Enemy Guide: Hive

Published on: Dec 29, 2014 @ 10:26

For anyone who’s new to the game, or even for those who have been playing awhile, use this guide to learn all about the Hive.

If you’d like to read up on lore for the Hive, click here.

For more specific lore about the Hive enemies that were introduced in The Dark Below, click here.

For our full Crota’s End guide, click here.[divider]


The Hive are an ancient, festering evil. Their antipathy to the Light transcends hatred. To the Hive, the eternal struggle between light and dark is not only a war, it is a crusade—all Light must be devoured so Darkness can reclaim the universe.

Hive’s deadliest traits are their recklessness, undying aggression and complete and utter lack of fear.

Hive Sects: Blood of Oryx, The Scarlet Brood, Spawn of Crota, The Hidden Swarm, Venom of Oryx.

hive tomb ship

Hive harness a balanced use of “Arc” and “Void” damage.

All enemies in the Hive army have developed very diverse strategy in combat, which means you’ll have to change your playstyle regularly when engaging them.

[divider]Hive Weapons

  • The Shredder, Ogre’s Eye Blast,Tomb Ship’s turrets, and the Shrieker’s attacks all deal Void damage.
  • The Boomer, Thrall’s claws, Cursed Thrall’s detonation, and Wizard’s energy bolts all cause Arc damage.
  • The Wizard’s poisonous cloud of darkness, the Knight’s Cleaver, and the Ogre’s ground smash all inflict pure Kinetic damage.

[divider]Sword Usage

Heavy Strike

Probably the first move you used. It results in the sword user leaping forward and striking the ground, causing an area damage effect in a 360 degree radius.

Execute: [Fire]

Xbox: [RT]
PS: [R2]

Execution Time: Fast
Recovery Time: Slow

Damage: Medium

Light Strike

Lunge forward, swinging the sword from right to left, automatically targeting the single most prominent enemy in your sights.

Execute: [Melee]

Xbox: [RB]
PS: [R1]

Execution Time: Very Fast
Recovery Time: Very Fast

Damage: Low


A list of the more comprehensive button combinations to perform unique combo attacks.

Stacking Strike

A simple stacking combo, swing your sword from left to right to left, over and over. Great for slashing through groups of enemies without much thought.

Execute: [Melee], [Melee]

Xbox: [RB], [RB]
PS: [R1], [R1]

Execution Time: Fast
Recovery Time: Very Fast

Damage: Medium

Upper-Cut Slash

With the longest execution time in the game, it delivers a very powerful punch. Any enemies it doesn’t kill with one shot will be knocked off balance. A good strategy with the uniquely animated move is to build it up before reaching your target, then deliver the first devastating blow.

Execute: [Melee], [Melee], [Fire]

Xbox: [RB], [RB], [RT]
PS: [R1], [R1], [R2]

Execution Time: Slow
Recovery Time: Fast

Damage: High

Ground Pound

Performed in the air, this move is similar to the heavy strike, however, this is performed directly downward.

Execute: (AIR), [Fire]

Xbox: (AIR), [RT]
PS: (AIR), [R2]

Execution Time: Medium
Recovery Time: Slow

Damage: Medium

Lunging Smash

Similar to the “Ground Pound” this move actually allows you to target enemies from the air with a lunge. When you are within targeting range of an enemy, swing a “Light Strike” and exactly when you collide, a “Heavy Strike”. This delivers a powerful area effect attack with the agility of a “Light Strike”.

Execute:  (AIR), [Melee] + [Fire]

Xbox: (AIR), [RB] + [RT]
PS: (AIR), [R1] + [R2]

Execution Time: Medium
Recovery Time: Slow

Damage: Medium


Super Combo

This is a devastatingly powerful move, delivering high AoE damage useful when integrated at the end of a combo.

Execute: [Super Move]

Xbox: [RB] + [LB]
PS: [R1] + [L1]

Execution Time: Fast
Recovery Time: Slow

Damage: High


destiny hive thrall guide

Thrall are nearly mindless berserker units, charging headlong into melee combat range.

