Destiny 2: How Shadowkeep’s Armor 2.0 system will change the game

A major component of Destiny 2’s upcoming Shadowkeep expansion is an overhaul of the game’s current armor system which Bungie is calling ‘Armor 2.0.’ The Armor 2.0 system is part of a larger initiative to make Destiny 2 feel like a proper MMORPG shooter experience (Bungie doesn’t mind the MMO term anymore) now that it’s entering its third year of operation.

During a recent livestream presentation, Bungie showed Armor 2.0 in action and explained how players can utilize the newly revamped system to customize both their playstyle and visual appearance on a more granular level.

Picking the Right Perks

Unlike Destiny 2’s currently available armor, Armor 2.0 armor pieces won’t drop with a series of pre-defined perks. Instead, each armor piece will have an associated energy type (Solar, Arc, or Void) and a corresponding energy gauge. This energy gauge is represented by a number of segments that range between 1-10, and the amount of energy segments available is determined by the armor’s masterwork level.

Increasing an armor piece’s masterwork level in turn increases both its stats and its total number of energy gauge segments, up to a maximum of 10 segments at masterwork level 10. Increasing the number of available energy segments is important since it means more and better mods can be attached to that armor piece.

With the Armor 2.0 system, all armor perks are granted via mods. Each armor piece can have up to three mods equipped, and each mod has a corresponding energy segment cost, with more powerful and/or specialized mods costing more energy. As Bungie explained during the livestream, these mods allow players to create specialized armor sets based around a certain playstyle, team role, or activity. For example, if there are particular weapon types you enjoy using, you can equip armor mods to boost ammo drops, decrease reload speed, and reduce flinch while using those weapon types.

Mod Economics

With Armor 2.0, armor mods won’t be one-time consumables. When a player obtains a particular mod, it will be unlocked forever and they’ll be able to apply that mod to any armor piece as many times as they wish for a small Glimmer fee. Bungie also confirmed there will be multiple methods for obtaining Armor 2.0 mods including the following:

  • A rotating stock of mods available from the Tower Gunsmith, Banshee-44
  • Gunsmith reward packages
  • Drops from certain types of Engrams (Bungie specifically mentioned world-based Engrams, Iron Banner Engrams, and pinnacle activity Engrams)

Many of the same mod effects players are already used to will become Armor 2.0 mods once the system goes live. There will be mods for boosting elemental damage resistance, mods for reducing specific ability cooldowns, stat-boosting mods, weapon enhancement mods, and more.

Speaking of current mods and armor, Bungie says they won’t be deprecated after Armor 2.0’s launch. However, players will be encouraged to eventually upgrade to Armor 2.0 mods. Old non-Armor 2.0 mods will become mod components when deconstructed, and those components can be turned in to the Gunsmith for reward packages containing new Armor 2.0 mods.

The sheer number of different available mods will allow for some truly specialized playstyles. Bungie is taking steps to ensure balance (certain mods will only apply to specific armor slots, and certain mod categories like ammo-finder naturally won’t stack), but for the most part players can get as crazy with their chosen armor mod builds as they want.

Stacking Up and Looking Good

Aside from the Solstice of Heroes armor sets Destiny 2 players can earn during the currently ongoing Solstices of Heroes event, current armor pieces won’t be upgraded to Armor 2.0 when the system goes live. However, Bungie promises that all armor, not just Shadowkeep-specific armor, will drop as Armor 2.0 after Shadowkeep’s launch. This means players will be able to unlock Armor 2.0 versions of their favorite Year 1 and Year 2 armor sets.

Any previously obtained armor will also become new universal ornaments for Armor 2.0 armor pieces, allowing players to swap between all unlocked appearances. Between shaders, universal armor ornaments, and a new ‘armor glow’ cosmetic slot, Armor 2.0 will allow for a truly unprecedented level of cosmetic customization.

Bungie even acknowledged that the presence of universal armor ornaments means that you won’t immediately be able to tell at-a-glance what armor a player actually has equipped. The one exception to this rule will be Exotic armor pieces since they won’t be compatible with universal armor ornaments.

Miscellaneous Musings

Bungie was clear from the start that this most recent livestream would be focused specifically on the Armor 2.0 system, but the studio did let a few other details slip during the discussion. Similar to the ‘Arc Week’ event from earlier this year, all Destiny 2 Void sub-classes are getting some fine-tuning as part of the Shadowkeep expansion’s rollout.

It was also confirmed that there won’t be any sort of “armor mod loadouts” since Bungie wants the installing and changing of mods to feel like a consequential choice (hence the attached Glimmer cost). One of the developers featured in the livestream mentioned how players will want to have multiple Armor 2.0 armor sets so that they can tailor specific sets for specific activities.

Lastly, to address current player concerns regarding Enhancement Cores and using them to upgrade armor, Bungie said there will be multiple avenues for obtaining the materials needed to upgrade Armor 2.0 armor pieces. This should ideally make the entire process of upgrading and customizing Armor 2.0 armor feel less tedious and grindy.

The Armor 2.0 system will be part of Destiny 2’s Shadowkeep expansion when it launches on October 1. In the meantime, the Solstice of Heroes event is set to stick around until August 27 if you need a little more time to grind out the event-specific armor sets.