Destiny 2 Catalysts: Ranked and How to Get Them

by | Oct 9, 2022

Exotic catalysts are some of the most sought-after items in Destiny 2. Unlike legendary weapons, some Exotics can be dramatically enhanced by their catalyst. Granted, some catalysts are duds, but others can be game-changing, able to take an Exotic to an entirely new level.

But as with most things in Destiny 2, it’s hard to keep track of all the Exotics and catalysts in the game: Which Exotics have a catalyst? How can you get them? Are they even worth it?

While our Exotic Tier list ranks and covers all the Exotic weapons, this guide focuses on the catalysts themselves and tells you what they do, how to get them, and how to unlock them.

Checkmark icon V3Updated as of Season of Plunder’s release (S18).

Destiny 2 Exotic Catalyst list in 2022

Ace of Spades Catalyst Destiny 2What is a Catalyst? Catalysts allow you to “upgrade” Exotic weapons by granting them either more stat points, a new perk, or both.  But you first need to find and unlock them. Note that not every Exotic weapon has a catalyst.

These are the 70 catalysts currently available in the game as of the release of Season of Plunder (Season 18):

NameTypeSlotCatalyst RankCatalyst SourceAvailable?RequirementsCatalystTierSource ❘ DLCHow to unlockCatalyst effectReleased
Delicate TombFusion RifleEnergyOngoingBanshee-44's questYesFree-to-PlayDelicate Tomb Catalyst
Delicate Tomb
| Fusion Rifle
Ongoing...Banshee-44's quest

Free-to-Play
► Get 700 kills► Adds Ionic Interment perk:
Collecting an Ionic Trace partially reloads the magazine from reserves.
Season 18
Touch of MaliceScout RifleKineticOngoingKing's Fall RaidYesFree-to-PlayTouch of Malice Catalyst
Touch of Malice
| Scout Rifle
Ongoing...King's Fall Raid

Free-to-Play
► Get 700 kills► Adds Rapid Hit perk:
Rapid precision hits temporarily increase stability and reload speed.
Season 18
ThunderlordMachine GunHeavyOngoingPlaylist Activity completionsForsaken PackThunderlord Catalyst
Thunderlord
| Machine Gun
Ongoing...Playlist Activity completions

Forsaken Pack
► Get 500 kills► Adds Return Stroke:
Causing a lightning strike with this weapon partially reloads the magazine from reserves.
Season 18
WitherhoardGrenade LauncherKineticS › BestBanshee-44's questYesFree-to-PlayWitherhoard Catalyst Destiny 2
Witherhoard
| Grenade Launcher
Best

S

Banshee-44's quest

Free-to-Play
► Get 400 kills► Adds Silent Alarm perk:
Maximizes handling, holstering this weapon automatically reloads it after a short period of time.
Season 11
The HuckleberrySubmachine GunKineticS › BestPlaylist Activity completionsYesFree-to-PlayHuckleberry Catalyst Destiny 2
The Huckleberry
| Submachine Gun
Best

S

Playlist Activity completions

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 kills► Adds Bull Rider perk:
Kills with this weapon now reload the entire magazine.
Season 14
Eriana's VowHand CannonEnergyS › BestBanshee-44's questYesShadowkeepEriana's Vow Catalyst Destiny 2
Eriana's Vow
| Hand Cannon
Best

S

Banshee-44's quest

Shadowkeep
► Get 700 kills► Adds More to Give perk: Increases magazine size by +3 and adds the perk Auto-Loading Holster.Season 8
ArbalestLinear Fusion RifleKineticS › BestPlaylist Activity completionsYesFree-to-PlayArbalest catalyst Destiny 2 art
Arbalest
| Linear Fusion Rifle
Best

S

Playlist Activity completions

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 kills► Adds Genesis perk:
Breaking a combatant's shield with this weapon fills its magazine from reserves.
Energy weapons regenerate ammo on hit when matching the damage type to the combatant's shield.
30th Anniversary
JötunnFusion RifleEnergyS › BestPlaylist Activity completionsYesForsaken PackJotunn Catalyst Destiny 2 art
Jötunn
| Fusion Rifle
Best

S

Playlist Activity completions

Forsaken Pack
► Get 500 kills► Adds Cornered & Incandescent perks:
Faster charge time or draw time when surrounded by combatants. Defeating a target spreads scorch to those nearby. More powerful combatants and opposing Guardians cause scorch in a larger radius.
Season 17
Ace of SpadesHand CannonKineticS › BestKills or completions in Strikes & NightfallsYesForsaken PackAce of Spades Catalyst Destiny 2
Ace of Spades
| Hand Cannon
Best

