Destiny 2 is commonly known as a difficult game to get into. With years of content, hundreds of hours of DLC, and a lot of changes over the course of its lifecycle, it can be a challenging experience to break through as a newer player.
Worst of all is that it has RPG mechanics and features, which can be notoriously inaccessible to new players, especially if they’re not used to the idea of stats, gearing, and extensive progression systems.
One of the most common things that you will hear is that somebody wanted to check Destiny 2 out, played it for a little bit, then got overwhelmed and stopped playing.
The truth is that Destiny 2 is a very well-designed game with a lot of content that caters well to new players provided they go in the right direction. If not, they can easily get overwhelmed and give up.
So let’s say you’re a new player in Destiny 2 and you want some clarification. One of the first decisions you are faced with is the class that you want to play.
This might seem like a very big question to answer, but in reality, you don’t need to panic! In this guide, we’re going to take you through a complete guide on the classes of Destiny 2.
We’ll break each one down, give you an understanding of which the best one for you might be, then explain how this class progresses as you upgrade your gear and face new challenges!
Just a note before we begin—we’re going to be focusing on the modern version of Destiny which is Destiny 2: The Witch Queen.
While a lot of this information will apply to older versions of the game, it’s important to note that some of the information may change, since Destiny 2 is a live-service game with frequent updates.
However, a lot of the basics about the classes featured in the game are not going to change, and haven’t since launch.
What Is Destiny 2?
Destiny 2 Is an online, multiplayer, first-person shooter game developed by Bungie after the success of their Halo trilogy.
It is the sequel to the first Destiny game, and follows the same formula, often being called a ‘looter shooter’ by fans.
Destiny takes players into a future version of the solar system where humanity is at risk from a series of different alien species.
The player takes up the mantle of a ‘guardian,’ an individual who has been gifted with the ‘light’ of the Traveller, an interstellar object that gives lifeforms magical abilities.
Although the game has gone through many patch cycles and expansion packs throughout its lifetime, it has always stuck to a certain gameplay loop.
Players can explore the solar system, collect gear and weapons to make their characters more powerful, and participate in either PVE (Player VS. Environment) or PVP (Player VS. Player) combat encounters.
Because Destiny has elements of a role-playing game, there is some character fantasy that the player is asked to participate in.
This means making your own character who exits as your avatar in the game world. When you open up Destiny 2 for the first time, you will be presented with two choices—race and class. In the sections below, we’re going to explore these in detail.
Races In Destiny 2
Like many other RPGs, Destiny 2 allows you to pick your character’s race.
This harkens back to some of the oldest RPGs in the world like Dungeons & Dragons, that allow the player to pick from a large selection of classic fantasy races (I.E: human, elf, dwarf, halfling, etc…) Destiny gives you three distinct choices, each of which is an important part of the story and overall lore of the game. Let’s take a quick look at them.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Humans in Destiny 2 are a little different from the humans we know today, but only in their story.
Destiny 2 takes place in a far-future version of earth that has been almost entirely devastated by alien invasions.
Humankind has been forced to retreat to the Traveller, where they attempt to take control back of the blue planet. Humans are a good choice for lore and immersion reasons as a lot of the story of the game revolves around this race.
Awoken is probably the most unique race that you can choose in Destiny 2. They are a later version of humankind that has blue skin, eyes, and hair.
They are definitely the weirdest race in the game, having descended from a colony ship that disappeared around a spacetime anomaly in outer space.
The awoken probably has the least lore in-game, but are still a cool choice if you’re looking for something unique!
Exos are the most iconic race of Destiny 2. In short, they are war machines that were created in the image of humanity.
There are many mysteries about the origins of the Exo, but you can choose to play as one and create your very own robot.
One of the most beloved characters in Destiny 2 (Cayde-6) is an Exo, and many players choose to follow suit and play as one! We would also like to point out that we personally think the Exo has the coolest customization options, so make sure to check them out!
How Important Is My Character Race In Destiny 2?
So at this point, you might be wondering whether or not race has any impact on your character. Other than cosmetics, the race that you choose will have absolutely no effect on your gameplay.
Character races are mostly just a way for you to customize your character and get more invested in the lore. Pick the one that you like the most, it’s not going to change anything about your gameplay or power experience in the game.
