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Destiny 2: Countdown guide

All you need to know about Destiny 2's new PVP game mode.

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About Ed Thorn

Ed's a huge fan of rushing B in CS:GO and grinding it out in Destiny 2. He will not rest until a new Wario Land is announced.

Our Destiny 2: Countdown guide contains strategy advice, tips, tricks and tactics to help give you an early advantage.

For those looking to get stuck into some player versus player [PVP] action, Destiny 2’s Crucible mode will be there to scratch that competitive itch. While the first game pitted two teams of six against one another, it's a little different for the second game. Destiny 2 only allows up to four members per team, in order to place a greater emphasis on focused teamplay.

Destiny 2’s new game mode, Countdown, aims to take advantage of this more tight-knit team experience, drawing most of its inspiration from Counterstrike in introducing bomb sites and limited respawns into the competitive mix. In very simple terms, one team aims to plant a bomb while the other tries to stop them. It requires a great deal of teamwork to succeed, and there are limited, player-initiated respawns to manage.

First of all, we’ve gathered together everything you need to know about how Countdown mode actually works. When you're done here, don't forget to check out our Retribution guide as well as our Midtown guide for more PVP help. Our core Destiny 2 guide also contains coverage for every other aspect of the game as well!

Editor's UPDATE #2: We've tidied up this guide, making it simpler to navigate and easier to understand. On top of this, you'll find a few more tips and tricks from our hands on time with the beta. We'll continue updating this guide as the beta progresses - keep this page bookmarked for more!

Countdown: Overview

  • One team is on offense and the other team is on defense.
  • The attacking team's objective is to plant a bomb, while the defending team's is to prevent that from happening.
  • The attacking team can win the round by planting the bomb and preventing its defusal, or simply by eliminating the entire enemy team. The defending team wins by defusing the bomb or eliminating all of the opposition.
  • Attackers can only plant the bomb at one of two sites, and the defenders will be notified which bomb site it's been planted at.
  • The bomb has a 1 minute timer before it detonates and it takes 5 seconds for the defenders to defuse it.
  • You can revive downed teammates by spending ‘Revive Tokens’ which are limited to four per team (each player spawns with one). Reviving teammates is risky, however, as you’re left stranded for the short duration it takes to do so.
  • Once a round ends, the teams swap roles, and the game starts anew. Teams get one point for every round they win, and the first to six points wins the match.

Countdown: Strategies

If you looking to gain an advantage, look no further than our Countdown tips for both attackers and defenders. There's some overlap here, so it's worth studying both - you're going to have to take on both roles anyway, after all.

Tips for attackers

  • Finding a decent position to hold once you've planted the bomb is crucial. Opt for an element of surprise by hiding yourself away nearby, or just hold the line in plain sight and force the enemy to fight you if they want to defuse the bomb safely.
  • Don't be afraid to split away from your team and make some noise at another bomb site to distract opponents, and before your friends have actually picked a site. It's surprising how well these simple mind games payoff, especially when your opponents are scrabbling to defuse the bomb in time, having committed hard to defending the wrong bomb site.
  • Planting the bomb hardly takes any time at all, so sliding in and going for the quick plant could be a neat way of putting the pressure on the opposing team early on in a match.
  • Using your Super ability is a great way of getting an easy elimination on the board and an early man advantage. You can't use it for long though - and it's got a very lengthy cooldown - so make the most of it.
  • If you've killed a member of the opposing team, it can be a good strategy to pour into one bomb site as a squad. This forces the enemy into a battle where they're at a man disadvantage which they're far more likely to lose.
  • When you've planted the bomb, it's a good idea to try and position yourself in an area where you can flank enemies from the side - or ideally from behind.
  • Attacking teams who get their hands on the Power Ammo often usually win the match. Remember that Power Weapons deal huge amounts of damage, and are more often than not, a one hit kill. Defenders don't stand a chance against a team who are constantly making use of the most powerful weapons in the game.

Destiny 2: PVP Mode guides

Tips for defenders

  • When the bomb's been planted, rushing in blindly will hurt your chances of survival. There's a fair amount of time before it detonates, so be patient with your approach.
  • Generally speaking, try to split your team evenly when it comes to defending both sites. This means you're not prone to being entirely overwhelmed by an aggressive push.
  • Your minimap at the top-left of the HUD displays your current position on the map, so make sure you call out where you've spotted the enemy and your position in relation to them. Any intel you can give your team is useful - try and make it a habit.
  • If the enemy have just planted the bomb, there's no need to panic and rush into the site - you've got plenty of time. It's best to take your time and be cautious.
  • If you're defending a bombsite and the enemy haven't planted for what seems like an age, it may be worth rotating to the other site to pre-empt the attackers. This becomes crucial, especially if you're playing with a teammate. One of you should move to the other site, and the other can always rotate too if it kicks off.
  • Focus your efforts on staying alive, rather than going straight for kills. As a defender it's important that you can relay information back to your team and make the planting the bomb as difficult as possible.

General tips and tricks

  • Purple tinted power ammo respawn on various walls dotted around each map. You're going to need to memorise these locations if you want to use heavy weapons like the super powerful shotguns and sniper rifles.
  • Always try and aim for the head when firing. Headshots do significantly more damage, which is all the more important when you have to burn through an enemy's armour before you can even dent their health bar.
  • Try and stay close to one or two teammates if you can. This way you can revive each other if one of you goes down.
  • Attempt to coordinate with your team and shoot the same targets as each other. In Destiny 2 - more so than Destiny 1 - you'll almost always win a gun fight if you're a man up.

Here's the very talented Hush playing the new Countdown mode and dominating his opponents with the sniper rifle.

At this stage this is of course a very basic guide to getting started with Countdown. Now that the beta's finally live we'll be expanding on this - and all of our other PVP guides - a huge amount!

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