Rejoice, Destiny fans — Xur is back for Destiny 2.
Xur, in case you're new to the Destiny universe, is an "agent of the Nine," who comes and goes as he wants. The Nine are one of Destiny's biggest mysteries. All that's known about them is that they're some kind of ancient alien beings. They're terribly aloof and never make personal contact with Guardians in the games. What they are and what they want has never been explained.
Xur always carries Exotic items — the strongest, most special, most sought-after weapons and armor in the game, like the Sunshot hand cannon you can see below — and he's willing to sell them (if you have the right currency, that is). He's doing things a little differently in the new game. For starters, he doesn't appear at social spaces like the Farm anymore. Instead, he'll pop up at one of the game's field bases near the quick travel points on each planet. In a really nice touch, he hangs around for five days now — Friday to Tuesday — instead of the first game's two weekend days. And you don't have to hunt for him! His location is revealed with a special icon right on the Director map.
Xur's biggest change, however, is the currency he accepts. In Destiny, he was only interested in Strange Coins, a mysterious form of money which players never learned anything about. That's over. In Destiny 2, what Xur wants is Legendary Shards.
Legendary Shards are a kind of purple crystal, and not much more is known about them at this point. Despite all of the detailed lore peppered throughout Destiny 2 for weapons, armor, characters, locations, and more, all the game reveals about Legendary Shards is that they're "remnants of powerful items." There's nothing to explain what they are, exactly, or why Xur values them.
In Xur's inventory, an Exotic weapon will cost you 29 Legendary Shards. A piece of Exotic armor is priced at 23 Legendary Shards. So how do you get them?
There are several ways. The easiest is to simply play Destiny 2 and watch for purple gear loot. Purple is the color for Legendary weapons and armor. When you dismantle any Legendary item, 2 Legendary Shards are added to your inventory. The more you dismantle, the more Shards you get.
Another way is to dismantle Exotic gear. This isn't likely to be a very popular way of getting Legendary Shards, since Exotics are so highly coveted and difficult to acquire. But should you find yourself in possession of an Exotic that you're sure you have no use for, you can dismantle it and get a whopping 10 Legendary Shards.
Lastly, it's also possible to get Legendary Shards outright, as loot drops. The catch is that they're only dropped in certain situations. Legendary Shards can technically come from a planetary chest or a Lost Sector chest, but don't expect that to happen very often. Legendary Shard drops have a much greater chance of coming from:
- Nightfall Strikes
- Defeating Strike Bosses
- Raid Encounters & Chests
This isn't all that different from the first game, in that the best gear drops always came from cooperative play activities at the highest difficulty levels.
One last thing to keep in mind is that there's another important use for Legendary Shards: Infusion. If you want to increase a piece of gear's power level, you'll need between one and four Shards to do it. The number depends on how big the jump in power is between the item you're keeping and the item you're infusing into it.