Destiny 2 Enigma Protocol Guide - How To Unlock And Complete The Episode Activity (2024)

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Drawing from the Season of the Splicer, Enigma Protocol takes you back into the Vex Network, but your toughest adversary in this activity is its timer.

By Phil Hornshaw on


Alongside Destiny 2's new expansion, The Final Shape, comes Echoes, the first of this year's three Episodes. One of Echoes' new activities is available from the start of the Episode, but the second, Enigma Protocol, requires uncovering some secrets on Nessus to access.

Enigma Protocol sends you back into the Vex Network, that strange, ethereal computer world that players first explored during the Season of the Splicer two years ago. It's a tough, high-level activity for three players that has you constantly running against a timer; if the timer runs out, you have to start the activity over.

There's a lot to know about Enigma Protocol, starting with how to unlock the mission through the Encoded Log quest. Here are all the details.

Table of Contents [hide]

  • How To Unlock Enigma Protocol
  • How Enigma Protocol Works And How To Extend The Timer
  • Enigma Protocol Encounters
    • Networked Grid-1
    • Experimental Grid-1
    • Networked Grid-2
    • Experimental Grid-2
    • Bridge-1
    • Archival Grid-1
    • Networked Grid-4
    • Experimental Grid-3
    • Experimental Grid-4
    • Networked Grid-3

How To Unlock Enigma Protocol

Though Enigma Protocol is a repeatable activity you'll probably want to run a few times every week throughout Act 1 of Echoes, you don't immediately get access to it. Instead, you'll have to complete some tasks for Failsafe, the Episode's primary vendor. Start by completing the introductory mission to Echoes; it'll load automatically when you log in after completing the campaign for The Final Shape. If for some reason you miss it or come back later, look for the node to start the mission on the Nessus Director screen.

After the introductory mission and a bout of the new Breach Executable activity, return to Failsafe. She should eventually have a new quest for you, called Encoded Log. Grab that and read the description: It'll tell you that some Hidden agents have been picking up on some weirdness on Nessus, specifically in the Well of Echoes location.

You can find the Well of Echoes in the area called The Tangle. Transmat in and ride your sparrow over to the big cylindrical structure on the western end of the area. Head inside and continue delving downward until you reach a teleporter. Through it, the path will continue to take you downward, until you meet a mess of enemies. Leading them is a shielded Minotaur, and you'll see Vex cubes in the air that will need to be destroyed in order to make the Minotaur vulnerable.

Keep killing enemies and damaging the Minotaur until the room is clear. This will open a way into a hole in the ground, the bottom of which you won't be able to see. Jump down and continue through the underground tunnels until you reach a mission flag for Enigma Protocol.

Once you've located and activated this flag, Enigma Protocol will be available from the HELM screen on the Director, so you won't need to make this trip again.

How Enigma Protocol Works And How To Extend The Timer

Enigma Protocol is a little different from most other Destiny 2 activities. It's not a straight fight where you need to kill a certain number of enemies or gather a certain resource. Instead, it's basically a race through the Vex Network, where what you're actually trying to beat is the clock. The activity is broken up between a few long platforming sections and some objective-based arena fights that are more meant to waylay you.

Chiefly, though, except for one big boss fight before the end of activity, Enigma Protocol is not about fighting all that much. Most of the time, you're racing to complete an objective or pass through an area, and stopping to shoot all the enemies you see is actually detrimental. There are a few points where you'll be forced to stop for a battle, but these also always have specific requirements that you're trying to complete as quickly as possible.

The most important piece of information to know about Enigma Protocol is how the timer works. When you first enter the activity, you'll have a timer that ticks down from 1 minute. The landscape will turn red when you have less than a minute left on the timer, letting you know just how dire things are getting (it'll be green otherwise). However, you can extend the timer in two ways: First, by shooting yellow diamond constructs that are hidden throughout each room of the activity, each of which will give you an additional 30 seconds; and second, by killing Harpies that appear in the fight arenas, called Archival Timekeepers. You'll know which Harpies are the Timekeepers by the fact that they spawn inside a white dome that you'll have to break in order to shoot at them. Always try to find and kill the Timekeepers whenever they appear, as they also add 30 seconds to your timer. They tend to show up in the middle of and/or at the end of any arena-based portion of the activity.

If you don't have to stop and kill enemies, it's better to try to keep moving. Bring powerful weapons for killing enemies and destroying the nodes that provide you with more time at a decent distance, like The Call or a machine gun. You'll also want something that can very quickly destroy Detain bubbles if you get caught in one, or kill the drones that create them before they hit you.

