Destiny 2 Basic Armor Stats & Custom Totals By: ChristopherKlay

What is this?

This is a starter guide about armor stats, mods related to stat boosting, stat usage per class and more. I recently noticed a lot of people i’ve been playing with for a long time still check armor by hand and take a long time to do so, because they are not aware of some basic aspects of the game and item managers – so i thought it’s time to just write this down. It’s not a general build guide, but a guide on how to maximize the stat usage of your armor and how to quickly identify if a new piece of armor is better or worse. This is purely focused on PvE.

I hope at least someone learns something new (:

The basics

Armor in Destiny 2 features 6 different stats, each with 10 different tiers that dictate the bonus they give:

  • Mobility (Walk/strafe speed, increased height on first jump)

  • Resilience (Increases your shields)

  • Recovery (Increases recovery speed)

  • Discipline (Lowers grenade cooldown)

  • Intellect (Lowers super cooldown)

  • Strength (Lowers melee cooldown)

Each class also has a specific bonus based on stats:

  • Hunter: Mobility reduces dodge cooldown

  • Titan: Resilience reduces barrier cooldown

  • Warlock: Recovery reduces rift cooldown

Armor also features base mods increasing those stats at different costs:

  • [5] Intelligence (+10)

  • [4] Recovery (+10)

  • [3] Mobility (+10)

  • [3] Resilience (+10)

  • [3] Discipline (+10)

  • [3] Strength (+10)

and specific mods, that require other mods to work:

The last main source of armor stats is masterworking your armor, which provides +12 in total, +2 on each stat per piece of armor.

How to identify great armor pieces

The current armor system allows you to either focus on maxing out 3 stats, or maxing out two with a above average value in two others. Identifying what you want for your personal build, is the most important step here.

My personal tips:

  • Hunter: Mobility, recovery and intellect. Hunters lack good exotics focused on grenades and any melee focused build makes use of the dodge entirely refilling your melee – which renders strength worthless. You can also easily offset grenade/melee cooldown via cloak mods that recharge these on dodges.

  • Warlock: Recovery, Intellect, Discipline. You could change discipline to strength, if you want to focus purely on stasis – but discipline is more useful across the board. Low mobility actually increases your movement speed in some situations, due to gaining the majority of your speed from the initial boost of jumps.

  • Titan: Recovery, Intellect and mix of Discipline and Strength. You could drop discipline and purely focus on strength if you want a more melee focused build while avoiding something like Monte Carlo. Some resilience is useful here, but only if you play with either “Citan’s Ramparts” or something like “Heart of Inmost Light” – which are very limited in terms of usefulness.

Resilience is sadly absolutely worthless in any PvE situation; the lower the amount of resilience on your gear, the better. The amount of effective health you get from a full 100 resilience is less than half of what a single mod in your armor can provide.

Once you figured out your target stats, DIM provides a great way to make use of them; If you go into the settings, you’ll find a option called “Custom Totals” that allows you to specifically select the stats you want to focus on. Once selected, armors in your overview not only displays their total stats, but also a custom total based on only the stats you selected; this is what matters.

The process of finding better armor at this point boils down to;

  1. Check the custom total of new pieces compared to your current custom total

  2. If two pieces have the same custom total, substract resilience from both total (not custom total, overall total) values and chose the higher one

  3. If both still have the same total value, chose the one with the better stat split (i.e. discipline over mobility, on a titan – despite not focusing on either).

Armor with a total value of 65+ might sound great – but a high total value in itself isn’t worth much. If for example 15 of those 65 are in resilience, you effectively wear a piece that’s already equal to a 52 total one with 2 resilience. Focusing on the stats you actually need, while wasting as little as possible on stats you either don’t need (resilience) or hardly notice (due to other mods and mechanics) is what matters.

What custom total do i need?

Let’s say you want to focus on 3 stats, as a hunter for example: Mobility, Recovery and Intellect.

Our baseline at this point is a total stat “cost” of 300 points. If we masterwork our armor (3 stats +2 per piece, 30 total), this value drops to 270, further dropping by 50 (based on the usage of 5x 10 stat mods) to 220. The usage of “Powerful Friends” drops this further down to 200. We will ignore Stasis at this point (which would drop it down another 20, due to offering 10 recovery/intellect) to provide a equal ground for all focus types – it can be used to offset the bonus of “Powerful Friends” for non mobility focused builds when using Stasis however.

The remaining 200 stat points have to be covered by 4 armor pieces, due to your class item not providing stats on it’s own, outside of the masterwork and mod. What this effectively means is that your custom total (with 3 stats selected) has to be 50 or above, preferably with a high amount of intellect, to avoid the higher mod cost of intellect (5) vs. mobility/recovery (4).

The full formula for custom total distribution per piece is the following:

((CustomStats * 100) - ((Masterworked * CustomStats) * 2) - ModBonus - FocusModifier) / 4

Example #1: Focusing on 3 stats, with fully (5 pieces) masterworked armor, no focus bonus and a mod bonus of 50 (5x +10) would result in a custom total needed per piece of:

((3 * 100) - ((5 * 3) * 2) - 50 - 0) / 4
= 55

Example #2: Focusing on just 2 stats, no masterworked armor, 20 focus bonus (stasis) and a mod bonus of 40 (4x +10) would result in a average per piece of only:

((2 * 100) - ((0 * 2) * 2) - 40 - 20) / 4
= 35

You can very quickly filter your entire inventory and vault via commands like stat:custom:>40, which will hide any armor with a custom total below 40, for example. Some examples of the type of armor you are looking for in this example can be seen here and here – white being the base stats of the armor, blue the increase from the used mod and orange shows the masterwork bonus.

What is the highest a item could possible roll?

The highest possible custom total for your specific build can be calculated by;

TotalStat - ((6 - CustomStatAmount) * 2)

A armor piece with a total of 68 for example, when focusing on 3 stats, can only reach a custom total of:

68 - ((6 - 3) * 2)
= 62

This is due to legendary armor always dropping with at the very least 2 in each stat, always resulting in a part of the total stat value not contributing to your custom stats.

How do i obtain such gear?

The biggest point here is sadly luck.

There are a few sources of gear that is focused on specific stats like the armor you drop at the end of “Pit of Heresy”, or armor pieces you get via focused umbral engrams – but their source is limited in comparison to randomly dropping armor via activities, prime engrams and other ways of obtaining armor.

Reaching tripple 100’s isn’t a quick and easy task, it’s a long term goal – sorting via custom totals however makes sure you get closer to it step by step, while being able to quickly identify if new gear is better than your current one.

Make sure to always check the custom total of new armor you get – if you just start out, make sure to also filter the “Vendors” tab on DIM via the same commands, after setting up your custom stats. It’s not uncommon that a NPC randomly sells pieces with 45+ in 3 stats on their weekly rotation.