Destiny 2 Forsaken Armor Perks PvE Guide
It’s a bit late as I’ve been busy with work and IRL stuff but here it is, the latest “Way Too Comprehensive Guide to Mindblow Information-Overload Your Brain PvE Armor Perks Version 2.0 revised Season of the Drifter Update.” Those who don’t like min-maxing; you had best stay away.
First off, couple things to keep in mind
- I use the placeholder term “Hand Cannon” when talking about primary weapon related perks to avoid clutter, but substitute this for your primary of choice. Eg. Auto, Scout, Pulse, Bow, Sidearm etc
- Class items only have 2 perk trees instead of 3, The tree they’re missing is the Left Column tree, because class items don’t have stats like recovery.
- I gloss over Targeting/Dexterity/Loader perks because they work similarly to the Unflinching perks which I explain in the Chests Armor section TL;DR they have 3 tiers and cover every weapon in varying specificness, with more specific perks generally being stronger.
- This is a PvE-minded guide so my opinions will be from a PvE standpoint, but there is still plenty of perfectly accurate information for PvP players to boil out and make their own conclusions. Sorrymasen if I call your favourite PvP perk trash, I swear it’s only trash in PvE… Probably.
Enhanced Perks and where to find them
Not all perks are made equal. Some perks have an enhanced version which is stronger than normal. There’s even a couple of perks that combine 3 or 4 other full-blown perks into 1 perk, all active at once.
These “enhanced” perks are rare, and only have a chance to roll on these specific sources:
- The Dreaming City zone, including the Shattered Throne contained within can drop “Reverie Dawn” armor which is capable of rolling with enhanced perks
- The Last Wish raid drops gear named “-of the Great Hunt” which can also roll with enhanced perks
- Scourge of the Past gear, called “Bladesmith” for Hunters, “Gunsmith” for Warlocks, and “Bulletsmith” for Titans all also contain possible enhanced perks
- Gambit Prime set gear synthesised from Reckoning can also roll with enhanced perks along with these unique Role Perks active during Gambit Prime
- All Exotic armor with random perks (ie. not from the collections tab) have the possibility to roll with enhanced perks
Left Column Perk Tree: Recovery vs Resilience vs Mobility
As of the Season of the Drifter update, all Year 2 Legendary Armor will now roll with a random Stat Package, which affects the bundle of “stats” on an armor piece. In additional to perks, the stats on your armor make a big difference to certain elements of your survival or movement.
Recovery speeds up your health regeneration, healing you after a certain amount of time without receiving damage comparison video
|Recovery||Time in seconds to heal to Full HP||Improvement %|
Resilience increases your Maximum Health
|Resilience||Total Health||Improvement %|
Mobility increases the height of your jump, excluding Warlock Glide and Titan Lift, and increases your walking and strafe speed.
|Mobility||Walk Speed in metres/second||Strafe Speed in metres/second|
|Sprinting (Not Affected by Mobility)||8.00||–|
Middle Column Perk Tree: Cooldowns, Targeting, Reloading, Unflinching, Dexterity and more.
The middle perk tree has unique perks to each armor slot. This is also the only perk tree possible of rolling enhanced perks.
I’ll go over each slot one by one, but if you want a quick reference on which perks can roll where, or which enhanced perks exist, you can refer to the sample items on light.gg here: Helmet|Gloves|Chest|Boots|Class
- [Versatile] Enhanced Heavy Lifting
- [Melee’ers] Hands-on
- [Fusion Riflers] Light Reactor
- [Shotgunners] Pump Action
- [Build-Specific] Enhanced Ashes to Assets
- [Build-Specific / Memebuilds] Remote Connection
- [Console/PvP] Targeting perks
What these perks do:
- Heavy Lifting: Gain 6.6* seconds (8.7* for enhanced) seconds Super Energy per Heavy Weapon kill
- Hands-on: Gain 8.7 seconds Super Energy per melee kill
- Light Reactor: Gain 6.6 seconds Super Energy per Fusion Rifle kill
- Pump Action: Gain 6.6 seconds Super Energy per Shotgun kill
- Ashes to Assets: Gain 11 seconds (13.5 for enhanced) Super Energy per grenade kill
- Remote Connection: Gain 6.6 seconds Super Energy per Sniper Rifle kill
- Targeting Perks: Better target acquisition, ADS speed and accuracy for the specified weapon type
*This is now 5 seconds (5.7 for enhanced) for Machine Guns, due to how much Super Energy Machine Guns used to generate
Important note: All numbers shown are for the amount of energy gained when killing minor enemies, and includes the ~3.9 seconds super energy gained for minor kills, with no perks equipped. Stronger enemies such as Majors provide as much as double the super energy listed.
