The Season of the Chosen recently started in Destiny 2, bringing new activities, challenges and items to the game. Much of the new content and activities revolve around a specific item which everyone should be pursuing right about now - the Hammer of Proving. Needed to unlock the best new loot this season, the Hammer of Proving is more than just a glitzy mallet, and upgrading it is the main goal, which is achieved with a new currency called Cabal Gold. Here's how you can earn all the Cabal Gold needed to max out your Hammer of Proving.
What is the Hammer of Proving?
The Hammer of Proving is a new item introduced to Destiny 2 with the Season of the Chosen update. Before we get to the hammer itself, some introductions are in order - the main new gameplay addition of this season are Battlegrounds, new PvE encounters where players need to fight off waves of Cabal opponents while destroying some power generators. At the end of the mode, you face off against a stronger Cabal boss, whose defeat earns you victory. At this point, multiple loot caches appear - this is where the Hammer of Proving comes into play. These caches need to be smashed to get the new seasonal items inside, and only the Hammer can break them.
Destiny 2 handily railroads you through an introductory mission showing off what Battlegrounds are all about, after which you unlock H.E.L.M. - the main seasonal HQ area in the Tower. Here you'll need to talk to Zavala, Crow, and Osiris at the war table for the proper Battlegrounds activities to be available. Doing so already progresses you to the next stage of the Challenger’s Proving questline that unlocks the hammer.
How to Unlock the Hammer of Proving?
If you've done the introductory Battleground mission and visited H.E.L.M., you're already well on your way to getting your own hammer. There's one more introductory mission before you, the Decrypting the Darkness quest, which outlines the new Umbral Engrams, which hold seasonal loot. Currently there are two Battlegrounds available in the game - Hailstone on Europa and Behemoth on Nessus - with the initial introduction taking players through Behemoth.
To continue the Challenger's Proving quest chain you'll also need to play through an introductory round of Hailstone, after which you will have earned your own Hammer of Proving - but the fun is only just beginning. When you unlock the Hammer, you'll see that there are a ton of upgrades you still need to earn which will make the Hammer of Proving more effective at its two purposes.
What does the Hammer of Proving do?
The Hammer is good for two things, both of which are central to the Season of the Chosen. First, you need it to decrypt Umbral Engrams, thus allowing you to earn seasonal loot with all sorts of powerful items. Second, it lets you smash those caches at the end of Battlegrounds missions. These two actions are interconnected. To use the Hammer of Proving to "focus" an Umbral Engram, allowing it to be decrypted, you need a Hammer Charge. Hammer Charges are earned from smashing boxes at the end of Battlegrounds, which also gets you the Umbral Engrams in the first place.
There's a catch though - initially, your Hammer can only bust open one cache per match. This means you're getting one Hammer Charge per Battleground, enough only for one Umbral Engram. A bit grindy, innit? This is where upgrades come into play, allowing you to buff up your Hammer of Proving to allow for more cache smashing per match and more. These upgrades can be unlocked by spending the new seasonal currency, Cabal Gold. Note that a lot of Umbral Engrams have their own fancy prerequisites, so sometimes a Hammer Charge won't be enough, but you'll see these requirements on the Engrams themselves.
The Hammer of Proving cannot, sadly, be used to wallop those pesky Cabal enemies.
How to upgrade the Hammer of Proving
Before we actually start earning Cabal Gold however, there is one more step. In order to unlock the unlocks - man, this game sometimes - you have to upgrade the War Table in H.E.L.M. which requires War Table Reputation. At present earning War Table Reputation is only possible through Weekly Season Challenges. We've got 75 of these challenges with more on the way. Once you have upgraded your War Table and can access Hammer of Proving upgrades, you'll need to get some Cabal Gold. Upgrading the hammer happens with Etched Challenger Medallions that cost 14 pieces of Cabal Gold.
How to Earn Cabal Gold
Earning Cabal Gold isn't exactly a difficult process, but can take some time. The activities paying out Cabal Gold are the ones most Destiny 2 players are already running either way, including Strikes, Dungeons, Crucible matches, Gambit matches and public events. Note that you'll only being earning Cabal Gold after you unlock your Hammer of Proving. There are some limits to how much Cabal Gold you can earn and when, but we cover all of this in our Cabal Gold guide.