S

Kills or completions in Strikes & Nightfalls

Forsaken Pack
► Get 500 kills► Adds Funeral Pyre perk:
Firefly does more damage while Memento Mori is active.
Season 4
Izanagi's BurdenSniper RifleKineticS › BestPlaylist Activity completionsYesForsaken PackIzanagi's Burden Catalyst Destiny 2
Izanagi's Burden
| Sniper Rifle
Best

S

Playlist Activity completions

Forsaken Pack
► Get 500 kills► Adds Peerless Edge perk:
Increases the damage bonus of Honed Edge when all 4 bullets are consumed.
Season 14
RiskrunnerSubmachine GunEnergyS › BestBanshee-44's questYesFree-to-PlayRiskrunner Catalyst Destiny 2
Riskrunner
| Submachine Gun
Best

S

Banshee-44's quest

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 kills
► Get 50 Arc Conductor kills
► Increases range by +27.Season 1
Trinity GhoulCombat BowEnergyS › BestPlaylist Activity completionsYesFree-to-PlayTrinity Ghoul Catalyst Destiny 2
Trinity Ghoul
| Combat Bow
Best

S

Playlist Activity completions

Free-to-Play
► Get 400 kills► Adds Forked Lightning perk:
Reduces draw time by -108 and Lightning Rod now triggers from any arc damage final blow.
Season 4
Dead Man's TaleScout RifleKineticS › BestPlaylist Activity completionsYesBeyond LightDead Man's Tale Catalyst Destiny 2
Dead Man's Tale
| Scout Rifle
Best

S

Playlist Activity completions

Beyond Light
► Get 800 kills or 8 secret chests► Adds Dark-Forged Trigger perk:
Increased hipfire rate of fire and removes hipfire accuracy penalties.
Season 12
Ager's ScepterTrace RifleKineticS › BestPlaylist Activity completionsYesBeyond LightAger's Scepter Catalyst Destiny 2 art
Ager's Scepter
| Trace Rifle
Best

S

Playlist Activity completions

Beyond Light
► Get 1000 kills► Adds Will Given Form perk:
Hold reload to drain Super energy, overflowing and empowering the beam with bonus damage and the ability to slow and freeze targets.

Can only be activated when Super energy is full.
Season 15
GjallarhornRocket LauncherHeavyS › BestGrasp of Avarice Dungeon (x3 chests)Yes30th AnniversaryGjallarhorn catalyst Destiny 2 art
Gjallarhorn
| Rocket Launcher
Best

S

Grasp of Avarice Dungeon (x3 chests)

30th Anniversary
► Get 400 kills► Adds More Wolves perk:
Increases magazine size. Final blows with Wolfpack Rounds spawn a faster, more powerful missile at the target's location.
30th Anniversary
LuminaHand CannonKineticA › StrongAny activityYesForsaken PackLumina Catalyst Destiny 2
Lumina
| Hand Cannon
Strong

A

Any activity

Forsaken Pack
► Get 250 Noble Round heals► Adds Resonant Vitrue perk:
Gain two Remnants per final blow instead of one.
Season 7
Rat KingSidearmKineticA › StrongKills or completions in Strikes & NightfallsYesFree-to-PlayRat King Catalyst Destiny 2
Rat King
| Sidearm
Strong

A

Kills or completions in Strikes & Nightfalls

Free-to-Play
► Get 1,000 kills while everyone in your fireteam is also using Rat King► Adds Infestation perk: Increases aim assist and recoil direction. Refreshes health when Vermin activates.Season 1
The Wardcliff CoilRocket LauncherHeavyA › StrongKills or completions in Strikes & NightfallsYesFree-to-PlayWardcliff Coil Catalyst Destiny 2
The Wardcliff Coil
| Rocket Launcher
Strong

A

Kills or completions in Strikes & Nightfalls

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 kills► Adds Pinpoint Guidance Module perk:
Tightens rockets spread.
Season 1
The Fourth HorsemanShotgunEnergyA › StrongPlaylist Activity completionsYesShadowkeepThe Fourth Horseman Catalyst Destiny 2
The Fourth Horseman
| Shotgun
Strong

A

Playlist Activity completions

Shadowkeep
► Get 400 kills► Adds And its name was Death perk:
Adds an additional round to the magazine and increases reload speed by +40.
Season 16
Legend of AcriusShotgunHeavyA › StrongNightfall Ordeals completionsYesFree-to-PlayLegend of Acrius Catalyst Destiny 2
Legend of Acrius
| Shotgun
Strong

A

Nightfall Ordeals completions

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 kills► Adds Deeper Pockets perk:
Increases the magazine size by +2 and expands the ammo reserves.

