Is Crucible Balanced?

Published on: Sep 29, 2014 @ 16:31

To burn away your impurities, to strengthen you, to arm you with the skills to conquer the Darkness. This is the true purpose of the Crucible. Live fire contests against your fellow Guardians test you to your utmost limits.

Level Advantages

When level advantages are disabled…

What doesn’t carry over (normalized):

  • Base defense
  • Base weapon attack

What does carry over:

  • Weapon progression (including damage bonuses)
  • Armor progression (including defense bonuses)
  • Abilities
  • Stat upgrades, progression

This means that even though they are on relatively equal starting ground. A Level 20+ will have an advantage over a level 5, but not so much that the low level doesn’t stand a chance.

With the level advantages disabled, armor and weapons are standardized. You still get the bonuses from the skills you’ve earned though.

Regular Crucible modes have level advantages disabled, unlike the Trials of Osiris or Iron Banner, where everything really matters. When level advantages are enabled, the game will not equalize your gear’s ratings and people will be on a much different playing field – essentially making gameplay somewhat unbalanced.


Are these tests of strength completely balanced though or will they ever be? what would be considered balanced? what’s that mean exactly?

Destiny’s PvP is an engaging and overall fun experience, but especially before you hit level 20, it may be frustrating to take on players that are a higher level than you. Though level advantages are disabled in most playlists, some people feel that because of the weapon/armor upgrades, especially some of the Exotic upgrades, it can be unfair to lower levels. Thankfully leveling in Destiny is quick and rather painless, so this isn’t too big of an issue for the majority.

As far as class balance, each class has its weak and strong areas, and each class is fairly equal in terms of the amount of damage that can be dealt. The great thing about Destiny is its focus on well placed head shots. If you get better at aiming for the head, and hitting it consistently, you’re going to come out on top.

Your gear and their stats make the biggest difference in terms of how much damage you can take. While most Titan’s may have a higher base Armor rating, that doesn’t mean a Warlock or Hunter couldn’t have the same. Recovery and Agility are arguably just as valuable as Defense too, so these armor stats are pretty well balanced.

Ultimately, people shouldn’t expect the game to be completely “balanced” so early on. It’d be nice if everything was perfect but that’s just unrealistic. Bungie has proven to us that they’re listening to the feedback, and little by little the game will improve over time.

Many shooters can be fairly simplistic, but Destiny has a wide array of abilities and guns for you to use. Unlike Bungie’s previous Halo games, which only had a handful of guns, it isn’t as easy for Bungie to make sure each of the dozens of possible skill and weapon combinations in Destiny are as balanced as they’d like them to be.

The super abilities are over-powered, and while some people don’t like this, it’s intended to be this way. They offer a moment in every game where each player will have at least one chance to unleash some serious damage on the opposition. The Super abilities could potentially turn the tide at a crucial moment in the game, but they’re also not impossible to counter either.

Balancing so many different powers and abilities must have been a nightmare.

Some ideas to improve the Crucible:

  • Spawn with less Special ammo, less on the map (promote the use of primary weapons)
  • Add a mode which doesn’t allow you to use your Super ability (hardcore/MLG?)
  • Add visible skill ranks (similar to the ‘TrueSkill’ system that’s used at DestinyTracker)
  • Custom games

General Tips

Great players are always thinking one step ahead, have situational awareness, and play consistently well under pressure. You can learn these skills quickly if you focus on improving them while you play. If there’s any trap you can fall into that will stunt your growth, it’s blaming the other guy, because that will not make you a better player.

If you choose to blame your opponent’s weapon/Class/armor/connection, you’re shifting any fault from your own actions and refusing to consider any mistakes you might have made. Mistakes you can learn from!

You can’t control how your opponents play, but you absolutely control everything about how you play. Even if your aim is poor, if you excel at positioning and teamwork, you can learn to dictate the terms of an engagement, and you can be a tremendous asset to your team.

For much more Crucible tips and tricks, check out this article.

Video Response

Mesa Sean gives a response to some common Crucible criticisms in the video below.

Video: Top 5 PvP Problems Response

What do you all think? In addition to the weapon changes, what else needs to be changed so that the Crucible is even better?

