Destiny 2 New Light: The Ultimate Guide to Playing Free

All about the free-to-play version of Destiny 2

The free version of Destiny 2 is referred to as Destiny 2: New Light. Newcomers to the popular MMO will likely be overwhelmed by the amount of content in New Light. Here's a guide to everything that's included, and what's not included, when you play Destiny 2 for free.

Information in this article applies to all versions of Destiny 2: New Light for all platforms including PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

What Is Destiny New Light?

Destiny 2: New Light is not a trial version of the game. It's a full, free-to-play edition of Destiny 2 that includes all of the locations and features found in the original paid version of the game prior to the release of the latest expansions, Destiny 2: Forsaken and Destiny 2: Shadowkeep.

New Light allows anyone to enjoy Destiny 2 while offering the option to purchase expansions and other downloadable content (DLC) individually. New players begin at a higher level so that they can jump right in, but only a few areas are accessible at first. To unlock all locations, you must earn XP, which can be done by completing various in-game activities.

Destiny 2: New Light DLC store

On Which Platforms Is Destiny 2 New Light Available for Free?

You can play Destiny 2: New Light on your PC, PS4, or Xbox One. Go to Steam or your game console's store to download it. It will not be listed as New Light, so just look for the free version of Destiny 2.

Destiny 2 features cross-save support, which means you can save your game and keep playing on a different platform. You can also play with others using any version on any platform. All that's required is an internet connection; however, if playing the PS4 version, you need to pay for a PS Plus subscription to access multiplayer features.

What Content Does New Light Include?

Here's what's included in the free edition of Destiny 2:

  • A new opening mission: New Light begins with a brand new mission. You can also access the mission if you already own the game.
  • All Locations: You can visit all available areas in Destiny 2, including the Tower, the European Dead Zone (EDZ), and the Dreaming City.
  • The first two expansions: All Curse of Osiris and Warmind expansion content is included.
  • Crucible (PvP mode): Play PvP against anyone who has any version of Destiny 2 on any platform.
  • Strikes: Team up with two other players in story-driven strikes.
  • Gambit: Compete in teams of four to see who can defeat all the enemies the fastest.
  • All Year One campaigns: Play the three story-campaigns from Year One including Red War, Curse of Osiris, and Warmind.
    All Year One raids and strikes: Participate in six-player raids including Leviathan, Eater of Worlds, and Spire of Stars.
  • Year One Exotics: Obtain Exotic items by participating in quests, strikes, raids, Crucible, and Gambit.
  • Year Two Annual Pass content: This includes Black Armory Forges, Gambit Prime, and Menagerie modes.
  • Events: Participate in seasonal events such as Iron Banner PvP, Solstice of Heroes, Festival of the Lost, and the Dawning.

Destiny 2: Night Light adds new armor drops, so it's worth repeating raids and strikes that you've already completed to earn more powerful items.

What Isn't Included in Destiny 2?

DLC for Destiny 2 can be divided into four categories: Year One includes the first two expansions and all annual pass content; Year Two includes the Forsaken expansion and all annual pass content; Year Three includes the Shadowkeep expansion and all annual pass content; and Year Four includes the upcoming Beyond Light expansion and associated seasonal content.

While New Light features all Year One content, only parts of Year Two are included. The following content is not available for free in New Light:

  • Story content from the Forsaken, Shadowkeep, and Beyond Light expansions
  • Seasonal and end-game content including raids and the Shattered Throne
  • Some Exotic items and weapons from Year Two and Year Three

Destiny 2 Annual Passes, Expansions, and DLC

Although there's plenty of things to do for free in New Light, Destiny 2 offers multiple expansions and season passes that add even more story content including new strikes, raids, and Exotic items. Below is a list of DLC available in Destiny 2 as of summer 2020:

  • Beyond Light: A new expansion called Beyond Light is available to pre-order for $39.99 on Steam. A deluxe version that includes a season pass and DLC is available for $69.99.
  • Shadowkeep: The third expansion is available for $34.99 on Steam. All annual pass content is included.
  • Forsaken: The second expansion is available for $24.99 on Steam. All annual pass content is included. You can also purchase Forsaken and Shadowkeep as a bundle for $49.99.
  • Destiny 2 Season Passes: Season passes in Destiny 2 give you access to future time-limited events. You can purchase individual season passes in-game for 1000 silver, or about $10.
  • Weekly Offerings: You can purchase various power-ups, vehicles, and aesthetic upgrades with in-game currency.

Game retailers frequently offer new bundles and discounts, so keep an eye out for deals on Destiny 2 DLC.