Destiny 2 XP Farm guide: Witch Queen edition [Bounty chart]

by | Jun 6, 2022

[toc] Every new Expansion comes with a new XP grind, be it to earn your Season Pass rewards or upgrade the seasonal Artifact.

For the longest time, XP farming in Destiny 2 was too reliant on grinding bounties. But finally, Bungie relented and replaced some of them with Seasonal challenges.

This guide covers how XP works and why it matters, lists every XP source in the game, including bounties and challenges, and comes up with the most efficient XP farming methods.

Checkmark icon V3List updated as of Season of the Haunted’s release (S17). 

Best XP Farm in Destiny 2: Bounties & Challenges

If you’re looking to efficiently earn XP, you don’t really have a choice but to grab the best bounties, combine them with the new Seasonal Challenges and work on them simultaneously:

SourceLocationFrequencyBase XPCost (glimmer)RequiresRequirements
War Table RepeatableH.E.L.MRepeatable4,0003000
Season 16
Season 16
War Table Daily (x4)H.E.L.MDaily6,000250
Season 16
Season 16
Fynch RepeatableThrone WorldRepeatable4,0003000
The Witch Queen
The Witch Queen
Fynch Daily (x4)Throne WorldDaily6,000250
The Witch Queen
The Witch Queen
Xûr RepeatableEternityRepeatable4,0003000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Xûr Daily (x4)EternityDaily6,000250
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Starhorse Daily (x3)EternityDaily6,0003 Strange Coins
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Starhorse Weekly (x3)EuropaWeekly12,00014 Strange Coins
Beyond Light
Beyond Light
Varyks RepeatableEuropaRepeatable4,0003000
Beyond Light
Beyond Light
Varyks Daily (x3)EuropaDaily6,000250
Beyond Light
Beyond Light
Varyks WeeklyEuropaWeekly12,0001000
Beyond Light
Beyond Light
Shaw Han RepeatableCosmodromeRepeatable4,0003000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Shaw Han Daily (x4)CosmodromeDaily6,000250
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Shaw Han Weekly (x2)CosmodromeWeekly12,0001000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Eris Morn RepeatableMoonRepeatable4,0003000
Shadowkeep
Shadowkeep
Eris Morn Daily (x4)MoonDaily6,000250
Shadowkeep
Shadowkeep
Eris Morn Weekly (x2)MoonWeekly12,0001000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Gunsmith RepeatableTowerRepeatable4,0003000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Gunsmith Daily (x4)TowerDaily6,000250
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Vanguard RepeatableTowerRepeatable4,0003000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Vanguard DailyTowerDaily6,000250
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Crucible RepeatableTowerRepeatable4,0003000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Crucible DailyTowerDaily6,000250
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Iron Banner (x4)TowerMontly12,0001000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Gambit RepeatableTowerRepeatable4,0003000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Gambit Daily (x4)TowerDaily6,000250
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Trials RepeatableTowerRepeatable4,0003000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Trials Daily (x4)TowerDaily6,000250
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Trials Weekly (x2)TowerWeekly12,0001000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Lectern of EnchantmentMoonRepeatable4,0003000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Lectern of Enchantment Daily (x4)MoonDaily6,000250
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Lectern of Enchantment Weekly (x2)MoonWeekly12,0005 Fragments
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
EDZ and Nessus Daily (x3)DestinationsDaily6,000250
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Petra Venj Ascendant ChallengeDreaming CityWeekly6,000500
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Petra Venj WeeklyDreaming CityWeekly6,000500
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Petra Venj Daily (x5)DestinationsDaily1,000250
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Seasonal EventTowerRepeatable4,0003000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Seasonal Event (x4)TowerDaily6,000250
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Seasonal Event (x2)TowerWeekly12,0001000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Gunsmith Weekly challenge
Complete 8 Gunsmith bounties
TowerWeekly12,0000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Vanguard Weekly challenge
Complete 8 Gunsmith bounties
TowerWeekly12,0000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Crucible Weekly challenge
Complete 8 Gunsmith bounties
TowerWeekly12,0000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Gambit Weekly challenge
Complete 8 Gunsmith bounties
TowerWeekly12,0000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Clan Weekly challenge
Complete 8 Gunsmith bounties
TowerWeekly12,0000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
Seasonal ChallengesDirectorSeasonal
25,0000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
2X Seasonal Challenges
(Grants x2 XP)
DirectorSeasonal
50,0000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
4X Seasonal Challenges
(Grants x4 XP)
DirectorSeasonal
100,0000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play
8X Seasonal Challenges
(Grants x8 XP)
DirectorSeasonal
200,0000
Free-to-Play
Free-to-Play

