How to get Forsaken Ciphers in Destiny 2

Forsaken Ciphers are a new item added to Destiny 2 with the release of Year 4 content. They allow players to acquire old Forsaken Exotics from the Monument to the Lost Lights kiosk in the Tower. Forsaken Ciphers are valuable but limited, so players need to know how to get them and use them wisely.

Forsaken Ciphers in Destiny 2
Forsaken Ciphers in Destiny 2

What are Forsaken Ciphers?

Forsaken Ciphers are a currency required to purchase Forsaken Exotics from the Monument to the Lost Lights kiosk in the Tower. This kiosk allows players to acquire Exotic weapons and armor that were previously only available through random drops during the Forsaken expansion.

To purchase a Forsaken Exotic from the kiosk, players need:

  • 1 Forsaken Cipher
  • 1 Exotic Cipher
  • 125,000 Glimmer
  • 200 Legendary Shards

Forsaken Ciphers specifically are required as they denote the item is from the Forsaken expansion. Players cannot acquire Forsaken Exotics without having at least 1 Forsaken Cipher in their inventory.

Why are Forsaken Ciphers Important?

Forsaken Ciphers are important for several reasons:

  • They allow players to directly acquire Forsaken Exotics rather than relying on random drops. Many of these Exotics are powerful or build-defining, so being able to acquire them reliably is valuable.
  • They provide a way for new players to obtain Forsaken Exotics. As Forsaken content cycles out of the game, new players would have no way to earn these Exotics without the kiosk system.
  • They give veteran players a reason to return to old content. Acquiring Forsaken Ciphers encourages players to participate in activities that award them.
  • They help avoid duplication from random Exotic drops. Once you have an Exotic from the kiosk, it gets removed from the random drop pool.
  • They promote building diversity and experimentation. Since you can directly acquire specific Exotics, it’s easier to try out new builds.

In summary, Forsaken Ciphers provides more player agency and accessibility for Exotics tied to older content. They are invaluable for both new and veteran players alike.

How to Get Forsaken Ciphers

There are a few limited ways to get Forsaken Ciphers in Destiny 2:

Season Pass Rewards

Each season, the premium track of the season pass awards 3 Forsaken Ciphers:

  • Level 1
  • Level 55
  • Level 97

This provides 3 guaranteed Forsaken Ciphers each season just for owning the season pass.

Exotic Quests

Certain Exotic quests provide a Forsaken Cipher upon completion:

  • Harbinger mission – rewards 1 Cipher
  • Presage mission – rewards 1 Cipher

Both of these missions are tied to the Exotic quests for Hawkmoon and Dead Man’s Tale respectively. Completing the mission for the first time rewards a Forsaken Cipher, so they are a good source for two per account.

Xûr Inventory

Xûr will offer a single Forsaken Cipher for purchase each week for one Exotic Cipher.

This provides a weekly opportunity to gain one Cipher but requires using up the valuable Exotic Cipher item. Xûr also occasionally sells Forsaken Exotic engrams which have a chance to award a Cipher directly.

Dares of Eternity Rewards

The new 6-player activity Dares of Eternity has a small chance to award Forsaken Ciphers in both its Legend and Master difficulties:

  • Legend Dares – chance from the final chest
  • Master Dares – chance from Starhorse bounty/favor rewards

This is not a guaranteed source but over time should provide a few Ciphers through playing Dares of Eternity activities and completing bounties.

Deep Stone Crypt Raid

The Deep Stone Crypt raid has a small chance to award Forsaken Ciphers directly as loot from encounter chests in both normal and Master difficulty.

Again this is not a guaranteed source but does provide another potential avenue for earning Ciphers each week. Make sure to open all chests in the raid for chances at this rare drop.

Vault of Glass Raid

Similar to Deep Stone Crypt, the Vault of Glass raid also has a very small chance to award Forsaken Ciphers from encounter chests in normal mode or Master difficulty.

Opening chests after each encounter provides a small chance at Forsaken Ciphers as a rare additional drop. Complete the challenges each week for the best chances.

