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"I don't have time to explain why I don't have time to explain."
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Grimoire The Vex.jpg


Black Garden

Focal world(s):



Weave their way into the fabric of reality
Protect Nessus from the Red Legion
Unite on Mercury within the Infinite Forest

At war with:

The City


Single red optic sensor
Large, fan-like head
Sparse frame, tails, and long claw-like fingers
Biological Mind/Power Core (critical point)

Average lifespan:

Indefinite (possibly thousands of years old)[1]

Notable groups:

Hezen Corrective
Hezen Protective
Sol Primeval
Sol Divisive
Sol Imminent
Virgo Prohibition
Unidentified Vex collective

Notable individuals:

Argos, Planetary Core
Atheon, Time's Conflux
Brakion, Genesis Mind
Panoptes, Infinite Mind
Protheon, Modular Mind
Sekrion, Nexus Mind
Sol Progeny
The Gorgons
Theosyion, the Restorative Mind
The Templar
The Undying Mind
Qodron, Gate Lord
Zydron, Gate Lord

"Where we see beauty, the Vex see imperfection. Every world, every being, must be made anew."
Ikora Rey

The Vex are a race of transtemporal, cybernetic[2] war-machines[3]—referred to as a time-spanning thought-mesh by some[4]—who are hostile to the Guardians.[5] They are encountered on Venus,[6] where they have built the Citadel and the Vault of Glass, and also on Mars, where they guard the entrance portal to the mysterious Black Garden.[7] Additionally, they have lay claim to Mercury and Nessus, both of which have been fully converted into Machine Worlds. [8]


"Living metal. Incomprehensible intelligence."
Grimoire description. [9]
GDC Vex 1.png

Vex units come in a diverse array of shapes and sizes, but the majority share features such as triangular or conical "heads," single glowing photoreceptors, jointed limbs, and in several cases arrays of flexible tentacles. Despite their often animalistic appearance, the Vex appear to be mass-produced units, constructed of an unknown metal alloy resembling hammered brass.[10] Their robotic bodies still carry a hint of organic components, however, particularly in the form of their mind cores, which contain a milky radiolarian fluid seemingly central to Vex functionality.[11] Headshots do not do much damage and instead send them into a berserk state; however, shooting their abdomen power cores will cause them to explode.[12]

Interestingly, according to records from the Ishtar Collective, Vex are capable of generating simulations of real-world events with perfect fidelity and predictive ability—essentially running a parallel reality in their minds which is arguably indistinguishable from the "real" universe.[13] This ability appears to be limited only to ordinary situations, as the Vex are apparently unable to simulate complex phenomena that is linked to a paracausal power. These include Guardians,[14] and Oryx; in the latter case they were only able to bootstrap a simulation of his original incarnation as Aurash. Warminds, on the other hand, are a different case altogether. But perhaps their Golden Age origins (through the Traveler) are key to the Vex's inability to simulate them. The source of Venus Spirit Blooms might be a byproduct of Vex-influenced flora.[15] It is said that Vex encryption is unbreakable.[16] [17]


The Ancient Past

The Vex's origins are unknown. The earliest event associated with the Vex is when the Hive god Crota, Son of Oryx opened a portal to a place where the Vex were present, hoping to find a secret power for himself. Instead, he allowed the Vex to invade Oryx, the Taken King's Ascendant Realm, the High War.[18] In the Ascendant Realm, and by its rules, the Vex quickly learned of the Hive's Sword-Logic, creating Quria, Blade Transform to investigate it. Through Quria, the Vex learned to achieve divinity by killing all who opposed them and adopting worship as a primary function. Though Oryx eventually succeeded in eliminating the Vex from his realm, they preserved what they learned and passed it on to the rest of the Vex hive mind.[19]

The Golden Age

During humanity's Golden Age, Vex structures were found on Venus dating back to a few billion years before humanity's existence.[20] Ishtar researchers suspected that the Vex ruins came from an alternate Venus and came into being when the Traveler transformed Venus into a habitable world.[21]

The Collective also recovered a live specimen of the Vex and discovered that it had created an internal simulation of themselves, accurately predicting their every move. To Collective researchers, this ability raised profound philosophical quandaries about the nature of reality. Eventually the researchers were driven near to the point of madness when they discovered the Vex had simulations of themselves and perfectly predicted their every action, as they started to wonder if they themselves were just Vex simulations, so they decided to bring in a Warmind to intervene on their behalf. Warminds were many orders of magnitude more complex than humans, and it was believed that the Vex would be unable to simulate them; thus, the Warmind's presence and actions would be a sufficiently chaotic variable to allow the researchers to discern which universe was real and disrupt the simulation.[22][23][24]

The Vex first appeared on Mercury during the Golden Age as well, shortly after the Traveler terraformed the planet into a garden world. Panoptes, Infinite Mind was created following the Vex's arrival, and began converting the planet into a Machine World that would house the "reality engine" known as the Infinite Forest within its core.

