Destiny 2 Best PVE Weapons right now

by | Apr 12, 2022 | Weapons

As you get more involved with Destiny 2, one of the first questions you’ll have is: What are the best weapons in the game?

That question is not as easy to answer, as it all depends on whether you’re looking for the top weapons for PVP, PVE, casual, or endgame content.

Today, we’ll focus on the best PVE weapons in 2022. We’ll cover both Exotic and Legendary weapons (including their PVE god rolls), and give you an overview of the current PVE meta. For the sake of clarity, we’ll split our selection of weapons into three categories: primary, special and heavy weapons.

Destiny 2 Best PVE Primary weapons

Checkmark icon V3List updated as of The Witch Queen’s release (S16).  

Destiny 2 Primary ammoIn this section, we cover the best Primary PVE weapons. And by Primary, we mean either Kinetic or Energy weapons that use Primary ammo. Just remember Primary weapons use “normal” ammo, aka, white ammo boxes:

WeaponTypeAmmo typeElementSlotRequirementsAvailable?SourceSource ❘ RequirementsFinal Verdict

Night Watch
Scout RiflePrimaryKineticKineticFree-to-PlayYesWorld Loot PoolWorld Loot Pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PVE God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Subsistence) + Explosive Payload (also good: Multikill Clip)

► Night Watch is the best legendary kinetic Scout Rifle in the entire game, period. Its archetype is the best of all Scout Rifles, it's easy to obtain, and it has the best perk options available.

Rapid Hit and Explosive Payload is a perfect perk combination for endgame PvE, especially against Champions. For regular PvE content, Subsistence and Rampage lets you shred through enemies without needing to reload.
Destiny 2 Trinity Ghoul art
Trinity Ghoul
Combat BowPrimaryArcEnergyFree-to-PlayYesExotic EngramExotic Engram

Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Fires an arrow that splits when released. Aiming down sights and fully drawing the bow both decrease the spread. Precision kills grant the next shot chain-lightning capabilities."

► Able to deal insane chain-lighting damage, Trinity Ghouls has always been a favorite when it comes to taking care of red bar enemies. And now that it received a +40% damage in PVE against ads, it became insanely powerful this season.
Destiny 2 Outbreak Perfected art
Outbreak Perfected
Pulse RiflePrimaryKineticKineticFree-to-PlayYesExotic KioskExotic Kiosk

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "This weapon creates SIVA nanite swarms on rapid hits and precision kills and does more damage to enemies based on the number of SIVA nanites that attach to them."

► Outbreak Perfected is making a comeback, partly because it has always been a good weapon, able to deal considerable damage to single targets, but mostly because it received major buffs against PVE enemies. With a +44% damage against red bar enemies, Outbreak Perfected is finally meta again.
Fatebringer Destiny 2 art
Fatebringer
Hand CannonPrimaryKineticKineticFree-to-PlayYesVault of Glass RaidVault of Glass Raid

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVP God Roll: Explosive Payload (also good: Killing Wind) + Opening Shot (also good: Firefly)

► Fatebringer is the most iconic weapon from the Vault of Glass raid. And it doesn't dissapoint, offering great stats and perks.

One could argue Fatebringer is the best kinetic legendary 140 RPM hand cannon available, but unlike The Palindrome, it has to compete with all the excellent Exotic hand cannons in that slot and Eyasluna.
Osteo Striga Destiny 2 art
Osteo Striga
Submachine GunPrimaryKineticKineticThe Witch QueenYesDeluxe EditionDeluxe Edition

The Witch Queen
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Fires a stream of sentient, toxic projectiles that track the targeted enemy. Landing a final blow or multiple precision hits triggers a burst that poisons nearby targets."

