Published on: May 22, 2015 @ 11:27
With all the new weapon perks, in addition to the perks that have been altered, this guide will serve to help you decide which perks are best in slot for each type of weapon. These suggestions will be geared for PvE.
We won’t go over the sights, since choosing those will largely depend on the archetype you’ve got and personal preferences.
If you’d like to know each of the available perks for a specific type of weapon, search it in our database, and you’ll be able to see all of the Reforge possibilities.
If you have perk recommendations of your own, please don’t hesitate to share them!
- First slot: Crowd Control, Battle Runner, Focused Fire
- Second three: Extended Mag, High Caliber/Armor Piercing Rounds, Flared Magwell, Rifled Barrel, Smallbore
- Third slot: Counterbalance, Outlaw, Army of One, Rangefinder
Crowd Control is your best best to patch up Auto Rifles shoddy damage, and Battle Runner could allow you to to use a high mobility build. Focused Fire is going to be most helpful on ARs that have a high rate of fire, allowing you to slow it down for extra damage when zoomed in.
Extended Mag is great for Auto Rifles, because without the ability to hit as hard as they once did, you’ll want to be firing for as long as possible. High Caliber Rounds is also a solid bet for getting some stagger action, as it’s going to take a long time to down even moderately tough foes. Rifled Barrel and Smallbore shore up Range, but at the cost of Stability and Reload Speed/Mag Size, respectively. It’s going to be a judgment call depending on your weapon.
Flared Magwell can be used on any Auto Rifle that needs a little quicker reload time, as your only other perk option is Outlaw. Counterbalance is a great choice to make your shots count on the faster-firing Autos, Army of One is one of the most all-around useful perks for solo play, and Rangefinder doesn’t shoehorn you into going CQB in every encounter.
Overall, Auto Rifles are woefully outclassed these days, and aren’t going to cut it in high-end content. The perks recommended help to obscure their weaknesses, lock down enemies, or keep you in the fray longer. Thankfully the new Pest Control Matrix, Dispatch I11, & Her Right Hand have max Impact.
- First slot: Full Auto, Rodeo
- Second three: High Caliber/Armor Piercing/Explosive Rounds, Lightweight, Casket Mag, Hand-laid Stock
- Third slot: Outlaw, Firefly, Army of One, Crowd Control
Full Auto is one of the best perks available to Scout Rifles, increasing their DPS by nudging RoF and lessening strain on your trigger finger. If you like to go semi-auto though, Rodeo can provide a boost to general Stability. The other options in the first slot are too situational or unreliable. Triple Tap and Replenish address a problem that Scout Rifles don’t suffer from, though Triple Tap could be nice on some bosses.
The choice between High Caliber Rounds and Armor Piercing Rounds comes down to whether or not you prefer staggering or the chance to hit multiple enemies with a single round. Lightweight is an okay substitute for Agility fans. Finally, Casket Mag acts as a poor man’s Field Scout, offering more rounds in a clip, but at the cost of Stability. Faster-firing Scouts won’t appreciate this nerf too much, and may prefer Hand-laid stock for more Stability at the cost of Range (a stat most Scouts are already stacked with).
Outlaw and Firefly are golden perks depending on whether you want that ultimate AoE damage or to never have to worry about Reload Speed. Outlaw would pair well with Smallbore by offsetting its downsides for a super accurate long-range killer. Firefly and Full Auto are a heretofore unseen combo that could be devastating. Army of One is always there if you love your grenade/melee, and Crowd Control means more damage and is an okay substitute for Firefly when you don’t expect your opponents to bunch up.
Scout Rifles are in a great place, and there are tons of options available. Everything recommended here augments an already stellar weapon platform, and it’s hard to really “screw up” a Scout Rifle.
- First slot: Outlaw, Feeding Frenzy, possibly Rodeo
- Second three: High Caliber/Armor Piercing Rounds, Single Point Sling, Smallbore, Appended Magazine, Casket Magazine
- Third slot: Secret Round, Headseeker, Army of One, Rangefinder, Counterbalance
Pulse Rifles often suffer from smaller magazine sizes that don’t pair well with their fast fire rate, so either Outlaw or Feeding Frenzy are easy solutions. Rodeo will offset muzzle climb, making your spread laser-thin.
If you like a little more punch on your shots, you can again choose between High Caliber/Armor Piercing Rounds. We’d err on the side of High Caliber, to really get a chance to unload on a tough Major. Single point sling can improve strafe speed and thus survivability, and synergizes well with burst firing. Smallbore fine-tunes your Pulse Rifle for precision at Range, but will nerf Reload Speed and Magazine Size to an extent that may not be justifiable on certain models. To that end, there is Appended Magazine/Casket Magazine to give you your extended mags at the cost of whatever stat you feel is expendable.
Secret Round improves both DPS and ammo conservation by only using 2 bullets (contrary to its description). Headseeker is a very nice crutch to lean on, and works to help your overall damage by actually encouraging body shots. Army of One will be mentioned on everything for which it’s available. Rangefinder and Counterbalance are two strong ways to fix whatever is your weakest stat, though we don’t recommend Rodeo with Smallbore and Counterbalance, unless you’re aiming for maximum stability.
