Destiny 2's transmog system is one of the most anticipated features coming to the game.
Transmog - short for 'transmogrification', and also known as 'tmog' by the community - is a term used in online games such as MMOs to change the appearance of an armour piece to another.
The concept was first introduced to Destiny 2 in 2019 alongside the arrival of the 'Armour 2.0' revamp with the Shadowkeep expansion as part of Universal Ornaments, allowing you to adopt the appearance to only a select few cosmetics.
Developer Bungie rolled out this feature in full with the Armor Synthesis system as part of the Season of the Splicer, allowing you to fully customise your appearance. But in a classic Destiny fashion, it isn't as simple as it sounds.
On this page:
- What is transmog in Destiny 2?
- How Destiny 2's Armor Synthesis 'transmog' system works
- How to unlock Armor Synthesis in Destiny 2
- How to make your first armor ornament in Tying it All Together explained
- Destiny 2 transmog cost, Armor Synthesis cap and other restrictions explained
- Destiny 2's Shaders changes explained
- How Universal Ornaments worked previously in Destiny 2
What is transmog in Destiny 2?
Armor Synthesis, which is the official name of Destiny 2's transmog system, allows players to change the appearance of their equipped armour to another, without sacrificing stats, perks and other unique traits.
Unlike the past Universal Ornaments system, which only allows you to change armour to select cosmetic appearances from Eververse and events, this lets you to adopt the appearance of any armour you have collected.
For example, you have a Raid armour set you really like to use for its stats. But, there's a Trials set you prefer to appearance of, the Armor Synthesis system allows you to keep the Raid armour equipped, but make it look like the Trials set.
How Destiny 2's Armor Synthesis 'transmog' system works
So, what does the new transmog system entails? Well, the step-by-step provided by Bungie is a tad confusing, to say the least, but we'll use it as a foundation to explain the basics to get you started:
- First, you'll have to defeat enemies to earn Synthstrand
- Once you have collected at least 150 Synthstrand, you can take on bounties to earn Synthcord
- Synthcord can be used at the Loom in the Tower to obtain Synthweave
- Lastly, Synthweave is used to convert an unlocked Legendary or lower armor appearance from Collections into a Universal Armor Ornament.
Players can also purchase Synthweave Templates from Eververse through the Guardian Appearance screen, with the option to buy a single Synthweave or a five-piece bundle, essentially bypassing the above process.
A single template will cost you 300 Silver, whilst the template bundle costs 1000 Silver. For reference, 500 Silver costs £4.79 in the UK. In order to avoid mistaken purchases, it's confirmed templates can be applied to any class.
How to unlock Armor Synthesis in Destiny 2
Bear in mind the above won't happen automatically, and instead you'll have to go through a rather simple mission first to unlock transmog.
Start by visiting Banshee-44, who's located just in the way to the Bazaar if you land on the Tower's courtyard. He will give you the 'Armor Synthesis Introduction' questline. Accept it and let's get on moving. Say hello to Ada-1 in her brand new (and cool-looking) base, and she will task you with retrieving research data from Europa's surface.
Thankfully the exact location is signalised on the map. Head west towards the Bray Exoscience area, and then all the way downstairs. You will stumble upon a couple small enemies, so nothing to worry about. Push through to the terminal to interact with it, and you'll obtain the first quest item.
Then, you'll have to find a processing unit, which happens to be just on the other side of the room. Sprint towards there, open any of the doors available, and you'll see it laying on a table.
Once you've grabbed it, Ada-1 will tell you to report back to her at the Tower. After a brief conversation, you'll have to interact with the Loom, which is that massive device just behind Ada-1. Lastly, talk to her again to finish the quest - and start a new one, Tying it All Together.
How to make your first ornament in Tying it All Together explained
Once you're done with the introductory tasks, Ada-1 will grant the Tying It All Together quest. Just by accepting it you'll receive one Synthweave per class for free, which is used to create and apply Ornaments.
