This page details the species of ever-expanding machines that have relative power over time and space and, like the Hive, similarly invade the Solar system for dominion.
Beware of unmarked spoilers.
A linked-mind species of liquid radiolarian fluids inhabiting mechanical bodies which lurk in vast complexes and ruins throughout the Solar System. While they are most commonly encountered on Mars and Venus, they have also claimed and transformed Mercury into one of their "machine worlds" and have subjected 7066 Nessus to the same fate and are in the process of converting the Jovian moon Io. They have a terrifying mastery of time and reality-manipulation.
- Alternate Timeline/Alternate Universe: The Vault of Glass serves as a meeting point for multiple universe and timelines that the Vex work in, allowing them to manipulate events and patterns and experiment with the flow of time.
- The interior of the Vex gate network is an alternate universe akin to the Hive ascendant realms, only where time flows much faster than in our universe. A few minutes outside can end up being an entire decade inside. There are hints that the Vex gate network is also non-linear, allowing one to enter and exit it at different points in time on the end of the normal universe.
- Arch-Enemy: While it's difficult to say if something like the Vex can truly have an archnemesis, the Exo Stranger reserves a particular hatred toward them and, according to Praedyth, she shows up in every Vex timeline trying to stop them.
- The Assimilator: All Vex technology is, in one way or another, a component in their efforts to assimilate the universe into their endless patterns and constructs. They convert both entire planets as well as living creatures into their massive machines and complexes, and one facility on Io, the Pyramidion, is built specifically to convert living beings into Vex. They're so focused on conversion and assimilating things into more of themselves that even simple exposure to the radiolarian fluids in their mind cores can begin turning someone into a Vex construct. There are some suggestions that the robotic bodies of the Vex were each once a living being converted by the assimilating mind-fluid.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Unlike most of the humanoid creatures in the game, the basic Vex's weak spot is the glowing light in its abdomen. Blowing its head off just makes them more aggressive. That being said though, they're still easier to deal with while headless.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: The Radiolarian Fluid, or "Vex Milk," that marks a Vex unit's weak point and floods the worlds they have overtaken, is what the Vex actually are — vast colonies of protozoa in a nutrient soup, who can network to form calculation engines. Individual Radiolarians can be likened to individual brain cells, making Vex worlds literal planet-sized brains.
- Blue and Orange Morality: The primary motivation of the Vex, as put by Praedyth:"The Vex have no hope; no imagination, no drive, no fear. All they have is the pattern. Everything must fit. If it can be made to fit, good! If not... it gets cut away."
- The concept of adhering to their pattern is an explanation for a lot of their behaviors. For example, the Vex are not an aggressive force, and tend to completely ignore the Guardians or other creatures in the system, while they're traveling about... up until the moment they get too close to whatever buildings the Vex are working on, at which point every Vex in the area violently falls upon them to destroy whatever is intruding on their patterns.
- In Destiny 2, the Vex on Nessus seem focused less on construction and more on endless experimentation, on both Fallen and humans. The Vex on Io, meanwhile, seem more interested in studying the planet and human society, attempting to steal information from Rasputin's bunker so they can use data on human art, literature, and culture against them.
- One questline on Nessus indicates that the Vex don't understand human emotions and concepts, including concepts such as loss and grief. During the questline, the Vex create a "friendly" Harpy that leads the Young Wolf and Failsafe through a series of "tests" against Vex that appear to be studying concepts like empathy with the intent of testing human and AI emotions, and ends with the Vex leading Failsafe to the remains and last recordings of her captain and observing her reaction.
- In The Curse of Osiris, Sagira mentions that the Vex prize unique data above anything else, which is why they appear to attempt to capture living beings and artificial intelligences that they encounter. They go to great lengths to grab and then preserve unique information, which is why they keep Failsafe and Sagira alive within their networks and why they try to capture Guardians, humans, and Fallen when they can to study them.
- Vex behavioral patterns, particularly their obsession with simulation and assimilation, is close to the behavior one would expect of a single-celled lifeform that simply consumes and reproduces exponentially, and at some point developed capacity for intelligence. They lack the biological drives of larger multi-cellular lifeforms, so while they are able to perform complex calculations and build advanced technology, they lack any concept of emotion, ambition, art, culture, or other drives that define the structure of social, multi-cellular life. They have the basic drive to eat, reproduce, and expand, but extended to an incredibly intelligent Hive Mind lifeform. This is also the reason why they are obsessed with unique data and creating simulations of other lifeforms; they physically cannot comprehend the motivations, drives, and mindsets of multi-cellular life. The closest they get to it is blindly imitating the behaviors of multi-cellular life like mimicking religious behaviors of the Hive and constructing art-like structures in important places.
- Berserk Button: The Vex have an intense fascination for unique data, and interfering with that data, whether it be test results from an experiment or releasing a living being from their prisons, does the closest thing that there is to angering them.
- Cannon Fodder: Goblins serve this role, although they become much more deadly during the Vault Of Glass, and on Heroic difficulties.
- Can't Kill You, Still Need You: The special ending to the "Paradox" story mission, as well as some Grimoire cards, indicate that the Vex are keeping humanity around because Guardians and the Traveler are paracausal and can defy their predictive models — and that they are a possible key to averting the Vex's ultimate destruction at the hands of the Darkness.
- Cargo Cult: The Vex, an already advanced and incomprehensible race of robots, came across the Black Heart — a fragment of the Darkness even more advanced and incomprehensible they they were. They saw no other option than to worship it. The Vex also adopted Hive practices of worship in an attempt to access the paracausal abilities associated with the Darkness and the Worm Gods.
- Co-Dragons: Along with the Hive, although the two would never cooperate, since that goes entirely against the sword-logic that both sides follow.
- Clockwork Creature: The Vex constructs are mostly mechanical, save for the radiolarian fluid driving each machine. This gets inverted as you delve deeper into their lore and especially when the Guardians arrive on Nessus, where entire oceans and rivers of Vex liquid life can be found.
- Cold Sniper: Hobgoblins, their dedicated sniper platforms. When you're an inscrutable alien cyborg, 'cold' comes with the territory.
- Cyborg: Like the Daleks of Doctor Who, their bodies are mechanical shells around a heavily-integrated organic core.
