There's no denying that firing a weapon in Destiny 2 feels great, regardless of what weapon it is.
Every bullet burrowed deep in the juicebox of a Vex enemy is a bullet well spent, but what are the best Destiny 2 weapons to pop those glowing white boxes in the most efficient way possible?
This page goes through each weapon type - from the classic Auto Rifle to the more unique variants, such as Bows, Linear Fusion Rifles and Trace Rifles - to help you narrow down your end-game grind.
Disclaimer before we begin - there obviously isn't a definitive 'best' weapon, no matter the category, or how many The Recluse and Izanagi builds you see.
But there is no doubt some are better than most - and there are some weapons you should really keep your eye out for and to track down, which is where the page will hopefully come in handy.
On this page:
- How we decided our Destiny 2 best weapons list
- Best Sub Machine Guns in Destiny 2
- Best Auto Rifles in Destiny 2
- Best Sniper Rifles in Destiny 2
- Best Rocket Launchers in Destiny 2
- Best Fusion Rifles in Destiny 2
- Best Linear Fusion Rifles in Destiny 2
- Best Scout Rifles in Destiny 2
- Best Pulse Rifles in Destiny 2
- Best Sidearm in Destiny 2
- Best Bows in Destiny 2
- Best Hand Cannons in Destiny 2
- Best Shotguns in Destiny 2
- Best Grenade Launchers in Destiny 2
- Best Swords in Destiny 2
- Best Trace Rifles in Destiny 2
- Best Machine Guns in Destiny 2
How we decided our Destiny 2 best weapons list
As Destiny 2 continues to grow and expand with every passing quarter, so does its array of weapons. Finding the perfect weapon for you can prove pretty difficult, especially with so much choice.
It's important to outline the criteria of our list. First of all, it needs to be obtainable. That means we won't be suggesting Ritual Weapons from a past season as they are no longer obtainable.
Secondly, accessibility and obtainability is a big factor in our choices. There's no point in telling you to go out and get Roderix Broadsword or Not Forgotten when it's nearly impossible for some or simply a massive time investment.
We will still include those from Exotic quests, because all players will be able to start them, and they tend to be worth the effort.
Finally, we tried to give a variety of weapons with different applications where possible. That means there's a reason to pick up more than one in each category, and we'll explain why you might want to do just that.
As for specific type of weapon to go for - given the seasonal artefact will change with each successive season, which in turn will tweak the meta with its perks, the best bet is to ensure you have a spread of best weapons so you can continue to top up your treasury, keeping you in the fight against the countless onslaught of enemies hiding throughout the galaxy.
Now for the list!
Best Sub Machine Guns in Destiny 2
Here are our best Sub Machine Gun recommendations in Destiny 2:
How to obtain: Complete the pinnacle weapon bounty 'From the Mouth of Babes' from Lord Shaxx, which involves completing a whole bunch of Crucible matches and reaching the competitive rank of Fabled.
The Recluse shreds and the Master of Arms buff means that it can tear through waves of enemies after you score your first kill. It has been nerfed twice, but its rather manageable recoil and damage means that it's still a strong contender for your secondary slot. The fact that it uses primary ammo and the feeding frenzy perk allows it power through your reserves in seconds.
The Hero's Burden
How to obtain: The only way to get this legendary SMG is through the Iron Banner. Just keep turning in tokens until you obtain, then turn in even more until you find a better roll.
While it's not as good as The Recluse, The Hero's Burden has some comparable stats when coupled with the right scope, kill clip, and Zen Moment. This is the ideal weapon for those that struggle with competitive Destiny 2, but don't mind firing through some Iron Banner.
Risk Runner (Exotic)
How to obtain: Complete the 'Pain and Gain' quest from Banshee-44 in the Tower.
Just like the previous two SMGs, it's a 900rpm SMG with great stats. What sets it apart from the previous two is that it's far easier to get and involves absolutely no Crucible or RNG. It also works incredibly well in activities that involve Fallen or have abundances of Vex Milk to charge your Arc Conductor.
Best Auto Rifles in Destiny 2
Here are our best Auto Rifle recommendations in Destiny 2:
How to obtain: Complete the Breakneck quest given to you by the Drifter. This involves getting 100 Auto Rifle multikills, killing 150 challenging (yellow bar) enemies, and finishing 40 Gambit matches.
