Destiny 2 Champions: How to defeat Overload, Unstoppable & Barrier

by | Mar 2, 2022 | Leveling

As you grow your light and move onto greater challenges, you’ll come across content and quest steps that set you against Champions. Champions are tough, but we’re going to make sure you’re tougher.

In the guide below we’ll cover what Champions are, how to beat them, and where to farm them. Let’s set you up for success, Guardian.

What are Champions in Destiny 2

Champions are a mini-boss enemy type that started appearing back when the Shadowkeep expansion was released. These days, they appear in PVE content that includes, but is not limited to, raids, Legend/Master Lost Sectors, dungeons, and some can be found on the moon while on patrol. They come in 3 flavors: Barrier, Overload, and Unstoppable.

Overload Champions Destiny 2 featured

A Fallen Overload Champion

All champions will be yellow bar enemies named as the type of champion they are. They also sport a slight red glowing animation to their models. Each type has its own special mechanics and mods you will need to follow to successfully stun them, then take them down.

How to fight champions in Destiny 2

For all three Champion types, you will need to stun them by using the right weapon/mod combination for each Season. Once stunned, the Champions will pause, drop their guards, and become more vulnerable to attacks.

The ability to stop these mini-bosses in their tracks and make them vulnerable to your attacks can take some of the most troublesome enemy types in the game and make them almost trivial. Trust us though, when facing Champions in endgame content you’ll want every advantage you can get.

Mods that allow you to defeat these champions are earned by leveling up your seasonal artifact. These mods will change each season as well. For Season 16, the mods for each champion type will be as follows:

ArtMod NameSlotAffinityCostEffectsTypeElementReleased
Anti-Barrier Pulse RifleArmsAny1Pulse Rifles you are wielding fire shield-piercing rounds and stun Barrier Champions (also deal bonus damage to Barrier Champions).SeasonalAnySeason 17
Piercing SidearmsArmsAny1Sidearms gain shield-piercing rounds, which bypass combatant defenses.
Strong against Barrier Champions.
SeasonalAnySeason 17
Molten Overload GrenadesClass ItemAny2Solar grenades cause disruption, delaying ability regeneration and lowering combatant damage output. Strong against Overload Champions.SeasonalAnySeason 17
Overload Auto rifle and SMG mod Destiny 2 artOverload Auto Rifle & SMGArmsAny1Uninterrupted fire from Auto Rifles and Submachine Guns grants bullets that stun combatants, delaying ability energy regeneration and lowering combatant damage output. Strong against Overload Champions.SeasonalAnySeason 17
Unstoppable Glaive mod Destiny 2 artUnstoppable GlaiveArmsAny1Glaives you wield fire a powerful explosive payload that stuns unshielded combatants. Strong against Unstoppable Champions.SeasonalAnySeason 17
Unstoppable Scout RifleArmsAny1Aiming down sights for a short time causes Scout Rifles you wield to fire a powerful explosive payload that stuns unshielded combatants. Strong against Unstoppable Champions.SeasonalAnySeason 17
Withering HeatClass ItemAny6Causing damage with a Solar ability weakens Champions for a short duration.SeasonalAnySeason 17
Unstoppable Hand cannon mod Destiny 2 artUnstoppable Hand CannonArmsAny1Aiming down sights with any Hand Cannon you are wielding loads a powerful explosive payload that stuns unshielded combatants. Strong against Unstoppable Champions.ChampionsAny

And on top of those Seasonal mods, some Exotic weapons can also deal with Champions:

NameWeaponsTypeArchetypeAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?RankSourceObtainable?Tier rankSource ❘ DLCFinal VerdictReleasedPerks
ArbalestDestiny 2 Arbalest art
Arbalest
Linear Fusion RifleExoticSpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesS › BestExotic Engram
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Engram

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires slugs that cause massive damage to enemy shields. Strong against Barrier Champions. Breaking an enemy's shield with this weapon makes them more vulnerable to Kinetic damage."

