Best Trace Rifles in Destiny 2: 2022 Tier List for PvP and PvE

by | Nov 20, 2022

Considered second-tier for too long, Trace rifles are making a comeback. First of all, they finally received dedicated ammo scavenger and ammo finder mods. This greatly improved their ammo economy and DPS potential.

On top of that, the most recent additions have been stellar, namely Ager’s Scepter, which many consider one of the best weapons in the game. This guide covers every Trace rifle in Destiny 2, including both Exotic and Legendary Traces, as well as the best rolls for PVE and PVP.

Destiny 2 Trace rifles Tier list

The Tier list below includes every Exotic and non-sunset legendary Trace rifle in the game. It starts with the S Tier weapons and moves down from there. It also covers both PVE and PVP, with the “Excels in” column clearly identifying in what area each weapon shines:

NameWeaponsTypeArchetypeAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?RankSourceAvailable?Tier rankSource ❘ DLCFinal VerdictReleasedPerks
Ager's ScepterAger's Scepter art
Ager's Scepter
Trace RifleExoticSpecialStasisBeyond LightYesS › BestExotic Kiosk
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Exotic Kiosk

Beyond Light
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

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 one of the strongest kinetic special weapon choices right now, allowing you to slow and freeze with ease. With its absurd stats, perks, and an S-Tier catalyst, this trace rifle is a staple for anyone wanting to create a Stasis build or just clear ads.
Season 15
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

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."
DivinityDestiny 2 Divinity art
Divinity
Trace RifleExoticSpecialArcShadowkeepYesS › BestExotic Quest
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Quest

Shadowkeep
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

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

► Divinity has been a great choice since it was released back in Shadowkeep. Even though a recent nerf reduced its debuff potential to 15%, this trace rifle still proves its worth through the ability to make crits way easier to hit. Plus, it's still considered the best Overload weapon in the game.
Season 8
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Sustained damage with this weapon envelops the target in a field that weakens and disrupts them."
Retraced PathRetraced Path art
Retraced Path
Trace RifleAdaptiveSpecialSolarFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongDares of Eternity
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Dares of Eternity

Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Subsistence (also good: Feeding Frenzy) + Incandescent (also good: One for All)

► The first legendary trace rifle to be released, Retraced Path still struggles to find its niche in the game. However, with solid perks like Subsistence and Incandescent, this weapon does see good use in everyday activities and is the strongest non-exotic trace rifle overall.
30th Anniversary event
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Subsistence (also good: Feeding Frenzy) + Incandescent (also good: One for All)
ColdheartDestiny 2 Coldheart art
Coldheart
Trace RifleExoticSpecialArcFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageExotic Engram
Average

B



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Engram

Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon shoots a steady cold fusion-powered laser that does exponentially more damage the longer it remains on a target."

► Originally, Coldheart's exotic perk was simply that it was a trace rifle. But finally, after years and years of community persuading, Bungie added a unique trait to it: the ability to generate Ionic Traces. While this doesn't put it on the level of Divinity or Ager's Scepter, it provides an excellent addition to those on an Arc subclass.
Season 1
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon shoots a steady cold fusion-powered laser that does exponentially more damage the longer it remains on a target."
Prometheus LensDestiny 2 Prometheus Lens art
Prometheus Lens
Trace RifleExoticSpecialSolarFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageExotic Engram
Average

B



Exotic Engram

Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires a Solar trace beam and generates a damaging heat field that grows while the weapon continues to fire. Kills with this weapon return a fraction of the ammo used."

► Other than the notorious "Laser Tag Weekend" that it caused, Prometheus Lens has never seen much use. While it can be a fun alternative to other special weapons at times (and can excel, to a certain extent, with ammo-based mods), there aren't many scenarios where Prometheus is utilized.
Season 2
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires a Solar trace beam and generates a damaging heat field that grows while the weapon continues to fire. Kills with this weapon return a fraction of the ammo used."
Ruinous Effigy Ruinous Effigy Destiny 2
Ruinous Effigy
Trace RifleExoticSpecialVoidShadowkeepYesB › AverageExotic Kiosk
Average

B



Exotic Kiosk

Shadowkeep
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Final blows with this weapon collapse victims into Void Transmutation spheres. Transmutation spheres you create can be picked up and wielded as weapons by you or your allies."