- The Dragon: The Vex are one of two species that openly serve and worship the Darkness, though unlike the Hive, the Vex seem to be trying to find a way to avoid being dominated and consumed by the Darkness. Instead, they simply seek to use the Darkness' power to further their own ends.
- Elite Mooks: Minotaurs, who serve as field commanders, and Hydras, who serve as major processing nods, are guarded by rotating shields.
- Enemy Mine: In rare cases, the Vex are willing to stand aside and let the Guardians pass into their facilities without attacking them, usually in response to an even greater threat that they themselves cannot deal with.
- Eviler Than Thou: According to the Exo Stranger, they are an "evil so dark they despise other evil."
- Garden of Evil: The Black Garden, the Vex's home. Whether it's its homeworld or home dimension is not certain. It's literally a garden with plant growth overtaking the standard Vex architecture. At the center of the Black Garden is the Black Heart, which may be part of the Darkness and is worshiped by the Vex.
- Grenade Launcher: Torch Hammers, the iconic weapons of the Minotaurs, which fire explosive bolts of Void energy. They're the Vex's most dangerous hand-held weapons, and are used in a (massively) upscaled version by the Gate Lords as well.
- The Heavy: The Darkness may be the Greater-Scope Villain, but these guys are the primary villains of the release-day PvE content — the main storyline is built towards shutting down the source of their power, the Black Garden's Heart, and the end-game raid that provides the toughest, highest-level challenge in the game, the Vault of Glass, is a dive into their 'underworld', the heart of their stronghold on Venus.
- Hive Mind: After analyzing Vex remains and their minds, Ghost concludes that every unit is a part of a singular mind. The Grimoire indicates the whole race is one gigantic cross-temporal computer system, and on Nessus the Guardians encounter entire lakes, rivers and cisterns filled to the brim with Vex radiolarian fluid that serves as massive computing systems.
- Hostile Terraforming: They've already done it to Mercury, turning the once-flourishing garden world (it was the Traveler's idea, just roll with it) into an enormous, lifeless machine, the interior of which is a colossal simulation environment where the Vex calculate infinite possibilities. It's your job to stop them doing it to Venus and Mars as well.
- In Destiny 2, the Vex are also responsible for turning 7066 Nessus (a small Centaur planetoid) into another machine world. This small planetoid is almost entirely a Vex machine, although its surface features its own cultivated ecosystem unlike anything on Earth.
- Humans Are Cthulhu: All the other races see Guardians as this to a certain extent given their nature, but the Vex particularly are trying to figure out why Guardians are as unpredictable and inscrutable as they are. During a mission on Nessus, Failsafe states that the best translation of what Vex call Guardians is "those that wield what we cannot predict", in reference to the Light. Considering predicting the future is essentially how the Vex see everything, something they can't predict would be suitably eldritch to them.
- Humongous Mecha: Gate Lords are at least twenty feet tall, and Axis Minds, the Sol Progeny, and Atheon being even larger.
- Immortality Seeker: Exaggerated. They're already immortal by most conventional definitions, thanks to their non-linear relationship with time, imperishable metal bodies, and endlessly-reproducing cognitive liquid, so what's next? In the Vault of Glass, they are trying to turn their continued existence into a fundamental law of the universe. The special ending to the "Paradox" story mission indicates that they are doing this because they will ultimately be destroyed by the Darkness at some distant point in the future and are trying to find a way to escape it.
- Implacable Man:
- Due to being a machine race that has a single consciousness spread through millions of units across time and space, destroying the combat drones they send against you doesn't really do much to hurt the Vex in general. Even destroying their Axis Minds only briefly slows them down, and they will dispatch other Axis Minds to replace the destroyed ones by pulling a different version through time.
- Strategically, the Vex are willing to engage in wars of attrition in which they endlessly send slow-moving units forward to constantly wear down enemy lines, such as in their war with the Cabal on Mars. Since they don't care about individual losses, and damaged units can be replaced by pulling them through different points in time to replace lost machines, they can afford to trade casualties endlessly.
- They also sought to make their continued existence a law of reality through their experimentation in the Vault of Glass, but thankfully this did not come to pass.
- Keystone Army: Axis Minds form the heart of various Vex activities, as they contain all of the data needed to achieve a particular goal and serve as the coordinating effort for all other Vex in a region. This allows other Vex units to focus on particular tasks while the Mind manages the overall objectives, greatly enhancing overall efficiency. Unfortunately for the Vex, it also means that if an Axis Mind is destroyed, it can cripple ongoing projects, but the Vex consider this trade-off worthwhile, and even if an Axis Mind is lost, it can be recovered by another Axis Mind eventually.
- Large and in Charge: Justified. Bigger Vex have more room in their chassis for more processing power, so they're trusted with more important and complex jobs and with directing smaller, simpler units.
- Mad Scientist: The Vex are conducting countless experiments with horrifyingly-powerful technologies to remake the universe, as well as convert the world around them into more Vex structures and machines. The Vault of Glass on Venus was used by the Vex to research time and reality-warping weaponry and to serve as a conflux of multiple Vex time-streams. Nessus and Io show more mundane research facilities, including prisons where the Vex captured humans and Fallen to experiment on them, as well as a facility designed to transform living creatures into Vex.
- Mecha-Mooks: Vex are one of the most commonly-encountered enemies in the game after you advance to Venus, at least for the main game up to the Vault of Glass, and while they take a backseat to Oryx in The Taken King and the Fallen Splicers in Rise of Iron, every expansion features Strikes where your goal is to prevent the Vex from recovering from the temporary setbacks you've inflicted on them in the main game and the Vault of Glass raid, and in the process you'll be fighting near-endless legions of their constructs.
- Mechanical Abomination: Time-traveling cyborgs with a Hive Mind that plans to alter reality across multiple timelines to ensure their supremacy. Only the Hive, who are actually backed by direct agents of the Darkness, get to be more eldritch than the Vex out of the four main hostile races.
- Mechanical Lifeforms: They're basically colonies of zooplankton piloting robotic shells. In addition, there's a distinctly organic element to a lot of their construction and landscapes. While there's a lot of squared, artificial shapes and right angles in their architecture, the Vex seem to cultivate organic life over these structures, particularly on Venus and in the Black Garden. 7066 Nessus, which was completely terraformed by the Vex, is covered by an alien ecosystem.
