The Shaw Han vendor in Destiny 2
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Destiny 2: Best Ways to Farm Exotics (2024)

Here are the best ways to farm exotics in Destiny 2 this year.

Farming Exotics in Destiny 2 is an ever-shifting landscape as new activities enter and leave the game. However, in 2024, you can still use several tried-and-true methods to obtain Exotic weapons and armor relatively easily. Many of these farming strategies will likely never leave the game, and we’ll go over them today.

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The Best Ways to Farm Exotics in Destiny 2

There might be many different and effective ways to farm Exotic gear in Destiny 2, but no matter how efficient you are, I can’t guarantee you’ll get what you want or with the stat rolls you’re looking for. I can only give you the best possible chance to maybe get the item you want.

As a brief intro, the best activity for farming Exotics in Destiny 2 is the Nightfall playlist. If you don’t have a fireteam, you can always go into the Hero difficulty for a fair chance at an Exotic, or if you have a squad, Legend or Master difficulties. Grandmaster, or GM, difficulty Nightfall activities are by far the most rewarding for your time, with usually two Exotic drops per completion, plus rare Exotic-level upgrade materials.

The other strategies in this guide cover activities you can do yourself, those that are best with a team, as well as the technically easiest farms that are, sadly, not the most efficient. Let’s get started.

How to Farm Exotic Gear in Destiny 2

Guardians fighting a Taken Servitor enemy in Destiny 2
Image via Bungie

In 2024, as they have for many years, high-difficulty Nightfall activities still give you the best chance at Engram drops. Master and Grandmaster Nightfalls essentially guarantee you at least one Exotic Engram per completion and thus are the best ways to get your hands on a god-roll stat line for one of the best Exotics in the game.

If you’re relatively new to Destiny 2, I highly recommend starting out in the Hero difficulty, the matchmade playlist Nightfalls. They’re not nearly as difficult as even Legend activities, but they still lay down the basics you’ll need to understand. These include dealing with Champions, playing to the active modifiers, and discovering what weapons work best against the boss. Hero won’t give you a true Master-level experience, but it does let you learn the fundamentals of what a Nightfall is like. You’ll also get one Exotic armor piece every few runs, so there are definitely worthy rewards for your time.

Any Nightfall above Hero difficulty lacks matchmaking, so you’ll either need to field a fireteam of your own via a friend group, a Destiny 2 LFG, or the Fireteam Finder. The extra effort you’ll put in completing these more challenging Nightfalls pays dividends, with much higher Exotic drop chances, as well as increased drops for endgame materials and Nightfall-specific weapons.

Make the Most Out of Double Nightfall Rewards Week

A double Nightfall rewards week tends to happen two or three times every season — or roughly once a month. While Double Rewards is active, as the name suggests, you get twice the rewards per Nightfall completion. You can easily max out not only your character Engram inventory but your Postmaster, as well.

The Easiest Way to Farm Exotics in Destiny 2

Guardians in the Deep Wing of the H.E.L.M. in Destiny 2
Image via Bungie

There are three incredibly easy ways to get Exotics that don’t take much extra effort on your part, even if they’re not the most efficient:

  • Reach Rank 16 with most NPC Vendors, reset their reputation, and do it again. At Rank 16, you can reset their reward track, and when you reach Rank 16 again, you’ll get an Exotic. Tedious? Yes, but effectively free.
  • Taking the Exotics from the Season Pass. Whether you pay for the premium pass or stay free-to-play, you’ll always get at least a few free Exotic Engrams simply for playing Destiny 2 and earning experience.

With the new Episodes activity system on the way, it’s unclear how many Exotics you can potentially get during and after The Final Shape, but if you go into the process now, you can earn seven free Exotic Engrams just for playing. Bear in mind that seasonal vendors disappear at the end of an expansion year, so if you like playing all of the seasonal content the whole year, you can get even more Engrams without needing to focus on a single activity type.

Other Best Exotic Engram Farms in Destiny 2

Shaxx in the Tower in Destiny 2
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Complete Ritual Activity Challenges

Every week, each of the three Ritual Activity Playlists — Vanguard, Gambit, and Crucible — offers activity completion challenges. Simply complete three Strikes, three Gambit, and three Crucible matches for a free Exotic Engram. There are no limitations on how you complete your Strikes or competitive matches. All you need to do is complete them. Plus, you can earn up to 360 Bright Dust if you also complete eight Bounties per playlist.

Complete Vex Incursion Zone on Neptune

Only available to owners of the Lightfall expansion, Vex Incursion Zone has a rare Public Event called Vex Strike Force that rewards a guaranteed Exotic if you complete it. It only occurs in the currently marked Vex Incursion Zone on Neomuna and replaces run-of-the-mill Public Events at random. The activity is fairly demanding, so I always bring friends. In the spirit of efficiency and for your personal sanity, you should, too.

Wait for Them to Drop

The final and most iconic way to get Exotic Engrams is to wait for one to drop from a random enemy as you play the game. I admit, their drop chances are incredibly low from world enemies, but the real Destiny experience is farming trash mobs for hours, hoping for the one drop to rule them all.

Those are the best ways to farm Exotics in Destiny 2. Nothing too fancy here, just lots and lots of invested time. Of course, as a live service game, you need to dedicate a lot of time to your Guardian(s) anyway, so if you do, go for it.

If you’re looking for more content on Bungie’s blockbuster franchise, check out our guides on how to get the Wicked Implement Exotic, the best DPS weapons for the Ghosts of the Deep Dungeon, and more in our D2 guides hub.

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John Schutt
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.