Iron Banner Bounties

Earning valor rank rewards in Iron Banner has a small chance to award Forsaken Ciphers. The chance increases as you gain more Iron Banner valor ranks over the course of a season.

Completing bounties, winning matches, and overall participation in Iron Banner are the best ways to increase your valor rank and earn these seasonal rewards.

Iron Banner Daily Challenges

The launch of the new Iron Banner reputation system also added daily challenges. Completing 3 daily challenges rewards an Iron Engram that has a small chance of containing a Forsaken Cipher.

Make sure to come back each day that Iron Banner is active to complete as many daily challenges as possible for cipher chances. Challenges refresh daily.

Corrupted Nightfall Strike

When the Corrupted strike is available as a Nightfall, solo completing it on Master difficulty has a small chance to award a Forsaken Cipher.

This difficult high-level activity requires coordination and power level but serves as one of the few ways to directly farm Forsaken Ciphers. Make sure to try farming this strike each season when it is available.

Solo Lost Sectors Rotation

On a daily rotation, Lost Sectors on the Cosmodrome, Moon, Dreaming City, and Europa have a small chance to award a Forsaken Cipher from the boss chest upon solo completion on Master difficulty.

Consult daily reset guides to know which Lost Sectors can award Ciphers each day. Then farm them on the highest difficulty for RNG-based chances at this rare drop.

Prime Gaming Rewards

Periodically, the Prime Gaming loot available for Destiny 2 includes a Forsaken Cipher. This is not a guaranteed source but when available it provides up to 3 extra Ciphers across any linked accounts.

Be sure to check Prime Gaming periodically for Destiny 2 drops which may include the coveted Forsaken Cipher. Link your Bungie account to redeem any available.

Special Events

For special events or anniversaries, Bungie may offer Forsaken Ciphers as gifts or through special bounties/quests. Keep an eye out for any event-specific ways to earn additional Ciphers.

Sources like Moments of Triumph, Bungie Day, or franchise anniversary events may reward 1-3 Ciphers per account to celebrate the occasion. Limited time means capitalizing quickly when available.

How Many Forsaken Ciphers Can You Get?

The major finite sources of Forsaken Ciphers per season/year are:

  • 3 from Season Pass rewards (requires season purchase)
  • 2 from Exotic quests (Hawkmoon/Dead Man’s Tale)
  • 1-10+ from Xûr weekly visit (costs Exotic Cipher each time)
  • 1-5 from Dares of Eternity activities

This provides a minimum of 6 Forsaken Ciphers, and up to around 20 per account each season if maximizing all sources.

The rng based sources offer a few more Ciphers at best per season through extremely lucky drops in raids, Nightfalls, Lost Sectors, and Iron Banner. Realistically, expect maybe 1-3 extra from these sources each season.

In total, a dedicated player maximizing all sources can expect around 10-15 Forsaken Ciphers per season, with the main sources being the season pass and Xûr.

What to Spend Forsaken Ciphers On

Since Forsaken Ciphers are limited, players need to spend them wisely. Here are some recommendations on the best Exotics to acquire with Forsaken Ciphers:

PVE – Must Have Exotics

  • Anarchy – Amazing boss damage grenade launcher
  • Le Monarque – Top-tier bow with DOT effect
  • Ace of Spades – Fan-favorite Hand Cannon
  • Jotunn – Unique tracking fusion rifle
  • The Last Word – Fun Tex Mechanica Hand Cannon
  • Thorn – Poison-spreading Hand Cannon
  • Izanagi’s Burden – Special ammo sniper with honed edge
  • One Thousand Voices – Strong heavy fusion rifle

These are some of the most powerful, fun, and useful Exotics from Forsaken. Prioritize picking up any you don’t have already.

