Destiny 2: 10 Spooky Tips For Surviving In The Haunted Forest
By Phil Hornshaw | @philhornshaw on
The Haunted Forest is Spooky--and Tricky
Destiny 2’s big Halloween-themed event, the Festival of the Lost, is still live until November 6 and keeping players busy this year. While there’s the usual crop of special Halloween-themed cosmetic items and masks players can get for their characters, this year also sees the addition of a new special activity called the Haunted Forest. It recasts the Infinite Forest from Destiny 2’s Curse of Osiris expansion as a horror-themed spook-zone, where players try to take down as many enemies as they can, as fast as they can, to earn special Festival rewards. That includes Horror Story, a level 600 auto rifle with some extremely solid perks.
You’ll first unlock access to the Haunted Forest as part of the Festival of the Lost quest line picked up from Amanda Holliday on the Tower. She provides players with their first masks, which they’ll need to wear when they venture into the forest. Completing the quest line opens up the forest for entry, accessible from the Tower map. It comes in two varieties: the first includes matchmaking with other players, and the second is locked, allowing players to venture in with their own fireteams or alone.
The Haunted Forest seems pretty straightforward at first, but it carries key differences from the Infinite Forest players are used to seeing. It’s dark and scary, which make it difficult to navigate, and the Haunted Forest version contains special enemies that don’t show up regularly in the Infinite Forest. It also has different requirements for success than usual that can trip up new players.
There’s also a new, special currency in the Haunted Forest: Fragmented Souls, which can be returned to Holliday to buy more masks and other special rewards. Those include the Festival’s level 600 auto rifle, Horror Story. Like other activities, you’ll need to complete bounties and get as far as you can in the Haunted Forest to earn it, as well as to complete the special Festival of the Lost Triumphs Bungie has added to the game.
Here are 10 tips to help you overcome the terror and maximize your survivability in the Haunted Forest.
It’s Not About Speed, It’s About Speedy Kills
The Haunted Forest differs from the regular Infinite Forest in that your progression isn’t about distance covered. You’ll often see players sprinting through Strike missions that take place in the Infinite Forest, hoping to reach the far end of the area quickly in order to progress to the Strike’s boss. You have the opposite goal in the Haunted Forest--you want to kill as many enemies as you can, as fast as you can. Moving forward through each new area of the forest is just a means of finding new baddies to blast, so try to balance pushing forward and clearing out enemies. Whatever gets you more targets faster is the better plan.
When you’re trying to gauge how far into the Haunted Forest you’ve delved, look for the “Branch” number on your screen. Along with the branch you’re currently on, you’ll find a percentage that shows how many enemies you need to kill to get to the Nightmare, or boss, of that branch. It seems you’re responsible for killing 50 enemies per branch to move on to the Nightmare.
Know Which Modifiers Are Messing With You
The deeper into the Haunted Forest you get, the more difficult it becomes, specifically because of the modifiers applied to each new branch after the first. Knowing what modifiers you’re facing is key to staying alive, because you’ll need to change your fighting styles accordingly. You’ll see the Glass modifier on Branch 2, which makes you much easier to kill, but comes with faster recovery; Attrition on Branch 3, which means your health and shield won’t recharge on their own, but get restored by Light drops from enemies; Grounded on Branch 4, which greatly increases the damage you take while airborne; and Blackout on Branch 5, which disables your radar and makes enemy melee attacks much more deadly. From there the Haunted Forest will start doubling up modifiers to make things even more ridiculous.
Stick With Your Team
An essential part of surviving the Haunted Forest is staying together, especially in the later levels. Efficiently taking down bad guys is how you advance through the forest, and while it might feel like splitting up is the better way to go about that, it mostly just makes it easy to get overwhelmed. Do your best not to get too far ahead of your team; you’re better off supporting each other if you want to get to the really hard branches of the Haunted Forest.
Don’t Resurrect Yourself If You Can Avoid It
One big reason you’ll want to stay with your team: you want them to revive you. As you work through a branch of the Haunted Forest, you’ll open more and more areas with enemies in them and physically move deeper into the forest. If you die and resurrect yourself, rather than be revived by a teammate, though, you’ll be transported all the way back to the beginning of the area and be forced to walk all the way back to where your team is. That can eat up a ton of critical time, so avoid resurrecting yourself unless you absolutely have to, or if you’re early in a branch. Otherwise, you’ll probably cost your team the ability to get to one of the later branches for all the time wasted.