► One of the most "exotic" feeling weapons Destiny 2 has to offer, Ruinous Effigy easily beats out most other options in terms of fun factor. Plus, with various buffs to this weapon's special abilities (such as its drain and ball slam), Ruinous can be an excellent major-killing option in low-tier PVE.
Season 11
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Final blows with this weapon collapse victims into Void Transmutation spheres. Transmutation spheres you create can be picked up and wielded as weapons by you or your allies."
WavesplitterDestiny 2 Wavesplitter art
Wavesplitter
Trace RifleExoticSpecialVoidFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakExotic Engram
Weak

C



Exotic Engram

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Laser damage has three power levels that oscillate while the trigger is held down. Collecting an Orb of Light grants a short period of maximum power."

► Players were originally hoping for a Wavesplitter catalyst to proc its Orbs of Power-reliant perk more often. However, now that masterworked weapons don't generate orbs, that's out of the question. Wavesplitter can still be a fine choice in both PvE and PvP, but it's not anything to write home about.
Season 4
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Laser damage has three power levels that oscillate while the trigger is held down. Collecting an Orb of Light grants a short period of maximum power."
Hollow DenialHollow Denial art
Hollow Denial
Trace RifleAdaptiveSpecialVoidSeason 17YesC › WeakSeasonal activity
Weak

C



Seasonal activity
Season 17 Destiny 2 icon
Season 17
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Lead From Gold + Swashbuckler (also good: Killing Tally)

► Hollowed Denial initially sparked some interest in the community through its unique perks, such as Killing Tally. However, now that the weapon has been in the wild for a while, most people have lost interest. Its intrinsically low damage and ammo reserves make these perks hard to use, resulting in a mediocre weapon.
Season 17
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Lead From Gold + Swashbuckler (also good: Killing Tally)
Path of Least ResistancePath of Least Resistance art

Path of Least Resistance
Trace RifleAdaptiveSpecialArcSeason 19YesOngoingSeasonal activityOngoing...

Seasonal activity
Season 19 icon
Season 19
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Adaptive

God Rolls: To be confirmed...

► Still too early to tell, review ongoing...
Season 19
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Adaptive

God Rolls: To be confirmed...

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.

More Destiny 2 Tier lists:

Best Destiny 2 Trace Rifles in 2022

This section not only covers the top Trace rifles currently in the game, it also tells you where you can find them. This guide covers every weapon source in Destiny 2 and most of the sources below are self-explanatory, but in doubt, you can always leave a comment below or ask away on our Discord server.

Overall, these are our all the Trace Rifles currently in the game, ranked from worst to best.

 

8. Hollow Denial

While Hollow Denial did receive some excitement at launch for its unique perks, in recent times, it hasn’t lived up to its full potential.

Killing Tally is easily the most exciting perk in Hollow Denial’s pool. Previously only available on the now sunset 21% Delerium, many players had high hopes for the reintroduction of this massively strong trait. Sadly, Hollow Denial doesn’t let Killing Tally shine. With the lack of Subsistence or Overflow in the first column, it feels like you run out of ammo before Killing Tally does anything.

Other than that, Hollow Denial’s perks aren’t anything too crazy. Apart from Lead from Gold and Swashbuckler, there’s hardly anything to chase for both PVE and PVP.

As a whole, trace rifles tend to rely on their perks and unique abilities to be potent, not raw damage. Because of that, Hollow Denial gets the short end of the stick here, resulting in its placement at #8.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Lead From Gold
  • Perk 2: Swashbuckler (also good: Killing Tally)

How to get it: Hollow Denial can be acquired by completing Seasonal activities and focusing Umbral engrams.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?
Hollow Denial artHollow DenialTrace RifleAdaptiveLegendarySpecialVoidSeason 17YesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialVoid Void
Weak

C

-Seasonal activitySeason 17 Destiny 2 icon
Season 17
Season 17EnergyCraftable

 

7. Wavesplitter

Initially a Playstation exclusive way back in Forsaken, Wavesplitter contains a simple yet fun concept that can stand out if you play into it.

The main gimmick of this weapon is that it grants a high-energy firing mode after collecting an Orb of Power. While the community was originally hoping for a catalyst to help proc this more often, Orbs of Power no longer generate from Masterworked weapons.

