Destiny Weapons and Weapon Mods Guide – Stats, Upgrades, Customization

By   /   Sep 10, 2014

Gear is the part and parcel of every MMO out there, and in Bungie’s Destiny, Weapons are an important part of your character’s gear.

For more help on Destiny, read our Titan Class Tips, Earth Story Missions and The Devil’s Lair Guide.

Destiny Weapons and Weapon Mods

Destiny offers a wide range of weapons which don’t matter much at the base levels, but after Level 20, you need to salvage the best weapons the game has to offer.

When we talk about weapons, there are three basic classes – primary, special, and heavy. However, what you need to look at is called Weapon Archetype.

Destiny Weapons

For each weapon class in the game, there are several different Weapon Archetypes that determine how a weapon behaves in combat.

For example, Rapid Archetype for primary weapons increases the rate of fire and shortens the range. On the contrary, Marksman slows down the rate of fire, but increases the range.

Although there is no clear way of knowing Weapon Archetypes in the game, you can most certainly make some educated guesses and choose weapons which best suit your style.

Weapon Stats

Weapon states or attributes determine how a weapon behaves in combat. The game explicitly displays some of the weapon stats of your weapon; however, there are some stats like recoil and handling, which are not displayed.

Tip: Two weapons of the same name have similar base stats, but can have different mods.

Rate of Fire
Rate of Fire determines how fast/slow a weapon shoots. Like in any other FPS out there, having a high ROF can greatly reduce recoil of a weapon. It’s advisable that weapons with a high ROF should be fired in short burst or at close range.

Impact
Impact can be considered as damage dealt per shot, but it’s not as simple as it sounds like. In PVP and PVE, level and attack can alter this value.

Still, if there are two weapons of the same class with similar attack, the weapon with higher Impact will deal more damage per shot.

Range
The maximum range of a weapon is the effective distance at which you can shoot without losing any damage. Going above the range of your weapon will make it lose damage.

Therefore, it’s recommended to check the area before the entering and choosing your weapon.

Along with the damage, another thing that is affected by the range is accuracy. – keep an eye on it!

Stability
Stability and recoil of a weapon are two opposite things. Stability determines how less a weapon sways in your hand while shooting.

Always remember that a weapon with high stability will be more accurate and vice versa. There are some players who can manually control their weapon’s recoil so they don’t rely on Stability that much.

Reload Speed
RS determines how quickly a player can change the gun’s magazine. At a crucial state, a bad-timed reload can result in instant death. You’ll find a couple of mods which will allow you to speed up the reloading speed of your weapon.

Magazine
Magazine determines how much bullets you can fire before needing to reload. This number depends upon the weapon class and can be enhanced by using certain weapon mods.

Charge Time
This weapon stat is exclusive to fusion rifles and determines the speed at which a weapon can completely charge its burst of energy. This may not be very helpful in PVP, but can be very handy in PVE.

A thing that you need to keep in mind is that weapons with slower CT deal more damage and vice versa.

Blast Radius
This weapon stat is exclusive to rocket launchers and determines the number of targets and the effective damage dealt to the opponents – obviously, this should always be high.

Velocity
Similar to BR, Velocity is also exclusive to rocket launchers and determines the speed with which rockets travels towards its target. Slow velocity targets are not very useful against opponents at a long range.

Understanding Your Weapons

Accuracy
There are a number of things which affect the accuracy of a weapon – for example, aiming down sights. When firing while ADS, your weapon will always have better accuracy than when firing from the hip.

Another thing that affects accuracy is the recoil and stability of a weapon. A weapon with lower recoil and higher stability will always be on target and will always be more accurate. There are some mods which can reduce a weapon’s recoil.

Furthermore, there are some players who can manually control their weapon’s recoil and stability.

Tip: When firing from a long-range, fire in small burst to reduce recoil – this affects DPS though.

Damage
Damage is a stat which is greatly affected by a number of other things – your action and level, for example. Rate of fire is another thing that affects the weapon damage. A weapon with higher ROF will always have less damage and vice versa.

Impact, as discussed above, also affects the damage dealt by you. A weapon with higher impact will deal more damage per shot. Lastly, your Attack and Defence stats play a major role.

