Destiny 2 Exotic Tier List: All 81 weapons ranked for PVE & PVP

by | May 13, 2021

It’s easy to get lost with the many exotics available in Destiny 2, especially when you’re new or have been away for a while.

Which ones are good? Which ones are worth grinding for? And a question that applies to veteran players too: How good are the latest Exotics?

As most of the best weapons in Destiny 2 are Exotics, this Tier list focuses on the Exotics currently available in the game, including their difficulty to obtain, main characteristics, and overall ranking.

These are the different Tier levels used for the list:

  • S Tier – Best: Highest ranking weapons in our Tier List.
  • A Tier – Strong: Very strong weapons, but not on the same level as S Tier Choices.
  • B Tier – Average: Decent choices that can be lethal in the hands of a skilled player.
  • C Tier – Weak: The middle of the pack, somewhat mediocre.
  • D Tier – Worst: Lagging behind the competition, these don’t have much to offer.

The list starts with S Tier and moves down until it reaches the bottom Tier.  Also, you can filter and sort the list however you prefer!

Last Updated May 13, 2021

Things change fast in Destiny 2, especially the Meta. The weapons we call the best one day can completely change the next. All it takes are a few minor changes on Bungie’s end. For that reason, this ranking will be updated at least once per season.

Changes introduced today:

The following exotics were added to the ranking:

  • Cryosthesia 77K
  • Vex Mythoclast (still unranked as yet unavailable)

The following weapons types significantly moved in the ranking as a result of recent buffs/nerfs:

  • 120 RPM Hand Cannons moved up
  • Scout Rifles moved up
  • Auto Rifles moved down

Finally, a few “Drops from” entries have been updated to reflect their move to the Monument to Lost Lights or Deluxe Edition requirements.


Destiny 2 Best Exotic Weapons (as of Beyond Light)

‼️ This list covers both PVE and PVP, but pay special attention to the “Excels in” column, as it clarifies what the best exotics for PVE and PVP are.

WeaponsTierExcels inDrops from / DifficultyExotic Perk and VerdictDrops fromRequiresType
The Lament Destiny 2
The Lament
| Sword
Best

S

PVEExotic Quest

Easy

Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "Revving the blade increases damage, shield bypass, and adds Shield Piercing rounds shield piercing to all attacks. You also gain stacks when dealing damage with revved attacks. Additional stacks increase the damage and damage resistance of heavy attacks."

► Swords, in general, can deal some of the highest damage possible, but The Lament puts all other swords to shame. When used properly, The Lament's can both deal with Anti-Barrier champions and dish some the highest DPS numbers in the game.
Exotic QuestDestiny 2 Beyond Light logo 1Sword
Destiny 2 Anarchy
Anarchy
| Grenade Launcher
Best

S

PVEExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "Grenades stick to surfaces and chain Arc bolts to other mines. It also has the Moving Target perk."

► With its damage over time, Anarchy is arguably the best boss-DPS Power weapon in Destiny 2. Generally speaking, it's often a favorite for raids and Grandmaster Ordeals, as it can deal a lot of tick damage while you and your fireteam use something like a slug shotgun or sniper rifle in parallel.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Forsaken logo 1Grenade Launcher
Dead Man's Tale Destiny 2 art
Dead Man's Tale
| Scout Rifle
Best

S

PVPExotic Quest

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Chaining precision hits grants bonus damage and quickens reload speed. New drops of this weapon also have random rolls."

► Dead Man's Tale definitely caught everyone off guard. With excellent stats, insane aim assistance, and a good TTK, this is without a doubt the best scout rifle Destiny 2 has ever seen. And unlocking its catalysts makes it even better.
Exotic QuestDestiny 2 Deluxe Edition logoScout Rifle
Destiny 2 Divinity art
Divinity
| Trace Rifle
Best

S

PVERaid

Very Hard

Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Sustained damage with this weapon envelops the target in a field that weakens and Overload rounds 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. It may relegate it user to a more "support" role, but it remains one of the most valuable weapons you can have.
RaidDestiny 2 Shadowkeep logo 3Trace Rifle
Destiny 2 Xenophage
Xenophage
| Machine Gun
Best

S

PVEExotic Quest

Average

Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "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.
Exotic QuestDestiny 2 Shadowkeep logo 3Machine Gun
Destiny 2 Ace of Spades art
Ace of Spades
| Hand Cannon
Best

S

PVPExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Precision kills increase reload speed and cause the target to explode. Reloading after a kill increases damage. Grants radar while aiming down sights."

