From Destinypedia, the Destiny wiki
At war with:
Self-aware humanoid machines
- "All cognition is embodied. The architecture of our minds is highly co-evolved with our physical form... Given the limits of simulation, we need to find synthetic immortality in the real world. The grail of homo simulacra is an artificial body with an immortal human mind."
- — Clovis Bray I 
Exominds  (or simply Exos as they are more commonly known) are self-aware humanoid machines built by humanity in the Golden Age.  Unlike mass-produced robotic frames, Exos are human minds uploaded in artificial bodies; with the notable exceptions of Felwinter and Rasputin, each and every Exo used to be a human being. Mind uploading technology was developed by the Clovis Bray corporation during the Golden Age; many Exos come from the mysterious Deep Stone Crypt on Europa. Exo names typically include the number of memory-wiping "reboots" of their brain, e.g. Cayde-6 or Saint-14. While not being biologically "alive", Exos retain many human qualities and habits; just like any living being, they have Light of their own. They can die and be revived by a Ghost.
The Exos were the brainchildren of Clovis Bray I,  who originally developed them as a means for humans to attain immortality. During the Collapse, the Exos' memories were shattered  and nearly all knowledge of their origins lost as well. In the Dark Age that followed, the Exos helped build the Last City alongside their organic brethren, with many going on to become Guardians. 
The Exos were once involved in an ancient conflict, and Rasputin was once involved in their command, a fact that some Exos dimly remember. The conflict itself has long been forgotten and the Exo remain ciphers, even to themselves, for their purpose has been forgotten as well. However, there is one clue to their origins; many Exos experience a dream they call the Deep Stone Crypt, or the "place where they were born." It is described as "the infamous subroutine which seeded the first Exo consciousness." Cayde-6's memories stretch further, where he recalls being a human before travelling to Europa to become an Exo, as he "came there in flesh and bone. Gave everything to the ice. Started over. Rebooted."
Exos appear unyielding and tireless, to the point that appearing exhausted is often considered impressive for an Exo. Mechanically, they are so advanced that only a Ghost can comprehend their inner workings. In many ways, Exos like to think of themselves as human, or having human minds in machine bodies. Exos can also confuse armor they wear for part of their own body, which leads to a feeling of being naked.
Exos are subject to a number of unique medical conditions, being Dissociative Exomind Rejection (DER) and spontaneous Exo reset syndrome. The former is a serious and ultimately fatal cognitive disorder caused by the human mind rejecting its new body, and the latter is an involuntary self-reset that can occur without any immediately apparent cause or warning.
The Exos were designed and built during humanity's Golden Age by the Clovis Bray corporation. The original intent of the project was to develop a durable, synthetic housing for an uploaded human consciousness (an "exomind"), which would effectively render humans immortal. However, early exominds inevitably fell victim to a degenerative process termed the "loop/billboard/crash" cycle, characterized by cognitive and motor stereotypy (abnormal, repetitive behaviors), athetosis (slow, involuntary writhing movements of the limbs and extremities), and gradual loss of sapience. While degenerating exominds would still pass the Turing test for a time, they were philosophical zombies, and would ultimately enter a state analogous to brain death. This problem eventually claimed the life of Clovis Bray II, after he was uploaded into an exomind format. Crashed exominds could be restored from backup, but the process termed "billboarding" would simply begin again.
Following the discovery of the K1 artifact and the paracausal force Clovis Bray I called "Clarity", Clovis I mounted an expedition to Europa to find the secret of immortality promised to him by "Clarity". There, under the instructions of a mysterious entity he called "Clarity Control", Clovis I stole a Vex from the Ishtar Collective and used it to build a gate to a Vex megastructure, the Forge Star. Upon studying samples of Vex radiolarian fluid recovered from the Forge Star and observing its synergy with "Clarity", Clovis I discovered that introducing "Clarity"-altered radiolarian fluid, deemed "Alkahest", to an exomind's hardware miraculously solved the "loop/billboard/crash" problem. However, even this solution was not permanent, as the new generation of Exos fell victim to Dissociative Exomind Rejection.
Clovis I discovered that DER could be staved off by two methods. The first was the "reboot", which involved wiping the mind's memories post-transfer so that it would not remember its old body, and so better accept the new one. Despite the term "reboot", also referred to as "resets" or "memory wipes", the process did not actually remove memories, and only blocked off associative access to them. This was done because memory engrams were stored in many areas of the brain, causing them to be difficult to locate and delete. While effective, it was not a cure, and the reboot procedure would often be repeated several times over the Exo's life. It would also be used for functional purposes, such as restoring Exos whose minds had become "compromised," such as by Vex infection. Successive reboots cumulatively eroded an Exo's mind and their ability to retain any memories at all, with excessive numbers of reboots causing insanity. The Clovis Bray corporation estimated that the maximum number of times an Exo could be safely rebooted was around 20. As reboots did not technically remove any memories, Exos sometimes remembered traces of them. This was especially the case for Guardians, and some could gain access to these buried memories by purposefully dying. By default, Exos had a number appended to their names that signified the number of reboots they had experienced, with the original human used as the zero-index. This was inspired by the number scheme used by AI trainers to denote successive iterations of an AI, such as with Aivanti-3. Hence, to use Clovis I's example, the human Mohammed would be followed by the Exo Mohammed-1, Mohammed-2 after one reset, etc. This number was stored in the Exo's memory as hardware, and so could not be forgotten.
