Destiny 2 – How to Play Campaign

Destiny 2 has a massive story that it is telling. Most of it can be found in the game’s campaign missions. New players will need to know how to unlock a campaign before they can play through it.

Today, we will quickly go over how to unlock all of the campaigns inside of Destiny 2, as well as clear up some misunderstandings about the older content in Destiny 2.

To play a campaign in Destiny 2, you will need to purchase an Expansion to unlock its campaign. These Expansions include Shadowkeep, Beyond Light, The Witch Queen, and Lightfall.

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How to Play Campaign in Destiny 2

There is a lot of story to be told in Destiny 2, especially if you are a new player just starting out in the game. Much of the storytelling in the game is done through campaign missions.

In most games, the campaign is the first thing that new players will experience in order to fill them in on everything that is going on inside of the game while also acting as a sort of tutorial while players get their bearings.

While this used to be the case in Destiny 2, it is no longer true.

New players will start the game with a New Light mission that explains all of the mechanics they need to know while giving them a short mission to play through.

After that, players are thrown into the game with little to no direction.

This can be very daunting to players who don’t have experienced friends to guide them through the game.

Campaigns are a great way to continue to get familiar with the game while immersing yourself in the great storytelling.

Before you go and begin your first campaign, it is important to understand how Destiny 2 structures its campaign missions. Sadly, it isn’t as straightforward as it should be.

In the current state of Destiny 2, there are no full campaigns that are available to free-to-play players. In order to play a campaign, you will need to purchase an Expansion.

There are four Expansions in Destiny 2 that each come with a new campaign for you to play.

These Expansions are Shadowkeep, Beyond Light, The Witch Queen, and Lightfall, with a fifth Expansion releasing soon in The Final Shape.

While each of these Expansion campaigns tell their own story, they also each contribute to the overarching story being told with Destiny 2.

You’ll also find that every new Season does the same thing with its own short story that progresses the narrative.

The Introductory Missions for each of these campaigns are available to all free-to-play players. This allows you to try out the first mission of every campaign and see if it is something that you want to continue.

The Introductory mission for each of the Expansions takes place on their respective planets.

You will find the Introductory mission for Shadowkeep on the Moon, Beyond Light’s is on Europa, The Witch Queen’s is in Savathun’s Throne World, and Lightfall takes place on Neptune.

After beating the Introductory Mission, you will have to purchase an Expansion before you can continue through that story.

After purchasing an Expansion, you will see new waypoints in your Directory guiding you to where you need to go in order to begin or continue your campaign.

If you aren’t quite sure which campaign you should get first, you can check out our guide on What Expansions/DLC to Buy where we go over everything each of the Expansions has to offer to help players decide where to start.

Most players will want to play through the campaigns in chronological order, while others may want to purchase Expansions that give them access to the best weapons and subclasses first.

How to Play Old Campaign

Many returning players to the game will wonder where they need to go in order to play through the Red War or the Forsaken campaign.

These were community favorites and, for the longest time, were the first campaigns introduced to players when they started up the game for the first time.

Sadly, Bungie has removed much of the old content in Destiny 2. Partly to make the game more beginner-friendly with its pricing and partly to save on the amount of space required to download the already ginormous game.

Much of the original content available in Destiny 2, from its first two Expansions Curse of Osiris and Warmind all the way up to the release of its breakthrough Expansion Forsaken, was removed to make way for the next era of Destiny 2.

Even most of the planets related to these Expansions were removed from the Directory.

This means that both the used-to-be free-to-play campaign, the Red War, and the Forsaken Expansion campaign are no longer available for players to play through.

Players who purchase the Forsaken Pack DLC will only gain access to the 20 Exotic weapons that were introduced with the Forsaken Expansion, nothing more.

Currently, the oldest campaign that players can actually play through is the Shadowkeep campaign.

This Expansion introduces us to the Moon as a new Destination and is our first encounter with the next big enemy of the game, the Darkness.

How to Replay Campaign

Destiny 2 is known for its replayability. There aren’t many experiences inside of Destiny 2 that you can not go back and play through again.

The same is true for campaign missions, most of them at least. After you play through any campaign mission on the most recent campaign, that mission will be unlocked for you to replay whenever you wish.

You will find all of your replayable campaign missions available on the left-hand side of the Neptune Map for Lightfall. For Witch Queen, your missions will be displayed near the bottom of the Map.

You can select any of the campaign missions in any order you wish and load into them again.

While you won’t be able to see the cutscenes for every mission again, you will be able to play through the entire mission as you did the first time, keeping a checkpoint inside of the mission should you want to back out and continue again later.

Note that this is only true for the most recent campaigns that have been released. Currently, this means that both the Lightfall campaign and the Witch Queen campaign are completely replayable.

If you have beaten either campaign on Legendary difficulty, you will also be able to replay any of the missions using this difficulty as well.

While this doesn’t reward you with much, it still provides a challenge while you get to enjoy some of your favorite story beats again.

All of the older campaign missions inside of the Shadowkeep and Beyond Light Expansions do not have this kind of easy replayability. Shadowkeep does have a rotating campaign mission available on the Moon every week.

While odd, it does give players a way to play through one of the missions every week. Beyond Light does not have even a single mission available to replay after you have completed the campaign.

The only way to actually play through the Shadowkeep and Beyond Light campaigns again in their entirety is by creating a new character.

While not recommended, we do have a guide on How to Delete a Character if you do choose to go this route.

There is no benefit to replaying these campaigns aside from getting to experience each of the missions again. For many players, this doesn’t outweigh the cost of losing all of their progress on one of their characters.

You are now ready to begin your first campaign mission in Destiny 2! I hope this guide gives you a better understanding of the confusing method this game uses to tell its story.

Have you played through all of the campaign missions in Destiny 2? Which missions are your favorite? Feel free to let me know in the comments!