Destiny 2 Best PVP Weapons right now

by | Apr 17, 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.

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.

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 are and have always been the top PVP choice in Destiny. Nerfs can bring them slightly down and give other weapon types a chance, but in the end, the top players will always gravitate towards hand cannons.

It all comes down to the very nature of hand cannons. They can deal a lot of damage in a short amount of time, meaning they are perfect at peak shooting in and out of cover (something an auto rifle, for example, cannot do).
PVP Primaries
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Pulse Rifles
S › Best
Best

S

Sometimes referred to as "dad rifles", pulse rifles are generally easier to use, have a good range, and good aim assist. And with the recent buff to the High-Impact archetype, top pulses, such as The Messenger, have become some of the most lethal weapons in the Crucible.

And by the way, not all Pulses behave the same. Some, such as Adaptive frames, are somewhat easy to use and could be considered "Dad rifles", whereas High-impacts are harder to master but have some of the most lethal time-to-kill in the entire game.
PVP Primaries
Sidearm weapon type Destiny 2
Sidearms
A › Strong
Strong

A

For some reason, Sidearms have never been particularly popular in PVP. But things are definitely changing, especially since their target acquisition was buffed last year. You now see more and more top players main sidearms alongside their favorite sniper.

On paper, sidearms certainly have a limited range, which puts them in direct competition with shotguns, but Sidearms still offer the best TTKs among primary weapons in Destiny 2. Don't be surprised to see them gain momentum as shotguns continue to receive nerfs.
PVP Primaries
SMG weapon type Destiny 2
Submachine Guns
B › Average
Average

B

SMGs are far from being the "meta" choice in PVP. Other weapons types can be almost as lethal while significantly offering better range.

Still, SMGs can get the job done. In fact, a very good SMG with the right perks, such as the new Shayura's Wrath or the Multimach CCX, can be a true menace in the Crucible, with low TTKs and decent range.
PVP Primaries
Combat bow weapon type Destiny 2
Combat Bows
B › Average
Average

B

Combat bows are definitely a niche choice for PVP. You will rarely see a guardian using a bow in the Crucible, and that's because bows are far from being the most optimal tool to get the job done.

With a headshot, bows can "almost" kill an enemy, but during the time you'll need to shoot a second arrow, your enemy will be either gone or you will be already dead. Exceptions such as Le Monarque do exist of course, but in general, you'll be better served with other weapon types.
PVP Primaries
Auto rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Auto Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

Auto rifles had their 15 minutes of fame when they received a significant buff in Season of the Worthy, especially the 600 RPM variants. But Auto rifles were quickly reigned in and brought back to their usual place: the middle of the pack.

Every now and then, an outlier will see some usage in the Crucible, such as the new Chroma Rush, but in general, ARs suffer from a big drawback: They force you to stay out of cover all the time (unlike a hand cannon or pulse), which makes them less effective in competitive modes or against skilled users.
PVP Primaries
Scout rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Scout Rifles
C › Weak
Weak

C

To be clear, everything this applies to every Scout rifle in the game, except Dead Man's Tale, an exponentially superior Scout than the rest.

Whether we're talking about PVE or PVP, Scout rifles have been in a sad state for a long time. In PVP, they have some of the worst TTKs in the game and will lose most fights in close to medium range. They do offer good range, but most maps cater to closed-quarter combat.
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
S › Best
Best

S

Shotguns are so strong right now, they have been officially identified as a problem. They are simply too dominant in the current sandbox.

Shotguns are extremely lethal, easy to use, and encourage players to use them even more than primary weapons. And as Destiny 2's maps are relatively crowded (they were conceived for 8 players only), close-quarters combat is heavily encouraged, thus allowing shotguns to shine.
PVP Specials
Sniper rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Sniper Rifles
A › Strong
Strong

A

► Sniper rifles have always been a top choice for PVP. But unlike shotguns, they have a higher skill-ceiling. In other words, it's harder to master a sniper, but in the hands of a skilled player, there's nothing deadlier than a sniper rifle in the entire game.

Overall, snipers are in a weird place right now. Recent nerfs to their flinch and aim assist have made them harder to use, which lead to even more people using shotguns. But if you do cross paths with a sniper user, beware. If they are still using one, it's because they know how to use it...
PVP Specials
Trace rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Trace Rifles
A › Strong
Strong

A

► If you try to use Trace Rifles as any other Special weapon, you'll be very disappointed. Shotguns, snipers, and even fusion rifles are meant to be one-hit-kill weapons. Trace rifles, on the other hand, are not. They are slow.

But if you try to use them as a primary weapon, you'll see their true potential. With enough ammo, they behave like souped-up auto rifles, reaching the TTK of some of the best primary weapons in the game.
PVP Specials
Fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Fusion Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

► Fusion rifles have been struggling for a while. After their big range nerf a few seasons ago, mainly due to the infamous Erentil FR4, Fusion rifles have lagged behind shotguns and snipers.

Bungie is clearly trying to rectify the situation, offering a few minor buffs here in there. Fusion rifles still have a long way to go before becoming competitive again, but standouts such as Bastion or the newer PLUG.ONE can still dominate a lobby.
PVP Specials
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Grenade Launchers
B › Average
Average

B

► The reign of Special ammo Grenade launchers came to an end the day the Mountaintop was retired. And the Crucible has been a happier place ever since. Jokes aside, Mountaintop was a real problem. It was too strong, downright broken, while the rest of its kind left a lot to be desired.

These days, special ammo grenade launchers have finally found some balance. Some of the latest breechloaded grenade launchers are very good on paper, but unlike Mountaintop, they require some skill to be lethal in the Crucible.
PVP Specials

PVP Heavy weapons meta

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

S

Rocket launchers are in a great place right now for PVP. As ammo economy is not an issue in the Crucible, their insane high-burst damage per rocket allows them to shine.

Rocket launchers, and especially the exotics, can basically guarantee a kill without requiring much skill nor effort. And if used right, you can easily get multi kills in 6v6 modes. Rocket launchers even have a place in competitive modes, namely the Wardclif Coil, due to their consistency.
PVP Heavies
Machine gun weapon type Destiny 2
Machine Guns
A › Strong
Strong

A

Machine guns are always a safe bet in PVP. They have excellent TTK, are very consistent from medium to long-range, and have enough ammo to kill easily 2 to 3 guardians, 4 if you play your cards right.

Not all machine guns were created equal, though, as some of them are much stronger than the rest, especially the exotics (Heir Apparent immediately comes to mind). But with the right perks, legendary Machine guns can also shine
PVP Heavies
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Grenade Launchers
B › Average
Average

B

Grenade launchers can be good options in PVP. They are powerful and can come with great perks, including the newish Chain Reaction, which can easily net you multi kills when hitting enemies grouped together. When used with something like Proximity grenades, grenade launchers can be even more reliable and easy to use.

Compared to the other Power weapon in the game, grenade launchers remain strong contenders. And when you take into account the exotics, namely The Colony, they can basically give you free kills.
PVP Heavies
Sword weapon type Destiny 2
Swords
C › Weak
Weak

C

Swords may be a top-tier choice in PVE due to their high-risk, high reward approach. But in PVP, the risk is much higher than the reward.

You can, of course, use a sword to benefit from the third-person view and wait for opponents around corners. But in many situations, you could find yourself completely vulnerable out in the open while chasing an enemy. On top of that, 3-peeking with swords is considered a douchy approach by the community, and with reason!
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.

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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