Destiny 2's Season of the Drifter is live and with it, the new Gambit Prime and Reckoning modes are available for Annual Pass owners. Dedicated and returning Guardians are diving into the new gameplay, banking Motes, and earning the Drifter's approval, but the true reward is the new Gambit Prime armor sets. These role-specific sets of armor (Invader, Sentry, Reaper, Collector) empower Guardians with perks for Gambit Prime, accentuating their playstyle. But earning and powering up Destiny 2's new armor sets is another matter entirely.
As Bungie described in early Season of the Drifter breakdowns, the new Destiny 2 armor is earned and empowered through a loop of gameplay leading players back and forth between Gambit Prime and Reckoning. Players will earn a sort of currency in Gambit Prime, craft that currency into a special item and then activate that item in Reckoning. Only after winning in Reckoning will the player receive their armor or upgrade.
This process will be repeated across multiple weeks. Bungie is capping the rate at which players can power up their Prime armor by spacing out the release of Reckoning's different tiers. This should give Guardians plenty of time to earn their armor without having to grind too much. Earning armor is a straight forward, but deliberate process. Armor upgrade bounties offered from the Drifter, meanwhile, will prove a bit more challenging. Nonetheless, players can definitely manage the tasks between Reckoning tier 2 and 3 releases on March 8 and 15 respectively.
With four armor sets to earn, one for each Gambit Prime role, Guardians have plenty to keep them busy during the Season of the Drifter.
The first step towards earning Destiny 2's new Gambit Prime armor is to go speak to The Drifter, now camped out in the Tower's Annex. The Drifter will provide the "Who Are You?" quest step tasking the player to pick up a Gambit Prime daily bounty, with one available for each of the four roles. All four can be acquired at the same time, so there's no need to choose a single role.
Each daily bounty rewards multiple synths for any given role, but synths can also be earned just by playing and winning Gambit Prime. Focus on playing the role of the synth type that you want to earn. Synths are used in a variety of ways to earn and upgrade armor, so having a selection of them available for the roles you're interested in will be handy.
Also, note that random Synths can be earned in Reckoning, too. It's a PvE alternative to playing Gambit Prime over and over again, even if it's not as efficient.
After completing their first match of Gambit Prime after talking to the Drifter, Guardians will be given a Weak Synthesizer. The Synthesizer can be considered the middle-man between Gambit Prime and Reckoning with regards to creating and upgrading armor. For armor creation, players will use the Weak Synthesizer to create a role-specific Mote from Synths. These Motes are then taken into Reckoning and activated at the bank at the start, which both determines the Reckoning difficulty tier and its rewards.
As Reckoning tier 2 and 3 are released in the future, higher levels of difficulty will be unlocked which require more powerful Motes to activate. More Synths are required to create more powerful Motes and a more powerful Synthesizer is required, as well. Although it's not confirmed, it seems like the only way to upgrade the Synthesizer is via a Prime Weekly Bounty. There's a weekly bounty for each role, so players will be able to upgrade the Weak Synthesizer to a Strong Synthesizer and beyond without diverging from the way they like to play Destiny 2.
Note that Motes aren't required to participate in Reckoning. It can be entered without them. Also, it doesn't seem necessary to create low-level Motes for Reckoning. Players can simply wait for Reckoning tier 3 to release and go in without the previous armor sets.
Upon successful completion of Reckoning, players will go back to the bank where they deposited their Mote and be rewarded a random piece of armor from the set the Mote was made for. Duplicate armor pieces can also be earned, so players may have to play a decent amount of Reckoning and wager a decent amount of Motes to earn a full set. The initial set of armor will have a 635 light level. The second tier is not yet available, as Reckoning tier 2 is still locked, but tier 2 and 3 armor sets should still be earned in the same way.
Alternatively, it seems like the Drifter will also be awarding Gambit Prime armor directly as a reward for completing the Prime Weekly Bounty. Players will be required to wager Motes of a power level akin to their Synthesizer and then win Reckoning matches, as well as complete role-based goals in Gambit Prime. They'll then be given a specific armor piece for the tier of Reckoning they played and have their Synthesizer upgraded. Each week will then provide a higher tier armor piece.
Players can only earn a first tier piece of armor this week, since completing the weekly is required to upgrade to the second tier. Week one's armor piece appears to be a helmet.
This is just the first week of the Season of the Drifter, so there's no need to feel forced into participation. Make the most of the new content for these next several months and take it at a healthy pace. That said, it will take at least two weeks to upgrade the Synthesizer from tier 1 up to tier 3 and then more time afterward to acquire a full set of tier three armor. If there's a priority to earning the Prime armor sets, it's completing the weekly. Beyond the weekly, play as much of either Gambit Prime or Reckoning as feels good.
Destiny 2 is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.