- Mighty Glacier: Vex troops tend to be amongst the slowest enemies in the game, with none of the flashy manoeuvres or sophisticated battlefield tactics of the other factions (although some of their more advanced units do make up for it with a bit of Teleport Spam). They compensate with impressive firepower, thick armour and shields, and hard-to-hit weak points.
- Mind Virus: Vex thought processes are infectious. Simply being in proximity to Vex technology can cause altered thinking and bizarre hallucinations. It's described as "entheogenic".
- Mundane Utility: Vex technology is built for versatility, and anything that can hurt you (i.e., most of their stuff you encounter) likely has a non-military purpose as well. Often, in fact, the civilian use is the more important one. Minotaurs, their hulking shock-troopers, are also their architects and construction workers, and are bigger than the average model so that they can contain the processing power necessary to conceptualise the insanely complicated Vex architecture. Cyclopes, massive, immobile gun-turrets, are navigation beacons that coordinate the Vex's omnipresent space/time teleportation. With the exception of artillery pieces like the Minotaur's Torch Hammer, all of their weapons are terminals designed for receiving energy transmissions from elsewhere in space and time and projecting them a short distance, making them powerful communication and construction tools when they're not turned to the lethal setting and spewing plasma bolts all over the place.
- Non-Linear Character: The Vex as a whole, due to their Time Master ability taken to its logical extreme.
- Not So Omniscient After All: According to a series of recordings found in the Vault of Glass made by Praeydeth, the Vex aren't able to simulate the actions of Guardians. Also, just because they can see a future doesn't mean they know how to stop it from taking place; even with all their powers You Can't Fight Fate. Destiny 2 confirms this, with Failsafe saying that the Vex term for Guardians being translated to "those who wield what we cannot predict." The source of their omniscience is revealed in Curse of Osiris: namely, that the Vex use a combination of their vast computational and physical resources and immensely accelerated timespan within their networks to simply "brute-force" simulate events by creating copies of living beings and testing their actions.
- Obliviously Evil: According to Sagira, Osiris, and some item flavor text, the Vex don't want to kill anyone, and all they want is to ensure their supremacy and eternal existence. Unfortunately, death is the inevitable side effect of anything the Vex do with organics to research them, assimilate their worlds, or otherwise ensure their supremacy.
- Omnicidal Maniac: The Vex's ultimate endgoal is ensuring permanent supremacy. Like the Hive, the Vex came to the conclusion that the only way to ensure permanent domination of the universe was to destroy everything else. This latter conclusion came after studying the Darkness and the Hive gods and determining that actively worshipping them would be the most effective way to harness their power. However, while the Hive worship through wanton slaughter, the Vex conduct their worship though large-scale conversion of their environment.
- The Vex on Nessus seem less focused on violence, to the point that rather than attack humans and Fallen relentlessly, they instead conduct experiments on them... though those experiments tend to result in their test subjects' deaths. They also appear to be more merciful toward artificial intelligences, as during one adventure they capture Failsafe instead of destroying her and in another they attempt to recruit Ghost to their side.
- Osiris explains that the end goal of the Vex is ensuring total, absolute Vex supremacy in the universe. They don't necessarily want to kill everyone else out of any kind of malicious intent, but the process by which they establish absolute control over the universe will inevitably end in all other life being destroyed and assimilated into the Vex.
- Reality Warper: They're quite good at it, and working on getting better. Apart from all the time-travel stuff, the Vault of Glass is a development lab for 'ontological weaponry', which essentially decides whether the target exists or not, and that's one of the less extreme applications of the tech. The primary goal of the Vault and the Axis Mind at the heart of its operations is to hack reality, turning the dominion of the Vex over the universe into a literal law of physics. Erasing enemy soldiers from existence is just a step on the developmental path to permanently establishing their own existence.
- Reality-warping for the Vex seems to be limited to the interior of their megastructures, at least at their "current" technology level. However, within those structures are mind-bogglingly complex systems that allow them to easily simulate entire planets, environments, and people. Coupled with the accelerated time that exists within their networks, and the Vex are able to use their reality-manipulation to "brute-force" simulate scenarios and events by simply making complete, flesh-and-blood copies of living beings and environments and running them through thousands of scenarios every minute.
- Robot Religion: In the heart of the Black Garden is part of an unfathomable entity that the Vex could not understand, and which they chose to worship, simply because it was the most logical course of action that they could determine.
- In the Grimoire entries some in the City suspect it's because the Darkness is so powerful and complex that they hold it in religious awe, but the opposing view is that they worship it for the same reason the Hive do: Religion Is Magic and it works. According to the Books of Sorrow, the latter seems to be the reality. Crota accidentally let the Vex into Oryx's sword-space, where they began to analyze Hive magic-tech and the entities the Hive worshipped as gods. The Vex Axis Mind formed to analyze the Hive determined that the most effective way to access the same power as the Hive did was to enact "religious behaviors" to win the Deep's favor. And it worked.
- In the alternate version of the "Paradox" story mission note Praedyth's Ghost recordings indicate that while the Vex do worship the Darkness, they also fear it because every single iteration of the universe that they have simulated and existed through ends the same way: with them being consumed by the Darkness at some point or another. Everything that they're doing, including worshipping the Darkness, is a desperate attempt to escape this end.
- While the Vex are outwardly a cold and logical species, nearly every structure they build also has the feeling of a temple or shrine in some respects, with many buildings having statues of Minotaurs or other Axis Minds in reverent poses overlooking objects and devices. The exact purpose of these structures is unclear, but we know from the final mission in Destiny 1's story that such statues could be the housing for the entities the Vex worship.
- Sinister Geometry: Their architecture is eerily, elegantly simple, comprised of massive and sometimes gravity-defying arrangements of stone cuboids with the odd circle thrown in for good measure. It manages to look ancient, inhuman, and incredibly advanced all at once.
- Sniper Rifle: Line Rifles, the Hobgoblins' standard weapons, which use the Vex's 'slap' technology to call in enormously powerful beams of energy from elsewhere in space and time. They also make for a handy communications device.
