Skip to content

How Long is the Free Destiny 2 Campaign? About 5-10 Hours for New Players

Hey there! If you‘re a new or returning player checking out Destiny 2 now that it‘s gone free-to-play, you might be wondering how long it‘ll take to complete the free campaigns available and see what this epic looter shooter is all about. From my experience as a longtime Destiny 2 expert and fan, the two free campaigns – New Light and The Witch Queen – will take most new players around 5-10 hours total to complete. Let me walk you through what free missions and content you can play, how long it‘ll take, and whether Destiny 2‘s free version is worth your time.

What Free Campaign Content Can You Play Right Now?

Currently there are two free campaign options for new players in Destiny 2:

  • The New Light campaign – This campaign was introduced when Destiny 2 went free-to-play in 2019. It‘s meant to onboard new Guardians by introducing you to key activities like Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit while fighting the evil Red Legion faction.

  • The Witch Queen campaign – For a limited time until February 26th, 2023, Bungie has made the acclaimed Witch Queen expansion campaign free to play for all players. Released in 2022, this campaign has you battle Savathun and her Hive forces in the fantastical Throne World destination.

So those are the two major free campaigns available now in Destiny 2. The New Light campaign is permanent, while access to The Witch Queen campaign is temporary until the end of February. Together they offer a solid chunk of free story content for new players.

How Long Does Each Free Campaign Take to Complete?

Based on my experience helping many newcomers get into Destiny 2, here is how long it generally takes to complete each of the free campaigns for new players:

  • New Light campaign: Approximately 3-5 hours for most new players. This campaign is more condensed than Destiny 2‘s original main campaign, walking you through introductory missions on the Cosmodrome, Europe Dead Zone, Titan, IO, and other locations. The more skilled you are, the quicker you can complete it.

  • The Witch Queen campaign: Around 5-7 hours for new players on their first run. This massive expansion campaign really shines in both scope and challenge. It may take you longer if you dive into the optional Legendary difficulty. Plan at least a good 5 hours minimum to complete it.

So if you add up both free campaigns, you‘re looking at around 8-12 hours of total free campaign content in Destiny 2 as a new player. That‘s a decent amount of gameplay just from the free story content!

How Long Do Paid Expansion Campaigns Take?

While only The Witch Queen and New Light campaigns are free, Destiny 2 does have other paid expansion campaigns that you can purchase to experience more of the story:

  • Forsaken (2018) – 8 hours
  • Shadowkeep (2019) – 5 hours
  • Beyond Light (2020) – 6 hours
  • The Witch Queen (2022) – 5-7 hours
  • Lightfall (2023) – Estimated 8-10 hours

I definitely recommend playing through all the campaigns eventually to fully experience Destiny 2‘s evolving story and worlds! Some of my favorite moments come from the older Forsaken and Shadowkeep expansions.

If you purchase and play through all of the current major expansion campaigns, it will take around 30-35 hours total. That‘s over a full day‘s worth of campaign content!

What Can You Play for Free Without DLC?

If you don‘t plan on purchasing any expansions yet, here is a quick overview of what content you can play for free:

  • New Light campaign
  • Early destinations like Cosmodrome and Europe Dead Zone
  • All multiplayer modes: Crucible, Gambit, Strikes
  • Limited selection of Exotics
  • The Prophecy dungeon
  • Early raids: Vault of Glass, King‘s Fall

So there‘s quite a bit you can experience as a free Destiny 2 player, like competing in Crucible or cooperating in Vault of Glass. But purchasing expansions is required to access their respective campaigns, destinations, subclasses, raids, and dungeons.

Is Destiny 2‘s Free-to-Play Model Worth It?

Whether Destiny 2‘s free-to-play version is worth your time depends on the type of player you are:

  • For more casual players just looking to dip their toes in, the free content is a great start. You can experience the basics before deciding if you want to commit.
  • For players who really want to experience Destiny 2‘s full story and endgame, purchasing the expansions is highly recommended. Each expansion campaign helps evolve the world and narrative.

Personally, I think Destiny 2 strikes a decent balance with its free-to-play model. Is it as generous as some other free games? No – you‘ll have to pay to experience a good chunk of content. But the free version lets you experience the core of what makes Destiny great before paying.

My advice? Give the free content a solid chance and see if Destiny 2‘s gameplay loop clicks with you before deciding on purchasing expansions. Taking 15 hours to complete both free campaigns and explore multiplayer is enough to know if it‘s your type of game.

Free Campaign Gameplay Tips for New Players

If you‘re jumping into Destiny 2‘s free campaigns and content for the first time, here are some quick tips:

  • Take time to understand the weapon/armor systems and find what works for you. Destiny 2 has fantastic gunplay.
  • Try out different classes and subclasses to see which "space magic" suits your playstyle.
  • Hold onto higher rarity blue and purple gear – you can use these to boost your Power level.
  • Play co-op if possible – teaming up makes taking on missions and bosses more fun.
  • Don‘t rush – explore off the beaten path for hidden items and lore.
  • Adjust your aim sensitivity if needed – find settings that work for your accuracy.

The biggest thing is to enjoy the ride of exploring the worlds of Destiny 2! Let the lore and gameplay wash over you. The campaigns are an excellent introduction to the feel of Destiny 2.

Summary of Key Free Campaign Info

Here are the key details to remember about the free campaigns available in Destiny 2:

  • 2 free campaigns currently available: New Light (permanent) and The Witch Queen (temporary until 2/26/2023)
  • Each campaign takes around 5-7 hours for new players
  • In total, plan for 8-12 hours of free campaign content
  • Free players can enjoy New Light mission, destinations, Crucible, Strikes, and some Exotics
  • Purchasing expansions highly recommended to get full story and endgame content
  • Take your time deciding if you want to buy expansions after playing free content

Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m happy to share my years of Destiny 2 knowledge and experience to help new Guardians discover the joys of Bungie‘s massive shared world shooter. The free content is a perfect starting point before taking the plunge into paid expansions. Enjoy the exploration and loot!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.