Best Breech-Loaded Grenade Launchers in Destiny 2: Tier List

by | Apr 17, 2024

Breech-loading grenade launchers, aka Special ammo Grenade launchers, have been at the top of the meta for years now. Buffs and nerfs have come and gone, but Special ammo GLs remain stronger than ever, especially in PvE.

This guide covers every Breech Grenade launcher (GL) in Destiny 2, including Exotic and Legendaries, as well as the best rolls for PvE and PvP.

s23 Season of the Wish icon Destiny 2 Updated as of Season of the Wish (S23). See Updates.

Destiny 2 Best Breech-Loading Grenade Launchers: Top-tier Options

This Tier list features the Top-tier Exotic and Legendary breech loading GLs in the game:

ItemWeaponsTypeArchetypeAmmo?Element?RequirementsIn loot pool?RankSourceAvailable?Tier rankSource ❘ DLCFinal VerdictReleasedPerksBest of?
WitherhoardWitherhoard art Destiny 2
Witherhoard
Grenade Launcher
Grenade LauncherExoticSpecialKineticShadowkeep PackYesS › BestExotic KioskCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Exotic Kiosk
Shadowkeep Icon (final) Destiny 2
Shadowkeep Pack
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

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."

► Even a few nerfs to this GL couldn't knock it out of the top spot. A true fire-and-forget weapon, Witherhoard can deal with all manner of enemies in just a few shots. Whether it is used as part of a damage rotation, or just to lock an area down, Witherhoard reigns supreme.
Season 11
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

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."
Top-tier
Salvager's SalvoSalvager's Salvo art
Salvager's Salvo
Grenade Launcher
Grenade LauncherLightweightSpecialArcFree-to-PlayYesS › BestExotic KioskCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Kiosk
Destiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin (also good: Demolitionist) + Chain Reaction

► Salvager's Salvo is incredibly easy to obtain and is still an extremely powerful option. This is a versatile weapon with its set rolls, allowing for some backup boss damage or some of the best add clear in the game. It is perhaps slightly outmatched by Forbearance but remains close due to how easy it is to get.
Season 13
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin (also good: Demolitionist) + Chain Reaction
Top-tier
Ignition CodeIgnition Code art
Ignition Code
Grenade Launcher
Grenade LauncherLightweightSpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesS › BestWorld loot poolCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
World loot pool
Destiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Slideshot (also good: Ambitious Assassin) + Frenzy

► Breech-Loaded Grenade Launchers are very strong right now, and Ignition Code is no exception. Being the first Grenade Launcher to roll with Slideshot, it lands some points for uniqueness, but with Slideshot, you can deal high DPS or constantly blind enemies over and over.
Season 14
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Slideshot (also good: Ambitious Assassin) + Frenzy
Top-tier
ForbearanceForbearance art v2
Forbearance
Grenade Launcher
Grenade LauncherWaveSpecialArcThe Witch QueenYesS › BestVow of the Disciple RaidCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Vow of the Disciple Raid
The Witch Queen Icon (final) Destiny 2
Witch Queen
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

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

► Forbearance is widely regarded as the best Wave Frame in the entire game. 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!
Season 16
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PvE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin (also good: Unrelenting) + Chain Reaction
Top-tier
Harsh LanguageHarsh Language art
Harsh Language
Grenade Launcher
Grenade LauncherWaveSpecialVoidFree-to-PlayYesS › BestLost SectorCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Lost Sector
Destiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PvE God Roll: Envious Assassin (also good: Threat Detector) +Destabilizing Rounds (also good: Repulsor Brace)