For example, if you and your opponent are on the same level and you’ve higher Attack than his/her Defence then you’ll most certainly deal more damage.

Precision Damage
Precision Damage is the damage dealt when you hit an enemy on its weak spot. While playing the PVP, the weak spot of every enemy is at its head.

Whereas, in PVE, the weak spot of enemies vary from monster to monster. Furthermore, you’ll also come across some monsters without any weak spot – rendering your PD useless.

Elemental Damage
Elemental Damage refers to Arc, Solar, and Void damage dealt by special weapons, heavy weapons, grenades, and super moves.

In PVE, you’ll come across different monster with different elemental shields – hitting them with the same element will deal double amount of damage.

  • Blue is for Arc Damage
  • Red is for Solar Damage
  • Purple is for Void Damage

Flinch
Whenever you take damage from the enemies, your character will flinch which will affect your accuracy to land a shot on target. Depending upon the damage taken, flinch can be minute or major.

You’ll find a bunch of weapon with reduced flinch along with different mods that can reduce it significantly.

Primary Weapons

Primary Weapons have decent rate of fire and stability stats. In order to achieve success with these weapons, you need to be highly accurate with your shots.

However, there are some exceptions like scout rifles and hand cannon which are semi-automatic weapons and require a certain delay before firing the next round – unlike fully automatic weapons.

While firing in short bursts can reduce recoil and improve accuracy, it most certainly reduces the damage per second which is something quite important, especially in PVP.

Auto Rifles
These fully-automatic rifles have good stability and decent rate of fire – which work really well in medium-range.

Although these weapons don’t perform as good on long-range as on medium-range, you can always go with sights to overcome that issue. Being consistent with your shots is very important when going with these weapons.

Pulse Rifles
These three-burst rifles should only be selected by those who have a good trigger finger.

Having burst-fire mode, these weapons allow players to achieve decent accuracy, but also suffer from less DPS. And contrary to the popular belief, these weapons don’t deal more damage than Auto Rifles.

Scout Rifles
These single-shot semi-automatic rifles provide the best of both damage and accuracy.

Having the ability to fire in rapid successions and somewhat decent accuracy with these weapons can prove fatal for the enemies. While these guns are ideal for the long range, they’re not as effect on the short range.

Hand Cannons
Like with most pistols, these weapons have good damage output, but suffer from smaller range and slow rate of fire along with smaller magazine size. It’s recommended that you go for these weapons while playing short-sighted maps and during close-ranged combat.

Special Weapons

There are a total of three weapons in this category and all of them target different ranged combat. Ideally, these weapons should be used to make up for the deficiencies of your primary weapons.

For example, if you’re going with scout rifles as your primary weapons, try going for a shotgun as your special weapon. Furthermore, these are the only weapons which are the source of your elemental damage.

Aside from sniper and shotgun, the fusion rifle provides the best of both worlds. While it cannot replace the sniper rifle’s insanely long range, its charged burst can put any shotgun to shame.

Sniper Rifles
Sniper Rifles have insanely long range and damage, but suffer from smaller magazine sizes and rate of fire. While in the PVP combat, no party is complete with a sniper looking to cover the long distance engagements.

However, unlike many popular FPS out there, snipers in Destiny should never be used at a short-range and should always be fired while ADS and not from the hip.

While in the PVE space, look for your enemy’s weak spots and then make your shots count.

Shotguns
Shotguns are only meant to be used at long range – well, unless you’re planning on missing every shot. It’s not necessary to ADS when using a shotgun; you can easily go with the hip-fire and get accurate shots.

The best strategy of using a shotgun is to fire from the hip as soon as you come across an enemy followed by ADS to make your shots more accurate.

In PVP, if you’re going with scout rifles or fully-automatic rifles as your primary weapons, you should definitely consider using shotguns as your special weapons.

Keeping damage and accuracy aside, shotguns have slow ROF, bad range, and sluggish reload times.

Fusion Rifles
High stability, increased range, and low recoil define these weapons. Unlike sniper rifles and shotgun, these guns provide the best of both worlds and can be used at both short and long ranges.