Pulse Rifles are fairly middle-of-the-road as far as primaries go. Their magazine sizes on average are small, and while their DPS is much better than it once was, it still needs a little help to compete with Firefly Scouts. You’ll see the perks we recommended either help DPS or ammo conservation/efficiency, or by making any Pulse Rifle accurate at any range.
- First slot: Zen Moment, Icarus, Triple Tap, Hot Swap
- Second three: Flared Magwell, High Caliber/Explosive Rounds, Extended Mag, Rifled Barrel, Reinforced Barrel
- Third slot: Army of One, Outlaw, Spray & Play
Lacking any reload perks or damage-increasers, slot one is a little disappointing. For fast firing Hand Cannons with a little less stability, Zen Moment can be used to an appreciable extent. Icarus is great for bunny-hoppers and glide enthusiasts. Triple Tap artificially pads magazine size, but is only as good as the player using it. Finally, Hot Swap counteracts the 1.1.1 nerf to initial target acquisition/accuracy, and is solid for anyone who regularly swaps out for a secondary or heavy.
Flared Magwell has been a Hand Cannon must-have for a while, and House of Wolves is no different. Of course, the staggering power of High Caliber Rounds and Explosive Rounds are good bets too. Extended Mag should be the top choice for any Hand Cannon with less than 10 in the mag, but if you’re content with reload speed and mag count, Rifled Barrel can make a sniper out of your Hand Cannon if that’s your aim. The hit to Stability will only bother you if your RoF is up there.
Finally, Outlaw & Spray Play have the ability to completely eliminate the need to worry about reload speed. If you opted for Flared Magwell or are running Chain of Woe, Army of One synergizes with the Hand Cannons natural impact to help you keep grenade and melee uptime at all-time highs.
Hand Cannons are still the primary to beat when it comes to all-purpose PvE utility. Their high damage is peerless, and their weaknesses are easily compensated for. It’s too bad you can’t roll Crowd Control on them anymore for House of Wolves; you might be better off going with your carefully chosen alternative from TDB or before. Or you can always hope for Fatebringer, and never look back.
- First slot: Spray & Play, Hidden Hand, Clown Cartridge, Outlaw, Triple Tap
- Second three: Snapshot, Flared Magwell, High Caliber/Armor Piercing Rounds, Hand-laid Stock, Casket Mag, Injection Mold
- Third slot: Grenadier, Surplus
Spray & Play is a godsend for low mag Snipers or anyone who just frequently empties the mag. If you’re a deadshot, Outlaw is even better. Hidden Hand is aiming-for-dummies, helping you get the enemies in your crosshairs that much easier. Clown Cartridge can’t fully be relied on, but often will grant one or two more shots per mag on reload. Triple Tap is extremely niche, but could be used to excellent effect on Fallen Walkers or anything with a stationary crit spot. Black Hammer is obviously superior.
Snapshot is optimal for when you need to ADS quickly, and rewards those who have taken the time to learn to line up their shots before even aiming down the sights. Flared Magwell can be used in lieu of Spray & Play if you really desire a different first slot perk. Otherwise, High Caliber Rounds can guarantee a headshot stagger on lower Impact variants, while Armor Piercing Rounds provide the infamous wallbang experience. Hand-laid Stock and Injection Mold both add Stability for reasonable penalties, while Casket Mag attempts to ape the effects of Field Scout but at the expense of potentially precious Stability.
Third-slot perks for Snipers for this generation are just sad for PvE. Firefly and Feeding Frenzy are gone, so you’re better off with something like Surplus for overall ammo sustainability, or Grenadier to give you those Grenades back quicker. Shoot to Loot is not recommended, and Performance Bonus has been nerf’d to be of marginal use.
Overall, Snipers are a letdown in House of Wolves. Their mag counts are lower, with Casket Mag being the only way to fix this. Their Impact and RoF in common Vendor variants are balanced in a way to make them not particularly great at anything, and the perk profile is underpowered compared to TDB and earlier. If you have a favorite Sniper (especially one with Field Scout) from before the expansion, you might prefer to Ascend it instead of trying to get a new one with a perfect reforge.
- First slot: Shot Package/Crowd Control/Rangefinder/Full Auto
- Second three: Flared Magwell, Lightweight, Reinforced/Rifled Barrel
- Third slot: Battle Runner, Cascade, Army of One, Final Round
Shot Package and Rangefinder are the best perks available if you want to make your blasts as deadly as possible from any exaggerated distance. The other two options, Crowd Control, and Full Auto are best suited to high mag count Shotguns, but can really put out the damage if you’re emptying them into a crowd.
Flared Magwell lets you chamber rounds quicker, which some Shotguns desperately need. Lightweight makes you a more mobile killer by adding Agility, but the real winners here are Reinforced or Rifled Barrel, which add much needed Range. They’re not like Hammer Forged, in that they have drawbacks, but most Shotguns can shrug off a hit to Stability.
Battle Runner is designed for the kamikaze hit-and-run shotgunner, and suits mobile Guardians just fine. Cascade can be an excellent fix for any Reload Speed problems, as a quick melee kill allows you to reload fully in record time. Army of One is almost too perfect for Shotguns, where unassisted kills are commonplace. For sheer damage, Final Round would be your best friend, stacking with Crowd Control in the first slot for an ungodly strong knockout punch.
Shotguns are enjoying a renaissance of sorts, and House of Wolves keeps them plenty strong. Dead Orbit’s Rude Awakening DOA is an almost perfectly-rolled variant available for 150 Crucible Marks. The important perks in Shot Package/Rangefinder, and Reinforced/Rifled Barrel are still available on any Shotgun you want. The rest comes down to finding one with 5+ in the mag and respectable Impact/RoF.
- First slot: Hip Fire, Spray & Play, Feeding Frenzy
- Second three: Enhanced Battery, Accelerated Coils, Injection Mold, Reinforced Barrel
- Third slot: Army of One, Rangefinder, Hot Swap
Hip Fire is suited to a run-and-gun playstyle, and gives you a tighter spread with full visibility and movement speed. Spray & Play is great for smaller mag-size Fusion Rifles, but Feeding Frenzy is probably the best option for improving reload speed.
Enhanced Battery can lengthen the time needed before a reload, but Accelerated Coils is an even stronger contender, minimizing downtime between fully charged bursts. Injection Mold and Reinforced Barrel can reinforce whatever stat of yours that needs it – but just be aware that they come at the cost of another stat, so plan accordingly.
Army of One’s usefulness need not be restated, but Rangefinder is probably one of the best possible choices here. While ADS, you’ll have a much tighter cone, which can give Fusion Rifles a mid-range niche that they need, having now lost the close-range battle to Shotguns. Hot Swap gives a similar bonus to the first 5 seconds of switching to your Fusion Rifle, but it isn’t limited to ADS. This could stack nicely with hip fire for an interesting build.
Fusion Rifles are a little left out at the moment. Shotguns outstrip them thoroughly in CQB, so they need to be extremely well-rolled to be worth using. With a fast enough charge time, impact, and range/stability, they can earn their spot in your arsenal. If you take some time reforging a strong base model, it could turn out to be a hidden gem.
- First slot: Spray & Play, Tripod
- Second slot: Flared Magwell, Heavy Payload, Javelin, Quickdraw
- Third slot: Cluster Bomb, Grenades and Horseshoes, Tracking
Spray & Play is the best option without Tripod; launch your salvo and you’ll quickly have another ready. Otherwise, having three rockets to fire before needing to reload is just as appealing.
Assuming you’re content with your Blast Radius and Velocity, Flared Magwell should be used in conjunction with Tripod. Otherwise, bolster your worst stat between the two with Heavy Payload or Javelin if you’re using Spray & Play. If you’re already packing enough in both categories, Quickdraw is a small QoL improvement that can’t hurt.
The final choice comes down to personal preference. Tracking is excellent for moving targets and for anyone who prefers the fire-and-forget mentality. Grenades and Horseshoes is a happy medium, causing your rocket to explode as soon as it gets close to something, and is equally worthy to Tracking. Finally, for those who would rather lead their targets and feel incredibly confident in doing so, Cluster Bomb can put out a tiny bit more damage in an area around the initial explosion.
Without Field Scout or even Casket Mag/Appended Magazine, Rocket Launchers are in a weird spot. Again, you’re probably best off Ascending your go-to RL from before HoW. You can still put together a mean package with the right reforge, but you’re going to be short a couple of projectiles compared to anything with Field Scout. Having +Heavy Ammo boots and/or chestpiece is an absolute must.
- First slot: Counterbalance, Spray & Play, Surplus
- Second slot: Armor Piercing Rounds, Snapshot, Casket Mag, Injection Mold
- Third slot: Crowd Control, Army of One, Rangefinder, Feeding Frenzy
Counterbalance offers Stability to anything with a RoF needing it. Otherwise, Spray & Play will be quite welcome on the High Impact/Low Mag LMGs. Surplus assuages all overall ammo concerns, but won’t do anything otherwise.
Casket Mag is the must have among the mix-and-match second row, as it is the only way to increase your reserve ammunition. With the Stability penalty, Counterbalance is an obvious pairing for it. Otherwise, Armor Piercing Rounds isn’t a bad choice for any enemies in a row. Snapshot is inferior to either APR or Casket Mag, but the other options in its slot aren’t any better. Really, the options are surprisingly limited.
Thankfully, the third slot offers a little bit more customization. Crowd Control improves your DPS significantly, but relies on constant fire to be truly useful. Army of One is a logical pick for a weapon that thoroughly mows down adversaries. Rangefinder can extend your deadliness to distances previously out of reach. Finally, Feeding Frenzy is arguably the best reload perk available for any LMG, tailoring its buff to the few seconds after you finish off, instead of requiring you to empty the entire magazine like Spray & Play.