► With a combination of Rampage, Dragonfly and great stats, Ace of Spades is a monster in PVP. It used to be overshadowed by 150 RPM hand cannons, but now that they're gone, Ace of Spades can shine again.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Forsaken logo 1Hand Cannon
Destiny 2 Trinity Ghoul art
Trinity Ghoul
| Combat Bow
Best

S

PVEExotic Engram

Average

Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "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."

► Trinity Ghoul was average at best but with its new Catalyst, it became one of the best exotic primaries in this list and potentially the best ad-clear weapon in the entire game.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Combat Bow
Witherhoard art Destiny 2
Witherhoard
| Grenade Launcher
Best

S

PVEExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Projectiles fired blight the target or nearby area on impact. Blighted targets take damage over time and blight the nearby area on death."

► With the ability to inflict significant damage over time, Witherhoard acts like a "mini" Anarchy. This weapon has quickly become one of the go-to weapons for PVE, with many using it for the hardest solo feats.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Shadowkeep logo 3Grenade Launcher
Destiny 2 Eriana's Vow art
Eriana's Vow
| Hand Cannon
Best

S

PVEExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Fires special Shield Piercing rounds shield-piercing ammunition. Bonus damage when aiming down sights on the opening shot of an attack."

► Able to deal with Barrier Champions intrisically, Eriana's Vow can also dish serious damage. This makes it an excellent choice for high-end PVE content and has the community asking for more Exotics like this.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Shadowkeep logo 3Hand Cannon
Destiny 2 The Chaperone art
The Chaperone
| Shotgun
Best

S

PVPExotic Quest

Average

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 can reach insane one-hit-kill distances!
Exotic QuestDestiny 2 Beyond Light logo 1Shotgun
No Time to Explain Destiny 2
No Time to Explain
| Pulse Rifle
Strong

A

PVPDeluxe Edition

Easy

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

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

► No Time to Explain is a PVP powerhouse. Not only is it part of the most deadly Pulse rifles archetypes (with insanely low TTKs), it also has great base stats and perks that make it nearly unstoppable when activated.
Exotic QuestDestiny 2 Deluxe Edition logoPulse Rifle
Destiny 2 Bastion
Bastion
| Fusion Rifle
Strong

A

PVPExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Charge to fire 3 spreads of Kinetic slugs. A portion of this weapon's damage bypasses elemental shields."

► Each Bastion shot hits like a shotgun pellet with even more range. Most Fusion rifles are completely outmatched by shotguns in PVP, except Bastion, who can still hold its own.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Shadowkeep logo 3Fusion Rifle
Destiny 2 Sleeper Simulant art
Sleeper Simulant
| Linear Fusion Rifle
Strong

A

-Exotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "The weapon's laser over penetrates enemies and refracts off hard surfaces."

► Sleeper Simulant is finally ready to make a comeback. With the Linear Fusion rifle buffs from Season of the Splicer, Sleeper Simulant will once again become one of the top-tier DPS weapons in the entire game.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Linear Fusion Rifle
Hawkmoon Destiny 2 art
Hawkmoon
| Hand Cannon
Strong

A

PVPExotic Quest

Easy

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

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

► Many don't like it that Hawkmoon is not the same weapon it was in Destiny 1, but with an extremely lethal Exotic perk and off-the-charts stats, Hawkmoon is one of the best hand cannons this franchise has ever seen.
Exotic QuestDestiny 2 Deluxe Edition logoHand Cannon
Destiny 2 Sturm art
Sturm
| Hand Cannon
Strong

A

PVPExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Kills fill the magazine of the equipped Energy weapon from reserves. Kills with Drang reload this weapon and provides bonus damage."

► Sturn went from completely forgotten to top-tier in PVP overnight, largely thanks to the huge buff to 120 RPM hand cannons. And as the only 120 RPM exotic hand cannon, it also has insane stats. The only reason you don't see it more often is because Igneous Hammer exists...
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Hand Cannon
Cloudstrike Destiny 2
Cloudstrike
| Sniper Rifle
Strong

A

PVE + PVPEmpire Hunts

Average

Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

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

► Cloudstrike may feel like a lesser option for PVP. But once you get those lightning strikes going, it's capable of delivering true "holy sh$t moments" with ease. On PVE, it's hands down one of the strongest DPS options against bosses, something no one could have anticipated.
Exotic QuestDestiny 2 Beyond Light logo 1Sniper Rifle
Destiny 2 Riskrunner
Riskrunner
| Submachine Gun
Strong

A

PVEExotic Quest

Easy

Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "When taking Arc Damage, this weapon becomes more powerful and resists incoming Arc Damage. Shots fired can become chain lightning and return ammo. Kills extend the duration of the effect."