► Feeling extremely nice to use in both PVE and PVP, Osteo Striga immediately became a lot of players' favorite exotic. Its poison-spreading effect makes it one of the best ad clear primaries in PVE, and its enemy-tracking bullets make it an easy-to-use option in PVP. Plus, its catalyst is S-tier. What's not to love?
Krait Destiny 2 art
Krait
Auto RiflePrimaryStasisKineticFree-to-PlayYesWorld Loot PoolWorld Loot Pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Stasis icon Kinetic | Ammo: Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Subsistence (also good: Stats for All) + One for All (also good: Headstone)

► Mimicking Valakadyn from Year 1, Krait has immediately become a fan favorite among players in the community. With some good PVE-oriented perks and the Veist Stinger Origin Trait, you can't go wrong with this 720RPM Auto Rifle. However, there are numerous other options, like Chroma Rush, that sadly outclass Krait in most scenarios.
Under Your Skin Destiny 2 art
Under Your Skin
Combat BowPrimaryVoidEnergySeason 16YesSeasonal activitiesSeasonal activities

Season 16
Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Primary | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Archer's Tempo + Successful Warm-up(also good: Explosive Head)

► Allowing you to reduce your draw time to unprecedented levels, Under Your Skin is an easy S-Tier pick. Both Archer's Tempo and Successful Warm-up won't reduce impact (damage per arrow), meaning you can keep doing the same damage while drawing arrows at the speed of light.
Funnelweb Destiny 2 art
Funnelweb
Submachine GunPrimaryVoidEnergyFree-to-PlayYesWorld Loot PoolWorld Loot Pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PVE God Roll: Subsistence + Frenzy (also good: Adrenaline Junkie)

► A toned-down version of The Recluse, Funnelweb is currently one of the best PVE options in the game. With solid perk combinations and the ability to fire Volatile Rounds, this weapon makes red bars disappear right in front of your eyes. Plus, it's a world drop, meaning you don't even need to go out of your way to farm it.
Insidious Destiny 2 art v2
Insidious
Pulse RiflePrimaryArcEnergyThe Witch QueenYesVow of the Disciple RaidVow of the Disciple Raid

The Witch Queen
Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Primary | Archetype: Aggressive Burst

PVE God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Dragonfly) + Rampage

PVP God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Heating Up) + Rampage

► The only 4-burst pulse rifle in the past two years, people had big expectations for this weapon. And with outstanding perk combinations for both PVE and PVP, Insidious blew those out of the water. With an S-Tier Origin Trait and no terrible perks in its pool, there's not much to hate about this pulse rifle.

Destiny 2 Best PVE Special weapons

Destiny 2 special ammoIn this section, we cover the best Special PVE weapons. And by Special, we mean either kinetic or Energy weapons that use Special ammo. Just remember, Special weapons use “Special” ammo, aka, green ammo boxes:

WeaponTypeAmmo typeElementSlotRequirementsAvailable?SourceSource ❘ RequirementsFinal Verdict
Destiny 2 Divinity art
Divinity
Trace RifleSpecialArcEnergyShadowkeepYesExotic QuestExotic Quest

Shadowkeep
Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Sustained damage with this weapon envelops the target in a field that weakens and disrupts them."

► Able to deal with Overload Champions and easily apply a huge debuff on everything, Divinity is excellent for endgame PVE activities. It may relegate its user to a more "support" role, but it remains one of the most valuable weapons you can have, especially when facing challenging content, or against enemies that have hard-to-hit crit spots.
Destiny 2 Arbalest art
Arbalest
Linear Fusion RifleSpecialKineticKineticFree-to-PlayYesExotic EngramExotic Engram

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Fires slugs that cause massive damage to enemy shields. Strong against Barrier Champions. Breaking an enemy's shield with this weapon makes them more vulnerable to Kinetic damage."

► Arbalest suffered when Lorentz Driver was released. Lorentz had better stats and a better exotic perk. Why would anyone use Arbalest at all? But now that it received intrinsic Anti-barrier rounds, a Catalyst, and can still deal with all elemental shields with ease, Arbalest is one of the best weapons for endgame content right now.
Destiny 2 Izanagi's Burden
Izanagi's Burden
Sniper RifleSpecialKineticKineticForsaken PackYesExotic KioskExotic Kiosk

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Holding reload consumes the magazine and loads a round with additional range and damage."

► One of the top DPS weapons in the game, Izanagi's Burden is also easy to use, consistent and it never runs out of ammo (as it doesn't require Heavy ammo). While it no longer dominates as it used to just a few seasons ago, Izi remains a safe bet when facing endgame PVE content.
Witherhoard art Destiny 2
Witherhoard
Grenade LauncherSpecialKineticKineticForsaken PackYesExotic KioskExotic Kiosk

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Projectiles fired blight the target or nearby area on impact. Blighted targets take damage over time and blight the nearby area on death."

