Destiny: How To Get Guaranteed Legendary And Exotic Items

by Daniel Tack on Sep 17, 2014 at 06:00 AM

Since Destiny’s launch, I’ve seen tons of comments about those lovable legendary engrams that end up being rares or resources instead of a legendary item. I’ve heard that gearing up is completely left to the mercy of the luck gods, and while there is some serious luck involved in getting random drops, there are actually quite a few ways that Destiny employs to ensure that if you’re playing at level 20, you’re going to be working toward legendary items and exotic items every day, if you wish.

And while you’re doing so, you’ll have some chances to get the random drops as well. There are three main fail-safe systems for level 20 players to acquire legendary and exotic gear outside of snagging a random reward from an enemy drop, PVP bonus loot, or a jazzy legendary engram.


Start here. Players accumulate marks in both PVE (Strike playlist, dailies, weeklies, and public events) and PVP (Crucible) each week. These are tied to their activities, so a particularly hardcore player could engage in both systems and end up with two legendaries or more each week. I’m guessing that most players have a preference to focus on, but they’ll probably dip in to acquire some of the other kind just by doing their bounties for bonus experience and reputation.

Marks can start being acquired at level 18, and can be turned in for legendary items at a variety of merchants around the Tower. If you don’t fancy anything that the normal Vanguard (PVE) vendor has available, there are three alternate factions that you can work on for specialty legendaries that suit your playstyle and preference.


After level 20, you continue to gain experience points. While these won’t raise your base level, these go into an experience pool that will pop out a mote of light every time you “level” – So keep knocking out those bounties! Motes can also appear as random drops. Get yourself a pile of motes and wait for Xur to come by on Friday and Saturday – Forget legendary, they can be traded in for an exotic engram! You can also use motes to be the coolest looking Guardian in the galaxy by splurging on cosmetics, if you so desire.


You’ll accumulate strange coins via weeklies and the strike playlist, and as an occasional random drop or PVP reward. Like the motes, you’ll want to wait until you can turn these into Xur on the weekend. These can be turned in for exotic rewards.

While it can be a little bit of a let down to crack open a legendary engram to find something uninteresting inside, there are underlying systems at work in Destiny that ensure that within a week or two, you can definitely have plenty of legendaries and even some slots filled with coveted exotic items (you’re limited to one exotic weapon and one exotic piece of armor equipped).

While there have been tons of “legendary farming guides” posted that mostly hinge on high-mob density farms or chest routes, if you want to make sure you’re going to get a piece of the good stuff, focus on the systems in play that are designed to get you geared.