Best Hunter exotics in Destiny 2: Season 18 Tier List Ranking

by | Sep 29, 2022

Exotic armor is a truly unique and important part of Destiny 2. While weapons get most of the attention, your choice of armor plays a crucial role too. This is especially true for Exotic armor, as that one single piece of equipment can elevate your playstyle and lethality to new levels. Destiny 2 is all about finding synergies within your gear, and Exotic armor is often the first piece of the puzzle.

This guide covers every Hunter Exotic in Destiny 2. We’ll rank them from best to worst, and explain how to use them for maximum lethality.

Checkmark icon V3Updated as of Season of Plunder’s release (S18).

Destiny 2 Hunter Exotics Tier list

The Tier list below includes every Hunter Exotic armor piece in the game. It starts with the S Tier weapons and moves down from there:

NameTypeRankExcelsSubclassSourceRequirementsArmorTier rankSubclass?Final Verdict
Star-Eater ScalesLegsS › BestPvENeutralLost SectorsBeyond LightStar Eater Scales Destiny 2 art

Star-Eater Scales

Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

Exotic Perk: "You gain additional Super energy from Orbs of Power you pick up. While your Super energy is full, picking up an Orb of Power overcharges your Super, causing you to gain a burst of healing when cast and a bonus to your Super damage. At maximum overcharge, you also gain an overshield."

Star-Eater Scales is a beast. It focuses entirely on your super and can buff Hunters' supers to the highest DPS levels in the game. When using Star-Eater Scales, all subclasses get the highest DPS supers in the game, making Star-Eater Scales an excellent pick everywhere, no matter the difficulty.
OmnioculusChestS › BestPvE + PvPVoidLost SectorsBeyond LightOmnioculus Destiny 2 art

Omnioculus

Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Void Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Void
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

Exotic Perk: "You gain a second Smoke Bomb charge and have damage resistance while invisible. When you make an ally invisible, they gain damage resistance while invisible and you gain melee energy."

Omnioculus is a ridiculously strong exotic. Granting an extra smoke bomb charge and giving melee energy when you make allies invisible is already excellent. However, giving your team damage resistance on demand takes Omnioculus to another level in both PvP and PvE.
Aeon SwiftArmsS › BestPvENeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayAeon Swift Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Aeon Swift

Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Aeon Exotics have an additional mod socket which is used for Aeon Cult mods."

The Aeon sets are a must-have for anyone looking to take endgame PvE seriously. They are an excellent pick for Grandmaster Nightfalls and often a necessity for some boss encounters in Day 1 Raids. They eliminate the RNG that comes with ammo drops and help your team enormously.
Assassin's CowlHelmS › BestPvENeutralExotic EngramsShadowkeepAssassin's Cowl Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Assassin's Cowl

Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Powered melee final blows grant invisibility and restore a portion of health and shields. Finishers and final blows against more powerful targets increase the duration of the invisibility and the amount of health and shields."

The Assassin's Cowl is the perfect Solo exotic. Both Gunslinger and Arcstrider can use this exotic brilliantly with the correct setup, allowing you to basically stay invisible forever. You can find a detailed build on how to synergize Radiant and Assassin's Cowl here.
St0mp-EE5LegsS › BestPvPNeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlaySt0mp-EE5 Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

St0mp-EE5

Best

S



Excels in:
PvP
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Increases sprint speed and slide distance. Improves High Jump, Strafe Jump, and Triple Jump."

St0mp-EE5, despite their airborne effectiveness nerf, remains a big favorite among PvP Hunter mains. The quality of life that Stompees provide and the ability to outmaneuver your opponents are rightfully valued highly and can take your movement to another level.
Wormhusk CrownHelmS › BestPvE + PvPNeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayWormhusk Crown Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Wormhusk Crown

Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "We strive to know infinity, and sharpen our minds on the whetstone of the impossible."

Wormhusk Crown is a ridiculously easy to use exotic which provides an incredible benefit. While there are some other means of healing, notably Healing Grenade on Solar, Wormhusk remains as a pick that is good no matter what you are playing in the game.
Renewal GraspsArmsS › BestPvEStasisLost SectorsThe Witch QueenRenewal Grasps Hunter Destiny 2 art

Renewal Grasps

Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Stasis Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Stasis
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

Exotic Perk: "Your Duskfield grenades have a much larger effect radius. Allies inside the Duskfield take reduced damage and targets inside the area deal reduced damage."

