Tips for how to play Gambit Prime in Destiny 2

Learn how to play Gambit Prime and win in Destiny 2's newest PvPvE game mode.


Gambit Prime is a new variation of the Gambit game mode that was originally introduced alongside The Drifter in Destiny 2. This new and more difficult version of Gambit will task players with competing in a single round with stronger enemies. There are a lot of changes between Gambit and Gambit Prime, and this guide will share some helpful tips that will show you how to play Gambit Prime in Destiny 2.

What is Gambit Prime?

As I stated above, Gambit Prime is a new variation of Gambit that features stronger enemies and some big changes to the formula. Unlike regular Gambit, players will only have one round to complete to win a match of Gambit Prime. On top of this, the enemies that you fight against are much tougher, which means you’ll need to work with your team even more to stay alive and bank all your Motes.

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Something else to note, is that each wave of enemies in Gambit Prime will become stronger and stronger. So, make sure you stick close to your Fireteam and work together to clear them out. Now that we’ve discussed what Gambit Prime is, though, it’s time to talk about how you can survive and win. Here are some tips you’re going to want to know if you plan on diving into the newest rendition of The Drifter’s weird blend of PvP and PvE.

How to play Gambit Prime

Like the original version of Gambit, players will start off in a PvE area. Here they need to defeat enemies and collect Motes. The overall goal is to collect enough Motes—in this case 100 Motes—and spawn in a Primeval enemy. The first team to defeat their Primeval first will win the match. Of course, there are a lot of smaller intricacies to take into account as you play Gambit Prime, so let’s touch on those now.

Destiny 2 how to play Gambit Prime enemy waves get stronger
Each wave of enemies in Gambit Prime becomes stronger and more challenging to defeat.

Enemy waves grow stronger

One of the biggest additions to Gambit Prime is the fact that enemies get stronger each wave that spawns. While the normal enemies themselves will also be tougher, you’ll begin to see more Powerful Enemies as you clear out the waves around the map. On top of this, special High-Value Targets will also spawn, which you’ll want to clear out as quickly as possible. You’re going to need all the ammo that you have, as well as any Supers and abilities that you can utilize if you want to survive and collect as many Motes as possible.

Banking Motes is important, but also dangerous

While playing normal Gambit, players would want to bank their Motes as quickly as possible. Banking Motes is how you’ll spawn your Primeval, after all, and each time you hit a certain number of banked Motes, you’ll open a portal to the enemy’s battlefield, allowing you to send an invader across and defeat the other Guardians and slow them down. This is still extremely important, however, the new changes to Blockers in Gambit Prime means you’ll want to be a bit safer with your Motes.

Destiny 2 how to play Gambit Prime deploying blockers
Make sure you deploy blockers to shut down the enemy's Mote gathering.

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While you still want to bank them as quickly as possible, you’ll want to make sure you’re only banking them when you’ll be able to spawn Blockers or help hit other milestones. Spawning Blockers in Gambit Prime is even more important than ever, as they not only stop the enemy from banking Motes, but they also slowly drain the Motes in the enemy’s bank. So, try to set up combo spawns for Medium, Small or even Large Blockers, as this will force the enemy team to take time to defeat the Blockers, while also giving them time to drain some of the enemy’s Mote reserves.

You’ll also want someone dedicated to watching your bank, as any Blockers the enemy sends over will slowly drain your Motes as well. Keep that in mind when setting up your team composition, as playing a specific role is even more vital in Gambit Prime.

All hands on deck for the Primeval

Before, in the original Gambit, players would wait with their Supers and then use them to burn through the Primeval as quickly as possible. You can’t do this anymore in Gambit Prime, as the boss now has some new mechanics for you to worry about.

Once your team has banked 100 Motes, you’ll spawn in your Primeval. In Gambit Prime, players will need to kill three enemies, called Envoys, before they can even damage the Primeval though. Two of these enemies will spawn at the same time—sometimes together, other times in different parts of the map. Send your Fireteam members to take them down, and then a third enemy will spawn.

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Destiny 2 Primeval damage phase stacks
The damage buff for the Primeval's damage phase stacks each time.

This third enemy is your primary focus. You’ll want your entire Fireteam nearby when you kill this enemy, as it will drop a buff that you need to pick up. Step into the pool of light that the last Envoy drops upon death and you will receive the Primeval Slayer Buff. You will need this buff to damage the Primeval. The buff itself will last 22 seconds, so try to make it count as much as possible and throw everything you have at the Primeval. As with any Gambit match, deaths to invaders will heal the enemy back up, so keep an eye out and try not to die once you start dealing damage to the boss.

Dress for your role

One important thing that many players ignore in Gambit is their role. While it’s easy to just kind of roam around and do whatever you want in the original version of the game mode, Gambit Prime puts a lot of emphasis on each player’s role in the match. This is also where the Gambit Prime armor will come into play, as each armor set is designed to grant useful perks to each role when you have those pieces equipped together. We touched on these different perks in our guide on the Gambit Prime armor, so make sure you read that thoroughly if you don’t understand how the armor sets work.

Destiny 2 Gambit Prime invader active
You'll be given a warning when the invader is present in your neck of the woods.

One nice thing to take into account here, though, is that you can actually run a multiple class setup, if you’d like, by mixing and matching different pieces of the Gambit Prime armor. For example, you could mix and match the Reaper and Collector pieces of the armor to mix and match the perks available to you. Just remember that more unique perks will be available for the gear set if you have more pieces of it equipped at one time.

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It’s also important to bring weapons that fit your role. Those running the Sentry role and protecting the bank will want to bring a close-range weapon, as well as a long-range weapon. This will help them deal with both the enemy Blockers as well as any invaders that might find their way across the field. Likewise, those running the Collector role will want to bring weapons that fit their place in the team composition. Since the Collector armor allows you to drop a percentage of your Motes upon death, then this player could freely run a shotgun to help clear out adds quickly without worrying about putting the team at any kind of great disadvantage. Make sure your gear fits your role, and always work with your team to complete your duties.

Rounding everything off

At the end of the day, there are a lot of moving parts to take account of in Gambit Prime. First and foremost, working with your team is paramount to your success as a Guardian here. If you follow the tips and information that we’ve included above, you shouldn’t have much trouble fitting into your Fireteam and diving into Gambit Prime. Remember to dress for your role, pay attention to the map for invaders, and always be ready to run to your teammate’s position if they need back up. This isn’t an easy game mode to pull off a win inside, so be ready to fight tooth and nail for your victory.

You can learn more about Gambit Prime and the new items added in Joker’s wild by heading back over to our Destiny 2 complete strategy guide. We’ll continue to provide updates and new information as it becomes relevant to make sure this guide is always up to date with the latest tips and help.

Guides Editor

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and has been exploring the world of video games for as long as he can remember. He enjoys everything from large-scale RPGs to small, bite-size indie gems and everything in between.

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