- Starfish Aliens:
- While the Vex outwardly appear to be robotic in nature, the core of their intelligence is in the radiolarian fluid that resides in their torsos. These mind-cores are organic in nature, and are akin to a protozoa or other liquid, single-celled lifeforms, effectively making the Vex a liquid lifeform that pilots the various Vex machines. By itself the individual mind-core of each of the Vex don't seem to be self-aware, instead performing programmed functions, but when connecting to the greater Vex intelligence, their cognitive ability across the vast network is staggeringly powerful. Nessus, which is the first truly "Vex" world (rather than simply being a complex the Vex built into another world) contains enormous rivers and cisterns filled the Vex radiolarian fluid, giving one an idea of what a planet completely claimed by the Vex would look like.
- Another theory is that the Vex themselves aren't the radiolarian fluid, but rather, the fluid is a the leftover biological remains of organic beings that were converted by the Vex into a robotic form. In this theory, the individual machines and the radiolarian fluid are both part of the Vex, and every Vex construct you fight and kill at some point Was Once a Man.
- Super Intelligence: To the point where they almost qualify as The Omniscient, and the ways in which they fail to do so are very plot-important. Their Ghost Fragment cards show a research team realizing that the Vex platform they've captured is perfectly simulating their actions within a virtual-reality environment, leading them to freak out over the possibility that they themselves might be in a similarly perfect Vex simulation without realizing it.
- Not only is it simulating their actions, it's also running a simulation of its own actions, down to its simulated self running simulations of the research team, along with a simulation-within-a-simulation of itself, which is also running a simulation of the research team, along with a simulation-within-a-simulation-within-a-simulation of itself, which is also... In the end, 227 recursions were discovered. It's not clear if its the individual platform doing this, or if it's still somehow connected to the greater Vex network.
- Part of the power of the Vex network comes from them using the Year Inside, Hour Outside nature of their gate network; since time passes so much faster inside, they can run vastly more complex simulations compared to those in the normal universe.
- Teleporters and Transporters: This is how they travel over long distances, rather than using anything as primitive as spacecraft. More alarmingly, they can also use them to travel through time.
- Teleport Spam: Minotaurs have rapid-fire versions of the standard Vex teleporters that let them jump around like they're on a bad Internet connection. If you actually are on a bad Internet connection, this can get very unpleasant and confusing.
- Theme Naming: Mythological creatures are the basis for the names of their units.
- Most Axis Minds have the suffix -theon or -ion, both pronounced "EE-awn," or just end in -on at the very least. A handful of very ancient minds like Quria, Panoptes and Argos are exceptions to the trend.
- Time Abyss: Insofar as things like "age" apply to time-traveling robots.
- Time Crash: Normal humans who end up on Vex worlds for extended periods, like the Exodus Black crew, often find themselves stuck in acausal temporal loops and other forms of nonlinear time. This appears to be a result of interacting with the Vex gate network, which connects to a reality where time flows differently.
- Time Master: The Vex manipulate events and probabilities within time to create the effects they desire. They don't appear to control time in and of itself, but their gate network links to a reality where time moves differently compared with the normal world, which allows them to move between different timelines as they please. Their lack of absolute temporal manipulation is a weakness that the Guardians exploit; for all their power the Vex still expend vast resources and have to take some periods of linear time to achieve their goals, giving the Guardians an opportunity too eliminate Axis Minds and disrupt their operations before they can alter events.
- Time Travel: Vex sneer at things like "linear progression of time". Their units are drawn alternately from the distant past or eons into the future through their Gates. Even their weapons operate by grabbing energy from an arbitrary point in space-time and firing it at a target, and they can restore damaged or dead Minds by pulling them from earlier points in the timeline. The gates themselves connect to "realms outside of time" the Vex use these to move back and forth through time. Despite this, their control over time isn't perfect, and Light seems to be able to muck with their ability to move through time somehow.
- Ungrateful Bastard: After the alternate ending of the Daily Heroic version of the Paradox mission, Praedyth says that in spite of the you defeating the Taken and saving them from annihilation, the Vex will not spare you or the City or even thank you. They quite literally lack the ability to think in terms of appreciation or thanks.
- The Virus: Direct contact with the radiolarian fluid in a Vex mind-core is incredibly dangerous and can infect the Guardian who does so. It apparently did this with Kabr, whose warnings from the Vault of Glass say that he "drank" the Vex and that he was no longer Kabr anymore. Various Vault of Glass raid weapons and equipment make mention that they use the actual Vex radiolarian cells as interfaces, and that they can alter the Guardian who uses them. Asher Mir, the Warlock researcher found on Io, has been partially transformed by the Vex, gaining a mechanical arm, and states that he feels the Vex Hive Mind intruding into his own from time to time (which is also how he's able to detect the construction activities Vex tend to perform on Io). If a Guardian steps into a Vex liquid pool on Nessus, they will also start taking damage over time as the radiolarian liquids start directly eating away at their armor and skin.
- Was Once a Man: People exposed to the Vex mind-fluid are slowly transformed into Vex themselves. It's unclear as to whether they are broken down entirely into the mind-fluid or if their bodies are converted into a robotic Vex shape and the mind-fluid is just a remnant of what the previous entity once was.
- We Have Reserves: The Vex don't care about losses, since they can just replace destroyed machines with more machines, including the exact same copy of that machine pulled from a different point in time. Even killing Gate Lords or Axis Minds won't bother them very much, and stopping a project is only a temporary setback for a species whose concept of time and causality is so fluid.
- The World Tree: The Infinite Forest invokes this idea, with countless trillions of branches of possibility stemming from Panoptes, the central Axis Mind controlling Mercury. Each possibility is its own simulated universe, which the Vex study to determine the future and how to arrive at their end goals. At one point the player encounters a "map" of the Infinite Forest which resembles a massive tree of branching light.
- Worthy Opponent: As strange, cold, and inscrutable as the Vex are, they do show proper respect of (and fear towards) Guardians, in particular Saint-14, who they built a elaborate and respectful tomb for after finally managing to kill him.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: Time passes extremely quickly inside the Vex gate network; during one adventure on Nessus, Failsafe ends up trapped in the network for a decade while only a few minutes pass outside, and the player's first foray into the Infinite Forest on Mercury takes about half an hour, but Ikora remarks that you left only seconds ago.
