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Destiny 2 Thunderlord quest steps: All Journal of the Reef Cryptarch quest steps explained

How to get the Thunderlord by completing every Journal of the Reef Cryptarch quest step in Destiny 2.

Destiny 2's Thunderlord is an Exotic questline involving the Journal of the Reef Cryptarch first unlocked with the arrival of 2018's Festival of the Lost.

Like Nascent Dawn, it was a quest with multiple steps unfolding over several weeks, with new objectives appearing at the weekly reset.

The final reward unlocks Thunderlord - a returning Exotic from the original game, and the first heavy machine gun in Destiny 2.

The Thunderlord quest became unavailable after November 27th 2018, but is set to return during special events - such as April 2019's Arc Week, from April 9th to April 23rd.

Though the Thunderlord has since been added to the Exotic weapon pool, if you want an easy way to unlock Thunderlord, then completing the Journal of the Reef Cryptarch quest is the way to go.

How to unlock Destiny 2's Thunderlord in brief

There are two ways to unlock the Thunderlord in Destiny 2:

  • Find it at random in the Exotic weapon pool
  • Complete the Journal of the Reef Cryptarch quest line whenever it becomes available, such as during April 2019's Arc Week (the quest will be available between April 9th and April 23rd)

The latter is easier if you can unlock the Thunderlord in that time frame - the quest is relatively straightforward, and guarantees the weapon as opposed to waiting for it to drop at random.

In brief, here's every step of Journal of the Reef Cryptarch:

  1. Visit Amanda Holliday in the Tower
  2. Find 10 Journal pages from decrypting Engrams or yellow bar Fallen enemies in the EDZ
  3. Complete Atrium, Terminus East and Window's Walk Lost Sectors in EDZ
  4. Complete the Whispered Falls Lost Sector in EDZ
  5. Complete the story mission posted in the EDZ
  6. Return to Amanda to collect the Thunderlord

It's a pretty straightforward set of steps - and can be easily completed in an evening before the November 27th deadline.

Destiny 2 Journal of the Reef Cryptarch Week 1 quest steps

First, visit Amanda Holliday in the Tower. She will give you the first quest step - find 10 Journal pages.

This first step of the Journal of the Lost Reef Cryptarch is the easiest. You have two ways of getting these Journal pages, from decrypting Legendary (purple) or Exotic (gold) Engrams, or from killing specific enemies in the EDZ.

Engrams come from the course of normal play - simply play other activities and they will begin dropping - or you can purchase Legendary Engrams direct from the Tower Cryptarch for 25 Legendary Shards each.

Otherwise, you can find yellow bar enemies in the EDZ. If you can complete the Glimmer Extraction Public Event, there will be enough yellow bar enemies that you can complete this quest step in a single attempt.

Destiny 2 Journal of the Reef Cryptarch Week 2 quest steps

Week 2 of the quest should appear the next time you log in after the weekly reset, and has you complete a series of Lost Sectors in the EDZ.

These are Atrium, Terminus East and Window's Walk, all within the same region of the EDZ.

These might have Wanted bosses, so will take a little longer than you might remember from the first time you completed them in Destiny 2's first year - bring a Fireteam member or two if you want to speed these along.

After that, you have a third, Whispered Falls, which is just a short Sparrow ride away. Don't forget to look out for the Cryptarch Easter Egg while you're there.

With that done, you'll receive a message on the quest, saying 'New coordinates received'.

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!

Destiny 2 Journal of the Reef Cryptarch Week 3 quest steps

Completing the Week 2 Lost Sector steps will see the quest update with the message 'New coordinates received'. For Week 3, this then changes to a message telling you to visit Amanda back in the Tower.

Upon visiting Amanda, you'll be told to revisit Whispered Falls. This will be signposted on your map as a story mission.

Visit the location, and use the transmat to teleport to a familiar location - one we won't spoil here. If you're interested, then watch the video below by Arekkz:

It's a fairly straightforward mission, and once it's complete, you need to return to the Tower and speak to Amanda, who will give you the Thunderlord.

Thunderlord is Destiny 2's first heavy machine gun, and a returning Destiny 1 Exotic. It has a few useful perks - Reign Havoc (generate lightning strikes with kills), Lightning Rounds (fires faster and more accurately the longer the trigger is held) and Feeding Frenzy (kills increase reload speed for a short time) - all useful for clearing out groups of enemies.

Remember, you only have until the weekly reset on November 27th to complete the quest. After that, the Thunderlord will no longer be available as part of the questline - but will be added to the Exotic loot pool, according to Bungie.

So if you want a guaranteed way to get the Thunderlord, you have until then to do so.

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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.