Another important feature of these guns is the charged beam which charges up the gun followed by an insane blast that deals high damage. The time taken to fully charge the rifle varies from gun to gun.

One thing great about these weapons is that unlike primary weapons, their damage doesn’t fall below despite of the range. Provided that you stay on target, you can easily deal high damage within no time.

When going with these weapons, one thing that you need to learn is to manually control the recoil at long range. Other than this, these weapons can be used as the primary weapons – if one chooses to do so.

Heavy Weapons

Heavy Weapons is the only weapon class that contains only two weapons in it – Rocket Launcher and HMG.

Although it solely depends upon the player’s preference, but if you’re going with heavy weapons only for the elemental damage, then special weapons can do a finer job at it.

Coming back to this weapon class, while rocket launchers can provide massive damage output and take out multiple targets at the same time, heavy machine gun offers long range, more ammo, increased rate of fire, and more manoeuvrability.

Machinegun
These are fully-automatic weapons with high recoil, long range, and insane damage output. One can easily compare these weapons to fully-automatic rifles with enhanced attributes.

Machineguns also have sluggish reload times so you’ll need to get to a safer place and then reload before engaging further. Strictly speaking of heavy weapons, machineguns most certainly offer more movement options than rocket launchers.

Lastly, when playing in PVE space, these guns are best-suited to take out shielded enemies or the enemies that like to move a lot.

Rocket Launcher
If you’re planning to dominate the PVP arena, rocket launcher is the way to go in the heavy weapons category. These babies can easily take out both enemy players and vehicle with relative ease – even your own, so be careful!

There are a couple of thing that determine that effectiveness of these weapons which include speed with which the rocket travels and damage output of the blast.

The best strategy to use the rocket launcher is by using it after the jump so that your line of fire is clear and you aim at the targets directly.

In PVE space, rocket launchers are the best thing to use to clear out the clusters of enemies and minions.

Destiny Weapon Mods

Mods are the things that can drastically change how your weapon behaves in the open – even two similar weapons with different mods behave like two different weapons.

Those who didn’t get a chance to play the beta, mods are the Destiny’s term for Weapon Attachments. There are a bunch of different mods to choose from, therefore, make sure that you experiment with each one of them to see which ones work best for you.

Damage Mods
Damage is divided into 4 different categories:

  • Kinect
  • Arc
  • Solar
  • Void

By default, you’ll dealing Kinect damage to all sorts of enemies. The other three forms of damage are quite useful for PVE, but are rendered useless in PVE space.

Tip: While playing on the Mythic difficulty, attacking an enemy shield with wrong elemental damage will deal you fifty per cent damage.

Sights/Barrels Mods
Rifles have three different types of optical sights to use with them. These sights should be tested carefully since they affect the range of a weapon.

Shotguns and rocket launchers don’t have any optical sights, but instead use barrels. Barrels are not at all work like optics, but behave entirely differently.

Primary Ability Mod
This is a class-restricted mod whose effect is permanent on the particular weapon on which it is placed. There are some of these which needed to be triggered as active, while others are always active.

First Upgrade Mod
This is found on Uncommon or Better weapons and tends to increase the weapon’s attack power which is pretty useful during PVP environment.

Second Upgrade Mod
This is found on rare or better weapons and similar to the first upgrade, increases the attack power of the weapon.

Stat Mod
Found on rare or better weapons, this slot allows you to choose three different mods for your weapon which can change it entirely into a unique weapon. You can go with different mods that affect the same stat to reach a cap on a particular stat.

Ascend
This is only available for Legendary and Exotic Weapons and increases your weapon’s attack power by providing some rare materials. Note that the attack power can only be increased no more than thrice.

Mods to Use For Your Weapons

In this section, I’ve provided some of the weapons mod to give you an overview of what you can expect from the different mods. Do note that this is not a complete list of mods and are only provided to give you a general overview of the things.

Accelerated Coils for Fusion Rifles
This mod decreases the charge timer for fusion rifles making them very effective at close range.

Armour Piercing Rounds
Like the name suggests, these rounds tend to pierce the body armour of the opponent. This is also effective for hitting targets through objects.

Cascade
This mod is used to increase the reload speed of your weapons by 150 per cent.