► Able to deal with Anti-barrier champions and shielded enemies with ease (regardless of their elemental affinities), Arbalest is one of the best weapons for endgame content right now. It is so good, expect every Fireteam to have at least one Arbalest equipped.
Season 6
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires slugs that cause massive damage to enemy shields. Strong against Barrier Champions. Breaking an enemy's shield with this weapon makes them more vulnerable to Kinetic damage."
The LamentThe Lament Destiny 2
The Lament
SwordExoticHeavySolarBeyond LightYesS › BestExotic Quest
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Quest

Beyond Light
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Revving the blade increases damage, shield bypass, and adds shield piercing to all attacks. You also gain stacks when dealing damage with revved attacks. Additional stacks increase the damage and damage resistance of heavy attacks."

► Despite some of its targeting issues, the Lament remains arguably the best sword (and one of the best weapons) in the game. Its Lifesteal perk is a powerful tool, and its ability to shred through high health targets or Barrier Champions makes it a fun and powerful weapon.
Season 12
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Revving the blade increases damage, shield bypass, and adds shield piercing to all attacks. You also gain stacks when dealing damage with revved attacks. Additional stacks increase the damage and damage resistance of heavy attacks."
DivinityDestiny 2 Divinity art
Divinity
Trace RifleExoticSpecialArcShadowkeepYesA › StrongExotic Quest
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Quest

Shadowkeep
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Sustained damage with this weapon envelops the target in a field that weakens and disrupts them."

► Able to deal with Overload Champions and easily apply a huge debuff on everything, Divinity is excellent for endgame PVE activities. It may relegate its user to a "support" role, but it remains extremely valuable, especially against enemies that have hard-to-hit crit spots.
Season 8
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Sustained damage with this weapon envelops the target in a field that weakens and disrupts them."
Eriana's VowDestiny 2 Eriana's Vow art
Eriana's Vow
Hand CannonExoticSpecialSolarShadowkeepYesA › StrongExotic Kiosk
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Kiosk

Shadowkeep
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires special shield-piercing ammunition. Bonus damage when aiming down sights on the opening shot of an attack."

► Previously a no-brainer in activities with Barrier Champions, Eriana's Vow now sits in the shadow of its main competitor: Arbalest. While still an extremely fun and unique gun that's worth using once in a while, this weapon just hasn't been able to keep up with the meta.
Season 8
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires special shield-piercing ammunition. Bonus damage when aiming down sights on the opening shot of an attack."
Devil's RuinDestiny 2 Devil's Ruin art
Devil's Ruin
SidearmExoticPrimarySolarShadowkeepYesA › StrongExotic Kiosk
Strong

A



Exotic Kiosk

Shadowkeep
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Variable trigger. Press and release to fire individual shots. Hold to charge up a high-powered, staggering laser."

► Able to deal with Unstoppable Champions, this is a fun weapon that does decent damage and melts shotgun apes in PVP when in laser mode. You will rarely see it in the wild, but this weapon deserves more attention, especially now that primary ammo is unlimited.
Season 9
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Variable trigger. Press and release to fire individual shots. Hold to charge up a high-powered, staggering laser."
Leviathan's BreathDestiny 2 Leviathan's Breath art
Leviathan's Breath
Combat BowExoticHeavyVoidShadowkeepYesB › AverageExotic Kiosk
Average

B



Exotic Kiosk

Shadowkeep
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires a massive heavy bolt that staggers unshielded combatants. When fully drawn, the bolt knocks combatants back."

►Due to an extremely long draw time and limited magazine size, Leviathan simply cannot compete against several other Heavy weapons. To be fair, other weapons may be more efficient, but Leviathan's Breath is still unique and fun to use.
Season 8
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires a massive heavy bolt that staggers unshielded combatants. When fully drawn, the bolt knocks combatants back."
BastionDestiny 2 Bastion
Bastion
Fusion RifleExoticSpecialKineticShadowkeepYesD › WorstExotic Kiosk
Worst

D



Exotic Kiosk

Shadowkeep
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Charge to fire 3 spreads of Kinetic slugs. This weapon fires staggering projectiles. Strong against Unstoppable Champions."

