Shackpets | Available on iOS and Google Play Store

How to get Cipher Decoders - Destiny 2

Stock up on Cipher Decoders in Destiny 2 so you can unlock as many chests in the Haunted Forest as you please.


Getting Cipher Decoders in Destiny 2 for Festival of the Lost is a tall ask. This new consumable item is the only way to open the chests at the end of a Haunted Forest run. As players are quickly discovering, Cipher Decoders are a bit rare. For those looking to farm up a supply before getting into the seasonal event, there are a couple of different ways to get these ciphers.

How to farm Cipher Decoders

Cipher Decoders are a new type of currency introduced with Festival of the Lost 2020. Cipher Decoders in Destiny 2 (not to be confused with Exotic Ciphers) are used to unlock chests in the Haunted Forest. These are known to drop from a few sources, but keep in mind you must be wearing a Festival of the Lost mask:

  • Strikes
  • Gambit matches
  • Crucible matches
  • Heroic Story Missions
  • Patrols
  • Menagerie runs

As you can see, you can get Cipher Decoders from just about every activity. There are likely more sources, but because they're so rare, it's hard to confirm each one.

cipher decoder destiny 2
Cipher Decoders should have a similar drop rate to Umbral Engrams. However, they appear to be bugged when Festival of the Lost 2020 first released.

As of writing, Cipher Decoders are outrageously rare. They are rare to the point that it’s not even worth trying to farm them at the moment. However, if you do plan on putting in the time to farm them up, there are two main methods you should focus on: story missions and patrols.

There are some Heroic Story Missions that can be completed in 3 or 4 minutes, depending on how many enemies there are and whether you can improve a speedrun route. If it’s available, Ice and Shadow is roughly 3 minutes and 30 seconds long, with the only enemies you need to kill being a Knight and Ogre at the end of the mission.

For Patrols, the best option is to get a Fireteam together and roll around a Patrol zone, completing kill and salvage patrols.

According to a tweet by Cozmo, the Cipher Decoders should have a “drop similar to Umbral Engrams” which is definitely not the case as of reset on Tuesday, October 6. From personal experience, I’ve been unable to get a cipher outside of Eva’s quest even after completing roughly 10 story missions, Crucible, and a handful of patrols.

Getting Cipher Decoders in Destiny 2 should be about as regular as Umbral Engrams. For those players looking to farm up a good supply, consider holding out for a patch, as the drop rate is currently broken. Head over to the Shacknews Destiny 2 guide for more help with seasonal activities and events.

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 Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola