Anthem doesn't explain a lot of things, and it's confusing when equipping abilities and weapons to understand what both symbols on Inscriptions actually mean.
Global - Javelin
Some Inscriptions directly affect your entire Javelin, and this includes all your abilities and items. When you see a Javelin symbol next to an Inscription, the bonuses provided directly boost everything available to you.
Item - Gear
A gear icon, or cog, affects only the item or ability you're wielding. If that's a weapon or ability, any benefit is directly linked to that, not the rest of your kit.
In this image, the Papa Pump (Masterwork Shotgun) has 4 Inscriptions:
- (Javelin) Q +20% Speed
- (Javelin) Repair +5% Amount
- (Javelin) A-Rifle +17% Ammo
- (Gear) Weapon -35% Recoil Aim
The gear icon is related directly to this weapons recoild, and decreases it by 35%. In constrast, the three other Inscriptions all affect the Javelin and the rest of its kit. The 20% speed bonus and the Assault Rifle +17% ammo would also affect other weapons, and your ability.
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