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Destiny 2 Elemental Orbs: How to make Orbs and Elemental Empowered Buffs and Prism Day explained

How to collect and use the Solstice-specific effects.

Destiny 2 Elemental Orbs are a drop which appear as part of the annual Solstice of Heroes event.

These have two uses - one, collecting them as a requirement for upgrading Solstice armour, and two, providing Elemental Empowered Buffs, giving you a new offensive attack.

Elemental Orbs have been central to the Solstice event for several years now, so knowing their various quirks will help you progress through the event as quick as possible - many of which are mentioned below.

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How to make Elemental Orbs in Destiny 2

With every Solstice event, there is the addition of Elemental Orbs across most activities across Destiny 2.

Collecting these Orbs is a requirement for several Solstice armour upgrade steps.

Here's what Elemental Orbs look like once dropped.

Elemental Orbs are generated by killing enemies with weapons or sub-class abilities with the corresponding type - Arc, Solar, Void or Stasis. Though it appears you can mix and match weapon type and sub-class, aligning them - so your Energy, Power and sub-class are the same - will guarantee the Orbs you are looking for.

If you are using a Kinetic weapon, then the Orb dropped will correspond to your equipped subclass.

Note Elemental Orbs will not drop in competitive playlists - so it might be best to avoid these when playing to specifically upgrade your armour.

How to make Elemental Empowered Buffs in Destiny 2 work

On top of Elemental Orbs, which can drop at any time, each day will be focused on a different Element.

You can see which element is currently active by looking at the EAZ activity during matchmaking, hovering over the title.

By collecting 30 Orbs of that element, you'll receive one of the following buffs to your character:

  • Solar Elemental Buff: Emit energy that damages anything around you
  • Void Elemental Buff: Crouch to become invisible and gain Truesight, as well as enhanced ability regeneration
  • Arc Elemental Buff: Enhanced movement speed, greater melee and sword damage
  • Stasis Elemental Buff: Reduces Super energy drain and triggers exploding Stasis crystals from defeated combatants

These buffs only last for a minute or so, and can appear across the game except during Competitive Crucible or Gambit Prime.

What we know about Prism elemental days in Destiny 2 so far

As a new addition in 2021's edition of the event, developer Bungie detailed that there will be Prism elemental days happening.

According to Bungie, during these days the elemental empowerment gained from collecting elemental orbs will match your currently equipped class.

This sounds like a great premise in order to avoid having to wait for a specific day to gain the rather helpful buffs. As of now, there is no indication of when this may happen, neither on Season of the Splicer's roadmap nor elsewhere.

Other things to know about Elemental Orbs and Buffs in Destiny 2

Whether you take notice of the buffs or not, Elemental Orbs are central to upgrading several Solstice armour steps. There are several quirks to know about how Orbs drop worth knowing:

  • First of all, as with any other upgrade step, make sure you're actually wearing Solstice armour - otherwise the Orbs you collect won't count. This is important!
  • On a similar note - if you are collecting Orbs and the percentage / number of the Solstice Armour set isn't going up, remember to look at the specific requirements for that piece of armour, as some require Elemental Orbs in a specific activity (such as Strikes) or destination (like the EDZ).
  • Second, yellow bar enemies tend to have higher drop rates.
  • Third, you also need to physically run over the Orbs to add them to your total, as they will not be picked up automatically at a distance.
  • Finally, the Buffs can be useful for farming Elemental Orbs and Elemental kills. One strategy from previous years is visiting the Thrall-heavy section of the Shattered Throne dungeon when the Solar element is active, and the buff will continue to regenerate as enemies run into you. Esoterickk on YouTube explains this method in more detail:
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Ultimately, the easiest way to tick Elemental Orb-related objectives off your list is to concentrate on the other activities you have to complete, making kills with that sub-class along the way. Chances are by the end of it, you'll have completed the respective Orb-collecting step anyway.

Best of luck, and remember to get everything done before the Solstice of Heroes end date rolls around!