Thorn Destiny 2 quest: How to get the exotic hand cannon

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Back in spring of 2019, the Joker’s Wild season brought one of the original Destiny’s most popular exotics back into rotation — the sinister Thorn hand cannon.

This thing got a pretty nasty reputation in the early D1 era. It was fairly easy to get ahold of and would absolutely obliterate in PvP. So it saw multiple nerfs in the game’s early years — to its damage-over-time effect, Mark of Devourer, as well as general hand-cannon nerfs.


But players love hand cannons. They’re fun to use. And the Thorn, like the Last Word, was always bound to make a comeback in Destiny 2.

The following exotic quests will be changed when Beyond Light launches on November 10: Sturm, MIDA Multi-Tool, Rat King, Legend of Acrius, Sleeper Simulant, Polaris Lance, Worldline Zero, Ace of Spades, the Last Word, Le Monarque, Jotunn, Izanagi’s Burden, Thorn, Lumina, Truth, Bad Juju.

“None of these legacy exotics are being retired from Destiny 2,” Bungie clarified in an August 2020 blog post. “Their original acquisition journeys are simply entering the DCV alongside their supporting destination and activity content.”

Here’s how to get your hands on it — for the time being.

Destiny 2 Thorn quest: How to begin

The D2 version of Thorn comes with the classic Mark of the Devourer exotic perk: “Rounds pierce targets and deal damage over time. Kills with this weapon leave behind Remnants.”


Picking up Remnants is Destiny 2’s twist on the gun; they’ll buff the Mark of the Devourer effect and partially reload the weapon.

To get started on your quest for the Thorn, fly to the EDZ, head north from Trostland, and enter the Salt Mines.

In the far-right corner of the room — near the lift from the Red War story campaign — you’ll find a gray-and-orange teleporter of Fallen origin. Stand on the circular blue base and hold the interact button (X, square, etc.) to “transmat.”

Head uphill past a series of Fallen Dregs until you reach a sort of energy shield gating off the path. Sneak around to the left, and you’ll find another narrow pathway along the cliff. Follow that.

Look for the remains of a campfire; you should be able to interact with it to “sift through the ashes.” You’ll find “A Melted Hunk of Metal.”

Take this to Banshee-44, the gunsmith at the Tower.

You’ve begun your quest for the Thorn.


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50 Hadronic Essence

Gather 50 Hadronic Essence “by completing bounties for Asher Mir on Io, by defeating Warlocks in the Crucible, or by completing Nightfall strikes. Nightfall strikes grant the most efficient progress,” the next quest step reads.

Follow your heart on this one. Love PvP? Head to the Crucible and take out some Warlocks. Love a more casual, PvE-style approach to Destiny? Head to Io and listen to a podcast or something while you grind out some bounties. Or gather two clanmates and run Nightfalls.

Three Nightfalls and one Asher Mir bounty is supposedly the “perfect” method here. But it’s up to you.

50 Plasteel Plating

Time to collect 50 Plasteel Plating. You can accomplish this “by completing bounties for Sloane on Titan, by defeating Titans in the Crucible, or by completing encounters at the Blind Well. Heroic Blind Well encounters grand the most efficient progress.”


This is pretty much the same story as the last quest step. If you’re looking for efficiency, run Heroic Blind Well events. If you’re looking for an easy grind, spend some time doing bounties on Titan. (The planet won’t be available for much longer, after all. It’s getting “vaulted” in year four.)

50 Sapphire Wire

Gather Sapphire Wire “by completing bounties for Ana Bray on Mars, by defeating Hunters in the Crucible, or by completing an Escalation Protocol wave. Escalation Protocol waves grand the most efficient progress.”

Again, as with Titan, you may want to enjoy access to Mars while you can. On November 10, it’ll be locked away in the new Destiny Content Vault for the foreseeable future — making way for the new Cosmodrome and Europa destinations coming in Beyond Light.

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Weaponize the unknown

“Defeat Guardians in the Crucible using Void energy or hand cannons,” the next quest step reads. 


“Precision streaks using Void hand cannons grant the most efficient progress.” Your progress, the game says, will be multiplied in the Iron Banner or in competitive Crucible matches.

This is going to be a tough grind, but at least death doesn’t undo your progress, as with other exotic quests I’ve suffered through in Destiny 2. This’ll just take some time.

If you’re looking for a hand cannon that’ll tick both boxes here, dig something like the Ikelos_HC_v1.0.1 or “A Cold Sweat” out of the vault.

Any high-impact Void hand cannon will get the job done.

The Chasm of Screams

Head to the Farm, the social hub north of the EDZ, and talk to Tyra Karn.

“Defeat the Arbiters, Sardav and Telesh, then defeat Savathûn’s Song in an epic reprise of [the original strike] on Titan,” the next step reads.


Look at the map of Titan and select the “Chasm of Screams” strike manually. It’s located just to the east of the Rig.

There are some modifiers to be aware of during the “Chasm of Screams” version of the strike: Incoming elemental damage will do more damage than usual. Enemies won’t be staggered by damage. And incoming melee damage will hurt a lot more than usual.

At the final stage of the boss fight, when the Shrieker retreats and puts up its magical shield, two additional minibosses will spawn.

These are the Arbiters, Sardav and Telesh. Just be ready for them; have a super or some heavy ammo ready to take them out. They’re basically just tough Knights.

The moment Savathûn’s Song is dead, the Thorn is yours.

Enjoy your new exotic.