► What happened to Bastion was criminal. This was an extremely unique, fun, and deadly weapon to bring to the Crucible. But after dominating for too long, it was nerfed to the ground a few seasons ago. It can now stagger Unstoppable Champions in PVE, yet Bastion is still not worth that Exotic slot, or a Kinetic slot for that matter.
Season 9
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Charge to fire 3 spreads of Kinetic slugs. This weapon fires staggering projectiles. Strong against Unstoppable Champions."

Destiny 2 Anti-Barrier Champions

Anti-Barrier Mods for use against Barrier Champions are Scout Rifles and Bows. It’s worth noting here that Anti-Barrier mods work against non-champion barriers as well. So you could use a weapon empowered on one of these mods to shoot through a Hive Knight Shield, for example.

Barrier Champions Destiny 2 image

For Barrier Champions, after they receive about a third to half of their health in damage they will pop a barrier and begin to heal. To stun them, break their barrier with your anti-barrier weapon. If successful, they will stop healing and become stunned/more vulnerable to damage.

Best weapons to deal with Barrier Champions

Given the current state of the Meta, the best weapons to deal with Barrier Champions are:

  • Arbalest – Exotic Linear Fusion Rifle
  • Under Your Skin (with mod) – Precision Bow
  • Dead Man’s Tale (with mod) – Exotic Scout Rifle

Destiny 2 Overload Champions

Overload Mods for use against Overload champions are Auto Rifles and Submachine Guns in Season 16. For Overload Champions, uninterrupted fire from either your SMG or Auto Rifle will eventually stun these Champions. Laying a steady stream of rapid-fire on your target with the empowered weapon will accomplish this fairly easily. Once stunned, they too will become more vulnerable to your attacks.

Overload Champions Destiny 2 image

The Class Item Mod this season is Void Grenade. Use Void Grenade abilities to stun Overload Champions when this mod is equipped.

Best weapons to deal with Overload Champions

The best weapons to deal with Overload Champions this season are:

  • Divinity – Exotic Trace Rifle
  • Osteo Striga (with mod) – Exotic SMG
  • Huckleberry (with mod) – Exotic SMG

Destiny 2 Unstoppable Champions

Unstoppable mods for use against Unstoppable Champions are Hand Cannons, Glaives, and Pulse Rifles. For Unstoppable Champions, Guardians will need to aim down sights their Unstoppable modded weapons for a few moments to trigger the effects of the mod, shown as giving the weapon a glowing red barrel.

Unstoppable Champions Destiny 2 image

Once active, shoot the Unstoppable Champion using that weapon to stun them. For the new Glaive weapon, your projectiles become a powerful explosive that stuns unshielded combatants and Unstoppable Champions. The Class Item Mod this season for Unstoppable Champions is Solar Melee. Use Solar Abilities to stun Unstoppable Champions when this mod is equipped.

Best weapons to deal with Unstoppable Champions

The best weapons to deal with Unstoppable Champions this season are:

  • Outbreak Perfected (with mod) – Exotic Pulse Rifle
  • Malfeasance (with mod) – Exotic Hand Cannon
  • Graviton Lance (with mod) – Exotic Pulse Rifle

Where to farm Champions

Champions can be farmed in a few ways. Often, you might find yourself with a quest or challenge that involves stunning or landing final blows against Champions. This can be challenging in regular content matchmaking when you can’t necessarily communicate with your fellow blueberries easily. That is where farming comes in handy. Activities each Season will have opportunities to farm Champions to varying degrees of success. However, there are some methods that are evergreen.

One popular way to farm Champions is to solo Legend Lost Sectors. These Lost Sectors rotate daily so be sure to check your Director and planetary maps to see where they are each day.

Another tried and true method is to load up a Nightfall at ranks Hero, Legend, or Master solo or on a fireteam. Each ascending rank will spawn more Champions per run. Champions also appear in Grandmaster Nightfalls at the highest density, but for farming purposes, it would be faster to make multiple runs at a lower difficulty.

Your turn

Since Season of the Undying (S8) Champions have continued to find their way into more and more PVE content in Destiny 2. Now that you know what you’re up against you can apply these skills to all levels of content as you grow.

See what you’re up against, equip your build, and get ready to become Legend.

Let's keep the conversation going

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