Destiny - How to beat all Nightfall Strikes SOLO

Destiny - How to beat all Nightfall Strikes SOLO

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The weekly Nightfall strike is the ultimate SOLO challenge for Destiny players, with the promise of huge rewards including Exotic weapons and Legendary gear. In this post I'm going to teach you the best strategy for beating all of the weekly strikes SOLO, with no Fireteam or friends to help you. I'll cover weapon selection, class selection and common strategies across all Nightfalls.

Destiny 2? If you're looking for Destiny 2 Nightfall SOLO guides then check the links below:

Preparing for the Nightfall is essential, with the focus being on weapon types and your chosen class. Many new players forget to consider that different weapons inflict different types of damage, which can make a tremendous difference between success and failure.

This is going to be a long strategy so I'll kick things off with a little explanation about the Nightfall for new players, followed by preparation tips, before diving into each of the strikes and their related strategies. All the explanations are backed up by the original YouTube videos but I know some of you like text strategies so hopefully you'll find it useful.

Nightfall is a punishing experience with great rewards


Nightfall Strikes don't come with match making facilities so you're left to either find some friends (LFG is a great place to look) or take on the Nightfall SOLO. Attempting it SOLO is the ultimate challenge with one mistake costing your dearly. A single death in a Darkness zone will immediately boot you back to Orbit, forcing you to restart the Nightfall again from the beginning.

Nightfall enemies are much harder to fight than your regular Strike because there are so many Majors and Ultras i.e. enemies with yellow health bars that rank level 28 or higher. Enemies also have additional shields making them resistant and harder to break down. It's very important to understand that the opposing enemy level should be matched by your own, or you'll suffer a handicap going into the Nightfall.

The rewards from Nightfall can range from anything from Legendary Engrams to Exotic Weapons and Strange Coins. A Nightfall can only be completed once a week, with the reset occurring every Tuesday. Regular Nightfall success will help you further your character and give you the chance to claim some of the exciting Exotic weapons in the game.

Recommended level

Destiny Guardians

The Nightfall strike is only unlocked once you reach the high twenties and that's for a good reason. Destiny has a scalable handicap system that most players don't know about. Basically it means that if you're at a lower level than an enemy you'll do less damage, no matter which weapons you're using. So for example, a player who is Level 28 will do a hell of a lot more damage with a Legendary weapon than another player whose Level 26 with exactly the same weapon.

Higher light levels also mean by their very nature that your armour has been upgraded significantly further, thus providing more protection from attacks.

I'd recommend that you're at least level 27 before attempting the Nightfall SOLO and even then you're going to find it very difficult. Once you hit Level 28, things become a lot easier and your stats will be on par with all the enemies you'll encounter - i.e. no handicap.

Types of weapons and enemy shields

Warlock Attack

When I first started playing Destiny I had no idea how important the different types of damage were. You've got Arc, Void and Solar damage, presented by the colours Blue, Purple and Orange respectively. These colours are not there by chance, they mean something very important in Destiny. Did you know that the colour of an enemy's shield is related to the type of Damage they're prone to? For example a Minotaur has a purple shield so they're very prone to damage from Void weapons.

Further to this, most Nightfalls have a Burn Modifier which means that a weapon of that type will do bonus damage, a lot of bonus damage for that matter! You can view these modifiers before you start the weekly Nightfall by hovering over the small grey icons on the Orbit screen above the Nightfall description.

Once you know what the weapon type is you want to loadout your character with as many weapons of that type as you can. Although some primary weapons come with Arc, Void or Solar damage (e.g. Atheons Epilogue), most don't. Therefore, you need to concentrate on the Specialist and Heavy weapons to match the Burn Modifier.

Using these types of weapons will inflict bonus damage making it easier to kill enemies faster. This is even more important for lower level players who are already at a handicap against enemies.

If you can't match the Burn Modifier, because maybe you don't have a weapon of that type, then at least match the shields of the enemy you'll encounter. If for example, Knights are causing you a problem then use Arc (Blue) to take down their shields. Similarly, use Solar for Wizards and Void for Minotaurs. You'll find things a lot faster when the shields are out of the way.

