Destiny’s Icebreaker is making a comeback. The sniper rifle was infamous in the game’s opening year for its high damage and ability to regenerate ammo, and it’s returning to Year 3 with the ability to be infused to maximum Light, making it viable in Light-dependant Crucible events such as Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris, as well as high level events such as the Raid.
However, while it was a random drop in Year 1, there is a specific step – and a degree of randomness – before you get your hands on it in Rise of Iron.
If you’re interested in other activities from The Dawning, you can tips on SRL 2016, learn how to unlock new Nova Mortis and Abbadon machine guns, find the Lysander’s Cry hidden sparrow well as complete milestones in the Competitive Spirit book.
How to get Year 3 Icebreaker in Destiny
Unlike most other Exotics which require a quest, an Exotic Engram or Xur visit to obtain, the Icebreaker drops at random for completing a specific Bounty, not unlike Thorn introduced with Rise of Iron.
Following the The Dawning update in late 2016, Destiny added Strike Scoring mode ‘Vanguard Elite’, where players can rack up points for killing enemies in certain ways.
Alongside that, Commander Zavala in the Tower – he sits at far end of the main Vanguard table, which you can visit by going straight ahead when you first enter the Tower, down the steps and through the passage – introduced new Weekly Elite Bounties that you can tick off for participating in Strikes.
One of these Bounties is specific to the Nightfall, and by completing this, there is a “chance” you’ll get the Icebreaker Exotic as a reward for completing it. As an example, in The Dawning’s first week, this Bounty had you get a Gold score of 50,000 within the par time (completion time) of 30 minutes:
This particular Nightfall was the revamped Nexus Strike, and with the number of enemies throughout the score should easily be achievable, and if you take your time, you can clear it all in 30 minutes even with a few wipes.
(If you want to attempt this Bounty and have yet to play this specific Strike, the two ‘puzzle’ elements involve you opening a barrier halfway through (clear the enemies then take the orb, and have the party stand in the circle by the door to open it) and for the boss, you can lower its shield by picking up the relic and using the two shoulder buttons (like a Super) to destroy it temporarily for a damage phase. If you keep a cool head and be careful, you should complete it in good time.)
Here’s a stream of the Nightfall from The Dawning’s first week, and at 22 minutes, of the Icebreaker being rewarded for handing in the Bounty:
Of course remember, there is only a chance it will drop. So, similar to unlocking the Thorn quest, it could be a number of weeks until the weapon eventually drops for you