► Increases reload speed by +36.
Season 14
MIDA Multi-ToolScout RifleKineticA › StrongLegend Glory rankYesFree-to-PlayMIDA Multi-Tool Catalyst Destiny 2
MIDA Multi-Tool
| Scout Rifle
Strong

A

Legend Glory rank

Free-to-Play
► Get 250 precision kills in PVP► Adds No Distractions perk:
Aiming this weapon for a short period reduces flinch.
Season 1
Ruinous EffigyTrace RifleEnergyA › StrongPVE KillsYesShadowkeepRuinous Effigy Catalyst Destiny 2
Ruinous Effigy
| Exotic Trace Rifle
Strong

A

PVE Kills

Shadowkeep
► Destroy all Savathun's Eyes or
► Get 5000 kills
► Adds Deconstruction perk:
Deals increased damage against targets damaged by Transmutation spheres.
Season 11
Traveler's ChosenSidearmKineticA › StrongPlaylist Activity completionsYesShadowkeepAger's Scepter Catalyst Destiny 2 art
Traveler's Chosen
| Sidearm
Strong

A

Playlist Activity completions

Shadowkeep
► Get 700 kills► Adds Osmosis perk: Using your grenade ability changes this weapon's damage type to match your subclass until you stow it.

► Adds Full Auto Trigger System perk: holding down the trigger will fire this weapon at full auto) perks.
Season 11
CrimsonHand CannonKineticA › StrongPVE KillsYesFree-to-PlayCrimson Catalyst Destiny 2
Crimson
| Hand Cannon
Strong

A

PVE Kills

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 kills► Increases range by +18.Season 2
Bad JujuPulse RifleKineticA › StrongPlaylist Activity completionsYesForsaken PackBad Juju Catalyst Destiny 2
Bad Juju
| Pulse Rifle
Strong

A

Playlist Activity completions

Forsaken Pack
► Get 700 kills► Adds Unending Curse perk:
Extends the duration of the perk String of Curses.
Season 14
The Jade RabbitScout RifleKineticA › StrongKills or wins in the CrucibleYesFree-to-PlayJade Rabbit Catalyst Destiny 2
The Jade Rabbit
| Scout Rifle
Strong

A

Kills or wins in the Crucible

Free-to-Play
► Get 250 PVP kills► Increases stability by +27.Season 2
The ProspectorGrenade LauncherHeavyA › StrongKills or completions in Strikes & NightfallsYesFree-to-PlayProspector Catalyst Destiny 2
The Prospector
| Grenade Launcher
Strong

A

Kills or completions in Strikes & Nightfalls

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 kills► Adds Deeper Pockets perk:
Increases the magazine size by +1 and expands ammo reserves.

► Increases blast radius by +20.
Season 1
Heir ApparentMachine GunHeavyA › StrongGuardian Games eventNoFree-to-PlayHeir Apparent Catalyst Destiny 2
Heir Apparent
| Heir Apparent
Strong

A

Guardian Games event

Free-to-Play
► Get 700 kills► Adds Legion's Bullwark perk:
Increases the Arc Shield's durability and partially reloads the magazine if it is destroyed.
Season 10
SUROS RegimeAuto RifleKineticA › StrongKills or wins in the CrucibleYesFree-to-PlaySUROS Regime Catalyst Destiny 2
SUROS Regime
| Auto Rifle
Strong

A

Kills or wins in the Crucible

Free-to-Play
► Get 300 PVP kills► Adds SUROS Ascendance perk:
Improves recoil direction and increases the chance to activate "SUROS Legacy".
Season 3
SunshotHand CannonEnergyA › StrongPlaylist Activity completionsYesFree-to-PlaySunshot Catalyst Destiny 2
Sunshot
| Hand Cannon
Strong

A

Playlist Activity completions

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 kills
► Get 1000 Sun Blast kills
► Increases stability by +18 and range by +27.Season 1
DualityShotgunEnergyA › StrongBanshee-44's questYesBeyond Light
Duality
| Shotgun
Strong

A

Banshee-44's quest

Beyond Light
► Get 400 kills► Increases weapon range by +20 and expands the magazine size by +2.Season 12
HawkmoonHand CannonKineticA › StrongPlaylist Activity completionsYesBeyond LightHawkmoon Catalyst art
Hawkmoon
| Hand Cannon
Strong