Renewal Grasps took a big (and deserved) nerf in PvP. Its damage resistance was reduced, and the cooldown was massively increased. Despite this, Renewal Grasps retained their PvE damage resist, making them an incredible option for players looking to be more defensive. We have a build using these on our Hunter Builds guide.
Caliban's HandArmsS › BestPvESolarLost SectorsThe Witch QueenCaliban's Hand Hunter Destiny 2 art

Caliban's Hand

Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Solar Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Solar
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

Exotic Perk: "Your Proximity Knife scorches targets it damages with its explosions, or ignites targets on a direct hit. After throwing a Proximity Knife, you gain increased melee regeneration until the knife explodes."

Caliban's Hand turns your Explosive Knives into Ignition proccing machines. Simply getting a kill with your Explosive knife will cause an Ignition. We have an excellent build using the Caliban's Hand here. Caliban's Hand can turn your knives into add clearing machines with the right setup.
Gyrfalcon's HauberkChestS › BestPvE + PvPVoidLost SectorsThe Witch QueenGyrfalcon's Hauberk Hunter Exotic

Gyrfalcon's Hauberk

Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Void Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Void
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

Exotic Perk: "Your weapons gain a bonus to damage briefly after you emerge from being invisible. When you are invisible and defeat a combatant using a finisher, you and your nearby allies gain a reserve overshield and improved class ability regen. These reserve overshields can be deployed by using a class ability."

Gyrfalcon's Hauberk plays into the 'striking from the shadows' fantasy that Nightstalker brings. In PvP, you have a 15% damage buff, and in PvE, you have a whopping 35% damage buff. Any invisibility sources will activate Gyrfalcon's Hauberk, so exotics like Rat King or Heartshadow can make for very fun combos.
Mask of BakrisHelmA › StrongPvE + PvPStasisLost SectorsBeyond LightMask of Bakris Destiny 2 art

Mask of Bakris

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Stasis Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Stasis
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

Exotic Perk: "Replaces your Stasis subclass Dodge ability with a longer range, faster-moving Shift that partially cloaks you during use. After Shifting, your Arc weapons deal increased damage to combatants for a short time, and you deal increased damage to all slowed or frozen combatants."

Mask of Bakris' effect can be very potent in skilled hands as a short-range 'teleport' in PvP can fool your opponents and let you get the drop on them. However, Mask of Bakris can be pretty hard to master and, to some, may not be worth using over more straightforward options.
Celestial NighthawkHelmA › StrongPvESolarExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayCelestial Nighthawk Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Celestial Nighthawk

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Solar Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Solar
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Modifies Golden Gun to fire a single high-damage shot. Enemies eliminated by the shot explode and grant you Super energy."

Celestial Nighthawk will always be a solid pick. Despite Golden Gun not being in the best of spots right now, Celestial Golden Gun still provides the quickest burst damage from long range in the game, and it also benefits from Radiant.
Fr0st-EE5LegsA › StrongPvE + PvPNeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayFr0st-EE5 Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Fr0st-EE5

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Increased grenade, melee, and dodge regeneration while sprinting. Dodging increases your sprint speed."

Fr0st-EE5 are a great alternative to other movement exotics like St0mp-EE5 as they passively increase your sprint speed which is a substantial benefit. However, the main draw of the Frostees is the improved ability regeneration while sprinting, which can allow you to spam even more abilities, especially in PvP.
Gemini JesterLegsA › StrongPvPNeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayGemini Jester Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Gemini Jester

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvP
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Dodging disorients nearby enemies and temporarily removes their radar."

Gemini Jester is a super annoying exotic to play against in PvP. When paired with the Vanishing Step aspect on Nightstalker, you can easily get the drop on many people. Gemini Jester also disables the opponent's radar temporarily, and given how strong radar is in PvP, Gemini Jester can be an invaluable tool.
Liar's HandshakeArmsA › StrongPvEArcExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayLiar's Handshake Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Liar's Handshake

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Arc Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Arc
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Using your Arc melee ability or being hit by a melee attack will allow you to follow up with an extremely powerful melee counterpunch that will heal you."

Liar's Handshake has skyrocketed up the rankings with the release of Arc 3.0. Liar's Handshake can deal absurd damage to high-health enemies once you get Combination Blow up to maximum stacks. However, using this build may be slightly risky in endgame content because it focuses on meleeing, which is always dangerous.
Orpheus RigLegsA › StrongPvEVoidExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayOrpheus Rig Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Orpheus Rig

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Void Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Void
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Provides ability energy for each enemy tethered by Deadfall anchors. Moebius Quiver has more shots."