► Harsh Language is, arguably, one of the best non-exotic greande launchers to date. The god roll of Envious Assassin and Destabilizing Rounds means this is functionally a Void Forbearance, perfect for build synergy. It's only downside? World Loot Drop.
Season 20
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PvE God Roll: Envious Assassin (also good: Threat Detector) +Destabilizing Rounds (also good: Repulsor Brace)
Top-tier
Prodigal ReturnProdigal Return art
Prodigal Return
Grenade Launcher
Grenade LauncherLightweightSpecialArcFree-to-PlayYesS › BestSeasonal activityCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Seasonal activity
Destiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Rolls: Field Prep (also good: Envious Assassin) + Voltshot (also good: Demolitionist)

► The first GL to roll with Voltshot, Prodigal Return is an Arc main's dream come true. Field Prep will help keep Voltshot going on longer, while Envious will help you take down larger targets when paired with Adrenaline Junkie. Oh, and did I mention it is craftable?
Season 20
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Rolls: Field Prep (also good: Envious Assassin) + Voltshot (also good: Demolitionist)
Top-tier
Forbearance (Brave)Forbearance (Brave) art Destiny 2
Forbearance (Brave)
Grenade Launcher
Grenade LauncherWaveSpecialArcFree-to-PlayYesS › BestOnslaught ActivityCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Onslaught Activity
Destiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

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

► Forbearance is widely regarded as the best Wave Frame in the entire game. 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!
Into the Light
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PvE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin (also good: Unrelenting) + Chain Reaction
Top-tier
Lingering DreadLingering Dread art
Lingering Dread
Grenade Launcher
Grenade LauncherLightweightSpecialStasisThe Witch Queen Dungeon KeyYesA › StrongDuality DungeonCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Duality Dungeon
The Witch Queen Icon (final) Destiny 2
The Witch Queen Dungeon Key
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE/PvP God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Ambitious Assassin) + Chill Clip

► Lingering Dread is the first of its kind. It's the first Special Stasis Grenade Launcher, and it comes with one of the newer Stasis perks, Chill Clip. However, despite the potential nuance that Chill Clip may bring, Lingering Dread doesn't shake up the meta. It is merely another 'pretty good' option.
Season 17
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE/PvP God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Ambitious Assassin) + Chill Clip
Top-tier
TruthtellerTruthteller art
Truthteller
Grenade Launcher
Grenade LauncherLightweightSpecialVoidFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongWorld loot poolCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
World loot pool
Destiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Field Prep) + Demolitionist

► To this day, Truthteller remains a solid pick for any PvE content. While better void GLs have come into the mix, Truthteller's staying power lies within its perks. Whether it is Auto-Loading Holster + Demo or Field Prep + Swashbuckler, this GL will get the job done.
Season 11
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Field Prep) + Demolitionist
Top-tier
Deafening WhisperDeafening Whisper Destiny 2 art
Deafening Whisper
Grenade Launcher
Grenade LauncherWaveSpecialVoidFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongWorld loot poolCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
World loot pool
Destiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PvE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin (also good: Lead From Gold) + Auto-Loading Holster

► Now heavily overshadowed by Harsh Language, Deafening Whisper is still a solid pick in the event its usurper eludes you. While it might lack any direct synergy, the old standby of Ambitious Assassin and Auto-Loading means that you'll always have a shot ready to go.
Season 12
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PvE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin (also good: Lead From Gold) + Auto-Loading Holster
Top-tier
Empty VesselEmpty Vessel art
Empty Vessel
Grenade Launcher
Grenade LauncherLightweightSpecialSolarFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongVanguard FocusingCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Vanguard Focusing
Destiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Ambitious Assassin) + Demolitionist

► Thanks to both Vanguard Focusing and Origin Traits, Empty Vessel is now one of the best GLs out there. While it still slightly suffers from its rather large perk pool, the aforementioned focusing and extra perks on reset mean a god roll can be yours in no time.
Season 14
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Ambitious Assassin) + Demolitionist
Top-tier
Pardon Our DustPardon Our Dust art
Pardon Our Dust
Grenade Launcher
Grenade LauncherLightweightSpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongDares of EternityCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Dares of Eternity
Destiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Ambitious Assassin) + Vorpal Weapon

