Destiny 2: Shadowkeep armor customization explained

In a reveal stream for Armor 2.0, Bungie showed off the new customization options coming to Destiny 2. The stream showed off custom builds for all three classes, and new currencies players will need to upgrade their gear. Here’s how the new armor customization will work in Destiny 2: Shadowkeep.

Stats are back

Bungie via Polygon

The most noticeable change for the new UI are the bevy of stats. Where Guardians currently have a listing of three stats — number 1-10 — Shadowkeep has six stats that go up to 100.

With Intellect, Strength, Discipline, Mobility, Recovery, and Resilience, players have new ways to customize their characters:

  • Intellect – Decreases cooldown for Super
  • Strength – Decreases cooldown for Melee attack
  • Discipline – Decreases cooldown for Grenade attack
  • Mobility – Increases player movement
  • Recovery – Increases shield regeneration
  • Resilience – Increases total health

Stats now have break points every 10 points. For example, at 30 Mobility, players will move 12% faster. If players have enough Mobility to reach the fourth breaking point (40 Mobility), they’ll move 16% faster.

All six stats are static on the new armor pieces. If you want a different stat role, you’ll need to acquire a different piece of armor.

Mods are fully customizable

While an armor piece’s stats can’t change, armor perks are completely customizable in Shadowkeep.

In its stream, Bungie didn’t show off many new mods. Instead, it focused on the power of old mods. Depending on what they’re using, players can select items that benefit their playstyle.

For example, a player who wants to center their playstyle around an Exotic that empowers grenades — like the Warlock’s Sunbracers — can give their character mods that regenerate grenades quickly. If players have a favorite hand cannon that doesn’t have a good reload skill, they can use a hand cannon loader mod to supplement a weapon perk like Outlaw.

These mods are similar to what players have now. The difference is how players can mix and match them with ease, rather than finding a piece with the perfect perk roll.

The energy system

Bungie via Polygon

Different mods have different levels of power. A mod that helps you find hand cannon ammo isn’t as powerful as a mod that helps you find shotgun ammo (since special ammo is more rare). But players can’t select a stack of overpowered mods.

Mods have an energy cost associated with them, and armor pieces have an energy threshold. Armor pieces drop with five energy available, and players will need to spend various kinds of currency to upgrade their energy capacity. When players max out a piece’s capacity at 10, the armor also gets a small stat boost.

Players need to manage their energy. If players want to use a powerful mod — like an enhanced weapon loader that modifies reload speed even more than a standard weapon loader mod — they’ll need to settle for something weaker in their other slot. The more powerful the mod, the more energy it needs.

Each armor piece also rolls with an energy type. This dictates the types of mods players can socket into the piece. While we’re not entirely sure how it’ll work or if different elements have unique mods, it looks like players will need the same mod type in the three different elemental flavors if they want to have true flexibility.

For example, if you’re using an Arc piece, you’ll need an arc hand cannon reloader mod. If you’re using a Solar piece, you can’t use that same arc hand cannon reloader mod — you’ll need a Solar one.

Mod availability

In Destiny 2: Forsaken, mods were consumable items. Depending on the build you were looking for, it may be very difficult to acquire all the mods you need.

With Shadowkeep, players will unlock mods for permanent use. Once you’ve acquired a mod, you’ll only need a small amount of Glimmer to apply it to a piece of armor. If you replace it with something else, or want to apply the same mod on another piece of armor, you’ll need to pay the fee again.

Players can unlock mods in a few different ways. Mods will come from the Gunsmith, engrams found randomly in the world, and pinnacle sources like the raids or Iron Banner.

Universal Ornaments

Bungie via Polygon

In Bungie’s effort to divorce gameplay from cosmetics, it has separated the way Guardians customize their looks in Armor 2.0.

The cosmetic choices for armor are now in a sub-menu. For the stream, Bungie showed off the Armor 2.0 version of the recent Solstice of Heroes 2019 armor. In the sub-menu, players can apply shaders and the Solstice of Heroes armor glows.

Bungie also showed off the third slot, Universal Ornaments. This slot is for special ornaments players earn from the Eververse store, which they can then apply the look of to any armor piece they own.

If players want the look of a different, non-Eververse set, they’ll need to acquire it again in the world. According to Bungie, all armor sets that drop after Shadowkeep will be Armor 2.0. The studio reveled during the stream that this includes old armor sets from the previous raids or activities like Escalation Protocol.


Starting in Shadowkeep, all Exotic armor pieces will drop as 2.0. But players can also pull Exotics out of their Collection if they’ve already earned them. The Collection Exotics will have a fixed stat roll — meaning it’s the same ever time — and Bungie confirmed the numbers will be mediocre. To get better rolls, players will need to chase down the Exotics in the wild or buy them from Xur.

To communicate when players are using Exotic armor pieces, players can’t change the look of these pieces with Universal Ornaments.

There’s obviously a lot to absorb about the new armor system coming with Shadowkeep, but there’s no question that all of these changes will make stat and cosmetic obsessives very, very happy.

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