Destiny's Thorn finally comes to the sequel after not one but two appearances in the original game.
The Exotic Hand Cannon is arguably the most divisive weapon in the game's history, thanks to its powerful perk that causes damage to your opponents over time - which came in handy for competitive Crucible matches.
Thorn will be available as part of the Season of the Drifter - part of the second wave of Destiny 2's Forsaken DLC - for those who own the game's Annual Pass.
As long as you have that, you can get started - though you'll need to find the Thorn quest start location first.
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How to get Thorn in Destiny 2 in brief
In brief, the Destiny 2 Thorn quest steps are as follows:
- Start the Thorn quest by finding the camp in the Salt Mines
- Visit Banshee-44 in the Tower
- Complete destination bounties on Io, defeat Warlocks in Crucible matches, or complete Nightfalls
- Complete destination bounties on Titan, defeat Titans in Crucible matches, or complete Blind Well runs
- Complete destination bounties on Mars, defeat Hunters in Crucible matches, or complete Escalation Protocol waves
- Defeat Guardians in the Crucible using Void weapons or Hand Cannons
- Visit Tyra Karn at the Farm
- Complete a special version of the Savathun's Song strike
It should be noted this has nothing to do with the Stand with the Drifter or Vanguard Allegiance quest - though there are hints of where to find the Thorn start location by doing it. It's not required though, so feel free to get started!
Thanks to cbgray on YouTube for helping flesh out the above steps:
Thorn quest start location in the Salt Mines
Interestingly, you have to go to a specific location within one of Destiny 2's worlds to get started with the Thorn quest.
That Thorn quest start location is the Salt Mines, on the EDZ. To get there, first head to the Trostland fast travel point - it's the one in front of the church.
Head past the church and you'll find a pathway at the other side, with huge banners above it.
After going through the passage way, you'll end up at an open area, with the Salt Mines appearing on the screen.
Proceed on to the tunnel at the far end, with the sign saying 'Salzwerk' above it.
Head inside, and you'll come to an area with enemies. At the far side is an orange and gray tank.
Stand next to it, and you'll have to option to Transmat.
You'll then end up in a new location. Head straight ahead up the path, passing a glowing gate to your right.
Soon the path will seemingly end. However, if you stand on the left side of the road, and look a little up, you'll see a glowing light in the rock above.
You can jump up through here to progress, taking you to a camp site. Explore the left side of the debris to find the prompt 'Sift through the ashes'.
You'll then receive the 'A Melted Hunk of Metal' quest step.
Destiny 2 Forsaken's second DLC has arrived, bringing new Exotics for Season of the Drifter, and Destiny 2 level cap to reach and soon, the return of Thorn quest steps as well as the Allegiance with Drifter or Vanguard quest steps. As always, Forsaken activities are still worth checking out - including this week's Ascendant Challenge and Blind Well and Oracle Engine Offering activities. There's also the likes of the Ace of Spades, the Chaperone and Malfeasance to unlock.
How to complete the Destiny 2 Thorn quest in detail
With the 'A Melted Hunk of Metal' collected, visit Banshee-44 in the Tower to get the first step - collecting Hadronic Essence by completing destination bounties on Io, defeating Warlocks in Crucible matches, or completing Nightfalls
Destination bounties require you to visit Io's vendor, Asher Mir, while completing Nightfalls will progress this step faster than the rest. At least you have a range of options to choose from based on your tastes.
The second step is very similar - collecting Plasteel Plating by completing destination bounties on Titan, defeating Titans in Crucible matches, or completing Blind Well runs.
You'll want to visit Sloane on Titan for those Bounties, and like previously, Blind Well runs increase your progress faster than anything else - particularly useful since Blind Well is matchmade.
The third step runs along the same theme - completing destination bounties on Mars, defeating Hunters in Crucible matches, or completing Escalation Protocol waves.
Again, Ana Bray is who you need to visit for Bounties, and Escalation Proctocol waves will progress you faster than the other activities on this list.
When those are done, it's time to visit the Crucible and defeat Guardians using Void weapons or Hand Cannons. You can double up by using a Void Hand Cannon, and there's a bonus for playing in a Competitive playlist - which includes Iron Banner, when that rolls around.
