You’re playing the new Defiance game, and you’re confused about how
weapons work and how to use the crafting system. You’re not alone. In
fact, we were confused, too, which is why we took the time to figure
things out for you. This guide will take you through some of the basic
principles of weapons and crafting, and get you on your way to hunting
arkfall like a fully-kitted pro.

ARMS 101 – Intro to Weaponology

In Defiance, you’re not restricted to (or from) anything; the game has
no classes, so every weapon type is available. There are some basic
things you need to be aware of in order to make better use of all those
available weapons, however. To begin with, there are a ton of weapon

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A good selection of weapons is the
hallmark of an experienced Ark Hunter… Or a newb with a pre-order.

  • Advanced
    – Various weapons that can be picked up for limited
    use in some missions.
  • Assault Rifle
    – Medium to long range weapon with a high rate of fire. Fire in short
    bursts for maximum effect.
  • Bio-Magnetic
    n – Has two modes, one for killing energy by draining it
    from enemies, and another that redirects that energy to friendly
    players in the form of healing.
  • Bolt Action
    Sniper Rifle
    – Reach out and touch someone round by round
    with this weapon at extreme range.
  • Charge Sniper
    – Another weapon for extreme ranges, but holding
    down the trigger charges up the shot for more damage.
  • Combat Shotgun
    – Short-ranged semi-automatic boom-stick of death.
  • Detonator
    – There seem to be a few things that fall under this category. Probably
    should have just called them, “Crap That Goes Boom.”
  • Grenade
    – The standard n00b tube, though it is handy for
    when the wimps won’t come out from behind that cover.
  • Grenade
    – Known as the Pineapple Express since World War II, a grenade is a
    great way to clear a room before entering.
  • Guided Rocket
    – Exactly what it sounds like, fire a rocket and
    guide it in to the target.
  • Infector
    – Remember those Alien movies? Infect your target and watch Junior
    burst forth in spectacular fashion.
  • Light Machine
    – Medium range weapons with large magazines for when
    volume counts for more than accuracy.
  • Manual Sniper
    – I’m not sure why this is separate. There are both
    semi-auto and bolt-action rifles under this heading.
  • Pistol
    – Short on range, but great for taking down that single target. I’m
    actually wanting to try these with cloak. I think it could work well.
  • Pump Shotgun
    – Close range weapon that’s sort of the middle of the pack with
    shotguns. Good speed, magazine capacity, and damage.
  • Rocket
    – Back-blast area all clear! Point and click
    self-propelled carnage, just be sure you’ve got them faced the right
  • Sawed-off
    – Extreme close range weapon with limited
    magazine, but these guys are death in the hand. I call mine Thumper.
  • Semi-Auto
    Sniper Rifle
    – Extreme range, but not quite as accurate or
    as high damage per shot as their bolt-action cousins. They’re great for
    providing cover as friends move forward.
  • Shotgun
    – Not sure why this is a separate type; it contains some of the other
    types, but not all of them.
  • Spread Rocket
    – Fires a number of rockets at a time to rain
    damage over a large area at long range.
  • Sub-Machine
    – The ultimate run-and-gun weapon, these are only good
    at close range, but rapid rates of fire and good magazine capacity make
    them popular.

Ammo Science

Additionally, though you can resupply ammo from any one of several
unlimited supply points, while you’re in missions you’ll have to make
do with what drops. In each of the two weapons slots in your loadout,
it’s best to equip weapons that work on different ammo types. As you
loot ammo from fallen enemies, it’ll refill some of either type.
Assault Rifles, Light Machine Guns, and Heavy Machine Guns all use the
same ammo, so try not to use more than one of the three at a time.

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The fire icon on the right shows that
this sniper rifle will do additional fire damage, but no slots means it
can’t be upgraded at all (not the four dashes, ----, to the right of
the icon).

Also, ammo can come with various bonuses to apply differing damage
types and effects. Those types are:

  • Corrosive
    – Acid damage over time
  • Incendiary
    – Fire damage over time
  • Siphon
    – Siphons health from enemy over time
  • Radiation
    – Damages shields and makes enemy more susceptible to damage
  • Electrical
    – Stuns some enemies and disables the HUD of other Ark Hunters in PvP
  • Biological
    – Slows the movements of enemies

Some weapons have an ammo-type applied to them natively, but others
require the weapon be modified.

Head to page two for the details on salvaging in Defiance.

Understanding Salvaging

There is no crafting per se in Defiance, but there is a salvaging and
weapon modification system. It’s like that old commercial: in Defiance,
you don’t make the weapons you use; you make the weapons you use
better. To support that feature, some weapons are modifiable, but not
all of them.

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There are several options you have
access to in the salvage menu, but not all of them will be available
for a given item.

If you find a weapon that can be modified, it’ll typically come with
one mod slot already in it, but you can add more in the Salvage Matrix.
Access the Matrix and spend Ark Resources to randomly add mod slots to
your weapon. There appears to be one catch, however. You can only add
mod slots on a weapon once your ego rating is over 100. Slots that can
be added are:

  • Barrel
  • Magazine
  • Sight
  • Stock

One thing that isn’t obvious, which may frustrate you as you try to
equip mods, is that each mod you pick up is for a specific type of
weapon. (The stats for the module will tell you what that weapon type
is.) As you saw above, there are a ton of weapon types, and since mods
drop at random, there’s a good chance you’ll spend a lot of time
hunting mods for your specific weapons.

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TThis sniper rifle has a sight
modification slot on it. More can be added in the Salvage Matrix with
enough Ark Resources.

The other two things that’ll prevent you from adding a mod to a weapon
are EGO rating requirements and having that open slot on the weapon.
You gain EGO rating by playing the game, and it’s a sort of general
indicator of your power. Gear and mods are restricted to players being
over certain ratings. Also, as we discussed, weapons don’t always have
the slot you need, so spend Ark Resources in the Salvage Matrix and add
modification slots to your weapon. (Just be sure your EGO rating is
over 100, or you won’t get the option.)

Not all items can be salvaged. To start, go to the Salvage/Modules
screen, hit the Select an Item button and pick an item. Once the item
is selected, any possible actions will show up below it.

  • Breakdown to
    – Break the gear down into Ark Resources
  • Attach Mods
    – Add mods from your inventory to a weapon
  • Remove Mods
    – Remove mods from a weapon and destroys them, but leaves the empty
    mod-slot on the weapon
  • Retrieve Mods
    – Keeps the mod, but destroys the gun
  • Add Mod Slots
    – Add a random mod slot to a weapon

Salvaged weapons yield Ark Resources needed for adding additional
random mod slots to modifiable weapons. Mods can then be added or
removed as desired to customize the weapon.

Now that you’ve got a handle on the basics, you want to know more. Once
more into the weeds, dear friends, once more!

ARMS 363 – Advanced Weapon Theory

In the general tips guide, we talked a little about skills for various
weapon types, but it’s a little more complicated than that. You can
also gain experience in each individual weapon as well. As you use that
VBI TACC Auto-Shotgun, it accumulates its own experience, while also
increasing your experience in the Combat Shotgun category.

In this example, the Combat Shotgun skill/category can level up a few
times, granting a small 2% bonus to falloff damage at rank two. Those
bonuses are set, and will be the same for everyone, every time you get
enough experience to unlock that level in the skill. The specific VBI
TACC Auto-Shotgun has its own experience bar and once that fills up,
it’ll add a random stat boost to the weapon.

While the category bonus is fixed, the bonus for maxing out experience
on the specific weapon is random. There has been some talk about
resetting weapons so that the player can level it up again. The idea is
that you level weapons up hoping to randomly get the specific bonus
you’re after, but that’s not a function in the game currently.

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Some weapons get a random bonus anyway.
This one came with a x1.15 Melee Damage bonus, but it’ll get another
random bonus when the experience bar fills up.


As you start getting closer to the end-game, there are going to be some
more advanced features you’ll want to pay attention to. One of those
features is “synergy.” Think of it like armor sets in other MMOs, but
they’re part of weapons and mods in Defiance.

Some weapons come with a synergy applied to them already, but to
complete the set and get the bonuses, you’ll need to find mods for the
weapon that also have the same synergy. If the weapon or mod has it,
you’ll see something under the experience bar for the weapon like:

style="font-weight: bold;">Synergy: Suvivalist

[2] +2% damage to targets with full health and shields

The number in brackets means you need two items with that synergy for
that effect to apply. So either the weapon has a synergy already, or
you equip two mods with the Survivalist synergy. Seems simple, but
here’s the catch: synergies are random, and appear randomly on mods.
You know how hard it is to find the exact mod you’re looking for with
the right bonus and that’s made for the weapon you want it on?

Yeah… now wait until you’re hunting for that specific mod with the
right synergy on it.

Go Defy Something

So, that’s about it. I hope you’ve found this short guide on weapons
and the modification system helpful. Defiance can be pretty tough to
figure out when you first get in because it’s a slight departure from
the standard MMORPG formula. If you’re new to the game and looking for
more information to get started, check out my Tips for the New Player

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Defiance Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016