Best Destiny 2 Shotguns: PVE and PVP Tier list ranking

by | Jun 27, 2021 | Weapons

As Destiny 2’s Season 13 begins, many players, including both veterans and New Lights, wonder what the meta is and what weapons they should bring to PVP and PVE.

But with so many weapons to chose from, this can be a daunting question to tackle. We’ll help you cover the basics, with a dedicated series of posts covering all the weapon types in D2. But today, we present you with an in-depth overview of a weapon type that has been top tier since Destiny 1: Shotguns.

In this guide, we’ll cover both Exotic and Legendary shotguns (including their PVP and PVE god rolls) and provide a verdict on how good each weapon is. But more importantly, this tier list will also give you a good overview of where shotguns as a whole stand today.

Destiny 2 Shotguns Tier list

These are the different Tier levels used for this ranking:

  • 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 the S Tier and moves down from there. It also covers both PVE and PVP, with the “Excels in” column clearly identifying where each weapon shines.

About TTK & DPS: You’ll see us talk a lot about TTK, or time-to-kill, and DPS, damage per second, throughout this guide. TTK is important in PVP, because the lower the TTK, the quicker you can kill your opponent. DPS is important for PVE, because the higher the DPS, the more damage you can deal to a Boss.

NameWeaponsTypeArchetypeAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?RankSourceObtainable?Tier rankSource ❘ DLCFinal VerdictReleasedPerks
Without RemorseWithout Remorse Destiny 2 art
Without Remorse
ShotgunLightweightSpecialSolarSeason 17YesOngoingSeasonal activityOngoing...

Seasonal activity
Season 17 Destiny 2 icon
Season 17
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

Review ongoing...


Season 17
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

Review ongoing...
Dead WeightDead Weight Destiny 2 art
Dead Weight
ShotgunRapid-FireSpecialArcFree-to-PlayYesOngoingPlaylist: GambitOngoing...

Playlist: Gambit

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



► Dead Weight could have all the perks in the world (and it nearly does, having 12 options per slot), but it would still struggle. Rapid-Fire frame shotguns are really weak in both PvE and PvP right now. However, Dead Weight does fill a niche 'shotgun 'ad clear' role with the right perk combination.
Season 17
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

Wastelander M5Wastelander M5 Destiny 2 art
Wastelander M5
ShotgunLightweightSpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesS › BestDares of Eternity
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Dares of Eternity

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

PVE God Roll: Subsistence + One-Two Punch
PVP God Roll: Slideshot + Opening Shot

► A fan favorite, especially among PVP players, the Wastelander M5 has all the right perks and base stats to compete with the best kinetic shotguns in the game.
30th Anniversary event
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVE God Roll: Subsistence + One-Two Punch
PVP God Roll: Slideshot + Opening Shot
Heritage
Heritage
ShotgunPinpoint SlugSpecialKineticBeyond LightYesS › BestDeep Stone Crypt Raid
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE
Deep Stone Crypt Raid

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

PVE God Roll: Reconstruction (also good: Auto-Loading Holster) + Recombination

► Heritage is the star of the Deep Stone Crypt raid. It's currently the best-in-class slug shotgun when it comes to dealing incredible DPS and is a go-to option for PVE content. Slug shotguns were recently nerfed, but they remain strong DPS options in Destiny 2 right now.

And on top of having excellent base stats, Heritage can roll with fantastic perks that are unique to the DSC raid, and being a Kinetic weapon, it intrinsically deals 10% more damage than its Energy counterparts.
Season 12
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Pinpoint Slug

PVE God Roll: Reconstruction (also good: Auto-Loading Holster) + Recombination
The ChaperoneDestiny 2 The Chaperone art
The Chaperone
ShotgunExoticSpecialKineticBeyond LightYesS › BestExotic Quest
Best

S



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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.
Season 4
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."
DualityDuality Destiny 2
Duality
ShotgunExoticSpecialSolarBeyond LightYesS › BestExotic Kiosk
Best

S



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic Kiosk

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

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 still, to this day, one of the most potent Special Weapons in the game. It is the king of shotgun versatility, and in the hands of a skilled player, it can turn any lobby upside-down with its unique Pellet/Slug Shotgun playstyle. It's also a very stylish weapon netting it some bonus points.
Season 12
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