Which perks to use and why:
For helmets, you must choose between a Targeting perk, or a Super Generating perk. Both of these types of perks are incredibly strong perks but you can’t use both at once. Targeting perks provide bullet magnetism on PC and Aim assist for Console. Although both of these might be extremely nice, the Super generation perks are simply God-Tier when used correctly, and have no internal cooldown.
Supers normally take 300 seconds to charge, if completely idle. With 5 Super mods, this can be as low as 214 seconds. Now when you consider that you can get anywhere from 6 to 13 seconds off per kill, things start to really add up.
For example, take someone with 5 Super mods who has a 214 second Super cooldown. With the Hands-on perk he can punch 20 enemies to death, generating 174 seconds of Super Energy leaving him with only 40 seconds super downtime. Can he find 20 things to punch in 40 seconds? I’d bet he can.
Simply match your helmet perk to the weapon you’ll be getting the most kills with and enjoy the resulting flood of super energy. If you’ve been using Jotunn alot, then Light Reactor is your best bet. If you’ve been sticking with Threat Level/ Ikelos SG, then Pump action remains your best bet. Even Ashes or Remote Connection can be built for in certain scenarios, but this is just much less common.
Console players have the excruciating decision of whether they want the Aim Assist from Targeting perks, or the super spammage from other perks. For PC, I can recommend with a mostly clear conscience to go with a Super Generating perk.
My recommendation is to keep a bit of everything for helmets. You’ll want a helm with Light Reactor + Fusion Rifle reserves, another with Pump action + Shotgun reserves, another with Enhanced Heavy Lifting + Machine Gun or Rocket Launcher Reserves. Then you can also keep some Enhanced Hand Cannon Targeting helms and switch to suit your mood or to match the activity you’re playing.
- [Best] Enhanced Hand Cannon Loader (or whatever your Primary of choice is)
- [Good] Light Arms Loader / Hand Cannon Loader
- [Good] Enhanced Impact Induction
- [Bad] Enhanced Momentum Transfer
- [Garbage] FastBall
What these perks do:
- Enhanced Hand Cannon Loader: (Tier 3) +15% reload speed plus another +10 reload speed
- Light Arms Loader: (Tier 2) Grants +15% reload speed to multiple weapons including Hand Cannons
- Hand Cannon Loader: (Tier 2) Gives +15% reload speed to specifically just Hand Cannons
- Impact Induction: Gives you 7 seconds (10 for enhanced) Grenade Energy upon dealing damage with a melee attack with a 10 second internal Cooldown.
- Momentum Transfer: Grants you 2 seconds (5 for enhanced) Melee Energy per enemy hit / once per grenade / per pulse of the grenade depending on RNGodnoeswhat and what grenade you’re using
- FastBall: Increases the distance you can throw grenades
Which perks to use and why:
Reload Speed perks are generally my favourite pick here, preferably Enhanced if possible. Impact Induction is another great choice for keeping your grenades rolling.
I tend to find that if you don’t have Feeding Frenzy, Outlaw, or Drop Mag on your Primary weapon, a Loader perk really does wonders to help facilitate buttery smooth gunplay. If your reload speeds are fine without a perk, you can use Enhanced Impact Induction for your grenade cooldown instead, just remember to punch something every 10 seconds or so.
