Destiny Fusion Rifles in Crucible Guide

Destiny Fusion Rifles in Crucible Guide by JaydSky

My name is Jayd Sky and I have significantly more kills with a fusion rifle than by any other means in the Crucible. This is because I spend most of my time using No Land Beyond and a FR (hence why sniper kills are second in the list). The limitations of the glorious and holy NLB force me to use my FR in an extreme diversity of situations in which regular people would just use their primaries. This has led to me knowing a thing or two about those futuristic master blasters and I thought I’d share some of what I learned.

The discussion will proceed in this order:

(1)What stats and perks are most important.

(2)Tips and techniques for use.

(3)Brief analysis of notable/unique rifles (exotics/raid).

(4)Recommendations for new and old rifles

I will not be discussing the Vex Mythoclast or Queenbreaker’s Bow in this post since they are actually an auto rifle and a sniper rifle with identity crises.

Part 1: Stats and Perks

Here are the super basics that everyone should know: you have to hold down the trigger to charge a fusion rifle until it shoots a total of seven (7) bolts out. Charge Rate determines how long you have to hold down the trigger before the thing shoots. Impact determines how much damage each bolt does. Range determines how quickly the bolts travel and how much they spread at range. Fusion Rifles do not suffer from damage drop off – at least not within any distance that you would reasonably want to use a FR. Stability determines how much the bull kicks in the process of firing it. Accuracy makes the bolts more likely to find their target (secret – I don’t actually know what accuracy exactly does technically, but I know it does this, which is all you need to know. It doesn’t really affect the spread of the bolts when there is no target so it’s gotta be some bullet magnetism hitbox sorcery.)

In the last post I was pretty dismissive of Accelerated Coils. In this post I will also be dismissive of it, but with a bit more explanation and nuance. The big drawback to AC is that it significantly reduces Impact as I had to discover for myself, even though it’s written in a few obscure places like the guide book. For example, Give/Take Equation – a high impact FR, does 47 damage per bolt in PvP without AC and 42 damage with it. As I said before, all Fusion Rifles (as far as I can see) shoot 7 bolts. Let’s do some math.

47×7= 329

42×7= 294

47×5= 235

42×5= 210

So for any opponent other than a Ram Warlock, this fusion rifle will kill in 5 bolts regardless of whether it has AC or not. It may seem that the Impact is therefore not a big deal, but I can guarantee from experience that you will miss certain kills by a sliver. Whether it is on an injured opponent on whom you don’t get a perfect shot, or they have some damage reduction/extra health from an overshield, there will be significantly more events where you say “How did he not die?!”. This problem is further compounded by the fact that you have sacrificed your middle perk for Accelerated Coils. you therefore cannot have Perfect Balance, Braced Frame, or Send It/Hammer Forged, which all help tremendously with one-shotting fools. For every kill that you miss with Accelerated Coils, you could have probably gotten that kill if you had a modification that improved Stability or Range.

In this current metagame, and probably the one to follow it, it is not advantageous to use a fusion rifle the way you use a shotgun. That is, you don’t really want to be charging into people’s face with it and hoping your shot charges fast enough. What you want to do is understand your charge rate and charge in safety, exposing yourself only for the shot. Playing this way, killing potential is far more important than charge rate. You want to get that kill at mid-range where you have an advantage, and not close range where you’ll get shotgunned, and you don’t want to have to take two shots.

Another benefit of high-impact fusions (about 89 impact and over, subject to correction) is that you can kill a Radiance or Arc Blade with one burst and a melee. I’ve done this a lot to self-rezers in Trials. It’s a blast.

Low Impact, quick charging fusions can still be good, and I will review your best options in the last section.

The best FR in my opinion is one with naturally high Stability and Impact and the perk Hammer Forged or Send It. Those perks not only raise range, making it harder for the dude you’re shooting to just step out of the way as you fire (think sidearms – the reason they are unreliable is that their projectile speed is so slow that your enemy just moves out of the way before they get hit – the range stat reduces that problem for fusions) but they also increase Accuracy, introducing the aforementioned hitbox sorcery. A high stability means that the bolts will naturally all land closer together too.

