Perhaps Destiny 2’s most hotly anticipated expansion of all time, The Witch Queen is finally approaching and we’ve got you covered with everything there is to know. The release date, early leaks, and more – here’s the full rundown.
Ever since the release of Destiny in 2014, we’ve seen at least one major expansion with each passing year, but 2021 went by without one after The Witch Queen was delayed.
The game’s next big chapter is fast approaching though, and we’ll be going toe-to-toe with Savathun – the titular antagonist who’s been hiding in the shadows for years in the game’s lore. She’ll make a formidable opponent, but with new weapons, an overhaul of an existing subclass, and plenty more to come, Destiny 2 is about to get incredibly exciting.
Here’s everything we know about the next expansion.
- Release Date
- New Features
- Power level update
- Witch Queen raid
- What’s next for Destiny 2?
As for timing, Bungie’s latest blog has revealed the upcoming maintenance and rollout schedule is as follows:
- February 21, 6:45 PM PST (0245 GMT): Destiny 2 is brought offline.
- February 21, 7 PM (0300 GMT): Pre-load for Update 220.127.116.11 will be available on all platforms.
- February 22, 9 AM (1700 GMT): Destiny 2 will be brought back online. Update 18.104.22.168 will be playable on all platforms and regions. This coincides with the weekly reset.
- February 22, 10 AM (1800 GMT): Destiny 2 maintenance is scheduled to complete.
While The Witch Queen was originally planned for 2021, that calendar year now marks the first time in franchise history that we won’t see a major content drop. Instead, the new content was delayed to early 2022.
For up-to-date server status, be sure to check our guide to the Witch Queen rollout.
As part of the reveal event, Bungie premiered two Witch Queen trailers. The first gave us a new cinematic as guardians interacted with Savathun for the first time.
Destiny 2 The Witch Queen Reveal Trailer
Destiny 2 The Witch Queen Gameplay Trailer
The second trailer on display gave us our first look at Witch Queen gameplay. From new abilities to the power of the Glaive, there’s plenty to look forward to.
Destiny 2 The Witch Queen Game Awards Trailer
The third trailer, which was revealed at The Game Awards, shows off even more details about the upcoming expansion.
Coming as no surprise, the next Destiny 2 expansion will be available across every platform currently supported. This includes the PlayStation 4 & 5, the Xbox One & Series X | S, along with PC and Google Stadia.
At this stage, there appear to be no further plans to spread Destiny 2 on any further platforms with the release of The Witch Queen expansion. While Bungie was purchased by Sony in January 2022, both parties have expressed an interest in Destiny 2 remaining multiplatform.
The upcoming Destiny 2 Expansions.
This ends the Light and Darkness Saga. pic.twitter.com/I9buDNkI0l
— DeltaIntel (@DeltaINTEL) August 24, 2021
For the better part of a decade, Destiny has revolved around a story of Light and Darkness. Even when certain stories journeyed elsewhere, that was always the underlying theme. Now, The Witch Queen expansion is finally ready to “conclude the Light and Darkness saga,” Bungie confirmed in February.
- Read More: Witch Queen will be make or break moment
“The Witch Queen will light the fire on a strongly interconnected narrative across Lightfall and beyond, unlike anything we’ve ever attempted before, with characters, arcs, heroes and villains that persist over multiple future releases.”
It’s too early to gauge just how this conclusive narrative will get underway. As the expansion draws near, we’ll keep you updated right here.
What we do know is that the expansion will introduce Hive that will wield the Light, just as Guardians have. Bungie has explained that they want Guardians to “feel terror” in an interview with Gamespot.
It’s also worth checking in with longtime Destiny 2 content creator My name is Byf, who has been releasing lore videos for years. This time around, he’s looking at where Eris Morn has been during Season of the Lost, and how that could tie into The Witch Queen and Season 16.
- A new realm: The Witch Queen’s Throne World
- Weapon Crafting: With custom shader, mod, and stat combinations. Could this be a game-changer?
- Glaives: A new weapon archetype that lets you perform powerful combos, fire projectiles, and deploy a lifesaving shield.
Bungie is also promising “the definitive Destiny campaign”, which will be replayable for better loot at higher difficulties.
That’s not all, though. Players can expect two Crucible maps to return over the course of the next year, as well as one brand new one and one Destiny 1 map.
If players pick up the Witch Queen Deluxe Edition, there are two new Dungeons, too, and we’re also expecting a raid to return from Destiny 1. Our money is on King’s Fall, but it could also be Wrath of the Machine.
