Destiny 2: Every Possible Way To Earn Exotic Ciphers

Introduced in Seasons of Arrivals, Exotic Ciphers are a rare currency type that allows players to purchase Exotics from previous years in Destiny 2’s lifespan. They can also be used to purchase an additional Fated Engram from Xur every week.

Calling Exotic Ciphers important would be an understatement. Newer Guardians will spend these Ciphers as often as possible to stock up on Exotic weapons. Unfortunately, you can only carry one at a time, so be sure to spend these Ciphers when you obtain one. Let’s go over every way that you can earn Exotic Ciphers in Destiny 2: Beyond Light.

How To Obtain Exotic Ciphers

There are currently two methods for earning Exotic Ciphers: leveling the Season Pass and completing quests for Xur. The former is much easier to accomplish since it happens passively, although you will only earn one Exotic Cipher this way. Completing quests for Xur is highly recommended for players looking to fill out their Exotic collection.

Season Pass

Reaching rank 55 in the free track of the Season Pass will grant one Exotic Cipher. Players do not need to purchase the current season to obtain this Exotic Cipher; reaching level 55 is the only requirement.

Since this is the only Exotic Cipher in the Season Pass, it is best to save this until you need it. You can only hold one Exotic Cipher at a time, but leaving this in your Season Pass effectively gives a second Exotic Cipher that can be claimed at any time. Claiming it while you have an Exotic Cipher in your inventory will waste the Season Pass reward, voiding all progress made.

To level quickly, focus on completing bounties and weekly challenges on the Director. Equip a Ghost Shell with an XP boost Mod to speed up the process.


Xur will have one quest every week that grants an Exotic Cipher upon completion. These quests typically ask for participating in core activities, those being strikes, Crucible, and Gambit. Completing this short quest will grant one Exotic Cipher. You can only obtain one quest from Xur every week. Be sure to complete these quests when Xur visits to obtain as many Exotics as possible.

What To Spend Exotic Ciphers On

Most Exotics in Destiny 2 are purchased from the Kiosk in the Tower or from Xur. In both cases, some items will require Exotic Ciphers. Here’s what you can spend Exotic Ciphers on:

  1. Purchasing Exotics from the Exotic Kiosk in the Tower
  2. Purchasing a second Fated Engram from Xur

Note that in Xur’s case, you can only buy one additional Fated Engram per visit. The largest resource sink for Exotic Ciphers is the Tower’s Kiosk vendor. Nearly every Exotic from the first three years of Destiny 2 are from this Kiosk.

If you’re new to Destiny 2 and want to focus on earning the best Exotics first, here’s what we recommend you purchase with your hard-earned Exotic Ciphers:

  1. Eriana’s Vow: A must-have for Master-tier PvE content.
  2. Ace of Spades/Thorn/The Last Word: Any of these three Hand Cannons are top-tier in PvP. Ace is better suited for PvE, while Thorn and The Last Word truly shine in the Crucible. Pick whichever one sounds the most fun.
  3. Anarchy: This is the best PvE Heavy Exotic in the game. You’ll have to raid quite a few times to purchase this weapon, but it is more than worth the effort.

Next: Destiny 2: Every Possible Way To Obtain Enhancement Cores

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Charles Burgar is an expert on all things tech and gaming. Graduating from Pikes Peak Community College in 2018 with an Associate of Science, Charles has spent his time dissecting popular video games, movies, and technology. With an understanding of games for as long as he can remember, Charles has a large interest in understanding what makes things fun. He is currently a Freelance writer for TheGamer and Game Rant.

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