► Now craftable, Pardon Our Dust is as potent as ever. The old god rolls still work here, though you might be slightly disappointed to find out Danger Zone was removed from the pool. If you happen to have one with this perk, keep it!
30th Anniversary event
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Ambitious Assassin) + Vorpal Weapon
Top-tier
Explosive PersonalityExplosive Personality art
Explosive Personality
Grenade Launcher
Grenade LauncherWaveSpecialSolarThe Witch QueenYesA › StrongVox ObscuraCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Vox Obscura
The Witch Queen Icon (final) Destiny 2
Witch Queen
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy (also good: Auto-Loading Holster) + Frenzy (also good: One For All)

► There's a lot to love about Explosive Personality. With a solid PVE-oriented perk pool and the Land Tank Origin Trait, which gives you damage resist on kill, you can't go wrong with this amazing Wave Frame Grenade Launcher.
Season 16
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy (also good: Auto-Loading Holster) + Frenzy (also good: One For All)
Top-tier
New Pacific EpitaphNew Pacific Epitaph art
New Pacific Epitaph
Grenade Launcher
Grenade LauncherWaveSpecialStasisLightfall Dungeon KeyYesA › StrongGhost of the Deep DungeonCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Ghost of the Deep Dungeon
Lightfall Icon (final) Destiny 2
Lightfall Dungeon Key
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PvE God Roll: Demolitionist (also good: Lead from Gold) + Redirection (also good: Adrenaline Junkie)

► New Pacific Epitaph is our first handheld Stasis Waveframe. What it lacks in traditional rolls, it makes up for in uniqueness, as it is the only wave frame available to get Demolitionist. Paired with Redirection, and you'll find a GL that could slowly become a top pick.
Season 21
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PvE God Roll: Demolitionist (also good: Lead from Gold) + Redirection (also good: Adrenaline Junkie)
Top-tier
Martyr's RetributionMartyr's Retribution art Destiny 2
Martyr's Retribution
Grenade Launcher
Grenade LauncherWaveSpecialSolarEpisode 1: EchoesYesA › StrongDawn EngramsCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Dawn Engrams
EP1 Echoes Icon (final) Destiny 2
Episode 1: Echoes
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PvE God Roll: Heal Clip (also good: Demolitionist) + Incandescent

► While Forbearance and similar options are extremely difficult to compete with, the new version of Martyr’s Retribution excels in its own right, containing perks we’ve never seen before on a wave frame grenade launcher. In PvE, Martyr’s main draw is synergy with Solar builds
The Final Shape
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PvE God Roll: Heal Clip (also good: Demolitionist) + Incandescent
Top-tier
Lost SignalLost Signal art Destiny 2
Lost Signal
Grenade Launcher
Grenade LauncherArea DenialSpecialStasisEpisode 1: EchoesYesA › StrongEchoes ActivitiesCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Echoes Activities
EP1 Echoes Icon (final) Destiny 2
Episode 1: Echoes
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Area Denial

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + One For All or Vorpal Weapon

► Lost Signal is part of a brand-new grenade launcher Frame called Area Denial Frame. This new frame behaves similarly to the top-tier Witherhoard Exotic. Just like its forebearer, Lost Signal is great at dealing damage over time and creating ample crowd control.
The Final Shape
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Area Denial

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + One For All or Vorpal Weapon
Top-tier

Special Grenade Launchers: The complete list

This database includes every viable Special GL in the game:

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmo?Element?RequirementsIn loot pool?AmmoElementTierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Witherhoard art Destiny 2WitherhoardGrenade LauncherExoticExoticSpecialKineticShadowkeep PackYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Best

S

PvE + PvPExotic KioskError icon V2 NoShadowkeep Icon (final) Destiny 2
Shadowkeep Pack
Season 11KineticNoTop-tier
Dead Messenger artDead MessengerGrenade LauncherExoticExoticSpecialVoidThe Witch QueenYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialVoid Void
Weak

