How to defeat Barrier, Overload and Unstoppable Champions in Destiny 2

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Trying to defeat Champions in Destiny 2? Champion enemies are a special kind of foe you’ll face off against in Bungie Studios’ space-faring FPS, and among the toughest combatants on the field. Overcoming their special traits and abilities can often be essential to progressing through harder activities. But it’s not as easy as pointing and shooting.

Here, we’re going to explain how to defeat Champions in Destiny 2, explaining what strategies, weapons and tactics you need to use to bring down Barrier, Overload and Unstoppable Champions for good. Even then, Champions can still be a difficult obstacle in some activities, like harder difficulties of the weekly Nightfall Strike. Be sure to bring your best PvE weapons to the table to counteract this, or go and get exotics to help you out like Centrifuse, Wicked Implement, or Quicksilver Storm.

Did you know?

Champion enemies haven’t always been a part of the game. They were first added to Destiny 2 with the release of the Shadowkeep expansion.

How do you defeat Champions in Destiny 2?

To defeat a Champion enemy in Destiny 2, you need to stun them, which will momentarily disable their special abilities. Here are the three ways you can stun Barrier, Unstoppable, and Overload Champions in Destiny 2.

  • Use Subclass abilities, Aspects, and Fragments.
  • Equip anti-Champion weapons.
  • Unlock anti-Champion mods from the Seasonal Artefact.

There’s a lot of nuance to these three methods, so let’s explore each one in some more detail.

Using subclass abilities, Aspects, and Fragments

Every class and subclass in the game has access to a litany of customisable features. Each subclass can hold up to two Aspects, which in turn unlock slots for varying numbers of Fragments. All three of these subclass features have one important thing in common: they enable or help to enable particular debuffs associated to the subclass’ element.

For example, a Solar Grenade applies Scorch to targets it hits. Scorch can stack and damages targets over time. When it stacks five times on a target, the debuff is replaced with Ignition, a debuff which causes targets to explode. If an Unstoppable Champion is Ignited, though the explosion might not kill them, it will stun them, disabling their damage resistance. You can make applying Scorch even easier though. The Ember of Char causes Ignition explosions to inflict Scorch on targets within the explosions’ radius. And the Ember of Blistering grants grenade energy for Igniting targets. Combined, these help to create a vicious cycle, which make it much easier to Ignite Unstoppable Champions.

There are examples of this for every subclass, and each one can offer ways to deal with champions. Solar subclasses also have access to the Radiant buff, easily available when standing in a Well of Radiance Warlock super. This buff allows any weapon to shoot through Barrier Champion shields, Hyrda shields, and more, so long as its not just a damage gate shield. Arc Flashbang Grenades can stun Unstoppables by inflicting Blinding. The shatter debuff from Stasis can also stun Unstoppables, and so on.

How to defeat Barrier, Overload and Unstoppable Champions in Destiny 2: A player ignites an Unstoppable Hive Ogre.

Anti-Champion Weapons

Some weapons in Destiny 2 are stronger than others. This is how weapon grades work, of course, with exotics at the pinnacle. However, some exotics are even more special, and possess latent anti-Champion qualities. These weapons, due to the nature of their intrinsic traits, have permanently embedder capabilities to deal with particular Champion types. Here are some examples.

  • Wish Ender’s Queens Wrath perk allows it to stun Barrier Champions.
  • Le Monarque’s Poison Arrows perk lets it stun Overload Champions.
  • Devil’s Ruin’s Close The Gap perk can stun Unstoppable Champions.
  • Divinity’s Judgement perk is able to stun Overload Champions.
  • Thunderlord’s Reign Havoc perk can stun Overload Champions.
  • Leviathan’s Breath’s Big Game Hunter perk lets it stun Unstoppable Champions.

Keep in mind too that even if a weapon can’t intrinsically stun a Champion, it could still be useful. Weapons of certain elements may be able to inflict Champion-stunning debuffs when you’re using the right Fragments and Aspects.