- [Tier 3] Enhanced Unflinching Sniper, Scout, Bow or Linear Fusion Aim
- [Tier 2 Multiple] Unflinching Large Arms, Light Arms, or Rifle Aim
- [Tier 2 Singular] Unflinching Hand Cannon Aim, Auto Rifle, Pulse Rifle, Sidearm… (etc etc list every weapon archetype here) Aim
- [Tier 1] Unflinching Kinetic, Energy or Power Aim
What are Tiers and how do they work:
There are 3 tiers for Unflinching, Targeting, Loader and Dexterity perks in general. Tier 3 has the greatest effect, and is only granted by enhanced perks. Tier 2 is a bit more specific, but has a greater effect than Tier 1 perks, which usually cover a large blanket of weapons such as “All Kinetic Weapons”.
You can usually tell if a perk grants a Tier 3 effect if it states “Greatly Increases”, whereas Tier 1 perks usually state “Slightly increases”. Tier 2 won’t have either adjective. Except for Large Arms which I swear is meant to be Tier 2 but says “Slightly”.
Unflinching perks, if you hadn’t already guessed, helps keep your aim steady when being shot by enemies, with higher tier perks being more effective.
- [Best] Distribution
- [Good] Dynamo
- [Console/PvP] Traction
- [Situational] Enhanced Bomber
- [Redundant] Perpetuation
- [Redundant] Outreach
- [Garbage] All Dexterity perks
What these perks do:
- Distribution: Dynamo, Perpetuation, Outreach and Bomber all in one perk
- Dynamo: Gain Super energy proportional to your Class Ability cooldown when you use your Class Ability with an enemy within 15m
- Traction: Grants increased Mobility and tighter strafe turning radius whilst sprinting
- Bomber: Gain 4 seconds Grenade energy any time you use your Class Ability
- Perpetuation: Reduces your Dodge cooldown by 1 second, Barricade by 3 seconds, and Rift by 5 seconds.
- Outreach: Gain 4 seconds Melee energy any time you use your Class Ability
- Dexterity: Faster ready and stow speed for weapons
Why and when to use these perks:
Distribution is 4 fullblown perks all in one, so clearly makes the other 4 perks completely redundant once you find a pair of boots with these. However, Distribution is extremely rare, as it can only roll on gear capable of rolling with Enhanced perks.
Dynamo would be my next best pick, as Super energy is usually the most useful, but this is only helpful if you find yourself casting your Class Ability with an enemy within 15m, aka roughly shotgun range aka precisely Threat-Detector range. Otherwise, you might be better off using the Enhanced version of the Bomber perk instead, which is the only perk in this category capable of rolling enhanced.
I don’t recommend Traction for PC PvE players but this perk can be extremely handy for our controller wielding brethren who use low look sensitivities. Note that Traction actualy provide 2 Mobility in total, 1 shown and 1 hidden. That is, someone with 8 mobility will have 10 once they equip Traction, with 9 shown on the character sheet.
I suggest avoiding Dexterity perks as drawspeeds aren’t really a big deal in PvE.
- [Best] Recuperation
- [Best] Absolution
- [Situational] Better Already
- [Redundant] Invigoration
- [Redundant] Insulation
- [Redundant] Innervation
What these perks do:
- Recuperation: Instantly heals 40% of your total health each time you pickup an Orb of Light
- Absolution: Invigoration, Insulation and Innervation all in one perk
- Better Already: Starts your health regeneration when you pickup an Orb of Light. Similar to when your Recovery stat kicks in, this healing is stopped when you take damage
- Invigoration: Reduces melee cooldown each time you pickup an Orb of Light
- Insulation: Reduces class cooldown each time you pickup an Orb of Light
- Innervation: Reduces grenade cooldown each time you pickup an Orb of Light
Note that you cannot pickup an Orb of Light when your super is fully charged. This is not a bug, but just how Orbs of Light have always worked.
Recuperation perk is my personal favourite, instantly healing for 40% per Orb of Light picked up. Absolution is also a great choice. Simply walk over a cluster of orbs from someone’s super and instantly get back all your ability cooldowns. Note that Absolution counts as an Enhanced perk so can only be found on certain armor.