Because there’s no reliable way of triggering its perk without a mod, Wavesplitter has been pushed aside by most. However, some have embraced Wavesplitter’s suppressing and damage-dealing potential, resulting in some creative builds for casual content.

While Wavesplitter isn’t the most potent option out there by far, it’s not a bad option if you’re looking for something to build around.

Exotic Perk: “Laser damage has three power levels that oscillate while the trigger is held down. Collecting an Orb of Light grants a short period of maximum power.”

How to get it: Wavesplitter can be acquired via Exotic engrams or Xûr.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?
Destiny 2 Wavesplitter artWavesplitterTrace RifleExoticExoticSpecialVoidFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialVoid Void
Weak

C

-Exotic Engram
Free-to-Play
Season 4EnergyNo

 

6. Prometheus Lens

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

The culprit of the notorious “Laser Tag Weekend” mishap in the Crucible, Prometheus Lens hasn’t captured much of the community’s attention since.

With a recent change to the weapon that added the ability to scorch targets, Prometheus Lens has found a niche in PVE. Even though most players would side with a gun rolled with Incandescent, Prometheus can sometimes be a fun option in casual content.

In regards to PVP, Prometheus frequently fluctuates between being mediocre and viable. Containing decently good stats and a straightforward perk, this trace rifle can be a good choice when trace rifles are meta.

Overall, Prometheus Lens is just about average here. When the meta favors trace rifles, Prometheus can be a great option. However, more potent weapons can frequently replace this gun.

Exotic Perk: “Fires a Solar trace beam and generates a damaging heat field that grows while the weapon continues to fire. Kills with this weapon return a fraction of the ammo used.”

How to get it: Prometheus Lens can be acquired via Exotic engrams or Xûr.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?
Destiny 2 Prometheus Lens artPrometheus LensTrace RifleExoticExoticSpecialSolarFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialSolar Solar
Average

B

-Exotic Engram
Free-to-Play
Season 2EnergyNo

 

Coldheart Destiny 2 featured

5. Coldheart

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

Coldheart was a trace rifle with no other notable perks for the longest time. However, as of Season of the Plunder, Coldheart has the opportunity to generate Ionic Traces, making it slightly more desirable.

In PVE, Coldheart is still slightly outclassed. With entirely new options with stronger synergies, such as Delicate Tomb, Coldheart’s unique abilities are having difficulty keeping up.

On the flip side, Coldheart is pretty good for a trace rifle in the Crucible. Ionic Traces offer a sizable amount of ability energy, and since abilities currently rule the Crucible, that puts Coldheart in an excellent position.

When it comes down to it, Coldheart is still generally regarded as the most basic of trace rifles. That said, now that this weapon has gotten much-needed additions to its perk selection, it could also be seen as severely underrated.

Exotic Perk: “This weapon shoots a steady cold fusion-powered laser that does exponentially more damage the longer it remains on a target.”

How to get it: Coldheart can be acquired via Exotic engrams or Xûr.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?
Destiny 2 Coldheart artColdheartTrace RifleExoticExoticSpecialArcFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialArc Arc
Average

B

PvEExotic Engram
Free-to-Play
Season 1EnergyNo

 

Ruinous Effigy Destiny 2 featured

4. Ruinous Effigy

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

Ruinous Effigy is arguably the most entertaining exotic in the Destiny series, and its enjoyable gameplay loop more than makes up for its average utility.

In The Witch Queen, Bungie reverted the previous nerfs to the Transmutation sphere’s Drain ability. As a result, new PVE builds with the weapon started popping up everywhere. Utilizing everything from Devour to Invisibility, the community could finally use Ruinous Effigy’s traits to their full potential.

In contrast, Ruinous Effigy in PVP is still nothing more than a fun option to mess around with. Though entertaining, dunking on people with Transmutation spheres can’t be utilized entirely in most Crucible game modes.

Ruinous Effigy’s usefulness is still up for debate, but its fun factor definitely isn’t. With such a complex pair of traits, there isn’t a more “exotic” feeling exotic in the game.

Exotic Perk: “Final blows with this weapon collapse victims into Void Transmutation spheres. Transmutation spheres you create can be picked up and wielded as weapons by you or your allies.”

How to get it: Ruinous Effigy can be purchased at the Monument to Lost Lights in the Tower.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?

