Impact is the actual amount of damage dealt with a weapon. However, Attack is how effective that impact is against certain enemies. A gun with high attack will do more damage compared to the same gun with lower attack. As you fight higher levels, your weapons with lower attack will actually take damage penalties and do less damage whereas a weapon with higher attack will do the right amount of damage. Here's an example to make it simple: A weapon with LOW attack against a LOW level enemy will have the same damage efficiency as a weapon with HIGH attack against a HIGH level enemy, assuming the weapons have the same impact. This means every shots will take away the same amount of percentage of the enemies health in both situations. So both weapons will kill their opponents with 10 shots if each shot did 10% of their health. Impact is how much damage is being dealt before being altered by the attack penalties (if there are any penalties). For example, you can kill a level 8 Dreg easy with your level 57 attack weapons, but a level 20 Dreg will give a penalty of like x0.99, so low the damage output says "immune"; this is why it took some people 2 hours to kill one in the beta. If you use a super high attack weapon on a level one enemy, you actually don't like x1000 more damage: this is so you can't one shot level 1 Reaver Captains on Earth and easily farm. The formula is very weird and is simply a balancing factor. Range is how long until your damage begins to drop off. Let's say an auto rifle does 30 damage per shot. It will maintain that 30 damage for some distance and then the damage will drop to let's say 10 damage at range. A sniper, having much more range, will maintain their damage for a very long distance so that you could hit a target and close range for lets say 100 damage and a target at very long range for still 100 damage. This is common in FPS games. Also, you may see snipers with a lot of range (duh) but kind of low impact, this is because the stats are only in relation to the weapons of the SAME type. So compared to shotguns and fusion rifles, it does less damage per shot, but does ALOT of damage down range not to mention headshots, which is my next topic: NOTE: By headshots I also mean critical shots, some enemies have their weak spots elsewhere (Vex, Spider Tank) Headshots have a different damage multiplier for different weapons and will appear in yellow numbers (they are technically called precision shots/kills). From what I tested, they are: Auto Rifles: x1.5 Pulse Rifles: I haven't tested, maybe x2? Scout Rifles: x3 Hand Cannons: I haven't tested, maybe x3? Shotgun: I think it's x1.33 or x1.25, I forgot. Fusion Rifles: (Explanation below) Snipers: x5 I haven't tested heavy weapons. Fusion rifles have NO headshot multipliers, so always aim for the body as it shoots multiple shots once you charge it. You may think "why would I use a fusion then if i can use a shotgun?" Well, although shotguns have more damage, they have very little range and fusion rifles have very good range (less than snipers and scout rifles though) and more damage per shot, but less shots per trigger pull/hold. However, I would wouldn't use it at medium range as you will probably miss your shots as it shots a spread. Shotguns, you will do almost no damage unless you are in maybe around melee range. And you won't do high damage unless you are point blank. Also, you can do headshots with shotguns, unlike fusions, but remember: you have NO range. Shields: Some enemies have shields, like fallen captains and hive wizards. You CANNOT do headshot damage on shields, HOWEVER: elemental damage will INCREASE SIGNIFICANTLY your damage. NOTE: You will get this bonus damage when using the right element: -Arc for Blue shields (usually Fallen) -Fire for Orange shields (usually Hive) -Void isn't known yet. I'm guessing for Purple shields (probably Vex) -Not sure what's up with Cabal Also, I should mention that using the wrong elemental type does less damage (needs testing). Also, the higher the impact of a weapon, the more often in causes a stagger/knock back effect. Keep in mind weapons with low impact make it up with high RoF. In crucible, everyone has 67% of their health as shield. Not sure if same headshot rules apply. There is a lot of controversy. But in hearing that headshots do work more than not. Since fusion rifles can't do headshot damage anyways and ALWAYS do elemental damage, they are pretty much the go to weapon to take out shields without having to