We've been playing Destiny 2 non-stop since launch and we thought we'd give you an overview of the various subclasses you'll encounter.
The active abilities for the Titan are the same across all three sub-classes and focus on the defensive aspect; you can have a Towering Barricade, that creates a large barrier that acts as cover, as well as physically blocking off areas, while the other option is a smaller blockade called the Rally Barricade, that acts as cover so you can peek over it while aiming down the sights, and it'll instantly reload your weapon whenever you take cover. Titans are also equipped with a few types of jump that range from gradual hover, to more airborne control, to a sudden burst upward as an evasive technique. The same goes for the grenades, although each sub-class has three different types of throwable explosive that can be utilised in various situations such as stick, lightning, and incendiary grenades.
Sentinel is the new Titan sub-class introduced in Destiny 2, and after the initial prologue, it's the first you'll unlock and get to play around with. It focuses on defensive play and close quarters combat, especially with the super ability, which is a light shield and can be used as a throwable or as a shield. It's supported by the passive skill tree, Code of the Protector, which focuses on defensive skills and has abilities like Defensive Strike, which creates an overshield whenever you melee someone, protecting you and any nearby allies. Turn The Tide supports Defensive Strike, making it last longer, as well as increasing melee damage and reload speed. There's also Rallying Force, where melee kills restore Health to you and friends. Ward of Dawn is the final Protector upgrade, and creates a shielding dome, or a bubble, to protect friendlies.
The other passive skill tree is the Aggressor path, and you get skills such as Shield Bash, which disorients enemies if you melee them while sprinting, and Superior Arsenal, that recharges your grenade energy whenever you get any grenade kills. In The Trenches means your Super ability cooldown is reduced by any kills you get while surrounded by enemies, while Second Shield gives you a second Shield Throw charge while the Sentinel Shield is active.
Striker was available in the first game, but has been slightly reworked. Fists of Havoc is similar to the previous ground-pound, but you can utilise it multiple times while the super is active, or you can shoulder charge through enemies. Earthshaker is the passive tree that supports it with skills like Seismic Strike, which allows you to shoulder slam when sprinting and cause an Arc explosion, and Terminal Velocity that combos with Fists of Havoc to leave an aura that deals damage, which is increased the longer it's in the air. Magnitude gives players another grenade charge and increases the duration of the effects, while Aftershocks supports Seismic Strike, in that damaged enemies from the strike recharges your grenade.
Juggernaut, on the other hand, is all about melee. Frontal Assault reloads your weapon and increases the stability with each melee kill, while Reversal means melee kills trigger health regeneration. Knockout means that your melee range and damage is increased with every broken enemy shield or critically wounded foe, and Trample extends the duration of Fists of Havoc with every kill you get with it.
Sunbreaker is undoubtedly the coolest of the three sub-classes as you become a hammer wielding fiery maestro with Hammer of Sol, the Super Ability that means you can shoot flaming projectiles at enemies. Fire-Forged is the first passive code available and doesn't stick to a particular theme, but rather has four abilities that power you in different ways. Hammer Strike is a melee attack that is unleashed while sprinting that essentially weakens enemies, while Tempered Metal is all about providing your allies with extra movement and reload speed. Battle-Forge means any enemies that fall to the Hammer of Sol explode and can damage nearby foes, while Vulcan's Rage is similar in that the hammer projectiles shatter into explosive molten embers upon impact.
Siegebreaker is the other path and focuses on Sunspots that damage any enemies inside them, but that can also be used to buff your abilities. Sun Warrior, for example, means any grenade or melee kills leave a Sunspot in their wake, while Rings of Fire - and no, not the Johnny Cash tune - means standing in a Sunspot recharges your Solar Abilities faster and your Super lasts longer. Solar Siege means thrown hammers create Sunspots on impact, and standing in them allows you to throw hammers faster. Mortar Blast makes any enemies struck by melee release a Solar explosion that sets any nearby enemies on fire.
For those Golden Gun-loving Guardians among you, your opening Hunter subclass is the Arcstrider, an energetic build that combines nimble movement with deadly melee attacks to devastating effect. Like all of the classes, when you start the game you'll be playing with your old abilities, but events which we'll not spoil here will soon lead you to taking on the skills of the Arcstrider.
It's all about the Arc Staff at the end of the day; a deadly stick made of pure energy that is incredibly destructive when used in the right circumstances. When you've charged your super make sure you're near a large group of enemies and then let rip. The Arcstrider will then dance through your adversaries, each hit of their staff causing huge damage and wiping out all but the hardiest of enemies.
After that, it's time to make some decisions. Marksman's Dodge is an evasive move where you also reload your weapon, a helpful manoeuvre for sure. Gambler's Dodge, the alternative, speeds up the recharge on your melee (also helpful). Beyond the natural ability to dodge, Hunters can still double jump, triple jump, and strafe mid-jump. The grenade options include the lightning-filled Arcbolt Grenade, the dividing Skip Grenade, and our favourite, the Flux Grenade, the closest thing to a sticky grenade as thrown by one John 117. Blue balls!
