Destiny 2 Heir Apparent: How To Unlock The Exotic During The 2021 Guardian Games


Destiny 2’s Olympics-like Guardian Games competition, which pits each character type against the others in a big contest to see who’s best, has returned for its second year. Like last year, it brings an Exotic weapon for you to earn: Heir Apparent. This machine gun has the added benefit of projecting an Arc shield around you while you fire it, protecting you (but forcing you to move slowly) as you use it to cut down anything in your path.

If you earned Heir Apparent last year, then your goal in this year’s Guardian Games (apart from beating the Titans, of course) is to complete a new quest to earn its Exotic catalyst–check out our Heir Apparent Exotic catalyst guide for tips on how to do it quickly and efficiently. But if you still need to unlock Heir Apparent, you can do that pretty fast in this year’s games. Here’s everything you need to know to get the machine gun and turn yourself into a lead-slinging fortress.

How To Earn Heir Apparent

The good news is that, unlike last year, Heir Apparent is pretty painless to nab in 2021. You just need to put a little time into the Guardian Games to grab it. But while it doesn’t take much to acquire, it’s not immediately clear what you need to do to get it–the Exotic quest for the gun doesn’t drop until you’ve completed certain prerequisits.

Step 1: Take Part In The Guardian Games

First off, you’ll need to get into the Guardian Games and start participating. Getting started is easy: Drop by the Tower and talk to Zavala, who will provide you with a new class item for your chosen character subclass. Equip that class item, because it’s essential to how the Guardian Games scoring works.

Once you’re done with Zavala, head to Eva Levante.

Step 2: Complete “The Games Begin” Quest

Talk to Zavala and Eva Levante to get yourself introduced to the Guardian Games.
Talk to Zavala and Eva Levante to get yourself introduced to the Guardian Games.

Eva will give you a quest called “The Games Begin,” which requires you to gather Laurels. These are drops that are specific to the Guardian Games, which you can create yourself or pick up from other players, but you’ll need your Guardian Games class item equipped to do it. Laurels are colored motes that drop when you kill enemies with your abilities, like grenades, powered melee attacks, and Supers. You’ll also get Laurels to drop when you kill elite enemies, so the ones you see with orange and yellow life bars.

The idea is that you want to create Laurels for yourself and your teammates, while making sure to pick up any Laurels dropped by other players, even if they’re in another subclass. But you earn more motes if you grab them from players with the same subclass as you. You earn 3 Laurels per mote you pick up if it was generated by the same subclass, and 1 Laurel per mote if it was generated by the other class. You can tell where the motes came from by their color and symbol: red are Titan motes, blue are Hunter motes, and yellow are Warlock motes.

You need 100 total Laurels for this step, and they’re easy to come by in various activities. Probably the quickest way to get them, however, is in Strikes. There’s a new Strike playlist you can activate from the Tower that will pair you with only other players from your subclass, allowing you to quickly and efficiently earn triple the Laurels as compared to other activities.

Step 3: Complete Your First Contender Card

Contender Cards allow you to earn medals for the Guardian Games, but you only have to do one to advance the quest.
Contender Cards allow you to earn medals for the Guardian Games, but you only have to do one to advance the quest.

After you rack up 100 Laurels, return to Eva Levante to access the other new element of the Guardian Games this year: Contender Cards. These are special bounties you can purchase with Laurels that give you medals, which are what you actually need to earn to score points for your subclass in the Guardian Games competition. Contender Cards are specific to each playlist and dish out the best medals in the competition. You can get top-tier Platinum medals from the Trials of Osiris and Nightfall Strike Contender Cards, and Gold medals from the Gambit, Crucible, and Strike playlist Contender Cards.

Knock out one of these to finish up your introduction into the Guardian Games. Again, a Strike card is probably the quickest, but make sure to read its requirements. It’ll likely ask you to rack up kills with a specific element and provide bonus progress for earning things like grenade kills or precision kills, so pay attention to what it asks to minimize your grind.

Step 4: Earn 50 More Laurels

Once you complete your first Contender Card, you should have unlocked Eva Levante’s whole inventory, which will include Guardian Games Ghost shells, various bounties, and Platinum Contender Cards. That should also provide you with the opportunity to snag the Exotic quest for Heir Apparent. Don’t worry, the steps are pretty simple.

Your next objective is to earn more Laurels, but not as many this time. Stock up on bounties and a Contender Card and head back to the Strike playlist. According to Bungie, there are two known bugs that can affect this step that you’ll want to avoid: First, only Laurels you pick up from the ground count toward this step. Second, Gambit and Crucible matches are not currently dropping Laurels, but instead delivering them straight to players. So while you might find that the Crucible or Gambit are more efficient ways of earning Laurels, right now, neither activity will advance your Heir Apparent quest. Stick to Strikes and Nightfalls to complete this step.

Step 5: Rack Up 100 Machine Gun Kills

Your final requirement is to prove some prowess with machine guns. You can do this with any weapon, and again, it’ll go pretty quick. If you have an accurate machine gun like Commemoration, you can squeeze off a bunch of precision kills quickly and without a lot of ammo, especially in Strikes. But any gun will do and the requirement goes pretty quickly. If you want to provide yourself with more targets, head to the Moon and take part in the Altar of Sorrow activity.

Once you’ve got your kills, you should be able to return to Eva and pick up your Heir Apparent. You’re not done, however, because you can also earn the machine gun’s Exotic catalyst during the Guardian Games, which significantly boosts the Arc shield the gun provides you when you fire it. Check out our Heir Apparent Exotic catalyst guide for more information.

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