Which Class and Sub Class

Guardian close up

Particular classes have an advantage in Nightfall strikes. Firstly, did you know that a high level Warlock Sunsinger can revive themselves from the dead? Thus negating the punishing aspect of Nightfalls where one death forces a complete restart? So if you've got a Warlock Sunsinger then you should work to unlock that perk.

Similarly, some of the zones in a Nightfall don't require you to kill everything in the room to proceed. The Hunter class has a big advantage here thanks to the invisibility perk that makes you completely oblivious to the enemy. Thus allowing you to sneak past several areas without using any of your weapons. This comes at a cost though because I believe the Hunter to be the weaker character in Destiny.

Titans have an interesting and highly valuable defence attribute for the Nightfall - the Bubble Shield. This thing is an absolutely life save when playing SOLO, allowing you to hide inside a protective shield when you've only got a sliver of health left. Combine that with the perk to grant an additional shield from the Bubble and you've got a really strong defensive character.

Lastly, each of the characters have their own sub class but did you know that grenades also follow the damage type formula? There are some that inflict Arc, Void or Solar damage. For example, the Defender Titan has a Void grenade which is perfect against Minotaurs, whilst the Warlock has a Solar grenade which is great against Wizards. So pick the right class to suit the particular enemies you'll encounter and the type of Burn Modifier for the strike.

The best weapon for Nightfall is the Ice Breaker

If you're looking for the best weapon for Nightfall then look no further than the Ice Breaker. It's an exotic Sniper Rifle which automatically reloads a single bullet every few seconds. There's no need for any ammo synths and it's also a really good weapon with great scope and a high damage rating. The IB has Solar burn damage making it extremely useful against Wizards on the Moon Strike.

You'll find that Xur, the mysterious Black Market seller, will sell Ice Breaker from time to time in the Tower. Make sure you save your coins ready for his appearance and the opportunity to purchase the best weapon. Some other Destiny players will also let you in on a tip: switch between the Ice Breaker and another Specialist weapon to get free ammo.

Common Strategies


Ok this is the last little tip before I cover the individual strikes.

Every Nightfall no matter if it's on Earth, Moon, Venus or Mars has a set of similar traits. There will be some areas that you need to progress through several waves, others where a boss must be killed before proceeding etc.

In almost all cases your sparrow can be used to bypass many of these sections where you're not required to kill everything. More often than not this is right at the start of a Nightfall so remember to keep your Sparrow Bike ready and ride to the point where you can go any further.

Secondly, Darkness Zones are the areas you need to be most concerned about and also where you should slow down and take your time. Outside of a Darkness Zone you can go crazy; take risks and as stated above try and Sparrow your way through the area with the notion that any deaths will simply mean restarting from the checkpoint rather than the entire mission.

Now onto the individual strikes...

Earth - Devils Lair

There are some great hiding places in the Devils Lair strike making it one of the easier strikes in Destiny. A good sniper weapon is advisable with some ammo synths or Ice Breaker for auto regen if you have it. Apart from the 3 wave section, the following two bosses are relatively easy to kill off.

Sepiks Prime is the finally boss whose weak spot is a purple spot on the front facing side.

  • 1. Skip the first section by riding your Sparrow until the 3 wave section
  • 2. Hide behind the Tanker, which is located on the right hand side of the room as you enter it.
  • 3. Use the sniper to complete the 3 waves from almost complete safety (no enemies will spawn there)
  • 4. Tank mini-boss: Move to the roof top with the solar panels (left hand side) and sniper from the roof top. The tank will not be able to reach you because you are out of range.
  • 5. Sepiks Prime (BOSS): hide inside the small room on the left hand side. Shoot through window.

Moon - The Summoning Pits

In my opinion, The Summoning Pits is one of the hardest Strikes because of the 3 wave section. An instant melee from a fast moving thrall will send you instantly back to Orbit, crying. Wizards are also an annoyance on this Strike, requiring a game of cat and mouse to tease them into the tunnel for a direct fight.

Once you've made it past the 3 waves, the rest is fairly easy with the nice hiding spot for the final BOSS.

