The first Destiny 2 raid is arguably the activity players were most looking forward to from the sequel.
Destiny Raids are an end-game activity gated off by high level requirements, where a group of players take on a gauntlet of puzzles and bosses for exclusive items - and the Destiny 2 Leviathan raid is no different.
Though they can take half-a-dozen hours (or more!) on a first playthrough, they are designed to be replayable, with randomised loot drops encouraging players to revisit week-after-week, inching them ever closer to the level cap with every session.
Without spoiling specifics here, Leviathan plays out somewhat differently when it comes to checkpoints and exploration, which we'll be delivering into - alongside standard room and boss explainers - in our Destiny 2 Leviathan guide and walkthrough.
Destiny 2 Leviathan guide and walkthrough
- Destiny 2 Castellum - Standard Bearers, Liberators, Councellors explained
- Destiny 2 Royal Pools - how to stop the Bathing Ritual
- Destiny 2 Pleasure Gardens - Beasts, Spores, Prism Weapons explained
- Destiny 2 Gauntlet - how to complete the Gauntlet and beat the obstacle course
- Destiny 2 Calus boss fight - How to beat final boss Emperor Calus in the Throne room
How to prepare and what you need to know about the Destiny 2 Leviathan raid
As with the likes of Vault of Glass and Wrath of the Machine with the previous game, the Raid offers challenges and rewards unlike anything else in the game. Here's ways to prepare and things to know about Leviathan:
- Though getting as close to max Power level will help as much as possible since Leviathan's recommended Light level is 270, though the first encounter is 260 and scales all the way up per encounter to 280. In our experience, you can get away with some players in the lower 260 range provided you have some players on average or higher, though by the end you'll want to have a few levels up for the final encounters so they can stay alive and do more damage.
- Similarly, don't worry about classes too much. While certain classes and their abilities can be useful - the Hunter void class can go invisible or tether enemies for damage phases, for example - as with previous Raids on Normal mode there isn't much that depends on a specific class or sub-class.
- That said, if you haven't already it's worth unlocking all three sub-classes to give you as many abilities as possible for both offence and defence.
- As with previous Raids, team sizes comprise of six players and there is no matchmaking. The new Guided Games system, which allows players to join up with Clans who are advertising for open spots in an upcoming session, is unavailable for launch and will be in beta soon.
- Join a clan and Raid with members of the Clan in order to unlock a bonus Emblem by the end of it.
- Attempt to pack a range of weapons and armour types to maximise your range of energy options.
Want more on Destiny 2? Our Destiny 2 guide tells you everything else there is to know on the game so far, including Adventures, Lost Sectors, Strikes, Treasure Map locations, Heroic Public Events, and Flashpoints. Elsewhere we explain how to Power level to the 265, 300 and 350 Power caps, as well as what to spend Glimmer on, how to get a Sparrow in Destiny 2, how to join Clans and how Legendary Shards work, Crucible tips, a Destiny 2 Exotics list, details on the Nightfall schedule, Trials of the Nine and the weekly reset, how to unlock classes and subclasses, and how to complete the Destiny 2 Raid.
- Pick up and get as far as you can through the World-Eater quest, which requires you to complete the Raid in order to unlock the next step.
- Before playing, it might be worth completing the Invitation from the Emperor Adventure to learn some interesting backstory for the Raid and its possible cast.
- The leaked Trophy list suggest the raid can be played on something named 'Prestige difficulty' - which we now know will go live sometime in October.
- As with previous Raids, Leviathan is one of the few sources of gear that can take you to max Power level, so it's worth replaying each week in order to level your character.
- As well as high gear levels, it's also the source of exclusive loot, such as shaders, weapons and armour.
- Like other modes in Destiny 2, the Raid features several Challanges to complete, one of which is exploring the Labyrinth underbelly of the Leviathan for all kinds of optional secrets outside the core progression of the Raid itself. While previous Raids has hidden chests and other secrets, the level of optional areas here seems unprecedented.
- Any Keys earned must be spent that week before the weekly reset as they will disappear - so be sure to get exploring the Underbelly before Tuesday.
- Upon the first team completing the Raid, Bungie unlocked a Leviathan-set Crucible map for players to fight on.
What you need to know about Destiny 2 Leviathan raid checkpoints and checkpoints
This particular section contains spoilers for the layout and progression of the Leviathan Raid, so read the next few paragraphs at your own risk.
The Leviathan Raid works a little differently compared to other Raids. Starting on the 'Embarkment' - or outside of the ship - you must progress into the main Castellum room with Standard Bearers.
Once you do this encounter, a door will open to the Royal Pools. However once that is complete, you must then come back to this first Embarkment area and do the same process on a different door - essentially acting as a hub to each new challenge.
If you quit out to a social space, while the game will technically keep your progress, you will be dropped right at the very start of the Raid, and have to complete this first Embarkment door opening sequence again to get back to where you were.
This means if you left before finishing the Bathing Pools, you must do the first section again - a little frustrating, but once you figure out how it works, you can blast through it in less than ten minutes.
Alternatively, you can unlock the underbelly of the Leviathan in order to find a connected network that can take you to each Raid room via alternate means.
The directions there are confusing, so the following four YouTube videos can explain it better than we can. Remember that you need to find your way into the underbelly using levers first, and to get to each section, you need to have unlocked their checkpoints. So if you haven't unlocked the Pleasure Gardens objective, you cannot get there - you will simply be greeted with a locked door until you do so.
Royal Pools shortcut:
Pleasure Gardens shortcut:
Throne and final boss shortcut:
Thanks to the Destiny subreddit for bringing the above to our attention.
The other benefit of this checkpoint structure that boots you back to the start is it allows you to explore the Labyrinth underbelly of the Leviathan for all kinds of secrets, including loot chests.