Destiny 2 Independent Study: Complete Quest Guide

Players often get confused how to efficiently complete Independent Study. This guide will give you tips and strategies to finish the quest easily.

Destiny 2 Independent Study
Destiny 2 Independent Study

Upon completing the Independent Study quest in Destiny 2, players are rewarded with Thorn’s notorious exotic hand cannon. Much like the Enhance quest, today’s guide will focus on all the steps required to complete the Independent Study.

Key Takeaways

Destiny 2 Independent Study quest demonstrates each stage of the process and offers advice and tactics for getting the exotic hand cannon, Thorn, which was introduced in Destiny 2 during the Season of The Drifter in 2019.

  1. Find ashes in a hidden camp in the European Dead Zone (EDZ) to start the quest.

  2. Talk to Banshee-44 in The Tower and gather 50 Hadronic Essence by completing bounties, defeating Warlocks, or Nightfall strikes.

  3. Collect 50 Plasteel Plating by doing bounties, defeating Titans in the Crucible, or Heroic Blind Well activities.

  4. Obtain 50 Sapphire Wire by participating in Escalation Protocol waves or completing bounties (five wires per wave).

  5. Reach 100% connection strength, and the quest will update. Visit Tyra Karn at The Farm for the next step.

  6. Complete the Chasm of Screams Strike with Thorn equipped.

Upon completion, you’ll receive Thorn, an exotic hand cannon with powerful stats, ideal for both PvP and PvE activities.

Exotic Perk Thorn

Destiny 2 Independent Study
The exotic Thorn in the trailer for season of the Drifter

The first thing is first; let’s take a look at the main exotic perk of the Thorn. Mark of the devourer deals damage over time to enemies you hit – just like in Destiny 1. Plus, the kills with this weapon will leave behind Remnants. Upon collecting these Remnants, you will partially reload the magazine and strengthen the Mark of the devourer. This buff substantially increases the damage dealt with Thorn. You can also attach the Targetting Adjuster Mod to your gun to enhance its bullet magnetism.

Now let’s get to how to acquire this weapon and complete the quest.

Sift Through the Ashes – European Dead Zone

Destiny 2 Independent Study
Interact with the bonfire to continue

When this quest was initially introduced, players thought that they had to go to the Drifter to start this quest since it had no markings on the map. But that is not the case at all. You’re going to have to make your way to the EDZ and head up north from the Trostland and into the salt mines.

Once you enter the salt mines, make your way to the teleporter. Keep in mind that the teleporter is not marked, but it is straightforward to spot. Afterward, stand on the teleporter and get teleported to a different location. Run up the side of the cliff until you reach the area that is blocked by a Fallen barrier. Fortunately, you do not have to enter the barrier; continue making your way along the side of the cliff until you find the hidden camp on a ledge.

You will be able to find an interactable object here – which is just a pile of rubble – and it says to search the ashes. Do this, and you are going to get the first step to begin this quest.

The Tower – Talk to Banshee 44

Destiny 2 Independent Study
Getting the quest from Banshee 44

To progress further in your quest, gather 50 Hadronic Essence through three different activities: completing bounties, defeating warlocks, or finishing Nightfall strikes. Nightfall strikes offer the most efficient progress.

The easiest method is to launch the Nightfall with the lowest difficulty; your score doesn’t matter. Completing the Nightfall grants essence. After three Nightfalls, you’ll have 45 essence, and you can obtain the remaining 5 by completing one bounty mission.

Avoid targeting warlocks, as it’s difficult to control and not as efficient as Nightfall strikes.

The Steel – Gather 50 Plating

Destiny 2 Independent Study
Description for The Steel quest

Once you have 50 essence, your quest will automatically update, and you’ll have to now gather 50 steel. Again, you have three options to complete this quest. You can do bounties, defeat Titans in the crucible, or do heroic blind well. The highest number of plating can be obtained by doing the heroic blind well.

You can do the heroic blind wells in no time due to the game’s state. To clear this faster, I suggest getting the tier 3 and 4 activation consumables from Petra. Otherwise, you’ll have to rely on other players and that can go either way. Since the heroic well offers 10 steel, you will have to complete it five times to finish this part of the quest. Again, I recommend against the Crucible since it is too inconsistent.

The Binding – Collect 50 Wires

Destiny 2 Independent Study
Starting The Binding quest

For this quest step, collect 50 sapphire wires efficiently by completing Escalation Protocol waves. Each wave rewards 5 wires, the same as doing a bounty.

To maximize progress, take all three bounties while completing the escalation waves. This allows you to complete both tasks simultaneously. The math adds up to 15 wires from bounties and 35 from seven waves, potentially reaching all 50 wires in a single run.

After collecting 50 wires, be prepared for a tedious grind in the subsequent quest steps.

Weaponize the Unknown – Get 100% Connection Strength

Weaponize the Unknown requirements

To progress in this step, you will have to defeat guardians in the Crucible using void energy or hand cannons.

Void Hand Cannons:

  • Graviton Lance got only 4% progress with 30 kills.
  • A void hand cannon gave 7% with fewer kills and more with precision streaks.

Recommended Void Hand Cannons:

  1. “Cold Sweat”
  2. “Ikelos_HC_V1.0.1.” Acquire them early in the main campaign.

Progress Multiplier:

  • Iron Banner boosts progress.
  • Competitive Crucible gives 1% per kill.
  • Quick play remains the best option, providing 7-10% progress per match.

Something Yet Remains – Talk to Tyra

Destiny 2 Independent Study
Talking to Tyra for the quest progression

After grinding your way through the Crucible and getting 100% connection strength, your quest is going to update automatically. Afterward, you’re going to have to go somewhere you haven’t been in a long time – The Farm.

You will have to talk to Tyra and get a new quest. This is possibly the easiest and simplest step in this long and complex quest.

Chasm of Screams – Complete a Strike

Chasm of Screams strike description

The final step of this quest will have you take on Sardav and Telesh in the strike found on the planet Titan.

  1. Accessing the Strike: Open your map on Titan to find a new marker for this strike.

  2. Modifiers: This isn’t your typical strike. There are three modifiers to be aware of:

    • Enemies have more health and don’t stagger easily.
    • “Blackout” greatly boosts enemy melee attacks and disables your radar.
    • Incoming damage is significantly increased.
  3. Recommended Power Level: The strike’s recommended power level is 660, so come well-prepared.


  • Prioritize taking out Thralls immediately to prevent them from overwhelming you due to the melee damage boost.
  • This strike requires a different approach; focus on eliminating threats rather than just DPS.
  • Matchmaking for this strike is rare, so consider teaming up with friends to make it easier.

Completion of The Quest

Destiny 2 Independent Study
Thorn stats and description

The second you kill the final boss of this quest, you’ll be immediately awarded the exotic hand cannon – Thorn. You can use that weapon in PVP or PVE since it is viable and deals tons of damage while having great stats.


This quest is one of the longest in all of Destiny 2 and requires tons of grinding. It may take a long time for you to complete this, but it is absolutely worth it in the end. The Thorn is an amazing weapon that can tear through enemy shields like it’s nothing in PVP and PVE. Fans of hand cannons will certainly want to pick up this weapon as it will be absolutely satisfying to fire those shots with this gun.

I hope this guide helped you complete this long quest without much hassle. That about does it for today’s guide about Independent Study quest. Kindly let me know in the comments below what you thought about this quest and if you like the Thorn hand cannon.

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