► With the ability to inflict significant damage over time, Witherhoard behaves like a "mini" Anarchy. But unlike Anarchy, which disappeared from the meta, Witherhoard reminds an extremely strong option, especially for endgame content.
Ager's Scepter Destiny 2 art
Ager's Scepter
Trace RifleSpecialStasisKineticBeyond LightYesExotic KioskExotic Kiosk

Beyond Light
Slot: Stasis icon Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Final blows with this weapon generate a slowing burst around the defeated target. Stasis final blows transfer ammo to this weapon's magazine from reserves."

► Ager's Scepter is exactly what you would have expected from a proper Stasis trace rifle. Its ability to freeze and slow at will is remarkable, but on top of that, this exotic has best-in-class stats and an excellent Exotic perk that helps it stand out even more. You won't find another weapon able to quickly dispose of ads while creating great synergies with a Stasis sublcass.
Pardon Our Dust Destiny 2 art
Pardon Our Dust
Grenade LauncherSpecialKineticKineticFree-to-PlayYesDares of EternityDares of Eternity

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Vorpal Weapon

► While there are other great breach grenade launchers you can choose from, namely, Ignition Code, Pardon Our Bust is relatively easy to farm, offers great stats, and can roll with killer perk combinations such as Auto-Loading Holster with Vorpal Weapon that can excel in all PVE content.
Dead Messenger Destiny 2 art
Dead Messenger
Grenade LauncherSpecialVoidEnergySeason 16YesExotic QuestExotic Quest

Season 16
Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "One-shot handheld Grenade Launcher. Projectiles release a fan of three energy waves on contact with the ground. You can change damage type, cycling between Solar, Arc, and Void."

► The best of the three element-swapping exotics, Dead Messenger provides great utility in PVE and is very strong in PVP. Additionally, because it can fire Void, Arc, and Solar, this wave frame might become even stronger with the rest of the Light 3.0 changes.
Thoughtless Destiny 2 art
Thoughtless
Sniper RifleSpecialStasisKineticSeason 16YesSeason PassSeason Pass

Season 16
Slot: Stasis icon Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Overflow + Firing Line (also good: Focused Fury)

► A very well-rounded weapon, Thoughtless has something for everyone. With Snapshot Sights and multiple different handling perks for PVP, or Overflow / Firing Line for PVE, this Sniper Rifle can be viable everywhere. That said, most people still prefer snipers that can specialize in either PVP or PVE.
The Enigma Destiny 2 art
The Enigma
GlaiveSpecialVoidEnergyThe Witch QueenYesThe Witch Queen campaignThe Witch Queen campaign

The Witch Queen
Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Grave Robber (also good: Impulse Amplifier) + Unrelenting (also good: Frenzy)

► Generally speaking, if you're looking to use a glaive, Lubrae's Ruin is a slightly better option, albeit much harder to acquire. Having said that, The Enigma is particularly strong this season, especially on hunters, allowing them to go invisible practically all the time and deal with Champions with ease.
Deliverance Destiny 2 art v2
Deliverance
Fusion RifleSpecialStasisEnergyThe Witch QueenYesVow of the Disciple RaidVow of the Disciple Raid

The Witch Queen
Slot: Stasis icon Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Rolls: Demolitionist (also good: Perpetual Motion) + Chill Klip

► Being the first kinetic (and Stasis!) legendary Fusion makes Deliverance already worth grabbing. Plus, with the great perk combos for PVE and PVP, you can't go wrong with this one-of-a-kind weapon.
Forbearance Destiny 2 art v2
Forbearance
Grenade LauncherSpecialArcEnergyThe Witch QueenYesVow of the Disciple RaidVow of the Disciple Raid

The Witch Queen
Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Destiny special ammo Special | Archetype: Wave

PVE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin (also good: Unrelenting) + Chain Reaction

► The first Wave Frame Grenade Launcher to come from a raid, Forbearance is widely regarded as the best Wave Frame we've gotten thus far. With the ability to roll the combo that made Salvager's Salvo famous, this weapon is an ad-clear machine. Not to mention, Wave Frames are extremely fun to use, and the Origin Trait is a nice cherry on top!

