Destiny was one of the most anticipated games of 2014, though it arrived to some disappointment after failing to live up to developer Bungie's ambitious promises. A series of expansions and content updates dramatically improved the game though, and all eyes are on Destiny 2 to take those improvements one step further - it's already one of the games we're most looking forward to this year.

After months as an open secret, Destiny 2 was officially announced in early 2017. We now know the release date, pre-order details, platforms, beta plans, and gameplay details, so read on to find out more.

What you need to know:

  • Release date: 6 September (PS4 & Xbox One) / 24 October (PC)
  • Publisher: Activision Blizzard
  • Developer: Bungie
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

When is the Destiny 2 release date?

Destiny 2 is releasing worldwide on 6 September 2017 on console, with a PC release following a few weeks later on 24 October.

It's coming out on PS4, Xbox One, and PC - a welcome surprise, since the first game was console only. We're also expecting support for both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.

While PC players get the game a bit later, they do get one perk - they'll have an uncapped framerate and up to 4K resolutions, whereas consoles are capped at 30fps. The PC multiplayer will also be exclusively handled through Blizzard's Battle.net.

There will be some limits though - PC players won't be able to use some game capture programs and Discord overlays according to a Bungie FAQ, with specific restrictions on using capture software for exclusive fullscreen capture - though hardware capture is supported.

While the first game was also on the PS3 and Xbox 360, those are too old to be supported in 2017. Switch owners are also out of luck, since Nintendo's console is comparatively under-powered.

We're also going to see some perks for PS4 owners. They'll have timed exclusive access (until autumn 2018) to a strike, a PvP map, a ship, three armour sets, and an exotic weapon. You can see them all in action in the PS4 content trailer:

How can I pre-order?

Pre-orders have opened for Destiny 2, and as you'd expect for 2017, there's a plethora of different versions to choose from.

First up though, the big reason to pre-order is that no matter which version of the game you pre-order, you get access to an exclusive exotic trace rifle, the Coldheart. Bungie confirmed that users that pre-order the game will get access to the exotic rifle at launch, while those that purchase the game after launch will have to wait until 5th December 2017 to unlock it.

You'll also gain early access to the upcoming PC beta in August if you pre-order.  

Otherwise, the base game is available for £49.99 on PC and £54.99 on console in the UK from Game (who will also give you an exclusive in-game Ghost design), and $59.99 no matter the platform in the US from Amazon.

The next step up is the Limited Edition. That includes the base game; the expansion pass; an in-game sword, emblem, and emote; and a Cabal-themed Collector's Box including a booklet, postcards, and some other goodies. That's £79.99/£89.99 from Game in the UK, and $99.99 from GameStop in the US.

The top tier is the Collector's Edition. That includes everything from the Limited Edition, plus a bag, a laptop sleeve, and a 'Frontier Kit' with a solar USB charger, paracord, and solar blanket. That's £209.99/£219.99 from Game in the UK, and $249.99 from GameStop in the US.

Finally, a new PS4 Pro in Glacier White has been announced but only in a bundle with Destiny 2. In the US it will cost $499 and although there will be a European model, there's no price for it yet.

When is the beta?

Bungie announced an official beta program for the game that took place in July for those on PS4 and Xbox One, while PC users have to wait a little longer.

Bungie has revealed that the PC beta will take place from 28-31 August 2017, although those that don't pre-order the game have to wait until 29th before being allowed access to the beta. 

It includes the game's opening mission, one Strike (The Inverted Spire) and three of Crucible maps for 4v4 competitive multiplayer - including one that wasn't part of the console beta.

You get to play as any of the three classes, with two subclasses available for each, and there's a selection of different weapons to try out, including a couple of Exotics.

Nvidia recently released an exclusive video about the upcoming Destiny 2 beta, showcasing [email protected] gameplay in the trailer - a taste of what is to come in a few weeks' time. It also confirmed that Destiny 2 would feature an uncapped frame-rate on PC, and that the beta would also support keyboard + mouse input and also 21:9 monitors. 

Here's the minimum and recommended PC specs for those wanting to play the beta later this month:

Minimum:

CPU

  • Intel - Core i3-3250
  • AMD - FX-4350

GPU

  • Nvidia - GeForce GTX 660 2GB
  • AMD - Radeon HD 7850 2GB

RAM

  • 6GB

Recommended:

CPU

  • Intel - Core i5-2400
  • AMD - Ryzen R5 1600X

GPU

  • Nvidia - GeForce GTX 970
  • AMD - Radeon R9 390

RAM

  • 8GB

We delved into the console beta to see what's new, and you can read what we think of the new content in our gameplay preview below.

What DLC will there be?

Bungie has announced that Destiny 2 will have two major expansions, though we can probably expect a few smaller updates and events between them.

We don't know exactly what they'll feature, but the logos on the Expansion Pass poster hint that the first will relate to Osiris, while the second will be tied to the Warmind Rasputin from the original Destiny. 

What about gameplay?

So, what can we expect from Destiny 2? Following the gameplay reveal in May, and after spending some time blasting Cabal in the beta, we have a decent idea now about what new features Destiny 2 is bringing to the table.

First up, what's not changing. The core gameplay will remain mostly the same, with the tight first-person shooting mostly untouched. You'll also still have three classes to pick from - Warlock, Hunter, and Titan - and will jet around a few different worlds working through missions to advance the plot.