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."
Matador 64Matador 64 Destiny 2 art
Matador 64
ShotgunPrecisionSpecialArc30th AnniversaryYesS › BestGrasp of Avarice Dungeon
Best

S



Excels in:
PVP
Grasp of Avarice Dungeon

30th Anniversary
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Precision

PVP God Roll: Theat Detector (also good: Perpetual Motion ) + Opening Shot (also good: Harmony)

► Matador 64 is currently one of the most sought-after shotguns for PVP in the entire game. The fact aggressive shotguns were recently nerfed helps a lot, but still, Matador 64 has great stats and perks that help it stand out.
30th Anniversary event
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Precision

PVP God Roll: Theat Detector (also good: Perpetual Motion ) + Opening Shot (also good: Harmony)
Tractor CannonDestiny 2 Tractor Cannon art
Tractor Cannon
ShotgunExoticHeavyVoidFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongExotic Engram
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Exotic Engram

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

Exotic Perk: "This weapon emits a powerful impulse that pushes enemies away, suppresses their abilities, and makes them more vulnerable to all incoming damage."

► Tractor Cannon is still one of the game's most fun weapons and remains quite a powerful option. Being able to suppress enemies in PvP and weaken enemies in PvE is really useful. Plus, booping people out of the map or against the walls in PVP will never gets old.
Season 1
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon emits a powerful impulse that pushes enemies away, suppresses their abilities, and makes them more vulnerable to all incoming damage."
Lord of WolvesDestiny 2 Lord of Wolves art
Lord of Wolves
ShotgunExoticSpecialSolarFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongExotic Engram
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Exotic Engram

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

Exotic Perk: "Fires a powerful short-range burst of Solar damage. Hold to swap to a longer, more powerful burst."

► Lord of Wolves dominated the meta for a good part of early 2022. But Season 17's changes to the Special ammo economy and a specific nerf to the weapon, hurt the Lord of Wolves. However, despite the nerfs, it remains an extremely easy shotgun to use with very high levels of lethality.
Season 4
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires a powerful short-range burst of Solar damage. Hold to swap to a longer, more powerful burst."
Seventh Seraph CQC-12Destiny 2 Seventh Seraph CQC-12
Seventh Seraph CQC-12
ShotgunLightweightSpecialSolarFree-to-PlayYesA › Strong
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE + PVP


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

PVP God Roll: Quickdraw (also good: Slideshot) + Vorpal Weapon
PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Trench Barrel

► Seventh Seraph CQC is a great alternative as it can roll with top-tier perks and benefits from the Lightweight's archetype benefits, such as faster movement speed and improved aim-down sights.

However, most favor the more popular Aggressive Frame shotguns as they simply have a further one-hit kill distance than Lightweight. However, Seventh Seraph CQC shouldn't be ignored.
Season 10
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVP God Roll: Quickdraw (also good: Slideshot) + Vorpal Weapon
PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Trench Barrel
Xenoclast IV
Xenoclast IV
ShotgunLightweightSpecialVoidFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongPlaylist: Strikes
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Playlist: Strikes

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

PVP God Roll: Slideshot (also good: Surplus) + Killing Wing
PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Field Prep) + One-Two Punch

► Xenoclast is an absolute beast. It is littered with insane perks for both PVE and PVP and is a consistent, reliable shotgun.

It does have to compete with other heavyweights in the energy slot, such as Felwinter's Lie and Seventh Seraph CQC, but because Xenoclast can roll with incredible perks, it can still compete. And as it was released only last season, it will be the perfect replacement for the Seventh Seraph CQC once it retires.
Season 12
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVP God Roll: Slideshot (also good: Surplus) + Killing Wing
PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Field Prep) + One-Two Punch
BlasphemerBlasphemer Destiny 2 art
Blasphemer
ShotgunPinpoint SlugSpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongMoon
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Moon

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

PVE God Roll: Surplus (also good: Fourth Time's the Charm) + Swashbuckler
PVP God Roll: Threat Detector Opening Shot

