In Destiny, swords have three different moves: light attacks, heavy attacks, and a guard that blocks damage. To balance the three moves, each sword will have an energy gauge that recharges over time. This is in addition to their usual ammo, which swords currently use for all three actions.
Players will need to manage the energy to use the sword properly. For example, guarding will now drain sword energy — meaning players won’t need to spend their hard-won ammo on blocking.
Heavy attacks from swords will also consume energy. The heavy swing absorbs the energy if the bar is full, which makes for a much more powerful attack. Heavy attacks without energy will be much weaker, but still possible.
Light attacks will loop indefinitely, rather than the old three-part combo. According to Bungie, this is to reduce the level of danger while using a sword — giving enemies fewer chances to attack — and to differentiate heavy and light moves. As a bonus, sword swings of all kinds will ignore a percentage of enemy shields.
The swords in Destiny 2 have never been as useful as in the original Destiny. They’re a bit too dangerous to use, and don’t deal enough damage to mitigate their risk. Even the Exotic swords can’t live up to overpowered weapons like Dark-Drinker — with Destiny 2’s Exotic swords, like Worldline Zero, mostly used for speedrunning content.
With the new changes, swords should be more useful in everyday content. But players won’t know for sure until Destiny 2’s next season, Season of the Worthy, starts on March 10.