- Your Head Asplode: What happens when you headshot them. Also, it pisses them off.
The most basic form of Vex units, Goblins are construction drones that are common in all Vex structures.
- Cranial Processing Unit: Like Hobgoblins, the large and obvious "head" of the Goblin isn't vital to its survival, and destroying it will simply send the Goblin into an aggressive rage. That being said however, this still makes them easier to deal with in that they won't be teleporting anymore without their heads.
- Mecha-Mooks: The most commonly-encountered Vex, and will often swarm invaders into their buildings in great numbers.
- Mundane Utility: The Slap Rifle that the Goblins carry serves not only as a weapon, but also as a transmitter, construction tool, network repeated, navigation beacon, and more. The Goblin itself primarily works as a basic construction unit when it isn't fighting off enemy incursions.
- Power Palms: They have this built into their arms, which they use if you engage them in melee.
- Teleport Spam: They can teleport over short distances, which they use to rapidly close with distant targets.
Hobgoblins are Vex units deployed like snipers, and when attacked they will try to enter an emergency stasis mode to keep themselves intact while other Vex engage the attacker.
- Arm Cannon: Their larger arm effectively serves as a portable Grenade Launcher; judging by how long it takes for those grenades to detonate, it's apparent that they mainly use their launchers to flush you out of cover.
- Cranial Processing Unit: Like Goblins, shooting off their heads doesn't stop them, it just gets them mad. Unlike Goblins, though, a decapitated Hobgoblin is less dangerous, as it will try to close in on it's opponents and make it easier to kill. They also lose their ability to enter stasis without their heads.
- Cold Sniper: Being emotionless, mechanical intelligences and with bodies of metal, this comes naturally to a Hobgoblin.
- Mundane Utility: Outside of combat, Hobgoblins serve as mobile communications and data transmission systems.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: When they enter stasis, they cannot be harmed by anything. Fortunately, it ends quickly, but unfortunately, Hobgoblins usually have other Vex around to cover them. And if you close in on them while their stasis field is up, their shields will shave bits of your shield off.
- Power Palms: Like Goblins, they will use this if you engage them in melee.
Mobile, airborne scouting units that patrol around Vex ruins for threats. when a Harpy encounters an enemy, they have to unfold and deploy their weaponry to engage.
- Airborne Mook: unlike the slow-moving units elsewhere in the Vex arsenal, the Harpies are very fast and maneuverable and are often used to flank enemy positions.
- Army Scout: Their main purpose is to patrol Vex ruins and find threats.
- Beam Spam: Though it takes them a second to set up, once a Harpy is in position they can lay down a lot of fire upon a position.
- Fragile Speedster: They have the lowest health of any Vex unit, but make up for it with their mobility and firepower.
Command units for a local Vex network, Minotaurs are massive, powerful platforms with heavy weapons and shielding which operate like tanks and long-range support artillery.
- Badass Decay: As of Destiny2, they gain the same weakpoint as the Goblins and Hobgoblins.
- Cranial Processing Unit: Like Goblins and Hobgoblins, you can shoot off their heads. In addition to enraging them, they are still easier to deal with in that they lose their Deflector Shields and their ability to Teleport Spam without their heads.
- Deflector Shields: They carry shields to further augment their high health, but are vulnerable to Void damage.
- Giant Mook: Minotaurs tower over other Vex, as well as Guardians.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Get in melee range with a Minotaur, and they can use their large claw hands to try and stab you.
- Large and in Charge: At least as far as being "in charge" can go with the Vex. Minotaurs store plans and information for complex construction projects and direct other Vex to handle construction projects, as well as serving as the protectors of the most vital parts of those constructs.
- Mundane Utility: Aside from being large and powerful Vex combat machines, the Minotaurs are their primary architects and engineers.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Minotaurs typically carry the Torch Hammer, a heavy Vex cannon and Grenade Launcher loaded with strange matter particles and firing explosive blasts. Unlike other Vex weapons, the Torch Hammer doesn't seem to have any Mundane Utility, and is solely a combat weapon.
- Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: Minotaurs are large and armored because they are server towers used to process architectural data.
- Teleport Spam: Minotaurs like to use their teleportation in rapid succession to close with and assault enemies in hand-to-hand combat.
A slow, mobile fortress, Hydras are often the hubs of the networked Vex intelligence, receiving and transmitting information from other Vex units, and are surrounded by barrier shields which deflect incoming fire, while they return it in equal measure.
- Deflector Shields: They have large barrier shields surrounding their bodies that rotate around to block incoming fire. Unlike Minotaur shields, these cannot be depleted and an attacker has to either move around them or wait for them to move away.
- Hydra barriers in Destiny 2 are now segmented into thirds like that of the Undying Mind, allowing more chances to shoot at the Hydra, but less time to do so.
- Mighty Glacier: Hydras move very slowly, but between their shields and their massive health pools, they can take a beating.
- Mundane Utility: While often deployed to protect central locations and passages, Hydras also serve as communications hubs and command systems, and are often the chassis used to house various Axis Minds.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Like Minotaurs, they carry Torch Hammers which they use to ruthlessly bombard threats that come into sight.
A Vex unit that debuted in the Vault of Glass, these are Goblin frames with their head and left arm missing.
- Action Bomb: While they're still capable of shooting you, their main purpose is as a suicide bomber. That being said, upon death, they're as dangerous to the other Vex as they are to you.
- An Arm and a Leg: They're missing their left arm...though to be fair, they're not exactly in tip-top form.
- Bloody Murder: After they explode, they leave behind a pool of Vex Milk that deals damage for as long as you stand in them.
- Zerg Rush: They sometimes show up in fairly large numbers.
Zydron, Gate Lord
A Vex Gate Lord that administers over the Vex gate network on Venus. The player Guardian must kill it in order to recover the parts it uses to access the network and enter the Vault of Glass.
- Decapitation Presentation: The player Guardian brings his head to the Reef, shocking the Queen, the Master of Crows, and the Fallen guards.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Strange example, as the player's Ghost says that they can get into the Black Garden by fooling the Garden's security systems into thinking that the player Guardian is Zydron.
- Gate Guardian: Protects a large Vex gate at the Endless Steps on Venus.
