How to get Exotic Cipher in Destiny 2: Xur, Xenology quest, Season Pass

Julian Young
Destiny 2 Xur Exotic Vendor Exotic Cipher Quest Xenology Guide Final

Each weekend in Destiny 2, Xur returns to players to flog and sell his wares. The shady vendor also offers up his own Xenology quest, with a desirable unique resource up for grabs. Here’s how to complete the Xenology quest and get an Exotic Cipher.

Xur has been a staple of Destiny since the original game. Like clockwork, the vendor continues to return each Friday and disappear the following Tuesday, stuck in his endless cycle of selling gear to his ever-thankful customers.

In addition to offering up a rotating selection of Exotic & Legendary items each week, Xur is also the only source of a unique quest, Xenology. This quest offers up its own exclusive reward: an Exotic Cipher which can be used to add a new piece of Exotic gear to your collection.

The Exotic Cipher can either be spent at the Exotic Archive found in The Tower, given to Xur to receive one of his two exclusive Exotic weapons, or even used at Master Rahool to roll for any previously obtained Exotic Armor piece.

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

How to get Exotic Cipher in Destiny 2

An Exotic Cipher is received as a quest reward for completing the Xenology quest. Although its rewards are desirable, Xenology’s requirements aren’t too grueling. Even so, you will need to put in a bit of effort to obtain the Exotic Cipher.

Alternatively, an Exotic Cipher can also be redeemed after reaching Rank 55 of the premium Season Pass which can be purchased for 1,200 Silver or accessed if you own Lightfall + Annual Pass Upgrade.

Interestingly, Season 21 has introduced the ability for players to stack up to five Exotic Ciphers at once. This means you don’t have to use one every week just to free up the slot.

How to claim and complete Xenology quest in Destiny 2

You’ll first need to locate Xur and obtain the Xenology quest. The Agent of the Nine moves every week so he can be tricky to find. There are three possible spots where he might lurk: Winding Cove in the EDZ, Watcher’s Grave on Nessus, or The Tower’s Hangar.

For information on Xur’s current whereabouts check out our Xur Location guide which is updated every week to see where the Agent of the Nine is and what he’s selling.

Once Xenology is added to your Quest list, the following must be done to complete it: “Complete 21 Vanguard playlist activities, or win matches in Crucible or Gambit.”

Completing any of the above objectives while in a Fire Team will double the progress made. Also, completing higher level activities such as Nightfalls and Trials of Osiris also doubles progress.

Xenology can only be claimed once per week so you’ll need to finish it and talk to Xur before he leaves on Tuesday to avoid missing out on your weekly Exotic Cipher.

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

Destiny 2 Exotic Archive explained

In addition to giving your Exotic 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 — more commonly known as the Exotic Archive.

When Beyond Light launched in 2020, it introduced the Destiny Content Vault, which removed various locations and activities from the game. That included 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 weapons, Bungie introduced the Exotic Archive, a kiosk in The Tower where you can purchase Exotic weapons that are no longer obtainable via quest completion.

While it’s nice to have access to that gear there is a downside. The cost of acquiring these vaulted Exotics is steep. In addition to an Exotic Cipher, you’ll also need Legendary Shards, Ascendant Shards, and plenty of Glimmer.

Witherhoard Exotic Grenade Launcher is purchasable through Exotic Archive with an Exotic Cipher in Destiny 2.
An Exotic Cipher is required to acquire some of Destiny 2’s best Exotic like the Witherhoard.

And there you have it, that’s everything you need to know about how to get an Exotic Cipher in Destiny 2 by completing Xur’s Xenology quest. For more Destiny 2 tips & tricks consider checking out some of our other guides:

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