Weekly Exotic Roundup: Universal Remote

Thanks for reading another Exotic Roundup! Last week, Touch of Malice. This week we’re taking an extended look at Destiny’s primary shotgun.

My skills will be tested; my commitment will be pushed to its breaking point; my wife will be just… so done with this crap. But I will persevere!

Universal Remote

This is a shotgun that you equip to your primary slot. It obtains ammo at the same rate as your other primaries. You pop into Crucible with everything you need. Shotgun + Fusion! And unlike No Land Beyond, it’s easy to use.

Universal Remote’s Year 2 version drops at random from engrams, events, chests and can be purchased from Xur. If you picked up the Universal Remote in Year 1, that version is at the Blueprints Kiosk in the Tower.

I like to call it my “Iron Banner Cheat Code.” But while the advantages in PVP are fairly obvious, how does this weapon stack up in the rest of the game?

Pros: Primary… shotgun; Excellent ADS range; Ammo for days.

Cons: The reload speed is decent; getting up close and personal is a requirement; high risk of death.


The Intrinsic allows you to equip this weapon to the Primary slot.

I know last week I said the barrel perks are insignificant; but disregard that this time. Range is the prized stat for shotguns and there is a clear winner among the barrel perks here: Smooth Ballistics. The other two aren’t worth the sacrifice.

Crowd Control is an old friend to anyone who loves charging into the fight. Kills will grant you added bonus for a few seconds. Great for flanking an unsuspecting group.

In the fourth column you have the obvious range booster, Hammer Forged. Snapshot could see some usefulness with getting you to that ADS boost quicker, but most will want to maximize their range. Lightweight can be discarded on this one.

The namesake perk grants increased range and precision damage while aiming down scope, but you have to level it up… and it’s in the last column.

Time to eat some Motes of Light, Guardian.


Heroic Story Mission

The story mission tasked the infiltration of a Fallen ketch on Venus to take down a big baddy in his Throne Room. When your primary is unique, you need a unique strategy to take down distant enemies. I stayed with my Queen’s Choice sidearm and boy did it come in handy. You can’t always rush in or your magazine will dry up, and you need to drop a charging mob. A sidearm covers both of these areas beautifully and I never ran out of bullets.

As for the Remote, it worked like a charm… if I kept moving. Several times I drew the Vandals out with sidearm fire and then switched to the Remote to make them pay for their hubris. “Stick and move” was my motto throughout the mission and the close-range kills ensured instantaneous ammo pick-ups.

Vandals and their damn wire rifles became a real thorn in my side and this mission provided a cornucopia of them. On the wide-open deck of the ketch, those evil bastards had my number and nailed me even as I dipped and dodged. At this point I adopted the Berserker strategy of charging in, throwing grenades and smacking the closest Vandal for the Sunsinger Overshield as I lapped the balcony, blasting those Fallen over the railings.

I kited away from the big guy and unloaded a full magazine from Sound and Fury into him. These new WotM raid weapons will eviscerate the Fallen.

There wasn’t much left of the boss after that and as he dropped to a knee and gave me the “time out” sign. MISSION CLEAR!

Mission Verdict: Fun as hell if you can acclimate to the up-close strategy.


Heroic Strikes

Some of my clan mates happened to be on with me and in return for some Trials runs (we lost), they ran a few Heroic Strikes with me. The Fallen SABER strike is always challenging; even more so when you’re running a close range weapon. Defending the Warsat initiated my problems as usual.

The Death Shank at the end put up quite a fight. Right off the bat, we all realized that his sniper cannon could easily one-shot us. I found that out as I jumped up to dramatically launch a Nova Bomb a second after the tether. Revive, grenade, rockets “oh my!” flying in from across the room, unloading my Remote on top of him, I was exhilarated. We did it.

Next up we fought Phogoth in the new Summoning Pits. Lots of close quarters fighting leading up to the boss fight here. Crowd Control helped me lay waste to tight groups of Dregs and Knights.But not Shanks. When we just hung out at the back with nothing else to fight, my clan mates got a big laugh out of letting me handle the shanks, since I had “the best weapon in the game.”

Phogoth was a bit of a challenge. What kind of idiot gets right in an Ogre’s face? Here is where improvising makes all the difference: Captains with Cannons! While I couldn’t directly damage Phogoth with my Remote, I definitely could drop the captains and then steal their cannons. With catapult as one of the modifiers, I was also tossing solar grenades left and right.

Strike Verdict: Terrible for bosses, but perhaps there is another way?



Whew. I didn’t make it through this week.  The Nightfall was Fallen S.A.B.E.R. and anyone who has run even the normal version of this strike knows how brutal that first area is.

