BioWare has revealed a detailed guide for how weapon inscriptions in Anthem work. The guide answers several long-standing questions the Anthem community has had about the game–specifically what inscription icons mean and what damage numbers actually do.
Inscription icons are probably the most important thing to look for on weapons, as they inform you what’s actually being affected. For every inscription that has a gear icon, the effect only applies to the specific weapon or item. If, however, an inscription is marked with a suit-looking icon, then the effect is applied to every weapon and item equipped to your Javelin.
So, for example, in the image above of the Masterwork Wyvern Blitz sniper rifle we found–which can be seen in our gallery of every Masterwork and Legendary weapon we’ve discovered in Anthem so far–you can see that two inscriptions only apply to the weapon itself and another two affect the entire Javelin. The inscriptions that increase weapon reload speed by 15 percent and physical damage by 150 percent only apply to the Wyvern Blitz. The 18 percent bonus to harvested items and 15 percent increase to grenade launcher ammo are added to a Javelin for as long as the sniper is equipped–even if you’re not actually using it.
The other thing to look out for on weapons is the damage number. The damage number is what a weapon does before inscription effects are applied. So looking at the Wyvern Blitz example again, the sniper rifle does 2715 weapon damage prior to the 150 percent physical damage bonus increase.
BioWare offers an even deeper breakdown on how weapon inscriptions work on Reddit. The breakdown ends with two changes the developer has planned for inscriptions going forward. The first is replacing low inscription rolls with ranges, to increase their effect. The second is an increase to the number of unique inscriptions for each weapon or item. No timetable was provided for either change, as BioWare is not sure when they’ll be ready.
If you’re playing Anthem and you need some help, check out some of our other guides. Anthem is available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.