Across Destiny 2's massive and forever-changing live service, the exotic weapon Telesto has proven to be consistently broken. Way back in the first Destiny, the first recorded bug was registered when it was noticed that Telesto could be used to produce special ammo in PvP, greatly increasing players' chances of killing other Guardians. Since its introduction into Destiny 2, the weapon has had many lingering bugs that were not fixed or noticed before they were patched; Telesto has been broken or bugged in Destiny 2 more than 35 times. It's broken the game so many times that there's a website dedicated to tracking the last time it broke the game, and if it currently is.
Telesto has been so problematic for Bungie because of how the weapon functions. While all of Destiny 2's exotic weapons work in interesting ways, Telesto is truly unique. The weapon fires explosive bolts, or spikes, that stick to surfaces, enemies, and sometimes things it shouldn't be able to stick to. The behavior of each bolt is completely unique within the Destiny 2 sandbox, which means that it can interact with basically everything that's not coded as Telesto-proof. Then, when throwing armor and seasonal mods into the mix, things can go from strange to completely broken when combined with the weapon in certain instances.
Telesto's Fight Against Bungie
Telesto's war against Bungie's development team is still ongoing, and its bugs and game-breaking antics are well documented. Over its long history in the game, it's enabled minor bugs in PvE such as sometimes providing players with additional damage with certain mods, or causing heavy ammo to spawn when it shouldn't. It's in PvP where Telesto has caused the most problems, ranging from absurdly long or even infinite supers, to being able to cover friendly Guardians with bolts so they can't be damaged.
The most game-breaking exploits and bugs have ranged from crashing the game in 12-man raids, to crashing someone else's game simply by shooting bolts at their feet while they look down. In every game mode and in every activity, Telesto seems to have broken something.
The impact that Telesto has had on the community and the game has turned it into a cult phenomenon. When Xur sells it, people joke that it's responsible for downtime and unscheduled maintenance. One player made a custom controller fan art that honors the fusion rifle. Players loved the idea of having a Telesto ornament that tracked every time it broke something within the game. Clearly, it has its place within Guardians' favorite weapons, from the Gjallarhorn to the Ice Breaker, but for all the wrong reasons.
Even when Bungie disabled Telesto specifically in PvP game modes because it was breaking things — Telesto decided that actually, it wasn't broken. Somehow, the weapon re-enabled itself for Guardians to exploit in a PvP meta that Bungie specifically disabled Telesto for. However, that doesn't mean that Bungie hasn't both admitted that Telesto is a problem, and has tried its best to fix it on what has been a very regular basis up until now.
Several patches, most of which covered the infamous exploits listed above, have specifically targeted the weapon. Some have been successful, with Guardians in PvP celebrating not having to worry about Telesto's pink mist until the next exploit is found. Others have made it worse. None have seemed to permanently stop the gun from eventually breaking something, and there's no guarantee the Telesto won't break Destiny in the future.
The issues surrounding Telesto's projectiles and how the game handles them are certainly a problem. Bungie clearly can't introduce something into the game that Telesto won't eventually break. But the real history behind Telesto's infamy has been written by the dedicated Destiny 2 community, who have found (and continue to find) ever-inventive ways to break the game with the tiny fusion rifle.
The Future for Telesto
The Destiny 2 community is known for being one of the most dedicated and passionate in gaming today. The achievements that they can pull off can be incredible, from one-manning raids to advanced code-breaking. That same spirit also applies to players finding new and interesting ways to break the game through testing Telesto, especially with each iteration of Destiny 2's updated live service.
Destiny 2 is constantly evolving, with larger seasons and expansions. This means the sandbox is consistently changing, with new systems — such as the new Void 3.0 and Stasis subclasses — and new assets being brought into an already massive game, making it more complex with each iteration.
During this process, someone will find that Telesto can suddenly do something it shouldn't be able to do. It's shared on social media, the fallout of which ends with PvP or Trials of Osiris matches covered in pink mist (or even a new grenade type — one bug made covering smoke bombs in Telesto projectiles a flash-bang). Much like how Guardians flocked to Destiny's loot cave as soon as it was found, the same happens with the mighty Telesto.
It has now been around half a year since someone has found a Telesto exploit. However, if Telesto is kept in the game, even with existing nerfs, somewhere, some Guardian will find something that they weren't supposed to find. Destiny, as one of the largest live-service games currently on the market that's consistently updating and changing its sandbox, there will be one exotic weapon lurking in the background, waiting patiently for its time once again. Much like the pyramid ships and the unfolding mystery that the Witch Queen expansion has brought to the game, Telesto is the one mystery that Bungie itself just can't seem to solve.
Destiny 2 is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.