When I returned to Destiny 2 after an 18-month break, I was completely lost. Not only is Destiny 2 notoriously bad at explaining things or giving a vague sense of priority, but it’s also a game that naturally evolves over time especially because of its ever-changing weapons, meta, and sandbox.
It was frustrating to search online, find outdated guides, and end up grinding for weapons that were no longer good (I’m looking at you Breakneck).
In this guide, you’ll find everything important there is to know about the best weapons in Destiny 2 today: What are the best weapons in Destiny 2, how to find them, and more.
Best Season 16 weapons
Like any other loot-based game out there, Destiny 2 is all about getting the latest and greatest gear. Exotics and best-in-class legendaries are always important, but the new weapons will always get the spotlight. And when the Seasonal gear happens to be as good as this season’s, the new weapons instantly become the most sought-after items in the entire game.
This guide covers every weapon released in Season 16 and The Witch Queen, including the top PVE and PVP rolls selected with the help of some of the best Destiny 2 content creators:
Best Destiny 2 Exotic Weapons
Exotics are a key part of a Guardian’s loadout. As you’re allowed to only equip one Exotic weapon at a time, it’s often a difficult choice that can even lead to intense debates with your Fireteam.
If you want to dive deeper into the top Exotic weapons in Destiny 2, this guide is for you:
The guide includes:
- A ranking including all 93 Exotics currently in the game
- DLC Requirements
- Guides on how to get them
- A focus on all the newest Exotics
Knowing which Exotics are best and understanding which ones are the easiest to obtain can make a big difference, especially if you’re just starting out. With that knowledge, you can better target what Exotics to chase first and build strong loadouts sooner rather than later.
If you’re ready to start chasing the best Exotic weapons and Catalysts, these guides will show you where to find them:
Be aware that many Exotic quests were removed from the game and put into the Destiny Content Vault (DCV). Most of those weapons are now available for purchase at the Monument to Lost Lights in the Tower.
The top tier Exotics for PVE and PVP
If you’re in a hurry and want a quick list that highlights the most used Exotics for PVE and PVP, these are ones we consider S-tier:
|Dead Man's Tale||Lorentz Driver||Gjallarhorn||Exotics|
|Witherhoard||Trinity Ghoul||The Wardcliff Coil||Exotics|
|Vex Mythoclast||Riskrunner||Sleeper Simulant||Exotics|
Exotics deserve a dedicated section because they are truly special. Some of them literally break the rules of what a weapon should be able to do in Destiny 2.
Having said that, you should always be clear on what you’re looking for when talking about weapons in Destiny 2. Are you looking for a weapon for PVE or a weapon for PVP?
PVP vs PVE
PVP and PVE are entirely different beasts that require entirely different tactics, strategies, and weapons. A good gun for PVE will most likely be very different than a good gun for PVP. For that reason, we will always talk about PVP and PVE separately.
Weapon sunsetting: Several weapons in Destiny 2 were recently retired. They are still in the game but are no longer viable for end-game content. Read everything there is to know about weapon sunsetting here.
Best Destiny 2 PVE Weapons
You’ll see us talk a lot about DPS, damage per second, throughout this section.
About DPS: DPS is important for PVE, because the higher the DPS, the more damage you can deal to a Boss or Major.
What to look for in PVE
A good PVE weapon should be able to deal a good amount of DPS while remaining consistent and easy to use. Some weapons can deal great DPS, but require excellent aim and leave little room for mistakes.
All of our top PVE weapons follow those criteria. They do good DPS, are consistent, and easy to use. These are the weapons you’ll want to bring to the most challenging PVE content in Destiny 2:
Our PVE Weapons guide includes:
- The Top 25 PVE weapons currently in the game
- Requirements and difficulty to obtain them
- The current PVE Meta (what weapon types are the best and why)
- Instructions to get the best PVE Exotics
- The best PVE loadouts
If you’re building towards a strong PVE loadout, that guide is the place to get started.
If you’re in a hurry and simply want a list with the absolute best PVE weapons, based on usage in endgame content, these are the most “Meta” PVE weapons right now:
|Osteo Striga||Forbearance||Reed's Regret||PVE|
If you’re struggling with PVE endgame content such as Master and Grandmaster Nightfall: The Ordeals or Master Empire Hunts, you can’t go wrong with any of those weapons.
