Battlegrounds (Season 13)

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Ritualistic Combat

Battlegrounds is an Arena activity introduced during the Season of the Chosen. It is a 3-player activity in which players face off against Cabal forces lead by Empress Caiatl, daughter of former Emperor Calus.

Originally, Battlegrounds missions could be launched directly from their destinations' maps. The Battlegrounds Playlist could be found on the Vanguard screen in the Director.

With the release of The Witch Queen, most Year 4 seasonal content was removed from the game and added to the Destiny Content Vault. However, the Battlegrounds missions remained in the game, instead moving to the Vanguard Ops strike playlist. They cannot be launched as individual missions through the Director, and can only be played when randomly chosen by the playlist.

Other Battlegrounds activities were introduced in later seasons, including PsiOps Battlegrounds in the Season of the Risen, Heist Battlegrounds in the Season of the Seraph, and Defiant Battlegrounds in the Season of Defiance.


Battlegrounds missions are structured similarly to Strikes. Players will fight through a large amount of enemies in a linear progression, occasionally needing to complete objectives that will remove obstacles and allow progress to continue. These objectives vary depending on the mission. Playing missions in the Battlegrounds playlist would add additional modifiers, including Champion enemies.

Near the end of each mission, players must interact with a Cabal hologram to begin the Rite of Proving, summoning the boss. This will also fully restore players' Super energy. Because of this, it can be helpful to use one's Super before starting the boss fight, in order to generate extra Orbs of Power for free.

When the boss is defeated, a chest will spawn to grant rewards. During the Season of the Chosen, the player could spend Cabal Gold to socket a Challenger Medallion into the Hammer of Proving. In the original Battlegrounds playlist, this would allow them to smash open one of three Tribute Chests at the end of a mission, granting additional rewards. In the Vanguard Ops playlist, the final chest will grant normal strike rewards, and the Tribute Chests have been removed.


Name Enemies Location Boss
Battleground: Behemoth Cabal, Vex Nessus Commander Dracus (Legionary)
Battleground: Hailstone Cabal, Vex Europa Basilius the Golem (Colossus)
Battleground: Foothold Cabal, Hive Cosmodrome Val Ma'rag (Incendior)
Battleground: Oracle Cabal, Vex Nessus Ixel, the Far-Reaching (Psion)