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As a first-person shooter, Destiny features numerous weapons for Guardians to use in combat.


Each weapon type contains exotic variants, which are given a unique name and which have additional abilities and/or effects. Such notable "exotics" include the Fate of All Fools, Thunderlord, Patience and Time, Red Death, and Gjallarhorn, along with Thorn, Pocket Infinity, and Super Good Advice. [1][2] Scopes and various sights have also been seen. [3] Each Guardian will have 3 weapon slots to be able to carry a Primary, Special, and Heavy Weapon on their person, with the potential to store and access up to 9 additional weapons of each type. The primary slot is for the weapon used most frequently, such as auto rifles, scout rifles, pulse rifles, and hand cannons. The secondary slot is for specialty weapons that are highly situational such as shotguns, fusion rifles, and sniper rifles. The third slot is for heavy weapons such as rocket launchers and heavy machine guns.[4][5][1] Ammo for the weapons will be color coded by slot type; white for primary, green for special, and purple for heavy. [6] Purple is the rarest ammo to find, encouraging Guardians to use heavy weapons sparingly.[7]

Many of the weapons in Destiny carry "implied fiction," bearing details of its creator, where it came from and the sort of person who had wielded it.[8]

Rarity of the weapon as well as armor is color coordinated into five tiers: Basic (white), Uncommon (green), Rare (blue) Legendary (purple), and Exotic (gold).[9] Basic and Uncommon weapons can be easily purchased at the gunsmith, with Rare weapons sometimes available. All the factions, the Vanguard and the Crucible sell Legendary weapons of each type. This is the only way to obtain Legendary weapons, outside of the very rare chance of finding a legendary engram or earning them as a random drop in a Raid. Exotic weapons, meanwhile, can only be purchased from Xûr, Agent of the Nine, acquired through an exotic bounty, or as a random reward during a Raid or Nightfall Strike.

Certain weapons are infused with different energies - thermal damage, arc damage, and void damage.[10]

It should be noted that while Guardians are able to switch their weapon selection at any time through the menu, this comes at the penalty of losing both special weapon ammo and/or heavy weapon ammo for the switched guns. This encourages Guardians to plan their weapon selection in advance before entering a firefight.[11]

Weapons are re-forgeable, which is done by Lord Saladin. This re-rolls their stats, but resets progression.[12]

In Destiny 2, the weapon system is revamped, devising weapons into three categories: Power weapons, kinetic weapons, and energy weapons, which allow for increased player preference in regards to their arsenal layout.

Weapon upgrades[edit]

Weapons that are Common quality or better are capable of being upgraded by Guardians. Each weapon has an upgrade path that allows certain capabilities and improvements to be applied to the weapon, at the cost of a certain amount of Glimmer and potentially other materials. Each individual upgrade per weapon is unlocked with more experience.[1] Additionally, while certain weapons will have a more or less "linear" upgrade tree, some weapon trees will diverge into different "branches", allowing for certain weapons to have more specialized applications as well as making it impossible to obtain all upgrades for that particular weapon.[13]

Uncommon and Rare weapons typically only require glimmer and Weapon Parts to upgrade. Legendary weapons also require either Spinmetal, Helium Filaments, Spirit Bloom, or Relic Iron. The final upgrades also require either Ascendant Shards or Ascendant Energy (for pre-House of Wolves weapons only). Exotic weapons are similar to Legendary weapons, except instead of ascendant materials they require an Exotic Shard for the final upgrade.

Weapon Types (Destiny 1)[edit]

The following is a list of weapon types. The list of weapons within these types is located on its host page.

Primary weapons[edit]

Primary weapons are all-purpose weapons for most combat scenarios. Primary ammo is easy to come by and is stored in large quantities, so players will find themselves relying on these weapons the most.

  • Auto rifle—fully automatic weapons capable of engaging multiple enemies at close-mid range, but require recoil control to use at longer distances.
  • Hand cannon—double-action handguns with high impact and stopping power. Rewards a steady hand.
  • Pulse rifle—burst fire, mid-range weapons with moderate recoil.
  • Scout rifle—semi auto precision weapons meant for long range engagements.