A

Playlist Activity completions

Beyond Light
► Get 700 kills► Adds the Hunter's Trance perk:
Increases magazine size to 9. Also increases handling, reload speed, and range based on the number of Paracausal Charge stacks.
Season 16
Outbreak PerfectedPulse RifleKineticA › StrongPlaylist Activity completionsYesFree-to-PlayOutbreak Perfected Catalyst Destiny 2
Outbreak Perfected
| Pulse Rifle
Strong

A

Playlist Activity completions

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 precision kills► Adds Disease Vector perk:
Increases nanite damage. Enemies that die with nanites attached to them generate additional nanites.
Season 16
No Time to ExplainPulse RifleKineticA › StrongExo Stranger questYesBeyond Light
No Time To Explain
| Pulse Rifle
Strong

A

Exo Stranger quest

Beyond Light
► Get 700 kills► Adds Blast from the Side perk:
Projectiles from the time portal shoots more frequently.
Season 12
Hard LightAuto RifleEnergyA › StrongKills or completions in Strikes & NightfallsYesFree-to-PlayHard Light Catalyst Destiny 2
Hard Light
| Auto Rifle
Strong

A

Kills or completions in Strikes & Nightfalls

Free-to-Play
► Get 1000 kills
► Increases stability by +18.Season 1
Le MonarqueCombat BowEnergyA › StrongPlaylist Activity completionsYesForsaken PackLe Monarque Catalysts Destiny 2 art
Le Monarque
| Combat Bow
Strong

A

Playlist Activity completions

Forsaken Pack
► Get 700 kills► Adds Unrelenting perk:
Rapidly defeating targets triggers health regeneration. Guardians and powerful combatants count as more than one kill.
Season 16
Sleeper SimulantLinear Fusion RifleHeavyA › StrongNightfall Ordeals completionsYesFree-to-PlaySleeper Simulant Catalyst Destiny 2
Sleeper Simulant
| Linear Fusion Rifle
Strong

A

Nightfall Ordeals completions

Free-to-Play
► Get 300 kills► Lowers the weapon charge rate stat by -250 and expands the ammo reserves.Season 14
Whisper of the WormSniper RifleHeavyA › StrongPlaylist Activity completionsYesFree-to-PlayWhisper of the Worm Catalyst Destiny 2
Whisper of the Worm
| Sniper Rifle
Strong

A

Playlist Activity completions

Free-to-Play
► TBC► Adds Whispered Breathing perk:
Aiming down the scope for 3 seconds increases range and precision damage while the weapon scope remains zoomed.
Season 16
Cryosthesia 77KSidearmKineticA › StrongBanshee-44's questYesBeyond LightCryosthesia 77K Catalyst Destiny 2
Cryosthesia 77K
| Sidearm
Strong

A

Banshee-44's quest

Beyond Light
► Get 700 kills► Adds Cold Efficiency perk:
Shattering a frozen target refills this weapon's magazine from reserves.
Season 14
Lorentz DriverLinear Fusion RifleEnergyA › StrongBanshee-44's questYesBeyond LightLorentz Driver catalyst Destiny 2
Lorentz Driver
| Linear Fusion Rifle
Strong

A

Banshee-44's quest

Beyond Light
► Get 400 kills► Adds Jump Driver perk:
Lorentz Driver gains an enhanced radar. Additionally, while this weapon has 3 telemetry patterns, EM Anomaly detonations no longer require a precision final blow.
Season 15
ForerunnerSidearmKineticA › StrongReach Rank 16 with XurYesFree-to-PlayForerunner catalyst Destiny 2 art
Forerunner
| Sidearm
Strong

A

Reach Rank 16 with Xur

Free-to-Play
► Get 700 kills► Adds The Rock perk:
For several seconds after a final blow, you can consume part of your ammo reserves, converting your next grenade into a fragmentation grenade.
30th Anniversary
Dead MessengerGrenade LauncherEnergyA › StrongVox Obscura quest on Hard modeYesDeluxe EditionDead Messenger Catalysts Destiny 2 art
Dead Messenger
| Grenade Launcher
Strong

A

Vox Obscura quest on Hard mode

Deluxe Edition
► Get 200 Solar kills, 200 Void kills, 200 Arc kills► Adds Turnabout perk:
Using this weapon to break the shield of a combatant or a Guardian using their Super will grant you an overshield.
Season 16
HeartshadowSwordHeavyA › StrongDuality Dungeon (x3 banners)YesDeluxe EditionHeartshadow Catalyst Destiny 2 art
Heartshadow
| Sword
Strong

