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.

NameArchetypeElementRankExcelsSourceRequirementsWeaponTier rankSource ❘ RequirementsVerdict
Felwinter's LieAggressiveSolarS › BestPVPExotic KioskFree-to-PlayFelwinter's Lie Destiny 2 art
Felwinter's Lie
Best

S



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic Kiosk
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo 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).
HeritagePrecision SlugKineticS › BestPVEDeep Stone Crypt RaidBeyond LightHeritage Destiny 2 art
Heritage
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE
Deep Stone Crypt Raid
Destiny 2 Beyond Light logo 1
Slot: KInetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Precision 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 are the DPS kings of Destiny 2 right now, and that doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon.

But 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 means it intrinsically deals10% more damage than its Energy counterparts.
Found VerdictAggressiveArcS › BestPVPVault of Glass RaidFree-to-PlayFound Verdict Destiny 2 art
Found Verdict
Best

S



Excels in:
PVP
Vault of Glass Raid
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Aggressive

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

► The new shotgun from the Vault of Glass raid, Found Verdict is one of the most sought-after weapons in the game right now. Finally, a new shotgun is able to challenge to current PVP king: Felwinter's Lie.

Sitting in the same slot, Found Verdict is just as good as Felwinter's. In fact, some would argue that a god-roll Found Verdict is even better. But finding a god-roll won't be easy considering you'll have to conquer the Vault of Glass many, many times, for a chance to find it. If you are lucky to have a good roll, hold on to it. If you aren't as lucky, Felwinter's is still an excellent choice.
The ChaperoneExoticKineticS › BestPVPExotic QuestBeyond LightDestiny 2 The Chaperone art
The Chaperone
Best

S



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic Quest
Destiny 2 Beyond Light logo 1
Slot: 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."

► With unparalleled range and accuracy, The Chaperone is the deadliest exotic shotgun in PVP. 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.

The fact that The Chaperone is a slug shotgun means it has significantly more range than pellet shotguns, such as Felwinter's. But getting one-hit-kills require good aim and only precision hits. And when its Exotic trait, The Roadborn, is active, The Chaperone can reach insane one-hit-kill distances.
Astral HorizonAggressiveKineticS › BestPVPTrials of OsirisFree-to-PlayDestiny 2 Astral Horizon
Astral Horizon
Best

S



Excels in:
PVP
Trials of Osiris
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: KInetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Surplus (also good: Auto-Loading Holster) + Killing Wind

► A god-rolled Astral Horizon is to many the only legendary shotgun that can rival Felwinter's Lie. It is remarkably consistent and is the only pellet shotgun in the game that can keep up with Felwinter's Lie in the Kinetic slot.

And as Astral Horizon sits in the Kinetic slot, you can use it alongside fan-favorites such as Gnawing Hunger or Stars in Shadow, two of the best Primary PVP weapons that sit in the Energy slot.
First In, Last OutPrecision SlugArcS › BestPVEWorld Loot PoolFree-to-PlayFirst In Last Out Destiny 2 art
First In, Last Out
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE
World Loot Pool
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Precision 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.
RiiswalkerLightweightKineticA › StrongPVPIron BannerFree-to-PlayRiiswalker Destiny 2 art
Riiswalker
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Iron Banner
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: KInetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Lightweight

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

► It's been a while since Iron Banner delivered a new weapon worthy of our time, yet Season 14's Riiswalker is most definitely a game-changer.

Taking advantage of the indirect nerfs to Aggressive frame shotguns, Riiswalker comes with some of the best stats and PVP perks ever seen on a Lightweight shotgun. It may not be as consistent as Felwinter's but it's really close. Plus, as a Lightweight, it encourages a different play style and a well-deserved change from this year's stale PVP meta.
BlasphemerPrecision SlugKineticA › StrongPVEMoon DestinationFree-to-PlayBlasphemer Destiny 2 art
Blasphemer
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Moon Destination
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Precision Slug

PVE God Roll: Surplus (also good: Fourth Time's the Charm) + Swashbuckler

PVE God Roll: Surplus (also good: Fourth Time's the Charm) + Swashbuckler

► Blasphemer is a returning kinetic slug shotgun from the Moon. As mentioned before, slug shotguns are in a great place right now for PVE, and Blasphemer benefits from that.

However, Blasphemer has very stiff competition in the likes of Heritage or First In, Last Out. It does have a good sunset cap though and will last longer than both. But right now, it simply lags behind in terms of stats and PVE perks.
Xenoclast IVLightweightVoidA › StrongPVE + PVPPlaylist: StrikesFree-to-PlayXenoclast IV Destiny 2 art
Xenoclast IV
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Playlist: Strikes
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo 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.
Seventh Seraph CQC-12LightweightSolarA › StrongPVE + PVPGunsmithFree-to-PlayDestiny 2 Seventh Seraph CQC-12
Seventh Seraph CQC-12
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Gunsmith
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo 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.
The Fourth HorsemanExoticSolarA › StrongPVEExotic KioskShadowkeepDestiny 2 The Fourth Horseman art
The Fourth Horseman
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic Kiosk
Destiny 2 Shadowkeep logo 3
Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo 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."