► Blasphemer is one of few Legendary Kinetic Slug Shotguns in the game, and only a couple of other options outclass it. It comes with brilliant perks such as Quickdraw and Opening Shot, making it super snappy and accurate. Blasphemer is super easy to use and an excellent option for players learning Slug Shotguns
Season 13
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Pinpoint Slug

PVE God Roll: Surplus (also good: Fourth Time's the Charm) + Swashbuckler
PVP God Roll: Threat Detector Opening Shot
First In, Last Out
First In, Last Out
ShotgunPinpoint SlugSpecialArcFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongWorld loot pool
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
World loot pool

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

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Outlaw) + Vorpal Weapon

► First In, Last Out is one of the best PVE Special weapons in the game right now. In fact, it's a go-to option when dealing with the Deep Stone Crypt's final boss. Also a slug shotgun, First In, Last Out can deal insane damage and is right up there with Heritage in terms of DPS and lethality.

And thanks to its wide range of great perks, First In, Last Out can sometimes surpass Heritage. For example, when dealing with certain Bosses and Majors thanks to the Vorpal Weapon perk.
Season 11
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Pinpoint Slug

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Outlaw) + Vorpal Weapon
RiiswalkerRiiswalker Destiny 2 art
Riiswalker
ShotgunLightweightSpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongIron Banner
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Iron Banner

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 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.
Season 14
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVP God Roll: Quickdraw (also good: Surplus) + Iron Reach
Found VerdictFound Verdict Destiny 2 art
Found Verdict
ShotgunAggressiveSpecialArcFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongVault of Glass Raid
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Vault 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 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.
Season 14
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Surplus (also good: Slideshot) + Opening Shot
A Sudden DeathA Sudden Death Destiny 2 art
A Sudden Death
ShotgunAggressiveSpecialArcFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongProphecy Dungeon
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Prophecy Dungeon

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

PVP God Roll: Threat Detector (also good: Slideshot) + Elemental Capacitor

► A Sudden Death's combination of Threat Detector and Elemental Capacitor provides some of the best handling and swap speeds ever seen on an aggressive frame shotgun. This is one of the top shotguns for PVP players who play arc subclasses.
Season 15
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Threat Detector (also good: Slideshot) + Elemental Capacitor
FractethystFractethyst Destiny 2 art
Fractethyst
ShotgunPrecisionSpecialStasisFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongXûr
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Xûr

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

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

► The recent nerf to Aggressive shotguns allowed other archetypes to finally shine, including Precision shotguns. And it so happens that Fractethyst is the best Precision shotgun we have seen in a while. Able to roll with the absolute best PVP perks a shotgun could ask for, Fractethyst is a true menace in the Crucible.
Season 15
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Precision

PVP God Roll: Quickdraw (also good: Slideshot) + Opening Shot
Ragnhild-DRagnhild-D Destiny 2 art
Ragnhild-D
ShotgunAggressiveSpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongWorld loot pool
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
World loot pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 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.
Season 16
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Perpetual Motion + Elemental Capacitor
Fortissimo-11Fortissimo-11 Destiny 2 art
Fortissimo-11
ShotgunPinpoint SlugSpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongPlaylist: Strikes
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Playlist: Strikes

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

PVP God Roll: Perpetual Motion + Adagio (also good: Opening Shot)

► The first shotgun able to roll with Adagio, this Slug Shotgun can 1 shot body-shot Guardians in the Crucible. However, with one of the biggest perk pools in the game, Fortissimo-11 is annoying to grind for, preventing it from being S-tier.
Season 16
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Pinpoint Slug

PVP God Roll: Perpetual Motion + Adagio (also good: Opening Shot)
The Fourth HorsemanDestiny 2 The Fourth Horseman art
The Fourth Horseman
ShotgunExoticSpecialSolarShadowkeepYesB › AverageExotic Kiosk
Average

B



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic Kiosk

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

Exotic Perk: "This weapon's rate of fire is increased significantly and fires full auto. Each successive shot has more damage and more spread."

