Destiny 2 Best PVP Weapons right now

by | May 23, 2022 | Weapons

As you start getting serious with Destiny 2, one of your first questions always is: What are the best weapons in the game?

And that’s not an easy question to answer, as it depends on whether you’re interested in PVP or PVE, casual or endgame content, etc.

In this guide, we cover both Exotic and Legendary weapons (including crafted weapons and PVP god rolls), the current PVP meta, and provide quick guides on how to obtain the top PVP exotics. For the sake of clarity, we’ll split our selection of weapons into three categories: Primary ammo weapons, Special ammo weapons, and Heavy weapons.

A big thank you to Pattycakes for helping me put together this list. Pattycakes is one of my favorite Destiny 2 content creators focused on PVP and someone you should definitely check out.

Destiny 2 Best PVP 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 PVP 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?ElementSlotRequirementsAvailable?SourceSource ❘ RequirementsFinal Verdict
The Messenger Destiny 2 art
The Messenger
Pulse RiflePrimaryKineticKineticThe Witch QueenYesTrials of OsirisTrials of Osiris

The Witch Queen
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary | Archetype: High-Impact

PVP God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Outlaw) + Desperado

► This returning weapon from Destiny 1 is hands down the best Pulse rifle right now. Belonging to the High-Impact archetype, The Messenger benefits from one of the fastest TTKs in the game. On top of that, it has best-in-class base stats and excellent perks. And while all of its perks are good, it can also roll with the exclusive Desperado perk. With Desperado, which greatly increases its rate of fire after a precision kill, its TTK is massively reduced, allowing it to duel absolutely anyone and even go for insane killing sprees in 6v6 modes.
Destiny 2 Ace of Spades art
Ace of Spades
Hand CannonPrimaryKineticKineticForsaken PackYesExotic KioskExotic Kiosk

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Precision kills increase reload speed and cause the target to explode. Reloading after a kill increases damage. Grants radar while aiming down sights."

► Arguably the best 140 RPM hand cannon in the entire game, Ace of Spades has a lot to offer. With excellent base stats and some of the best perks around, namely Momento Mori, which is like Kill Clip on steroids, Ace of Spades is one of the most dominating kinetic primary weapons in the Crucible.
Shayura's Wrath Destiny 2 art
Shayura's Wrath
Submachine GunPrimaryVoidEnergyThe Witch QueenYesTrials of OsirisTrials of Osiris

The Witch Queen
Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Primary | Archetype: Precision

PVP God Roll: Tunnel Vision (also good: Killing Wind) + Kill Clip

► One of the latest (hot) new weapons to come out of Trials of Osiris, Shayura's Wrath is perhaps the best PVP SMG we have seen in a while. As a 600 RPM weapon, Shayura's Wrath offers a competitive TTK, but more importantly, it has an insane range for an SMG. That surprisingly long range, great stats, consistency, and an excellent Perk selection make Shayura's Wrath a must-have for PVP.
Dead Man's Tale Destiny 2 art
Dead Man's Tale
Scout RiflePrimaryKineticKineticFree-to-PlayYesXûrXûr

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

Exotic Perk: "Chaining precision hits grants bonus damage and quickens reload speed. Future drops of this weapon will have random rolls.

PVE God Roll: Vorpal Weapon (also good: Killing Wind)

► Dead Man's Tale was a real game-changer. Before its release, it was unimaginable to see a scout rifle dominate the Crucible, but here we are. With excellent stats and the ability to 2-tap guardians once its Exotic perk is active, Dead Man's Tale is extremely lethal at long ranges. Plus, it feels incredible to use in hip-fired mode thanks to its catalyst. By the way, with the ability to roll with random perks, there are a couple of nasty rolls out there, including one with Vorpal Weapon for when Supers start to appear.
The Palindrome Destiny 2 art
The Palindrome
Hand CannonPrimaryVoidEnergyFree-to-PlayYesNightfall: The OrdealsNightfall: The Ordeals

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

PVE God Roll: Outlaw (also good: Overflow) + One for All (also good: Rampage)
PVP God Roll: Quickdraw (also good: Killing Wind) + Rangefinder

► Among the many great Nightfall weapons out there, The Palindrome is the absolute best. It has great stats, excellent perks, and can dominate in both PVE and PVP. On top of that, it also comes with that smooth "feel" you'd want from a hand cannon. Exotic hand cannons tend to grab all the spotlight, but make no mistake, a god roll The Palindrome can be just as good.
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 disappoint, 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.
Destiny 2 Le Monarque art
Le Monarque
Combat BowPrimaryVoidEnergyForsaken PackYesExotic KioskExotic Kiosk

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Arrows fired quickly after a full draw become poison arrows. Precision hits with poison arrows spread poison to nearby enemies."

