Destiny’s PvP, which takes place in an arena known as the Crucible, can be a very satisfying yet equally frustrating experience. Bungie’s matchmaking actually attempts to place you in matches with similarly skilled players, so if you play consistently for a few days, the system has time to properly evaluate you and start matching you with other players right around your skill level.
Game Mode Tips
This game mode is all about crowd control and zoning. The easier you can shut down lanes or apply pressure away from your zones, the better time your team will have holding it. Objective players should opt to use supers like Fist of Havoc, Nova Bomb, Ward of Dawn, and Arc Blade, as they shine in Control due to team clumping. Using your super to clear out a capture zone can swing a game for you in the last moments.
More aggressive kill-focused players should opt for Golden Gun and Radiance, as those supers excel at killing a large number of enemies over a longer period of time. A good team composition will have a balanced mix of players on offense and defense.
Grenades that leave a field or spawn seekers are key in this mode. These grenades can keep your enemies off capture zones long enough for you to stage an attack.
In this game mode, while picking team-focused abilities may help your team out, you’ll find fewer opportunities to coordinate with random players due to less team clumping.
Striker Titans, Bladedancer Hunters, and Voidwalker Warlocks should look for chokepoints to maximize their super’s lethality. Focus points like Wards and heavy ammo can be used against the enemy team, as they are more vulnerable to Fist of Havoc and Nova Bomb.
Defender Titans should try to use their Ward as a stake in the ground to take the power positions in each map. By casting in a good power position, your teammates are encouraged to hold the Ward and gain its benefits.
Sunsinger Warlocks and Gunslinger Hunters are for the more independent players. These Classes will have an easier time finding good situations to use their super in, as each super excels at taking down single target enemies quickly in a variety of environments. These Classes often are the favorites in Clash, as they fuel the chaos and can feed off of it.
Teamwork-focused Classes and players shine in Skirmish. Due to the harsh respawn penalty and lower score to win, players will find themselves clumping together and trying to team fight as much as possible.
Defender Titans should use the team clumping to their advantage by giving their team shields or damage boosts. A clutch Ward can stop a Nova Bomb or Golden Gun from completely cleaning out your team.
Sunsinger Warlocks can run really any build they want, as the high grenade count will be advantageous on smaller maps regardless. Sunsingers looking to maximize teamwork should pick Song of Flame, as while active, it lowers all cooldowns for nearby allies.
As mentioned before, Striker Titans, Bladedancer Hunters, and Voidwalker Warlocks can capitalize on the team clumping to clean out entire enemy teams. Nova Bomb Vortex has the capability to destroy Wards and leave behind a damaging area of effect so those trying to run are (at the very least) weakened.
Bladedancer Hunters and Striker Titans will be able to Arc Blade and Fist of Havoc right into a team and clear them out before they realize anything had happened. Additionally, Arc Blade’s Razor’s Edge and Fist of Havoc Shockwave can penetrate a Ward while a player maintains distance.
Salvage plays extremely close to Skirmish, with the exception that there is even more clumping due to the salvage points. Strategy remains the same, outside of having more chances to punish your opponents that are close together.
This mode is a great place for highly independent Classes. Classes like Bladedancer Hunters, Gunslinger Hunters,and Sunsinger Warlocks rule in Rumble due to their high single-target lethality.
Gunslinger Hunters have an easier time posting up on Rumble maps, as they can Tripmine one entrance to an area and focus their attention elsewhere. At the very least, the Hunter will hear their Tripmine detonate and can react appropriately. Golden Gun is a great way to take advantage of the chaos in a Rumble fight.
Bladedancer Hunters have a great grenade in Arc Bolt, allowing them to check corners and chain to other players at close range. Arc Bolt is a great way to capitalize on chaotic close-range encounters, as (at the very least) the enemy hit with Arc Bolt will be starting the fight at a health disadvantage. Arc Blade’s Escape Artist allows players to vanish and surprise enemies at close quarters. This super greatly synergizes with the smaller maps of Rumble.
Sunsinger Warlocks shine in Rumble through Radiance’s Radiant Skin, Firebolt Grenade, Viking Funeral,and Touch of Flame. This build layout specifically gives the ability to take more damage in Radiance while setting people on fire with their grenades via Touch of Flame. Firebolt Grenade in combination with Touch of Flame allows Sunsingers to check corners for enemies and then start a fight at health advantage. Sunsingers should opt to only engage on fights where Burn has given them the health advantage.
Defender Titans, Striker Titans, and Voidwalker Warlocks will have to try a bit harder to maximize their effectiveness, as their kits are geared toward more team play.
In Combined Arms it’s important to know when and where vehicles spawn. Brave souls should make a break for the Interceptor and rain rockets on an enemy Control Point. The Salvo will provide support for ground troops looking to advance and get enemies to focus on you rather than those capturing the point.
If vehicles aren’t really your thing, a good solution for dealing with them are Turrets. In addition, a well placed rocket or skilled sniper shot can also make short work of vehicles. When in doubt, just look for the tunnels, buildings and passages to avoid the fire of the Interceptors and Pikes.
If your eyes are not glued to your radar, you’re doing it wrong.
