Destiny 2: A Complete Guide To The Duality Dungeon

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  • Master Difficulty Differences And Rewards
  • How To Start The Duality Dungeon
  • Duality Hidden Chest Locations
  • Enter The Echo Of Calus's Consciousness
  • Defeat The Nightmare Of Gahlran, Sorrow Bearer
  • Find A Way
  • Unlock The Vault
  • Navigate The Vault
  • Defeat The Nightmare Of Princess Caiatl.

Duality is the first of two dungeons to release for Destiny 2 during its fifth year of content. This dungeon takes players into the mindscape of Emperor Calus to dig through his greatest fears and uncover the intentions of both him and The Witness.

As far as dungeons go, Duality is one of Destiny 2's best. It features an exciting core mechanic, memorable boss fights, and some of the best dungeon loot to date. This guide will go over the difficulty variants of the Duality dungeon, how to start it, and how to complete every encounter.

Master Difficulty Differences And Rewards

Duality features two difficulty variants: Legend and Master. Legend is the default difficulty for this dungeon and is recommended for most players attempting Duality for the first time. Master is significantly harder and features Match Game and Champions, but it grants better rewards.

Here are the modifiers present in both versions of the Duality dungeon:

  • Power Level: 1,550
  • Modifiers: None
  • Power Level: 1,590
  • Modifiers
    • Champions: Barrier
    • Champions: Unstoppable
    • Match Game

Duality Rewards

Each encounter of this dungeon can drop an exclusive armor set with high stat rolls. If you're playing on Master difficulty, this armor becomes Artifice Armor instead, granting it a fifth mod socket that exclusively fits Artifact mods. With how powerful Artifact mods are, this is a massive power bump for builds that can fit that many mods onto their armor. In essence, Artifice Armor is effectively Adept armor.

Beyond that, this dungeon can drop the following weapons:

  • Heartshadow: An Exotic Sword that turns the user invisible after a kill.
  • Lingering Dread: Stasis Grenade Launcher (Breech variety).
  • New Purpose: 340 RPM Stasis Pulse Rifle.
  • Stormchaser: A three-round burst Linear Fusion Rifle that deals Arc damage.
  • Unforgiven: A 750 RPM Void SMG.

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How To Start The Duality Dungeon

Accessing the Duality dungeon will require you to obtain the "A Single Thread" quest from Hawthorne in the Tower. Once you've purchased The Witch Queen Dungeon Key for Destiny 2, speak with her at the Tower to start this quest. It simply gives you access to the dungeon. You should be able to start the mission from your Director, located under the Moon tab.

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Duality Hidden Chest Locations

Duality features two hidden chests scattered across its platforming sections. The first is found during a statue puzzle, while the second is located right after you beat the second encounter.

Hidden Chest #1: Find A Way

Upon entering the circular room with Gahlran statues, look at the doorways on the upper floor. One of the doors will be slightly open, hiding a chest inside.

Hidden Chest #2: Navigate The Vault

Right after defeating the Champion trio in the second encounter, you'll encounter a room with a giant cube that's covered in a white tarp. You'll want to walk under this structure and look towards the entrance. You'll find a chest hiding under a walkway.

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Enter The Echo Of Calus's Consciousness

You'll start the mission inside an infested Tribute Hall. Eris Morn has found a way to extract Calus' consciousness from one of his statues. She'll open a path into his mind. Walk beside the statue to start the dungeon.

Eris will teleport you into a locked room that has no discernable exit. Looking through the door, you can see a bell at the other end of the room. Shoot at the bell to enter the realm of Nightmares, allowing you to escape. Make your way towards the bell inside this Nightmare. Shoot the bell while standing beside it to return to the Material Plane.


Every encounter in this dungeon includes at least one bell you can use to switch between realms of reality. You may shoot a bell inside the Material Realm from anywhere, but activating a Nightmare bell while not beside it will kill you. Activating a bell will transport you to the exact location you're currently standing in the other realm. Keep this in mind for each encounter.

Now that you're back in the Material Realm, some of Calus' loyalist soldiers will begin firing upon you. Take them down with your weapons, then look towards the walls and ceiling to find an upward path. Climb up the platforms lining the edges of the walls, then climb on the beams lining the center of the room. You'll need to make your way to the very top of the chamber to find the next bell. Climb to the roof, turn around, then damage the bell to switch realms. Beware of the Psions as you climb.

Switching realms will reveal a small ambush. Jump towards one of the nearby pillars for cover, picking off the Cabal with your Primary. When it's clear, make your way to the other end of the room. Damage the bell to switch realms. Defeat the Cabal guarding this room, then look to your left. You should be able to see a bell past the closed doors. Shoot at the bell, jump to the center platform where the newly-spawned Cabal are, then look to your left again to find a clear path ahead. You'll find the bell you shot at earlier, shifting you back into the Material Realm. Once again, keep descending to find another bell.

