Destiny 2 Best PvP Weapons right now: Season 18 Edition

by | Oct 19, 2022

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

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. Today, we’ll focus on the best PvP weapons right now. We’ll cover both Exotic and Legendary weapons (including their PvP god rolls), and give you an overview of the current PvP meta.

Best PvP Primary weapons

Checkmark icon V3Updated as of Season of Plunder’s release (S18)

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:

WeaponsTypeAmmoElementSlotRequirementsIn loot pool?SourceSource ❘ DLCVerdictPart of?
Destiny 2 Ace of Spades art
Ace of Spades
Hand CannonPrimaryKineticKineticForsaken PackYesExotic KioskExotic Kiosk

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

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 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 and the ability to see your radar while zoomed in, this weapon has a bit of everything.
PVP
The Palindrome art
The Palindrome
Hand CannonPrimaryVoidEnergyFree-to-PlayNoNightfall: The OrdealsNightfall: The Ordeals

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Outlaw + One for All
PvP God Roll: Killing Wind + Rangefinder

► With S-Tier perks for both PVE and PVP, great stats, and an adept version, there is nothing to hate about The Palindrome. Plus, it can get max range, can take advantage of Volatile Rounds, and it feels amazing to fire, making it one of the best legendary weapons in the game.
PVP
No Time to Explain Destiny 2
No Time to Explain
Pulse RiflePrimaryKineticKineticBeyond LightYesExotic QuestExotic Quest

Beyond Light
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Precision shots and shots against combatants affected by Stasis return to the magazine. At 10 stacks, a small portal will open, shooting bullets from an alternate timeline version of this weapon. Precision hits extend the portal's duration."

► No Time to Explain is a PVP powerhouse. Not only is it part of the most deadly Pulse rifles archetype (with insanely low TTKs), it also has great base stats and perks that make it nearly unstoppable when activated.
PVP
Destiny 2 Le Monarque art
Le Monarque
Combat BowPrimaryVoidEnergyForsaken PackYesExotic KioskExotic Kiosk

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

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

► Le Monarque is a ridiculously oppressive pick in PvP as it can be combined with a Hand Cannon to deliver blindingly fast combo kills with relative ease. It also comes with intrinsic Overload Arrows, which, combined with its poison effect, are highly effective against Overload Champions. This makes Le Monarque an incredible pick for PvE too.
PVP
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Hawkmoon
Hand CannonPrimaryKineticKineticBeyond LightYesXûrXûr

Beyond Light
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Final blows and precision hits with Hawkmoon grant stacks of Paracausal Charge. The final round in the magazine deals bonus damage based on the number of stacks. Stowing Hawkmoon on the final round removes this bonus."

► Many didn't like that Hawkmoon is not the same weapon it was in Destiny 1. But Hawkmoon is arguably the strongest Exotic Hand Cannon in PvP. It can provide very consistent 2 taps and even 1 taps, provided you are accurate enough. Hawkmoon will take some time to get used to, but once you do, it will be hard to go back to any other gun.
PVP
Destiny 2 Tarrabah art
Tarrabah
Submachine GunPrimarySolarEnergyForsaken PackYesExotic KioskExotic Kiosk

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon stores power when dealing or receiving damage. Once full, hold reload to unleash the beast."

► Now that Tarrabah's perk is significantly easier to proc, it has become an extremely popular choice in PVE (especially with Solar 3.0 builds). And since it's now tied for the highest SMG zoom stat at 16, this beast of a weapon can excel in PVP too.
PVP
BxR-55 Battler art
BxR-55 Battler
Pulse RiflePrimarySolarEnergyFree-to-PlayYesDares of EternityDares of Eternity

Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Legacy PR-55

PvE God Roll: Outlaw (also good: Perpetual Motion) + Kill Clip (also good: Blunt Execution Rounds)
PvE God Roll: Outlaw (also good: Perpetual Motion) + Kill Clip (also good: Blunt Execution Rounds)

► The BxR is a one-of-a-kind Pulse rifle. Meant to pay homage to Halo’s iconic Battle rifle, the BxR goes above and beyond to fill that role. But the Battler doesn't stop at nostalgia. Benefitting from a recent buff, the BxR-55 has become one of the strongest primary weapons in the Crucible, especially now that it can be crafted.
PVP
Funnelweb art
Funnelweb
Submachine GunPrimaryVoidEnergyFree-to-PlayYesWorld loot poolWorld loot pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

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

► A toned-down version of The Recluse, Funnelweb is currently one of the best PVE options in the game. With solid perk combinations and the ability to fire Volatile Rounds, this weapon makes red bars disappear right in front of your eyes. Plus, it's a world drop, meaning you don't even need to go out of your way to farm it.
PVP
Austringer art
Austringer
Hand CannonPrimaryKineticKineticSeason 17YesDerelict LeviathanDerelict Leviathan
Season 17 Destiny 2 icon
Season 17
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Outlaw + Rampage
PvP God Roll: Eye of the Storm + Opening Shot (also good: Rangefinder)

