Destiny: The Taken King Guide to Three of Coins (3oC)

The three of coins are one of the most mysterious new items in Destiny: The Taken King.  With Xur just having left for the week, I hope that you stocked up on the coins because it is now time to use them.  There are many false beliefs about the three of coins, but by following these simple guidelines you can maximize your chance at getting an exotic engram to drop.

First off, the Three of Coins are sold by Xur for 7 strange coins.  In exchange for your SC you receive 5 Three of Coins (3oC).  I tend to believe that the drop rate for an exotic engram is around 10 3oC for every one engram.  This is still a better deal than spending 19 strange coins on one exotic engram when Xur sells them.

The Three of Coins states:

Stackable effect that increases the chances the next Ultra you defeat will drop an Exotic Engram.

This means that when you use a 3oC and then kill an Ultra you have a chance to get an exotic engram.  If you do not get an exotic engram to drop and use another 3oC your chances to receive an exotic engram increase, until you get a drop.

After you consume the three of coins your character receives a buff on the character screen.  This is similar to the buff you used to receive for the nightfall and the buffs that you get from using a telemetry.  The three of coins buff has the IX symbol.

The basics:

  • 3oC will not expire
  • 3oC does not disappear if you die
  • 3oC only disappears if it is consumed
  • 3oC works on most ultras, but there are exceptions (list at end of post)

Shortly after the release of the three of coins, Bungie released a patch to make them less effective if they are used in quick succession.  For example, killing Draksis over and over again no longer works as effectively.  You need to have a cooling off period before the next 3oC is used.  This timer starts when the 3oC is consumed (when you kill an ultra) and the timer ends when the next 3oC is used.

THE TIMER DOES NOT ELIMINATE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING A EXOTIC ENGRAM TO DROP.   The timer was just put in place to discourage rapid farming of ultra kills.  This timer only decreases your chances slightly.  The consensus is that the timer is currently 6-10 minutes.  

Here are some general guidelines to using the 3oC

Stacking 3oC

Since the drop rate is low, this is very hard to analyze. I use 1 at a time, but some people believe that 2-3 at a time is the sweet spot. Since the drop rates are probably below 20-25% for both one and two 3oC it is very hard to determine whether it is better to stack or use 1 at a time.

Ultras that DO NOT consume the 3oC

  • Psion Flayers
  • Omnigul
  • Atheon
  • Crota
  • Walkers and Tanks
  • Daughters of Oryx

Almost all of the others consumer the buff, including the bosses in the King’s Fall raid and the rest of the Strike bosses.

There is still some confusion around the Cryptarch and how decoding works.  But the one thing we do know is that you can only receive 310 exotics after you reach a 300 light level, and even then it is only a chance.  Below 300 your exotics will decode into 290 exotics.


Buying three of coins is a better deal than buying exotic engrams from Xur.  Keep the buff active at all times.  However, give yourself 6-10 minutes between Ultra kills in order to avoid the added rebuff to rapid consumption.  If you do not get an exotic from the coins than you have an increased chance on your next use.  It is unknown if using more than 1 at a time has any effect, so just use 1!

Good Luck out there!


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