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 Destiny 2 Independent Study.

The exotic hand cannon was added in Destiny 2 with the season of The Drifter in 2019. This guide will showcase every step along the way as well as provide a bunch of tips and strategies to assist you. The reward for this quest is amazing as it will help you greatly in PVP or PVE. Just like the Dreaming City Weapons, Thorn is rated exotic and has insane stats.

With that said, let’s jump right into today’s guide about the Destiny 2 Independent Study quest guide.

Destiny 2 Independent Study

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

Talking to Banshee 44 will update your quest step yet again, and now you will have to gather 50 Hadronic Essence. You collect the essence by completing three different activities. You can either do bounties, defeat warlocks, or complete the nightfall strikes. Out of all the aforementioned options, nightfall strikes offer the most efficient progress. Each activity is going to award different values of the essence.

The easiest way to complete this is to launch the nightfall with the least difficulty. Since it doesn’t matter what your score is, you do not have to worry about it. All you need to do is complete the nightfall, and you are grants essence for your troubles.

Running through three nightfalls will grant you 45 essence and then you can do one bounty mission to get the remaining 5 essence. I strongly recommend that you do not go after the warlocks since you cannot control it.

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

Your quest step will again update on its own with another similar objective. This time you have to get 50 sapphire wires. The most efficient way to complete this is to do the escalation protocol waves. Every time you beat an escalation wave, it’s going to award you with 5 wires; the same as doing a bounty.

To have the most effective progress, you should grab all three of the bounties whilst completing the escalation waves. That way, you can easily complete both these things and get the most out of the situation. If we do the math, you’ll get 15 wires from the bounties and 35 from doing all seven waves. You can potentially get all 50 wires within one run.
After gathering 50 wires, the quest will become extremely tedious, and you will have to grind a lot to complete the next 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. Precision streaks using void hand cannons grant the most efficient progress. A quick note; your progress is multiplied in the iron banner or competitive crucible matches. Going in with the Graviton Lance or a pulse rifle; as long as it’s void, you’re going to gain progress towards your goal.

I sacrificed a lot of time doing various experiments, so I have tons of information that will help you get this done efficiently. First and foremost, doing this with a full void build doesn’t help you that much since it does not give a lot of progress. Using the Graviton Lance and getting 30 kills only gave me a measly 4% collection strength.

However, using the void hand cannon granted me 7% despite not performing that well as the previous round. Seemingly, it gives you the highest percentage when you get kills with the void hand cannon. Of course, if you get precision streaks, it will give you even more bonuses. The next question is, what good void hand cannons are there? The first one I recommend is the “Cold Sweat,” and the other one is “Ikelos_HC_V1.0.1”. You have to play through the main campaign to get them, and you’ll get it almost instantaneously since it is one of the first things awarded.

Something else to keep in mind is the bonuses from the iron banner or competitive matches. Since the iron banner is not around all the time, doing competitive grants decent progress – 1% per kill. However, the best course of action is still playing quick play as you can easily get 7-10% 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. Open your map and go into Titan to see a brand-new marker allowing you to partake in this strike. However, this is not your average strike as you probably expected, and there are three modifiers you want to be aware of.

First of all, the enemies have more health than usual will not get staggered when you damage them. The second modifier is called “Blackout.” It boosts the enemy’s melee attacks significantly, and on top of that, your radar is disabled. This is something to be aware of as the area is swarming with Thralls that can kill you in an instant if you’re not careful.

The last modifier greatly empowers the incoming damage that you take. This makes it extremely easy to die in this strike, so you’ll have to take precautions. The overall recommended power level of the strike is 660 – which is quite a lot.

After doing this strike multiple times – and dying a lot, I suggest that you take out the thralls as soon as you see or hear them. Do not let them bunch up, as they will instantly finish you off due to the increased melee damage boost. Do not play this strike like your average playthrough; since most players prefer doing DPS rather than taking out thralls immediately. Another thing to note is that matchmaking is quite rare in this strike, so call your friends for this 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 Destiny 2 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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