Destiny 2's Synthstrand, Synthcord and Synthweave are resources you need as part of Armor Synthesis - also known as transmog.
These all debut alongside Season of the Splicer, and requires you to farm a total of three new currencies by defeating enemies and completing bounties.
Developer Bungie did not provide many details regarding the nitty gritty of Armor Synthesis before launch, but don't fret. The season is well underway now, and with it comes the answers we've been looking for.
This page will cover everything you need to know about Synthstrand sources, as well as the best way to obtain Synthcord and Synthweave during your expeditions.
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Update - On Thursday, June 22nd, Bungie announced that Synthstrand will be removed from Destiny 2 at the start of season 15, which goes live on Tuesday, August 24th. Instead, you'll be able to purchase bounties from Ada-10 for 10,000 Glimmer each.
What are Synthstrand, Synthcord and Synthweave used for in Destiny 2?
Arriving with the Season of the Splicer are three new currencies: Synthstrand, Synthcord, and Synthweave. You will need to gather all of them on an specific order to access Destiny 2's transmog system, called Armor Synthesis in-game.
Before getting into the specifics, below is the step-by-step process that was provided by Bungie before the season started:
- First, you'll have to defeat enemies to earn Synthstrand
- Once you have collected at least 150 Synthstrand, you can take on bounties to earn Synthcord
- Synthcord can be used at the Loom in the Tower to obtain Synthweave
- Lastly, Synthweave is used to convert an unlocked Legendary or lower armor appearance from Collections into a Universal Armor Ornament.
Before the above can be unlocked, you need to complete a mission first to unlock Armor Synthesis. Luckily it's rather short, and can be started just by talking to Banshee-44 at the Tower (located on the way to the Bazaar from the Courtyard). He will give you the Armor Synthesis Introduction quest, which tasks you with paying Ada-1 a visit (she's northwest from the Annex).
The mission involves you traveling to Europa to retrieve two items from a specific location. Once you have them report back, complete the few final steps, and Synthstrand will start dropping from enemies.
How to get Synthstrand in Destiny 2: Synthstrand drop rate and Synthstrand 'farm' explained
Let's start with Synthstrand. This first currency is gained by defeating enemies. Whether it is from Strikes or Raids, all enemies can drop some, but the way it works is different to other materials and resources in the game.
The Synthstrand drop rate is low, in large because it's time gated, with estimates of around 1 Synthstand dropping every two minutes. Discovered by alonie-homia on reddit, it means no matter how enemies you kill within that time, another won't drop until the next kill after those two minutes have passed.
This time gate appears to apply across all activities in the game, and tallies with our early experiences with Synthstrand drops.
The community (via I3igB on reddit) has since worked out that, at the current rate, it will take 5 hours to earn enough Synthstrand to earn a Synthcord bounty, and 53 hours to reach the transmog cap for a single character.
The one benefit to the timegated nature of Synthstrand means it'll trickle in regardless of what activity you're doing. That said, there is a 'farm' method if you want to accumulate Synthstand with the least effort possible, and that's through the now familiar AFK Shattered Throne farm, which has you progress past the first encounter and modify your loadout so you'll continuously kill the regenerating Thrall with no risk of dying.
It's most famous for gaining Solstice of Heroes orbs, and also works here.
Esoterickk on YouTube explains this method in more detail:
How to get Synthcord in Destiny 2 explained
The second step involves Synthcord. This currency can only be gained by completing select bounties obtained by Ada-1. For this, you will have to spend 150 Synthstrand. Thankfully, Ada-1 covers the first one for free.
Ahead of launch, Bungie provided the following list as examples of bounties we can expect:
Vanguard Synthcord Bounties
- Complete playlists strikes using specific subclasses
- Accumulate points in Nightfall strikes
Crucible Synthcord Bounties
- Capture zones in Crucible Control matches
- Complete Crucible matches and defeat opponents using specific damage types as a team
Gambit Synthcord Bounties
- Send and defeat blockers in Gambit.
- Defeat Primeval Envoys, high value targets and Primevals in Gambit.
Destinations Synthcord Bounties
- Defeat Nightmares on any destination or in Nightmare Hunts.
- Defeat bosses while defending the Blind Well within the Dreaming City.
Raids and Dungeons Synthcord Bounties
- Complete the final encounter of any Raid or Dungeon.
- Generate Orbs of Power in raids or dungeons.
For example, one Strike bounty we picked had us defeating 20 Champions in Nightfall Strikes. Thus, expect for the objectives to always be randomized. Keep in mind that if you happen to pick the wrong bounty for whatever reason, you will be partially refunded for the Synthstrand spent: 50 Synthstrand instead of 150.
Once you have cashed-in your completed bounties and earned Synthcord, you can exchange it for Synthweave.
How to get Synthweave in Destiny 2 explained
At last, the final step. Synthweave can be obtained from the Loom (the massive device just behind Ada-1) by spending Synthcord. All you have to do is interact with the Loom, and once you have the currency ready, you'll be all set.
From there, head towards the Appearance Customization screen (found by pressing 'S' on the keyboard or Down on the D-pad from the gear screen, then selecting the top right icon). Pick any of the ornaments you would like to choose for your Legendary armor, and purchase it (current cost is 1 Synthweave per Ornament). Feel free to equip a Shader to it as well, which can now be obtained with Glimmer alone.
We know it's an arduous process, but the upside is that just by following Ada-1's questline, you'll be granted 5 Synthweave per class, so 15 in total.
Lastly, if you'd like to skip the entire process, Synthweave Templates are available to purchase from Eververse through the Guardian Appearance screen, with the option to buy a single Synthweave or a five-piece bundle.
A single template will cost you 300 Silver, whilst the template bundle costs 1000 Silver. For reference, 500 Silver costs £4.79 in the UK. No need to worry about making the wrong purchase, since Bungie confirmed templates can be applied to any class.