Destiny 2: The Witch Queen Legendary Campaign - challenge, changing difficulty and rewards

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen: Three guardians stand under the shadow of the Witch Queen
(Image credit: Bungie)

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen is here and with it, new challenges. That’s no less apparent than in the new difficulty options for the game’s campaign. The Legendary difficulty is there to entice seasoned players to face a real test on their first way through. 

Savathun has been a growing character in the Destiny 2 pantheon for years and Bungie’s latest campaign brings Guardians on a collision course with her in her Throne World. In the past, Destiny campaigns have been fairly easy for experienced players. There’s nothing more deflating than taking on a big bad and it being unsatisfyingly easy. 

That’s where the new focus on difficulty comes into play in the Witch Queen campaign. Players are faced with two play experiences when they enter the first mission in the game, one that focuses on progress and story, and another meant to test players.

That undoubtedly leads to questions though. How hard is it, exactly? How many players do you need with you? Can you move between the difficulties? Is it worth it in the end? These are questions that have answers and you'll find them below. 

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen: Classic and Legendary Campaign?

Savathun's ship floats above Mars

(Image credit: Bungie)

For a first, Bungie is offering two campaign difficulties with fairly set challenges. They come in the form of Classic and Legendary mode. Finding these should be pretty easy too. When you load into the game for the first time, you are offered a choice about which difficulty you want to try. 

Classic is described as: “This is a classic Destiny 2 campaign, enjoyed alone or with friends in a fireteam of friends."

Legendary is described as: "Rise to a higher level of challenge in the Legendary version of The Witch Queen campaign, enjoyed alone or with friends in a fireteam of friends." 

To help you decide which is best for you, here’s a general rule of thumb. If you are a new or long-absent player who just wants to just see the story and don’t care about maximizing rewards and your power level, take on the Classic campaign. 

However, if you are a veteran Destiny player with a deep arsenal, have taken on aspirational content like Raids and GMs, and have an eye on leveling fast, you should try the Legendary campaign. 

Don’t worry, you’re not committed to one or the other. You can change the difficulty between missions at any point.

Is The Witch Queen’s Legendary Campaign hard?

Three Guardians run across a bridge in Savathun's Throne World

(Image credit: Bungie)

To put it simply - yeah, it can get pretty hard.

Now, that requires some context. It’s not quite the difficulty of something like a Grand Master Nightfall. You don’t have to be quite that specialized in your loadout or be quite as careful around enemies. 

That said, there are some definite difficulty spikes. The final boss of the third mission for instance is pretty hard, especially if you have three players. 

A good touchstone for how tough the Legendary campaign is would be a Master Nightfall. Generally, if you are a little careful, you can get through most sections without too much difficulty. However, when it comes to certain boss fights or Darkness Zones, you are certainly going to feel the difficulty. It’s likely you will have to tailor your loadout and come up with minor strategies on how best to proceed

Oh, it’s also worth noting - the difficulty has a set level. Contest mode is active in Legendary missions which means, as long as you meet the requirement, no matter how much higher your Power Level gets from there, it will always be that hard. So sadly, power leveling won’t make this any easier.

Is Legendary Campaign easier with more players?

Three Guardians run through Hive corridors

(Image credit: Bungie)

Unlike everything else in Destiny 2, it’s actually not easier to bring friends. In fact, anecdotally, it’s much harder the more people you add. 

Activity difficulty is generally set in Destiny, no matter how many players are in it. That’s what makes things like solo-flawless dungeon runs impressive - it’s solo players completing content made for three players or more. 

The Legendary campaign is unique though. The difficulty scales with how many players are in the content. If you bring in two friends, either on your own platform or through crossplay, things will get tough. You will have to work with your team to take down bosses and come up with loadouts to overcome the hardest parts of the game. There is also a lot more one-hit potential from enemies, so it asks for hyper-awareness.

Also important to note - in Darkness Zones, lives work like a Raid. Every player has one revive token per zone, meaning life is limited. Respawns are disabled, and in fact, waiting to revive someone is detrimental. When someone is dead, the team will have 45 seconds to get back up to a full three players or the encounter will fail. 

That 35 seconds acts as a time bank too. If you die and revive someone with only 10 seconds left on the timer, the next time someone dies, the timer will start at 10 seconds, rather than 35 seconds. Look after each other out there. 

Can you change the difficulty of the campaign?

A void Titan goes against a Hive Hunter Guardian

(Image credit: Bungie)

There are some brutal difficulty spikes in the Legendary Campaign. There may be points where your want to push ahead with the story outweighs your conviction to complete every mission on Legendary your first way through. 

Thankfully changing your difficulty is easy. You can do it when choosing the next mission you are jumping into. In the director, when you cursor over to Savathun’s Throne World, you can choose which mission you are going to do next at the bottom of the map. From here there is a list of missions both for Classic and Legendary. Your quest for the Witch Queen campaign will progress no matter what difficulty you finish a mission on. 

This does however mean that you can’t change the difficulty mid-mission. If you’re on a tough boss at the end of the mission, you will have to make the decision whether to perceiver or leave and do the mission from the start on the easier difficulty.

Are the rewards for Legendary Campaign worth it?

A Guardian holds a glaive

(Image credit: Bungie)

If this is your first time through the campaign and you are trying to hit the soft cap as quickly as possible - definitely. 

This won't make or break your leveling experience, but it is a very nice express pass to the current soft cap of 1500. Blue armor is an important part of the leveling process and until you hit the soft cap, new gear you get will always drop higher.

This plays into chest spots in missions. Most of the main missions have several points where the game will give you a chest. In Legendary, you will get two instead of one so you are often getting double rewards. On top of this, you get a lot of Upgrade Modules to infuse your gear up with you.

However, perhaps most importantly, if you finish all eight missions on Legendary, the game will give you blue drops at Power Level 1520, one for every slot on your character. This will be a massive boost to your Power Level and really set you on your way to starting the power grind in earnest. 

  • Buying Destiny 2: If you have the Witch Queen and are thinking about getting more expansions to add to your experience, check out our breakdown on expansions.
Patrick Dane
Gaming Guides Editor

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.