C

-Vox ObscuraCheckmark icon V3 YesThe Witch Queen Icon (final) Destiny 2
Witch Queen
Season 16EnergyCraftable
Ex Diris artEx DirisGrenade LauncherExoticExoticSpecialArcFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialArc Arc
Weak

C

-Season PassError icon V2 NoDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Season 22EnergyNo
Ignition Code artIgnition CodeGrenade LauncherLightweightLegendarySpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Best

S

PvEWorld loot poolError icon V2 NoDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Season 14KineticNoTop-tier
Pardon Our Dust artPardon Our DustGrenade LauncherLightweightLegendarySpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PvEDares of EternityCheckmark icon V3 YesDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
30th Anniversary eventKineticCraftableTop-tier
Lingering Dread artLingering DreadGrenade LauncherLightweightLegendarySpecialStasisThe Witch Queen Dungeon KeyYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialStasis Stasis
Strong

A

PvE + PvPDuality DungeonError icon V2 NoThe Witch Queen Icon (final) Destiny 2
The Witch Queen Dungeon Key
Season 17KineticNoTop-tier
The Militia's BirthrightThe Militia's BirthrightGrenade LauncherLightweightLegendarySpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Average

B

PvENightfall: The OrdealsError icon V2 NoDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Season 18KineticNo
New Pacific Epitaph artNew Pacific EpitaphGrenade LauncherWaveLegendarySpecialStasisLightfall Dungeon KeyYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialStasis Stasis
Strong

A

PvEGhost of the Deep DungeonError icon V2 NoLightfall Icon (final) Destiny 2
Lightfall Dungeon Key
Season 21KineticNoTop-tier
Tusk of the Boar art Destiny 2Tusk of the BoarGrenade LauncherWaveLegendarySpecialStrandFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialStrand Element StrandOngoing...-Iron BannerError icon V2 NoDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Season 23KineticNoBait and Switch
The Mountaintop art Destiny 2The MountaintopGrenade LauncherMicro-MissileLegendarySpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialKinetic symbol Destiny 2 KineticOngoing...-Onslaught ActivityError icon V2 NoDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Into the LightKineticNo
Lost Signal art Destiny 2Lost SignalGrenade LauncherArea DenialLegendarySpecialStasisEpisode 1: EchoesYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialStasis Stasis
Strong

A

PvEEchoes ActivitiesCheckmark icon V3 YesEP1 Echoes Icon (final) Destiny 2
Episode 1: Echoes
The Final ShapeKineticCraftableTop-tier
Truthteller artTruthtellerGrenade LauncherLightweightLegendarySpecialVoidFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialVoid Void
Strong

A

PvEWorld loot poolError icon V2 NoDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Season 11EnergyNoTop-tier
Orewings Maul Destiny 2Orewing's MaulGrenade LauncherLightweightLegendarySpecialVoidFree-to-PlayNoSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialVoid Void
Average

B

PvPIron BannerError icon V2 NoDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Season 11EnergyNo
Deafening Whisper Destiny 2 artDeafening WhisperGrenade LauncherWaveLegendarySpecialVoidFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialVoid Void
Strong

A

PvEWorld loot poolError icon V2 NoDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Season 12EnergyNoTop-tier
Salvager's Salvo artSalvager's SalvoGrenade LauncherLightweightLegendarySpecialArcFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialArc Arc
Best

S

PvEExotic KioskError icon V2 NoDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Season 13EnergyNoTop-tier
Empty Vessel artEmpty VesselGrenade LauncherLightweightLegendarySpecialSolarFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialSolar Solar
Strong

A

PvEVanguard FocusingError icon V2 NoDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Season 14EnergyNoTop-tier
Explosive Personality artExplosive PersonalityGrenade LauncherWaveLegendarySpecialSolarThe Witch QueenYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialSolar Solar
Strong

