Arbalest is the newest Exotic to enter the armoury of Destiny 2 and it mixes up the standard weapon configuration in a potent way. Arbalest is the newest Linear Fusion Rifle, residing in the Kinetic slot (Primary) but dealing delightfully high damage to elemental shields, despite not having any elemental damage itself.
This is enabled through the perk, Compounding Force, firing slugs which cause massive damage to elemental shields of enemy combatants. And by massive, Bungie really means massive. Shredding through pesky elemental shields as if they were rice paper and dealing high-damage to the enemy underneath, Arbalest takes down high-level foes with ease. Compounding Force allows Arbalest to take out shields with impunity, regardless if it’s Void, Arc, or Solar.
For the Warlocks, the Arbalest pairs exceedingly well with the Chromatic Fire chest piece which generates an elemental explosion upon scoring a precision kill with a Kinetic weapon.
Arbalest’s Extended Barrel provides increased range, moderate recoil control at the expense of handling speed. Projection Fuse optimises the weapon to again, increase range. The Composite Stock provides slight increases to both stability and handling speed. The Disruption Break Trait makes enemies more vulnerable to Kinetic damage after their shields have been broken by Arbalest. Perfect to make the next shot hurt even more.
Being such a hard-hitting weapon, Arbalest doesn’t have an exceeding surplus of ammo, holding five in the magazine with another twelve waiting in the wings. On the topic of ammo, Arbalest requires green special ammo pickups as opposed to the far more common white ammo.
Able to utterly annihilate any foe that crosses your path, a round from Arbalest can pass through several enemies as long as they are lined up with no obstacles blocking them. This means you can carve a bloody swathe through a sea of low-level hostiles that happen to be standing in front of your actual target. Deal heavy damage against Phalanxes with the Arbalest; hit the weak point on their shield and have the round shoot right through it as well as their bodies.
Being a fusion rifle, you will have to remain aware of the short charge time before firing. Like all fusion rifles, once you get used to the charge, you can anticipate the optimal time to pop out for a lethal shot. This will become particularly useful in the Crucible.
This extends to Gambit where it can be incredibly effective against opposing Guardians both when used by an Invader and when being invaded. The high damage and precise aiming nature means you can nail headshots with ease, stripping away any overshields and eliminating the competition.
The downside to Arbalest is that it takes up your Kinetic and Exotic weapon slot and utilises a perk that can be achieved just as efficiently with a decent Power or Energy weapon. Arbalest is a fearsome Exotic and pairing it with a sufficiently fast-firing weapon such as a Scout Rifle or Auto Rifle will allow you to rule the battlefield at all ranges.