Published on: Jul 4, 2015 @ 19:37
This guide will focus on Fusion Rifles, some of the best perks, and what scopes you should consider using to optimize your weapon.
Be sure to also check out our pre-HoW top 5 Fusion Rifle listing, Scout Rifle Guide, & other Legendary reviews.
How They Work
Fusion Rifles are probably Destiny’s most special weapon class. Not only does every Legendary Fusion Rifle require a certain charge time before it can be fired, but Fusion Rifles also shoot seven bolts in a single charge. All projectiles get fired in about a third of a second, which results in a projectile spread based on the weapons stability and recoil.
Similar to Rocket Launchers, Fusion Rifles are not ‘hitscan’ weapons. Their shots have travel time, which can make it difficult to hit moving targets unless you anticipate where the enemy is going.
However, Fusion Rifles can actually deal critical damage. Critical shots are not displayed in yellow, but projectiles that hit the critical spot of an enemy deal 2x damage.
Most Fusion Rifles have their own unique charge rate and Impact combination.
- Fusion Rifles with a slow charge rate, like Praetorian Foil or Servant of Aksor, generally have high a Impact. Their charge time range from ~1.25 seconds to 1.30 seconds.
- GIVE/Take Equation, Final Rest II and a few others have a more balanced charge time and Impact, with a charge speed between 1 second and 1.25 seconds.
- Light of the Abyss and Exile’s Curse belong to the fast charging Fusion Rifles, but have a lower Impact to compensate. Their charge time ranges from about 0.75 seconds to a full second.
Which to choose?
In PvE it is up to personal preference. High Impact Fusion Rifles have a higher damage potential and can take out bigger enemies in a single charge, so you’ll generally want to stick with high Impact when fighting minions of the Darkness. Low impact Fusion Rifles are more valuable in a hectic situation where you need a quick burst to take down crowds of smaller enemies.
For PvP, we can only recommend Fusion Rifles with fast charge times. In most 1v1 situations, you are already dead before you can fire a shot from a slow charging Fusion Rifle. Fusion Rifles are always a one-hit-kill in the crucible, as long as most of the bolts hit your target. High range and stability are also very important.
- All Iron Sights and Red Dot scopes are available on Legendary Fusion Rifles
- The base zoom when ADS is 1.5x
- Red Dot scopes offer bonuses to range and stability. Red Dot-ORS1 has the highest range increase (+8) and the highest zoom factor, while Red Dot-OAS has the highest stability increase (+14)
- Iron Sights increase reload speed, equip and ADS times, and most also offer a small stability increase. Quickdraw IS has the highest reload speed and weapon handling bonuses (+15 each)
- Red Dot-OAS and TrueSight IS give bonuses to aim assistance
If you’d like to see all of the possible perks for a HoW Legendary fusion rifle, click here.
Be sure to share your own favorite perks as well!
It is important to make sure that as many bolts as possible hit your targets, especially in PvP. We’d therefore recommend using either Hip Fire, Hidden Hand or Unflinching to make sure that your Fusion Rifles one-hit-kills other players in the crucible.
Having a reload boosting perk like Feeding Frenzy or Spray and Play can also be valuable.
Accelerated Coils is probably the best option here, because a faster charge rate will always help, especially with slow charging Fusion Rifles. Note that the cap for Fusion Rifle charge time is at 0.75 seconds, which means that Accelerated Coils becomes less effective if your weapon already has a fast charge time.
Accelerated Coils has a drawback though: it decreases your weapon’s Impact – not a huge issue though.
Depending on whether you prefer Range or Stability on your Fusion Rifles – we recommend Range – you can also choose between Injection Mold, Reinforced Barrel, Braced Frame or Hand-Laid Stock.
The best Tier 3 perk option for PvP is probably Rangefinder, due to its range increase when ADS. Hot Swap is a solid choice if you need to take out someone who is trying to rush you with a shotgun in PvP. Grenadier and Army of One are good options in PvE where special ammo is nearly limitless and you usually get kills much faster.
HoW Legendary Fusion Rifles
Note: These short reviews focus only on base stats – most can be Reforged, so default perks won’t be taken into account. Even if the stats are average, a perfect roll combination can still put a weapon into top-tier.
This Trials of Osiris Fusion Rifle features a high charge rate, but has relatively low Impact. It has the worst range, terrible recoil control, but average stability and reload speed. Aim assistance is excellent and the magazine size of 6 is also great.
Due to the weapon’s default perk combination (can’t be Reforged), Exile’s Curse is best suited as a defensive weapon, similar to Plan C. If you choose Quickdraw as your Tier 2 perk, you can quickly change to this weapon whenever someone in PvP tries to rush you. Hip Fire and Hot Swap will then make sure that you can take out your enemy with ease.
From the Dead Orbit vendor, everything about this weapon screams “okay” – because it doesn’t excel anywhere. Its Range is the only stat worth mentioning, which does give you some reason to use it, but it’s not much higher than the other rifles listed here – but it is the highest, only behind Servant of Aksor.
This is available at the Vanguard vendor and features average-high Impact at the cost of a below average charge rate. Range, reload speed and recoil control are all average, but the weapon’s stability is very high. The magazine size of 5 is solid too. If you are looking for a Fusion Rifle with good stability, then this is a good choice, but there’s nothing special about it.
The Prison of Elders Fusion Rifle has a very low charge rate but features the highest possible Impact, making it a standout for PvE. The weapon has terrible stability, but also has the highest base range of any Legendary variant. While the weapon’s recoil control is above average, it has low aim assistance and equip speed – honestly not too big of an issue.
The magazine size of 5 and the weapon’s reload speed are average, but can be increased with either Speed Reload or Enhanced Battery, although you should probably make use of Accelerated Coils instead because of the slow charge time.
Due to the weapon’s Arc damage and the random Fallen-related Tier 3 perk, this weapon is perfect for taking out Fallen enemies.
The Snakebite Surgeon is basically a copy of GIVE/Take Equation. It just has a slightly higher charge rate, reload speed and recoil control, but slightly lower stability and aim assistance than its Vanguard counterpart. Unfortunately nothing stands out on this weapon and probably isn’t worth using.
This Fusion Rifle has above average stability in favor of its range. Charge rate is quick, but the weapon’s main strength is its super fast reload/equip speeds. The magazine size of 6 is also very respectable. This weapon will serve you very well in PvP.
The Techeun Force is an armament of the Queen and has about average charge rate and Impact values. Aside from the large magazine size, none of the weapon’s stats make it worth using over something else. This weapon is one of the worst legendary Fusion Rifles and should be replaced.
The new FWC Fusion Rifle belongs to the fast charge time/low Impact class – probably your best option for PvP. Its stats and perks are fine-tuned around the idea that firing quickly and constantly is a strategy for victory. Its Charge Rate is already monstrous, coming at the understandable cost of a bit of Impact. The Range is average, the Stability is average, but its Reload Speed is near-maximum. Its respectable Magazine Size of 5 can be bumped up with Enhanced Battery, or you can double down on Battle Runner by going with Lightweight