In order to make your first ornament, head towards the Appearance Customization screen (found by pressing 'S' on the keyboard or Down on the D-pad from the gear screen, then selecting the top right icon).
Select any Legendary equipment, and a list of ornaments will be displayed. Take your pick, which will cost 1 Synthweave, and unlock it. (Spending a Synthweave is required to complete the Tying it All Together quest step.) In case you were wondering, yes, you can also preview multiple pieces before making your choice.
From there, all that's left is to equip your new ornament - and to start accumulating Synthstrand, Synthcord and Synthweave for more armor changes.
Destiny 2 transmog cost, Armor Synthesis cap and other restrictions explained
Whilst the previous section covers the basics, there are a number of caveats and exceptions to keep in mind:
- If you happen to pick the wrong bounty, some - but not all - Synthstrand will be refunded if you choose to abandon it, so make sure to keep this in mind so your efforts don't end up going to waste.
- There is also a limitation on how many Synthweave players may gain per Season. Under the current cap, players can earn up to ten Synthweave per class. That being said, Season of the Splicer (which runs from May 11th to August 24th) allows players to earn ten additional Synthweave per class, so a total of 20. These can be used to convert four full sets of ornaments, or 20 individual items.
- Now, these Universal Ornaments obtained from Armor Synthesis may only be applied to Legendary armor pieces. As a result, the appearance of Exotic armor pieces can't be altered. Bungie stated this decision comes from wanting for "players to quickly identify and understand what Exotic perks a player may have in all activities."
- Another exception is some Year-1 armor ornaments won't be present due to "technical constraints," but solutions are in process for a "future Season". You can find the full list of what's missing below:
- Year 1 Vanguard sets
- Year 1 Crucible sets
- Year 1 Iron Banner sets
- Year 1 Faction Rally sets
- Year 1 Prestige Raid sets
- Year 1 Trials of the Nine sets
- Ornaments can still be applied if the base armor piece is from an activity that the ornament originates. For example, players who own Crucible ornaments from Curse of Osiris can apply them to Crucible armor pieces at no cost. However, these ornaments can't be applied to Seasonal armor.
- If you were wondering about armor appearances from 2018 and 2019 Solstice of Heroes events, these will be available for Armor Synthesis. That being said, glows won't be supported. If you happen to have Solstice 2020 armor glows, you will retain the white armor glow if it was earned during the event. Subclass based glows will continue to function on their Universal Ornaments as well.
Destiny 2's Shaders changes explained
If you're a fan of shaders, these will undergo their own set of changes as well. Up until now, Shaders are one-time use consumables that must be repurchased from Collections, in exchange of Glimmer of Legendary Shards.
Starting in Season of the Splicer, all unlocked shaders will be visible on the Guardian Appearance screen when hovering over the shader bucket. As of update 188.8.131.52, there is no Glimmer cost to applying shaders (previously it was 500 per gear piece, or 2500 as a set).
You will still be able to earn shaders through various activities in Destiny 2, or purchase them using Bright Dust or Silver from Eververse. With this new update, the cost will bump from 40 Bright Dust to 300 Bright Dust, so keep that in mind. It will continue to be a one-time purchase for the time being, and you'll find it in the Guardian Appearance menu when unlocked.
In celebration of the Armor Synthesis debut, an Eververse bundle will be available for Glimmer instead of Silver, if you fancy giving the system a go.
How Universal Ornaments worked previously in Destiny 2
Previously, if you wanted to change your armour ahead of the full transmog system, this was only possible in some cases using Universal Ornaments.
Introduced with Shadowkeep and the 'Armour 2.0' revamp, it allowed Armor pieces released from Year 3 onwards to equip Universal Ornaments, a type of cosmetic which changed their appearance.
Universal Ornaments were mostly sourced from the Eververse and events, and didn't apply to armour you might earned in-game. An additional exception were Exotics, the appearance of which cannot be changed.
To equip a Universal Ornament, on the perks screen, you would scroll down where to it says 'Appearance' below.
From here, you could make cosmetic changes - including equip Universal Ornaments, Shaders and if supported, Glows.