Easy Guide to Play the Destiny Series in Order – What to play first?

Destiny/Destiny 2 is an online-only multiplayer first-person shooter video game, popular as one of the best shooting games in history.

Another thing Destiny is popular for is its downloadable content (DLC). Destiny was first released worldwide in 2014, and Destiny 2 was originally released as its pay to play sequel in 2017.

Today, the game/s has a maddeningly large collection of expansions, updates, and seasons, despite several of the original campaigns being vaulted. With free, paid, additional, and removed content across multiple platforms, new players looking to get into Destiny give up before they even start.

Destiny and Destiny 2 can be played by chronological as well as release order, but for a fully immersive experience, play the Destiny series in order of release. This will also ensure you get the best experience with whatever content that is still available.

With such a complex timeline, it’s essential to know where to start your Destiny gaming journey. Take a look at the entire Destiny series in its chronological and release order. 

1. Chronological Order to Play Destiny and Destiny 2:

Easy Guide to Play the Destiny Series in Order – What to play first?
Destiny 2: Beyond Light

A game with such a detailed lore and world-building deserves to be played from start to finish. Unfortunately, because the game had become too scattered and unmanageable, Bungie retired some of the content from Destiny 2 into something called the Destiny Content Vault (DCV).

This means that until this content is made available by the creators, players do not have access to it.

You can watch run-throughs of gamers playing the campaigns from vaulted content on YouTube. Alternatively, you can wait and hope for the content to be reintroduced in an update or a seasonal event. The Leviathan raid was brought back for The Witch Queen’s Season of the Haunted.

In this list, I give you a chronological order of the main series and expansions of Destiny and Destiny 2, including removed content.

  • Destiny (2014)
  • The Dark Below (2014)
  • House of Wolves (2015)
  • The Taken King (2016)
  • Rise of Iron (2017)
  • Destiny 2 (Red War) (2017) (Vaulted)
  • Destiny 2 (New Light) (2019)
  • Curse of Osiris (2017) (Vaulted)
  • Warmind (2018) (Vaulted)
  • Forsaken (2018) (Vaulted)
  • Forsaken Seasons (Season of the Outlaw, Season of the Forge, Season of the Drifter, Season of Opulence) (2018/2019)
  • Shadowkeep (2019)
  • Shadowkeep Seasons (Season of the Undying, Season of Dawn, Season of the Worthy, Season of Arrivals) (2019/2020)
  • Beyond Light (2020)
  • Beyond Light Seasons (Season of the Hunt, Season of the Chosen, Season of the Splicer, Season of the Lost) (2020/2021)
  • The Witch Queen (2022)
  • The Witch Queen Seasons (Season of the Risen, Season of the Haunted, Season of Plunder, Season of the Seraph) (2022)
  • Lightfall (Upcoming – 2023)
  • The Final Shape (Upcoming 2024)

2. Release Order for Destiny and Destiny 2

Easy Guide to Play the Destiny Series in Order – What to play first?
Destiny 2

Owing to the complicated history and storyline of Destiny, the majority of the players play the game series by release order.

If you’re looking for the most immersive experience to play the entire Destiny series, go by this release order. It includes the latest updates of still-playable expansions from Destiny 1 and Destiny 2.

I won’t be including vaulted or removed content since, currently, you can’t play them.

You can always look up play-through videos on YouTube to see what you’ve missed. Till then, here are all the main series updates and expansions that you can play by release order in 2023.

  • Destiny (2014)
  • The Dark Below (DLC) (2014)
  • House of Wolves (DLC) (2015)
  • The Taken King (DLC) (April Update) (2016)
  • Rise of Iron + Age of Triumph Update (2017)
  • Destiny 2 (New Light) (2019)
  • Shadowkeep (DLC) (2019)
  • Beyond Light (DLC) (2020)
  • The Witch Queen (DLC) (2022)
  • The Witch Queen Seasons 16-19 (Season of the Risen, Season of the Haunted, Season of Plunder, Season of the Seraph) (2022)

A note about Destiny 2 seasonal events:

Destiny 2 seasons are only accessible during the year the expansion is released. This means that when Destiny 2: Lightfall releases in February, the seasonal content from The Witch Queen will become unavailable.

3. What order should I play Destiny in 2023?

Easy Guide to Play the Destiny Series in Order – What to play first?
The Last City x New Light

Due to major content put into the Destiny Content Vault, gamers should play Destiny in order of release and availability. In that respect, you can directly start with Destiny 2 New Light, which is free to play, and then go as per the release order of the Destiny 2 expansion packs.

New Light is the main base game for Destiny 2 and will give you all the information you need to progress through the DLC and updates.

If you want to play Destiny 1, you can play Destiny: Rise of Iron which is available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

4.  How to play the Destiny story in order? Suggested Campaign Order

Easy Guide to Play the Destiny Series in Order – What to play first?
Destiny 2: The Witch Queen – Seraph Campaign

The Destiny series consists of campaigns or in-game questlines that make up the main story arc of the game, expansion, or update. These campaigns in turn contain several missions. The original Destiny has 5 campaigns and Destiny 2 has 7.

