Material Farming Guide

Published on: Sep 28, 2014 @ 21:23

We’ve shared a handful of farming tutorials in the past, but in this article we’ll provide you all with a complete and comprehensive guide specifically for Materials.

We’ll go over the Materials in Destiny that are essential to upgrading your items as well as the best spots to gather them.


Planetary Materials

These materials can be found in the environment or in chests. Spinmetal will be on Earth, Helium Filaments on the Moon, Spirit Bloom on Venus, and Relic Iron on Mars.

Patrol activities on each planet are ideal for exploring and gathering Materials. You can search the planet at your leisure, gathering raw Materials in the wild and looting chests to find more.

Material Overview

The following table gives a brief overview of Destiny’s materials. Keep reading for more in-depth guides on how to efficiently attain these materials.

Material Name Use From
Relic Iron Used primarily to upgrade high-level gear. Gathered and looted from chests on Mars.
Spinmetal Used primarily to upgrade high-level gear. Gathered and looted from chests in the Cosmodrome.
Helium Filaments Used primarily to upgrade high-level gear. Gathered and looted from chests on the Moon.
Spirit Bloom Used primarily to upgrade high-level gear. Gathered and looted from chests on Venus.
Ascendant Energy Used to upgrade weapons to the highest levels of Attack. Obtained as a reward from high-level activities and from dismantling high-level gear.
Ascendant Shard Used to upgrade armor to the highest levels of Defense. Obtained as a reward from high-level activities and from dismantling high-level gear.
Mote of Light A currency used to purchase special gear in the Tower. Obtained by earning XP beyond the level cap and completing high-level activities.
Armor Parts (Plasteel PlatingHadronic EssenceSapphire Wire) Used to upgrade armor. Obtained by dismantling uncommon and higher-level armor.
Weapon PartsWeapon Kit Used to upgrade weapons. Obtained by dismantling uncommon and higher-level weapons.

This video serves as a guide to farming materials quickly and indefinitely:

Check out the videos below for specific farming areas.



Spinmetal is usually found near old human structures.

Video: Earth Chest/Spinmetal Guide


Helium Filaments

Helium Filaments can be found near or inside buildings on the Moon.

Video: Moon Chest/Helium Filaments Guide


Spirit Bloom

Spirit Bloom will be near plants and overgrown areas.

Video: Venus Chest/Spirit Bloom Guide


Relic Iron

Relic Iron will mostly be near Cabal structures.

Video: Relic Iron + Chest Run

Bonus Video: Engram Farming


Material Exchange

Exchange Spinmetal, Helium Filaments, Spirit Bloom, or Relic Iron for Vanguard Reputation/Marks at the Vanguard Quartermaster or for Crucible Reputation/Marks at the Crucible Handler. [divider]

Level 20+ materials

Once you hit level 20, the following items are going to be essential!

Mote of Lighticon2ce36df81797e6026890875ac821c701

Motes of Light are a currency you earn with experience once you reach Level 20. At 20, you no longer gain levels normally; instead, every time you would have gained a level from experience, you earn a Mote of Light instead.

The Speaker in the Tower accepts this currency for his cosmetic items (note: his Emblems provide no buffs/bonuses), as well as the Agent of the Nine for an Exotic Engram. speaker1[divider]

Strange Coinsicond5d0a34c51098ea250e3657493327b9b

Strange Coins are used primarily for buying Exotic items from Xûr. The best way to reliably get Strange Coins is by doing the Weekly Heroic Strike.

If you complete the Strike on the hardest difficulty, you’ll get the coins from the other difficulties as well. For example: Complete the Weekly Heroic on the level 28 difficulty, and you’ll receive a whopping 9 Strange Coins!

Remember: You can share materials between your characters using the Vault. If you have another 20+ character, and only want your Coins on 1 character, just complete the Weekly Heroic on another character and store the Coins in your Vault for your other character to use.

These can also be a random reward from Crucible matches, regular Strikes, Engram decryption, and basically any other activity. [divider]

Ascendant Materialsiconec0d3ddcb263487bea02679dd8b6bfc6

Ascendant Materials are powerful and rare Materials necessary to upgrade level 20 weapons and armor.

Ascendant Energy is necessary to upgrade high-level weapons, while Ascendant Shards are needed for high-level armor.

Dismantling high-level equipment or completing challenging activities, such as a Nightfall Strike or the Vault of Glass, can earn you Ascendant Materials.

Video: Strange Coin & Ascendant Guide

To learn more about endgame materials, click here. [divider]

Public Events and Dailies

It’s worth noting that Public Events and Dailies will reward you with Ascendant materials for the first time you do them that day.

Public Events

The first Public Event you complete that day (on each character) will reward you with a variety of Ascendant materials, assuming you got a gold 3-star rating on said event.

If you’d like to check up on the event’s schedule, click here.

Video: Public Event Farming Guide


Daily Heroics

You only get Ascendant materials if you do the mission on the harder difficulty (24+). If you do it on the hardest difficulty you’ll get no less than 2 Ascendant materials.