Destiny 2

Massive Breakdown of Reload Speed (Including Formulas, Perks, and Abilities)

destiny2 3 - Massive Breakdown of Reload Speed (Including Formulas, Perks, and Abilities)
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This is 5,000 Words Long, So If You Just Want the Numbers and Don’t Care About My Commentary; Read the Testing Methods, Disclaimers, and Definitions, and Then Skip to the TLDR at the End.

(I am a member of the Massive Breakdowns clan, and I had Mercules read this before I posted it)

Over the past few months, I have put in a couple hundred hours testing all of the different weapon types, perks, and abilities that affect reload speed (if there’s any I missed, let me know). In this post, I’ll show all of the conclusions I’ve drawn from my testing, and I’ll be giving some recommendations on what reload perks to look out for on your guns. Side note: I am completely okay with content creators making videos and discussing the numbers in here, I just ask that they cite me and provide a link to either this post or one of my media platforms (those are listed at the bottom of the post).

Testing Methods and Disclaimers:

· All tests were done on XB1 in 30fps.

· I started counting frames in the reload whenever the first noticeable movement of the reload animation began, counted until the mag filled for Time for Ammo, and counted until the weapon fired for Time to Fire.

· I found using Time to Fire was more consistent and measurable than trying to measure the entire actual reload animation.

· Frames were counted using Upload Studio on the XB1

· There is a 1-2 frame error margin when calculating with my formulas

· The Investment Stat of a perk is different than the in-game stat. Generally, the in-game stat is calculated as: Sandbox Stat – ((Sandbox Stat / 10) * 1). For example, the stat Bungie gave for Outlaw is +50, but it is actually a +45 boost in game. All of the numbers I give here are as close to the actual in-game stats I could get.

· Exotic weapons do not always follow the reload formula of their weapon type. If you have a question about a specific exotic, just ask me and I’ll answer it to the best of my ability.

Definitions:

The following definitions were given in
49188 - Massive Breakdown of Reload Speed (Including Formulas, Perks, and Abilities)

Destiny 2 Update 2.9.0

· Reload stat: 0-100, and maps onto an archetype-specific reload animation speed.

· Reload duration scale (RDS): most reload perks also apply a small multiplier to the reload animation, so that if the reload stat is capped, you still see a small speed bump (the same applies to some other perks, e.g. those that affect handling).

· Reload empty duration scale (REDS): as above, but only applies if the magazine is empty.

Hunter Abilities:

Hunters have 3 abilities that affect reload speed: Chains of Woe x1-3, Heart of the Pack x1-3, and Lightning Weave.

Ability Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Chains of Woe x1+23None
Chains of Woe x2+45None
Chains of Woe x3+67None

Chains of Woe is a good utility perk for both PvE and PvP, although it is more useful in PvE. Chains of Woe x3 will very often max the reload stat on your gun, so it will greatly increase uptime for general add clear in PvE. In PvP, it won’t be hugely impactful, but it will still provide a noticeable boost to reload speed on headshot kills. It’s better than nothing, but it certainly isn’t a must-have for PvP.

Ability Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Heart of the Pack x1+30None
Heart of the Pack x2+60None
Heart of the Pack x3+100None

Heart of the Pack is a very underrated piece of bottom-tree Nightstalker’s utility. When you use a smoke bomb to go invisible, you get a noticeable boost to reload speed (and handling, IIRC) for 20 seconds. When you get kills with your super, you give yourself and everyone around you a large boost to reload speed.

Ability Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Lightning Weave+1000.8

Lightning Weave is the biggest singular boost to reload speed you can get in the game. Unfortunately, it has a very short duration, but it does only require a melee hit (not kill) to proc. One of the best ways to use this in PvE perk is to pair it with a shotgun. You can unload your shotgun into a boss or major and then punch them for a very fast Shotgun reload for better DPS. This perk is very situational for PvP, but it is a very nice bonus when you do get it to proc, but it is hard to intentionally plan for.

Titan Abilities:

Titans have 2 abilities that affect reload speed: Rally Barricade, and Defensive Strike.

