Dead Man's Tale god roll - Destiny 2

Find a Dead Man's Tale god roll and start really pushing this Exotic Scout Rifle to its full potential in Destiny 2.

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Dead Man’s Tale is an impressively unique Exotic Scout Rifle introduced to Destiny 2 during Season of the Chosen. For those that want a Dead Man’s Tale god roll, there are few perks that really make this Exotic pop. If you can manage to farm the Presage quest every week, you’ll no doubt find yourself a god roll that fits your playstyle. Here are some suggestions of perks you should keep your eyes peeled for.

Dead Man’s Tale god roll

destiny 2 dead man's tale god roll
The Dead Man's Tale in collections shows that the perk is randomized. It's not just this perk though, the Barrel, Magazine, and Stock are all random.

Dead Man’s Tale is a Scout Rifle that sits in your Primary weapon slot. Unlike other weapons, this Scout can only be reloaded one round at a time, which makes it rather slow unless you’re able to proc its intrinsic trait, Cranial Spike, which grants bonus damage and quickens reload speed on precision hits.

Check out our guide on how to get Dead Man's Tale if you're running into some trouble. While you're there, make sure you know where to find all the Presage scannables.

In terms of the weapon’s stats, it has a decent Range stat but unfortunately suffers from some weak stability and overall slow reload time. It’s also got a recoil pattern that could be improved with the right perks. Part of finding a god roll Dead Man’s Tale will be addressing some of these areas.

Before we dive into the perks, it’s important to touch on Recoil as it’s a tricky thing in Destiny 2. According to a Reddit post by Crystic_Knight, a Recoil stat that ends in 5 will tend to be more vertical. Meanwhile, the lower the stat, the bouncier it will be. As it trends higher, the direction changes from left to right, with a high 90 tending to be more of a vertical recoil pattern. All of this is to say that for Dead Man’s Tale, boosting the Recoil stat by 10 points will help bring it to almost max, which will ensure it has a nice and predictable bounce.

Dead Man’s Tale god roll for PVE

destiny 2 dead man's tale god roll
Outlaw on Dead Man's Tale is a great option as it improves the weapon's sluggish reload speed.

Players that want to focus on using Dead Man’s Tale in PVE have quite a few great perks that lift the performance of the gun.

  • Barrel: Chambered Compensator (Stability +10, Recoil +10, Handling -5)
  • Magazine: Steady Rounds (Stability +15, Range -5)
  • Perk 1: Outlaw
  • Stock: Hand-Laid Stock (Stability +10)

The main rational behind the Barrel, Magazine, and Stock choices is that Dead Man’s Tale has limited Stability. The goal is to lift this as high as possible, even if it means taking a hit in other areas. A five point hit to Handling simply means the ADS speed and draw speed are slower, while a five point hit to Range is negligible in PVE activities (and even in Crucible). What all these perks manage to do, though, is lift the Stability by 35 points while also getting the Recoil stat to almost max.

Now, if you really don’t want to take the hit to Handling in the Barrel, Polygonal Rifling (Stability +10) or Smallbore (Range +7, Stability +7) both offer Stability improvements.

As for the perk, there are a few great options here but Outlaw will always be a top pick for me. By nailing a precision kill, you significantly increase the reload speed of Dead Man’s Tale, which is important given it reloads one bullet at a time.

destiny 2 dead mans tale god roll options
If you want to hold off on reloading for as long as possible, Subsistence is another perk you might want to look for.

A couple of alternative perks would be Subsistence (kills partially reload the magazine from reserves) or Fourth Time’s the Charm (rapid precision hits will return two rounds to the magazine). Both of these specialize in ensuring more time between reloads, which allows you to keep the damage going. Subsistence will be better for those that want to use this for add-clear while Fourth Time’s the Charm works best as a single-target weapon – unless you’re a crack shot and able to hit multiple targets rapidly.

Dead Man’s Tale god roll for PVP

dead mans tale pvp god roll destiny 2
As far as PVP options go, a Dead Man's Tale god roll might include Killing Wind.

In terms of a PVP Dead Man’s Tale god roll, the gun is already exceptionally powerful thanks to its damage boost on successive precision hits, but it still suffers from the woes listed above. The main key for a good PVP roll will be reining in the Stability and Recoil while also providing you with an overall boost to performance.

  • Barrel: Chambered Compensator (Stability +10, Recoil +10, Handling -5)
  • Magazine: Steady Rounds (Stability +15, Range -5)
  • Perk 1: Killing Wind
  • Stock: Hand-Laid Stock (Stability +10)

Much like how I laid it out in the PVE section, there aren’t a lot of fantastic Barrel, Magazine, or Stock options. While these do hit Range and Handling, it’s such a minor hit that it’s really not going to make much of a difference. It’s more important to get that Recoil just right and make this thing as stable as possible.

In terms of the perk you want to be aiming for, this will change depending on your playstyle. I’m a big fan of Killing Wind as it increases mobility, weapon range, and handling for a short duration after a kill. This makes up for any ground lost to the Barrel, Magazine, and Stock areas.

An alternative to Killing Wind would be Moving Target, for those that want better target acquisition when aiming down sights. This ensures you’re moving faster when ADSing and helps you track those wily targets. There is, of course, also Vorpal Weapon. This perk boosts your damage output against Guardians with their Super active, making Dead Man’s Tale quite potent at taking out the most important threats. There's also Subsistence, which can transition well from PVE content. Get a kill in Crucible and you'll get some rounds refunded, which will steamroll your next kill and help you avoid the slowdown of reloading.


Dead Man’s Tale is a powerful Exotic Scout Rifle that can really benefit from some specific perks. Get enough of these perks together and you’ll have yourself a god roll Dead Man’s Tale that can dominate PVE content and crush your opponents in Crucible. Stop by the Shacknews Destiny 2 Complete Strategy Guide for more help finding the perfect weapon for your build.

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 

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