► Le Monarque can be lethal in the hands of an experienced PVP player. It can bring a guardian down to 1 HP with a "perfect draw" headshot, making it an extremely easy clean-up kill with a Quickdraw Hand Cannon. Another strategy is to get a damage buff beforehand to easily secure one-hit-kills. Both strategies are extremely efficient and hard to counter.
Piece of Mind Destiny 2 art
Piece of Mind
Pulse RiflePrimaryKineticKineticSeason 16YesSeasonal activitiesSeasonal activities

Season 16
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PVP God Roll: Perpetual Motion (also good: Overflow) + Moving Target

► With a TTK of 0.80s, Piece of Mind is a solid PVP choice. It's not a High-Impact Pulse and it doesn't have the best TTK, yet it can absolutely shred in PVP while simultaneously feeling great in your hands. As a Rapid-Fire pulse, Piece of Mind isn't great at peak shooting, but if used aggressively, it can easily dominate medium-range engagements.
Cantata-57 Destiny 2 art
Cantata-57
Hand CannonPrimaryArcEnergyFree-to-PlayYesWorld Loot PoolWorld Loot Pool

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

PVP God Roll: Eye of the Storm + Opening Shot (also good: Rangefinder )

► Lots of players are calling the Cantata-57 the best Legendary Hand Cannon, and its impressive stats and powerful Origin Trait back that up. With several great perk combos, this is a great pick that rivals other top PVP hand cannons.
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 to be released in over 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. For PVP in particular, Aggressive Burst Pulses hit like a truck, flinching opponents with ease.
Ace of Spades Destiny 2 featured hand cannon

Ace of Spades, still one of the best Destiny 2 PVP weapons

Destiny 2 Best PVP Special weapons

Destiny 2 special ammoIn this section, we cover the best Special PVP weapons. And by Special, we mean either kinetic or Energy weapons that use Special ammo. If you sometimes get confused between Energy and Special weapons, just remember, Special weapons use “Special” ammo, aka, green ammo boxes:

WeaponTypeAmmo?ElementSlotRequirementsAvailable?SourceSource ❘ RequirementsFinal Verdict
Destiny 2 The Chaperone art
The Chaperone
ShotgunSpecialKineticKineticBeyond LightYesExotic QuestExotic Quest

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

Exotic Perk: "Fires a single-slug precision round. Precision kills briefly grant bonus handling, range, and precision damage with this weapon."

► It certainly requires more skill than your average pellet shotgun, but in the right hands, The Chaperone is the deadliest shotgun in the entire game. Because of its excellent base stats and its precision-slug frame, The Chaperone has the longest one-hit kill distance of any shotgun in the game, provided you can hit your headshots. In the hands of a skilled player, this is an incredibly lethal weapon able to map enemies from afar.
Found Verdict Destiny 2 art
Found Verdict
ShotgunSpecialArcEnergyFree-to-PlayYesVault of Glass RaidVault of Glass Raid

Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Surplus (also good: Slideshot) + Opening Shot

► Found Verdict is one of the most sought-after weapons from the Vault of Glass raid.Aggressive shotguns were recently hit hard with nerfs. Not once, but twice. Still, Found Verdict remains the best aggressive shotgun in the game. And with the right perks, it's still an S-tier shotgun to bring to the Crucible.
Frozen Orbit Destiny 2 art
Frozen Orbit
Sniper RifleSpecialVoidEnergyFree-to-PlayYesPlaylist: CruciblePlaylist: Crucible

