Exotic Masterwork Catalysts in Destiny 2 Explained

With the recent Warmind DLC for Destiny 2, Bungie introduced the concept of exotic masterwork weapons. If you’re familiar with masterwork weapons and masterwork armor, you’re halfway to understanding the benefit of having an exotic masterwork weapon. The process of turning your exotic weapons into their masterwork variants is a little more involved than for legendary items. Read on to find out everything you need to know. Spoiler, it requires a little bit of luck, so I hope you’ve been praying to RNGesus on a regular basis.

How to Get Masterwork Exotics

Upgrading your existing exotic weapon into a masterwork exotic requires a little bit of luck and some hard work. In general, the steps required are as follows:

  1. Unlock a Catalyst by performing the required tasks for a specific exotic weapon. More details on what those tasks are below.
  2. Complete the Catalyst by performing the tasks it requires.
  3. Activate the Catalyst and profit!

How to Get Catalysts

Exotic Masterwork Catalysts in Destiny 2 Explained
Crimson CatalystTL;DR Games • Fair Use

The first thing you have to know is that you cannot guarantee yourself a specific Catalyst drop. However, you just need to perform the activities as outlined by the Catalyst that you desire. Then RNGesus will drop the item if you’re lucky. Yes, the Catalyst will drop as a loot item in the form of a golden diamond looking item.

The following are the types of activities that can cause a Catalyst to drop. To be sure, you can hover over the Catalyst node on any exotic weapon that supports it to see what needs to be done.

  • Found by defating the enemies of Humanity wherever they lurk – Simply kill enemies in any PvE activity.
  • Found by earning victory in the Crucible – kill enemies in the Crucible in PvP matches.
  • Found in strikes against the most challenging opponents – defeat nightfall or heroic strike bosses.

There are other methods to unlock some Catalysts but they are not confirmed. Speculation includes getting sword kills of any kind in order to unlock the Worldline Zero Catalyst, for example. Others think that pledging to certain factions may unlock other Catalysts. Time will tell and we will update this guide as new information is discovered and confirmed.

Exotic Masterwork Catalysts in Destiny 2 Explained
Worldline Zero CatalystTL;DR Games • Fair Use

Note that you do not need to have the exotic equipped, nor even in your vault. You simply must have unlocked the exotic weapon at some point in time. This can lead to some confusion as you may pick up a Catalyst without even noticing. I did this with the Crimson Catalyst pictured above and it took me a while of searching through the Collection Tab in my vault to find out what I picked up.

How to Complete Catalysts

Once you have attained a Catalyst, you’ll need to perform the required tasks in order to complete it and unlock the new abilities for the exotic weapon. Reddit is currently hard at work trying to determine exactly what the requirements for each Catalyst are. This is a fascinating part of Destiny 2 and one that has long been missing. Kudos to Bungie for bringing back a little bit of mystique and secrets that require the community to work together. To keep up-to-date on what progress the folks at Reddit have made, check the embedded table below.

Catalyst Guide (Need Help) from DestinyTheGame

In summary, keep an eye on Catalysts that you may stumble across in your day to day activities in Destiny 2. Once you’ve looted a Catalyst, you can then proceed to try and complete it in order to unlock the additional power in your exotic weapon. Happy hunting, Guardian, and remember, you can always find more helpful guides in our Destiny 2 Guide Hub.