Check out if you'd like to talk to others about Destiny in a friendly and welcoming community! :)


  • insanetrasher

    I’m glad I don’t play pvp in Destiny. A “competitive” shooter with a controller just doesn’t feel right to me.. I’ve sink 250+ hours in BF:BC2 and BF3 and had a blast on ps3 with them.. but once I got back to PC FPS with CS:GO, I couldn’t go back.

  • Nater-ater

    This is my opinion, but the crucible makes me want to hit myself over the head with a frying pan for several hours

  • Christian Jimenez

    I have alot of fun with it. The only thing I hate is the reward system

    • Micah Yang

      Yeah they should fix that. Some guy got hawkmoon and his k/d was like point 3

      • Sloth

        well he probably needs it more than you.

        • Micah Yang

          Guess you’re right

  • Jay

    They need to nerf the fusion rifles. I get one cheap death after another with those guns. It wouldn’t be so bad if they instakill you up close like the shotgun, but the fusion rifle will kill you instantly up close or way across the room. Way too overpowered. I hear they’re nerfing auto rifles and shotguns to deal less damage but not fusion rifles. Smh!

    • Pepito

      Simply play with an headset, or push the sound volume up. The sound of the fusion rifle is really specific and you can anticipate the shot…

      • Novrehs

        Not like you can ‘dodge’ it so that wont matter. Especially with the motion tracker.

        • sycoteck

          just jump last second

          • Hydreigon530

            That doesn’t work, Fusions climb up, effectively hitting you while you’re jumping, meant to counter jump shotty combo, but I’ve killed with a fusion rifle at long ranges, the special ammo needs to not spawn with players, must only spawn with Heavy, which also needs to only spawn once a match except on large maps, special ammo should have 2 more boxes than heavy and be retained through death to compensate for the lack of it, and Shottys need to be buffed for this to work as well

        • Warlock Holmez


    • sycoteck

      dude fusion rifles are pro, u probably suck cause for a one burst kill u have to land all five shots on target so just don’t stand still,

      • Jay

        Fusion rifles are pro? Ha! Fusion rifles are cheap BS. With all the other weapons you can have a decent chance at a fair battle. If you aim in the general vicinity of someone with a fusion rifle, it’s going to take them out. Don’t have a problem with this in an up close battle. That’s what you get if you’re fighting in close quarters, but being shot halfway across the map in one or two shots is cheap BS. Jumping or dodging usually doesn’t work.

        • sycoteck

          they are supposed to be the mid range special weapon, shotgun=short fusion rifle=mid sniper=long

          if the change any thing, they should give snipers more ammo

  • AlecJ

    UM—–in a word —-F NO!

    The crucible is a Hunter with shotgun or a Warlock spamming grenades….and a shotgun. Everyone else is fodder.

    Its a joke. You can be 5 or 6 player lengths away from certain grenades and die instantly while others due virtually no damage… Titan to be specific.

    Im completely frustrated with the one dimensional play that has devolved out of the unbalanced nature of the crucible.

    As a Titan, im supposed to be the big strong class, yet i lose melee battles every single time. Whats the point of the class? Im slow and have horrible recovery skills, i thought that was in return for power and armor. I have neither.

    I want to like the Crucible, but i guess i need to start another class and take advantage of the built in advantages like everyone else. Guess i better get a shotgun too.

    • chris

      Lmfao you should play as other classes to understand that ALL classes are so OP that the game is balanced (sounds weird right?) you understand that titans can’t die in their ult and come time for Iron Banner they will be a moving wall with a shotgun

    • ElekTriX

      Lol that’s funny since the Titan has the most overpowered things in the game. A one hit melee charge that no other class gets? a get-out-of-jail-free super ability, and the other that lets anyone inside hold down a power position for a solid 30 seconds? A grenade that instakills, or ticks every half second for half the player’s health? Maybe you aren’t playing to the class’s advantage, but Titan has the most overpowered things in the game. It’s funny you say this since I actually switch to my Titan to have a chance in PvP.