I’ve learned some more about the Range stat, thanks in part to this thread. In that thread, chucktowski pointed out that when fusion rifle bolts slow down, they spread out more. I investigated this and found it to be accurate. To illustrate this, think of a party popper. In real actual life, the ribbons are closer together closer to the party popper because they are shooting out too fast to spread. When they slow down, the wind catches them and they flop out all over the place. Fusion rifle range seems to work in the same way. A high range stat means that a FR’s bolts zoom out at high speed for a further distance before spazzing out like ribbons in the wind. Understanding this accentuates the fact that to get those sweet long-distance kills, you need BOTH high Stability AND high range. That’s why I wouldn’t recommend taking a perk that reduces on for the other’s sake in almost any situation.

I am afraid you can no longer roll Hammer Forged or Send It. Now you might want to look at Braced Frame for improved stability without hurting range.

In my opinion, perks that don’t affect stats are all pretty disposable on FRs. My favourites are Double Down and Grenadier/Army of One just for the utility. Hip fire is also good I imagine, although I’m confident enough that I can kill anyone close enough to hip fire at without that perk. If they are too far away, the absence of aim assist will hurt more than the bonus accuracy can make up. That’s kind of speculation though, as I don’t use Hip Fire much. Hot Swap is also good for getting that bonus accuracy, but it’s hard to use reliably. Icarus can also be good – more on that in tips.

My favourite rifle is my Final Rest II that dropped with Send It, Double Down, and Grenadier. Middle charge rate, high impact, high range, bonus accuracy, and good stability. Plus so much ammo I don’t have to think about it and bonus grenade energy. Here is my favourite clip with it that demonstrates its power..

Erm, guess that’s all I have to say about perks. Just try to maximize your killing potential at longer ranges so that you don’t have to be in shotgun range to get a kill.

Part 2: Tips!

Unlike shotguns, which require all the finesse of a bloated gorilla, there are techniques to be mastered with fusion rifles to improve your game (no, shotgun person, crouching behind a corner, sliding and shooting at the same time, and blinking above someone and aiming down are not impressive techniques).

The main factors you have to master are the kick and bolt travel time. Fusion rifle bolts do not fire all at once! They fire in sequence, very quickly. That’s why if you’re killed while firing you won’t shoot all seven bolts. It’s also why stability does what it does: each bolt displaces the next one and you need stability to combat that.

When shooting someone far away, be sure to aim for their feet. Even a stable rifle kicks, and the spread becomes more noticeable at range, so you want the recoil to kick the bolts up their body. If you aim for centre mass, some bolts will go over their head. For rifles with questionable stability, aim low even in close range.

When an enemy is strafing or running in a lateral direction, you might have to drag your shot. This means pulling the rifle in the direction they are moving while it is in the process of shooting. Since the bolts don’t fire all at once they will fan out in the direction you drag. If you do it at the right speed based on the range of your rifle you can hit someone with all of the bolts even if they cover a fair distance during the time it takes you to shoot.

Airborne targets can be tricky. If they are travelling up, you can shoot at their chest and their movement will take them into your bolts. If they are falling, shoot very low and they will fall into the bolts. You may also have to drag your shot depending on how quickly they are moving across your screen.

Don’t ADS while charging. Your movement speed is slashed while aiming down sights. When charging, take advantage of the increased strafe speed you have and then ADS a split second before the bolts fire to take advantage of the aim assist.

Map awareness is critical. You typically want to charge your rifle behind cover and only show yourself just as the bolts are flying. This prevents your enemy from killing you while charging. But to do this you need to understand the map you’re on and read your radar well. You need a developed understanding of player habits to know when someone is chasing you and will be in range shortly or if they are too far away for you to hit anyway. This has to come with practice.

Use your vertical space! You’re not always going to be safe behind a box or something to charge. Try charging in mid-air while using your vertical space to stay out of enemies’ sight lines. If there is someone rushing through a door, jump over their head and charge on your way down while they are confused. If you are challenging someone around a corner, jump around the corner instead of walking around it – they will be expecting you at head level. Now you have badly decreased accuracy while in mid-air so I wouldn’t recommend shooting in mid-air unless you’re literally right on top of someone, licking their helmet. The perk Icarus fixes this, making you deadly even if you fire in mid-air. Very useful if you’ve mastered using your vertical space. Here’s a video that shows what’s possible when using Angel of Light too.

