Destiny 2 Currencies & Materials: The Complete Guide

by | Apr 17, 2023

Currencies are one of the most overwhelming and off-putting sides of Destiny 2. In fact, I’m certain that many the immense quantity of materials to manage is one of the reasons many New Lights abandon the game early on (which is why our Beginners Guide is our most important piece of content)…

Developer Bungie has made a lot of changes to improve the “Economy” in-game. It has scrapped several materials and currencies and streamlined others. Things are looking up, but currencies are still confusing to new players and returning players alike. This guide covers all the materials in Destiny 2 and explains why some matter more than others.

Destiny 2 Endgame currencies

If you need to remember something, remember these. Exotic currencies, including Exotic Ciphers, Ascendant Shards, and Ascendant Alloys, are some of the most sought after (and useful) materials in Destiny 2.

Ascendant Shards

Ascendant Shards are an endgame currency available from a wide variety of sources. Their primary purpose is masterworking armor, but you can also use them for other purchases. Ascendant Shards stack up to ten in your inventory, but storing up to 30 more in your characters’ postmasters is a common workaround for hoarding more.

Exotic Ciphers

Exotic Ciphers are a rare currency that allows you to purchase Exotic weapons and armor from various sources in the game. You can currently only hold one at a time, but that will increase to five in Season 21 (Season of the Deep).

Spoils of Conquest

Spoils of Conquest is a currency in Destiny 2 that can only be obtained when completing raids encounters. You can store up to 240 Spoils in your inventory and use them to purchase various raid loot.

Ascendant Alloy

“Used in weapon shaping to enhance traits. It can be obtained from weekly campaign missions in the Throne World and The Witch Queen Offensives. Also can be purchased from the Cryptarch or Banshee-44 in the Tower.”

Main Destiny 2 currencies

Unlike Exotic currencies like the ones covered before, Legendary Shards and Glimmer don’t have a specific use. Instead, they’re required for most purchases in the game. Here’s a quick list of common ways you may spend your shards:

Legendary Shards

Legendary Shards are one of the primary currencies in Destiny 2. Although they’re slightly rarer than Glimmer, they’re used just as frequently. You’ll often see them required in higher-tier purchases like raid banners, Exotics, weapon crafting, and masterwork leveling.

Legendary Shards Count


“The currency of the City. A form of programmable matter, used both for craft and as a fuel.”

The other Destiny 2 currencies and materials you’ll deal with every day are:

  • Enhancement Prims: Required for forging Masterwork gear. Obtained from challenging activities or purchasable from the Cryptarch in the Tower.
  • Enhancement Cores: Required for purchasing Upgrade Modules and forging Masterwork gear. Chance to obtain from Legendary gear, some activities, and bounties, or purchasable from the Cryptarch in the Tower.
  • Upgrade Module: A collection of universal components that can be used to infuse power between gear items. It can be purchased from the Gunsmith or acquired from special reward sources.
  • Seasonal currencies

Crafting Materials

Weapon crafting drastically changed the way we chase loot in Destiny 2. These are all the resources it requires:

  • Ascendant Alloy: Used in weapon shaping to enhance traits.
  • Harmonic Alloy: Currency used in weapon shaping. Can be obtained by dismantling Legendary weapons from raids.
  • Resonant Alloy: Currency used in weapon shaping. Can be obtained by dismantling Legendary weapons.

Upgrade Module Legendary Shards

Other Materials and Consumables

Perhaps the economy within Destiny 2 doesn’t seem that confusing so far, but that’s only because we have barely scratched the surface. There are many more materials and currencies in-game. While we recommend you only focus (and try to remember) the items listed before, these are the other currencies and materials in-game:

Planetary Materials

  • Phantasmal Fragment: Residual Nightmare energy. Used at the Lectern of Enchantment on the Moon in Sanctuary.
  • Phantasmal Core: Coalesced Nightmare energy. Used at the Lectern of Enchantment on the Moon in Sanctuary.
  • Herealways Piece: Gained from completing activities and defeating combatants on Europa.
  • Empyreal Key: This must unlock something within the Dreaming City…

Other Materials

This guide will be updated as more locations, activities, and currencies are added to the game…

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, Forbes, Rock Paper Shotgun, and more. I've been obsessed with Destiny 2 (and now Diablo 4) 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.
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