We’re also expecting a reworking of the game’s core pillars, including changes to Vanguard reputation and a Gambit rework, but those will be part of Season 16 as opposed to only in The Witch Queen. We’re also expecting the usual balance changes — here’s hoping we get some buffs on Pulse Rifles.
Alongside all the new content in the Witch Queen expansion, Bungie is also set to overhaul everything Void-related in Destiny 2. As the first step in reworking all Light subclasses, Void will be given a new coat of paint in the upcoming release, presumably with Solar and Arc abilities following later.
Certain abilities will be scrapped, others will be adjusted, and brand-new abilities will also come into focus. Brush up on every Void change in the works right here.
This overhaul means we won’t be getting a new subclass in Witch Queen, though. Bungie has promised the overhaul will come to Solar and Arc, with a focus on burning/healing and chaining damage respectively.
Since Beyond Light, Bungie has been “vaulting” and re-adding content to Destiny 2. On the one hand, that means it’s harder than ever to get on board, but it does give longtime players plenty of reasons to log in.
The addition of the Witch Queen expansion will see a new vaulting cycle begin.
Players will lose access to:
- Year 4 seasonal content
- The Tangled Shore destination
At present, we still don’t know if anything could be returning, either. In an interview with PC Gamer, Game Director Luke Smith said reintroducing content isn’t guaranteed – even with an expansion as big as Witch Queen.
“Each expansion is going to include a brand-new destination,” Smith explained, “so The Witch Queen is not going to unvault one. For a destination to be unvaulted, it has to be updated to the latest context for the universe, so even with Cosmodrome, we updated a bunch of it to the latest context.”
Bungie has shown off a series of new exotic weapons, and the new Glaive, in more detail. Here’s what we can see:
- Grand Overture — Slug launcher charges full auto missiles (Season Pass required).
- Parasite — Worm launcher with increasing damage (grenade launcher).
- Osteo Striga — Swarming projectiles trigger a toxic burst (looks like an SMG).
- Titan Glaive: Edge of Action — Place a protective shield.
- Warlock Glaive: Edge of Intent — Deploy a healing turret.
- Hunter Glaive: Edge of Concurrence — Tracking chain lightning.
- Hoarfrost-Z chest (Titan) — replaces Titan barricade with a Stasis wall.
- Osmiomancy gloves (Warlock) — additional coldsnap grenade with enhanced seeking.
- Blight ranger helmet (Hunter) — reflected projectiles deal increased damage
Check them all out in action below:
With the launch of the Witch Queen expansion comes a fresh update to Destiny 2’s Power floor. As usual with content drops of this scale, Bungie intends for all players to be able to access the latest missions right away.
Therefore, all Guardians will be bumped up to 1350 Power at the very beginning of the new expansion.
Regardless of what your current Power may be, whether you’ve taken a few months off, or you’re just jumping into Destiny 2 for the first time, everyone will begin at 1350 Power as the minimum.
Other than the expected returning raid, the Witch Queen will introduce a new one. We don’t know its name just yet but we do know that it’ll be set within the Pyramid ship on Savathun’s Throne World and it will debut on March 5, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. PST (1 PM EST).
The Pyramids have been lurking for a few years now, and we’ve only been inside on briefly at the end of Shadowkeep. We can’t wait to explore further.
Brush up on everything we know about the Destiny 2 Witch Queen raid right here.
The standard edition of Witch Queen will cost players $39.99. Unlike Beyond Light, it is not expected to launch on Xbox Game Pass.
The Witch Queen’s Digital Deluxe Edition costs $79.99. The Deluxe + 30th Anniversary bundle costs £87.99/$99.99 and includes the 30th Anniversary bundle.
The Deluxe Edition will include:
- Seasons 16 – 19.
- Two Year-Five Dungeons
- Exotic SMG
- Catalyst ornament
- Exotic Sparrow.
- Deluxe Edition preorders: Throne World Exotic Ghost Shell, Enigma Exotic Emote, new emblem.
If you opt for the standard edition, expect each season to set you back £10/$10 or so – starting with Season 16.
Physical collectors editions include your very own Hive Ghost, as seen below.
Destiny 2 The Witch Queen Collector's Edition.
Includes this: pic.twitter.com/jqSL6HLR7N
— DeltaIntel (@DeltaINTEL) August 24, 2021
If you worried that the Witch Queen was the end of Destiny 2, we’ve got good news – Bungie has promised much more content.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated here with all the latest on The Witch Queen expansion in Destiny 2.