The combination of Rampage and Onslaught means that Breakneck thrives in areas with lots of low health and standard enemies. As it requires you to play a lot of Gambit to unlock, it's quite fitting that it's the perfect weapon for that activity.
How to obtain: Nightmare hunts on the Moon and through completing the Essence of Failure quests.
Most will tell you the best build of Arc Logic will have the outlaw and Rampage perks. They're probably right. Although the fact that this can also drop with Subsistence is just as equally tantalising when you roll it alongside Rampage too. Both rolls are good, both rolls are fun, and both rolls will deal with ads in the same satisfying fashion.
Monte Carlo (Exotic)
How to obtain: Exotic Engrams.
Monte Carlo is the perfect weapon for a melee based build. You punch to get more damage and ammo while killing anything will also increase Monte Carlo's damage output. It also doesn't rely on random rolls to be good. You get it, slap it on, and go nuts.
Hard Light (Exotic)
How to Obtain: Exotic Engrams
With the release of Season of the Worthy, a lot of buffs were implemented for Auto Rifles. While there were a lot of winners, Hard Light seems to be the big winner of these changes. There's not a crucible match without it. So, if your Hard Light is gathering dust, or you hadn't really considered it, you've got plenty of tie to reconsider its retirement.
Best Sniper Rifles in Destiny 2
Here are our best Sniper Rifle recommendations in Destiny 2:
How to obtain: Izanagi's Burden quest
While Izanagi's burden saw a few nerfs in the Season of the Worthy it is still one of the best damage per second weapons in the game when you have its catalyst. The ability to preserve ammo for individual enemies by killing them with one bullet or consuming a whole magazine to get one extremely powerful shot makes it very versatile.
How to obtain: Random drop from The Swords Reckoning boss
With the right perks, preferably Firing Line coupled with Fourth Time's the Charm or Triple Tap, the Sole Survivor offers a pack of snipers additional damage.
While Fourth Time's the Charm and Triple tap are very nice to have, Firing Line and a group of other guardians using the same perk in close proximity are musts. In turn it means that Sole Survivor viability is predicated on stationary damaged phases and the size of your fireteam.
How to obtain: Through the Menagerie.
Beloved has some amazing assist which makes it one of the best snipers for Player vs Player activities. You'll pop heads with ease and if you're able to get a roll with Snapshot Sights, Quick Draw, No Distractions, or Box Breathing you'll be unstoppable.
Best Rocket Launchers in Destiny 2
Here are our best Rocket Launcher recommendations in Destiny 2:
Wardcliff Coil (Exotic)
How to obtain: Exotic engrams
There have been points in Destiny 2's life cycle where the Wardcliff Coil just feels great. Even though it isn't as dominant in the current meta, it's by no means a slouch. There are infamous videos where people can one plate Calus with this Exotic Rocket Launcher and the multiple rockets that spew forth from the chamber can take on tight knit enemy packs wit little to no trouble.
Sins of the Past
How to obtain: The Leviathan Raid drop.
Outside of it looking straight up baller, Sins of the Past is a great fast Rocket Launcher that packs a punch. It's fallen off largely due to the next weapon on our list, but it's still a notable weapon for those that haven't managed to find a good Bad Omens roll. There's also the added bonus that it's a static Year One roll, so when you do get it there's no chance it will be a rubbish version.
How to obtain: The Menagerie by using Ambition Runes, and Purple Runes together or Gambit match drops.
Bad Omens is like a suped-up Sins of the past if you find a roll with Cluster Bombs. It's doubly scary if you can get Cluster Bombs and Tracking Module - which you'll receive upon your second Gambit Infamy rank reset as a reward, which takes some work but is a guaranteed way to get it.
While it will never reach the dizzying heights of the long forgotten Gjallahorn of Destiny 1, it's surprisingly deadly. Just ask Riven.
Best Fusion Rifles in Destiny 2
Here are our best Fusion Rifle recommendations in Destiny 2:
How to obtain: Complete the Loaded Question Quest for the Vanguard / Strikes. This involves 500 Fusion Rifle kills in strikes, 1,000 arc kills, and 40 strikes finished.
The perks, Auto Reloading Holster and Reservoir Burst, mean that you need to play a little different but it's largely a pretty solid weapon. Being able to fire a shot, switch back to your primary and switch back for another powerful shot after picking up special ammo is pretty unique for a Fusion Rifle.