You’re Free to Resurrect in the Nightmare Arena
Every time you hit 100 percent on a branch, you’ll be transported to a special room where you’ll face a Nightmare boss, as well as a handful of its minions. This room is always the same no matter what branch you’re on, and once you’re here, you’re free to resurrect yourself without fear of getting sent back to the beginning of a branch. The Nightmare room is also the same for every branch, meaning ammo dropped in previous Nightmare fights will likely still be around in later ones if you need it. Remember that the timer is still running when you fight the Nightmare, so try to focus on the boss and take it down as fast as you can; you get nothing for clearing out the little guys harassing you while you fight.
Keep Your Masks Upgraded
Though the Haunted Forest is only supposedly a 200-Power-Level area, you’ll take a significant hit to your Power when you run it, since you’ll have to be wearing one of Holliday’s Festival of the Lost masks. Those masks do have benefits, though, apart from being hilarious: they get special perks that only apply in the Haunted Forest. You can apply one of three perks to each mask you get, although choose carefully, because they’re permanent. Once you’ve applied a perk, killing Nightmare bosses in the forest will allow you to upgrade them, unlocking better and better benefits. You get a new perk upgrade with every 10 Nightmares killed, so don’t forget to apply them.
Beware the Invincible Nightmare!
Stalking the Haunted Forest like a slasher movie villain is the Invincible Nightmare, a towering Hive Knight much like those that keep showing up in the Dreaming City’s Ascendant Challenges. Like Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger, though, this one can’t be killed. It’ll just hunt you through the forest, trying to wreck you and your teammates, which is particularly problematic when you’re working through branches with Glass and Blackout modifiers. If you see the Nightmare, avoid it at all costs, because you can’t do anything against it. Try to keep a lookout for it, too, because it likes to hide motionless in the dark until your team gets close, and it can ravage players in just one or two hits on later branches.
Watch Your Step To Stay Alive
This one might go without saying, but it’s easy to rush around the Haunted Forest, trying to beat the timer, and forget that it’s full of easily missed edges and drop-offs that can kill you. It’s especially easy to overlook those drops because the Haunted Forest is largely very dark and spooky. In an activity where death can be a major pain, either because it requires a teammate to help you or because it can cost you a ton of valuable time, it’s best to avoid your usual paths through the Haunted Forest that require big jumps or daredevil approaches. In fact, sticking to the clear path through the forest is often a better way to get to enemies more reliably, and to stay close to your team so they can revive you when you do die. Avoid the unnecessary risks of tempting fate over the Haunted Forest’s pits.
Don’t Panic When the Timer Runs Out, But Play Smarter
Eventually, the 15-minute timer on your Haunted Forest run will expire, with a message that the forest will be collapsing on you. That makes it tempting to rush, but when the timer runs out, you should do the opposite: slow down, take your time, and play smarter. The Haunted Forest lets you stay and complete whatever branch you’re currently working on through to the Nightmare at the end, provided your whole team isn’t killed. Without the timer, you have no reason to rush and every reason to stay alive, so it’s best to change tactics, especially on higher branches where you can get taken out in one shot by the Invincible Nightmare, or even enemies like snipers. Note also that you’ll have much longer timers on your self-resurrection ability once the Haunted Forest timer expires--a full 30 seconds.
The Invincible Nightmare’s Pit is Scary, But It Won’t Cost You Anything
This is a spoiler for the best part of the Haunted Forest, so if you want to be surprised, quit reading. If not, know that once the timer has expired and you’ve died, you’ll be zapped to a place where you can claim a chest and collect all the Fractured Souls you’ve earned for fighting through the forest. Bungie has one more trick up its sleeve, though: a hidden pit beneath the bridge you have to cross to reach the chest, which traps you with the monstrous Invincible Nightmare. It’s a funny joke, but don’t worry too much if you’re panicked that this horror movie twist just cost you your winnings. If you can’t open the chest, you’ll find them at the Postmaster. There’s also a secret exit from the pit hidden toward the ceiling on one of the side walls that will let you avoid becoming another slasher victim.