Destiny 2 transmog guide

Destiny 2 transmog guide: How to earn Synthstrand, Synthcord, and Synthweave

The armor synthesis stuff in Destiny 2 is confusing. Let this Destiny 2 transmog guide help you figure out what the heck is going on.
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Do you find yourself utterly confused by the Destiny 2 transmog system? If so, you aren’t alone. It seems Bungie thought complicated was a 10, and decided to turn Armor Synthesis all the way up to 11. It’s like trying to make heads or tails of the tax code over here, when all players really want to do is create some universal ornaments out of armor pieces. Hopefully this Destiny 2 transmog guide can help you figure out what the heck is going on.

If not, you can always hold out hope Bungie completely revamps the system in just a few weeks, once enough people complain about it.

To start, you need Synthstrand

Destiny 2 transmog guide synthstrand

Synthstrand is where it all begins, folks. This is a green (common) currency you’ll earn passively while you play, but despite its color, it’s not all that common! To get it, you have to kill enemies. How many? How often? There’s not a lot of transparency here. What we know is that Synthstrand doesn’t drop by the bucketloads — the game is stingy with it. And if you aren’t killing enemies, you aren’t earning it at all.

Once you have Synthstrand, you can buy Threader Bounties

threader bounties

Threader Bounties are the second step in this Destiny 2 transmog guide. You can get the Threader Bounties from Ada-1 in the Tower once you have enough Synthstrand. The Threader Bounties ask you to complete some kind of “randomly selected” objective in one of the following activities:

  • Strikes
  • Crucible
  • Gambit
  • Destination (do things on a planet)
  • Raids or Dungeons
Destiny 2 threader bounty

For instance: I picked up a Crucible Threader Bounty, and it asked me to capture 30 zones in Crucible Control matches. So to recap, you’re spending time playing to earn the Synthstrand, and then you’re spending more time to complete this Bounty, which rewards you with Synthcord.

When a Threader Bounty is complete, go to the Loom

Destiny 2 loom

Now you have Synthcord, which is not the last weird new currency you’re going to interact with here. What’s worse: there are three different types of Synthcord, depending on your class:

  • Plush Synthcord (Warlock)
  • Rigid Synthcord (Titan)
  • Sleek Synthcord (Hunter)

What do you do next? You take that Synthcord to Ada-1’s area of the Tower and wander over to that big machine in the room.

Then you deposit your Synthcord and — presto change-o — another new currency for you to hold: Synthweave.

Now you have Synthweave

Synthweave is the endgame here. You are doing all of this work to finally have a piece of Synthweave you can use to create a universal ornament.

Synthweave, like Synthcord, also comes in three different flavors for some reason, depending on your class:

  • Synthweave Bolt (Warlock)
  • Synthweave Plate (Titan)
  • Synthweave Strap (Hunter)

Those above currencies are what you will finally get to use, finally, to turn an armor piece into a universal ornament.

Let’s make an ornament

Visit your character screen, and then navigate down to the lower menu (where your ship, sparrow, and so forth are). Then hover over the top icon on the right side of the screen. It’s labeled “Appearance Customization.” Press the button or key shown to open it.

Destiny 2 armor customization screen

On the next screen, you’ll see all of the Synthweave you have available up at the top. You’ll also see all of your currently equipped armor pieces. If you select a piece and then hover over it on the next screen, you’ll see all of the armor pieces you can turn into universal ornaments right now. It’s basically everything except armor pieces from Year 1 of Destiny 2.

Destiny 2 customization previews

All of the armor pieces with locks are pieces that are not ornaments yet. To make one, hover over it, and hold down the button or key shown on screen to “Unlock” it. One unlock will cost you one Synthweave.

Before you commit to unlocking a new universal ornament, you can see how it looks with the rest of your armor set. Hover over it and use the labeled button or key to “Preview.” You can preview multiple pieces at once, and can even set different Shaders to preview on the armor you’re testing out.

There are limits to this

Destiny 2 does give you a good amount of Synthweave to start out, which is at least something. But there are limits to the game’s generosity. You can only complete 10 Threader Bounties per class per season, which is equal to unlocking two full sets of armor per class.

Basically, if Destiny 2 drops more than two armor sets per season, you have zero hopes of keeping up without paying up. Which the game does let you do if you want with Synthweave Templates.

Buy your way to beauty

synthweave templates

Synthweave Templates are the paid-for kind of Synthweave and sell in the Eververse Store. One is 300 Silver, while five ring up at 1,000 Silver. So it’ll basically cost you $3 to buy one universal ornament unlock, or $10 to get five of them.

If this Destiny 2 transmog guide is teaching you anything, it’s probably that the system seems designed to push you toward Synthweave Templates eventually. The play-to-earn system seems overly complex, but the pay-real-money route seems very easy.

I hope any of this made sense

As a player of this game, I am equally as frustrated by the design of transmog, Armor Synthesis, or whatever else someone wants to call it. Bungie really took a thing players were excited about and managed to straight up murder the buzz around it. It sort of snatched defeat from the jaws of victory here, and you might be willing to give the studio a pass if this was the first time it did that. But it’s not.

Again, it is my sincere hope that Bungie makes some kind of change to this system in the days or weeks ahead. An awful lot of time was spent to create something that a lot of players don’t particularly care for. Rather than see all of that effort go to waste, some tweaks could make transmog a lot more friendly and get a lot more players interested in using it as a result.