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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 four types of special weapons:

  • Shotguns: Close-quarters, but high damage.
  • Sidearms: Close-range pistols designed to complement primary weapons.
  • 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.


Relics can only be used during special activities and cannot be stored in the inventory.

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] The maximum Attack a weapon can have is 365, with all weapons added before House of Wolves having a maximum Attack of 331. However, all legendary and exotic weapons can be ascended to 365 with an Etheric Light or Exotic Shard.

In regular Crucible modes, weapons' Attack Powers are normalized.[4] However, Attack Power is a factor in Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris.


Weapons are differentiated from each other by nine attributes:

  • Rate of Fire: The number of shots per minute the weapon can fire.[5]
  • 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.[6]


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.[7][8] Some perks must be purchased with Glimmer, Weapon Parts, or other materials.[7]

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. "Surrender A - API call". Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  6. Miller, Matt. (January 2014 Print Edition) "A Player's Journey: Destiny". Game Informer. Retrieved 31 Dec. 2013.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Foman123 (20 June 2014) YouTubeDestiny Alpha - Resource Upload Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  8. IGN (2013) YouTube: Destiny Gameplay Revealed - E3 2013 Sony Conference 07:20. Retrieved 18 June 2013.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Weapon

  • what's better for pve, Ice breaker or black hammer

    3 messages
    • Neither is better. It really just depends. I like using Ice Breaker for most PvE activities. The regenerating ammo means I never have to wa...
    • I have never used Black Hammer, but I have used Ice Breaker, and it has been pretty effective in the Crucible. I remember getting a Triple K...

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