      • Curdledcomb

        LOL…. are you really playing that much PvP??? as titan is the class who is most Underpowered but not so much it is unbalanced. They might have oneshot melee so does Warlocks sunsinger and Hunters has Trowing knifs… next is the “super” again Voidwalker is stronger because of the AOE dmg field it leaves. ohh strike kan that aswell but can they aim at the same time.. NO! sunsinger Gets and CD buff and Dmg Reduction plus bonus dmg on every apillity.. next is the hunter as the top tier.. 3 shot kills u can run with so ppl doesn’t need to be stacked and then there is Bladedancer…. the most Overpowerd in PvP. so dont com here and say Titans is OP.

        • Deathgun

          How is Titan underpowered exactly? you are the easiest class to play.

          -Tankiest of them all (which makes it impossible to go “blow-for-blow” with them)

          – Strongest melee in game (yes it is the strongest, dont even try to compare it with throwing knife or the locks ones. every other class loses in a pure melee fight)

          – The Titan supers are the easiest to land / hardest to counter (nothing can save you from the stomp of death). Even an arc bladed dancer can be easily killed, and a warlock bomb can be evaded, anyone above lvl 20 knows it.

          Im not saying its OP, but it has its SOLID perks, just like any other class. However it is the easiest to play out of the 3 as other classes cannot face Titans head on, so we have to outsmart/outplay them. Grow a pair, stop whining about your class and learn to play its strengths.

          • Curdledcomb

            I didn’t say they where underpowered i didn’t say they was hard to play….. again the titan is easy to play but u wont get the same result at Pro lvl. They ohter classes just Outscales on high Lvled play. Until Ironbanner as i think will be the titans domane because of the Armor and high Vitality they have. but calling titans OP is just not right -.- all i would say is they are probaly a little weaker and has less options at there desposial but that doesn’t make them underpowered 😀 i hope u understands my point… (ohh and one more thing Sunsingers gets Onehit
            on Melee)

          • Spidi

            How are we tanks? All the gear is the same. You have the same stats as me everywhere in your gear discipline, strength and intellect. As some guy said titan was meant to be physical. I can’t see it at all. You lose melees, the charging melee can be seen from miles away on radar as you glow and have radar. So even when iron banner starts you have same defense as me but 3x the damage from you skills. And some guy says we are easy to play. Really? I can’t come back ffrom the dead and spam 50m range grenades nor I can spam the attack button and get 5 kills on Zone A. The only good grenade on titan striker is the 3rd one which actually has to be aimed accurately compering to hunter and warlock 1 killer grenades with range 50m. And the weapons are also all the same, I don;t get any unique heavy weapons. Defender titan shield? Yes im guessing it can be annoying but does it kill you?

          • sycoteck

            your amror and defense rates are two different things you may have the same defense as the others but titans have better armor

        • ElekTriX

          Sunsinger only gets one shot melees with their SUPER, which you also get and it one shots anything close. And the Hunter’s throwing knife doesn’t even one-hit kill anymore with a headshot.
          The rest of your sentences were practically gibberish but from what I can tell you’re trying to rush in everywhere where Titan’s abilities are more reactive than proactive like the other classes. You have a version of your own super and grenades, while also getting a one-hit kill melee and grenade than no other class gets. I’m not sure why you’d think yourself underpowered unless you aren’t using them correctly…

          • Curdledcomb

            Well you sure dont know your stuff then. first of all i play all classes second of all ask any pro player which class is stronger in pvp. and Hunter will be the answer! next time get your facts and play some more before shouting out shit..

          • sycoteck

            someone’s mad…

          • Curdledcomb

            Hehe nah it is just anyoing that some ppl thing titans is overpowered or underpowered i think they are the most balanced class. 😀 and the ohter classes has more options doesn’t make them Overpowered 😀 it like having a pokemon with 3 health more i can matter but rarely does 😀

      • Wisdom Thumbs

        Just for the record that charge takes about 15-20 feet of sprinting to activate, and has a short window of time in which you can use the charge before your momentum expires. Then you have to stop and start sprinting again. Still doesn’t require the expertise of a Hunter’s throwing knife, which is only an instakill if it headshots, but it’s basically the Titan’s only saving grace right now.

    • Micah Yang

      Do you have the shoulder charge unlocked?