Learn your rifle’s tendencies. For example, the Praetorian Foil likes to kick in a NW direction. Learning that, I like to set my sights on the SE of an opponents body to maximize the chance of bolts hitting. You also need to predict enemy movement so that they walk into your bolts. And to be truly proficient you really do need to master dragging your shots to give yourself the best chance at landing a kill.

I’ve repeated some stuff in that last part because I want to share a GIF that demonstrates. In this clip I am very one-shot and needed to get the kill. This was using Praetorian Foil – a difficult to handle rifle with a slow charge rate. Notice that I set my sights slightly to the opponent’s left, since that was the way he was strafing. However, realizing that he might stop or strafe the other way after seeing me, I drag my shot to the right. You can tell that I do this by watching the weapon’s sights while I fire and noting its “rocking” motion, as well as taking note of the fact that after the shot, I am actually looking at my own bolts from the right side. That’s because while I was shooting I was already strafing back into cover, dragging my shot with me.

Part 3: Notable Specimens

Praetorian Foil This is a very interesting fusion rifle. It has a slower charge rate and higher impact than most. Only Pocket Infinity charges slower, and only 77 Wizard and Servant of Aksor match its Impact When I was young (meaning, like, two weeks ago) I thought that this guy sucked in PvP, but since then I have discovered its beauty. Each of its bolts do 50 damage in PvP. Why is that beautiful? Well a Plug One.1 that has only slightly lower Imact does 48.

48 x 4 = 192

50 x 4 = 200

That’s right, kids. Praetorian Foil and the others in its Impact class are the only rifles that can kill in 4 bolts.All others need 5 to land. This is HUGE. It is better than Servant of Aksor and most old 77 Wizards since it has Send It and Perfect Balance (ignore Accelerated Coils like the plague). I would recommend Perfect Balance in this one case since its range is naturally superb but its stability needs help and you only need to land 4 bolts! (Unless it’s a Ram Warlock).

The second unique thing about this bad boy is its perks. No other FR can get Glass Half Full or Reactive Reload. These increase it’s already stupid damage even more. If you manage to proc RR, it only takes THREE BOLTS to do 200 damage. THREE. If you are comfortable enough with fusion rifles to manage its super slow charge rate, this thing can reward you. But be warned: IT IS DIFFICULT TO USE. It has a low aim assist stat to go with its low charge rate, meaning you have to (1) be familiar with its kick, (2) be confident with pre-charging, and (3) master dragging to unlock its full potential.

(Quick mention of the other Raid Fusion – Light of the Abyss. Don’t use it in PvP. It’s bad. Couldn’t kill a fly on the wall with those stats. Leave it in the vault.)

Plan C

I actually don’t like Plan C. With Send It, it has great killing power, which is my thing, but its exotic perk throws me to hell off all the time. You see, my style is being prepared for people, so when I see someone charging me around a corner on my radar, I pull out my FR early and start pre-charging. But you can’t do that with Plan C. If you swap to it the dude has to be right in front of you already, which is just not how I use fusions. You can get some hilarious clutch kills with it, but it’s not my cup of tea. I prefer running with a good legendary. But please note, I don’t mean to say that Plan C is a bad gun. Its exotic perk just doesn’t suit my style. It is a very solid gun purely stat-wise, and if the perk suits you then more power to ya.

Pocket Infinity

Remember everything I said about “finesse” before? Forget about it. This is the Gjallarhorn of fusion rifles. When you shoot this thing at somebody in close range, they die. Arc Blading Bladedancer? Dead. Radiant Warlock? Dead. This rifle does not play. You should go for max stability in PvP since it’s going to do enough damage regardless once the bolts hit. I would recommend running BOTH increased Fusion Rifle ammo chest armor and increased Special ammo Trials boots with this if you have them, because ammo will be the biggest problem. It also has a slower charge rate than even the Foil, but the kill is guaranteed if they enemy is in range. I love using it for that reason. It’s super fun, and did I mention that it shuts down Arc Blade? Priceless.

Other than the ammo problems, it does have a terrible bolt spread, so even though it spams bolts like nothing else you will likely fail miserably if you try to use it against someone at a decent range since most of the bolts will just miss them. That’s why I recommend max stability.

Part 4 – Recommendations

In the last guide, I had lots of people asking “what about this FR?” or “What HoW fusion do you recommend?” So I’m going to try to answer that here.

