If you make a purchase after following a link on our site, we may earn a small commission. Learn more.

Everything You Need to Know About Gambit Prime in Destiny 2

Destiny 2
Destiny 2

Season of the Drifter is upon us in Destiny 2 and with it comes Gambit Prime.

This new tweak on Gambit is bigger, badder, and much more intense. Let’s take a look at what you need to know for Gambit Prime.

Gambit Prime shakes up the traditional flow of Destiny 2‘s Gambit by throwing you into a sudden death, one round, first Primeval kill takes all deathmatch. Gambit Prime is wild. It’s fast, it’s hectic, and it’s not easy. There isn’t a crazy amount of new information to take in, but it’ll pay dividends to fully understand how this new and exciting game mode functions within the world of Destiny 2. First things first, let’s go over the new roles and armour available in Gambit Prime.

How to Get Gambit Prime Armour

Getting Gambit Prime armour in Destiny 2 might not happen in the way you think it would. The armour doesn’t drop randomly from Gambit Prime, but from the new PvE mode attached to Gambit Prime: The Reckoning. To access Reckoning, you’ll have to complete the Drifter’s initial quest which grants you the Weak Synthesizer, allowing you to participate in Tier I of Reckoning. Once you’ve loaded up The Reckoning, found in the Gambit tab on the Director, you’ll be able to wager a synth based on the role you wish to fulfil. To insert a synth into your Weak Synthesizer, do the following easy steps:

  • Go to your Inventory
  • Locate “Weak Synthesizer” in your Pursuits section
  • Examine it, and apply a mote of your choosing

You’ll then insert that weak Mote into the bank before descending into Reckoning and facing your challenge. Successfully completing Reckoning earns you a random armour drop for the related Mote you wagered.

You have four different Gambit Prime roles to choose from. The Gambit Prime roles, and Gambit Prime armour set perks are as follows:


  • +3: drop a portion of Motes you’re carrying upon death
  • +6: gain an overshield after rapidly collecting five Motes
  • +10: bank Motes to gain Kinetic and Energy ammo
  • +15: allows you to carry 20 Motes and bank those for a Giant Blocker


  • +3: damage a high-value target or non-Primeval ultra to mark and weaken it
  • +6: rapidly kill multiple enemies to drop Special ammo for team
  • +10: Motes generated by your kills stay on the ground longer
  • +15: kill powerful enemies for a temporary boost on grenade regeneration


  • +3: Kinetic and Energy ammo weapons gain ammo over time when invading
  • +6: gain an improved overshield when invading
  • +10: for every Guardian killed during an invasion, you’ll receive a damage buff when you return to your team
  • +15: when invading, you lock the enemy team’s bank and standing near it drains motes


  • +3: gain a damage buff against Taken, up to 5x, by achieving multikills
  • +6: trigger health regeneration by standing near your team’s bank
  • +10: mark an invader by damaging them
  • +15: when you and your team are in the Well of Light, you’ll gain maximum resilience, recovery, and mobility

As you can guess from these stats, each role has a particular task. Reapers kill the enemies that spawn, Collectors gather up the Motes, Sentries defend the team, the bank, and defeat invaders, and Invaders, well, invade. Tier I Reckoning gear will grant you a +1 for your respective role, allowing up to a +5 with a full Tier 1 set. Using a synth before a match grants a +3 to your character as a whole, allowing for +6 perks to be active with Tier 1 gear. Tier II Reckoning gear grants +2, and Tier III Reckoning gear grants +3.

In the Heat of Battle: How Gambit Prime Works

Unlike Destiny 2‘s regular Gambit, Gambit Prime is one round, up to 100 Motes to summon the Primeval, defeat it, and win the match. It’s not all that simple, however. Gambit Prime requires a vast amount of teamwork, much more than its standard counterpart. You’ll want to stick to your roles, and preferably play with friends and keep open communication. There are some new mechanics to be aware of at play here in Gambit Prime. So let’s get to it.

