If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you have a cursory knowledge of DIM and do *some* endgame content so have a decently reliable stream of masterwork materials. Most of this centers around the “loadouts” functionality that DIM has – this guide also assumes you know how that part of DIM works. It’s more about a “strategy” for how to use the loadouts tool to best streamline your gaming. More time gaming, less time modding makes a happy you, and a happy me when you’re on my raid team and don’t take 5 minutes to set up for each encounter 😊.
Anyway, we start off with a few goals to make our destiny gaming time more efficient and enjoyable:
Space for drops. Less stuff in postmaster, fewer annoying “collect postmaster” clicks or tower trips, and fewer ascendant shards accidentally lost.
Minimal mod switching. If Destiny isn’t gonna let me save mod loadouts, shit I’ll make my own.
Minimal scrolling through DIM “where is that weapon? Oh its on my Titan, oh wait that’s the wrong roll, oh the one I want is in my vault…”
Minimal dress-tiny conflicts. I want to look good, and I want to look good without spending 5 minutes changing shaders and ornaments every time my mods or armor changes
This is key, Dresstiny is the true endgame.
This includes my sparrow, ship, and emblem. It’s all gotta be cohesive.
Armor stats must be very good but we aren’t necessarily targeting a thousand triple 100 builds. Taking 3 seconds to get ready and having 10 Recov/7 Dis/8 Int > Taking 5 minutes and having 10 Recov/9 Dis/10 Int. Can be one exception.
To start off with, separate your weapons and armor loadouts. This is because weapons are generally class agnostic – except for a few special cases like crown splitter with energy accelerant. And for those few exceptions, it’s not that big a deal to lose one spot for your loadout to just have that weapon on all classes.
Next up, is for all our loadouts we will be checking move items away. This creates space, and if we set our loadouts right, we won’t need anything not in the loadouts. There is one exception to this.
Now before we get into loadouts, though, I want to talk about classifying armor/weapons. In general, you’re going to have different desired rolls for PvP and PvE. In some cases, those weapons are going to look very similar. In a phone app version of DIM, you’ll have to click them; when creating loadouts, you can’t inspect them; when looking at desktop DIM, you have to hover.
To get around this, with the exception of cosmetics, I follow these rules with tagging:
PvE rolls I’m keeping get MWed and locked immediately, and tagged with Keep
PvP rolls I’m keeping get MWed and locked immediately, and tagged with Infuse (lightning bolt)
Rolls good at both (say, Outlaw/Rampage on a 120 HC back when rampage would 2-tap) get MWed and locked immediately, and tagged with Favorite (heart)
Crap rolls get sharded immediately
Rolls I need to investigate get vaulted. Every month or so, I’ll look at all non-MWed weapons and “thin the heard” to a max of 3 rolls per gun, and try them out. Then follow the 4 rules above once tried out. This is usually the case for new guns with new perks.
PvP armor is tagged with Infuse, PvE armor is tagged with Keep (see armor loadouts section)
Notice I don’t use the tags for what they’re stated as for. I’ve found that the tags are most useful just to visually differentiate different rolls on the same weapon, instead of for their actual purpose.
For cosmetics, since I use some of the same ghosts/ships on different characters (multiple copies so using my hunter doesn’t take a ship from my warlock), I tag all warlock cosmetics with Favorite, all hunter cosmetics with Infuse, and all titan cosmetics with Junk. This isn’t a classification or judgement on the classes, it’s mostly just me deciding what symbols go best with each class 😊.
Now, you have your vault classified – at least, the weapons. Hold off on armor for now.