Even without the perks, it's still a reasonably fast charging Fusion Rifle but there could be better alternatives if you aren't willing to play in the way the perks demand.
How to obtain: Rank up packages in the Tower or The Menagerie with the following runes: Excess, Blue, and Blue.
Like, this is one of the most frustrating weapons to run into in the crucible. There's a reason that it's almost an instant pick. It has a fast charge time, it's fairly accurate, and it does a good amount of damage.
Some would argue that it's better than a shotgun at times purely because of its range. By far the best roll to aim for is a medium range scope, Projection Fuse, Moving Target or Under Pressure , and Backup Plan
How to obtain: Jotunn quest.
Jotunn is an absolute nightmare in the Crucible in the right hands. It can track you down and has just enough shots to help claw back some minor gaps with relative ease. While it's nothing to shout about in most activities, it's one of the more interesting weapons to put in your loadout when it comes to the Crucible.
Best Linear Fusion Rifles in Destiny 2
Here are our best Linear Fusion Rifle recommendations in Destiny 2:
The Queenbreaker (Exotic)
How to obtain: Exotic Engrams.
With the potential to One Touch Kill enemy guardians, it's pretty impressive accuracy and range, and the fact that it blinds anyone it doesn't kill means that you can finish any tougher guardians off in an instant. It's no longer in vogue when it comes to Gambit, but its time will come (again).
Sleeper Simulant (Exotic)
How to obtain: Sleeper Simulant quest
Just like a few other weapons on this list, Sleeper Simulant has fallen off. This is largely due to nerfs. There are still some players that like to try and use this in raids, largely because of its ability to bounce back for extra damage.
With the ammo nerfs and some of the other tweaks, it's pretty much dead in Crucible. The only real reason you'd want to collect this is when you need a Linear Fusion Rifle in a raid or lack the specific top tier damage dealing exotic weapons.
How to obtain: Gunsmith packages and world drops.
Crooked Fang-4FR with the Opening Shot and Backup Plan is your legendary replacement Linear Fusion Rifle if you don't have Queenbreaker. Some have argued its better, especially since it allows you to slot a far better exotic in other weapon slots.
It's definitely a very good choice for those dealing with some gruelling Liner Fusion Rifle related bounties.
Best Scout Rifles in Destiny 2
Here are our best Scout Rifle recommendations in Destiny 2:
MIDA Multi-Tool (Exotic)
How to obtain: mida Multi-Tool quest
The MIDA Multi-Tool was an absolute monster in Crucible when Scout Rifles were king. It's still a great tool when you play as a team and team shot. It's unbelievably precise and a few headshots will drop players, plus your radar doesn't disappear when aiming down sites - helping your map awareness in Crucible massively. If Trials of the Nine ever returns, you'll absolutely want this in your pocket.
How to obtain: Tangled Shore Sundial Bounties and Gunsmith packages.
Black Scorpion-4sr is a budget void damage Randy's Throwing Knife. It's significantly easier to get and with Zen Moment and Outlaw enables it to hang with both the other Scouts mentioned in this section. There's also the added bonus that it frees up your exotic spot too.
Jade Rabbit (Exotic)
How to obtain: Exotic Engrams.
If your team are refusing to use a whole load of MIDA Multi-Tools, you can always switch to this Scout Rifle. It's ability to deal pretty significant body damage and the increased stability from those shots means that you don't need to risk a lot of headshots in fast paced matches. This weapon excels particularly in the Momentum Control game mode.
Best Pulse Rifles in Destiny 2
Here are our best Pulse Rifle recommendations in Destiny 2:
How to obtain: Black Armory Pulse Rifle frames.
Great range, hard hitting, and it's a quick time to kill in Crucible. At 450rpm and as an aggressive frame, it's just a straight up better version of the Go Figure. Largely you'd favour Flared Magwell, Feeding Frenzy, and Rampage or Kill Clip.
With a finite set of perks to roll, it means that you often stumble upon a great roll of the Blast Furnace more frequently than others.
Outbreak Perfected (Exotic)
How to obtain: Outbreak Perfected quest
The Outbreak Perfected was the must have gun when Crown of Sorrow first released. It encouraged team play and precision kills to reload fast and the more kills you got resulted in more damage due to the SIVA Nanites that spawn after rapid hits and kills.