You should have the hang of shooting bells at this point. Continue to descend the massive chamber, taking out any Cabal you see. At the end of the path, you'll enter a circular chamber that's guarded by a few Cabal. Defeating all the Cabal in this room will open a hatch in the center of this room, revealing the path to the first encounter. Equip the best close-range DPS setup you've got.

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Defeat The Nightmare Of Gahlran, Sorrow Bearer

Encounter Overview

  • Shoot at bells to alternate dimensions. A set of Bellkeepers must be slain to use each bell once.
  • Nightmare Realm: Defeat Psions to collect Standard Essence. You have a one-minute timer. Psion kills extend the timer by 15 seconds.
  • Material Realm: Deposit your Standard Essence to open a side room. Shoot a bell inside the newly-opened room to reach Visions of Gahlran.
  • DPS: Defeat two sets of Visions of Gahlran. Your remaining timer is your DPS window.

Before you start the encounter, Gahlran is a highly mobile boss who will attempt to melee you during the DPS phase. If you try to attack him from a vantage point, he'll hide. A Well of Radiance is highly recommended. Those planning to use Linear Fusion Rifles should also consider using a Divinity.

Start the encounter by shooting at one of the two bells in the room. You'll find one on each end of the room. Upon entering the Nightmare Realm, Gahlran will spawn beside you, impervious to all damage. You'll also gain a debuff called Nightmare Collapsing, lasting one minute. If you do not leave the Nightmare Realm in that time, you'll wipe.

Your goal in the Nightmare Realm is to kill Psions that spawn in one of four side rooms in the arena. All doors will be open, but only two Psions will spawn. Keep an eye on your radar to see which rooms the Psions are in. Get in the room, kill the War Beats and Psion inside, then grab the ephemeral flag that spawns. This will give you a Standard Essence buff. Grab at least one essence, preferably two, then leave the Nightmare.

We recommend grabbing both Standard Essences during your first trip to the Nightmare Realm. This lets your fireteam clear two rooms at once, letting you start the DPS phase immediately. For solo players, this makes the second time you visit the Nightmare Realm far less stressful.

You'll leave the Nightmare from the opposite bell. For example, if you used the bell at the bottom of the room to arrive, you'll need to use the top bell in the Nightmare Realm to escape. Each bell is guarded by two Bellkeepers, flamethrower-wielding Cabal. Both must be slain to access a bell. Be sure all fireteam members are near the bell before activating it, or you might get your fireteam killed by accident.

In the Material Realm, your goal is to deposit the Standard Essences you grabbed earlier. The name of the standard determines which plate it must be dunked at. For example, if you have a War Beast standard, you'll dunk it at the War Beast plate in the back-right of the room. There's no timer in the Material Realm, so take your time.

Dunking at a plate will open the accompanying room, followed by a group of War Beats, a Colossus, and waves of Cabal behind you. You don't need to kill them to progress, but we recommend doing so to prevent dying from a hailstorm of gunfire. With the room open, walk inside and turn towards a nearby bell. If you dunked two Standard Essences, be sure at least one fireteam member is in each room before shooting a bell. If you're playing solo, only dunk one Standard Essence.

If you ignite a target that's near a bell, it will cause the bell to take scorch damage over time, allowing it to activate on its own. Be careful using Solar or any DoT effects on targets near a bell.

You'll enter the Nightmare Realm once again, this time standing next to a swarm of Gahlran duplicates called Visions of Gahlran. These enemies are incredibly weak and drop a damage buff when slain. You must defeat all six Visions inside the room to escape. The exit will be on the opposite end of where you started. Enter the central room, kill the Bellkeepers, defeat the second Psion if you haven't already, and return to the Material Realm. Repeat what you've just done to fight the second set of Visions.

When two sets of Visions have died, Gahlran will be vulnerable to damage for the remainder of your Nightmare Collapsing timer. You'll find the boss at the center of the arena, surrounded by a small group of Cabal. Before you damage the boss, kill the Bellkeepers; forgetting to do this can easily lead to a wipe. You'll want to fight Gahlran at the center of the arena, not from an elevated position. If you do, he'll run into a corner and hide. Use your Supers, Heavy weapon, and all of your abilities to damage the boss as much as possible. When the timer reaches ten seconds, make your way to a bell and leave. The encounter will then reset. Repeat these steps until Gahlran is dead.

