Guide to the Voidwalker

Published on: Feb 9, 2015 @ 2:34

Contributing Author: Justus Getty

The Voidwalker: Wielders of space magic and envoys of destruction in its purest form.

Warlocks have the highest base recovery rate among the classes and utilize their potent Light to completely obliterate enemies or even defy death itself.

For more tips and tricks, check out our other class guides, as well as ourGrenades and armor modifications guide.


A Voidwalker uses mighty Void energy and can manifest it in a variety of ways. Their melee ability drains the life from foes and transfers power to you.

Voidwalkers can launch pure Void Light from their fingertips in the form of the Nova Bomb. A Voidwalker will momentarily suspend themselves in the air before chucking a ball of doom at whatever poor soul stands in their way. This massive explosion is great for clearing out large groups of enemies.

The best attributes for a Voidwalker are Intellect and Discipline. More Intellect means more Nova Bombs, which means more destruction.

voidwalker best pve subclass

The Voidwalker is also heavily focused around a Class-specific mechanic known as Energy Siphon, a special boost to your grenade recharge times granted by the Warlocks’ melee attack, Energy Drain.

Energy Siphon opens the possibility for a very grenade-focused build that can even ignore Strength and trigger the siphon effect from grenades exclusively when certain passive talents are selected.  The Voidwalker’s Axion Bolt is one of the best grenades in Destiny, so being able to toss more out is something you want do.

Recommended Exotics

We’ve fully reviewed each of the Warlock Exotic armor choices, and the armor you’ll find listed below is what will serve you best as a Voidwalker.

> For individual armor reviews, check out our Exotic Reviews section.


  • Apotheosis Veil heals you upon Super use and when you pick up Orbs. While very useful in certain situations, like the Crota’s End hard mode, these are very niche perks in PvP and won’t likely do you much good.
  • Obsidian Mind is an excellent helmet that reduces the cooldown of Nova Bomb when you get kills with Nova Bomb, as well as granting more super energy for kills in PvE. Essentially you’re able to spam Nova Bombs and rain destruction upon your enemies.


  • Voidfang Vestments enhances your Axion Bolt grenade by making an additional seeker, as well as spawning you will full grenade energy. The Axion Bolt is already a very powerful grenade, and improving upon it makes this an excellent PvP & PvE choice.


  • The Claws of Ahamkara are tailor-made for the melee Voidwalkers. Not only do they increase your melee attack speed, they provide you with an additional charge for Energy Drain. This is perfect if you want to go for a melee-heavy build.
  • Nothing Manacles are being released in the upcoming House of Wolves expansion. They will provide a shield when enemies are killed with Void abilities. We gave our initial impressions on these gauntlets in this video.


> For a detailed look at Destiny’s grenade types, click here.

Vortex Grenade – “A grenade that creates a vortex that continually damages enemies trapped inside.”

Deals damage in extremely rapid pulses, totaling 100 damage per second for 3.5 seconds. Vortex Mastery boosts duration to 6 seconds for 600 total damage.

A short-range, high-damage area denial grenade, the Vortex grenade creates a globe of damaging Void energy. It deals up to 100 damage per second if a target stays inside the blast zone.

Vortex grenades do not have damage falloff, but they do have a fairly small radius, so dealing the full damage amount to a target is unreliable.

These grenades work quite well for area denial, especially with the Vortex Mastery talent, giving you a very long-lasting and highly damaging Void field to guard an area.

Scatter Grenade – “A grenade that splits into many submunitions and covers a large area with explosions.”

120160 damage, it varies based on the proximity of the target to the bomblets.

The Scatter grenade is an unusual explosive that releases a cluster of Void “mini-bombs” when it impacts a target.

The damage dealt depends on how close the target is to the bomblets when they go off, as there are several miniature waves of explosions after the Scatter grenade impacts.

The bomblets that appear drop toward the ground, so it is possible to throw the Scatter grenade against a wall or ceiling and hit a target behind cover when the bomblets fall.

In general, to maximize damage, you want to land the grenade squarely at your target’s feet.

destiny voidwalker pvp guide

Axion Bolt – “A bolt of Void Light that forks into smaller bolts on impact, which seek toward enemies.”

Sends a 90 damage Void seeker at up to two nearby targets within the blast radius. Add an additional seeker with Voidfang Vestments.

