Destiny 2: Shadowkeep focused heavily on adding depth to its various systems. Armor got a massive expansion in stats and mods, while new weapons got added into the mix.
While Shadowkeep didn’t add Weapons 2.0, it certainly changed the effectiveness of nearly every weapon perk. These changes, combined with the sheer size of the current perk pool, makes it somewhat difficult to find what perks are useful. Luckily, there are still plenty of options for making an optimal killing machine, ranging from damage buffs to granting ability energy. Here are the 15 best perks players need on their weapons in Destiny 2.
Updated September 23rd, 2020 by Charles Burgar: Year 3 of Destiny 2 saw quite a few new weapons and armor mods for Guardians to use. Some of these weapons came with new perks that have changed up the meta considerably for PvE and PvP. Damage perks are still king inside of PvE, but there is much more room for perks to breathe than they had previously. As a result, we have added five new perks that players should keep their eyes out for when farming for their next god-roll Legendary weapon.
15 Sympathetic Arsenal
Season of Arrivals introduced a variety of new perks for Guardians to mess with, one of which was Sympathetic Arsenal. Whenever the player kills an enemy and immediately reloads afterward, they will reload every weapon stowed instead of their equipped gun.
Sympathetic Arsenal is effectively Auto-Loading Holster for a Guardian’s loadout. Using this on the new Whispering Slab Bow or any Primary weapon is the best choice. Pair this with Shotguns or Machine Guns to cut down on reloading dramatically.
14 Firing Line
Sniper rifles were not in a very good spot for the first two years of Destiny 2. Excluding Whisper of the Worm, most legendary snipers couldn’t hold a candle to the damage Trench Barrel shotguns could dish out.
Firing Line has made Snipers much more competitive for boss DPS, however. This perk grants 25% additional precision damage to targets when players are standing near two or more allies. In strikes, this can be useful for quickly killing a boss. In raids, this perk is almost always active, allowing groups that are all using Firing Line Snipers to quickly kill Nightfall bosses and certain raid bosses.
13 Lead From Gold
Anyone that wishes to exclusively use their Special weapon in PvE will want to obtain Lead from Gold. Anytime players obtain Heavy ammo with this perk active, it will also grant ammo for any weapon with this perk.
The ammo gains are equal to a Special brick, meaning most weapons get just under a magazine’s worth of ammunition per Heavy brick. Use this with Heavy Ammo Finisher or Heavy Ammo Finders on armor to make Primaries irrelevant in PvE.
If damage bonuses aren’t needed, the next best thing is Dragonfly. This perk causes an AoE explosion based on a weapon’s elemental damage type when it deals a precision final blow
While not as powerful as Firefly was in Destiny, Dragonfly in Destiny 2 is a great way of dealing with swarms of enemies. A unique mod called Dragonfly Spec also exists, increasing the range and damage of the Dragonfly explosion. With this mod, players can kill some of the strongest minor opponents with a single explosion.
11 Moving Target
Some players swear by Moving Target when discussing their favorite weapons. This perk gives weapons an aim assist bonus of +10 while increasing strafe movement speed while aiming.
On paper, these benefits sound lackluster when compared to the likes of Opening Shot or popular PvE perks. In practice, Moving Target is one of the best perks for improving a weapon’s accuracy and overall consistency. Gaining +10 aim assist is enough to make most weapons land shots much more consistently inside of the Crucible, making this a great choice for PvP Primaries.
10 Multikill Clip
Kill Clip and Multikill Clip are arguably equal to each other. Kill Clip is better suited for PvP when getting multiple kills quickly is hard to do, but Multikill Clip is amazing in PvE activities.
Overall, in terms of raw perk strength, Multikill Clip beats every other damage perk in the game. This perk grants up to a 50% damage increase when players get 3 rapid kills before reloading. Unlike normal Kill Clip, Multikill Clip can be refreshed by reloading early while the buff is still active. If Guardians can get three kills to start Multikill Clip, getting three more kills in that magazine will be much easier, hence making this perk easier to maintain so long as there are enemies to kill.
9 Rapid Hit
Similar to Outlaw, Rapid Hit requires users to aim for the head to get any benefit. Unlike Outlaw, players only need to hit the target’s weak point instead of outright killing them.
Rapid Hit provides a stacking reload and stability buff for each precision hit, capping out at 5 stacks. This reload buff rivals how much speed Outlaw grants, and the stability buff Rapid Hit provides also matches what Zen Moment can provide. Most rapid-fire weapons benefit greatly from this perk, making them incredibly easy to control and near-instant to reload. This is easily one of the best reload perks in the game.
8 Opening Shot
Range is one of the most important stats for any weapon in Destiny. It determines how far a weapon can fire before damage starts to fall off, how lenient a weapon’s aim assist is, and how easily the reticle can follow a target on a controller, which is typically referred to by the community as a gun’s “stickiness.”