Thrall typically come in large packs, and when they arrive, they quickly swarm the nearest target they can find and attempt to tear it apart.

Primary Weapons: Claws/Explosion

Damage Type: Arc

Weak Point(s): Head

Avoid Using: Sniper Rifles

Kill Priority: High
Strengths: Numbers

Deadly Modifier Combos: Lightswitch, Arc Burn

Although brittle, these enemies, given the right opportunities and modifier set-ups, can deliver very deadly strikes. The best strategy to use against these enemies is to back up and fire off patient and precise shots.

The worst things you can do is attempt to run, have to reload, or be too poorly equipped to kill them. Generally, these enemies are easy to kill and aren’t typically a problem. But just because this is the case doesn’t mean they should be ignored, they can become very problematic, should you not put them down as soon as you can.

Retreating or ignoring them lets swarms of these guys break up, they can split and flank you when you try to engage other enemies, the best thing to do is take them out there and then, literally the first moment you get. If that is successful, they won’t bother you.

Although you might assume that an enemy that wants to get close to you is asking for a shotgun round in the face, this is not a good logic when engaging these enemies. Waiting too long and allowing these enemies to get close will result in them overwhelming you, no shotgun can save you then.

Be wary of their “Arc” damage claws. These natural weapons are very deadly with either the “Lightswitch” or “Arc Burn” modifiers.


destiny acolyte

Acolytes are the most common frontline combatants of the Hive forces. More cunning than the ravening Thrall, they behave more closely to the Fallen Dregs, lurking at a distance and taking shots with their Shredders.

Acolytes typically seek out nearby cover and open fire from a distance.

Primary Weapons: Shredder

Damage Type: Void
Weak Point(s): Head

Avoid Using: Fusion Rifles

Kill Priority: Low
Strengths: Numbers and Suppression

Deadly Modifier Combos: Void Burn

The basic ground units of the Hive army. Aim for the head and pick them off quickly. Acolytes are very rarely deployed without the backup of other unit types, and never singularly.

Hive Acolytes operate in large groups and stand in combat like a hybrid of Fallen Vandals and Dregs. Just like Dregs, Acolytes’ accuracy and rate of fire increases when they have taken cover.

It’s a difficult decision to make when deciding whether or not to use precious Special ammo against these densely populating enemies. Acolytes are fairly weak targets, so using primary weapons, grenades, or melee strikes to take them down will be easiest.

If you’re forced to shift your attention to other targets, you can frequently leave Shredder Acolytes standing as long as you have decent cover. But don’t ignore any Acolytes armed with Boomers, as they can easily flush you out of cover.


destiny hive knight guide

Knights are heavily armored frontline enemies. Tougher than Acolytes, Knights are usually armed with a Boomer, allowing them to flush you out of cover from long range.

Primary Weapons: Hive Boomers
Other: Cleaver (Sword), Shredder

Damage Type: Arc, Void
Weak Point(s): Head

Shield Type: Arc

Avoid Using: Shotguns

Kill Priority: Low
Strengths: Powerful attacks, strong defensive abilities

Deadly Modifier Combos: Arc Burn

Tanks of the Hive world. These beasts will stay at a range and pelt you with powerful explosive rounds. If you try to engage them, they pull out their shield and block your attacks.

When the “Epic” Modifier is active the strategy is slightly altered when fighting these foes. Knights gain yet more durability with Arc Shields.

Be sure to bring a source of Arc damage if you anticipate encounters with Knights during a mission. Knights are already sturdy and dangerous enemies, and the Arc Shield gives them more time to hammer you with long-range bombardment or get into range with their vicious Cleavers.

Dispatch Boomer Knights as quickly as possible. Hit them a few times to trigger their shields, then lay into them when their shields drop.

Do not let Cleaver Knights anywhere near you; consider them a priority target. It’s well worth it to burn Heavy Weapon ammo on groups of Cleaver Knights.

