Season of Arrivals

Destiny 2 – Sandbox changes coming in Beyond Light

Bungie has dropped the long-awaited sandbox changes that are coming up in Beyond Light, and it certainly looks like there are a few changes coming that’s going to mix up the sandbox in a big way. We have news on Hand Cannons, Sniper Rifles, Auto Rifles, Scout Rifles and Rocket Launchers as well as some general updates to the wider sandbox. The following is a look at the sandbox changes coming in Beyond Light.

If you want to skip ahead to my thoughts on the changes, click on the timestamps below. First of all let’s get into the details from Bungie.

Sandbox changes

For those of you who don’t have much knowledge of our sandbox, each weapon has a specific “frame” that is also tied to its associated rate of fire (RoF). We’ve included both of these for a bit of clarity, as many players default to RoF when talking about various weapons. As an example, “Aggressive” Hand Cannons currently have a RoF of 110 rounds per minute.

Hand Cannons

We’re making changes to give hand cannon subfamilies more diversity, and more reasons to use each.


  • Increased RoF from 110 to 120.
  • Broke out Aggressive Hand Cannons, allowing custom tuning of stats (e.g. damage falloff for 100 range in this subfamily now starts at 32m).

Adaptive and Precision

  • Range stat now has more impact on minimum damage falloff range for both archetypes.
  • Damage falloff for 100 range now starts at 25m, was 20m.
  • Precision Hand Cannon
  • (180 RoF) magazine scaled up by 37 percent.
  • Note: This also affects Exotics with that rate of fire.

Lightweight (folded in to Adaptive)

  • Moved all Lightweight Hand Cannons (150 RoF) to the Adaptive subfamily (140 RoF).
  • This includes Luna’s Howl and Not Forgotten.
  • One Exotic Hand Cannon will retain 150 ROF.
  • We aren’t going to leave it to speculation. It’s beautiful. It does solar damage. It makes enemies explode. It’s Sunshot.

At this time, Lightweight (150 ROF) Hand Cannons represent the majority of Hand Cannon usage in the Crucible. While we experimented with many different ways to even out Lightweights (150 ROF) and Adaptives (140 ROF), Lightweight Hand Cannons consistently retained a faster time to kill (TTK). As such, we opted to equalize their ROF.

We selected 140 ROF as it is fairly balanced in the Crucible sandbox. It gives other weapon archetypes more time to breath between shots, avoids an overabundance of Hand Cannons with faster TTK than other weapons, and pairs nicely with upcoming changes to 600 ROF Auto Rifles (more on that below).

Sniper Rifles

We want Sniper Rifles to feel powerful, without being so easy to use that they dominate.
Adjusted how aim assist (AA) is affected by Sniper Rifle zoom level. Lower zoom scopes have less AA, higher zoom scopes have more, scopes with around 50 zoom are unchanged.
Lowest-zoom scopes have a large reduction in AA cone angle.
Highest-zoom scopes have a small increase.

Auto Rifles

In Season of the Worthy, the Adaptive archetype (600 RoF) was given a buff. We’re pulling that back a little to keep it in check with other Auto Rifle archetypes.

Damage per bullet reduced from 15.75 to 14.25.
Note: Prior to Season of the Worthy, damage per bullet was 13.75.

Scout Rifles

Scouts have a reasonable time to kill (TTK)and can’t be adjusted too much without making them dominate the battlefield, so we’re making them a little easier to use. Increased how much each point of the AA stat widens the AA cone. At maximum, the AA cone is now 15 percent wider.

Rocket Launchers

These Heavy weapons currently have very low reserves, so we’re adjusting that. We expect to take another look at Rocket Launchers in a future Season.
Increased reserves by 1 or 2 rockets depending on Inventory stat.


The following is a list of surgical changes for select weapons based on player feedback. Some of these changes apply to weapons that are a little too far ahead of other options while others apply small buffs to increase the weapon’s effectiveness.

Outlaw – The reload speed increase felt insufficient with certain subfamilies and combinations of rolls (e.g. Aggressive Hand Cannons).
Increased reload stat bonus from +50 to +70.

Increased inventory stat from 36 to 55 (this increases reserve ammo).


We’ve had a ton of feedback that Mountaintop feels a bit over the top in Crucible modes. This Pinnacle weapon has had ample time to shine, so we’re taking it down a notch.

Specific pain points: 

  • A one-shot body shot with infinite range.
  • Quick and easy cleanup of wounded Guardians, even around corners.
  • Deals high splash damage, rewarding players for inaccuracy.
  • Perfect in-air accuracy allows airborne Guardians to rain down death, and there’s not much grounded Guardians can do to respond.

Here are the changes intended to address those points:

  • Reduced splash damage by 33 percent, increased impact damage such that total damage is 5 percent lower than before.
  • Reduced projectile velocity multiplier from the Micro-Missile perk from 1.4 to 1.2. (i.e., now 20 percent faster than other breech Grenade Launchers instead of 40 percent).
  • Reduced in-air accuracy. Now has significant projectile error while in-air (around 7 degrees without the Icarus Grip mod, substantially less with).