Opening Shot is one of the best perks in PvP because it dramatically improves a weapon’s accuracy and range during the first shot from a weapon. On a hand cannon, it allows players to consistently start engagements with headshots. On a shotgun, it helps pellets land on their target from further distances, helping with the consistency and overall feel of this weapon archetype dramatically. Opening Shot even helps with landing headshots with Snipers! For PvP, this is a must.
7 Vorpal Weapon
Season of Dawn brought Vorpal Weapon alongside a large range of weapons. Most players ignored this perk for its lackluster 15% damage increase to bosses inside of PvE, but the increase in Champion usage in pinnacle activities has made this perk much more desirable.
The 15% damage buff works on ultra majors, Champions such as Unstoppables and Overloads, bosses, and vehicles. It has a place in PvP as well, granting a massive 50% damage increase against Guardians in their Super. If Champions keep being pushed in future DLC, Vorpal Weapon will remain an essential perk for pinnacle activities.
6 Killing Wind
By far the best perk introduced in Season of Arrivals is Killing Wind. Whenever the player gets a kill, they gain a massive increase to their mobility stat, increased weapon range, and increased weapon handling for a short duration.
Mobility increases by 50 points when this perk is active, although this does not allow a Guardian to go past 100. The increased weapon range and handling are comparable to Rangefinder and Quickdraw, respectively. It lasts a whopping five seconds on its own, although this can be stacked to last up to ten seconds! This is a top-tier choice in PvP and a great alternative to a damage perk inside of PvE. It is only brought down by how few weapons can use this perk currently. Should Bungie include Killing Wind on more weapons in Year 4, this perk will easily become meta.
This perk is about as vanilla as a gun can get, but there is a good reason this is still widely regarded as the best perk in Destiny. Kills with this weapon grant a damage bonus that can stack up to three times.
The damage bonus caps out at 33% extra damage when players get all 3 stacks, making most Hand Cannons and Scout Rifles instantly kill minor enemies in a single headshot. Rampage refreshes its duration when players get a kill as well, meaning that Rampage can always be active if players can get a kill every 3.5 seconds, upgraded to 4.5 seconds if Rampage Spec is installed. Rampage is simply a solid choice for every gun in Destiny 2.
Introduced in Season of Opulence and present in the newest season’s weapons, Demolitionist is a fantastic alternative to most damage perks in Destiny.
Demolitionist grants grenade energy for every kill players make with that weapon, and it also reloads the weapon from reserves whenever a grenade is thrown. This perk allows players to enter a rhythm of killing a few enemies, throwing a grenade to kill a group, then continuing with firing their gun. If used properly, Guardians should never have to reload their weapon and have infinite grenades. With Demolitionist being a first column perk in Season of Dawn weapons, players can potentially pair this powerful perk with a damage perk like Swashbuckler to make an absurdly strong Legendary weapon.
No PvP perk is as strong as Celerity. Only obtainable on Trials of Osiris weapons, Celerity grants players a massive increase to their aim assist, weapon handling, reload speed, and drastically reduces incoming flinch.
Celerity does have a catch, though. Players need to be the last living member of their fireteam for the perk to work. This means it is effectively useless inside of Quickplay and raids, but those that frequent Competitive, Trials, solo Nightfalls, or any type of solo content need to try Celerity out. The bonuses put nearly every other consistency perk to shame.
2 One-Two Punch
Trench Barrel shook up the meta for most of Forsaken, granting users a massive 50% damage increase for simply punching something. Sadly, this perk has been nerfed so much that it’s rarely used anymore.
One-Two Punch is the inverse of Trench Barrel and better in nearly every way. Instead of granting a damage buff on melee hit, One-Two Punch grants a melee damage buff if every shotgun pellet lands on an enemy. This 3x melee damage buff can stack with Exotics like Wormgod Caress and abilities from Subclasses. When combined with other melee buffs, One-Two Punch can instantly kill major targets and some bosses.
1 Disruption Break
Never has a perk in Destiny 2 went from completely neglected to a must in such a short timespan. Disruption Break has become increasingly more accessible with recent seasons, and players are going to want a few weapons with Disruption Break once they learn what it does.
When a target’s shields are broken with this perk, they will take 50% increased damage from Kinetic weapons for around 5 seconds. This stacks with damage increasing perks such as Rampage and Weapons of Light. Disruption Break activates on any shields including Barrier Champions. Since Champions are becoming more prevalent than ever in Destiny 2’s PvE scene, there is no reason not to get a Disruption Break weapon.
Disruption Break also grants a 50% damage increase inside of the Crucible. Using Truthteller or a similar Special weapon to quickly break a target’s shields will make them incredibly easy to finish off, even if they find a way to heal. This debuff turns Sidearms into Hand Cannons, Auto Rifles into Machine Guns, and Bows into Snipers in terms of damage output. No damage perk can come close to Disruption Break inside of PvP.
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