Destiny 2: A Complete Guide To Armor Synthesis

Transmogrification, frequently referred to as “transmog,” has finally made its way to Destiny 2. Named “Armor Synthesis” in-game, this system allows players to convert any non-Exotic armor piece into a universal ornament, allowing them to change the physical appearance of any armor piece into that item. In essence, transmog decouples the fashion and functionality of your gear, allowing you to look however you want without compromising on stats or mods.

Unfortunately, Destiny 2’s take on transmog is nothing short of convoluted. New currency types, seasonal caps, and an incredibly grindy quest have made this system off-putting to most. This guide will be covering how to unlock transmog, how to use it, guide you through the lengthy Tying it All Together quest, and provide strategies for obtaining these new Synth materials.

Unlocking Transmog

If you want to dive straight into the transmog system, you’ll have to complete a short introductory quest named Armor Synthesis Introduction. Completing this quest will also give enough resources to transmog a full set of gear for each class.

Speak To Banshee-44

Head to the Tower and speak to Banshee-44. He will give you two quests. The first quest is for earning Null Composure, this season’s ritual Fusion Rifle. You’ll want the second quest called Armor Synthesis Introduction.

Armor Synthesis Introduction Quest

This quest will ask you to speak to Ada-1 in the Tower. If you didn’t play during Forsaken, you can find her across from the Drifter in the Tower Annex. When spoken to, she’ll ask that you travel to Europa to uncover data and a Loom prototype device from the Braytech facility.

Travel to the Bray Exosciene building at the western end of Cadmus Ridge. You’ll find the data in the room leading to Creation. Directly across from the datapad is the room you can find the Loom prototype in. Grab it, then head back to Ada-1. You’ll be able to hook up the Loom device to a repurposed forge. This will unlock transmog and provide five Synthweave materials for each class.

Ada will also give you a second quest, named Tying it All Together, that will explain the basics of transmog and provide more transmog materials. We’ll cover this quest later in the guide.

How To Transmog Gear

You can access the transmog menu directly from your inventory. Here’s how you can access it:

  1. Open your inventory
  2. Scroll down a page to where your ships and other vanity items are
  3. Select the top-right option named “Appearance Customization”

From this menu, you’ll be able to change the shaders and ornaments of all currently equipped armor. Shaders determine the color of your armor, and ornaments determine the shape or mesh of the armor piece.


You’ll unlock shaders by dismantling items, purchasing shaders from Eververse, and by reaching certain ranks in the Season Pass. Shaders have infinite uses. Applying a shader to any armor piece costs 500 Glimmer.

If you didn’t play much Destiny 2 when it launched, there’s a shader bundle you can purchase from the Eververse store for 1,000 Glimmer. It can be found under the “Archive” tab of the store. This bundle will unlock 31 shaders permanently, making this a must-buy for new and returning players.


Ornaments refer to armor pieces that can be applied onto other pieces of gear, changing their appearance. You can convert any non-Exotic armor piece (white through purple rarity) into a universal ornament by using Synthweave, a new material discussed in the Transmog Synth Currencies section of the guide. All armor sets purchased from the Eververse store come as universal ornaments.

Once an armor piece has an ornament applied, its physical appearance will change to the ornament you applied while preserving the item’s stats and mods. Ornaments can be applied to as many items as you want for no cost.

Unlocking An Ornament

To convert any non-Exotic armor piece as a universal ornament, hover over the option in the Appearance Customization menu. Hold the displayed key (“F” on PC) to unlock the item, consuming one Synthweave. Once an item is a universal ornament, it can be applied to any non-Exotic armor piece for free as much as you want.

Transmog Restrictions

  • You can only earn ten Synthweave per character per season.
  • Exotic armor pieces cannot equip universal ornaments.

Tying It All Together Quest Guide

Tying it All Together is a nine-step quest that will take you through the basics of transmog, covering everything from unlocking ornaments to creating transmog currency items. If you’re still confused about how transmog works, this quest guide will make this system much clearer.

Speak To Ada-1

The first step asks you to speak to Ada-1. She’ll give you one Synthweave material, which is used to unlock a universal ornament of any non-Exotic armor piece you desire. The Synthweave you get is based on your class:

  • Synthweave Strap: Hunter
  • Synthweave Bolt: Warlock
  • Synthweave PlateTitan

You can only unlock items for transmog with the Synthweave that corresponds to your class. For example, Hunters can only use Synthweave Straps to unlock transmog ornaments. We’ll cover the transmog economy later in the guide.