- Humongous Mecha: Gate Lords are, in your Ghost's words, 'three stories tall', and Zydron doesn't disappoint.
- King Mook: He's a super-Minotaur, roughly the size of Valus Ta'aurc.
- Time Master: Like other Gate Lords, Zydron's job is to protect and administrate Vex time gates, controlling the movement of information and matter between different points in time. It only physically manifests when something comes along that threatens the gate network. Like, say, you.
The Sol Progeny
A trio of Vex units at the center of the Black Garden.
- Demonic Possession: Rather than living beings like most Vex, they're empty Gate Lord chassis that serve as vessels for the Darkness.
- Final Boss: For the main storyline.
- Grenade Launcher: They use modified, oversized Torch Hammers, optimised for rate of fire, per-shot damage, or a little of both.
- Humongous Mecha: As is standard for any Vex using the Gate Lord chassis.
- King Mook: They're oversized Minotaurs roughly the same size as Zydron, representing (in turn) the Sol Divisive, Precursor, and Descendant subtypes.
- Person of Mass Destruction: The Grimoire card for "The Black Garden" mission indicates that the Sol Progeny were to be the ones to use the weapons being developed in the Vault of Glass.
The Nexus Mind, Sekrion
One of the Vex's most powerful platforms on Venus and the boss of the Nexus Strike, Sekrion oversees the slow Hostile Terraforming of the planet. It resides deep inside an Ishtar Academy dig site, far below the earth.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: Its revamped strike can feature him being Taken becoming the Subverted Mind.
- Flunky Boss: By far, one of the easiest to deal with, when it comes to it summoning help. When you first get to it, it's guarded by five Minotaurs, and after you've pissed it off well enough, it'll summon Goblins and Hobgoblins to rat you out from any hiding spot.
- King Mook: An oversized, overpowered Hydra, identical in almost every way to its smaller brethren.
- Mighty Glacier: Hydras can't teleport like other Vex units can, and Sekrion is no exception. It makes up for it with a steady hail of antimatter doom at anyone who looks at it funny.
- Shielded Core Boss: A well-done example of this trope. The shield doesn't get smaller the more you hit it, but the shield only covers 50% of the boss, and moves around in a circular movement. To defeat it, you just have to get it to aim at you, when its shield is behind it, and shoot its face. A lot.
- Took a Level in Badass: Most notably out the revamped strikes from vanilla, both versions of its strike feature mechanics from the Vault of Glass; the Vex version Marks Guardians by the Void, steadily taking away their vision unless they cleanse themselves, and the Taken version periodically becoming invincible a la the Templar and requiring you to use the Aegis to take down its shield.
One of the bosses of the Vault Of Glass raid. It summons Fanatic Vexes to kamikaze, Harpies to gun you down, and Oracles to Mark you for Negation. One of the toughest bosses in the game. It's a much tougher and larger Hydra, but compared to even Sekrion, it remembered to get a shield that covers it completely.
- Black Magic: Of the Curse kind. Caused by its Oracles and Fanatics, and inflicts a One-Hit Kill if you don't get rid of it. It can be "Cleansed" with the Relic.
- King Mook: It's a super-Hydra with an upgraded shield and some nasty One-Hit Kill bonus attacks.
- Disney Villain Death: It's possible to inflict one on him with well placed Area of Effect attacks, due to the fact the A.I. Is programmed to retreat from such attacks and there are chasms on three sides of the arena you fight him in.
- Marathon Boss: The Templar's boss fight is a multi-phase one where Guardians have to defend objectives for a number of cycles, destroy a certain type of enemy or risk a Total Party Wipe, then take on the Templar itself, all while trying to avoid getting into contact with Vex enemies that set you up for the Templar's One-Hit Kill. Take more than eight minutes to defeat it when it spawns, and even more enemies will appear to overwhelm you.
- Time Master: It's speculated in the Grimiore entries that the Templar's "Ritual of Negation" doesn't kill you. Instead, it erases you from time outside of the Vault of Glass, and if your whole fireteam is negated, then the effect extends to the realm outside of the Vault.
Nine (or thirteen if you're playing hard mode) specialized Harpies within their respective maze that patrol around it, searching for things that are and are not real.
The Sol Primeval/Precursors and Sol Imminent/Descendant Vex
Two programmings of Vex units that exist in the past and future, respectively. They make their first appearance in the final part of the Vault of Glass, while the Precursors make their second appearance as a part of The Undying Mind strike.
- Elite Mook: Precursors and Descendants never appear as regular enemies, only as Majors. This matters little inside the Vault of Glass due to them being little more than defense mechanisms against the raiding party for brief moments, but during the Undying Mind strike, there is a chance an entire swarm will trap you inside a choke point with them.
- Light Is Not Good: The Precursors' frame coloring are a mix of white and gold with blue monitors...while they are still the time travelling radiolaria-piloted robots that want to erase us from time we know and love.
- Non-Linear Character: The Vex are masters of bending time to their will. These guys appearing alone stands out for their control of time itself.
- You Don't Look Like You: The Descendants have changed appearance in Curse of Osiris, putting emphasis on mottled blue and green, previously the trademark colors of the Virgo Prohibition and Sol Progeny respectively. The Precursors have gotten a similar update as well, with their colors becoming darker.
Atheon, Time's Conflux
The final boss of the Vault Of Glass and the Vex Axis Mind speculated to regulate the Vex conflux system across time.
- Alternate Timeline: Most of Atheon's Grimoire card describes multiple realities and timelines. Which, if you believe the card's speculation, means that Atheon isn't bound by time and can freely move between timelines, fighting Guardians who dare descend into the Vault.
- Disney Villain Death: It used to be possible to inflict one on it if your team took advantage of the fact that the A.I. is programmed to walk away from any Area of Effect attacks, like Titan Shock Grenade with Aftershocks, by surrounding it with them so the only way to retreat was off the platform it stands on. Bungee eventually patched in "baby bumpers" around its platform to prevent this from happening.
- Famous Last Words: "PASSION AND PARADOX.\AID THE VISION.\SIMPLICITY REQUIRES COMPLEXITY.\RESENT THE JOKE.\GLIMPSE THE CHASM." Suitably cryptic, given just how otherwordly the Vex are.
