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How to Get the Thunderlord Catalyst in Destiny 2

This ancient exotic is finally getting some time in the sun.
Destiny 2 Thunderlord
Screenshot by Gamer Journalist

With the launch of Season 18 and Arc 3.0, a lot of Guardians are wondering how to get the Thunderlord catalyst in Destiny 2. This old exotic has been a Destiny staple for years, as has its catalyst. In all those years, it’s never exactly been a META weapon. With all the new Arc goodies we have, though, now’s its time to shine.

For the unaware, the Thunderlord catalyst gives the weapon a new perk. That perk partially reloads Thunderlord using your reserves whenever it causes a lightning strike. The Thunderlord causes a lightning strike with every kill – so every kill partially refills the mag with the catalyst equipped. It’s not the most powerful catalyst in the game, but it’s certainly still worth farming for.

How to Get the Thunderlord Catalyst in Destiny 2

Destiny 2 how to get the Thunderlord catalyst
Screenshot by Gamer Journalist

This isn’t the answer you wanted to hear when you asked “how to get the Thunderlord catalyst in Destiny 2,” but it’s the only one I’ve got. The Thunderlord catalyst is a random reward drop from playlist activities. Yeah, not exactly ideal.

With the Thunderlord literally being handed to players as a part of Arc 3.0 and Season of Plunder, you would think that Bungie would’ve made the catalyst a little bit more accessible, but no – you’ve got to grind it out the hard way.

How to Farm the Thunderlord Catalyst in Destiny 2

Now, all hope is not lost. The catalyst does exist in the game, and as long as you own the Thunderlord, you can obtain it. Let’s go over your options:

Destiny 2 how to get the Thunderlord catalyst - Destinations map.
Screenshot by Gamer Journalist
  • Vanguard Strikes – If you’re a PvE player, this is your best bet for grinding out the Thunderlord catalyst bar none. If you know what you’re doing, you’ll be able to finish each strike in under 10 minutes – less if you’re running with a competent fireteam. Each strike completion has a slight chance of dropping the catalyst, so you could be here for 20 minutes, or 20 hours – it all depends on luck.
  • Crucible – This is Vanguard Strikes for the few PvP players out there. Each match will last around the same 10 minutes, with the drop chance per match completion being the same as strikes. Unless you’re a dedicated PvP player, I wouldn’t touch this playlist with a 10-foot pole.
  • Gambit – PvE players run strikes, PvP players play Crucible – where does that leave Gambit? Haunched over in a dark corner out of everyone’s field of view. Gambit is in a terrible state right now and has been for what feels like forever. Unless you’ve got a particular fondness for it, I wouldn’t touch it while trying to farm the Thunderlord catalyst. If you’ve got a full fireteam of sweaty Guardians, it can be the most efficient farm in terms of time spent per match – but at what cost?

There you have it. PvE players should grind out Vanguard Strikes until the catalyst drops. If you’re a PvP main, do the same thing for Crucible. Alternatively, if you have a dedicated team – then Gambit might be the way to go. Either way, the only way to get the Thunderlord catalyst is to grind out playlist activities and pray to the Traveller that luck is on your side, for once.

Related: How to Fix Error Code CAT in Destiny 2

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