Unlock An Ornament

With your new Syntheweave material, you’ll now be asked to unlock an ornament for transmog. Doing so is easier than the game lets on:

  1. Open your inventory
  2. Scroll down a page to where your ships and other vanity items are
  3. Select the top-right option named “Appearance Customization”
  4. Click on any non-Exotic armor piece on the left of the menu
  5. Hover over the ornament box
  6. Browse until you find an option you like
  7. Hold the unlock key (finisher input by default)

Appearance Customization Menu

The Appearance Customization menu displays your currently equipped armor, ornaments, and shaders. You can select any armor piece on the left-hand side of your screen to bring up a submenu, allowing you to alter your armor’s appearance through the use of ornaments and shaders. Shaders change the color of your gear, and ornaments change the shape or mesh of your gear. You can preview both of these things on an armor piece before unlocking or applying any changes.

Talk To Ada-1

Ada-1 will be ecstatic that her transmog machine works, but there is still work to be done. She will give you 150 Synthstrand, a currency used to purchase bounties from Ada-1 that grant Synthweave. Unlike Synthweave, Synthstrand is class-agnostic.

Purchase Any Armor Synthesis Bounty From Ada-1

There are five different types of bounties you can purchase from Ada-1. These bounties don’t expire and cost 100 Synthstrand. You can only have one of each bounty type active at any given moment. Each bounty is tied to a certain type of activity:

  1. Vanguard Threader
  2. Crucible Threader
  3. Gambit Threader
  4. Destination Threader
  5. Raid/Dungeon Threader

The fastest bounties are Crucible Threader and Raid/Dungeon Threader.

Crucible, while rampant with Stasis currently, only has challenges that ask for Guardian kills or zone captures in Control. So long as you can maintain a positive kill-death ratio each game, these bounties don’t take long at all.

Raid/Dungeon bounties ask that you complete two encounters, kill powerful enemies, or generate Orbs of Power. It’s possible to solo dungeons if you can’t raid, so these are a great choice for skilled PvE players. These objectives are, on average, quicker to complete than what’s on offer from the Vanguard Threader pool.

We do not recommend you take Destination Threader under any circumstance. These objectives are absurdly time-intensive. Some objectives include finishing ten Blind Well runs, completing five Wrathborn Hunts (something you can’t do if you don’t own Season of the Hunt), or defeating 50 Nightmares in Nightmare Hunts. Needless to say, these are so time-intensive that no one should be grabbing these bounties.

Complete The Armor Synthesis Bounty

This objective speaks for itself. Complete the bounty you purchased, then claim it to start the next step.

Use the Loom to convert your Synthcord into Synthweave

Interact with the Loom beside Ada-1 at the tower. It will convert 100 Synthcord into one Synthweave, allowing you to unlock one armor piece for transmog.

Speak To Ada-1

Now that you have some experience with Synthcord and Synthweave, Ada-1 will introduce you to the third and final resource tied to transmog: Synthstrand. Synthstrand is needed to purchase Ada bounties that grant Synthcord, which can then be turned into Synthweave. If that sounds needlessly convoluted, that’s because it is. We’ll recap this system in the next section of the guide if you’re still confused.

Harvest 150 Synthstrand

Every enemy, AI or player Guardian, has a small chance of dropping one Synthstrand on kill. While this makes kill farms sound appealing, Synthstrand has a lockout timer that discourages this behavior. You can only earn one Synthstrand every two minutes. After you obtain one Synthstrand, you won’t be able to obtain any more until two minutes have passed, regardless of how many enemies you kill.

Assuming you obtained a Synthstrand every two minutes exactly, it will take at least five hours to complete this objective. Due to how absurdly stingy the drop rate of this resource is, we recommend you forget about this objective and just play the game how you want. It’ll passively complete itself over time. Don’t focus on grinding this objective; you’ll burn yourself out.

Return To Ada-1

Speaking to Ada-1 one more time will finish this quest. You won’t get any rewards for doing this, although you’ll have enough Synthstrand to purchase another bounty from her.

Transmog Synth Currencies

Armor Synthesis has three currency types with a hierarchical progression.

  1. Synthstrand: Obtained from killing enemies. Needed to purchase Synthcord bounties.
  2. Synthcord: Obtained by completing bounties from Ada-1. Needed to obtain Synthweave.
  3. Synthweave: Obtained by refining Synthcord at Ada-1’s Loom. Allows you to unlock any non-Exotic armor piece as a universal ornament.