All in all, Knights are not usually too difficult, they stand their ground and rarely assert themselves, even the cleaver wielding maniacs have a fall back.

Knights are relatively passive with their standings. On higher difficulties they will use elaborate evasive manoeuvres to evade rockets and grenades, this can be very inconvenient and you should always expect it.


destiny dark below wizard

Floating above the battlefield, Wizards heal Hive and pelt you with seeking bolts.

Primary Weapons: Darkness Blast
Other: Cloud of Darkness

Damage Type: Arc
Weak Point(s): Head
Shield Type: Solar

Avoid Using: Shotguns

Kill Priority: Moderate
Strengths: Intense volley attacks

Deadly Modifier Combos: Arc Burn / Epic

Usually, these enemies are just an inconvenience in combat. While you prioritize weaker enemies, these pains will make everything hellishly annoying. Although you can take them down fairly quickly once you destroy the shield, they are nimble targets in the air.

These enemies become incredibly threatening when the “Epic” modifier is active, especially because they appear in much greater numbers. Wizards will sometimes go out of their way to stalk players and hunt them down, even while guardians are behind cover.

The best way to take down groups of wizards is a tracking rocket launcher with Solar damage and either a proximity explosion or seeking missiles perk.

When Wizards are by themselves they are much easier to deal with. Sniper rifles and fusion rifles are great for taking down the shields and a primary weapon targeted to the head is a good way to finish them off.

Wizards have a tendency to run and hide, so using your grenades will give you more control and damage output for when it is needed. The major problem is the fact they hide and are very passive when their shields are off.

The moment the shield go down, they don’t waste any time getting behind their comrades and cover to get their armor up again, so waste no time finishing them off.


moon hive orge destiny

Mutated from a Thrall, they’re just as direct, but are stronger and tougher and they have a very dangerous projectile weapon in the form of their Eye Blast.

Primary Weapons: Eye Blast
Other: Ground Stomp

Damage Type: Void
Weak Point(s): Eye

Avoid Using: Shotguns, Fusion Rifles

Kill Priority: Moderate
Strengths: High health, devastating attack

Deadly Modifier Combos: Void Burn

Thankfully, these enemies are rare, but when you do encounter them, they can be very dangerous. They deliver a very rapid volley of void energy, being caught in it can mean certain death as they fire very quickly and deal very high damage.

They are very sluggish and defensive fighters. It is possible to evade an Ogre at close range by jumping.

They won’t approach you much and always attack from a distance given the choice. The best way to engage them is using precise Mid-Long range weapons, this can put the down reasonably quickly.

These are one of few stronger enemies you should prioritize. Its persistent attacks can make it impossible for you to engage even acolytes. Like Knights, Ogres can enter a berserk state when they get low on health.


Void-infused sentinels, Shriekers serve as immobile but animate sentries of the Hive’s dark holds.

destiny hive guide

Primary Weapons: Void Blast

Damage Type: Void

Avoid Using: Shotguns, Fusion Rifles

Kill Priority: Moderate
Strengths: High health, Defensive Shell, Vengeance Attack

Deadly Modifier Combos: Void Burn

Perhaps both the rarest and most deadly Hive enemy, these guys sure know how to make battles inconvenient.

You can’t kill them from afar as they hide themselves in a shell if you are too distant. When you are up close enough the attacks are deadly and other enemies will make it very hard for you to kill them. You will usually be locked up in a tight spot when fighting Hive, so you will have to be very methodical about your moves.

If you choose to take out the Shrieker early on you will have to bail from cover as its seeking vengeance attack is enough to knock you out cold. Run back until the void particles fade.

The best possible method, is if you are far away enough, take out the other Hive from there with a Scout Rifles or Sniper. Then you can then engage without any major threats. If you are locked in, clear up any smaller enemies and then drop the Shreiker before you engage the knights and wizards.

When locked into an area, you will need to be very methodical and skilled with your tactics, you may need to constantly switch targets to deal damage to the Shrieker and keep other enemies at bay.