► A good all-around weapon, this shotgun can deal great damage if you manage to get very close. It's too bad most high-end PVE content isn't designed for close-combat...

The Fourth Horseman is a monster when it comes to burst DPS. It is right up there with Top tier weapons such as The Lament and is a very viable option for short DPS phases such as Atraks-1 in the Deep Stone Crypt raid.

However, due to its limited ammo efficiency compared to The Lament (and swords in general), it slightly falls behind the competition for end-game PVE.
DualityExoticSolarA › StrongPVPExotic KioskDeluxe EditionDuality Destiny 2
Duality
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic Kiosk
Destiny 2 Deluxe Edition logo
Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo 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 has always been a unique shotgun that combines the strengths of both pellet and slug shotguns. It's definitely a fun exotic to use in low-stress PVE and PVP situations.

However, it also carries the weaknesses of both archetypes and when the stakes are high, Duality is out-performed by more specialized weapons. It's also a difficult gun to get used to. Duality received a buff with Season of the Chosen, which helps it a lot, but it still lags behind The Chaperone, which is why it can't be considered S tier.
Lord of WolvesExoticSolarA › StrongPVE + PVPExotic EngramFree-to-PlayDestiny 2 Lord of Wolves art
Lord of Wolves
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Exotic Engram
Destiny 2 Beyond Light logo 1
Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo 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 recently got a (well-deserved) nerf that made it disappear from the Crucible but it remains one of the highest DPS weapons in the game.

However, it is still a very solid option for those wanting a fairly consistent, unique shotgun. It can be quite good at putting down supers too, adding to its value. In PVE, it remains an excellent burst weapon, it's simply outclassed by the recently buffed slug shotguns.
Tractor CannonExoticVoidA › StrongPVE + PVPExotic EngramFree-to-PlayDestiny 2 Tractor Cannon art
Tractor Cannon
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Exotic Engram
Destiny 2 Beyond Light logo 1
Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo 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 one of the most fun weapons in Destiny 2. Booping people out of the map or against the walls in PVP will never gets old.

Some may view this A-tier rating as harsh, however, everything that Tractor Cannon offers, other weapons can do better. For example, Divinity is a better debuff weapon, and dealing with Supers in PVP can be done more efficiently with top-tier weapons such as Black Talon, Wardcliff Coil, or even a headshot with a Vorpal Weapon sniper rifle.

Average DPS: 11,879 with its catalyst.
Sojourner's TalePrecisionSolarB › AveragePVPSeason PassSeason 14Sojourner's Tale Destiny 2 art
Sojourner's Tale
Average

B



Excels in:
PVP
Season Pass
Destiny 2 Season 14 logo
Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo 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!
Toil and TroubleAggressiveKineticB › Average-World Loot PoolFree-to-PlayToil and Trouble Destiny 2 art
Toil and Trouble
Average

B

World Loot Pool
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: KInetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Slideshot + Rampage

► Toil and Trouble is an Aggressive Frame shotgun which means it can be 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.
RetrofuturistLightweightVoidB › Average-World Loot PoolFree-to-PlayRetrofuturist Destiny 2 art
Retrofuturist
Average

B

World Loot Pool
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo 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.
BonechillerPrecision SlugVoidB › Average-Europa DestinationFree-to-PlayBonechiller Destiny 2 art
Bonechiller
Average

B

Europa
Destiny 2 Beyond Light logo 1
Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Precision Slug

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

► Bonechiller is the new slug shotgun from Beyond Light and it can roll with some quite unique perks that no other slug shotgun in the game can roll with, such as Triple Tap and Dragonfly.

However, in spite of offering unique perks, Bonechiller can't quite compete with the best Energy weapons in neither PVE nor PVP.
Retold TalePrecisionVoidB › Average-Dreaming City DestinationFree-to-PlayRetold Tale Destiny 2 art
Retold Tale
Average

B

Dreaming City Destination
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo 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.
Legend of AcriusExoticArcB › Average-Exotic KioskFree-to-PlayDestiny 2 Legend of Acrius art
Legend of Acrius
Average

B

Exotic Kiosk
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo 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."

► The Legend of Acrius has fallen quite far since its glory days. It still packs a decent punch, but nowadays, it's vastly outclassed by rival Exotic in the Heavy slot such as The Lament, Xenophage, Anarchy, and even some legendary options like Falling Guillotine.