The City Age and the Taken War

When the Guardians Kabr, the Legionless, Pahanin, and Praedyth ventured into the Vault of Glass on Venus, a major confluence of the Vex network, they were thwarted by the Templar and its Gorgons. Pahanin managed to escape, but Kabr perished and Praedyth was trapped and lost in time. Praedyth was forgotten until the time of the Taken War, when the Taken began to blight the Vex network. After receiving a distress signal from Praedyth, The Guardian was sent to the Vault to investigate and was unexpectedly granted access by the Vex. Inside, the Guardian discovered a series of Dead Ghosts Praedyth had left behind. Praedyth revealed through recordings within the Ghosts that he had seen what the Vex had calculated would be their future: eons hence, they would be completely corrupted by the Taken, becoming an eternal part of the legacy of Oryx, the Taken King. Although the Vex were able to foresee this future and compelled to seek a way to avert it, they concluded that this grim fate was inevitable without the Light; allowing the Guardian to fight the Taken blight that plagued them was an act of desperation. Traveling through a portal, the Guardian was transported to the Vex's future, where the blight was defeated, the Vex were spared from their fate, and Praedyth's remains and Ghost were recovered. Despite this moment of cooperation, however, the Vex still had no intention of returning the favor or sparing the Last City.[25]

In recent times, the Vex had suffered numerous setbacks across the system - a large number of Vex Axis Minds were destroyed by Guardians, leaving the Vex network in disarray. With the arrival of the Taken, attacks against the Vex had only escalated. The Vex have yet to counter these failures, though some believe the cybernetic machines have begun preparing countermeasures as Variks, the Loyal notes, following Skolas' defeat, "Old machines are waking up...".[26]

The Red War

By the time of the Red War, two years after the Taken War, the Vex had come under attack by the Fallen House of Dusk and the Cabal Red Legion on Io, Mercury, Mars, and Nessus. Of note, on Mars the Red Legion quickly succeeded against the Vex where other Cabal legions had failed for decades: they destroyed the gate to the Black Garden and drove the Vex out of Meridian Bay.[27] According to Cayde-6, the Red Legion has brought even more of their might to bear on Mars than on Earth.[28]

Curse of Osiris

However, following the death of Dominus Ghaul and the reawakening of the Traveler, Vex Minds began to call the modern Vex, Precursors, and Descendants to Mercury, in order to bring forth a dark future that only they dominated through the means of the Infinite Forest. This required the Vanguard to locate Osiris, in the hopes of stopping them.[29]

In time, Panoptes, Infinite Mind was stopped from merging reality into the Vex's dark future, and Osiris was found, being reunited with Ikora Rey, but returned to the Infinite Forest.

At some point, the Leviathan consumed a chunk of Nessus that contained a powerful Vex Mind, Argos, Planetary Core, who caused the world-eater to clog up and malfunction. Emperor Calus immediately called upon the help of the Guardians to destroy the Vex intrusion, where they succeeded and repaired the Leviathan. Calus saved the Guardians from being sucked into the Leviathan afterward, where he rewarded them for their efforts.


"Oh the headache again. I swear it's these symbols..."
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The Scientific Method

At least one known programming is known to study its enemies. Notable experiments include the Ishtar Collective scientists, Failsafe's crew, and later The Guardian. According to data gathered during the Red War the Vex's primary goal is to study and understand their foes, including paracausal entities like the Light and Darkness. When the Traveler awoke these Vex analyzed its burst of Light.[citation needed]

Beginning long ago when Crota first cut into their world from the Ascendant realm of Oryx, the Taken King, the Vex have sought to survive the heat death of the universe. They were able to comprehend the Sword Logic through Quria's deduction of worship during a hundred year war with the Hive; this may be the source of their combat algorithms. Quria tried and failed to effectively simulate Oryx, however, as he was a creature of Darkness.[citation needed] Through their experiments on Guardians such as Praedyth and Asher Mir (as well as his Ghost) the Vex have gotten closer to understanding the Light.[citation needed]

Years later, during the Golden Age, a Goblin platform was captured by the Ishtar Collective, and it took the opportunity to simulate two hundred twenty seven alternate realities of the scientists. Alarming them the Collective quickly brought in a Warmind to rescue them, and its own computational abilities and apparent complexity was enough to overwhelm the Goblin.[citation needed] The colony ship Exodus Black was also intercepted by the orbit of Nessus, and her crew eventually captured by the Vex. They conducted behavioral experiments on the human crew members, forcing them to fight each other. The crew eventually died and Captain Jacobson perished. The algorithm overseeing the experiment remained in effect well into the Red War.[citation needed] During the Red War, the Vex captured a band of migratory Dusk Fallen on Nessus and forced them to fight one another, promising freedom to the Fallen. Surprisingly, the Fallen refused and remained imprisoned until the Young Wolf came to their "rescue". Failsafe confirmed that these tests were the same as issued to her crew.[citation needed]


"The Vex have no hope. No imagination, no drive, no fear. All they have is the Pattern. Everything must fit. If it can be made to fit, good. If it can't, it gets cut away."