Orpheus Rig bolsters Moebius Quiver even further by allowing you to fire another volley of arrows. This can increase your damage, or it can give you more ad control over an area. Orpheus Rig shouldn't be ignored as it remains a very strong DPS exotic.
Shinobu's VowArmsA › StrongPvE + PvPArcExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayShinobu's Vow Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Shinobu's Vow

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Arc Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Arc
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Improves Skip Grenade, and you gain an additional Skip Grenade charge. Skip Grenade returns energy when it damages enemies."

Shinobu's Vow has gained some synergy with the launch of Arc 3.0. Being able to spam Skip Grenades at your enemies is not something that should be overlooked. Being able to pump out consistent damage to even high-health targets from a safe distance makes this exotic an excellent pick for Arcstrider Hunters.
Young Ahamkara's SpineArmsA › StrongPvPNeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayYoung Ahamkara's Spine Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Young Ahamkara's Spine

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvP
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Increases Tripmine Grenade duration and blast radius. Ability damage grants Tripmine Grenade energy."

With Solar 3.0, Young Ahamkara's Spine has risen up the ranks due to a build that can be made with this exotic. Being able to constantly spam Tripmine Grenades over and over is not something that should be ignored, and can work surprisingly well. We have a build involving Young Ahamkara's Spine on our Top Hunter Builds post.
Athrys's EmbraceArmsB › AveragePvE + PvPSolarLost SectorsBeyond LightAthrys's Embrace Destiny 2 art

Athrys's Embrace

Average

B



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Solar Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Solar
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

Exotic Perk: "Weighted Knife gains a second bounce. Rapid precision hits with your weapons grant Weighted Knife a significant damage bonus and the ability to stun unshielded combatants for a short time."

Athrys's Embrace is a strong pick for those wanting to land some cheesy kills with their Weighted Knife. This combo has only gotten stronger with the addition of the Knock 'em Down aspect, which allows you to get your knife back on any kill, letting you chain one-hit kill knives.
FoetracerHelmB › AveragePvPNeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayFoetracer Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Foetracer

Average

B



Excels in:
PvP
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Visually marks targeted enemies. Deals more damage to low-health marked enemies."

Foetracer was buffed to grant +20 airborne effectiveness to all weapons, which can massively help you snag kills that might miss due to airborne inaccuracy. Foetracer also temporarily gives you wallhacks on enemies you hit, making it an excellent neutral dueling exotic.
Graviton ForfeitHelmB › AveragePvE + PvPVoidExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayGraviton Forfeit Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Graviton Forfeit

Average

B



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Void Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Void
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Increases the duration of any invisibility effects. While you are invisible, your melee recharges faster, your weapons reload faster, and your Recovery is greatly increased."

Graviton Forfeit has become increasingly redundant as time goes by. With the introduction of powerful invisibility exotics like Omnioculus and Gyrfalcon's Hauberk, it's hard to justify using Graviton's Forfeit. However, this doesn't make it a terrible option, and it can work well if you want to stay invisible as much as possible.
Khepri's StingArmsB › AveragePvPVoidExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayKhepri's Sting Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Khepri's Sting

Average

B



Excels in:
PvP
Void Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Void
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Punching someone with full melee energy will instantly cast Smoke Bomb. Gain Truesight while in your own Smoke Bomb effect. Your smoke bombs deal increased damage."

Khepri's Sting will always remain an average exotic. Its effect can be powerful if you can consistently take advantage of it. However, Khepri's is a very 'active' exotic, requiring setup and positioning to get the best out of it. Passive exotics like St0mp-EE5 or incredibly strong active exotics like Omnioculus outclass Khepri's.
Shards of GalanorArmsB › AveragePvE + PvPSolarExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayShards of Galanor Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Shards of Galanor

Average

B



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Solar Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Solar
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Hits and kills with Blade Barrage will return Super energy after the Super ends."

Shards of Galanor are a decent option, and with the resurgence of Blade Barrage with Solar 3.0, it is unsurprising to see them used more. However, other options like Star-Eater Scales are used much more as they bring a more noticeable effect. The super regeneration is okay, but it doesn't transform Blade Barrage.
The Dragon's ShadowChestB › AveragePvPNeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayThe Dragon's Shadow Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

The Dragon's Shadow

Average

B



Excels in:
PvP
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Dodging reloads all weapons and increases both movement and weapon handling speeds for a brief time."

Many regard the Dragon's Shadow highly. However, it is a victim of power creep and has been slowly pushed to the sidelines. It fails to match St0mp-EE5 in the movement department, and other exotics like Gyrfalcon's or Wormhusk have much better class ability effects.
The Sixth CoyoteChestB › AveragePvENeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayThe Sixth Coyote Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

The Sixth Coyote

Average

B



Excels in:
PvE
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Gain a second dodge charge."