Better Already is situational. A single orb has the potential to heal you to max HP, but probably won’t heal for much when you get damaged in the middle of a firefight. More useful for players with extremely low recovery. Completely loses to Recuperation when there’s multiple orbs picked up at once.
Right Column Perk Tree: Reserves, Scavenger and Ammo Finder.
The right column perk tree is very similar across all item slots. This tree will always consist of the same 3 types of perks; Ammo Finder, Scavenger or Reserves.
What each perk does
- Reserves: Increases the maximum amount of ammo you can carry
- Scavenger: Increases the amount of ammo received from each ammo brick picked up
- Ammo Finder: Increases the chance of ammo bricks dropping from slain enemies
Which perks can be found in which armor slot
Ammo Finder Perk confusions and myths:
Based on Ammo Finders’ description, players were initially lead to believe that you could stack 5 Ammo finders and bathe in the resulting carpet of Power and Special Ammo bricks, firing off overpowered guns infinitely while cackling like maniacs.
Sadly, when players tried this, the Ammo Finder perks did not perform even nearly as well as hoped. This lead to a few community members testing the effect of Ammo Finder perks during early Forsaken, with interesting results.
- First major community testing done by BoxOfRingsAndNails : This test was conducted on Minor enemies, and seemed to suggest that having 1 Ammo Finder worked, but having 2 or more ammo finders of the same type resulted in less drops than having 0 finder perks at all. These results are likely skewed due to insufficient sample size. However, this lead to an early myth that resulted in many players believed that running only 1 of each Ammo Finder perk was optimal.
- Second major community testing done by KrystallAnn : This test came out a bit later and was conducted on Major/orange bar enemies. With a larger sample size we started to see that Ammo Finder perks didn’t really seem to be doing anything at all. At this point, we could either conclude that Ammo Finder perks don’t work at all, or only work against minor enemies.
- Cozmo23 states that Ammo Finder perks are not bugged: Finally, Bungie Community Manager Cozmo23 came in and cleared things up. To quote, “Ammo Finder perks have a slight effect on the scale, enough to influence the outcome, but not so much that it throws ammo economy out the door.” If Ammo Finders are indeed “Working As Intended”, and there’s no noticeable increase in drops even after thousands of kills, odds are that even in the longest Strike, Raid, or Gambit match you won’t see a even single extra dropped brick.
TL;DR Ammo finders basically suck and aren’t worth using, apart from special ammo finder on chest/boots because no other good options.
The ideal Right Column perks to look for:
- [Helmet] Special/Heavy Reserves
- [Gloves] Special/Heavy Scavenger
- [Chest] Special Ammo Finder
- [Boots] Special Ammo Finder
- [Class Item] Special/Heavy Reserves or Scavenger
It’s worth keeping in mind a few things for these perks:
- Primary Ammo is abundant enough to be a non-issue, so Primary Ammo related perks are practically worthless
- Ammo Finder perks are almost useless, so although Special Ammo Finder is the only perk worth anything on Chest and Boots, it’s not a big deal
- Reserves is recommended over Scavenger for most PvE content, because reserves can also increase the amount of ammo received per brick
- Scavenger perks for Shotgun, Sniper Rifle, Fusion Rifle and Grenade Launcher only works on Special Ammo. So using Scavenger perks with your Whisper, 1k-Voices or Tractor won’t do anything whatsoever
- Scavenger and Reserve perks may not work with certain Exotic Weapons at all. For example, Scavenger does not work on Whisper, and Reserves does not work on Wardcliff Coil
- There’s sometimes an RNG roll involved in determining the amount of ammo received per brick
- Trace rifles benefit from Auto Rifle perks
Additional reading on Reserves/Scavenger here:https://www.reddit.com/r/DestinyTheGame/comments/9oeu8o/scavenger_and_reserves_perks_dont_work_how_you/
And that’s it for the guide folks. I’ll keep the guide maintained until any major changes or reworks in Destiny 2.
Enjoy looking like hideous Fashion Monsters whilst rocking out with your min-maxed god rolled perks