Iron Banner guide - Destiny 2

A thorough look at Iron Banner, including seasonal weapons, new modes, reputation boosts, and more in Destiny 2.


Iron Banner has returned to Destiny 2 and it’s a different beast. While the core principles remain the same, a lot of the overall systems have been updated. This Iron Banner guide will give you a thorough overview of each aspect of the event, the weapons and gear on offer, and a look at how the reputation boosts work.

Updated on April 7, 2024 at 4:00 p.m. PT. 

Iron Banner quest

destiny 2 iron banner guide

Before players can dive into Iron Banner, they will first need to complete the Forging Iron quest. This quest introduces players to each new element of Iron Banner, from rep boosts to challenges and rounding it out at the Iron Banner Engrams. There is no longer a seasonal Iron Banner quest as players can now earn gear by increasing their rank.

Iron Banner game mode: Rift

destiny 2 iron banner guide rift

Iron Banner used to only feature Control as its main mode, but times are changing. These days, players can expect the Iron Banner mode to rotate between a selection of modes each time it’s active. For the duration of Season of the Haunted, players were treated to Rift across a variety of maps.

Rift sees players competing in a sort of football-like activity. Teams spawn at opposite sides of symmetrical maps and must fight to control a Spark that spawns in the center. Pick up the Spark and dunk it in your enemy’s rift to score a point, ending the round. First to five wins the match. Players can revive their downed teammates, which means controlling enemy Ghosts is critical for success.

Keep a tab on our Iron Banner schedule so you know what mode is coming up next and which ones were available in the past.

Iron Banner game mode: Control

An outline of the Control game mode for Iron Banner in Destiny 2

Control is one of the most popular PvP modes in all of Destiny 2, so most players will be familiar with how it works, but we’ll outline it here for you as well.

The overall goal of Control is to capture three points on the map and defeat your opponents. When your team is in possession of two zones, each defeat scored on the enemy team is worth +2. When your team is in possession of all three zones, you get +3 for every enemy defeated. You can also get +1 point for every player who participates in the capture of a zone, so stack up if you’re in the area. In Iron Banner, if you control all three zones they will lock for a short period of time and your team can hunt down and eliminate your opponents for +3 per defeat. When the hunt is over, all zones will return to a neutral state and must be captured again. The first team to 150 points wins the match.

Iron Banner game mode: Tribute

The Iron Banner screen showing Tribute mode

Source: Shacknews

Iron Banner Tribute is a little bit like Supremacy. Defeat opponents and collect the crest they drop, then take it back to a Cabal Beacon and deposit it. There will be two beacons on a map for a short time before they change locations.

There is an opportunity to shake up the mode during The Hunt. Once the score threshold is met, Caiatl will send in a high-value beacon that increases the value of any crests deposited at it. Be careful as it will be defended by some turrets.

Earning reputation in Iron Banner

destiny 2 iron banner guide reputation boosts

Unlike Vanguard, Crucible, Gambit, Trials, and Xur’s Strange Favor ranks, earning reputation to increase Iron Banner ranks is a bit different. Players still earn reputation by completing matches and increase the earnings by gaining streaks, but they can also earn boosts.

There are three ways to get an Iron Banner rank boost: equip five pieces of Iron Banner gear (weapons, armor, and ornaments), complete Iron Banner Challenges, and equip an Iron Banner emblem. Doing all three of these offers a significant reputation boost, fast tracking your rank. If you wish to wear an Exotic armor piece, you can have four pieces of Iron Banner armor and one Iron Banner ornament, for example. Any combination works between ornaments and armor, as long as you hit the required five.

Speaking of rank, take a look at our Iron Banner Ranks guide for information on each level, the points need to move up, and what you get for resetting.

Iron Banner Challenges

Iron Banner challenges for Season 20

Source: Shacknews

Iron Banner bounties are gone. You’ll no longer have four bounties to pick up from Saladin, instead, you will have Iron Banner Challenges that reward you with gear. These challenges are displayed on the Iron Banner node and are labelled in-game as Weekly Challenges - hence the general confusion around them. An Iron Banner Challenge typically involves completing matches while using a specific subclass type. Here are the challenges (check in-game to see which subclass element you must use):

  • Challenge 1: Complete 3 matches
  • Challenge 2: Complete 4 more matches (7 games total)
  • Challenge 3: Complete 5 more matches (12 games total)
  • Challenge 4: Complete 6 more matches (18 games total)

Completing an Iron Banner Challenge will get you one marker on the aforementioned Iron Banner rank boost. There are four Iron Banner Challenges to complete during every Iron Banner event. A challenge is unlocked each day for the first four days of the event for players to tackle.

Don’t feel you have to log in each day to do the challenge; they will all be available to complete even if you wait four days to play. That is to say, if you log in for the first time on the fifth day of the Iron Banner event, you can do all four Iron Banner Challenges in a single day, or throughout the remainder of the event.

Rewards & Focusing Engrams

destiny 2 iron banner rewards

Rewards work a little bit different in Iron Banner these days. Players will no longer receive a new gun for completing a quest step (because the seasonal Iron Banner quest is gone). The new system ties new weapons to your Iron Banner rank – hit a specific new rank and earn a new weapon. You will also receive an Iron Engram at each new rank.

As for weapons and armor, once an item is earned, you can fish for a god roll by using the Iron Banner Engram focusing mechanic. There is Focused Decoding and Legacy Gear. The first is all of the recent items released during the latest year of Destiny 2 while the Legacy Gear section is all of the older items from previous years and seasons.

The cost of focusing engrams varies depending on what you're doing. The Focused Decoding will cost one Iron Banner Engram and 10,000 or 20,000 Glimmer while the Legacy Gear is one or two Iron Banner Engrams and 5,000 or 10,000 Glimmer.

You get to choose which weapon or piece of armor you focus, which means you can pour all your resources into finding some of the best god rolls in the game.

As Iron Banner continues to shift and change over the coming seasons, make sure to check back here so you know what to expect. You can also take a look at the Shacknews Destiny 2 Strategy Guide for a look at other special 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 message him on X: @SamuelChandler 

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