  • 1. Use sparrow to skip through the first area, including the 3 knights and head into the tunnel.
  • 2. Clear enemies in the room before the 3 waves to give you an escape area from wizards later.
  • 3. 3 waves: stay close to the tunnel entrance and avoid venturing too far into the chamber. Play it safe and retreat when oncoming enemies approach. For the 3rd wave when the wizards appear, tempt them into the tunnel and then retreat all the way up and use the stairs as cover to snipe from a safe distance. Play cat and mouse to tempt them again if they retreat back inside.
  • 4. Next area should be straight forward just take it slow and watch out for Thrall melee attacks
  • 5. Phogoth (BOSS) - stay in the second room before the boss and snipe through the tiny gap at Phogoth. Do not go into the open area where the boss is because there's no need (see video for exact location). Enemies will not follow you into the room and as long as you don't stay in the first room before the boss then the ceiling enemy will not spawn either.

Venus - Nexus

The Nexus is an absolute pain in the ass to complete SOLO because there's no perfect hiding place. It takes a good amount of skill to complete the Nexus SOLO so make sure you match the Burn Modifier to make things a little easier.

Void grenades are advantageous against the spawning Minotaur at the cliffs edge before the BOSS. Hunter characters can also bypass a large proportion of this Strike by going invisible.

  • 1. Ride sparrow through first area until the 3 wave section
  • 2. 3 waves: Slowly but meticulously kill off the Servitors by using the entrance room as a retreat. As long as you avoid the melee attacks it's not too bad.
  • 3. All the areas following this until the BOSS require patience and taking it steady, there are no shortcuts unless you're the Hunter who can sneak past almost everything.
  • 4. Nexus (BOSS): do not jump down the cliff to the lower level. Instead kill off all the Minotaurs and the Nexus will drop down.
  • 5. Now attack the Nexus with appropriate weapons until the Minotaur spawns behind you. Save your grenades to attack the Minotaur and unleash everything you've got to finish him off quickly. He is the biggest threat to your survival.
  • 6. Repeat the process by alternating between attacking the Nexus and killing off the sporadic Minotaurs.
  • 7. Again, do NOT jump down from the cliff.

Mars - Cerberus Vae

If it wasn't for a great hiding place under the ramp then the final BOSS on this strike would be almost impossible to defeat SOLO. Apart from the final BOSS and the tricky tank, this is one of the fastest strikes in Destiny because a lot can be skipped using your Sparrow.

  • 1. Sparrow through the first two areas, do not wait around to kill anything
  • 2. At the Iron Line stage (inside area), clear the left hand side only and then take the shortcut all the way until the door. There is no need to kill everything because the door opens automatically.
  • 3. 3 x Guards: Use your Sniper rifle to kill off the guards from a safe distance. Avoid using the vehicles unless you're seriously underpowered.
  • 4. Tank: Now pick up a vehicle and run circles around the tank. Fire continuously, avoid getting stuck behind rocks and the tank will be dead in no time at all.
  • 5. Skip the next area using the Sparrow.
  • 6. Cerberus Vae (BOSS): Use the ramp on the left hand side of the room as cover while you attack the boss.
  • 7. Drop down under the ramp (through small hole on left) when the BOSS changes sides.
  • 8. Shoot through the small gap between the crates (almost 100% protection here)
  • 9. Repeat process when BOSS changes sides.

Venus - Archon Priest

This particular strike was tailor made for a Sniper Rifle so if you've got Ice Breaker then all the better. The final BOSS is particularly mobile and melee attacks are a constant threat towards the end. Thanks to a perfect hiding place, this strike is one of the easiest in the game.

  • 1. Ride sparrow until caves. Don't waste time killing anything on the way.
  • 2. Use the rock as cover to clear the small room before proceeding
  • 3. 3 wave section: take the high ground by the first cliff edge. It's the perfect sniper location with no chance of getting hit because you're well out of range but your sniper weapon isn't.
  • 4. Next two areas can be skipped on the Sparrow once you've cleared the path with your Sniper.
  • 5. Boss area: perch on the left hand side cliff. Clear area before proceeding and avoid going down or melee attacks are likely to kill you off quickly.
  • 6. Archon Priest (BOSS): release him and then immediately hide under the platform, which can be reached by walking along the rocky ground and slipping through the metal bars.
  • 7. Stay away from the edge and simply fire away at the priest to completion.