Shotguns will be nerfed according to Bungie, probably the best PvP guys will be the ones that master the fusion rifles such as Pocket Infinity; almost always a 1 hit KO from any range. And if you have the Vex MC… use it, but even that loses to a good fusion rifle 1v1.
Destiny’s radar is far more competent than you’d initially expect from a shooter, combining it with map awareness can help you to frame an engagement to suit your needs. For example… Sick of shotguns killing you? when you see the dot on your radar, instead of chasing it like most players do, think about the area your opponent(s) are positioned in – generally let them come to you. Frame the engagement to draw the player out and into a space where you’re more likely to be successful!
Forum member kjhovey
I think the biggest thing so many people don’t realize is the importance of staying alive. Probably not as huge as Halo because the spawn times are quicker, but it can still make or break a play if you die or live in certain situations.
More helpful tips
- Never fight alone. 2v1 combat is what you want, every single time.
- The only caveat to sticking close to your team is that you don’t want to fight so close to each other that you become vulnerable to grenades, supers, or rockets.
- Map/tracker awareness, knowing when to use your Super & ensuring that your arsenal is right for the map is essential!
Agility, Armor & Recovery
- It gets you to key objectives faster and lets you move into position or to a vehicle at the start of a match more quickly.
- You can use your speed to disengage from fights more swiftly, and your superior jump speed and height can give you more mobility for rapid map traversal.
- Speed also helps you evade long-range fire. A max Agility Hunter sprinting and sliding is a very difficult target to pick off from a distance.
- When you’re up close and personal with your enemy, Agility provides a small benefit, though typically not as consistently as Armor.
- High Armor is typically a Titan specialty, but any Class that maximizes Armor is going to have an easier time in 1v1 firefights.
- A max Armor Titan is perfect for breaking a lock on an objective or key location, & high Armor will ensure that you emerge victorious more often.
- At first glance, it seems weaker than Agility or Armor. It doesn’t help your mobility, and it won’t save you in a 1v1 firefight, but it’s actually very useful when you’re in a tight spot and need health fast.
- Recovery does two things for restoring your health: it reduces the stun time before your health regenerates, and it speeds the rate of recovery.
- A high Recovery value has a much more significant effect on your downtime between or during fights than you might expect.
Sliding, Grenades & Melee
- The sudden burst of speed from sliding, ideal for shoving a shotgun into an enemy’s face, is something you need to be very aware of.
- A player lining up a long-range sniper headshot will miss completely if you slide before they fire. In situations where you suspect that you’re being tracked, using a slide when you sprint between cover can save your life.
- It is possible to transition from a slide to a cover lean or immediately into a sprint. Slide to cover and aim down sights (ADS) to look over it, or slide and then tap sprint as you finish the slide to begin sprinting immediately as the slide completes.
- A Bladedancer talent and a mod found on weapons can increase your slide distance (though they do not stack their effects if you have both). The extra distance is excellent for both speedy evasive mobility and shotgun and melee rushing.
- Seeker-type grenades are great for locating enemies, either on offense, when you’re pushing into a space where you suspect an adversary is hiding, or on defense, when you want to locate exactly where an incoming target is.
- Persistent grenades are perfect for blocking chokepoints or objectives; talents that affect them can be very useful.
- Blast grenades often provide the most raw burst damage, since persistent grenades can be avoided and seeker grenades rarely deal heavy damage.
- Sticky grenades are usually a bit tougher to use than other grenade types, but a stick is almost always a kill.
- Special mention also goes to the Flashbang, Suppressor, and Tripmine grenades, as well as the Sunsinger Warlock. The Sunsinger is particularly deadly with grenades, because this spec can be built to ignite your foes with burning damage plus grenade spam from a Radiance.
- Melee is extremely important in PvP. You must develop the instinct for when to move in for a melee kill, and when to back off or jump to avoid someone charging you.
- Two hits can kill an adversary, and any gunfire plus a melee strike is almost always fatal as long as you get in sufficient damage before striking. When you are engaged in close to medium-range fights, these are often the situations where you need to decide if you’re going to go for a melee kill.
- If you aim for the head when you melee, you’ll do slightly more damage!
Crucible Marks & Reputation
You earn your weekly PvP currency by winning or losing any PvP match, so even if you don’t think you are skilled in PvP, join some friends and play some matches.
Since the ways to gain Crucible Marks are limited, it’s all about optimizing your time and marks gained per hour. For this reason, the more matches you can fit in per hour, the better. If you have a talented group of 3, it’s probably best for you to grind Skirmish. Otherwise, hop into some Rumble matches since those generally end quicker than other modes.
Crucible reputation is the core PvP reputation in Destiny. To purchase items from the Crucible Quartermaster or Crucible Handler, you need not only Marks, but the required reputation level as well. Reputation can be earned by completing Crucible matches and exchanging materials with the Crucible Quartermaster.
You also have the opportunity to buy a Faction’s class item, and earn reputation with them instead. Wearing this class item will cause any event you’d earn reputation in, to be applied to that specific Faction. For more about Destiny’s factions, and the benefits of each, please read this guide.
The Iron Banner
To learn more about the reoccurring Iron Banner event and how to prepare yourself, check out this article.