Destiny 2 Xenology guide: How to complete Xur’s exotic cipher quest

Destiny 2 Xur Exotic Vendor Exotic Cipher Quest Xenology Guide FinalBungie

Every weekend, Xur returns to Destiny 2 to peddle his inventory. However, the shady vendor also offers up his own Xenology quest, with an exotic cipher on the line as your reward. Here’s how to complete that quest and claim your cipher.

Xur has been a staple of the Destiny universe since its first title was released. Like clockwork, the vendor continues to return each Friday and disappear the following Tuesday, stuck in his endless cycle of selling gear to us Guardians.

In addition to offering up a rotating selection of exotic (and, as of Season 15) legendary items to players each week, he also serves as the only source of a unique quest within Destiny 2: Xenology.

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This quest also offers up its own exclusive reward: an exotic cipher, which can be given Xur or turned in at the exotic archive in the Tower to add a new piece of exotic gear to your collection. Here’s how to complete the Xenology quest, and cash in on your exotic reward.

Destiny 2 Xenology Quest ScreenBungie
Your first step will be obtaining the Xenology quest from Xur.

Destiny 2 Xenology quest steps

While some might expect a quest that rewards players with a piece of exotic gear to offer up quite a challenge, Xenology’s requirements aren’t too grueling — but you still need to put in a bit of effort. Here’s how to obtain, complete, and turn in the quest.

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Step One: A Question

You’ll first need to locate Xur and obtain the Xenology quest. The Agent of the Nine likes to move around, but there are only three possible hiding spots where he might be lurking: the Winding Cove in the EDZ, Watcher’s Grave on Nessus, or the Tower’s Hangar.

After locating Xur, you’ll need to acquire the quest. Open the vendor’s screen, and pick up the quest item — easy enough.

Once added to your character’s laundry list, the mission’s true objective will be revealed: completing 21 activities within Destiny 2’s three core playlists: Strikes, Crucible and Gambit. You can hop into your favorite playlist (or a mix of all three) and starting filling up the progress bar.

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Luckily, participating in more challenging activities (like Nightfalls) and completing matches and Strikes with Clanmates grants bonus progress, so make sure you’re taking on the toughest content you can find, with as many friends you can muster up, to speed up the process.

Destiny 2 Trials of Osiris Season 15Bungie
Activity completions within the core playlists are required to complete the quest.

Step Two: An Answer

After spending enough time in the three core playlists, your activity completions will be fulfilled and you’ll be ready to claim your reward. Make your way back to Xur and turn in the completed quest, after which the mysterious vendor will hand over a shiny exotic cipher.

One important thing to note is that you cannot complete the quest, or obtain another cipher, if you already have one copy of the item in your inventory. Make sure you turn in your cipher, if you have one already, before trying to start Xenology and working towards another.

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Destiny 2’s Exotic Archive explained

Destiny 2 Exotic Archive ScreenBungie
The exotic archive is one place to spend your new cipher.

In addition to giving your cipher right back to Xur for an exotic reward, you can also spend the rare currency at the Monument to Lost Lights in the Tower (or, as it’s more commonly known, the exotic archive).

When Beyond Light launched in 2020, it introduced the Destiny Content Vault (or DCV, for short), which removed various locations and activities from the game — including many exotic weapon quests that are no longer available to pick up and complete.

In order to address player concerns about the removal of these these weapon quests, Bungie introduced the exotic archive, a kiosk in the Tower where you can purchase exotic weapons that are no longer obtainable via quest completion.

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While it’s nice to have access to that gear, be warned: the cost for acquiring the vaulted items is steep. In addition to an exotic cipher, you’ll also need planetary materials, Ascendant Shards, and plenty of Glimmer — so be ready for fork out some serious dough for these vaulted weapons.

And there you have it, that’s everything you need to know about completing the Xenology quest in Destiny 2, and where to spend your new exotic cipher.