Ability Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Rally Barricade+1000.9

Rally Barricade applies the same buff as Lunafaction Boots does and is used in the same scenarios. For PvE, these are very powerful for optimal DPS, same as Luna’s. Pop one at the start of a boss damage phase for much faster reloads to increase DPS. I don’t recommend using these in PvP, because they aren’t very useful. It’s typically a bad decision to stay stationary in PvP for too long, so Rally Barricades won’t be the best option most of the time. Tower Barricades are much better for providing cover in situations where you wouldn’t normally have any.

Ability Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Defensive Strike+45None

This is a really solid perk for all activites, it gives you an overshield and increases reload speed for increased uptime. I’d recommend utilizing it when you play top-tree Sentinel.

Warlock Ability:

Warlocks only have 1 ability that affects reload speed: Pulsewave.

Ability Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Pulsewave+100None

This is one of my favorite neutral game perks on any class. Whenever your shields are broken, it maxes the reload stat of all of your guns, and it also provides a similar boost to handling. This perk is good in PvE and great in PvP. When you kill someone in PvP, there is a good chance they broke your shields during the gunfight. This will activate Pulsewave, which will give you the reload speed and handling needed to get ready for the next gunfight.

Hunter Exotic Armor:

Hunters have 2 exotic armor pieces that directly increase reload speed: Dragon’s Shadow and Mechaneer’s Tricksleeves.

Armor Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Mechaneer's Tricksleeves+100None

These gauntlets are very good when you are using sidearms, and since sidearms are meta in PvP (at least on console) these are good gauntlets to use. I wouldn’t say they’re better than Stompees for PvP, but they can be a fun alternative. The damage boost they give is very situational, but the bonus reload is amazing, especially on slower reloading sidearms (Drang, Last Hope, etc.). In PvE, pairing this with Devil’s Ruin can make for a really fun loadout, but there are better exotic options for general PvE play.

Armor Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Dragon's Shadow+100None

This is a very good exotic for all content. Every time you dodge you get a maxed reload stat, a maxed handling stat, and it reloads every weapon you have. These give a huge boost to your neutral game in PvP by increasing your overall speed every single time you dodge, and since you can get your dodge every 9 seconds with 100 mobility, you can have that extra speed almost indefinitely. It’s amazing in PvP, and still very good in PvE when not using something like Celestial Nighthawk.

Warlock Exotic Armor:

Warlocks have 2 exotic armor pieces that increase reload speed: Ophidian Aspects and Lunafaction Boots.

Armor Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Ophidian Aspects+32None

As with Dragon’s Shadow, Ophidian Aspects give a huge boost to your neutral game by giving a sizeable reload boost, a handling boost similar to its reload boost, and a boost to melee range. These things never leave my Warlock in PvP, the extra speed these things give is extremely useful in PvP. Highly recommended for PvP, and I’d recommend using this if you aren’t running Phoenix Protocol or Luna’s in PvE.

Armor Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Lunafaction Boots+1000.9

As with Rally Barricade, these are a staple in high end PvE activities. These are essential for boss DPS. I can also confirm that the buff is the same whether it is applied through a Healing Rift, Empowering Rift, or Well of Radiance. Essential in PvE, but not very useful in PvP.

Titan Exotic Armor:

Titans technically don’t have any exotic armor pieces that affect reload speed, but there are still two armor pieces to consider: Actium War Rigs and Peacekeepers.

· Actium War Rigs give 10% of the mag every 1.5 seconds

Because Xenophage is meta in PvE, these are a must have for Titans in raids. For PvP, these aren’t very useful, because, while auto rifles are meta, they already have large mag sizes and have very fast reload speeds.

· Peacekeepers reload stowed SMGs in 1.3 seconds

Since SMGs aren’t very good, these aren’t either. If SMGs ever do become meta, these will be a very powerful option to run with them in both PvE and PvP.

Trait Perks:

There are 8 trait perks (let me know if I missed any) that affect reload speed: Feeding Frenzy, Rapid Hit, Threat Detector, Underdog, Elemental Capacitor, Celerity, Field Prep, and Outlaw.

