Astrotracts – The Controversial Destiny 2 Exotic Ornament Explained

Astrotracts is an exotic ornament for the Celestial Nighthawk helmet in Destiny 2. This intricate and stylish ornament has sparked much discussion and debate within the Destiny community due to its powerful perks yet difficult acquisition method. In this extensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Astrotracts including how to get it, what it does, why it’s so controversial, and whether it’s worth pursuing.

What are Astrotracts?

Astrotracts is classified as an Exotic Hunter helmet ornament for the iconic Celestial Nighthawk in Destiny 2. Introduced in Year 4 during the Season of the Hunt, this highly sought-after cosmetic item provides the Nighthawk with a sleek, angular aesthetic reminiscent of astronautical tracking equipment.

The ornament sports several key features that make it stand out:

  • A complex array of criss-crossing lines and panels covering the helmet that resemble star charts. This is where the name “Astrotracts” comes from.
  • Glowing blue lights and intricate silver etchings that give the helmet a high-tech look.
  • A mirrored visor in place of the standard Nighthawk faceplate.
  • Moving parts on the helmet that animate and shift while the player is in motion.

Equipping Astrotracts does not impact the Nighthawk’s gameplay perks or stats in any way. It is a purely cosmetic change to the helmet’s appearance. However, it is considered one of the most stylish and coveted ornamentations in Destiny 2 due to its rarity and difficulty to obtain.

The Controversial Pursuit of Astrotracts

Astrotracts is notorious among the Destiny community because acquiring this exotic ornament is no small feat. Many Guardians consider its pursuit one of the most grind-heavy and frustrating in all of Destiny 2 for several reasons:

Low Drop Rate from Cipher Decoders

The only way to get Astrotracts is as a random drop by opening Engrams obtained from Xur’s Cipher Decoders. However, the drop rate for the ornament is believed to be extremely low – estimated to be less than 1%.

This means players must decode a huge number of engrams before finally getting lucky enough to receive Astrotracts as a drop. Some unlucky Guardians have reported decoding over 500 engrams without success!

Time-Gated Cipher Decoders

To get Cipher Decoders from Xur, you must first earn Strange Coins by completing various activities in the game. However, Xur only sells a limited number of Cipher Decoders each week, forcing players to grind over multiple weeks to gather enough for mass decryption sessions.

This time-gating makes acquiring Astrotracts a marathon, not a sprint. If you have bad luck it can take months of grinding just for a chance at the ornament.

Diluted Loot Pool

The engrams decrypted from Cipher Decoders contain loot pools heavily diluted with ships, sparrows, shaders, and other minor items. This further reduces the already slim chances of receiving Astrotracts.

Many Guardians decrypt over 50 engrams in a session without seeing a single exotic ornament drop due to the diluted pools.

Expert-Level Lost Sectors Required

Strange Coins are primarily earned by completing Legend and Master Lost Sectors. However, earning enough Coins for bulk Cipher Decoder purchases requires efficiently clearing the most expert-level Lost Sectors on Master difficulty.

This represents a significant time investment and challenge for more casual players not accustomed to such high-level PvE content.

Unsigned Drops After First

Astrotracts can only drop unsigned the first time you acquire it. Any subsequent drops will be signed. This means you only get one chance at a random roll for the armor stats. If it doesn’t land on a Distribution/Recovery spike roll for example, you’re out of luck!

This single chance at a random unsigned drop just adds another layer of frustration and grind for the “perfect roll.”

The Benefits of Enduring the Grind

Considering the extreme rarity and grind required to acquire Astrotracts, you may be wondering – is this ornament really worth it? For many Destiny fashion enthusiasts and Hunter mains, the answer is yes for a few reasons:

Prestigious Cosmetic Flex

Due to its low drop rate, Astrotracts is one of the rarestitem ornaments in the game. Sporting this ornament immediately signals dedication and perseverance. Guardians who have earned Astrotracts stand out and gain prestige for overcoming the monumental grind.

Powerful Perks

Although purely cosmetic, the glows, animations, and sleek design of Astrotracts are considered by many to be one of the best-looking ornaments in Destiny 2. Its sci-fi aesthetics perfectly match the technology of the Celestial Nighthawk for a very powerful look.

Unique Styling

No other exotic or ornament has complex reactive animations and intricate technical etchings like Astrotracts. Combined with the rare drop rate, this exotic ornament provides a style that literally no other Guardian will have.

Optimized Rolls

Remember that first unsigned drop? If you’re blessed with a perfect stat roll, you’ll always have an optimized set of Celestial Nighthawk to use for high-level PvE. The perfect Distribution/Recovery spike is highly desirable.

For players who value prestige and exclusivity, Astrotracts is seen as one of the ultimate cosmetic rewards in Destiny 2. Yes reaching it requires an absurd grind, but that journey makes finally equipping this elite ornament all the more satisfying.

Tips and Strategies for Obtaining Astrotracts

If you’re committed to enduring the long pursuit of Astrotracts, here are some tips and strategies to optimize your grind:

Target Farm Legend/Master Lost Sectors

Lost Sectors on Legend and Master difficulties provide the most reliable source of Strange Coins. Learn the most efficient Lost Sectors for your class and farm them when the Legend/Master rotation matches your targeted loot type (Helmet).

Coordinate with Xur Visits

Pay close attention to which weekends Xur is selling Cipher Decoders and stock up. By visiting Xur each weekend and buying his full inventory, you can steadily amass a stockpile of Decoders over time.

