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Destiny 2 Altars of Sorrow guide | What is it for, how to complete it, & rewards

Along with plenty of festive, spooky decor and collectibles, Destiny 2’s Festival of the Lost update added some actual scary stuff into the game, particularly on the Moon. The most obvious addition is the Altars of Sorrow activity. Destiny 2: Shadowkeep players will notice that the Sorrow’s Harbor area has transformed, replacing the occasionally-spawning Ogres with a full-on, Escalation Protocol-style cooperative activity. We’re here to break down Destiny 2 Altars of Sorrow for those wondering what Altars of Sorrow is for, how to complete it, and what rewards it has in store.

Destiny 2 Altars of Sorrow rewards | What’s the point of the new Moon activity?

Destiny 2 the deepening wake

As mentioned above, Altars of Sorrow is a lot like the Mars-based Escalation Protocol activity. Players deal with increasingly harder waves of enemies in order to advance to even tougher tiers, earning better loot in turn. The main reason most Guardians will want to complete Altars of Sorrow is for The Deepening Wake, a quest that allows you to access the new Shadowkeep dungeon. It appears there will eventually be a bounty available from Eris called Slow-Wave Disruption that requires players to complete Altars of Sorrow in exchange for the Hymn of Desecration consumable. This grants an increased chance of earning loot from specific dungeon encounters.

ALSO: Destiny 2 Festival of the Lost all Eververse items

Destiny 2 altars of sorrow shotgun

However, participating in the Altars of Sorrow is also an excellent way to farm Shadowkeep’s new Scarlet Keep-themed legendary weapons: The Blasphemer kinetic slug shotgun, the Apostate energy sniper, and the Heretic rocket launcher. The higher the tier you reach before the activity ends, the better chance you have of getting one of these weapons from the chest that spawns. The specific weapon you’ll find appears to change every week, as players have only been finding the Blasphemer shotgun during the activity’s first week. In addition to these weapons, completing Altars of Sorrow can apparently also reward the Bane of Crota legendary Ghost shell.

How to complete Destiny 2 Altars of Sorrow | All waves and final Nightmare

Destiny 2 altars of sorrow beam

Beginning the activity and completing the initial tiers

Beginning Altars of Sorrow is as simple as being near the marked Hive ritual circle when the event is starting and attacking the Nightmares in the area. You’ll know the event is starting when you see a message saying “The Hive are calling out to the Darkness” in the bottom-left of your HUD. If you plan to try to reach the event’s higher tiers, make sure there are enough other Guardians around. If you arrive in Sorrow’s Harbor and no one is around, head to orbit and warp back in. This will reset the instance, so there’s a chance more players will be there to help when you return.

Once the activity starts, you’ll have to kill a certain number of Nightmares that spawn from the large, green orbs that form around the Hive ritual altars. (Note: Don’t touch the orbs. Doing so will damage you significantly and toss you backwards.) The Nightmares you need to kill are marked on your HUD. Killing them as well as the weaker enemies in the area will add time back to your timer, so it’s important to keep these under control. After completing all waves in a tier, you’ll be directed to another altar in the area.

Completing the higher tiers and the final boss

Each new tier brings enemies of higher power levels, more required Nightmare kills, and generally tougher circumstances (such as plentifully spawning cursed thrall). In the higher tiers, you’ll eventually have to kill a set of Nightmare Hive wizards with invulnerable shields. To harm them, kill the Hive swordbearers that spawn from the orb and use the relic swords they drop to break the wizards’ shields. Do this enough times and you’ll arrive at the final phase of the activity.

After tier five, you’ll have to kill the “final Nightmare” boss. The week of Festival of the Lost’s launch, the final Nightmare is the Nightmare of Phogoth, but this could end up changing each week. The boss has a massive amount of health and occasionally becomes invincible, many additional enemies will appear all around the area, and you’ll have a very short amount of time to win, so the final phase is extremely hard to complete without a large group of Guardians. The key is to kill tons of additional enemies to add more time to the clock, damaging the boss when you can. Smaller Nightmares will spawn and try to sacrifice themselves by walking into other orbs in the area, which will cut big chunks off the timer, so don’t let them reach their goal.

If you fail to complete the final phase of the Destiny 2 Altars of Sorrow event, you’ll be sent back to tier five. As long as you successfully complete this tier again, you can keep taking shots at the final Nightmare until it finally goes down.