Destiny 2 Nightfall Strikes are a special, ultra-hard version of the Strike mode, which rotate to a new Strike from the roster each week.
They're no easy feat, and require a fair bit of work just to unlock in the first place - but once you do, the rewards can be well worth the effort, and that's leaving the sheer sense of satisfaction aside.
With that in mind, here we'll be explaining how to unlock Nightfalls, along with an outline of the upcoming Nightfall schedule, and our best Nightfall tips for completing them so far.
How to unlock Nightfall in Destiny 2
Before you unlock Nightfall Strikes, you first need to unlock Strikes, defeat two of them, and reach Power level 230.
So, first you need to complete the story mission 'Fury', and speak to Zavala, unlocking Strikes as an option from your Director.
That unlocks the Strikes milestone, which requires you to complete any two Strikes from the roster - you can do that just by selecting it from the Director and diving into the playlist.
After that, check back in with Zavala for your reward, and the Nightfall milestone will appear in your milestones tab. From there, you'll see that you need to reach Power level 230 or above.
Once you hit that Power level, go talk to Zavala again, and he'll unlock Nightfalls for you. Access them from the Strikes section of the in-game Director, and you're ready to go - or at least, you are in theory - we have a tips for you below before you dive in!
What are Nightfalls? Destiny 2 Nightfalls, Prestige Nightfalls, and Nightfall rewards explained
Nightfalls, as we mentioned above, are essentially a hardcore version of a specific Strike.
Each week, a new Strike from the roster will be picked out to be the Nightfall for the next seven days, adding considerably tougher versions enemies and a greater number of high-ranking foes like Captains and shielded enemies, too.
Along with that general spike in difficulty, Nightfalls also now have two new features that they didn't back in Destiny 1: a timer, which ticks down from fifteen minutes and means you fail when it hits zero; and a rotating modifier. Each week, there's a new Modifier that, used correctly, could make things significantly easier for you, and a new method, or 'Timewarp', for helping add extra time back on to the ticking clock.
Nightfall Strikes offer some of the most highly rated rewards in game. Each week there will be a Milestone tasking you with completing the latest Nightfall, which grants you 'Powerful Gear', otherwise known as a Luminous Engram, with a high chance of containing Exotic and Legendary loot.
Otherwise, Nightfalls and Prestige Nightfalls award both blue and purple - Rare and Legendary - loot as a standard reward. You can read more on those types of Engram, including the max Power level they can grant you, in our guide to raising your Destiny 2 power level, but in brief that combination of Luminous, Legendary, and Rare Engram rewards means Nightfalls are one of a handful of end-game activities that can let you continue to raise your Power into the upper 200s, and beyond.
Prestige Nightfalls explained:
Prestige Nightfalls are essentially a hard mode on top of the hard mode that is tackling a Nightfall Strike as it is!
Instead of a recommended 240 Power, Prestige Nightfalls recommend you have at least 300 Power (if you're struggling to get there, take a look at our Destiny 2 Power Level grinding guide), whilst there are also a couple of other conditions: the time pressure is greater, enemies are even tougher, and you also can't change your loadout once the Nightfall starts, meaning careful planning is required.
If you're looking into taking these on, then good luck. And if you manage to finish it, you get a special Aura until the next reset.
WE COMPLETED THE PRESTIGE NIGHTFALL!!!! pic.twitter.com/R6eKagPaVm— Gigz (@T1gigz) September 9, 2017
Destiny 2 Nightfall: Exodus Crash tips - Anomalies, Attrition, and how to beat the final boss
This week's Nightfall is the Exodus Crash Strike, with the Anomalies timewarp and Attrition modifier. Before we dive into specific Exodus Crash tips, here's a quick explainer for those modes:
- Modifier: Attrition - Health and shield regeneration is severely hampered. Defeat enemies to create 'wells of Light' that can restore health and charge your Super. These act (and appear) in a very similar way to Orbs of Light that are generated from using Supers/
- Timewarp: Anomalies - Anomalies are clusters of energy that, when shot, will increase your timer. They tend to appear tucked around the sides of objects, low down off the edges of walkable areas, and high up in the corners. Get into a habbit of looking behind you in each area, as they like to tuck them away in places you'd miss withou turning back, and try to learn their placements as you do a run.
