Beginning Hour: Understanding Destiny 2’s new map to maximize your loot

There’s no doubt that Destiny 2’s new take on open world maps is a great new direction for the franchise, but let’s say you’re done gawking at the new and improved visuals, and say that you want to start getting serious about your loot, either to give yourself a chance to score the best items to keep you ahead of the early game enemies, or because you need to farm up to a decent Power rating before diving into Destiny 2’s end game content.

Either way, if you’re interested in getting your hands on the items you’ll need to make it to level cap it’s important that beginners and veterans alike understand a few tips about Destiny 2’s map that might not have been clear as part of the extended tutorial you see at the beginning of the game. 

A Lost Chest

Possibly the most important symbols on your map are those that signify a secret hidden cache of supplies, they come in two distinct flavors but both are a great way to pick up extra items and find a bit of adventure as you fight your way through hordes of Earth’s greatest enemies.

Of these two flavors, the easiest to knab a quick bit of loot from are the standard supply chests, these will be familiar to anyone that’s played the original Destiny and take the form of a hidden chest of items secreted away in an abandoned cave or lurking behind a deceptively simple parkour challenge.

The big difference between the original Destiny and Destiny 2 is that these chests are now marked on your map with a Ghost symbol that looks a bit like a cross with a dot in the center, which generally makes finding and looting each chest a lot easier.

Granted, even marked some of these chests are still tricky to find, but with a little practice you’ll find yourself sniffing out low hills, drainage ditches, and the occasional cliffside entrance anytime a chest isn’t located right at a marker.

As far as we can tell these chests can only be looted once, restarting our game, shutting down our console, and fast traveling away didn’t cause the chests to reappear, but at this point it’s not clear whether there’s a countdown or weekly timer that might cause them to respawn. So, until stated otherwise, assume that these are single-use chests.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t still worth looting if you’re interested in some extra credits, and they’ll give you plenty of tokens that you can trade to allies like Devrim Kay for an end-game tier engram, which is definitely worth the relatively small amount of hassle it takes to wrangle up a few hidden chests.

Symbols on a Wall

If you’re looking for more of a challenge, there’s a second symbol on your map that looks like a dot inside two upside down U’s that symbolizes a great place to score some more tangible gear that’ll help keep you well supplied on your way to level 20. Destiny 2 tries to give you a slight tutorial on this as one of the early quests on earth, but doesn’t quite explain exactly what’s going on at the time.

These symbols indicate that there’s a hidden entrance nearby that’ll lead you off map to a small group of powerful enemies guarding a supply cache. If you’re having trouble finding the entrance take a look around for another hunter symbol on a nearby wall or structure, these will generally be in plain sight a few feet from the entrance itself.

That said, finding the entrance to the cache itself is only half the battle, these hidden caches are more of a single encounter dungeon, so you’ll want to be on your guard heading in because the enemies can be surprisingly tough. Each dungeon contains a small mini-boss enemy that you’ll need to defeat if you want to open the cache, so there’s really no way to cheese your way to getting the loot without paying the price in blood and ammo.

Of course, the big payoff is the loot you’ll knab at the end, and the fact that these caches (and the enemies that guard them) will respawn relatively quickly, which makes them fantastic for gearing at low to medium levels, and for farming a variety of materials with very little effort. Just grab a group of friends and you should be able to blaze through each encounter in rapid order. If you’re running solo just try and advance methodically while clearing each area and you probably won’t have many issues.

Filling out a Route

If farming is your goal, it’s important to realize that the addition of a map to Destiny 2 makes everything a lot easier, and thanks to the numerous random events and actual elite enemies that spawn periodically just like in the original Destiny, Bungie’s managed to take a lot of the boredom out of farming.

If you’re planning a route, just take a look at upcoming events and try to time the number of hidden caches, supply chests, and elite enemies along your route to coincide with each incoming event. With a little luck, and a bit of pre-planning, you’ll be able to maximize your loot without ever stopping long enough to realize that you’ve just completed a normally tedious farming route.