Destiny: Rise of Iron Major Weapon Changes Revealed

destiny weapon change rise of iron update

In preparation for the launch of Rise of Iron on September 20th Destiny developer Bungie has begun the rollout of update 2.4, which is to be the major weapon tuning change. But even before players get to experience all of the changes coming with update 2.4, Bungie has released the patch notes, and they are comprehensive.

Since Destiny: Rise of Iron ushers in Year 3 for the game, it’s only appropriate that Bungie tweak every weapon class within its game. In some cases that means improving the weapon type for the better – i.e. making it more useful in PvE or PvP – but in others it means taking the weapon class’ viability down a notch. See below for some highlights from the weapon tuning update or head to Page 2 for the full patch notes.

Exotic Weapon Changes

In terms of the exotic weapons, the most notable changes are those to Thorn and Universal Remote. Thorn has been on the minds of PvP players ever since it was announced as a returning weapon for Year 3, specifically because it was such a terror in Year 1. Luckily, Bungie seems to be aware of that and wants to curb some of Thorn’s effectiveness with a 25% nerf to the gun’s base range, with or without the ‘Send It’ perk active.

For Universal Remote the change is a little more nuanced. The range has been dropped significantly on the exotic shotgun primary, while the rate of fire has been turned up a tiny bit. Universal Remote had become one of the go-to weapons because of its effective range and damage, but this change should decrease the gun’s viability.

Primary Weapon Changes

Seemingly across the board, primary weapons in Destiny: Rise of Iron will be made more effective. Auto Rifles have long been a point of contention for the game, and are typically outclassed save for a few exceptions. This week’s patch, however, should make some a little more viable.


While Bungie is lowering the magazine size for the highest rate of fire auto rifles (the Doctrine of Passing group), the studio is also increasing the base damage for middle rate of fire auto rifles. Presumably that would make the more stable auto rifles a little more effective against hand cannons and pulse rifles, but we will have to wait and see.

The mid-tier pulse rifles are the point of focus for update 2.4, and they are getting a slight buff to damage. Guns like Nirwen’s Mercy, for example, were slightly nerfed in a previous update and in turn became outclassed by the faster firing pulses. Hopefully now those who can control their bursts will be rewarded with faster time to kill.

Hand canons see the least amount of attention in this update, but the low rate of fire will have their range stat raised. Nothing was mentioned about the class’ inconsistencies with hit detection, though, which may be disappointing to some.

Secondary Weapon Changes

Sniper rifle users arguably got the worst news, as their beloved mid-tier snipers were nerfed in some significant ways. Most specifically, mid-tier snipers like the 1000 Yard Stare and the Longbow Synthesis will no longer be able to kill a Guardian with a headshot while in their Super, assuming they have full armor.

Bungie is also increasing flinch for snipers in order to make it harder to pull off an accurate shot while under fire. In turn, those same mid-tier snipers will have their target acquisition (or aim assist) turned down to match similar archetypes.


Shotguns with the full auto perk and those with higher than average rates of fire will see their damage increased slightly, presumably to make shotguns more effective in PvE. Outside of that, though, the class will be relatively the same. It will be interesting to see how a change that will benefit PvE will impact Crucible, though.

The sidearm class is getting new options in Destiny: Rise of Iron so it only makes sense that the weapon type receives the most changes. Some classes are getting buffed while others are getting slightly nerfed. But for the most part it sounds like sidearms should be a little more useful overall.

Heavy Weapon Changes

Bungie’s change to rocket launchers is pretty straightforward: make Cluster Bombs more effective and make Grenades and Horseshoes less so. In Rise of Iron, Cluster Bombs will have a greater range and the perk activation for Grenades and Horseshoes will be slightly smaller.

Machine guns in the high rate of fire archetype will do more damage, which should help them beat out some primaries more effectively.


Overall, the weapon changes should go over with Destiny players, save for a few head scratchers. Snipers are sure to be the most vocal about the update in terms of a negative perspective, while the rest of the Destiny population is likely pretty satisfied. However, since we haven’t actually experienced the update first hand – and won’t until later this afternoon – it’s hard to say which changes were as meaningful as the notes suggest. If nothing else it appears Rise of Iron may shift the power in Destiny in some pretty major ways.

Destiny: Rise of Iron releases September 20, 2016 for PS4 and Xbox One.

Head to Page 2 for Full Update 2.4 Patch Notes

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