Starfire Protocol Exotic: How to get it, Best Builds & Fashion

by | Oct 31, 2022

Starfire Protocol is one of the most potent exotics we’ve seen in Destiny’s history and has the potential to be one of the best sustained-DPS options available today. And when used as part of a strong build, it becomes one of the best Warlock Exotics in the game.

Today, we cover Starfire Protocol in-depth: How it works, where to get it, and the best builds and fashion around it.

Starfire Protocol: How to master it

The gameplay loop to get Starfire Protocol going is straightforward.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Starfire Protocol Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Starfire Protocol

WarlockChestFree-to-PlayExotic EngramsSeason 1Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Exotic Perk: "Fusion Grenades have an additional charge and recharge from empowered weapon damage, with empowered weapon final blows granting more energy. Defeating targets with Fusion Grenades grant Rift energy."

Place down an Empowering Rift (or Well of Radiance) and shoot at enemies with your weapons until you get a Fusion Grenade. Throw it, and repeat. If your Fusion Grenade kills something, you instantly get your class ability back, allowing you to start this process again once your rift expires.

How it works: The numbers

From’s community research:

  • Gain an extra Fusion Grenade Charge.
  • 20% Grenade Energy per Weapon Hit while Empowered (0.3s Cooldown)
  • 100% Class Ability Energy on Grenade Kill
  • Empowered is either Well of Radiance or Empowering Rift.

Best Starfire Protocol Solar 3.0 Builds

We consider Starfire Protocol to be the:

Vanguard logo Destiny 2Best PVE Warlock Exotic in Destiny 2

There are a couple of synergies and builds that can take this exotic to the next level. Our favorite Starfire Protocol Warlock build is the following:


Solar supers

Harnesser of Flame

Excels In: Mid to Endgame PvE content (Dungeons, Raids, Grandmaster Nightfalls)

Goal of the Build: The goal of the build is to grant you the ability to throw infinite Fusion Grenades and cast infinite Empowering Rifts using Starfire Protocol. P.S: This build was heavily inspired by one of Datto’s excellent build videos.

Mandatory gear: While no weapons are required, DoT (damage over time) options such as Anarchy and Witherhoard are some of the best choices. For armor, you’ll want Starfire Protocol. Fusion Grenades are strong on their own, and Starfire Protocol allows you to throw as many as you want.

  • Aspects: Touch of Flame is the only mandatory pick here because of the grenade-centric goal of the build.
  • Fragments: Ember of Ashes is mandatory too. Ember of Solace, Empyrean, and Singeing are the other three we use, but you can get creative here.
  • Abilities: Fusion Grenades and Empowering Rift are musts as they are what make Starfire Protocol work.
  • Stats: Resilience (for damage resistance) and Recovery (for a quicker rift cooldown).
  • Mods: No mods are needed for this build to function. However, these can enhance your build:
ArtMod NameSlotCostRequirementsEffectsType
Insulation mod Destiny 2 artInsulationLegs1Rank 5Reduces class ability cooldown each time you pick up an Orb of Power.General

Gameplay Loop

The gameplay loop for this build is reliable and straightforward, making it one of the strongest and easiest-to-use builds in the game.

To begin, place your Empowering Rift and simply shoot at enemies with your weapons (this is where Witherhoard and Anarchy come in handy). Doing so will give you Fusion Grenade energy, which you can use to kill ads or DPS a boss. If you get a kill with a Fusion Grenade, your rift will automatically recharge completely, allowing you to start the process all over again.

If you fail to get a kill with your grenade, Insulation and other class ability regeneration mods can help you recover quicker, as mentioned earlier. If you happened to add more mods to this build, your specific gameplay loop might be more complex. However, even if you stick to the basic framework we covered here, you’ll be able to do tons of DPS and kill ads like nothing.

Starfire Protocol Fashion

This exotic piece is notorious for simply not “looking good.” That’s obviously subjective, but most Warlock Mains tend to agree. Having said that, there are a few ways to look good while wearing this exotic.

This is some of the best Starfire Protocol fashion we’ve seen so far (from Youtuber Krypz):

Starfire Protocol fashion Krypz v2

Starfire Protocol fashion Krypz

And this set from Youtuber Fixedtony:

Starfire Protocol fashion Fixedtony

How to get Starfire Protocol

Most Exotic armor can be found within Exotic Engrams: These can be found in the Season pass; they are sold by Xur and can also drop randomly at any time.

Destiny 2 Exotic Engram

There isn’t much more to say about Exotic engrams, only that they have a higher chance to drop from end-game activities. If collecting exotics is your priority, Nightfall: The Ordeals are for you. And the higher the difficulty, the higher the chance of getting one.

Alternatively, you can farm Legend and Master Lost Sectors solo on days that Chest armor is dropping (Lost Sector rewards are on a daily rotation, one day will reward Legs pieces, the next day only Arms pieces, etc). You can find the Lost Sectors daily rotation here.

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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