Telesto, colloquially known as the Besto (better than the resto), is an exotic that truly lives up to its billing. Firing fusion rifle bolts that stick to targets upon impact and detonate after a short delay for increased damage, Telesto offers a strong resemblance to another weapom from Bungie’s past: the Halo Needler.
Although the gun has been out for some time, it’s often overlooked in multiplayer, due to both fusion rifles’ relative weakness in the meta, and the lack of perceived usefulness of the exotic perk. I set out to take a look at whether this gun is rightfully overlooked, or a well kept secret.
- Recommended Perks: Smooth Ballistics, Battle Runner, Lightweight, Harbinger’s Spark.
- Pros – Very high Charge Rate and Stability. High Reload Speed. Bolts attach to targets and detonate with explosive force.
- Cons – Low Impact, Aim Assist, Mag Size, and Range.
Due to its innately high stability, coupled with the recent universal buff to fusion rifles, I like to go with Smooth Ballistics for my barrel perk. This gives the added bonuses of extra range and aim assist, with a very minor hit to the bolt spread that can be easily controlled with a skilled thumb. Battle Runner pairs nicely with Lightweight, which is my first choice in the third column.
Compared to Enhanced Battery and Flared Magwell, I saw the most upside when going all in on the run-n-gun playstyle that works so well with fast charging fusion rifles. The final perk, Harbinger’s Spark, isn’t the most useful in PvP, but can be a small help to your teammates if you are consistently getting multikills.
In the Crucible, I originally tried to use Telesto like I would any other fusion rifle, and was rewarded with constant disappointment. Low base range meant that I struggled to hit anything outside of close quarters consistently, and the low impact meant that I needed five out of the seven bolts to connect to get a kill. It took me a little while before I realized that I needed to be using the explosive bolts to my advantage. Peppering the ground before a target walks into an area, firing at a wall behind someone hiding, and in general just using the Telesto like a small grenade launcher opened up my eyes to how useful this weapon could be.
On top of that, the fast charge rate and perk synergy came to be something I relied on in a way I wouldn’t have thought possible! Once I accepted that a highly mobile playstyle worked best for this weapon, I started combining pre-charging, popping around corners, and then running or evading away from opponents into a deadly cocktail. I especially liked using this gun on my Nightstalker Hunter, as the combination of high agility, Lightweight, Battle Runner, and Shadeshep made me an elusive target while I waited for the bolts to detonate (although a Twilight Garrison Titan-skater could also do some immense damage).
I suggest using the quick charge rate as a way to minimize the amount of time spent in an actual engagement, and the agility boosting perks as a way to reposition yourself into new attack angles. Charging before rounding a corner, firing off an explosive volley, and then shifting to a new area consistently worked for me in terms of clearing out people defending rooms or hallways. Unlike normal fusion rifles in the archetype, you don’t need to be precisely accurate with every bolt, since the explosions often catch people in their blast radius even if the initial spray missed. It will take some getting used to the delay between the bolts landing and exploding, and even I struggled at first learning when to disengage a target that was going to die.
Once I got comfortable with it, however, the transition to pop-in-and-out was easy. In terms of complementary weapons, I thought it worked best with a scout rifle, or something that can cover the longer distances when targets are out of range on the fusion bolts. I also really enjoyed using a high-RoF auto rifle that I could switch to for close range cleanups when the explosions left targets with a small bit of health.
Cosmetics and Sounds
In the shortest terms possible, it’s a sexy weapon. Looking at it in my Nightstalker’s hands, I just felt like it belonged there. With an interesting aesthetic that’s not seen on any other weapons in game, it simultaneously reminded me of the Queen’s fabled weapons known as the Harbingers, and the iconic Needler from Halo. The smooth contours and polished lines give off the aura of a weapon meant not just to be deadly, but to look damn good while doing it. Every time I used it, I appreciated the distinctive crackle-and-pop sound the bolts made when exploding, and I often found other people in my games switching to use it mid-way through matches (both on the other team after dying to it, and on my team after consistently seeing it in the kill-feed).
The Good: Explosive bolts make it useful as a small grenade launcher, and wonderful perk synergy can combine with certain classes to create the ultimate run-n-gun weapon. Can easily be used to clear crowded rooms, plant preemptive traps, and kill opponents who have taken shelter out of sight. Explosive bolts means utmost accuracy isn’t necessary in some situations.
The Bad: The delay between the bolts landing and exploding takes some getting used to, and can lead to frustration when you hit a target with every bolt and still die because they haven’t detonated yet. Low range means that you won’t be getting many direct hits outside of close quarters. As a fusion rifle, projectiles can sometimes fall victim to lag and fail to register what looked to be obvious hits.
In short: One of the most fun weapons I’ve done a review of. Learn the playstyle and advantages that come with the gun, and have a literal blast launching dozens of tiny grenades all around the map.