Hunter, Warlock, or Titan? Here's what to expect from each one.
Since the release of the first Destiny, the series has revolved around three playable classes: Titan, Warlock, and Hunter. While you have enough slots to make one of each, many players will invest their time in one primary character, making your choice of class the most important decision you'll make when playing Destiny 2. With the free-to-play New Light version of the game upon us and a new wave of players set to join the fray, many will be asking one thing: Which of Destiny 2's classes is best?
Put simply, there isn't a single best class. While the meta changes over time to favor particular loadouts and Supers, the reality is that you'll be fine no matter what you want to play--it's really a matter of style. Do you want to look like a wizard or a hulking tank, or do you love cloaks? Do you want to be Captain America or Emperor Palpatine? You can't switch classes after making your choice (you'd have to create a separate character), so it's important to think this through.
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And despite what you might think when reading there are "classes," you'll be a damage dealer no matter what in Destiny 2. Each class has three subclasses (arc, solar, and void) that you can freely switch between, and some of their respective sets of perks might skew more towards playing defensively or supporting your fireteam. But no matter your choice, you won't be relegated to functioning as a tank or healer.
In picking between the classes, there are a few key points that you need to weigh:
- Looks -- Each class has a distinctive appearance and its own slate of armor, as well as a particular class item that only it uses. Titans get marks (belts adorned with cloth), Warlocks get bonds (glowing armbands), and Hunters get cloaks.
- Abilities -- Each has different grenade types and melee abilities, but more significant is the class and Super abilities that you'll have access to.
- Exotics -- Like standard armor, Exotic armor is class-specific, and the unique perks they provide are a factor to consider. Beyond looking particularly cool, these can even change the way Supers work: Celestial Nighthawk, for instance, causes the Hunter's Golden Gun to transform from a gun that fires several rounds into one that only fires one super-high-damage bullet that causes the target to explode.
With all of that in mind, here's an overview of what kind of experience you can expect when playing as a Titan, Warlock, and Hunter.
Titans are the burliest of Destiny's classes, typically wearing bulkier-looking armor than the others. They're able to function as an anchor for a fireteam, thanks to the ability to erect barriers that can block incoming fire and/or speed up reload times (a new change with Shadowkeep, as they previously negated the need to reload at all). Their jump takes the form of a lift--almost like rocket boots that push you in your chosen direction, as opposed to the more traditional double-jump that the Hunter has. They also primarily spec towards Resilience, ensuring they can take a lot of damage before dying.
Although the Titan's appearance suggests it functions as a tank, that's not necessarily the case--they can be as damage-oriented and aggressive as anyone. That said, among the void subclass perks is Code of the Protector, which is more defense-oriented. Its melee ability can heal and shield allies, and in addition to the standard Titan Void class Super ability (a Captain America-style shield), you can deploy a bubble shield that completely protects those inside of it (and, as of Shadowkeep, provides a nice damage buff). If you want to protect your teammates, having this as one of your options makes Titan an appealing choice.
Barrier -- This blocks incoming fire but comes in two forms. The Tower Barricade is a taller version that exclusively is used defensively. Rally Barricade is much shorter but speeds up weapon reloads for allies standing next to it.
Void: Sentinel Shield -- As alluded to above, this is essentially Captain America's shield: You can bash enemies at close range or throw it to have it bounce off of surfaces and take out multiple enemies at once. Alternatively, Code of the Protector allows you to expend your Super energy to generate a bubble shield that protects and buffs teammates. Pressing the button to aim down sights with Sentinel Shield also produces a mobile barrier to protect against damage and (in the case of Code of the Commander) increase the damage of friendlies firing through it.
Arc: Fists of Havoc -- An electric ground pound that annihilates nearby enemies. Unlike the Destiny 1 iteration, you can perform this attack several times with each Super use, and you can sprint around performing shoulder charges. Code of the Missile replaces the standard Super with a version that causes you to launch your body like a missile at a designated point, doing heavy damage.
