Gambit beginner's guide - Destiny 2: Forsaken

Gambit is a new and exciting PVE+PVP mode with a lot of moving parts and strategies to learn.


Gambit is the newest activity to come to Destiny 2, fusing together the two great pillars of the Destiny experience: player-versus-AI and player-versus-player. Players will need to be good at killing AI combatants as well as taking down human players, all while juggling a mote-based banking system. With a whole lot of mechanics at play, understanding how Gambit works – and how to improve your odds of winning – can be a bit confusing for the humble beginner.


The main mechanics of Gambit can be boiled down into a few core systems: fight enemy units, collect motes, bank motes, invade enemy team, and kill the Primeval. The majority of time spent playing Gambit will involving fighting computer-controlled enemies, so players who are PVP adverse won’t have to stress about intense combat. However, those players who relish a good bit of PVP will get a real kick out of invading the enemy team and potentially wiping out four hostile players.


In order to progress through the various stages of a match of Gambit, players will need to collect motes and deposit them into the bank. Killing AI combatants, and invading players, causes them drop motes on the ground for collection. Any motes left on the ground will disappear after several seconds, so collecting them quickly is a good idea. Keep in mind that dying while holding any motes will cause them to disappear – so make sure not to die to AI combatants or an invader!

Players should coordinate the collection of motes, as players can only carry a maximum of 15 motes at a time. However, this doesn’t mean players should divvy motes up evenly, in fact, a good strategy is to assign players the role of collecting motes in order to make the summoning of blockers more efficient.

During the match, the bars up the top of the screen indicate the amount of motes held by players (gray) and the motes deposited in the bank (colored). Use this information to best decide when to invade the enemy.

  • Motes are dropped by AI enemies and invaders
  • Players can only hold 15 motes at a time
  • Bank 75 motes to spawn the Primeval


Blockers are the direct result of banking set amounts of motes. When a set amount of motes are banked, a Taken unit (a blocker) will be summoned to the enemy arena, locking their bank until it is killed. This prevents the enemy team from depositing their motes, essentially preventing them from being able to summon their Primeval.

The more motes deposited at once results in a stronger blocker being summoned. It’s up to the team to decide the frequency of blockers sent as well as the size. Some teams might prefer a steady trickle of small blockers while another will opt for only large blockers – there are advantages with both strategies.

  • 5-9 motes: small blocker
  • 10-14 motes: medium blocker
  • 15 motes: large blocker


Summoning a blocker isn’t the only benefit of depositing motes. Once 25 and 50 motes are deposited, a player can invade their opponent’s arena, adding a little bit of chaos to the match. After the allotted motes are banked, a portal near the bank will open, allowing one player to invade the opposing team’s arena. This player will be able to see where their enemies are, how many motes they’re carrying, will not be targeted by any AI-units, and will have an overshield. The invader won’t be in the arena indefinitely, they’ll be sent home after 30 seconds or 4 kills, whichever happens first.

This is an intense moment of combat which is best given to the player on the team who absolutely crushes at PVP. Before invading, ensure the chosen player has Heavy Ammo, a full Super, and potentially wait until another blocker is ready to be summoned. It’s also worth invading when the enemy team has a large amount of motes being carried by players, as killing these players causes the motes to disappear.

During the Primeval phase, the invader has even more responsibility as any kills they make will immediately heal the Primeval, undoing any damage and progress the team has made. This is why it’s a good idea to save the invasion until the enemy’s Primeval has taken some damage.

  • Invasion portal opens at 25 and 50 motes deposited
  • Invader has 30 seconds or 4 kills before going home
  • Invader can see enemy locations, how many motes they’re carrying, and is on the same “team as the AI units.
  • Dying to an invader heals the Primeval
  • During the Primeval stage, the portal opens based on the remaining health of the Primeval


The last gameplay element of Gambit is the Primeval. This hulking Taken unit is the “boss” of the game mode, and the team to kill their Primeval first wins the round, and potentially the match. When 75 motes have been deposited in the bank, the Primeval will spawn, ushering in the final phase of the game.

The Primeval brings along a convoy of yellow health-bar enemies which, when killed, give a buff that increases player damage against the Primeval. During this hectic time where a lot of enemies spawn, the enemy team will be given two opportunities to invade, indicated by the bar at the top of the screen. After removing one-third and two-thirds of the Primeval’s health bar, the enemy portal will activate, allowing them to invade your arena and heal your Primeval by scoring kills.

A good strategy when summoning the Primeval is to summon it using 15 motes. This method will not only get your team started on killing the Primeval, but will summon a large blocker on the enemy side, giving your team more time ahead of the competition.

  • 75 motes banked summons the Primeval
  • Killing the Primeval wins the match
  • Killing the Primeval’s convoy activates a damage-increase buff
  • Enemy team receives two free invades that are tied to the Primeval’s health bar
  • Dying to an invader heals the Primeval

Beyond just the core mechanics, players should also begin considering the team make-up, as some weapons that perform well in a PVE environment might not do so well in PVP, and vice versa. To further complicate this process, Destiny 2 has received a complete overhaul in its weapon slot systems, so take some time to find a loadout that works for your playstyle.

Gambit is an exceptionally fitting addition to the world of Destiny 2 that both PVP and PVE players alike will thoroughly enjoy. Expect the meta of Gambit to shift and change as players dive into the minutia of the mode, uncovering optimal strategies and weapons. We’ll be sure to keep this updated as new strategies are discovered. In the meantime, check out the Shacknews Destiny 2 Complete Strategy Guide for more weapon breakdowns, collectibles, and walkthroughs!

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can message him on X: @SamuelChandler 

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