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Destiny 2: Lightfall - Defiant Battlegrounds Guide

The new Destiny 2 seasonal activity combines prison-break action with extra-dimensional exploration.


Like previous seasons in Destiny 2, Season of Defiance has a new activity for players to take part in. Defiant Battlegrounds are a mix of ideas that have been present in Destiny 2 for several seasons, combining the thrill of taking on a Cabal army with the intrigue of traversing the Ascendant Realm and encountering the Taken that inhabit it. Narratively, Defiant Battlegrounds is a three-player matchmade activity in which fireteams take the fight directly to Calus and his Shadow Legion, rescue prisoners of war, and weaken the forces of the Witness in the process.

The difference here is that this Battleground has a few extra steps to its design, as you won't just be shooting your way through corridors of Cabal troops. Extra challenges lie ahead, but once you know the rhythm for this activity, you'll be able to quickly grind through it so that you can earn the coveted rewards at the end.

Defiant Battlegrounds can be launched from two sources currently. You can start the activity by selecting it on the EDZ map, and if you're up for a more difficult fight, you can jump into the more challenging version from the playlist found in the HELM map screen. You can also check in at the HELM war table for bounties, some of which can only be completed in Defiant Battlegrounds.

Defiant Battlegrounds Phase 1

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This is the easiest and simplest part of the activity, as you'll need to punch a hole through the Shadow Legion frontlines. Equip your best gear--or the right tools for the job depending on the weekly seasonal objectives--and steadily carve a path through the Shadow Legion. After some furious fighting against cannon fodder soldiers, war hounds, and commanders, you'll be directed to a nearby platform where you can direct your new powers granted to you by Mara Sov, opening up a gateway into the Ascendant Realm.

Defiant Battlegrounds Phase 2

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Once you're inside of the spooky dimension, you'll be running a short gauntlet through Taken forces. This part isn't too complex either, although you'll want to keep an eye open for the usual Taken traps that litter this location. As you progress further, you'll need to dismantle Taken Blights, so that you can empower your Guardian's Balefire for the challenge that lies ahead. Clear the dimension of Taken, take out the Blights, and you'll encounter a boss at the end of this section.

This foe, Exomida, Taken of the Witness, in the EDZ map, will have a three-phase health bar that your fireteam will need to whittle down. It'll pop impenetrable shields twice in this encounter, which can be taken down by destroying the Blights that spawn on this stage. Attack the boss, take out Blights, and once the dust has settled you'll be ready for a prison break as you exit the Ascendant Realm.

Defiant Battlegrounds Phase 3

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Now that you're inside the Cabal prison, it's time to for some search-and-rescue action. The Shadow Legion warden won't be willing to give up his captives without a fight, and you'll have to deal with the Cabal leader and his troops as they rush you. This phase gets more challenging when the Warden activates his impenetrable shields, which can only be broken with a special orb. To get this deadly sphere, you'll need to light your Balefires in the center of the room, which also acts as a safe space when the damaging suppression field is activated. Standing inside the Balefire area will grant you a brief Safeguarded buff, protecting you from the damaging effects of the suppression field for several seconds.

Look for a marked Taken Wizard, defeat it, and take the Taken Essence it drops back to your Balefire location. This will then be transformed into a sphere that can be hurled at the warden, and after he has been hit by three of these orbs, his shields will drop. After two-thirds of his health have been removed, the Warden will move to a higher vantage point and you'll need to activate a Balefire closer to him. Repeat the process while dealing with enemy Cabal and Taken, drop the Warden's shields, and defeat the boss of this battleground to complete the activity.


After you've rescued the captives, you'll be able to collect some gear depending on which version of Defiant Battlegrounds you launched. Directly launching the activity will automatically reward you with world pool armor and weapons, while the playlist version will have a chest that can be opened at the end.

If you do not have a seasonal key when you open that chest, you will receive a seasonal weapon or armor. If you do have a seasonal key, you can use that to claim either a seasonal weapon with Deepsight resonance that you have not completed the crafting pattern for or a high-stat piece of armor. This chest will also award you with a seasonal engram.

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