The Prison of Elders pits a fire team of 3 guardians against different rooms of enemies including the Hive, Vex, Fallen, and extra special rooms that contain very powerful bosses. In addition to the hordes of enemies you have to kill, some rooms also come with objectives that you need to complete like, disarming bombs before they wipe your party or taking down a VIP enemy before they can reach 3 checkpoints.

There are 4 different levels of the Prison of Elders: 28, 32, 34, and 35. The higher the level, the higher the difficulty, but you’ll also receive much better rewards.

It’s a tough mission, but the treasure room at the end of it all is worth the trouble. To help you survive the five rounds and get to the treasure room, here are some tips to completing the Prison of Elders gauntlet.

How it Works

Each Prison of Elders run is made up of 5 rounds that will have you facing off against a different enemy race in Destiny (I.E. Vex, Cabal, Hive, Fallen) each time. During the non- boss rounds, you will need to survive 3 waves of enemies and objectives to complete the round; and during boss rounds, you have to destroy the powerful boss character.

Prison of Elders Objectives

There are three different objective types for PoE non-boss rounds. Objectives typically come into play during rounds 2 and 3. Objectives are always on a timer and will result in a failure of the entire round if it expires. It is therefore extremely important to prioritize objectives over killing enemies, which can be taken out at your leisure.

Destroy the Bomb

The simplest of the objectives; three bombs will spawn at various locations around the map. Destroy them before their timer expires and you pass the objective.

Eliminate the Target

Several VIP enemies will spawn on the map. You have to take them down before they can complete their objective. Your best bet here is a rocket launcher with tracking so that you can kill them quickly while maintaining a safe distance.

Disarm the Mines

Just like destroy the bombs only shooting them mines wont destroy them, you will need to stand in the circled area underneath them until the Disarm meter fills up and the mine is eliminated.

Mines have a habit of spawning on opposite ends of the room so position one of your team at the other end of the room so that they can get to the mine before the timer expires. Having a titan with a shield is a great way to keep you alive while disarming.


Preparation is Important

Although each time you play Prison of Elders it’s going to be somewhat different, there are things you can prepare for ahead of time. For starters, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have several heavy ammo syntheses in your inventory. Heavy weapons are extremely useful in PoE, especially against the objectives and bosses. Don’t leave it to chance; bring some heavy ammo with you.

Once you’ve got the ammo, make sure you have a variety of weapons to put it in.  There will be elemental shields aplenty, with some enemy’s even changing their shields to adapt to your weapons. Account for this by bringing a variety of damage types.

Team Work and Synergy

Many of the objectives in Prison of Elders require your teamwork together to complete, especially the mine disarming objective. Headsets and good communication are a must when taking on the higher-level PoE.

Prison of Elders Hive Tips

The hive are one of the easier races to deal with in the Prison of Elders, only because they are slightly squishier than the other races and their room has some of the best cover. Just make sure to focus on the knights and wizards because their splash damage can be a pain in the tight quarters.

The left side of the room is your best bet for survival, especially during the boss fight because he never leaves the center open area, which can easily be sniped from the left side. Have someone watch for encroaching enemies while the rest focus on the heavier targets.

Prison of Elders Vex Tips

Minotaur’s are the main threat you’ll want to focus on because of their relative tankiness and high-powered splash damage attacks. Second are the hobgoblins, which can pretty much one-shot you at the higher levels. Keep your head down and cover handy to avoid getting picked off.

The Vex boss will take a little more time then the others because you’ll need to focus his weak spot to do any real damage. Keep the enemies at bay while peppering him with rockets and sniper shots when he exposes himself.

Prison of Elders Fallen Tips

Either side of the room is a good spot to set up shop. Fallen can easily traverse terrain, jumping up onto platforms which makes the center area a dangerous spot to camp. Just make sure you are aware of the spawning doors located along the edge of the room.

Vandals can be a real pain here because of their high-powered snipe attack. Snipe them back and keep your eyes peeled for rushing captains and stealth sword vandals. The latter tends to travel in packs which makes them a prime target for a well-placed rocket.

The Fallen Boss is relatively easy to defeat. He’s a giant servitor so stay in cover while popping out to hit him with a heavy weapon right in his weak spot. Just keep your eyes peeled for those stealth vandals and other enemies that will be rushing you the entire time.

Prison of Elders Cabal Tips

Unlike the other rooms the safest spot to be isn’t the left or the right, but the small area where you enter. Stay safe behind the wall while watching either side for encroaching Centurions and Phalanxes. So long as you keep them out of that room you are free to poke your head out and snipe enemies at your leisure.

The boss fight is a bit of a tough one, as it seems like the cabal forces spawn at an insanely fast rate. Stick to the relative safety of your room while popping out to burn the boss down with rockets and shots to the head. Try to get him down as quick as possible to avoid being overrun by cabal first.

Prison of Elders Major Bosses


Like you did before, head to the far left when you enter the room and setup shop in the covered area. The main concern during this fight is the Debuff Urrox’s Rage which will do damage over time while you are touching the ground. The debuff activates after dealing certain amounts of damage to Urrox. When it’s active, keep jumping while staying behind cover until it ends.

Apart from that it’s a simple case of keeping the regular enemies off your back while blasting Urrox with headshots and rockets.


This is the biggest challenge you will face in the Prison of Elders, so make sure you are prepared and your group is organized. It will take teamwork and skill to pull this one off because not only will you be trying to kill Skolas, you’ve got objectives to complete too.

Right off the bat you will be avoiding Skolas’s cannon shots while heading to either the left or the right side of the map. There you will find a bright white servitor that is attached to Skolas. It’s this link that’s keeping you from doing any real damage to him. Destroy a servitor and you will have 15 seconds to do as much damage to him as you can.

When the servitors are down there’s a whole new fun mechanic that you’ll have to deal with. Skolas will apply a debuff, Devouring Essence to one of your fire team that will instantly kill them after it’s 30 second timer has elapsed. However, the debuffed can be transferred to another member of your team, resetting the timer in the process. The player who transferred the debuff will not be able to receive it again for 35 seconds, meaning it will take all three of you transferring it to stay alive. If one person dies, the entire team dies.

If that wasn’t enough you’ll have the occasional mine spawning that you must deactivate or it will end the round.

The key to defeating Skolas is teamwork whether it be transferring the Devouring Essence, disarming a mine, or taking turns covering while one person shoots Skolas, if you’re not working together you don’t have a chance.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Destiny Game Page.

Last Updated: May 27, 2016

About The Author

A man of many hats, Greg divides his precious gaming time between competitive games like League of Legends and Dota 2 and Action/ Adventure Games like GTA, and Destiny. At Ten Ton Hammer he specializes in making guides for new and veteran players alike.