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In destiny, when loot drops is it specific to me or can anyone get it? Meaning do only I see it or does everyone see it? If everyone sees it can we all pick it up or is it first come first served. Are ammo drops any different?

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Ammunition drops, as well as item drops, are individual. Feel free to run around the field picking up everything you see that glows because it's all yours! Bungie calls this "Private Loot Streams", which they addressed in the following Mail Sack:

When was the first time someone stole your loot from a huge boss that took you a few tries to kill?

If you are asking this question about Destiny, the answer is, “Never!” When we were making the rounds this past summer, we talked a lot about private loot streams. The rewards you’ll earn as you become legend in Destiny will belong to you. No one can take them from you.

Here's an item by item summary:

  • Armor bits, white (primary), green (special), and heavy (purple), they're all for you.
  • Engrams, same with those, they're all for you.
  • Gatherables and chests. This includes Spinmetal (Earth), Helium Filaments (Moon), Spirit Bloom (Venus) and Relic Ore (Mars). Everybody in the area sees those. When a player opens the chest, or harvests the gatherable, it'll start glowing for a while (I think 30 seconds). During that time, everyone else can also pick the same item. After that time, the chest or gatherable disappears, and will appear randomly again at some later time.

Q: If I run out of ammo, is it because my teammates stole all the ammo on the ground?

Nope, it's because you overspent your ammo. The ammo they pick up is the ammo only they can see. All the ammo on the ground that you see, they can't pick up, and vice versa.

So if you, or they, run out of ammo, it's your own fault.

Q: If I don't get any engrams, is it because my teammates stole them all?

Nope, same rule here. The game will randomly drop engrams on the ground. Too random many say. If you (or they) don't get a comparable amount of engrams then it's not because someone stole it, the game has just randomly gone in your disfavor.

Q: What happens if I don't pick up ammo or engrams? Can my teammates then pick them up?

Nope. Again, everything you see is yours and yours alone. If you don't pick them up, they'll disappear once you leave the map. There may be timers involved here to clean up the map periodically but judging by the loot cave videos, it's not a practical problem if the timer exists.

Note: If you forget to pick up (or perhaps don't even see) blue or purple engrams, they will be placed at the postmaster for you to pick up later when you return to the Tower. As such, engrams you leave lying around on the ground when you leave a map will disappear, but you'll not lose out on blues and purples (or exotics, but let's be realistic, have you even heard of someone getting an exotic out of a purple engram?)

Q: Why did I steal my teammates loot during the strike? I got a gauntlet that clearly was meant for him.

Blue and purple armor engrams have extra text saying "(Random Class)", as shown here:

Rare Engram Example

This means that the same rules as described above still applies. The engram was for you, was only seen by you, but there is randomness involved when deciding which class it is for. As such, it may be that the item should be dropped into your vault and given to one of your other two characters, of the correct class.

Weapons are not bound to any particular class so you'll only see the above text, and situation, with armor engrams.

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  • this also counts for Patrol rewards, so killing enemies for the "collect foo" missions are sped up by everyone collecting what they see get dropped – Eben Sep 18 '14 at 0:06
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    oh! there is one huge exception! Spin Metal and such, as well as non-gold chests in world are communal. As soon as someone opens/gathers them a countdown timer starts until they despawn. – Eben Sep 18 '14 at 0:07
  • I took a huge liberty of adding a lot of clarification to your answer to make it answer a lot of similar questions, making it even more of a "the definitive source of" type of answer for these things. Hope you don't mind. – Lasse V. Karlsen Oct 7 '14 at 6:56
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Destiny loot is 100% client sided.

Ammo, drops, and equipment is yours and yours alone.

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    I doubt it's actually client side else it would be very prone to editing...! – franglais Sep 17 '14 at 21:13
  • the drop calculation is serverside of course, but the drop itself is client sided. Sorry if that was misunderstood. – Rapitor Sep 19 '14 at 20:21
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It seems different for engrams. In a strike when my teammate kill an enemy and drop a blue engram, I can pick it up too and decrypt it in tower. Though it give me a legendary titan armor but not for my class (I'm Hunter, and he is Titan).

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  • No, this is different. That's how decrypting works, engrams over a certain quality has a chance of being for a different class, it has nothing to do with who you played with or what class they played. It is still your loot, that's just how the game works. You'll encounter this even if you play completely alone. The chance should be lower than the chance of it being for your class, however, so in general you should find loot for your own class, with the odd exception here and there. – Lasse V. Karlsen Oct 6 '14 at 8:59
  • Thanks for clarifying the different class engram problem. But why i can pick up his engram? I have not shoot that enemy at all, but i can still pick up his engram. So it is shared among players? – Tomofumi Oct 7 '14 at 2:25
  • You're not picking up anyones engrams except your own. Blue and purple armor engrams have a chance of being for a random class besides your own. If you're playing a Warlock and a blue gauntlet engram decrypts to a Titan gauntlet, it's not because you played with a Titan and picked up his loot. The loot was yours all along, it just decrypted a bit more random than you'd like. All armor bits and all engrams that you see are only visible to you, and dropped specifically for you. The rest is just the game messing with your head :) – Lasse V. Karlsen Oct 7 '14 at 6:39
  • So rest assured that you're not stealing anyones loot, nor are you stealing all the ammo so that your teammates doesn't get any. If they complain about running out of ammo, it's their own fault, not yours. Likewise with the loot. If you pick up a ton of engrams and they complain that they don't get anything, it's not because you picked up everything, it's because, again, the game is being a bit more random than they'd like. – Lasse V. Karlsen Oct 7 '14 at 6:40

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