► With a fanbase that rivals that of Spare Rations, nearly everyone was waiting for the day that Austringer came back. That day has come, and Austringer is once again a great pick for anything in the game. With amazing stats, even better perks, and the ability to be crafted, it's hard to not see why people love this weapon.
PVP
Drang (Baroque) art
Drang (Baroque)
SidearmPrimarySolarEnergySeason 17YesDerelict LeviathanDerelict Leviathan
Season 17 Destiny 2 icon
Season 17
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Together Forever

PvE God Roll: Wellspring + Incandescent
PvP God Roll: Moving Target (also good: Swashbuckler) + Rampage

► One of the strongest sidearms in the game, Drang (Baroque), is back and has excellent rolls for every part of the game. Incandescent alone makes it great for PvE (although not as good as CALUS Mini-Tool), and its high zoom stat and well-rounded first column make it a good PvP pick too.
PVP
Ace of Spades Destiny 2 featured hand cannon

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

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:

WeaponsTypeAmmoElementSlotRequirementsIn loot pool?SourceSource ❘ DLCVerdictPart of?
Destiny 2 The Chaperone art
The Chaperone
ShotgunSpecialKineticKineticBeyond LightYesExotic QuestExotic Quest

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

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.
PVP
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Main Ingredient
Fusion RifleSpecialArcEnergyFree-to-PlayYesWorld loot poolWorld loot pool

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

PvP God Roll: Under Pressure + High Impact Reserves (also good: Tap the Trigger)

► With great stats and an insane perk selection (that had to be nerfed due to its potency), Main Ingredient is one of the most used weapons in the Crucible right now, and with reason.
PVP
Found Verdict art
Found Verdict
ShotgunSpecialArcEnergyFree-to-PlayYesVault of Glass RaidVault of Glass Raid

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

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

► Found Verdict is one of the most sought-after Shotguns right now. Able to fit Adept mods with its Timelost variant, Found Verdict can reach up to a whopping 68 range with Smallbore, which is a popular all-rounder barrel. It's a stat monster and we definitely recommended it for PvP.
PVP
Cloudstrike Destiny 2
Cloudstrike
Sniper RifleSpecialArcEnergyBeyond LightYesExotic QuestExotic Quest

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

Exotic Perk: "Precision final blows generate a lightning bolt at the target's location. Rapid precision hits create a lightning storm at the point of impact."

► Cloudstrike is perhaps one of the most slept-on Special weapons in PvP right now. Many believe it doesn't deserve the Exotic slot but when used right, it can be terribly devastating, especially in situations that force enemy players to group and capture specific objectives or hold choke points. Bonus: Cloudstrike is damn fun to use.
PVP
Destiny 2 Arbalest art
Arbalest
Linear Fusion RifleSpecialKineticKineticFree-to-PlayYesExotic EngramExotic Engram

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

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

► Able to deal with Anti-barrier champions and shielded enemies with ease (regardless of their elemental affinities), Arbalest is one of the best weapons for endgame content right now. It is so good, expect every Fireteam to have at least one Arbalest equipped.
PVE,PVP
Lorentz Driver art
Lorentz Driver
Linear Fusion RifleSpecialVoidEnergyBeyond LightYesExotic KioskExotic Kiosk

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

Exotic Perk: "Final blows on marked targets generate telemetry patterns which, when picked up, grant bonus ability energy. Collecting 3 telemetry patterns without dying grants bonus damage for a long duration. Also, a precision final blow with this weapon creates an implosion that pulls in nearby targets and damages them with an additional detonation."

► While Bungie often delivers undercooked, underpowered Exotics, they did the exact opposite with Lorentz Driver. With best in class base stats and insane exotic perks, Lorentz Driver excels in both PVE and PVP. In fact, it has such high aim assist, it often manages kills that should not have happened in the Crucible...
PVP
Forerunner art
Forerunner
SidearmSpecialKineticKineticFree-to-PlayYesExotic QuestExotic Quest

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

Exotic Perk: "Fires full auto with increased rate of fire. Deals increased precision damage to unshielded targets. Tapping the trigger gives it less recoil and improves accuracy."

► Forerunner is a fun, powerful, and accurate weapon. And while it can reach an insane time-to-kill in PvP (in theory), it does require you to pace your shots. With insane recoil and limited ammo, this weapon requires a player with a good aim to excel.
PVP
Dead Messenger art
Dead Messenger
Grenade LauncherSpecialVoidEnergyDeluxe EditionYesExotic QuestExotic Quest

Deluxe Edition
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

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

► Dead Messenger is one of the most potent weapons in the game. Excelling in both PvP and PvE, this Wave Frame Grenade Launcher is not only remarkably easy to use, but it can also completely nullify the Match Game modifier with its ability to change elements.
PVE,PVP
Beloved art
Beloved
Sniper RifleSpecialSolarEnergySeason 17YesDerelict LeviathanDerelict Leviathan
Season 17 Destiny 2 icon
Season 17
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Adaptive

PvP God Roll: Snapshot Sights + Moving Target (also good: Quickdraw)

