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Next Destiny 2 update to revive scout rifles, exotics

Plenty of currently useless weapons are getting some attention

Scout rifle in Destiny 2 Bungie via Polygon
Russ Frushtick is the director of special projects, and he has been covering the world of video games and technology for over 15 years. He co-founded Polygon in 2012.

Since the launch of Destiny 2, there’s one type of weapon that’s had a tough time keeping up with the rest of the pack: the lowly scout rifle. Once a major player in the meta of the first Destiny, scout rifles have slowly been relegated to near-worthless, thanks to various nerfs. A forthcoming patch for Destiny 2 (version 2.1.4), planned for release on Jan. 29, is expected to revive long-ranged pea shooters to their former glory.

In this week’s entry of This Week at Bungie, designer Victor Anderson shed some light on the plans for scout rifles, along with several other archetypes that have either over or underperformed.

Regarding scout rifles specifically, Anderson wrote that slower- and faster-firing variants will all see bumps in damage. That said, he did mention that scout rifles will always lag behind the other weapon types in Destiny 2, “due to the safety that their range affords you.”

This is not the first time scouts have gotten a bump. A few months back, scout rifles saw an increase of damage against opponents, but it seems it wasn’t quite enough to make them a viable option. We’ll have to wait and see if the newest buff is enough to push them over the edge.

Other buffs coming in the January patch include increased damage for assault rifles, sniper rifles and Legend of Acrius, an exotic shotgun from the Leviathan raid that has struggled to compete since the dawn of the Ikelos shotgun last summer.

Nerfs are also coming, specifically for Telesto, a fusion rifle that has become particularly nasty in Crucible.

These changes join last week’s announced changes to a variety of supers that have been underperforming since the launch of Forsaken.

The full details on the weapon changes can be found below. The full list of upcoming changes can be found on Bungie’s site.

An image of Telesto, an Exotic Void fusion rifle in Destiny 2. The gun is white and black with purple and gold accents. Image: Bungie via Polygon

Weapon archetypes

Auto Rifles

  • Damage increased for rapid-fire, adaptive, and high-impact families. We find that Auto Rifles are a little unforgiving for the ranges they ask you to occupy in a world with special weapons, and as a result, we’re increasing the damage to offset the higher risk.

Scout Rifles

  • Damage increased for lightweight and rapid-fire families, as well as an increase to all Scout Rifles in PvE. Scout Rifles are always going to be on the lower end of damage due to the safety that their range affords you, but the difference currently between them and other primary weapons is too drastic. As a result, we’re reducing the size of the gap.

Sniper Rifles

  • Increased the damage on the rapid-fire archetype to be able to kill in two bodyshots. Although snipers are still finding success, we believe that allowing you to clean up a kill easier with a Sniper Rifle will allow the sniper to have that success at more ranges and in more situations.

Exotic weapons

Legend of Acrius

  • Increased the damage and bumped out the range slightly. As time moves on, things tend to trend upward in terms of power, and in a post-Forsaken world, Acrius simply didn’t have the output to match other heavy weapon Exotics.


  • PvP damage brought down to match a standard Fusion Rifle charge rate. Optics (zoom) was also increased to match Fusion Rifles with long-range scopes. Telesto has become fairly notorious in the Crucible for its effectiveness, even in some cases getting accidental multikills due to how damaging the explosions were. To combat these, we’ve reduced its (PvP) damage to match its charge rate. This brought up an issue where doing so was significantly hurting the usability of the weapon, so the optics were buffed in return. In general, you should still find it an effective weapon, it just won’t be quite as generous as it was before.

Trace rifles

  • Increased the minimum amount of ammo you could receive from special ammo boxes. Trace Rifles had a pretty rough time keeping ammo reserves in the Crucible as it doesn’t have access to scavenger perks. You should have more success using it more often in the Crucible now, and the changes also affect PvE bricks.
  • Reduced the strength of Wavesplitter in PvP. After the ammo changes noted above, Wavesplitter had its one weakness removed, so we’ve opted to bring it in line with the other Trace Rifles before this patch hit the public.

Weapon tuning is an ongoing process. We’ll be sure to talk to you about it again in the future. Some topics we’re looking at for future potential adjustments include Trace Rifle damage in PvE, Submachine Gun damage adjustments, Shotgun adjustments, and taking a holistic look at the heavy slot options and how much of an impact it has on loadout choices for PvE content. We are always looking at what’s currently in use and what isn’t in use, as having more choices is always better than being locked into a narrow band.

These changes are currently planned to land on Jan. 29.

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