in Games, How-To

Solstice of Heroes is now a week old, and three weeks of earning special seasonal event drops, upgrading armor sets, and completing Moments of Triumph remain before we start transitioning to Season Four and Year Two of Destiny 2.

If you haven’t participated in a seasonal event in Destiny 2, or if the last seasonal event you participated in was The Dawning around the turn of the year, it might be unclear how the limited-time Solstice Engrams function. Let’s talk about what they are, how you get them, and how they work, so you can spend the rest of the event either optimizing for obtaining the stuff you want or ignoring that this grind exists.

What are Solstice Engrams?

Solstice Engrams are the method by which Destiny 2 hands out cosmetic items from the loot pool for the Solstice of Heroes limited-time event. They contain emotes, Ghost shells, Sparrows, weapon ornaments, armor glows (more on this later), shaders, and transmat effects.

How You Earn Solstice Engrams

When normally playing Destiny 2, once you have reached maximum level, you receive a Bright Engram every time you reach 120,000 experience points. You can see how close you are to your next Bright Engram by looking at your character screen and checking the bar that appears at the top.

Starting with Crimson Days earlier this year, limited-time event engrams drop as bonus engrams whenever you would normally receive a Bright Engram. Every time you reach a new 120,000 point XP threshold, you will receive both a Bright Engram and a Solstice Engram, which you then decode for loot at Eververse in The Tower.

Note that you can only receive Solstice Engrams when leveling up once you are at the level cap—currently Level 30. You do not receive Solstice Engrams from:

  • Levels from 20-30. You will receive only Bright Engrams from those level increases.
  • Bright Engrams earned via the Contender’s Shell during raid activities on the Leviathan. You will only receive Bright Engrams from those drops.

At the start of the Solstice of Heroes event, each of your characters receives one Solstice Engram for free from Eververse. The remaining engrams must be earned via leveling up alongside Bright Engrams.

How Do Solstice Engrams Work?

When you decode a Solstice Engram at Eververse, you’ll receive the following randomly-selected rewards:

  • One item from the event cosmetic loot pool. This pool contains emotes, Ghost shells, Sparrows, weapon ornaments, and armor glows.
  • Either a pack of three shaders or a transmit effect from the repeatable loot pool.

The event cosmetic loot pool operates using a “knockout system.” For that portion of the engram drop chance, if you have received one of the available loot options in a previous Solstice Engram drop—even if you have dismantled that item—you will not receive it again until you have received all possible drops from the loot pool.

This also applies to items you purchase directly from Eververse using Bright Dust. If you purchase an item from the store using Bright Dust directly, it is removed from the engram’s loot pool until you have earned all possible drops. If you plan to attempt to earn all possible rewards from the Solstice Engrams, you can decrease the amount of time and number of engram drops it will take to do so by directly purchasing some of the cosmetics from the store

You can check which items have already been knocked out of your personal loot pool by inspecting the potential contents of Solstice Engrams. Items you have already received will have blue triangles on the lower-right corner of the item icon with a tick mark. You can see examples of how this looks in my screen captures of the available items below.

What Items Are in the Solstice Engram Loot Pool?

There are two Exotic emotes, five Legendary emotes, and three Rare emotes, for a total of ten possible emotes:

Two Exotic Ghost shells, two Exotic Sparrows, six Legendary Ghost shells, and six Legendary Sparrows, for a total of eight Ghost shells and eight Sparrows:

Four weapon ornaments and five armor glows of each subclass alignment, for a total of fifteen armor glows:

(Armor glows are special ornaments you can unlock for the Solstice of Heroes armor set. For more information on the Solstice armor set and leveling it up, please read my guide here.)

Seven possible shaders, and six possible transmat effects:

Remember that shaders and transmat effects are not part of the knockout list, and can never take the place of a knockout list item in an engram decode. You can and likely will receive duplicates of these items before you have them all.

What You Need to Earn to Acquire Every Item from Solstice Engrams

Doing the arithmetic, with:

  • ten emotes
  • eight Ghost shells
  • eight Sparrows
  • four weapon ornaments
  • fifteen armor glows

There are 45 cosmetic items in the knockout list. If you have three characters who have completed the required story missions, you’ll earn three engrams for logging in at the start of the event, giving you 42 remaining drops to earn.

You’ll need to earn 11 engrams per week to earn everything in the loot pool. Remember that the first three Bright Engram levels you earn in a given Destiny week (which runs Tuesday to Tuesday) are earned at an accelerated pace of triple the normal XP gain, so spreading your time between your characters is recommended for the first nine engrams you want to earn in a week.

You can reduce the number of engrams you need to earn to complete a collection by purchasing items from Eververse directly. Ghost shells, Sparrows, weapon ornaments, and emotes are available as direct purchases using Bright Dust, and all items will rotate through the available stock over the four week period of the event. They cost varying amounts of Bright Dust depending on the rarity level of the item in question.

You can also purchase a random armor glow from Eververse for 1000 Bright Dust. The elemental alignment of the available random glow changes daily, and you receive one random slot glow you don’t already have with each 1000 Bright Dust purchase.

Enjoy the Event

As always, if you have any questions I didn’t answer, have a guide you’d like to see on my site, or have corrections I can make, please send me a reply on Twitter; I’d love your feedback. You can also follow me on Twitch here if you want to be notified when I start streaming—I often stream Destiny 2 and talk about various ways to get stuff done in the game.