PVP – Crucible Meta Exotics

  • Ace of Spades – Precision Hand Cannon
  • Chaperone – Lethal precision slug shotgun
  • The Last Word – Deadly fast-firing Hand Cannon
  • Thorn – Poison keeps enemies weak
  • Le Monarque – Great peek shooting and DOT bow
  • Jotunn – Unique tracking fusion rifle
  • Lord of Wolves – Strong releases the wolves shotgun

These Exotics shine in Crucible and boost any PVP loadout. Make sure to acquire the ones that complement your play style.

Favorite Build Exotics

  • Shards of Galanor – Blades refund Super energy
  • Ursa Furiosa – Banner Shield refunds Super
  • One-Eyed Mask – Overshield on kills while wounded
  • Oathkeeper – Infinite Hold Bow draw
  • Secant Filaments – Empowered weapon swapping
  • Storm dancer’s Brace – Extends Stormtrance
  • Chromatic Fire – Dragonfly explosions
  • Phoenix Protocol – Radiance ability refunds Super

Pick up Exotics that enable your favorite subclass builds and ability synergies. Read perks to know which boosts your desired playstyle.

Prioritize Missing Exotics

For newer players especially, focus first on Exotics you don’t already have that enable powerful new builds and gameplay options.

Refer to Exotic collections and prioritize the biggest upgrades to your arsenal. Forsaken had many top-tier Exotics that remain optimal picks.

Long-Term Goal Acquisitions

For veteran players with most Exotics already unlocked, spend Ciphers on rolls with ideal stats or perk combinations:

  • Stompees – With high Mobility stat
  • Transverse Steps – With good Recovery or Intellect roll
  • Shards of Galanor – High Intellect roll for fast supers
  • Gwisin Vest – Good Mobility/Strength balance

Slowly accumulate your ideal rolled Exotics over time by reacquiring them from the kiosk with new Ciphers each season.

What NOT to Spend Ciphers On

While most Forsaken Exotics are worth owning eventually, some are lower priority and can be skipped:

  • Wish-Ender – Mediocre bow outclassed by other options
  • Queenbreaker – Lackluster linear fusion rifle
  • Lord of Wolves – Niche shotgun with limited range
  • Black Talon – Average sword lacking damage perks
  • Trinity Ghoul – Requires catalyst to make viable
  • Wavesplitter – PS4 exclusive Trace rifle

These Exotics are not essential picks and can be acquired later once you have all top-tier options already unlocked.

Seasonal Priorities

Due to the limited quantity each season, make Forsaken Ciphers a priority on the first few ideal Exotics from the above lists.

For most players, aim to spend your seasonal Ciphers on:

  • Top priority picks you to lack
  • Exotics that work with new subclass reworks or buffs
  • Weapons aligning with seasonal anti-Champion mods

Maximize their value by targeted selections rather than randomly acquiring Exotics just for collection purposes.

What About Spoils of Conquest?

The Deep Stone Crypt raid also introduced Spoils of Conquest, which can be used at the Monument to Lost Lights kiosk in place of a Forsaken Cipher to acquire a Forsaken Exotic.

However, Spoils are mainly used to acquire raid Exotics like Anarchy and Always on Time. Since you can only hold 240 Spoils per character, it is not recommended to spend them on world drop Exotics if you don’t have the raid ones yet.

Prioritize spending Spoils of Conquest on harder-to-acquire raid Exotics first. Use Forsaken Ciphers for general world drop Exotics from the Forsaken era.


Forsaken Ciphers are valuable new items in Destiny 2 that allow players to directly acquire old Forsaken Exotics through the Monument to Lost Lights kiosk.

They are limited in quantity each season, so players should spend them wisely on the most powerful and build-defining Exotics they lack.

Maximize your Cipher sources like the season pass, Xûr visits, and rng drops in new activities. Spend your Ciphers strategically based on your needs and the current sandbox each season.

With this guide, you now understand the importance of Forsaken Ciphers, all the methods to acquire them, and the wisest ways to cash them in for amazing new Exotics.

So get out there, earn some Forsaken Ciphers, and redeem them for deadly new weapons and armor that will empower you in Destiny 2!

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