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Destiny 2 Gambit mode - Everything you need to know about the new competitive mode

How new mode Gambit will take shape.

Destiny 2 Gambit is a brand new mode being introduced in the game's Year Two expansion, Forsaken.

For the first time, Activision's shared world shooter will combine PvP and PvE - that's player versus players and the environment - in a single mode.

Note this page is in need of an update with the arrival of Destiny 2's second year, so be aware some content might be out of date. In the meantime, read our Destiny 2 Forsaken guide and how to reach the new Destiny 2 level cap for an overview of what's new and changed. Plus, there's the return of theThorn quest and Thorn Ornament, Wishes of Sorrow, and our trusty friend Xur, too - here's the answer to where is Xur, Xur's location and what Xur's selling this week!

What is Gambit in Destiny 2

Described as like "adding bacon to peanut and jelly" by the developer, this is a competitive mode that two teams of four players per side compete against one another while also taking on computer-controlled enemies.

Cover image for YouTube videoDestiny 2: Forsaken – Official Gambit Trailer

Here's how it works. Each team will be in their own arena, with the task of taking down waves of enemies and building up a supply of motes. By banking these modes, you can send a 'blocker' to the other team's arena - a powerful enemy that will stop the other team drop banking their own motes until it's defeated.

When enough motes have been banked, a powerful enemy will show up on your side named a Primeval. Once defeated, the round is over. As well as this, there's also the chance for a player to invade another team's arena at certain points, for some direct player-versus-player action.

Destiny 2 Gambit gameplay

Following E3 2018, we have plenty of gameplay available of Gambit in action, which is the easiest way to understand what the mode is all about, including some footage from lovely fellow Gamer Network publication OutsideXbox. ("I just want to kill and harvest your Motes. What's so hard to grasp about this?")

Cover image for YouTube videoDestiny 2 Forsaken Gameplay: GAMBIT GAMEPLAY - New Destiny 2 Mode at E3 2018

Meanwhile, PlayStation itself has put out an official video, if that's more your thing:

Cover image for YouTube videoDestiny 2: Forsaken - Gambit Gameplay Preview | PlayStation Live From E3 2018

What else we know about Gambit in Destiny 2

As well as the above, here are other aspects of Gambit we know heading into release:

  • Gambit matches will play out over a total of three rounds.
  • Motes are dropped whenever an enemy dies. There are also more powerful 'yellow bar' enemies that drop more motes than others. You can only hold up to 15 at once, and if you die, you lose them all. Bank them regularly!
  • Blockers will spawn for the other team when depositing 5, 10 or 15 motes in one go.
  • You need 25 and 50 motes for a player to invade the other team's arena. In terms of who is selected, it's simply the first player to venture into a portal. This means the team can decide who will enter, based on proximity or skill.
  • Deposit a total of 75 modes, and the Primeval will spawn. When it is active, any team deaths will heal it, so be careful. Defeat it, and the match is over.
  • More mote knowledge - the title in your name (a new addition in Forsaken) shows how many motes you are holding. Don't get greedy now - your team mates will know! Thanks Alucitary on Reddit for the tip.
  • It's possible to see how close you and your team are to summoning the Primeval - as well as the Primeval's health - with bars at the top of the screen.
  • Enemies will get stronger over time - whether this means in adversary type, or Power level, is unknown - but the further you get into a match, the harder things become.
  • There will be a total of four maps in Gambit.
  • The enemies you face on a particular map can change between matches. Each map has three different enemy races to face against, and within that, three variations of each. Senior designer at Bungie Robbie Stevens explains this latter point best: "[You're] rolling against the Cabal on Emerald Coast (the map we showed at E3). You'll end up fighting either Cabal encounter A, B or C. Different Cabal enemies will show up in each encounter, and where they spawn changes as well." This makes for a total of 36 different Gambit experiences.

The Season of the Deep is here alongside the Into the Depths quest. You can know go fishing too! Don't forget to keep an eye on the Lost Sector and King's Fall challenge rotation schedule!

And, just so we're keeping track, what we don't know:

  • If custom matches can be played in Private Match mode.
  • How it will fit into the game's structure, and whether it'll be an end-game activity like Trials and Iron Banner or something closer to Strikes and regular Crucible matches, is unknown.
  • Though it's likely to have unique loot, as per the above activities, we don't know what said loot looks like.
  • Whether Gambit will drop up to max Power gear, or if it'll scale with your current level as per most Crucible activities.
  • Similarly, whether there will be a Milestone attached to Gambit activities to encourage people playing every week.

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Matthew Reynolds


Matthew Reynolds edited guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer from 2010 - 2023. When he wasn't doing that, he was out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.