How to get Cloudstrike - Destiny 2

Unlock Cloudstrike in Destiny 2 and enjoy a lightning-charged Sniper Rifle.


Unlocking Cloudstrike in Destiny 2 is not straightforward. While getting it to drop is RNG, actually accessing the Empire Hunts needed to farm for it takes a lot of work. You’ll need to complete the Beyond Light campaign, a few post-campaign quests, and work through Variks’ Sabotage quests. There are reports you can have a friend launch Empire Hunts for you if you don’t have them unlocked.

How to get Cloudstrike

The Technocrat Empire Hunt on the Europa map
Once unlocked, your Empire Hunts should say that Cloudstrike is a reward. This image does not show it as I've already got it unlocked.
Source: Shacknews

Cloudstrike is a random drop from Empire Hunts on Europa. It is only available from the selectable nodes after you have unlocked them from Variks. The best way to farm Cloudstrike is to simply play your favorite Empire Hunt on the easiest difficulty, over and over again, until it drops. Make sure the difficulty you select actually drops the Exotic Sniper Rifle. My personal preference is The Warrior, as it’s the quickest (keep in mind Empire Hunts rotate weekly).

Variks' Sabotage screen
Complete Europan Explorer 2 to unlock Empire Hunts. This Sabotage quest is unlocked by completing other Sabotage missions and other Europa quests.
Source: Shacknews

Getting to the point of farming for Cloudstrike is going to take a bit of work. Empire Hunts are unlocked by finishing Europan Explorer 2 from Variks. This means you must complete Sabotages until you gain access to Europan Explorder 2, but some Sabotages are locked until you complete a myriad of other quests (they will be grayed out). To get to this point, you have to do the following:

  1. Complete the Beyond Light campaign
  2. Complete Reclaiming Europa which includes Sabotaging Salvation
  3. Complete Empire’s Fall
  4. Complete The Dark Priestess
  5. Complete Old Secrets, New Challenges
  6. Complete A Hard Rain Falls
  7. Complete Europan Explorer 1 and Europan Explorer 2 from Variks

The Beyond Light campaign is relatively short and straightforward. Completing this will allow you to pick up quests from Variks and The Stranger (Elsie). You will need to complete Reclaiming Europa, Empire’s Fall, and The Dark Priestess. Some players have also reported needing to do some Born in Darkness quests.

Variks offers Old Secrets, New Challenges
Continue doing quests (not bounties) on Europa until Variks offers you the quest, Old Secrets, New Challenges.
Source: Shacknews

Once you complete those, you should be able to get Old Secrets, New Challenges from Variks. Collect the quest and then head to Bray Exoscience to launch the mission. This is the Exo Simulation challenge which rotates each week. Completing this quest is also needed to unlock The Lament. Return to Variks to complete the quest and then go speak to Elsie.

The Europa map showing Elsie offering A Hard Rain Falls
The Exo Stranger will eventually offer you A Hard Rain Falls, which grants you access to other Sabotages from Variks.
Source: Shacknews

Elsie should now have a quest for you called A Hard Rain Falls. You must complete public events and patrols in the Eclipsed Zone. The Eclipsed Zone is indicated with a golden diamond and a meteor shower. Speak with the Exo Strange again to complete the quest.

At this point, you should be able to access more of Variks’ Sabotage quests. You will need to complete Europan Explorer 1 on the first row before you can access Europan Explorer 2 on the second row. You may even need to do a few others in order to access it. Completing Europan Explorer 2 unlocks the ability to select higher difficulty Empire Hunts, this will cause them to begin appearing on the map.

In the event Variks’ Sabotage quests are still grayed out and require more intelligence to unlock, ensure you have completed other Europa quests. Visit the Quest Archive in the Tower to check if you’ve got any discarded or abandoned Europa missions. If all else fails, you can always get a friend to launch an Empire Hunt for you provided they have them unlocked.

Cloudstrike perks

Inspecting Cloudstrike to see its perks

Source: Shacknews

What makes Cloudstrike such a good Exotic Sniper Rifle? It’s thanks to its dual Exotic perk. These let it deal additional Arc damage to targets, which is great when there is an Arc Surge week. It’s Exotic catalyst increases its power further.

  • Stormbringer: Rapid precision hits create a lightning storm at the point of impact.
  • Mortal Polarity: Precision final blows generate a lightning bolt at the target’s location.

Unlocking Cloudstrike is a long and tedious task, and that’s before you even start farming Empire Hunts for the weapon. However, once it’s done, you’ll have access a terrific Exotic Sniper Rifle that works wonders in boss DPS phases. Take a look at our Destiny 2 Strategy Guide for more help with unlocking some of these pesky weapons.

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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