Perk Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Feeding Frenzy x1+10None
Feeding Frenzy x2+450.9
Feeding Frenzy x3+550.875
Feeding Frenzy x4+700.85
Feeding Frenzy x5+1000.8

After the Feeding Frenzy nerf, this perk is more oriented towards PvE add clearing weapons more than anything else. In PvP, this perk is very bad now. You are better off with Outlaw unless you are getting triple kills with bodyshots in one magazine more often than you kill someone with a headshot. More than likely, you will only be getting FF x1 in PvP, which is a very small boost to reload speed that definitely isn’t worth taking over other trait perks.

Perk Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Rapid Hit x1+50.985
Rapid Hit x2+270.97
Rapid Hit x3+320.955
Rapid Hit x4+400.94
Rapid Hit x5+540.925

Rapid Hit is still a good perk after the nerf. It’s not as good as it was, but with just 2 precision hits it already gives a noticeable reload speed boost in addition to the extra stability. X5 gives a boost similar to Outlaw without requiring a kill, so it is more useful than Outlaw for boss DPS. This perk is still a good perk on snipers and hand cannons, since both of those weapons have very low base reload speeds and really need the help from Rapid Hit. I’d recommend it in both PvE and PvP.

Perk Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Threat Detector x1+15None
Threat Detector x2+55None

Threat Detector is a perk that I often overlooked before I tested it, but now I look out for it on close range weapons like SMGs and shotguns. Threat Detector can act as a pseudo Quickdraw on shotguns that don’t have it, and it comes with a nice boost to reload speed as well. Not my first pick in the trait slot for any weapon, but still a solid perk for close range weapons.

Perk Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Underdog+1000.9

Underdog is pretty much a worse version of Pulsewave, it gives you a large boost to reload speed when you are critically wounded, but it doesn’t add the bonus handling like Pulsewave does. Although there are better trait perks, that doesn’t mean that Underdog is a bad perk, it can still be used to reload your weapon very fast in those tight scenarios where you would usually die if you didn’t have a reload boost.

Perk Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Elemental Capacitor+45None

Elemental Capacitor is a very strong perk no matter what subclass you’re on. Void probably still gives the best boost, but I think Solar takes the no. 2 spot. The extra 45 to the reload stat will max the reload stat on a lot of guns (Summoner is an example). Overall, it’s a very solid boost no matter what activity you are doing, I’d recommend it.

Perk Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Celerity+100None

Celerity is a perk that is only useful in Trials, and even then, it still isn’t the best perk, but it can come in clutch in those 1v3 moments. It gives a huge boost to weapon performance when you are the last living member of your fireteam. If you want the extra help whenever you get in those 1v3 scenarios, Celerity is the perk you want.

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Perk Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Field Prep+450.8

Field Prep gives a reload boost larger than Outlaw, and it’s easier to proc. Field Prep also increases the ammo reserves of the weapon, so it is a very great PvE perk. I really enjoy this perk on almost any special or heavy weapon I use in PvE. In PvP, although technically it is easier to proc than Outlaw, it reduces your mobility while reload because you have to be crouched, so I still think Outlaw is better in PvP.

Perk Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Outlaw+450.9

Outlaw is historically one of the most popular trait perks in Destiny history, and for good reason. While it is currently weaker than its ever been, it’s still a great perk. It gives a large reload speed boost while only requiring a precision kill. Great perk in PvE and PvP.

Mag Perks:

Most of the mag perks that affect reload speed only affect the reload stat itself. The values for all of those can be easily found at light.gg. Here, I’m only going to focus on the two mag perks that apply an RDS: Drop Mag and Alloy Mag.

Perk Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Drop Mag+270.9

Drop Mag is definitely not something I’d use on snipers, but it can be used for a big reload boost on primary weapons with large reserves (i.e. auto rifles). You really don’t have to worry about running out of primary ammo in most PvE or PvP activities, so the downside of Drop Mag shouldn’t really affect you too much on primary weapons. A great reload speed bonus for primary weapons in both PvE and PvP.