► Boasting some of the highest burst DPS in the entire game, The Fourth Horseman is an "all or nothing" weapon. It can deal with Majors easily, but as you delve into more challenging content, the Fourth Horseman can become quite a risky weapon to opt for, making it a pretty middle-of-the-pack option.
Season 10
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon's rate of fire is increased significantly and fires full auto. Each successive shot has more damage and more spread."
Felwinter's LieFelwinter's Lie Destiny 2 art
Felwinter's Lie
ShotgunAggressiveSpecialSolarFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageExotic Kiosk
Average

B



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic Kiosk

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

PVP Preferred Perks: Surplus + Opening Shot

► In spite of receiving a nerf with the removal of Quickdraw, Felwinter's Lie is still the best shotgun in PVP right now. With a tight pellet spread combined with very strong perks, Felwinter's can reach insane one-hit-kill distances consistently.

On top of being extremely lethal and consistent, Felwinter's is an easy weapon to acquire via the Exotics Kiosk in the tower. This means that virtually anyone can simply go and purchase the best PVP shotgun in the entire game (which is one of the reasons many despise it).
Season 10
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP Preferred Perks: Surplus + Opening Shot
Astral HorizonDestiny 2 Astral Horizon
Astral Horizon
ShotgunAggressiveSpecialKineticThe Witch QueenYesB › AverageTrials of Osiris
Average

B



Excels in:
PVP
Trials of Osiris

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

PVP God Roll: Surplus + Opening Shot

► Astral Horizon used to be one of the greats. However, nowadays, it's not only unobtainable but also a mediocre option compared to more recent alternatives. To be competitive, Astral requires the Adept form of the gun and also Adept Range for solid range, but despite the range it can get, the handling can be abysmal.
Season 10
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Surplus + Opening Shot
Sojourner's TaleSojourner's Tale Destiny 2 art
Sojourner's Tale
ShotgunPrecisionSpecialSolarFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageUnobtainable
Average

B



Excels in:
PVP
Unobtainable

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

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Moving Target) + Dragonfly

► Sojourner's Tale is a fine weapon that can come with fun and original perks. The only reason you don't see it higher up on this list is because the competition is too tough, with Heritage dominating the PVE meta and The Chaperone (or Heritage again) owning the PVP meta.

Still, a Sojourner's Tale with Dragonfly can be extremely fun to use in normal PVE activities. I personally have a blast using it in Override and Battlegrounds!
Season 14
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Moving Target) + Dragonfly
Legend of AcriusDestiny 2 Legend of Acrius art
Legend of Acrius
ShotgunExoticHeavyArcFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageExotic Kiosk
Average

B



Exotic Kiosk

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

Exotic Perk: "This weapon fires blasts of high-damage Arc energy that over penetrates enemies. Its radar detects enemies from farther away."

► Legend of Acrius is the shadow of its former self. It still packs a decent punch, at least in DPS terms. But nowadays, it's vastly outclassed by rival Exotic in the Heavy slot such as The Lament, Xenophage, and even some legendary options.
Season 1
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon fires blasts of high-damage Arc energy that over penetrates enemies. Its radar detects enemies from farther away."
Prophet of Doom
Prophet of Doom
ShotgunPrecisionSpecialArcShadowkeepYesB › AverageGarden of Salvation Raid
Average

B



Garden of Salvation Raid

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

PVE God Roll: Full Auto Trigger System (also good: Feeding Frenzy) + One-Two Punch

► Prophet of Doom falls into the Rapid Fire Frame archetype and that's its main problem. This archetype has a few issues such as poor ammo economy and limited damage. It just lacks that "big DPS" factor that comes with slug shotguns in PVE.
Season 8
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Full Auto Trigger System (also good: Feeding Frenzy) + One-Two Punch
Toil and Trouble
Toil and Trouble
ShotgunAggressiveSpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageWorld loot pool
Average

B



World loot pool

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

PVP God Roll: Slideshot + Rampage

► Toil and Trouble is an Aggressive Frame shotgun which means it can be a good option for general PvP play. However, compared to other Aggressive Frame shotguns, it simply can't compete with either Felwinter's Lie or Astral Horizon. Toil and Trouble's perks don't help it an awful lot either.
Season 11
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Slideshot + Rampage
RetrofuturistRetrofuturist Destiny 2 art
Retrofuturist
ShotgunLightweightSpecialVoidFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageWorld loot pool
Average

B



World loot pool

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

PVP God Roll: Quickdraw (also good: Pulse Monitor) + Snapshot Sights

► Retrofuturist is the latest shotgun in Destiny 2. Released this season, Retrofuturist is a Lightweight shotgun that can be acquired through the reworked Umbral Engrams.