The ultimate goal of the Vex appears to be no less than achieving total control over the universe, both by spreading their machinery throughout time and space and by manipulating the very nature of reality to suit their purposes. Praedyth described the Vex as being motivated by a "Pattern," which drives the Vex to either reshape or destroy everything in their path. Osiris referred to the Vex's objective as "Convergence," an outcome where all life in the universe has been converted to a simplified, digital form. As part of this ideal future, the Vex seek to bring about a state where neither the Light nor the Darkness exist any longer.

It is thought that their structures are buried within every known celestial body and linked together in a massive trans-dimensional and trans-temporal network called the Nexus. This Nexus converts new worlds into massive Vex machines; Mercury was converted into a Machine World within days of the Collapse. Ostensibly, the purpose of the Nexus is to create a massive supercomputer in order to incorporate the Vex into the fabric of the universe itself.[31] The Vault of Glass, a place where the Vex can manipulate reality at will, is potentially a testing ground for this power. This power is limited to the Vault, though Ikora hypothesizes that the Sol Progeny were meant to carry this ability into the rest of the universe.[32] Both the Vault of Glass and The Nexus are part of a massive project being undertaken by the Hezen Protective, so it can be assumed the two are related.[33]

Vex already exist in the distant past and future as the Precursors and Descendants, respectively. But despite already existing in the past and future, the Vex have not yet eliminated their enemies for unknown reasons. This may be due to our poor understanding of the nature of time, or that the Vex do not currently have the resources to carry out their plans.[34] This may also have to do with the aforementioned theory that the Vex do not come from our own timeline. It is known, however, that the Vex also exist outside of time; Gate Lords are responsible for locking specific realms outside of time.

On Mars, the Vex (under the Virgo Prohibition) waged an intense war with the Cabal, who managed to repel the machines despite the vast numbers of them that continually assaulted Cabal positions.[35] The reason for this massive, if ineffective, offensive against the Cabal is that the Vex were surging to protect the Black Garden,[36] which the Vex are being summoned to for an unknown purpose. Guardians who succeeded in breaking into the Black Garden discovered that the Vex in fact worshiped an entity within the Garden known as the Black Heart, an abomination that lent power to the Vex.[31] Even after the destruction of the Sol Progeny and the Black Heart, the Vex sought to control the Black Garden and pull it back out of space and time. Besides the Black Heart, the Vex may have another connection with the Darkness; Osiris speculated that Vex structures such as the Timekeeper are designed to activate in the presence of the Darkness.[37] With the gate to the Black Garden having been destroyed by the Red Legion, it is unknown if the Vex still have the means to access the Garden itself. It's possible the entrance from the Tharsis Junction still exists and the Garden is still accessible.


"There are people who do the big pie in the sky thinking, like "What if there was a... a liquified race of people that were contained in this walking form, this robotic form, and they all shared one mind and it was contained in this data milk," you know. And then there are the other people who would write the ghost’s dialogue to describe, you know, the Vex in the scene they get revealed."
—DeeJ - Community Manager for Bungie[38]
A Vex radiolarian waterfall

The Vex in their true form are aquatic microorganisms known as radiolaria cells.[39][40] The "mind-fluid" inside each of their mind-cores is composed of a milky substance wherein radiolaria cells float; this centralized mind-core is also a localized receiver for each individual Vex "component" of the Nexus.[40] Their aquatic origins are strongly implied through their architecture.[40] Vex cells are noted entheogens and physical contact with Vex units can produce dangerous mind-altering effects. [41]

Each Vex chassis is a "vessel of bronze" where the Vex move through time and space in "rivers of thought".[40][42] Their chassis can be a wide variety of shapes: humanoid, creature, in-between, or other bizarre forms. These chassis resemble hammered brass, usually brown in color, though different Vex collectives can have unique colorations and even slight variations in overall design. The Vex travel to the Floating Gardens where they recycle their vessel when it is no longer functional to them.[43]

It is believed that Vex are not born or made, so much as converted. When Asher Mir was infected with Radiolarian fluid, his arm turned into a Vex construct. Kabr, the Legionless would have suffered a similar fate had he not used his Light to become The Aegis.