A

PvEVox ObscuraCheckmark icon V3 YesThe Witch Queen Icon (final) Destiny 2
Witch Queen
Season 16EnergyCraftableTop-tier
Forbearance art v2ForbearanceGrenade LauncherWaveLegendarySpecialArcThe Witch QueenYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialArc Arc
Best

S

PvEVow of the Disciple RaidCheckmark icon V3 YesThe Witch Queen Icon (final) Destiny 2
Witch Queen
Season 16EnergyCraftableTop-tierBait and Switch
Wilderflight artWilderflightGrenade LauncherDouble FireLegendarySpecialVoidThe Witch Queen Dungeon KeyYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialVoid Void
Average

B

PvESpire of the Watcher DungeonError icon V2 NoThe Witch Queen Icon (final) Destiny 2
The Witch Queen Dungeon Key
Season 19EnergyNoRepulsor Brace
Harsh Language artHarsh LanguageGrenade LauncherWaveLegendarySpecialVoidFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialVoid Void
Best

S

PvELost SectorError icon V2 NoDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Season 20EnergyNoTop-tierRepulsor Brace
Prodigal Return artProdigal ReturnGrenade LauncherLightweightLegendarySpecialArcFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialArc Arc
Best

S

PvESeasonal activityCheckmark icon V3 YesDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Season 20EnergyCraftableTop-tierVoltshot
Undercurrent art Destiny 2UndercurrentGrenade LauncherWaveLegendarySpecialArcFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialArc Arc
Average

B

PvENightfall: The OrdealsError icon V2 NoDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Season 23EnergyNoVoltshot,Bait and Switch
Wild Style art Destiny 2Wild StyleGrenade LauncherDouble FireLegendarySpecialSolarFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialSolar SolarOngoing...-Nightfall: The OrdealsError icon V2 NoDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Season 23EnergyNoIncandescent,Bait and Switch
Forbearance (Brave) art Destiny 2Forbearance (Brave)Grenade LauncherWaveLegendarySpecialArcFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialArc Arc
Best

S

PvEOnslaught ActivityError icon V2 NoDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Into the LightEnergyNoTop-tierBait and Switch
Martyr's Retribution art Destiny 2Martyr's RetributionGrenade LauncherWaveLegendarySpecialSolarEpisode 1: EchoesYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialSolar Solar
Strong

A

PvEDawn EngramsError icon V2 NoEP1 Echoes Icon (final) Destiny 2
Episode 1: Echoes
The Final ShapeEnergyNoTop-tierIncandescent

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.

Best Destiny 2 Special Ammo Grenade Launchers in 2024

Ready to dig deeper into the absolute best GLs in Destiny 2 right now? These are the cream of the crop, our favorites (for PvE and PvP):

 

Witherhoard grenade launcher Destiny 2 featured

5. Witherhoard

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE and PVP

This wouldn’t be a proper Top 5 without the king, would it?

Witherhoard needs no introduction. This exotic GL has been a staple of the game since its release back in Season of Arrivals, and for very good reason. The damage over time effect makes this a monster in all modes, letting you take down larger targets in one or two shots, or locking down an area in PvP. It’s even used as part of many of the top DPS builds, solidifying its position as #1.

If there was ever an exotic worth the spoils and catalyst grind, it is Witherhoard.

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.”

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

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmo?Element?RequirementsIn loot pool?AmmoElementTierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Witherhoard art Destiny 2WitherhoardGrenade LauncherExoticExoticSpecialKineticShadowkeep PackYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Best

S

PvE + PvPExotic KioskError icon V2 NoShadowkeep Icon (final) Destiny 2
Shadowkeep Pack
Season 11KineticNoTop-tier

 

Prodigal Return Grenade launcher

4. Prodigal Return

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE

Prodigal Return answers the question: “What if Salvager’s Salvo, but better?”

