Destiny 2 Build Crafting: Changes Coming To Character Builds In Lightfall

Destiny 2 Build Crafting: Changes Coming To Character Builds In Lightfall
Images via Bungie

Written by 

Dave McAdam


19th Jan 2023 12:33

Destiny 2 build crafting is getting a massive overhaul when the new expansion launches next month. Destiny 2 has, over its lifetime, steered further away from loot shooter and more toward a detailed RPG with layered and nuanced mechanics. Build crafting is the art of putting together abilities, armour, weapons, and mods in ways that synergise and make your Guardian more powerful. Here are the changes coming with Lightfall to Destiny 2 build crafting.

Destiny 2 Build Crafting: Mod Customisation

Destiny 2 Build Crafting: the new mod customisation menu
Click to enlarge

The Mod Customisation menu is a new feature being implemented in Lightfall. The biggest overall change to build crafting is happening in changes to mods, and the Mod Customisation menu will be your new home for managing all of them.

This menu will show you each of your currently equipped weapons and armour pieces, and it will allow you to quickly and easily change their mods. It works very similarly to the Appearance Customisation menu, it consolidates everything into one place, allowing you to make changes to multiple pieces of gear in one place.

The menu will also show you how many mods slots each armour piece has and how many mods you have equipped. It will also show you your stats, letting you see in real-time how the changes you are making affect your overall build.

Destiny 2 Build Crafting: Mod Changes

Destiny 2 Build Crafting: the new helmet mods being slotted
Click to enlarge

Alongside the method of using them, mods themselves are getting an overhaul. First of all, we know that you must be at least Rank 6 in the Destiny 2 Guardian ranks in order to unlock all the mods. According to Bungie, most fans who have been playing for a while will be at least Rank 6 or higher when the system is introduced, so only new players will need to unlock them.

When they say unlock all the mods, they mean it. Once you are over Rank 6 you will have access to every weapon and armour mod in the game. This means no more fretting about which mods you do or don't have, no more waiting for Ada-1 to get the one mod you need back in stock, and no more players who cannot use certain builds because they missed out.

Further changes include removing armour element types limiting which mods can be equipped and removing redundant mods to streamline the system. The mod groups Charged With Light and Elemental Wells are getting reworked into a new system, and Warmind Cells are being retired altogether. Mods that affected particular weapon types (hand cannons, rocket launchers, etc.) will now affect the broader categories of Kinetic, Special and Heavy weapons.

Destiny 2 Build Crafting: Seasonal Artefact Mods

Destiny 2 Build Crafting: the Skeleton Key, a former seasonal artefact
Click to enlarge

Artefact mods are also getting completely reworked. There will still be a seasonal artefact with things to unlock, but those will no longer be mods. Instead, they will be perks, each one passively applied once unlocked without the need of socketing a mod.

What that means in practice is that, as you level up your artefact from Season 20 onwards, you will choose perks to unlock. Once you do, you will not need to equip them with your armour or do anything like that. The example given by Bungie is that when you unlock the Anti-Barrier Pulse Rifle perk on your artefact, the effect will be applied to all Pulse Rifles, you needn't do anything more.

This will free up your armour mod slots, particularly your gauntlets, for other things. It does mean that we will be returning to a seasonal artefact system where we can only unlock a certain amount of perks, but reallocating our choices will now be free to do.

For those of you who worked hard to get Artifice armour, that gear is keeping the extra mod slot. However, it will now be a slot with a unique mod that you can choose, which will grant 3 points to any stat you choose.

Destiny 2 Build Crafting: Armour Charge

Destiny 2 Build Crafting: some Guardians charging, in armour
Click to enlarge

Armour Charge is a new system that is replacing both Charged With Light and Elemental Wells. Most existing mods that grant either of those will now generate Orbs of Power, which grant stacks of Taking Charge when an Armour Charge mod is equipped.

Armour Charge sounds like a similar system to the ones it is replacing, it is a resource that can be gathered and used differently depending on the mods that are equipped. Charged With Light and Elemental Well mods were quite customisable, so it seems that this Armour Charge is just a streamlined way of giving players that freedom in the new mod system.

That said, Elemental Wells are not entirely going away. They are being replaced by a similar system in which each subclass will have its own item that can be picked up for energy. We already have Ionic Traces and Stasis Shards for Arc and Stasis, Solar will have Firesprites and Void will have Void Breaches. There will be a similar mechanic for Strand once that comes out.

Destiny 2 Build Crafting: Match Game And Champions

Destiny 2 Build Crafting: a dreaded Unstoppable Ogre
Click to enlarge

Match Game is being removed from the game, I can already hear the players cheering in the streets. Again, this seems to be part of Bungie taking down barriers that inhibit build crafting. That said, just a little bit of Match Game is going to be spread across the game, meaning enemy shields will take 50% less damage from non-matching damage. Still a far cry from Match Game, but a balance that preserves the need to diversify.

On the topic of shields and specific damage types, there are also changes coming to how Champions work. Champions have long been a point of contention in Destiny 2, largely due to the limited ways that players can deal with them. We have already seen some exotic weapons get intrinsic anti-Champion effects, and as mentioned, anti-Champion mods will now be much easier to use as perks.

Further to this, Champions from Lightfall onwards will be countered by the abilities present in specific subclasses. For example, Solar, Void, and Strand subclasses will have means to break the shields of Barrier Champions, Arc, Stasis, and Void can stun Overload Champions, and Arc, Solar, Stasis, and Strand will be able to stop the Unstoppable Champions.

We will have to wait and see exactly how this all works, but some examples given of how one subclass can take on two different Champions is that a Void Guardian could use volatile rounds to break a Barrier Champion's shield, but also they can use their suppression abilities to stun Overload Champions.

This huge expansion in the ways Guardians can deal with Champions is going to widely open the possibilities and make dealing with Champions a much less frustrating prospect.

Those are the highlights of the changes coming to Destiny 2 build crafting. For more on the game, check out our Destiny 2 Operation Seraph's Shield walkthrough.

Dave is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon, after several years of freelancing across the industry. He covers a wide range of games, with particular focus on shooters like Destiny 2, RPGs like Baldur's Gate 3 and Cyberpunk 2077, and fighting games like Street Fighter 6 and Tekken 8.

Destiny 2 Legend Lost Sector weekly rotation & exotic loot for weekly reset (Feb 27)
Destiny 2 best PvE weapons for raids & dungeons in Season of the Wish
Destiny 2 Content Vault explained, including everything vaulted so far
All Destiny 2 DLC ahead of The Final Shape, from Forsaken to Lightfall expansions
9 best games like Starfield to play in 2024, from Destiny 2 to No Man’s Sky