Damage perks in Destiny 2 have always been the stable of the many god-rolled weapons present in the game. A lot of the time if you are hunting for a weapon to use, especially in PvE content, and it doesn't drop with damage-increasing perk, then that is almost grounds for an immediate dismantle. Damage perks simply add so much extra value to the weapon that without them, the weapon can feel a little flat.
Below is a list of all the different damage perks in Destiny 2, how they are activated, how much damage they give, as well as a simple S-D tier rating. Something to keep in mind while browsing this list is that if a certain damage perk has a low rating this does not mean this perk isn't great. Pretty much all damage perks will be a decent choice for any game content, this tier rating is only in relation to other damage perks.
General Damage Perks:
A stack of the Rampage is buff is given for every kill gained, up to a max of three stacks. These stacks have a duration of 3.5 seconds, 4.5 seconds if using Rampage Spec, or until another kill is gained which either grants another stack or refreshes the timer. The first stack gives 10% extra damage, the second gives 21% and the third gives 33%.
Rampage is an extremely versatile damage perk as even a single stack can lead to a quicker time to kill in PvP or give a nice boost to overall DPS in PvE. Its conditions to activate are extremely easy to complete and if enough enemies are around it is quite easy to keep the stacks topped off at three.
Rank - A
Like Rampage, Kill Clip is another one of the original damage perks for Destiny 2 and has been around for some time. If a player reloads within a few seconds of gaining a kill, they will be granted the Kill Clip buff which gives a 33% bonus to precision damage, and 30% to body damage, for five seconds.
Kill Clip is more of a PvP perk compared to the Rampage which is more geared towards PvE. With Kill Clip, all you need is a single kill to then reload and be granted the same damage increase as Rampage. Oftentimes Kill Clip is paired with a reload perk like Outlaw or Rapid Hit in order to mitigate the perks weakness of needing to reload to activate the buff. This pair of perks can create a weapon that is capable of chaining kills in PvP and making 1v2’s much more likely to end in victory. One aspect of Kill Clip to be aware of is that when you have the Kill Clip buff you cannot refresh it by getting a kill and reloading, you must wait for the buff to time out then initiate the reload to regain the buff.
Rank - A
Swashbuckler functions in a similar way to Rampage but as a more close range option. This perk is able to stack up to 5 times with the stacks granting 5%, 12%, 19%, 26% and 30%. While the damage caps out slightly lower than Rampage, Swashbuckler has the advantage of any melee kill granting an instant 5 stacks and these stacks also last for a slightly longer 4.5 seconds. This perk works amazingly well for melee focused builds or shotgun builds.
Rank - A
Like Swashbuckler being similar to Rampage, Multikill Clip is a slightly different form of Kill Clip. With Multikill Clip 1-3 stacks are granted once a reload is completed after gaining a certain amount of kills. One kill will grant one stack, two kills grants two stacks and three kills grants three stacks. The damage values for these stacks are 17%, 33% and 50% respectively. Unlike Kill Clip, the player is able to refresh the stack timer without having to wait for it to finish. However, this will refresh the stack number with the amount of kills gained before the reload. As an example if you have two stacks of Multikill Clip, kill a single enemy and then reload, the stacks will refresh down to one.
Mutlikill Clip is one of the top tier damage perks as it is extremely easy to keep the stacks refreshed and the damage tops out at 50% which is one of the highest damage increases granted by any perk.
Rank - S
Frenzy is one of the new damage perks released during Season of the Chosen and there is a little bit of confusion amongst the community about how it works exactly. If the player has been in combat for at least 12 seconds the Frenzy buff will activate that grants a 20% damage buff to the weapon as long as the player remains in combat. What exactly is ‘in combat’? A player is classed as ‘in combat’ if they have either taken damage, or damaged another combatant, within the last five seconds. Frenzy is an extremely top tier damage perk that is very easy to activate as to do this you essentially just do what you would normally be doing, kill enemies. This perk can even activate when the weapon is stowed which is why some double or even triple Frenzy builds are becoming popular as once the 12 seconds of combat has been reached you will receive a loadout wide 20% damage buff.
While Frenzy might not give the same damage numbers as the other perks it is essentially a free and very respectable damage buff that can last the entire activity.
Rank - S
One for All
One for All is another new damage perk that was introduced in Season of the Chosen and in my opinion it is one of the best we have seen for some time. If a player is able to damage three separate opponents within three seconds of each other then a 35% damage buff is granted which lasts a whopping 10 seconds. This perk is very easy to activate on weapons with high fire rate like Submachine Guns or Auto Rifles as you simply sweep fire across enemies to gain the buff and then focus them down as normal.
The buff will not refresh when hitting three more enemies mid timer but since it is so easy to activate this isn't really a problem. As a personal opinion I think One for All is better than Frenzy as while it might take a little bit more effort to activate, it gives an extra 15% damage.
Rank - S+
Situational Damage Perks
Surrounded grants 25% bonus to Sword damage and a 30% bonus to other weapons when three or more enemies are within 15m of the player. If the weapon has the Surrounded Spec mod then this damage is raised to 35% for Swords and 40% for other weapons. Surrounded Spec is also supposed to cause the increased damage granted by the perk to linger for 1.5 seconds once the player is no longer surrounded but this is currently bugged.