It's a good idea to bring your Power level up as close to 2005 as you can, or to run this event with high-level teammates (who can increase your Power level through the new Fireteam Power system). There's no penalty for dying except the wasted time, but the enemies in here can be dangerous, especially if you're not powered up. You'll appreciate the survivability offered by bringing your Power up before trying Enigma Protocol.

Enigma Protocol Encounters

When you enter Enigma Protocol, you'll go through the same series of encounters, at least so far. It's possible this could rotate weekly or with each new Act of the Episode, so if that's the case, we'll update this guide as necessary. For now, here's everything we've seen in Enigma Protocol.

Networked Grid-1

When you first enter Enigma Protocol, you'll be dropped into a long linear platforming path called Networked Grid-1. Your goal is to cross this to the far side ahead of you, where a portal waits. You drop right in front of the yellow node that weakens security and adds time to your clock. There are two more of those in this room, usually hidden below your line of sight or around corners, so check around for them as you make your way to the end. When you've destroyed them all, you'll see a notification that says "Zone security cleared!" to let you know there aren't any more nodes to search for.

As mentioned, you don't have to kill all the enemies in this room; in fact, only shoot the ones that are in your way or particularly hazardous. Watch out for the Minotaur and Harpies near the exit portal, as they can be dangerous.

Experimental Grid-1

Once you clear the portal of Networked Grid-1, you'll enter your first objective arena. You can't continue from here until you've completed the objective, but killing enemies is secondary; ignore them if you can, or only focus on the ones that are particularly dangerous.

When you first enter the arena, you'll see an orange ball in a column of light, waiting for you. This is the objective--one of your teammates needs to grab this ball and charge it up to full power, as measured by a meter called Radiolite Circuit Charge, that appears on your screen when you pick it up. You can charge the ball by standing in these wells of light, but note that they'll change position every so often, forcing you to move around. The ball maintains a charge even if a player dies and drops it, so if the ball falls, quickly grab it and keep charging.

Once the meter is full, dunk the ball in one of the two receptacles in the center of the room. That'll activate a Vex launcher that will send you on to the next area. Note also that there are three more security nodes for increasing your timer in this room. You'll usually get an Archival Timekeeper to spawn here as well, which will give you another 30 seconds if you kill it.

With your back to the door you entered the room through, the Vex launcher that sends you to the next area will be on the left, close to the entrance. It sends you back in the direction you entered from.

Networked Grid-2

The second Networked Grid portion is another platforming run, but this one is much more involved than before. As usual, there are three security nodes to find along the way. Speed here is important, but take your time and hit your jumps, as a few can be pretty precarious. Falling and dying usually won't penalize you too much, but sometimes you'll respawn much further back than you expect, forcing you to cover the same ground twice, costing you time.

The path can be twisting, so if you get confused as to where to go, look for pathways that let you go around blind corners or ledges that are above and behind you. You'll pass through two different portals, with the second one to your next objective arena.

Experimental Grid-2

This room is more of a fight than the ones before it or after it. Your goal is to destroy the nine shielded Harpies in the center of the room, floating in the air. To do that, you need to kill a batch of Goblins. There will be three batches: The first will spawn in the center of the room, the second on the left, and the third on the right. Be careful, as they're backed up by Harpies and a Minotaur, and can be dangerous in a group.

When you kill the goblins, they'll drop more of those orange balls. Pick one up and throw it at a shielded Harpy to destroy it. You'll get three balls in each of the three locations, for a total of nine.

As before, there are three security nodes in this room to destroy, and an Archival Timekeeper will spawn partway through completing the objective, as well. Take out all of them to maximize your time.

When all the Harpies are dead, a Vex portal will appear in the center of the room, allowing you to press on.


The next area is part platforming and part sparrow track. Follow the platforming path until you see a ring ahead, floating in the air, with a silver diamond in the middle of it. Shoot the diamond to create the track beneath you. Drop down and you'll hop on your sparrow automatically. As you're riding, try to hit the white spaces on the track to boost your speed.

Two of the three security nodes in this area are in the platforming section. Look for the first to your right just as you enter Bridge-1; the second is behind you just as you land after taking the two Vex launchers. The final security nodes is on the right side of the track where it's separated by a column of architecture.

Race to the end of the track and you'll get your first breather and your first Enigma Protocol chest.