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Aggressive


PVXXXX God Roll: PERK (also good: PERK) + PERK

► Sniper rifles are all about their "feel", which is why some Snipers naturally stand out and steadily become the top choice in PVP. Frozen Orbit does have a lot of competition in the likes of Adored and Cloudstrike, but it's still one of the best feeling sniper rifles out there. And as an Aggressive Sniper, it can easily take down Supers, provided you have the aim.
Eye of Sol Destiny 2 art
Eye of Sol
Sniper RifleSpecialKineticKineticThe Witch QueenYesTrials of OsirisTrials of Osiris

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

PVP God Roll: Firmly Planted (also good: No Distractions) + Snapshot Sights

► Eye of Sol is an extremely solid 90 RPM sniper akin to the now retired, Beloved. Featuring a reasonable 45 zoom stat and good aim assistance, Eye of Sol can also roll with great perk options.
Duality Destiny 2
Duality
ShotgunSpecialSolarEnergyBeyond LightYesExotic KioskExotic Kiosk

Beyond Light
Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Fires a pellet spread in hip-fire or a single high-damage slug while aiming. Pellet final blows grant a stacking precision damage and reload speed buff. Precision hits with slugs extend the duration."

► Duality is a unique shotgun that combines the strengths of both pellet and slug shotguns. It has always been a fun exotic to use but the recent nerfs to pellet shotguns helped it become a dominating force in the Crucible. While it can reach the insane one-hit-kill distances of The Chaperone, Duality can get quite close to it. And in slug mode, it's much easier to use in very close quarters than The Chaperone.
Riiswalker Destiny 2 art
Riiswalker
ShotgunSpecialKineticKineticFree-to-PlayYesIron BannerIron Banner

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

PVP God Roll: Quickdraw (also good: Surplus) + Iron Reach

► It's not often that the Iron Banner delivers a must-have weapon, yet Season 14's Riiswalker was definitely the case. Taking advantage of the indirect nerfs to Aggressive frame shotguns, Riiswalker came out with some of the best stats and PVP perks ever seen on a Lightweight shotgun. It can roll with the top-tier Quickdraw and Iron Reach, which gives it absurd amounts of range for barely any cost.
1000 Yard Stare Destiny 2 art
1000 Yard Stare
Sniper RifleSpecialVoidEnergy30th AnniversaryYesGrasp of Avarice DungeonGrasp of Avarice Dungeon

30th Anniversary
Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Adaptive

PVP God Roll: Quickdraw (also good: No Distractions) + Snapshot Sights

► One of the best snipers from the original Destiny returns. With best-in-class stats and excellent perks, 1000 Yard Stare is an extremely popular sniper among top-tier PVP players. With a fairly low zoom stat, decent sights, and high aim assist, 1000 Yard Stare offers a great combination of lethality and ease of use.
Ragnhild-D Destiny 2 art
Ragnhild-D
ShotgunSpecialKineticKineticFree-to-PlayYesWorld Loot PoolWorld Loot Pool

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

PVP God Roll: Perpetual Motion + Elemental Capacitor

► Currently the second-best PVP shotgun in the game, Ragnhild-D is an unexpected top-tier pick for Crucible--especially while using an Arc Subclass with Elemental Capacitor.
Snorri FR5 Destiny 2 art
Snorri FR5
Fusion RifleSpecialVoidEnergyFree-to-PlayYesWorld Loot PoolWorld Loot Pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Precision

PVP God Roll: Firmly Planted + Successful Warm-up

► With tons of good perks for both PVE and PVP players, Snorri FR5 is arguably the most well-rounded fusion rifle in the game. With extremely high range, Firmly Planted, and Successful Warm-up, this is an obvious pick for PVP. With good range and stability, the Snorri FR5 can be the perfect tool against shotgun apes or just map people from surprising distances. Plus, with the great combination of Compulsive Reloader and Reservoir Burst, Snorri can excel in PVE too.
Deliverance Destiny 2 art v2
Deliverance
Fusion RifleSpecialStasisKineticThe 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.