Nightfall: Exodus Crash tips
With those out of the way, here's our advice for how to work your way through this week's tricky Nightfall:
- Grab every Anomaly you can. There are two right at your spawn - turn around and look down the waterfall for one, and head into a small tunnel directly to your left as you spawn, and look left in the cavern at the end of it, for another. As you play, you'll learn the position of these, but generally follow the rule of getting every single one you find (the dark room with a lot of platforming in, just before the boss, has several in particular). We got to a point where we frequently had 9-10 minutes when we reached the final boss, and you'll need it!
- Stick as a three. Whilst in other Nightfalls it can be beneficial to have one or two sprint ahead to a checkpoint and have others spawn onto them, that's a little harder in Exodus Crash. The Attrition modifier makes it very easy to get sniped - even when on a Pike or Sparrow - and having three of you together will help spread enemy focus rather than keep one player locked down.
- A Titan-Warlock combo is very helpful for defending your Ghost. When your Ghost is doing some hacking and you're tasked with defending it, a combination of a big Titan shield and a Warlock healing Rift can do wonders for keeping you sustained and protected. Focus on killing the Shanks that come at you first, as they'll electrify the ground around your Ghost if they reach it, stopping you from sprinting or jumping and causing damage over time, which is a nightmare.
- Use the Pikes provided, especially at the Spider walker. There are lots of Pike and Sparrow moments in this Nightfall, but in particular you should grab the Heavy Pikes at the start of the area where you need to kill the Spider tank. Three of them will be there ready for the taking just on your left as you approach it, and they are significantly faster at taking it down than regular weapons. With proper focus, you can kill it in just one DPS phase (check out our Public Events guide's section on Spider Walkers if you need more tips for those in particular).
Nightfall: Exodus Crash boss tips
The boss fight is predictably tricky in this Nightfall, but here are some tips that should help you through it:
- Aim for at least nine minutes for the boss fight. It sounds like a lot, but with him frequently disappearing for long stretches of time, and the general difficulty of the battle, you'll need every one. Remember to get those anomalies!
- Focus down Shanks at all times. Shanks are what electrify the floors, drastically decreasing your mobility and often trapping you in a cycle of spawning and dying in the same spot. Back away from them and kill at range before you get locked down - if one of your Fireteam has a strong long-range weapon, it can be smart to set them purely on controlling the waves of Shanks as they spawn while the others focus the boss.
- Killing shanks reveals the boss. If he disappears, wipe out every Shank you see until he comes back, and when they're down split up and roam the map until one of you spots him.
- Focus down the Servitors when they spawn. It's worth using a Super on them if it means quickly bursting them down. Left out of control they'll make troublesome enemies invulnerable, which can be an absolute nightmare given the environmental hazards in play too.
- There is a cheese spot, but it doesn't always work. To the left as you enter the room, there's a stack of crates covered in blue tarpaulin, with a blue ledge behind it. It's a perfect spot to use as cover to duck behind, and the boss will struggle to hit you in melee from there. Just watch out for other enemies though, as they can still get you!
- Finally, it seems as though you can knock Thaviks off the edge and kill him in one hit, if you target him while he's on the walls and near-invisible. We haven't been able to repeat it, but below is a video of the trick in action!
Destiny 2 Nightfall schedule, Nightfall modifiers and Nightfall timewarps explained
The Nightfall Strike changes each week after the Tuesday reset, and with it comes a change in the various modifiers and timewarps that help or hinder your progress!
So far Bungie has only provided details of it's first month of content. Here's how it'll line up in terms of Nightfalls:
|Week||Date Starting||Nightfall Strike||Modifier||Timewarp|
|1||5th September||The Arms Dealer||Prism||Killing Time|
|2||12th September||The Inverted Spire||Prism*||Rings|
|3||19th September||Exodus Crash||Attrition||Anomalies|
|4||26th September||The Pyramidion||Torrent||Zero Hour|
*The second Modifier, during week 2's Inverted Spire Nightfall, was set to be Momentum, but due to a bug it's been changed back to Prism for a second week.
- Prism - Prism is a new way of using 'burns', which back in the first Destiny were a fixed damage type - Arc, Void, or Solar - which did both additional damage to enemies and caused you to take additional damage of that type. Now, under Prism, they rotate periodically during the Nightfall Strike, and only display the currently active Burn for a few seconds in the bottom left of the screen. Mastering the use of that damage boost will play a big part in your success!