The best weapons to use this perk on are obviously close range weapons like Swords, Shotguns and Submachine Guns as since you will most likely be close to enemies anyway, this is an easy to activate damage buff. The Surrounded Spec is also a must use with this perk as while the damage linger is bugged, the actual bonus damage functions as normal. For most weapons this is an easy 40% damage buff for most encounters. The only issue with the perk is that it is hindered by enemies having to be close, if you are against a lot of ranged enemies or ones that are spread out there isn't much you can do about that and this becomes a dead perk.
Rank - B
Vorpal weapon is a fairly simple perk. As it is mainly used as a PvE perk that is what I'll focus on. Vorpal Weapon gives a 15% increase to weapon damage to Bosses and Minibosses without any other kind of activation criteria. It is because of this that Vorpal Weapon is extremely popular on Boss DPS weapons like Slug Shotguns and Sniper Rifles.
Since Vorpal Weapon gives bonus damage against Bosses that means that the perk can swing from being high tier to bottom tier depending on what weapon it rolls on. On something like a Sniper, which will actually be used to DPS a boss, it is very useful but Vorpal Weapon can also roll on a few Primary weapons where its usefulness plummets.
Rank - A/D depending on weapon
Box Breathing gives a damage boost to weapons once the weapon has been aimed without firing for one second. This bonus damage is 31% for Rapid FIre/Adaptive Frame Sniper Rifles, 37% for Aggressive Frame Sniper Rifles, 33% for Linear Fusion Rifles and 66% for Scout Rifles.
On Sniper Rifles this perk is used to give a small boost to Boss DPS at the start of the damage phase and in PvP can give Scout Rifles a ridiculously low time to kill. The problem with this perk in PvP is that a significant amount of the meta weapons have a time to kill that is lower than one second so the player will most likely be dead before the perk can activate. It can be used with a Scout Rifle to hold down a lane and hope someone pops out for you to quickly kill but this will only happen once or twice before the enemy wises up.
Rank - D
Firing Line is a Fireteam based perk that gives a significant boost to weapon damage when within a couple of metres of 2+ allies. ‘Allies’ do not have to just be friendly Guardians but any friendly A.I such as the Frames from the Europa Lost Sector.
This boost to weapon damage is 25% for Linear Fusion Rifles and Sniper Rifles, and 20% for Machine Guns. While this perk is great on paper there just aren't a whole lot of situations in the game that can be used on top of the weapons it can roll on not being meta for Boss DPS.
Rank - C
This perk gives a scaling damage bonus to weapon damage along the second half of the damage. This damage scales from 12% to 26% in PvE and 4% to 6% in PvP. While this perk requires no real effort to activate, its damage is simply not that great and only a few of the last bullets in the magazine get any kind of decent damage buff. This perk is simply outclassed by a lot of the other, better damage perks like One for All and Rampage.
Rank - D
Explosive Payload causes the weapons bullets to create an area of effect explosion at the point of impact. This in turn gives a decent bump to overall damage per shot with precision damage being raised by 10% and body damage being raised by 15%. This explosion has the added effect of causing increased flinch to damaged players in PvP. This increased flinch alone can win duals. While other damage perks are better suited for PvE, this perk can be a menace in PvP.
Rank - C
Timed Payload functions in an extremely similar way to Explosive Payload except that there is a small 0.6 second delay before the area of effect explosion. Timed Payload also gives a slightly larger damage increase at an 12% increase to precision and 16% increase to body damage.
Rank - C
Rocket Only Damage Perks:
Lasting Impression is a new Season of the Chosen perk and can only roll on Rocket Launchers. This perk causes any rockets fired to stick to its target instead of exploding instantly. This rocket will then explode after three seconds with an increased Blast Radius and dealing 25% more damage. This is a great new perk for Rocket Launchers and since they recently received a 30% damage buff this makes them fairly good at dealing with Bosses. Combine this perk with an Argent Ordnance Charged with Light build and suddenly you have a Rocket Launcher capable of ridiculous amounts of burst DPS.
This perk has no real conditions that need to be met to activate. The trade off is a simple three second delay to the damage for a 25% increase to this damage.
Rank - S
Sword Only Damage Perks:
Whirlwind Blade is a Sword only perk that gives increased damage for each hit landed. This increased damage can stack up to fives times with the increased damage being 6%, 12%, 18%, 24% and 30%. Swords with this perk, combined with the Lucent Blade mod, are exceptional for Boss DPS. When dealing damage you want to Light Attack fives times to build up Whirlwind Blade stacks then use a Heavy Attack for maximum damage.
Rank - A
Grenade Launcher Only Damage Perks:
Full Court is a Grenade Launcher only perk that gives a scaling damage bonus to rounds fired depending on how far they travel before reaching a target. This bonus damage starts at 10m and is increased by approximately 0.6% per metre past this. The damage caps out at 25% increased damage once 50m has been reached.
While Full Court gives a nice damage boost without too many conditions, there isn't a whole lot of content within the game where the player is going to be able to reliably fire from over 50m away. Apart from Spike Grenades, Grenade Launchers don't really have any options to increase their damage against Bosses so if you are going for Boss DPS then Full Court is a good option.
Rank - B
S+ - One for All
S - Multi Kill Clip, Frenzy, Lasting Impression
A - Rampage, Kill Clip, Swashbuckler, Vorpal Weapon (Sniper/Slug Shotgun), Whirlwind Blade
B - Surrounded, Full Court
C - Firing Line, Explosive Payload, Timed Payload
D - Vorpal Weapon (Primary), High-Impact Reserves, Box Breathing
Remember that this list is subjective. What are your thoughts on this list? Have any perks you would rate higher? Any you would rate lower? Sound off in the comments below or as a reply on Twitter.