Destiny 2 Best PVE Heavy weapons

Destiny 2 Heavy ammoIn this section, we cover the best Heavy weapons for PVE. In other words, weapons that use “heavy” ammo, aka, purple ammo boxes:

WeaponTypeAmmo typeElementSlotRequirementsAvailable?SourceSource ❘ RequirementsFinal Verdict
THE SWARM Destiny 2 art
THE SWARM
Machine GunHeavyArcHeavyFree-to-PlayNoNightfall: The OrdealsNightfall: The Ordeals

Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Archetype: High-Impact

PVE God Roll: Surplus (also good: Outlaw) + One for All (also good: Vorpal Weapon)

► High-Impact machine guns currently suffer from a lack of identity. That said, THE SWARM can still be great for PVE. It packs a strong punch and can roll with perks that not only improve its lethality but also its handling. It has good base stats too and can use the top-tier Adept Big Ones mod, if you have an Adept version of the gun.
Destiny 2 Sleeper Simulant art
Sleeper Simulant
Linear Fusion RifleHeavySolarHeavyFree-to-PlayYesExotic KioskExotic Kiosk

Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "The weapon's laser over penetrates enemies and refracts off hard surfaces."

► After spending years in the shadows, the recent buffs to Linear Fusion rifles have made Sleeper Simulant a strong DPS option once again. And it gets even better once you've unlocked its catalyst. Sleeper Simulant can deal with Majors and Bosses with ease, as long as you can hit your crits...
Reed's Regret Destiny 2 art
Reed's Regret
Linear Fusion RifleHeavyStasisHeavyThe Witch QueenYesTrials of OsirisTrials of Osiris

The Witch Queen
Slot: Stasis icon Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Triple Tap (also good: Clown Cartridge) + Firing Line (also good: Vorpal Weapon)

► With best-in-class base stats, superior to my previous favorite legendary, Threaded Needle, Reed's Regret is the best legendary Linear Fusion in the game. It also offers an excellent PVE perk combination that no other Linear Fusion can offer: Triple Tap with Firing Line.
Gjallarhorn Destiny 2 art
Gjallarhorn
Rocket LauncherHeavySolarHeavy30th AnniversaryYesGrasp of Avarice DungeonGrasp of Avarice Dungeon

30th Anniversary
Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "Rounds fired split into tracking cluster missiles upon detonation. Gain increased handling and reload speed when standing near allies. Firing this weapon also grants Wolfpack Rounds to nearby allies wielding non-Exotic Rocket Launchers."

► Gjallarhorn is nowhere as overpowered as it once was but still offers excellent stats and a great exotic perk (especially with the catalyst) that gives it that extra oomph to excel and become the meta option for rocket launcher users.
Palmyra-B Destiny 2 art
Palmyra-B
Rocket LauncherHeavyStasisHeavyFree-to-PlayYesWorld Loot PoolWorld Loot Pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Stasis icon Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Explosive Light (also good: Lasting Impression)

► Rockets are S-tier options for boss damage in PVE, and Palmyra-B is the best of the bunch. Auto-Loading Holster allows you to use special weapons while Palmyra is reloading, and its damage perks boost this weapon further above its competition. All of that combined with its intrinsic tracking makes Palmyra a great pick anywhere in PVE.

Destiny 2 PVE Meta

Every sandbox change comes with a new meta. And while we love to criticize Bungie for not changing the meta often enough, the last few seasons have significantly altered the hierarchy of PVE weapon types in Destiny 2.

Alert iconAbout DPS: DPS, or damage per second, is important for PVE, because the higher the DPS, the more damage you can deal to a Boss or Major. You can read all about it in our DPS guide.

PS: If you’re looking for the complete rundown of the state of the current Meta for PVP and PVP, check out our Destiny 2 Meta weapons guide.

We now covered the absolute best PVE weapons this season, but it’s still important to understand how the different weapon types compare with each other.