Having said that, Legend of Acriiuscan deliver some serious DPS, especially with the catalyst.

Average DPS: 21,602.
One Small StepRapid-FireKineticB › Average-Moon DestinationFree-to-PlayOne Small Step Destiny 2 art
Average

B

Moon Destination
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: KInetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

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

► This is one of the weapons that greatly suffered from coming back from retirement with new perks. The excellent god roll that was possible in Shadowkeep days was removed and replaced with mostly uninspired perks. One Small Step remains one of only a few Rapid-Fire shottys available, but that's not enough to compete with One-Two punch builds or generally superior shotguns.
The DeicideRapid-FireVoidB › Average-World Loot PoolFree-to-PlayThe Deicide Destiny 2 art
The Deicide
Average

B

World Loot Pool
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo 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.
IKELOS_SG_v1.0.2Rapid-FireSolarC › Weak-Prophecy DungeonFree-to-PlayIKELOS SG v1.0.2 Destiny 2 art
IKELOS_SG_v1.0.2
Weak

C

Prophecy Dungeon
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo 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.
Prophet of DoomPrecisionArcC › Weak-Garden of Salvation RaidShadowkeepProphet of Doom Destiny 2 art
Prophet of Doom
Weak

C

Garden of Salvation Raid
Destiny 2 Shadowkeep logo 3
Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Destiny special ammo 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 standard with slug shotguns in PVE. However, Prophet of Doom is still an average option and can work, especially in a Liar's Handshake/One-Two Punch build.
WishbringerRapid-FireSolarD › Worst-Playlist: CrucibleFree-to-PlayWishbringer Destiny 2 art
Wishbringer
Worst

D

Playlist: Crucible
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo 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.

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.

Good PVP alternatives

NameArchetypeElementRankExcelsSourceRequirementsWeaponTier rankSource ❘ RequirementsVerdict
Found VerdictAggressiveArcS › BestPVPVault of Glass RaidFree-to-PlayFound Verdict Destiny 2 art
Found Verdict
Best

S



Excels in:
PVP
Vault of Glass Raid
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Aggressive

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

► The new shotgun from the Vault of Glass raid, Found Verdict is one of the most sought-after weapons in the game right now. Finally, a new shotgun is able to challenge to current PVP king: Felwinter's Lie.

Sitting in the same slot, Found Verdict is just as good as Felwinter's. In fact, some would argue that a god-roll Found Verdict is even better. But finding a god-roll won't be easy considering you'll have to conquer the Vault of Glass many, many times, for a chance to find it. If you are lucky to have a good roll, hold on to it. If you aren't as lucky, Felwinter's is still an excellent choice.
The ChaperoneExoticKineticS › BestPVPExotic QuestBeyond LightDestiny 2 The Chaperone art
The Chaperone
Best

S



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic Quest
Destiny 2 Beyond Light logo 1
Slot: 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."

► With unparalleled range and accuracy, The Chaperone is the deadliest exotic shotgun in PVP. 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.

The fact that The Chaperone is a slug shotgun means it has significantly more range than pellet shotguns, such as Felwinter's. But getting one-hit-kills require good aim and only precision hits. And when its Exotic trait, The Roadborn, is active, The Chaperone can reach insane one-hit-kill distances.
Astral HorizonAggressiveKineticS › BestPVPTrials of OsirisFree-to-PlayDestiny 2 Astral Horizon
Astral Horizon
Best

S



Excels in:
PVP
Trials of Osiris
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: KInetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Surplus (also good: Auto-Loading Holster) + Killing Wind

► A god-rolled Astral Horizon is to many the only legendary shotgun that can rival Felwinter's Lie. It is remarkably consistent and is the only pellet shotgun in the game that can keep up with Felwinter's Lie in the Kinetic slot.

And as Astral Horizon sits in the Kinetic slot, you can use it alongside fan-favorites such as Gnawing Hunger or Stars in Shadow, two of the best Primary PVP weapons that sit in the Energy slot.
RiiswalkerLightweightKineticA › StrongPVPIron BannerFree-to-PlayRiiswalker Destiny 2 art
Riiswalker
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Iron Banner
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: KInetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Lightweight

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

► It's been a while since Iron Banner delivered a new weapon worthy of our time, yet Season 14's Riiswalker is most definitely a game-changer.

Taking advantage of the indirect nerfs to Aggressive frame shotguns, Riiswalker comes with some of the best stats and PVP perks ever seen on a Lightweight shotgun. It may not be as consistent as Felwinter's but it's really close. Plus, as a Lightweight, it encourages a different play style and a well-deserved change from this year's stale PVP meta.

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 Destiny 2 image

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).

