How to get Ascendant Shards in Destiny 2

Every source of Ascendant Shards in Destiny 2 and how best to farm up a good supply.


Ascendant Shards are one of the pinnacle currencies in Destiny 2 that many players are chasing. Getting enough Ascendant Shards can be troublesome, as not only are they expensive but are also quite rare. However, there are a few reliable ways you can get more of this valuable currency, which is good as you'll be needing it to increase your armor’s energy slots.

Last update on April 22, 2024 at 11:00 p.m. PT

How to get Ascendant Shards

There are three main ways to get Ascendant Shards: buy them, unlock them, or receive them as a reward. Given that this is the final upgrade material needed to fully max a piece of gear, it only makes sense that it’s quite rare. Here are some of the sources that drop Ascendant Shards: 

  • Reach reputation Rank 16 at Banshee-44, the Vanguard, the Crucible, Gambit, and seasonal vendors
  • Unlock them by ranking up the Season Pass
  • Purchase from Rahool in the Tower
  • Uncommon reward for completing Nightfall on Master difficulty
  • Common reward for completing Grandmaster Nightfall
  • Some seasonal activities

While you're out collecting Ascendant Shards, make sure you're also acquiring Ascendant Alloy, a new material needed in weapon crafting, as well as Enhancement Prisms.

Rank 16 at vendors

destiny 2 ascendant shard reward rank 16
You can earn an Ascendant Shard by reaching Rank 16 at Banshee-44, Vanguard, Crucible, and Gambit.

The first method of getting an Ascendant Shard is to hit Rank 16 at vendors. Each vendor will offer on Ascendant Shard when you hit its maximum rank. This means you are guaranteed at least four if you manage to max out Vanguard, Crucible, Gambit, and Banshee-44. Here is a guide for each of the ranks, excluding Banshee-44:

In addition to this, seasonal vendors also have Ascendant Shards as rewards. This is why it's so important to max your vendor ranks whenever a new season drops.

Unlock through the Season Pass

destiny 2 ascendant shard season pass
At level 80, you will receive your first Ascendant Shard from the Season Pass.

Another method of getting an Ascendant Shard is by ranking up the Season Pass. You will typically receive your first official Ascendant Shard when you surpass Rank 80. Most Season Passes contain multiple Ascendant Shards, so it's worth leveling this up each season. Keep in mind that they're usually only available on the premium track.

Buy from Rahool

destiny 2 buy ascendant shard

Previously, players could buy Ascendant Shards from Banshee-44, now that honor has been given to Rahool. This is by far the most expensive method, as a single shard requires a metric tonne of resources:

  • 10 Enhancement Prisms
  • 50,000 Glimmer

This cost isn't as bad as it used to be and thankfully the number of these resources you can carry has increased. However, trading 10 Prisms for one Shard is still expensive, especially if you're not already sitting on a stockpile of supplies. If you're starting with just Enhancement Cores, you'll need to trade 100 of them to get 10 Prisms to trade for a single Shard.

Rewarded from Nightfall on Master difficulty

destiny 2 ascendant shard nightfall the ordeal
Only the Master difficulty of the Nightfall has a chance of dropping Ascendant Shards.

An Ascendant Shard isn’t available from just any version of Nightfall, it has to be the Master difficulty. This is an activity that will be near the max Power level and will feature various types of Destiny 2 Champions. This is an extremely challenging activity, so come prepared for a fight. Even when it's all said and done, there's only a small chance one will actually drop. The good news is that these days Master Nightfalls are that difficult, especially if you've got a good build and you're rolling with a competent fireteam.

Grandmaster Nightfalls

destiny 2 ascendant shard grandmaster nightfall
Ascendant Shards are a common drop from the Grandmaster Nightfalls.

Finally, you can also earn Ascendant Shards from the Grandmaster Nightfall. The shards are a Common reward from this endgame PVE activity, but it also comes with a high barrier of entry. You will need to ensure you're at the max Power level to be able to even launch the activity. You will need a fantastic fireteam to clear this, but if you're able to clear ot quickly, you'll increase your supply of Ascendant Shards in no time. Take a look at our Grandmaster Nightfall schedule to see which one is up next.

While it will be difficult, GMs are the best way to farm Ascendant Shards in Destiny 2 regardless of the season. During Season of the Wish, The Coil offers the best way to get this material (and many others), but that activity is not a permanent fixture in the game so it will not be relevant in a year. When a new season or episode releases, keep a watchful eye on the seasonal activity, as it could very well be the best way to get Ascendant Shards (and even Cores, Prisms, and Alloys).

Getting more Ascendant Shards in Destiny 2 is no easy task. These are the pinnacle upgrade material, used in taking a piece of armor to its maximum energy potential, so expect to be spending a lot of time farming for more of these. While you’re farming, take a look over the Destiny 2 guide for even more tips and strategies.

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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