Destiny 2: Beyond Light Releases Today. Here's What Returning Players Need to Know

Destiny 2: Beyond Light Releases Today. Here's What Returning Players Need to Know

Get ready to go beyond.

The new era of Destiny dawns today. Beyond Light, the new expansion for Destiny 2, goes live today, and with it many Guardians are beginning their descent into Darkness.

It's an interesting time for a Destiny launch. While a new expansion for Bungie's ongoing loot-shooter is notable in its own right, Beyond Light coincides with the launch of the next generation of console hardware. The Xbox Series X and S are out today, the PlayStation 5 launches on Thursday, and Beyond Light is coming to both.

Because there are many new console owners looking to play new things, and because Xbox players can access the new content via Game Pass, there are likely to be a lot of players jumping into Bungie's war-torn space epic. Some might be lapsed Destiny fans from earlier days, and some might be complete newcomers. Here's what you need to know, headed into the new expansion.

It's Okay to Lack Power

Power is the ultimate measure of a Guardian's, well, power. If your power level is high, you can fight higher level enemies and participate in high-level activities. Every expansion bumps up the level cap—right now, it seems like the cap is going to run up to at least 1200.

Just because you're not max power level, doesn't mean you can't participate. The nice thing about new expansion content is it's been pretty good, historically, about getting you up to the level you need to be at. Your power is the aggregate of your equipment, and so as drops keep dropping, your power keeps popping.

Crossing Generations

Due to Destiny 2: Beyond Light straddling the line between current and next-gen consoles, there are probably a few questions about how, where, and with who you can play Destiny 2. Full crossplay is still just a target for the time being, but cross-save—bringing your Guardian across multiple platforms—is still available. Put simply, you can play the same Guardian on a PlayStation and an Xbox, but you can't play on a PlayStation with someone on an Xbox.

The individual console families will have inter-generational crossplay, though. Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S players can play together, and PlayStation 4 with PlayStation 5. You might not be able to reach across the console aisle, but if you had a group on PS4, it won't be broken up when a few people get their launch PS5.

What's the Story, Morning Glory?

Oof. This is probably the most pertinent question, especially for lapsed Destiny players. If you're on Xbox and have Game Pass, all the relevant previous expansions—namely, Forsaken and Shadowkeep—are available as part of that, as well as Beyond Light.

If that's not the case, or you just want a quick refresher, the broad strokes of Destiny lore as it stands now are pretty easy to lay out. One of Destiny's key figures has always been The Traveller; the mysterious orb hovering above Earth that imparts Light upon the Guardians. It's how they keep resurrecting and receive enough power to fight the Darkness.

Silent Hill taught me: giant metal pyramids are always a bad sign. | Bungie

Some recent characters have been positing that the ongoing battle between Light and Dark might not be all sunshine and roses, though. One major development at the end of Destiny 2 brought mysterious pyramid ships into the galaxy, and throughout Destiny 2's expansions, Guardians have been dealing with the fallout—even venturing inside one during the events of Shadowkeep.

On Europa, a new Pyramid ship has been spied, as well as a notorious Kell named Eramis, who is trying to claim some Darkness for herself. It seems a few threads will be coming to a head on the icy slopes of Europa. Anything more in-depth will likely be explored during the campaign missions, and honestly, Destiny is usually better experienced the first time around than read.

Where'd the Old Maps Go?

One of the more notable, and controversial, changes in Beyond Light is the "vaulting" of older content. A good hunk of older Destiny content, ranging from Strikes and Crucible maps to modes and full-on Raids are being locked away in the Destiny vault.

Other story-related content is also being locked away, including missions from the Red War, Curse of Osiris, and Warmind content. That will all be replaced by a new "expanded" origin story, for those jumping in for the first time.

That does, however, mean that notable Destiny experiences like the Leviathan and Eater of Worlds Raids are now vaulted, as well as a number of quest-specific Exotics. You can find the list here.

Content woes aside, a new expansion is usually the best time to jump back onto the Destiny 2 train. It's easier to find a group of eager Guardians to burn through activities with, everyone is at about the same level, and there's still an air of discovery and mystery. This particular expansion seems to be setting up a new arc, one that's going to span the next few years of Destiny 2 content.

Destiny 2: Beyond Light is live today on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. The expansion will launch on PS5 later this week when that console is out, on Nov. 12.

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Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

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