    • Maybe you need some more practice? I have lost melee battles countless times to Titans because their Armor is overly buffed and it’d seem to me that their melee may be more powerful as well…idk and idc because now I make sure i shoot em up first and anticipate a 2nd melee. I’m constantly improving my game. Top 9K on destiny according to DTR Stop crying and invest in some more practice.

  • mammothuk

    no its not balanced, nerf shotguns, create smaller maps so I don’t get sniped of spawn and don’t allow supers. Ranking is needed. I win 75% of my games with a 1.5 kd. It’s just not fun, even winning with cheap tactics isn’t fun.

    • Deathgun

      So you are getting shot-gunned AND sniped? might as well nerf everything that annoys you in the game right? Have bungie cater to your specific needs, or the game isnt balanced? Funny.

    • sycoteck

      you hate getting shot-gunned but want smaller maps?

      …you’re a special kind of stupid.

    • Gareth Fielden

      winning with cheap tactics/ nerf shotguns yet want smaller maps, not wanting the greatest and selling pvp mechanic destiny has. wants a pointless ranking system

      man the trolling is obvious

  • Micah Yang

    They really need a shotgun nerf. It’s impossible to find a match without some guy jumping around the map one shotting everyone with it. And let’s not forget vex mythoclast! Sure it’s hard to find and as far as I know only one person has it but still, needs a nerf. Also a scout rifle buff. I understand the reason for it(did same damage, more accurate, held more bullets in the mag, faster reload better recoil, as a hand cannon during the beta) but seriously it is such a long time to kill compared to other primaries. If you catch someone unawares and start shooting them with a sr they have enough time to turn around and kill you with a shotgun or an auto rifle. And if you see someone far off, they can either pull out a sniper rifle(not OP sr just under powered) and kill you. Or if they don’t have a sniper because chances are they have a shotgun EDIT: disregard everything I said. I love the crucible. I gave it a second chance and I’m really enjoying it

    • ElekTriX

      Have you read the upcoming changelog? The shotgun and auto rifles are getting a nerf while the scouts are getting a buff. I’m not sure why the scouts are getting a buff since I can 3 shot people across the map and with the auto and shotgun nerf, it’ll be already up to par with them, but hey I’m not complaining.

  • Deathgun

    People complain because they get outplayed…

    What these mediocre players forget is that everything has its place and time. EVERY CLASS AND WEAPON has its pros and cons (aside from the scout rifle that feels a bit underwhelming atm) … All one has to do is a find an effective play-style and play around its strengths, all setups are viable.

    You have to fight smart, and pick battles you can win, dont expect to beat a sniper in a long range fight and at the same time dont buy in a close combat brawl vs shot gun user. I laugh when some dunce tries to charge me with a shotgun, 3 headshots with my hand cannon later and they are dead.

    Grow some nuts and dont expect the game to cater to your specific needs. Adapt and you will own the Crucible.

    about classes: all are awesome, some are easier than others to use (looking at you Titan) but the 3 of them are great

    supers are meant to be supers, so dont cry, everyone has one, they are all OP

    • sycoteck

      completely agree (Deathgun) nothing is over powered everything in this game has its strength and weaknesses you just have to find it, for the titan bubble shield that every one bitches about run in side with nova bomb or blade dancer takes them right out or two shots with golden gun and a third for the titan, you guys just need to step it up, it’s you not the game cry babies.

      • Spidi

        I totally disagree right now. The characters are unbalanced which I know from experience of creating more characters. Even in an interview Deej said warlock is the best character in the game currently followed by hunter. The only peopel who should speak of balance are those who played all 3 characters. Myself I didn’t im playing 2 but already see a massive diffrence. And if even the creator of the game says that warlock is best then theres something about it.

        • ElekTriX

          Deej isn’t a creator of the game, he’s a community manager. Also, he means his preferred class based on looks (since he loves the Warlock’s robe), nothing to do with its ability to dominate a battle.

        • Deathgun

          Please check your facts before talking about the “creators” of the game. And please dont spread your false interpretations as truth, it just depracates the value of your word. And if you havnt realised by now that Titans can withstand more punishment than the other classes (even in pvp) then i have bad news for you….

          • Qubi

            Well I really can’t See that. Everything is the same as for other classes. 1 hit shotgun, 1 hit grenade 1 hit super charge (all). Melee is also who can pull out 2 melees 1st assuming both players have full hp.

