From Destinypedia, the Destiny wiki
Ghost shells are aesthetic modifications to a Guardian's Ghost. During Year One of Destiny, Ghost shells were a purely cosmetic item and only two were available to players (Generalist and Frontier). As of Year Two and beyond, they now feature Defense, Intellect, Discipline, Strength, and Light stats, as well as perks that aid in the discovery of planetary materials and increase Glimmer rewards during combat.
Ghost shell lists
Perks are randomized and can vary in number, depending on the rarity of a Ghost shell.
- Detect and mark nearby Spinmetal, Helium Filaments, Spirit Bloom, Relic Iron, and Wormspore
- Draw additional Glimmer out of defeated Guardians in the Crucible or enemy races in PvE activities
- Increase the shell's Intellect, Discipline, or Strength values
Ghost shells in Destiny 2 are still largely random, with perks and perk amount varying with rarity, however Ghost shells no longer provide any stat bonuses. What they still provide includes:
- Cache detection
- Bonus glimmer
- Bonus experience
- Gunsmith telemetry
- Regional and activity bonuses
In Beyond Light, Ghost shells received an update reworking how their perks function. They now function similarly to Armor, requiring the player to upgrade their Ghost shell's energy in order to equip mods of their choosing. There are four different sockets: Experience Mod Socket, Tracking Mod Socket, Economic Mod Socket and Activity Mod Socket. Each socket style dictates what type of mods can be inserted into that specific socket, so while it is possible to insert both an Experience Mod and an Economic Mod, the player cannot socket multiple mods of the same type.
Before Year Two, Destiny game files mentioned a number of Ghost shells aside from Generalist and Frontier which were not made available to players. These included the Consensus Shell, Foundry Shell, Intrusion Shell, Shipwright Shell, and another version of the Vanguard Shell. These items were later made obtainable.