Destiny Rocket Launcher Guide

Destiny Rocket Launcher Guide by suinoq

Want some rocket launcher data? The following is the product many long hours. I’ve been sticking a ruler to my screen to measure weapon stat bars, you see. And solving many systems of equations. And referencing datamined stats to see how they match up with my results. My lady thinks I’m crazy. So how about some results? Here you go!

Blast Radius. Linear-additive relationship between modifiers. Upper bound = 100. Lower bound = 60. Heavy Payload gives a 16 point boost to Blast Radius.

Velocity. Linear-additive relationship between modifiers. Upper bound = 90. Lower bound = 30. Javelin gives a 24 point boost to Velocity.

Stability. Not a linear-additive relationship between modifiers. Perfect Balance gives ~30 points of stability, and Fitted Stock gives ~20. These changes vary in an unknown fashion, however, as does the relative stability-bar delta from equipping various launch mods. Modifier effects may depend on both the Stability and hidden Recoil stats on the weapon. Currently unknown.

Here are the effects of the launch mods. Note that Warhead Verniers gives a varying boost of 7 or 8 points of velocity, depending on the weapon. (I can expand on this, if desired.)

Launch ModBlastVelocityStabilitySlot
Aggressive Launch4-3101
Confined Launch0-6251
Hard Launch2653
Linear Compensator2352
Smart Drift Control0-9302
Soft Launch0-3202
Warhead Verniers27 or 801

The stability boost shown in the above table is approximate only, as there’s some confounding factors going on with how the displayed stability bar is calculated. It’s not a linear-additive situation. Also, these are relative values only. That is, they’re not normalized for adding to the stability stat on weapons. I suspect nobody cares about stability.

So I said earlier that Blast and Velocity are linear-additive, and then showed the quantities that perks and launch mods add. You might see where this is going. Here’s the equation we want to use:

Final stat value = Base stat value + launch modifier + perk modifier

This equation works, but we need those base stat values. Well, we have datamined values. Also, from all my measuring, I’ve internally developed a set of expected base stat values for Blast and Velocity. My values match the datamined ones for all Blast Radius #s, and ~half of the Velocity #s. I’m convinced that my velocity #s are correct, assuming the weapon stat tooltip displays are functioning correctly. More on that in a bit. First, a table for the 17 launchers that I have analyzed. If the 2 sets of #s didn’t agree, I put a strikethrough on the datamined #.

NameDLCRate Of FireBlast RadiusVelocityStabilityReload TimeAim AssistanceMagPickup
Admonisher III2189630 365357201?
Dragon’s Breath1189630 396652253?
Exodus Plan RS/12116877 8338623723
Gjallarhorn0117687 905868502?
Hezen Vengeance0496712462312?
One Way Ticket 0001116874 804273421?
Pax Totalus EPR8225604721837524
Radegast’s Fury149664 7022622314
Radegast’s Fury24967035622314
The Ash Factory24966345523914
The Dreamwaker249152 5829603114
The Fear2116877 8337635423
Tomorrow’s Answer29845046716634
Unfriendly Giant098447 533764612?
Uppercut Payload218963658445024
Valedictorian 9-441189630 3456482323


The DLC column references when the weapon I measured was released. 0 = base game, 1 = dark below, 2 = HoW.

The Pickup column is how many rockets you get per box in the Crucible. I’ve been manually tracking this. (Edit: This is WITH +heavy armor. Subtract 1 if +heavy armor isn’t worn. Also note that Tripod pushes the pickup of Fear & Exodus to 4. Presumably Tripod would push any 3-drop launcher up to 4. I’m not sure of Field Scout’s effect.)

I’ve verified all columns except Stability and Aim Assistance. Those two columns are simply reproduced here from the datamined #s.

So, about those velocity differences. For several weapons, the datamined value is 6 less than the actual value. I suspect this might be due to assuming the worst slot-1 launch mod was selected for the weapon (confined, at -6 velocity). Conveniently, the worst slot 1 launch mod in terms of Blast radius has an effect of 0… Also note that Dragon’s Breath and Gjallarhorn have base datamined velocity equal to what their velocity would be if their 1st slot perk was active.

I just wish they’d be consistent with their methods. Gjallarhorn inputted with a different scheme than Truth? Ash Factory differently than Dreamwaker? Changing the API value for Radegast between expansions, even though the weapon stats didn’t change at all? Wtf.

