Destiny 2 finally nerfing Hand Cannons, Quickdraw in Season 14 update

Destiny 2 gameplayBungie

With the next season of Destiny 2 right around the corner, Bungie has locked in a few sandbox changes including Hand Cannon nerfs and a few Exotic tweaks.

While the last few updates has primarily focused on Stasis abilities, Bungie’s next big patch has something else in focus. Various weapons and weapon archetypes are being adjusted in the upcoming season, with select Hand Cannon nerfs already locked in,

An in-depth blog post will soon cover perk and weapon changes more intricately, the devs confirmed. For now, however, we do have some early information to go off.

Destiny 2 Weapons Feature Lead Chris Proctor outlined a number of balance changes in the pipeline through an April 8 blog post. Here’s everything we know about the next big update.

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Destiny 2 gameplayBungie
Aggressive Hand Cannons won’t be as effective in Season 14.

Weapon Archetypes changing in future Destiny 2 patch

For starters, a few different archetypes are being scaled back in the next season. This will impact every weapon that falls under the archetypes in focus.

Aggressive (120 rpm) Hand Cannons are first up on the list of incoming changes. After dominating in PVP for a number of weeks, Bungie is looking to “rein them in a bit.” 

All weapons under that category will see reduced damage while aim assist falloff will trigger at a shorter distance. This means you’ll be less impactful from afar, “roughly halving” buffs from the Beyond Light release.

Next up, Vortex Frame Swords have one key change on the way. While damage output is still considerably high, its ammo cost has been targeted instead. A full energy Heavy attack will not cost six ammo instead of four.

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Chip damage weapons are the final archetype being changed in the next season. Swords and Bastion will see this feature outright removed in the upcoming patch.

Destiny 2 gameplayBungie
Swapping between weapons with Quickdraw won’t be as effective moving forward.

Perk nerfs in next Destiny 2 season

Alongside the three archetype changes, three perks are being adjusted as well. Quickdraw, Frenzy, and Reservoir Burst are all being changed in unique ways. 

For Quickdraw, Bungie no longer wants to encourage quick-swapping between low-handling weapons. From a Hand Cannon to a powerful Shotgun, this perk provided a major handling buff upon swapping. Moving forward, this handling buff will be wiped just one second after changing your gun.

Meanwhile, the Frenzy perk is having its damage bonus scaled back by five percent. Reservoir Burst also has an eight percent damage reduction but now comes with an increase to magazine size to balance things out.

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Exotic changes on the horizon

Last but not least, two exotics are in focus for the next big Destiny 2 update. The Lament has reigned supreme as the strongest Sword for quite some time. In order to keep things fresh, Bungie is scaling it back somewhat in the next season. 

The only considerable buff in the patch notes is for Bastion. Given the removal of chip damage, this weapon will now intrinsically stagger Unstoppable Champions and comes with an increased spread to boot.

Destiny 2 BastionBungie
Bastion is changing in more ways than one.

An exact date isn’t quite locked in for these changes just yet. However, with plenty more patch notes teased for future blog posts, we’ve still got plenty to look forward to.

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We’ll be sure to keep you updated as new information comes to light. In the meantime, you can stay ahead of the curve with the current changes listed out below.

Weapon Archetypes

  • Aggressive (120 rpm) Hand Cannons are very dominant in PvP, and we’ve received enough feedback that we want to rein them in a bit, without completely taking away their range benefits.
      • These weapons will now have damage and aim assist falloff distance reduced by between 2 and 4 meters, based on the Range stat.
      • This roughly halves the range buff they received in Beyond Light.
  • Vortex Frame Swords — With Falling Guillotine now viable forever, we need to adjust it a little, as its damage output is flat out higher than all other Legendary swords. With this change we allow it to keep its high damage output, but are reducing its full-reserves damage output by reducing the number of Heavy attacks you’ll be able to perform.
      • Full energy Heavy attack ammo cost increased from 4 to 6.
  • Chip damage — Certain weapons (Swords and Bastion) bypass shields by varying amounts, which has caused numerous issues with Stasis-encased enemies, encounter mechanics, and other content.
      • We have removed chip damage from Swords and Bastion.


  • Quickdraw — This perk is intended to provide faster swap speed, but it also passively buffs handling by +100. This completely negates the downside of using low-handling weapons (such as Aggressive Shotguns, Sniper Rifles, and Hand Cannons), which isn’t something we want to encourage. Those weapons should have downsides and working around those completely via a perk isn’t healthy. We don’t think allowing a fast-swap to the Shotgun subfamily with the highest one-hit-kill range is great either.
      • The Handling bonus is now removed one second after switching to this weapon, or upon aiming down sights.
      • Replaced Quickdraw with Surplus on new and existing drops of Felwinter’s Lie and Astral Horizon.
  • Frenzy — This perk has extremely high uptime in PvE, to the point where it is clearly a better choice than most other damage perks. We like the high uptime and want to preserve that, but want it to award less damage than harder to activate damage perks
      • Reduced bonus damage from +20 percent to +15 percent.
  • Reservoir Burst — Now increases magazine size in addition to its other effects, reduced full battery bonus damage from 33 percent to 25 percent.
      • Upcoming content requires revisiting the Power Level of a damage perk that can be activated simply by having a full magazine.
      • Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more…


  • The Lament — This weapon is a clear outlier for Sword damage, so for the health of Heavy weapon diversity, we’re pulling it back a bit.
      • Reduced damage of revved Heavy attack by approximately 16 percent.
      • Note that The Lament retains standard anti-barrier despite removing chip damage.
  • Bastion — Since we’re removing chip damage, Bastion gets something else instead. We’ve noticed increased feedback on Bastion and higher than normal usage in PvP, so are making a small change here and will revisit Bastion later.
      • Intrinsically staggers Unstoppable Champions.
      • Increased spread angle by 13 percent.