Best Destiny 2 Weapons

PVE, PVP, Exotics and more

By Ric Molina | June 3, 2020

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,it’s also a game that naturally evolves with 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It was frustrating to search online, find outdated guides and end up grinding for weapons that were no longer good (I’m looking at you Breakneck).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 weapons in Destiny 2 today.

What are the best weapons in Destiny 2? How to find them? What about the best Exotics? 

Weapon retirement: Starting this Fall, some weapons in Destiny 2 will be retired. This means they will have a limited maximum power level and won’t be viable for end-game content. Read everything there is to know about weapon retirement (also refered to weapon sunsetting) here.

From this point forward, I’ll be making a clear distinction between PVE and PVP content. What is best for one is often not the best for the other. This is why every weapon ranking or guide needs to make a clear distinction between the two.


The 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, which one to bring with you can be a difficult choice and can sometimes lead to intense debates with your Fireteam. In this post, we ranked all 67 Exotic weapons available in the game:

D2 Exotics post

That post also covers what you’ll need to do to get every Exotic and how hard they are to obtain. If you’re starting from scratch, knowing which of the Top-tier Exotics are the easiest to get can make a big difference. With that knowledge, you can target the exotics to chase first and build strong loadouts sooner.

That post ranks every single exotic in the game, but if you’re interested in only the Best exotics for now, these are the ones I consider S-tier:

 WeaponWeaponTypeSlotSlotTierExcels inDrops fromDrops from / DifficultyExotic Perk (and my take)
Destiny 2 XenophageXenophage

Xenophage

Machine Gun
Machine GunHeavySolarHeavy

S

PVE + PVPExotic QuestExotic Quest

Average

"Fires high-powered explosive ammunition. Aiming this weapon increases its effective range and zoom magnification."
► A nerf to snipers and a huge buff to Xenophage made it one of the best DPS weapons. With no precision damage, it's also easy to use and shreds against guardians in Gambit and PVP.
Destiny 2 SUROS RegimeSUROS Regime

SUROS Regime

Auto Rifle
Auto RifleKineticKinetic

S

PVPRandom EngramRandom Engram

Average

"The bottom half of each magazine deals bonus damage and can return health on kill. Holding down the trigger increases rate of fire."
► 600 RPM Auto Rifles are extremely lethal in PVP these days and SUROS is perhaps the best one. When used on its spinning up form, it has one of the best TTK values in the game.
Destiny 2 Trinity Ghoul artTrinity Ghoul

Trinity Ghoul

Combat Bow
Combat BowEnergyArcEnergy

S

PVERandom EngramRandom Engram

Average

"Fires an arrow that splits when released. Aiming down sights and fully drawing the bow both decrease the spread. Precision kills grant the next shot chain-lightning capabilities."
► The Trinity Ghoul was average at best but with its new Catalyst, this became one of the best exotic primaries in the game.
Destiny 2 Divinity artDivinity

Divinity

Trace Rifle
Trace RifleEnergyArcEnergy

S

PVERaidRaid

Very Hard

"Sustained damage with this weapon envelops the target in a field that weakens and disrupts them."
► Able to deal with Overload Champions and to easily apply a huge debuff on everything, Divinity is a must in high-end PVE activities.
Destiny 2 Izanagi's BurdenIzanagi's Burden

Izanagi's Burden

Sniper Rifle
Sniper RifleKineticKinetic

S

PVEExotic QuestExotic Quest

Hard

"Holding reload consumes the magazine and loads a round with additional range and damage."
► One of the best DPS weapons in the game, Izanagi's Burden is also easy to use, consistent and it never runs out of ammo (as it doesn't require Heavy ammo).
Destiny 2 AnarchyAnarchy

Anarchy

Grenade Launcher
Grenade LauncherHeavyArcHeavy

S

PVERaidRaid

Very Hard

"Grenades stick to surfaces and chain Arc bolts to other mines. It also has the Moving Target perk."
► Anarchy is probably the best boss-DPS weapons in the game and a must-have. Anarchy is also one of the hardest to obtain so good luck finding one...
Destiny 2 ThornThorn

Thorn

Hand Cannon
Hand CannonKineticKinetic

S

PVPExotic QuestExotic Quest

Hard

"Rounds pierce targets and deal damage over time. Kills leave behind Remnants which, when absorbed, increase damage."
► The only hand cannon that can compete with the Spare Rations, Thorn is the most consistent and deadly exotic hand cannon in PVP. With soul devour active, it can 2 tap guardians!
Destiny 2 Monte CarloMonte Carlo