Archival Grid-1

This room lets you chill out for a bit, as the timer is paused while you're here. You'll receive a chest in the center of the room, and you can interact with the white Vex Constructs around the room to gather some data that (kind of) advances the plot of this story and activity. At the far end of the room are your two options: a Vex portal that allows you to continue, with a spot to drop a Rally flag, and a green control node that you can activate to reboot the activity and start from the beginning, if you're not happy with your run. There are a few reasons you might want to do that. First, if you're not happy with your remaining time, you can restart from here with something to show for your efforts and give the whole run another try. You can also farm that first chest for faster rewards than a full run, especially if you're just looking for new rolls on Episode weapons.

There are also a pair of Triumphs tied to Enigma Protocol that are essential for the Episode seal, including clearing all the security nodes in a single run and completing a full run in less than 18 minutes. If you're trying to achieve either and you're already feeling like this run is blown, the reboot allows you to try again without having to complete a scuffed run.

Archival Grid-1 is also a good stopping point for players who don't want to commit to the whole run in a similar way that last season's activity, The Coil, let players drop in and out at specific stopping points. You might lose players here as people drop out, so a reboot can be a better approach than trying to continue under circ*mstances that aren't ideal. All three players will need to vote to reboot in order for that restart to happen.

Networked Grid-4

This is another run. Jump up into the round area at the start. There are a lot of enemies here, so while you don't want to get too bogged down, it might be a good idea to clear some out so you can safely move on. A Vex Hydra waits for you just ahead, and the next hallway is littered with lasers you'll need to jump over. As usual, there are three security nodes along the way.

Experimental Grid-3

This is another room that's full of enemies but in which you don't really need to fight apart from dropping anything that's particularly bothersome. Instead, your job is to pick up 20 pink Motes of Encrypted Golden Age Data. To get those, you want to look up at the big scaffolding thing in the middle of the room. On it, you'll see pink bulbs like fruit on a tree--much like one of the objectives in Breach Executable. Shooting those bulbs will drop one of the pink nodes, so your primary focus should be on shooting every one you see and picking up the node that drops from it.

As usual, you've got three more security nodes in this room, mostly scattered around the edges and above your line of sight. It's possible another Archival Timekeeper will spawn here before you leave, so kill it if it does.

The portal out of Experimental Grid-3 leads to another long platforming section, this one marked by big gaps and narrow pathways. Be careful of enemies waiting for you on the path, particularly where you're going to land when you jump or use a launcher. Look for three more security nodes here as you go.

Experimental Grid-4

This is the big boss fight of the activity: a huge Vex minotaur boss called Ainigmatos, the Indecipherable Proto-Mind. It can be tough to fight, with lots of smaller enemies damaging you while you try to hurt the boss, who has a lot of health and teleports around the arena. Keep moving and try not to get caught up fighting small enemies or getting blasted by them; weapons like rocket launchers can be pretty effective in doing a lot of damage quickly, as can burst Supers like Golden Gun.

The trick here is to use the power-ups around the arena to give yourself an edge, in particular the Shield one that increases your damage resistance, and the Super one that gives you a big chunk of Super charge. Note that these don't respawn, so only pick them up when you need them, or you could waste them.

With a team of three people who are pretty on the ball, Ainigmatos isn't too difficult to take down, but the fight can be time-consuming since he moves around so much. Look for three security nodes here, as well as Archival Timekeepers, who will show up periodically near where you first entered the arena. Kill those to keep your timer up.

When Ainigmatos goes down, don't drop your guard. You'll notice the timer is still going--you still need to get back to an Archival Grid room to end the activity and get your reward. A portal will appear in the center of the room, so jump through that as quickly as you can for your last challenge.

Networked Grid-3

Not sure why this is numbered the way it is, but regardless, you'll drop onto another sparrow race track to make your way out of the Vex network before you're expelled. All the security nodes in this area are on the track. The first is right next to where you start on the track; the second is on the right side of the column just ahead of where you start; and the third is on top of a column just past a ramp, so hit the speed booster to make sure you get the air to nail it as you go across.

Zip to the end of the track to reach the end of the activity, where you'll get another rewards chest and the opportunity to interact with another Vex construct.

Now that you've bested Enigma Protocol, check out the rest of our Destiny 2 coverage at our Final Shape guides hub, and read our review of The Final Shape.

Every Exotic Weapon and Armor In Destiny 2: The Final Shape (So Far)

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