Perk Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Empty Duration Scale:
Alloy MagNone0.85

This perk… isn’t good. You’re better off running Drop Mag on any weapon that can have it rather than use Alloy Mag (snipers are the except, because you really don’t want to waste their ammo). I know Bungie said that this perk applies a 0.667 REDS, but it doesn’t. It’s definitely 0.85. There are better mag perks, so don’t use this. The only time this perk is good is when you use it in on a Rapid-Fire Frame weapon, because then the perks will stack and you’ll actually get that 0.68 REDS. Speaking of Rapid-Fire Frames…

Perk Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Empty Duration Scale:
Rapid-Fire FrameNone0.8

I know this isn’t a mag perk, but I’m putting it here anyway. This is actually a nice intrinsic perk to have on Rapid-Fire Frame weapons, since they tend to empty the mag faster (especially true with the Suros sidearms), so you’ll get the boost more often with them. Stacking this with Alloy Mag can make for a 0.68 REDS, which is very nice.

Exotic Weapon Perks:

There are 5 unique exotic perks that increase reload speed: Firefly on Ace of Spades, The Roadborn on The Chaperone, Fan Fire on The Last Word, Catalyst on Lord of Wolves with Release the Wolves active, Ravenous Beast on Tarrabah.

Perk Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Fan Fire x1+5None
Fan Fire x2+10None
Fan Fire x3+15None
Fan Fire x4+20None
Firefly+45None
Ravenous Beast+1000.8
Release the Wolves+1000.85
The Roadborn+40None

Gauntlet Loader Perks:

Before I give the numbers on the gauntlet loader, there’s something to clear up. The specific weapon loader perks (auto rifle loader, shotgun loader, etc.) have the same effectiveness as the general weapon loader perks (rifle loader, light arms loader, etc.). The difference comes in how much energy they take to apply to the armor.

Perk Name:Reload Stat Addition:Reload Duration Scale:
Regular LoaderNone0.85
Enhanced Loader+100.85
2x Regular Loaders+100.85
Enhanced and Regular+120.85
2x Enhanced Loaders+150.85

Based on these numbers, it is definitely not worth it to stack the loader perks. Just use one loader perk for one of your weapon types and then use the rest of your energy for a loader perk for a different weapon type or for other perks.

So What Stacks With What?

In short, they all stack up to a point. The reload stat caps at 100, so you can stack everything that adds to the reload stat until you reach a reload stat of 100. RDS’s stack multiplicatively, so if you have Alloy Mag (REDS 0.85), Rapid-Fire Frame (REDS 0.8), and a regular loader (RDS 0.85), you would just multiply the RDS values together for a new RDS of 0.578 that you would apply to the reload. RDS’s technically don’t have a cap, but each weapon type has a unique reload speed cap. You can reach that reload cap by having a reload stat of 100 and applying a specific RDS to the weapon (I’ll tell you each individual reload cap when we start talking about weapon types), or you can hit the cap by having a very large RDS.

Weapon Types:

From all my reload speed testing, I was able to derive a formula to calculate the reload speed of a weapon given the weapon type and reload stat. The general formula is: Reload Speed = a * Reload Stat ^ 2 + b * Reload Stat + c. The “a”, “b”, and “c” values are different for every weapon type. When you calculate a reload stat using this formula, it will give the reload speed in frames, so if you want the time in seconds, divide the result by 30. The biggest draw away from the general formula is that it’s not linear. There are diminishing returns the closer you get to a reload stat of 100. Different reload animations within the same weapon type don’t affect the overall reload speed, but it does affect Time for Ammo. When I give the Time for Ammo for a weapon type, I’ll specify which animation it is for (I haven’t tested all reload animations yet). With that out of the way, let’s get into the weapon types.

Note: The Reload Cap RDS assumes a Reload Stat of 100.

Hand Cannons:

a:b:c:Reload Cap RDS:Time for Ammo:
0.00477848-1.30872138.4820.780.715

The Time for Ammo given is for the old D1 HC reload animation, not the Dire Promise animation. Hand Cannons have the slowest reload speed of any primary weapon.

Pulse Rifles:

a:b:c:Reload Cap RDS:Time for Ammo:
0.0034304-0.92486696.69380.690.775

I believe there is only 1 animation used for pulse rifles, so the Time for Ammo should be accurate for all pulses.

