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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 Xur, 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

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

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

Primary weapons

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 range, but require recoil control if wishing to engage at longer distances.
  • Hand cannon—semi-auto handguns with high impact and stopping power. Rewards a steady hand.
  • Pulse rifle—burst fire, midrange weapons with moderate recoil.
  • Scout rifle—semi auto precision weapons meant for long range engagements.
  • Submachine gun—semi auto firing weapons meant for medium range engagements.

Special weapons

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—low damage pistols with high ammo reserves. Meant for taking out low-health targets in a pinch.

Heavy weapons

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.
  • Grenade launcher—heavy duty explosive devices meant for power and devastation.


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

Relic weapons

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








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


  1. ^ a b c IGN - Destiny Behind Closed Doors Demo - E3 2013
  2. ^ IGN - Bungie's Destiny: A Land of Hope and Dreams
  3. ^ First-person view
  4. ^ IGN: How Halo Got The Star Wars Treatment
  5. ^ Destiny News - Armor, Weapon Upgrades, Player Customization - Analysis
  6. ^ Game Informer January 2014, page 54
  7. ^ a b Destiny Alpha
  8. ^ IGN: How Weapons Tell the Story in Destiny
  9. ^ Game Informer January 2014, page 59
  10. ^ The Guardian: how the makers of Halo plan to change the future of shooters
  11. ^ Youtube: Destiny Map Tour: Venus - Shores of Time - IGN First
  12. ^ Bungie Weekly Update- 10/24/2014
  13. ^ Ausgamers: Bungie Talks Destiny Networking, Loot and Customization, Community, Vehicles and Much More
  14. ^ Destiny: Rise of Iron: Everything We Know
  15. ^ Bungie (2014-6-12), Destiny: Alpha PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire Text
  16. ^ Bungie.net: Destiny ViDoc: Out Here In The Wild
  17. ^ YouTube: Destiny Raids, Nightfall Missions Detailed