Axion Bolt launches bolts of pure Void energy any target within 10 meters of the impact site. This grenade is excellent for locating targets behind cover, or for use in PvP when you are aware of a hostile opponent on the Motion Tracker but uncertain of their exact position.

You can also use an Axion Bolt to finish off a fleeing target. While these grenades deal less damage than other types, their homing capability is fast and accurate.


> Also check out the hidden subclass bonuses.

Nova Bomb

Nova Bomb gives you the ability to lob a ball of pure Void Light that explodes and disintegrates anything it comes into contact with. You can give it tracking, throw it faster and further, split it into three bombs, make the explosions bigger, create a damage over time area after the explosion, and even heal you from slain enemies. It has a base recharge time of roughly 5 minutes.

In PvE, Nova Bomb is the ideal Super for dispatching any grouped-up enemies you may come across. The Bloom perk makes enemies slain by your abilities explode, which can even further increase the deadliness of your Super. With the Vortex perk, you can still deal ton of damage to bosses or high tier enemies.

The Crucible is really where the Voidwalker shines. Team-oriented games, especially Control, create the perfect situations to line up multiple kills with the Nova Bomb. A well-place Super can turn the tide of a match, or even take out the entire enemy team in one fell swoop! Vortex can keep enemies off of key objectives or chokepoints, opening up many strategic opportunities for your Nova Bomb.

Be careful with elevated Nova Bomb launches in PvP. Players expect Warlocks to use them, and it is possible to get shot out of the sky before (or after) you throw your Nova Bomb. Nova Bomb is deadly in PvP against clumped opponents on objectives, and it is similarly effective against groups of enemies in PvE. Nova Bomb’s damage is similar to Fist of Havoc. It lays down a 9-meter radius blast that does have damage falloff away from the blast epicenter.

voidwalker guide

| Vortex

Vortex adds a lingering field of Void energy that continuously damages foes within. This attack deals its damage in rapid pulses the same way as a Vortex grenade, lasting for six seconds.

As opponents in PvP are exceedingly unlikely to survive a Nova Bomb in the first place, you can use the aftermath to keep nearby hostiles off of a key objective or out of a doorway or hallway.

In PvE, Vortex can add significant damage to your Nova Bomb, because tougher enemies in PvE can survive a direct impact from the blast, and Vortex adds a substantial lingering damage boost.

| Shatter

Shatter splits your single mighty Nova Bomb into three smaller projectiles. Shatter trades focused blast damage for wider area saturation. In PvE against more scattered targets, and even more when paired with the Angry Magic talent that makes your Nova Bomb seek targets, Shatter can allow you to clear a wide area of weaker enemies.

In PvP, any of the smaller explosions are still likely to be fatal to any opponent caught in them. Use Angry Magic, aim Shatter up and over cover, and let the tracking seek out adversaries for you.

| Lance

Lance speeds Nova Bomb up and gives it a straight trajectory. It also gives you precise targeting that aims exactly where your crosshair is pointed. It is ideal for targeting vehicles in PvP, as you can hit even fairly nimble targets with pinpoint accuracy.

Lance allows you to bombard a target area from a great distance, delivering a full-strength explosion on impact.

This attack does have a slightly smaller radius than the normal Nova Bomb, but the tradeoff in speed and accuracy can often be worth it.

Energy Drain

Energy Drain triggers the Energy Siphon effect when you hit an opponent, multiplying your grenade recharge speed by 1.6x for seconds. Your Discipline score boosts this multiplier further, so despite its short duration, Energy Drain can give you a significant increase of grenade energy every time you melee an enemy.

Energy Drain deals a good amount of damage and can be upgraded with perks to also increase your weapon and movement speed, or restore your health.

The reduced grenade cooldown happens upon damage, so you don’t have to get a kill with it in order to gain the effect. This stacks with the Serpent’s Tail armor upgrade, meaning that Voidwalkers can use their grenades more often than most other classes.

voidwalker subclass guide

| Surge

Surge causes Energy Drain to max your Agility and Handling stats, greatly increasing your mobility and improving your gun-handling ability. It lasts for 15 seconds, giving you plenty of time to make good use of its benefits.

On a Strength-focused build, you can get good uptime on Surge, significantly improving your overall speed. This attack is useful in both PvE and PvP, as a good Agility score is always important in combat, and Handling improves weapon responsiveness in all situations.