Solar: Hammer of Sol -- Wield fiery hammers that can be thrown at long range. Code of the Devastator replaces these with a large, flaming maul that can be slammed into the ground to deal damage in a line in front of you, or you can spin in circles to damage enemies all around you.
Warlocks are Destiny's rough approximation of a magic user. They favor the Recovery stat, allowing them to regenerate their health more quickly. They can also buff teammates with their Rift class ability, which can either heal or provide a damage boost to those who stand in it. (They also have a grenade option that can heal teammates.) Their jump is, like the Titan's, not really a jump--it's more of a jetpack, allowing them to smoothly move through the air. An alternate jump option also allows them to teleport a short distance, something no other class can do.
In terms of armor, Warlocks generally wear flowing garments and other things that make you look like a space wizard. For much of the past year, Warlocks have been a fixture thanks to Well of Radiance, a variation of its Solar class Super that creates a big healing zone for your fireteam to stand in, and which effectively broke a lot of encounters. That's expected to be fixed moving forward, but Warlock remains the ideal choice if you want to heal teammates while dishing out damage. They also have some unique capabilities involving grenades, allowing them to consume Super energy to buff grenade damage or consume grenade energy to heal themselves.
Rift -- This creates a small area that provides a benefit to the user and allied players who walk inside of it. You can choose between Healing Rift (regenerating health and providing an overshield) and Empowering Rift (offering a damage buff).
Void: Nova Bomb -- Fire a large energy ball at a targeted location, dealing significant damage to enemies near where it explodes. Alternatively, the Attunement of Fission perk set dramatically changes this, turning it into Nova Warp. This lets you roam the area, teleport, and cause explosions around you.
Arc: Stormtrance -- Think Force lightning from Star Wars, and you've got the idea. Stormtrance allows you to roam the area, firing electricity from your fingertips that will chain between enemies. The Attunement of Control perks replace this with Chaos Reach, which mostly locks you in place (even in mid-air) and allows you to fire a giant beam of arc energy in the targeted direction.
Solar: Daybreak -- Wield a fiery sword that allows you to launch homing projectiles at enemies. Attunement of Grace replaces this with Well of Radiance, which instead sticks that sword into the ground and creates a large area that provides healing and damage buffs to friendly players standing inside of it.
Hunters are the most elusive of Destiny 2's classes, leaning most heavily into the mobility stat to ensure they can move quickly. Their class ability plays right into this: It's a dodge that can also double as a buff or reload your weapon. They are the only class with a fairly typical jump ability, a double-jump, but it can evolve into a triple jump.
As you'd expect for a class meant to be agile, Hunter armor is relatively lightweight-looking, with their signature cloaks (which can either be short or nearly reach the floor) giving them a distinctive look. While they're not able to protect or heal teammates, Hunters do have the Shadowshot Super that can be a major boon to the team, weakening affected enemies. They can also use Smoke Grenades to render themselves or their allies invisible. Their general focus on being agile comes at the cost of being relatively easy to kill. If you're a fan of knives, the Solar subclass's melee ability takes the form of a throwing knife.
Dodge -- Double tap a button to roll out of the way and evade danger. This provides an accompanying effect depending on your choice between Marksman's Dodge (reload your weapon, which is especially handy with slow-to-reload weapons like machine guns) and Gambler's Dodge (recharges your melee ability when you dodge near an enemy).
Void: Shadowshot -- Fire a bow and arrow that creates an anchor, tethering nearby enemies, thereby slowing them, preventing them from using abilities, and causing them to take more damage. Way of the Pathfinder gives you Moebius Quiver, allowing you to fire multiple arrows, each of which does significant damage when targeting a tethered enemy.
Arc: Arc Staff -- Summon an arc staff that you can run around, beating up enemies with (all the while doing flips and generally looking quite fancy). Way of the Current adds the Whirlwind Guard ability, allowing you to block incoming fire while still moving.
Solar: Golden Gun -- Pull out a pistol that fires multiple high-damage rounds, even at long range. The number of bullets depends on your choice of perks (and, in one case, your ability to land precision hits with it). Way of a Thousand Cuts instead launches you into the air and causes you to fire out a number of explosive knives.