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Destiny 2 | A Complete Guide to Masterwork Weapons

In order to create a premium build in Destiny 2, you need to Masterwork your weapons. This upgrade process will provide essential stat boosts and Orbs of Power drops for all Legendary and Exotic weapons. A fully Masterworked weapon can take a middling weapon with so-so stats, and turn it into a top-tier choice for Raids and end-game content.

To help you get the most out of your weapons and streamline the upgrade process, you’ll want to be sure you understand Masterworking inside and out. Read on for our complete run-through of Masterworking weapons in Destiny 2.

What Is a Masterwork Weapon in Destiny 2?

Showcasing the Masterwork Weapons
Image: Bungie via HGG

Masterworked weapons are Legendary or Exotic weapons that have been upgraded ten times in total. These weapons will be signified by a golden border in your Guardian’s inventory. In general, by Masterworking a weapon, you can expect:

  1. Orbs of Power generation through multi-kills
  2. Legendary weapons add +10 to a chosen stat
  3. Exotic weapons add a massive stat boost 
  4. Exotic weapons have the possibility to add a new perk
  5. The ability to track combatant or Guardian eliminations

While the stat boosts and potential perk rolls on Exotics is randomized, you’ll know exactly what stat will be buffed for Legendaries once you acquire the weapon. This can help you determine if a weapon is worth Masterworking or if you’re better off rerolling for a different variation.

How to Masterwork a Weapon in Destiny 2?

Any Legendary or Exotic weapon can be Masterworked directly from your inventory. Simply select the weapon you want to upgrade and look below the Perks section to start the process. Just keep in mind that the path to a Masterworked weapon is different for Legendaries and Exotics. 

How to Masterwork Legendary Weapons

Additional Benefits of Masterwork Weapons in Destiny 2
Image: Bungie via HGG

Legendary weapons must be upgraded to Tier 10 to be considered Masterwork weapons in Destiny 2. This means that you’ll likely need to level up your weapon nine additional times unless you roll something that is already a few Tiers in. Like upgrading Armor, this is a fairly inexpensive process that requires the following for each Tier:

  • Tier One: Default weapon stats
  • Tier Two: 2,500 Glimmer
  • Tier Three: 2,500 Glimmer, 1 Legendary Shard
  • Tier Four: 2,500 Glimmer, 1 Legendary Shard, 1 Enhancement Core
  • Tier Five: 2,500 Glimmer, 2 Legendary Shards, 1 Enhancement Core
  • Tier Six: 2 Legendary Shards, 2 Enhancement Cores
  • Tier Seven: 3 Legendary Shards, 2 Enhancement Cores
  • Tier Eight: 3 Legendary Shards, 3 Enhancement Cores
  • Tier Nine: 5 Legendary Shards, 3 Enhancement Cores
  • Tier Ten: 10 Legendary Shards, 5 Enhancement Cores

Legendary Shards and Glimmer are fairly easy to acquire while playing. Enhancement Cores can be a bit more difficult to acquire and are typically earned by dismantling weapons or purchasing from the Gunsmith. Just try to stock up and you’ll be able to quickly Masterwork any Legendary weapon.

How to Masterwork Exotic Weapons

Viewing the Catalyst on Exotic and Legendary Weapons
Image: Bungie via HGG

Exotic weapons become Masterworked through an entirely different system known as an Exotic Catalyst. Most Exotics in Destiny 2 currently have a Catalyst available or have been teased to add one in the near future. These final upgrades are earned through specific missions and activities, or (for older weapons) just as random world drops. 

Once you’ve unlocked a Catalyst, you’ll then need to do an additional task to activate it. This typically requires you to get a large number of kills with the weapon. Some will add an additional qualifier, like an enemy type or location, but it’s a task designed to be completed by just playing. You can track your progress by hovering over the Catalyst in your inventory screen.

Once you’ve activated the Catalyst, return to your inventory and hold down the select button to apply it. This will officially Masterwork the Exotic weapon, boosting a specific task and, in some cases, activating an additional Perk.

What Enhancements Do Masterwork Weapons Offer?

Boost to weapon stats via masterwork weapons
Image: Bungie via HGG

As we mentioned before, the core benefit of a Masterworked weapon is the ability to generate Orbs of Light through multi-kills. This requires you to just kill two or more enemies to start supercharging your Super regen and works incredibly well with any Charged With Light Armor Mods. Now, orb spawning aside, the other key benefit of a Masterwork is the stat bonus you unlock.

Once you fully master how to Masterwork Destiny 2 weapons, you’ll gain a +10 stat boost. The unfortunate thing is that these stat rolls are randomized, except for Exotics, which are tailored around specific boosts. For Legendaries, you know what the stat focus will be once you acquire a weapon, allowing you to roll for specific boosts before starting the Masterwork process. 

Additionally, some Destiny 2 Masterwork weapons, like Grenade Launchers or Bows, have specific stats boosts exclusive to them. Here is the general pool of stat boosts you can expect to roll on Legendary weapons.

  • Impact (Sniper Rifles, Fusion Rifles, and Swords only)
  • Range (unavailable on Rocket and Grenade Launchers)
  • Stability (unavailable on Swords)
  • Handling
  • Reload Speed (unavailable on Swords)
  • Magazine
  • Blast Radius (Rocket and Grenade Launchers only)
  • Velocity (Rocket and Grenade Launchers only)
  • Charge Time (Fusion and Linear Fusion Rifles only)
  • Accuracy (Bows only)
  • Draw Time (Bows only)

Can You Unlock Weapons That Are Fully Masterworked?

Tier 2 weapon to Masterwork Weapons in Destiny 2
Image: Bungie via HGG

Like any upgradable items in Destiny 2, the chance to unlock a fully Masterworked weapon is entirely random. There have been missions in the past that dropped a Masterworked weapon as a reward, but these quests are incredibly rare and typically tied to a Seasonal event or exclusive challenge. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t roll Masterworked gear when playing end-game content, but don’t run into Raids or Trials expecting it.

Instead, focus on acquiring the necessary upgrade materials, and try to roll weapons that you like using with specific Perks and stats. You may get lucky and roll a weapon that’s been upgraded a few levels to start things off, but it’s better to put the work in and Masterwork them yourself.

Become a High Grounder

Masterwork weapons in Destiny 2 are a key upgrade process to ensure you’re weapons are ready to take on end-game challenges. Be sure to let your Fireteam know how to get the most out of Masterwork weapons by sharing this article on your favorite social channels. For the latest on Destiny 2, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.

Happy gaming!

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