Picking up the Synaptic Spear - a dynamic Destiny 2 artifact - will completely overhaul your game.
Although Season 18 is nigh, there are still important factors to note about this past-season artifact. The seasonal artifact is key to your gameplay even outside of Destiny 2’s seasonal activities, so upgrading it and choosing the best mods will help you massively further down the road, no matter how you choose to play.
The artifact is always very important in setting the meta while it is around, both because of the mods you can use to boost its power and the weapons you can deploy to stun Champions. If you dream of chunky builds and higher-level content, you will need to pick up this beast of an artifact eventually to achieve your Destiny 2 goals.
However, picking up and mastering a new artifact is no simple task. With so many mods and specifications, it’s easy to steer clear of using it for fear of messing up.
That’s where we come in.
Here’s what you need to know about the Synaptic Spear artifact, how it works, what mods you can get to enhance its power, and all the Champion mods it covers.
Destiny 2 artifact: The Synaptic Spear
Destiny 2 artifact: how to use the Synaptic Spear
The Synaptic Spear works like previous artifacts in Destiny 2. You'll need to get experience to earn unlocks for the mods. Experience comes from… well, just about anything you do in a game. From participating in activities, completing bounties, or even just killing enemies.
To maximize your experience output, make sure to pick up bounties from various vendors while you play. These will add up and have you flying through the artifact.
However, Bungie has now changed how you choose mods. You'll still have to unlock various ranks to get to higher-tier mods, however, that choice is much easier. There is now no limit on how many mods you can unlock, as now you will be able to, in time, unlock every mod on the artifact.
That said, you will still need to consider what you want as getting to a point where you do have all the mods unlocked will take a while. However, if you don’t like your current selection, Bungie has made reselecting your available mods easy. It will now only cost you 10,000 glimmer to reset the artifact and respend your unlock points.
Destiny 2 artifact: Best mods for the Synaptic Spear
As ever, just about every mod on the seasonal artifact will have a use. Some however are more niche than others, and some are obviously powerful in most situations. To help you decide what you should use your unlocks on first, and what to try and grind out, here are our picks of the most impressive mods on the artifact in Season of the Risen.
Every season, there seems to be one mod that is a must-have for everyone. In Season 14 it was Particle Deconstruction and in Season 13 it was Breach and Clear. Suppressive Darkness looks like it could be the one for Season 15.
Suppression seems to be a big theme this season, which matches well with the new changes to Void 3.0. This seems to be the best of the bunch though. This mod applies a debuff when suppressing an enemy, making them take more damage.
This will undoubtedly be key in boss damage phases as an easy way to apply debuffs. It’s cleverly named too. It’s a riff on a classic artifact mod, Oppressive Darkness, from Season of the Undying. That applied a debuff with a void grenade. It was one of the best mods the games has ever seen. Suppressive Darkness has a lot to live up to with its name, but it looks like it might be able to do it.
Carrying on from the last mod, Suppressing Glaive carries on the artifact's focus on suppression this season.
This seems like it might be endlessly useful and an excellent way to deal with tougher enemies. Using either the range or melee attack on the Glaive, you can suppress any non-boss enemy in the game.
This suppression will not only stop powerful attacks from being used by enemies, but it will also blind them. For several seconds. That’s insane. Having the ability to do this to enemies by merely attacking them with the Glaive is very powerful.
The only really unfortunate thing with suppressing Glaive is that it does not work with Suppressive Darkness. Suppressive Glaive costs 4 energy to put on a class item while Suppressive Darkness takes seven. Since a class item only has 10 energy slots, they sadly can’t work in tandem.
Yup. Another Suppression mod. It is a theme with this artifact.
Suppression Mastery is nothing too fancy. It merely extends the duration of suppression. However, that is a massive benefit. This synergizes with so much that is going on this season.
For example, it will go great with Suppressing Glaive as an easy way to apply long-lasting suppression. It can also be used with Suppressive Darkness, although it’s key to note that it won't extend the debuff period. Still, a long debuff is a long debuff.
This isn’t a particularly flashy choice, but it will be an ever-useful one. Damage-reducing mods are great because they are always there, offering you value. Thermoshock Plating helps you cover your bases further as it reduced both incoming Solar and Arc damage.
Previously, you could only have one elemental resistance at a time. You could then double up that resistance further by stacking them on top of each other. This allows you to get double resistance on two of the four elemental types. That’s a pretty massive shield to damage you can take.
Or, you could put it on a void chest, alongside void resistance and have resistance against most attacks in the game.
This is just two resistances for the price of one, a bargain you are going to want to pick up.
Destiny 2 artifact: Synaptic Spear Champion mods
Champion mods are an important part of a seasonal artifact. Being able to disrupt Champions with the right weapons is often critical, especially in higher-tier content. When things like Grandmaster Nightfalls come around, they will be impossible to complete without using the correct corresponding mods.
Here are how all the champion mods shakedown in Season of the Risen.
Antibarrier has gotten some great choices this season. Both Bows and Scout Rifles are mid to long-range weapons which should make breaking Barrier shields much, much easier. This will be a godsend in Grand Masters as they will allow you to keep a safe distance but still keep Champions under control.
- Scout Rifle
- Bowmpty list
Overload is always the most annoying champion, so interest in their mod selection is always high. This season, it’s going to be a little contentious. Auto Rifles and SMG are the weapons this time around, which is tough. They both ask you to be at close to mid-range, potentially putting yourself in danger.
On top of that, they also don’t have lasting effects to keep Champions suppressed, like the poison on Le Monarque when bows stunned Overloads.
However, a grenade option is available later in the artifact which may well help mitigate this.
Unstoppable Champions have a very nice selection of weapon mods available to them. Glaives will be popular due to their suppression mod. They can also be used at range and melee up close.
Hand Cannons are ever popular in Destiny 2 too, so giving them the ability to stun is always going to go over well.
If neither of those do it for you, Inferno Whip is up there too. This allows Champions to be stunned with solar melees, a perfect match for the top-tree solar Warlock who has a ranged melee attack or a 'bonk Titan' who can throw his solar hammer at Champions.
- Hand Cannon
- Inferno Whip
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Patrick Dane is TechRadar Gaming's Guides Editor. With nearly a decade in the games press, he's been a consistent voice in the industry. He's written for a plethora of major publications and travelled the world doing it. He also has a deep passion for games as a service and their potential to tell evolving stories. To wit, he has over 2000 hours in Destiny 2, over 1000 in Overwatch and is now deeply into Valorant.