► Arguably the community's favorite legendary sniper in the entire franchise, this "beloved" weapon is back and better than ever before. With low zoom, high aim assist, the ability to be crafted, and Snapshot Sights, it's no wonder Beloved is so popular in PVP.
PVP
Defiance of Yasmin
Defiance of Yasmin
Sniper RifleSpecialKineticKineticFree-to-PlayYesKing's Fall RaidKing's Fall Raid

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

PvP God Roll: Snapshot Sights + Opening Shot
PvE God Roll: Firefly + Firing Line

► The "new kid on the block," The Defiance of Yasmin was recently released as part of the King's Fall raid loot table. And as should be expected from a raid weapon, the Defiance of Yasmin truly excels, especially in PvP. It features excellent base stats, the best perks for PvP, and a 40 zoom stat that feels just right...
PVP

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:

WeaponsTypeAmmoElementSlotRequirementsIn loot pool?SourceSource ❘ DLCVerdictPart of?
Destiny 2 The Wardcliff Coil
The Wardcliff Coil
Rocket LauncherHeavyArcHeavyFree-to-PlayYesExotic EngramExotic Engram

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

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.
PVP
Destiny 2 Thunderlord art
Thunderlord
Machine GunHeavyArcHeavyForsaken PackYesExotic EngramExotic Engram

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Kills with this weapon generate lightning strikes from above and increase reload speed for a short time."

► Thunderlord is still (arguably) the king of machine guns for ad clear. Its ability to speed up its rate of fire and rain down lightning on enemies is no joke, even in higher-level content. However, Thunderlord receives a lot of flak for being an Exotic that may not be worth your exotic slot, especially when there are legendaries that can almost keep up with it.
PVP
The Other Half art
The Other Half
SwordHeavyVoidHeavyFree-to-PlayYesDares of EternityDares of Eternity

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Eager Edge + Whirlwind Blade (also good: Frenzy)

► Like its "other half"', The Other Half lives and dies by the Eager Edge perk. A fun option in PvE and a surprisingly strong option in PvP, make it rank above other Adaptive archetype swords.
PVP
Gjallarhorn art
Gjallarhorn
Rocket LauncherHeavySolarHeavy30th AnniversaryYesGrasp of Avarice DungeonGrasp of Avarice Dungeon

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

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.
PVE,PVP
Typhon GL5 art
Typhon GL5
Grenade LauncherHeavyStasisHeavyFree-to-PlayYesWorld loot poolWorld loot pool

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

PvE God Roll: Impulse Amplifier + Explosive Light (also good: Chill Klip)

► Even though Typhon GL5 has some great perks like Explosive Light, it doesn't excel in any part of the game simply because it's a heavy Grenade Launcher. Until these become stronger options for either ad clear or DPS, this weapon will sadly be forgotten by most of the community.
PVP
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
A › Strong
Strong

A

Trend down► Hand Cannons are in a bit of a strange spot. Many will argue that they are still the best weapons in the game, however, due to the prevalence of Pulse Rifles and Sidearms, and certain special weapons like Arbalest and Lorentz Driver, Hand Cannons have slowly been pushed out of many players' main pick. They are still excellent duelling weapons though, and feel amazing to use so they still retain a strong ranking.

► 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
Sidearm weapon type Destiny 2
Sidearms
S › Best
Best

S

Trend up► Sidearms recently received a monumental buff to their ease of use and effective range by increasing auto-aim fall-off distance by 30%. This means that Sidearms simply can kill from further away, and more easily. Sidearms are particularly potent on a controller.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (300 RPM) - Example: Drang
PVP Primaries
Auto rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Auto Rifles
C › Weak
Weak

C

-► 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
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
Scout rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Scout Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

Trend down► Scouts have been tuned down to make them less potent in the hands of the average player. However, good scout rifle players will still be able to do pretty well in lobbies, however, they may find themselves outmatched by Pulse Rifles.

► Best Archetype: High-Impact (150 RPM) - Example: Polaris Lance
PVP Primaries
SMG weapon type Destiny 2
Submachine Guns
A › Strong
Strong

A

Trend down► A few SMGs were recently hit with a range and/or damage nerf that knocked them down a peg or two. However, SMGs still have fast TTKs at short to medium ranges but are slightly outclassed by Sidearms now.

► Best Archetype: Aggressive (900 RPM)- Example: Borrowed Time
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.

Best Crucible weapons: 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.

-Kinetic--Special---HeavyMeta
No Time to Explain Destiny 2No Time to ExplainWithout Remorse artWithout RemorseTaipan-4fr artTaipan-4frPVP
Destiny 2 Ace of Spades artAce of SpadesBeloved artBelovedCry Mutiny artCry MutinyPVP
Riiswalker artRiiswalkerShayura's Wrath artShayura's WrathGjallarhorn 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.

About The Author

Ric Molina
Ric Molina
I've been covering gaming since 2012, and some of my work has been featured by large brands, including MSN.com, Forbes, Rock Paper Shotgun, and more. I've been obsessed with Destiny 2 for years now, and I hope to provide new and returning players with the guides and resources I wish I had when I first started.
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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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