Destiny 2 Cloudstrike Exotic Guide - How To Get The Thunderlord-Like Sniper Rifle

Beyond Light's new Exotics are in the game, thanks to the Deep Stone Crypt raid, but you'll have to do some work to get them--here's what you need to know.


With the release of the Deep Stone Crypt raid in Destiny 2, a whole new crop of Exotic weapons and armor pieces are now available with the Beyond Light expansion. Some require completing quests to reach them, while others have their own prerequisites. With Cloudstrike, a powerful sniper rifle that zaps enemies with lightning, you'll have to complete a few tasks before you can take a crack at earning the Exotic.

Cloudstrike is technically a random drop in the Empire Hunt activity on Europa, but you have to unlock your chance to nab it. Here's everything you need to know so you can track down Cloudstrike and fill out your collection of new weapons.

While you're hunting Cloudstrike, make sure to check out our guides to nab The Lament Exotic sword and the Salvation's Grip Exotic grenade launcher.

Step 1: Complete The "A Hard Rain Falls" Mission

Variks, one of Europa's quest-givers, has been dishing out special Sabotage bounties since the expansion was released. After the Deep Stone Crypt raid was added to the game, it became possible to access several that were previously hidden. First, though, you'll need to knock out a story quest.

To do that, you'll have to head to the Exo Stranger and pick up the story mission called A Hard Rain Falls. This is a reference to how the world has changed as a result of a team completing the Deep Stone Crypt raid. Because of the destruction of the orbital platform that's part of the raid, one area of Europa becomes "eclipsed" every week. You'll see which area is eclipsed when you check the Europa Director map. When an area is eclipsed, the Fallen and Darkness presence there increases, changing how things in the zone work slightly.

For our purposes, you just need to know that completing A Hard Rain Falls requires you to go to whatever area is eclipsed and complete events. Pick up kill enemies, pick up patrols, and complete Public Events. You'll get the best progress on the mission from completing Heroic Public Events and killing powerful enemies--the ones who sport orange and yellow life bars. Knock out a few Heroics and you should complete the mission without much issue.

Step 2: Complete Variks' "Europan Explorer" Sabotage Bounties

You'll need to knock out the Europan Explorer I and II sabotage bounties from Variks before you can get a crack at Cloudstrike.
You'll need to knock out the Europan Explorer I and II sabotage bounties from Variks before you can get a crack at Cloudstrike.

Now head to Variks. Finishing A Hard Rain Falls should have filled out a bunch of new Sabotage bounties that weren't previously available (the rest unlock when you complete the Exo Stranger's last story quest, Born of Darkness 4). The two bounties you need to finish are Europan Explorer I and Europan Explorer II--the second one only becomes available when you finish the first. Make sure you have a fairly decent stock of Herealways Pieces, as you'll need 10 to buy the first bounty, 20 for the second, and if you've completed Variks' other upgrades, 20 for one of his Empire Hunt missions. You can earn more Herealways on Europa from completing Lost Sectors, killing High-Value Targets, and beating Public Events.

Both these bounties are pretty simple. Europan Explorer I just requires you to kill enemies on Europa with your various gun types: 50 for Kinetic, 50 for Energy, and 25 for Heavy. Europan Explorer II sends you into Empire Hunts, where you need to kill 30 total powerful enemies. You should be able to do that in one Empire Hunt if you're careful--make sure not to kill any of the big boss enemies until you've knocked out all the smaller minions in any given room, or you might rob yourself of the opportunity to kill every orange- and yellow-lifebar enemy in the mission. You might also want to avoid The Warrior if you're trying to do this in one go, since we only got 29 powerful enemies in that one and had to do a whole second hunt.

Step 3: Complete Variable Difficulty Empire Hunts

Variable difficulty Empire Hunts are launched from the Director, and not found as mission banners on Europa's surface.
Variable difficulty Empire Hunts are launched from the Director, and not found as mission banners on Europa's surface.

Once you complete Europan Explorer II, you'll gain access to Empire Hunts that function more like Shadowkeep's Nightmare Hunts, where you can adjust the difficulty from Adept all the way to Master. You won't find these on Variks's menu, however--the new hunts are located on the Europa Director Map, toward the top. That means you can launch the hunts from orbit. They're also quite a bit speedier, since they cut out the requirements that send you around Europa to kill various enemies before you actually unlock the Empire Hunt mission.

Every difficulty level of the variable Empire Hunts lists Cloudstrike as a potential reward. Unfortunately, the emphasis is on "potential," as Cloudstrike is listed as a "Rare" drop. That means you might get it from a variable-difficulty Empire Hunt, but you also might not. The good news is that the rarity is the same for every difficulty level, so you don't need to bother with the harder hunts unless you really want to.

Unfortunately, that's it. Once you have the variable-difficulty Empire Hunts unlocked, it's just a matter of completing them to get Cloudstrike. Keep working on Variks's Sabotage bounties and you can amp up the Empire Hunt rewards, adding a weekly pinnacle drop. But if you want the Exotic, you're going to have to keep playing hunts until it drops for you.

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