Sixth Coyote is an okay option. It is still viable and works well with Gambler's Dodge and the Trapper's Ambush aspect. However, it is unfortunately outclassed massively by Omnioculus and has slowly faded out of many Hunter players' builds.
Radiant Dance MachinesLegsC › WeakPvENeutralLost SectorsBeyond LightRadiant Dance Machines Destiny 2 art

Radiant Dance Machines

Weak

C



Excels in:
PvE
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

Exotic Perk: "Activating your dodge ability while near targets allows you to dodge additional times for a short period."

Radiant Dance Machines is an incredibly niche exotic. While it can be used to help you deal very high damage to bosses, especially with weapons like Fourth Horseman, it provides absolutely zero value elsewhere, making it not practical at all to use, especially in harder content.
Lucky PantsLegsC › Weak-NeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayLucky Pants Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Lucky Pants

Weak

C



Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "When you ready a fully loaded Hand Cannon that deals kinetic damage or a damage type that matches your subclass energy type, each hit from that Hand Cannon increases the damage of the next shot for a short time against a combatant. Hand Cannons ready faster and are more accurate immediately after swapping to them."

Lucky Pants are a fun, niche option that Hunters can use with Hand Cannons. Pairing it with Exotics like Malfeasance or Eriana's Vow can have you dealing decent damage. However, given that Heavy Weapons like Linear Fusion Rifles deal so much damage, it can be hard to recommend investing in Lucky Pants.
The BombardiersLegsC › Weak-NeutralExotic EngramsShadowkeepThe Bombardiers Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

The Bombardiers

Weak

C



Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Dodging leaves behind an explosive that detonates after a short delay, damaging targets around it and creating a secondary effect based on your subclass energy type: Arc Blinds, Solar Burns, Void Suppresses and Stasis Slows targets."

The Bombardiers are an incredibly niche pick that can synergize nicely with some builds and can see success in PvP, but they are certainly more of a 'fun' option than a viable one, as there are simply better and more consistent options.
Gwisin VestChestD › Worst-VoidExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayGwisin Vest Hunter Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Gwisin Vest

Worst

D



Void Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Void
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Each Spectral Blades kill you make before going into stealth will restore more of your Super energy."

Gwisin Vest has fallen far from its glory days. This is not only because it has been massively nerfed but mainly because Spectral Blades is a pretty poor super in PvP right now. Committing a lackluster exotic to a mediocre at best super isn't wise, especially when there are better options.
Knucklehead RadarHelmD › Worst-NeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayKnucklehead Radar Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Knucklehead Radar

Worst

D



Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Provides radar while you're aiming. Enhances your radar resolution while crouched."

Knucklehead Radar sounds good on paper, and while having your radar while aiming down sights is nice, you won't often get much value out of this exotic. Other PvP exotics bring much more to the table than only having your radar up at all times.
Lucky RaspberryChestD › Worst-ArcExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayLucky Raspberry Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Lucky Raspberry

Worst

D



Arc Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Arc
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Increases the chaining capabilities of Arc Bolt Grenade and has a chance to recharge it each time it deals damage. A full chain always recharges."

Arcbolt Grenades. Lucky Raspberry is an RNG-based exotic making it incredibly unreliable, which is not what you want from an exotic that only works with a single ability. The bonus it provides isn't too exciting either, as it simply increases the chaining chances of Arcbolt Grenades and adds a small chance for it to replenish.
OathkeeperArmsD › Worst-NeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayOathkeeper Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Oathkeeper

Worst

D



Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Bows charges can be held indefinitely."

Le Monarque benefits well from this exotic. However, when you can simply redraw your arrow to maintain that perfect draw without needing to use the exotic, it makes Oathkeepers redundant as the only effect they provide can be done with a little bit of practice.
Ophidia SpatheChestD › Worst-SolarExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayOphidia Spathe Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Ophidia Spathe

Worst

D



Solar Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Solar
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Grants two knives per charge."

Ophidia Spathe doesn't serve much of a purpose these days, with the Knock 'em Down aspect being so prevalent. If you can fully recharge your throwing knife on a kill, why waste a valuable exotic slot on another throwing knife?
Mechaneer's TricksleevesArmsD › Worst-NeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayMechaneer's Tricksleeves Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Mechaneer's Tricksleeves

Worst

D



Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Increases Sidearm ready and reload speed. While you're critically wounded, swapping to a Sidearm increases its damage."