► An underrated primary exotic, Riskrunner shreds when facing arc-damage dealing enemies. Once its exotic perk is activated, it will turn you into a nearly invincible ad killing machine.
Exotic QuestDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Submachine Gun
Destiny 2 The Huckleberry art
The Huckleberry
| Submachine Gun
Strong

A

PVEExotic Engram

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Increased rate of fire and recoil while you're holding down the trigger. Kills with this weapon temporarily grant increased damage and partially reload the magazine."

► SMGs are currently in a good place right now. And while most guardians keep gushing about their Extraordinary Rendition god rolls, The Huckleberry is just as good. Arguably even better at killing ads once you've unlocked its catalyst..
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Submachine Gun
Traveler's Chosen Destiny 2
Traveler's Chosen
| Sidearm
Strong

A

PVPExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Final blows grant stacks of Gathering Light. Consuming stacks, grant melee, grenade, and class ability energy based on the number of stacks. Each stack of Gathering Light improves this weapon's reload, handling, and target acquisition."

► Capable of inflicting some of the highest DPS, sidearms are considered a safe bet in PVP. And Traveler's Chosen, the newest exotic in the game, is perhaps the best sidearm ever created. It has the best base stats ever seen on a sidearm AND it features an extremely useful and consistent exotic perk.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Shadowkeep logo 3Sidearm
Destiny 2 Jotunn
Jötunn
| Fusion Rifle
Strong

A

PVE + PVPExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Hold down the trigger to charge up a tracking shot that explodes and burns on impact. Energy matched shield explosion disorients enemies."

► One of my favorite weapons in the entire game, Jötunn is so powerful and easy to use, it almost feels like cheating. Experienced players may know how to counter it in PVP, but most will burn. In PVE and Gambit, it can easily melt Majors from any distance.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Forsaken logo 1Fusion Rifle
Eyes of Tomorrow Destiny 2 1
Eyes of Tomorrow
| Rocket Launcher
Strong

A

PVE + PVPRaid

Very Hard

Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "This weapon is capable of tracking and firing at multiple targets simultaneously. Killing four or more combatants in a single volley increases the damage of the next volley."

► Eyes of Tomorrow has a damage reduction against Bosses, which was disappointing. But still, it remains a strong weapon overall, with high multikills potential in PVP and Gambit, and generally good DPS. By the way, if it didn't have that damage reduction, it would too easily dominate most other Heavy exotic in the game.
RaidDestiny 2 Beyond Light logo 1Rocket Launcher
Destiny 2 MIDA Multi Tool art
MIDA Multi-Tool
| Scout Rifle
Strong

A

PVPExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "This weapon boosts move speed. Radar stays active while aiming down sights."

► MIDA Multi-Tool is definitely making a comeback! Benefiting from a significant aim assist buff, MIDA has become a real threat in the Crucible. With good a TTK, a mobility bonus, and excellent base stats, MIDA is one of the best PVP Scout rifles right now.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Scout Rifle
Destiny 2 Telesto art
Telesto
| Fusion Rifle
Strong

A

PVPExotic Engram

Average

Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Fusion projectiles attach and detonate with a delayed Void blast. Multikills with this weapon immediately reload your equipped Kinetic and Energy weapons from reserves."

► On top of being extremely fun to use, Telesto can be a menace in PVP: Setting traps, getting multikills, and shutting down Supers? This is all possible once you learn to properly use Telesto.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Fusion Rifle
Destiny 2 Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo
| Auto Rifle
Strong

A

PVEExotic Engram

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "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 good damage from decent ranges thanks to its souped-up Swachbuckler exotic perk, Monte Carlo can also make any melee build out there even better.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Auto Rifle
Destiny 2 Crimson
Crimson
| Hand Cannon
Strong

A

PVPExotic Engram

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "This weapon fires a 3-round burst. Kills with this weapon heal the wielder. Precision kills also refill the magazine."

► A pulse rifle in a hand cannon body, Crimson is a dangerous weapon in the Crucible, especially in consoles. The only reason you don't see it more often is that some of the other exotic hand cannons are excellent.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Hand Cannon
Destiny 2 Izanagi's Burden
Izanagi's Burden
| Sniper Rifle
Strong

A

PVEExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Holding reload consumes the magazine and loads a round with additional range and damage."