Dropping the same season as Harsh Language, Prodigal Return made waves thanks to having the coveted Voltshot perk. While not as instantly powerful as Chain Reaction, Voltshot synergizes with Arc 3.0, allowing for hefty ability uptime via Ionic Traces. Even outside of this, Voltshot makes for an excellent room-clearing perk in and of itself.

Better get it while the getting’s good. That is to say, craft it before the next DLC, or you might regret it.

PvE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Field Prep
  • Perk 2: Voltshot

How to get it: Prodigal Return can be acquired by completing Seasonal activities and focusing Engrams.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmo?Element?RequirementsIn loot pool?AmmoElementTierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Prodigal Return artProdigal ReturnGrenade LauncherLightweightLegendarySpecialArcFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialArc Arc
Best

S

PvESeasonal activityCheckmark icon V3 YesDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Season 20EnergyCraftableTop-tierVoltshot

 

The Mountaintop Preview v2 Destiny 2

3. The Mountaintop

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE

Despite nerfs to it before it was sunset with Beyond Light, The Mountaintop continues to dominate the current meta.

While the micro missile frame was heavily nerfed in The Crucible, it retained its potency in PvE, allowing it to excel past most competition right out of the gate. This, in addition to its absolutely stacked perk pool (Lead from Gold, Auto-Loading Holster, Recombination, Frenzy, Vorpal Weapon, etc.), makes for a weapon that’s almost guaranteed to be the star of the show in PvE.

In comparison, The Mountaintop isn’t as exciting in PvP. While it does retain some of its power (mostly in the form of ease of use), there are still other options that seem to out-compete it. These are the top The Mountaintop God Rolls:

  • PvE God roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Frenzy or Recombination

How to get it: The Mountaintop is a Brave weapon from the Onslaught activity.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmo?Element?RequirementsIn loot pool?AmmoElementTierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
The Mountaintop art Destiny 2The MountaintopGrenade LauncherMicro-MissileLegendarySpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialKinetic symbol Destiny 2 KineticOngoing...-Onslaught ActivityError icon V2 NoDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Into the LightKineticNo

 

Tusk of the Board Preview Destiny 2

2. Tusk of the Boar

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE

Waveframes are arguably some of the strongest ad-clear weapons in the game. Their ability to hit multiple targets, along with their damage, lets you clear rooms like no tomorrow, and that’s before you consider the perks.

Tusk of the Boar is no different, offering several ways to approach ad-clearing. And considering it is Strand, you’ll even be able to sever several targets at once thanks to it rolling with Slice, which is a huge boon in higher-level content. These are the top Tusk of the Boar God Rolls:

  • PvE God roll: Envious Assassin + Chain Reaction

How to get it: Tusk of the Boar can be acquired from Iron Banner.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmo?Element?RequirementsIn loot pool?AmmoElementTierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Tusk of the Boar art Destiny 2Tusk of the BoarGrenade LauncherWaveLegendarySpecialStrandFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialStrand Element StrandOngoing...-Iron BannerError icon V2 NoDestiny 2 Icon (final) Destiny 2
Free-to-Play
Season 23KineticNoBait and Switch

 

Forbearance featured Destiny 2

1. Forbearance (Brave)

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE

Forbearance is returning with many of the same perks, which immediately makes it one of the best weapons in the entire game. However, somehow, Forbearance has reached another level as it has come with Demolitionist, a brilliant perk for builds involving Grenades.

In PvP, Forbearance isn’t too good, as it comes with hardly any PvP-focused perks. While certain Wave Frames are decent in PvP, like Explosive Personality, Forbearance doesn’t really follow this trend.