Clown Cartridge
This weapon mod gives you a 25 % chance of getting 20% magazine bonus for your weapons and is very effective to use on weapons with smaller magazine size.

Cluster Bomb
This weapon mod is only applicable on rocket launcher and throws small cluster bombs after the explosion to further add to the explosion.

Shot Package
This weapon mod is only available for the shotguns and decreases the size of bullets’ spread of shotgun while ADS.

Counterbalance
This weapon mod can be used on every weapon and increases the stability of the weapons by 9%. Pretty useful mod to use in both PVP and PVE.

Crowd Control
This mod allows you to get 15% bonus damage for three seconds after scoring a kill of an enemy. This can be used to create chain kills and keep on increasing the damage.

Custom Optics
This weapon mod is available for legendary scout and sniper rifles and increases the zoom of the weapon by +0.5x.

Shoot to Loot
This is one of the most useful weapon mods in the game and allows you to replenish your ammo by shooting at it from a distance. Quite useful when you’re overwhelmed by enemies and out of ammo.

Double Down
This is a good weapon mod to use in PVP and increases the ammo size of your weapons when you spawn.

Enhanced Battery
This weapon mod increases your reload speed, but also increases your magazine capability at the same time.

Explosive Rounds
We have seen these types of ammo rounds in many different games. Like the name suggests, these rounds explode after hitting an enemy which adds to the damage aspect of the weapon.

Extended Mag
This is a pretty common weapon mod and increases the size of the magazine by 30 additional rounds.

Field Scout
This weapon is only available on the Legendary Weapons and increases the magazine size along with the inventory ammo. Pretty useful ammo for weapons with small clip size.

Firefly
Precision killing an enemy while using this weapon mod adds a 50% additional blast solar damage to all nearby targets, but is only available on legendary scout and sniper rifles.

Fitted Stock
Unlike many popular shooters out there, Fitted Stock in Destiny increases the stability of the weapon by 25%. However, it’s only available for legendary scout rifles.

Flared Magwell
This weapon mod increases your weapon reload speed by 100%, but reduces your weapon’s stability by 10%.

Hip Fire
Those of you who have played Call of Duty will recognize this mod as Steady Aim. This weapon mod improves the hip fire accuracy of all weapons – quite useful on shotguns.

Full Auto
This weapon mod is only available for shotguns and pulse rifles and turns any semi-automatic in a fully-automatic weapon. With this equipped on a shotgun, you’ll become a beast at close range.

Glass Half Full
This is another useful weapon mod to use in both PVP and PVE. What this does is that it increases the damage of your lower half of magazine by 6%.

Grenades and Horseshoes
This weapon mod is only available on the rocket launchers and makes the explosives detonate when they’re in 2 meters radius of the target instead of when they hit any surface.

Grenadier
This weapon mod adds 10% to the grenade energy.

Outlaw
This is another reload related weapon mod which insanely decreases the reload time after scoring a precision kill on any enemy.

Hair Trigger
This weapon mod makes the weapons instantly shoot when any pressure on the shooting trigger is detected.

Hammer Forged
This is one useful mod for weapons which suffer from a short range. This weapon actually increases the range of the weapon, but also increases its reload time by a small margin.

Hand Loaded
This weapon mod is only available for the rare-quality weapons and increases the range of your weapons – not as much as Hammer Forged and without any reload speed increase.

Headseeker
This weapon mod is only available on the Pulse Rifles and adds the precision damage to the third hit of the burst fired. The precision damage added is about 25% of the total.

Heavy Payload
These weapons increases the blast radius of the rocket launchers by 40% and it also makes them lose 10% of the total speed. This mod is pretty useful when you’re on medium range.

High Caliber Rounds
This weapon mod doesn’t increase your weapon’s damage, but it increases the amount of flinch that enemies experience after getting shot at.

Final Round
This weapon mod allows you to get a boost of 33% more damage at the end of every magazine which is pretty useful with sniper rifles and shotgun which suffer from smaller magazine sizes.

Javelin
This weapon mod decreases the velocity of the rockets with which they travel, but also reduces the stability of a weapon.

Don’t forget to share your favorite Weapons and Weapon Mods set up by commenting below!

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