This talent is great for the Crucible, as it helps you get reloaded and positioned after a frantic close-combat encounter.

| Life Steal

Life Steal requires you to score a kill shot with Energy Drain, but the tradeoff is an instant 10 point heal and 1.5 seconds of health regen, even if you are taking damage.

Particularly helpful for improving your durability with a Strength-focused build, Life Steal can be useful if you find yourself fighting at close-range frequently.

| Soul Rip

Soul Rip gives an impressive 10% bonus to your super meter when you kill an adversary with Energy Drain.

If you are focused on Strength and Intellect, Soul Rip can improve your Nova Bomb frequency significantly as long as you are aggressive about downing weak foes with Energy Drain.

best voidwalker builds

Ability Modifiers

Tier 1

| Annihilate

Annihilate increases the radius of all of your explosives by 10%, and this includes the detonations triggered by the Bloom talent. In any grenade-focused build, Annihilate can improve your overall damage output.

This will give you a bit more room to score some kills, since your enemies don’t have to be as close to each other if your explosions are bigger. Annihilate will also increase Agility by 1, which we outlined in this article.

| Angry Magic

Angry Magic gives Nova Bomb target tracking, causing it to automatically seek out the closest hostile target as it travels. It also provides +1 Armor.

Angry Magic is especially lethal with Shatter or Lance. Shatter can give you three separate seeking projectiles, and Lance gives you an extremely fast-moving and hard-to-dodge Nova Bomb that is very useful against distant nimble enemies.

This perk isn’t as attractive as Annihilate, because if you can aim well, then you don’t really need the tracking.

| The Hunger

The Hunger increases the duration of Energy Drain by seconds.

This is an OK talent for increasing your overall damage output in PvE, especially with high Discipline. In PvP, pairing this talent with Embrace the Void gives you the ability to trigger a long-lasting Energy Siphon from any grenade hit.

warlock voidwalker guide

Tier 2

| Vortex Mastery

Vortex Mastery doubles the range of Axion Bolt seekers and adds 2.5 seconds to both Nova Bomb’s Vortex and the Vortex grenade’s damaging fields. If you want to focus on area denial in PvP, this talent is extremely useful. It’s great for keeping people off of points or holding off areas in the Crucible, and will make your Axion Bolts harder to outrun.

In PvE, Vortex Mastery is often a straight damage increase. You can damage enemies with the lingering fields, particularly in enclosed areas.

| Bloom

Bloom causes any foe killed by any of your grenades, Nova Bomb, or Energy Drain to explode, dealing an impressive damage blast in a 5-meter radius. This talent will turn your Energy Drain into an explosive high-five, and scatter enemies taken out by Nova Bomb for even more potential destruction.

Bloom is generally more useful in PvE than PvP, where it can cause devastating chain explosions in groups of clustered adversaries.

| Embrace the Void

Embrace the Void is an extremely powerful talent that causes all of your Nova Bomb and grenade hits to trigger the Energy Siphon buff, refreshing your grenades faster. This talent is supremely strong, but has less raw burst damage potential than Bloom and less focused area denial than Vortex Mastery.

Still, if you are focused on overall sustained DPS output, Embrace the Void can give you very rapid grenade recharge times in PvE or PvP.


Tier 1

  • Arcane Wisdom +2 Recovery, +2 Agility

  • Arcane Spirit +2 Recovery, +2 Armor

  • Arcane Force +2 Armor, +2 Agility

voidwalker builds

Tier 2

  • Ancestral Order +2 Armor, +2 Recovery, +2 Agility

  • Chaos Order +5 Agility

  • Divine Order +4 Armor, +2 Recovery

Other Bonuses

  • Annihilate +1 Agility

  • Angry Magic +1 Armor

PvP Tips

> For a full guide to Destiny’s Crucible, click here.

> For Control tips, click here.

best voidwalker class build

  • Glide is good for getting around, but be wary when using it in battle. The slow movement and predictable arc will leave you open to attacks.
  • The Axion Bolt grenade will chase down enemies for quite a while, either netting you the kill while you focus on other things or keeping the enemy preoccupied with running away;  Axion Bolt seekers will consistently do more damage to two targets.
  • The Vortex Grenade and Vortex perk for Nova Bomb are excellent to use in Control. Using them on points keep the enemy off and allows you to capture the point with ease.
  • Save your Nova Bomb for use indoors or close-quarters, where the enemy cannot escape and the explosion has the highest change to catch multiple people.
  • Want more Nova Bombs more often? Pick up Soul Rip.
  • Nova Bomb Vortex has the capability to destroy a Defender’s Wards.