 

Retraced Path Destiny 2 featured

3. Retraced Path

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

The first legendary trace rifle in Destiny’s history, even just the existence of Retraced Path shocked the community. And while this weapon still struggles to find its place in the game, its top-tier perks make it worth considering over other options.

For PVE, perks like Subsistence, Feeding Frenzy, and Incandescent make Retraced Path an excellent choice for casual content. Despite this, the trace rifle suffers the same fate as many others—hardcore players will find it a poor choice due to its lower-than-average damage.

In the Crucible, Retraced Path is just about average. With trace rifles’ overall PVP mediocracy and few desirable perks, there’s little reason to run this over anything else.

Retraced Path is an excellent choice for those looking to run a trace rifle without using an exotic slot. That said, most of the time, it’s worth fully committing to the cause and instead running Divinity or Ager’s Scepter.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Subsistence (also good: Feeding Frenzy)
  • Perk 2: Incandescent (also good: One for All)

How to get it: Retraced Path can be acquired by completing Dares of Eternity runs or turning in Treasure keys at Xûr’s in Eternity.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?
Retraced Path artRetraced PathTrace RifleAdaptiveLegendarySpecialSolarFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialSolar Solar
Strong

A

PvEDares of Eternity
Free-to-Play
30th Anniversary eventEnergyCraftable

 

Divinity Trace Destiny 2 featured

2. Divinity

Vanguard logo Destiny 2Best PvE Trace rifle in Destiny 2

Widely regarded as the best trace rifle ever since its release in Shadowkeep, it may be surprising to some to see Divinity at #2. However, with recent nerfs to Divinity and the rise of build crafting, we believe Divinity is no longer at the top.

After such a long time of providing an easy 30% debuff for raid and Grandmaster groups, Bungie finally reduced this to 15% in Season 19. Nevertheless, Divinity is undoubtedly worth running because of its crit bubble and Overload-stunning capabilities.

Divinity has never been a PVP-oriented weapon, and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. Some players run it for fun once in a blue moon, but you’re much better off running this weapon in PVE activities.

Because it has always had so much going for it, Divinity’s usage rates most likely won’t be affected much by Season 19’s nerfs. Regardless, they were enough for another trace rifle to take the throne on this list.

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

How to get it: Divinity can be acquired by completing an Exotic quest.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?
Destiny 2 Divinity artDivinityTrace RifleExoticExoticSpecialArcShadowkeepYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialArc Arc
Best

S

PvEExotic Quest
Shadowkeep
Season 8EnergyNo

Ager's Scepter Destiny 2 featured

1. Ager’s Scepter

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE and PvP

Finally, there’s a weapon that can top Divinity’s dominant reign as the king of trace rifles: Ager’s Scepter.

With build crafting becoming the new endgame, the tremendous utility that Ager’s Scepter offers is being noticed by the community. The pure slowing and freezing potential of Ager’s base form is unparalleled, but subclass synergies and the catalyst can take this even further.

Allowing the freezing of large groups of ads in a second, the catalyst’s unique firing mode is a force to be reckoned with. And with so many Aspects and Fragments to choose from in the Stasis subclasses, Ager’s Scepter is top-tier for build crafting potential.

While it may sometimes be overlooked, Ager’s Scepter has little to no competition in Grandmaster-ready builds. With that and an S-tier catalyst on its side, it’s clear why Ager’s has finally bested Divinity.

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.”

How to get it: Ager’s Scepter can be purchased at the Monument to Lost Lights in the Tower.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?
Ager's Scepter artAger's ScepterTrace RifleExoticExoticSpecialStasisBeyond LightYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialStasis Stasis
Best

S

PvE + PvPExotic Kiosk
Beyond Light
Season 15KineticNo

Trace Rifles in PvP: Lethality & TTK

TTK is particularly important in PVP, because the lowest the TTK, the faster you can kill your opponent. You can read all about it in our TTK guide below.

This TTK guide includes the TTKs for every weapon in Destiny 2. But first, let’s set the right expectations: Trace Rifles are viable and fun, but they cannot be considered a top PVP weapon in Destiny 2.