Monte Carlo

Auto Rifle
Auto RifleKineticKinetic

S

PVE + PVPRandom EngramRandom Engram

Average

"Dealing damage with this weapon reduces melee cooldown and can fully charge your melee with each kill. Melee kills and kills with this weapon increase damage."
► On top of dealing a lot of damage, it's a mandatory part of any decent melee build out there.
Destiny 2 Eriana's Vow artEriana's Vow

Eriana's Vow

Hand Cannon
Hand CannonEnergySolarEnergy

S

PVESeason PassSeason Pass

Unavailable

"Fires special shield-piercing ammunition. Bonus damage when aiming down sights on the opening shot of an attack."
► Able to deal with Barrier Champions, Eriana's Vow can also dish serious damage. This makes it an excellent choice for high-end PVE content.
Destiny 2 Whisper of the Worm artWhisper of the Worm

Whisper of the Worm

Sniper Rifle
Sniper RifleHeavySolarHeavy

S

PVEExotic QuestExotic Quest

Hard

"Higher base precision damage. Rapidly landing three precision hits refills the magazine and missing a shot has a chance to return ammo."
► Whisper of the Worm is one of the best DPS weapons available, especially if you're a good shot. And since Izanagi's Burden was nerfed, it's again a high-end PVE favorite.
Destiny 2 BastionBastion

Bastion

Fusion Rifle
Fusion RifleKineticKinetic

S

PVPExotic QuestExotic Quest

Easy

"Charge to fire 3 spreads of Kinetic slugs. A portion of this weapon's damage bypasses elemental shields."
► Each Bastion shot is like a shotgun shot with even more range. No wonder many are calling it OP and keep asking for a nerf.

For the complete ranking of Exotics weapons in Destiny 2, visit our Tier list here.


The Best Destiny 2 PVE Weapons

These are the most popular weapons used for end-game PVE content, such as Master and Grandmaster Nightfall: The Ordeals, Master Nightmare Hunts, Raids, and the Pit of Heresy Dungeon.

Now, popular doesn’t always mean good, but in Destiny 2’s case, when weapons become “Meta” (e.g. the ones everyone is using), it’s because they are the most efficient at getting the job done. And in this case, I can 100% recommend any of these weapons:

Kinetic slot

Mountaintop

Legendary | Grenade Launcher

Destiny 2 Izanagi's Burden

Izanagi's Burden

Exotic | Sniper Rifle

Spare Rations

Legendary | Hand Cannon

Energy slot

The Recluse

Legendary | Submachine Gun

Felwinter's Lie Destiny 2 art

Felwinter's Lie

Legendary | Shotgun

Riskrunner

Exotic | Submachine Gun

Heavy slot

Xenophage

Exotic | Machine Gun

21% Delirium

Legendary | Machine Gun

Destiny 2 Anarchy

Anarchy

Exotic | Grenade Launcher

If you’re building towards a strong PVE loadout, these are a good place to start.

PS: I’m still working on my in-depth “Best PVE weapons” guide and plan to release it shortly. Stay tuned! 


The Best Destiny 2 PVP Weapons

These are the most popular weapons used for PVP content, such as Trials of Osiris or the Competitive playlist. The most used weapons for more casual PVP are slightly different, but I prefer to focus on the weapons everyone uses when they are serious about winning:

Kinetic slot

Revoker

Legendary | Sniper Rifle

SUROS Regime

Exotic | Auto Rifle

Spare Rations

Legendary | Hand Cannon

Energy slot
Felwinter's Lie Destiny 2 art

Felwinter's Lie

Legendary | Shotgun

The Summoner

Legendary | Auto Rifle
Destiny 2 Beloved

Beloved

Legendary | Sniper Rifle

Heavy slot

The Wardcliff Coil

Exotic | Rocket Launcher

Hammerhead

Legendary | Machine Gun

Destiny 2 Play of the Game

Play of the Game

Legendary | Grenade Launcher

If you’re building towards a strong PVP loadout, these are a good place to start.

PS: I’m still working on my in-depth “Best PVP weapons” guide and plan to release it shortly. Stay tuned!


The 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 weapons is part of the fun.

In the meantime, there are a few excellent sources where you can find Top-tier weapons. The following guides rank every single weapon from those activities, provide the best rolls, and give you tips and methods to efficiently farm them:

D2 Black Armory post

D2 Reckoning post

The Menagerie is another great source of good weapons. Our Menagerie weapons guide is still a work-in-progress, but this guide from Ryan Gilliam over at Polygon does a good job covering the best Menagerie weapons and how to farm them.


Your turn

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.