You can find loot chests dotted all around each of the four planets that shipped with Destiny, but most of the ones you locate in caves or on raised platforms are randomly placed and you are unlikely to find much in them besides basic upgrade materials.
However, each planet is also home to five gold loot chests containing superior rewards. The contents of these are randomly chosen as well, but they are usually weapon or armour pieces, which is a better payoff, and if you hunt down all five chests then the fifth will be something really nice, like a Strange Coin.
You've probably found a couple of these chests by chance anyway, but where are the others? Our guide will help you find every gold loot chest and hopefully make it easy to remember which ones you've already discovered, because we're nice like that.
Now go forth and loot!
Earth gold chest locations
Start a Patrol on Earth and you will spawn on the Steppes facing towards the path leading to the Mothyards. You want to go in the opposite direction, so do a 180 and head towards the orange building at the back of the Steppes area with the holes blasted in the side and a stairway leading into it. Go inside and the gold chest is in the next room sitting on a desk. You can't miss it - in fact, you probably found it during the Restoration story mission, which takes you through here.
On the path from Mothyards to Forgotten Shore
Head forwards from the Steppes' Patrol spawn point into the Mothyards - the place with all the big cargo plane husks - and go to the back right of the area, where you should find the canyon route that follows a river towards the Forgotten Shore. After you've gone round a couple bends, keep a look out for a cave halfway up the left side of the canyon with a slim trickle of water dripping down in front of it - the second gold loot chest is waiting for you inside.
Since you're on the way to the Forgotten Shore, you might as well pick up the third gold loot chest while you're there. This one is hiding away at the foot of the cliffs that lead up towards Skywatch - over to the left as you enter Forgotten Shore from the Mothyards. Don't head up the steep hill - instead, walk through the shallow water and hop along the rocks that hug the base of the cliff. Don't worry about drowning - as long as you stick to the lighter patches of water you can wade along happily. The gold loot chest is a few rocks along.
On the route from Mothyards to Skywatch
The next gold loot chest is another one you may have found on your own - it's in the room where you battle the first Hive Wizard. If you've lost your bearings, that room is in the complex of buildings that lead from the Mothyards to Skywatch. You should find the Hive and Fallen going at it in a big open room just before you reach Skywatch, and the gold loot chest is on the roof of the small chamber where a Fallen Captain and a few Vandals are holding fort. Clear out the enemies (or just ignore them and bounce on past) and boost up to the roof, then walk around to the back left of the structures there to locate the chest.
The Devils' Lair
The final gold loot chest on Earth is only accessible by running the Devils' Lair Strike, and unfortunately you need to go all the way to the final battle with Sepiks Prime to find it. As you enter the arena, go right and down the stairs - the final gold loot chest is located in the far corner beneath the walkways. Congratulations! You have found all the gold chests on Earth. Now make sure you finish the Strike - nobody likes it when someone retreats to orbit during a boss fight.
Moon gold chest locations
On the path from Archer's Line to the Hellmouth
Fire up a Moon Patrol and hop on your Sparrow, then take the mountain path that runs from Archer's Line to the Hellmouth. If you're unfamiliar with the area, from the spawn go up the hill, cross under the massive particle accelerator, turn left and go up the slope between the building and the mountain in the far corner of the area. Look out for some chunks of rock on the left as you make your way along this path and you will find the first gold chest tucked in among them.
The spiral path into the Hall of Wisdom
Most of the Moon's gold chests are located beneath the surface where it's easy to lose your bearings, but don't despair because it should still be simple to reach them. This one is probably the easiest. From the Patrol spawn, climb up the hill, cross under the accelerator, go through the dome structure up a small hill on your right, then go down through the big Hive entrance door that leads to the planet interior. There's a path here that spirals down into the dark around a central rocky pillar. At the foot of it is a pool of water. Walk through it and the chest is tucked behind a rock wall at the base of the pillar.
The World's Grave
The best way to get this gold chest is to take part in the story mission called The World's Grave. Fight your way to the end of the mission (it doesn't take too long) and you will find the gold chest in the final chamber - the one where your Ghost taps into a big cylindrical pillar while you fend off waves of Hive enemies. The gold chest is in the pool of water where the Thralls spawn - just go round to the right side and it's tucked in a crevice.
Temple of Crota
This gold chest is convenient to pick up during the Chamber of Night story mission or just out on Patrol and the approach is the same. You're heading down into the Temple of Crota, which is accessed through a pathway tucked away down the side of the Anchor of Light location on the surface. From the Patrol spawn, mount your Sparrow and zoom up the hill, go right and head to the far end of the Archer's Line area, follow the path on the left that goes to Anchor of Light, go straight ahead and take the path next to the big building with the Servitor buzzing around on a raised platform. The path leads to the Temple of Crota entrance. Go inside and head to the lowest level, which leads you into a chamber with a big spaceship suspended above a bottomless pit. There are lots of Hive around, so thin them out first, then look at the inner walls of the pit - you should see a platform there. Hop onto it and you will see another one lower down, then another one. The furthest is home to the next gold loot chest.
The Summoning Pits
Another gold chest hidden at the end of a Strike, this one is probably best to pick up at the end of the battle with Phogoth, the final boss. It's located on the lower platform at the far end of the arena where you fight him - in fact, you will probably see it anyway when you're cowering from all the Acolytes, Knights, Thralls and Wizards who arrive to protect him. And hey, be careful on that platform - it's where the Tomb Ships like to deposit reinforcements.
