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Destiny 2 guide: What is infusion and how does it work?

Curious how to infuse weapons and armour in Destiny 2? Here’s the full Recombu guide, including how to do it, how it works in terms of numbers and why you should bother.

In Destiny 2, your light level is important. Not only does it provide access to certain content such as the Leviathan Raid and Nightfall strike, it governs the damage you do in most aspects of the game and is a way to show off your prowess at the Tower (if that floats your boat).

The issue with light level in Destiny 2 is that it becomes more difficult to raise. Getting to the ‘soft cap’ of 265 light is fairly easy if you complete missions, challenges and generally keep busy, as loot is usually provided around or just above your current light level – regardless of what you have equipped.

But beyond that, you need to smash your way through Destiny 2‘s more difficult content such as the Leviathan raid, weekly Nightfall strike and Trials of the Nine PvP event, or complete heroic versions of missions.

You could, of course, battle your way through these fights using items with the highest attack or defence value, but what if you want to make a specific weapon more powerful?

What it, like us, you want to mow down alien scum using the laughably powerful Nameless Midnight scout rifle or Sunshot exotic hand cannon?

That is where infusion steps in, a system that allows you to ‘level up’ your equipment to make it more powerful, which in turn helps maintain or increase your character’s overall light level. But how does it work exactly and what else should you know? Let us fill you in.

While we have the attention of your eyeballs, feel free to delve into our guide to the best Destiny 2 guns for PvE, which makes the perfect accompanient to our guide to infusion.

Destiny 2: What is infusion?

Infusion is the word for describing a process in Destiny 2 that allows you to make your gear more powerful, whether that is a weapon or piece of chest armour. It is done within the game by going into a weapon, then hovering the selection ring over the leftmost box under ‘Weapon Mods’.

When you do this, you should see weapons appear that can be infused. If not, they will be greyed out (see below for why that is). If you lack any weapons you can infuse, there will be nothing to see.

The principle is simple. You essentially give the power of one weapon (the one you are infusing) to the weapon you want to make more powerful, increasing its light level. Imagine it as a bit like feeding your favourite weapon other weapons as food.

Destiny 2: How does infusion work?

The basic principle is simple. Infusing a weapon that is 255, for example, into a weapon that is 230 light will bring the latter up to 255. This is a much cheaper and easier system than in the original Destiny game and more accessible to everyone.

You can infuse any weapon or armour piece that is blue, legendary (purple) or exotic (yellow). That rules out common (grey) and the rubbish grey equipment you get from the start of Destiny 2.

What matters is what the attack or defence value is when you infuse. Because the attack figure of the weapon or defence figure of the armour you are infusing will be used adopted by the item you are wanting to power up.

Destiny 2: What about mods and infusion?

“Hang on a second, I infused a weapon with 265 attack and I ended up with something with 260 attack. Why is that?” The reason is that infusion ignores weapon mods.

While looking at a weapon, hover the selection icon over the middle of the ‘Weapon Mods’ boxes. If a legendary damage mod (an extra five attack points) is equipped, your attack level will be five higher than usual but this is ignored during the infusion process. Defence mods exist, too.

“What if, like us, you want to mow down alien hordes using the laughably powerful Nameless Midnight scout rifle or Sunshot hand cannon?”In layman’s terms, the infusion process ignores all attack and defence mods. So a 240 attack hand cannon, which is actually 235 plus a +5 legendary damage mod, will end up infusing the hand cannon to 235 from whatever attack level it had originally.

When upgrading an exotic (yellow) weapon, things are a bit different. All exotic items feature a damage or defence mod, which means infusing, say, a 280 attack hand cannon without a damage mod into the Sunshot will result in a 285 Sunshot.

Destiny 2: What are legendary shards and how do I get them?

Legendary shards are what you need to infuse weapons. To get them requires dismantling a purple (legendary) or yellow (exotic) item, three shards for the former and between five and 10 for the latter. Dismantling a blue item only rewards glimmer.

The best ways to acquire legendary or exotic gear includes the “Call to Arms” Cruicible Milestone, Flashpoints, weekly Nightfall strike, Prestige Nightfall strike, Leviathan raid, Trials of the Nine event and weekly Clan XP reward.

Destiny 2: How much does infusion cost?

Then there is the cost itself, which varies depending on the rarity of the weapon. A blue to purple upgrade or blue to yellow costs four shards, where a purple to purple, purple to yellow or yellow to yellow costs one legendary shard.

Destiny 2: Why can’t I infuse certain weapons?

Usually for one of three reasons. The first is that you need to infuse the same weapon type as the weapon you want to increase the light rating of. So a hand cannon infusion requires a hand cannon.

It also must be of a higher light level because otherwise it would be pointless. Without this rule, it could be possible to actually decrease the light level of your chosen weapon or armour piece. There is also the legendary shard requirement – you need the right amount or it will be impossible.

Destiny 2: Why exactly is light level so important?

Because it has a serious effect on the damage your take and the damage you deal out. For every single light level you are below the recommended level for a task (260 for the Leviathan raid, for example), your damage is reduced by three per cent and you take more damage.

So in the Prestige Nightfall, which has a recommended light level of 300, a character with a 290 light level will be dealing 33 per cent less damage. That means everything takes longer to kill, particularly if your whole party is below the recommended light level.

In most PvE content this would be fine because you can fight indefinitely. Unfortunately for the Nightfall, you are racing against a countdown so any damage reduction will make it harder to finish in time and make it easier for you to die. Neither is great news.

Destiny 2: Do I need to equip my best equipment?

Nope, that was the case for Destiny but not Destiny 2. The game looks at what you have on you and in your vault to come up with a power level, which is the best possible combination of items you could have.

Your character level, which is ignored except for working out damage dealt and received, is the one you can see in the menu and has no effect on what strength of equipment you get from drops.

So unless doing a task where your light level is important, you can get away with using your preferred equipment as opposed to equipping the very best and waiting for the right weapon to drop so you can infuse your favourite.


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