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This should come at no surprise to anyone who have been playing Destiny 2 for any amount of time. Short-ranged weapons do outdamage long-ranged ones to compensate for the risks of being up-close to the enemies, but I always wondered "outdamage by how much?". The short answer is 53% or higher. That is the tl;dr.

Here is a quicky test, done in a Lost Sector (Artifact’s Edge on Nessus) against red bar enemies, precision hits only. Elemental weapons only (as the kinetic ones do more damage by default). No spec mods of any kind. All weapons were infused to 1800 or higher level.

600rpm Damage Delta
Synchronic Roulette (SMG) 2579 -
Perpetualis (Auto) 1685 53%
450rpm Damage Delta
Mykel's Reverence (Sidearm) 3592 -
Ammit Ar2 (Auto) 2307 55.5%
BXR-55 Battler (3-burst Pulse) 2241 60%
Disparity (4-burst Pulse, without Ambush Origin trait) 2222 61.5%
750rpm/720rpm Damage Delta
Blood Feud (SMG) 2340 -
Rufus' Fury (Auto) 1488 57% (effective 64% in DPS due to the slower rpm)

I am not asking for buffs nor nerfs, nor whatever else. I am just bringing this info to light since I have not come across up-to-date sources on it.

Personally, I do enjoy short-ranged weapons and I will keep using them in any content which allows me to get in close range (which fortunately is the majority of PVE content in Destiny 2).

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2 months ago - /u/Destiny2Team - Direct link

Hear you loud and clear. Good news is we've got a balance pass coming for primary weapons in PvE in the mid-season patch, and it doesn’t involve nerfing SMGs. We'll have more info in TWAB at the end of the month.

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