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A sampling of concept art of weapons in Destiny, shown at the GDC 2013 Bungie Panel.

Weapons are equipment designed to inflict damage on living beings, vehicles, or structures as an effect of combat. Weapons play a dominant role in the Destiny series along with grenades, melees, and some super abilities, weapons act as the primary mode of combat and defense against hostile forces in the game. Multiple types of weapons exist, some of which may be more effectively used by certain classes and subclasses, or while wearing certain pieces of armor. There are, however, no restrictions on which classes can use which weapons; every type of gun can be used by every Guardian class.[1]

For a list of all weapons, please view the category page.

Weapon TypesEdit

Each weapon fits into one of three inventory slots according to its type: primary, special, and heavy. A player can equip one weapon of each type and hold up to nine more of each type in the inventory.[2] Players can equip any weapon in their inventory at any time, but changing the equipped Special or Heavy weapon will forfeit half the weapon's ammo in PvE and all of the weapon's ammo in PvP.[3]


Primary weapons are the main weapons used by Guardians. There are four different types of primary weapons:

  • Scout Rifles: Semi-automatic rifles with high accuracy.
  • Pulse Rifles: Burst-fire rifles with high recoil between shots.
  • Auto Rifles: Fully-automatic rifles with medium accuracy.
  • Hand Cannons: Revolver-like pistols with poor range, but high impact.

Primary weapon ammo can be replenished by picking up small, white boxes. All Guardians on an account will receive experience faster for a given primary weapon type when any Guardian on that account has achieved 5000 kills with that weapon type.


Special weapons have niche uses and deal higher amounts of damage. There are three types of special weapons:

  • Shotguns: Close-quarters, extreme recoil, high damage.
  • Sniper Rifles: Equipped with a long-range scope, high damage.
  • Fusion Rifles: Close to mid-range directed-energy rifle that must be charged for every shot.

Special weapon ammo can be replenished by picking up small, green boxes or opening green ammo crates. All Guardians on an account will receive experience faster for a given special weapon type when any Guardian on that account has achieved 2500 kills with that weapon type.


Heavy weapons deal massive amounts of damage. There are two types of heavy weapons:

  • Machine Guns: High rate of fire and extreme magazine capacity, deals a high amount of damage.
  • Rocket Launchers: Deals massive damage to a large radius

Heavy weapon ammo can be replenished by picking up large, purple boxes or opening purple ammo crates. All Guardians on an account will receive experience faster for a given heavy weapon type when any Guardian on that account has achieved 1000 kills with that weapon type.

Damage RatingEdit

A weapon's damage rating is represented by a number. The higher a weapon's damage rating is, the more damage it will do to enemies.[4]

In the Crucible, weapons' damage ratings are normalized so that no one has an unfair advantage over anyone else.[4]


Weapons are differentiated from each other by eight attributes:

  • Rate of Fire: How quickly shots can be fired.
  • Impact: How much damage each individual shot does.
  • Range: How far away a target can be while still doing 100% damage.
  • Stability: How much the weapon resists recoil.
  • Reload: How long the weapon takes to reload.
  • Magazine: How many shots can be fired before having to reload.
  • Charge Time: How quickly the Fusion Rifle charges.
  • Velocity: The speed at which a rocket travels.
  • Blast Radius: The splash damage of a rocket's explosion.

In the Crucible, although weapons' damage ratings are normalized, their attributes are not.[4]


Main article: Rarity

Generally, the more rare a weapon is, the higher its damage rating will be.

Though players may carry as many exotic weapons as they like in their inventory, only one exotic weapon may be equipped at one time.[5]


Main article: Weapon Upgrade

All non-basic weapons can be upgraded by earning experience with the weapon equipped. Upgrades may be different optics options, increased damage, or adjusted attributes.[6][7] Some upgrades must be purchased with Glimmer, Weapon Parts, or other Materials.[6]

Damage TypesEdit

Main article: Damage Type

Some weapons use different elements to inflict additional damage to an enemy's shields: Arc, Solar, and Void. The color of an enemy's shield represents which damage type it is vulnerable to. Any unique damage types that are not used against their respective shields will only inflict the default damage of the weapon.


  1. , DestinyTheGame on Twitter. (29 Dec. 2013) "Twitter/DestinyTheGame: Did You Know that...". Retrieved 18 Mar. 2014.
  2. (2013-08-22) YouTubeOut Here in the Wild - Official Destiny ViDoc 1:33. Retrieved 12 Oct. 2013.
  3. Update 1.0.1
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 (2014) YouTubeDestiny Beta: Attack vs. Impact - Weapon Damage Explained Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  5. Miller, Matt. (January 2014 Print Edition) "A Player's Journey: Destiny". Game Informer. Retrieved 31 Dec. 2013.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Foman123 (20 June 2014) YouTubeDestiny Alpha - Resource Upload Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  7. IGN (2013) YouTube: Destiny Gameplay Revealed - E3 2013 Sony Conference 07:20. Retrieved 18 June 2013.

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