Destiny 2: Season of Arrivals introduces Umbral Engrams as well as upgrades and perks from the Prismatic Recaster feature. Here’s our guide to help you out.
Note 1: If you want to learn about the glitch associated with this mechanic, head over to our Umbral Engrams cheese mini-guide. You can also refer to our leveling guide on how to reach the 1,060 PL cap for this season. That’s because Umbral Engrams and the Prismatic Recaster are important fixtures in the grind.
Note 2: For more information about all the other activities and content for this season, check out our Destiny 2: Season of Arrivals guides and features hub.
Destiny 2: Season of Arrivals – Obtaining Umbral Engrams
The regular legendary engrams that you used to obtain in Destiny 2 now have a better variation in the Season of Arrivals. These are called Umbral Engrams and they allow you to “focus” on the types of rewards that you can get. In fact, the first time you’ll obtain an Umbral Engram is actually part of Destiny 2: Season of Arrivals‘ quest chain.
While you’re doing the Contact public event on Io, you’ll notice a purple engram with a sinister glow surrounding it. That’s an Umbral Engram right there.
Note: From this point onwards, you can obtain Umbral Engrams from various playlist activities, Contact public events, Nightmare Hunts, Nightfalls, and even as enemy drops.
Return to the Drifter so he can show you the ropes on what these bad boys do, as well as your new tools such as the Prismatic Recaster and Umbral Decoder. You’ll also get the following tasks to complete Destiny 2: Season of Arrivals‘ quest chain:
- Use the Umbral Decoder machine that’s next to the Drifter in order to decrypt one of these engrams. Regular Cryptarchs like Rahool can’t do that since these engrams are “infused with darkness,” or so they say.
- Complete any playlist activity (Vanguard strikes, Crucible, or Gambit), which will net you another Umbral Engram.
- Return to the Drifter and you’ll be given some Twisted Energy. This resource is used on the Prismatic Recaster (another machine next to him which we’ll talk about in detail in a short while).
- Level up the Prismatic Recaster to rank 1 and get the upgrade perk in the Gifts of Light & Dark panel.
- Check out the Umbral Focusing panel for the different Umbral Engram rewards.
- Decrypt it using the Umbral Decoder and speak to the Drifter once more.
- You’ll be given the “Means to an End” weekly quest once you access the Prismatic Recaster. This is will eventually lead you to the weekly Interference mission which awards a pinnacle drop.
Note: Once you’ve completed the above on your main character, your alts will simply need to do the first Destiny 2: Season of Arrivals mission. After that, your alts will have full access to the Prismatic Recaster and any upgrades that you’ve previously unlocked.
The Prismatic Recaster
We’ve been talking about the Prismatic Recaster for a while, so what is it exactly? Well, it’s another machine that lets you obtain bounties and mods. You can also grab upgrade perks (kinda like Season of the Worthy‘s Seraph Bunkers). Halfway through that quest chain above, you should be able to access it already, but you won’t get the full benefits until you progress further and unlock some upgrades.
Apart from the usual resources like glimmer, legendary shards, and mod components, you also have to take note of three new resources in Destiny 2: Season of Arrivals:
- Twisted Energy – This is used to unlock Prismatic Recaster upgrades. You’ll get this first from the Drifter and the next ones are from weekly bounties. Each Prismatic Recaster level up requires 500 of these, but, don’t worry, you get that amount from weeklies anyway.
- Altered Element – This resource is obtained from daily bounties and is used for focusing Umbral Engrams.
- Trace Override – This resource is used for armor-type focusing for higher-tier Umbral Engrams.
Here are some examples of Prismatic Recaster bounties:
- Red End (Weekly) – Defeat 100 Cabal; defeat 10 Cabal via finishers.
- Clean Shot (Weekly) – Defeat 100 enemies with precision damage.
- Burst Factor – Defeat enemies with grenades.
- Dropping Bombs – Defeat enemies with grenade launchers.
- Head Honcho – Defeat bosses; Contact public event bosses count.
- Marked Void – Defeat enemies using Void abilities.
- Cabal Crash – Use finishers on 5x Cabal enemies.
- Dethroned – Use finishers on 5x Hive enemies.
- Lasers Aplenty – Defeat enemies with fusion rifles.
- Fear The Rev – Disintegrate enemies with fusion rifles or abilities. (Tip: Use Loaded Question for easy kills.)
Note: Weekly bounties provide 500x Twisted Energy and daily bounties provide 50x Altered Element.
Mods and more
Here are the rewards you can obtain from the Prismatic Recaster when leveling up:
- Charge Harvester (Arrival armor mod) – While you are not Charged with Light, any kill or assist has a small cumulative chance to make you become Charged with Light; -10 class ability recharge rate; unlocks at rank 1.
- Swift Charge (Arrival armor mod) – Become Charged with Light via multikills with pulse rifles, sidearms, or submachine guns; defeating enemies with a pulse rifle grants special ammo for your allies; unlocks at rank 3.
- Precision Charge (Arrival armor mod) – Become Charged with Light via precision kills from bows, hand cannons, or scout rifles; -10 strength; unlocks at rank 5.
- Trace Override (seasonal currency) – Allows you to choose the desired stat when focusing armor-type Umbral Engrams; unlocks at rank 7; costs legendary shards (the cost will increase each time you make a purchase).
- Sustained Charge (Arrival armor mod) – Become Charged with Light via multikills with auto rifles, trace rifles, or machine guns; unlocks at rank 12.
- Energy Converter (Arrival armor mod) – While Charged with Light, using your grenade consumes all your stacks and grants you super energy up to a maximum of 50%; 10 discipline; unlocks at rank 15.
- Enneagon (legendary ship) – Unlocks at rank 21.
Note: There are mods that are available only for a limited time. These change every daily reset.