Notice you can filter this list by Destination, cost, Expansion requirements, and more.

Why XP is important in Destiny 2

In Destiny 2, XP is needed for only 2 things:

  1. Unlocking your Season Pass rewards
  2. Upgrading your Seasonal Artifact to unlock Mods and bonus Power Levels

This part is simple. Getting the XP is another story, though.

Season Pass Rewards

Destiny 2’s Season Pass works in the same way as in any other online shooter. The pass has 2 different tracks, a free track and a track reserved for Season Pass owners only, and each track has 100 levels to unlock.

Season Pass season 17 Destiny 2 featured

Destiny 2 XP: Season Pass

The premium track obviously offers more rewards but it’s important to know this: the best rewards are part of the Free track. This includes the new Exotic weapon, Legendary weapons, Exotic cipher, and more.

Even if you don’t purchase the Season Pass, you still want to grind XP and get all the rewards the Free track has to offer. They are well worth it.

Seasonal Artifact and Mods

The seasonal Artifact plays an important role in Destiny 2. Not only does it grant extra Power Levels, but it also includes several Seasonal Mods.

The extra Power Levels are useful for high-end content and will help you along with your Max Power Level grind. The Seasonal Mods, on the other hand, are mandatory. These include the Anti-barrier, Overload, and Unstoppable mods needed to deal with Champions, on top of extremely powerful mods.

Artifact season 17 Destiny 2 featured

Destiny 2 XP: Seasonal Artifact unlocks

Needless to say, XP plays an essential part in preparing you for the most difficult end-game content in the game, including solo Master Lost Sectors. Plus, the exotics and legendary weapons are always good to have.

How to farm XP in Destiny 2

Farming XP as fast as possible used to require grinding XP on all three characters! This is still somewhat true, but with the introduction of Seasonal Challenges, players with only one character can earn XP much faster than before.

Now that we have a good understanding of what bounties give the more XP, it’s time to combine them with the Seasonal Challenges and get them done as quickly as possible.

First, a disclaimer:

This guide will focus on how to maximize XP farming without having to mindlessly run Lost Sectors but also earn Powerful/Pinnacle gear and Bright Dust in the process!

Destiny 2 XP bounties

Best Practices

These are the best practices and principles you should always follow to maximize XP:

Always have a Ghost with a Blinding Light Mod

With the new Ghost 2.0 system in Beyond Light, you can now choose your own mods and prioritize your Ghost’s bonuses based on your activities. Without going too much into the details, all you need to know is that you want the biggest Blinding Light Mod possible. With the Blinding Light mod that costs 6 Energy, you can get a +12% bonus XP!

Ghost shell with Blinding Light mod Destiny 2

Trust me, that bonus will count in the long run…

Turn in your bounties only when in a Fireteam

The Season Pass grants bonus XP called Shared Wisdom when you’re part of a Fireteam. Therefore, you ideally want to always be in a Fireteam when turning in bounties.

Season Pass level  XP Fireteam Boost
Level 5 2%
Level 26 2%
Level 56 2%
Level 86 2%
Total 8%

These bonuses are part of the Premium track of the Season Pass.

If you’re a solo player, you can do what I often do:

  1. Go to Europa or the Cosmodrome and find an active Public event with other guardians
  2. Join a random guardian’s Fireteam (open your Director, head over to Roster and join someone with an open Fireteam)
  3. Tell them you’re there to help with the event
  4. Turn all your bounties
  5. Help with the event
  6. Leave the Fireteam

This is somewhat tedious so I only do it at the end of a very long session when my inventory is full of completed bounties to turn it.