How to defeat Barrier, Overload and Unstoppable Champions in Destiny 2: The Le Monarque combat bow.

Anti-Champion seasonal mods

The easiest way to deal with Champions who need stunning is to unlock certain mods on the Seasonal Artifact. These mods, once unlocked, automatically apply their effects to your gameplay. They can vary wildly, but one consistent type of mod always present are anti-Champion mods. These mods are simple. When unlocked, they will enable a particular weapon type with the ability to stun a certain Champion type, which will last until the duration of the season. For this season, the seasonal Artifact anti-Champion mods are:

  • Anti-Barrier Auto Rifle, Tier 1
  • Anti-Barrier Bow, Tier 1
  • Anti-Unstoppable Scout Rifle, Tier 1
  • Anti-Unstoppable Fusion Rifle, Tier 1
  • Anti-Overload Hand Cannon, Tier 1
  • Anti-Overload Machine Gun, Tier 3

As well as anti-Champion mods, sometimes other Artifact mods will be able to lend a helping hand, too. For example this season includes a series of mods which can generate Elemental Orbs. The Solar orb will inflict Scorch onto enemies it hits, the Void orb will inflict Volatile, and the Arc orb will inflict Jolt, helping you to build up those stuns easier.

How to defeat Barrier, Overload and Unstoppable Champions in Destiny 2: The Seasonal Artifact mods menu.

Destiny 2 Champion enemies explained

In case you’re not quite sure how particular Champion types work in Destiny 2, here’s a quick overview.

  • Barrier Champions. After taking sufficient damage, a Barrier Champion will encompass itself in a shield which is invulnerable to traditional damage, and regenerate back to full health.
  • Unstoppable Champions. Unstoppable Champions have immense damage resistance and deal massive damage, and will usually aggressively pursue players until they are stopped.
  • Overload Champions passively begin to regenerate health a brief moment after an attack begins, with the rate of regen outpacing the majority of conventional damage, with exception to massive concentrated fire or one-shot supers like a Nova Bomb.

You’ll find them in various activities, including master raids and dungeons, Nightfall Strikes, and the daily Legend Lost Sector.

Destiny 2 Best Weapons Against Unstoppable Champions

The best weapon you can use against Unstoppable Champions is arguably the Malfeasance Hand Cannon. Its decent rate of fire paired with the significant amount of damage that it can deal will often stagger enemies when used. You can also use the Devil’s Ruin Sidearm, which has a much higher rate of fire, but deals lower damage.

Destiny 2 Best Weapons Against Barrier Champions

The best weapons to use against Barrier Champions is undoubtedly the Arbalest. The Linear Fusion Rifle is one of the best Exotics in the game in general since it can defeat these types of enemies in a couple of hits. If you already have this or if you have the chance to get it, we absolutely recommend doing so since it can make handling Barrier Champions much easier.

That covers how to defeat Champions in Destiny 2. If you’ve had enough of Champions and PvE in general, why not switch over to PvP? Whether you’re looking for the best PvP weapons or all the Crucible and Competitive ranks, we’ll help you get ready to climb to greatness and show off that Glorious title before Destiny 2 Season 23 and the Final Shape release date arrive.

How many Champion types are there in Destiny 2?

There are three types of Champion in Destiny 2, Barrier, Unstoppable, and Overload.

Is it worth defeating Champions in Destiny 2 activities?

It is worth defeating Champions rather than bypassing them in activities such as strikes, as this will unlock Platinum Rewards upon activity completion.

About the Author

Finlay Cattanach

Fin is a Guides and Reviews writer for He's worked previously with Startmenu, The Loadout, and more. He plays everything from strategy and sandbox titles to FPS and souls-likes.

Destiny 2

  • Release Date: September 6, 2017
    • - 06 September 2017 (Xbox One, PlayStation 4)
    • - 24 October 2017 (PC)
    • - 31 December 2019 (Google Stadia)
  • Platform(s): Google Stadia, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Web, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
  • Genre(s): Action, Adventure, First Person, Massively Multiplayer, Shooter
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