This does, however, lead us to the next important step in the character creation process, where you will be asked to choose a class. This is a much more important step that has wild implications for your first 100 hours of gameplay and beyond.
What Are My Options For Classes In Destiny 2?
Next up we have classes, and this is going to be the first point in the game where you’ll have to make a choice that will directly affect your gameplay.
Destiny 2 has three classes to choose from—the Titan, the Warlock, and the Hunter. Each class excels at a different thing, and you won’t be able to change your character’s class once you’ve selected it. This is a choice for life!
A Quick Note On Classes/Sub Classes
So then, let’s take a much closer look at these three classes. We’ve made sure to write the next few sections for a player who isn’t so familiar with classic MMORPG mechanics, and we’ll define a few terms that will help you to understand how these classes function within the game.
However, before we begin, you’ll need to understand that Destiny 2 features a ‘sub-class’ system.
Sub-classes are essentially specializations for your character within any given class, offering you new abilities and gameplay options. We’re going to discuss the sub-classes of each class and how they change gameplay.
So let’s start off with Titan. This is the designated ‘tough guy’ of the group. Titans are highly armored, can withstand a lot of damage, and are extremely aggressive in their play style.
You can recognize them by their huge pieces of armor, smooth helmets, and cloth that marks them as a Titan that hangs from their hips.
In terms of lore, TItans were the first ever guardians, when the Traveller bestowed the light upon humanity and implored them to rise up and fight.
The Titans are now one of the central pillars of humanity within Destiny 2—protecting the last bastion of civilization from invading alien species.
So what does a Titan play like? In short, Titans are the front line of a party. If you choose to play Titan, you will be sustainable, powerful, and be encouraged to jump into the fray when fighting.
Titans have two key abilities that are available to every player, no matter what subclass they choose to pick.
Rally Barricade: This deploys a small barrier that allows you to take cover behind. While aiming down the sights of your weapon behind the barrier.
Towering Barricade: This is a taller barricade that allows you to either block off a volatile area or use it as cover as and when you need it.
Each class in the game has three subclasses, as well as one DLC sub class called Stasis that we will discuss at the end.
A Titan can specialize into either Striker, Sentinel, Sunbreaker, or Behemoth; each with its own unique set of abilities.
Sunbreaker is an extremely tanky sub class that harnesses solar power to ignite foes and buff themselves. Sunbreakers are the backbone of some PVE teams, being able to survive through damage events and boss encounters, and then rescuing others who have fallen down and need a respawn.
Striker titans are the most dynamic and damage focused of all the four sub classes.
Arc will offer you lots of lightning, and damage-based abilities, including storm grenades that you can spam for devastating effects.
Strikers are a little less tanky than other sub classes you can choose from, but you’re still a guardian so you will be much tankier than other classes!
A Sentinal harnesses void energy to be strong in two different ways. The first is by having great overshields, powerful supers and extremely fast cooldowns.
Sentinels might not have the best build variety, but you’ll be a great combination between tanky and fast.
Behemoth is the sub class added with the Beyond Light DLC. It is a more unique sub class that allows you to unleash devastating AOE with great, fast movement abilities. Behemoth is a more specialized sub class and not recommended (or available) for beginners.
Next up, we have the Warlock! Warlocks are the intellectual class of Destiny 2, who use knowledge to harness the power of the light to devastating effect.
Warlocks are most similar to a magic user class in a traditional fantasy RPG, and are one of the more difficult classes to build and master.
Warlocks have two abilities that all can use, no matter what sub-class they choose to specialize in.
Empowering Rift: This is an AOE ability that creates a well of light on the floor. Any team members who stand in this rift with get a buff to their attack power.
Healing Rift: Like the Empowering Rift, this creates a well for other players to stand in. It gives continuous healing to whoever stands inside it.
Warlock Sub Classes
As with all classes in Destiny 2, Warlock comes with 4 distinct sub classes. They follow the same themes as the other classes, but with some key differences in playstyle. Warlock actually has some of the most unique builds you can find within Destiny 2.
Dawnblade is a fast, devastating damage subclass that allows you to cut down enemies with a fiery blade.
You also get access to different kinds of solar grenades, which allow you to frag enemies in different ways.
Dawnblades are mostly a damage class and offer slightly fewer defensive abilities for their party.
