The Destiny 2 Captain’s Atlas is a seasonal quest item. It’s been a hot minute since we’ve gotten one of those, so you could be forgiven for forgetting how they work. Seasons in Destiny 2 have a tendency to be far more complicated than they need to be. There’s no greater example of that than Season 18. Bungie has gone out of its way to make Season of Plunder as complicated as possible, and that over-complication is extremely visible with the Captain’s Atlas. Lucky for you, though, I’m here to lay everything out in simple, easy-to-understand English.
I’m going to explain what the Destiny 2 Captain’s Atlas is, how to use it and what it’s for. By the time I’m done with you, you’ll be nothing short of a master Privateer.
Destiny 2 Captain’s Atlas – What it is
The Captain’s Atlas is a seasonal quest item for Destiny 2’s Season of Plunder. Unlike your seasonal artifact, which is kept in your inventory, the Captain’s Atlas sits in the quests section of your Director.
You’ll be using the Atlas throughout Season of Plunder. It’s a key part of the seasonal gameplay loop, both for regular grinding and for the weekly Sails of the Shipstealer mission. It’s the device that brings everything together within the season, allowing you to use both your Map Fragments and your Treasure Coordinates together to bag yourself some extra loot.
If you were around for the Season of the Chosen, it works similarly to the old Hammer of Conquest. You plug some materials into it – then spend those materials on a chest. Instead of that chest being at the end of a Battleground, though, it’s at the end of Expeditions.
Destiny 2 Captain’s Atlas – What it’s Used For
The Captain’s Atlas serves as a convertor of sorts. It allows you to process some of your seasonal currencies into Treasure Maps. You can then take those Treasure Maps into the Expedition playlist within the H.E.L.M. to dig up some buried treasure at the end of the activity.
The contents of that buried treasure will vary depending on what Treasure Map you slotted into the Captain’s Atlas. You’ll only have access to a handful of basic maps at the start of the season, but you’ll gain access to more and more Map types as you continue to upgrade the Star Chart (Season of Plunder’s seasonal vendor).
You create Treasure Maps with a combination of Map Fragments and Treasure Coordinates. You can only earn Map Fragments from the Ketchcrash activity, while Coordinates are awarded for completing anything out in the world (Strikes, Gambit, etc).
These two currencies are then plugged into your Captain’s Atlas and used to make Treasure Maps. This loop is what powers Season of Plunder’s gameplay, so you might want to get used to it.
That’s pretty much all you need to know about the Destiny 2 Captain’s Atlas. It can be used for some non-Treasure Map activities, like Ciphers. However, they follow pretty much the same process as maps. Just follow the weekly seasonal quest, and you’ll get more than enough experience with the Atlas.