A

Duality Dungeon (x3 banners)

Deluxe Edition
► Get 400 kills► Adds Wraithwalk perk:
Faster movement while invisible.
► Increases Ammo Capacity by +50.
Season 17
Osteo StrigaSubmachine GunKineticA › StrongCrafting RelicYesThe Witch QueenOsteo Striga Catalyst Destiny 2 art
Osteo Striga
| Submachine Gun
Strong

A

Crafting Relic

The Witch Queen
► Reach Level 10 to purchase at Crafting Relic► Poison final blows return ammo to the magazine.Season 16
Fighting LionGrenade LauncherEnergyB › AveragePVE KillsYesFree-to-PlayFighting Lion Catalyst Destiny 2
Fighting Lion
| Grenade Launcher
Average

B

PVE Kills

Free-to-Play
► Get 1000 kills
► Complete 167 bounties
► Adds Chimera perk:
When Fighting Lion is fired, equipped Kinetic and Power weapon gain increased handling and accuracy for a brief period of time.

► Increases reload speed by +27.
Season 1
Prometheus LensTrace RifleEnergyB › AverageKills or completions in Strikes & NightfallsYesFree-to-PlayPrometheus Lens Catalyst Destiny 2
Prometheus Lens
| Trace Rifle
Average

B

Kills or completions in Strikes & Nightfalls

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 kills► Increases stability by +18 and handling by +18.Season 2
Graviton LancePulse RifleEnergyB › AveragePlaylist Activity completionsYesFree-to-PlayGraviton Lance Catalyst Destiny 2
Graviton Lance
| Pulse Rifle
Average

B

Playlist Activity completions

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 kills
► Get 1000 Cosmology kills
► Adds Hidden Hand perk:
Increases the aim assist and targeting acquisition stats.

► Increases range by +18.
Season 1
Tommy's MatchbookAuto RifleEnergyB › AverageBanshee-44's questYesShadowkeepTommy's Matchbook Catalyst Destiny 2
Tommy's Matchbook
| Auto Rifle
Average

B

Banshee-44's quest

Shadowkeep
► Get 700 kills► Adds Heat of the Moment perk: While Ignition Trigger is active, your health recovers much faster.Season 10
D.A.R.C.I.Sniper RifleHeavyB › AveragePVE KillsYesFree-to-PlayDARCI Catalyst Destiny 2
D.A.R.C.I.
| Sniper Rifle
Average

B

PVE Kills

Free-to-Play
► Get 300 kills► Increases stability by +18.Season 1
Black TalonSwordHeavyB › AveragePVE KillsYesFree-to-PlayBlack Talon Catalyst Destiny 2
Black Talon
| Sword
Average

B

PVE Kills

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 kills► Adds Reversal perk:
Shots blocked immediately after guarding increase the damage of Crow’s Wings for a very short duration.
Season 4
ColdheartTrace RifleEnergyB › AverageKills or completions in Strikes & NightfallsYesFree-to-PlayColdheart Catalyst Destiny 2
Coldheart
| Trace Rifle
Average

B

Kills or completions in Strikes & Nightfalls

Free-to-Play
► Get 300 kills►Increases stability by +18 and reload speed by +18.Season 1
DeathbringerRocket LauncherHeavyB › AveragePlaylist Activity completionsYesShadowkeepDeathbringer Catalyst Destiny 2
Deathbringer
| Rocket Launcher
Average

B

Playlist Activity completions

Shadowkeep
► Get 400 kills► Adds Dead Weight perk:
Increases how quickly Dark Descent reaches its full potential.
Season 14
MercilessFusion RifleEnergyB › AverageKills or completions in Strikes & NightfallsYesFree-to-PlayMerciless Catalyst Destiny 2
Merciless
| Fusion Rifle
Average

B

Kills or completions in Strikes & Nightfalls

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 kills► Increases stability by +36 and range by +36.Season 1
Cerberus+1Auto RifleKineticB › AveragePVE KillsYesFree-to-PlayCerberus+1 Catalyst Destiny 2
Cerberus+1
| Auto Rifle
Average

B

PVE Kills

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 kills► Adds Focused Fire perk:
Hold reload to swap to a tighter, close-ranged spread.
Season 4
Vigilance WingPulse RifleKineticB › AverageKills or wins in the CrucibleYesFree-to-PlayVigilance Wing Catalyst Destiny 2
Vigilance Wing
| Pulse Rifle
Average

