'Destiny 2: The Witch Queen' Release Date: When You Can Play in Your Time Zone and Preload

The next major expansion for Destiny 2, titled The Witch Queen, is about to be released with a globally synchronized launch.

A massive piece of downloadable content (DLC), The Witch Queen could almost constitute a whole game in its own right, given how much it adds to the Destiny 2 experience.

There are new missions to complete, dungeons to scour, player versus player modes to enjoy, exotic loot pieces to acquire, and even a raid for you to undertake with friends. Not to mention, the expansion is also introducing the Throne World destination and an extra "legendary" difficulty setting for the campaign.

While all this content is gated behind a paywall (The Witch Queen is a premium expansion that you must pay for), Destiny 2 is receiving a separate free update this month as well.

"Season of the Risen" (aka Season 16) commences on Tuesday, February 22 and will run for at least a couple of months. This will continue the ongoing story line of Destiny 2, while also drip-feeding new items and mechanics into the game on a weekly basis.

Server maintenance for Destiny 2 is already underway to make sure that everybody can access The Witch Queen and "Season of the Risen" content, irrespective of their chosen platform.

Here is when the expansions will unlock.

'Destiny 2: The Witch Queen' and Season 16 Unlock Time

The good news is the launch for all the new Destiny 2 content has been relatively streamlined.

Both The Witch Queen and the free season 16 update will go live at the exact same time, with a globally synchronized launch.This means that, no matter what region you live in, you will be able to play the expansions at the same time as everybody else.

It is worth noting that this is not always the case, as titles such as Dying Light 2 will stagger their launches so that certain countries get them first. In fact, that's why gamers will often adjust the internal clocks of their consoles (to trick them into thinking they live in New Zealand), so that they can access new releases a little earlier than they should.

You won't need to do this with the upcoming Destiny 2 patch though, as the servers will be coming back online at 5 p.m. UTC everywhere. For context, this translates to 12 p.m. EST or 9 a.m. PST.

When the servers are back up, you will be able to play the new Destiny 2 expansions, provided that you have downloaded the corresponding update files.

How to Preload 'Destiny 2: The Witch Queen'

Speaking of which, if you are playing on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC or PS5, then you can preload Destiny 2: The Witch Queen right now, so that you're ready to start as soon as it unlocks. To do this, just try to launch the game as you normally would and you will then be prompted to download the Season 16 hotfix update.

If you are playing on PS4 then you will also need to download the relevant compatibility packs afterwards. Again, you will be prompted to do this.

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen costs $39.99. Meanwhile, the Season of the Risen content is available totally for free.

Destiny 2 The Witch Queen
Image shows keyart for "Destiny 2: The Witch Queen". The premium expansion is due to launch of February 22. Bungie Inc