Almost done. Next, visit the Farm (remember that? If you don't, you can access it via the EDZ on the planetary map screen) and speak to Tyra Karn, who will give you the final quest step - complete a special version of the Savathun's Song strike named The Chasm of Screams.
As always with missions like these in Exotic quests, it's not matchmade, so playing with friends is very recommended - though you can do it solo, as Esoterickk on YouTube shows below:
Once that's done, the Thorn is yours. Congratulations!
Datamines (via light.gg) tells us two of Thorn's perks. The first is Mark of the Devourer, which rounds deal damage over time, as with the original Thorn, and drops Remnants. Soul Devourer, meanwhile, will see Mark of the Devourer increase in damage and partially refill the magazine each time you pick up these Remnants.
How you unlocked Thorn in Destiny's Rise of Iron
The path to getting your hands on Thorn a second time in the original Destiny (Year 1 weapons were Light level locked, so many were re-released at higher levels in Years 2 and 3) was a blend of killing Fallen, running Strikes and spending plenty of time in the Crucible.
With the first Destiny also still live, you can still follow these steps to unlock it if you are playing Rise of Iron:
- Redeem specific Bounties until the Quest appears
- Run the Wretched Eye Strike
- Kill Fallen in the Plaguelands
- Kill players in Crucible with Void damage
- Consume 5 Motes of Light to 'cleanse' the weapon
- Use a Skeleton Key at the end of The Abomination Heist Strike
The first - and most unpredictable part - is actually starting the A Light in the Dark Quest itself. Similar to Thorn back in vanilla Destiny, the Quest will begin at random when you complete a Iron Lord Bounty from Iron Tower vendor Shiro-4. There's also a report that it'll drop from a Weekly Crucible Bounty, too, but those are harder to come by.
The drop rate for this Quest isn't clear; even after clearing a fortnight's worth of Bounties from Shiro-4 (so eight in total) it had yet to unlock for us, and there's nothing much more you can do aside from picking up his Bounties, heading to The Plaguelands and handing them in when completed, so get used to running Patrol Missions and teaming up with others in Archon's Forge until it finally drops.
When it eventually unlocks, the first proper Quest step in A Light in the Dark is running The Wretched Eye, which is Rise of Iron's sole new Strike. You can do this on any difficulty, and won't take you 20 minutes to complete it. (Remember to pick up a few Dormant SIVA Clusters you're missing while you're at it.)
After that is Harvest of the Lesser where you kill Fallen in the Plaguelands. It apparently ranges at around the 500 range, which is no small figure. Thankfully Fallen are pretty much everywhere in Patrol, and might be worth doing this over a handful of days while doing other Bounties and Quests to tick few boxes off at the same time.
After that, you have to do the Feast Upon the Light stage by venturing to the Crucible and take down other players with Void damage. This is a percentage-based objective, and according to the Destiny sub-Reddit, you need to take down 125 players. This covers both Void weapons and Void sub-classes, of which you should hopefully have plenty of now; if you're struggling, remember that Light level doesn't count in the Crucible, so Year 1 gear will do just fine (Word of Crota will help here, if you have it!).
Apparently dying doesn't impact the progress of this stage, nor which playlist you use (though Private Matches are a no go) so play with whatever you're most comfortable with, ideally also running Daily or Weekly Crucible Bounties that, again, makes the effort much more worthwhile, and it might be a good opportunity to complete the new Supremacy Questline if you've yet to finish it too. Ultimately, killing over 100 players can be a long step, depending on your ability, so do whatever it takes to make it enjoyable.
The second-to-last stage has you 'cleanse' the weapon with Motes of Light. You just need five of these to do the trick, so pop into your inventory and redeem them. If you have run out, then keep playing until you level up, or decrypt Engrams, to get the amount you need.
Finally, in another nod to the original Thorn Quest, the Where It Began step has you run The Abomination Heist (also known as the revamped, level 320 version of The Summoning Pits) and use a Skeleton Key on the chest at the end when the boss dies. Our Skeleton Key and Strike-specific loot page gives you details on where to get the consumable, but chances are you'll have one already from completing the 'None are Perfect' Quest. Remember you can choose this Strike from the Director.
Once you've done that, the Year 3 Thorn will drop! It's a lot easier to get than the Year 1 variant, but unlike the Year 1 version that's gathering dust in your Vault, you can boost the Light level of this one up to the new cap through Infusing, making it a much more attractive prospect than the original.