For any PvE or PvP activity that you’ll run a bunch, make a loadout. For me, I have the following loadouts: GM, Last Wish, Garden, DSC, Vault, Prophecy, Flavor of the Day, PvP Meta, PvP Fun, and Gambit. For each of these, I curate the list of weapons I use for each encounter/activity, generally keeping it to 6 or under weapons (preferably 4 or under) in each slot – including some that aren’t used all the time. Some of these loadouts – especially the raid, GM, and PvP Meta ones – get updated a couple times a season. Once a week after the season starts, as the meta has started to form, and once midseason when I know what I’ll need the rest of the time. This upkeep doesn’t usually take long, maybe 10 minutes or so each time. Then every now and then I’ll update specific loadouts when I get certain new rolls/weapons.
So, my weapon loadouts follow these rules:
Max of 6 weapons/slot per loadout
At least one non exotic weapon per loadout in each slot
Update each loadout at least twice per season
Loadout is any class
Loadout follows naming “Weapons (ACTIVITY)” – this keeps all weapon loadouts grouped together in the menu, while categorizing them alphabetically be activity
With these rules, it’s easy to go to the character you want to use and just choose the appropriate weapons loadout and you’re all set up! At least, weapon-wise.
An Aside: Controlling Vault Space
A lot of people have nearly maxed vault space. So here’s what I recommend: target farm. Know what can roll on all weapons, so you can know if a roll is worth saving when you get it compared to throwing everything in the vault to go through / test out later (spoiler alert: you won’t). The one exception to this is new weapons with new perks. Those get thrown in the vault, and then a few weeks after a season starts, you should try to take them for a spin and read up on how people are thinking of the new perks. From here, you should be able to decide which of the new perk sets, if any, are worth keeping. Then you keep the good rolls you have and masterwork/tag/lock them, and dismantle everything else. From here, you should be back in the mode of knowing whether you should keep or dismantle everything you get since you’ve both read about how people think of the new perks/weapons and tried them out yourself. You’ll have a few perk sets you’ll want to target and keep, and some you won’t. Sometimes I’ll masterwork and keep a partial god-roll, but then you need to remember to go and delete it when you get the full roll you’re targeting. For instance, I have a vorpal threaded needle right now – it’ll get deleted and replaced in my loadouts when I get a rapid hit vorpal.
Yes, on the rare occasion you can get burned by a perk being changed. Honestly, though, the good perks are generally always immediately recognized and always remain relevant. For instance, frenzy is still a top tier PvE perk and was from the outset. Looking farther back, rampage is great and always has been, same with explosive/timed payload. In PvP, snapshot has always been desirable on a sniper and will never not be. I don’t think a perk possibly being changed, unless it’s specifically been mentioned as being looked at, is a reason to clutter a vault up with rolls that might be good later.
Armor loadouts are more complicated. They’re more expensive to masterwork (which we want), they have more cosmetic cohesion that needs to go on, exotics are more situational, they’re class specific, and they have more mod cohesion that depends on weapon loadout.
That said, we can still work out a solid system. The amount of effort that this system solves depends on how advanced into the game you are – do you have a ton of high stat armor saved and a ton of shards? Are you willing to spend a few hours to get set up so your gaming goes smoothly from here out? Go to option 1. Only have a medium number of shards, and enough high stat armor for like maybe a couple sets of armor? Go to option 2.
Option 1 – Or How Being in the 1% Can Solve All Your Problems
If you’re here, you’re the Jeff Bezos of Destiny. You have functionally infinite shards because you run 3 GMs a week, 20 GMs when it’s double loot. And if you’re missing a good armor roll? Well, you aren’t, but you can just go run PoE once and grab one.
So how can we capitalize on your riches to make it so swapping activities and loadouts is a breeze? This is a bit more of a chore compared to weapons, it’ll will take a decent amount of time to setup for each character. But imo, it’s even more rewarding. Follow these steps:
Figure out how many completely masterworked loadouts you can make without reusing armor (this is key). You can always make more later.
Lock all your high stat armor, but clear all the tags you have in DIM from them.
From that number, decide on that many loadouts. Most classes can get by with 4-5 including the flex loadout. For instance, my warlock has “PvE Welllock”, “PvE Geomags”, “PvP Sniper”, “PvE Bleakwatcher”, and “Flex”.
