A guide to unlocking and using the Menagerie, a free to play pve activity good for farming specific guns and armor.
Guide to Menagerie
How to Unlock the Menagerie
Talk to Benedict 99-40 in the Tower. He should give you the quest Imperial Summons. If he does not, you need to finish the New Light introductory quest that asks you to speak to various different NPCs.
The Menagerie quest looks like this.
When you pick up this quest, you will also receive a Broken Chalice that goes in your quests menu. As you progress the quest, the chalice will slowly become less broken, until it is fully repaired.
Do not confuse this for the Legend of Acrius or Tribute Hall quests, which look similar. The Legend of Acrius quest, a random drop while on Nessus.
Each step has a different name, with the first step being called “On the Comms.” The Tribute Hall quest, acquired from the chest next to Werner 99-40 on Nessus.
All three of these quests are available to all players, regardless of DLC owned.
- The Menagerie unlock quest will expect you to already have a basic grasp of the game. Some mechanics it assumes you already understand:
- Generating orbs of light. Do this using supers or masterworked guns.
- What lost sectors are. There is an adventure next to Devrim in the EDZ that explains lost sectors.
- What challenges are. These appear on the director when you reach power level 950, the “soft cap.” When you hover over them, they say “Challenge” and show that they reward a powerful item. These are how you raise your power level from 950 to 1000.
- The triumphs tab. Triumphs are in-game achievements, and can be viewed from the tab at the top of your character menu.
If you already know all of these things, you should have no trouble following what the quest says using the in-game text.
Upon completion of the Menagerie unlock quest detailed above, you will receive the Chalice of Opulence. Your other characters can simply pick up this chalice from Benedict without needing to complete the quest again. This item appears in your quests inventory, but is not a quest. Hover over it for a prompt to go to its details page. As shown in the Menagerie unlock quest, you insert runes into the three boxes in the middle, which are consumed and determine the item you get from the chest at the end of the Menagerie.
When you hover over the boxes in the middle and the circles at the bottom of the Chalice screen, a description box will pop up saying what they do and that you must use a currency called Imperials to unlock each of these upgrades. You can also hover over runes from this screen for a description box about what they do. You will see that you must upgrade your chalice to have other colours of runes drop. All runes have an equal chance of dropping once unlocked.
Here are two charts showing all possible items you can make in the Menagerie, and what runes will make them. You can insert or change runes at any point before the end of the Menagerie. I put runes in before launching.
There are a wide variety of other spreadsheets, images, charts, and websites that will show these same recipes. For all items that can be made in the Menagerie, even if they come from other parts of the game, the Menagerie is the most efficient way to farm them. However, if they have a curated version, the curated version cannot drop here. Curated versions of guns drop at masterwork tier 10 and have a single row of non-randomized perks. Some of these are good, some are just ok, and some are bad.
Runes can be acquired in the following ways:
- Using the Runefinder consumable sold by the Calus robots Benedict and Werner.
- Weekly bounties from the Calus robots.
- Opening the weekly chests on the Nessus barge by spending glimmer.
Imperials can be acquired in the following ways:
- Using the Wealth of the Emperor consumable sold by the Calus robots. Limited number available to use per week.
- Completing Menagerie triumphs. These triumphs will show that they give Imperials when you hover over them.
- Weekly bounties from the Calus robots.
- Opening weekly chests on the Nessus barge.
- Strikes, crucible, and gambit match completions after purchasing the Power and Efficiency 2 upgrade. It is highly recommended to purchase this upgrade as early as possible.
Once all upgrades have been purchased, the Chalice is “perfected” and gains a gold border. Anything that would have dropped imperials will now drop runes.
This is a 6 player pve activity with matchmaking. It is composed of a random assortment of possible encounters. A user interface marker will guide you to the next one, and there are user interface markers hinting at what to do throughout the encounters. The first one is always The Lamplighting, and it always ends with the boss fight. There is a progress bar displayed on the left side of the screen, and the team’s performance in each encounter determines how much of the progress bar is filled from each encounter. When it is full, you advance to the boss.
If you complete an encounter with time remaining, it is called “flawless,” even though for boss encounters and for other parts of the game, “flawless” means without anyone dying.
There are modifiers that change daily, which can be viewed from the lower left of the launch page. You may do the Menagerie without rune(s) in your chalice, but you will not receive an item from the chest at the end.
There are three bosses on a weekly cycle. The order is:
- Hasapiko, the minotaur.
- Arunak, the ogre.
- Pagouri, the hydra.
For owners of Forsaken, Arunak will drop the Scrap of Paper quest for the exotic rocket launcher Truth.
If you have not played very much of this game, you may struggle, as various parts of the Menagerie use mechanics commonly found in other parts of the game and these are not explained here, since the game expects you to have already seen them. For example, the Witches’ Ritual public event that appears on Titan, the Moon, and Mars has “pressure plates” or “capture plates,” circles on the ground with a green outline that you have to stand in for a certain amount of time to make things happen. The Menagerie has this too, but if you had never seen that public event, it may not be immediately obvious that this is what the game wants you to do. You may want to hold off on the Menagerie until you are familiar with public events and strikes.
For the encounters with hive swords, a combo of light-light-heavy attacks (two left clicks and one right click) will do the most damage. You can tell if your timing is right if the heavy attack is a sideways slash instead of a ground slam.
There are lore collectibles hidden inside the Menagerie. Here is a video showing all of them.
The pages of this lore book are distributed throughout the Menagerie, Tribute Hall, and Crown of Sorrow raid (this raid requires Forsaken).
When on the launch page, you will see the option to toggle between normal and heroic mode Menagerie. Heroic mode has the following differences.
- There is no matchmaking.
- There are set modifiers for the entire week, as opposed to different modifiers each day. There is always an Extinguish modifier.
- Encounters are in a set order and not randomized. If you do not successfully complete the Menagerie by the time you run out of encounters, the team is booted to orbit and must restart.
- A class specific sword will drop guaranteed on your first completion. After, it has a 25% drop chance from heroic Menagerie completions.
- A variety of triumphs are only available in heroic mode. You must get some of these if you want to have the Shadow title.
- For owners of Forsaken who own Izanagi’s Burden, its catalyst is a guaranteed drop on completion.