Destiny Impact vs Attack Analysis

Destiny Impact vs Attack Analysis by ShadowRock9

Hi everyone! Seeing as to how there hasn’t been a clear guide on the effects of the impact and attack stats on damage, I decided to run a few tests with a few guns to, hopefully, solve the “mystery” once and for all. If you’re only interested in the conclusive results (Ctrl + F, “Overall Conclusions”), then scroll all the way to the bottom. Otherwise, read on. :)


Test 1: Same impact, different attack.

For this test, I used a Galahad-E @ 230 Attack vs Galahad-E @ 224 Attack vs Cydonia AR3 @ 150 Attack. They all have the same impact stat. For comparative pictures, see here and here.

The following table shows how much damage each rifle did per shot. Headshot damage is in bold.

Galahad-E @ 230 AtkGalahad-E @ 224 AtkCydonia AR3 @ 150 Atk
Level 2 Dreg37 / 11037 / 11037 / 110
Level 28 Dreg47 / 14146 / 13634 / 101

In the same vein, I used the Eclipse V/MX2 @ 224 Attack vs Sahara AR3 @ 178 Attack. Again, they have the same impact and the comparative picture can be found here.

Eclipse @ 224 AtkSahara @ 178 Atk
Level 2 Dreg19 / 5519 / 55
Level 28 Dreg23 / 6817 / 51

So, dealing the same damage to lower levelled enemies, but not when the enemies are of a higher level than me? Obvious conclusion here, then.

Conclusion based on test 1: Attack stat does not affect damage per shot unless fighting against an enemy of a higher level.


Test 2: Same attack, different impact. This time, I pitted the Galahad-E @ 224 Attack against the Eclipse @ 224 Attack. Comparative picture here.

Galahad-E @ 224 AtkEclipse @ 224 Atk
Lv 2 Dreg37 / 11019 / 55
Lv 28 Dreg46 / 13623 / 68

So, different damage values all around despite having the same attack stat? Yep, the conclusion to draw here is also fairly obvious.

Conclusion based on test 2: It is the impact stat that affects damage per shot, and not attack.


It’s fairly straightforward then: it is impact that affects damage per shot, and the attack stat acts mainly as a damage modifier for enemies that are of higher level. Technically, I have accomplished what I had set out to find out, and can end my experiment here. However, when I saw that the vast difference in impact (easily 5x more) only translated into roughly 2x more damage per shot, I was compelled to find out the correlation scale between impact and damage; i.e. if impact increases by x, how much does the damage increase?

Test 3: correlation scale between impact and damage.

So, at this point, I brought in two more weapons: the exotic Bad JuJu pulse rifle @ 267 attack and the Regulator Mk. 56 hand cannon @ 230 attack. These will go up against the Eclipse and Galahad rifles, with the latter as the point of reference.

Galahad-EEclipseBad JuJuRegulator
Lv 2 Dreg37 / 11019 / 5528 / 8383 / 329
Lv 28 Dreg47 / 14123 / 6842 / 126113 / 425

It’s interesting because Despite having 10x impact more than the Eclipse, the Regulator does only less 3x the amount of damage per shot. A similar pattern is also observed in all rifles; e.g. despite the Galahad having over 2x the amount of impact over the Bad Juju, it still only does about 1.5x damage over the latter per shot.

Conclusion from test 3: The scale of increase in impact as to the increase in damage is decreasing; i.e. if you gain x impact, the damage gained per shot will be less than x, and as x increases, the damage gain decreases. (See overall conclusions if I have done a bad job at explaining this.)


Overall Conclusions:

  1. It is the impact stat that will always affect your damage per shot.
  2. The attack stat will only affect your damage per shot in enemies that are of a higher level than you.
  3. Ten times more impact on Gun A as compared to Gun B does not correlate to ten times more damage per shot from Gun A.

EXTRA – Some Observations from the damage values:

  • Precision hits from auto rifles and pulse rifles deal roughly 2.9x damage more than a normal hit. Scout rifles are untested, though I would believe they would have the same multiplier.
  • Special weapons use an entirely different impact scale from primary weapons. A low impact sniper rifle dealt 232 damage from a non-precision shot on a dreg.

Yup, so there you have it. The “attack vs impact” debate settled. Hope it helps and see you online! :)

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2 Responses

  1. asdjsalkdjsal says:

    No, it’s Impact that’s correlated with per-shot-damage.

    Go buy a Doctor Nope, and try it with and without the perk that quadruples its Impact.

    Does it quadruple its per-shot-damage? No it doesn’t.

  2. Andy Johnson says:

    I’m pretty sure zoom is a variable in damage per shot. Snipers have low impact but have a multiplier because of up to 4x zoom when you ADS. This could also contribute to damage fall off when firing from the hip. Could be looked into. Thanks for the guide.

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