Destiny 2: How to get the Thorn Exotic hand cannon

At long last, the infamous hand cannon Thorn has arrived in Destiny 2. This weapon garnered quite the reputation back in the original Destiny, and now its reign of terror can finally continue in Bungie’s sci-fi sequel. If you’re looking to add Thorn to your Destiny 2 arsenal, this guide will walk you through all the necessary steps.

Finding Thorn

Unlike most other Destiny 2 quests, your journey towards acquiring Thorn doesn’t begin by visiting an NPC or activating some other easy-to-locate quest trigger. Nope, you have to go out and find Thorn’s ruined remains first, and chances are you won’t find them if you don’t know where to look.

Start by loading into the Trostland spawn point in the EDZ. Then, travel straight ahead and through the Fallen-guarded passageway on the opposite end of the large central church. Instead of heading straight through the passageway, though, make sure you turn to the left so that you travel into the Salt Mines underground region. You’ll know you’re on the right track if you see the large blue sign in the above screenshot.

Within the Salt Mines you’ll soon reach a teleporter next to an elevator. When you activate the teleporter you’ll be taken to an outdoor area near the peak of the Salt Mines mountain (you might recognize this area from one of Destiny 2’s early-game story missions). Head up the hill and when you reach the large impassible force field wall on your right, look slightly to the left to spot a rocky alcove you can travel through.

Through this alcove you’ll reach an abandoned camp with a dead body and a large pile of ashes. Approach the ash pile and you’ll receive a prompt to “sift through the ashes.” Do as instructed and you’ll receive a hunk of melted metal which you must then take to Banshee-44 in the Tower.

Restoring Thorn

Banshee-44 will send you out to gather materials so he can restore Thorn to its former glory. Naturally this means you’ll have to grind out a series of tasks across various PvE and PvP activities.

For your first three tasks you actually have some options. You need to gather 50 units of three different material types, one after the other. For each material type there are three different ways through which you can acquire it as outlined below:

Hadronic Essence

  • Complete Asher Mir’s daily bounties on IO (awards five materials per completed bounty)
  • Kill enemy Warlocks in Crucible PvP (awards three materials per kill)
  • Complete Nightfall strikes (awards 15 materials per strike completion)

Plasteel Plating

  • Complete Sloan’s daily bounties on Titan (awards five materials per completed bounty)
  • Kill enemy Titans in Crucible PvP (awards three materials per kill)
  • Complete Blind Well activations in the Dreaming City (awards five materials per completed run, 10 if you complete the Heroic version)

Sapphire Wire

  • Complete Ana Bray’s daily bounties on Mars (awards five materials per completion)
  • Kill enemy Hunters in Crucible PvP (awards three materials per kill)
  • Complete Escalation Protocol waves on Mars (awards five materials per completed wave)

Since the planetary vendors (Asher, Sloan, and Ana) only offer three bounties per day, you can only acquire a maximum of 15 materials each day if you’re not willing to dabble in PvP or the Nightfall/Blind Well/Escalation Protocol activities. Also, because Escalation Protocol always awards five materials regardless of the wave number, it’s usually more efficient to just keep doing the first wave over and over since it’s the easiest.

Recalibrating Thorn

This next step is a mandatory PvP step, so brace yourself if you’re normally not a big Crucible fan. You have to fill up a percentage gauge by scoring Void and hand cannon kills in any Crucible playlist. The bad news is that the gauge fills up super slowly so expect to be working on this step for a while. The good news, however, is that you can’t lose gauge progress like you could in The Last Word quest.

You can obviously double up on your efforts by using a Void-based hand cannon, but unfortunately there aren’t too many of those to be found. If you played through the Warmind DLC and worked through some of its endgame content, you should have access to the Ikelos HC Void hand cannon (you can reacquire it from your Collections tab if you previously dismantled it). The Kindled Orchid Black Armory weapon is another good option if you have it.

The gauge also fills up more quickly if you score kills in the Competitive and Iron Banner playlists, but of course the downside to that route is that you’re often facing more skilled players than what you’d find in the Quickplay playlist. Still, as long as you equip your Void subclass and master your Void hand cannon use, you should steadily make progress with each Crucible match you play.

Earning Thorn

Once you’ve finally completed your PvP grind, there’s one last challenge to overcome, and it’s a bit of a doozy. You’ll be sent to speak with Tyra Karn at the Farm social space in the EDZ (yep, you can still go there even after unlocking the Tower). Tyra Karn will then task you with completing a special 660 power version of the Savathun’s Song strike on Titan.

Much like other quest-specific modified strikes, this version of Savathun’s Song doesn’t include matchmaking, and its Blackout and Iron modifiers mean that trying to solo it is a really bad idea regardless of your current power level.

The strike itself plays out in virtually the same manner as its default counterpart (albeit harder) with one key difference. Towards the end of the final boss fight, two special Hive Knight mini-bosses will spawn. You have to kill those Hive Knights before killing the final boss, otherwise you’ll have to do the whole strike over again.

When you finally manage to clear the Savathun’s Song strike, the Thorn Exotic hand cannon will be yours.