Destiny 2’s next season will be tied to The Witch Queen. Here’s everything we know about Destiny 2 Season 16, known as Season of the Risen.
It’s not just the Witch Queen that’ll arrive in February 2022, though, because it’ll actually kick off the Season 16 content in the same way that Beyond Light arrived alongside Season of the Hunt (Season 12).
So, once you’ve visited the Throne World and gone toe-to-toe with Savathun, what awaits? Here’s everything we know about Season 16, also known as Destiny 2 Season of the Risen.
- Start Date
- New weapons and gear
- Story and Characters
- Artifact mod changes
Check out the trailer below:
Season of the Risen will end on May 24.
While the game hasn’t added much in the way of PvP maps in recent months, Season 16 will finally see the addition of two Destiny 1 Crucible maps into the Destiny 2 rotation. We now know that these are Vostok, and Eternity.
That may sound a little disappointing, but as assistant game director Joe Blackburn explained on Twitter, a new map is coming in Season 17.
After reprised maps in season 16, season 17 will come with a brand-new map. There are a bunch of new environments in Destiny 2, and we’re excited to start bringing them into the crucible.
— Joe Blackburn (@joegoroth) August 4, 2021
Blackburn also noted in an interview with Gamespot that Season 16 is “the next big boiling point” for Destiny 2’s content approach.
“We’ve really had trouble with some of these seasons that come out right alongside the expansion,” he said.
“And so we’ve put a lot of thought and effort into how we want to do that better this time around. I mean, you, as a hardcore Destiny player, know that it can feel tough for the season to matter when it comes out a week [after the release of an expansion], and you’ve already got raid weapons, and you’re like, ‘I don’t know if I need this–does this stuff really matter?’ So we’re really excited to get Season 16 out day and date with Witch Queen this time and to have a lot of stuff for players to do and engage with, and really see the value immediately, not only to give you stuff to do while you’re leveling up, but to give you stuff while you’re prepping for some of those endgame activities.”
Bungie had said that Gambit changes will be arriving in Year 5 but wanted to collect another season’s worth of data before making any adjustments — but a Gambit rework has now been confirmed.
Gambit will get a Freelance option, preventing pre-made parties from stomping newly formed teams, and existing matchups between enemy type and map are being reworked to make things less predictable. Players will also spawn closer to the action, too, while players will now only drop half of their motes upon death — not all.
Invaders are also able to collect motes, but will drop more, too, and revives will be available two seconds faster.
Enemy shields will also have more resistance to non-matching damage types, but won’t be as tough to break as they are in PvE combat.
There are also tweaks to Blockers, as well as mote drain being paused if a Guardian is attempting to beat back the Blockers, as well as changes to how ammo, particularly heavy ammo, is dished out.
Finally, Primevals are going to be re-tuned, adding an increased emphasis on killing Envoys. You can get up to speed with the full Gambit rundown right here.
On top of this, Vanguard Ops changes have also been announced for S16. In the update, the devs said that players can “expect increased Vanguard reputation on completion, activity streak amounts, Nightfall multipliers, and Nightfall completion quality bonuses.”
This change means that Vanguard rep will take almost half the amount of time to collect as it does now, and completing Nightfalls will only speed up that progress further. Trials of Osiris will receive a similar update with more prominent changes coming later in the year.
Bungie’s latest seasonal activity will see Guardians tracking down Savathun’s lieutenants across the Solar system and teaming up with Cabal Psions to enter the Mindscape.
We’ll update this page with more info as we get it.
A new exotic weapon is up for grabs in a new exotic quest that takes players to Mars.
The Dead Messenger grenade launcher can rotate elemental damage types and “generates a fan of three waves of impact,” according to Bungie’s press release.
Destiny 2 Season 16 weapons
Players can expect a new exotic tied to the season pass, as well as the new seasonal activity – at least if the last few seasons are anything to go by. In fact, the seasonal exotic appears to be the Grand Overture.