          • Spidi

            Yes that’s my error for not checking it all. But that dosen’t change the fact that what you said is partly true. We can withstand more dmg on pve by far. I can see that titans are really good in pve. But pvp dmg? The dmg we take from all the skills is usually high enough to 1 hit kill. Most of warlock and hunter grenades have insane dmg and insane range which dmg you to nearly death even if your not standing right in the middle. Melees are also who can pull out 2 1st melees assuming both players are max health. Melee does more dmg which is also another good pve but pvp its who strikes 2 melees 1st. And even then theres the stupid lag sometimes. Shotgun is 1 hit for everyone and fusion rifle as well. So the only diffrence i have is that I can take 2 more bullets to the chest? Which is probably not that good against most high rate of fire weapons.
            I’m currently playing warlock lvl 20 and you can get easily way more skills using his grenades and super charge. (I”m talking about voidwalker not sunsinger as I have’t played him yet). With maxed out intellect and discipline you can easily go with 2.0 k/d every game. And I relized that the armour you talk about that titans can withstand more damage is usless as well if your opponent knows how to aim for the headshot which is very common today with Suros Regime which was given out.

        • sycoteck

          i have all 3, lvl 27 warlock lvl 25 titan lvl 18 hunter. yes the hunter takes a little more skill to use but that’s just cause his abilities are target specific. not mass area like the other two

        • Guest

          IDK if you pay attention probably not judging by your statement but Deej has clearly said that he is biased and a Warlock fan. He jokes about it all the time so how exactly does that make the classes unbalanced? They all have their respective strengths and weaknesses. Invest some time into learning them.

  • Matt Dunnigan

    To be honest in my opinion, the Crucible is hardly balanced at all especially the rewards at the end of a match are just so terrible like the person who came in first with over like 30 kills gets nothing in return and the person who came in last with no kills let alone a single point in his/her score gets like a Legendary or Exotic item. Like WTF!!!!
    Bungie needs to work out the levels of fairness and balanced.

    • Pepito

      I disagree.
      I’m one of the players that finishes often in the top 3 and I think that even it’s fustrating, it’s the randomness that brings the fun.
      Even if you are a not-that-good player, you can still have a decent loot. If not, it will result in the fact that top players will stay on top… as they will receive the best gear and guns of the game. It will finally results that average players won’t play the crucible anymore.

  • SniperReaper789

    They have to fix the hunters melee attack it suck.

  • Wisdom Thumbs

    Bladedancers and Hunters in general are still OP in the game as-is. A Titan can snatch up multiple kills with a well-timed Fist of Havoc, but this requires the enemies to bunch up and not kill that Titan during the approach (Death From Above can remedy this, but increases the amount of airtime). It’s mostly useful for one or two kills or a last resort room-clear, with the added bonus of Area Denial if you have the right perk. A Titan can also put up a super shield, but another Super can destroy that shield, and even Blessing of Light only gives you the same kind of overshield a Warlock gets *just from damaging you with their melee.* A Titan Defender needs to KILL someone with their melee to get an overshield like that, though to be fair it does have a few perks with added benefits.

    A Warlock can wipe an entire team, or more often two or three people, but yet again this requires careful aim and a bunched up group of enemies. Generally better players don’t cluster up, making it incredibly difficult to ever score multikills with either Super. Sunsingers can come back from death, gaining the ability to spam… everything. And take more damage. And do more damage. Still not exactly OP.

    Meanwhile, a Hunter Gunslinger has a variety of tools at their disposal, none of them truly OP (not even the Golden Gun). But a Bladedancer… mother of god. Blink Strike and Hungering Blade are painful enough, but once they activate their Super they become the most dangerous thing on the map. You might hear “SUPER!” if a Titan or Warlock brings their Ult to bear, but with proper positioning and teamwork you won’t lose more than three people… which can still be devastating. But you WILL hear people shout “BLADEDANCER!!!” and at that point the gametype stops being Control, or Skirmish, or Clash, and instead becomes Juggernaut. Bringing one down requires careful teamwork, positioning, and… well, most areas on any given map = you’re screwed. Otherwise you need a Super of your own, or Heavy ammo. And bringing one down by yourself with standard weapons? That’s worthy of its own clip on Youtube. I’ve rarely seen it done, and always against the most terrible of Bladedancers. Yes, the Bladedancer Super is awesome to witness, but it really shouldn’t be so versatile and so spammy. If Bungie would only tone it down, maybe the sight of one would be impressive instead of aggravating.