Destiny 2 Best PVP Heavy weapons

Destiny 2 Heavy ammoIn this section, we cover the best Heavy PVP weapons, also known as Power weapons. Unlike Primary and Special weapons that can be in either the Kinetic or Energy slots, Heavy weapons can only be in the Heavy slot. In other words, we’re talking about the weapons that use “heavy” ammo, aka, purple ammo boxes:

WeaponTypeAmmo?ElementSlotRequirementsAvailable?SourceSource ❘ RequirementsFinal Verdict

Commemoration
Machine GunHeavyVoidHeavyBeyond LightYesDeep Stone Crypt RaidDeep Stone Crypt Raid

Beyond Light
Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Reconstruction + Under Pressure
PVP God Roll: Dynamic Sway Reduction + Under Pressure

► Machine guns are popular in PVP because they offer an excellent ammo economy. When used right, one ammo brick can result in 4-5 kills. And Commemoration just so happens to be one of the top machine guns for PVP. It may not have as high base stats as Hammerhead, but it more than makes up for it with great perks. Commemoration has a lot of potential for PVE too. With the right perks, it can outclass most other legendary machine guns for ad clear.
Destiny 2 Heir Apparent art
Heir Apparent
Machine GunHeavyArcHeavyFree-to-PlayNoGuardian GamesGuardian Games

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

Exotic Perk: "This weapon can be fired only when fully spun up. While at full health, spinning up this weapon protects you with an Arc Shield."

► Heir Apparent became a true menace when it finally received a Catalyst. It was so strong, it was eventually nerfed. Heir Apparent is certainly not as dominant anymore, but it can still shine in the Crucible, particularly in low-stakes games such as 6v6 modes.
Destiny 2 The Wardcliff Coil
The Wardcliff Coil
Rocket LauncherHeavyArcHeavyFree-to-PlayYesExotic EngramExotic Engram

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

Exotic Perk: "This weapon fires a volley of rockets and automatically reloads on ammo pickup."

► One of the best PVP rocket launcher in the game, The Wardcliff Coil is incredibly lethal and could potentially wipe an entire team. On top of that, it's a consistent and reliable weapon that can practically guarantee kills, even in competitive modes.
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
PVP God Roll: Impulse Amplifier + Chain Reaction

► Rockets are S-tier options for boss damage, 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. Plus, intrinsic tracking makes Palmyra a great pick for both PVE and PVP. After all, you'll want all the help you can get to hit those shots.
Gjallarhorn Destiny 2 900p Rocket launchers

Gjallarhorn , still a dominating Destiny 2 PVP weapon

Destiny 2 PVP 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 weapon types for PVP.

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

We just covered the absolute best PVP weapons right now, but it’s equally important to understand how the different weapon types compare to each other.

Alert iconWhat is Meta? 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. Also, remember that the PVE meta is completely different than the PVP meta!

Alert iconAbout TTK: Measured in seconds, TTK, or time-to-kill, is critical in PVP, because the lowest the TTK (generally less than a second), the faster you can kill your opponent. You can read all about it in our TTK guide.

PVP Primary weapons meta

Weapon TypeRankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
Hand cannon weapon type Destiny 2
Hand Cannons
S › Best
Best

S

-► Hand cannons will always be S-tier, they are incredibly versatile at many ranges and can deal incredibly high damage in a single shot, allowing for super effective 'peak-shooting'. Hand Cannons also often come with plenty of aim assist, making them an accessible yet incredibly potent option for everyone.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (140 RPM) - Example: Eyasluna
PVP Primaries
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Pulse Rifles
S › Best
Best

S

Trend up► Pulse Rifles have seen a resurgence in the past few seasons, with constant buffs to all types of Pulse Rifles. It is hard not to find success with one due to the high-flinch potential of Rapid-Fire Pulses or the lethal time-to-kill of High-Impact Pulses.

► Best Archetype: High-Impact (340 RPM) - Example: The Messenger
PVP Primaries
SMG weapon type Destiny 2
Submachine Guns
S › Best
Best

S

Trend down► Submachine Guns have always had one hard counter, Shotguns. However, with the recent Shotgun range nerfs, SMGs have risen massively up the ranks and now are able to comfortably compete in the short-mid range. SMGs are on the up, and it is one of the best times to become an SMG aficionado.