Bungie has revealed next season’s ritual weapon — The Reckless Endangerment Pursuit Shotgun. According to the developer’s weekly blog, it “introduces the new Steady Hands perk for a massive handling boost after a kill, plus Snapshot.”
Interestingly, Bungie is bringing back Destiny 2 Year 1 inspired weapons for Season 16.
“In Season 16, we’re replacing the old World Loot Pool with 12 new weapons in the style of the Destiny 2 Year-1 foundry weapon sets, three weapons each from the Suros, Omolon, Häkke, and Veist foundries, plus one foundry weapon each for Vanguard, Gambit, and Crucible. ”
Each weapon will come with a trait that’s based on the manufacturer:
|Suros||Suros Synergy||Reloading grants this weapon bonus handling and reduces incoming flinch for a short time.
+40 handling, 20% flinch resistance for 6s after reloading.
|Häkke||Häkke Breach Armaments||This weapon deals increased damage against vehicles, turrets, barricades, and Stasis crystals.
“Turrets” includes Stasis Turrets. +15% to vehicles, +30% to structures and turrets.
|Omolon||Omolon Fluid Dynamics||This weapon has increased reload speed and stability for the top half of the magazine.
Stability: max +20, reload: max +30, reduces as the magazine gets lower.
|Veist||Veist Stinger||Chance on damage to partially refill this weapon’s magazine.|
Bungie is also promising more weapons for each foundry in the coming months, as well as an upcoming Vanguard Shotgun, Crucible Hand Cannon and Gambit Auto Rifle.
With Season of the Lost being our first face-to-face with Savathun, and the Witch Queen making her the main antagonist, it all depends on how the expansion ends.
After all, if she goes the way of her brother Oryx, we’ll slay her in the expansion’s new raid and then that’s… it. We’ll be sure to update this as we hear more, but there’s always the chance we end up taking on the Witch Queen’s children.
We do know we’ll be fighting alongside at least one familiar face in Season of the Risen. We’ll be teaming up with Empress Caiatl, who we previously bested in Season of the Chosen in 2021. This time around, we’ll be borrowing her light-trapping capabilities to try and take the light from Savathun and her Hive Guardians.
Starting in Season 16, Bungie will be making some significant changes to the way Artifact mods work in Destiny 2.
First, players will no longer be limited to the number of Artifact mods they can unlock. Meaning it will be possible to get all 25 Artifact mods by the end of the season. Additionally, to unlock each Artifact mod after the 12th, increased XP will be required.
Bungie will also be bringing back a couple of fan-favorite anti-Champion mods in Season 16. These include Anti-Barrier Scout Rifles and Bows as well as a buff that will make disrupting Overload champions more reliable.
Finally, the brand new “Glaive” weapon archetype will be introduced in The Witch Queen. Throughout Season 16, Bungie is going to amp the Glaive with new Artifact mods to mix up loadouts and gameplay.
One of these mods includes the option to make your Glaive the solution to Unstoppable Champions.
Season 16 will adhere to Bungie’s new Season Pass model, meaning you can buy in for around £10 per season.
If you pick up Witch Queen’s Deluxe Edition, though, you’ll also get access to Season 16, 17, and 18’s new content all rolled into the one fee (£69.99), as well as a couple of new Dungeons, an exotic SMG and catalyst, and other cosmetic items.
Fans aren’t happy with Bungie after it was revealed that upcoming Dungeons wouldn’t be part of the season pass model. While we’re not expecting one to land with Season 16, it’s something to be mindful of – you’ll need to spend $99.99 on the Witch Queen Digital Deluxe bundle to get everything. Then you’ll also need to buy the Bungie 30th Anniversary pack to get the Grasp of Avarice dungeon, too.
Could it be time for Destiny 2 to move to a subscription model?
That’s all we know about Destiny 2: Season of the Risen. For more tips and guides covering all things Destiny, check out more of our guide content at Dexerto.