Having said that, if you commit to them, equip ammo finder and scavenger mods, and use it as a Primary weapon (like a souped-up Auto rifle), they can get the job done:

Weapon Optimal TTK Average TTK
Coldheart 0.67s 0.93s
Wavesplitter 0.67s 0.93s
Prometheus Lens 0.73s 0.93s
Ruinous Effigy 0.73s 0.93s
Divinity 1.13s 1.80s

For the record, a 0,67 seconds TTK is extremely fast and matches the fastest Primary weapons in the entire game (the top sidearms and SMGs). Trace Rifles have better range too, but on the other hand, they use Special ammo, which means you’ll have to be much more careful with how you spend ammo.

Using a Trace rifle may seem like a gimmick, but these days, with the right ammo mods and the right mindset, you can have tons of fun with them. This video from our friend Pattycakes shows you exactly how:

Trace Rifles in PvE: DPS

DPS is important for PvE, because the higher the DPS, the more damage you can deal to a Boss or Major.

This DPS chart includes the DPS numbers for every weapon in Destiny 2. When it comes to actual DPS, Traces can do ok numbers:

-Weapon TypeArchetypeAverage DPSBurst DPSTotal DamageSpecs---Best in ClassChange?Ammo
Trace rifle weapon type Destiny 2Trace Rifle

Exotic

19,55120,295524,964With Catalyst Proc'dAger's Scepter artAger's ScepterSameSpecial
Trace rifle weapon type Destiny 2Trace Rifle

Exotic

11,39412,795430,765At Max chargeDestiny 2 Coldheart artColdheartBuffedSpecial
Trace rifle weapon type Destiny 2Trace Rifle

Exotic

10,75512,000320,000With Orb pick upDestiny 2 Wavesplitter artWavesplitterBuffedSpecial
Trace rifle weapon type Destiny 2Trace Rifle

Exotic

8,6128,940231,248With debuffDestiny 2 Divinity artDivinitySameSpecial
Trace rifle weapon type Destiny 2Trace Rifle

Exotic

7,5818,565342,600-Destiny 2 Prometheus Lens artPrometheus LensBuffedSpecial

Endgame content

Trace rifles do not excel in endgame content, thanks to their DPS numbers. Granted, some, such as Ager’s Scepter, can deal insane DPS. But for the most part, Traces excel thanks to the unique things they bring to the table. For example, Divinity is king for endgame PVE content due to the immense support it provides to teammates.

Trace Rifles in Destiny 2: Are they Meta?

We’ve talked about the best Traces for PVE and PVP already, but how do they compare, in general, with other primary weapon types? In other words: Are Trace Rifles good in Destiny 2?

The current Meta for PVE

This table summarizes how the several special weapon types rank against each other in PVE:

Weapon TypeRankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
Shotgun weapon type Destiny 2
Shotguns
A › Strong
Strong

A

-► Shotguns overall are pretty good right now. There are a good number of Pellet and Slug shotguns that can be used in most content, and shotguns are also an integral part of many melee builds thanks to the shotgun-exclusive '1-2 Punch' perk. However, their severe lack of range makes them a risky pick for high-level content.

► Best Archetype: Pinpoint Slug - Example: Heritage
PVE Specials
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Grenade Launchers
S › Best
Best

S

-► Grenade Launchers are brilliant right now. They are versatile and are arguably the best pick in almost all areas. They can have excellent add control through Blinding Grenades or the Wave Frame archetype, and they can also deal good boss damage in a 'hotswap' build with Spike Grenades.

Simply put, having a strong arsenal of Grenade Launchers is something you should definitely prioritize if you're looking to get into high-level content.

► All Breach Grenade Launchers share the same archetype
PVE Specials
Sniper rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Sniper Rifles
C › Weak
Weak

C

Trend down► Sniper Rifles are not in a great place right now. They are completely outclassed by Linear Fusion Rifles in terms of DPS and are also lacking at ad clear/major killing by Shotguns and Grenade Launchers. Snipers are also quite difficult to use as they are precision-based weapons. They can be used as a backup DPS weapon if you don't have access to an Arbalest, for example, but right now, they are too niche to recomment.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (140 RPM) - Example: Succession
PVE Specials
Fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Fusion Rifles
A › Strong
Strong

A

Trend up► Fusion Rifles are pretty good right now. They have slightly more range than Shotguns, making them a safer pick in high-level content, however, they lack a top-tier perk such as '1-2 Punch' to rise to S-tier status. Still, they remain a consistent pick for mid to high-level content.