- Attrition - Health and shield regeneration is severely hampered. Defeat enemies to create 'wells of Light' that can restore health and charge your Super. These act (and appear) in a very similar way to Orbs of Light that are generated from using Supers/
- Momentum - More info soon!
- Torrent - More info soon!
- Killing Time - Killing enemies will add a small amount of time back onto the countdown timer, giving you a greater chance of completing the Nightfall or hitting any time-based Nightfall challenges. If you're finding yourself consistently low on time and can't get through the Strike any faster, try quickly killing a few more enemies with things like grenades and supers on your way!
- Rings - Jumping through the glowing rings you find along your path adds 30 seconds onto your timer. The way we understand it, more rings will spawn the more you jump through, so making this a focus could mean completing the Nightfall in plenty of time!
- Anomalies - Anomalies are clusters of energy that, when shot, will increase your timer. They tend to appear tucked around the sides of objects, low down off the edges of walkable areas, and high up in the corners. Get into a habbit of looking behind you in each area, as they like to tuck them away in places you'd miss withou turning back, and try to learn their placements as you do a run.
- Zero Hour - More info soon!
Want more on Destiny 2? Our Destiny 2 guide tells you everything else there is to know on the game so far, including Lost Sectors, Treasure Map locations, Heroic Public Events, and Flashpoints on EDZ, Titan, Nessus and Io. 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 join Clans and how Mods, Infusion, and Engrams and 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.
Other Destiny 2 Nightfall tips
Once you've managed to unlock the Nightfall game mode, you might not want to jump in right away. As we've already said several times, it's tough!
There are, however, several tips you can bear in mind to help you get through the Nightfall smoothly. Here's what we learned so far.
Destiny 2 Nightfall tips:
- The recommended Power level is upwards of 240, not 230! - The first thing to be aware of is the fact that, although Nightfalls unlock at Power level 230, really that's too low. You'll find your weapons barely even tickling the most basic of enemies, even with headshots, and standard, low level foes will kill you in a single shot. Aim for 240 across your entire Fireteam as a minimum, but really 250 or above will be where things start to feel a little more sane. Week three's Nightfall was recommending 275 Power once we loaded into it, so the higher the better! Our Destiny 2 Power level-raising guide can help!
- Pay attention to the modifiers - For Prism, for example, you'll need Arc, Solar, and Void damage available to every member of your Fireteam if you want to make it through, because a well timed super or heavy weapon spam on a boss, with the right Burn active, can make all the difference, shredding health from something that would normally take several valuable minutes to complete. Our recommendation is that you have a subclass of each damage type for each memeber of the Fireteam, and that each of you has the other two damage types equipped to their Heavy and Energy weapon slots, too. As these change each week, you'll need to learn to adapt!
- Take weapons with you that you know how to use well - The first time we tried a Nightfall strike, we took in a high-powered Sidearm as our primary weapon, and the constant-beam Coldheart as our Energy weapon. It was a bad mistake! The lack of range, variety, and ability to hit multiple enemies quickly, as well as our lack of experience with the two weapons was a major issue. Aim to have flexible, easy to use, and familiar weapons with you. It may even be worth going for slightly lower powered weapons that you know better, but either way it's worth the extra time grinding for them!
Watch our walkthrough of the game's second Nightfall with Prism and Ring Timewarp modifiers:
- You can sprint past large areas of the Nightfall without fighting - Don't think that you need to stay and clear out every enemy in a single area. Whilst some will require you to wait in a densely packed area and survive until a certain event is triggered, you'll rarely need to do anything but kill specific enemies or fulfull a specific objective before you can move on. As soon as that waypoint moves forward, get shift on! Oh, and there are areas where you can equip a Sparrow, too. Learn where they are and abuse them where you can!
- You'll struggle without using the timewarp - The timer ticks down much faster than you may think, and wasting time can see things cut short before you even make it half way through. When you do have to sit still in a hostile area, do your best to think about the timewarps. Are you missing Rings, or skipping easier to kill enemies? Making the most of those time bonuses can make all the difference.
- Finally, don't be afraid to fail! - Almost nobody completes the Nightfall Strikes on the first try. Failure is part of it, and is hugely helpful in teaching you lessons about how to progress. Learn which parts you can run through, where you need to fight, and what you need to prioritise at each step. As long as you're paying attention, you'll see yourself progress a little further with each run!