Last but not least, if you want to take a deeper look into what the most lethal weapons, DPS wise, are, this guide is for you:
Best Destiny 2 PVP Weapons
You’ll see us talk a lot about TTK, time-to-kill, throughout this section.
About TTK: TTK is particularly important in PVP, because the lowest the TTK, the faster you can kill your opponent. You can read all about it in our TTK guide below.
What to look for in PVP
Unlike PVE, PVP is not about sheer damage or DPS. In the Crucible, every bullet counts, and for that reason, you should be looking for those weapons that require the least bullets (and time) to kill an opposing Guardian.
But similarly to DPS in PVE, TTK in PVP is not everything. You also want a lethal weapon with a good TTK that is also consistent and easy to use.
It goes without saying that our selection of PVP weapons follows that criteria too. They are consistent, easy to use, and have some the lowest TTK out there:
Our PVP Weapons guide includes:
- The Top 25 PVP weapons currently in the game
- Requirements and difficulty to obtain them
- The current PVP Meta (what weapon types are the best and why)
- Instructions to get the best PVP Exotics
- The best PVP loadouts
If you’re building towards a strong PVP loadout, that guide is the place to get started.
These are the most “Meta” PVP weapons right now, based on usage in endgame content:
|The Messenger||Snorri FR5||Gjallarhorn||PVP|
|The Chaperone||The Palindrome||Palmyra-B||PVP|
If you want to take PVP seriously and want to give yourself the best changes in Trials of Osiris or the Competitive playlist, these weapons are all safe bets.
Last but not least, if you want to take a deeper look into what the most lethal weapons, TTK wise, are, this guide is for you:
- All TTK values for all primary weapons
- Weapon examples per archetype
- Explanation on how to take into account ease of use
And it includes a couple of charts and graphs to help you see easily see what weapon archetypes are the most dangerous in the Crucible!
|Nightfall: The Ordeal||Playlist||
|Vow of the Disciple||Raid||
The Witch Queen
|Deep Stone Crypt||Raid||
|Garden of Salvation||Raid||
|Vault of Glass||Raid||
|Grasp of Avarice||Dungeon||
|Trials of Osiris||Crucible||
The Witch Queen
|Dares of Eternity||Activity||
Current Destiny 2 Meta
While not as covered as the “Top weapons” in Destiny 2, the actual “Meta” is equally important.
The Meta defines what weapons and loadouts are the most efficient and lethal at any given time. For that reason, understanding the current Meta will help you better understand Destiny 2 weapons in general and potentially get ahead of the competition.
This guide covers the current Meta and state of the Sandbox in detail: What the best weapon types are and why, and what have been the latest changes:
- The latest Meta changes (season per season)
- The current PVE Meta per class (Primary, Specials, and Heavy)
- The current PVP Meta per class
And as the Meta in Destiny 2 can change overnight, you can rest assured our guide will be updated accordingly.
Best Destiny 2 weapons per type
The following guides all focus on specific weapon types or classes. If you’re interested in taking a deeper look into a specific weapon type that is dear to you, look no further than these:
PS: These guides obviously make the distinction between the best choices for PVE and PVP too!
|Linear Fusion Rifle||Heavy|
Best places to find great weapons
Some of the best weapons are extremely hard to acquire. And that’s a good thing, as Destiny 2 is a looter-shooter and having to work hard for the best gear is part of the fun.
But in case you feel lost and don’t even know where to begin, there are a few excellent sources where you can consistently farm Top Tier weapons. To get you started, these 2 guides cover the two most important methods to acquire top-tier weapons in the game (loot tables for raids/dungeons and schedules for rotating gear):
The following guides focus on specific sources of great guns. Each guide ranks every single weapon from its relevant activity, includes the top exotics found there, provides the best rolls for Legendaries, and gives you tips to efficiently farm them:
These resources should help you figure out what the best weapons in Destiny 2 are. These are the weapons that are worth chasing, either because they’re simply the best in class or because they’re very good while being easy to farm at the same time.