► One of the top 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). While it no longer dominates as it used to just a few seasons ago, Izi remains a safe bet when facing endgame PVE content.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Forsaken logo 1Sniper Rifle
Ticuu's Divination Destiny 2 art
Ticuu's Divination
| Combat Bow
Strong

A

PVEExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Hipfiring this weapon fires multiple tracking projectiles. Targets marked explode upon death, or when struck again. Arrows fired while aiming down sights cause Sacred Flames to instantly detonate."

► This brand-new exotic turned out to be one of the best ad clear exotics in the entire game. Able to "prime" targets with an initial shot and then blow them up when landing a precision follow up shot, Ticuu's Divination is equal parts lethal and satisfying to use.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Deluxe Edition logoCombat Bow
Destiny 2 The Last Word
The Last Word
| Hand Cannon
Strong

A

PVPExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "This weapon fires full auto. Hip-fire shots deal bonus precision damage while increasing reload speed and accuracy."

► This weapon is hard to rank as it could be considered S Tier on consoles, but perhaps B-tier on PC. Either way, it's still strong and effective in all platforms and the recent buff to aim assistance when hip-firing will make it even stronger.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Forsaken logo 1Hand Cannon
Destiny 2 Thorn
Thorn
| Hand Cannon
Strong

A

PVPExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Rounds pierce targets and deal damage over time. Kills leave behind Remnants which, when absorbed, increase damage."

► Considered a top-tier PVP weapon for a long time, Thorn shows no signs of slowing down. It may have some more competition now that 150 RPM hand cannons became 140 RPM, but it remains the best in class. Plus, with soul devour active, it can 2 tap some guardians!
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Forsaken logo 1Hand Cannon
Destiny 2 Polaris Lance art
Polaris Lance
| Scout Rifle
Strong

A

PVPExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Precision hits return ammo to the mag. Landing 4 precision hits loads a delayed Solar explosive round for your next shot."

► Definitely underrated, this is one of the best scout rifles in the game. And now that Scout rifles are finally viable in PVP, Polaris Lance can finally shine a little more.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Scout Rifle
Destiny 2 Tractor Cannon art
Tractor Cannon
| Shotgun
Strong

A

PVEExotic Engram

Average

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

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 was Top tier just a few seasons ago, but now that buffs and debuffs don't stack, it's no longer a must-have. Having said that, it's still a great weapon that can shine when used right.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Shotgun
Destiny 2 Outbreak Perfected art
Outbreak Perfected
| Pulse Rifle
Strong

A

PVEExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "This weapon creates SIVA nanite swarms on rapid hits and precision kills and does more damage to enemies based on the number of SIVA nanites that attach to them."

► With its SIVA nanites, Outbreak Perfected does excellent damage, especially if others in your team are using it too.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Forsaken logo 1Pulse Rifle
Destiny 2 Black Talon
Black Talon
| Sword
Strong

A

PVPExotic Engram

Average

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "Can fire heavy projectile attacks. Heavy attacks are stronger with full energy. Most attacks partially bypass elemental shields."

► Swords are definitely back since they were buffed with Season of the Worthy. And while Black Talon may not excel in PVE compared to other swords, it remains fun to use and particularly excellent in PVP when used right.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Sword
Destiny 2 Thunderlord art
Thunderlord
| Machine Gun
Strong

A

PVEExotic Engram

Average

Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

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

► An absolute beast at killing ads, Thunderlord's lighting effects are both lethal and impressive to behold. It also has tons of ammo.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Forsaken logo 1Machine Gun
Destiny 2 The Wardcliff Coil
The Wardcliff Coil
| Rocket Launcher
Strong

A

PVPExotic Engram

Average

Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "This weapon fires a volley of rockets and automatically reloads on ammo pickup."