Special weapons[edit]

Special weapons are more situational than primary weapons, filling specific niches. They are useful for tackling high-priority targets, or for backup in case a primary runs dry. Special ammo appears less often, and players cannot store as much special ammo.

  • Fusion rifle—medium range, high impact weapons that require the user to charge before firing. Fires bolts in groups of seven.
  • Shotgun—close range firearms that provide immediate conflict resolution. Rewards aggressive play.
  • Sniper rifle—long range weaponry meant for causing high spikes of damage on their targets.
  • Sidearm—semi-automatic pistols with high ammo reserves. Meant for taking out low-health targets in a pinch.

Heavy weapons[edit]

Heavy weapons are the most powerful weapon a player can carry. They are great for dealing lots of damage against powerful targets, or for dispersing large swarms of enemies. Heavy ammo appears the least and players can only carry a limited reserve, so heavy weapon use is generally reserved for more difficult encounters.

  • Machine gun—heavy-duty firearms built for suppression of hostile forces due to large magazine sizes and ammo reserves, good damage, and decent accuracy, even at long range.
  • Rocket launcher—shoulder-mounted weapon systems that fire an explosive projectile that detonates upon impact.
  • Sword—melee weapons meant for dealing high damage against single targets at close range.


Melee weapons and grenades fall under Guardian abilities, rather than collectible weapons.

Relic weapons[edit]

Relic weapons and objects are items that only appear in specific circumstances and have a limited time to use. They provide unique abilities that aid players during high-level encounters. Switching to another weapon will drop the relic weapon.

Enemy weapons[edit]







Weapon Types (Destiny 2)[edit]

There is a new weapons system in place for Guardians: instead of primary, special, and heavy weapons, there are kinetic, energy, and power weapons respectively. As of Forsaken, the weapons system was reworked, with shotguns, sniper rifles, fusion rifles, and single-shot grenade launchers moving to kinetic and energy weapons slots, with the exceptions of Legend of Acrius, Tractor Cannon, D.A.R.C.I., Whisper of the Worm, and One Thousand Voices.

Kinetic and Energy Weapons[edit]

Kinetic and energy weapons will be the same types of weapons, but the differentiation is that kinetic weapons will deal more damage against non-shielded enemies, whereas energy weapons will have an element on them, be it Arc, Solar, or Void, and will deal more damage against enemy shields.

  • Auto Rifle—fully automatic carbines with large magazine sizes meant for engaging multiple enemies at close range.
  • Bow—great for taking out single targets with long-range precision.
  • Pulse Rifle—burst-fire carbines built for tackling foes at a middling distance.
  • Scout Rifle—semi-automatic carbines made for long-range engagements centered around precision.
  • Hand Cannon—revolver-style handguns with high stopping power at close range.
  • Shotgun—tubular firearms meant for dealing high spikes of damage at close range.
  • Sidearm—compact pistols with high ammo reserves for complimenting other weapons.
  • Single-shot Grenade Launcher
  • Sniper Rifle—long-range rifles built for high precision damage against large enemies.
  • Fusion Rifle—charge-fire weapons that release a cluster of seven elemental bolts that can kill at medium range.
  • Submachine Gun—fully-automatic firearms with fast fire rates meant for quickly hosing down enemies at close range.
  • Trace rifle—powerful energy rifles that fire concentrated, singular beams that can be focused down upon targets.

Power Weapons[edit]

Power weapons have a defined role and will be used to take on either entire crowds of enemies at once or engage a single high-priority target.


Melee weapons and grenades fall under Guardian abilities, rather than collectible weapons.

Relic weapons[edit]

Like in the original game, relic weapons and objects are items that only appear in specific circumstances and have a limited time to use. They provide unique abilities that aid players during high-level and Patrol encounters. Switching to another weapon will drop the relic weapon.

Enemy Weapons[edit]

Some enemies have received additional weaponry. Several enemy weapons from Destiny also return.







A "Cudgel of Xanthor" has been referred to as an example of an incredibly powerful weapon within Destiny, but does not appear in the actual game.[16][17] It appears as a weapon in the novel The Cudgel of Xanthor by Jeff Green.


List of appearances[edit]