Everything you need to know about the Destiny 2: Lightfall expansion

The beginning of an end.

Originally Published: 
Three characters from Destiny 2: Lightfall expansion breaking through a window and jumping

Bungie’s Destiny franchise is hurdling towards the end of its first major story arc, and Destiny 2’s Lightfall expansion will truly be the beginning of an end. Billed as the “penultimate chapter in Destiny 2’s Light and Darkness saga,” the long-awaited Lightfall will shake the very foundation of Destiny lore as we know it. Who — or what — is the Witness? What’s their relationship to the Witch Queen exactly? And what role do they place in the cosmic conflict to come? Here’s everything we know about the upcoming expansion.

When is the Destiny 2: Lightfall release date?

Once upon a time, the annual refresh expansion for Destiny 2 occurred around the anniversary of the first game’s original release in the fall but starting with 2022’s The Witch Queen on February 22, the timing has shifted to late winter.

Destiny 2: Lightfall will launch on February 28, 2023 across all available platforms.

What is the Destiny 2: Lightfall story?

Behold the official Destiny 2: Lightfall reveal trailer.

After many ongoing hints, the former Cabal emperor Calus is making a full return as a Disciple of The Witness, the uber-powerful entity teased at the end of The Witch Queen campaign that seems to be the absolute leader of the Darkness itself.

“Calus’s Shadow Legion have overtaken Neptune’s capital and Guardians will need to bring the battle to the city to uncover a journey that will reveal the hidden threads that bind us and the mastery to weave them anew,” official materials read. Neptune’s capital city, Neomuna, is home to the Cloud Striders, human beings that evolved through the use of advanced technology in the many years following the Collapse of humanity. Enemies of the Darkness, they become allies to the Guardian in the campaign.

Similar to the Awoken and some allied sub-factions of alien races, these will new allies introduced into the game’s lore. How they’ve survived on Neptune without humanity even knowing about it is anybody’s guess. Also monumental is the introduction of a fifth subclass element rooted in Darkness and called Strand. It’s something that the Guardian will discover and teach themselves, but let’s dig in a little deeper:

What is the Strand in Destiny 2: Lightfall?

A Warlock, Hunter, and Titan all wielding new Strand powers.


Joining the likes of Solar, Arc, Void, and Stasis in Destiny 2: Lightfall is a new subclass element: Strand. Whereas Solar, Arc, and Void are all rooted in the Light, Strand is of the Darkness (like Stasis).

“Tap into the invisible threads that bind reality, then grab hold and take control,” official materials read. In execution, this means that every Strand-based subclass will have a grapple attachment that’ll allow the Guardian to swing just about anywhere — functionally a space magic version of what Master Chief has in Halo Infinite. Like many previous leaks indicated, Strand is indeed all about the color green.

The Strand represents a kind of psychic energy that “forms an extradimensional matrix connecting all living things and minds.” In simpler terms, it sure sounds a lot like The Force in Star Wars, but it also implies the existence of a parallel psychic universe — which is a heady concept that fits in with Destiny’s approach to cosmology.

As such, Warlocks are the “telekinetic masters” that “reach into the Strand” to gather matter that they launch at enemies like implosive missiles. Titans channel the Strand into claw-like gauntlets, and Hunters conjure a rope dart. Grenades available to all three classes seem to catch enemies in string-like traps, but beyond all of this, little else is known about the specific toolkits.

What are the Destiny 2: Lightfall preorder bonuses?

There are plenty of rewards at the various tiers of pre-orders, so here are all of your options:

Destiny 2: Lightfall Standard Edition

The Destiny 2: Lightfall Standard Edition is available for pre-order now and includes:

  • Lightfall Expansion
  • New Campaign + Legendary Mode
  • New Power: Strand
  • New Destination: Neptune
  • New Raid
  • New Exotic gear
  • Access to Season 20
  • Pre-Order Instant Unlocks
  • Exotic Ghost
  • Legendary Emblem

Destiny 2: Lightfall + Annual Pass

Here’s a look at what a preorder gets you.


The Destiny 2: Lightfall + Annual Pass is available for pre-order now and includes:

  • Lightfall Expansion
  • New Campaign + Legendary Mode
  • New Power: Strand
  • New Destination: Neptune
  • New Raid
  • New Exotic gear
  • And more!
  • Access to Seasons 20, 21, 22, and 23
  • Quicksilver Storm Exotic Auto Rifle, Catalyst, and Ornament
  • Lightfall Exotic Sparrow
  • Lightfall Dungeon Key
  • Rahool’s Secret Stash x4 (Once Per Season, Seasons 20-23)
  • 2x Ascendant Alloys
  • 3x Ascendant Shards
  • 1x Exotic Ciphers
  • 5x Upgrade Modules
  • 1x Exotic Cosmetic Item
  • Pre-Order Instant Unlocks
  • Quicksilver Storm Exotic Auto Rifle
  • Exotic Emote
  • Exotic Ghost
  • Legendary Emblem

Destiny 2: Lightfall Collector's Edition

The Witness's arrival is imminent. To prepare for this inevitable battle, the Vanguard shares Empress Caiatl's insights into Calus's psyche with you. Study Ikora's notes about Osiris’s vision of hope on Neptune, and discover the possible link with the Exo Stranger's mysterious pouka. It includes:

  • Destiny 2: Lightfall + Annual Pass
  • Destiny 2: Lightfall Digital Soundtrack
  • 8” Pouka Replica Figure with LED Lights and Stand
  • Vanguard Lore Books
  • Letter from Zavala
  • Mini-Lithograph
  • Vinyl Sticker
  • Exclusive Collector’s Edition Emblem
  • 10 percent off Bungie Store discount code which can be used on a future purchase during Season of Plunder.

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