- Final Boss: The final boss of the Vault of Glass as well as of the base game pre-DLC, Atheon's fight is more complicated than regular Strike bosses, requiring team coordination to get through rather than survival tactics.
- Flunky Boss: Oh so much. And to add onto that, there's a boss who always appears when you first enter a portal. Yes, they put a boss within a boss.
- Grandfather Paradox: The grimoire description debates over whether Atheon created the Vault of Glass or the Vault created Atheon. Whatever it is, the Vex's space-time alteration powers are so otherworldly that both answers are trivial.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The recommended, canonical way to kill it is by turning its ontological technology against it with the assistance of Kabr's Aegis, the relic the long-dead Guardian created to tap into the power of the Vault of Glass. Basically, you temporarily hijack its Reality Warper capabilities, literally increasing the probability of its defeat. In-game, this is represented by the Time's Vengeance buff, which removes your ability cooldowns and vastly increases your damage output.
- King Mook: Essentially a massive Vex Minotaur with numerous extra aesthetics and a couple of nasty new abilities.
- Mad Scientist: Essentially the guiding subroutine of the Vex Hive Mind's designated mad science department. The stuff Atheon is researching (and has already developed) is the absolute epitome of deranged ambition.
- Marathon Boss: Can take about 8 to 10 minutes to beat, varying on how well you and your team does. And that is if you manage to not die.
- Meaningful Name: Atheon can be read to mean "that which does not believe in time".
- Puzzle Boss: Atheon can be normally damaged at the start of the fight, sure, but then it'll periodically send half your fireteam into another dimension, something which will doom you all unless you work together to bring the team back together and be rewarded with a massive damage boost to whittle down its health.
- Reality Warper: The Axis Mind in charge of Vex research into reality-warping. Its innovations include time travel, 'ontological weaponry' that erases enemies from existence, and the grand project to turn Vex supremacy into a law of reality.
- Time Master: Like many of the Vex listed above, Atheon has a certain mastery over time. Its mastery of time far exceeds that of the rest of the Vex, however, being able to send not just other Vex, but Guardians back or forwards or perhaps even sideways through time.
- Time-Limit Boss: When you've gathered the Relic for the 5th time, you'll be warned that it is about to be enraged. Continue with the fight without managing to kill it and it'll summon enough minions to overwhelm you and your fireteam.
The Undying Mind
The boss of the strike of the same name, The Undying Mind has only one mission: Lock the Black Garden back out of time, and then revive its Heart.
- Flunky Boss: Very much so, with both Precursor and Sol Divisive Vex aiding it in its efforts to kill you.
- King Mook: A gigantic Hydra, similar to Sekrion. The chief difference is that its rotating shield is split into three smaller shields, rather than being one continuous piece.
- Mighty Glacier: Like any Hydra, though it is more mobile than most of them, randomly moving up and down the arena you fight it in.
- Time Master: When you can single-handedly rip an area out of the flow of time, you are definitely this.
Qodron, Gate Lord
Of all those jailed within the Prison of Elders, Qodron is unique in that it is not truly a prisoner. Rather, it's exactly where it wants to be. Qodron is on a mission to ensure its own glorious future, and that mission requires the death of a certain Guardian who will someday enter the Prison in search of the Reef's riches.
- Cardboard Prison: Trying to lock up a Vex would be an exercise in futility, given their teleportation/time travel capabilities. Qodron's only there because it wants to be there.
- Glory Seeker: It went to the Prison of Elders to ensure its own glorious future.
- Humongous Mecha: A Gate Lord just like Zydron. However, Qodron appears to be wreathed in black smoke. Just like the Sol Progeny when possessed by the Black Heart, which raises some disturbing implications.
- It's Personal: Qodron is in the Prison to kill you, specifically, because of how much the Player Character Guardian has ruined the Vex's plans.
- Russian Reversal: To quote its Grimoire card:Qodron is not the prisoner here. You are, Guardian.
- Time Master: Qodron's abilities manifest as small "bubbles" similar to the detainment fields found in the Vault of Glass when fighting the Templar. Unlike the Templar's, however, Qodron's will deal direct damage to you and prevent you from firing at it, whereas the Templar's only accomplish the latter and can only kill you if you shoot a rocket at them.
Theosyion, the Restorative Mind
The boss of the Echo Chamber Strike, Theosyion is an Axis Mind charged with undoing the death of Sekrion, which it intends to do by summoning Sekrion into the present.
- Beam Spam: We're talking about four supersized Linear Rifles shooting at you nonstop.
- Death Glare: Actually weaponizes it with an ability called Medusa's Stare, you have a few seconds to get behind cover or else you'll be taking massive damage.
- King Mook: It's a giant Vex Harpy.
- Make Wrong What Once Went Right: It intends to pull Sekrion from the past into the present, effectively undoing its death.
- No Ontological Inertia: Destroying Theosyion will apparently undo everything that it has done.
- Puzzle Boss: Players need to transport an arc core around the area in order to make Theosyion vulnerable to damage.
A Taken Hydra, having been captured and imprisoned in the Prison of Elders.
- Death from Above: Can conjure up a cloud of darkness that can damage you by standing in it. Stay in when it explodes, and you die.
Protheon, Modular Mind
A Vex Mind hidden on Nessus and the boss of "The Inverted Spire" Strike.
- Ground Punch: His second stage will slam the platform with his fist, forcing solar energy through it.
- Keystone Army: It is considered the keystone for all the Vex on Nessus; the Strike to eliminate it is specifically to prevent the Cabal from capturing it and the technology of the Inverted Spire, lest they use Vex weapons and technology against the City.
- Multi-Stage Battle: After depleting a third of his health, he'll teleport the floor away causing you to fall to another level.
- Off with His Head!: Once on the final stage of the fight, you knock his head off and cause him to go berserk.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The chamber in which Protheon is held was buried and inaccessible until the Cabal mining operations Dug Too Deep and awakened it.
Brakion, Genesis Mind
A giant Hobgoblin and resident of the Pyramidion stationed on Io. Brakion has the notable ability to mechanize Guardians who cross his path, as Asher Mir found out the hard way.
Ever since that incident, Brakion has become the sworn enemy of Asher. It is eventually killed during the Pyramidion strike.