Due to the nature of Lightweights, they are immediately at a disadvantage in PVP due to their shorter one-hit kill range compared to Aggressive shotguns. However, Retrofuturist can roll with some nice consistency perks for PvP, making it, in our eyes, a middle-of-the-road choice. While there are better options out there, it can still get the job done.
Season 13
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVP God Roll: Quickdraw (also good: Pulse Monitor) + Snapshot Sights
Retold TaleRetold Tale Destiny 2 art
Retold Tale
ShotgunPrecisionSpecialVoidFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageDreaming City
Average

B



Dreaming City

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

PVP God Roll: Quickdraw (also good: Surplus) + Killing Wind

► Retold Tale used to be god-tier along with Dust Rock Blues back in Forsaken, and many are very excited to see it return.

However, being a Precision Frame shotgun (i.e. slug shotgun) pits it against vastly superior options in PVE. And in PVP, Aggressive and Lightweight Frames are vastly preferred as they offer better range and grant movement bonuses respectively. For those reasons, Retold Tale will most likely not be a part of anyone's PVP loadout.
Season 13
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Precision

PVP God Roll: Quickdraw (also good: Surplus) + Killing Wind
The DeicideThe Deicide Destiny 2 art
The Deicide
ShotgunRapid-FireSpecialVoidFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageWorld loot pool
Average

B



World loot pool

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

PVE God Roll: Slideshot (also good: Surplus) + One-Two Punch

► The Decide's stats won't impress anyone. It's a fine weapon with acceptable stats. Having said that, it can come with One-Two Punch, which is an extremely fun perk that we don't get to see too often.

Paired with the right build and Exotic, The Deicide with One-Two Punch can be an extremely fun and lethal tool in PVE.
Season 14
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PVE God Roll: Slideshot (also good: Surplus) + One-Two Punch
One Small StepOne Small Step Destiny 2 art
One Small Step
ShotgunRapid-FireSpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageMoon
Average

B



Moon

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

PVE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy + Trench Barrel (also good: Swashbuckler)

► One Small Step is the only Rapid-Fire kinetic shotgun in the game right now, which makes it somewhat special. It's too bad Bungie killed it when it re-issued it without One-Two Punch, which was its signature and best perk before.

This is one of the weapons that suffered the most from coming back from retirement with new perks. Without One-Two Punch, One Small Step simply can't compete with either One-Two Punch shotguns or generally superior shotguns.
Season 14
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PVE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy + Trench Barrel (also good: Swashbuckler)
Compass RoseCompass Rose Destiny 2 art
Compass Rose
ShotgunPrecisionSpecialSolarFree-to-PlayNoB › AverageEvent: Solstice of Heroes
Average

B



Event: Solstice of Heroes

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



► You won't see the Compass Rose very often, but don't let that deceive you. Handling isn't an issue for the Compass as it can roll Quickdraw and Snapshot, making it one of the snappiest shotguns in the game. In the right hands and with the right perks, Compass Rose can compete with the best of them.
Season 14
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Precision

The ComedianThe Comedian Destiny 2 art
The Comedian
ShotgunAggressiveSpecialVoidFree-to-PlayNoB › AverageNightfall: The Ordeals
Average

B



Nightfall: The Ordeals

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

PVE God Roll: Subsistence (also good: Ensemble) + Vorpal Weapon (also good: Trench Barrel)

► The Comedian is yet another aggressive shotgun that comes to us in the wake of several nerfs. And to make matters worst, it lacks the best PVP perks other aggressive shotguns can roll with. It does have better base stats than say, Felwinter's Lie, and can offer excellent PVE perks, such as Subsistence. But neither are enough to help it stand out.
Season 15
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Aggressive