get too close. A shotgun with the right element aiming for the head at super close range (like hugging range) will do a lot more damage, but its not easy to get a headshot from that close as the target will move and you put yourself in a lot of danger, that's when fusion rifles obviously come in. Now, your thinking: "what do you mean? Headshots don't work on shields!" Well your right, but with a high damaging shotgun with the correct element, it will easily cut through the shield and all that extra damage, that was aimed at the head, WILL become headshot damage. So I have been going over special weapons for a while now, I'm going to explain them with more simplicity: -Snipers do least damage, but do the most with headshots. -Shotguns do most damage (besides sniper headshot) but have almost no range. -Fusion rifles are a good mix of range and damage, but can't do headshots, but ALWAYS have elemental damage With Primary weapons, currently, hand cannons are simply outclassed: -Scout rifles have highest damage, but are semi automatic. High headshot multiplier. -Pulse rifles fire in bursts, and are a middle ground in terms of damage. -Auto rifles are fully automatic, but generally do the least amount of damage -Hand cannons technically do the most damage, but their small mag and very little ammo and high recoil makes them worthless. With heavies, it's either: -Do I want to blow things up? -Or do I want to spray people down? Both are very effective. I want to also mention, every weapon can have elemental damage except for Primary weapons. Also, different rarities have different attributes: WEAPONS: Basic: Nothing Uncommon: 1 Attachment, 1 Ability Rare: 2 Attachments, 1 Ability Legendary: 2 Attachments, 2 Abilities Exotic: 2 Attachments, 2 Abilities ARMOR: Basic: Nothing Uncommon: 1 Ability, 1 Attribute Rare: 2 Abilities, 1 Attribute Legendary: 2 Abilities, 2 Attributes Exotic: 2 Abilities, 3 Attributes BOOTS: Basic: Nothing Uncommon: 1 Attribute Rare: 1 Ability, 1 Attribute Legendary: 2 Abilities, 1 Attribute Exotic: 2 Abilities, 2 Attributes Not 100% sure on boots. Weapons with highest damage per shot (Uncommons only during beta; the regulator hand cannon has same damage as searcher hand cannon, but is the rare version, I'm just doing the Uncommons, so note they will have equivalents in rarity) Auto Rifles: Cydonia Pulse: (I don't know) Scout: Jigoku Hand Cannon: Searcher Shotgun: Copperhead / Outlander (Outlander had more range usually) Sniper: Gozen Fusion: Nox Revus III Keep in kind these generally have less RoF. Some statistics about some weapon upgrades: -Focused Fire (Increased damage/slower fire rate while aiming) increase damage by 50% but considerably lower fire rate. I feel this is probably the one of the best upgrades as it allows for a selective fire that has more utility at longer ranges and keeps the same at close quarters while hipfiring. My Cydonia has this and I've noticed it to be very good in PvP and PvE. This is probably the best upgrade for autos because of its selective fire and ammo conservation, perfect for the Cydonia Class Weapons (High impact low RoF Autos) and I actually like it more than my Shingen now. I also have it on my RARE Galahad-E, I so desperately wish it will save after beta, lol. Also, the damage increase matches the headshot multiplier and the slower RoF helps accuracy. This combination makes headshots easier to get and x2.25 more damage on each headshot compared to hipfire. -Half Full (Bottom half of mag does more damage) increased damage on bottom half of mag. The first shot of bottem half gains 1 extra point of damage and increase until last shot does 7 (tested on Cydonia) this isn't a very good upgrade in my opinion unless you have a large magazine and even then, 4 points of damage extra on average is pretty useless, Id keep looking for a better upgrade This is a lot of writing, excuse me if I make a mistake. I am not 100% sure of everything here, probably 90%. Remember this is beta and I don't know if the same calculation will apply when game launches. I hope hand cannons get a rework as they don't have good ammo economy. To make them good, they need at least a headshot multiplier of x5 with more base damage (impact). They should be doing more HEADSHOT damage at close range than snipers because of their long reload and small mag with a max reserve ammo of like 50. This buff would ONLY really work in PvE, I don't know how to buff them for PvP as this would make them overpowered in situations.