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"The focus is the thing that carries all your abilities. It allows you to take to take the Traveler's light and turn it into effects in the world. The focus defines how you're going to be playing the game right now, much more so than your class."
— Tyson Green

Subclasses (formerly called Focuses) are the primary way players choose their Guardian's abilities in Destiny.


Subclasses are all based on an Element, and offer the players abilities that inflict that damage type. All subclasses have at least one Super ability, a Melee ability, multiple Grenades to choose from, and multiple Jump types, several other Perks, and multiple Class Abilities starting from Destiny 2. Grenades can be shared across Classes while Jump and Class Abilities can be shared across Subclasses of the same Class.


Subclasses are the main way Guardians improve and level up. Each subclass advances independently from level, although until level 15+ these upgrades synchronize with level. New abilities, passive bonuses, grenade types, and more unlock as the subclass gains experience, with each subclass containing twenty-eight upgrades. Subclass abilities are shaped as the player levels up, and each upgrade tree is distinct.[1] In any given subclass, the player is offered a number of tiers that give the player a choice of attributes such as:

  • Grenade type—i.e homing or proximity.
  • Vertical movement—i.e short-range teleport or double jump.
  • Melee bonus.
  • Weapon specialty.
  • Passive bonus.
  • Upgrades to Super ability.

With the exception of the three "base" abilities (jump, Super, and melee), each column of three upgrades is mutually exclusive; only one can be active at a time.

Every class has two subclasses to acquire and develop, each with its own specialties. Subclass is effectively a piece of equipment that can be changed at will, much like selecting a new weapon. One subclass can be used as a competitive multiplayer loadout, while a second healing-oriented focus can be used for cooperative play. Subclasses are also meant to be synergistic with the gear the Guardian is wearing.[1]

Upon mastering a subclass, the player is awarded an Exotic Weapon Bounty from his or her Vanguard, as well as an achievement/trophy.

Originally, every Class had access to a subclass for two of the three elements of Light. With the release of the The Taken King expansion, a third subclass for each element was added for every class, unlocked through a Quest.

Destiny 2[edit]

At the launch of Destiny 2, subclasses were overhauled multiple times, with the implementation of level trees taking the former game's system place. Guardians have the choice of selecting one of two different ability focuses for each subclass, being locked into that particular path. With the release of the Forsaken expansion, another tree, usually with a new Super, was added to each Subclass. With the release of the New Light Campaign, the Upgrade Points system was removed, and subclass trees were fully unlocked upon the completion of their respective Quest.

The release of the Beyond Light expansion saw the first Darkness-based subclasses added to the game with Stasis. This new subclass had a different type of customization, dubbed Subclass 3.0, that would be applied to the Light subclasses starting with Void with the launch of The Witch Queen expansion & Season of the Risen, followed by Solar with the launch of Season of the Haunted and finally Arc with the launch of Season of Plunder. The launch of Lightfall sees Strand introduced as the second Darkness subclass using the same customization.

In this system, all Grenade abilities are shared across classes, and all Jumps are shared across subclasses, allowing for four or more jumps in certain cases. A third class ability was also added to some subclasses. In this system, the main capabilities of the class are chosen between three-four Aspects, each with unique, class related attributes. This update also introduced Fragments (Echoes for Void, Embers for Solar, Sparks for Arc, Whispers for Stasis, Threads for Strand), which are passive perks shared across classes that provide synergistic effects, and occasionally stat boosts or penalties. Each Aspect comes with a number of Fragment Slots (between one and three), which can be filled with a different Fragment each. Changing to an Aspect with less slots disables Fragments, starting from the right. This update also formalized many of the elemental buffs and debuffs available in the game, defining them as Verbs.