Alert iconDestiny 2 Meta refers to the most used weapons for a particular activity. Generally, these weapons are the most used because they are the most powerful/efficient.

These are the different Tier levels used for these Tier lists:

  • S Tier – Best: Highest ranking weapon types.
  • A Tier – Strong: Very strong weapon types, 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.

The list starts with S Tier and moves down until it reaches the bottom Tier:

PVE Primary weapons meta

Weapon TypeRankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
SMG weapon type Destiny 2
Submachine Guns
S › Best
Best

S

Submachine guns are in a great place right now. With good DPS, decent ammo, and acceptable range, SMGs are seen as the perfect compromise between range and damage.

On top of that, specific SMGs such as the IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.2 or Extraordinary Rendition are exceptionally good. True top-tier PVE choices, including endgame activities.
PVE Primaries
Auto rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Auto Rifles
A › Strong
Strong

A

Auto rifles, in general, are not as strong as SMGs. They simply cannot do as much damage as SMG.
On the flip side, they offer better range, and in some situations, excellent ammo.

But a few auto rifles can truly excel and can be easily considered S-tier individually, namely the 720 RPM Chroma Rush and the 600 RPM Gnawing Hunger.
PVE Primaries
Sidearm weapon type Destiny 2
Sidearms
A › Strong
Strong

A

Sidearms may be some of the most slept on weapons in Destiny 2. Most guardians prefer to stay away from them due to their limited range. But on the other hand, their DPS is unmatched as long as you can get close enough to stay within their optimal range.

This makes sidearms slightly riskier in endgame content such as Grandmaster content.
PVE Primaries
Hand cannon weapon type Destiny 2
Hand Cannons
A › Strong
Strong

A

While Hand cannons easily dominate in PVP, they are currently lackluster in the DPS department. Their DPS is so poor, even Bungie acknowledged it and already announced an incoming PVE buff.

But to be fair, they are still viable for Master and Grandmaster content, mainly due to their peak shooting capabilities.
PVE Primaries
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Pulse Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

Pulse rifles are true work horses. They do reasonable damage, have a good range, and are, overall, safe and easy to use in Master and Grandmaster content.

They may not excel in the DPS department, are still extremely solid all-around choices.
PVE Primaries
Scout rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Scout Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

Scout rifles are slowly making a comeback. They will be easily outclassed by every other weapon types in most content, but they are proving to be excellent for endgame content.

Their long range, combined with the surprisingly high DPS of some of the best Pulses, makes them finally viable for endgame content.
PVE Primaries
Combat bow weapon type Destiny 2
Combat Bows
C › Weak
Weak

C

Combat bows can truly excel in some niche situations. Namely, in very difficult content in which you want to stay as far away from enemies as possible.

With virtually infinite range, bows can deal good damage from insane distances.
PVE Primaries

PVE Special weapons meta

For the sake of clarity, the categories below do not include Exotics that use an abnormal type of ammo, such as  Eriana’s Vow or Arbalest.

If you’re particularly interested in Exotic weapons, check out our Exotic Tier list.

Weapon TypeRankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
Shotgun weapon type Destiny 2
Shotguns
S › Best
Best

S

► Shotguns are in a great place right now, and that's mainly due to the buff to slug shotguns but also the many new shotguns recently released with great stats and insane damage-dealing perks such as Reconstruction, Vorpal weapon, one-two punch, etc.

Overall, shotguns are finally hitting that sweet spot between risk and reward. Slug shotguns, in particular, are among the best shotguns in the game.
PVE Specials
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Grenade Launchers
S › Best
Best

S

► Special ammo Grenade launchers used to be Top tier, but that was only because of the Mountaintop. Technically, the Mountaintop is still one of the best (if not THE best) special weapon for PVE.

Thing is, Mountaintop will be retired with Beyond Light and won't be viable for endgame content anymore. And as much as people keep saying Truthteller will replace it, no other grenade launcher will be nearly as good as the Mountaintop.
PVE Specials
Sniper rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Sniper Rifles
A › Strong
Strong

A

► Up until Season of Dawn, snipers were the best PVE special weapons in the game. They were extremely lethal and safe to use in endgame content, as they allowed players to deal insane DPS from afar.