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Find A Way

Descend deeper into the ship after collecting your loot from the last encounter. The path will lead you into a spacious platforming section. You'll want to drop down to where the Cabal soldiers are. Hop onto the pillar directly across from you to find a switch. Activating the switch will protrude a few platforms from the wall beside you. Climb up the wall, then make your way to the other end of the room. Activate the second switch. Turn around one more time, and climb up the final set of platforms. Be careful of the exit shute; jumping too early or too late will kill you.

Make your way through the various hallways inside the base, clearing out the Cabal as you go. Keep fighting until you reach a brightly-lit chasm with a walkway just visible in the distance. Jump towards that walkway and head right. This will take you to a statue puzzle.

How To Solve The Statue Puzzle

This area features a hidden chest.

This circular room features four statues surrounding a central bell. Take note of where the statues in the Material Realm are facing. With that info handy, damage the bell to enter the Nightmare Realm. All four statues in this realm will be facing the bell. You're looking to match the statues in both realms.

Head to the backend of each Nightmare statue. You'll find a switch that can be interacted with, turning the Material Realm's respective statue 90 degrees counterclockwise. Interact with every switch until you've rotated all statues to face the bell. You can switch realms at any time to check where the statues are facing, but remember to stand near the bell in the Nightmare Realm; forgetting to do so will kill you and restart this entire section.

Once all statues are aligned, return to the Material Realm. A hatch right under the bell will open, revealing a hidden vault that you'll need to crack open.

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Unlock The Vault

Encounter Overview

  • Deposit Standard Essence to DPS a miniboss. Repeat three times.
  • Nightmare Realm: Defeat Colossus enemies and Centurions to obtain Standard Essence.
  • Material Realm: Plant the flags and defeat the Nightmare.

Mechanically, this encounter is incredibly simple and a sort of inverted Gahlran fight. Instead of getting standards in the Material Realm, you'll be getting them from the Nightmare Realm. Start the encounter by walking near any of the bells in the room. But before you do, walk to each corner in the room and note the symbol on each side. Like the last encounter, each corner is marked with War Beast, Sun, Chalice, or Axes. Assuming the staircase is top, here's the layout of both realms:

  • Top Left: War Beast
  • Top Right: Axes
  • Bottom Left: Sun
  • Bottom Right: Chalice

When the encounter begins, two images will project from the center of the arena. These are the symbols you might find in the Nightmare Realm. Search the corners of the Material Realm for where the symbols are, kill the Bellkeepers guarding the bells, then shoot the bell when you're ready. Bellkeepers unlock the opposite bell in this encounter, so keep that in mind. To make the next part easier, try shooting the bell across from you to teleport.

Entering the Nightmare Realm, you'll want to kill the Bellkeepers in the arena immediately. The Beekeepers will spawn at the bell you did not activate, so head there first. Clear out the two Bellkeepers, then split your team up to find each symbol. If you're playing solo, focus on getting just one; grabbing two by yourself is nearly impossible without an add-clearing Exotic weapon. Defeat every add in the room to spawn the Standard holder. Slay the Centurion, and they'll drop a Standard Essence based on which side you're on. Grab it and book it for the bell as fast as possible; you won't have much time. You have one minute to complete this part, so be swift. Defeating the Centurion extends the timer by 15 seconds.


Each corner of the Nightmare Realm will have small details that signify which symbol you will claim. War Beast has a dog statue in the center of the room. The Axes room has axe symbols along the pillars of the room. Sun has a giant sun symbol hanging on the ceiling, and Chalice has multiple chalices in the center of the room. If you ever lose your orientation, look for these details.

Back in the Material Realm, you'll get swarmed by dozens of Cabal infantry. Add clear is mandatory here. You'll want Volatile Rounds, Solar 3.0, or something like Trinity Ghoul to cleave through all enemies. When the situation dies down, plant a Standard atop the symbols at the center of the arena. Additional adds will spawn each time you do this, so consider spacing out the flags.

When you've planted two flags, the boss will become vulnerable. You have unlimited time to kill them, so take your time here. Stay patient, don't get reckless, and remember to use your abilities and Super. Once the Nightmare is slain, a second one will spawn. Repeat what you just did to weaken the Nightmare and slay it. Repeat this a third time to finish the encounter.

As for general encounter tips:

  • Focus on killing adds: Enemies will keep spawning in this encounter, amplified if you plant a Standard Essence. Bring Riskrunner, Trinity Ghoul, or a subclass tuned around killing waves of enemies.
  • Bring a good Heavy weapon: The Nightmares in this encounter are incredibly tanky. Bring Gjallarhorn if you're in a group, and consider using Deathbringer if you're playing solo.
  • Spec for damage resistance: Adding damage resistance through chest mods, Combat Style mods, and the Resilience stat are great ways to increase your survivability in this encounter.
  • On the second Nightmare, do not let them get close to you. The Nightmare's flamethrower blast can fling you into a wall and instantly kill you.

