Destiny Guide: Surviving the Crucible

Use these quick tidbits of knowledge to stay ahead of the enemy.


For frequent Call of Duty or Battlefield players, the player-versus-players aspect of Destiny, known as the Crucible, is going to come as somewhat as a shock. Where most modern-day first-person shooters are about a combination of skill and finding that winning loadout, Destiny is more about proper preparation and understanding. For the most part the playing field has been leveled, thus rewarding those who take the time to master the PVP system that Bungie has birthed.

We’ve been spending a lot of time in the Crucible as of late and while it hasn’t gone as smooth as we would like to say it has, we’ve kept grinding away to try and really get a grasp of how the game sequence works. These tips are the results of the time we spent bashing our heads into our controllers as we mastered the dark alleys of the Crucible.

Map Knowledge

This is such staple item in many online competitive games that players spend their time in. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it is still one of the most important aspects to keep in mind when hopping into a game. It doesn’t matter how good of a player you are, if you don’t have proper map knowledge, and aren’t aware of flank routes and high traffic areas – you are going to fail. This knowledge should stem not only from having played or studied the maps hour after hour, but also from the experiences that the player has seen. For example, if you’re staring down one flank route, and there are two ways for players to cross in front of you, you’re going to want to keep an eye out and see which route other players are most likely to take. Holding onto this knowledge will allow you to predict player movements and allow you to strike out at them that much faster.

The Buddy System

Having good, reliable teammates is almost always a benefit, but in the Crucible the time-to-kill (or TTK) makes it an absolute must to play with people you can trust. In Destiny players don’t go down in two shots as they do in other FPS games, instead you must time a barrage of well-placed shots in order to successfully take an enemy down before running out of ammo. This makes it extremely hard for even one skilled player to successfully defeat two unskilled players. We highly suggest players not head into the Crucible unless they have a friend they can communicate with standing by to watch their back.

Bogie Ten O'Clock

Although preparation and teamwork are massive parts of the best Crucible experience, there is another side to the story. Each player is given a minimap, or radar, when they spawn in. This map shows the locations of any players within an immediate vicinity, save for a few special cases. To keep track of enemies look out for the bright red indicator that points in their direction around the edge of your minimap. If that player is crouched, however, they may vanish from the minimap briefly, but will show up once every 5 seconds. If enemies are within radar range and are above or below the player they will show up as faded red indicators. The biggest thing to keep in mind with this is that players will always know where their enemy is, and their enemy will always know where they are too.

Effective use of the minimap can be the difference between winning or losing a gun fight in the Crucible. Players must teach themselves to plan ahead and keep one eye on the revolving radar so that they don’t walk into any ambushes or become surprised by gun fights when running around a corner. Whether the player is setting up for a pre-fire or their prey vanishes on the map, consulting their minimap is going to ensure that they live to take another life.

Heavy Ammo Here

Heavy ammunition should probably considered the unsung hero of the Crucible. It was astounding in our time spent grinding that so many people simply walked by these clearly marked crates and into their death without thinking twice about it.

If you’ve spent any time in strikes, or heavy enemy areas you know just how damaging the Rocket Launchers and Machine Guns can be in Destiny. This still applies to the Crucible. Even though the TTK is significantly higher than in many FPS games, that doesn’t change the fact a well-placed rocket or spray of machine gun rounds is going to inflict great amounts of damage.

That is why ignoring the special marked crates of purple Heavy Ammunition is a terrible idea. Combine the high damage you gain from these weapons along with the other tips we’ve listed here and you’re sure to become a killing machine as you rise through the ranks of the Crucible.

Aim for the Head

Many players instinctively aim for the body when playing FPS games. Whether this stems from the idea of “a larger target is easier to hit” or just the opinion that “I can put more shots into his chest”, the solid blunt truth is you’re doing it wrong. The head is the sweet spots, and yes we know it’s rather small when rushing through the overgrown confines of the assorted maps that Destiny’s Crucible has to offer, but each hit you put into the enemy’s skull is one less bullet you have to fire to take them down.

This idea twists once you enter close quarters, however, as most Guardians are going to resort to hipfire to stay alive. At this point you’ll want to place your crosshair directly in the middle of your opponent’s chest (or as close to it as you can) and pull the trigger in small controlled bursts. Even in face to face combat you want to minimize the amount of spraying and praying you’re doing to ensure each shot actually counts when it leaves the barrel of your gun.

Pay attention to your minimap, learn the maps you’re playing on, tag team with a friend to watch each other’s backs, don’t ignore the crates of purple Heavy Ammunition, and aim straight for the noggin of those sweet innocent little guardians trying to take your flag. Grab onto these tips and show your enemies you mean business.

May the odds be ever in your favor Guardians.

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