The Season of the Splicer brings a new customization system to Destiny 2: transmogrification. The system allows you to change armor pieces to look like other armor pieces, giving you a greater degree of cosmetic control of how your Guardian looks. But the transmogrification system, called Armor Synthesis, is a pretty dense and confusing one. It requires you to gather and use new kinds of currency to buy new bounties and centers on Ada-1 in the Tower.
Working through the Armor Synthesis system requires you to work through a story quest, then take on new bounties to earn something called Synthweave. But how you get Synthweave requires a bit of work. Here’s everything you need to know about Armor Synthesis so you can start transmogrifying your armor and customizing your look.
Complete The Armor Synthesis Mission
To get access to the Armor Synthesis system, you need to head to Banshee-44 in the Tower and pick up a story mission to complete. That’ll direct you to meet with Ada-1, a major character during the Season of the Forge last year. Ada dispatches you to Europa to gather some key pieces of equipment from the Braytech facility there. This is easy enough to find–head to the Braytech Exoscience in Cadmus Ridge and head into the first big room of the facility and follow Ada’s instructions to get the data and equipment you need.
With those items in-hand, return to Ada-1 in the Tower and you can finish her new item, the Loom. This thing is key to transmogrification, as Ada explains.
New Appearance Customization Interface
Next, you’ll get a quick walkthrough of the new Appearance Customization interface, accessed from the Character menu screen. On the customization interface, you can select any piece of armor and apply both shaders and Universal Ornaments. Those ornaments are what allow you to change the look of a piece of armor–essentially, applying the ornament makes the armor piece change its appearance to another armor piece. The thing is, when you first access Armor Synthesis, the only Universal Ornaments you’ll have are the ones you’ve purchased from the Eververse Store or earned from season passes. You can create ornaments from any other piece of armor stored in your Collections tab, but you’ll need that ornament using Ada’s Loom.
Ada gives you a sample of Synthweave so that you can create your first Universal Ornament; do that by just clicking on any ornament in the customization interface that has a lock icon on it, and follow the prompts to unlock it.
To get more Synthweave so you can make more ornaments, you’ll need to follow Ada’s steps. That’s where three new currencies and Ada’s bounties come in.
Synthstrand, Synthcord, And Synthweave
To get more Synthweave, you’ll need to engage in a pretty lengthy process. First, you need to earn a different currency called Synthstrand. This is a common item you’ll find in your character’s Inventory. Synthstrand is pretty easy to come by; enemies will drop it when they die and it seems like you’ll earn it for completing activities, so expect to pick up a fair amount of Synthstrand just for playing the game. Your goal is to grab 250 units of Synthstrand at a time.
When you have 250 Synthstrand, you can return to Ada and trade them for an Armor Synthesis bounty. These bounties apply to five different kinds of activity: Crucible, Gambit, Strikes, dungeons, and raids. They’re costly, so choose which one you want to do carefully. We haven’t investigated the other types of Armor Synthesis bounties, but found our first, the Strike bounty, to require a fair amount of time to complete. It required earning a total of 200,000 points in Nightfall strikes, which worked out to be three total Nightfall runs on Heroic difficulty (since that one carries matchmaking).
Completing an Armor Synthesis bounty awards you Synthcord, your second new currency. Our Strike bounty awarded 100 Synthcord, and we aren’t sure yet if you’ll earn more Synthcord for taking on bounties from raids or dungeons, which seem like tougher activities.
When you have 100 Synthcord, you can take it to the Loom and convert it into a Synthweave–good to unlock one Universal Ornament. So the rate of exchange seems to be roughly one bounty for one piece of armor.
There are some caveats to the system, however. You can only buy 10 Armor Synthesis bounties from Ada-1 per season, per character class–which means you can only create 10 Universal Ornaments for each of your characters in a season. What’s more, when you complete an Armor Synthesis bounty, the Synthcord you’re awarded is specific to the class of the character you completed the bounty with. Thus you can’t earn Synthweave with your Hunter but spend it on Warlock Universal Ornaments–the Synthweave is specific to the character with which you earned it.
There is a universal version of Synthweave that’s not tied to a specific character, called a Synthweave Template. This is the brand of Synthweave you can purchase from the Eververse Store for Silver, Destiny 2’s premium currency. A single Synthweave Template will run you 300 Silver, while 5 Synthweave Templates costs 1,000 Silver.
In general, 100 Silver is equivalent to one US dollar (although the more Silver you buy in a single transaction, the more “bonus” Silver you get, reducing the cost a bit). Therefore, a single Synthweave Template will cost you about $3, while buying five Templates brings the cost down to $2 each.
Generally, it seems like the best way to get Synthweave easily and without having to pay for it is to just play the game at your own pace and keep an eye on your Synthstrand numbers. Any time you hit 250 Synthstrand, you should head to Ada immediately and get a new Armor Synthesis bounty, keyed to whatever activity you plan to be playing in the near future. That way, you can earn Synthweave as you’re otherwise playing the game–if you try to grind, it seems like the Armor Synthesis system will become a real pain very quickly. But if you acquire it as you’re playing normally, it’s a much more easygoing system.
The caveat to that is making sure you earn all possible Synthweave you can on all three characters, should you have them. You’ll need to complete 10 Armor Synthesis bounties on each character for a total of 30 bounties. We’re still investigating what those bounties are like, but that seems a bit time-consuming. When we have more information, we’ll update this guide with insight as to which brand of Armor Synthesis bounty is the most efficient way to quickly earn Synthweave.
GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.