Use the official Destiny 2 Companion app

The Destiny 2 companion app on iOS and Android has always been good. It features an Inventory manager, group finder, and more. But it recently received a huge quality of live improvement: the ability to pick up bounties from the app instead of having to visit every vendor in the game one by one!

If you’re serious about grinding bounties, this app is a must-have.

Purchase the Season Pass

The Season Pass grants a +20% XP bonus at Rank 1 (i.e. immediately at the start of the Season). This percentage steadily increases as you earn more Seasonal Ranks, making it a huge XP bonus.

Season Pass level  XP Boost
Level 1 20%
Level 7 2%
Level 16 2%
Level 36 2%
Level 46 2%
Level 66 2%
Level 76 2%
Total 32%

These bonuses are part of the Premium track of the Season Pass.

Stay away from repeatable bounties

Repeatable bounties can help speed the process but they are very expensive and sometimes longer to complete than the average daily bounty. But I prefer to switch activities once all the dailies are done.

For example, after completing all of Europa’s bounties, I head over to the Cosmodrome, then the Moon, then focus on Crucible bounties, etc.

Your Turn

Now you know everything there is to know about maximizing your XP farming in Destiny 2.

Did I miss any other important tips? Come over to our Discord server and let me know!

Latest changes made to this guide

Things change fast in Destiny 2, especially when a new Season or Expansion launches. For that reason, this post will be updated at least once per season. Last season, in particular, Bungie made a significant change to XP grinding with the introduction of Seasonal Challenges.

With the release of Season of the Haunted (S17), the following bounties were added:

  • Crown of Sorrow bounties (H.E.L.M. seasonal bounties)

The following bounties were removed:

  • War Table bounties

About The Author

Ric Molina
Ric Molina
I've been covering gaming since 2012, and some of my work has been featured by large brands, including MSN.com, Forbes, Rock Paper Shotgun, and more. I've been obsessed with Destiny 2 for years now, and I hope to provide new and returning players with the guides and resources I wish I had when I first started.
More from Ric Molina
8 Comments
  1. REne

    Great information! Do you also have a table of data for how much completing raw activities are worth? Lost sectors, strikes, raids, crucible games, etc…

    Reply
    • Ric (aka Primatrix)

      Thanks! Always appreciate seeing someone is finding this stuff useful 🙂

      I don’t have data for the activities themselves. I was actually preparing myself to tackle that but Beyond Light will potentially change everything A LOT in less than a month. So I think it’s better to get the data once Beyond Light is live.

      Reply
      • Shika

        Do vanguard strike fireteams count as well to boost xp gains when turning in bounties?

        Reply
        • Ric (aka Prim)

          Every matchmade activity does not count. It has to be an activity with a fireteam you either created and had other people join you, or joined yourself.

          Reply
  2. Anthony

    This is brilliant info. I’m in that boat where I’m at 90 on the Seasonal Pass and need to finish the last 10. I grinded all of 80 to 89 especially via Moon and Io to make sure I get that XP, but I’ll try alot of what you suggested here to finish off the last 10.

    Reply
  3. Francisco

    Hey Rick, really enjoying your guides because they are made for the average player that only has time to grind one character. Just wanted to remind you the prismatic recaster is no longer available in Beyond Light. Another good tip that takes advantage of the new Ghost mods is to upgrade your ghost to atleast level 6 (I personally masterworked mine right away to take advantage of more than 1 good mod) and then get your blinding light mod that grants 12% xp bonus. This new feature can easily fly under the radar but can really be helpful when grinding XP.

    Thanks for the great guide!

    Reply
  4. Seaguard

    This is a really helpful guide!
    I do want to point out though that the Moon bounties (Eris Morn and Lectern) aren’t Free-to-play, they require Shadowkeep.

    Reply
  5. Nathanael

    Can we please update the chart to the current season?

    Reply
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