► Best Archetype: Precision (600 RPM)- Example: Shayura's Wrath
PVP Primaries
Sidearm weapon type Destiny 2
Sidearms
B › Average
Average

B

-► Sidearms are a solid pick, however, they have super stiff competition in the way of SMGs and certain Special Weapons such as Shotguns and Fusion Rifles making them a little harder to succeed with, but still a viable pick.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (300 RPM) - Example: Drang
PVP Primaries
Combat bow weapon type Destiny 2
Combat Bows
B › Average
Average

B

-► Bows are incredibly unique. They have a remarkably slow time to kill, however, this isn't where Bows shine. Hotswap builds with bows can be incredibly potent and don't require much learning either. Bows also provide incredible value when teamshooting opponents. Despite this, Bows on their own are quite mediocre and need something behind them to really shine.

► Best Archetype: Precision (Slower Draw Time) - Example: Strident Whistle
PVP Primaries
Auto rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Auto Rifles
C › Weak
Weak

C

Trend down► Auto Rifles aren't doing greét right now. They contest a similar range as Hand Cannons, however, they lack the peak shooting potential that Adaptive Hand Cannons bring. They can also be contested at close range by SMGs, making them difficult to use everywhere. However, a good player can still find value in an Auto Rifle as they do provide high flinch and constant damage.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (600 RPM) - Example: Gnawing Hunger
PVP Primaries
Scout rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Scout Rifles
A › Strong
Strong

A

Trend up► Scout Rifles have seen a very recent resurgence with the buffs to the Lightweight and High-Impact archetypes. They can now contest medium to long ranges a lot more comfortably and they aren't as pressured by Pulse Rifles as they were in the past. Scout Rifles have become one of the best options if you want to opt for a slower, more passive playstyle.

► Best Archetype: High-Impact (150 RPM) - Example: Polaris Lance
PVP Primaries

PVP 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.

Alert icon If you’re particularly interested in these unique exotics, check out our Exotic Tier list including every exotic weapon currently in the game.

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

PVP Heavy weapons meta

Weapon TypeRankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
Rocket launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Rocket Launchers
S › Best
Best

S

-► Rocket Launchers remain a staple in many players' loadouts. They can provide high-range one-shot kills, and can also do AoE damage which can potentially allow you to clear teams if they are close enough together.

► Best Archetype: Precision (15 RPM) - Example: Gjallarhorn
PVP Heavies
Machine gun weapon type Destiny 2
Machine Guns
A › Strong
Strong

A

-► Machine Guns are still an incredible option for Control as they can provide many kills. However, they do require multiple shots to kill which can lead to you potentially being Sniped or peak-shot by a Primary Weapon.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (450 RPM) - Example: Corrective Measure
PVP Heavies
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Grenade Launchers
S › Best
Best

S

Trend up► Heavy Grenade Launchers are an incredible option for those who are confident in landing their direct hits. They can functionally serve as a Rocket Launcher, but instead of coming with only a single shot, Grenade Launchers can bring 3, which, of course, means more potential kills.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (120 RPM) - Example: Memory Interdict
PVP Heavies
Sword weapon type Destiny 2
Swords
C › Weak
Weak

C

-► Swords are perhaps the most fun option (especially with Eager Edge), however, they are too inconsistent to warrant any competitive use. Furthermore, benefitting from third-person view is no longer possible without Heavy ammo, making the only niche usage swords had now redundant.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive/Lightweight- Examples: Half-Truths/Quickfang
PVP Heavies
Linear fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Linear Fusion Rifles
C › Weak
Weak

C

Linear fusion rifles are in the middle of an identity crisis. They are stronger than sniper rifles and have more aim assistance, but they still require Heavy ammo and a headshot to one-shot an enemy.

On top of that, they also have a charge time to take into account. Compared to a sniper rifle that fires immediately and only uses Special ammo, Linear Fusion rifles make little sense for the Crucible. In PVP, you want a Heavy weapon that can either easily down several guardians or guarantee a kill in a high-stakes match. It isn't impossible to do with a linear fusion rifle, but other weapon types can accomplish that more easily.
PVP Heavies

Alert iconThe Meta can change in a heartbeat, but you can rest assured, though, this overview is up to date with the current Season of the Splicer and will be updated as soon as a new meta arrives.

Destiny 2 Best PVP loadouts

Up until now, we have split our top PVP 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 an Igneous Hammer as your primary weapon, then your Special weapon will have to be Kinetic.