► Best Archetype: Rapid-Fire (500ms Charge Time) - Example: Cartesian Coordinate
PVE Specials

Glaives
B › Average
Average

B

-► Glaives require a bit of getting used to, but when you do, they can grant you crazy levels of damage resistance. However, they are quite a risky pick, especially if you haven't learned how to master them first. Glaives are also one-dimensional. There is basically no reason to use their melee attack, which is unfortunate as that is probably the most fun part of the Glaives.

► All Glaives share the same archetype
PVE Specials
Linear fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Linear Fusion Rifles
S › Best
Best

S

Trend up► There are only two Linear Fusion Rifles that use Special ammo, but when one of them is arguably the strongest weapon in the game, they have to be ranked S tier. Arbalest is an absolute must-have if you want to take endgame content seriously. Lorentz Driver is an okay option, but Arbalest is completely overpowered and is an excellent pick for whatever content you throw at it.PVE Specials
Trace rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Trace Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

-► Trace Rifles are a strange pick. Legendary Trace Rifles are a very niche pick right now, but Exotic trace Rifles are all pretty good. Wavesplitter can do well with certain builds, and Divinity is always a good pick, even despite the nerfs.PVE Specials

The current Meta for PVP

This table summarizes how they rank against each other in PVP:

Weapon TypeRankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
Shotgun weapon type Destiny 2
Shotguns
A › Strong
Strong

A

Trend down► Shotguns have been hit by several nerfs and are no longer the undisputed go-to short-range option. They have lost their 'mapping' potential and even struggle to pick up kills at close range due to inconsistencies. However, Shotguns remain the easiest Special weapons in the game to pick up and slay out with, so for that reason, it still sits comfortably in the A tier.

► Best Archetype: Lightweight (80 RPM)- Example: Without Remorse
PVP Specials
Sniper rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Sniper Rifles
S › Best
Best

S

Trend up► Snipers have benefitted massively from the 'Anti-Flinch' changes that have been added with Season of the Haunted. Leaning into high Stability and equipping Sniper Unflinching Mods can allow you to still land the headshot while getting shot by multiple people. They do have a little bit of a learning curve, but if you become skilled with a Sniper, you can be nearly unstoppable.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (90 RPM)- Example: Beloved
PVP Specials
Trace rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Trace Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

Trend down► Trace Rifles are quite a niche pick and will fall short as a competitive option in most players' hands. Even once you learn to master Trace Rifles, you'll be better off with a Special weapon that can provide a one-hit-kill t rather than one that can be out-dueled by a Primary weapon.

► All Archetypes are 1000 RPM - Best Option: Coldheart
PVP Specials

Glaives
A › Strong
Strong

A

-► Glaives received a buff going into Season of the Haunted, and have also benefitted from the Special Ammo changes that also launched with Season 17. Simply hitting a single shot will chunk your opponent for 131 damage, and will also provide energy for your Shield which is a chunky 75% damage resist. Glaives require mastery of a certain playstyle, but once you get it down, you can dominate lobbies with ease.

► All Glaives share the same archetype
PVP Specials
Fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Fusion Rifles
S › Best
Best

S

Trend up► Fusion Rifles have seen buff after buff, and with Season of the Haunted, they finally saw a slight nerf. However, this change hasn't altered the state of Fusion Rifles enough to consider them noticeably weaker than before. They are able to cover the close-medium range excellently and a good Fusion Rifle player can be incredibly hard to beat.

► Best Archetype: Precision (780ms Charge Time) - Example: Main Ingredient
PVP Specials
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Grenade Launchers
A › Strong
Strong

A

-► Grenade Launchers remain the most 'annoying' option in PvP. The ability to flush players out from cover is not lost on players in PvP, and being able to 1-hit kill with certain rolls allows Grenade Launchers to be a highly tactical, but also lethal option. They also serve as an excellent 'hot-swap' choice to allow for easy cleanups with your Primary weapon.

► Best Archetype: Wave Frame - Example: Dead Messenger
PVP Specials

Your turn

You now know everything there is to know about Trace Rifles in Destiny 2, whether that is for PvP or PvE content.

About The Author

Andrew Sideris
Andrew Sideris
When my brother introduced me to the Destiny franchise in 2015, I immediately knew that it would take up a lot of my free time for years to come. With my over seven years of game knowledge, six months of writing experience for Blueberries.gg, and hundreds of Blueberries already guided through endgame content, I hope to allow newcomers to have the same great introduction I had all those years ago.
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