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Destiny Weapon Size Reference

Various weapons and their sizes compared to each other and a Guardian.

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; any type of gun can be used by all Guardian classes.[1]

For a list of all weapons, 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 medium range and high impact.

Primary weapon ammo can be replenished by picking up small, white boxes.


Special weapons deal higher amounts of damage, but ammo for them is harder to find and they are less "all-purpose" and useful only in specific circumstances. There are three types of special weapons:

  • Shotguns: Close-quarters, but high damage.
  • Sniper Rifles: Long-range scope and high damage.
  • Fusion Rifles: Close- to mid-range directed-energy rifles that have short charge cycles.

Special weapon ammo can be replenished by picking up small, green boxes or by opening green ammo crates.


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.

Attack PowerEdit

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

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

Before The Dark Below, Legendary weapons started out at 248 attack with a max stat of 300. Exotics started at 267. Now, Legendary weapons go from 272 to 331. Exotics start at 302.


Weapons are differentiated from each other by eight attributes:

  • Rate of Fire: The number of shots per minute the weapon can fire.
  • Impact: Increases the damage inflicted by each round.
  • Range: Increases the effective range of the weapon.
  • Stability: Decreases weapon recoil when fired continuously.
  • Reload: Decreases the time it takes to reload this weapon.
  • Magazine: The number of shots that can be fired before reloading.
  • Charge Rate: Rate at which the weapon charges. (Fusion Rifles only)
  • Blast Radius: Increases the explosion radius of the weapon. (Rocket Launchers only)
  • Velocity: Increases the speed of projectiles fired by this weapon. (Rocket Launchers only)

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


Main article: Rarity

Generally, the higher a weapon's rarity is, the higher its damage rating will be. Weapon rarities can also affect the number of available upgrades for that weapon.

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 Perk

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

All Guardians on the same account will receive experience faster for a given weapon type when any Guardian on that account has achieved 5,000 (primary), 2500 (special), or 1,000 (heavy) kills with that weapon type.[citation needed]

Damage TypesEdit

Main article: Damage Type

Some weapons use different elements: Arc, Solar, and Void. Damage Types can inflict additional damage to an enemy's shields. 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. A damage type will do additional damage to all enemies if the corresponding Burn modifier is active.



  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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