With DCV, a bunch of campaigns, missions, raids, and other items like catalysts and exotic quests, left Destiny 2 when Beyond Light was released.

You can technically play most campaigns in whatever sequence you want, since apart from the free-to-play New Light, all DLC is paid content, and new players want to be able to play what they’ve paid for.

But the suggested order of campaign play is by release order because this is the only way to build up the experience to handle the MMO-style play.

Here are all the campaigns in Destiny and Destiny 2. I will include removed (DCV) and unavailable (seasonal) campaigns as well. Just so you know where they come in order.

Destiny 1:

  • Become Legend Campaign
  • The Dark Below Campaign
  • House of Wolves Campaign
  • The Taken King Campaign
  • The Taken War Campaign
  • Rise of Iron Campaign
  • SIVA Crisis Campaign

Destiny 2:

  • The Red War Campaign
  • World Quests Campaign
  • Curse of Osiris Campaign
  • Warmind Campaign
  • Forsaken Campaign (Seasonal: Taken Curse Campaign, Black Armory Campaign, Joker’s Wild Campaign, Penumbra Campaign)
  • Shadowkeep Campaign (Seasonal: The Undying Campaign, Dawn Campaign, The Worthy Campaign, Arrivals Campaign)
  • Beyond Light Campaign (Seasonal: The Hunt Campaign, The Chosen Campaign, The Splicer Campaign, The Lost Campaign)
  • The Witch Queen Campaign (Seasonal: The Risen Campaign, The Haunted Campaign, Plunder Campaign, The Seraph Campaign)

5. Do you have to play Destiny games in order? Do you need to play Destiny 1 before Destiny 2?

Easy Guide to Play the Destiny Series in Order – What to play first?
Destiny 1

If you want to understand the primary context, storyline, characters, and lore of the Destiny series, you might want to invest in Destiny 1 before playing Destiny 2.

This is especially true now that Destiny 2’s Red War campaign has been vaulted; previously, Red War explained most of the important events from Destiny 1.

There are several important characters like Crota and Oryx whose origins and full story are only explained in Destiny 1. Additionally, there are also returning characters whose contextual presence you will miss out on without having played the original Destiny.

There are also many character abilities and enemies that won’t make full sense without Destiny 1. You will also get a better hang of the gameplay mechanics like player versus environment (PVE) and player versus player (PVP) once you’ve played Destiny 1.

That being said, you can pick up on expansive YouTube videos that will give you a full historical timeline of the game from the original Destiny. If you have time to spare, you can simply watch these videos and jump directly into Destiny 2. There are chances you will miss out on easter eggs and subtle call-backs, though.

6. Is Destiny 1 connected to Destiny 2? Is Destiny 1 worth buying? Which Destiny is the best?

Easy Guide to Play the Destiny Series in Order – What to play first?
Destiny 2 Updates

Destiny 2 starts one year after the SIVA Crisis from Destiny: Rise of Iron. This makes Destiny 2 a direct continuation from Destiny 1. The characters and overarching story are the same, but Destiny 2 also contains a horde of new characters, items, and activities.

Destiny 2: New Light has a tutorial campaign that has bits of the original introductory missions from Destiny 1. So, you can play Destiny 2 without buying Destiny 1, but to be able to make sense of campaigns from year 3 (Shadowkeep), year 4 (Beyond Light), and year 5 (Witch Queen) campaigns, it is advisable to buy Destiny 1.

However, since the main part of Destiny is the multiplayer experience, many players choose to skip out on Destiny 1. Most people are on Destiny 2, so there’s no point hanging around playing Destiny 1. There are no longer any live events or updates for Destiny 1, either.

But, even though Destiny 1 is more or less “dead”, I’d still say it has a bigger variety of playable story content than Destiny 2. It also has a better strikes/raid and PVP experience since it is more fleshed out; not to mention, it has huge amounts of loot for a very reasonable budget.

On the other hand, Destiny 2 has more customization, better graphics, and a thriving community. This means more player engagement, developer involvement, events, and updates.

You Can No Longer Loot Your Heart out in Destiny 2

7. About Destiny 2

Destiny 2 is an MMO looter-shooter developed by Bungie and is available on platforms like Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia. It will also be released for Playstation 5 and Xbox series X.

Destiny 2 is a delight for all the fanatics of multiplayer, first-person shooting game. From offering melodramatic cut scenes to exotic weapons, Destiny 2 does it all!

Vansh Gulati

Vansh Gulati

Meet our very own Hinata Shoyo! - There is no anime or manga that he’s not aware of. Also the go-to guy for all things Epic at EML. He’s on a journey to discover life one bottle of sake at a time!
Ps...anime is not a cartoon!


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