Voidwalkers access dark void energy in order to consume enemies. Their most important ability is the Nova Bomb, which is a huge bomb of void energy that destroys any enemies that it interacts with.
Void grenades all do similar things, including the vortex grenade that pulls enemies into it.
If you’re looking to play something more like a traditional caster DPS, then this is a good choice for you.
A Stormcaller uses the power of electricity to electrocute enemies. Expect a lot of AOE abilities and grenades that will scatter and kill all unfortunate enough to cross them.
Stormcaller also has access to a super storm which means offers incredible add clear and a lot of damage.
Shadebinder allows the Warlock to transform into a crowd control god, with lots of abilities to deal with large groups of enemies.
Shadebinders get to use a stasis staff, which allows you to freeze and shatter enemies around you.
It’s a great class to pick if you are looking for something that allows you to control the pace of the battle you’re in.
Finally, let’s take a look at Hunter. This is a class that is most similar to a rogue, thief, or trickster class from other RPGs.
A Hunter offers you the ability to have impressive damage abilities, a lot of mobility, and many tricks to both engage or disengage the enemy you’re fighting against.
In terms of class fantasy, hunters are the unseen member of the party, the one who is able to slip in and out undetected, and use their movement abilities to get the jobs done that others can’t.
The price you pay for this mobility and versatility, however, is that you are going to be a lot weaker and easy to kill than other classes—especially Titan.
Hunters will get a choice of these abilities, even if they have specialized in a sub-class already.
Gambler’s Dodge: This lets you dodge in one direction, and generates melee energy allowing you to land devastating melee attacks.
Marksman’s Dodge: This allows you to dodge while at the same time completely reloading your weapon.
Hunter Sub Classes
Hunter sub classes mostly revolve around melee and ranged builds. With these options below, you’ll be able to either defeat enemies at a safe range, or get very close to dart in and out of range with devastating attacks.
Gunslinger is the marksman of Destiny 2, with a super ability that gives you a smoking, solar-powered revolver.
You can consider a gunslinger to be one of the strongest DPS sub classes, with big damage abilities, especially from range!
This is the assassin class of Destiny 2, a sneaky version of a hunter who uses the shadows to their advantage.
Expect lots of void abilities, void grenades, and the ability to disappear and make use of great mobility.
Arcstrider is considered one of the most confident melee classes in Destiny 2. It is highly mobile and offers the hunter in question the opportunity to wield a staff create through arc light.
The play style for a typical Arcstrider class typically revolves charging your super at range, then coming into melee range for devastating physical attacks.
Finally, we have the Revenant, a sub class that is one of the most unique in all of Destiny 2.
The super of this class allows you to summon two Stasis kamas, silence and squall.
These freeze and damage targets. Revenant also allows you to throw shurikens and make use of some impressive mobility options.
What Is The Best Starter Class In Destiny 2?
Now that we’ve given a total overview of all the classes and sub classes in game, it’s time to consider which is the best for a beginner.
Before we give you some ideas on this issue, it’s important to get an understanding of how classes in Destiny 2 change your gameplay.
Classes mostly determine your abilities and basic inherent stats. These two things are very important for combat and traversal, but they aren’t everything when it comes to gameplay.
Destiny 2, is at its heart, a shooter game, meaning that the gunplay is the most central gameplay mechanic.
This means that as long as you get a good grasp of the gunplay mechanics within the game, then you will have success, no matter what class you play.
That said, some classes are certainly easier than others, but this depends on your experience as a gamer and your play style.
We’re going to give you quick breakdown of the easy/hard aspects of each class so you can decide yourself.
Titan – Titan is a great pick for beginners because of its survivability. Because of how tanky it is, Titan can be considered one of the most forgiving classes, especially if you opt for a more defensive build.
Warlock – Warlocks are a little more complicated for a beginner, but their self-healing abilities mean you’ll be able to heal yourself through some of the most difficult solo encounters in the game.
Hunter – Although hunters might struggle to stay alive, their devastating abilities mean that you’ll often be able to kill enemies before they can damage you.
So then—which one is the best starter class? This all comes down to your personal preferences.
No one base class is leagues more difficult than another. However, if you want a quick answer and a safe pic, we would suggest that you go for the Titan.
Their tanky nature allows you to relax a little in high-danger situations.
What About Sub Classes?
