Xur, Destiny 2’s travelling Exotic trader, is not yet back. After three solid years visiting the Tower and the Reef in the first game, he’s taking a bit of downtime, presumably to deal with finding out where he and his mysterious masters fit into the big, Destiny 2 story. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be thinking about him.
Like most things in Destiny 2, the way Xur works is very different this time. No longer selling Exotic gear in exchange for Strange Coins, he’ll now only accept Legendary Shards, as he proffers his wares at locations throughout Earth, Titan, Nessus, and Io. Naturally, this presents somewhat of an immediate problem, in that you likely don’t yet have any Legendary Shards, nor any obvious means of getting them. Unlike in the first game, Destiny 2’s long-term levelling and character development doesn’t really kick in until near the end of the campaign, meaning that the means and mechanisms of gear acquisition and evolution are yet to be fully revealed.
In this respect though, we can help you. Because although they might look desperately thin on the ground, Legendary Shards aren’t too hard to come by at all. But be warned that part of the process might be a tad painful at this early stage.
The first and most immediate thing you can do is dismantle a Legendary or Exotic item (weapon or armour) by highlighting it in your inventory and holding down Square or X. As with any other item in Destiny 2, this will destroy the original item and give you its constituent parts (see also, getting Gunsmith currency by breaking down Uncommon weapons), which in this case is Legendary Shards. As you explore Destiny 2’s world further after finishing the campaign, you can also get Legendary shards from weekly Nightfall strikes, regional planetary chests, Lost Sector chests, completing flash-point public events, and in the (as yet not live) raid. But right now this is your most immediate, sure-fire method.
Should you do it? Probably not straight away. You’re unlikely to start getting Legendaries until the end of the campaign, so it’s entirely understandable that you might not want to start junking them straight away. And without knowing exactly what Xur’s going to be selling, or really even what part Exotics play in Destiny 2 (they’re likely still highly prized, but most major systems have been reworked and reimagined since the first game), I couldn’t wholeheartedly recommend immediately destroying your best stuff on the promise of what might come in a week or two. Also, you’ll need to use Legendary Shards to Infuse your favourite gear to a higher damage or defense level, so you might want to stockpile until you see how that’s all going to work out.
That said, if your current Legendaries are rubbish, feel free.