PVE God Roll: Subsistence (also good: Ensemble) + Vorpal Weapon (also good: Trench Barrel)
Reckless EndangermentReckless Endangerment Destiny 2 art
Reckless Endangerment
ShotgunLightweightSpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesB › AveragePlaylist: Pursuit
Average

B



Playlist: Pursuit

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

PVP God Roll: Perpetual Motion + Snapshot Sights

► As Season 16's ritual weapon, Reckless Endangerment comes with a set roll. And while this shotgun isn't the best of the best, it is still a very competitive option. With the ability to get an outrageous amount of handling, this set-rolled weapon is a good PVP choice for anyone not wanting to grind a different weapon for ages.
Season 16
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVP God Roll: Perpetual Motion + Snapshot Sights
IKELOS_SG_v1.0.2
IKELOS_SG_v1.0.2
ShotgunRapid-FireSpecialSolarFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakWorld loot pool
Weak

C



World loot pool

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

PVE God Roll: Threat Detector (also good: Feeding Frenzy) + Trench Barrel

► Previously the king of DPS back in Forsaken, the IKELOS SG now falls into the same traps and problems as the Prophet of Doom does. It is another Rapid-Fire Frame and just like Prophet of Doom, it can't really keep up with the top PvE shotguns options.

It's unfortunate to see this once mythical shotgun be so low on this tier list, but it will still be an average pick that can work in a normal PVE loadout.
Season 11
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PVE God Roll: Threat Detector (also good: Feeding Frenzy) + Trench Barrel
Bonechiller
Bonechiller
ShotgunPinpoint SlugSpecialVoidFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakEuropa
Weak

C



Europa

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

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Triple Tap) + Demolitionist

► Bonechiller is in quite a difficult spot as a Slug Shotgun. In PvP, it has to compete with options like Duality, and in PvE, it contends with the likes of Heritage. This stiff competition, unfortunately, renders Bonechiller quite underwhelming to use. Combining this with its mediocre perk pool, we can't really recommend Bonechiller.
Season 12
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Pinpoint Slug

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Triple Tap) + Demolitionist
Wishbringer
Wishbringer
ShotgunRapid-FireSpecialSolarFree-to-PlayYesD › WorstPlaylist: Crucible
Worst

D



Playlist: Crucible

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

PVP God Roll: Slideshot + Rampage

► Wishbringer is another Rapid-Fire Frame shotgun and therefore lags behind in terms of DPS for PvE content. And with a very short one-hit kill range and poor ammo efficiency at all, it can't compete in PvP either.

Wishbringers' perks don't do it any favors either, as it doesn't offer anything noteworthy that would give you a reason to use it. All of this combined with the stiff competition in the Energy slot makes it a poor pick.
Season 11
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PVP God Roll: Slideshot + Rampage

More Destiny 2 Tier lists:

Best Destiny 2 PVP Shotguns

When it comes to PVP, Shotguns remain as strong as they have ever been. It’s no wonder many players barely use their primary weapons anymore. If you’re looking for the best PVP shotgun in Destiny 2, there are 2 clear (and equally viable) alternatives:

  • Aggressive Pellet Shotguns
  • Precision Slug Shotguns (such as The Chaperone and Heritage)

But overall, the king remains unchallenged:

 

Felwinter's Lie Destiny 2 featured

Felwinter’s Lie

Weapon Type: Shotgun Slot: SolarEnergy
Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammoSpecial Source: Exotics Kiosk

The undeniable king of the Crucible, Felwinter’s Lie has the most kills in PVP in the entire game. In spite of receiving an indirect nerf (with the removal of the Quickdraw perk), it’s still the go-to shotgun for the vast majority of players. Why? Because it’s incredibly consistent, has extreme one-hit-kill distances (for a pellet shotgun), and is very easy to use.