Good PVE alternatives

NameArchetypeElementRankExcelsSourceRequirementsWeaponTier rankSource ❘ RequirementsVerdict
First In, Last OutPrecision SlugArcS › BestPVEWorld Loot PoolFree-to-PlayFirst In Last Out Destiny 2 art
First In, Last Out
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE
World Loot Pool
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Precision 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.
BlasphemerPrecision SlugKineticA › StrongPVEMoon DestinationFree-to-PlayBlasphemer Destiny 2 art
Blasphemer
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Moon Destination
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Precision Slug

PVE God Roll: Surplus (also good: Fourth Time's the Charm) + Swashbuckler

PVE God Roll: Surplus (also good: Fourth Time's the Charm) + Swashbuckler

► Blasphemer is a returning kinetic slug shotgun from the Moon. As mentioned before, slug shotguns are in a great place right now for PVE, and Blasphemer benefits from that.

However, Blasphemer has very stiff competition in the likes of Heritage or First In, Last Out. It does have a good sunset cap though and will last longer than both. But right now, it simply lags behind in terms of stats and PVE perks.
Seventh Seraph CQC-12LightweightSolarA › StrongPVE + PVPGunsmithFree-to-PlayDestiny 2 Seventh Seraph CQC-12
Seventh Seraph CQC-12
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Gunsmith
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo 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.

The best Kinetic shotgun in Destiny 2?

Finally, a word about Kinetic VS Energy shotguns… If you, for example, are convinced that Igneous Hammer is your go-to primary weapon, you’ll need a good shotgun in the Kinetic slot:

NameArchetypeElementRankExcelsSourceRequirementsWeaponTier rankSource ❘ RequirementsVerdict
HeritagePrecision SlugKineticS › BestPVEDeep Stone Crypt RaidBeyond LightHeritage Destiny 2 art
Heritage
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE
Deep Stone Crypt Raid
Destiny 2 Beyond Light logo 1
Slot: KInetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Precision 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 are the DPS kings of Destiny 2 right now, and that doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon.

But 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 means it intrinsically deals10% more damage than its Energy counterparts.
The ChaperoneExoticKineticS › BestPVPExotic QuestBeyond LightDestiny 2 The Chaperone art
The Chaperone
Best

S



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic Quest
Destiny 2 Beyond Light logo 1
Slot: 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."

► With unparalleled range and accuracy, The Chaperone is the deadliest exotic shotgun in PVP. 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.

The fact that The Chaperone is a slug shotgun means it has significantly more range than pellet shotguns, such as Felwinter's. But getting one-hit-kills require good aim and only precision hits. And when its Exotic trait, The Roadborn, is active, The Chaperone can reach insane one-hit-kill distances.
Astral HorizonAggressiveKineticS › BestPVPTrials of OsirisFree-to-PlayDestiny 2 Astral Horizon
Astral Horizon
Best

S



Excels in:
PVP
Trials of Osiris
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: KInetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Surplus (also good: Auto-Loading Holster) + Killing Wind

► A god-rolled Astral Horizon is to many the only legendary shotgun that can rival Felwinter's Lie. It is remarkably consistent and is the only pellet shotgun in the game that can keep up with Felwinter's Lie in the Kinetic slot.

And as Astral Horizon sits in the Kinetic slot, you can use it alongside fan-favorites such as Gnawing Hunger or Stars in Shadow, two of the best Primary PVP weapons that sit in the Energy slot.
RiiswalkerLightweightKineticA › StrongPVPIron BannerFree-to-PlayRiiswalker Destiny 2 art
Riiswalker
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Iron Banner
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: KInetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Lightweight

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

► It's been a while since Iron Banner delivered a new weapon worthy of our time, yet Season 14's Riiswalker is most definitely a game-changer.

Taking advantage of the indirect nerfs to Aggressive frame shotguns, Riiswalker comes with some of the best stats and PVP perks ever seen on a Lightweight shotgun. It may not be as consistent as Felwinter's but it's really close. Plus, as a Lightweight, it encourages a different play style and a well-deserved change from this year's stale PVP meta.
BlasphemerPrecision SlugKineticA › StrongPVEMoon DestinationFree-to-PlayBlasphemer Destiny 2 art
Blasphemer
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Moon Destination
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Precision Slug

PVE God Roll: Surplus (also good: Fourth Time's the Charm) + Swashbuckler

PVE God Roll: Surplus (also good: Fourth Time's the Charm) + Swashbuckler

► Blasphemer is a returning kinetic slug shotgun from the Moon. As mentioned before, slug shotguns are in a great place right now for PVE, and Blasphemer benefits from that.

However, Blasphemer has very stiff competition in the likes of Heritage or First In, Last Out. It does have a good sunset cap though and will last longer than both. But right now, it simply lags behind in terms of stats and PVE perks.

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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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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