Weapons in Destiny 2 are incredibly complex. Between perks, archetypes, elemental burns, and mods, they have a lot of moving parts. But outside of these add-ons, the core weapon stats are possibly one of the most confusing but vital systems in the game.
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The main issue is that to truly optimize your builds and playstyle, you need to understand this system. And that doesn’t mean just knowing how many bullets you have in the clip and your potential range. No, you need to understand your damage output, assist-level, recoil and a number of other interconnected stats to truly excel,
Luckily, you can take an in-depth look at what makes weapon stats tick with this full guide.
Destiny 2 Weapon Stats Explained
The way weapons work in Destiny 2 isn’t just a simple one-to-one stat level for individual aspects. Instead, it’s an interconnected series of stats that can be bucketed into accuracy, assistance, range, and stability. Most of these categories also have an associated weapon stat, but additional things, like impact or stability, will directly affect these top-level categories.
These four stat types directly influence the cone, or bloom, of your weapon fire. In general, the more you shoot, the less accurate you’ll be. Your core weapon range will also affect this stat, but only based on the weapon type and if it’s designed for short, mid, or long-range.
In other words, every stat plays into the others to define the performance of a given weapon.
Now, there are various types of weapon stats. There are core stats, weapon-exclusive stats, and hidden stats.
Destiny 2 Core Weapon Stats
To begin, let’s go over the visible core weapon stats and have a look at what each one does for your Guardian.
If you want to know how much damage your weapon deals, this is the stat that defines it. However, the actual numerical value is calculated by your frame type, perks, accuracy, and fire rate. The faster your weapon can fire, the lower your overall impact will be and vice versa.
Additionally, any damage-amplifying perks will not increase your base impact stat. These are treated separately and often require specific conditions. This stat will be present on everything except Grenade Launchers and Rocket Launchers.
Just based on the weapon archetype, you likely have an idea of its range potential. But for a specific numerical value that defines your peak distance before damage falloff occurs—range is the stat to look at. The value here will also define how helpful your aim assist will be, with the targeting bloom typically expanding somewhere close to your max range. The gist, the higher the stat, the longer-range you have to execute shots with full damage.
This stat will be present on everything but Bows, Swords, Grenade Launchers, and Rocket Launchers.
Stability is more than how shaky your weapon handling is. It also directly impacts weapon recoil and how quickly your aim assist shifts when firing. The higher your stability, the less impactful kick will be and the more accurate you’ll be, despite aim assist parameters.
This stat basically dictates how rapidly you can fire accurate shots. It will be present on everything but Swords.
Handling may seem like another variation of stability, but this has nothing to do with accuracy and everything to do with speed. The higher your handling stat, the better you’ll be at swapping, stowing, and aiming.
In fact, having this stat close to maxed out can help your handling speed reach levels similar to having a perk equipped. Those same perks are also separate from your Handling stat, meaning that you can stack additional speed with the right roll. This will appear on everything but Bows and Swords.
Reload speed influences how long it takes to reload a given weapon. This stat is directly connected to the weapon archetype, with each having a different base speed. So, while the higher the stat, the faster you reload, the actual speed will depend on the archetype.
Like handling, certain perks will act as a multiplier to your reload speed. The main difference is that they will also boost your base stat. So in theory, with the right combo, you can actually have a reload speed beyond 100 — talk about one of the best Destiny 2 PvP weapon stats! This stat appears on everything but Swords.
Rounds Per Minute
The rate of fire measures how many rounds can be shot within sixty seconds. The higher or lower your RPM, the more of a tradeoff you’ll make with impact and stability. Like your reload speed, the base stat will be set by the weapon frame type, meaning any boosts or perks will react differently. This stat will appear on everything but Swords and Bows.
Your magazine size is how many rounds you can fire before reloading. This stat is somewhat separate from the rest and can be directly boosted by weapon and armor mods. Typically mid-range weapons will have the largest clips, while long and short-range have much smaller ammo pools to leverage. This will be present on everything but Bows.
Destiny 2 Weapon-Exclusive Stats
As you may have noticed, some weapons don’t get every stat listed above. Those same weapons do get exclusive stats that play into their usability. Here’s what each additional exclusive weapon stat does for your Guardian.
Only present for Bows, this stat affects how quickly you can charge an arrow shot. This isn’t directly connected to impact but has a small influence on your accuracy. The lower the stat, the faster you can draw an arrow for maximum output.
Directly tied to Grenade Launchers and Rocket Launchers, this stat determines how large your explosive radius will be. This doesn’t directly influence damage output, but it does increase the range of damage, as well as the size of the epicenter of explosions.
A larger blast radius does require a tradeoff in impact, meaning that you’ll lose damage output on direct hits. It also doesn’t work well with perks or mods that increase your radius. So, either opt to increase the base stat or run with specific perks that have the same effect.
Velocity determines how quickly Rocket Launcher and Grenade Launcher projectiles will reach your target. Increasing this stat tends to have a greater effect on Grenades, possibly due to the potential ricochet on impact. Note that a higher velocity typically means a smaller blast radius or decreased impact.
