The Umbral Engram system was arguably one of the best features introduced to Destiny 2 with Season of Arrivals. Naturally, this system has returned in Season of the Chosen. Whether you’re a seasoned, a lapsed, or a new player, you’ll want to be fully up-to-speed with Umbral Engrams as they’re a great way to build your Guardian exactly the way you want to.
What are Umbral Engrams?
Like other Engrams in Destiny 2 Beyond Light, Umbral Engrams contain gear. They can be opened to obtain powerful items to enhance your Guardian. The key difference from other Engrams is that Umbral Engrams can’t be opened by Eververse or by the Cryptarch. Instead, you’ll need to use a device called the Umbral Decoder. Before dumping your entire Umbral Engram collection to collect your spoils, though, you’ll want to be aware of one more detail and that is Focusing. Umbral Engrams can be focused so that they’re more likely to give you a piece of gear that is specific to your build. You can do this by placing them in another device called the Prismatic Recaster.
How to Earn and Farm Umbral Engrams
In Season 13 of Destiny 2, you can get Umbral Engrams by doing pretty much any activity you enjoy. Like other types of Engrams, Umbral Engrams have a random chance of dropping from enemies you’ve downed as well as popping up as rewards from activities. Sounds pretty good, eh? The downer is that Season of the Chosen has nerfed the RNG of Umbral Engrams, meaning they’re now less likely to drop. You can farm Umbral Engrams by repeatedly doing activities but there’s no specific way to speed up or target the process.
Regardless, you’ll still be able to stockpile a good amount of Umbrals throughout your adventures, and even more so by unlocking perks on your Hammer of Proving.
How Have Umbral Engram Power Levels Changed?
Aside from drop rates, unfortunately, Bungie has chosen to also nerf a few other aspects of Umbral Engrams. For starters, they now drop at a Power Level that is lower than your base PL. Furthermore, Umbrals will also see their PLs reduced once they’re focused. You can still infuse them to reach the Power cap but now the grind is slightly longer to get there.
Hammer of Proving Perks for Umbral Engrams
The Hammer of Proving is the new Artifact for Season 13 of Destiny 2 Beyond Light. Within it are a few perks that can help us get more Umbral Engrams. Grabbing your Hammer is pretty easy. All you need to do is complete the Season of the Chosen’s short campaign and you’re off to the races. From there, you’ll need to complete challenges from the War Table at the H.E.L.M. in order to unlock perks. Below are the perks that are relevant to Umbral Engrams:
● Proving Rune
○ Tier I: Proving Rune grants a chance to earn a random Umbral Engram
● Challenger Medallion
○ Tier II: Earn a chance to get a random Umbral Engram.
● Mission Focus:
○ Tier I: Each week, smashing a Tribute Chest awards a random Umbral Engram.
○ Tier II: Each week, smashing a second Tribute Chest awards another random Umbral Engram.
○ Tier III: Each week, smashing a third Tribute Chest awards yet another random Umbral Engram.
Where to find the Prismatic Recaster and Umbral Decoder
The Prismatic Recaster and Umbral Decoder can be found in the new social space Season of the Chosen has introduced, called the H.E.L.M. You can find it in the Director within the Tower region.
Focusing Your Umbral Engrams
The reason you want Umbral Engrams is to put together your dream gear set. Focusing allows you to nudge these Engrams into giving you almost exactly what you want. Compared to Season of Arrivals, Season 13’s changes to the Umbral Engram system has made things slightly more grindy in a few ways.
For one, you’ll need to build charges on your Hammer of Proving by smashing Tribute Chests in the Battlegrounds. In order to do that, you’ll also need Cabal Gold which can be acquired by generally completing activities. Finally, let’s not forget that you’re still at the mercy of RNG as Umbral Engrams are still random drops from activities.
Once all these elements are in place, you’ll be able to place your Umbral Engrams into the Prismatic Recaster to focus them. The Recaster itself has several focusing tiers that become gradually more specific. You’ll need to complete a number of challenges and tallies in order to unlock each Tier’s focusing nodes.