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Navigate The Vault

This area features a hidden chest.

Similar to the start of the dungeon, you'll need to leapfrog between various bells to make your way to the final encounter. The central plate in the last encounter should be open now, allowing you to continue your descent.

When you enter a rather spacious vault filled with riches, look at the back-left wall to find a bell you can shoot. Damage the bell, the climb up the support beams to your left. At the very top, look to your right to find a gap in the wall you can jump through. The end of this path leads to the bell, shifting you back to the material plane.

The room you're in only has one exit, so follow the light. Climb up the steep incline, jump across the platforms, and make your way to the top. A bell will be waiting for you. Shoot it, then traverse to the other end of the room while you're in the Nightmare Realm. Shoot the bell to snap back to the Material Realm.

Look above the bell to find the path forward. Before jumping across, spend the next few seconds killing the adds guarding the arena. When dealt with, jump across to find another hole in the wall at the other side of the room. The path after this point is rather straightforward; follow the platforms with red lights until you reach the final arena.

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Defeat The Nightmare Of Princess Caiatl.

Encounter Overview

  • Ring the Waking Bell to engage Caiatl in combat. Ring bells when she nears them to give yourself a short damage window.
  • Nightmare Realm: Defeat Psions and claim their Standard Essences.
  • Material Realm: Deposit Standard Essences and ring the Waking Bell.
  • DPS: Wait for Caiatl to reach a bell. Activate it to buff those near the bell and temporarily stun her.

Mechanically, this is a rather simple encounter. The true difficulty of this encounter comes from managing the dozens of enemies that will swarm the arena, all of which you'll need to juggle with virtually no cover. If you can, use Well of Radiance or any type of healing ability to stay alive. Invisibility also works.

Walking near the giant bell at the end of the arena will spawn Caiatl, multiple Bellkeepers, and a whole host of Psions. Beside the bell will be four chains, each with a corresponding plate. Two of the four plates will project a symbol that must be deposited into them. And just like the other encounters, you'll need to enter the Nightmare Realm to find them. The symbols are found in the following locations:

  • Top Left: Sun
  • Top Right: Axes
  • Bottom Left: War Beast
  • Bottom Right: Chalice

Once you've slain the Bellkeepers, shoot one of the three bells in the arena to enter the Nightmare Realm. You'll need to enter the correct corners of the arena and kill the Psion guarding the area. They'll drop a Standard Essence you can grab and dunk in the Material Realm, same as the last two encounters. You'll be swarmed by adds during this part, so consider using invisibility or dedicating someone to clearing adds. If you're attempting this solo, kill the adds before jumping up to the Psions. Shoot one of the bells when you're ready to deposit your Standard Essence.

Depositing two Essences will reveal the other two symbols you must deposit. Go back into the Nightmare, grab the Standards, and bring them back. With all four Standards deposited, the chains housed in the pillars beside each plate will start to glow. Damage any of them to start the DPS phase. There's no timer during this part, so consider farming the endless swarm of adds if you need ammo or Super energy.

Breaking one of the chains will ring the Waking Bell and send your fireteam into the Nightmare Realm. Two Bellkeepers will protect each bell in the area. Assign each member of your fireteam to a certain bell to clear out the enemies. Alternatively, you can all stick together and kill each pair as needed.

Empress Caiatl will walk towards one of the three bells at random and attempt to escape. Activate the bell when she gets near to stun her. Stand near the bell when this happens to gain a damage buff. Without this damage buff, you'll only be dealing a tenth of your usual damage. You have ten seconds to damage Caiatl before she recovers and runs to another bell. Rinse and repeat until all three bells have been used. Again, the bell she goes for is random, so stay on your toes.

When DPS ends, you'll be sent back to the Material Realm to start the fight all over again. Restock on ammo, prime the Waking Bell, and focus on killing Caiatl as fast as you can. The longer you spend in this encounter, the more likely you will perish due to adds.

As we said, it's a fairly simple encounter, yet the real challenge comes from staying alive. You have virtually no cover against some of the hardest-hitting enemies in Destiny 2. Focus heavily on survivability and add-clearing weapons for your loadout here. Nightstalker Hunters are a blessing for keeping your team safe during Standard Essence management, and weapons like Trinity Ghoul can seriously help keep the enemies under control. Play as cautiously as you can. With enough Waking Bell activations, you'll be able to slay the Nightmare of Caiatl and complete this dungeon.

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