Recommended PvP Setup

Movement Mode Grenade Melee Super Stat Perks Perks
Focused Burst Glide Axion Bolt Soul Rip Vortex Arcane Wisdom
Ancestral Order
Embrace the Void

Check out if you’d like to talk to others about Destiny in a friendly and welcoming community! :)

  • Keith Christmas

    My favourite thing about playing Voidwalker? Finishing a mission like, for example, the Omnigul strike with a kill count of over 300, having thrown out 17 nova bombs along the way.

    I remember being on the Crota raid, and after a wipe, I think I had double the kill count of any other player. I remarked on this, and one of the guys on my team went “pfft, anyone can kill thralls”. Fair point, but can anybody else kill as many? You’ll be glad of me around when you’re cornered by 15 of the bastards trying to peel your face off…

  • SGT_Pannenkoek

    Why i like Voidwalker? Because space magic :3

  • Matuzz

    Bad Juju + Obsidian Mind with build focused on Nova bombs can’t be beaten as far as Voidwalker build goes. Especially with the Pulse rifle patch in the horizon.

  • dstripedape

    I have intelligence and strength build with claws of akam because with energy drain it charges my grenades, very solid for pvp

  • Bubba92188

    From my knowledge the part that says “Embrace the Void allows you to combine your Nova Bomb with the various Energy Drain perks, effectively letting you customize it to the situation. Dying a lot after you super? Use it with Lifesteal” is false. Only your melee when fully charged will trigger the extra effects from Energy Drain (lifesteal, soul rip, or surge. Your grenade kills and nova bomb kills do NOT trigger this effect. But they do trigger the initial energy drain effect (grenade cooldown). I play solely as a warlock and know this for a fact.

    • kiiiddd

      you are right on this one. last 2 articles on this have had some wrong information

      • Bubba92188

        Yea. Embrace the Void can be tricky to understand and use. But when used right, is super effective. If you use Embrace the Void, the energy drain affect doesn’t stack together. Example:
        You have a full melee charge and melee an enemy or opponent, the 5 second cooldown starts. If you follow that melee up with an instant grenade and cause damage, you will waste the energy drain affect from Embrace the Void (causing damage with a grenade) for they don’t stack. In order to use it properly its all about timing. You have to wait for the energy drain affect from your melee to expire, then follow that up with a grenade to trigger the energy drain affect from Embrace the Void.

  • Bubba92188

    Also again, the same goes for the comment about soul rip and your grenade. Soul Rip is only triggered when using your melee when it is fully charged. Not when you use a grenade. This is why I disagree with the article about using a discipline and intellect build. A voidwalker is built around the melee and nova bomb, not it’s grenade. You should use a strength and intellect build with embrace the void. This is key to a good voidwalker. This way everything you use, melee/grenade/nova bomb, triggers Embrace the Void (grenade cooldown). This will all cooldown your grenade so fast you do NOT need any discipline. Also this allows your melee to recharge faster being able to use Energy Drain more often. As well as being able to use the 3 extra perks to your Energy Drain more often. Pair this with soul rip, and you constantly get your super extra fast. Scared of running the no discpline build, use hunger, increasing the Embrace the Void affect, getting the grenade back super fast. Again, soul rip, surge and lifesteal only work when you use a melee attack fully charge.

  • PirateKingAtomsk

    An excellent guide. I started playing destiny as a warlock and have to say its my favorite class in the game. Did notice 1 thing though in the tips section you wrote
    Embrace the Void allows you to combine your Nova Bomb with the various Energy Drain perks, effectively letting you customize it to the situation. Dying a lot after you super? Use it with Lifesteal.

    Thing is embrace the void does cause your grenade and super to trigger the energy drain effect but does not cause them to trigger the extra perk abilities such as life drain and/or soul rip.
    On the topic of energy drain it should be noted that energy drain cannot be overwritten or stacked upon so one should keep that in mind when using embrace the void.
    More info on embrace the void builds and math at
    *note on his edits 3 and 4 he corrects his saying it triggers the extra ability.