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Battlegrounds is a seasonal match made three player Arena activity type, available in Vanguard Ops. Battlegrounds typically release in seasons and follow the story of said season.

Original Battlegrounds[edit]

Battleground: Hailstone.

The original Battlegrounds activity is a match made three player Arena that was released with Season of the Chosen. In it, the three players assault a fortified Cabal position and hunt down a Cabal commander seeking to join Empress Caiatl's War Council. All four of the original Battlegrounds were added to the Vanguard playlist with the release of The Witch Queen.


Battlegrounds are similar to Strikes, in that they are a 3-person activity that pits players against various obstacles throughout an extended area of the map. Players have to complete two objectives, during which they will have to fight a Major enemy (if running the battleground from the map) or a Champion (if running from a playlist). Battlegrounds contain a larger concentration of enemies compared to strikes, especially during the battle with the boss.

In the last section, the players will be presented with a post (functioning like a rally banner) that allows them to begin the Rite of Proving and fight a Cabal boss. Every third of its health bar, the boss will become immune to damage and move to a different section of the arena. To deactivate the immunity shield, the players will have to defeat a Shield Bearer (either a Major or a Champion). At half of its second and last third of its health bar, the boss will summon a Portable Cabal Shield and retreat inside. The shield will stay active until destroyed or until the boss is deprived of its remaining health, whichever comes first. All throughout this phase, an increasing amount of Cabal enemies will spawn, so players have to be quick to finish the battle, lest they be overwhelmed.

Battleground Location Council Aspirant
Behemoth Arcadian Valley, Nessus Commander Dracus
Foothold Cosmodrome, Earth Val Ma'rag
Hailstone Rathmore Chaos, Europa Basilius the Golem
Oracle Arcadian Valley, Nessus Ixel, the Far-Reaching


Completing a map Battleground will reward the player with a chest containing Season of the Chosen loot. Completing a playlist Battleground spawns three Cabal Tribute Chest that can be opened with a charged Hammer of Proving that grants Umbral Engrams, Glimmer, and other gear depending on the level of the hammer.

During Season of the Chosen, opening three Cabal Tribute Chests rewarded a piece of Pinnacle gear, and every three completions of strikes in the playlists rewarded Powerful gear of increasing rank, to a maximum of three pieces per week.

On subsequent seasons, completing three Battlegrounds from the playlist rewards the player with a piece of Powerful gear from the Season of the Chosen.


PsiOps Battlegrounds[edit]

PsiOps Battlegrounds is a three player match-made activity that released with Season of the Risen alongside The Witch Queen expansion.

In order to access PsiOps Battlegrounds, players must complete the first mission of The Witch Queen campaign then interact with a flag in the Tower hanger.


Following the discovery of Hive Lightbearers during the Witch Queen campaign, Commander Zavala, Saladin Forge, The Guardian, and Crow meet up with Empress Caiatl in order to discuss battle plans. Zavala requests Imperial Cabal support in dealing with Savathûn, the Witch Queen's new weapons, to which Caiatl agrees. The joint coalition begins to work together in order to capture and research Hive Lightbearers using the powers of Psions. The Guardian is sent in order to assist with the capture of three Lightbearers.


There are three versions of PsiOps Battlegrounds, taking place in three different locations in Sol and fighting with one of the different Lightbearer variants.

PsiOps Battleground Location Lightbearer
PsiOps Battleground: EDZ European Dead Zone, Earth Mor'ak, Lightstealer
Lightbearer Acolyte
PsiOps Battleground: Cosmodrome Cosmodrome, Earth Uul'nath, Lightcleanser
Lightbearer Knight
PsiOps Battleground: Moon Ocean of Storms, The Moon Korosek, Thronebringer
Lightbearer Wizard


Heist Battlegrounds[edit]

Heist Battlegrounds are the seasonal activity that were released alongside the Season of the Seraph. They follow The Guardian, Osiris, Mara Sov, Ana Bray, Elisabeth Bray, and Clovis Bray recovering pieces of Rasputin's sub-minds from behind enemy lines in order to bring the Warmind back into the fight against The Witness and Xivu Arath. The playlist can be found at the H.E.L.M.


During Season of Arrivals, the first of The Witness's Pyramid ships arrived in the Sol System and knocked out the Warmind, Rasputin. With the impending invasion of Mars, Ana Bray collects as much of Rasputin's data and constructs an Exo-like body to house it before fleeing the planet. Mars then disappears until the events of The Witch Queen where it plays host to The Enclave. With the reemergence of Mars, Ana Bray installs the Exo frame into the H.E.L.M. and attempts to fix Rasputin herself but fails. She realizes that she does not have enough experience to repair the Warmind and turns to the AI version of Clovis Bray on Europa for assistance. She sends the Guardian to punch a way through and finds the Vex, Hive, and the Fallen of the House of Salvation attacking the AI in an attempt to steal and use him for their own gain. With the invaders driven away, Ana takes Clovis to the H.E.L.M., installs him into the Exo frame, and comes up with a plan to repair Rasputin by reconnecting him to his sub-minds.

List of appearances[edit]