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Destiny 2 Presage quest walkthrough and how to get Dead Man's Tale

How to earn this Exotic Scout Rifle.

Destiny 2's Presage is a mission introduced in February 2021 for Season of the Chosen season pass holders.

The mission was previously part of The Voice on the Other Side, a quest which culminated in Dead Man's Tale, an Exotic Scout Rifle, as the reward. Now it is part of the weekly Exotic Weapon rotation.

This mission is not unlike Harbinger, Whisper of the Worm and Outbreak Perfected's Zero Hour, offering a challenging mission with several difficult combat encounters and puzzles.

This page explains how to get Dead Man's Tale, with a detailed walkthrough for the Presage mission itself.

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How to get Dead Man's Tale in Destiny 2 in brief

Dead Man’s Tale is an exotic weapon that drops exclusively at the end of the Presage mission. It is part of the Exotic Weapon rotation, which means you must run it during its scheduled week to receive one. The mission is found in the Legends section of the Director.

It’s also craftable. The first time you earn a rotating exotic each week it will drop with deepsight resonance. Collect five of these and the weapon pattern will unlock, allowing you to build your own at the Enclave and assemble your own god roll.

How the Presage quest works in Destiny 2

The Presage mission is similar to Season of the Hunt's Harbinger, in that it's an Exotic mission with puzzle solving, platforming and several combat encounters, and unlike previous missions such as Whisper of the Worm and Outbreak Perfected's Zero Hour, isn't timed - allowing you to take your time when exploring.

It has a 1800 power level recommendation, and is much easier now than when it first launched. It's doable solo, and relatively easy with a full fireteam.

The Presage mission has you explore an abandoned ship. Central mechanics include shooting vents to find new routes, shooting fuses and throwing switches to open panels and doors, and shooting blue spore structures to receive a Egregore Link buff to make it through walls which 'burn' you.

There is a Presage walkthrough below, but some tips to help you through are:

  • If you are in a room or vent with seemingly no way out, look up - chances are there is a ledge or doorway which takes you onward.
  • With the Egregore Link buff from the spores, all Guardians need to be within a close proximity when shot. If it's green, you have to wait until it turns blue again before you can shoot again and receive the buff.
  • Several switches you need to throw for puzzles are in plain sight - look closely at the walls around you if there's no way onward.
  • Keep a mental note of all the closed doors you come across. If you throw a switch and the route ahead isn't clear, chances are it has opened one of those doors. Some fuses, meanwhile, open something on a timer - so if nothing has seemingly happened, shoot again and keep looking.
  • For the first time through it should take between 90 minutes and two hours, depending on how much you know about it ahead of time. Know there are no checkpoints, so be sure to clear enough time for a full playthrough if you want to see it to the end.

Presage walkthrough for Destiny 2

Since the path through the ship is long, occasionally maze-like but linear enough you should find the route given enough exploring, we don't go into a full blow-by-blow walkthrough in text (though the following video shows a playthrough from start to finish). Instead, we highlight major moments you might set stuck on.

A full playthrough (with no audio) of the Presage mission in Destiny 2.

First, we need to find a way into the ship. Use the platforms on the outside to do so - turn left from where you begin and jump to the pipes, and work your way round.

From there, go through the small passages - if you get stuck, remember to look up.

Shortly after using the Egregore Link buff to get through the wall for the first time is a section with electrified walls with doorways in-between you have to leap across. You have to throw three switches as you go - one near where you drop down, one in the penultimate room, and one at the very end.

From there, go back to the same room as the second switch, and drop down below the ledge as soon as you enter. On the wall is a panel which has opened, and looking at it face on, is a fuse you can shoot to open a door below the third switch.

To escape the trash compactor-like room, shoot the vents on the floor to reveal fuses (you can see these without shooting by looking from above - jumping around the room and looking down can help). Find all three, and the walls will stop moving, allowing you to find a vent to the route below.

A combat section follows, ending in a hangar. To progress, you must use the platforms outside in space.

The next series of puzzles is quite complicated, but know some switches are in plain sight, and that the first fuse will deactivate the electric field above on a timer. After you find the buff to leave this room is another puzzle room, and then a red-tinted ventilation shaft. A full video walkthrough in this entire section - essentially between the hangar combat enounter, and the short fight against the two Abominations - is below:

How to solve all the Presage puzzles between the two combat encounters.

After facing against two Abominations is a long room where you must jump across ledges while facing enemies. To go through the burning wall at the end, throw the switch that's just round the corner which reveals a turret behind you, then backtrack to a door with a burning wall which has opened halfway down the room.

This has a burning wall of its own. To progress, you need to go back to the start of this area to get the buff, go in this room to top it up, then travel through to the end.

After this is a boss fight against the Locus of Communion. After dealing enough damage and clearing the enemies, there are three coolants to activate on an upper level - two on blue screens at either end, and one in a burning room to the side.

Drop down to the level below behind either end screen which activated the coolants, and damage the boss until a third of health is gone.

It's worth saving Supers here until the enemies spawn as things can get hectic, and remember you can go back to the upper level if you need a breather.

Try and remain close to this upper level when a third of the health is almost up, as this lower level will begin to heat up when you reach it. Now repeat this step - activating the coolants above and damaging the boss's health by a third - until you're done.

Investigate the scene in the final room to finish the mission, but make sure you wait until the actual prompt appears on screen before you leave - for us it took 20 seconds or so after the dialogue to appear - which will give you the last quest step to return to Zavala at the Tower.

Doing so completes the quest. Congrats - Exotic Scout Rifle Dead Man's Tale is yours.

Destiny 2 Presage secrets, Dead Man's Tale Catalyst and Presage Master difficulty explained

There are incentives to replay the Presage mission on later weeks to earn more rewards and find new secrets.

Similar to Hawkmoon, each subsequent completion will give you a new roll of Dead Man's Tale, giving you new perks for different playstyles. The first run each week will drop a version with deepsight resonance, allowing you a chance to craft the weapon once you collect enough of them.

For the Dead Man's Tale Catalyst, this is available by visiting Zavala after completing Presage once, giving you another quest named At Your Fingertips, which rewards you with the Catalyst upon completion.

The quest objective itself is simple - complete Presage on Master difficulty. Not only does it bump up the difficulty and add modifiers, but it reintroduces the timer of Exotic missions of old.

Go in as high a level as possible, with a full fireteam, and memorise the route and puzzle solutions, and you should have a decent chance of beating the mission within the 25 minute goal.

Beyond that, there are also collectables to find, such as Captain's Logs and smuggling compartments.

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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.