Mechaneer's Tricksleeves have always been a poor exotic. They demand that you use a specific type of weapon and that you have low HP, which is never good. While the effect it provides is strong, it is tough to take advantage of, especially in a long-range PvP meta like we are now.
Sealed Ahamkara GraspsArmsD › Worst-SolarExotic EngramsFree-to-PlaySealed Ahamkara Grasps Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Sealed Ahamkara Grasps

Worst

D



Solar Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Solar
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Dealing melee damage reloads your currently equipped weapon."

Sealed Ahamkara Grasps are very underwhelming, and there are very few situations where you will take advantage of this exotic's perk. Plenty of other exotics yield better results with much less risk.
Blight RangerHelmD › Worst-ArcLost SectorsThe Witch QueenBlight Ranger Hunter Destiny 2 art

Blight Ranger

Worst

D



Arc Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Arc
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

Exotic Perk: "Attacks you redirect with your Arc Staff deal massively increased damage and generate Orbs of Power for your allies."

Blight Ranger is a bit of a joke of an exotic right now. The 'massively increased' damage from the exotic perk is laughable as you still deal negligible damage, and the only purpose this exotic serves is to build a good fashion set.
Raiden FluxChestSwapPvEArcExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayRaiden Flux Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Raiden Flux

Swap

Excels in:
PvE
Arc Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Arc
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Quick successive attacks with Arc Staff increase its damage output and duration."

Raiden Flux has been the go-to exotic for Arc Staff Hunters in PvE since its launch, as it increases the damage and duration of the super. This makes Arc Staff one of the strongest add clear supers in the game, and when Synapse Junctions reaches maximum stacks, you can take down high-health targets very quickly.
Raiju's HarnessChestSwapPvPArcExotic EngramsShadowkeepRaiju's Harness Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Raiju's Harness

Swap

Excels in:
PvP
Arc Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Arc
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "In Super: Deactivate Whirlwind Guard early. Guarding does not consume extra Super energy."

Raiju's Harness is a powerful exotic for a powerful super. Arc Staff's ability to deflect is one of the strongest abilities on a super, and making this feature last for much longer is always a plus. On top of this, being able to cancel your super early adds even more versatility to the super.

These are the different Tier levels used for our list:

  • S Tier – Best: Highest ranking weapons in our Tier List.
  • A Tier – Strong: Very strong weapons, but not on the same level as S Tier Choices.
  • B Tier – Average: Decent choices that can be lethal in the hands of a skilled player.
  • C Tier – Weak: The middle of the pack, somewhat mediocre.
  • D Tier – Worst: Lagging behind the competition, these don’t have much to offer.

Swaps: You’ll see a couple of armor pieces ranked as “Swap“. Swap refers to those armor pieces that are generally not great but can be excellent in very specific situations, namely when using your Super. For that reason, these deserve a different ranking as they still have a place in your loadout.

More Destiny 2 Exotic Armor Tier lists:

Best Destiny 2 Hunter Exotic armor in 2022

This section not only covers the top Exotic armor pieces for Hunter currently in the game, it also tells you where you can find them. On top of being top-tier options for PvE and PvP, some of them look great. So much so, that they are often seen in Destiny 2 fashion contests.

Overall, these are our Top 10 favorite Hunter Exotics for PVE and PVP.

 

Liar's Handshake Hunter Exotic

10. Liar’s Handshake

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

The Liar’s Handshake is a very fun and powerful exotic. It stacks with practically every melee buff you can get in the game and can wind up dealing incredible damage. Pairing it with Combination Blow and Gambler’s Dodge is a must. Combination Blow is the primary method of increasing your melee damage as the Cross Counter punch that Liar’s Handshake grants receives the melee damage increase from Combination Blow.

Another incredible option for Liar’s Handshake is a One-Two Punch Shotgun. Proccing One-Two Punch and then following up with a Cross Counter punch is easy and results in incredibly high damage output, especially when combined with three stacks of Combination Blow.

While Liar’s Handshake can be pretty risky, it does heal you upon landing your Cross Counter attack, increasing the build’s survivability and overall viability.

How to get it: Liar’s Handshake can be acquired via Exotic engrams, Xûr, or farming Lost Sectors.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Liar's Handshake Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Liar's Handshake

HunterArmsFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Using your Arc melee ability or being hit by a melee attack will allow you to follow up with an extremely powerful melee counterpunch that will heal you."

