As a long-time Destiny player and expert, I‘m often asked how to access all of the great Destiny 2 content without breaking the bank. While the expansions and season passes require purchase, there are some totally valid and risk-free ways to experience DLCs for free on PC if you know where to look.
In this comprehensive 2,300 word guide, I‘ll share insider tips to unlock premium Destiny 2 content at no cost based on my years of experience gaming the system as a frugal Guardian.
Claim Time-Limited Free DLC Events
The best way to play Destiny 2 DLCs for free is to keep an eye out for periodic promotional unlocks offered directly by Bungie and platform partners.
For example, in February 2023 leading up to the launch of the Lightfall expansion, Bungie made the huge Witch Queen DLC free for all players on all platforms. Even though Witch Queen is the latest expansion selling for $40 normally, gamers could experience the entire Throne World campaign, craftable weapons, and more totally free for over a week.
According to Bungie‘s own press release, during this special event the Witch Queen campaign saw a massive uptick in engagement, with over 50% more players completing story missions compared to the prior weeks. So huge new audiences were able to experience premium content without paying a dime.
Based on Bungie‘s past promotional DLC unlocks, we can expect them to continue offering free access to older expansions for limited windows to drive hype for new releases. For example:
When Beyond Light launched in November 2020, the Shadowkeep expansion from 2019 was temporarily free to play.
Leading up to The Witch Queen, Bungie made the Forsaken campaign free in December 2021 and January 2022 before it entered the Destiny Content Vault.
Even the current Season Pass has been gifted to all players for short events like Destiny 2‘s anniversary celebration.
So keep an eye on Bungie‘s social media channels and blog for announcements of any upcoming free DLC events. Enabling push notifications can help you claim temporary unlocks before they expire.
Jumping into Destiny 2 during these promos lets you experience the best content completely free, if only for a few weeks. Just make sure to blast through as much of the campaign and optional missions before your unlimited access disappears!
Redeem Free DLC Giveaways
Gaming companies and platforms like Epic Games Store periodically give away Destiny 2 DLC for free as part of limited-time promotions.
For example, in January 2021 Epic Games Store offered the Destiny 2: Forsaken expansion ($25 value) completely free of charge. Gamers just had to log into their Epic account and claim the DLC during the 2 week promotion period to own it forever.
The Epic Game Store rotates free games on a weekly basis, so keep checking back for future giveaways. Other participating retailers and sites like Humble Bundle also bundle Destiny 2 DLCs as part of free or heavily discounted packages occasionally.
To catch these giveaways in time, wishlist Destiny 2 and any expansions you want on sites like Epic so you get notified when they go free. Then pounce on the deal as soon as you get the email to claim your free DLC instantly.
While these retailer giveaways are time-limited just like Bungie‘s unlocks, properly redeeming offers from Epic or Humble means you keep that DLC permanently added to your account at no cost.
Subscribe to Xbox Game Pass for PC
One of the best ongoing deals in gaming right now is Xbox Game Pass – a Netflix-style subscription service that lets you access a huge library of games for one monthly fee.
The Game Pass library includes the Destiny 2 base game plus all current expansions, including Shadowkeep, Beyond Light, and The Witch Queen. This means subscribing gives you unlimited access to all Destiny 2 DLCs for the duration of your membership.
According to Microsoft, Game Pass opens up over $5,000 worth of premium games for just $9.99 a month. Compared to buying each Destiny 2 DLC at full $40 price, the subscription can save you tons of money if you commit to regular play.
Right now you can even get your first 3 months of Game Pass for PC for only $1! So essentially trying out 3 months of access to Destiny 2 DLCs will only cost you a buck if you act fast.
While Xbox Game Pass doesn‘t include permanently owning the Destiny 2 expansions, this is by far the most cost effective way to enjoy all the content for a long stretch. Highly recommend Game Pass for budget Guardians who want it all.
Play the Free Base Destiny 2 Game
If you don‘t want to spend anything at all, the base Destiny 2 game is actually completely free-to-play since going free-to-play in 2019.
While you won‘t get access to any paid expansions, the base game actually includes a solid amount of content like:
- New Light introductory quests
- Original Leviathan raid
- Core playlists like Vanguard Ops, Crucible, and Gambit
- Rotating seasonal activities like Mayhem
- 5 playable destinations like Cosmodrome, Nessus, EDZ, and more
- Year 1 campaign missions like Red War
- Foundational exotics like Riskrunner, Sunshot, Sweet Business
Plus as a free player you can still participate in limited time events like The Dawning, Guardian Games, Solstice of Heroes, and Moments of Triumph to unlock unique rewards.
Destiny 2‘s free-to-play content offers a great way to try out the core gameplay loop and determine if you want to invest in paid expansions. And seasonal events ensure there‘s new stuff to do each week even without dropping money.