Venus gold chest locations
In the tunnel from Shattered Coast to Ishtar Academy
The first gold loot chest on Venus is pretty hard to miss during the first story mission, but it's cool if you missed it - we make no judgements here. Remember the concrete tunnel that leads from the Shattered Coast and emerges in the middle of the Ishtar Academy? The gold chest is sitting on a block of concrete behind a pillar pretty much in the main thoroughfare as you head through the tunnel.
This gold loot chest has been concealed rather more effectively. Campus 9 is the area where your Ghost sits in a round science building with a domed roof while you fend off waves of Vex enemies outside. That outside area has a lot of lovely vegetation, some running water and a few buildings with satellites and communication equipment dotted around them - and one of those buildings is hiding the chest. From where you first enter the area, you want the squat orange building farthest from you on the right, teetering on the cliff edge. There should be a walkway with a railing leading round the back of it. Follow this. When you run out of walkway, spin round and the gold loot chest is tucked in an alcove. Sneaky.
You need to head to Ishtar Commons to find this gold chest, which is in the N/Gen Branch building. Ishtar Commons can be reached by heading from the Patrol spawn point to the Shattered Coast, into the concrete tunnel leading into the Academy, then following the path until you reach the Commons. This area is being contested by Vex and Fallen and you want to head into the building over on the far right which is protected by Vex Hobgoblins. Once inside, after a few corridors the N/Gen Branch area opens out into a large room containing smaller buildings and a lot of Vex enemies. The building on the right in this large room has some office cubicles on the ground floor and the gold loot chest is sitting in one of these.
This gold chest and the next one can both be obtained during the Scourge of Winter story mission, where you track down the Fallen Kell known as Draksis. On your way through the caves controlled by the Fallen, you will take out a few of the Kell's Guard in a split-level room. Once they are all dead, you follow a path that takes you up around the top of the same room. Pause here and you should see some orange girders sticking out over the area you just fought in. Climb onto the last one you reach and you will see the golden loot chest perched on a rock that you can jump to with a well-timed mid-air boost.
The last of Venus's gold loot chests is located on the Fallen Ketch itself. It's a tough battle up the hill to gain access to the Ketch, but once you've taken out the Vandals - especially those annoying snipers - pause before heading into the belly of the beast and go to the opposite end of the platform instead. The final gold chest is on a lower ledge right at the front of the ship. Now go deal with Draksis.
Mars gold chest locations
Welcome to Mars! The easiest gold loot chest to locate here is in The Barrens, the area where you spawn during Patrols and at the outset of the first story mission, Exclusion Zone. In fact, the latter provides the best opportunity to grab it, because the area where it's located is abandoned at the point you first reach it. Go straight ahead and bear right down the hill from the spawn towards the Cabal structures - you want the dome just beyond the path the story mission wants you to follow. There are some crates stacked inside and the gold chest is sitting on top.
In the tunnel from The Barrens to The Hollows
There's a large tunnel over on the far side of The Barrens that leads into The Hollows. You've probably been down it on your Sparrow already. Head there now and at the final turn before you exit into The Hollows, jump off the bike and look at the ceiling. You should see a gap in the panelling up there that you can boost through. Nose around in the area you reach and you will find the next gold loot chest.
For this chest, you either want the Garden's Spire story mission, which leads you right into the Iron Line, or just go on Patrol and follow these directions. From the Patrol spawn, follow the road on the right, then take the road on the right behind the Cabal structures that leads into Scablands, go right when you get there and head through the huge Cabal gate and up the hill. This should bring you into Firebase Rubicon. Go left and then right through the base (you can ignore the Cabal) and down into the tunnel on the right side of the platform at the far end. This brings you to Rubicon Wastes, where there's a tower over on the right that you visit in the story mission. Go left instead and head down towards the structure with Interceptors parked inside it - little icons will show up to illustrate where they're positioned, giving you a bearing. On the left of it behind some rocks is the cave entrance to the Iron Line. Phew!
Head on through until you get to the massive door at the top of a ramp. You're going to need to do some jumping around, so clear the area and then hop up on the blue pipes a little way to the left of the big door. From here, boost-jump to the platform above the door. You now need to boost across to the platform on the other side of the door, which may take a few attempts - you can use the narrow ledges above the door as staging posts if you need to. Once you make it across, the gold chest is tucked away at the far end of the platform.
This one is a bit easier to locate. The Dust Palace is the skyscraper structure in The Hollows, which is accessible by heading down the big tunnel on the far left of The Barrens. (If you're looking for a story mission that naturally brings you to this gold chest, try The Buried City.) Go through the side entrance that leads you past a pair of Legionaries and down some stairs. Follow this route until you reach an open area with walkways at entrance level and sandy lower areas where Cabal patrol. Stick to the elevated path and on the far side you should see a door with a "3" on it. Go through there and the gold chest is behind a desk.
The final gold chest on Mars, if you've followed our guide at least, is accessible during the Rising Tide story mission - the one where you fight the Vex in an underground train depot. You can reach it on Patrol by going from The Barrens spawn point down the tunnel into The Hollows, through the next tunnel into The Buried City, then into the Freehold Station complex at the far end, through the pitch-black area, into the main station, and through the tunnel at the back into Tharsis Junction. It's here that you should see a bunch of train cars. On the opposite side of them along the back wall is a room with wire mesh running along one side of it behind three stacked crates. There's an opening in the mesh at the far end of the room, which should lead you to the final gold loot chest. Congratulations!