For months now, players in Destiny have been frantically looking for the Sleeper Simulant, a new Exotic heavy weapon that was rumored to be the next must-have melter of bosses. Today, the first Sleeper Simulants have been claimed, but can it replace the mighty Gjallarhorn and all of it’s absurd damage potentials?
How do you get it?
Unlike Gjallarhorn, the only way to obtain the Sleeper Simulant is through a questline that is likely triggered by handing in four fusion rifle relics to the Gunsmith as well as reaching rank 2 with him. These can drop from any enemy at any time, and are identified with the code name DVALIN. It is likely that you can get these through normal gameplay, so even if you could grind enemies for them, its rather inefficient to do so.
Then, a special mission called the First Firewall will be made available to you on Earth. However, it has only appeared once so far and is only available for a day, with most theories suggesting that it appears on the 7th of every month as a homage to Bungie’s favorite number. It is important to note though that this mission spawns Taken and regular Knights in a specific order that you have to memorize (or look up online) to activate another relic that is dropped by the mission’s boss.
Once the relic is activated by inputting the proper set of codes and making a race to the top of a Taken infested colony ship, you will have to dismantle a Legendary quality heavy weapon, complete the Archives mission on Venus, and defend a Warsat in public events on the Moon, Earth, and Mars. Hand in the relic to the Gunsmith, and prepare to wait a day (or more, potentially) to access a special version of the SABER strike on Earth. Once you beat the strike, the Sleeper Simulant is effectively yours.
Is it any good?
For one, it is a solar fusion rifle that only fires one shot. This means that unlike the fire and forget nature of Gjallarhorn, the Sleeper Simulant requires you to expose yourself for a relatively long period of time, aim at a target, and not miss. With a magazine capacity of 3 shots, there is some room for error, but its still for the best if you don’t miss since you can only carry 7 shots in total.
As far as damage goes though, it is fairly impressive. When compared to the 1000 Yard Stare (often considered to be the best sniper rifle that you can get for the raid), the Sleeper Simulant does twice the damage on a critical hit when tested on the shielded Knights in a Tier 2 Court of Oryx encounter. In terms of numbers, the 1000 Yard Stare does 10,000 damage and the Sleeper does 20,000 (roughly). However, the low fire rate and magazine size means that you cannot reliably cause more damage in a short period of time. By the time the Sleeper gets a single shot off, you can likely fire off two shots from the 1000 Yard Stare. On the bright side, even Sunbreaker Titans can be instantly killed in a single shot from the Sleeper Simulant.
This means that it is probably best to use the Sleeper Simulant as a kind of a backup weapon if you are reloading everything else, or as a heavy sniper rifle if you lack a proper sniper rifle, or as a opening shot in a boss fight, but it is too slow and unwieldy to use in a consistent manner otherwise. All in all, the signature perk is also unreliable and fairly useless in normal combat scenarios.
So is the Sleeper Simulant the new Gjallarhorn?
At this point, based on rudimentary testing, no. It lacks the sheer single target damage, area of effect, and ease of use of Gjallarhorn, and it conceivably is only useful if you absolutely feel like you need a loadout where you deal the most damage possible on a single target in exchange for the crowd control offered by machine guns and general lethality of rocket launchers and swords.