Destiny 2 Glory Ranks: Why they matter more than ever


[toc] Unlike Valor, Glory points can only be earned in the Competitive PVP mode in Destiny 2.

In a nutshell, Glory is a skill ranking system. Winning games grants Glory points that will help you climb the ranks and losing games will cost you points. In order to move up the ladder (in this case, the different Glory ranks), you will need to win more matches than you lose.

There are a total of 6 Glory ranks in Destiny 2, and the first 5 ranks also have sub-ranks:

  1. Guardian – Sub-ranks: Guardian I, Guardian II, Guardian III
  2. Brave – Sub-ranks: Brave I, Brave II, Brave III
  3. Heroic – Sub-ranks: Heroic I, Heroic II, Heroic III
  4. Fabled – Sub-ranks: Fabled I, Fabled II, Fabled III
  5. Mythic – Sub-ranks: Mythic I, Mythic II, Mythic III
  6. Legend

We will cover exactly how the glory system works, but let’s start with a more important question:

Why should you care about Glory Ranks?

Pro tip: Playing Competitive PVP to earn Glory and Valor is one of the best methods to increase your Power Level fast.

Why Glory ranks matter more than ever: SBMM

Previously, Glory Ranks only served 2 purposes:

  • Acquiring Pinnacle weapons
  • Bragging rights with the Unbroken seal

But with weapon sunsetting, Pinnacle weapons are practically worthless, even if they remain viable for “normal” Crucible modes (all PVP game modes except Trials of Osiris and Iron Banner).

Destiny 2 The Mountaintop featured

The Mountaintop: Perhaps the most infamous Crucible Pinnacle weapon to ever exist…

These are the Pinnacle weapons that previously required a specific Glory rank to be earned:

Rank Pinnacle Weapons
Brave The Mountaintop
Heroic Redrix’s Broadsword
Fabled The Recluse, Luna’s Howl
Legend Not Forgotten

But nowadays, all Pinnacle and Ritual weapons can be acquired via the Monument to Lost Lights vendor at the Tower. When it comes to bragging rights, the Unbroken seal remains a good challenge for committed PVP players.

But the utility of the Glory system would stop there.

The purpose of a ranking system is that it pits you against opponents with similar skill levels. The more you improve and move up the ranks, the tougher your opponents. And the Glory system does that for the Competitive playlist (Comp).

The problem was that virtually every other PVP mode in the game had skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) too.

But now Glory ranks, and the Survival Competitive playlist, became much more important (and useful).

The move from Skill-based to Connection-based matchmaking

During the Summer of 2020, Bungie removed Skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) in favor of connection-based matchmaking (CBMM) for all PVP modes in the Crucible except for the Elimination, Survival, and Trials of Osiris playlists.

Destiny 2 SBMM matchmaking

This means that instead of trying to pit you against opponents with similar skill levels, the game now favors connection speeds. This suddenly shattered every wall that separated players of different skill levels. To be clear, the removal of SBMM was sold as a way to improve the quality of matches.

According to Bungie, the purpose was to:

  • Respond to community feedback.
  • Shorten queue times for players.
  • Improve the connection quality of matches.
  • Provide more places where the outcome of the match isn’t as important as enjoying the experience.
  • Play into the strengths of Crucible being a bombastic, frenetic action game.

But in reality, this affected players very differently. My take:

The big winners of the removal of SBMM:

  • Streamers and content creators: Look, I get it. All their matches were against the top players in the world. This translated to painfully difficult matches all the time and often very bad connections with unbearable lag. This also led to long queue times and the inability to just “have fun” without having to play their best just to compete.
  • Bungie: With this move, they made PVP 100X times more enjoyable for streamers and content creators, whom in turn give the game free publicity and encourage their large audiences to play more Destiny 2.

The players for whom it’s neither better nor worst:

  • The truly average PVP players: Statistically speaking, players
    that are truly near the average should now face an equal number of opponents that are worst and opponents that are better than them. Whereas SBMM made every match tight because everyone had a similar skill level, CBMM matches should remain tight because the average player will now face both better and worst players.
  • I would put myself in this category. I personally enjoy the shorter queue times but my enjoyment of the Crucible varies from lobby to lobby. Sometimes, I do really well (rarely the best in my team but not far). But other times, I get stomped in ways it’s ridiculous… Oh, and I cannot use “fun loadouts” or else I get destroyed by the 1-2 top opposing players.

The big losers of the removal of SBMM:

  • Below average PVP players: Make no mistake, below-average players got screwed here. The population of below-average players was so big that queue times and connection quality were never a problem. With SBMM, they were protected from the more skilled players and could attempt to have fun. Nowadays, they get utterly destroyed by top-tier players and dominated by somewhat competent players. But alas, this is the silent majority.

Rant aside, this is why Glory ranks and the Survival playlist are now more important than ever.

If you are average or below-average and are looking for a place where you can slowly improve as you face gradually tougher opponents, Survival and Elimination are the only places you have left.

Destiny 2 Glory ranks Survival Freelance

A playlist that drastically improved the life of solo players

And I would argue Survival is even better as it offers a “solo” playlist called Survival: Freelance where you can be sure you will only match against other solo players (and therefore avoid stacked teams). Unless you already have a Fireteam or are willing to find a good one on Discord, stay away from the vanilla Survival playlist.

Finally, if you’re ready to take PVP seriously, this post covers the Pro settings and hardware used by the top PVP (and PVE) Destiny 2 players out there.

Hopefully, you are now more enticed to give it a shot. But how does it work?

How the Glory system works in Destiny 2

Glory can only be earned in the Survival Competitive mode, either the Freelance (for solo players) playlist or the “normal” (for fireteams) playlist.

As mentioned before, winning grants Glory points while losing takes points away. Winning streaks grant more points per win.

The table below is a good summary of how many total points you need to earn for each Glory rank and also tells you:

  • How many points does a Loss costs
  • How many points does a single Win reward
  • How many points a Win as part of a streak rewards

The information from this table comes from the excellent spreadsheet from Reddit user xxCH3M1STxx.

Also, the Survival playlists are not Power-enabled, meaning your Power Level does not matter.

On that note, grinding XP to increase your Artifact’s Power Level is always pointless in PVP in general as only the base Power Level counts for Trials of Osiris and Iron Banner. You’ll be better off grinding Lost Sectors for better Exotics.

The Last Word

The removal of SBMM remains a heated topic within the community. I’m genuinely curious to know how it changed your PVP experience in Destiny 2.

Is it better? Worst? The same? Let me know in the comments below!

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