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Destiny 2 players estimate 6 plus days of grind to reach transmog seasonal cap

Quite a bit of math on Reddit has put the actual number at 150 to 160 hours of nonstop gameplay due to an apparent timegate on Destiny 2 transmog Synthstrand.


Destiny 2’s transmog (or “armor synthesis” as recently called) system that allows players to have a sort of layered cosmetic armor set of their favorite pieces has been the subject of some concern by players for a bit. It’s a cosmetic system where you can either grind in-game materials to use it or you can skip the grind by buying premium materials with real-world money. With such a deviation in paths to using the transmog system, players started to working how much effort the free route takes.

It wasn’t pretty. Turns out the system’s material grind may be on a timegate and it takes roughly more than six days of non-stop active play to earn the materials you need to reach the seasonal cap. Destiny 2 redditors like alonie-homie and I3igB worked out the time gate and rough estimate of time involved. To transmog an item in your collection, you need a Synthweave, converted from a Synthcord, which must be gotten through a bounty by trading in 150 Synthstrands, and Synthstrands can only be collected one at a time every two minutes. So 300 minutes to collect a bounty.

The process of getting Synthweaves would probably seem less predatory if wasn't linked to time of play rather than the actual activities you do.
The process of getting Synthweaves in Destiny 2: Season of the Splicer would probably seem less predatory if wasn't linked to time of play rather than the actual activities you do.

Add to that the fact that you’d then have to complete the bounty, which consists of around four activities that can be anywhere from a walk in the park to killing 50 Champions in Nightfall Strikes and you’re adding on even more time. This has players breaking it down that you’d need atleast 50 to 60 hours of optimal play to reach the 10 Synthweave seasonal cap on a character, so 150 to 180 hours if you’re talking about hitting the cap on each of the three character classes.

There is, of course, another answer. You could simply skip that grind by going to Bungie’s store and buying a pack of 5 Synthweave templates for 1000 Silver ($10 in real money). As should be expected, this isn’t sitting right with many players. Bungie has never been pushy or highly overpriced with its content or Season Passes, but many would probably just prefer the dev was more up front about cost of cosmetics and didn’t use atrocious grinds to incentivize players towards spending money.

Transmog is a cool system and, as a purely cosmetic system, it’s not out of the ordinary for these things to be charged for a premium, unless you’re a game like Dauntless or Monster Hunter where a system like armor transmog has been a free part of the game for a while outside of premium packages of special cosmetics. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen if Destiny 2 will shift to be less shady or wasteful of our time when it comes to what Bungie wants for the use of transmog. Stay tuned for further updates on Destiny 2 and follow our coverage of Season of the Splicer for all the latest walkthroughs and guides.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
    • reply
      May 14, 2021 1:34 PM

      OMG I have to PLAY my game to get stuff?? The nerve...

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        May 14, 2021 4:14 PM

        You have to play this, actively (not idling) and as if it were the only thing in your life you had to do to get this stuff. The issue is the difference between a reasonable grind and a complete and utter lack of respect for yours or anyone else's time. Unless you spend money to bypass it.

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        May 14, 2021 4:23 PM

        Well, they did tack on a grind of actively playing 144 hours to hit the tiny seasonal cap of a feature people have been asking to have for years.
        In a ton of other online games, it’s uncapped and has no grind required.

        If I wanted to unlock everything, it would take something like 30 years.

        The community has every right to be frustrated with this, even if it is just a cosmetic thing.

    • reply
      May 14, 2021 4:34 PM


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        May 14, 2021 8:05 PM

        I was interested in some shooting and looting and planned on purchasing the expansions/DLC but fuck all that vaulting shit, I'm not paying for stuff that I won't be able to play.

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          May 15, 2021 5:05 AM

          that's some impressive foresight. for the most part vaulted content had been in the game for three years, free for most of two and seeing little to no player engagement.

          next weekend you can play the re-re-remastered version of vault of glass, the first six player raid in the franchise, completely free. you can shoot then loot as much as you like.

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            May 15, 2021 6:48 AM

            I don't know man, I'm not used to such a business model: feeling pressured to play things I purchased based on the possibility that they could just make it disappear any moment doesn't really entice me. Same happens with gamepass for me, but in that case I see the value (I'm not exactly purchasing, but renting at a much lower price), thing is, I like to play games at my own pace, specially for games with lots of content.

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