There are many ways to upgrade your weapon! The simplest way is to use them so they gain XP and level up during raids!   
Leveling your weapon increases Handling, Mobility and the kicker... Damage! 
You can always check your Items Progress under the Upgrade Tree found in Upgrade / Modify

Gem Fragments

Gem Fragments can be found while playing raids, every enemy has a chance to drop them.   
Optional Objectives are tasked at the start of raids and completing these will reward you with Gem Fragments!   
Fragments come from doing raids and grinding gems, these fragments can be used to upgrade armored chest pieces and purchase items during raid from the Wandering Merchant.   
You can fuse Gem Fragments together to create gems, and they are used to upgrade a gem to a higher rarity. You can also reverse this process, at a high loss.


Gems are used for applying an attribute to your weapon. Keep in mind that You cannot apply a gem to a gun if it is a lower rarity than it.   
This means, if you want to put a gem on a RARE gun, you need a RARE OR ABOVE gem.   
Gems of MYTHIC+ rarity can be applied on ANY RARITY gun.   
To upgrade gems, you use Gem Fragments.


There are many different unique weapon/equipment variants, these may give bonuses to the item, so pay attention to those!   
Antique boosts the weapon stats by 1%. All items before May have been made Antique.   
Spooky, Easter and Snowy attributes also boost the weapon stats by 1% (this is currently invisible). These can be gained during their respective time of year events!

Boss Essence

Boss Essence can be found during world bosses. The essence dropped will match the boss encountered during the world boss event.   
Boss Essence can be applied to equipment to add the corresponding boss set modifier.   
You can Condense boss set items into boss tears which can then be fused into Boss Essence. 

Related Topics: 2.1 Rarity, 2.2 Stat Mutators, 2.3 Attributes, 2.4 Blessings, Sigils & Sockets, 2.5 Tech, Tiers & Mods, 2.6 Vorpals & Xen Crystals, 2.7 Pets, 2.8 Soulbound