[Defiance] Weapons and weapons skills

Weapons in Defiance are a huge part of the way you can customize your character and play style. From in-your-face damage-dealer to healer to long-range sniper, your choice of weapons affects your play style more than anything else.

There are many types of weapon in Defiance, which can be divided into broad categories based on the skill needed to use them. Your skill in each weapon type can be seen in the character section of the EGO menu, under Stats:


The more you use weapons of a particular type, the more skill you gain with that weapon. Gaining skill level with weapon types improves your use of that weapon. The weapon skills list displays what bonuses you have earned already, and what you will earn with the next skill level. In the example above, level 3 Detonator skill has granted +2% fire rate and +2% radius, and reaching level 4 will make the reload time 1% faster.

In your inventory listing, there’s a lot of information to be seen. Here’s an example of some weapons viewed in the inventory section of the EGO menu. The icon for the weapon matches the weapon skill types as shown above, so you can see at a glance which weapon skill is used. The white “E” triangle at the far left indicates which weapons are currently equipped.


Another obvious difference is the color of the weapon name. This indicates the weapon’s rarity, as follows:
• White: common
• Green: uncommon
• Blue: rare
• Purple: epic
• Orange legendary

This does not necessarily mean that a blue weapon is always better than a green one; that will also depend on the weapon level, your skill level in that weapon, mods on the weapon, and the situation it’s being used in among other things. However, this helps give a rough guide to the weapon’s rarity and resell value.

The weapon’s power level is also shown beside the icon. You must be at least this power level to use the weapon (it will show the number in red if you are not). The higher the weapon level, the more likely it is to have additional mod slots, stats, etc. If there’s no level number, that’s a weapon that can be equipped at any level (often weapons gained from missions, for example).

Directly underneath the weapon level, some weapons display a series of squares and dashes. These indicate available slots for adding weapon modifications. Each weapon has between 0 and 4 mod slots, indicated by the squares, and if there is a mod in the slot the square turns white. In the image above, for example, the Votan Pulser has three mod slots, two of which are filled. The VBI Sniper Rifle has two empty slots. El Diablo has no mod slots at all.

On some weapons, just below the weapon icon, you can see a small symbol. In the example above, El Diablo has a small flame, and the Votan Auto-Fragger has a blue electrical bolt, and the Slickshot has a purple syphon swirl. These are nano-effect types and add an additional effect to the damage done by that weapon. The nano-effect type has a chance to be applied with each shot (or melee damage) and adds additional damage as follows:

Fire – Lights the enemy on fire for a short period of time, damaging them while they are on fire.
Radiation – Increases the amount of damage that enemies take while affected by it.
Biological – Slows down enemies and reduces the damage that they do while they are affected by it.
Electrical – Stuns the enemy and other nearby enemies for a short period of time. Removes the player’s HUD, if used on a player.
Syphon – Takes life energy from the enemy and uses that to repair your shields and increase your health.

Finally, on the far right at the top of each line there is a notch which may be filled by a yellow tab marker (in the image above, shown on the Votan Auto-Fragger). This is simply a handy indicator of items that are newly added to your inventory, so you can easily find what you’ve picked up recently. Once you click to inspect a new item, the yellow tab will disappear.

Weapon mastery

In addition to weapon skill, which applies to all weapons of a particular type, weapon mastery allows you to become a master with one particular weapon. For example, the weapon shown on the right has been used more than the weapon shown on the left:


As the weapon is used, its owner gains mastery of that specific weapon. Once the weapon is fully mastered, a bonus will unlock which will be displayed beneath the progress bar. What exactly the bonus is, does not get revealed until it is actually unlocked. A mastered weapon no longer contributes to weapon skill.