Destiny 2’s Loading Problems are Getting Out of Hand on Console
Long loading times and screens have always been an issue for Destiny 2, but they seem to have gotten worse during Season of Arrivals.
For a while now loading in Destiny 2 on console has been out of hand. What was once a 20 or 30-second wait has ballooned into minutes depending on a player’s Internet connection, their type of hard drive, and how lucky their matchmaking experience is. But even though console players have come to tolerate the loading times in Destiny 2, it seems like the game has recently pushed things further.
Stuck on Loading Screen
With the release of Destiny 2‘s Season of Arrivals, loading times have become more prominent than they ever have before. Areas that never used to feature loading now force the player (and their teammates) to stand still for 10-30 seconds as they wait for the next area to load.
These types of loading zones did occur in Destiny 2 prior to this Season, but they were not nearly as frequent. The one that likely sticks out in most players’ minds is in The Insight Terminus Strike on Nessus. Right as players are transitioning from the patrol zone to the “Strike zone,” they are usually left hanging for about 10-20 seconds.
Now, that “left hanging” feeling is all over Destiny 2, whether it be in Strikes, or story missions, or even Lost Sectors. The loading has become unruly on console, to the point that it can ruin the experience.
Slow Matchmaking in Destiny 2
While the loading zones are arguably the most prevalent issue in the game right now, there are still other areas where Destiny 2 struggles to be as snappy as it used to. Matchmaking and loading into matchmade activities, for example, is a lot longer than it used to be. Even once players have found a match, the game will sit on a black screen much longer than it ever did before, and eventually, the skirmish will begin.
Iron Banner is this week and launching a Crucible match is slower across the board. The removal of Skill-Based Matchmaking may have been a response to player complaints but it also was supposed to speed up the Crucible matchmaking process. One can only imagine how long loading into Iron Banner would take if SBMM was still active.
Destiny 2 Menus are Slower
The longer loading has also become an issue when navigating the menus in Destiny 2 from top to bottom. Switching weapons or gear is significantly slower than it ever was, and trying to choose a new loadout on the fly is nearly impossible.
There are some Destiny 2 glitches that console players will never be able to take advantage of because they involve quickly switching gear. But more than that it would just be nice to open a menu and have all of the items appear. Destiny 2 doesn’t have a lot of menu management, but what is there requires snappy and responsive access.
Even just applying shaders has become a tedious process, to the point that it isn’t even worth changing up one’s look. It used to be fun to look at shaders or mess around with gear while loading into an activity, but now it feels like doing so slows everything down. The menu doesn’t load and the activity takes longer to start.
There are signs everywhere of Destiny 2‘s loading problems getting out of hand. Players have likely seen other Guardians running around with invisible guns or invisible bodies, which is a sign that the item has not loaded. As mentioned, the slow loading is not a new problem for Destiny 2, but it has become worse this season.
Destiny Content Vault Could Save Players
Why exactly Season of Arrivals has made Destiny 2‘s loading longer is unclear, but there might be hope that it will get better in Year 4. With the introduction of the Destiny Content Vault, Bungie will cycle older/unplayed content out of the live game (and bring some elements back) in order to help keep the game’s digital footprint smaller. Presumably, this will help with loading and make everything snappier.
It’s possible that the early foundation of the DCV is starting with Season of Arrivals and that is why the loading is becoming an issue. The fixes are waiting for next season and so nothing is happening right now.
Not to mention, the PS5 and Xbox Series X will have SSDs to make loading even faster on the next-gen consoles. While we haven’t seen the SSDs running Destiny 2 yet, one has to imagine that the experience will be comparable to PC, where loading times are significantly faster. On PC, players can hop through menus in an instant and run through the Tower without ever freezing in place. That shouldn’t be the best version of Destiny 2; that should be the only version of Destiny 2.
Hopefully, once Bungie starts talking more about Destiny 2: Beyond Light and the new consoles, the studio will address the loading and its efforts to improve things. Right now, though, things are the worst they have ever been.
Destiny 2 is available now for PC, PS4, Stadia, and Xbox One.