► Rocket launchers are finally making a comeback in PVE. In PVP, the Wardcliff Coil remains thebest rocket launcher out there and one of the most effective Heavy weapons in the entire game.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Rocket Launcher
Duality Destiny 2
Duality
| Shotgun
Strong

A

-Exotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

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 a fun exotic in low-stress PVE and PVP situations. But when the stakes were high, players would immediately choose a more specialized weapon. But now that Felwinter's Lie is getting nerfed (and Duality itself was buffed), expect to see it much more often in high-level PVP.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Deluxe Edition logoShotgun
Destiny 2 Whisper of the Worm art
Whisper of the Worm
| Sniper Rifle
Strong

A

PVEExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "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.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Sniper Rifle
Destiny 2 Le Monarque art
Le Monarque
| Combat Bow
Strong

A

PVPExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Primary

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

► Albeit niche, Le Monarque is one of the best bows in the game. You may not see it often, but in the hands of an experienced PVP player, it can be extremely lethal, especially when coupled with a Quickdraw hand cannon.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Forsaken logo 1Combat Bow
Destiny 2 Sunshot art
Sunshot

| Hand Cannon
Strong

A

PVEExotic Engram

Average

Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "This weapon fires explosive rounds. Targets killed with Sunshot explode in Solar energy."

► One of my all-time favorites, Sunshot may not be as good as it once was in PVP. But in PVE, it remains one of the most fun and efficient weapons to use when dealing with ads. Watching entire waves of enemies explode remains one of the most satisfying feelings in this game.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Hand Cannon
Destiny 2 Vigilance Wing art
Vigilance Wing
| Pulse Rifle
Strong

A

PVPExotic Engram

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "This weapon fires a 5-round burst. When a nearby ally is killed, gain health regeneration, and increased movement speed."

► Vigilance Wing is definitely a sleeper pick for PVP and it's particularly strong in larger maps in PVP where it can destroy Auto rifles and Hand cannons. With the recent nerf to 120 RPM hand cannons, expect to see it much more often in the Crucible.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Pulse Rifle
Destiny 2 Rat King art
Rat King
| Sidearm
Strong

A

PVEExotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "This fully automatic weapon becomes stronger when nearby allies also have it equipped. Reloading immediately after a kill grants a brief period of invisibility."

► One of the most unique primary weapons available, Rat King is strong when used by yourself and VERY strong when used alongside others.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Sidearm
Destiny 2 One Thousand Voices art
One Thousand Voices
| Fusion Rifle
Strong

A

PVERaid

Very Hard

Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "Charging this weapon unleashes a giant continuous beam of death. The beam superheats its targets upon impact, causing delayed explosions."

► Previously S Tier, this weapon has suffered from buffs and nerfs over the years. But overall, it's still a DPS powerhouse and a great weapon to have in your arsenal (if you're lucky enough to get it!).
RaidDestiny 2 Forsaken logo 1Fusion Rifle
Destiny 2 Heir Apparent art
Heir Apparent
| Machine Gun
Strong

A

PVEUnobtainable

NA

Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "This weapon can be fired only when fully spun up. While at full health, spinning up this weapon protects you with an Arc Shield."

► Heir Apparent is one of the most original Exotics in Destiny 2. And while many saw it as a novelty, its new catalyst made it a true menace in PVP and even more fun to use in PVE. On top of that, it can deliver good total DPS (for a machine gun) due to its huge magazine.
UnobtainableDestiny 2 Shadowkeep logo 3Machine Gun
Destiny 2 Legend of Acrius art
Legend of Acrius
| Shotgun
Strong

A

PVEExotic Kiosk

Hard

Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

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 can deal some serious DPS, especially with the catalyst, but it could use a little buff to make it more relevant compared to the best Heavy exotics currently dominating the game.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Shotgun
Destiny 2 Deathbringer art
Deathbringer
| Rocket Launcher
Strong

A

PVPExotic Quest

Average

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "Fires remotely detonated projectiles that drop Void orbs on combatants. Hold to fire, release to detonate. The further a Void orb falls, the more powerful its detonation becomes."

► Deathbringer is one of the most underrated weapons in Destiny 2. At first glance, it may not seem special at all. In fact, it isn't for PVE. But for PVP, this rocket launcher can easily net you multikills when used right, especially in 6v6 modes.
Exotic QuestDestiny 2 Shadowkeep logo 3Rocket Launcher
Cryosthesia 77K Destiny 2 art
Cryosthesia 77K
| Sidearm
Average

B

-Season Pass

Easy

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Final blows with this weapon enable a Charged Shot for a short duration. Targets hit by this shot are instantly frozen at the cost of the weapon's entire magazine."