But Bungie decided to nerf them hard because they were "too safe", bringing them back to pre-Shadowkeep values. Except, they were buffed with Shadowkeep because they were too average...
PVE Specials
Fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Fusion Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

► Fusion rifles were recipients of a significant nerf some time ago, making them technically weaker than before.

That said, fusion rifles deserve more love, because even if they were nerfed, they are still powerful. They are capable of dealing more damage than snipers while being safer to use (due to having more range) than shotguns.
PVE Specials
Trace rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Trace Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

► Trace rifles don't have much going for them in PVP. They can deal respectable total damage, which can be useful on a boss. But in PVP, you wan't the opposite.

With insanely high TTKs (remember, high = bad), it can take forever to down an opponent, unless they're absolutely terrible and barely move at all, or you have excellent tracking. Generally speaking, Trace rifles take too long to do significant damage and most opponents will either hide or counter you with something that hits harder, such as a shotgun.
PVE Specials

PVE Heavy weapons meta

Weapon TypeRankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
Sword weapon type Destiny 2
Swords
S › Best
Best

S

-Main roles: Add Clear & Single Target damage (i.e. Boss damage).

Current State: Swords are incredibly strong right now. Several buffs and a huge rework during Season of the Worthy made them much more usable. They are now safer to use, have a better ammo economy, and can deal much more damage.

Swords are as high risk / high reward as it gets. If used right, a top-tier sword can basically delete any enemy, even on higher difficulties. No wonder The Lament and Falling Guillotine are still some of the best Power weapons available.
PVE Heavies
Rocket launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Rocket Launchers
A › Strong
Strong

A

Main role: Burst Damage (Secondary role: Add Clear)

Rocket launchers went through a rough patch that relegated to the least preferred Heavy weapon in the entire game.

Bungie has been hard at work at making them relevant again, and after two noticeable buffs, Rocket launchers are making a huge comeback. With great DPS potential and bigger magazines, they are among the best tools at your disposal, no matter the content.
PVE Heavies
Linear fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Linear Fusion Rifles
A › Strong
Strong

A

Main role: Single Target damage (Secondary role: Burst Damage)

Current State: Linear fusion rifles have been in the middle of an identity crisis for a while, but that should finally change this season. With increased damage to critical hits, Linear Fusions are now much more lethal and rewarding, provided you can hit your shots.

It's still too early to tell how meta they can become, but keep an eye on Sleeper Simulant, or a Threaded Needle with Vorpal Weapon. These will be among your top DPS options this season.
PVE Heavies
Machine gun weapon type Destiny 2
Machine Guns
B › Average
Average

B

Trend downMain role: Add Clear

Current State: Machine guns are not what they used to be, not for PVE at least. While a god-rolled Commemoration or a Thunderlord will definitely get the job done at clearing ads, they remain the shadow of their former selves.

Bungie itself has confirmed they need to be fine-tuned, but that could take a while... To be fair, they still have their place and have proven to be excellent to deal with elemental shields in Grandmaster Nightfall: The Ordeals.
PVE Heavies
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Grenade Launchers
B › Average
Average

B

Trend upMain role: Add Clear (Secondary role: Single Target Damage).

Current State: Grenade launchers went from the indisputable PVE choice to just an average, situational weapon type, in a matter of months.

To be fair, they remain viable, especially when getting too close to the enemy is impossible. Otherwise, they have been replaced by Swords as the go-to damage-dealing Heavy weapon type in the game.
PVE Heavies
Sniper rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Exotic Sniper Rifles
C › Weak
Weak

C

Trend upMain role: Single Target damage

Current State: Finally, we have Exotic Sniper rifles, a very niche choice represented by only 2 weapons, D.A.R.C.I and Whisper of the Worm.

Heavy Exotic Snipers are far from being meta right now. D.A.R.C.I is one of the most underwhelming Exoticsin the entire game, while Whisper of the Warm is the shadow of its former self due to the blanket nerf all snipers received a few seasons ago.
PVE Heavies

As you can see, the Meta can completely change in a heartbeat. You can rest assured, though, as this overview is up to date with the current season and will be updated as soon as a new meta arrives.

