The Swarm god roll - Destiny 2

Discover a few ideal god rolls for The Swarm in Destiny 2, one of the newest weapons exclusive to Nightfalls.

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The Swarm is one of a few returning guns to Destiny 2 available exclusively through Nightfall: The Ordeal. This Machine Gun may find itself into your inventory at some point and you’re going to need to know what a Swarm god roll looks like. Let’s take some time to cover the perks that work well for PVE and PVP, as well as some other viable options.

The Swarm

Much like The Palindrome and Shadow Price, The Swarm was originally a Destiny 1 gun. This Machine Gun hasn’t moved from the Power weapon slot, but it now has a set elemental type: Arc. Unfortunately, this makes it another 360 RPM Machine Gun that does Arc damage, the other being the Seventh Seraph SAW. However, The Swarm manages to beat SAW in every single stat point except for Bounce Intensity, according to the Light.gg breakdown.

Check out the Nightfall weapon rotation schedule so you can plan out which weeks to farm The Swarm.

The Swarm god roll

destiny 2 the swarm god roll
The Swarm in Collections features Accurized Rounds, Killing Windw, and Zen Moment. Not exactly a god roll, but decent in the right circumstances.

Given that the RPM of The Swarm is the slowest archetype means you won’t be shooting fast – at all. Thankfully, it makes up for this sluggish speed with impressive Impact and Range stats. On the flip side, Stability and Handling do suffer a bit, so aiming for perks that address that will be key to finding a drop that feels good to use.

The Swarm god roll for PVE

For PVE, the main focus of using The Swarm will likely be to deal damage to bosses and to clear out larger enemies. For this reason, focusing on increases to magazine size to get the most out of Vorpal Weapon is the main focus.

  • Barrel: Polygonal Rifling (Stability +10)
  • Magazine: Appended Mag (Magazine +20)
  • Perk 1: Surplus
  • Perk 2: Vorpal Weapon

This Swarm god roll is all about leaning into Vorpal Weapon, a boss-killing perk that increases damage against bosses, vehicles, and Guardians with their Super active. Thankfully, the Range is already quite high, so aiming for Polygonal Rifling to increase the Stability might be your best bet. An alternative would be Fluted Barrel with its Stability and Handling increase.

For the Magazine perk, you want something that gives you more bang for your buck.  Appended Mag will be the best option here with Tactical Mag being a great runner-up thanks to its Magazine increase, Stability, and Reload Speed buffs. Extended Mag might offer a larger magazine, but it’s at the cost of your Reload Speed which is already quite low.

The first perk column doesn’t have a lot of options that scream out to be used. However, Surplus might be your best bet. Surplus increases handling, reload speed, and stability for each fully charged ability. When dealing with a boss, use The Swarm first while your abilities are still charged to get maximum benefit. Bottomless Grief is interesting (while you are the last living member of your fireteam, each takedown refills your magazine) but it’s a selfish perk that doesn’t really help when dealing damage to a boss. This is true of Outlaw and Killing Wind. Dynamic Sway Reduction is okay, but unless you’re finding that The Swarm kicks like a mule, you likely don’t want it.

The final perk column should be Vorpal Weapon, especially if you want to use The Swarm as a boss shredder. The only other option would be One For All, which increases damage for a moderate duration after hitting three separate targets. This would then allow you to quickly clear enemies, which in turn makes the ideal perk combo: Killing Wind/One For All. But this is only if you want The Swarm as a general add-clear tool and not a boss killer.

The Swarm god roll for PVP

For PVP, Machine Guns are most scary when they’ve got a heap of Range and Stability. For this reason, you’ll want to push out that Range stat as much as possible, while also focusing on reining in any kick you might be feeling.

  • Barrel: Corkscrew Rifling (Range +5, Stability +5, Handling +5)
  • Magazine: Accurized Rounds (Range +10)
  • Perk 1: Killing Wind
  • Perk 2: Tap The Trigger

For the Barrel perk, Corkscrew Rifling offers a nice split of stat boosts. Failing this, you could go with any of the three usual suspects: Fluted Barrel, Hammer-Forged Rifling, and Smallbore. This will certainly come down to personal preference.

The Magazine perk is also where things get personal. Sure, you might want the extra rounds in a magazine, but pushing out the Range or Stability stat might serve you better too. If you opt for Steady Rounds (which increases Stability at the cost of Range), you might want to consider Hammer-Forged Rifling to make up for the loss in Range.

Killing Wind is such an obvious choice for PVP players. Each kill you get will increase The Swarm’s range and handling while also increasing your mobility. You might toy with the idea of Surplus if you’re more concerned with the stability.

For the final perk, Tap The Trigger will help you nail that first shot as it increases stability and accuracy on initial trigger pull, which will send your enemy fleeing in terror or secure you the kill – which will proc Killing Wind. The other option is Zen Moment, which increases stability when you deal damage.


For PVP, a god roll on The Swarm is going to come down to personal preference. If you struggle with accuracy and stability, focus on perks that lift that stat. If you can handle the kick, you want to push out the range. For PVE, The Swarm can either be a wave-clearing machine but I personally prefer to focus more on its boss-killing potential. Regardless, there are a few great options when it comes to a Swarm god roll in Destiny 2. Check out the Shacknews Destiny 2 guide and let me know below what your personal god roll is.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 23, 2021 7:05 PM

    Sam Chandler posted a new article, The Swarm god roll - Destiny 2

    • reply
      February 23, 2021 7:59 PM

      No Dragonfly, no sale! HMGs are bad at boss DPS so better to lean into the add-clear functionality.

      • reply
        February 23, 2021 9:12 PM

        BAD AT BOSS DPS? Whaaat. Please explain.

        Also, Dragonfly is totally overrated imo.

        • reply
          February 24, 2021 2:54 AM

          HMGs got nerfed against bosses several seasons ago. DFly + DFly spec = YAHHHHHH CRY SOME MORE HA HA HA HA HA

      • reply
        February 23, 2021 10:20 PM

        You've got such a hard on for dragonfly these days, its kinda funny!

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