- Archenemy: Asher Mir considers it his, because it was the Mind that converted him and killed his fireteam.
- Barrier Warrior: Puts up a forcefield it can shoot through as its health lowers. To disable it, Guardians must capture two sync plates near the corner of the map where Brakion is hiding.
- Cold Sniper: Being a Vex Axis Mind in a giant Hobgoblin chassis, this is to be expected. It's sniper beam is not only extremely accurate, but can one-shot most Guardians if they're not careful or geared for strong defense.
- Turns Red: As is to be expected with all Vex when they lose their head. Being a strike boss, this automatically happens to Brakion at low health.
- Off with His Head!: Like Protheon, its head falls off at low health and goes berserk.
Tekton, Constructive Mind
A Hydra Axis Mind that was trying to pump... something into Io.
- Marathon Boss: It has in inordinate amount of health for an Axis Mind, and as such it can take a massive beating before it goes down.
- No-Sell: Twice during the Adventure centering on it does it gain an impenetrable shield. First time you simply need to wait for it to go away and then chase it down, second time you need to destroy two Cyclopes' to drop the shield again.
Khartion, Archival Mind
A Vex Mind guarding the map of the Infinite Forest.
Dendron, Root Mind
A Vex mind tasked with protecting Panoptes source code. Was the vanguard for the assimilation of Mercury, hence the name, though not the leader of the effort. After the events of Curse of Osiris, Osiris tries to use its remains to control the Infinite Forest, only for the Root Mind to break away from his control and attempt to take over Mercury, requiring you to destroy it again in the "A Garden World" strike.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Osiris thought he could control a simulation of Dendron to help him further his research in the Infinite Forest. He didn't expect the Root Mind's replica to break free from his control, negate all of his and Sagira's efforts to destroy the Spire it was on, and try to take Panoptes' place in governing the Infinite Forest.
- Flunky Boss: Many Goblins and Hobgoblins come to its aid as you whittle down Dendron's health, and that's not even counting the Minotaurs on standby that activate at set health thresholds.
- King Mook: It's a massive Cyclops, though it can rotate around its boss arena thanks to the rails tracks, unlike the regular Cyclops who are stationary. It only stops moving to put a barrier around itself and let its flunkies overwhelm you, resuming its course should you slay the shielded Minotaurs. It also shoots a Void laser beam most of the time instead of a large explosive blast, though it can also launch a miniature black hole. Dendron's color scheme also makes it the only known Cyclops to be part of the Sol Primeval class of Vex.
- We Can Rebuild Him: After the Young Wolf destroys it the first time, Osiris co-opts the remains in his attempts to control the Infinite Forest. Naturally, Dendron proceeds to try and take over Mercury in Panoptes' place, prompting Osiris to call for your help again.
Panoptes, Infinite Mind
- Arc Villain: Panoptes is the main antagonist of Curse of Osiris, wrestling control of the Infinite Forest from the titular Warlock and seeking to implant a Bad Future ruled by the Vex.
- The Corrupter: Panoptes is the reason why Mercury became the Infinite Forest.
- Flunky Boss: While it is a large threat to the City and the creator of the Bad Future, its actual combat capabilities are mostly limited to summoning legions of simulations, with the exception of a Templar-like Ret Gone ability.
- Genius Loci: Panoptes is Mercury by the time the players encounter it, as the entire planet is mostly just an enormous processing system intended to ensure Vex supremacy with Panoptes as the central Axis Mind directing it.
- King Mook: Averted, for once. It's a mishmash of a Gate Lord and a Hydra, with wings and a pyramidal head. The only other Vex known to share a similar model is Quria, Blade Transform.
- Meaningful Name: It's the mind running all the simulations in the Infinite Forest, and its name is Greek for "all-seeing."
- Reality Warper: Created with the mission of creating a Bad Future where the Vex are in charge of everything, using a planet-sized prediction engine in the form of Mercury. Much like the Templar, it can also erase individuals from reality inside the Infinite Forest.
- Super Prototype: As seemingly being the first Hydra AND Gate Lord Panoptes functions as this to later models as they all draw some inspiration from him. It's design even evokes a combination of the two classes. Helps that it was the first Vex in our system to infect Mercury.
Argos, Planetary Core
A massive Hydra that serves as the core of Nessus that wound up being sucked up into the Leviathan. It is the only boss of the "Eater of Worlds" Raid Lair
- Barrier Change Boss: Argos periodically changes the elements displayed on the 3 orbs required to break its barrier open. If you are successful in squeezing in an additional damage phase, the order of elements successively rotates between Arc, Void and Solar, then back to Arc. If Argos pulls a Total Party Wipe before then, the elements reset randomly.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: Your fireteam has to be well coordinated with your weapons and charged craniums to even empty a third of its health bar in one damage phase. Attempting to stop its Total Party Wipe attack also requires a concentrated effort on a pair of really beefy body parts.
- Flunky Boss: Whatever direction it is facing (subsequently the same side you have to disable its shield on) is crowded with Harpies, and all three shrines housing the fires necessary to charge the Vex craniums are prone to visits from Goblins and Minotaurs. Then there's the exploding Harpies that Argos summons as an attempt to disrupt your fireteam once its barrier is broken.
- King Mook: Easily the largest Hydra and the largest Vex seen yet, Argos is about three to four times bigger than the next largest Ultra Hydra, and has the massive health of a raid boss to back it up.
- Puzzle Boss: Argos interestingly takes some elements from Rise of Iron's Aksis, requiring elemental charges to break its barrier and proceed to a damage phase (albeit one easily disrupted by numerous factors like the large number of enemy mobs, or Argos's own devastating attacks), before recovering and attempting to wipe your fireteam with a single attack (though in this case, you have to stop it from doing so a la Oryx).
- Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: Calus is concerned that Argos (along with many other Vex) getting swallowed by the Leviathan might cause complications for the sapient ship, so he orders his Loyalist forces to stand down and let your fireteam deal with the Vex.
- Total Party Wipe: Gravity Smasher, which it attempts to use whenever you break its shield (or if you take too long in doing so). The first 3-4 times, it will sprout glowing weak points that you can shoot to interrupt the attack. If you take too long and let it become enraged, however, then the attack can't be stopped.