The second method Clovis Bray used to prevent DER was to introduce familiar organic conceits into the Exo's mechanical body, such as the drive to eat or reproduce. While these "humanisms" were not functionally necessary, they nevertheless reduced the chances of DER developing, as without routine feedback from bodily processes the Exo would become convinced those processes had failed and develop severe Cotard delusion. The "humanisms" may extend to certain sensations of discomfort, such as nausea or physical exertion, as Cayde-6 has demonstrated on occasion, though he is not a reliable source. It is not possible for an Exo to become intoxicated by alcohol, however.
During the development of the Exo creation process, Clovis Bray founded the Europan colony of Eventide to house clients awaiting uploading, and the resulting Exos.
During the Collapse, a number of Exos were present on the colony ship Exodus Indigo, which carried a group of surviving Ishtar Collective researchers to Neptune in an attempt to evade the Black Fleet. After arriving on the terraformed surface of the gas giant, the colonists discovered a paracausal entity known as the Veil, which had previously been hidden away on the planet by the Hive God Savathûn. The Veil emitted electromagnetic signals that produced psychological disturbances in the Exos present, causing them to hallucinate and in some cases enter a state of "billboarding" similar to that reported by Clovis Bray I during the initial development of the Exos. Most, if not all, of the Exos present on the mission eventually succumbed to the Veil's influence, entering a state of brain death.
Later on, Maya Sundaresh would use some of these brain-dead Exos in an experiment involving a prototype Veil interface, in which the Veil's psychic emanations were channeled through an assembly of catatonic Exos and funneled into a central recipient, along with a mental imprint provided by Maya herself. The central Exo subject in this case was Lakshmi-2, who Maya had known prior to coming to Neptune. Lakshmi regained consciousness following this experiment, but her mind appeared to have become a total or partial copy of Maya's, sharing some of her memories and speaking in Maya's voice.
At some point, Lakshmi left Neptune and returned to Earth, where she lived through the Dark Age before eventually being recruited by the Future War Cult and moving to the Last City. None of the other Exos brought to Neptune by the Exodus Indigo are known to have survived after exposure to the Veil, with the people of Neomuna centuries later believing the Exos to have gone "extinct."
After the Collapse, many Exos survived and would go on to participate in the founding of the Last City. Many would also be resurrected by the Ghosts to become Guardians. Even among non-Guardian Exos, virtually all memories of their origins and the Collapse appear to have been lost over the course of multiple memory wipes; an exception is Ada-1, whose memory has never been wiped.
- Ada-1 - Golden Age survivor and the head of the Black Armory.
- Aiza-3 - A Guardian who fought in the Red War.
- Anahera-3 - A Hunter who thought they might fall in love with their gun if it got smarter.
- Aparajita-4 - A former Hunter Vanguard.
- Atraks-1 - A lieutenant of the House of Salvation, and a Fallen Exo.
- Banshee-44 - The Tower Gunsmith.
- Caliban-8 - A Hunter who became the second Hunter Vanguard, succeeding Tallulah Fairwind after her death during the Great Ahamkara Hunt.
- Cayde-6 - The former Hunter Vanguard.
- Crimiq-5 - A Guardian who competed in the Trials of Osiris.
- Cron-8 - A renowned SRL racer.
- Daimos-22 - A Titan who fought in the Red War.
- Del-3 - An Exo who served under Sloane at the New Pacific Arcology on Titan.
- Echo - A candidate for Clovis Bray's ECHO Project who was subject to at least 2625 resets, in the process developing a hatred for Ana Bray.
- Eriana-3 - A Warlock who was a part of Eris Morn's ill-fated fireteam organized to kill Crota, Son of Oryx.
- Exo Stranger - A mysterious female Exo known for observing Guardians. She is not a Guardian herself and lacks a Ghost. Revealed during Beyond Light to be an alternate version of Elisabeth Bray.
- Felwinter - A Warlock and former Warlord who became an Iron Lord. Felwinter Peak is named after him.
- Gaunt - An Exo gunsmith known for the fusion rifle known as 77 Wizard.
- Gimble-4 - A Titan who was recruited by Adonna for a mission to the Moon to learn more about the Hive.
- Gryphon-11 - An Exo Risen who was accompanied by a young Felwinter for a short time during the Dark Age.
- Hari-5 - A Future War Cult-affiliated scholar and known sufferer of spontaneous Exo reset syndrome.
