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Destiny 2: Masterworks guide - Stat perks, getting cores and more

Our essential guide to understanding how Masterworks function in game.

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About Ed Thorn

Ed joined Metabomb in May 2017 and is responsible for the Overwatch and Destiny sections of the site.

Our Destiny 2: Masterworks guide contains everything you need to know about these brand new rewards first introduced with the Curse of Osiris DLC.

It’s safe to say that Destiny 2’s community has had a gripe with duplicate Legendary weapons and armour for quite some time. Apart from dismantling gear you already own for Legendary Shards, there’s no joy or excitement when you land the same reward again and again.

Bungie’s attempt at remedying this is through Masterwork weapons and armour. These are duplicate rewards with a unique twist - they have a somewhat random stat buff. It’s a system that’s currently in its infancy, but Bungie will be working on it over time to make sure that loot grind is just that much sweeter.

Below we’ve broken down everything you need to know about the Masterworks system, including what they are, how they work and tips for getting hold of Masterwork Cores.

When you're done, don't forget to check out our massive Curse of Osiris guide which contains walkthroughs for every last aspect of the game's first DLC!

Editor's UPDATE #5: Right at the top of the page we've put together a small section which highlights the fact that Masterworks Armour is finally on the way! Stay tuned for further updates in the near future.

Masterworks Armour is coming!

In Bungie official Development Update it confirmed that the Masterwork system will be updated to include armour. It's being introduced in the 30th January 2018 update.

Here's everything you need to know.

  • All Legendary Armour has a chance to drop as a Masterwork.
  • You have a higher chance of obtaining Masterwork Armour from Trials of the Nine and Raid Activities but you might get lucky with an Engram from vendors too.
  • Masterwork Armour provides 3% damage reduction while using your Super.
  • This damage reduction stacks to a maximum of 15% if you have a full set of Masterwork armour.
  • You can reroll the armour stat type on Masterwork Amour, and similar to Masterwork weapons, you can upgrade a piece of armour to a Masterwork by spending cores and Legendary Shards.
  • Masterworks armour can be reworked to a different stat package (Heavy, Light, or Restorative) for one Masterwork core and 10 Legendary Shards.

This is just the first iteration of the new Masterwork armour system and Bungie's got many more plans in store for the future. Once we've given it a go in game ourselves, we'll provide an updated breakdown, so stay tuned!

How do Masterworks currently work?

Here’s everything you need to know about how Masterwork weapons currently function.

Basics

  • You will not earn Masterworks versions of Common or Rare gear. It’s only going to affect Legendary weapons.
  • You need to be Power Level 250+ to receive Masterworks weapons.
  • You’ll have a chance of receiving Masterworks weapons when out and about doing any sort of activity that’ll usually reward you with Legendary Engrams. Strikes, Crucible Matches - you name it.
  • Unwanted Masterworks can be dismantled into materials that can upgrade an existing Legendary Weapon into a Masterwork.
  • Raid and Trials of the Nine Weapons will have a very high chance to be Masterworks.

Features

  • A Masterwork weapon will be denoted by a golden border in your inventory and in the weapon screen it will have an extra "Masterwork Weapon" mod slot.
  • Masterworks weapons will showcase your kill count with that weapon. You can switch this to Crucible only if you wish.
  • They will generate orbs for you and your allies on multi-kills.
  • Every Masterwork weapon will have added stat bonuses that are randomly selected from a small pool and are re-rollable.

Reworking

  • With every Masterwork Weapon you can reroll the bonus you receive. This can be done by heading into the mod slots section of the weapon.
  • There are two ways you can rework a Masterwork and they'll cost you different resources.
  • The first is to simply "Rework" which will reroll the bonus provided. This will cost 3 Masterwork Cores and 25 Legendary Shards.
  • The second is to turn the Masterwork into a Crucible version. This means the weapon will now track the number of Crucible kills you obtain with it. It will cost you 10 Masterwork Cores and 25 Legendary Shards to do so.

Getting Masterwork Cores

  • You obtain Masterwork cores by dismantling Masterwork Weapons.
  • Dismantling a Masterwork will bag you 1 or 2 cores.
  • If you've got an abundance of Legendary Shards, go to Master Rahool and purchase Legendary Engrams from him. These will give you a chance of dropping Masterworks. If they don't, simply dismantle the items you get and spend the Shards again - don't go overboard though, you want some Shards left over!
  • Of course, you'll have a lot of Gunsmith Materials when you're dismantling these Legendary items, make sure you spend them with Banshee for more Engrams.
  • Strikes, Crucible and the Raid often drop Legendary Engrams so these are a good way of getting Masterworks to drop so you can dismantle them.
  • You can also upgrade your existing Legendary weapons with 10 Masterwork Cores and 25 Legendary Shards. This will give your weapon of choice a random stat perk, random orb generation and stat tracking.

Fastest ways to get Masterwork Weapons

While the gunsmith is a great source of Masterwork weapons for the solo player, by far the quickest method of getting your hands on them are by taking part in the toughest endgame activities: The Raid and Trials of the Nine.

The drop rate for Masterworks are generally pretty low, with players reportedly cashing in thousands of materials or tokens only to acquire a handful of these unique weapons. YouTuber Houndish, along with other members of the Destiny 2 community have found that participating in the Raid and cashing in Trials tokens elevates their drop rate considerably.

It seems that redeeming Trials tokens gives you such a significant chance of receiving Masterworks that some players have had a 50% drop rate!

Strangely, it seems that handing in Raid tokens doesn't have the same effect. Houndish and his friends handed in hundreds of tokens but didn't receive any Masterworks at all. However, the loot your receive while taking part in the Raid seems to have an incredibly high chance of being a Masterwork.

We've linked Houndish' video just below and it's well worth watching to get a better sense of how to get your hands on these weapons.

Stat Bonuses

Here's a list of Masterwork stat bonuses we've seen so far. Do let us know in the comments if you've spotted any more and we'll feature them in the article itself!

Stat BonusStat BoostWeapons
Impact5Sniper, Fusion Rifles, Swords
Range5 or 10All, excluding Rocket/Grenade Launchers.
Stability5 or 10All, excluding Swords.
Handling5 or 10All
Reload10All, excluding Swords
Magazine10% increaseAll
Blast Radius5Rocket and Grenade Launcher
Velocity5Rocket and Grenade Launcher

Improvements we'd like to see

We know that Masterwork weapons were implemented by Bungie in response to the community's discontent with Destiny 2's endgame content and the fact they're very much a work in progress. In this vain, we've put together an article which highlights exactly what we'd like to see from them in the future.

Here's where you'll find it and below you'll find the list of issues which we cover.

  • Perks
  • Armour Sets
  • Activity Specific Loot
  • Duplicate Weapons

That’s all we have for now, but stay tuned for further updates once we’ve had a chance to obtain some more in game!

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