Synthstrand can be obtained by killing any enemy, be it a PvE enemy or an enemy Guardian. All enemies have a small chance to drop one Synthstrand when slain. You’ll need 150 Synthstrand to purchase a bounty that grants Synthcord.

To reiterate from earlier, you can only earn one Synthstrand every two minutes. This makes kill farms, such as the Thrall hallway in the Shattered Throne dungeon, less appealing.

Synthstrand Farm

The best Synthstrand farms are Override, Battlegrounds, Gambit, and Vanguard Strikes. All four of these activities have large packs of enemies throughout the entire activity, meaning you should be able to snag enough kills every two minutes to earn a Synthstrand consistently. If you’re skilled at PvP, Mayhem and Rumble are also solid farms for this resource.


Synthcord is the second resource tied to transmog. This resource is obtained from Ada-1’s Threader bounties. You can only hold one of each bounty type at a time, and each bounty costs 150 Synthstrand.

Crucible Threader and Raid/Dungeon Threader are the best bounties to farm. Vanguard Threader is also decent, although some of its challenges require extensive Nightfall clears. The Crucible and Raid/Dungeon bounties are the most time-friendly of the bunch.

Never grab Destination Threader bounties! These objectives are incredibly time-consuming or require ownership of Season of the Hunt, something that newer players can only obtain now by purchasing the deluxe edition of the Beyond Light expansion.


Synthweave is the resource you use to transmog your gear. You’ll need 100 Synthcord—the equivalent of one bounty—to create one Synthweave. It costs one Synthweave to unlock any non-Exotic armor piece as a universal ornament, allowing you to change the appearance of any non-Exotic item into that ornament.

Earning Synthweave

There are three ways to earn Synthweave in Destiny 2:

  1. Convert Synthstrand and Synthcord into Synthweave
  2. Purchase Synthweave from Eververse (costs Silver)
  3. Complete certain quests in Season of the Splicer

You can only earn ten Synthweave per character each season! In Season of the Splicer, you can obtain 21 thanks to a free sample and two bundles obtained from certain quests. Purchasing Synthweave from Eververse bypasses this limit.

Converting Materials

Meant as the freemium path, you’ll be able to passively earn progress towards a Synthweave by killing enemies. The process looks something like this:

  1. Kill enough enemies to earn 150 Synthstrand.
  2. Purchase a bounty from Ada-1.
  3. Turn in the bounty to earn 100 Synthcord.
  4. Use Ada-1’s Loom to convert the 100 Synthcord into 1 Synthweave.
  5. Unlock any non-Exotic armor piece for transmog.

Since Synthstrand is time-gated, reaching the cap of ten Synthweave per season will take weeks for most players—months if you’re unlocking Synthweave for alternate characters.

Purchase Synthweave

Eververse sells bundles of Synthweave for Silver, Destiny 2’s premium currency. Tess will sell Synthweave itself, bypassing the refining process with Synthstrands and Synthcords. Purchasing Synthweave from her won’t contribute towards your seasonal cap of ten Synthweave per class.

The bundles cost the following:

  • Synthweave Template (300 Silver): Grants one Synthweave for your current class.
  • 5 Synthweave Templates (1,000 Silver): Grants five Synthweave for your current class.

Note: The Synthweave Templates you receive are for your current class! Be sure you’re on the correct class before spending any Silver on these bundles.

Season Of The Splicer Quests

You can obtain 11 Synthweave for each class for free in Season of the Splicer. These 11 Synthweave materials are fairly easy to obtain and bypass the seasonal cap.

Three quests will grant free Synthweave:

  1. Tying It All Together (1 Synthweave)
  2. Armor Synthesis Introduction (5 Synthweave)
  3. Path of the Splicer I (5 Synthweave)

Tying it All Together grants one free Synthwave near the start of the quest. You’ll need to use it to continue the quest chain.

Armor Synthesis Introduction is given out by Banshee-44 at the Tower. Speak to Ada-1, complete a few objectives on Europa, then hook up the Loom to receive five Synthweave for each class. This only takes a couple of minutes to complete, and it’s a prerequisite to the Tying it All Together quest.

Path of the Splicer is the quest given at the start of the season. You’ll find it in your Quests tab. Complete it to obtain your seasonal Artifact and five Synthweave. This quest is also tied to the first set of Seasonal Challenges.

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