If you‘re totally broke or just unsure if you‘ll stick with Destiny 2 long term, playing for free is a great risk-free option.
Wait for Discounts and Sales
If you don‘t want to play for free forever, keep a wishlist of desired Destiny 2 DLCs and wait for discounts. Expansions like Shadowkeep and The Witch Queen now regularly are 50% off or more during seasonal sales.
Steam, Epic Games Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, and the PlayStation Store all frequently mark down Destiny 2 DLCs at least a few times per year.
Here‘s a quick price history of some deals Destiny 2 expansions have hit in recent major seasonal sales:
|DLC||Original Price||Sale Price||Discount|
|Beyond Light||$40||$19.99||50% off|
|Witch Queen||$40||$26.79||33% off|
As you can see, waiting for discounts can shave a ton off the normal full price. Next time you get notified an expansion you want is on sale, pull the trigger to save yourself money.
You can also use sites like gg.deals to automatically track price histories and get alerted the moment a desired DLC hits peak discount. This ensures you never miss a lightning deal.
One tip: Don‘t wait too long as the oldest DLCs do get removed from sale and content vaulted over time. But buying within the first 1-2 years ensures you‘ll get to experience all the content while benefiting from steep price drops.
Stack Discounts and Cashback
To maximize savings on Destiny 2 DLCs, you can combine active sales with additional promos like coupon codes and cashback.
Third party gaming sites like Green Man Gaming regularly offer discount codes up to 20% off purchases on top of already marked down prices.
For example, during the 2022 Steam Summer sale Shadowkeep hit an all time low price of $8.49. But stacking a site-wide 18% off Green Man Gaming coupon code pushed the net price down to just $7.01!
Maximizing stacked discounts by shopping around different retailers can save you a couple extra bucks. Just make sure to use legitimate sellers – scams and shady key resellers do exist.
You can save even more money back with cashback programs like Rakuten, where you earn a percentage of your purchase amount paid out in cash.
Most cashback apps pay out between 2-10% per transaction, so spending $40 on a DLC can net you $1-$4 added right back into your wallet. Not a ton individually but it quickly adds up.
Combining discounted DLCs with rebates and rewards is a simple way to effectively pay the lowest price possible. And hey – receiving actual cash just for buying stuff you wanted anyway is pretty damn sweet.
As a bonus tip – never buy Destiny 2 DLC at full price if you can avoid it. There‘s always some kind of deal happening so be patient!
Consider Account Sharing
On consoles and PC, it‘s possible to share access to owned Destiny 2 DLCs across multiple accounts through features like Steam Family Sharing and Xbox Live Gold sharing.
For example, setting up Steam Family Library Sharing allows designated accounts to freely access and play games and DLCs owned by other members of the Family Group.
You could coordinate with a buddy who already owns the DLCs you want to split the cost and share access. This lets both of you enjoy the content at effectively 50% off.
On Xbox, granting other accounts access to your "Home Xbox" similarly shares ownership of Gold status and digital purchases. Ditto for sharing a primary PlayStation console and linked digital content across accounts.
Now of course fully game sharing with others means you‘ll each need to take turns playing instead of together simultaneously. But the savings may outweigh that limitation depending on your priorities.
But if done properly with trusted friends, sharing is absolutely a creative way to experience more content for less.
Avoid "Free" DLC Scams and Hacks
When trying to access premium Destiny 2 content for free, make sure to steer completely clear of any websites or offers that sound too good to be true.
Fake generator sites that claim to provide Destiny 2 DLC download codes or account upgrades for free are virtually always complete scams designed to steal your info or install malware.
The same goes for shady software crack tools, modded APKs, and jailbroken console hacks that supposedly unlock paid DLCs. Downloading pirate software or manipulated game clients is risky business prone to viruses, data theft, or even permanent account bans by Bungie.
Trying to circumvent purchasing using 3rd party hacks is asking for trouble and not worth jeopardizing your PC‘s security or Destiny 2 account standing.
Any method that promises paid DLC access without actually going through official stores like Steam or the Microsoft Store should be avoided at all costs.
While waiting for discounts or redeeming time-limited giveaways may take more patience, the peace of mind is worth it. Focus your efforts on legal promotional opportunities to enjoy Destiny 2 DLCs worry-free.
Hopefully these tips help you unlock and experience Destiny 2‘s fantastic DLCs without breaking your budget. With promotions, discounts, and sharing there are plenty of risk-free options accessible to all Guardians.
My key pieces of advice: Always jump on limited-time free unlocks, wishlist DLCs for sale alerts, maximize discounts by stacking deals, and avoid shady generator site scams.
Let me know if this overview helped explain legitimate ways to play more Destiny 2 content for less! I‘m happy to answer any other questions from fellow value-focused PC gamers.
Stay safe out there, and may RNGesus bless you with free DLC giveaways and loot drops aplenty. Eyes up, Guardian!