 

Assassin's Cowl Hunter Exotic

9. Assassin’s Cowl

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

Assassin’s Cowl is a very good exotic. It grants invisibility and healing on a powered melee kill or a finisher. This exotic would be further up the rankings if it weren’t for the Echo of Obscurity aspect being available to all classes. This aspect grants invisibility on a finisher which is one of the main draws of this exotic, especially in high-end content.

However, Assassin’s Cowl still has its clear strengths. It shines as an exotic that can be used in solo play to complete content that isn’t too difficult in terms of power level, like Legend/Master Lost Sectors or Solo Flawless Dungeons. However, it will be a little riskier and harder to use in Grandmaster Nightfalls, for example.

Assassin’s Cowl is also a very fun exotic. Chaining invisibility through your powered melee kills is a fun way to play the game as you assassinate enemies and fulfill the Hunter fantasy of a stealthy assassin.

How to get it: Assassin’s Cowl can be acquired via Exotic engrams, Xûr, or farming Lost Sectors.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Assassin's Cowl Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Assassin's Cowl

HunterHelmShadowkeepExotic EngramsSeason 8
Shadowkeep
Exotic Perk: "Powered melee final blows grant invisibility and restore a portion of health and shields. Finishers and final blows against more powerful targets increase the duration of the invisibility and the amount of health and shields."

 

Renewal Grasps Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 featured

8. Renewal Grasps

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

Renewal Grasps is perhaps one of the best defensive exotics on Hunter and possibly one of the best in the entire game. Other defensive options on Hunter involve making your team invisible, which is an excellent tool. However, once you do anything offensive, you leave invisibility and, thus, lose your defensive advantage. Renewal Grasps, on the other hand, doesn’t have this problem.

Renewal causes enemies to deal 50% less damage if they are inside your Duskfield Grenade, and it grants allies 25% damage resistance if they are inside your Duskfield. Renewal Grasps also comes with the benefit of increasing the size of your Duskfield Grenade, and when this is combined with the Touch of Winter aspect, it turns your Duskfields into massive AoE freeze zones. You can also add in Whisper of Chains for even more damage resistance.

Renewal Grasps are an excellent pick for any Hunter wanting a more active form of defense and the crowd control potential of Stasis.

How to get it: Renewal Grasps can only via acquired via solo Legend/Master Lost Sectors.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Renewal Grasps Hunter Destiny 2 art

Renewal Grasps

HunterArmsThe Witch QueenLost SectorsSeason 16
The Witch Queen
Exotic Perk: "Your Duskfield grenades have a much larger effect radius. Allies inside the Duskfield take reduced damage and targets inside the area deal reduced damage."

 

Wormhusk Crown Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 featured

7. Wormhusk Crown

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE and PVP

Wormhusk Crown is a bit of a ‘Jack of all trades, Master of none’ pick for Hunter players, but despite its ranking, I would recommend Wormhusk over all other exotics for a Hunter getting into the game. Its versatility is remarkable and something that should not be overlooked.

Wormhusk’s benefit is straightforward. However, that’s a part of what makes Wormhusk so great, its simplicity. A health bump by simply dodging is remarkable and is valuable everywhere in the game. However, versatility isn’t everything, and in a game like Destiny (especially in this current meta), it is much more valuable to specialize in one powerful ‘thing’. For example, constant invisibility, a high damage super, or incredible add clear. Wormhusk’s effect simply isn’t anywhere near potent enough to warrant fully speccing into as other exotics provide defensive tools for your allies.

Wormhusk overall is an exotic that will serve you well regardless of what content you are playing. However, when you want to begin truly optimizing your builds and strategies, Wormhusk falls out of contention.

How to get it: Wormhusk Crown can be acquired via Exotic engrams, Xûr, or farming Lost Sectors.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Wormhusk Crown Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Wormhusk Crown

HunterHelmFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "We strive to know infinity, and sharpen our minds on the whetstone of the impossible."

 

Aeon Switf Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 featured

6. Aeon Swift

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

Aeon Swift is a very powerful exotic. It can help you bypass the ammo economy and the RNG that comes with it by simply performing a finisher on a yellow-bar enemy. This obvious strength is notable. However, given the prevalence of ability damage and Special weapon DPS, Aeon’s aren’t exactly a necessity unless you are fully trying to optimize your runs.

The Aeon suite of exotics are also rather one-dimensional. The other two ‘sect’ choices are pretty lackluster and force you into running Sect of Insight. Furthermore, the player using the Aeon exotic does not receive the heavy or special ammo drops that come with the exotic.

Despite the downsides, the Aeon exotic armor pieces are very good at what they do and are never a bad pick in a Grandmaster Nightfall.