Now order these loadouts in terms of stat importance to you. For me, my PvP loadouts are most important. Your first loadout is your one exception for trying to get as close to perfect stats as possible, since loadouts from two onwards will be using worse and worse armor pieces (in theory, still good armor though). The flex loadout is last and should include one full set and all other pieces that aren’t yet in a static loadout up to a max of 3 (to leave room for drops).
Go into loadout optimizer.
Exclude all exotics
Fill in mods that are “must haves” for your most important build
Fill in other mods you’d like that aren’t stat boosting
Fill in “placeholder” mods (for instance, a 5 energy scavenger and a 3 energy ammo finder and 8 energy for champion mods)
Optional – Make sure no elemental mods are on the chest piece if you have a limited number of options, so your “Flex” loadout can easily match the chest of a number of elements to cover elemental resists for a given loadout
Allow element changing and masterworking for all items in the optimizer
Choose a loadout with the most appealing stat distribution
Add stat boosting mods until that loadout disappears (you added too many mods). Remove the offender. Now you have your targeted loadout.
Screenshot it, DIM will tell you what mods go where so you don’t have to figure all that out.
Save this loadout – it should currently be all legendaries (name “Armor (DESCRIPTION)”)
Now, edit the loadout.
Add exotics that pretain to this type of build. For PvE Welllock, for instance, you may consider adding Boots of the Assembler, The Stag, Lunafactions, and Phoenix Protocol.
Check move other items away except for the flex.
PvE Optional – if you don’t have a million loadouts and made sure your chest wasn’t the holder of an elemental combat mod, add some chest pieces for different resists
Tag all the armor pieces with an appropriate tag (PvP or PvE). Flex loadout only gets locked, no tag.
For certain loadouts (like, a chaos reach one) feel free to set the subclass type too.
For the flex loadout, add up to 3 total armor pieces in each slot that don’t have a tag.
Okay so its set up in DIM (in theory). Now we need to execute the loadout in game.
Equip the loadout in game.
Make the legendary elements match the DIM screenshot, masterworking where needed. Make the mods match the DIM screenshot.
Verify you didn’t screw up – total armor tiers should match the DIM screenshot
Make exotics match the element/mod loadout of their corresponding legendary
Make your character look good. Be sure to consider the exotics you may be using with this outfit too.
Choose a Ship, Ghost, and Emblem for this loadout. Add this ship, ghost, and emblem to the DIM loadout as well. Lock, and tag it as this class’s classification.
Now you have your first loadout! Go back to step (5) and repeat for all your other loadouts, but exclude the pieces already in loadouts. Because we cleared tags at start, and are tagging as we go, this just means exclude any armor with a tag. No double dipping, because double dipping = mod changing required.
Repeat for all your other classes. Note: some classes will have more nuances to them or quirks. As you get used to creating loadouts like this, and abide by the no double dipping. For instance, my hunter has a PvE flex that includes a lot of PvE exotics and a chest of all three affinities, and is mostly my one-stop-shop for PvE hunter. With the exception of stasis, which has its own.
This is definitely a lot of work. Once you get a hang of the flow, it’ll take probably an hour for every 5 loadouts or so. However, there is beauty here. Once you’re done, you’re only three clicks from being set up for any activity. For instance, say you’re about to run vault as a warlock:
(1) Equip Weapons (Vault) on your Warlock.
(2) Equip Armor (PvE Welllock) on your Warlock.
(3) Equip Armor (Flex) on your Warlock.
From here, all you may have to do prior to each encounter is swap weapons and maybe screw with an ammo finder/scav here or there. All your other mods, including CwL, are good to go. And let’s say you get to Atheon and there’s already a Well so you want to run Chaos reach? Well, just go into DIM and say “Equip Armor (PvE Geomags)”. Then you’ll need to actually swap the armor, since you’re in an activity.
