Destiny 2: Darkness in the Light – Malfeasance Exotic Quest Guide

Darkness in the Light is an exotic quest in Destiny 2 that rewards players with the Malfeasance exotic hand cannon upon completion. This powerful 180 RPM kinetic hand cannon requires attuning to Taken forces and harnessing Darkness to obtain.

The quest steps involve combating Taken, working with Drifter, playing Gambit mode, and defeating some of the most challenging encounters in the game. Obtaining Malfeasance offers excellent firepower for fighting Taken enemies, especially in endgame PVE activities.

darkness in the light destiny 2
darkness in the light destiny 2

This complete guide will walk you through all the steps, requirements, and tips for completing the Darkness in the Light quest from start to finish.

Overview of the Malfeasance Exotic Hand Cannon

Before jumping into the quest steps, let’s overview the Malfeasance exotic kinetic hand cannon and what makes it desirable:

  • Fires 180 RPM and utilizes Primary ammo.
  • Causes targets to detonate and spread corruption on death.
  • Receives boosted damage against Taken enemies and Gambit invaders.
  • Pairs excellently with Energy special weapons like shotguns.
  • Offers a unique playstyle and damage output.
  • Provides an anti-taken weapon for endgame PVE content.

With the right perks and mods, Malfeasance can become a top-tier PVE damage dealer or a strong choice for Gambit. Its intrinsic corrupted explosions help clear out adds or quickly burst down majors and elite enemies.

The quest has a lengthy process, but the reward is an excellent Hand Cannon that fills a special anti-Taken niche.

Destiny 2: Darkness in the Light Quest Steps

Here are all the steps required to complete the Darkness in the Light quest and earn the Malfeasance exotic:

Step 1: Complete the Forsaken Campaign

The first requirement is to complete the Forsaken campaign and unlock the Tangled Shore destination. This introduces players to the Scorn and Taken enemies that play a role in the exotic quest.

Finishing the campaign takes several hours, and the power level requirements may need grinding gear. Players must also have ownership of the Forsaken DLC.

Step 2: Complete a Gambit Match and Summon the Primeval

The next step is to complete a full Gambit match and summon the Primeval boss at the end. Gambit mode is unlocked after completing the Forsaken campaign.

During the match, players need to play all the way through summoning their team’s Primeval boss and defeating it. Win or lose, finishing the match is enough to progress the quest.

Step 3: Speak to The Drifter in the Tower

After completing a Gambit match, visit The Drifter character in the Tower near the Annex zone. He can be found standing near the Derelict ship on that side of the Tower.

Interact with The Drifter to receive the next quest step. He will offer some foreboding words about harnessing Darkness.

Step 4: Defeat Envoys in Gambit Matches

This step requires defeating Taken envoys during Gambit matches. These are special mini-bosses that spawn during the Primeval phase.

Two envoys spawn on each side of the Primeval. Defeat both envoys when your team summons the Primeval to progress this quest step. Doing this across multiple Gambit matches will eventually complete it.

Step 5: Visit The Drifter and Complete the Quest In The Job

After defeating enough envoys, report back to Drifter in the Tower to receive a new quest called In The Job.

This gives the next quest step to complete rounds of Gambit while wearing the full Notorious Collector role armor set from Drifter.

Equip the Collector gear and complete entire Gambit matches during this step. Having a full Notorious set with the Collector helmet is required.

Step 6: Defeat Taken Combatants and Complete Matches

For this quest portion, players need to defeat 125 Taken combatants in Gambit matches and complete 3 Gambit matches overall.

Load into any Gambit mode and focus on defeating Taken enemies. Taken Vandals, Captains, Goblins, etc all count towards this goal. Playing and winning 3 total Gambit matches will also finish the step.

Step 7: Visit Drifter and Decrypt the Seething Heart

After defeating enough Taken enemies, report back to Drifter once more. He will give an item called the Seething Heart to decrypt.

Take this item to The Haul in the Annex zone of the Tower near Drifter and activate the bank to decrypt it. Decrypting the item fully unlocks the next major quest step.

Step 8: Complete the Enemy of My Enemy Quest

Decrypting the Seething Heart will grant the Destiny 2 Forsaken campaign quest called Enemy of My Enemy. This culminates in a challenging 690 power mission.