Gifts of Light & Dark: Prismatic Recaster upgrades
The Gifts of Light & Dark panel has your Prismatic Recaster upgrades. Just like the Seraph Bunkers in the previous season, you’ll find several perks to unlock. There are also multiple ranks of these upgrades with various effects. I’ll describe these per column and denote the ranks:
- Umbral Enhancement – (1) The first upgrade you obtain that’s also free; allows you to select basic Umbral Engram focusing effects; (2) decrypting Umbral Engrams award shaders and unfocused ones have a low chance of providing exotics; (3) weapons from focused Umbral Engrams can have an additional alternate final perk and armors from focused Umbral Engrams have a chance of getting higher stat values.
- Umbral Discovery – Once a day, earn bonus Umbral Engrams by completing Vanguard playlist strikes, Nightfalls, Crucible matches, dungeons, raids, or the Menagerie; higher tiers increase the bonus.
- Contact Specialist – Increases the chance of finding Umbral Engrams when completing the Contact public event; higher tiers increase the bonus.
- Prismatic Transmutation – Umbral Engrams obtained from heroic Contact public events have a 5/10/15% chance to become a random focused Umbral Engram.
- Blood Into Stone – Defeating elite or champion enemies has a 5/10/15% chance to drop materials from that destination.
- Free-Focus Lens – Increases the number of free weekly focuses for basic/unfocused Umbral Engrams to 4/5/6.
- Umbral Mastery – (1) Decrypting Umbral Engrams injects a small amount of Twisted Energy directly into the Prismatic Recaster and the first three Umbral Engrams decrypted each week drop gear at higher power level; (2) increase your mote carrying capacity to 15 motes and spawn a heavy ammo crate when banking 15 motes at once; (3) reduce materials cost of focusing by 50%.
Unlike Seraph Bunker upgrades, you cannot pick the higher-tier perks until you obtain everything from the previous row. As such, you’re going to end up grabbing all the tier 1 stuff.
If you do need to be stingy with the upgrades, pick Umbral Mastery (tier 1). The effect becomes very helpful since you can get higher PL gear outside of pinnacle drops (up to +4 of what’s shown on the engram). Additionally, you’ll get a bit of Twisted Energy to help boost your Prismatic Recaster rank-ups. After that, you could go with Free-Focus Lens (tier 1) so you don’t waste resources too early in the season whenever you’re focusing an Umbral Engram.
Update 1: There seems to be a bug with Umbral Enhancement (tier 2) as reported by Destiny 2 Redditor Epsilon67. Avoid picking up the perk, for now, since it might slow down your Prismatic Recaster rank-ups.
Update 2: Umbral Enhancement (tier 2) has been fixed as per Bungie’s recent tweet:
Umbral Engram Focusing
So, what exactly is this focusing all about in Destiny 2: Season of Arrivals? Well, the Umbral Engrams that you get are just basic/unfocused types (meaning you’ll probably end up with random rewards like the legendary engrams in the past). The difference is that these are “on-level” the moment they drop, meaning they’re at your actual power level (not counting the artifact bonuses). However, if you use the Prismatic Recaster’s focusing panel, a couple of cool things will happen to your Umbral Engrams:
- Your Umbral Engram’s power level when it dropped is disregarded. It’s then automatically brought up to become “on-level.” Imagine having a 1011 PL Umbral Engram and then focusing to turn it into 1025 PL (after you’ve leveled up a bit). Sounds cool, right?
- You can select specific gear slots, item types, or stat rolls depending on the tiers (seen below).
Tier 1 – Basic Umbral Focusing:
- Pyramid-focused – Weapons from the Darkness
- Armor-focused – Contains a piece of Holdfast seasonal armor
- Legacy seasons – Contains weapons from the previous seasons in Shadowkeep
- Dredgen-focused – Weapons from Gambit
This tier of rewards is unlocked as you progress through Destiny 2: Season of Arrivals‘ introductory quest chain. You’ll have free focus selections each week (increased by the Free-Focus Lens Prismatic Recaster perk). Once you’re out of freebies, each focusing will cost 50x Altered Element.
Tier 2 – Improved Arsenal Focusing:
- Rifle-focused – False Promises auto rifle or Hollow Words fusion rifle
- Edge-focused – Whispering Slab bow or Temptation’s Hook sword
- Arrival-focused – Cold Denial pulse rifle or Falling Guillotine sword
- Worthy-focused – Seventh Seraph CQC-12 shotgun or Seventh Seraph VY-7 submachine gun
- Dawn-focused – Breachlight sidearm or Martyr’s Retribution grenade launcher
- Undying-focused – Optative hand cannon or Temporal Clause machine gun
- Contrast-focused – Lonesome sidearm or Bad Omens rocket launcher
- Lead-focused – Gnawing Hunger auto rifle or Night Watch scout rifle
By default, each focusing use requires 100x Altered Element resources. Additionally, Rifle, Edge, and Arrival-focused Umbral Engrams require that you’ve obtained these weapons already before they can appear in the engram’s loot pool. This tier also requires you to unlock the Improved Arsenal perk via the season pass tab at rank 32.
Tier 3 – Improved Armor Focusing:
There are six of these that you can choose from and each will pertain to a particular stat — Mobility, Resilience, Recovery, Discipline, Strength, and Intellect. All selections, by default, require 250x Altered Element and 1x Trace Override. This tier also requires you to unlock the Improved Armor Focusing perk via the season pass tab at rank 72.
Update: Thanks to the newly-added Exodus quest chain, you can have two additional focuses: Assassin and CQC. The former will net you the Berenger’s Memory grenade launcher or the Ikelos sniper rifle. The latter, meanwhile, can give the First In, Last Out shotgun or the Ikelos submachine gun.