How to Farm Legendary Shards Before Lightfall in Destiny 2
Legendary Shards are one of the core currencies in Destiny 2. You'll use them to buy everything from upgrade materials, pull old items from your Collections, focus Engrams at vendors, and more. You can also use them to purchase endgame materials for much higher prices, so you'll want to have as many Legendary Shards as you can get your hands on.
That's especially true going into Lightfall and in the months immediately after the latest expansion drops. In this guide, we'll go over how to farm Legendary Shards, so you have plenty when you need them.
Farming Legendary Shards Pre-Lightfall
You get Legendary Shards every time you dismantle a weapon or armor piece of Legendary or Exotic rarity. Legendaries give between three and four Shards; Exotics can give up to five. You can also dismantle Legendary Engrams in your postmaster for three or four shards.
To farm Legendary Shards, you need efficient ways of getting Legendary items. Thankfully, there are currently dozens of sources beyond simply getting a Legendary Engram to drop out in the wild. Here are the best of them.
Ritual Activities: Strikes, Gambit, and Crucible with Ghost Mods
At the end of every Strike and Gambit and Crucible match is a loot chest that spits out at least one Legendary weapon or armor piece, plus three or four Legendary Shards. As a result, you can guarantee three or four Legendary Shards per match or activity completion. There are also three Ghost mods, each costing three energy, that increase your chance of a second Legendary reward.
As usual, ritual activities are one of the best and easiest ways to farm Legendary Shards. What you do depends on how much you like them. Crucible matches can be a good option, given how quickly they can go by, but there are some very fast Strikes, as well.
Turn in Vendor Reputation Packages
Every vendor in the Tower or H.E.L.M., plus Xur and Fynch, has Reputation packages you can turn in for destination or activity-specific gear. Most of the weapons and armor you get from vendors are either low-stat trash armor or weapons with rolls you don't want. You are free to safely dismantle them as they're acquired for Legendary Shards, which only cost you time.
Turn in Umbral Engrams
Focusing Umbral Engrams on weapons and armor won't always give you what you want, making them easy Shard opportunities. And while Umbral Engrams are necessary for target farming seasonal weapons and armor, if you already have everything you want from a season's loot pool, head back to see ol' Master Rahool and turn in those Umbral Engrams to him.
He'll spit back out world loot items — some of which are surprisingly good — that you'll likely dismantle into Shards shortly after that.
Play the Seasonal Activities
As we're at the end of the year in Destiny 2, there are four sets of seasonal activities, and all of them end in at least one loot chest that awards a Legendary piece of gear. If you're looking for something to do between weekly resets and haven't finished old stories — or want to relive an old activity — they're a great way to earn Shards and spend any lingering currency cluttering up your inventory.
Farm High-Difficulty Nightfall Strikes or Featured Raids/Dungeons
If you have a fireteam to help, farming Master Nightfalls and completing runs or single encounters of the featured Raid and Dungeon is a fantastic way to earn endgame loot and get some Legendary Shards on the side. With most Raids having craftable weapons, or like Vault of Glass getting them in the future, you're likely to grind out specific encounters for red border weapons eventually, and everything besides those is gravy (the Shards are the gravy).
Master Nightfalls have a high chance of awarding Exotic armor pieces with high-stat rolls, but not all have well-distributed stats, making them instant dismantles. The possibility of getting Ascendant Shards and Enhancement Prisms is a nice bonus.
Ultimately, the best way to farm Legendary Shards is just to play Destiny 2 and not spend them every chance you get. If you don't have to buy an Upgrade module or focus an Iron or Trials engram, don't. Doing your weekly activities, participating in seasonal events, playing the seasonal activities, or just exploring the world is liable to earn you at least a few hundred Legendary Shards for relatively little effort.
There's not much more to farming Legendary Shards than that. Are there efficient ways to do it? Yes, but it's entirely possible to play the game and get everything you need. While you're here, check out our guides on how to get the Bump in the Night Rocket Launcher, what Weasel, Centipede, and Guitar error codes are, and head to our guides hub for more.