All Destiny 2 Exotic missions in release order – Listed

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At this point in time, Destiny 2 has absolutely no shortage of Raids and Dungeons to choose from, with more being added to the mix on a seasonal basis. It’s easy to forget, then, that there’s a third important category of challenging content in this game, too: Exotic missions.

Note that I’m not referring to Exotic quests here: we’ve got too many of those to keep track of in the first place. No, our topic for the day is specifically Exotic missions. The type of stuff that was praised even during Destiny 2‘s many lulls in content and popularity; those missions that, once upon a time, weren’t even announced in the first place.

So, from those legends onward, here’s the full and comprehensive list of all of Destiny 2‘s Exotic missions in the order of their release!

All Destiny 2 Exotic missions in the order of release

Image via Bungie

#1: The Whisper – July 2018 (Original) / April 2024 (Reprised)

The ultimate blueprint that all the other Exotic missions are compared with, The Whisper came about mostly as a surprise in the early years of Destiny 2‘s lifecycle. Basically, it all began with a mysterious anomaly appearing on the now-sunset Io, and what came about as a result was a remarkably creepy and parkour-heavy adventure. Its reward? A Taken combination of the Black Spindle and the Black Hammer sniper rifles from the first Destiny. Good times!

Image via Bungie

#2: Zero Hour – March 2019 (Original) / May 2024 (Reprised)

Zero Hour was the second standalone Exotic mission released for Destiny 2, and it leaned even more heavily into its maze-like structure than the Whisper, which made it a fair bit more challenging on your first try. It, too, was a time-limited ordeal you see. Zero Hour was (and still is) quite special due to its setting – the Tower itself – its penchant to keep players coming back for more – the unique cosmetic rewards – and the coveted Outbreak Perfected. Oh, and TR3VR, too, the loveable bot. You’ll meet him soon enough.

Screenshot by Destructoid

#3: The Other Side – June 2019

While The Other Side wasn’t quite as iconic as The Whisper and Zero Hour, few things ever were in the context of Destiny. It’s a solid mission, regardless: under the tutelage of the now-deceased Emperor Calus, Guardians dive headfirst into the Ascendant Plane to extract none other than the Bad Juju pulse rifle. Cool! What’s not so cool is that The Other Side is no longer playable, as of Beyond Light‘s sunsetting spree.

Screenshot by Destructoid

#4: Harbinger – November 2020

The Harbinger was initially supposed to be a secret Exotic mission tucked away in one of the most often overlooked places in the European Dead Zone region, though it didn’t take long for players to suss it out. Its reward? The fabled Hawkmoon handcannon, courtesy of the Crow’s slow climb upwards following his Forsaken-era misadventures. The Harbinger is currently sadly unavailable.

Image via Bungie

#5: Presage – February 2021

Destiny doesn’t often foray into full-fledged horror territory, but when it does, you know it’s the real deal. Presage came about as a celebration of this niche, pitting players against one of the first in-game realizations of Darkness proper. The result is an impeccably grim atmosphere with appropriately disturbing lore, and the delightfully chunky Dead Man’s Tale lever-action scout rifle. Just a joy to play all around, though the lack of unique enemy encounters does diminish the experience a tiny bit.

Image via Bungie

#6: A Hollow Coronation – August 2021

Released as part of the Season of the Lost, A Hollow Coronation was a deep dive into the lore of Queen Mara, Uldren Sov, and his Light-infused alter ego, the Crow. This was a solid enough showing, though the mission itself couldn’t really hold a candle to the true greats of this category, such as The Whisper and Zero Hour. Still, it’s a bit of a shame that the Hollow Coronation is no longer playable, as of the Witch Queen DLC.

Image via Bungie

#7: Parasitic Pilgrimage – February 2022

The Parasitic Pilgrimage mission is no secret, unlike some other Exotic missions on this list, but it sure is a must-play for anyone unfamiliar with the depths of Hive lore. Parasitic Pilgrimage is all about shoving Savathûn’s Worm into the deviously powerful Parasite grenade launcher. Along the way, you get to learn some tidbits about the sorry creature, its history, and the history of the Queen of Lies itself. Good fun, overall.