Auto Rifles:

a:b:c:Reload Cap RDS:Time for Ammo:
0.00316922-0.87012292.58620.70.565

I believe there is only 1 animation used for auto rifles, so the Time for Ammo should be accurate for all autos.

Scout Rifles:

a:b:c:Reload Cap RDS:Time for Ammo:
0.00381167-0.999196103.150.680.482

The Time for Ammo is for the most common scout rifle animation, not for the Veist scout rifles.

Submachine Guns:

a:b:c:Reload Cap RDS:Time for Ammo:
0.00225423-0.682985.43440.7250.485

The Time for Ammo is for the most common SMG animation, not for the Veist SMGs like Recluse.

Sidearms:

a:b:c:Reload Cap RDS:Time for Ammo:
0.000882635-0.43282968.64020.630.615

The Time for Ammo doesn’t work for Drang, but it should work for every other sidearm.

Sniper Rifles:

a:b:c:Reload Cap RDS:Time for Ammo:
0.00249814-0.821771123.120.790.319

Time for Ammo is for the standard animation used by snipers like Long Shadow. One thing to note with snipers is that they have the fastest Time for Ammo compared to their reload speed out of any weapon type. This is why you can sprint cancel the reload whenever you get ammo in the mag and you won’t be able to shoot the sniper for a long period of time. One thing to note: Izanagi’s Burden cannot use any reload boost whenever you are loading in the Honed Edge bullet.

Shotguns:

a:b:c:Reload Cap RDS:Time for Ammo:
0.00237208-0.51984642.47950.35N/A

So, I technically didn’t actually find the reload cap of shotguns, but you can’t stack any perks to get faster than a 0.35 RDS. Also, the reload formula calculates how many frames each shell after the first shell takes to load. The first shell takes a significantly longer time to load, but I forgot to record that number for most of my shotgun testing, so I don’t have exact numbers on that.

Fusion Rifles:

a:b:c:Reload Cap RDS:Time for Ammo:
0.00227882-0.70575791.68680.730.665

IIRC, Fusions only use 1 reload animation, so the Time for Ammo should be good. Also, the reload speed here is the time until the fusion begins to charge, not when it will fire.

Special Grenade Launchers:

a:b:c:Reload Cap RDS:Time for Ammo:
0.00268222-0.775084104.7140.830.665

Special Grenade Launchers also only use 1 animation as far as I know, so the Time for Ammo is good.

Heavy Grenade Launchers:

a:b:c:Reload Cap RDS:Time for Ammo:
0.00279716-0.885767132.4420.820.628

Heavy Grenade Launchers also only use 1 animation as far as I know, so the Time for Ammo is good.

Rocket Launchers:

a:b:c:Reload Cap RDS:Time for Ammo:
0.00385034-0.917237131.5420.810.565

Time for Ammo is for the animation that Zenobia-D uses, not the animation that Hoosegow uses.

Linear Fusion Rifles:

a:b:c:Reload Cap RDS:Time for Ammo:
0.00217949-0.709871131.5420.810.565

Linear Fusions only use 1 reload animation, so the Time for Ammo should be good for all non-exotic linear fusions. As with regular fusions, this gives Time for the charge to start, not time to fire.

Machine Guns:

a:b:c:Reload Cap RDS:Time for Ammo:
0.00335315-1.08646194.1890.350.661

Machine Guns only use 1 reload animation, so the Time for Ammo is accurate. I also haven’t technically reached the cap on these because I don’t have the right roll on a machine gun to stack any more perks. Machine Guns have the slowest base reload in the game. I’m not sure why the reload cap for machine guns and shotguns is so much different than any other weapon, it may be some sort of bug, but I can’t say for sure.

Calculating with the Formula:

When calculating with the formula, be aware that there is an error margin of 1-2 frames. I’m currently programming a reload speed calculator that will take all perks, buffs, weapon types, and the like.

On Twitch at:
https://www.twitch.tv/van_holden

On the Massive Breakdown Discord: https://discord.gg/TheyfeQ

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