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Destiny 2 infusion guide - what it is, how it works and how to get the best stuff

The biggest part of Destiny 2 (opens in new tab) is all about getting better gear. Strike drops and rewards might give you more powerful stuff but infusion is key to leveling up. 

But how do you do it? If you’re new to Destiny-land, or not sure about the new systems introduced in the sequel, let me explain. First you’ll have to break some guns into little bits...

What is infusion in Destiny 2? 

‘Infusion’ is a fancy word for powering up your gear in Destiny 2. As you play you’ll get plenty of guns, armour and class specific gear that will drop from defeated enemies and mission rewards. So far, so good: you get a shiny new toy, usually somewhere between your current power level and about 20 or so higher. But these toys don’t progress with you, meaning that as your power increases and you get more gear to match, that hand cannon you loved when you first got it will eventually look weaker and weaker next to the newer, more powerful stuff you collect overtime. 

Infusion fixes that by letting you ‘feed’ more powerful guns to the weaker ones. It’s nature's way, just with more bullets. The gun being used as ‘food’ is destroyed, but the one doing the eating goes up to the higher power level, making it useful again. There are four types of gear in the game and only Blue upwards can be infused: 

Common - Green
Rare - Blue
Legendary - Purple
Exotic - Yellow

It’s not quite as simple as pushing one gun into the other, though - you’ll need legendary shards, for example - so let’s explain the finer details now. 

What are legendary shards and how do you get them for infusion in Destiny 2? 

Shards are what you get when you dismantle a legendary (purple) or Exotic (yellow) item. You’ll get three shard for grinding a legendary, and 5-10 for an Exotic depending on it’s power level and mods. Blue’s can also be dismantled but you’ll only get Glimmer, Destiny’s in-game currency.

What can I spend Legendary shards on in Destiny 2? 

Ignore the name and think of legendary shards as money. Made from bits of gun. You can infuse a current weapon, therefore making it more powerful, by spending a certain number of shards. The cost depends on the level of the weapons being used in the process. 

Blue to purple/yellow - 4 shards
Purple/purple, purple/yellow, yellow/yellow - 1 shard

You can also buy back a dismantled Exotic from your vault collection for 10 shards, and you’ll also be able to use them to purchase things from Xur when he returns.

How do I actually infuse and level up my Destiny 2 gear? 

If you have the guns and the shards the process of infusion is simple. Remember, when looking at guns you can hold down to L2 to show all the power levels in the slot you’re viewing, making it easier to compare. You’ll need two weapons of the same kind - the low one is the one you’re going to keep, and the higher one is the one you’re going to destroy, transferring the power to the lower one. Here’s how: 

1. Move the cursor over the gun you want to infuse and press Triangle/B to open its menu. 

2. The first icon in the weapon mod section on the left is your infusion option. Move the cursor there and it’ll show you any weapons you can infuse. If the one you want isn’t greyed out, put the cursor on it and hold Square/X to definitely dismantle it and destroy it forever, and use it to upgrade your chosen weapon. 

How do mods affect infusion in Destiny 2? 

Destiny 2 introduces the concept of mods that you can slot into guns and gear to change certain attributes. For example you can tweak clothing to charge grenades faster, or swap out elemental damage types. 

The one’s you really want to watch out for are the legendary/purple ones that actually affect the power rating of the equipment it’s slotted into. These will already be in some legendary items, but once you reach a power rating ot 280 you can buy and make your own. 

Here’s where it gets interesting: a power boosting mod will currently raise an items power by five, but not show on the weapon’s visible power rating. So a 260 auto rifle with a +5 mod will actually have a power rating of 265. It means that you could have two apparently identically rated items but get a bigger boost from a modded one. Basically, always check the mods before you infuse anything. 

Why isn’t infusion working in Destiny 2? 

There are a few rules. Like you can’t infuse after midnight. I’m kidding. If infusion doesn’t work or things are greyed out for some reason it’s likely for one of these reasons: 

1. You can only infuse similar weapons classes. So, hand cannons into hand cannons for example (kinetic, power and energy variations are irrelevant). Because you can’t infuse anything into anything it’s a good reason to keep at least one high powered version of each weapon type around just in case.

2. The weapon you’re trying to infuse with isn’t high enough. It’s easy to get confused as you switch between menus, so double check - the number that’s going to be eaten has to be higher than the one eating it. 

3. You’ve run out of shards. They can get used up quickly. Especially if you’ve had a lot of new gear and you go on a bit of a infusion frenzy. 

Leon Hurley
Leon Hurley

I'm currently GamesRadar's Senior Guides Co-ordinator, which means I've had a hand in producing or writing all of the guide and tips content on the site. I also write reviews, previews and features, and do video. Previously I worked for Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website. I'm a big fan of open world games, horror, and narrative adventures.