To complete this step, play through all the missions in the Enemy of My Enemy quest chain on the Tangled Shore. The final mission takes place in the Jetsam of Saturn location against powerful Hive and Taken foes.

Finishing this final mission rewards a token for the next step. Recommended power is around 690+ when attempting it.

Step 9: Return to The Drifter in the Tower

After finishing the Enemy of My Enemy quest, go back to the Drifter one more time. Interact with him to turn in the quest and receive a 690-power version of the Malfeasance exotic hand cannon.

Unfortunately, this low-power Malfeasance cannot be equipped just yet. One final quest step remains against some of Destiny 2’s toughest encounters.

Step 10: Defeat Primeval Envoys and Invoke the Primeval

The final quest step is to defeat Primeval envoys and summon the Primeval in Gambit matches.

This portion requires killing 25 envoys from the enemy team, and then winning the match by defeating the Primeval. Envoy kills and match wins must be done together in the same match.

Repeating this across several Gambit games will steadily progress through the quest step until 25 envoy takedowns are achieved.

Step 11: Return to The Drifter One Final Time

After completing the previous quest step and defeating 25 envoys, visit the Drifter one last time. This will complete the Darkness in the Light quest and fully unlock the Malfeasance exotic hand cannon!

Drifter will offer more details about the origins of Malfeasance. The weapon can now be equipped in any activity or mode.

With the lengthy quest finished, it’s time to put the powerful Taken-slaying hand cannon to work against Destiny 2’s enemies.

Tips for Completing the Malfeasance Quest

Here are some tips to help successfully complete the Darkness in the Light quest steps:

  • Play with a Fireteam in Gambit when possible for coordination.
  • Use Taken/Invader mods from the Last Wish raid on gear.
  • Save invasion portals to quickly takedown blockers.
  • Use a Machine Gun or Linear Fusion Rifle for invading.
  • Run Well of Radiance Warlock with Lunafaction Boots for Primeval DPS.
  • Stack Gambit Synths in Inventory for extra perks.
  • Visit The Drifter between each quest step.
  • Equip Whisper of the Worm or other sustained damage heavies.
  • Run Sentinel Titan with Ursa Furiosa for envoy shields.
  • Use Taken Armaments mods from Last Wish for ammo.
  • Visit Spider in the Tangled Shore to purchase Tinctures.
  • Stack as many Primeval Slayer buffs as possible before melting the boss.

Completing the quest can take dozens of matches across regular Gambit and Prime. But the payoff is a unique exotic perfectly suited for endgame PVE content.

Why Malfeasance is an S-Tier Exotic in PVE

With the quest completed, here’s a look at why Malfeasance is such a top-tier PVE exotic once fully unlocked:

Taken and Invader Damage Bonus

Its intrinsic perk, Corrupting Sickness, causes bonus damage to all Taken enemies in PVE as well as invading Guardian players in Gambit. This makes it uniquely effective in activities like The Dreaming City, Last Wish, Shattered Throne, and Gambit Prime.

Corrupted Explosions

Defeating enemies creates corrupted explosions that spread to nearby foes. This allows Malfeasance to clear adds and quickly detonate majors. Five precision shots cause a larger explosion.

High Stability and Large Mag Size

Malfeasance shoots a 180 RPM rate of fire but has very high stability. The magazine size is 15 rounds, allowing sustained fire. Combined with little recoil, it’s much easier to land precision shots.

Excellent Pairing With Special Weapons

As a Primary ammo weapon, it pairs perfectly with special weapons like shotguns, fusion rifles, and snipers. This loadout flexibility is great for high-difficulty PVE content.

Unique Playstyle for Hand Cannons

The taken bonuses, corrupted explosions, large magazine, and high stability give Malfeasance a unique playstyle compared to most hand cannons. It rewards teams shooting weak points and chaining precision hits.

For destroying large hordes of Taken and clearing Gambit envoys, no other exotic Hand Cannon can match Malfeasance and its corruption-spreading explosions. The quest is long but definitely worth the effort.

Where to Use Malfeasance in PVE

Here are the top PVE activities and modes where Malfeasance can excel:

Gambit and Gambit Prime

The bonus damage to invaders makes it deadly in any Gambit mode. Quickly ping down an invading opponent before they can heal up. Defeating envoys faster also stacks more Primeval Slayer damage.