Beyond that, things are a little more different. The game's first mission sees the Citadel attacked by the alien Cabal, led by Dominus Ghaul. From there, players will be fighting to build up earth's defences again, reclaim their gear, and generally shoot a lot of aliens.

The classes have been tweaked slightly, with a new subclass for each - the Warlock Dawnblade, Titan Sentinel, and Hunter Arcstrider. Each class now also gets a specific cooldown ability to encourage further differentiation - for example, Warlocks can get the ability to buff attack power or heal.

Weapons have also been tweaked. There are now two main weapon slots, for kinetic and energy damage weapons respectively, so you could now slot in two of the same weapon class with different damage types.

The third slot is now for 'power weapons', which includes shotguns and sniper rifles alongside the likes of rocket launchers. There are at least two new weapon types too: a sub-machine gun (for the main weapon slots) and a grenade launcher (for the power weapon slot).

Missions will be across four worlds at launch: Earth, Titan, Io, and Nessus. The much-maligned patrols from the first game are back, but apparently improved, with more detailed complex worlds including sidequests, treasure hunts, and dungeons, designed to encourage exploration.

From what we've had the chance to play so far, it's clear that there's a major emphasis on cinematic set pieces. The opening mission, Homecoming, features dramatic cutscenes and splits its times between a fight across the Tower and on board a Cabal spaceship, culminating in a confrontation with Dominus Ghaul.

Even more impressive is the beta's Strike, The Inverted Spire, which involves a trip down through a giant drill on the surface of Nessus. One section sees players dodging enormous drill-bits as they fight through enemies, the environment itself as much a threat as any opponent - this feels like one of the few changes that is a serious step up from the first game.

There are new enemies to fight too. So far we've only seen new opponents from the Cabal's Red Legion, including the sword-wielding Gladiators, fire-themed Incinerators, and the vaguely canine Warbeasts, but we expect the full game to feature new enemy types from other factions too.

Along with the normal missions and strikes there will be a single raid at first. It'll be easier to get into though - the new 'Guided Games' sherpa system will let players temporarily join up with clans to play raids and similar content, rather than having to coordinate a full group of six to play, as in the first Destiny.

There's also one major quality of life improvement: players will no longer have to go to orbit to access content - you'll be able to jump to any mission, strike, raid, or patrol from anywhere.

Crucible multiplayer is also getting a tweak - it's dropping from 6v6 to 4v4, which is intended to encourage tighter gameplay, with a heavier focus on teamwork and strategy. There's also a new PVP mode called Countdown in which players have to place a bomb in their opponents’ base and then guard it.

We also know at least some of the returning cast: Nathan Fillion, Lance Reddick, and Gina Torres all feature in the new trailers as their Vanguard characters, so we can expect to hear them in the game itself too, and they'll play major roles in the new campaign, which promises to be even more important to the game this time around.

Naturally, the destruction of the Tower means big changes to Destiny 2's social space, so we're getting a brand new one: The Farm.

Bungie has given us a tour of the new area, showing off some of the central amenities (a Cryptarch, a Postmaster), a fully functioning football/soccer pitch to make the most of any down time, and hinting that the space will change and evolve across the game, with more characters moving in.

The video doesn't show it off much, but Bungie also revealed there'll be an expanded selection of player flair to show off in the social hub, but we don't know exactly what to expect from that yet.

We also know what will carry over from the first Destiny into the sequel. Character designs (race, gender, and face) will all be kept for the second game, but any progression or loot will be lost - so you don't get to keep your Light Level or that sweet sword you found.

Your character will also only carry over if you reached level 20, and the data was imported on August 1 2017 - so it's too late now to level up if you didn't quite make it. Data will be tied to your PSN or Xbox Live account, so you can't retain a character if you want to jump to a different platform

Bungie has also confirmed that it will recognise dedicated fans of the series with at least seven emblems, four of which are already impossible to get if you didn't play the game in its first two years on the market. Players who originally owned the game on PS3 or Xbox 360 will need to carry out an Account Import to access the memorial emblems.

The emblems are:

  • Laurel Triumphant: You completed a Moment of Triumph during Destiny’s first year.
  • Laurea Prima II: You completed all 10 Moments of Triumph during Destiny’s first year.
  • Slayer of Oryx: You owned The Taken King and completed a Moment of Triumph during Destiny’s second year.
  • Heard the Call: You owned The Taken King and completed all 8 Moments of Triumph during Destiny’s second year.
  • Young Wolf: You owned Rise of Iron and reached Rank 2 in the Age of Triumph record book.
  • Saladin’s Pride: You owned Rise of Iron and reached Rank 7 in the Age of Triumph record book.
  • Lore Scholar: Your achieved a Grimoire score of over 5,000 in Destiny 1.

Watch the trailers

 First up, here's the very first we ever saw of the game, the 'Last Call' trailer focusing on Nathan Fillion's Cayde-6:

 Then there's the 'Rally the Troops' trailer that announced the game's release date:

And here's the second full cinematic trailer, with a major focus on Lance Reddick's Commander Zavala:

Then there's the E3 2017 trailer, A Darkest Hour, which shifts the focus firmly to the game's main antagonist, Dominus Ghaul: