Destiny 2 players can use mods to up their game. But which ones are worth keeping, and which ones should you dismantle for parts and try again?
As the levelling up and Power article in our Destiny 2 guide notes, mods are an important part of late game growth and Infusion. Getting hold of the rare +5 Attack and Defence mods, either in random drops or by the crafting facility available at Power 280 and up, is essential if you want to keep pushing without waiting on weekly Milestones.
But there are heaps of mods in Destiny 2 beyond the +5 Attack and Defence mods, and once you do have a full set of Power cap endgame gear you'll want to swap out those Power boosting mods for something more useful. Which ones are worth holding onto, and which can you safely dismantle?
Arekkz has done some serious testing on mods to see how they actually affect your performance in Destiny 2. The video below explains his methodology and goes through his results, or you can read our full write-up below.
Grenade, melee and class ability cooldown mods
Turns out there's no difference at all between the Rare and Legendary ability cooldown mods, which is surprising and a bit perplexing. Regardless of whether you pop a blue or a purple ability cooldown mod in, you'll get the same result. So except for those +5 Power mods, which are only available in Legendary form, feel free to harvest all your Legendary mods for components.
The good news is these mods actually stack, so if you kit yourself out with more than one you can experience more profound effects. It seems that not all mods are available for every type of armour though, so you can't, for example, put grenades on everything.
Additionally, you get diminishing returns by stacking mods. Arekkz found that one grenade mod reduced his cooldown by 8 seconds, while two reduced it by 14 - not 16. Testing this again with three class ability mods, he saw a similar pattern.
In terms of raw numbers, you'll see better results by mixing up ability mods. That's not to say specific build goals may not choose to stack mods anyway, but if you just want general improvement across the board then one mod for each of the three abilities - with other slots reserved for different mods - may be the optimal result.
Weapon reload, recoil and handling mods
Just a heads up: in Destiny 2 "weapon handing" means how quickly the weapon readies after you swap weapons or sprint, as well as how quickly you move between hipfire and a down-the-sights view.
In terms of reload speed, the Kinetic weapon reload speed mod gave 2.1 secs to 1.8 secs, which adds up to a significant edge in clutch situations. The Energy weapon handling speed mod made a noticeable difference, but it's not as dramatic as the reload speed mod.
The recoil reduction mods for both categories made a noticeable difference to shot pattern, but will probably need to be tested on each individual weapon to see how effective it is. I'd recommend trying it if you have a weapon you love but struggle to keep stable; Arekkz reckons it's not worth the loss of an ability mod.
Like the Kinetic weapon version, the Power weapon recoil mod was definitely worthwhile, as it increases DPS significantly. Once again the weapon handling mod made a more subtle difference; see the video for comparisons.
Mobility, Resilience and Recovery mods
The resilience, mobility and recovery mods are pretty straight forward and are of most use for min-maxing. That is, if you want to hit up an extreme of tankiness or agility, or you love your current build in all ways bar its speed or fragility, you can fill in a hole.
That said, armour stats already provide one way to customise these stats, so it's important to think about whether you really need a mod to do it - or whether a weapon or ability mod might serve you better.
Depending on how you play, your mod choice can make a huge difference. In the Leviathan Raid, reload speed mods may be the best way to increase your DPS for boss fights. On an encounter-to-encounter basis in PvE, though, the grenade and melee mods will almost certainly increase your chances to deal out more damage, more often. A 2-2-1 set up, with two mods each on your two most used abilities and one free choice (Power weapon reload is very tasty), is probably optimal for most players.
In PvP, weapon reload and handling mods are more important than abilities, due to the focus on weapon skills over grenade and melee. That said, given how prevalent the Hunter's dodge is in the Crucible meta right now, it might be worth thinking about that.