B

Kills or wins in the Crucible

Free-to-Play
► Get 250 PVP kills
► 5 Blood for Blood medals
► Adds Full Auto Trigger System perk:
Makes the weapon fire fully automatic when holding down the fire button.
Season 1
Polaris LanceScout RifleEnergyB › AveragePlaylist Activity completionsYesFree-to-PlayPolaris Lance Catalyst Destiny 2
Polaris Lance
| Scout Rifle
Average

B

Playlist Activity completions

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 Kills
► Get 50 Perfect Fifth kills
► Adds Dragonfly perk:
Precision kills create an explosion around defeated enemy.
Season 14
SymmetryScout RifleEnergyB › AverageBanshee-44's questYesShadowkeepSymmetry Catalyst Destiny 2
Symmetry
| Scout Rifle
Average

B

Banshee-44's quest

Shadowkeep
► Get 700 kills► Adds Electric Styx perk:
Increases the max stack size of Dynamic Charge from x15 to x20.
Season 9
Leviathan's BreathCombat BowHeavyB › AveragePVE KillsYesShadowkeepLeviathan's Breath Catalyst art
Leviathan's Breath
| Combat Bow
Average

B

PVE Kills

Shadowkeep
► Obtain 1500 points. Kills give 1 point► Adds Colossal Quiver perk:
Expands the ammo reserves by +5.
Season 12
Tractor CannonShotgunHeavyB › AveragePVE KillsYesFree-to-PlayTractor Cannon Catalyst Destiny 2
Tractor Cannon
| Shotgun
Average

B

PVE Kills

Free-to-Play
► Get 300 kills► Adds Deeper Pockets perk: Increases the magazine size by +3 and expands ammo reserves.Season 1
Ticuu's DivinationCombat BowEnergyB › AverageBanshee-44's questYesBeyond LightTicuu's Divination Catalyst art
Ticuu's Divination
| Combat Bow
Average

B

Banshee-44's quest

Beyond Light
► Get 700 kills► Adds Causality Quiver perk:
Perfectly drawn arrows that detonate Sacred Flames increase arrow damage. Striking targets unaffected by Sacred Flame refreshes Causality Arrows' duration.
Season 13
Vex MythoclastFusion RifleEnergyB › AverageVault of Glass RaidYesFree-to-PlayVex Mythoclast Catalyst Destiny 2
Vex Mythoclast
| Fusion Rifle
Average

B

Vault of Glass Raid

Free-to-Play
► Get 700 kills► Adds Calculated Balance perk:
While in full auto mode, final blows with this weapon grant bonus damage, accuracy, and stability for a short duration.
Season 14
Grand OvertureMachine GunHeavyB › AverageBanshee-44's questYesFree-to-PlayGrand Overture Catalysts Destiny 2 art
Grand Overture
| Machine Gun
Average

B

Banshee-44's quest

Free-to-Play
► Get 400 kills► Missile explosions will blind combatants. Those defeated by missile impacts then explode.Season 16
TrespasserSidearmEnergyB › AverageBanshee-44's questYesFree-to-PlayTrespasser Catalyst Destiny 2 art
Trespasser
| Sidearm
Average

B

Banshee-44's quest

Free-to-Play
► Get 700 kills► Adds Tunnel Vision perk:
Reloading after defeating a target greatly increases target acquisition and aim down sight speed for a short duration.
Season 17
Lord of WolvesShotgunEnergyC › WeakAny activityYesFree-to-PlayLord of Wolves Catalyst Destiny 2
Lord of Wolves
| Shotgun
Weak

C

Any activity

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 kills► Adds Fang and Claw perk:
Increases reload speed while Release the Wolves is active and increases stability when it's not.
Season 4
SturmHand CannonKineticC › WeakPVE KillsYesFree-to-PlaySturm Catalyst Destiny 2
Sturm
| Hand Cannon
Weak

C

PVE Kills

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 Sturm kills
► Get 500 Drang kills
► Increases handling by +40 and range by +18.Season 1
Skyburner's OathScout RifleEnergyC › WeakPlaylist Activity completionsYesFree-to-PlaySkyburner's Oath Catalyst Destiny 2
Skyburner's Oath
| Scout Rifle
Weak

