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Destiny 2 Hard Light nerf adds falloff and reduces ricochet damage on the infamous Exotic

(Image credit: Bungie)

Bungie slipped a Destiny 2 Hard Light nerf into the game's latest mini-update in an effort to rein in the infamous auto rifle. 

Auto rifles were buffed in Destiny 2's last big sandbox update, and it didn't take players long to deduce that Hard Light - an Exotic auto rifle which already had high stability, infinite effective range, and unique ricocheting rounds - was suddenly one of the top dogs in both PvE and PvP. It's been one of the most-used weapons ever since, and as is often (read: always) the case with overwhelmingly dominant weapons in Destiny 2, it's been hit with the nerf hammer. 

Hard Light's unique perks have been toned down slightly, as Bungie says,"while still retaining some of the bonuses to keep the flavor." Firstly, Hard Light rounds which ricochet off hard surfaces will no longer deal double damage in PvP. They'll still do double damage in PvE, but they'll only deal 35% more damage in PvP. This will cut down on the weapon's ability to kill around corners and cover, and it should make cheesy floor shots much less consistent. 

Separately, Hard Light's unlimited range has been, well, limited. At long ranges, it will now suffer damage falloff up to 30%. All other auto rifles can go as high as 50% damage falloff, and Hard Light has high range to begin with, so it will still be competitive at longer distances. It just won't be a long-range laser anymore. Speaking of which: Bungie says it's also "removed a hidden recoil adjustment that made the weapon more stable than intended," so expect more kick the next time you use this thing. 

Bungie will reveal long-term plans for Destiny 2 throughout the rest of the season. It started with a look at anti-cheat and reward improvements coming to Trials of Osiris.  

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.