Destiny 2 Best PVE loadouts

Up until now, we have split our Top PVE guns into Primaries, Special and Heavy weapons. This makes sense when comparing weapons against each other.

But once you start building towards the ultimate loadout, a weapon’s slot becomes crucial. That’s because you can only carry one Kinetic, one Energy, and one Heavy weapon at a time. For example, if you’re committed to using Trinity Ghoul as your Primary weapon, then your Special weapon will have to sit on the Kinetic slot.

In this section, we’ll share some of the most popular PVE loadouts right now. This is how our Top PVE weapons look like, filtered by slot and not by ammo type:

Destiny 2 Best PVE Kinetic weapons:

[table “300” not found /]

Destiny 2 Best PVE Energy weapons:

[table “300” not found /]

PVE Loadout examples

If we mix and match the top kinetic and energy weapons, some of the potential top PVE loadouts might be something like this:

-Kinetic--Special---HeavyMeta
Fatebringer Destiny 2 artFatebringerCartesian Coordinate Destiny 2 artCartesian CoordinateGjallarhorn Destiny 2 artGjallarhornPVE
Witherhoard art Destiny 2WitherhoardFunnelweb Destiny 2 artFunnelwebPalmyra-B Destiny 2 artPalmyra-BPVE
Osteo Striga Destiny 2 artOsteo StrigaForbearance Destiny 2 art v2ForbearanceReed's Regret Destiny 2 artReed's RegretPVE

Methodology

About the DPS numbers: As mentioned before, the DPS figures used for this Tier list come from the excellent Damage Chart Madness database.

As explained in that document:

Average DPS represents a weapons performance when emptying all of its reserves, with only full magazines. This factors in that the first magazine is already loaded, and you keep firing until the last mag is empty. Effectively, a combination of Burst DPS and Sustain DPS. The most accurate representation of a gun’s performance in most circumstances.

Bear in mind this number is done with luna/rally/fieldprep reload buffs

That document also includes Sustained DPS in case you want to get into the nitty-gritty.

Your Turn

Hopefully, this list should help you plan and prepare for Beyond Light. We did our best to include both Legendary weapons and Exotics, as well as the top tier, most difficult to obtain weapons, and easier to get, yet still great alternatives.

Did we miss your current favorite PVE weapon? Do you have a particularly good PVE loadout you would like to share? Let us know in the comments section below!

For the record, this list is based on my experience playing the PC version of the game.

Let's keep the conversation going

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13 Comments
  1. pizzaman

    Good guide, Thank you!

    Reply
  2. Cody

    I think you forgot to put the machine guns in the meta list. But it was very helpful! Thank you

    Reply
  3. DonPool

    Any updates coming to this with the overall weapons guide getting updated?

    Reply
    • Ric (aka Prim)

      I’m working on it! This one is completely overdue and desperately needs an update… Sorry for the delay but I hope to have a proper refresh out by Monday the latest!

      Reply
  4. Rae

    There’s a typo classing Deafening Whisper as a Fusion rifle

    Reply
    • Ric (aka Prim)

      Damn, you’re right! Completely missed that one, thanks for the heads up!

      Reply
  5. classzero

    PVE Energy weapons types are not correct.

    Reply
    • Ric (aka Prim)

      What do you mean? I’m looking for something to correct but found nothing!

      Reply
      • Django

        I think he meant you labeled IKELOS_SMG_V1.0.2 as an auto rifle, while in fact it’s an SMG (as suggested in its name lol)

        Reply
  6. Whataloadofbull

    Hilarious. scout rifles are B? sidearms are A ? pure BS . let me know your sidearm load out in a GM or Master raid please

    Reply
  7. Acklow

    Hi there I was looking over this and was wondering if you were going to be updating the guide for this season or if you were going to be updating it for Witch Queen. There are some outdated recommendations and some mistakes I saw in the loadouts. I’d like to be able to show my newbie friends this page but it’s kinda outdated.

    Reply
    • Acklow

      For example you list Nation of Beasts as a kinetic weapon when it’s actually an arc primary hand cannon and you cannot pair it with the Seventh Seraph CQC

      Reply
  8. Spicyy

    So many weapons are missing bro what

    Reply
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