Over the weekend I got into a discussion with another user of this site on Twitter about Destiny 2 shaders. He didn't understand why the fanbase is upset about them.

An example he gave was that in Destiny 1 he didn't see certain shaders at all, even though he played over 400 hours, and he considered the Destiny 2 method superior because you received a lot more shaders. The thing is, from my understanding, this time the Destiny 2 shaders are per slot (so you need more of them to fully shade your armor) and they're bound per item (so if you replace an item, you need to get new shaders). logically, this means that if you are trying to maintain a specific set of shaders, you still need to have the luck to get the shaders you want, AND you need to get them every time you replace an item. So if the shader you want is the one with a very low droprate, you could again be looking towards many hours trying to get that one shader.

So, How do shaders in Destiny 2 work differently from shaders in Destiny 1? Feel free to add why this has upset the community, but that's not the main concern of this question.

  • 1
    @Unionhawk understood. couldn't edit in time, so deleted the comment. Still wondering why it got downvoted.
    – Nzall
    Sep 10, 2017 at 20:50
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    you should probably edit out the specifics of why you are asking the question. The underlying question "How are shaders different between Destiny 1 and 2" along with your current understanding of them is good. The other stuff about your disagreements with another user makes it seem a little rant-y and "Why was I right, and this guy was dumb?"
    – Malco
    Sep 11, 2017 at 14:52

1 Answer 1


You described the differences pretty well.

In Destiny 1, shaders were normal items - they were not consumable. There was only one shader slot, and it applied to all your armor (weapons were not affected (related, most exotic weapons had one or two ornaments that worked similar to shaders, but were consumable)). You could change the shader at will, and the shader would not be destroyed. Later on in Destiny 1's development they added a shader kiosk where you could get a new copy of any shader you have ever found which would allow you to effectively use the same shader across all your characters.

In Destiny 2, shaders are now applied per item and can be applied to weapons, sparrows, ships, and ghosts in addition to armor. Shaders are also consumable - once you've applied a shader, you can't use it again. If you replace it with a different shader, the first shader is gone. When a shader drops, you typically get a few copies of it (I've gotten 3 at once, not sure if that is guaranteed).

The main issue some members of the community have with the new system is that in addition to being consumable (which means you tend to think about applying a shader, since you can't use it again), is that you can buy them with real money via the Eververse store. The conspiracy theory is that shaders were made consumable so that Bungie would make more money on microtransactions.

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