Destiny 2's Calus boss fight is the last part of the Leviathan Raid, after you've completed the three other rooms inside the Raid.
This is your typical big boss finale that you might expect from a Destiny raid, with an oversized enemy, different dimensions and tight damage phases to dish out attacks in, before the cycle repeats itself.
If you want to read more about the Raid, our Destiny 2 Leviathan guide and walkthrough can be help with every main encounter, including the Castellum, Royal Pools, Pleasure Gardens, Gauntlet and final boss, as well as how to access and explore the Labyrinth underbelly.
Note if you are playing on Prestige difficulty, there are additional mechanics to consider, which our Prestige changes and differences page explains.
Emperor Calus boss fight explained
Here is a summary of the steps required to beat the Emperor Calus:
- Kill enemies in the Throne room until Councillors appear on plates
- All players are teleported into a different dimension. Use the orbs so three stay and three return to the Throne
- The three in the dimension must call out the symbols they individually see
- The one symbol not called out is the Councillor must take out in the Throne team
- Repeat until the dimension team reappears back in the Throne
- Damage phase by all standing on plates one by one, moving on when Calus attacks
- After all four plates done and the damage phase ends, the steps repeat
It's also worth noting there is an additional Challenge Mode to complete, assuming it is active that week.
Detailed breakdown of the Emperor Calus encounter:
When you begin in the Throne, you must clear waves of enemies appearing in the arena and avoid fire coming down from the Emperor above. Use this opportunity to get enough ammo for the damage phases in later rounds.
At a certain point, Councillors will appear in orbs above four plates dotted around the arena. Ignore them, as they are needed for the next part of the Raid, and killing any of them will make life difficult for those staying in the Throne room.
All six players will then be teleported to a different dimension, facing off against a giant, otherworldly version of Calus. There are three orbs ahead, so three players must grab them to return back to the Throne, while the other three stay.
Those staying in the dimension will notice symbols appearing on the head of Calus similar to what we've seen so far - Axes, a Goblet, a Beast or a Sun. However, each player will see something different, and must call out what they see to the Throne team.
Whichever symbol is not called out is what's important here, and that's the Councillor those in the Throne room must defeat. Here is gameplay from Gladd showing dimensional gameplay on how this works:
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If done correctly, a 'wall' will appear ahead for those in the dimension, allowing them to leap forward and repeat the process. It's important to note you must not jump at any other time, otherwise you'll be sucked into Calus and die. Furthermore, there are ramps that form out of the broken tiles (and in later rounds, holes in the ground) that can also stop you from reaching the wall, so always travel along a flat surface from one wall to the next.
While this is happening, those in the Throne room must continue to take out enemies, while those in the dimension must clear out the Psions as well as bubble Councillors that spawn in a row ahead - both of which can either throw grenades to bounce them over the wall, or wipe the team, and so must be killed as fast as possible. Dividing the team into even positions along the wall could help here.
This then repeats several times, calling out symbols while enemies on both sides need defeating. Here is footage of the world's first team to take down the Raid, The Legend Himself, in the Throne room while this is happening:
Eventually, after four walls, the Emperor will fire dark heads at the dimensional players, which must be destroyed. The more they shoot, the more of a modifier will build up for the damage phase. It helps to have the Warlock Stormcaller's Arc Soul active, which gives nearby players floating sentries to attack foes, helping you increase the multiplier faster.
At the same time, the team back in the Throne room must shoot down a shield Calus is generating, while their health ticks down. There must be a balance between keeping the shield going long enough so you gain a high multiplier and not dying. There is a hidden time limit, too, so cap it at around 60 and take it down. Having a Warlock healing rift will help those in the Throne room stay alive, by the way.
After this, three orbs will allow the dimension players to return to the Throne, where the damage phase will begin.
All six players must stand on one of the four plates at once and fire upon Calus. When he starts to attack you - signified by raising his arm in the air, or in later rounds, aiming a weapon - leap to the next one and continue going. Use Supers, Heavy ammo and grenades, as well as regular armaments, to whittle down his health.
Once all four plates have been used up, the whole process will repeat itself. At each third of his health his animations will change, and his weak spot emerging on his stomach, so be wary of this as you go.
When his health is fully depleted, in typical Destiny fashion there is a final damage phase, where you must deal as much damage as soon as you can to finish him off for good. It's worth saving some ammo for this to ensure your hard work isn't wasted.
Altogether it's a challenging but familiar Raid boss encounter, requiring careful communication during the dimensional phase to ensure the correct Councillor is taken down based on what's being called out (we recommend assigning an order to how they are read out to the Throne team) as well as primed use of Super and Heavy attacks during the damage phases.
Once done, you'll be given a bevvy of items and loot for completing the boss and the Raid as a whole. Congratulations! Now head to the Tower and seek out Benedict 99-40 - a new vendor situated underneath Hawthorne - where you can trade those Calus Tokens for Raid-specific gear.