- Hungren-3 - An Exo Risen known to be an exceptional Dawnblade.
- Jana-14 - A Warlock who studied the original Thorn.
- Lakshmi-2 - A female Exo who represents the interests of the Future War Cult in the Tower.
- Lee-4 - A member of the Six Coyotes.
- Lilavati-12 - A brash Exo who refused to "follow the orders of a craven and a sycophant."
- Lisbon-13 - A Hunter and a member of the Kentarch 3, a fireteam of Guardians who entered the Black Garden.
- Manse-5 - An Exo who rode the SV-112 Predator Sparrow through the European Dead Zone, managing to destroy multiple enemy vehicles by doing tricks with the Sparrow.
- Marlenx-3 - A Warlock who fought in the Red War.
- Mattox-9 - A Titan who fought in the Red War.
- Micah-10 - A member of the Six Coyotes.
- Morgan-2 - A Warmind-commanded Exo present at the New Pacific Arcology on Titan during the Collapse.
- Nkechi-32 - A Titan who fought at the Battle of the Twilight Gap.
- Redrix-3 - A Titan known for his skill with pulse rifles in the Crucible.
- Saint-14 - A Titan known for his valiant feats who was beloved by virtually everyone he met.
- Shiro-4 - A Hunter, Vanguard Scout, adviser, and friend to both Cayde-6 and Lord Saladin Forge who resides in Felwinter Peak.
- Taeko-3 - A member of the Praxic Warlocks who helped make the Zen Meteor. She later sacrificed her life to help destroy Savathûn's Song.
- Tango-9 - A Vanguard Marksman.
- Tenet-2 - An Exo who recovered a Golden Age map to Sirius from Venus.
- Theus-7 - A Titan who fought in the Red War.
- Tinasha-3 - A Warlock who took the name Ashraven and joined the Iron Wolves. Known for her prowess in the Iron Banner.
- Yardarm-4 - A Titan and a member of the Kentarch 3, a fireteam of Guardians who entered the Black Garden.
- During their presentation at the 2013 Game Developers Conference, Joseph Staten and Christopher Barrett revealed the Exos as a playable race and described them as "sinister, powerful, and tireless war machines"; Exos were further described as "emotionless" in a preview. These statements are no longer accurate as of the game's release; in fact, some Lore material released around Season of the Worthy implies that showing little emotion is uncommon for Exos.
- Exos are able to eat and drink despite being machines - and not having stomachs.
- Some options for Exo player customization lack visible eyes.
- Exo Guardians usually remember their names upon rebirth, while Humans and Awoken do not. Lore from Beyond Light reveals that this is because an Exo's name and number are stored by their body's hardware separately from their mind, preventing them from being lost the same way that the rest of their pre-resurrection memories are.
List of appearances
- Destiny (First appearance)
- Destiny 2
- Cayde's Treasure Island Book
- YouTube: Destiny 2 Reveal - 6/9 @ 9am Pacific
- Mysterious Logbook, NOTE—WHY EXOMINDS FAIL, Page 20
- Bungie (2018/5/8), Destiny 2: Warmind, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Scan: Core Terminus, Mars
- Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Exo
- Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: The Dark Age
- Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, The Sixth Coyote
- Bungie (2017/9/8), Destiny 2: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description: Primal Siege Type 1 Gauntlets
- Bungie (2019/3/5), Destiny 2: Joker's Wild, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Lore: Dust
- Mysterious Logbook, "ENTRY 2", -07-
- Mysterious Logbook, "NOTE—WHY EXOMINDS FAIL", -020-
- Mysterious Logbook, "ENTRY 6 AMENDMENT", -029-
- Mysterious Logbook, "ENTRY 7", ENTRY 7
- Mysterious Logbook, "ENTRY 8", -40-
- Mysterious Logbook, "NOTE—D.E.R.", -45-
- Mysterious Logbook, "ENTRY 10", ENTRY 10
- Mysterious Logbook, "ENTRY 11", ENTRY 11
- Bungie (2020/3/10), Destiny 2: Season of the Worthy, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Weblore: Legacy Pt 2
- Mysterious Logbook, "ENTRY 13", ENTRY 13
- Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Looped
- Bungie (2017/8/9), Destiny 2: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Exodus Crash
- Bungie (2019/10/1), Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Never Live It Down
- Bungie (2018/9/4), Destiny 2: Forsaken, Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Lore: The Man They Call Cayde
- Bungie (2014/12/9), Destiny: The Dark Below Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Item Description, Tomyris-E2
- YouTube: "Destiny" - News GDC Panel
- Gamelynch: Destiny Preview
- Bungie (2014-6-12), Destiny: Alpha PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard.
- Bungie (2020/3/10), Destiny 2: Season of the Worthy Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Lore: The Liar
- Bungie, (3/10/2020), Weblore: Remembrance
- Polygon - Watch the first teaser for Destiny 2