Merciless Exotic Fusion Rifle - Destiny 2

Learn about Merciless, an Exotic Fusion Rifle in Destiny 2 that speeds up if you fail to kill anything.


Merciless is an Exotic Fusion Rifle that has been kicking around in Destiny 2 since the game first launched. This unique weapon offers an ever-increasing rate of fire, as well as some bonus damage after reloading, but is that enough to make you want to use it? Let’s talk about that.

How to get Merciless

Merciless is a random drop from Exotic Engrams as well as other Exotic sources out in the world. The easiest way to get it would be to buy it from Xur whenever he sells it, but then you’re waiting on him. Alternatively, you can play activities that drop Exotic rewards. These include Legend and Master Lost Sectors, Nightfall: The Ordeal, and raids – like the Deep Stone Crypt. You might also luck out and get one from the Exotic Engrams in a Season Pass.

Merciless perks

destiny 2 merciless perks

Merciless has a few basic perks that give it some better stability, recoil control, and magazine size:

  • Chambered Compensator – Stable barrel attachment. Increases stability, moderately controls recoil, slightly decreases handling speed.
  • Extended Mag – This weapon has greatly increased magazine size, but reloads much slower. Greatly increases magazine size and greatly decreases reload speed.
  • Fitted Stock – This stock makes the weapon stable but heavy. Increases stability, moderately controls recoil, slightly decreases handling speed.

The real reason you’ll be using Merciless is likely because of its Trait and Intrinsic perks:

  • Impetus – Reloading immediately after a kill increases weapon damage for a short time.
  • Conserve Momentum – Non-lethal hits with projectiles make this weapon charge faster until its wielder gets a kill.

The first perk, Impetus, is easy enough to comprehend. Get a kill, reload Merciless, and deal more damage. Any time you get a kill, you will want to reload so you’re ready for the next salvo of shots.

The second perk, Conserve Momentum, is where the gun really shines. Every time you hit a target with a burst, but do not kill it, the charge speed of Merciless increases. When shooting at a boss (like one in a Strike, Nightfall, or Gambit match), you will find that Merciless charges extremely quickly, as the effect stacks even if you reload.

Is Merciless good?

destiny 2 is merciless good
There are better Fusion Rifle options out there rather than use Merciless. Jotunn is a unique beast that can make your Crucible opponents sad.

Now, this is the real question to ask. Whether or not Merciless is good and whether you should use it. Back when Destiny 2 first released, it had its moment to shine in the Leviathan raid, specifically in the bath sections but since then Merciless has fallen to the wayside. The reason for this is that there are a lot of better Exotics out there that deal considerably more damage. You might get a kick out of using Merciless for a laugh or if you have literally no other choices. For now, though, you can just keep Merciless in your Collections until such a time that Fusion Rifles become the hot, go-to item for boss DPS.

Merciless lore

destiny 2 merciless lore

Entropy is inevitable.

"The thought was simple enough—sync a weapon's firing and targeting systems to a caged onboard artificial intelligence programmed to actively seek fulfillment of the weapon's base driving function. Simply put, give the weapon an awareness of its purpose.

"If the machine is meant to destroy, what would happen if we made it aware of its intended goal?

"What would happen if it reacted to any failure to achieve that goal by focusing more intently on defining the parameters of said goal and adjusting its function to more aggressively seek out the successful execution of its purpose?

"These are the questions we asked ourselves while engineering the initial prototype. The answers we found—I think you'll agree—were encouraging."

– Incomplete record, author unknown

Merciless is an interesting, if ultimately underwhelming, Exotic Fusion Rifle in Destiny 2. It’s worth adding to your Collection for the sake of collecting everything, but it’s not really one you will find yourself using for boss DPS – unless Bungie majorly changes the game’s meta. Stop by the Shacknews Destiny 2 Guide for even more Exotic weapon recommendations.

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 message him on X: @SamuelChandler 

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