Since Fusion Rifles and Linear Fusion Rifles don’t have a fire rate, this stat replaces it. This stat basically influences how long it takes to fully charge your weapon. Unfortunately, the shorter your charge rate, the less overall impact you’ll have, so be sure to find a balance.
Guard efficiency relates to how much ammo you’ll lose upon a successful block. Since Sword stats somewhat stand on their own, there’s no direct tradeoff for better guard efficiency or any other stat.
Your endurance relates to how long you can guard with a Sword. The maximum you can hit is around ten seconds unless you have specific perks that help optimize this further.
Your resistance determines how much damage you’ll take when blocking with a Sword. You’re typically looking at anywhere from 30–80% damage reduction depending on how high the stat is.
The 5 Hidden Weapon Stats
The tricky thing about stats in Destiny 2 is that not all of them are present in your menus. While the stats above will give you a fairly clear view of weapon performance, some key stats are simply hidden away. These aren’t inaccessible, you just need a third-party app to uncover them.
Here’s what each additional hidden weapon stat does for your Guardian.
Accuracy dictates how well you can land shots, and how wide your range of error will be. This is a fixed stat tied explicitly to your weapon archetype. It’s meant to make different weapon types more consistent in how they function. For example, weapons like Auto Rifles gain accuracy over time, while Hand Cannons will start high and gradually decline with subsequent fire.
The only exception to this is Bows, which have a dedicated stat that dictates how easily you can land a hit.
Aim assist determines the level of automatic curve your shots will have. Basically, in some cases where you may barely miss an enemy, depending on your aim assist stat, it will still hit. This stat directly correlates to your accuracy, meaning that the more you fire, the less active it will be. It is currently present on all weapons.
This stat dictates how much ammo you can carry outside of your clip. Much like your accuracy, this is greatly determined by your weapon class. For example, Side Arms may have a seemingly bottomless pool of ammo to use, while Machine guns are far more limited.
You’ll typically have more ammo available than your inventory size states and can augment it even further with certain Armor Mods.
Zoom is directly connected to your range stat, basically increasing the distance you can do damage. However, this does not apply to hip fire, and the stat only influences damage output and accuracy when aiming down sites.
In some cases, certain weapons have different scopes that can adjust the zoom magnification. Generally, the higher the stat, the greater the range multiplier, but at the expense of a much smaller field of view. This is present on everything except Swords.
This stat impacts the intensity and direction of your weapon kick. The lower the stat value, the greater the intensity. Now, this can be adjusted with your stability stat as well, but it will have little influence over the direction of the kick. Typically, all you’ll be able to do is mitigate the veracity between the two stats.
What About Weapon Mods?
The way that Weapon Mods affect your weapon stats completely depends on the mod type and if it’s stackable. As we noted throughout, some weapon stats either have a hard cap, will not increase, or have limited returns if Mods are used. Generally speaking, this is very uncommon and is typically relegated to overly powerful weapons.
More often than not, you can leverage specific Weapon Mods to offset a lower stat or capitilize on a higher one. To be sure you’re getting the best use out of a stat/Mod combo, check the descriptions of both the weapon and the Mod. You’ll typically find disclaimers about stat limitations there, but if you’re unsure, just consult this guide for best practices.
What About Weapon Perks?
Weapon Perks are far more volatile than Mods when it comes to stats. Depending on the perk, you can either increase a base stat, add a multiplier or have an unassociated boost applied. Thankfully, Weapon Perks are very descriptive, meaning that like any Mods, you should be able to uncover how a Perk will impact performance.
Typically, we recommend avoiding boosting stats that are already amped with a Perk. More than likely, you’re only getting diminishing returns or just wasting a Mod slot or reroll. This isn’t always the case so just be sure to check the descriptions beforehand.
How to Upgrade and Masterwork Weapons
Upgrading your Weapons until their Masterworked functions exactly like upgrading armor pieces. Basically, you have the potential to upgrade a weapon ten times (or it may require less depending on the level you roll the weapon) with each providing a boost to a given stat. This requires Legendary Shards, except for the final two levels which require Ascendant Shards and Enhancement Prisms.
Once Masterworked, you’ll gain an additional stat boost to every visible stat, as well as a larger increase to the core upgrade stat you’ve been working on. Having a Masterworked weapon also means that you can drop Orbs of Light when executing kills, meaning that this is actually a boon for your Super as well as the weapon itself.
How to Earn High-Stat Weapons
The long-and-short is that there is no guaranteed method for high-stat weapon rolls. Typically, harder encounters like Raids, Dungeons, Trials, and Nightfalls drop better gear. However, seasonal events like Override are also dropping unique rolls for the next few weeks.
The best thing you can do is keep an eye out on the This Week at Bungie posts for insight into new encounters that produce better gear. Other than that, try to run Pinnacle reward encounters, as well as the game types mentioned above to improve your chances.
Become a High Grounder
Destiny 2 weapon stats may be complicated, but once you understand how they work together you can better fine-tune your weapon pursuits around your playstyle. To help your Fireteam min-max their builds, be sure to share this article on your favorite social platforms. And for the latest on Destiny 2, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the know.