Destiny 2 Masterworks are rarer and more powerful versions of weapons and armour.
Masterworks allow you to upgrade Legendary weapon or armour by offer stat boosts, the ability to drop Super orbs and kill trackers - giving you something to aim towards as you continue to play in the end game.
Not only are they available for Legendary weapons and armour, but with the introduction of the Warmind DLC Exotics too, in the form of Masterwork Catalysts. These are unlocked differently, and many require a heavy dose of luck.
Latest update (October 17th): Festival of the Lost has introduced the Fighting Lion Catalyst, with a weekly bounty which helps complete it faster.
On this page:
How to get Masterwork Cores
Masterwork Cores are a resource to spend on upgrading your favourite Legendary weapons or armour into Masterwork versions.
There are multiple ways to get Masterwork Cores in Forsaken. Confirmed methods include:
- Purchased from Spider in the Tangled Shore (10 Legendary Shards, doubles in price for each purchase on the same day)
- Dismantling Masterworked weapons or armour
- Reaching the weekly milestone when your Clan is at Rank 6
- Completing Masterwork objectives on Solstice of Heroes armour pieces
More sources coming soon!
How to upgrade Masterworks in Destiny 2
Before Forsaken, Masterwork upgrades were binary - weapons were or weren't Masterworks - but now they power up across ten tiers. Each tier will cost resources - Glimmer, Legendary Shards and Masterwork Cores - allowing you to invest as much or as little as you like.
Here's what you get for Masterworking weapons, and when:
- Tier 7 - Kill tracker (you can now choose to display Vanguard or Crucible kills yourself, and for free at any time)
- Tier 10 - Stat boost; generates Super Orbs on multi-kills (weapons), -3% reduced damage when using Supers (armour)
You'll be able to tell if a weapon has been fully Masterworked thanks to the golden border a weapon has in your inventory.
Though these aren't huge advantages over existing weapons, there are some useful benefits, such as additional Orbs coming in useful for getting Supers faster during team-centric activities such as Strikes, Raids and Crucible matches.
It looks to be far more expensive to completely Masterwork a weapon now - with aussiehalo from Reddit saying it'll cost 10,000 Glimmer, 27 Legendary Shards and 17 Masterwork Cores. It's possible Masterwork Cores will be easier to obtain in Forsaken as a result - but we'll have to wait and see.
Destiny 2 Masterwork Catalysts explained
Like Legendary Masterworks, it's possible to get Exotic Masterworks. You have to earn Catalysts to upgrade these weapons, giving them additional perks, the ability to drop multiple Orbs with multi-kills and kill tracking.
How to get Masterwork Catalysts
Catalysts will drop for an Exotic weapon at random but only under certain requirements. If you investigate an Exotic weapon, you will notice they have a Masterwork Catalyst slot. Hovering the cursor over them gives you a clue of how to unlock it:
- Kill any enemy: Borealis, Crimson, D.A.R.C.I., Tractor Cannon, Worldline Zero
- Kill any enemy on Nessus: Sturm
- Heroic Adventure completions: The Huckleberry
- Crucible victories: Jade Rabbit, Vigilance Wing
- Kill Nightfall / Heroic Strike bosses: Merciless
- Leviathan Raid section completions: Skyburner Oath
- Prestige Leviathan Raid section completions: Legend of Acrius
- Prestige Eater of Worlds section completions: Telesto
- Prestige Spire of Stars section completions: Sleeper Simulant
- Faction Rally reward: Graviton Lance, Sweet Business and Sunshot
- Nascent Dawn Quest reward: Polaris Lance
- The Whisper on Heroic quest reward: Whisper of the Worm
- Solstice of Heroes event: Get Solstice armour for a limited time, and upgrade to Legendary before the arrival of Year 2
- Festival of the Lost 2018 drop: Fighting Lion
Thanks for ebolaxb on Reddit for filling in the gaps with the above list.
Masterwork Catalysts are literal drops - they are golden pyramids you pick up. When you do, they won't appear in your inventory, but will show up whenever you investigate that Exotic weapon. Here's the Tractor Cannon dropping, for example:
It should also be noted you need to own the Exotic for the Catalyst to drop - but you don't need to have it equipped or on your Guardian for it to appear. Whether you need it in your Vault is another question - so it might be worth having it there just to be safe.
How to use Catalysts and their Masterwork Perks explained
Once a Catalyst has dropped, investigate the weapon, hover over the slot and apply it. This gives you one of the upgrades - the ability to drop multiple Orbs with multi-kills - but the other perks are missing.
The Catalyst must be fully activated by performing further actions in order to unlock the bonus perk:
|Catalyst completion method
|150 Arc, Solar and Void Kills
|20 Reload Speed
|300 precision kills
|300 precision kills
|Bounty and Kill completions
|Kinetic and Power weapons gain period of increased handling and accuracy
|Adds rapid kills to magazine before reloading perk
|250 Crucible kills
|Legend of Acrius
|Increased reload speed and ammo reserves (now 6)
|Defeat enemies with Merciless
|Increased Range and Stability
|Enemy Kills, Kills with Perfect Fifth perk
|Dragonfly perk (precision kills create elemental explosion)
|Defeat Cabal enemies
|Kills with both Sturm and Drang equipped
|Extra range and handling
|Complete all Lost Prophecy Verses
|Increased ammo reserves (now 7)
|70 magazine size, 50 weapon size, increased ammo reserves perk
|Crucible kills, 5 Blood for Blood medals
|Holding down trigger fires in full auto perk
|Whisper of the Worm
|The Whisper Heroic completions and chests
|Boosts damage after aiming
|Use Tesseract attack on final Escalation Protocol boss
|Reduces activation time of Tesseract perk
How Masterworks worked in Destiny 2 Year 1
Masterworks were previously random drops once you hit a certain Power level. They can come from anywhere you'd get Legendary weapons or armour in the game - whether it's dropped during an activity, from chests or Engrams.
There is also a "very high chance" of receiving Masterwork loot from the following:
Note - all Raid Masterworks are earned from raid drops, and not Engrams or vendors.
So while playing the above activities will give you better chances, the long and short of it is the more you play, the higher your chances of getting Masterworks are.
Then, the more Masterworks you receive, the more you can dismantle for Masterworks Cores to spend upgrading the Legendary weapons you use most.