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No, Destiny 2‘s Main Campaign Is Not Free, But Here‘s How New Players Can Still Enjoy Tons of Solo Story Content

So you‘re interested in trying out Destiny 2 in 2022? I‘ve got good news and bad news. The bad news first – the original Destiny 2 story campaign and early missions are not free anymore. When Destiny 2 went free-to-play in 2019, developer Bungie decided to remove (or "vault") that content.

But don‘t let that scare you off! While it‘s disappointing not to be able to play those iconic early missions, there is still plenty of solo story content for new players to enjoy without paying a dime by grabbing the free-to-play New Light version. And if you decide to purchase any of Destiny 2‘s expansions down the road, you‘ll get access to even more exciting single-player campaigns.

Let‘s dive into what exactly free-to-play users can access, what content requires payment, and how new Guardians can get the most out of Destiny 2 as a solo experience. Time to equip your best rocket launcher and head to the stars!

Destiny 2‘s Pivot to Free-to-Play – Genius or Misstep?

First, some quick history. Destiny 2 originally launched as a paid AAA title developed by Bungie and published by Activision in 2017. The base game included a full Red War campaign that could easily take 10+ hours to complete solo. Destiny 2 sold very well initially, with the franchise surpassing $500 million in sales in its first week across retail and digital copies.

But over time, the player base dwindled and Destiny 2 needed a reboot. So in 2019 Bungie went independent from Activision, and made the controversial decision to pivot Destiny 2 into a free-to-play game. All players needed to do was download the Destiny 2: New Light client and they could join the fight against The Darkness for zero dollars.

This transition helped boost the playerbase back over 10 million monthly players. However, it also meant Bungie had to remove the Red War campaign and other early Destiny 2 content from the game. This CEO-level strategy has continued to divide players:

"Destiny 2 going free-to-play saved the franchise and resulted in its best years. But for new players, losing that campaign was a real shame." – Paul Tassi, journalist at Forbes

While Bungie got more players in the door with free-to-play, was isolating the original story the right long-term approach? Player reactions are still mixed, and the topic remains hotly debated.

Just How Much Can You Play Solo for Free?

Alright, enough backstory. What exactly is in the Destiny 2: New Light free version in 2022 when it comes to solo PvE content? Let‘s break it down:

Story Missions:

  • Introduction mission on Cosmodrome
  • Risk/Reward Exotic quest for Riskrunner SMG
  • Beginnings of Shadowkeep and Beyond Light expansions

Total free story missions: ~3 hours

Exploration Content:

  • Cosmodrome destination
  • EDZ destination
  • Nessus destination
  • Europa destination (partial)

Strike Playlists:

  • Ability to play intro missions to most Strikes solo

Other Solo Content:

  • Prophecy Dungeon
  • Dares of Eternity activity

As you can see, while the free content gives you a taste of Destiny 2‘s worlds and gameplay, there is maybe only 5 hours or less of dedicated solo story content available before you hit a paywall.

Compared to a looter shooter like Warframe that offers hundreds of hours of missions completely free, Destiny 2 is still quite limited. But there‘s enough there to experience the gunplay and abilities on a basic level.

Enjoying Destiny 2 as a Strictly Solo Player

Destiny 2 is primarily designed as an online multiplayer co-op game. But you aren‘t required to play with others to enjoy it as a new player. Here are some tips:

  • Take time to explore the open world areas. Don‘t just rush objectives.

  • Read the lore bits you find to better understand the intricate world.

  • Experiment with each character class before picking your favorite.

  • Don‘t worry about stats or meta builds, just play whatever is fun.

  • Appreciate the smooth FPS gameplay and cool powers.

  • Matchmake for Strikes if you want to easily try group content.

While designed with co-op in mind, appreciating Destiny 2 as a single-player experience is about the journey, not the destination. Take it slow and enjoy unraveling mysteries at your own pace.

Expanding Your Solo Adventures with Expansions

If you end up loving the world of Destiny 2, investing in some expansions greatly opens up the amount of solo content available. Here‘s a quick look at what you get story-wise with each paid expansion:

Forsaken – 13 story missions, 2 destinations, Last Wish raid
Shadowkeep – 8 missions on the moon, Garden of Salvation raid
Beyond Light – 8 missions on Europa, Deep Stone Crypt raid
The Witch Queen – 15 story missions and Throne World destination

Overall the expansions add over 40+ hours of solo story content to Destiny 2. Well worth it for lore junkies hungry for more quests and cinematics. The Witch Queen especially has been praised as an expansion tailored towards solo players.

Vaulting Old Content Remains Controversial

While expansions keep adding to Destiny 2, Bungie continues to "vault" old content. When Beyond Light launched, the developers removed 5 destinations, 17 PvE activities, and full campaigns like the Red War and Curse of Osiris.

Bungie‘s position is that removing outdated content keeps the game file size manageable and allows for new missions. But many fans hate losing beloved story content forever, arguing Bungie should find other solutions.

It‘s a hot debate within the community. And as a new player coming in after all that foundational content has been deleted, the Destiny 2 universe may feel hollow and confusing at first.

But try not to let FOMO deter you from at least giving New Light a shot. The gunplay holds up amazingly, and there are still plenty of mysterious to uncover as a new Guardian.

Bottom Line for Potential Solo Players

At the end of the day, Destiny 2 only offers a few hours of free solo story content – you‘ll need to buy expansions to really experience the full PvE breadth. The original Destiny 2 campaign is gone.

However, New Light provides enough fun shooting and looting to gauge if Destiny 2 will be worth further investment. And the expansions add dozens of hours of missions, planets, and activities that can largely be played solo if desired.

Destiny 2 has evolved in so many ways since launch. But through all the content vaulting and business model changes, at its core it remains a satisfying FPS journey best experienced at your own pace.

So load up your spaceship, Guardian. I‘ll see you starside!



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