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Destiny 2: Nightfall Strike guide: Modifiers, Timers, Difficulty Settings

Everything you need to know about the new Nightfall system in Destiny 2.

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Our Destiny 2 Nightfall Strike guide, with details of the Modifiers, Difficulty Settings and Challenges you can face.

Once a week, Bungie selects one of Destiny 2's Strikes and releases a timed Nightfall version of the group challenge. It's a tougher fight all round, but the rewards are much sweeter, and so you're very much encouraged to make these encounters part of your play each week.

Not only does the Nightfall Strike in question rotate each week, there are also a handful of modifiers applied to up the challenge even further. These might affect the damage you do, for example, or allow you to regain a little time for the clock as you clear through enemies.

We thought it would be useful to bring together a quick guide to everything that's currently known about Nightfall Strikes in one place. As each new Nightfall is released, we'll add our tips guide to the new challenge in question, so you can quickly reference details of what's involved. You'll also find links to the vanilla versions of our Strike guides further down the page too.

Here's a quick breakdown then of what's new for Nightfall Strikes in the sequel:

(If you want to be the best at every area of the game, don't forget to bookmark our PVP, Strike and Subclass guide pages - they've got everything you need if you want to get more out of Destiny 2, and will be continuously updated in the weeks ahead.)

Editor's UPDATE #4: A huge update this time as brand new systems are coming to Nightfall Strikes in an upcoming update. You can find all the details just below!

Nightfall Scoring, Challenge Cards and New Rewards!

In Bungie's developer update (8th February 2018) it announced that the original Destiny's Nightfall Scoring will be returning in Destiny 2. It's slated for launch in Update 1.1.3, so that's 27th February 2018.

Here's a complete breakdown of how it'll work.

  • Scoring is team-based and the sum of individual performances. A team should be able to focus on what works best, not feeling put out by who stole whose kill.
  • Scoring is primarily driven by kills and secondarily by orb generation. We want you to find what works best for clearing strikes instead of telling you which weapons to use, but we want coordinated use of Supers and other team support mechanics to contribute to high scores. We’re interested in restoring special point awards based on medals, but we want your input to understand the basic meta first.
  • Score bleeds over time. We are watching this closely — score decay can feel bad, but all else being equal, a team that clears faster than another team should score higher. Score decay achieves this in the most transparent fashion.
  • Scoring cuts off after time thresholds. At 15 minutes, new points earned are reduced by 50%. At 18 minutes, you stop earning new points and it’s a race to finish the run and post your score. We want time to matter (see above), but we also want to avoid some of the problems we saw with Prison of Elders, where a “high score” might involve punishing respawning combatants (and yourself) for a few hours until the novelty wore off. A good Nightfall clear shouldn’t feel like a slog.

Challenge Cards

On top of all this Strike Scoring are Challenge Cards, items that offer ways to boost the difficulty in exchange for score multipliers.

Below you'll find some images of what to expect.

New Rewards

Players will be able to see their (and your own) scores on brand new Nightfall Emblems available as drips in each Nightfall Strike. These emblems are now the source of auras, which are automatically enabled if your personal score is above a global threshold.

Again, here are some images of what the cosmetic rewards you can expect.

Modifiers

There are a number of Modifiers that can be applied to a Strike when the Nightfall edition is released by Bungie. Below we've put together an ever expanding list of descriptions for each modifier featured in Destiny 2's Nightfall Strikes.

  • Attrition - Some enemies will drop shining orbs of “Restorative Light”. Walking over these will restore your armour and health bars rapidly.
  • Momentum - Health and shield regeneration are disabled while standing still, but sprinting triggers these effects.
  • Prism - Your attacks matching the focused elemental type deal increase damage. All other elemental damage is reduced. Kinetic and incoming damage is unaffected. The focused element rotates periodically.
  • Torrent - Your class abilities recharge at a much faster rate. This effect lasts throughout the entire Strike and is not affected by anything.
  • Time Warp: Anomalies - Glowing blue cubes that resemble Nessus’ Data Lattices are hidden throughout the Strike. Finding and destroying them will add +30 to the timer.
  • Time Warp: Killing Time - Defeat enemies to extend the mission timer, up to a limit.
  • Time Warp: Rings - A set of large white rings will appear in certain sections of the Strike. Jumping through a hoop will earn you +30 seconds on the timer, once one has been activated they will only hang in the air for a limited amount of time.
  • Time Warp: Zero Hour - There is no mechanic in the Strike that allows you to gain back time. You have a set time limit.

Destiny 2 Strike guides:

Nightfall Strike: Difficulty Settings

There are two distinct difficulty settings for Nightfall Strikes now: Normal and Prestige. We'll run through each mode here.

Normal difficulty is the bog-standard setting for Nightfall Strikes, and requires that you have a Power Level of 240 before you can set foot inside. Note that it is generally recommended, however, that you wait until you have a minimum of 265. It depends on how good your team is really, and whether you're playing with randoms or a group of tightly coordinated friends.

To unlock Prestige difficulty you must reach Power Level 300 and have a fireteam that's also reached this milestone. The main differences between Normal and Prestige difficulty are a reduced time limit and enemies who deal more damage and are tougher to kill - it's not for the faint of heart.

It's worth noting that there aren't any special rewards for completing Nightfalls on Prestige difficulty, meaning it's more for the personal achievement and Playstation Trophy than anything else!

Nightfall Strike: Rewards

Completing the weekly Nightfall Strike will reward you with a Luminous Engram that grants gear far higher than your current Power Level, so it's well worth attempting if you want to level up!

Nightfall Strikes also grant you around 3-4 extra Vanguard Tokens and give you a higher chance of receiving Legendary or Exotic loot since the challenge they present is much tougher.

Nightfall Strike: Difference to Heroics

In the first of three livestreams showcasing Destiny 2's first expansion the Curse of Osiris, Bungie announced the return of a Heroic Strikes playlist. In the original Destiny, max level players could choose to enter Heroic variants of Strikes which would be tougher, subject to modifiers and reward better loot - just like Destiny 2's Nightfalls.

This begs the question, what's the difference between Heroic and Nightfall Strikes in Destiny 2? Currently we're unsure of the answer, but our first guess would be a matchmaking option and different loot rewards.

If you want to participate in a Nightfall Strike with other players you either have to form a premade fireteam or search for Guided Game. We imagine the Heroic playlist wil have matchmaking so you'll be able to easily group with a bunch of randomers.

What's more, we reckon there may be a few exclusive loot rewards when you go ahead and complete Heroic Strikes. Here's hoping anyway!

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