Mods are items which can be installed into a character's gear to provide additional benefits.
Once the player obtains a mod, this mod is unlocked in their collection, and can be slotted into any appropriate piece of gear. The player does not spend any mods when they are installed, but slotting a mod or swapping it with another one costs Glimmer. Multiple mods can be installed into a piece of armor, a single mod can be installed into a weapon, but some items do not support mods at all.
Year 2 introduced a change to Weapon Mods. Previously, those were used to determine the type of damage done by the weapon: Kinetic, Arc, Solar or Void. Now, these mods slightly alter the weapon's performance, like Backup Mag, which increases a gun's magazine, or Icarus Grip, which improves accuracy while airborne.
Year 3 introduced massive changes to armor, mods included. Each armor piece has an elemental type that determines which armor mods can be installed into it. Armor mods are divided into 6 types: General, Head, Arms, Chest, Legs and Class Item. General Armor Mods can be slotted into a designated slot on any piece of armor, other types can be inserted only in designated slots on the specified armor piece.
Armor pieces also have a certain energy charge value, which can be increased with Glimmer, Legendary Shards and Enhancement Cores. Each armor mod has an energy cost, which displays how much of an armor's charge this mod will take. For example, Bow Dexterity is an Arc Leg Armor Mod with an energy cost of 2. It can be installed only into a designated slot in an Arc type Leg Armor piece which has at least 2 free charges.
Some mods share a certain theme introduced in a Season, and are installed into themed sockets that are present on every piece of armor from that Season. For example, Righteous Cloak is a piece of armor from the Season of Dawn, and has a socket for a Dawn Armor Mod. Armor obtained from Vanguard, Crucible, Gambit and Iron Banner has a themed socket that is determined by a Season in which that armor was obtained by the player.
As of Season of the Worthy, themed sockets support mods from three Seasons: the one where this theme was introduced, and Seasons before and after it.
Season of the Undying brought Seasonal Artifacts into the game. By gaining experience, the player can unlock 12 out of 25 available seasonal mods in the Artifact. These mods are removed from the game at the start of a new Season, unless the next Season's Artifact contains the same mod.
Previously, there was an exchange system, but as of now, the mods can be obtained from these sources:
- Rank-up packages from most of the vendors;
- Banshee-44 sells 2 mods, his stock changes daily;
- Ada-1 sells a selection of weapon mods;
- Some mods can be obtained by doing various activities, like Raids.
Due to the amount of mods in the game, the list of mods is separated by types:
- Weapon Mods
- General Armor Mods
- Helmet Armor Mods
- Arms Armor Mods
- Chest Armor Mods
- Leg Armor Mods
- Class Item Mods
- Seasonal Mods
- Obsolete Mods (archive)
- Outlaw Armor Mods
- Forge Armor Mods
- Opulent Armor Mods
- Undying Armor Mods
- Dawn Armor Mods
- Worthy Armor Mods
- Arrival Armor Mods