Destiny 2 – How do weapons work and what’s changed?

Destiny players know that your weapon loadout consists of a Primary, Secondary and Heavy weapon.

This is all going to change in Destiny 2. At the reveal event, Bungie and Activision announced that weapons will instead be broken down into three types; Kinetic, Energy and Power.

What this does is put the power back into players’ hands and lifts restrictions on the types of weapons that can be carried in any given loadout.

What is different?


With the changes to the weapons system, things are going to look very different in Destiny 2. In the first game, players would generally have a Scout, Pulse or Auto Rifle in their primary slot, A Sniper Rifle or Shotgun in their secondary slot and a Gjallarhorn or Raze Lighter in their Heavy Slot.

In Destiny 2, Kinetic weapons still work like primaries and include Auto Rifles, Hand Cannons, Pulse Rifles and Scout Rifles. Energy weapons include an elemental burn, much like the Adept Exotic weapons released as part of Age of Triumph.

Reddit user RickKackis, who was at the event, wrote;

When I asked Josh Hamrick about it, he said he couldn’t say specifically, but that during development, they referred to these slots as “freedom slots” strongly indicating that you will be able to get Kinetic Sidearms and SMGs, and Elemental Pulse Rifles, Scout Rifles, and Auto Rifles, therefore having the “freedom” to use what you want.

Hamrick is a Senior Gameplay Designer at Bungie and his reference to ‘freedom slots’ backs-up the idea that Energy weapons will include most weapon types.

Power weapons are Destiny 2’s heavy hitters and include the new Grenade Launchers and classics like Rocket Launchers, Heavy Machine Guns, but also Sniper Rifles, Fusion Rifles and Shotguns.

What About Balance?


Balancing the changes to the weapons system across both PvE and Crucible is going to be tricky, but Bungie seems to be applying the same method across both; ammo.

According to RickKackis, Bungie told them that ammo would be key to balancing the fight between different types of Power weapons. He writes that during PvP he, “only picked up a single rocket round, and 5 Sniper rounds for collecting the Power Ammo.”

RickKackis added that he felt that the Power weapon economy was on par with what you see with Special weapon ammo in Destiny. He does voice some concerns about PvE claiming, “During my playtime in the strike I did not have Power ammo very often, so using a sniper on the boss was not a realistic option most of the time.”

In the Crucible, Bungie is working hard to make the experience more friendly and less about keeping up with the meta. Speaking with The Verge, Bungie Social Lead M.E. Chung said that Destiny 2’s multiplayer needs to be “a learnable and watchable experience.”


There’s still much to learn about Destiny 2’s new weapons and loadout system, but so far the changes seem to be for the better. We’re still not entirely sure what weapon types will be available in what slots.

Combining Snipers, Shotguns and Fusion Rifles with traditional Heavy weapons is sure to lead some players to shout “Bungo please nerf!,” but it actually sounds like a great idea.

Destiny relied too heavily on Snipers for DPS in PvE and Shotguns in the Crucible. It changed the way the game evolved and heavily influenced the meta for much of its life. These new changes seem to be a way for Bungie to spread the love for each weapon type more evenly.

Destiny 2 will be available for PC

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Leo Stevenson
Leo Stevenson
I've been playing games for the past 27 years and have been writing for almost as long. Combining two passions in the way I'm able is a true privilege. PowerUp! is a labour of love and one I am so excited to share.

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