How to get it: Aeon Swift can be acquired via Exotic engrams, Xûr, or farming Lost Sectors.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Aeon Swift Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

Aeon Swift

HunterArmsFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Aeon Exotics have an additional mod socket which is used for Aeon Cult mods."

 

Caliban’s Hand Hunter Exotic

5. Caliban’s Hand

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE and PVP

Caliban’s Hand is probably the best way to cause ignitions in the game consistently. By simply throwing your Proximity knife at a group of enemies, you can cause them all to instantly explode by merely landing a kill on one of them.

While Caliban’s does require you to run a specific melee ability, it is very well worth it as you can turn your throwing knives into mini-nukes. In some situations, Caliban’s can even alleviate the need for a primary weapon as the sheer amount of ad clear that comes with Caliban’s is unmatched. Having that option to run two special weapons feasibly is excellent.

Caliban’s is also great in PvP. Landing a kill with your explosive knife will still cause an ignition which can deal massive damage to nearby enemies, and you can wipe out entire teams on your own.

How to get it: St0mp-EE5 can be acquired via Exotic engrams, Xûr, or farming Lost Sectors.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Caliban's Hand Hunter Destiny 2 art

Caliban's Hand

HunterArmsThe Witch QueenLost SectorsSeason 17
The Witch Queen
Exotic Perk: "Your Proximity Knife scorches targets it damages with its explosions, or ignites targets on a direct hit. After throwing a Proximity Knife, you gain increased melee regeneration until the knife explodes."

 

Star Eater Scales Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 featured

4. Star-Eater Scales

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

Star-Eater Scales is a fantastic option for any Hunter looking to always top the damage charts in boss fights. Star-Eater Scales comes with numerous benefits centered around your super. First off, it grants more super energy from Orbs of Power. Secondly, depending on your stacks of ‘Feast of Light’, you gain increased super damage. Finally, it grants you healing or an overshield at maximum stacks when casting your super. It’s safe to say, Star-Eaters are all about the supers.

What makes Star-Eater Scales even better is that Hunters have some of the best damage supers at base. Blade Barrage, Gathering Storm, and Moebius Quiver all deal excellent damage on their own, and when combined with Star-Eater Scales, they become some of the top damage options in the game, especially Blade Barrage and Gathering Storm, which deal the highest damage in the game.

We have a build on Star-Eater Scales on how to really become the DPS master of your fireteam and top the charts every single time.

How to get it: Star-Eater Scales can only via acquired via solo Legend/Master Lost Sectors.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Star Eater Scales Destiny 2 art

Star-Eater Scales

HunterLegsBeyond LightLost SectorsSeason 14
Beyond Light
Exotic Perk: "You gain additional Super energy from Orbs of Power you pick up. While your Super energy is full, picking up an Orb of Power overcharges your Super, causing you to gain a burst of healing when cast and a bonus to your Super damage. At maximum overcharge, you also gain an overshield."

 

Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk Hunter Exotic

3. Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE and PVP

The Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk does an absolute ton and has an essay as its exotic perk. Unfortunately, 2 of the 3 features of Gyrfalcon’s are not usable in PvP, but the best part of the exotic is. The damage buff.

In PvP, you gain a 15% damage buff for 3 seconds after leaving invisibility. This can turn some weapons into absolute monsters. Some examples are Ace of Spades with Momento Mori killing enemies in two crits or Arbalest 1 shot bodying enemies below 3 resilience.
In PvE, however, Gyrfalcon’s really comes online. You keep the damage buff, but instead of 15%, you now gain a 35% damage buff for 6 seconds (one of the highest damage buffs in the game). Furthermore, when you are invisible and finish an enemy, you grant yourself and nearby allies a ‘reserve overshield’, which is deployed when you use your class ability.

Additionally, finishing while invisible makes all nearby enemies Volatile giving Gyrfalcon excellent defensive and offensive capabilities.

How to get it: Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk can only via acquired via solo Legend/Master Lost Sectors.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Gyrfalcon's Hauberk Hunter Exotic

Gyrfalcon's Hauberk

HunterChestThe Witch QueenLost SectorsSeason 18
The Witch Queen
Exotic Perk: "Your weapons gain a bonus to damage briefly after you emerge from being invisible. When you are invisible and defeat a combatant using a finisher, you and your nearby allies gain a reserve overshield and improved class ability regen. These reserve overshields can be deployed by using a class ability."