C

Playlist Activity completions

Free-to-Play
► Get 1000 Cabal kills► Increases range by +27.Season 14
TelestoFusion RifleEnergyC › WeakLegend/Master Lost Sectors completionsYesFree-to-PlayTelesto Catalyst Destiny 2
Telesto
| Fusion Rifle
Weak

C

Legend/Master Lost Sectors completions

Free-to-Play
► Get 300 kills► Adds Deeper Pockets perk:
Increases the magazine size by +3 and expands ammo reserves.
Season 14
The ColonyGrenade LauncherHeavyC › WeakKills or wins in the CrucibleYesFree-to-PlayColony Catalyst Destiny 2
The Colony
| Grenade Launcher
Weak

C

Kills or wins in the Crucible

Free-to-Play
► Get 500 kills► Adds Deeper Pockets perk:
Increases the magazine size by +1 and expands ammo reserves.
Season 2
Sweet BusinessAuto RifleKineticC › WeakPlaylist Activity completionsYesFree-to-PlaySweet Business Catalyst Destiny 2
Sweet Business
| Auto Rifle
Weak

C

Playlist Activity completions

Free-to-Play
► Get 250 Multikills► Adds Serious Business perk: Reduces incoming flinch when firing Sweet Business at full speed.Season 1
Worldline ZeroSwordHeavyD › WorstPVE KillsYesFree-to-PlayWorldline Zero Catalyst Destiny 2
Worldline Zero
| Sword
Worst

D

PVE Kills

Free-to-Play
► Get 300 kills► Adds Another Dimension perk:
Reduces the activation time for the perk Tesseract.
Season 14
BorealisSniper RifleEnergyD › WorstPVE KillsYesFree-to-PlayBorealis Catalyst Destiny 2
Borealis
| Sniper Rifle
Worst

D

PVE Kills

Free-to-Play
► Get 150 Solar Mode kills, 150 Void Mode kills, 150 Arc Mode kills► Increases reload speed by +18.Season 1

These are the different Tier levels used for the table above:

  • S Tier – Best: Highest ranking weapons in our Tier List.
  • A Tier – Strong: Very strong weapons, but not on the same level as S Tier Choices.
  • B Tier – Average: Decent choices that can be lethal in the hands of a skilled player.
  • C Tier – Weak: The middle of the pack, somewhat mediocre.
  • D Tier – Worst: Lagging behind the competition, these don’t have much to offer.

For the sake of clarity, the ranking below focuses on the benefits of each Catalyst but is also influenced by the weapons themselves. For example, the best Catalysts can be considered S Tier because they bring significant improvements to an already great weapon.

Destiny 2 Catalysts in-depth:

How to get Catalysts in Destiny 2

There are 11 different methods to acquire Catalysts in Destiny 2:

  1. Participating in any activity
  2. Complete a specific quest
  3. Complete Playlist Activities
  4. Complete Strikes or Nightfalls
  5. Complete Nightfall: Ordeals
  6. Get PVE Kills
  7. Complete Legend or Master Lost Sectors
  8. Get Kills and Wins in the Crucible
  9. Participate in the Guardian Games event
  10. Complete the Vault of Glass Raid
  11. Complete the Grasp of Avarice Dungeon

The table above will tell you exactly what is required to get a specific Catalyst.

Catalysts & the DCV

When Bungie introduced the Destiny Content Vault (DCV), close to 50% of the game was “vaulted” and effectively removed from the game. Roughly half of the locations, activities, quests and gear were removed from the game and still cannot be experienced to this day. As explained by Bungie:

Each year, usually at the expansion boundaries, we will cycle some destination and activity content out of the game (and into the DCV) to make room for new experiences.

With the DCV, several Exotic weapons and catalysts were removed too and became unavailable to new players for a long time.

Reintroduced Exotic catalysts

Slowly, Bungie has been reintroducing some of those lost catalysts. With the release of the Witch Queen expansion, the following Catalysts were reintroduced:

  • Outbreak Perfected
  • Whisper of the Worm
  • The Fourth Horseman
  • Hawkmoon
  • Dead Man’s Tale
  • Ager’s Scepter

In Season of the Chosen (S13), 9 catalysts were reintroduced:

  • Bad Juju
  • Izanagi’s Burden
  • Sleeper Simulant
  • The Huckleberry
  • Worldline Zero
  • Polaris Lance
  • Telesto
  • Legend of Acrius
  • Skyburner’s Oath

At this stage, virtually all existing catalysts are available to new players (except Heir Apparent’s, which can only be obtained during the yearly Guardian Games event).

It’s great to see that Bungie found quick methods to re-introduce them, just as they did with Exotic weapons and the Monument to Lost Lights.

