Destiny 2: How To Earn Exotic Catalysts (& What All Of Them Do)

Most of Destiny 2’s weapons can be enhanced by Masterworking them. When a weapon is Masterworked, it can generate Orbs of Power on multikills. Legendary weapons also receive a +10 increase to a random stat that’s rolled when the weapon is obtained.

Exotics work a bit differently. Rather than obtain a random stat bump, these weapons gain massive stat increases or new perks. Masterworking an Exotic requires the discovery of an Exotic Catalyst, an item that can drop from certain activities. Most Exotics, but not all, have a Catalyst that Guardians can earn. This guide will cover everything from what Catalysts are to what every single Exotic Catalyst does in Destiny 2.

What Are Exotic Catalysts

Exotic Catalysts are a unique item found in a variety of activities. When you receive a Catalyst for a particular Exotic weapon, you can apply that Catalyst to an Exotic weapon from its perk menu. If a weapon does not have a Catalyst slot in its perk menu, it doesn’t have one and, therefore, cannot be Masterworked.

These Catalysts will Masterwork a weapon once their Catalyst objective is complete. While the objective varies from Exotic to Exotic, they generally ask for 500 combatant kills while using that weapon.

Once a Catalyst objective is complete, inspect the weapon one more time and apply the Masterwork by hovering over the Catalyst icon. That Exotic weapon is now Masterworked, gaining additional stats or even a new perk.

Exotic Catalyst Drop Locations

Virtually every matchmade activity in Destiny 2 has an Exotic Catalyst in its drop table. While the Beyond Light expansion did sunset many of these activities, there are still quite a few ways to earn Catalysts.

Every Exotic weapon in Destiny 2 that has a Catalyst can be farmed from a certain activity. The MIDA Multi-Tool Catalyst, for example, only drops in Competitive Crucible after you reach a Glory rank of Legend. Some Exotic Catalysts can drop from a variety of activities, one example being the Trinity Ghoul Catalyst which drops from strikes, Crucible, or Gambit matches.

If you’re looking for a specific Exotic Catalyst, they are all listed in the next section. Once again, if an Exotic weapon does not have a Catalyst slot in its perk screen, it cannot be Masterworked.

Every Exotic Catalyst

Below this entry lists every Exotic Catalyst in Destiny 2. This list is up to date as of Season of the Hunt. Each entry shows what the Catalyst does, if it is currently obtainable, how it can/was obtained, and the Catalyst objective. Feel free to search this page to look up the Exotic weapon you’re interested in. If the Exotic weapon doesn’t appear, it doesn’t have an Exotic Catalyst.

Ace Of Spades

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Funeral Pyre): Firefly deals more damage while Memento Mori is active.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Strike and Nightfall completions

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills

Bad Juju

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Unending Curse): Extends the duration of String of Curses by one second (3.5 seconds to 4.5 seconds).

Obtainable: No

Drop Location: Tribute Hall (place 45 Tributes)

Catalyst Objective: 700 combatant kills

Black Talon

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Reversal): Shots blocked immediately after guarding increase the damage of Crow’s Wings by 50% for two seconds.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit

Catalyst Objective: 350 combatant kills

Borealis

Catalyst Effect: +20 reload speed

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: PvE kills

Catalyst Objective: Get 150 Solar, Arc, and Void kills with Borealis.

Cerberus+1

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Focused Fire): Hold the reload button to swap to a tighter, close-ranged spread.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: PvE kills

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills

Coldheart

Catalyst Effect: +20 stability and reload speed

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: PvE kills; strike and Nightfall completions

Catalyst Objective: 300 combatant kills

The Colony

Catalyst Effect: +1 magazine size; New perk (Deeper Pockets): Increased ammo reserves.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: The Crucible

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills

Crimson

Catalyst Effect: +20 range

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: PvE kills

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills

D.A.R.C.I.