The biggest benefits here are you get minimal mod switching, and you will always look on point. And when you want to switch up a look, you can do so without worrying about all the other loadouts since they each have their own unique look. And, since everything else is moved away other than the primary set and flex set, there’s a ton of space for drops.
Why do we also equip the Flex armor? It’s obvious that you won’t always have a one size fits all solution. Having the flex armor there let’s you equip that instead of the main legendary to run a more unique mod loadout when required without messing up the main loadout drastically. Your flex armor is also your loadout tester for other fun loadouts you might want to upgrade to one of the static DIM loadouts in the future. If I really want to try a new fun build back, it’ll usually be some combo of my flex armor (which can be multiple pieces in each slot) and a static set. I make sure to change the static set parts back when I’m done.
As you accumulate enough armor pieces for another fully masterworked set, you can create a new loadout from those pieces and add to your repertoire that’s easily accessible and then move those pieces from the flex loadout into their own.
Notice how I didn’t separate armor by activity like I did with weapons and instead separated by what you’re functionally doing. This made more sense to me, since exotics are more tied to what you’re doing than what specific activity you’re running, and then there’s fewer duplicate builds. And it’s more fun to match looks to playstyle/subclass than it is to activity. It may mean swapping armor loadouts mid raid or activity, but then that’s just one click and a few armor swaps. No biggie.
Option 2 – I don’t want to do that much work or I’m just not Jeff Bezos
So in this case, we’re going to target two loadouts and two looks. One for PvE, and one for PvP. Start with PvP since armor stats are more important there and make a masterworked loadout in Destiny for a character. Use DIM to make this into a loadout, and add any PvP exotics you might like. Note that if the exotics don’t match the elemental affinity, you may have to do some mod finangling when you swap them around. Make your armor look good.
Then make your PvE set, using different armor than your PvP set. Exotics can overlap, just understand you’ll probably need to swap mods and looks when you do so for those. Again, make your main PvE armor look good (preferably different from PvP). Again, save it in DIM. In PvE especially, you may want multiple options for each slot of different elements if possible to allow for mod mix-matching. Make these all match so when you swap to a different chest it doesn’t screw up your look. And when you change your look, change it for all of them.
Then, make a set of aesthetics for this character. Include an array of ships, emblems, and ghosts. Save this in DIM as “Z Aesthetics”. The Z moves it to the bottom – you shouldn’t need to equip it more than once. Lock, save, and tag all items in this loadout with your character tag.
Do the same on all your characters. Make sure to duplicate any aesthetics (in DIM, use the tags to differentiate which Always on Time sparrow is your hunter’s vesus your warlocks).
The benefits with this option are its less up front work in both DIM and in game. On the negative, you’ll still be swapping mods around fairly often, and your looks might not always be in perfect cohesion (with sparrows, ships, and etc). And you only get two looks per character – one PvE and one PvP. You don’t get to make your Geomag getup look more Arcy and your Well getup look more monarchy here unless you’re gonna do a lot of swapping each time you switch.
Look, I think I’ve written enough down here. I’m a big proponent of option 1 here, it’s what I use and ever since I spent the time to get it set up, I’ve vastly enjoyed setting looks up and then not worrying about getting them messed up or using armor pieces that don’t match, since everything in the loadout matches. And changing looks is easy, since I can just change the look of the whole loadout all at once and it stays cohesive. Armor mod swapping is slimmed down to scavs, finders, resists, and champions (combat and stat mods and extra stuff like bomber all stays). For PvP, since I differentiate PvP loadouts based on what I’m running (Sniper vs Shotgun for instance), I can literally run them without changing mods at all. It’s great. But it also took a lot of effort to set up. All that said, even if you don’t use one of these exact strategies, maybe it’ll help you get to thinking about how you can use DIM yourself to make your time spent in game more enjoyable and efficient. Or maybe you’ll use some of these ideas to better organize your vault.