Destiny introduces a new type of Patrol battle arena in Rise of Iron named Archon's Forge. Playing similar to Prison of the Elders but closer to Court of Oryx in execution, players must work together to defeat squad of enemies and a powerful boss within a five minute time limit.
Learning how it works is not only important for completing Rise of Iron's Record Book, but some of the expansion's most lucrative weekly Bounties from Shiro-4 require you to win matches in the Forge (which is particularly helpful if you want a chance of starting the Thorn Quest).
Not only that, but it can drop class items up to Light Level 400, making it an additional source of gear as you make your way past the 365 mark.
How to find and start an Archon's Forge encounter in Destiny: Rise of Iron
Archon's Forge is located within The Plaguelands Patrol, between The Archon's Keep and The Warrens. To get there, go to the large building at the top end of Archon's Keep - the end closest to the Forgotton Pass area - and head into the corridor at the back.
If you remember The Iron Tomb mission, you head through this on the way to the final area within Site 6.
To start an encounter, you need a SIVA Offering, which you insert into the console on the right if you enter in from The Archon's Keep. These come in one of three varieties that increase the difficulty of the event you face:
- Fused SIVA Offering - Common (green), 320 Light recommended
- Enhanced SIVA Offering - Uncommon (blue), 340 Light recommended
- Perfected SIVA Offering - Rare (purple), 360 Light recommended
Fused, Enhanced and Perfected will essentially increase the Light level and amount of enemies you face within that encounter, but the higher the level, the more they count towards Shiro-4's weekly Bounty, with Common as one, Rare as two and Rare worth four offerings (thanks to the Destiny sub-Reddit for this).
Meanwhile, The type of encounter is dependant on the colour of the vial of the SIVA Offering you have:
- Yellow is Shank or Dreg
- Red is Vandal or Captain
- Blue is Servitor
(Thanks also to the Destiny sub-Reddit for these.)
Strangely, only one SIVA Offering can be held in your inventory at one time, though you can swap them to different characters or to the Vault to collect more. Once you have used one, you can get another from killing enemies within the Plaguelands, or as a drop from completing Archon's Forge events.
How to play and win in Archon's Forge, rewards explained
Once you have inserted a key, the five minute encounter will begin; you must leap down into the area below within a few seconds, otherwise you will be locked in the 'prison' starting area above, so act fast! This time limit is designed to get nearby players into the encounter with you, but it also means you can very much lock yourself out too.
Though there are three difficulty Offerings and five different enemy types, each encounter will essentially boil down to the same format:
- Kill squads of enemies will increase an on-screen gauge
- Part way through, you have a chance to win a 'boon' by proving your worth - in order words, clearing the map of the red SIVA nodes that appear both out in the open and those that emerge from pods. This will open a pod at either end of the arena with Iron Lord Axes. Don't worry if you fail, the encounter will simply continue!
- Once the gauge reaches 100%, the central pod will open, revealing more enemies and a high-powered 'boss' version of one of those enemies
- Defeat the boss to win the encounter and earn rewards
Archon's Forge rewards
Interestingly, rewards do not appear to be tied to the strength of the Offering you give, and you can receive rewards whether you personally used the Offering or not. It can also mean you can walk away from a challenging Legendary SIVA Offering that you've provided with no rewards to speak of, but it's also nice to stroll into a random encounter and get a high level loot drop too.
Rewards can include armour sets (helmets, gauntlets, chest and boots) that can drop up to Light Level 385, while Class items, Ghosts and Artifacts can drop all the way to Light Level 400. You can also get the Saladin's Vigil pulse rifle and But Not Forgotten sniper up to 385 Light, as well as Glimmer and engrams (thanks to Eurogamer reader boot93 for elaborating on these). In fact, running Archon's Forge is one of the best ways to get lots of (mainly blue) engrams, making it useful if you can survive sub Light level 340.
How to win Archon's Forge encounters
No matter what, you always want to be paired with other players, either as a Fireteam and or ideally with random others, so only spend your SIVA Offerings with others around you. Not only does it help with the difficulty, but dying when you are alone will end the encounter altogether.
Encounters are fairly straightforward, as it's basically case of wiping out all the enemies you face as fast as possible. It pays to know where they come from - there are doorways around the edges of the arena, including a ledge up top - so you can take them out at the source as soon as they appear. The only difficulty is being overwhelmed, so learn the arena space, and retreat and take over when you are under attack. Achieving the boons is useful, but ultimately not essential.
Perhaps the most important tip is to avoid reviving yourself when you die. Doing so will place you in the 'prison' at the top of the arena, by where you enter the SIVA Offering to start, and you will have to use a Splicer Key to exit. To avoid this, simply wait for another player to revive you.
However, the only time you should revive yourself is if time is short, or the enemy forces are too strong for another player to come to your aid. If you do decide to revive yourself, try and co-ordinate the revives together so several players can escape the 'prison' at the same time with the use of a single Splicer Key.
Want more Destiny: Rise of Iron guides, tips and tricks? Then read our Wrath of the Machine walkthrough and guides, complete list of all Dormant SIVA Cluster locations, tips on how to reach Destiny's max Light level, how to complete the Exotic Gjallarhorn Quest, Khvostov 7G-OX Quest and Thorn Quest and new modes Vanguard Elite Strike Scoring and SRL.
What else you need to know about Archon's Forge in Destiny: Rise of Iron
- Even on the lowest levels, make sure you are a decent Light level (ideally 340 plus) and in a team before taking on an encounter. High level Legendary Offerings in particular will be difficult no matter your level, so make sure you have a full team backing you up.
- A post-release hotfix improved the drop rate of SIVA Offerings when you finished Archon's Forge, but other players have reported an increased drop rate of loot in general - so if you were discouraged when you first started Rise of Iron, it's worth heading back now to see how you fare.
- A good tip to try and match you with randoms in the environment is to approach the Archon's Forge arena slowly; this increases the likelihood of the game servers matching you with other players. If you approach from The Archon's Keep, drop to a slow walk as you enter the corridor and work your way up the steps, and fingers crossed you will see others in the arena. Some have reported that approaching from The Warrens improves success rate of matchmaking too.
- You can take in a Patrol Mission from other parts of The Plaguelands (such as kill a certain amount of enemies) and complete them within a Forge activity.
- Archon's Forge encounters are classed as a Public Event, which is useful for certain weekly or daily Bounties.