Catalyst Effect: +20 stability

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: PvE kills

Catalyst Objective: 300 combatant kills

Duality

Catalyst Effect: +20 range and +2 magazine size

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Seasonal quest from Banshee-44

Catalyst Objective: 400 combatant kills

Eriana’s Vow

Catalyst Effect: New perk (More to Give): Increases magazine size by three. Holstering this weapon automatically reloads it after a short period of time.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Seasonal quest from Banshee-44

Catalyst Objective: 700 combatant kills

Fighting Lion

Catalyst Effect: +30 reload speed; new perk (Chimera): After this weapon fires, equipped Kinetic and Power weapons gain a brief period of increased handling and accuracy.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: PvE kills

Catalyst Objective: 1,000 combatant kills; complete 167 bounties

The Fourth Horseman

Catalyst Effect: +40 reload speed; new perk (And Its Name Was Death): Adds an additional round to the magazine and increases reload speed.

Obtainable: No

Drop Location: Legendary Lost Sectors (Season of the Worthy Lost Sectors only)

Catalyst Objective: 400 combatant kills

Graviton Lance

Catalyst Effect: +20 range; new perk (Hiden Hand): Better target acquisition (grants +15 to the aim assist stat).

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills, and 100 Cosmology kills

Legend Of Acrius

Catalyst Effect: +40 reload speed and +4 magazine size; new perk (Deeper Pockets): Increased ammo reserves

Obtainable: No

Drop Location: Encounters and chests in Prestige Leviathan

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills

Hard Light

Catalyst Effect: +25 stability

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Strikes and Nightfalls

Catalyst Objective: 1,000 combatant kills

Hawkmoon

Catalyst Effect: +1 magazine size; new perk (Hunter’s Trance): Grants increased handling, reload speed, and weapon range based on the number of stacks of Paracausal Charge.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Harbinger mission (part of the Bird of Prey quest)

Catalyst Objective: 700 combatant kills

Huckleberry

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Bull Rider): Kills with this weapon now reload the entire magazine.

Obtainable: No

Drop Location: Heroic Adventure completions

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills

Izanagi’s Burden

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Peerless Edge): Increases the damage bonus of Honed Edge by 20% when four bullets are consumed.

Obtainable: No

Drop Location: Heroic Menagerie completions

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills

Jade Rabbit

Catalyst Effect: +30 stability

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: The Crucible

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills

Leviathan’s Breath

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Colossal Quiver): Increases quiver size (grants five additional arrows in your reserves).

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Bosses slain by Leviathan’s Breath

Catalyst Objective: 1,500 combatant kills

Lord Of Wolves

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Fang and Claw): Increases reload speed while Release the Wolves is active, and increases stability when it is not.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills

Lumina

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Resonant Virtue): Gain two Remnants per final blow instead of one.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit

Catalyst Objective: 250 Noble Round heals

Merciless

Catalyst Effect: +40 range and stability

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Strikes and Nightfalls

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills

MIDA Multi-Tool

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Outlaw): Precision kills greatly decrease reload time.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Kills or wins in Competitive Crucible while at Legend Glory rank

Catalyst Objective: 250 precision final blows in the Crucible.

No Time To Explain

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Blast from the Side): Projectiles from the time portal shoot more frequently.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Stranger quests

Catalyst Objective: 700 combatant kills

Outbreak Perfected

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Disease Vector): Increases nanite damage. Enemies that die with nanites attached to them generate additional nanites.

Obtainable: No

Drop Location: Heroic Zero Hour mission

Catalyst Objective: Collect 500 SIVA Nanites from Heroic Zero Hour; 500 precision kills

Polaris Lance

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Dragonfly): Precision kills create an elemental damage explosion.

Obtainable: No

Drop Location: Nascent Dawn quest

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills; 50 Perfect Fifth kills

Prometheus Lens

Catalyst Effect: +20 stability and handling

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Strikes and Nightfalls

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills

The Prospector

Catalyst Effect: +40 Blast Radius; new perk (Deeper Pockets): Increased ammo reserves.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Strikes and Nightfalls

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills

Rat King

Catalyst Effect: +20 aim assist, recoil, and +80 bounce intensity; new perk (Infestation): Improved aim assist and recoil direction. Refreshes health on Vermin invisibility trigger.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Strikes and Nightfalls

Catalyst Objective: 1,00 combatant kills while everyone in your fireteam is using Rat King

Riskrunner

Catalyst Effect: +30 range

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Pain and Gain quest

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills, and 50 Arc Conductor kills

Ruinous Effigy

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Deconstruction): This weapon deals increased damage against targets damaged by Transmutation spheres (targets take 25% increased damage).

