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 of only a select few cosmetics.
Bungie soon plans to roll this feature out to all armour pieces - at least, in theory - allowing you to fully customise your appearance.
On this page:
What we know about how Destiny 2's transmog system will work
The transmog system will allow players to change the appearance of their equipped armour to another, without sacrificing stats, perks and other unique traits.
Unlike the current Universal Ornaments system, which only allows you to change armour to select cosmetic appearances from Eververse and events, this should allow 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 transmog system will allow you to keep the Raid armour equipped, but make it look like the Trials set.
How exactly transmog will work in practice is unknown. In July 2020, when the feature was first announced, Bungie said it would "allow players to turn their Armor into Universal Ornaments". Whether it'll directly make armour into Universal Ornaments, or was compared to this system as a shorthand to describe how it'll work, is not clear.
Additionally, it mentioned players could "do this with in-game effort OR Silver" - suggesting it comes at a cost for items you wish to transmog. ("In-game effort" could be referring to Bright Dust, the 'soft' currency for cosmetics rewarded from completing certain Bounties and the Battle Pass in Year 4, for example.)
So for now, there are a few questions to be answered, but Bungie has been clear it is waiting until the system is fully designed before it talks about it openly.
Probably won't be talking too much about this until after Beyond Light. We don't currently have an ETA on when this will be available, but I can say that the team is in planning stages.— dmg04 (@A_dmg04) September 24, 2020
They're invested in creating a good experience here. We'll get you details when we can.
In the meantime, the good news is this you don't need to hang on to current armour for transmog to work, as the system will pull armour from Collections rather than those stored in your Vault. This was confirmed in October 2020, meaning you should be safe to clear armour out and retrieve the designs later:
Per @thislukesmith - You don't need to have armor pieces in your vault when Transmog goes live for them to be eligible. Collections based.— dmg04 (@A_dmg04) October 29, 2020
Free up some vault space.
This is assumedly without any caveats - meaning random rolls and pre-Armor 2.0 sets should be logged for you by Collections to freely delete, though if you're particularly worried about something possibly not making the transition, hang onto it just in case.
Destiny 2 transmog estimated release date explained
Upon the announcement of a full transmog system in July 2020, Bungie said "early development and is expected sometime during Year 4" - meaning we could expect it from November 2020 onwards, following the release of the Beyond Light expansion.
In October 2020, community manager dmg04 clarified this further on Twitter, saying it was planned for a "future season" - meaning it won't be here for the debut season of Year 4, so will arrive sometime after February 2021.
Year 4 has begun! Learn about new Beyond Light Exotics, including post-campaign quests for Salvation's Grip, The Lament andBorn in Darkness, plus how to reach the new Destiny 2 max level cap and how sunsetting works. There are a couple of new and returning areas in the game - here's how to track down Perdition, Bunker E15 and Concealed Void on Europa and Exodus Garden 2A and Veles Labyrinth on the Cosmodrome - and new collectables to find in the form of Entropic Shards. Looking ahead beyond this new expansion, we explain all Destiny 2 PS5 and Xbox Series upgrade details, as well as Destiny 2 crossplay and transmog. We also have an explainer on Destiny 2 cross save support.
How Universal Ornaments currently work in Destiny 2
If you want to change your armour ahead of the full transmog system, then it's possible in some cases with Universal Ornaments.
Introduced with Shadowkeep and the 'Armour 2.0' revamp, it allows Armor pieces released from Year 3 onwards to equip Universal Ornaments, a type of cosmetic which changes their appearance.
Universal Ornaments are mostly sourced from the Eververse and events, and doesn't apply to armour you might earn in-game. An additional exception are Exotics, the appearance of which cannot be changed.
To equip a Universal Ornament, on the perks screen, scroll down where to says 'Appearance' below.
From here, you can make cosmetic changes - including equip Universal Ornaments, Shaders and if supported, Glows.