Destiny 2: How to Unlock and Complete Empire Hunts

Looking to do some Empire Hunts in Destiny 2? Find out how to unlock them here.

Empire Hunts are one of the essential post-campaign activities from the Beyond Light expansion, and higher-difficulty Hunts are the only source of the Cloudstrike Exotic Sniper Rifle.

If you’re new to Destiny 2 with the Witch Queen expansion or haven’t completed Beyond Light for another reason and want Cloudstrike, get to it because earning the Exotic sniper takes a few hours of extra activities following the story’s completion. This guide will cover how you can access the Empire Hunts you need.

How to Unlock and Complete Empire Hunts in Destiny 2

Image via Bungie

As noted, you must complete the Beyond Light campaign to start your journey to farmable Empire Hunts. Once the campaign is complete, Variks will have post-story missions to complete, one of which is a three-part quest chain starting with a mission called Reclaiming Europa. Complete those to unlock additional content, and after some additional grinding, you’ll eventually have the ability to run higher-difficulty Hunts.

Let’s start with the quest chain.

  • Complete Reclaiming Europa. Head to Riis-Reborn in Eventide Ruins (up the gravity lift and deep into the Vex and Fallen-ridden complex) until you come across the Sabotaging Salvation mission flag. Complete Sabotaging Salvation,, and at the end, you’ll fight an enormous, boss-level Brig.
  • Complete Empire’s Fall. A two-part step.
    • Your first task is to complete two Sabotage missions. One of these will be chosen for you, called Europa Challenges, and sees you completing eight bounties from Variks. The other is Europan Protector, which requires you to defeat enemies across Europa. Once both are complete, head back to Variks for the next step.
    • Your second task is to complete The Aftermath mission, which will take you into a manufacturing section of northern Europa. At the end of that mission, you’ll meet Kridis, who will escape and leave you with a ton of Fallen to fight. Defeat them and return to Variks.
  • Complete The Dark Priestess Empire Hunt. You’re hunting Kridis now. After drawing out her challenge, you’ll make your way back to the overlook where Eramis’s frozen corpse rests. Defeat Kridis, then return to Variks for one final debrief.

At this point, you’ll be able to spend Herealways Pieces to replay previous Empire Hunts for rewards whenever you like, but there’s one more set of steps to take if you want Cloudstrike.

Continue doing Sabotage missions until you’ve done enough to unlock the Europan Explorer I upgrade. Complete it, then complete the subsequent mission Europan Explorer II and you’ll unlock a node on the Europa map to the bottom left of the Deep Stone Crypt Raid node.

These are your weekly Empire Hunt matchmade missions. All difficulties can award Cloudstrike, but you have a slightly better chance at higher difficulties. We recommend Hero, which is still matchmade but does have a few Champion enemies to deal with.

You aren’t guaranteed Cloudstrike for completing any number of weekly Empire Hunts. Like any randomly dropped Exotic, acquiring it is just that: random.

And now you know how to unlock all versions of Empire Hunt in Destiny 2. It’s quite the grind (as most of Beyond Light is), but the rewards are worth it. For more Destiny content, check out our guides to getting the Hierarchy of Needs, the Spire of the Watcher Dungeon, and the Revision Zero god roll guide. Our guides hub has more.


John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.

Published Jan. 10th 2023

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