Destiny 2 Previews Primary Weapon Buffs for Mid-Season Update

Bungie, the developer of popular video game Destiny 2, has announced its mid-season weapons update, which includes significant primary weapon buffs and PvP nerfs. The update will buff Auto Rifles, Pulse Rifles, Hand Cannons, Sidearms, and Scout Rifles, with the goal of bringing the sometimes lacklustre primary weapons class up to the same level of effectiveness as SMGs and Bows. The Exotic SMG Tarrabah and Legendary Ikelos SMG will see PvP nerfs, while other weapons will receive buffs. According to Bungie, the tweaks and balances are in response to the more challenging PvE content.

PvE Primary Weapon Balance

The most significant aspect of Bungie’s mid-season weapons update is the change in damage of several weapon types against red and orange bar enemies in PvE.

  • Auto Rifles will get a 25% damage buff
  • Pulse Rifles, Hand Cannons, and Sidearms will get a 20% damage buff
  • Scout Rifles will get a 10% damage buff

Bungie has stated that players should be more likely to one-shot red bar enemies in heroic and legendary content. According to the developer, the above buffs also apply to Exotic weapons, and will stack with the 40% damage boost against red bar enemies.

Weapon Archetypes

Bungie is also making specific changes to several weapon archetypes:

  • Ikelos SMG: Removed some tuning in the custom scope causing these weapons to have significantly less recoil than intended. The recoil is now in line with other Aggressive Frame SMGs.
  • Fusion Rifle: Increased burst damage by 15 (damage per burst goes from 245 to 260, damage per bolt goes from 27.2 to 28.9). Damage in PvE is unchanged.
  • Trace Rifle: Increased base damage by 4% (base damage goes from 12 to 12.5). Reduced precision hit multiplier from 1.4x to 1.35x (crit damage goes from 16.8 to 16.9). Increased the effectiveness of stability at reducing flinch by 10% at 100 stat (scales down at lower values).
  • Sniper Rifle: Reduced recoil by 50%, and increased total ammunition (magazine + reserves) by 30%.

Exotic Weapons

Bungie is also making changes to several Exotic weapons, including nerfing the Tarrabah and reducing the amount of Ravenous Beast energy generated from taking damage from 3% to 1%, as well as reducing zoom from 16 to 15. Meanwhile, the Ikelos SMG is getting a nerf, with Bungie removing the recoil reduction effect caused by legacy custom tuning.

Other Exotic weapon changes planned for the Season 21 launch include a damage nerf to Aggressive Frame SMGs, a major rework to hip fire reticules, a 10% buff to Sniper Rifle damage in PvE, and more individual Exotic weapon buffs.


Bungie’s mid-season weapons update for Destiny 2 will bring some significant changes to the game’s weapon system. These changes will buff several primary weapon archetypes while nerfing a few outliers in PvP. The update also includes specific changes to several weapon archetypes and Exotic weapons, aimed at making the player experience more balanced and enjoyable.


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