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Destiny 2's Iron Banner Is Live: Rewards, Challenges, And How To Maximize Reputation

After a short delay, Iron Banner is back for Season of Defiance.


For the first time since the release of Lightfall, Destiny 2's Iron Banner mode is live. This limited-time PvP mode brings with it some adjustments to how it's worked in the past, but it's by and large the standard Iron Banner experience, complete with familiar rewards and reputation gains. Here's what to expect from now until March 28, when the mode leaves with the weekly reset.

One key thing to know: An issue was causing the mode's challenge to not appear. Normally, completing a certain number of Iron Banner matches will contribute toward earning a Pinnacle reward (a critical part of increasing your Power level past 1800). After an initial period in which the challenge was not available, you should now see it when hovering over the Iron Banner node in the Director.

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Iron Banner game mode

For this first of three Iron Banner events during Season of Defiance, the game mode is Iron Banner Control. Eruption will follow during Week 6 (which is now just two weeks away--this first event was delayed due to the invisible player bug), while Fortress will be available during Week 9. Bungie says future seasons may introduce other new Iron Banner mode variations, but none of those will pop up this season. Iron Banner Control plays out much like the standard Control mode, except that capturing all three zones temporarily locks them down and allows you to earn bonus points for hunting down the enemy team.

Iron Banner rewards

In terms of rewards, the loot pool now includes two returning Iron Banner weapons, the Bite of the Fox sniper rifle and Jorum's Claw pulse rifle. You can focus Iron Banner engrams into these (and other weapons and armor) if you've obtained them before. If you haven't earned them before, you'll receive a Bite of the Fox (with Rapid Hit and Iron Gaze) at Rank 4 and Jorum's Claw (with Moving Target and Incandescent) at Rank 7. That makes them the first two rewards you'll be able to pick up from Lord Saladin at the Tower. Unfortunately, you'll need to reset your rank at least once before earning an Iron Banner shader.

As with many other vendors now, speaking to Saladin will allow you to focus engrams into specific rewards (and those engrams will be stored with him, not in your inventory). Those rewards include not just the current items in the loot pool, but a bunch of older weapons (Frontier's Cry, Riiswalker, and so on) and armor sets. Each of these costs one Iron engram in addition to 25-50 Legendary Shards and 5,000-10,000 Glimmer. Alternatively, you can just decrypt the engrams directly from Saladin for randomized rewards.

This is one of your three opportunities to complete the Week 3 seasonal challenge Iron Sharpens Iron. This involves completing Iron Banner matches, with bonus progress being earned for wins. As with most seasonal challenges, this rewards you with Bright Dust and XP, on top of what you otherwise earn for playing Iron Banner.

Finally, as noted above, you can now earn a Pinnacle reward from completing enough Iron Banner matches during the week through the associated challenge. Iron Banner matches also contribute toward the Pinnacle challenge to play three Crucible matches each week.

How to maximize Iron Banner reputation

Last season, Bungie adjusted the amount of Iron Banner reputation earned from wins, further incentivizing you to pull out a victory. Keep in mind that there are several factors that play into the amount of reputation you earn. Equipping an Iron Banner emblem and Iron Banner weapons or armor (up to five pieces total) will increase the multiplier, which can be seen by hovering over the Rank Boost icon in the bottom left when selecting Iron Banner in the director. If you don't yet have an Iron Banner emblem available to you in Collections, you'll unlock the one pictured below at Rank 16.

The Ferrous Ferocity emblem available at Rank 16
The Ferrous Ferocity emblem available at Rank 16

Also bear in mind that applying ornaments from Iron Banner armor does count for the purposes of these bonuses; you don't actually need the armor you're wearing to be sourced from Iron Banner. Alongside all of this, completing weekly challenges--which simply involve playing Iron Banner as one of the specified subclasses--will further increase your reputation multiplier. There are four of these challenges in total, which will roll out over the course of the week.

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