PVP Destiny 2 900p v3

The Best Destiny 2 Crucible weapons

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

Destiny 2 Best PVP Kinetic weapons:

[table “300” not found /]

Destiny 2 Best PVP Energy weapons:

[table “300” not found /]

PVP Loadout examples

If we mix and match the top kinetic and energy weapons, these are some of the most “Meta” and popular PVP loadouts currently in the Crucible:

-Kinetic--Special---HeavyMeta
The Messenger Destiny 2 artThe MessengerSnorri FR5 Destiny 2 artSnorri FR5Gjallarhorn Destiny 2 artGjallarhornPVP
Destiny 2 The Chaperone artThe ChaperoneThe Palindrome Destiny 2 artThe PalindromePalmyra-B Destiny 2 artPalmyra-BPVP
Riiswalker Destiny 2 artRiiswalkerShayura's Wrath Destiny 2 artShayura's WrathGjallarhorn Destiny 2 artGjallarhornPVP

The Last Word

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 PVP weapon? Do you have a particularly good PVP 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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5 Comments
  1. Rockpicken

    Felwinter’s is a shotty not a handgun 🙂

    Reply
    • Ric (aka Prim)

      Yep, that was a typo…. Thanks for the heads up! 🙂

      Reply
  2. BoB

    The shadow price has got to be one of the bets auto rifles in the game (in my opinion) as long as you hit your shots it has almost the same if not better ttk than 140 handcannons and is better at range

    Reply
    • Ric (aka Prim)

      Auto Rifle tier list coming soon, stayed tuned 🙂

      Reply
  3. Tim

    Excellent list, thanks Prim and Patty! Two minor nitpicks though: Fractethyst can’t roll killing wind and “PVE God Roll” should probably be “PVP God Roll” in the verdict about Tomorrow’s Answer.

    Anyone using DIM can find their PVP god rolls from the list by entering the following search query:

    (
    name:”ace of spades”
    or
    (name:”the messenger” perkname:”rapid hit” (perkname:”desperado” or perkname:”kill clip”))
    or
    name:”vex mythoclast”
    or
    (name:”the palindrome” (perkname:”killing wind” or perkname:”quickdraw”) perkname:”rangefinder”)
    or
    (name:”shayura’s wrath” (perkname:”tunnel vision” or perkname:”killing wind”) perkname:”kill clip”)
    or
    name:”dead man’s tale”
    or
    (name:”multimach ccx” (perkname:”dynamic sway reduction” or perkname:”killing wind”) (perkname:”kill clip” or perkname:”iron grip”))
    or
    (name:”fatebringer” (perkname:”explosive payload” or perkname:”killing wind”) (perkname:”opening shot” or perkname:”firefly”))
    or
    (name:”darkest before” (perkname:”heating up” or perkname:”moving target”) perkname:”multikill clip”)
    or
    name:”vigilance wing”
    or
    name:”the chaperone”
    or
    (name:”fractethyst” (perkname:”quickdraw” or perkname:”slideshot”) perkname:”opening shot”)
    or
    (name:”main ingredient” perkname:”under pressure” (perkname:”high-impact reserves” or perkname:”tap the trigger”))
    or
    (name:”uzume rr4″ perkname:”snapshot sights” (perkname:”explosive payload” or perkname:”high-impact reserves”))
    or
    (name:”found verdict” (perkname:”slideshot” or perkname:”surplus”) perkname:”opening shot”)
    or
    (name:”adored” perkname:”killing wind” perkname:”snapshot sights”)
    or
    (name:”eye of sol” perkname:”snapshot sights” (perkname:”opening shot” or perkname:”vorpal weapon”))
    or
    name:”duality”
    or
    name:”lorentz driver”
    or
    (name:”riiswalker” (perkname:”quickdraw” or perkname:”surplus”) perkname:”iron reach”)
    or
    (name:”commemoration” perkname:”dynamic sway reduction” (perkname:”eye of the storm” or perkname:”rampage”))
    or
    name:”heir apparent”
    or
    name:”the wardcliff coil”
    or
    (name:”tomorrow’s answer” perkname:”tracking module” perkname:”cluster bomb”)
    or
    name:”xenophage”
    )

    Reply
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