Image via Bungie

#8: Vox Obscura – February 2022

While many seasonal Exotic missions did get seemingly permanently taken out of the equation as years went by, some of the notable highlights – like the Vox Obscura mission – have been shoved back into the game via the Exotic mission rotator. Good thing, too, because Vox Obscura is a high-octane romp directly through the Emperor Calus’ loyalist Cabal to take down a dangerous Psion commander smack-dab in the middle of a heavily protected operating base. Tank combat on the face of Mars? Yes, please.

Promotional material for Destiny 2 Season 19Image via Bungie

#9: Operation: Seraph’s Shield – December 2022

Operation: Seraph’s Shield is one of the few previously-sunset Exotic missions that have been re-released in an updated format. Is it a party trick? The unique Revision Zero Exotic pulse rifle has several different upgrades you need to work through by playing Seraph’s Shield. The mission is, therefore, uniquely suited to repeat playthroughs, taking players through almost half a dozen unique combat encounters and puzzle rooms in one go. Solid stuff, albeit hardly revolutionary.

killing vex in destiny 2 echoes episodeImage via Bungie

#10: What Remains – February 2023

A Lightfall Exotic quest, What Remains is a visually striking mission that takes players on a mad dash through the Black Garden itself. Though it’s not mechanically challenging in the same way that secret Exotic missions were, What Remains is absolutely beautiful and memorable throughout, being one of the relatively few highlights to have come out of the Lightfall DLC proper. Your reward for its completion? The hard-hitting Deterministic Chaos machine gun and oodles of Vex/Black Garden lore. Who could complain?

Image via Bungie

#11: The Variable (Avalon) – February 2023

The Variable is, arguably, one of the hardest Exotic missions we’ve seen yet, featuring the Vex Network and the appropriately voxelated Vexcalibur glaive as its reward. Neon-laden and about as punishing as it gets in the Master version, The Variable pulls no punches in any category, with challenging parkour sections and an extremely aggressive version of Brakion waiting for you at the very end. Great fun on your first go, though you may be hard-pressed to go back for more when all is said and done.

Image via Dorje Bellbrook

#12: Starcrossed – November 2023

The second Exotic mission set in the Black Garden, Starcrossed plays host to the admittedly middling Wish-Keeper Exotic bow. This mission is a part of the ongoing Exotic mission rotator that’s available in Destiny 2 since Season 22, but its reliance on long-range combat and punishing encounters means most players aren’t itching at the bits to replay it. It’s a solid offering, to be sure, but even I have to admit it doesn’t come even close to the heights of, say, Zero Hour.

Destiny-2-Cayde-6-The-Final-ShapeImage via Bungie YouTube

#13: Wild Card – June 2024

One of the newest and most narrative-heavy Exotic missions to date, Wild Card takes you on a delightful little side-adventure during the bigger Final Shape story. During it, you’ll set up camp with the Crow and Cayde-6, dwell a bit on what this entire schtick means, and do some skeet shooting. The mission is unlike any other in Destiny 2 due to its several time-skips, where the overworld changes and delivers new encounters during each of these intermissions even though you’re, technically, just playing this one mission in one go. Your reward? The awesome Still Hunt sniper rifle.

Image via Bungie

#14: Dual Destiny – June 2024

Yet another unique Exotic mission released as part of The Final Shape, Dual Destiny is a secret side-activity that’s purpose-built specifically for two players, which is quite uncommon in Destiny 2. Consider it a mini-raid, really, as it requires some very good communication and coordination to get through all the puzzles. Not everyone’s been a fan of Dual Destiny’s precedent-breaking approach to the battle-tested Exotic mission formula, but it’s good fun regardless, and the reward – the Exotic Class Item – is well worth the trouble!

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