Destiny 2 Weapon Crafting Guide: The Relic, Resonant Elements, Alloys, And More

Destiny 2's new Witch Queen expansion has some wonderful toys in its sandbox, and you can make them even better with some tinkering.


One of the more interesting systems introduced in Destiny 2: The Witch Queen is weapon crafting, allowing you to use the mysterious new Relic to create and customize unique tools of destruction. You'll unlock the ability to create and tweak your arsenal early on in the game's campaign, but if the mechanics behind weapon crafting appear to be complicated, then this guide will break it down for you.

Where to start weapon crafting

At the start of The Witch Queen campaign, you'll visit Mars and Ikora Rey as part of the quest to stop Savathun's latest scheme. On Mars you'll have access to the Relic in the Enclave, where you can begin the process. But before you start adjusting the firing pins on your favorite submachine gun, you'll need to gather a few other tools.

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Now Playing: Opinion: The Witch Queen Is Destiny 2's Best Campaign Yet

You'll first need to acquire a new Darkness ability, Deepsight, to help you become a weaponsmith. This ability, which allows you to view memories of past events and unveil hidden objects, is unlocked within the first few missions of The Witch Queen and is free to all players. Once you have Deepsight, you'll then be able to obtain weapons with a red border in your inventory, indicating they have Deepsight Resonance. By using these enough, you'll be able to extract materials necessary for crafting.

Weapon patterns

To start shaping a weapon, you'll first need to unlock its pattern. This is primarily done by attuning red-border weapons, although completing some quests will unlock these patterns as a reward. If you need to see how far you are in your progress towards unlocking a weapon pattern, you can navigate to the Triumphs area in the menus and select Patterns & Catalysts.

As part of what serves as a tutorial for the Relic, you'll be given the pattern for the Enigma, one of the new glaive weapons. You can choose from several perks and traits such as magazines, barrels, and other components, and the more you level up a weapon through repeated use, the more you'll be able to shape the design of your gear. Not every weapon has a pattern that can be extracted, but Bungie plans to add more in the future.

How to shape and reshape weapons

Shape or reshape your weapons for Destiny 2.
Shape or reshape your weapons for Destiny 2.

To begin crafting a weapon--or "shaping," as it's known--you'll head to the Relic at the Enclave and select from the blueprints you've unlocked. Choose its intrinsic stat, two minor perks, two traits, and finalize the shape. Initially, your options will be limited, but by shaping a weapon and using it, you'll level it up and unlock more options.

The main materials needed for this process are Neutral Elements, Resonant Alloy, and some of your Glimmer currency. You can read more about them in the section below.

Reshaping a gun allows for your firearm to be modified, as you can swap perks around to create something that better suits your style of play. You'll be able to choose from the perk pool available on the gun, and if you've leveled the weapon up enough, there'll be a varied selection to pick and swap from.

Eventually, you'll unlock enhanced traits, which are more effective versions of standard traits. However, equipping these to your weapon comes at a much higher cost, requiring more materials and an Ascendant Alloy. This rare material is earned from the weekly campaign mission that is unlocked when Fynch reaches Rank 13 or from Master Mode Wellspring when Fynch reaches Rank 18.

You can see just how much the shaping will cost you before you commit to it, but don't get back any previous materials when reshaping a weapon. You can reshape your guns as many times as you want though, if you have the materials to do so.

Resonant materials

Resonant Materials
Resonant Materials

You'll be able to acquire the following Resonant Materials and Elements while playing through Destiny 2's regular activities, which you can use to shape and reshape weapons:

Resonant Alloys

You'll need Resonant Alloys as the primary material for inserting intrinsic--adaptive, aggressive, precision, etc.--perks. Higher weapon levels allow for Masterwork-like stat bonuses, and there are different types of Resonant Alloys to collect. Some of them are specific to certain activity types, such as Raids, but they can primarily be gained from dismantled weapons or activity completion rewards.

Ascendant Alloys and Resonant Elements

Ascendant Alloys and Resonant Elements are used to add Enhanced Traits to your shaped weapons, and can be obtained from weekly Witch Queen campaign missions and Throne World Offensives. Alternatively, you can purchase them from the Cryptarch or Banshee-44 in the Tower.


Mementos don't provide any tangible benefits to weapons, but they do offer a visual upgrade as cosmetic options. If you're looking for special shaders and trackers, you'll want to complete specific activities so that you can unlock them for some added vanity flair.

Resonant Elements

You'll need Resonant Elements for Perk Components. All perks require Neutral Elements, while trait perks need specific types of Resonant Elements. Some examples include:

  • Ruinous Elements: For damage or projectile modification-related trait perks.
  • Adroit Elements: For weapon performance-related trait perks such as handling and stability.
  • Mutable Elements: Provides ability modification-related trait perks.
  • Energetic Elements: Used for ammo or reload-related trait perks.
  • Drowned Elements: These are Raid-exclusive trait perks.

Leveling up weapons

Kills for skills, Guardian.
Kills for skills, Guardian.

The process of leveling up a weapon is incredibly simple. Merely use it when you're out in the field, and the more enemies you defeat with it, the further you'll advance its progress towards reaching a new level. The higher the level of a weapon, the more (and better) frames and perks you'll have to choose from when shaping or reshaping it. Experience can also be earned just from having the weapon equipped, so you don't have to actively use it in while in combat.

Attuning weapons

This SMG is great, but it can be better.
This SMG is great, but it can be better.

Resonant weapons need to be attuned with Deepsight Resonance, which in turns extracts Resonant Materials from them. These materials are then used to shape new weapons or improve existing ones.

You'll need to choose which materials to extract when you attune a weapon, as you can only do this once. Afterwards, the gun will lose its unique aspect and will function as a regular weapon. Also worth noting is that weapons will need to have a 100% Resonance rating before Deepsight Resonance can be extracted. Progressing Deepsight Resonance is easy though, as you'll increase the weapon's attunement progress either by using it or having it equipped.

As a reminder, you'll unlock different Resonant Weapons through various world activities and as rewards during the course of The Witch Queen's campaign.

For more Witch Queen guides, check out five things you should do first in Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, how to get the Exotic Catalyst for Grand Overture, how to get the Dead Messenger Exotic grenade launcher, and how to get Osteo Striga.

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