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.  Scopes and various sights have also been seen.  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. Ammo for the weapons will be color coded by slot type; white for primary, green for special, and purple for heavy.  Purple is the rarest ammo to find, encouraging Guardians to use heavy weapons sparingly.
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.
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). 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
The following is a list of weapon types. The list of weapons within these types is located on its host page.
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.
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 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.
- Hunter's knife—Throwing Knife (Gunslinger), Blink Strike (Bladedancer), Smoke (Nightstalker)
- Warlock Melee—Scorch (Sunsinger), Energy Drain (Voidwalker), Thunderstrike (Stormcaller)
- Titan Melee—Storm Fist (Striker), Disintegrate (Defender), Sunstrike (Sunbreaker)
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.
- Ascendant Sword—dropped by Swordbearers, Gatekeepers, Blades of Crota, and Hagrist, Blade's Edge. Serve as the only means of damage against Crota, Son of Oryx and Thalnok, Fanatic of Crota.
- Chalice of Light—Relic that appears in Crota's End; serves as the only way to combat the "Presence of Crota" debuff by providing health regeneration. Unavailable in Hard Mode.
- Scorch Cannon—dropped by Scorch Captains, Wolves' Guards, and Taniks, the Scarred. A Solar-damage rocket launcher with high velocity, a degree of tracking, and a feature that allows rockets to be converted into stickybombs upon holding the trigger; does more damage the longer the trigger is held. Holds ten rounds when equipped.
- Saladin's Iron Battle Axe--Relic weapon in the Rise of Iron. Deals heavy Solar damage, regenerates energy when landing a hit, and can perform a special attack, where a line of fire is launched forward and creates a huge burning spot afterwards. Can send enemies flying upwards.
- The Aegis—shield Relic in the Vault of Glass Raid that negates debuffs inflicted by Oracles and Atheon, Time's Conflux, and increases damage buffs against the latter.
- Tomb Husk—handheld Hive Relic that opens Hive doors.
- Shock Pistol—handheld Arc pistol wielded by Dregs. 
- Shock Dagger—Arc one-handed knife wielded by Dregs.
- Shock Blades—Arc swords wielded by Vandals and Captains. Used in pairs.
- Shock Rifle—Arc rifle that fires homing projectiles. Used by Vandals and Captains.
- Shrapnel Launcher—Solar shotguns that deal high damage. Used by Captains and Vandals.
- Wire Rifle—Arc sniper rifle used by Vandals.
- Shredder—Void-damage carbine wielded by Acolytes and Knights. 
- Boomer—Arc-damage siege weapon that fires explosive bolts. Used by Knights and Acolytes.
- Cleaver—Heavy duty Sword used by Knights.
- Slap Rifle—Solar-damage firearm used by Goblins.
- Slap Grenade—Void-damage grenade used by Hobgoblins.
- Torch Hammer—Void-damage siege weapon that fires explosive bolts. Used by Minotaurs and Goblins.
- Line Rifle—Solar-damage Sniper Rifle used by Hobgoblins.
- Slug Rifle—Solar-damage firearm used by Legionaries and Psions.
- Projection Rifle—Solar-damage grenade launcher used by Centurions.
- Heavy Slug Thrower—Solar-damage machine gun used by Colossi.
- Acolyte's Eye—Arc-damage turret deployed by Taken Acolytes.
- Taken Blight—sphere of Darkness that slows down Guardians as well as disabling recovery.
- SIVA Charge—Solar-damage grenade used by Splicer Dregs.
- Wretched Gaze—Void-damage machine gun rifle used by Kovik, Splicer Priest.
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. It appears as a weapon in the novel The Cudgel of Xanthor by Jeff Green.
List of appearances
- ^ a b c IGN - Destiny Behind Closed Doors Demo - E3 2013
- ^ IGN - Bungie's Destiny: A Land of Hope and Dreams
- ^ First-person view
- ^ IGN: How Halo Got The Star Wars Treatment
- ^ Destiny News - Armor, Weapon Upgrades, Player Customization - Analysis
- ^ Game Informer January 2014, page 54
- ^ a b Destiny Alpha
- ^ IGN: How Weapons Tell the Story in Destiny
- ^ Game Informer January 2014, page 59
- ^ The Guardian: how the makers of Halo plan to change the future of shooters
- ^ Youtube: Destiny Map Tour: Venus - Shores of Time - IGN First
- ^ Bungie Weekly Update- 10/24/2014
- ^ Ausgamers: Bungie Talks Destiny Networking, Loot and Customization, Community, Vehicles and Much More
- ^ Destiny: Rise of Iron: Everything We Know
- ^ Bungie (2014-6-12), Destiny: Alpha PlayStation 4, Activision Blizzard, Grimoire Text
- ^ Bungie.net: Destiny ViDoc: Out Here In The Wild
- ^ YouTube: Destiny Raids, Nightfall Missions Detailed