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How to Play Destiny 2 Expansions for Free

Hey friend! Have you heard the good news? Destiny 2 has made all of its paid expansions totally free…for a limited time, that is.

I know you‘ve been itching to try out the new destinations and loot from Destiny 2‘s major expansions, but haven‘t wanted to fork over the cash. Well now‘s your chance! Let me walk you through how to access all of that juicy content for zero dollars down.

See, right before launching a new expansion, Bungie generously unlocks all the previous ones so players can sample them. It‘s kind of like offering free appetizers before a meal!

In this guide, I‘ll give you an overview of each expansion, when they go free, and most importantly, how to optimize your time and have the most fun during the promotional periods.

Let‘s do this!

A Crash Course on Destiny 2 Expansions

Destiny 2 has seen several chunky expansions over the years that add tons of new content to the game. I‘ll briefly cover what each includes:

Shadowkeep (October 2019) – This spooky expansion added the haunted moon destination, Nightmare Hunt activity, Garden of Salvation raid, andloads of creepy new loot. It also introduced the armor 2.0 system and deadly finisher moves.

Beyond Light (November 2020) – This expansion focused on the ominous Darkness and Fallen faction. It added the ice moon Europa, brand new Stasis subclass, Deep Stone Crypt raid, and Exo challenges.

The Witch Queen (February 2022) – The Witch Queen is the latest expansion and possibly the best one yet. It introduced the swampy Throne World destination, insane Wellspring activity, raid in Savathun‘s palace, craftable weapons, and the time-bending Strand subclass.

Lightfall (February 2023) – The next expansion is called Lightfall and brings players to the neon-lit cyber city of Neomuna on Neptune. It adds a Strand-based grappling hook, fresh subclasses, and what will likely be an incredible raid.

As you can see, each expansion adds a ton of juicy new content to Destiny 2! Normally they cost $40-$50 each, but like I said, you‘ll be able to play them for free.

When Expansions Go Free

Now you might be wondering – when exactly are the expansions free?

Basically, in the 1-2 weeks right before a new expansion launches, Bungie unlocks the previous one for all players. So right before Lightfall, they made the Witch Queen free. And before Witch Queen launched, Beyond Light was temporarily free. See the pattern?

Based on Destiny‘s upcoming release roadmap, we can expect:

  • Beyond Light to go free around January 2024
  • Witch Queen to go free around January 2025
  • Lightfall to go free around January 2026

So mark your calendars! But how do you actually access the free content once it‘s unlocked?

Getting Your Hands on Free Expansions

Accessing the free expansions is super simple. Just log into Destiny 2 anytime during the 1-2 week promotional period and you‘ll see in-game notifications about playing the expansions.

On Xbox, you may need to manually search for and download the DLC packs. But otherwise they unlock automatically.

One important catch: only the story campaigns and destinations become free, not additional endgame activities. So you can play the missions and patrol the new areas, but not try the raids or dungeons.

Think of it as a free trial – you get a nice taste of the expansion to see if you want the full meal.

Now let‘s talk about what content you should focus on during the free periods to maximize your limited time…

Optimizing Your Free Expansion Time

When one of Destiny 2‘s paid expansions goes temporarily free, you‘ve got to make the most of it! Here are my tips for optimizing your valuable time:

1. Rush the story campaign. The #1 priority is completing all the story missions before your access expires. This will enable you to experience the cinematic narrative and set the context for the rest of the expansion‘s content.

2. Explore every corner. Make sure to poke around the new destination, finding all its hidden corners and secrets. Discover where the chests and materials spawn. Having the lay of the land will help when you return later.

3. Unlock fast travel points. As you explore, unlock all the landing zones and checkpoints you can. This makes traversing the large new areas much faster, allowing you to get around better in the future.

4. Grab exotic weapon quests. Some expansions provide access to acquire new exotic gear during the free period. Jump on these rare quests while you can!

5. Try the intro raid. If your Power level is high enough, look for an LFG group attempting the expansion‘s new raid. You may be able to try the first encounter or two while it‘s free!

See the theme here? You want to frontload as much of the paid content as possible, claim any free rewards, and have the areas prepped for efficient navigation upon your return.

Think of it as packing your bags before a trip – getting prepared in advance makes the journey so much smoother!

Content Access for Destiny 2 Newbies

Perhaps you‘re a new Guardian who hasn‘t even purchased Destiny 2 yet. Can you still benefit from the free expansions?

Absolutely! All players can access the following content completely free:

  • Early story campaigns like Red War, Curse of Osiris, and Warmind
  • Core activities like strikes, Crucible, and Gambit playlists
  • Public patrol zones like Cosmodrome and Vostok on Earth
  • The seasonal story missions and public events

My advice for newbies is to focus first on:

  • Completing the intro missions to unlock your subclasses
  • Leveling up to the soft cap of 1500 Power
  • Playing Dares of Eternity for tons of loot
  • Engaging with each season‘s content and leveling their artifact

This will get you raid-ready and familiar with Destiny 2‘s core mechanics. Once you‘ve got that foundation, the free expansions will help accelerate your Power climb and exotic collection!

So don‘t be afraid to dive in as a new player. Destiny 2 has never been more accessible.

Should You Buy Expansions at Full Price?

Now clearly, the best way to play Destiny 2‘s expansions is when they are temporarily free. But what if you miss the promotional period?

Should you fork over the full $40-$50 price tag?

My general advice is to wait for a sale instead. Every few months, the expansions will be discounted, usually around 25% off.

Or you can buy the Legendary Edition, which bundles all the current expansions and season passes for a deep discount.

So unless you urgently want an expansion‘s exclusive loot, be patient and grab it on sale. Buying at full price hurts the wallet and keys to happiness.

But between you and me, the expansions are so darn good that even full price may be worth it! Especially The Witch Queen…that campaign alone is worth $40.

Free Content Can‘t Last Forever…

While we all wish Destiny 2‘s expansions could remain free permanently, Bungie does have to pay the bills somehow.

That‘s why this accessibility is limited to short 1-2 week windows. Gotta leave players hungry for more!

But our buddy Bungie is always looking for ways to make Destiny more affordable and welcoming to new folks. Like how the Dares of Eternity mode now provides high-stat armor and cool weapons completely free of charge.

My point is, if you watch the calendar and play your cards right, you can experience virtually all of Destiny 2 without spending a dime. It just takes some strategy and patience.

Pretty cool for a huge MMO-sized game, right?

In Summary: Embrace the Freebies!

Alright, let‘s recap everything we learned:

  • Destiny 2 temporarily unlocks past expansions for free right before a new expansion launches

  • To access them, simply log in during the 1-2 week period and download the content

  • Focus first on the story campaign, exploration, fast travel unlocks, and exotic quests

  • New players can enjoy Destiny 2 now completely free and still benefit from the expansions

  • If you miss the free window, wait for a 25% off sale instead of paying full price

Got it? Awesome! Now you‘re armed with the knowledge to take full advantage of Destiny 2‘s free content periods.

So embrace the freebies when they come around. Enjoy all the new stories, locales, and loot as Bungie generously intended. And maybe sneak in a raid if you can!

Let me know if you have any other questions. Enjoy the free expansions, and I‘ll see you starside!

Your loot-loving pal,




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