    Don’t even get me started on Tripmines. You hit someone with that, they die instantly. And you don’t even need to hit them. You just throw it near them and nine times out of ten they will die. That’s a grenade that should take at least a quarter of a second to arm.

  • Jacob

    PvP in this game is frustrating at best. Hit detection is laggy, supers are all overpowered, and match placement is ridiculous (as expected without rankings) All that would be good and fine – if the game didn’t practically require you to play Crucible if you ever hope to purchase any decent gear whatsoever. This practically ensures people who play with full-on “bitchmode” tactics (shotguns, snipers, and bladedancers, etc.) are the ONLY people who are going to win the PvP matches, because they opponents truly do not want to play PvP.

  • Lee Griffiths

    Wait, the armour/weapon damage/defence upgrades carry over to the crucible? In game it only shows an increase in the numerical damage, which doesn’t carry over. Are you sure that’s right?

    I’ve also not seen any difference in the amount of damage each class or level gives or takes with regular weapons (unless they have a shield or other ability).

    I think it definitely needs some work, but don’t think it’s that unbalanced. I mean getting a sticky grenade on an Arcblading hunter that explodes TWICE without a kill I think is ridiculous, and sometimes the super abilities don’t stop flowing which can make it a lot less about gunplay and more about using abilities.

    Basically in my opinion the imbalance isn’t between classes and weapons being better but more between the styles of gameplay and the pacing with the modes and maps. i.e. as a Titan I have a much larger advantage in Control, and as a Hunter I think you have a higher advantage in Clash.

  • Steve Smith

    Love the dynamics of the game as a whole the ability to play as you want caters for whatever mood you happen to be in at any given moment but im sorry the crucible is just a clusterf*ck of a multiplayer.Too many OP alternatives for every class IMO,add a platform where everyone gets the same base rifle with no powers and reward players with a “currency” as they accumulate kills with a weekly limit.I know it wont be everyones cup of tea but it would be nice to have that option somewhere along the line.

  • Raclex

    I think some unique activities in PVP would be awesome. I enjoyed the little guys wandering about in Titanfall, so why not do something similar in Destiny? Kill the little guys to supercharge your ult faster? Or other things like grifball? Just more unique interactions would be great. Maybe when you capture an area, you get control of a tower that helps defend the location?

  • Gareth Fielden

    guy who uses scout rifle and a shotgun here.
    i understand why people get annoyed at shotguns instakilling at close range. but remember thats the shotgun’s job! it is comepletely inferior to other weapons in any other range with it having a terrible fire rate and reload (unless you max out reload buffs)
    i, for once in a game am glad the sniper is getting buffed. however i hope it stays as a 2-3/1-2 headshot long ranged rifle, and not the instakilling spam cannon i see in most other fps

  • Scott Z

    Pumping 5 shots into someone’s head when hundreds of other kills have done it in 2, and then having them turn around from a bazillion feet away and kill me a shotgun or a pray and spray auto files or fusion rifle should not work…and it does more often than not. Skill isn’t rewarded in Crucible, guns are.

  • Scott Z

    I also recommend people go play rumble/free for all and you’ll see that guns win, not skill as people with the better guns will usually have 1500 or 2000 pt lead over everyone else except for the other people with the same type of over powered guns. Try winning with a non-exotic hand gun or any type of scout rifle, you wont.

  • Andrew

    “Add a mode which doesn’t allow you to use your Super ability (hardcore/MLG?)”
    also make it so in MLG there is no radar or heavy ammo spawns.

  • cbeav

    I think its stupid why work hard to get to a high level if a level 5 can kill a level 29 if u dont like it work ur way to 29 and then play

  • cbeav

    Another thing that pisses me off is once ppl wait to start a strike and they quit because they dont want to do that one if u wanna quit. Quit during matchmaking