House of Wolves

In HoW you can easily get near-max Stability rifles through reforging. The key is Braced Frame. It skyrockets your Stability while only affecting magazine size, which is negligible. High-magazine rifles likeSplit Shifter Pro, The Frenzy, and Techeun Force should all be reforged for Braced Frame and perks of your choice (Hidden Hand + Rangefinder would be pretty ideal). Of these, Techeun Force is the only one that doesn’t fall into the low-impact, quick charging archetype.

Then there is Give/Take Equation and Snakebite Surgeon. These are High Impact weapons with naturally high Stability. You can justify running Accelerated Coils on them if you want – but it would usually be better to just use Split Shifter or Frenzy with Braced Frame – since they would be similar in stats but with higher Stability. If you use Braced Frame with these, though, their stability will be maxed out easily, making them nice death machines. Try to get rangefinder to help their performance.

Exile’s Curse from Trials of Osiris is a good rifle. It has two accuracy increasing perks that help its killing potential as a low-impact rifle. Another one with the same perks but also with Braced Frame would probably be better, but you can use this right out of the box and see what’s what.

Oldie Goldies

Here are some rifles you might have in your vault that are damn good.

Perun’s Fire: the only quick-charging one I use often. If you have a vanilla one or one from TDB, reforge it for Hammer Forged or Send It. It becomes a beautiful gun. Not the highest killing potential, but the highest you are likely to see from one with such a fast charge rate.

Plug One.1: If you have one of these bad boys with Send It, it’s one of the most deadly FRs in existence. Maybe even THE most. Literally the only less than great thing about it is the charge rate, which can be worked around, especially when this thing is sniping people at crazy distances.

Final Rest II/ Purifier VII: These faction rifles from Dead Orbit and New Monarchy are similar and solid. See if you have one with Send It. As I said before, my go-to is a Final Rest with Send It. New Final Rests can’t get that, but they are still good, and can enjoy Braced Frame.

There are surely other weapons worth mentioning, but hopefully you’ve got the gist of what to look for by now. Experiment on your own and see what works for you and your style.


Alright, I am once again drained of knowledge. I hope I added enough to make this worth it (I feel I did). If you have any questions I will do my best to answer. I look forward to getting shotgunned from you some more before the weapon rebalancing actually happens when I am too old and feeble to hold a controller anymore.

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2 Responses

  1. jetrotor says:

    Hello, my psn is jetrotor, and I, like you, am a fusion rifle person. I’ve used them so much, that i’m currently ranked 5th on fusion rifle kills in playstation xD. It’s great to see there’s still people using them.

    First of all, the information contained within this article is extremely accurate in terms of fusion rifle mechanics.

    Secondly, the perks you recommend are among the best currently available for them, although I still consider the very best to be range finder and hidden hand. These two perks work great together, as hidden hand kinda makes the beams curve toward your target even when your ADS is slightly off from them, and rangefinder adds a 6% increase to range, which current fusions are lacking (SSP, PF, Frenzy, etc.).

    Furthermore, I’m more of a fast-charging fusion guy, so I was intrigued when you mentioned you were the opposite (inclined towards slow-charging ones). I play “sweaties” almost all the time and these slow-charging fusions are near useless to me, as blink-shotgun is extremely abundant nowadays, not to mention the ridiculous range the felwinter, party crasher and matador have atm. I’d like to hear what your experience has been when facing these people.

    In terms of my own fusion rifles, my favorite is the calming with send-it. I was lucky enough to pick it up before HoW was released, and it’s by far my best fusion rifle. It has the same charge rate as the Plan C (w/coils), but more range and more stability than it if the Plan C is running field choke. As for current fusion rifles, I’ve found the shifter and final rest with coils (don’t kill me please xD) to be the best available. I’m also currently testing a Frenzy with rangefinder and lightweight, as I’m a bladedancer hunter with max agility, making it possible for me to maneuver really fast around these blink-shotgun people, and it doesn’t even need coils as it’s default charge rate is equal to the calming.

    Anyways, very nice analysis, and remember you’re not alone when it comes to fusion rifles :D

  2. Manikese says:

    This was Excellent.

    My current favorite is Perun’s Fire with Sureshot, Hidden Hand, Smaller Mag / Increased Stability, and Range Finder.

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