Destiny 2 player count doubles overnight after Into the Light, The Final Shape's Prismatic subclass reveal

 Destiny 2.
Destiny 2.

What you need to know

  • After the launch of Destiny 2's new Into the Light update, the game's player count on Steam has risen from around ~40-50,000 up to about 80,000, essentially doubling overnight.

  • The update features a brand new PvE horde mode called Onslaught with highly desirable returning fan-favorite weapons, along with a tweaked version of The Whisper Exotic mission. Future patches for it will also add the Zero Hour mission, new PvP maps, a raid boss gauntlet called Pantheon, and additional Onslaught weapons to earn.

  • Bungie's recent gameplay showcase of The Final Shape expansion is also a factor, which has gotten many excited with its "Prismatic" subclass that will allow players to mix and match different subclass abilities and its new enemy race, the Dread.

  • Destiny 2: The Final Shape is scheduled to launch on June 4, with preorders for the DLC available to buy now.

Following the release of the free-to-play Into the Light update for Destiny 2 on Tuesday, Bungie's space fantasy shooter has gotten a dramatic increase in players. Specifically, it's averaging around ~80,000 concurrent players on Steam at the time of writing according to SteamDB info; prior to Into the Light, that number tended to hover between 40-50,000 (console metrics are harder to track, though Destiny 2 is at #15 on Xbox's most-played games list).

It's great news for the live service FPS, which has largely struggled since the release of the poorly received Destiny 2: Lightfall expansion early last year. Widespread frustration for that DLC's underwhelming story, location, raid, and first few seasons drove many from the game, as did a lack of meaningful updates or additions to its core activities. Thanks to Into the Light, though, tons of fans are flocking back to check out the excellent, highly replayable new PvE horde mode Onslaught, chase both classic and new god rolls on 12 returning fan-favorite weapons (six now, with two more added each week until April 30), and jump into a tweaked version of The Whisper, a beloved Exotic mission that's come back as well.

Into the Light is arguably the most exciting Destiny 2 release we've gotten in a year, and it's not even done yet — there's a special raid boss gauntlet called Pantheon coming on April 30, three new PvP maps being added on May 7, and the Zero Hour Exotic mission is returning May 14. Even so, however, it's not the only thing driving players back to the game right now.

Destiny 2
Destiny 2

Undeniably, another contributing factor to the rising player count is growing excitement for Destiny 2: The Final Shape, the last expansion in the decade-long Light and Darkness Saga that's slated to go live on June 4. Prior to Into the Light's launch, Bungie released a The Final Shape gameplay preview that revealed two things nobody saw coming: a crazy "Prismatic" subclass that will allow you to combine abilities from different subclasses, and an entirely new race of Darkness enemies called the Dread that are completely different than anything else we've seen or fought in Destiny thus far.

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It's true that we've gotten new powers like Strand and new individual enemy units such as Tormentors and Vex Wyverns in recent DLCs, but the Dread are the first wholly original hostile race since Forsaken added the Scorn six years ago, and we've never had anything like the multi-classing that Prismatic will bring. There's lots of hype for The Final Shape's new Exotic class items, too, which will drop with two random Exotic armor effects you'll be able to use to take your Prismatic buildcrafting to the next level.

Overall, it feels like Bungie is pulling out all the stops for what looks like it might be the biggest and boldest Destiny expansion ever made. And after the disaster that was Lightfall, that's exactly what the studio needs to do for the final chapter of this 10 year-long adventure.

Destiny 2
Destiny 2

Where Destiny 2 will go from there is still a bit of a mystery, though we know that The Final Shape will be followed by at least one year of three season-like content drops called "Episodes." Ideally, these will shake up the game's trite seasonal structure with something fresh, and will be accompanied by some major additions and overhauls for its relatively stale core activities like regular Vanguard strikes and Crucible PvP.

Only time will tell, of course, but if Destiny 2's improving player numbers are evidence of anything, it's that Bungie is taking steps in the right direction. Hopefully The Final Shape's launch is the beginning of a bright new era for the franchise — until it launches, I'll be crushing Onslaught with some of my favorite builds for the horde mode. I've got god rolls to hunt.

Destiny 2 is one of the best Xbox games and best PC games for fans of multiplayer and looter shooters, and The Final Shape — the final expansion in the Light and Darkness Saga — looks to be the biggest DLC that Bungie's popular live service game has ever gotten. Notably, it's available to preorder now, and the PC version is on sale for a small discount.

Destiny 2: The Final Shape | $49.99 $41.99 at Steam (GMG)

The Final Shape is the last DLC in Destiny 2's decade-long Light and Darkness Saga, and between both Prismatic and the introduction of the Dread faction, might just end up being the biggest expansion in the franchise's history.

Also see: The Final Shape (Xbox) | The Final Shape + Annual Pass (PC) | The Final Shape + Annual Pass (Xbox)View Deal