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How To Increase Your Vanguard Rank

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  • How To Increase Your Vanguard Rank
  • The Fastest Vanguard Rank Farm

Every ritual playlist in Destiny 2—Vanguard Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit—has a unique ranking system that rewards players dedicated to a specific playlist. The more of a specific playlist you farm, the more rewards you can expect to earn.




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Season of the Lost gave the Vanguard a reward system that mimics how Valor and Infamy behave. Players that farm strikes and Nightfalls can now expect Masterwork materials, unique cosmetics, and even Exotic Engrams. We’ll be going over how Vanguard Ranks work, how you can increase your Vanguard Rank with Zavala, and every reward you can expect from farming strikes and Nightfalls.

Updated November 30, 2023, by Charles Burgar: PvE players have some new weapons to chase in Season of the Wish. Vanguard Ops received a new Sword, and Nightfalls added a powerful Wave-Frame Grenade Launcher for endgame players to chase. We’ve updated this guide to include the new weapons added this season, and we’ve updated Zavala’s reward track to reflect Season 23’s refreshed reward track.

Vanguard Ranks

Destiny 2 Season of the Chosen Cutscene Zavala Gardens

Similar to the Valor and Infamy systems, the Vanguard Strike and Nightfall playlists have a unique ranking system that you can increase by playing, you guessed it, strikes and Nightfalls. Destiny 2’s Vanguard activities are split into two playlists:

  1. Vanguard Ops: Includes standard strikes and the Battlegrounds activity.
  2. Nightfalls: A harder version of a strike with higher Power requirements, modifiers, and better rewards. The selected strike rotates weekly.
    1. There’s also a Grandmaster Nightfall playlist, allowing you to play the hardest version of that week’s strike.

Repeated clears of strikes, Battlegrounds, and Nightfalls will build up an Activity Streak, increasing the rate you rank up (explained later). Increasing your Vanguard Rank will unlock new rewards from Zavala in the Tower.

Progression through the Vanguard ranking system is as follows:


Vanguard Rank Requirement

Rank-Up Requirement

Guardian I



Guardian II



Guardian III



Brave I



Brave II



Brave III



Heroic I



Heroic II



Heroic III



Fabled I



Fabled II



Fabled III



Mythic I



Mythic II



Mythic III







(Max Rank)


N/A; reset is available

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How To Increase Your Vanguard Rank

Ana Bray and Zavala in Destiny 2 cutscene

Both the Vanguard Ops and Nightfall playlists will increase your Vanguard Rank with Zavala. Completing either activity will grant Vanguard Rank reputation. You can further increase your reputation gains through Activity Streaks and higher-difficulty Nightfalls.

Play Strikes And Nightfalls

Destiny 2 Proving Grounds Strike VIP Cabal

Each strike, Battleground, and Nightfall you complete will increase your Vanguard Rank by varying amounts. Reputation gains are based on strike scoring. The higher your score is at the end of a Vanguard Op or Nightfall, the larger your reputation multiplier will be. By default, completing a strike awards 100 Vanguard Rank. Nightfalls have higher score multipliers than your typical strike, as shown below:

  • Vanguard Ops Playlist: x1
  • Nightfall (Hero): x1
  • Nightfall (Legend): x1.2
  • Nightfall (Master): x1.4
  • Nightfall (Grandmaster): x1.5

In essence, the harder the Nightfall, the more reputation you’ll earn. Most players can stick to farming the Vanguard Ops playlist for a casual farm, but those who have friends or clanmates should farm Legend or Master Nightfalls for higher reputation gains.

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Vanguard Scoring Explained

Destiny 2 Shadowkeep Strike

Vanguard Ops and Nightfalls use a scoring system that grants points based on your fireteam’s performance. Landing precision final blows, defeating Champions, and collecting Orbs of Power will all grant bonus points that tally up to a high score. This score determines how much bonus reputation you’ll receive.

Once you achieve a score of 30,000, you’ll receive a Vanguard Rank multiplier for every 5,000 points earned. For example, achieving a score of 35,000 will increase your Vanguard Rank earnings by 1.2x for that strike. This bonus does not affect your score multiplier, only how much Vanguard Reputation you’ll receive. Your reputation earnings will continue to increase until you hit a score of 250,000, at which point your Vanguard Rank multiplier will cap out at x7. Exact values can be found in the table below.

Not all values may be accurate. A range of scores were recorded from in-game testing, and the rest were inferred based on score patterns. In-game results might vary slightly.

To achieve these scores, you’ll need to play higher-difficulty Nightfalls, preferably GMs. The length and enemy density of a given Nightfall also has a large impact on your possible high score. A Nightfall like Lake of Shadows is going to have a much lower potential high score than Glassway, for example. The highest scores will require you to farm the hardest GM Nightfalls available in a given season. Some of the best Nightfalls for achieving high scores are Scarlet Keep, Glassway, Lightblade, and any Battleground Nightfall.

