If you want to know what to do about all those Phantasmal Fragments, Cores, and Nightmare Essences, then you’ve come to the right place.
Not sure if you noticed, but the Moon in Destiny 2 is freakin’ haunted. There are ghosts just wandering around screaming at shadows, but some have taken on a physical form. Nightmares prowl both the Moon and the darkest corners of the solar system, waiting to pounce on unwary Guardians.
They also drop a whole bunch of new Nightmare-based resources that you can turn into fantastic loot! And who doesn’t like loot? So let’s talk about Phantasmal Fragments, Phantasmal Cores, and Nightmare Essences.
What Are These Phantasmal Fragments?
In lore, Phantasmal Fragments and Cores are residual dark magics that emanated from the Pyramid and were given physicality. In game terms, they’re just a bunch of new resources that you can acquire to turn into loot. Phantasmal Fragments are little blue balls, while Phantasmal Cores are little black balls. Nightmare Essences are differently-colored balls that have a lot more pomp and circumstance to them. They’re also tied to little mini-quests that you need to complete before you can take home whatever weapon or piece of armor they contain.
What Are They Used For?
As mentioned, these new items are used to make armor and weapons from the Lectern of Enchantment. You get the Lectern of Enchantment during the “In the Deep” quest during the main Shadowkeep campaign. After that, the Lectern will be found in Sanctuary on the Moon.
The Lectern will provide Nightmare Bounties (more on those later), but also serves as a central hub for the new Phantasmal and Nightmare resources. You can turn Phantasmal Fragments in Cores, as well as Cores into Nightmare Essences. Each Essence contains either a weapon or a piece of armor, but you have to "cleanse" the Essence before you can get at it.
Cleansing the Essence usually involves killing certain enemies using a certain weapon on the Moon. After that, you return to the Lectern to get your reward.
Where Do I Get These Phantasmal Whatevers?
There are a few sources of Phantasmal Fragments, Cores, and Nightmare Essences.
Phantasmal Fragments can be awarded from completing Nightmare Bounties given by the Lectern. They mostly involve killing Nightmares in various ways and in various locations. They also drop from those Nightmares you've been tasked with killing. Nightmares can be found randomly on the Moon, during Nightmare Hunts, and in Lost Sectors in and around the solar system.
Phantasmal Cores can also be obtained from killing Nightmares, but they're much rarer. You're more likely to get them by turning in 20 Phantasmal Fragments at the Lectern. The Lectern can also turn 25 Helium Fragments into Phantasmal Fragments, which can in-turn be converted to Cores.
Nightmare Essences can be obtained from the Lectern for one Phantasmal Core and can also drop from boss-level Nightmares on Nightmare Hunts. Each one has a reward of either a new moon weapon or Dreambane armor, which is great to use on Nightmare hunts since they reduce damage from Nightmares. You can turn in cleansed Essences at the Lectern to get your reward.
Some of those weapons can roll some pretty sweet perks, so it's highly recommended to have at least one Nightmare Essence on the go for when you're performing your weekly Nightmare Hunts.