A Tormentor enemy in a ship in Destiny 2
Image via Bungie

How to Beat Tormentors in Destiny 2

Here's how to beat Tormentors in Destiny 2, a terrifying enemy worhty of respect and caution.

First introduced with the Lightfall expansion to Destiny 2, Tormentors are the largest and most imposing member of the new Dread race coming in The Final Shape. They can suppress abilities, one-shot in high-difficulty activities, and are generally terrifying to fight. Here are the best ways to beat Tormentors in Destiny 2.

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How to Defeat Tormentors in Destiny 2 Lightfall

A Tormentor in Onslaught in Destiny 2
Image via Bungie

Tormentors have a relatively short attack list, but they don’t need much more than they have, and beating them takes coordination, good aim, and plenty of caution. Unlike almost every enemy in the game, they take massively reduced damage to every part of their body that isn’t a weak spot. And their weak spots change as you fight them. Worst of all, Tormentors are highly mobile, and their attacks are faster than their size should allow.

Tormentor Attacks and How to Deal With Them

  • Basic combos — Though rare, a Tormentor can simply swing its scythe at you, dealing moderate damage. It’s liable to do so in close range, so back up the instant it gets too close.
  • Jumping Slam — After jumping into the air and floating a moment the Tormentor covers a huge distance and slams the ground with Void energy. Not only does this attack deal a ton of damage, but if it hits you, your abilities will be suppressed for about five seconds. Your only recourse against the attack is to run away from where you believe the tormentor will land, and hope the AoE doesn’t clip you.
  • Void grab — If the Tormentor is close to you, it can attempt to reach out with its scythe and grab you. Not only does the grab easily do 2/3 of your health in damage, but they suppress and launch you across the map. There’s no real trick to avoiding the attack. Just don’t get caught by it.
  • Sword beams — After the shaft of its scythe into the ground, the Tormentor sends out waves of Void energy that home in on you with some frankly absurd tracking. As with most of the Tormentor’s other attacks, you need to get away or behind cover to avoid it.

How to Damage Tormentors

A Tormentor in the LIghtfall Campaign in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Tormentors have 3 weak spots but only have a maximum of two active at a time. When they first appear, you can only deal meaningful damage to the glowing yellow spots on their shoulders. In most content, it takes two or three Sniper Rifle shots to break one weak spot. Once you break both shoulders, the Tormentor’s weak point shifts to its chest, where it stays.

Every other part of a Tormentor’s body only takes about 10% damage from any source, no matter what it is. Rockets, grenades, Supers, you name it. The only way to deal real damage to a Tormentor is to hit its weak spot with precision hits. You can technically overwhelm it with high-powered attacks from, say, a Gjallarhorn and other rockets, but it’s much easier to use a Machine Gun or some other high-powered weapon that can crit.

The problem is, you can’t simply backpedal, as the Tormentor can jump at you. You need to stay on the move and do damage as opportunities arise. If you’re running solo, keep a Machine Gun, Sniper Rifle, and other precision weapon handy. In a fireteam, having a Golden Gun Hunter in your party makes quicker work of Tormentors.

The Best Way to Kill Tormentors

Knowing Tormentor attacks and how to deal damage to them are the first two steps. Now we’ll put all that knowledge into practice. Here are my four best tips for defeating any Tormentor you come across.

  • Stay mobile — Tormentors move quickly and can be on top of you in seconds if you’re not careful. Use every tool at your disposal to keep away from them, but always keep them in your sights.
  • Stay at midrange — Even though Tormentors can cover a great distance in a flash, you should still keep them at or around middle range. That way, you can always have a good view of their weakpoints but still be far away enough to react to whatever they do.
  • Use your Super as an “Oh Crap” button — Never hold onto your Super if you know it could get you out of a jam, especially if you’re running Well of Radiance as a Warlock or are a bubble Titan. Sure, you might have hoped to keep it for later, but rather you be alive and without a Super than dead and back at the checkpoint.
  • Abuse the Tormentor’s AI — Tormentors tend to lock onto a target and stick to it for around ten seconds before swapping. If you’re in a fire team, use their attention to your advantage by positioning yourself near whoever they’re looking at for easy damage. In Onslaught, be sure to have at least a level two Decoy up precisely for Tormentor waves, and hit it with everything you have when it appears.

Those are my best strategies for how to beat Tormentors in Destiny 2. Your first fight will likely end with you needing to be revived or running for a few moments. Once you’ve taken down a few of them, it quickly becomes old hat. For more Destiny 2 content, check out our Destiny 2 guides hub for the game, where you’ll find guides on how to farm Exotics, learn about The Witness, and more.

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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.