Fastest Legendary Sparrows

There’s something special about this time of year. Maybe it’s the roar of the crowd filling the air with magic as they cheer on the season’s big names, or the violent thrill of visceral joy that runs down a racer’s spine at watching another go careening toward certain death. Or maybe it’s heady scent of exhaust fumes and flaming engines wafting through the air, acrid and dizzying.

It might even be the screams of alien pedestrians, unaware of the planned proceedings, scrambling to clear the track and mount some kind of defense before being run down.

But whatever it is that draws you to the League on December 13th, you’ll want to know about the mechanical steeds that will bear you to victory, and occasionally  to catastrophic death.

Sparrow Types

Almost every Guardian will choose to compete on a Legendary Sparrow, because they are faster, more durable, and have superior abilities – Common and Uncommon Sparrows can’t Strafe, and even Rare Sparrows don’t have the Speed or Durability to match up. All Legendary Sparrows fall into one of three Classes:

Classic Sparrows

Classic Sparrows include all Rare and Upgraded Sparrows, the EV-34 Vector Infinite from the Refer A Friend Quest, the EV-40 Snowscream from the original SRL Quests, and the S-34 Ravensteel from the Year 1 Reward Package. All of the Legendary Sparrows in this class share the following stats:

Speed: 160 | Boost: 40 | Durability: 55

In addition, Classic Sparrows are defined by the following perks:

Quick Brake

  • Use to brake and corner more aggressively.
  • Quick Brake puts your Sparrow into a highly maneuverable hover mode and can angle around corners nimbly.

Strafe Thrusters

  • Use or and or for quick lateral movements.

Raid Sparrows

The S-13 “Graverobber” from Crota’s End and the XV0 “Timebreaker” from Vault of Glass are the only two raid choices. 

Speed: 150 | Boost: 60 | Durability: 60

This higher Boost can make a huge difference when navigating around a map, and that combined with their unique perks makes them the perfect choice for zooming around wide open Patrol zones. 

Overdrive

  • Hold to reach greater speeds, at some risk to your general well being.

Strafe Thrusters

  • Use or and or for quick lateral movements.

Overdrive is the perk that defines these Sparrows, and makes them truly special. The intended functionality is that you can hold down your second Trigger to engage Overdrive and briefly reach much higher speeds than normal.

By holding down Boost and pumping the Overdrive trigger at measured intervals, you can maintain and even exceed your normal Overdrive speed without destroying your Sparrow. It’s a bit like firing a Hand Cannon – you have to pace yourself – but with some experimentation it’s very easy to get the hang of, and lots of fun!

Unfortunately, SRL caps all Sparrows at the same top speed, making Overdrive far less valuable than you might think at first glance. The high boost and rapid straight-line acceleration can still be extremely valuable for getting to top speed faster than your opponents, but the trade-off is that you can’t do tricks to refuel. Beyond that, these Sparrows just aren’t quite as maneuverable as their Classic and Trick competitors.

The bottom-line is that they can make solid racers, but require a skilled hand.

Trick Sparrows

There’s a ton of these. The majority of Sparrows in Destiny have these perks: 

Destabilizers

  • Use while airborne to release roll stabilizers, and to roll.

Strafe Thrusters

  • Use or and or for quick lateral movements.

Although they lack the quick turns of their Classic counterparts, Destabilizers do allow considerable maneuverability, and this class is much better at taking sharp turns. 

They are the only Sparrows capable of doing stunts, which in SRL means they’re the only ones able to refuel their Strafe Thrusters.

How do you perform tricks, you ask?

Tricks

  • DPad Up: No Hands
  • DPad Down: Superman
  • DPad Right: Right Can-Can
  • DPad Left: Left Can-Can

Right Trigger Rolls

By holding down the Right Trigger and manipulating your left joystick, you can roll in any direction, including diagonal, performing a variety of flips. You probably already know this, but be careful not to lose control. It’s easier than you think!

Best Trick Sparrow

Almost all of them conform to this spread:

Speed: 160 | Boost: 35 | Durability: 55

But, there are two notable exceptions. The SR-0 Swiftriver, which with a speed of 150 and a Durability of 50 is clearly inferior. That’s all right though, because when you finish the questline that grants it, you get an Upgrade to the SR-1 Swiftriver, which is slightly faster than others.

Bottom-line: the SR-1 Swiftriver is almost certainly the best racing Sparrow in Destiny. 

By the Numbers

Sparrow Speed Boost Durability Quick Brake Destabilizers Overdrive Source
Upraded Rare 160 40 55 X Amanda Holliday / Xur
Arecibo Answer 160 35 55 X Dead Orbit
Days of Wind 160 35 55 X House of Judgment
Eternally Assured Destruction 160 35 55 X Future War Cult
EV-30 Tumbler 150 35 50 X Y1 Season Pass
EV-34 Vector Infinite 160 40 55 X Refer-a-Friend
EV-35 Arcrunner 160 35 55 X Eververse License
EV-36 Solscout 160 35 55 X Eververse License
EV-37 Voidstreak 160 35 55 X Eververse License
EV-38 Laurelbearer 160 35 55 X Eververse License
EV-39 Lumos 160 35 55 X Eververse License
EV-40 Snowscream 160 35 55 X SRL Class C License
EV-41 Momentum Master 160 35 55 X SRL Record Book Volume 1
EV-42 Nightsteed 160 35 55 X With Finesse and Speed
EV-43 Lightrunner 160 35 55 X Eververse License
Flamecourser 160 35 55 X Crucible
Gjallarwing 160 35 55 X Eververse
Iron Gjallarwing 160 35 55 X Rise of Iron Preorder
Lost Broom 160 35 55 X Festival of the Lost Y2
S-13 “Graverobber 150 60 60 X Crota’s End
S-34 Ravensteel 160 40 55 X Reward for Y1 Guardians in TTK
S-35 Aeon Glow 160 35 55 X Sterling Treasure
S-38 Regal Bearing 160 35 55 X New Monarchy
S-39 Autumn Glow 160 35 55 X Vanguard
S-40 Iron Revelry 160 35 55 X Iron Banner
SR-0 Swiftriver 150 35 50 X Quest: Make the Vanguard Smile
SR-1 Swiftriver 160 40 55 X Quest: A Nod from Cayde
XV0 “Timebreaker” 150 60 60 X The Vault of Glass
Velumbra 160 35 55 X Quest: Fight Fire with Fire

Some of you may prefer the terribly fun and insanely risky Overdrive of the Raid Sparrows – but if you’re going the standard route, SR1 Swiftriver is king.

Jonathon V
I love talking about Weapons, Perks, Stats, Lore, and all things Destiny. Find me as Kyt_Kutcha on PSN and Reddit, or listen to me co-hosting the Massive Breakdown podcast on Soundcloud and iTunes.

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