Players start the game with a given Light subclass, and can obtain the others after completing a Quest given by Ikora Rey in the Tower, further unlocking abilities through buying them from her with Glimmer and meditating at the nearby Altar. Stasis subclasses are obtained by completing the Beyond Light campaign, with Aspects and Grenades obtained through post-campaign Quests, and Fragments acquired by completing Bounties given by the Exo Stranger on Europa. Strand subclasses are obtained by completing the Lightfall campaign, with the first 2 Aspects obtained throughout the campaign, then a 3rd Aspect obtained through the completion of Parting the Veil Quest, then the final Aspect can be obtained after completing the Unveiled quest and the Grenades and Fragments acquired by spending Strand Meditations, which are earned through Strand final blows, at the Pouka Pond on Neptune.

List of subclasses[edit]

  • Voidwalker — hurls a giant ball of Void energy that damages combatants using the Nova Bomb super ability, or teleports around the battlefield and damages nearby combatants with the Nova Warp super ability.
  • Sunsinger — manipulates Solar energy to support allies through the Radiance super ability and bring the wielder back from death.
  • Stormcaller — manipulates Arc energy to focus the body and mind on channelling and chaining lightning using the Stormtrance super ability, or conjures a concentrated beam of Arc energy with the Chaos Reach super ability.
  • Dawnblade — manipulates Solar energy to summon a flaming sword that damages combatants caught in the projectile's path with the Daybreak super ability, cause allies to be buffed in a radius through the Well of Radiance super ability, or utilize the Sunsinger's supercharging Solar powers with the Song of Flame super ability.
  • Shadebinder — summons a Stasis staff to instantly freeze enemies with the Winter's Wrath super ability and detonate them to shatter on command.
  • Broodweaver — spawns missiles of Strand energy that explode and unleash Threadlings to fight for the wielder on the battlefield through the Needlestorm super ability.
  • Gunslinger — summons a flaming Solar hand cannon that will deal massive damage to a single target via the Golden Gun super ability, or conjures a cluster of explosive knives through the Blade Barrage super ability.
  • Bladedancer — summons a pair of Arc knives that damages nearby combatants up close with the Arc Blade super ability.
  • Nightstalker — spreads Void anchors across the battlefield to make combatants in the anchors slowed and suppressed with the Shadowshot super ability, or summons Void blades that will damage combatants and turn the wielder invisible with the Spectral Blades super ability.
  • Arcstrider — manipulates Arc energy to summon a Bō staff that can electrocute enemies and deflect projectiles with the Arc Staff super ability, throw said staff like a spear to damage combatants entering the impacted area and jolts them via the Gathering Storm super ability, or throws an electrified Arc knife to Blink and ambush nearby combatants at its location through the Storm's Edge super ability.
  • Revenant — summons and throws a pair of Stasis kamas to slow, freeze, and shatter nearby combatants entering the tornado by utilizing the Silence and Squall super ability.
  • Threadrunner — summons a Strand rope dart that will allow the wielder to whip combatants using jab and spin attacks and swing with infinite grapples through the Silkstrike super ability.
  • Striker — charges Arc energy into the wielder's body to slam into the ground and damage nearby combatants with the Fist of Havoc super ability, or allows the wielder to become a missile to deal massive damage through the Thundercrash super ability.
  • Defender — creates a protective bubble of Void energy that buffs and protects any allies inside the bubble from enemy damage through the Ward of Dawn super ability.
  • Sunbreaker — summons a Solar hammer that allows the wielder to control a large group of combatants by throwing them with the Hammer of Sol super ability, or summons a flaming Solar cudgel to damage nearby combatants with the Burning Maul super ability.
  • Sentinel — summons a glowing Void shield that can be thrown as a projectile, used as a melee weapon, and buff nearby allies with the block function by using the Sentinel Shield super ability, utilize the Defender's Ward of Dawn super ability, or summons a trio of Void axes that pulls in nearby combatants and allows the axes to be used by the wielder and its allies with the Twilight Arsenal super ability.
  • Behemoth — manipulates Stasis energy to summon a gauntlet capable of spawning Stasis crystals in front of the wielder that can then be shattered to damage nearby combatants through the Glacial Quake super ability
  • Berserker — summons a pair of Strand claws to sever and suspend combatants with the Bladefury super ability.

List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b Game Informer January 2014, page 54