With the recent conversation about the Unity engine, players are wondering what engine Destiny 2 uses. This natural curiosity has led many players down the rabbit hole of different engines, and some may be surprised to learn that Bungie uses its own engine for all of its games.
What engine does Destiny 2 use?
Destiny 2 uses the Tiger Engine, which is Bungie’s own proprietary creation and is a modified version of the company’s blam! Engine (also called the Blam Engine). The Blam Engine was used way back in the late 90s and early 2000s to create Halo: Combat Evolved and all subsequent Halo games but in 2008 the team began work on the Tiger engine.
A GDC PowerPoint presentation by Bungie Engineering Director Chris Butcher offers a lot of insight into the company’s decision-making process for creating the Tiger Engine. This engine was essentially an evolution of the Blam Engine and was necessitated by Bungie’s need to make Destiny a multi-platform title, among a myriad of other points.
We were also pretty idealistic. We wanted to preserve all of the good features of the blam engine, and none of the bad features!
Suffice it to say, Bungie does not use Unity, Unreal, or some other engine for Destiny 2. This can be a double-edged sword: using an engine like Unreal means you can tap an external support team but at the same time you cannot make changes to the engine and, as said, all support is external.
You can read more about Bungie’s efforts in various blog posts, including one from June 2020 where the team notes it’s able to create “new engine features that support a single evolving world in Destiny 2.” There’s also a Reddit AMA comment from Chris Kosanovich, former Engineering Manager at Bungie, who states the following regarding using a new engine for Destiny 2:
We updated the engine from D1 to D2 and continue to update the engine during D2 development. We'll never make a whole new engine and move Destiny to it, but any future games that Bungie makes wouldn't necessarily need to use the Destiny tech if it doesn't make sense for that game.
What all this means is that the Tiger Engine was created specifically with Destiny in mind and has received numerous updates and new features over the course of the Destiny franchise. This engine is designed to handle all the things that make Destiny 2 the great game it is today. It’s also important to note that the Tiger Engine might not make sense for a game like Marathon, so Bungie could end up creating another Blam Engine successor or might use something different entirely. Take a look at our Destiny 2 Strategy Guide for everything you need to know about Destiny 2.