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The Masterwork system allows players to incrementally upgrade gear in exchange for increased stats. Items that have realized their full upgrade potential are considered to be Masterworked and are marked with a golden border.


Weapons, armor and Ghost Shells can be upgraded with Glimmer, Legendary Shards, Enhancement Cores, Enhancement Prisms and Ascendant Shards. Only Rare or better armor can be upgraded. Only Legendary weapons can be upgraded. Exotic weapons can be Masterworked with Catalysts.

Upgrading weapons gives them a small bonus to a random stat. Year 1 weapons with fixed rolls can be reworked to relocate bonus points to another random stat. Masterworked weapons generate Orbs of Power on multikills. These Orbs are dropped from defeated enemies. At tier 6 the weapon receives a tracker perk. The player can choose between tracking Guardian kills, enemy kills, or do not track kills with this weapon at all.

Upgrading armor and Ghost Shells increases capacity for Mods, each tier adds a segment to the energy bar. Rare armor always drops at tier 5.

The maximum upgrade tier is 10, at which the piece of gear becomes Masterworked.

  • Masterworked armor pieces gain +2 to all stats, for a total of +12. This includes Class Items.
  • Weapons receive +1 to a specified stat with each upgrade tier, for a total of 10. Masterworked Adept weapons also gain +3 points to all other stats.
  • Exotic weapons gain a special bonus depending on their Catalyst. It might be a simple stat increase, like with Riskrunner, or an additional perk, like with the Ace of Spades.
  • Masterworked Ghost Shells unlock the Activity Mod socket.


This table lists the materials required for each upgrade.

Tier Weapon Armor Exotic Armor Ghost Shell
1 Base tier
2 text-center2500 text-center500 text-center1 text-center500 text-center1 text-center300 text-center1
3 text-center2500 text-center1 text-center500 text-center1 text-center1000 text-center2 text-center500 text-center2
4 text-center2500 text-center1
1 text-center Enhancement Core
text-center500 text-center2 text-center1000 text-center2 text-center700 text-center2
5 text-center2500 text-center2
1 text-center Enhancement Core
text-center1000 text-center2 text-center2500 text-center3 text-center900 text-center3
6 text-center2
2 text-center Enhancement Cores
text-center1000 text-center3
1 text-center Enhancement Core
text-center3000 text-center3
2 text-center Enhancement Cores
text-center1100 text-center3
7 text-center3
2 text-center Enhancement Cores
text-center2500 text-center3
2 text-center Enhancement Cores
text-center3000 text-center4
3 text-center Enhancement Cores
text-center1300 text-center4
1 text-center Enhancement Core
8 text-center3
3 text-center Enhancement Cores
text-center3000 text-center4
1 text-center Enhancement Prism
text-center4000 text-center4
2 text-center Enhancement Prisms
text-center1500 text-center4
1 text-center Enhancement Core
9 text-center5
3 text-center Enhancement Cores
text-center3000 text-center4
2 text-center Enhancement Prisms
text-center4000 text-center5
3 text-center Enhancement Prisms
text-center1700 text-center5
2 text-center Enhancement Cores
10 text-center10
5 text-center Enhancement Cores
text-center4000 text-center5
1 text-center Ascendant Shard
text-center5000 text-center6
3 text-center Ascendant Shards
text-center2000 text-center6
3 text-center Enhancement Cores
Total text-center10,000 text-center27
17 text-center Enhancement Cores
text-center16,000 text-center25
3 text-center Enhancement Cores
3 text-center Enhancement Prisms
1 text-center Ascendant Shard
text-center24,000 text-center30
5 text-center Enhancement Cores
5 text-center Enhancement Prisms
3 text-center Ascendant Shards
text-center10,000 text-center30
7 text-center Enhancement Cores

Other items

Several other items can receive the Masterwork border.

  • Eva's Holiday Oven, a quest item from The Dawning event, becomes Masterworked when the player bakes every cookie at least once. The Masterworked Oven consumes less Essence of Dawning per recipe.
  • Chalice of Opulence, a quest item of the Menagerie, becomes Masterworked when the player buys all of its upgrades. The Masterworked Chalice gains the Perfected upgrade, which makes it so the player gains runes from loot sources which normally grant Imperials.
  • Seasonal Artifacts become Masterworked when the player uses up all 12 Mod unlocks. It does not provide any additional benefit and the item gains a blue border instead of a golden one.


Masterwork Materials drop from a variety of sources. Enhancement Cores drop from vendors, activities, and by dismantling items with 7+ masterwork level. Enhancement Prisms drop from higher end content like Nightfalls and Trials of Osiris. Ascendant Shards drop from the hardest content in the game, such as Master/Grandmaster Nightfalls and Trials Flawless Chests.

Additionally, Spider sells Enhancement Cores for Legendary shards icon1.png30 and Enhancement Prisms for Legendary shards icon1.png400.

Converting Grades

There are methods to exchange one masterwork material for another, with some cost.


Banshee-44 sells higher tier enhancement materials in exchange for lower tier materials.

Banshee-44 Exchange Rates
Enhancement Prisms 10 Enhancement Cores, 25 Planetary Materials, 10000 Glimmer
Ascendant Shards 10 Enhancement Prisms, 100 Planetary Materials, 50000 Glimmer


Masterwork materials can be "downconverted" into lower tier materials by upgrading a piece of armor to a certain level then dismantling. This works because dismantling refunds 50% of materials spent, rounded down.

  • Prism -> Cores
    • Upgrade a piece of armor to masterwork level 8, then dismantle.
    • Receive 6 cores (3 net cores)
  • Shard -> Prism
    • Fully masterwork a piece of armor then dismantle
    • Receive 6 Prisms, 6 Cores (3 net prisms, 3 net cores)