Forbearance, especially the BRAVE variant, is a game-changer in PvE. Packed with a plethora of powerful perks, both old and new, Forbearance can single-handedly take care of your add-clearing needs. It’s a must-have for any player serious about PvE in Destiny 2. These are the top Forbearance God Rolls:

  • PvE God roll: Demolitionist (also good: Ambitious Assassin) + Chain Reaction

How to get it: Forbearance is a Brave weapon from the Onslaught activity.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmo?Element?RequirementsIn loot pool?AmmoElementTierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Forbearance art v2ForbearanceGrenade LauncherWaveLegendarySpecialArcThe Witch QueenYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialArc Arc
Best

S

PvEVow of the Disciple RaidCheckmark icon V3 YesThe Witch Queen Icon (final) Destiny 2
Witch Queen
Season 16EnergyCraftableTop-tierBait and Switch

Special GLs and the PvP Meta: TTK

We covered in detail which grenade launchers are considered top-tier (and should be farmed) and which can be safely ignored. But how do they compare to other Special weapons in PvP?

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

S

-► With the introduction of fixed (and consistent) pellet spread patterns per archetype and the reversal of some widely disliked nerfs, Shotguns are finally back. With consistent changes in the right direction, Shotguns are once more a staple pick among many PvP players.

► Best Archetype: Precision (65 RPM) - Example: Matador 64
PVP Specials
Sniper rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Sniper Rifles
S › Best
Best

S

-► Sniper Rifles are in an excellent spot right now. After the nerfs to Linear Fusion Rifles, it only makes sense that Sniper usage picked up. And with weapons that come stacked with aim assist and excellent perks, such as the Defiance of Yasmin or Beloved, it's easy to see why Snipers have risen up the ranks.

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

S

Trend up► Fusion Rifles have been at the top of the meta for a while now, and it doesn't seem to be changing. Fusions can cover the close to medium ranges excellently, and a good Fusion Rifle player can be incredibly frustrating to play against, no matter the range of the engagement.

► Best Archetype: Precision (780ms Charge Time) - Example: Main Ingredient
PVP Specials
Linear fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Linear Fusion Rifles
A › Strong
Strong

A

-► The special ammo Linear Fusion category of weapon is rather barren, but the two weapons that occupy it, Arbalest and Lorentz Driver, are both forces to be reckoned with. While they have received some deserved nerfs throughout Seasons 17-19, they remain a solid choice for many players wanting a long range option.PVP Specials
Trace rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Trace Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

-► 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
Glaive weapon type Destiny 2 art
Glaives
B › Average
Average

B

Trend down► With their buffs in Season 19 and the hit registration improvements they've seen, Glaives can be quite annoying to play against. That said, they are outclassed by other mid/long range options and can't compete at close range due to their lackluster melee.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (55 RPM)- Example: The Enigma
PVP Specials
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Grenade Launchers
C › Weak
Weak

C

Trend down► Grenade Launchers are annoying to play against, and that's about it. They can be used in a hot-swap loadout, but you'll be better served by a Bow like Le Monarque. Grenade launchers can put pressure on your enemies, but they can't bring the heat like some other Special Weapons can.

► Best Archetype: Lightweight - Example: Truthteller
PVP Specials

Remember that when it comes to PvP, TTK is perhaps the most important factor. As you know, the lower the TTK, the faster you can kill your opponent. We have a TTK guide/chart that includes TTK figures, but that mostly applies to Primary weapons, not Specials.

For PvP, you want a Special weapon that can consistently get you a one-hit kill. Special ammo Grenade launchers are not always the best on that front, but they are great at dealing enough damage with one shot so that its user can quickly swap weapons and get an easy cleanup kill.

Special GLS and the PvE Meta: DPS

How do Breech-loading GLs compare to other Special weapons in PvE?

Weapon Type RankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
Fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Fusion Rifles
S › Best
Best

S

Trend up►Fusion Rifles are absolutely insane right now. There were a ton of viable options already and newer options, such as The Eremite, can roll with perk combinations that can turn them into monsters. This, on top of certain Exotic options like Merciless, makes Fusion Rifles a staple option for either backup DPS or just general major clear.

