How Masterwork weapons work in Destiny 2

The first of many updates to Destiny 2's sandbox after Bungie detailed their plans to shift the design of the live game are here, the most important of which are Masterwork weapons. 

Masterwork weapons are a new tier of Legendary weapons that come with a randomly rolled perk and the ability to generate orbs on multikills. Now that the system is live, Tim, our guy in the field, just found his first Masterworks drop and dismantled it for science. Our hero. Here's what we've found out so far. 

A new resource

First up, the system comes with a new resource, Masterwork Cores, gained from dismantling Masterwork weapons. Tim dismantled his Maestro-46 for us, and gained two Masterwork Cores as a result. We've seen a few Masterwork weapons dismantle for just one core, so the system will definitely be a grindy one. (Update: It's been confirmed dimantled Masterworks weapons will drop one-three cores.) Given that it's likely to cost around five dismantled Masterwork weapons to upgrade an existing Legendary into a Masterwork, chances are, you'll be hunting hard for cores. If you have no clue what I'm talking about, let me explain.

Switching tracker types

There are two types of Masterwork weapons. Vanguard Masterworks track sandbox enemy kills and Crucible Masterworks track opponents defeated. It's not a striking difference, a decision that will probably make sense for wherever you use the weapon most.

But if you get a Vanguard Masterworks drop that you'd rather use as a Crucible Masterworks, don't worry too much. By spending 10 Masterwork Cores and 25 Legendary Shards, you can convert a Masterworks weapon to the opposite tracker type. Keep in mind it's as expensive as upgrading a Legendary weapon to Masterwork, so don't feel pressured to make the switch unless you're really into watching a number go up.

Upgrading Legendary weapons

Legendary weapons capable of dropping as Masterwork weapons can also be manually upgraded to become a Masterwork. You'll need to spend 10 cores and 25 shards to do it, so save them up for a weapon you know you'll keep for a long time. 

Rerolling perks

Every Masterwork weapon comes with a random stat bonus. Tim's Maestro-46 dropped with a buff to handling, which sounds helpful for a sniper. If you're not happy with a drop and want to try your luck, you can spend 3 cores and 25 shards to reroll for a bonus to a different weapon stat, like mag size or reload speed. Save your resources unless you're trying to perfect one of your favorite weapons. 

As for what perks can be rolled, this handy reddit thread breaks down the possible bonuses, which differ slightly depending on the weapon type (because, for example, swords don't need a stability boost).

  • Impact: 5 points (swords, sniper rifles and fusion rifles)
  • Range: 5 or 10 points (all weapons except grenade and rocket launchers)
  • Stability: 5 or 10 points (all except swords)
  • Handling: 5 or 10 points (all)
  • Reload: 10 points (all except swords)
  • Magazine: 10% increase (all)
  • Blast radius: 5 points (rocket and grenade launcher only)
  • Velocity: 5 points (rocket and grenade launcher only)

It's a pretty small pool, and the stat bonuses are mostly going to be barely noticeable. Masterwork weapons, as currently designed, are definitely something for the min-max grinders. The ability to generate orbs on multikills—and unusually be able to pick up these swords yourself—is probably the most meaningful benefit here. Other stuff you might want to know: Infusing a Masterwork weapon into a non-Masterwork weapon will not make that weapon into a Masterwork. Nor will doing so give you any Masterwork Cores. You have been warned.