The Swarm machine gun is a returning Vanguard weapon from a couple of years ago. It is a 360 RPM Arc machine gun with a high-impact frame. The weapon has a low rate of fire but every bullet hits like a truck. It’s no Xenophane but it handles a lot better than a rapid-fire machine gun, especially at longer ranges.
Why would want to use this and not something more useful like the Thunderlord? Simple. Maybe you want to use another Exotic in the primary or energy slots. Witherhoard and Fighting Lion come to mind for dealing with mobs. With the right perks, this can be decent against bosses in most PvE end-game content.
When this weapon first came out, it was rather underwhelming. Bungie has since updated the perk pool and given it some pretty strong perks like Rangefinder, Golden Tricorn, and the new Target Lock. And it even comes with a couple of Origin traits the previous gun did not have.
The Swarm Base Stats
These are the weapon’s stats before any perks are applied:
- Impact: 70
- Range: 69
- Stability: 33
- Handling: 35
- Reload Speed: 38
- Zoom: 16
- Rounds per Minute: 360
- Magazine: 47
Stat-wise, The Swarm has a better stat spread compared to others of the same frame and element. This becomes evident when compared to the Seventh Seraph SAW and the Terminus Horizon. Still, the weapon is not going to be meta-defining but it will serve you well if you get used to its rate of fire and recoil.
How to Get The Swarm and its Adept Version
The Swarm can be acquired from the loot chest at the end of a Nightfall mission. It’s never a guarantee but you have better odds by completing Legend and Master difficulty. The adept version of the weapon can only be acquired from Grandmaster Nightfalls. To get the most out of the activity, you’ll need to get a Platinum score.
Once you’ve unlocked the weapon by acquiring an instance of it, you will be able to focus decode Vanguard Engrams from Zavala until you get a roll that’s perfect for you. Note that to focus Adept weapons, you’ll need Nightfall Ciphers.
The Swarm Perk Pool
3rd column perks
- Feeding Frenzy
- Offhand Strike
- Dynamic Sway Reduction
4th column perks
- Tap the Trigger
- Golden Tricorn
- Target Lock
- Vorpal Weapon
The Swarm PvP God Rolls
- 1st Column: Fullbore
- 2nd Column: Accurized Rounds
- Range Masterwork
- Backup Mag Mod
- Dynamic Sway Reduction + Tap the Trigger
- Rangefinder + Tap the Trigger
This combination will guarantee 100 Range for the weapon. It will come at the cost of some handling and stability but they are non-factors at best when this weapon gets going. This setup will also grant you a magazine size of 61. It won’t matter much in PvP but you’re better off having it than not. You can swap out Backup Mag for a Counterbalance Stock Mod to get that recoil direction up to a nice 94 at the cost of resetting your magazine back to its default of 47 bullets.
This is most useful at longer ranges. And it is a machine gun, so it will shred in mid-ranges. Just don’t think you can win fights against an SMG or a shotgun in their intended ranges.
We’re a little hesitant to suggest Rangefinder until we know the full extent of the nerfs to it. But if you happen to come across a Rangefinder and Tap the Trigger roll, it may be worth holding on to. In any case, if you get this roll, you’ll be using this weapon like Xenophage and tap heads from long distance.
You also have options like Pugilist that can help you get your charged-melee back faster and helps bring your handling up a little. It won’t matter much if you’re not already intending on using your charged-melee though.
The Swarm PvE God Rolls
- 1st Column: Arrowhead Brake
- 2nd Column Tactical Mag
- Range Masterwork
- Backup Mag Mod
- Dynamic Sway Reduction + Target Lock
- Feeding Frenzy + Golden Tricorn
The Dynamic Sway and Target Lock combination is good for bosses and most end-game content. The Feeding Frenzy and Golden Tricorn combination, on the other hand, is good at crowd control. The idea here is to have sustained firing with Tactical Mag. Arrowhead Brake gets the recoil direction to 100 so you’ll have it completely vertical all the time. You can also look for rolls with Appended Mag and Extended Mag if you’re running Actium War Rig.
Target Lock is the clear winner here followed closely by Golden Tricorn. And while we don’t recommend Dragonfly, it is a fun perk to have regardless.
All-in-all, the Swarm is a decent weapon to have in your back pocket. With any luck, we’ll get some Arc-related artifact mods next season. Maybe then the gun will finally shine. But we’ll have to wait and see. Good luck and have fun out there, Guardians.
Destiny 2 Season 21 Season of the Deep is set to release on May 23rd, 2023 after weekly reset.