Ionised polymer synballistic attack platform. The system’s lethality is dynamically robust across tactical spaces.
With a firing style that would make the 70s jealous, the Hard Light drew many Guardians in with all its flash and pizazz. What we got was a decent weapon but nothing to write home about really. With Hard Light having made a return in Destiny 2, is it worth using or still underwhelming?
The Hard Light comes with a whole suite of new tricks and treats that are hidden under the same futuristic looking surface. The Exotic perk for Hard Light is still Volatile Light, which causes the rounds to overpenetrate targets and ricochet off hard surfaces. A notable change with this perk is that the bullets no longer suffer from damage fall off which is a huge deal for this Auto Rifle. While the gun was powerful at close range, anything other than point blank seriously diminished its effectiveness. Hard Light’s Trait is actually a series of three different Cores; Arc, Solar and Void, each of which augments the damage type of this Exotic. Essentially, Hard Light becomes an Arc, Void and Solar weapon at will.
Hard Light also comes with Polygonal Rifling, which optimises the weapon to increase its stability, which is also backed up by Composite Stock, which slightly increases stability as well as handling speed. Finally, Hard Light comes with Alloy Magazine which gifts this Exotic with faster reloads when the magazine is empty. That additional speed reloading can be optimal with closer range encounters where Hard Light truly shines.
The Hard Light was a semi-popular if gimicky weapon in Destiny 1. On paper, the ricocheting rounds sounded like an absolute game changer but the reality was something a little different: In simple terms it didn’t work as we hoped. In Destiny 2 however, the Hard Light has definitely upped its game, with the absence of damage fall off and the ability to change damage types, The Hard Light was never the first Exotic choice of many players in Destiny 1 but has definitely seen a resurgence. The ricocheting rounds on Hard Light were never really seen to do much, except for the occasional shot that would hit a target, but it does add to the confusion of a situation and has a high chance to work in PVE, where large volumes of enemies crowd smaller spaces. That said the newfound ability to alter damage types makes it incredibly versatile and can fit the requirements of most activities. Elemental shields will not be a problem for Hard Light.
In Crucible the ricocheting rounds cannot be expected to consistently and reliably work but it does add to the chaos of a situation. However, the no damage falloff makes Hard Light a more versatile weapon and it can actually compete with the longer ranges of Pulse Rifles and other Auto Rifles. In my opinion, however, the Hard Light is one of those weapons that truly shines at closer ranges, being able to melt through Guardian’s armour like a Golden Gun shot through a Dreg. While Hard Light has impressive stability and can do a lot of damage at range, it can get out beaten by longer range scout rifles (especially in the MIDA meta). Stick to mid to close range for the best results.
The Hard Light can be obtained through Xur, if he happens to have it in his inventory for the week, or froma lucky Exotic Engram decrypt.