Best Destiny 2 PVE Shotguns

In PVE, deciding what shotgun to use is even easier. If you’re looking for the most lethal, DPS-dealing shotgun, you’ll have to go with a top-tier Slug shotgun:

Heritage

Weapon Type: Shotgun Slot: Kinetic
Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammoSpecial Source: Raid

Unlike Felwinter’s Lie, Heritage is an excellent shotgun you’ll have to work for. Locked behind the Deep Stone Crypt raid, getting a good roll will require consistent raiding. But once you have a good roll, namely, a roll including the elusive Recombination + Reconstruction combo, you’ll have one of the best PVE weapons in the entire game (both in terms of DPS numbers and ease of use).

Destiny 2 Shotguns sources: How to get them

The table above includes a column titled “Drops from  ❘ Requirements“. This section goes deeper and includes more detailed steps on how to acquire all the shotguns still viable in Destiny 2:

Destiny 2 Exotic Shotguns sources

This is how you can obtain the several Exotic shotguns in our Tier list:

  • Exotic Quest: Some Exotics, such as The Chaperone, require you to complete a dedicated Exotic quest. For more information, check out our Exotic Quests hub.
  • Exotics Kiosk: Most Exotic nowadays can be acquired via the Exotics Kiosk in the tower, officially called the Monument to Lost Lights. You can read all about it, including costs and requirements, here.
  • Random Engrams: Finally, some Exotics can only randomly drop while playing the game or by acquiring Exotic engrams (most notably from the Season Pass or from Xur).

Destiny 2 Exotic Engram

If you’re interested in the Legendary shotguns, read on.

Destiny 2 Legendary Shotguns sources

This is how you can obtain the several Legendary shotguns in our Tier list:

  • Deep Stone Crypt Raid: Some elite weapons, such as Heritage, can only be found in the Deep Stone Crypt raid. For a detailed overview of all the weapons found in the newest Destiny 2 raid, this loot table covers both weapons and armor per encounter.
  • Trials of Osiris: Astral Horizon can only drop while getting wins in the endgame PVP mode Trials of Osiris, Destiny 2’s endgame (and brutal) PVP mode. Beware that drops rotate weekly, so you’ll have to patient and wait until Astral Horizon becomes part of the weekly drops.
  • Prophecy Dungeon: The IKELOS shotgun can only drop from Destiny 2’s newest dungeon. For a detailed overview of all the weapons found in Prophecy, this loot table covers both weapons and armor per encounter.
  • World Loot Pool: Some Legendaries can only randomly drop while playing the game, either as end of matches rewards or when finding Legendary engrams.

Finally, several sources (such as Playlists, Garden of Salvation raid, etc) are self-explanatory, but in doubt, you can always leave a comment below with your question or ask away on our Discord.

Ranking criteria

For the record, as much as we tried to keep this list as objective as possible, it’s still based on our personal experience playing the PC version of the game.

Finally, if you’re wondering what criteria was used to build this Tier list, these are the main factors I took into account:

  • Lethality: The higher the effective DPS and usability, the higher the ranking.
  • Consistency: Some weapons may not have the highest DPS numbers, but they are so consistent, they more than make up for their lower DPS numbers.
  • Ease of use: Similar to the point above, some weapons are very effective because they are easy to use and don’t require too much skill or setup. This is also rewarded with higher rankings.
  • PVE/PVP Performance: High lethality in either PVE or  PVP is equally valuable. However, a weapon that is good at both PVE and PVP should rank higher than one that is slightly better on only PVE or PVP.
  • Fun factor: Not the most important factor, but it also helps if the weapon is damn fun to shoot with!

If you strongly disagree with some of the rankings here, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. By the way, what is your personal favorite?

Let's keep the conversation going

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Check out our community Discord (already 500 guardians strong!).

3 Comments
  1. Misha Ekelchik

    Seems solid, just wish blasphemer was a bit higher. As soon as season 13 launched I got a reissued one with hammer-forged accurized rounds quickdraw opening shot with a range mw. The thing slaps in pvp, and in my opinion, a chaperone substitute if you are running an exotic energy primary.

    Reply
  2. Leaf

    I’m pretty sure the Fourth Horseman is arc, not solar.

    Reply
    • Ric (aka Prim)

      Yep, that was my bad, little coding error snuck in there… Thank you for the heads up, corrected now!

      Reply
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