When the Xenophage first launched, many Destiny 2 players hoped that it would offer something new to the PvE meta, allowing fireteams more variety when it came to boss damage. Unfortunately, the gun was a disappointment, but Bungie is hoping to rectify that very soon.
With a semi-automatic firing mechanism and high-powered explosive rounds instead of the traditional LMG fire, the Xenophage machine gun seemed like it would be a force to be reckoned with when it landed in Destiny 2 with an elaborate quest, but players and Bungie found the final product lacking. With neither the add-clearing potential of legendary machine guns like the Hammerhead or the high single-target damage of the game's grenade launchers, the Xenophage took up an odd spot between the two archetypes instead of falling into a happy middle ground. Aware that the weapon was underperforming, the studio confirmed that it would be making an effort to fix that with the game's upcoming seasonal patch.
Content creator Ehroar crunched the numbers in a YouTube video to determine how the Xenophage will stack up against Destiny 2's grenade launchers after its buff arrives with the Season of the Dawn update. According to his tests, the weapon's current raw damage (on a familiar target) of 10,215 enemy HP will go up to 15,323 if Bungie bumps up the weapon's damage by 50%. The Xenophage's DPS would go from 22,195 HP to 33,294.
While the new and improved Xenophage would be more in line with some of the other heavy weaponry available to players in Destiny 2, Ehroar's comparisons to a god-rolled Love and Death grenade launcher with the Full Court perk see the exotic LMG fall short of expectations, even with buffed damage. The grenade launcher's raw damage without Full Court is 22,760 HP, and with the perk, the damage goes up to 26,425 HP when players allow the rounds to travel for an extended period. Fans can determine that the damage numbers on the Xenophage would be lower than most grenade launchers due to the larger magazine, but if the content creator is to be believed, the proposed changes wouldn't be enough to save the weapon from an awkward fate once again.
Even with some idea of what the numerical differences could look like for the post-Season of the Dawn Xenophage in Destiny 2, it's important to note that the new incarnation of the Xenophage could pull through as a top performer, or get there through further updates. Bungie has had experience in saving exotics from falling into players' vaults and Xur's bargain bin over the course of both Destiny games, with two prominent examples being the Sweet Business auto rifle and the Tractor Cannon shotgun, which both went from being ignored to being fan favorites. With a look and feel as unique as what Xenophage has to offer, one can only hope that it will get the same treatment.
Destiny 2 is out now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia.