How To Get New Exotic Armor In Destiny 2: The Final Shape

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A lot has changed in Destiny 2 with the release of The Final Shape. Among some of the changes that will affect your game as you grind toward high-level content is how Exotic armors are divvied out going forward. The old way of unlocking new Exotics, by playing through Lost Sectors, is over. Instead, you’ll need to earn reputation with Rahool, the Tower Cryptarch, if you want access to those spiffy new armor pieces.

Here’s a quick rundown of how Exotic armor works now, how things have changed, and what it’ll take to rank up with Rahool enough to get access to his new wares.

Out With The Lost Sectors

Destiny 2 has added a lot of new Exotic armors over the last few years, and The Final Shape has two new armor pieces for each character class. You can earn one of them by completing The Final Shape’s Legend campaign, but the other will remain locked until you either complete the campaign again, or gain access to a new brand of Exotic focusing: Tier 3 focusing.

Previously, to gain new Exotic armor, the trick was to complete the daily, rotating Lost Sector on Legend or Master difficulty. Each day featured a different kind of armor, so if you were missing an Exotic helmet from your collection, you’d wait for the head armor day to come around and play through the Lost Sector until you got the helmet you wanted.

From now on, though, that method is over–while the daily Legend/Master Lost Sector still rotates around the map, it no longer drops a specific type of Exotic armor. You can still play Legend and Master Lost Sectors to earn high-end materials and Exotic engrams, but you won’t earn any specific Exotic armor from them.

Visit Rahool For All your Exotic Armor

Instead, apart from what you get from the campaign or specific Exotic missions, all new Exotic armor pieces go through Rahool. He’s the guy who decrypts Exotic and Prime Engrams for you in the Tower. Rahool now has a reputation system, so the more Engrams you decode, the more points you get, unlocking rewards along the way.

Previously, Rahool also offered “Focusing” services that let you pick what piece of Exotic armor you would get out of an Exotic Engram. You had three options: You could decrypt the Exotic Engram normally and get a random piece of armor at no cost other than spending the Engram; you could focus the decryption on a specific expansion or seasonal release to narrow the random pool down to just a few Exotic armors, but at a cost of Glimmer and Enhancement Prisms (called Tier 1 Focusing); or you could pick the specific piece of armor you wanted, if you were willing to pay more Glimmer and Ascendant Shards (called Tier 2 Focusing).

Tier 3 Focused Decoding, otherwise called Novel Decryption, lets you buy any Exotic armor in the game as long as you have an Engram and an Exotic Cipher.

With The Final Shape, Rahool adds Tier 3 Focusing, which allows you to buy “novel” pieces of Exotic armor to add to your Collections tab. These will cost you one Exotic Engram as well as an Exotic Cipher, which you can earn from ranking up with Rahool or from Xur when he shows up each weekend. Xur will offer you an Exotic Cipher quest so you can earn one each week, and you’ll get another for resetting his reputation rank. There are also a small number of Exotic Ciphers available as rank rewards on the Season Pass. You can hold up to five in your inventory.

All that said, you don’t start with access to Tier 3 Focusing–you have to reach Rank 17 with Rahool in order to unlock it.

How To Increase Your Cryptarch Rank

This part’s easy, although it can be either time-consuming or expensive. To increase your rank with Rahool, all you need to do is decrypt Engrams. The more specific your decryption, the more reputation points you earn for each one, so Tier 2 decryption gets you the most points (500), Tier 1 decryption gets you a little less, decrypting an Exotic Engram drops it even more, and decrypting a Prime Engram gets you the least.

If you want to rank up quickly, then, you should knock out some Tier 2 Focusing decryptions. These can get expensive in a hurry, but they will rank you up fast–many of the Cryptarch ranks are only a few hundred points, and even at the top end, ranks cost around 800 points, so you can climb this in minutes if you have materials and Engrams stockpiled.

Once you reach the top of the reputation ranks for Rahool, Tier 3 Focusing unlocks for all your characters, and you no longer have to worry about it. You’ll now be able to purchase new Exotic armors, including the ones from The Final Shape’s Legend campaign, as long as you have Engrams and Exotic Ciphers.

Check out our The Final Shape guides hub for many more answers about what’s new in Destiny 2, and read our Final Shape review while you’re at it.