 

STOM-EE5 Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 featured

2. St0mp-EE5

Crucible logo Destiny 2Best PvP Hunter Exotic in Destiny 2

Stompees are strange. Objectively, they aren’t the best exotic. The effect they provide is entirely a ‘feeling’ buff. Many players will opt for exotics that offer a strong impact effect, like Gyrfalcon’s damage buff, but nothing matches Stompees’ movement potential.

Myself and many top players better than I still use Stompees as the “feel” they provide is too good to pass up. When combined with Strafe Jump, you can bounce your head off a ceiling to gain incredible momentum to fly at your enemies and close the gap rapidly. Gaining the movement advantage, especially in a game with such broad movement, should not be ignored, regardless of the nerfs that Stompees may have received.

Stompees will forever be a top pick for Hunters as it is fun, powerful and just feels really nice to use, which will always give Stompees a high ranking.

How to get it: St0mp-EE5 can be acquired via Exotic engrams, Xûr, or farming Lost Sectors.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
St0mp-EE5 Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 art

St0mp-EE5

HunterLegsFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Increases sprint speed and slide distance. Improves High Jump, Strafe Jump, and Triple Jump."

 

Omnioculus Hunter Exotic Destiny 2 featured

1. Omnioculus

Vanguard logo Destiny 2Best PvE Hunter Exotic in Destiny 2

Omnioculus recently caught a nerf in PvP, but not in PvE, which keeps it at the top of the Hunter pile in terms of exotics.
In PvP, the nerf is not too bad, you can still tank a lot of damage while invisible, and you can still keep your whole team invisible forever.

In PvE, Omnioculus brings Nightstalker to a new level, and in Grandmaster content, playing Nightstalker and not running Omnioculus is just hindering yourself (maybe with the exception of Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk). Omnioculus does so much for your team that it can be tough to pass up.

We have a build detailing the ‘anchor’ playstyle that you can master with Omnioculus on our Top Hunter Builds post. Learning this playstyle lets you carry basically anyone through the most challenging content in the game as you can keep your entire team safe or secure revives in the most dangerous of positions.

How to get it: Omnioculus can only via acquired via solo Legend/Master Lost Sectors.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Omnioculus Destiny 2 art

Omnioculus

HunterChestBeyond LightLost SectorsSeason 13
Beyond Light
Exotic Perk: "You gain a second Smoke Bomb charge and have damage resistance while invisible. When you make an ally invisible, they gain damage resistance while invisible and you gain melee energy."

 

Destiny 2 Hunter Exotics sources: How to get them

Unlike Exotic weapons, finding Exotic armor is a straightforward affair. This is not to say it’s easy to farm for specific armor pieces. It, unfortunately, isn’t. To be fair, if you’re starting out and just want to find as many different exotics as possible, it can be done. Things become difficult when you are looking for good rolls of armor.

Exotic Engrams

Most Exotic armor can be found within Exotic Engrams: These can be found in the Season pass, they are sold by Xur and can also drop randomly at any time.

Destiny 2 Exotic Engram

There isn’t much more to say about Exotic engrams, only that they have a higher chance to drop from end-game activities. If collecting exotics is your priority, Nightfall: The Ordeals are for you. And the higher the difficulty, the higher the chance to get one.

Lost Sectors

A few specific armor pieces can only be found in Legend and Master Lost Sectors when completed solo. Lost Sectors are on a daily rotation (with only one Legend and one Master available each day), as well as their rewards (one day will reward Legs pieces, the next day only Arms pieces, etc). You can find the daily rotation and list of exclusive Lost Sector Exotics here.

Ranking criteria

For the record, as much as we tried to keep this list as objective as possible, it’s still based on our personal experience playing the PC version of the game.

Finally, if you’re wondering what criteria was used to build this Tier list, these are the main factors I took into account:

  • Consistency: Some armor pieces may not have the highest DPS potential, but they are so consistent, they more than make up for their lower burst damage numbers.
  • Ease of use: Similar to the point above, some pieces are very effective because they are easy to use and don’t require too much skill or setup. This is also rewarded with higher rankings.
  • PVE/PVP Performance: High lethality in either PVE or  PVP is equally valuable. However, an armor piece that is good at both PVE and PVP should rank higher than one that is slightly better on only PVE or PVP.
  • Fun factor: Not the most important factor, but it also helps if the weapon is damn fun to shoot with!

If you strongly disagree with some of the rankings here, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. By the way, what is your personal favorite?

About The Author

Matthew Evans
Matthew Evans
Games have been a part of my life for the better part of my age, I've been hooked on them for years, and Destiny 2 is no exception. I've racked up countless hours and plenty of experience, which I hope to share with Blueberries who want to get involved with Destiny.
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