The Dreaming City Activities

Nearly all the endgame content in the Dreaming City is crawling with Taken enemies. From story missions, ascendant challenges, and the Blind Well, Malfeasance will demolish Taken.

Last Wish Raid Encounters

Several encounters in the Last Wish raid feature high volumes of Taken enemies, especially Kalli and Riven. Tear through the endless waves with Malfeasance explosions.

Shattered Throne Dungeon

The dungeon introduced in Forsaken has many sections packed with Taken. Annihilate the boss Vorgeth and other enemies along the way.


Certain Nightfall strikes like The Corrupted and Lake of Shadows have many opportunities to take advantage of the Taken exploding rounds. Team fire and watch Malfeasance go to work.

Any PVE activity that features the Taken will allow Malfeasance to become an ad-clearing machine. It also pairs well with a Shotgun or Sniper for maximum damage output.

Ranking Malfeasance Against Other Exotic Hand Cannons

Let’s see how Malfeasance stacks up against other top-tier exotic hand cannons in Destiny 2 for PVE:

Sunshot – Sunshot can clear adds quickly with its dragonfly solar explosions, but lacks Malfeasance’s boss and invader damage.

Ace of Spades – Ace has great add clear with Firefly and major damage from Memento Mori, but not the Taken bonuses.

Thorn – Thorn excels in Crucible, not PVE content. Malfeasance is the better PVE choice.

The Last Word – Another dominant PVP pick, Last Word doesn’t compete with Malfeasance for boss DPS.

Lumina – Lumina supports teammates well but isn’t built for raw damage output like Malfeasance.

Crimson – Strong self-healing, but Malfeasance outclasses it for endgame PVE utility.

Sturm – Sturm has a fun combo with Drang, but that is mainly a PVP pairing.

Eriana’s Vow – Eriana’s Vow is top-tier for Nightfalls but doesn’t work as well in other PVE content.

Hawkmoon – Hawkmoon deals big damage sporadically but lacks Malfeasance’s crowd control and Taken strengths.

Dead Man’s Tale – Dead Man’s Tale exceeds at Crucible and certain Champion stunning situations, not general add clear.

For invading Guardians in Gambit and vanquishing Taken throughout PVE, no exotic Hand Cannon can match the corruption explosions of Malfeasance. It more than earns its S-tier ranking.

Lore Overview of Malfeasance

The lore behind Malfeasance reveals more about the relationship between Drifter and Shin Malphur, along with insights into the weapon’s Taken powers:

  • Crafted by Drifter with knowledge gained from the Shadows of Yor.
  • Channels Darkness using the decrypted Seething Heart to bind Primeval essence.
  • Drifter is fascinated by harnessing Taken and Darkness for weapons.
  • Anticipates the day Shin Malphur comes for him and The Shadows.
  • Corrupting Sickness perk tied to defeating Shin Malphur in another life.
  • Unclear if Shin Molphur’s intentions are good or if he has turned to the Darkness.
  • Questions whether weapons like Malfeasance will save humanity or doom it.

The lore of Malfeasance shows Drifter walking a fine line between Light and Dark. By channeling Darkness into exotic weapons, is he helping Guardians or corrupting them? The moral implications are unclear.

For now, Malfeasance serves as an excellent combat tool against Taken forces. But deeper motivations are at play between Drifter and Shin that have yet to fully unfold.


Completing the Darkness in the Light quest in Destiny 2 and obtaining the Malfeasance exotic Hand Cannon requires a lengthy grind through Gambit. But the payoff is a weapon uniquely suited to destroying Taken enemies through harnessing Darkness.

With its corrupted explosions, Taken damage bonuses, and high stability, Malfeasance fills a niche role that makes it extremely potent in many endgame PVE activities. Melting Primevals in Gambit, disintegrating ascendant Hive in The Dreaming City, and decimating Riven in the Last Wish raid all transform into easier feats with this exotic beast.

While the morality of channeling Darkness into weapons remains unclear, few Guardians can resist unleashing the explosive powers of Malfeasance against the most dangerous enemies.

This concludes the complete guide to finishing the Darkness in the Light quest and obtaining the Malfeasance exotic hand cannon in Destiny 2.

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