Sub classes are where this topic gets a lot more complicated. Some sub classes are much more difficult to use, and this is because of what players call ‘builds.’
If you’ve never heard this term before, it’s just a way that players use to describe the way they have chosen to compose their character’s abilities and weapon setups.
A build is typically a setup of abilities, weapons, and gear. All of these will work together for a specific purpose, making the character in question specialized at a specific task, be it damage, support, or completing specific mechanics.
So then, the build you choose can range from simple to complex.
We could give you some examples of modern, easy builds to pick up, but the problem with this is that these builds are always changing. Each patch and expansion is added to the game
So then, for a beginner, we would recommend picking a class based on its overall aesthetic and playstyle rather than for a more complicated build.
Let’s say you’re used to playing the sneaky classes in RPGs like rogues and thieves, but you’re worried about picking Hunter in Destiny 2 because it looks a lot more complicated than Titan.
Don’t worry about this! Hunter is going to be perfectly accessible to you.
Meta In Destiny 2
If you’re a gamer, then you might already be familiar with the concept of ‘Meta’ classes, and you could be wondering what these are for Destiny 2.
Are there certain classes that you won’t be able to use in high level content? Are there some classes that just aren’t used?
Well, one of the most important things to note here is that Destiny 2 has been designed with only 3 classes.
This means that they are much easier to balance and that there is always one build of each that is viable at every level of gameplay.
When it comes to meta in Destiny 2, then you should know that it only matters for the absolute top percent of players, and you most likely won’t have to worry about it.
If you do find yourself having to min-max to the absolute decimal point, and playing along with the established meta, then the chances are you will already have all three classes and have them maxed out with gear.
An ‘alt’ in an MMO game with RPG aspects is a secondary character. Destiny 2 allows you to have multiple characters that you can switch between.
It’s worth noting at this point of our guide that you can easily swap between different characters.
Although the class you pick is going to be the only one your character will be able to use, that doesn’t mean it’s all you can ever play in the game.
If you want to experiment with other classes, then Destiny 2 gives you the opportunity to do this.
Simply make use of the character creation feature to add another character and jump into the game.
The downside to this is that you’ll have to gear it up from the start again, which can be frustrating if you’ve already invested a lot of time into your first character.
Picking Your First Class
So then, we would like to summarize this guide by telling you to pick whatever looks the coolest to you.
Although some of the classes could be a little different in terms of skill requirements, this isn’t going to matter until you get to higher levels of gameplay.
Destiny 2 is a fairly casual game for the first 100 hours of play, so we would recommend just picking the class you like the most.
If in the future, you find yourself wanting to specialize in another class, then you can always create a new character and use all the knowledge you’ve gained to gear it up to the max!
So there you have it! That was our quick guide to outline the most important things to keep in mind when picking a starting class in Destiny 2.
Remember, the most important thing to do when picking a class in any game is to choose something that you’ll enjoy.
The class fantasy within an RPG is one of the most important things, and then you can worry about power and playstyle later.
We hope that this guide has given you all the information you wanted to know about Destiny 2 classes and sub classes.
If you still have some questions, make sure to keep reading for our extensive Frequently Asked Questions section. If you want to play Destiny 2, check out this link here.
We wish you the best of luck with your Destiny 2 adventure—-you’re going to need it, Guardian!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Most Popular Class In Destiny 2?
Although these metrics have shifted over the course of the game’s lifecycle, the Hunter has generally been the most popular class in Destiny 2.
It’s unsure why this is, but it could be something to do with one of the central characters (Cayde-6) being a hunter. Players identify with this popular character and want to imitate him in-game.
The second most popular class is most likely Warlock, or Titan, depending on the time period.
We would say that all three classes see great representation across all facets of the game, including PVE and PVP.
We would urge against using the popularity of a class as an indication as to whether you should play it or not.
Is Destiny 2 A Free To Play Game?
Destiny 2 has a free-to-play business model, however, it is quite restrictive. In many ways, you should think of the free version of Destiny 2 as a large, extended free trial.
If you want to get involved with the modern, live service aspects of the game, then you’ll need to purchase the most recent expansion set.
You can also purchase older expansions, but these will typically give you sub-par gear and restrict you from the content that a lot of other players are engaging in.
Destiny 2 has vaulted 2 of its expansions, Warmind and the Red War, and you are no longer able to access them.
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