Quests screen and select the Hammer, then infuse an Etched Challenger Medallion in the mod slot.

Once you’re set up, play through any Battlegrounds activity, and at the end, use your Hammer to smash one of the crates next to the main loot chest (there are three chests, one for each Fireteam member, but you can only smash one). You’ll get some extra gear and a Hammer Charge. Use the charge back at the HELM to unlock Season of the Chosen gear.

How to upgrade the Hammer of Proving

You need to increase your War Table reputation in the HELM to upgrade the Hammer of Proving. The War Table is a Vanguard vendor, but you don’t use Vanguard Tokens to increase your reputation. As of the start of the season, the only way to increase your War Table reputation is by completing weekly challenges. In the first week, there are three challenges that award War Table reputation, but there should be more as the season continues.

Head to the War Table to unlock the Tribute Chest I enhancement after your first rank, which gives you a single Cabal Gold for every chest you smash. Each other enhancement has a prerequisite, so you have to unlock Tribute Chest I first. From there, you’ll be able to unlock a new enhancement for every War Table rank.

It seems like completing the weekly challenges is the only way to increase your War Table reputation, so make sure to complete the challenges that give War Table reputation as soon as possible. The weekly challenges will reset every Tuesday until mid-April, 10 weeks into the season. After that, you’ll have about a month to complete any lingering weekly challenges you may have missed before Season of the Chosen ends on May 11.

Finishing all 75 of them by the end of the season will complete the Master of All seasonal challenge, awarding you a Large Bright Dust Pile.

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