One of Destiny 2‘s major new features arrived recently as part of a post-Curse of Osiris update. Masterworks present what amounts to a new class of weapon, providing players with another thing to hunt down in their journeys. Unfortunately, the way they work can be a little confusing, and as is often the case with Destiny, it’s not explained well in-game. Here’s what you need to know about Masterworks and Masterwork Cores.
Masterworks are variants of Legendary weapons. They track your kills in either Crucible or PvE, provide Orbs when you secure multi-kills, and–most importantly–provide bonus stat perks. These affect a single attribute–such as reload speed, stability, impact, magazine size, or blast radius–and can be re-rolled if you would prefer a different buff.
You can obtain Masterworks like any other item; once you hit Power level 250, you’ll have a chance for Legendary weapons to drop as Masterworks versions. The Raid and Trials of the Nine both offer a “very high chance” for their drops to be Masterworks, making them the most reliable way to obtain new ones. But you’re also able to get them from vendors, Strikes, standard Crucible matches, and so on.
An alternative path involves forging a Masterwork yourself, although the cost for doing so is somewhat high. Any Legendary you own now has a new Masterwork Upgrade option on its Details screen. This will allow you to turn a standard Legendary into a Masterwork version; you can choose for a Vanguard or Crucible version, depending on what kills you want it to track. This process costs 25 Legendary Shards and 10 Masterworks Cores.
But how to get Masterwork Cores? That’s where the drops become all-important: Unwanted Masterwork weapons can be dismantled, a process which yields Masterwork Cores. The number you’ll obtain varies; in our experience, it tends to be 1-3 Cores per dismantle, meaning you may need to acquire quite a few weapons to complete this process.
Masterwork Cores also serve another purpose. As noted above, you can re-roll the stat bonus on your Masterwork weapon. This is called reworking a weapon, and it costs 25 Legendary Shards and three Masterworks Cores. There’s no telling what bonus you’ll get from reworking, so be sure that you’re okay with ditching your current bonus before going through with the process.
Masterworks are expected to expand in the future in a number of ways. Bungie has already said it plans to introduce Masterwork versions for other types of gear in the game. It also plans to highlight the weapons’ kill tracking in more ways, such as displaying the number on the Crucible kill screen. In the meantime, you can check out all of the Masterworks weapons we’ve found so far.