How to get the Destiny 2 Thorn Catalyst

Find out how to get the Destiny 2 Thorn Catalyst as fast as possible, as well as all the juicy buffs it adds to this powerful hand cannon in PvP and PvE modes.

Destiny 2 Thorn Catalyst: The Thorn hand cannon against a blurred background of gameplay, with a green '+' next to the weapon.

How do you get the Destiny 2 Thorn Catalyst? New Catalysts are always a fun addition, making old favorites even better or giving underused weapons a chance to shine through bonus effects. Well, the Destiny 2 Thorn Catalyst is the latest addition to the system, and it’s making waves in PvP. So, here’s how to get the Thorn Catalyst in Destiny 2 as well as what it does. After all, not every Catalyst is worth chasing.

Destiny 2 Season 23 is here and although there’s no new Exotic armor, there are new Exotic weapons like the Destiny 2 Wish-Keeper and, of course, the Thorn Catalyst which has shaken up the meta in one of the best FPS games. Destiny 2 players aren’t exactly patient though, so we decided to find out the fastest way to get the Thorn Catalyst to save you some of the grind. So, suit up with the best Destiny 2 weapons and best Destiny 2 PvP weapons because it’s time to give Thorn an upgrade.

How to get the Destiny 2 Thorn Catalyst

To get the Destiny 2 Thorn Catalyst, you must complete Vanguard, Crucible, or Gambit playlist activities and hope that it drops as a reward. Yes, unfortunately the Thorn Catalyst is a random drop, meaning there is no way to guarantee you earn it. It also isn’t available as a reward for completing the new Seasonal activities, Riven’s Lair or The Coil, so you’ll have to take a break from the new content to get your hands on the Thorn Catalyst.

With that being said, the quickest way to get the Thorn Catalyst in Destiny 2 is to complete Crucible matches. These are generally the quickest of the three activity types to run. Why does that matter? Well, because the more activities you complete the more opportunities you have for the item to drop. While some Strikes can be quick, most will last you longer than a single Crucible match. Likewise, Gambit is a long activity to complete unless it’s a landslide victory or defeat and, let’s face it, Gambit isn’t all that popular overall.

So, if you’re willing to do PvP, then we recommend grinding the Crucible playlist in the hopes that the Thorn Catalyst drops for you at the end of the match. If PvP really isn’t your thing, then you’ll be better off grinding the Vanguard playlist instead, even if each Strike typically takes slightly longer than a Crucible match.

Destiny 2 Thorn Catalyst: An image of the Thorn Catalyst in the in-game menus, showcasing the weapon with an Ornament.

Destiny 2 Thorn Catalyst explained

The Thorn Catalyst adds +20 Range and +10 Stability to the hand cannon, as well as adding a new effect that grants bonus range, mobility, and handling for a short time after dealing a final blow or collecting a Remnant.

As you might expect, this makes the Thorn Catalyst a very good upgrade in PvP. Thorn is already a popular and deadly hand cannon thanks to its great damage and handling, though this Catalyst takes it up a notch by, most importantly, adding additional range. In practice, this means you can land three-hit headshots at much further ranges, with both the flat Range stat bump and the additional effect you can trigger that increases weapon range.

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In PvE, the Thorn Catalyst isn’t all that exciting unfortunately. Sure, it’s still an upgrade over the base version of the gun, but that’s not saying much. Thorn isn’t often used in PvE activities due to their being much better Exotic weapons to use instead. While the Thorn Catalyst makes it stronger for those die-hard PvE Thorn fans, the bonus range and improved handling aren’t as impactful against AI foes.

If you’re a PvP main, especially one that already uses the Thorn, then we highly recommend you grind out more PvP (or Vanguard Ops if you fancy a break) to get your hands on the Thorn Catalyst. Otherwise, PvE fans don’t necessarily need to go out of their way. After all, with so much luck involved, it’s not worth the trouble if you’re not going to use it anyhow.

So, that’s everything you need to know about the new Destiny 2 Thorn Catalyst, including how to get it and the buffs it adds to this popular hand cannon. If you’re eager to get the Thorn Catalyst fast, then you’ll need the best Destiny 2 Titan build, Destiny 2 Hunter build, and Destiny 2 Warlock build to ensure you’re completing activities in record time.