Vanguard Activity Streak

Destiny 2 The Arms Dealer Nightfall

Whenever you complete a strike or Nightfall, you’ll start an Activity Streak. This is separate from your end-of-match score. Activity Streaks will increase all Vanguard Rank earnings for all subsequent strike and Nightfall completions. Playing five strikes, Battlegrounds, and/or Nightfalls will cap out the Activity Streak bonus.

Each streak grants the following bonus to your Vanguard Rank earnings, seemingly unaffected by end-of-match score multipliers:

  • Streak One: +3 Vanguard Rank
  • Streak Two: +6 Vanguard Rank
  • Streak Three: +9 Vanguard Rank
  • Streak Four: +12 Vanguard Rank
  • Streak Five: +15 Vanguard Rank

However, it’s fairly easy to break this Activity Streak. The following will reduce or flat-out remove your Activity Streak:

  • Visiting a destination
    • Exceptions include the Tower, H.E.L.M, and returning to orbit
  • Leaving mid-strike or Nightfall
  • Playing another activity
    • This completely removes your streak

Exiting Destiny 2 will not reset your streak.

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Play During Double Vanguard Rank Weeks

Destiny 2 Vanguard Symbol

Vanguard now has a double reputation week that can occur throughout a given season, similar to how Valor and Infamy receive double reputation weeks. Reputation bonus weeks can be seen in the modifiers section when launching the Vanguard Ops or Nightfall playlist. Double Vanguard Rank weeks affect the points earned from a strike/Nightfall completion and the Activity Streak bonus associated with them.

You can check the active modifiers in the Vanguard Ops or Nightfall playlists to see if double Vanguard reputation is active. A unique modifier will be active if a double reputation week is currently running.

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Vanguard Rank Rewards

Destiny 2 Vanguard Rank Rewards

Just like Valor and Infamy, Vanguard Ranks come with their own rewards. Increasing your rank with Zavala will unlock new rewards, including Masterwork materials and this season’s ritual weapon: the Malediction Hand Cannon. Once you reach the maximum Vanguard Rank of 10,000, you can claim an Ascendant Shard from Zavala to reset your Vanguard Rank, refreshing his reward track.

Each Vanguard Rank grants the following:

Initial Reward

Post-Reset Reward


x1 Legendary Engram (subranks count)

x1 Legendary Engram (subranks count)

Division Rank-Ups

x1 Prime Engram


Rank 4

x3 Enhancement Cores

x3 Enhancement Cores

Rank 7

Speartip Shader

x3 Enhancement Cores

Rank 10

x2 Enhancement Prisms

x2 Enhancement Prisms

Rank 13

No Return Projection

x2 Enhancement Prisms

Rank 16

Chivalric Fire (Sword)

Vanguard Warmth Ornament

x2 Enhancement Prisms

Rank 16 Completed

x1 Ascendant Shard

x1 Exotic Engram

Strike Rewards

Destiny 2 Year 5 Playlist Armor Set Showcase

Resetting your Vanguard Rank will roll additional perks in the final two perk columns, increasing your chances of getting a desired roll. Focus on resetting your Vanguard Rank if you’re chasing a specific perk combination.

Claiming Engrams from Zavala will grant certain strike weapons and armor pieces. The armor set is showcased above. All weapons you can obtain from the Vanguard Ops playlist can be found below.

Nightfall Rewards

Destiny 2 Warden's Law

Nightfalls have their own loot pool of weapons. Higher-difficulty variants have a higher chance of dropping a Nightfall weapon, and Grandmaster Nightfall clears will drop Adept variants of the weapons listed below. Nightfall weapon drops rotate weekly and are affected by double Nightfall drops. Additionally, you may focus your Vanguard Engrams into specific Nightfall weapons by speaking with Zavala at the Tower. Focusing your engrams into weapons introduced in previous years will be more expensive.

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The Fastest Vanguard Rank Farm

Destiny 2 Lake of Shadows

If you want to increase your Vanguard Rank as fast as possible, you’ll want to do one of two things:

  1. Farm the weekly Nightfall on Hero difficulty.
  2. Wait until GMs release or a double Vanguard week is active.

Hero Nightfalls have the best balance between time investment and Vanguard Rank payout. They have minimal modifiers, aren’t set at a high Power Level, and still have matchmaking enabled. A good team can clear Hero-tier Nightfalls at a pace that mimics a standard strike, allowing you to achieve a 75-100K score per match for a boost in Vanguard Rank earnings. If you can maintain an Activity Streak while doing this, you’ll be able to reset your Vanguard Rank in a few play sessions.

Since your score is so important for getting rank multipliers, you’ll generally want to either wait until GMs release—typically the seventh week in a given season—or wait for a double Vanguard Rank week to appear. GMs are incredibly difficult but feature the highest score multipliers and Champion density, making it easy to hit a x5 or higher Vanguard Rank bonus. For more casual players, you can mimic this sort of multiplier by waiting for a double Vanguard reputation week and farming Hero-tier Nightfalls.

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