Tl;dr: Use the numbers in the tables above to figure out what Blast / Velocity will be for your launcher. Add the base value from the weapon table with the value from the launch modifier table. Heavy Payload adds 16, Javelin adds 24. Velocity has upper and lower caps: 30-90. Blast radius has upper and lower caps: 60-100. What is Wastelander V2V and where can I get it? That’s it folks.

Edit: I also found the reload bonuses: Speed Reload gives 35 points. Flared Magwell gives at least 38 points — I haven’t found a launcher with low enough base reload to find the actual value. These appear to be linear-additive.

Build guide

All builds here have Grenades and Horseshoes.

All builds here will pick up 4 rockets per brick with +heavy armor.

All builds here seek to maximize velocity. Many launchers are disqualified from the below lists due to this criteria. Velocity is never bad, except maybe for tracking launchers. We don’t care about that crap here.

Blast radius, in my opinion, is a matter of personal preference. I like small blasts so that I don’t blow myself up in CQC. Both big and small blast builds are shown below.

Your launcher should have either Clown Cartridge or Tripod. Your choice.

TRIPOD builds. 3 in the tube means minimal delay in pumping out those rockets in hectic, high-target environments. Rate of fire may be relevant in the most target-rich environments. Reloading is almost irrelevant.

WeaponLaunch ModMiddle PerkBlastVelocityRate of FireTierNote
Big blast
Radegast, HoW eraAggressiveJavelin1009041Best boom, slow RoF
Exodus / FearVerniersHeavy Payload8690111Best RoF, less boom
Ash FactoryLinear/Hard/VerniersJavelin989042Poor man’s Radegast
Tomorrow’s AnswerVerniersJavelin868292Poor man’s Exodus/Fear
DreamwakerVerniersJavelin938943Poorer man’s Ash Factory
TruthVerniersJavelin9879113Exotic. Has tracking…
Small blast
Exodus / FearVerniersAny. Magwell?7090111
Exodus / FearAnyJavelin66-7290112

Note how poorly Truth and Tomorrow’s Answer stack up. Still, they don’t have to be rerolled, so I included them here. If you are using Truth’s tracking, and not just dumb-firing it, then maybe it overcomes its relatively lower velocity and exotic slot consumption. A hot-swap special, perhaps?

Exodus/Fear are almost identical. Fear is 1 point faster in reload, 1 point lower in stability, and 17 points higher in aim assist(??). Verniers gives this weapon max velocity by itself, freeing your middle tree perk. Not that there’s much value you can get out of that, except for Heavy Payload. If you get lucky and roll verniers/tripod/heavy payload/g&h, then your weapon is covering 2 of the entries in this table. Toggle heavy payload on/off to suit your blast radius preference.

CLOWN CARTRIDGE builds. The below launchers have a Mag of 1, to maximize bonus rocket chances. E[#bonus rockets] = 0.75. Due to reloading after every shot, reload stats are relevant and RoF is not.

WeaponLaunch ModMiddle PerkBlastVelocityReloadTier
Big blast
Radegast, any eraVerniersFlared Magwell98771001
Radegast, any eraAggressiveJavelin10090621
Ash FactoryVerniersFlared Magwell9870>=902
Ash FactoryLinear/Hard/VerniersJavelin9890522
DreamwakerVerniersFlared Magwell9365>=982
Small blast : none

Radegast is the boss here. There’s a tough tradeoff between reload speed and rocket velocity. I need to find more launchers with Flared Magwell that I can measure, in order to pin down its effect.

Edit: HYBRID build. I realized that there’s a middle ground between the two build concepts above. The roll is G&H/Field Scout/Clown Cartridge. The only re-rollable weapon in this class is the old Radegast, as field scout is discontinued. Here we have a mag of 2, which downgrades the potential benefit of clown cartridge. Instead of the average 0.75 bonus rockets above, this build averages only 0.5 bonus rockets (at best, less if you skip reload opportunities). The upside, however, is flexibility in when to reload. Suppose you pick up heavy, and have just shot your first rocket at an enemy. Now you have 1 in the mag, and 2 in reserve. At this point you have a choice: if things are quiet, then reload and hope clown proc’s. If there’s another target nearby, you can fire at them immediately.

WeaponLaunch ModMiddle PerkBlastVelocityReloadRoF
Radegast, pre-HoWVerniersField Scout9877624

Some might have old launchers with this exact roll. Old versions of One Way Ticket, The Cure, or Exodus Plan look, on paper, like they might be viable with this build.

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