When a whole team is using the gun, you'll find that the nanite stacking drops off but still allows you to deal a considerable amount of damage.
How to obtain: Gambit Drops and from The Drifter packages.
For those that think the Blast Furnace is a little too fast, you can opt for Bygones. Ideally you want Rampage or Kill Clip coupled with Outlaw as a perk. When it comes to Pulse Rifles, there's an element of preference at hand.
Best Sidearm in Destiny 2
Here is our best Sidearm recommendation in Destiny 2:
How to Obtain: Crucible Vanguard Packages.
Currently, Sidearms aren't in a good place. Those we could recommend, like Devil's Ruin and Breachlight, are no longer available. If you do insist on a sidearm, we would recommend Anonymous Autumn thanks to its fast rate of fire. The most popular perks are currently Full Auto Trigger, largely because maintaining a fire rate with this pistol is HARD, Ricochet Rounds, Target SAS, and Kill Clip/Rampage.
Best Bows in Destiny 2
Here are our best Bow recommendations in Destiny 2:
Tyranny of Heaven
How to obtain: Last Wish raid drop.
Plain and simple, it's a lightweight bow that benefits largely from Archer's Tempo and Dragonfly making it pack a decent punch and fire pretty damn fast so long as you are hitting your precision shots.
How to obtain: Le Monarque quest.
If you are a head popping god when it comes to bows and like damage over time effects, this is the bow for you. It doesn't have the immediate impact of the Tyranny of Heaven, but it does allow you to dip out of combat and prevent shields from regenerating which is pretty unique.
How to obtain: Leviathan's Breath quest.
Outside of staggering Unstoppable Champions, this is kinda rubbish. Why is it on the list? Well, it's here purely on its ability to disrupt Unstoppable Champion barriers without you committing to changing your preferred legendary primary and secondary weapons. It also one shot body shots guardians in their super in Crucible.
Best Hand Cannons in Destiny 2
Here are our best Hand Cannon recommendations in Destiny 2:
How to obtain: The Menagerie with Desire and Red runes.
If you're using Hand Canons you're probably playing Crucible but Austringer actually works in other activities too, making it the most flexible Hand Canon on the list. You can continuously farm it through The Menagerie and you'll want Outlaw and Rampage for non-Crucible activities, but in a rare occurrence you'll want to aim for Rangefinder and Eye of the Storm perks when it comes to Crucible.
How to obtain: Gambit drop, The Drifter, and the Menagerie when combining Desire, Purple, and Red runes.
It rewards accuracy, massively. It has a decent rate of fire and the combination of Dragonfly and Rampage perks means that it can flex in Crucible and elsewhere if you really want it to.
How to obtain: Leviathan raid drop.
Just like the prior HCs, this is just a good accurate weapon that packs a punch. What makes it more appealing than the other two is that it has a defined roll meaning you'll need to grind for it significantly less.
How to Obtain: Lumina Exotic Quest
Before its release, there was a lot of hype behind Lumina. Then it released. Players soon realised that the support abilities of Lumina just didn't quite match up to expectations and the lacklustre stats resulted in a lack of play. Now, with the Season of the Worthy, Lumina has a catalyst that significantly improves the weapons viability to the point that it's an absolute must have.
Best Shotguns in Destiny 2
Here are our best Shotgun recommendations in Destiny 2:
How to obtain: Finishing Escalation Protocol Wave 7, random drop from specific bosses.
In spite of the near countless number of nerfs levied at Ikelos, it's still alive and kicking. Obviously it's not quite the level it used to be, but the full auto trigger system, trench barrel, and moving target perks mean that you can still stick in disgustingly close to whatever you're up against and hold the trigger until one of you melts - after a quick punch to the face, of course.
Dust Rock Blues
How to obtain: World Drops or from the Menagerie using the Wealth, Blue, and Green runes.
This is 100% a Crucible weapon and it's the only place you should look to use it. As a Kinetic shotgun you'll find an abundance of ammo and at 55rpm means it fires at a reasonable rate. When used with Snapshot Sights or Rampage with Slideshot it also packs a little bit more of a punch and has a very deceptive range.
Tractor Cannon (Exotic)
How to obtain: Exotic Engrams.
