A year after Destiny 2 launched, Bungie has given Guardians a new thing to obsess over: Gambit Mode, a thrilling multiplayer mode that rewards high risks with high rewards. A hybrid of PVE and PVP, Gambit Mode is its own thing separate from the Crucible, and appropriately plays by its own rules.
For that reason, it can be hard getting things right on your first — or even second and third — try. Especially for solo players who aren’t communicating with their Fireteam, which can and will lead to mistakes, frustrations, and most importantly, lost matches. When it comes to Gambit mode, teamwork really does make the dream work.
As a refresher, Gambit Mode throws eight players (4v4) against a random draw of alien races (Fallen, Red Legion, etc.) on separate arenas. Every enemy killed will drop a “Mote,” white triangles Guardians must collect. At the center of the map lies a bank where players deposit Motes, sometimes in bulk. Drop in Motes to score. Score 75 and the map will summon a Primeval, a titanic Taken who deals out mean damage. The first team to kill their Primeval wins.
That’s not all. Guardians who bulk deposit five, ten, or fifteen motes will send “Blockers,” other Taken who will literally block the bank on the opposing team’s maps. Bank 25 Motes as a team, and one Guardian will be allowed to invade the other map and kill the opposition to disrupt their efforts.
Most importantly, try not to die. Because however many Motes you’re currently holding when you die go away forever.
Whether you’re playing alone or in a full Fireteam with your best friends, here’s a quick road map to victory for those wishing to dominate the most exciting part of Destiny 2: Forsaken yet. Bring a sword. Read on for our detailed strategy guide.
1. Just Bank Motes
Goal numero uno in Gambit Mode is banking Motes. Whatever you get, bank it. Even if you have one or two. Bank it. You will go way farther, and succeed way quicker, with small increments of banked Motes than losing eight or nine and respawning with nothing.
Experienced Guardians or players in a Fireteam can be more daring as they coordinate to send Blockers. Like in a war movie where one soldier says “Cover me!”, one Guardian can hang back and pick off enemies with a nice long-range weapon while the other Guardian(s) nab all the Motes. From my time playing Gambit Mode with friends, this works super well.
But for solo Guardians, just get what you can and get out before it’s too late.
2. Focus Fire on the Big Ones
Enemy waves will come in tiered groups. There will be several small, one-shot one-kill enemies who will drop one Mote each, which is very tempting to kill ‘em all and get their Motes.
But nearby will be higher-leveled enemies who are much harder to kill and who will drop many more Motes. You can’t miss them — they’re the ones glowing on the map. Especially when playing solo, kill these first. Echoing the first point, there’s nothing worse than collecting a dozen Motes only to lose them on your way to the bank.
3. Plan Your Loadout…
The beauty of Gambit Mode is also its most confusing detail: Is it PVE, or PVP? The answer is both, which can make selecting the ideal loadout a long and brutal experiment. As veteran Destiny players know, some weapons are better suited to different modes than others. A shortcut, advice given straight from Bungie to Polygon, is to rely on your most favored mode of play.
PVP players are free to rely on their PVP loadout. PVE players can use their PVE loadouts just fine. The difference is knowing ahead of time what role you’ll play throughout each match. If you plan to invade, bring your PVP loadout. If you plan on sticking around your own map, bring PVE.
4. … And Diversify It.
While your ideal loadout could just be all hand cannons (which, I mean, fine?), it’s recommended you diversify your weapons in terms of range.
Keep a few up-close weapons like shotguns and swords at the ready. You’ll need them for taking out enemies at once for their Motes, and you’ll definitely need it against enemy Guardians invading your map.
Mid- to long-range weapons like rifles and rocket launchers are helpful for camping out near the bank. Or when the Primeval’s arrived, for camping near the respawn point where there’s plenty of cover.
5. Reconsider Your Subclass
With my Hunter main, I’m crystallized as an Arcstrider (because Arcstrider is cool as hell), but based on my experience and play style, it’s not ideal for Gambit Mode. It relies too much on up-close offense (even with the nifty new Super “Whirling Guard” where I can deflect bullets, a skill I have yet to get a proper hold of).
For that reason, I’ve begun giving Gunslinger, a subclass I haven’t liked, another shot. (No pun intended.) Unlike Arcstrider, I can stay at a longer range while still dealing out massive damage, which is great when the Primeval has taken over the map. I can’t say with any empirical evidence that this has worked, but it definitely has me eager to try it out.
So, reconsider your subclass based on what role you find yourself playing in Gambit Mode.
6. If You Must, Always Send Taken Knights
This final point contradicts my first point, which is to just bank any Motes you can. That’s still true. But this point exists because I can’t stop every Guardian who prefers to hoard Motes from doing so.
So if you must, send Taken Knights as much as possible.
Remember that depositing five, ten and fifteen Motes at one time will send a particular kind of Taken to block the banks of your opposing team. Five Motes will send a Taken Phalanx, a small enemy that functions as a solid headache. Sending fifteen Motes will send a Taken Ogre, a massive monster with equally massive HP who is a total chore to kill.
But ten motes, the middle of the three, will send a Taken Knight, who deals out the harshest damage. From my experience, it’s more beneficial to have your opposing team die and wait to respawn on a consistent cycle than to just keep them busy. And staying alive, as always, is the key to victory.
Destiny 2: Fosaken is available now on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.