Your Turn

When I first got into Destiny 2, Exotic Catalysts were some of the most mysterious items for me. Where do they come from? Do you have to find them and then unlock them? Granted, Catalysts are not overly complicated, but they are part of yet another system that is hardly explained in-game.

With this guide, hopefully, all of your questions have been answered and you should have all the information you need to start chasing and unlocking more catalysts.

Which are your favorite Exotic Catalysts? Let me know in the comments section below!

Latest changes

Things change fast in Destiny 2, especially the Meta. The weapons we call the best one day can completely change the next, and this applies to Exotic Catalysts too. All it takes are a few minor changes on Bungie’s end. For that reason, this ranking will be updated at least once per season.

Changes introduced this season:

The following exotic catalysts were added with the release of Season of the Haunted (S17):

  • Jötunn’s catalyst
  • Trespasser’s catalyst
  • Heartshadow’s catalyst

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
23 Comments
  1. Hudson

    Why is the Suros Regime marked as not available?

    Reply
  2. Max

    Is it ok to use Destiny 2 boosting services? Like d2-recovery.com? I want to buy catalyst from them, but afraid a bit.

    Reply
    • Ric (aka Prim)

      I wouldn’t recommend a service like that. First of all, they break the game’s terms of service and could get your account banned. Second, I find the whole thing shady, with lots of fine print (like that you need to have found the catalyst first and then they just do the kills to unlock it).

      I wouldn’t touch that stuff even with a ten-foot pole!

      Reply
    • Noone

      I used to write bots for another popular game and almost all of the seller’s of such services were in the same IRC chat I belonged to— short version it’s that they use a lot of hacks and/or bots to do the hard work. This puts your account at significant risk.

      Reply
  3. TT

    This page was better before, you could know how to get the catalysts and not only what are the requirements to finish them.

    Reply
    • Ric (aka Prim)

      I’m surprised. Maybe there’s a formatting issue or something. Are you on mobile or desktop? From here, I can see the following columns:
      – Where to find it ❘ Requires
      – How to unlock it
      – Catalyst effect

      Reply
      • TT

        Really? I’m on desktop, for me the page definitely changed. I even tried a different browser to see if the problem was on my side but it’s the same on both browsers. I tried even on my phone now and got the same page.
        I have two columns, how to unlock the catalysts and what the catalysts do.
        Here, a Print as proof. https://prnt.sc/194b2fz

        Reply
        • Ric (aka Prim)

          Thanks for the follow up and the print screen. Just solved a huge catching issue that was plaguing that page (and maybe many more) and completely ruining the content!

          It should be finally solved now… Hopefully it did for you too. In any case, THANKS A LOT for the alert.

          Reply
          • TT

            I’m glad I was able to help. This page has been on my favorites since I started playing d2 last year and I always check here to get information. I’m really glad you were able to fix the problem, grats!

  4. ben

    why is monte carlo not on the list?

    Reply
    • Martin

      Monte Carlo doesn’t have a catalyst yet

      Reply
  5. JEFF

    Hi. It says Riskrunner is in the Free to Play column, but requires a quest only available after Shadowkeep, which is not available to me as a free to play player currently. Is there something I’m missing? I understand Shadowkeep is a DLC.

    Reply
    • averge

      i was also free to play but is still got it

      Reply
    • bob

      isnt the riskrunner catalyst like 500 pve kills or something
      got the masterwork as a f2p

      Reply
  6. Martin

    You only need to finish the initial mission, which is available for all players

    Reply
  7. Daniel

    Sleeper catalyst should be A tier tho.

    Reply
    • Gix

      At the least.

      Reply
  8. Tom Evensen

    I miss how to get Jötunn catalyst? How can I get it? Please explain.

    Reply
  9. Freak

    FYI – Le Monarque has a catalyst now…

    Reply
  10. dino

    The Dead Messenger and Grand Overture catalyst effects are out of order.

    Reply
    • Kevin

      You’re right! I just thought the Grand Overture’s info was wrong but it actually swapped info with Dead Messanger. They really gotta fix that

      Reply
    • Gix

      Was going to point this out myself. Surprised it’s still not been fixed.

      Reply
  11. Kevin

    Outbreak Perfected’s catalyst has an important second effect to it’s catalyst not mentioned here: Nanites spawn when an enemy infected with nanites dies, letting it spread to other enemies. Not sure if that changes anything, Tier-wise, but it’s important to keep information accurate.

    Reply
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Essentials

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