Obtainable: No

Drop Location: PvE kills

Catalyst Objective: Destroy all Savathun’s Eyes in Season or Arrivals, or get 5,000 kills

Skyburner’s Oath

Catalyst Effect: +30 range

Obtainable: No

Drop Location: Leviathan raid

Catalyst Objective: 1,000 Cabal kills

Sleeper Simulant

Catalyst Effect: -75 charge time; new perk (Deeper Pockets): Increased ammo reserves.

Obtainable: No

Drop Location: Prestige Spire of Stars

Catalyst Objective: 1,000 kills with each IKELOS weapon; loot the Oracle chest in Heroic The Whisper mission; 500 combatant kills with Sleeper Simulant

Sturm

Catalyst Effect: +20 range and +40 handling

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Enemies on Nessus

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills, and 500 Drang kills

Sunshot

Catalyst Effect: +30 range and +20 stability

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills, and 1,000 Sun Blast kills

SUROS Regime

Catalyst Effect: +50 recoil and bounce intensity; new perk (SUROS Ascendance): Increases chance for kills to regen health.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: The Crucible

Catalyst Objective: 300 Crucible kills

Sweet Business

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Serious Business): When this weapon is fully spun up, the flinch from incoming damage is greatly reduced.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit

Catalyst Objective: 250 multikills

Symmetry

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Electric Styx): Increases the maximum number of Dynamic Charge stacks (increased from 15 to 20).

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Seasonal quest from Banshee-44

Catalyst Objective: 700 combatant kills

Telesto

Catalyst Effect: +3 magazine size; new perk (Deeper Pockets): Increased ammo reserves.

Obtainable: No

Drop Location: Prestige Eater of Worlds encounters

Catalyst Objective: Complete all Lost Prophecy Verses on Mercury

Tommy’s Matchbook

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Heat of the Moment): While Ignition Trigger is active, your health recovers much faster.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Seasonal quest from Banshee-44

Catalyst Objective: 700 combatant kills

Tractor Cannon

Catalyst Effect: +20 range and +2 to the magazine

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: PvE kills

Catalyst Objective: 300 combatant kills

Trinity Ghoul

Catalyst Effect: -30 draw time; new perk (Forked Lightning): Lightning Rod now triggers from any Arc damage final blow

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit

Catalyst Objective: 400 combatant kills

Vigilance Wing

Catalyst Effect: New perk (Full Auto Trigger System): Holding down the trigger will fire this weapon at full auto.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: The Crucible

Catalyst Objective: 250 Crucible kills

The Wardcliff Coil

Catalyst Effect: Pinpoint Guidance Module: Improved tracking on projectiles.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Strikes and Nightfalls

Catalyst Objective: 500 combatant kills

Whisper Of The Worm

Catalyst Effect: +30 reload speed; new perk (Whispered Breathing): Aiming this weapon without firing for a brief moment grants bonus range and precision damage while it remains zoomed.

Obtainable: No

Drop Location: Heroic The Whisper mission

Catalyst Objective: Obtain 100 Blighted Essence from Heroic The Whisper

Witherhoard

Catalyst Effect: +40 handling; new perk (Silent Alarm): Increases handling. Holstering this weapon automatically reloads it after a short period of time.

Obtainable: Yes

Drop Location: Seasonal quest from Banshee-44

Catalyst Objective: 400 combatant kills

Worldline Zero

Catalyst Effect: New quest (Another Dimension): Reduces the activation time of Tesseract.

Obtainable: No

Drop Location: PvE kills with Swords

Catalyst Objective: Damage all five Escalation Protocol bosses with Worldline Zero

Next: Destiny 2: Every Possible Way To Earn Exotic Ciphers

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Charles Burgar is an expert on all things tech and gaming. Graduating from Pikes Peak Community College in 2018 with an Associate of Science, Charles has spent his time dissecting popular video games, movies, and technology. With an understanding of games for as long as he can remember, Charles has a large interest in understanding what makes things fun. He is currently a Freelance writer for TheGamer and Game Rant.

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