Destiny 2 The Recluse god roll guide: Best perks, barrels, and magazines

Destiny 2 the recluse god roll
(Image credit: Bungie)

Once upon a time, The Recluse was the best primary weapon in Destiny 2. Its signature perk, Master of Arms, was so powerful that it became one of the main reasons weapon sunsetting happened back in the Beyond Light days. It was an iconic part of the Forsaken era, and thus an obvious choice for Bungie to reissue with the Into the Light update. It now joins the Brave Arsenal with an extra origin perk attached, so is it even more powerful than before?

Well… not really, no. Its perk, Master of Arms, has been nerfed down to a 15% damage buff—making it one of the lower damage perks in the game. It's very easy to activate—proccing off a kill with any weapon—but it offers the same damage bump as Frenzy, only without the extra reload or handling buffs. Given that, there are actually better god rolls out there for Recluse, including Into the Light's new weapon perk Desperate Measures. Here are the god rolls to look out for.

The Recluse PvE god roll

  • Barrel: Fluted Barrel, Corkscrew Rifling, Smallbore
  • Magazine: Appended Mag, Armor-Piercing Rounds, Flared Magwell
  • 3rd Column: Subsistence or Repulsor Brace
  • 4th Column: Desperate Measures

Desperate Measures is a bit unusual as the damage buff it provides is different depending on the source of the kill. Weapon kills provide a 10% damage increase, but the real juice comes from grenade and powered melee kills. Kill one enemy with a grenade or powered melee, and you'll get a 20% damage increase. Kill two or more, and you'll get a 30% buff. The buff lasts for seven seconds, and can be extended through weapon kills.

Basically: as long as you're throwing out grenades, it's pretty simple to keep up the 30% damage buff. As The Recluse is a Void SMG, it already pairs perfectly with most Void builds. With Vortex Grenades on a Gyrfalcon's Hauberk Hunter, or Briarbinds or Contraverse Hold Warlock, you'll easily be able to secure the multiple grenade kills needed for the 30% buff. And thanks to the origin perk Indomitability, any Recluse kills you get will grant energy towards your next grenade. That's why Repulsor Grenade is such a good third column perk: with the right fragments, you'll have easy access to both Weaken and Volatile keywords, making it easy to trigger an Overshield for extra survivability.

A quick note on barrels, too. Arrowhead Brake is usually an S-tier perk for improving recoil. But The Recluse has 100 recoil direction by default. It cannot be improved further. That means you're better off with Fluted Barrel or a range increase option—choices that will actually have a meaningful effect on the gun's stat distribution.

The Recluse PvP god roll

  • Barrel: Hammer-Forged Rifling, Smallbore
  • Magazine: Ricochet Rounds, High-Caliber Rounds
  • 3rd Column: Dynamic Sway Reduction, Threat Detector
  • 4th Column: Tap the Trigger, Desperate Measures, Master of Arms

As always in PvP, your big choice here comes down to consistency or damage. On the consistency side, Dynamic Sway Reduction and Tap the Trigger are a strong combination—both increasing your stability and accuracy. Tap the Trigger applies to your first few bullets, then Dynamic Sway Reduction takes over as you get deeper into your burst. It means that you're constantly getting a little extra help to land those shots.

If you're confident in your skill, though, swap Tap the Trigger for either Desperate Measures or Master or Arms—perks that reward your ability to kill with the ability to kill even quicker. If your PvP build is more about pure weapon damage, either from primary or secondary kills, then Master of Arms is the better pick. But if you're regularly cleaning up with grenades or powered melees, Desperate Measures offers the better damage bonus. Just don't take it into the Hardware mode that disables your abilities entirely.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.