► Best Archetype: Rapid-Fire (500ms Charge Time) - Example: Cartesian Coordinate
PVE Specials
Shotgun weapon type Destiny 2
Shotguns
S › Best
Best

S

Trend up► Shotguns are excellent right now. They can be used in traditional hot-swap loadouts when combined with Tractor Cannon in a raid setting, and they remain strong at both major clear and burst damage. However, they can achieve some of the highest damage combos in the game due to their ease of use, high burst damage, and perks like One-Two Punch.

► Best Archetype: Lightweight (90 RPM) - Example: Wastelander M5
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
B › Average
Average

B

-► Sniper Rifles have improved a tad, but not that much. They are still too slow for most players' liking, but they can still be a solid backup DPS option. These are commonly used in many longer-range DPS scenarios, but other than that, they remain mediocre.

► Best Archetype: Rapid-Fire (140 RPM) - Example: Supremacy
PVE Specials
Trace rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Trace Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

-► With the nerfs to the double-special ammo economy, Trace Rifles have been knocked down a notch. Using a Primary weapon is just more efficient these days. However, they remain solid utility weapons and a go-to if players still want to run double-special lodouts. They also have a couple of solid Exotic options too, making them a decent pick right now.PVE Specials
Glaive weapon type Destiny 2 art
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.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (55 RPM) - Example: The Enigma
PVE Specials
Linear fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Linear Fusion Rifles
C › Weak
Weak

C

Trend down► Linear Fusion Rifles are difficult to rank as there are only two of them. While Arbalest is definitely a powerful weapon, it is by no means a must-pick anymore. And Lorentz Driver isn't exactly a serious contender for PvE. Overall, this archetype is quite weak, especially now that Arbalest isn't the top-pick it used to be.PVE Specials

Keep in mind that when it comes to PvE, DPS is one of the most important factors. As you know, the higher the DPS, the more damage you can deal to a Boss or Major. This D2 DPS chart includes the DPS numbers for every weapon in Destiny 2.

Breech-loading GLs are extremely good at ad clear, especially those with Chain Reaction. When it comes to actual DPS, Special ammo GLs are in a good place:

-Weapon TypeArchetypeSustained DPSMag DPSTotal DamageSpecs---Best in ClassChange?Ammo
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2Grenade Launcher

Exotic

1602716027Max "Enrage"Ex Diris artEx DirisSpecial
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2Grenade Launcher

Exotic

97799779-Witherhoard art Destiny 2WitherhoardSameSpecial
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2Grenade LauncherDouble Fire94909490322854-Wilderflight artWilderflightSameSpecial
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2Grenade LauncherLightweight77577757289041-Ignition Code artIgnition CodeSameSpecial
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2Grenade LauncherWave67416741251160-Forbearance art v2ForbearanceSameSpecial
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2Grenade Launcher

Exotic

67416741251160-Dead Messenger artDead MessengerSpecial

Before you go…

Are you looking for a top-tier Primary and Heavy weapon to round out your loadout? We cover the Best Destiny 2 Hand Cannons and Best Shotguns in Destiny 2, too.

You now know everything there is to know about breech loaded grenade launchers in Destiny 2, whether that is for PvP or PvE content.

See latest Updates

We keep our content up to date! These are the latest changes made to this guide:
  • April 17, 2024: General updates and the inclusion of Seasons 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23 Special ammo Grenade launcherfs.
  • June 19, 2023: The guide is published for the first time.

Stay tuned, and don’t forget to bookmark this page for next season!

About The Author

Wyatt Lamb
Wyatt Lamb
If you asked any of my friends what I like to do with Destiny 2, they’d probably say “break it”. Build the biggest DPS, clear ads the fastest, zip zoom across the room; that’s my game. And with Blueberries.gg, I hope to show you all how to top the charts and make your friends go “wow”. You can find Wyatt on Twitter.
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1 Comment
  1. veggies

    Fighting Lion is missing from the list.

    Reply
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