First off, enemies are much stronger this time around. Yellow bar, or Major enemies, are a common sight, and in general you’ll be taking more damage. Select a loadout that offers variability in playstyle, allowing you to be up close and personal once second and away, damaging from a distance the next. Find a balance that suits you. Another massive change is draining Motes from the bank. Having two active blockers on your side means your motes will slowly drain, and the rate and which they drain is affected by the number and size of the blockers. Waiting to be the second team to bank, while risky as your opponents can open the portal and invade, can pay off if done smoothly.

The biggest change to Gambit Prime revolves around the Primeval phase. Once you’ve banked 100 Motes, you’ll summon the final boss encounter. These Primeval bosses, along with the blockers you can send, have changed. You’ll see some unfamiliar, pain in the ass, new Gambit Prime Primeval variants.

Once summoned, the boss will be invulnerable. You’ll have to kill two Wizard envoys, which will then spawn a third, and final, Wizard envoy. Kill that Wizard and it’ll spawn a Well of Light, granting you a Primeval Slayer buff. This buff will increase in intensity with every damage phase, so don’t expect to melt the boss on the first damage phase. Besides, you couldn’t even if you wanted to! Your damage against Primeval caps at ⅔ of its health per damage phase.

Primeval Melt: How to Melt Gambit Prime Bosses

If you’re a Destiny player, you’re familiar with the term “melt”. This basically means “destroy the boss as quickly and efficiently as possible with the minimal amount of effort or skill”. Well, there is some skill that goes into coordinating a successful melt, especially in Gambit Prime. So, what’s the best way to melt a Gambit Prime boss? It depends! But there are some strategies that stand out above others.

  • Remember that you cannot do more than ⅔ of the boss’ health bar in a single phase. Leave the boss under at least ⅔ of its health before entering a melt phase.
  • Wait for, at the very least, the second damage phase to attempt this. Your Primeval Slayer buff gets stronger every time, so waiting until the 3rd or 4th damage phase, if your enemy team is dragging behind, is an easy victory.
  • Don’t waste Power and Energy (all of it, at least) or Supers during the initial damage phase. Do enough damage to prep for a second phase melt, or skip it completely and save everything for later on. This strategy, while not perfect for lower level players, can work if you’re prepared enough to pour everything into a the 2nd and 3rd damage phases.
  • Stack your Guardian-granted damage buffs. Use abilities like Melting Point, Tether, Well of Radiance, Empowering Rift, and weapons like the Tractor Cannon to ensure your team is putting out massive damage all at once, while also keeping them alive and granting damage-increasing buffs.
  • Utilise weapons like the Wardcliff Coil, One Thousand Voices, Merciless, Telesto, or other high-damage output Rocket Launchers, Grenade Launchers, Fusion Rifles, or some shotguns. With the nerf to shotguns and the massive buff to the Wardcliff Coil, consider re-organising your typical Gambit boss melt loadout.
  • If you’re not utilising team-oriented Supers like Well of Radiance and Tether, opt for high damage Supers like Golden Gun with Celestial Nighthawk (or at least bottom tree Golden Gun with critical damage) and the Warlock’s Chaos Reach.

If you and your team can successfully coordinate this, while staying alive, you can effectively melt Primeval bosses in Gambit Prime. Remember that the Well of Light dropped by the final envoy does not heal you. You’ll take full damage inside of it. Group up, have a plan, stay focused, and get it done.

For a great little video on boss melt strategies, check out this short guide from Gladd:

Keep Pushing

As Season of the Drifter continues, we’ll unlock more access to its secrets. With the Thorn on its way, and Tier III of The Reckoning coming soon to Destiny 2, there will be plenty more to discuss in the coming days and weeks.

Matt has been an avid gamer since he first ventured to Zebes in Super Metroid. If he's not there, he's probably racking his mind over a puzzler, running through a JRPG, or grinding Dark Souls again. You can find him at your local bookstore, disc golf course, or friendly Smash Bros. tournament otherwise. With a background in Linguistics and Creative Writing, he loves writing about anything from gaming to semiotics.