Destiny 2's mod system is getting an overhaul with a buildcrafting update

Lightfall will see the introduction of a loadout system, mod reworks, and other significant improvements.


The launch of Lightfall in February will include a massive overhaul to Destiny 2’s mod system and the introduction of loadouts. Players can anticipate sweeping changes to Charged with Light and Elemental Well mods, Artifice armor alterations, and the removal of Match Game and Warmind Cell mods.

In a dense blog post on January 18, 2023, Bungie laid out its plans for the new loadout and mod systems coming with Lightfall. The whole post focused on buildcrafting, going into quite a lot of detail about how the current systems are changing and what new elements are being introduced.


The new Loadouts system in Destiny 2 showing one loadout for raids

Source: Bungie

One of the biggest new additions with Lightfall will be the addition of loadouts. Previously, players have relied on third-party programs like Destiny Item Manager to handle loadouts. At the end of February, players will be able to handle all of that in-game.

The new Loadouts menu will allow players to save and equip up to 10 different loadouts. Loadouts will be unlocked by progressing through the Guardian Ranks system and can have unique icons applied to help differentiate each build. All of this will be possible without trips to the vault.

Loadouts will be customizable through the Mod Customization menu, which is split into Armor and Weapons. This prevents the need to back out to the character screen to inspect weapons. The UI appears to be quite similar to how the Appearance menu currently functions.

Mods, Seasonal Artifact & Artifice armor

The Mod Customization menu showing various mods on a helmet

Source: Bungie

On the mod front, mods will no longer be randomly rewarded or sold by Ada-1. Instead, players earn mods as they level up the new Guardian Ranks system. By Rank 6, all mods will be unlocked. For those that have been playing Destiny 2 for a while, they will likely already be at Rank 6.

Currently, mods are locked to specific energy types. This is being removed. Mods will instead be tied to armor slots (head, arms, etc). Similarly, the Combat Mod socket is being replaced with an additional armor mod socket. What this means is you won’t need multiple armor sets to cover each element type. To make it even easier to craft builds, mod energy costs have been reduced.

On the artifact front, Seasonal Artifact mods will become unlockable perks. They will no longer take up a mod slot and will instead be applied passively to your loadout. To limit Guardian’s becoming too powerful, it seems like the Seasonal Artifact is reverting to a previous state where only 12 perks can be unlocked at a given time as opposed to the current system of all 25 being unlockable at once. Thankfully, resetting the artifact will be free.

On the topic of Artifice armor, the extra mod slot is being removed. In its place is a slot that grants three additional points to one of your stats. On the surface this seems like a nerf, but with artifact mods becoming passive, the ability to dictate where 15 points go into your stats is huge. However, this change will make it less detrimental picking a high-stat, perfectly rolled armor over Artifice armor.

Match Game & anti-Champion mods

A Guardian fighting a Barrier Champion
Source: Bungie

Match Game is being removed. This long-maligned modifier is finally disappearing, in its place will be an adjustment to shield resistances. Bungie states that shield damage across the board will be altered to 50 percent for non-matching damage types. There is also a way to deal bonus damage to shields that will be revealed prior to Lightfall.

Though anti-Champion perks will exist in the Seasonal Artifact and on various Exotic weapons, class abilities will now have anti-Champion effects.

  • Barrier Champions: Volatile Rounds and Radiant damage will pierce shields. Strand will also have something to handle these champions.
  • Overload Champions: Jolted and Suppression perks will overload a Champion, while slowing with Stasis will do the same. It seems like Bungie is making Stasis’ stunning effect official, which should hopefully make it play nice.
  • Unstoppable Champions: Blinding, freezing, or triggering a Solar ignition will stun these Champions. Strand will also have an option.

Elemental Wells & Charged with Light

Ada-1 selling an Elemental Well mod

Source: Shacknews

The Elemental Well and Charged with Light armor mods are receiving a significant rework. These mods will be condensed into an Armor Charge system. Becoming Charged with Light is now Taking Charge and will kick into effect when you pick up an Orb of Power (provided you have an Armor Charge mod equipped). Orbs will replace the effect of any mod that created Elemental Wells or gave a stack of Charged with Light.

When you do have a stack of Armor Charge, you will be able to hold up to three charges as a baseline. Equipping various Charged Up mods can increase this to a maximum of six. These stacks will decay over time if not consumed.

Any mod that gains a passive benefit from Armor Charge will cause one stack to be consumed every 10 seconds. Some mods will consume multiple or all Armor Charge stacks when activated. Other mods can be socketed to increase the decay time.

There is certainly a lot to learn about the new Armor Charge/Taking Charge system. We’ll be sure to have a thorough guide for it once we get our hands on Lightfall and start playing around. The other major Combat Style mods, Warmind Cells, are being depreciated.

The changes do not end there for Elemental Well mods. Each elemental subclass can now create damage-specific objects. Collecting one of these will grant ability energy or another effect. For example, picking up a Firesprite while using the new Ember of Mercy Fragment will grant restoration. Here are the objects:

  • Ionic Traces for Arc
  • Firesprite for Solar
  • Void Breaches for Void
  • Stasis Shards for Stasis
  • Strand will have its own object, too

There is certainly a lot to absorb here. While it is sad to see Warmind Cells go, they had their time in the sun and have since felt a bit too niche to be worth the effort. However, the changes to Charged with Light and Elemental Wells are enticing. Bungie does go on to state that the buildcrafting and mod system isn’t in its final form, that there are new elements coming in the future to “fill power gaps” that the team didn’t have time to address. Be sure to keep a keen eye on our Destiny 2 strategy guide as we cover all the new hotness in Lightfall.

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 

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