Unlike the aforementioned two shotguns, this weapon does not pack a punch. What it does, however, is far better when working as a team in close range boss battles. Tractor Cannon basically applies a debuff to an enemy which allows everyone else in your team to do extra damage and that's pretty cool in our books. Help yo friends.
Best Grenade Launchers in Destiny 2
Here are our best Grenade Launcher recommendations in Destiny 2:
Love and Death
How to obtain: By completing the Essence of Insanity quest on the moon or a random drop from Nightmare Hunt: Insanity.
Love and Death with a very specific roll is deadly. It can basically go shoulder to shoulder with any of the pinnacle weapons you'd pick in its place and it's far easier to obtain. It's also not gated behind timed activities, like Swarm of the Raven, making it that bit more appealing. The ideal variation of this weapon should have Full Court, Spike Grenades and Field Prep perks.
How to obtain: By completing the pinnacle weapon challenge 'The Ascent', which requires a ludicrous number of multikills with grenade launchers in the Crucible and a few other equally frustrating requirements.
It's literally the fastest Grenade Launcher in the game. That's basically it. It shoots fast, hits hard, and reloads fast. It's just the best version of this type of weapon that doesn't occupy the heavy slot and isn't an exotic.
How to obtain: Exotic Engrams.
So, this actually isn't one of the best grenade launchers in terms of ability, but it's unbelievably obtainable. That doesn't mean it's weak, though. The Prospector is genuinely pretty good for damage, has a decent reload, and can fire damn fast by just holding down the trigger thanks to the full auto trigger system.
Best Swords in Destiny 2
Here are our best Sword recommendations in Destiny 2:
Black Talon (Exotic)
How to obtain: Exotic drop.
It does a big swishy sword projectile, gives you ammo back for every second kill, and has pretty good base damage. Given it's frame, it might not swing the fastest but it will deal a reasonable amount of damage when it does hit and from a far safer distance thanks to its projectile.
It Stared Back
How to obtain: Leviathan Raid drop.
It Stared Back favours the bold. If you can get close enough to land successive strikes, your damage output will increase dramatically and you'll regenerate a significant amount of ammo spent back thanks to the Relentless Strikes perk.
Best Trace Rifles in Destiny 2
Here is our best Trace Rifle recommendation in Destiny 2:
How to obtain: Divinity quest
Like all of the sweetest things, Divinity is only good in small doses. One dose, to be precise. Divinity is one of the most unique support tools in Destiny 2 right now.
Its ability to damage an enemy while creating a weak spot that allows others to hit critical damage more easily is definitely worth considering in high level activities, especially when you want a quick damage phase.
There is only one good Trace Rifle. Prometheus Lens is dead, and for good reason!
In 2020, we've seen several new additions - from the Empyrean Foundation taking us up to new Season of the Worthy Exotics, new Powerful and Pinnacle Gear and new ways to earn it. Earlier in the year, we've seen the recent arrival of the Garden of Salvation raid challenges, and elsewhere in Year 3 Armor 2.0, K1 Logistics, K1 Revelation, K1 Crew Quarters and K1 Communion locations. There are also several new weapon quests, including the Deathbringer quest, Divinity quest, Leviathan's Breath quest and Xenophage quest. The Trials of Osiris have also returned. We also have a list of our best Destiny 2 weapons recommendations, which includes Jotunn and Le Monarque.
Best Machine Guns in Destiny 2
Here are our best Machine Guns recommendations in Destiny 2:
How to obtain: Black Armory frames.
Due to the limited selection of Machine Guns currently in Destiny 2, Hammerhead wins purely on the basis that it has the ability to find better rolls like Feeding Frenzy and Rampage. Couple that with a reasonable magazine size and good stability, it's probably the preferred Machine Guns for Crucible.
How to obtain: Complete the "By Your Bootstraps" Gambit quest which requires you to get 75 multikills of 5 or more, defeat a load of Envoys and Primevals, and reset your Infamy rank in Gambit.
Overflow and Killing Tally are nuts. You can basically empty about 200 bullets without stopping. Just hold the trigger and melt anything in your path. It's not great in Crucible, but this is the current go to for a Machine Gun across the game.
How to obtain: Exotic Engrams.
As the Machine Gun that welcomed the archetype back to the game not too long ago. It's best used to blitz through a series of small enemies and the extra perks of Feeding Frenzy and Lightning Rounds means that it gets more and more accurate the longer you hold the trigger.