Fireteam Up for Lost Sectors

Running Legend and Master Lost Sectors with a coordinated fireteam speeds up completion and coin farming dramatically. Leave no corner uncleared and optimize burn damage to mow down bosses.

Equip Strange Coin Bonuses

Use Ghost mods like Treasure Hunter to boost Strange Coin drops. The more you can optimize your per-run yield, the faster you can rack up Decoders for decryption.

Buy Decoder Engrams Whenever Possible

When visiting Xur, always buy up any Engram he’s selling for Legendary Shards. This gives extra decryption chances each week on top of what you earn from Decoder purchases.

Keep Grinding Weekly

Expect the grind to take weeks or months. But stick with it, run all weekly pinnacles reward sources, build up your Strange Coins and eventually the Astrotracts ornament will drop! Patience and persistence pay off.

The road to Astrotracts is long and winding, but with the right mindset and strategy, unlocking this prestigious exotic ornament is possible. Stay committed, optimize your weekly grind, and before you know it you’ll be sporting one of the rarest cosmetics in Destiny 2.

Is Astrotracts Worth It for You?

With the painful grind required to obtain Astrotracts, it’s reasonable to question whether chasing this ornament is worth your time. Here are some key points to consider when weighing the pros and cons:

Worth It If:

  • You’re a dedicated Destiny 2 player who logs weekly hours.
  • High-value cosmetics are important to your enjoyment.
  • You appreciate exclusivity and showing off achievements.
  • You already enjoy grinding Lost Sectors and seasonal content.

May Not Be Worth It If:

  • You’re very casual or don’t play every week.
  • You dislike repetitive grinds or Lost Sectors.
  • Cool cosmetics don’t matter much to you.
  • You’d rather spend time on other pursuits.

Ultimately whether you should go all-in on getting Astrotracts comes down to your playstyle and priorities in Destiny 2. For the hardcore cosmetic collectors and Hunter mains, it’s likely worth pushing through the headache. But more casual players may want to skip this arduous grind and focus their limited Destiny time elsewhere.

Reactions and Changes since Astrotract’s Release

The lengthy pursuit required for Astrotracts has sparked much debate and controversy within the Destiny community. Player reactions since its release have ranged from enthusiasm to outrage. Here are some of the biggest talking points:

Mixed Community Reactions

  • Some players welcome the grind as a long-term goal to work towards. Finally obtaining it is hugely rewarding.
  • Others argue the absurd time investment makes Astrotracts inaccessible to average players. They view the grind as unreasonable.

Accusations of FOMO

  • Detractors argue the months-long time-gating of Strange Coins via Xur induces FOMO and burnout.
  • However, others point out Astrotracts is purely cosmetic so does not gate meaningful progression or power.

Concerns About Healthy Grind vs Unhealthy

  • Many players argue such a ridiculous grind steps over the line from satisfying pursuit to unhealthy obsession. The developers may have gone too far.
  • But enthusiasts counter that Destiny has always been about rewarding investment through long chases. Astrotracts simply takes that to the extreme.

Calls for Bad Luck Protection

  • After reports of players decrypting hundreds of Engrams without success, many argued some form of bad luck protection should be added to provide a clear end point.
  • Bungie so far has not changed the system to add protection, despite frequent community requests.

The debate around Astrotracts rages on. But so far Bungie has stuck to their vision requiring an intense grind for one of Destiny’s rarest cosmetics. Their refusal to add bad luck protection or change acquisition methods has left many players disgruntled. However, for the dedicated, finally earning the ornament brings a great sense of achievement.

The Future of Astrotracts in Destiny 2

At the moment, Astrotracts shows no signs of leaving the game. As a relatively new exotic ornament addition, it will likely remain acquirable for the foreseeable future. However, there are a few possibilities for how its availability could evolve moving forward:

Addition to the Monument to Lost Lights

  • This would allow purchase of Astrotracts directly with Ascendant Shards once the ornament has dropped randomly once before.
  • Could happen in a future season, but debated whether this trivializes the grind.

Rotation to Xur’s Treasure Hoard

  • Xur sometimes sells rare exotics like old season pass ornaments in his treasure hoard for large numbers of Strange Coins.
  • Astrotracts may eventually rotate through this vendor for direct purchase.

Reduction of Drop Rate Requirements

  • Bungie could cave to feedback and reduce the requirements in a future season patch.
  • For example, boosting drop rate, increasing Cipher Decoder inventory, or adding bad luck protection.

For now, the only way to get Astrotracts remains grinding out Strange Coins and decrypting Cipher Decoders. But Bungie may make changes down the road to streamline or shift acquisition methods. The only certainty is this powerful ornament will remain highly exclusive and coveted.


Astrotracts represents one of the pinnacle grinds in Destiny 2. This exotic Hunter ornament for Celestial Nighthawk offers prestige and exclusivity unmatched by any other cosmetic. But the road to earning Astrotracts is long, frustrating, and filled with time-gates.

Many rightfully question whether the absurd requirements are unreasonable or unhealthy. Yet for those dedicated enough to persist, finally equipping those stylish reacting panels brings a great sense of achievement.

Love it or hate it, Astrotracts has cemented itself as one of the most controversial and conversation-starting exotics Bungie has designed. This beautiful but maddening ornament will likely torment and entice Destiny players for years to come. Equip it if you can, but go in knowing the immense grind ahead.

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