Later on, once you hit level 8, you'll choose a cluster of passive abilities. Way of the Warrior links dodging and melee, so the more you hit enemies, the more you can dodge and the better your range and potency get. It's a build that encourages aggressive play, but you'll have to be able to move deftly to pull it off. Way of the Wind, however, makes you a faster, more nimble warrior, disorientating your foes, and even recharging your grenades and melee attacks much faster when you're in a pinch and taking damage.
Gunslinger is the Golden Gun-wielding subclass that players have been enjoying since the very beginning of our collective time with Destiny. The Way of the Outlaw skill tree rewards accurate shooting by buffing nearby allies with a faster reload, as well as offering six quick-fire golden shots and an explosive throwing knife.
The other passive route is Way of the Sharpshooter, which puts the focus firmly on accuracy, and rewards a steady aim with Orbs of Light for your friends, a quick charging knife attack, and even increased duration and damage for the Golden Gun attack. Apart from its own trio of grenades to choose from, the jump options and dodge ability endure across all three Hunter subclasses.
Nightstalker, on the other hand, is once again the support-focussed Hunter subclass, with the Void Anchor that players can use to tether opponents, leaving them open and vulnerable to attack. Way of the Trapper is better at pinning down their opponents than ever before with the Void Anchor. You can throw out long-range smoke traps, move faster (both while sprinting and during stealth), and if you dodge you'll disappear from sight for a short period of time.
Finally, Way of the Pathfinder offers passive boosts for nearby friends and gives you more distractions for them to take advantage of (as well as grenade and smoke effects that last longer). On top of that, enemies tethered by the Shadowshot drop Orbs of Light for the rest of the team to grab and therefore speed up their own special attacks, making it the perfect subclass for a supportive player in a well-oiled team.
Last, but by no means least, is the new Warlock subclass, Dawnblade. Great name, by the way. The new super is Daybreak, but instead of hearing birdsong, your opponents will hear the sound of flaming projectiles raining down from on high. Sounds utterly delightful if you ask us.
The class abilities are focussed on healing and/or empowering your teammates, so this is very much a class for those who like to be the beating heart of a coordinated team. By throwing down Healing Rift you'll drop a circle in which those standing will have their health continually replenished. Empowering Rift, on the other hand, goes the other way, and instead of healing your comrades, it boosts their attack power, which is particularly useful if you're trying to cap an objective in the Crucible, or if you're holding out against a particularly challenging boss.
Just like Titan and Hunter, the Warlock has three grenades to choose from - Solar, Firebolt, and Fusion - but the class is perhaps most notable because of your options regarding jump. We say jump, but we mean glide, because the graceful aerial glide is one the most defining elements of the class; players can choose between a balanced jump, a quicker "burst" of movement, and a strafe option that gives you more directional control.
It's the passive abilities that really let Warlocks specialise. The Attunement of Sky pathway leans more towards enhancing player movement. If you score a kill in mid-air your melee and grenade energy bars will refill, and part of the same unlock ensures casting Daybreak will refill all ability energy. Players can also fire weapons and throw grenades mid-glide, and even dodge while still in the air. Finally, melee hits will flame-grill opponents and increase reload and movement speed.
The other pathway is Attunement of Flame, which is more combat orientated. Igniting Touch is a great unlock that sees enemies hit with melee attacks burn and eventually explode once killed. There are mobility improvements, namely Warlocks can crouch while gliding, and doing so will have them descend quickly and boost their health, which will be handy if you're taking damage as you jump between platforms. The final two abilities revolve around Daybreak, with the super's duration extended, as well as eventually targeting enemies and producing additional flame damage upon impact.
Stormcaller makes its return, although some key changes have been made. Attunement of Ions offers a nice mix of class improvements. Players will be melee opponents with Arc energy also chaining between nearby enemies. There's a Dishonored-like blink move that lets players teleport when pulling off the Sith-like Stormtrance super, and if players initiate a super with full grenade and melee bars, your electrical attack will last longer and regenerate your health.
Elsewhere the Attunement of the Elements path accentuates your electrical melee ability, recharging your grenade and melee abilities, as well as your Super. Speaking of which, these passive buffs include Landfall, whereby you fire a bolt of lightning underneath you when you call on Stormtrance. Rising Storm charges the class-wide rift abilities, and you can unlock an Arc Soul that drops with your rift, potentially helping out a friend in need during battle.
Finally, there's the Voidwalker, who once again returns to the battlefield with their Nove Bomb special, alongside the class-wide rift abilities and glide options. Attunement of Chaos is an explosive way to play, with melee attacks charging grenades, and you even have the option of using your super gauge to power up your grenade. If you want even more explosions than Void ability kills cause enemies to explode, and you can also buff the Nova Bomb attack so it splits into smaller projectiles that target enemies.
Attunement of Hunger offers players the chance to feed their own skills. Devour (and Insatiable, which extends the same ability) sees melee kills regenerate your health bar, with subsequent kills also healing you for a time after. Voidwalkers can also consume their grenade energy, turning that into health. Finally, Vortex is an enhancement to the Nova Bomb that traps enemies in a singularity and damages them constantly.