Falling Guillotine
Reduced heavy attack damage by ~24 percent to bring in line with other Swords.
Note: Falling Guillotine will continue to be slightly above average, just not to the extent that it is now.

MIDA Multi-Tool and MIDA Mini-Tool
MIDA Mini-Tool
Moved the “Mida Synergy” trait to the intrinsic, similar to how the (Baroque) version works
Added the following perks:
Hip-Fire Grip
Kill Clip
NOTE: There is an issue with the masterwork on this weapon that prevents it from being upgraded. This will be fixed in a later update.
NOTE: The Gunsmith will begin selling a version of this weapon on November 10 with no infusion cap.

Sturm and Drang
Moved the “Together Forever” trait to the intrinsic, similar to how the (Baroque) version works
Added the following perks:
Accurized Rounds
Moving Target
NOTE: There is an issue with the masterwork on this weapon that prevents it from being upgraded. This will be fixed in a later update.
NOTE: The Gunsmith will begin selling a version of this weapon on November 10 with no infusion cap.

Ruinous Effigy
Transmutation Spheres
Reduced the damage of the aerial melee attack by 25%
Significantly reduced the damage of the drain effect on enemy combatants

No longer strikes shields multiple times, but its efficacy against shielded targets has been increased.

Jade Rabbit
Armor Piercing Rounds swapped to High Caliber Rounds.
This fixes an issue that could prevent the exotic perk from triggering.

My thoughts on the changes

As for my thoughts on the changes, here we go. It seems interesting to take 110 hand cannons to 120, but the jury is out and we’re going to have to test them out there in the wild. 110’s have felt pretty much useless in PVP up until this point, with other archetypes dominating the field. 150s folded into 140s seem to make sense, although it would have been nice for the changes to go the other way, for example, 140s folded into 150s. Thorn is definitely going to feel the change, and I’m not sure if it’s going to be for the better. However, with Ace of Spades already being a 140, this may get a revival. With Sunshot being left as the only 150 in the game, we may be heading into a time where Sunshot is the dominant hand cannon in PVP. Personally, I love sunshot… it’s one of the best looking guns in the game.

Snipers are going to be slightly more difficult to use for the low zoom scopes, but we’ll have to see what actual difference this makes to a seasoned veteran with a sniper. The 600 autorifle nerf was pretty much expected given the dominance of auto rifles in Season of Arrivals. We had a buff in Season of the Worthy, bringing Galliard, Gnawing Hunger, Suros and Hardlight up – breaking free of the Spare Rations / Mind Benders combination which had been superior for many months. Gnawing Hunger has been plentiful this season due to the ease of acquiring the gun AND the ability to get an awesome roll on it too. That combined with the sheer power and damage of auto rifles in this sandbox, something had to be done.

Scout Rifles have an aim assist buff, but remains to be seen if they can regain their place in PVP like they had in the first few months of Destiny 2 year 1 when everyone was running around with Mida Multi-tool and standing back. Rockets also appear to have a small buff, but again it doesn’t really look like much. In a way I miss the days when you’d scream if you got a drop of a certain rocket launcher in Destiny 1, it was just so damn powerful. This buff may help rockets, but I don’t think they’re going to be widely adopted. This buff feels a little bit meh to me just seeing the numbers on paper. We’ll have to see out ther ein the crucible come Beyond Light.

Outlaw and Merciless have a small buff. Then we had the Mountain Top nerf that DMG hinted at a few TWAB’s ago. Any nerf to this weapon is good, I think it should be removed from the game entirely, but I am not sure if this goes far enough. The reduced in air accuracy is good news, as you’ll always have someone bouncing up and down in front of you killing you with Mountain Top.

Falling Guillotine got a massive nerf, which is a shame, but it has been broken for a little while. This doesn’t feel like a hugely devastating nerf though, it’s still going to be better than all swords. Ruinous Effigy being nerfed is a strange decision, seeing as it’s a fun weapon in the first place. Arbelast and Jade Rabbit with a small buff too.

I think the biggest talking point is going to be the 150s into 140 hand cannons. The hand cannon situation as a whole is getting a mix up with the introduction of 120’s, we’ll have to see how they perform. The auto rifle nerf made sense but it was interesting to see nothing happened with shotguns or fusion rifles. Overall, this definitely was a balance – reigning in some of the most dominant weapons, but maybe not enough done with Mountain Top. However, that one is going to get sunset and we’ve got a whole bunch of new weapons to look forward to anyways.

Let me know what you think of the sandbox changes coming in Beyond Light and Adept weapons.

That’s it for this look at the sandbox changes coming in Beyond Light. For more Destiny 2 content like this check out the Shadowkeep Guide or check out the YouTube Channel.

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