Hardly any cover; mobs spawn in on all sides; ships blast you from above… it’s a nightmare. The modifier was Match Game and my only Arc weapon was a rocket launcher.

Several times we got close to getting past that first part, but it never happened. Even up close, my shotgun and sidearm did laughable damage. Scatter Grenades weren’t living up to expectations. When the Captains charged in with their Arc Shields, I had to fly away from them while launching rockets and not floating down into the blast radius. The only time I felt satisfaction during the numerous attempts to clear the first stage came from surprising Dregs that rounded the corner of my little wall.

Match Game makes to tough, but perhaps the larger issue is that I obviously did not give this Nightfall the respect it deserves by bringing a silly shotgun.

Nightfall Verdict: This Nightfall can be too difficult to fart around with weird weapons.


Wrath of the Machine

The first group I jumped in with took me to Aksis Phase 2, but we could not kill the big guy off. The Remote felt a bit awkward during the raid, but not debilitating. During the opening area, I covered the middle and had a blast bounding left and right to lay out Dregs as they spawned in. I probably had a bit too much fun with that, leaving my poor partner alone.

Vosik got a bit dicey at times, but Queen’s Choice and Scatter Grenades dealt with the trash handily. Nova Bomb and Sound/Fury provided my boss damage. We took him down on the first attempt and had similar results on the Zamboni. UR laid out any Dreg foolish enough to breach our bubble and cleared a path.

A Scottish player’s brother kept screaming obscenities in the background and another player decided halfway through that what we really needed to boost organization was a Rick Astley remix blasted into the headset. But I pressed on.

Admittedly, my sidearm played a bigger part in Aksis. I held the middle area and would drop the elite Vandals charging up the stairs, but I wasn’t about to drop into the pit. It took a few attempts for the new guys to understand mechanics, but we nailed it on the fourth attempt. Unfortunately, slamming quick enough was a problem for this group.

At no time did anyone call me out for my Remote.

Helpful Raid Tip #52: No one can call out Servitors over the bombastic melody of Rick Astley; his voice paralyzes all forward progress, both in the game and in real life.


My plan is always to keep my ‘Exotic Roundup’ experiment to myself in order to fully gauge the human response to deviant behavior (this is not how I expected to use my Sociology degree), but I was afraid they were about to kick me and I really wanted to win. I briefly explained the experiment, that I wasn’t switching my primary all week, and they let me stay as long as I didn’t drag them down.

After the raid, “Vocal Dude” admitted that he did not even notice a difference and complimented me for holding my own with such a weird weapon. I’m just glad that WotM allows a more diverse gear loadout. Warpriest wouldn’t be as forgiving.

Raid Verdict: Sacrifice stable, ranged damage for instant shank and Dreg kills. Pairing a sidearm is a must.



Other than my attempt at Trials with my clan, I did not run any Crucible this week. Universal Remote is intended for it, and that’s where it stays for most players. Personally, this is my favorite and most productive PvP weapon. The range and impact are good enough for me to score consistent one-shot kills and I’m never out of ammo. The rate of fire is slow, leaving you with a fatal opening after a miss, and the recoil is going to prevent you from re-acquiring a target instantly. Are there better shotguns out there? Yes… but none of them are primaries and that’s what makes all the difference.

My critique of Remote in Trials should be taken with a grain of salt, as I typically ignore the call of Osiris. My clan mates talked me into joining them and I caved. We went up against some really skilled players; they knew how to take advantage of the slow RoF and backpedaled out of range.

However, I experienced a tremendous moment of glory during Trials. When I rolled up on my teammate trading, the other two opponents entered the battle right behind him. I killed one and died to the other… only to self-resurrect and start throwing down melees… only for that last opponent to also self-resurrect and start reviving both of his teammates, one of whom drops a Fist of Havoc.

In a blinding blaze of solar energy and every last round of my magazine, I brought down the whole team. Here’s the clip:

I’ve peaked! It’s never going to get better than that.

PvP Verdict: This weapon is a monster! For anyone accustomed to using shotguns, this will bridge a fairly large skill gap.


Final Thoughts

This Exotic does not simply reward high-risk behavior, it demands it. Fans of running up and blasting will love it, Titans with No Backup Plans will practically break the game with it.

There will also be plenty of times where your lack of range is a death sentence. I suggest using a sidearm or fusion rifle to take up the slack, as a sniper rifle will go quickly and aren’t practical for a mid-range or covering a retreat.

Whereas last week I struggled through normal mobs and smoked bosses with Touch of Malice, this week I had the opposite problem. A shotgun lover might surprise their teammates with how well they make this weapon work (as I did), but overall a more conventional primary is better in PvE. Save this one for the Crucible and for when Patrols get boring.

Next week I’ll be playing with another Crucible favorite:

The Last Word!