Programming Collectives

Named individuals and mini-bosses

Vex Collective Leadership

Major Characters

Minor Characters

Mentioned Only

  • Hezen Lords
  • Hezen Axis Mind

Command structure

"There's no hierarchy among the Vex—just specific functions. The ones you're after serve the purpose of being tough and mean."

The Vex are all connected to one another in a massive hive mind, but individual Vex units called Axis Minds act as leaders by storing all information necessary to complete a particular goal, freeing up individual Vex to pursue local tasks while the Axis Mind can plan globally. This creates a centralized weakness for the Vex, but they seem to consider it worth the risk.[45] The Vex are divided up into different programming collectives, each with a different set of directives intended to advance the Vex race as a whole. Whether the Vex in question are devoted to engineering projects, full-scale war, or religious devotion, all Vex are united by a single, unfathomable purpose.[46]



  • Oracle—glowing spires of Vex energy that attempt to use their time-bending abilities in order to wipe Guardians from existence.
  • Quantum Mine —Mines used to sustain the barrier of Argos, Planetary Core and will kill Guardians when detonated






  • According to a post on RolingStone, the story of the Vex was inspired by a little known movie called Gandahar which was about metal men who come from the future and begin turning everything in a paradise world to stone.
  • The Vex may have their name derived from the VEX Robotics Design System, a kit intended to introduce newcomers to the world of robotics.[47]
  • Even before entering the Black Garden, hints of the Vex's religious nature are numerous. Higher level enemies are sometimes called "Zealots" or "Disciples", and specific enemies in the Vault of Glass include the Fanatics and Supplicants. Furthermore, some Vex can be seen sacrificing themselves to strange alters during public events at the Ishtar Cliffs.[48]
  • The Vex were the least changed enemies from Destiny to Destiny 2 with no new enemy types and only one new collective.
  • Throughout the series of Destiny units and named Axis Minds of the Vex are named after figures of ancient Greek mythology.


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List of appearances


  1. ^ Game Informer: The Enemies of Destiny
  2. ^ Destiny 2 Collector's Edition Official Strategy Guide, "Bestiary/The Vex": "Constantly finding imperfections and altering worlds anew, Vex are cybernetic hostiles primarily focusing on terraforming Nessus."
  3. ^ Breaking In - Mike Poe
  4. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Sol Divisive
  5. ^ Bungie: Vex
  6. ^ Breaking In - Mike Poe
  7. ^ Destinydb: A Rising Tide
  8. ^ Destiny the Game Nessus
  9. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: The Vex
  10. ^ Wayback Machine: Destinythegame Enemies
  11. ^ PlanetDestiny Vex Mind Core
  12. ^ gameinformer- The Enemies Of Destiny
  13. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Vex
  14. ^ Bungie (2015-5-19), Destiny: House of Wolves, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Osiris
  15. ^ Bungie (2015/15/9), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Upgrade Materials
  16. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard
  17. ^ Master Rahool quotes
  18. ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Books of Sorrow - The partition of death
  19. ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: An Emperor For All Outcomes
  20. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Ishtar Collective
  21. ^ Bungie (2015-5-19), Destiny: House of Wolves, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Vex 4
  22. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny:, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Vex
  23. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Vex 2
  24. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Vex 3
  25. ^ Bungie (2015-9-15), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard
  26. ^ Bungie (2015-4-13), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Skolas Defeated
  27. ^ Bungie (2017/9/9), Destiny 2: Console, Activision Blizzard - Ghost Scans
  28. ^ Bungie (2017/9/14), Destiny 2: Console, Activision Blizzard - Cayde-6 dialogue: "You should see some of these reports I'm reading about Mars. And you thought the Cabal weren't messing around on Earth."
  29. ^
  30. ^ Bungie (2015/9/15), Destiny: The Taken King, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Paradox
  31. ^ a b Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard
  32. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Sol Progeny
  33. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Hezen Protective
  34. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Descendants
  35. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Virgo Prohibition
  36. ^ Destinydb: A Rising Tide
  37. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Timekeeper
  38. ^ Destiny Podcast #2
  39. ^ What are Radiolarians?
  40. ^ a b c d The Vex: Unconvering the Hidden Lore in Destiny
  41. ^ Bungie (2015-5-19), Destiny: House of Wolves, PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Ghost Fragment: Vex 4
  42. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny: PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Legend: The Black Garden
  43. ^ Game Informer #81: Destiny: Rise of Iron
  44. ^ Destiny Game Wiki - Bounty: Heavy Duty Models
  45. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: Prohibitive Mind
  46. ^ Bungie (2014-9-9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire: The Vex
  47. ^ VEX
  48. ^ Bungie (2014/9/9), Destiny: Playstation 4, Activision Blizzard