► The first "viable" weapon to use Stasis as an element, it will be truly interesting to see what the community ends up doing with it. In the meantime, this is a decent weapon with fair stats and perks.
Season PassDestiny 2 Season 14 logoSidearm
Destiny 2 SUROS Regime
SUROS Regime
| Auto Rifle
Average

B

PVPExotic Engram

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "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 reigned supreme in PVP for a while. But their recent Beyond Light nerf sent them back to the middle of the pack. SUROS Regime remains viable, but other weapon types, such as hand cannons and Pulse rifles, are much more efficient.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Auto Rifle
Destiny 2 The Colony art
The Colony
| Grenade Launcher
Average

B

PVPExotic Engram

Average

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "This weapon's grenades are insectoid robots that chase targets and explode close to them."

► Extremely easy to use, The Colony is a fan-favorite in the Crucible, especially in 6v6 modes. The reason this weapon doesn't rank any higher is because skilled PVP players can easily counter it and will instead use something much more effective like the Wardcliff Coil.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Grenade Launcher
Destiny 2 Fighting Lion art
Fighting Lion
| Grenade Launcher
Average

B

PVPExotic Engram

Average

Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Grenade projectiles will bounce off surfaces. Hold to fire, and release to detonate. Direct hits do more damage to enemy shields. Rapid kills against grenade-damaged enemies refill the magazine."

► Fighting Lion is as niche as it gets. Some love it while others absolutely hate it. In the end, this can be one of the most fun weapons in the game, provided you know how to use it (especially after some recent buffs).
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Grenade Launcher
Destiny 2 The Jade Rabbit art
The Jade Rabbit
| Scout Rifle
Average

B

PVPExotic Engram

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Chain body shots to gain bonus damage on your next precision shot, return ammo to the magazine, and increases its stability."

► It would be absurd to call Scouts "meta", but thanks to their recent buff, they haven't been this strong in PVP in years. And among the several exotic Scouts, The Jade Rabbit is one of the deadliest, especially in Momentum Control where it can one tap guardians!
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Scout Rifle
Destiny 2 Arbalest art
Arbalest
| Linear Fusion Rifle
Average

B

-Exotic Engram

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Fires slugs that cause massive damage to elemental shields of enemy combatants. Breaking an enemy's shield with this weapon makes them more vulnerable to Kinetic damage."

► Easy to use in both PVP and PVE, Arbalest is a solid weapon that can sometimes be a refreshing change from all the snipers. Also, the buff to Linear Fusion Rifles will certainly lead to more people using it.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Linear Fusion Rifle
Ruinous Effigy Destiny 2
Ruinous Effigy
| Exotic Trace Rifle
Average

B

-Exotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Final blows with this weapon collapse victims into Void Transmutation spheres. Transmutation spheres you create can be picked up and wielded as weapons by you or your allies."

► Ruinous Effigy is hands down one of the most unique and fun weapons ever released in Destiny 2. It won't be replacing any of the top PVE weapons soon, but it can be very effective at close range on Majors: Use it to cancel stomp mechanics, dunk, melee, and finish off with a sword.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Shadowkeep logo 3Trace Rifle
Destiny 2 Tarrabah art
Tarrabah
| Submachine Gun
Average

B

-Exotic Kiosk

Hard

Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Primary

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

► Tarrabah could be a monster but activating its perk consistently is stupidly hard. This weapon has been crying for help for a long time. On the plus side, it is now much easier to acquire via the Monument to Lost Lights.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Forsaken logo 1Submachine Gun
Destiny 2 Symmetry art
Symmetry
| Scout Rifle
Average

B

-Exotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Precision hits build up Dynamic Charge. Swapping to Arc Seeker mode increases damage and partially reloads the magazine. Arc Seekers track toward combatants you target."

► Thanks to the recent buff to Scout rifles, Symmetry is seen a lot more play in The Crucible. And if you can hit your precision shots, Symmetry's alternate firing mode can be extremely lethal in both PVP and Gambit.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Shadowkeep logo 3Scout Rifle
Destiny 2 Wish Ender art
Wish-Ender
| Combat Bow
Average

B

-Exotic Quest

Hard

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "While aiming down sights with a fully-drawn bow, enemies behind walls are highlighted. Piercing arrowheads damage the target on entry and exit. One-shot can over-penetrate multiple targets."

► The problem with Wish-Ender is twofold: A/ Bows are generally not great for neither PVP nor PVE. b/ There are stronger bows than Wishender for both PVE and PVP.
Exotic QuestDestiny 2 Forsaken logo 1Combat Bow
Destiny 2 Leviathan's Breath art
Leviathan's Breath
| Combat Bow
Average

B

-Exotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "Fires a massive heavy bolt that Unstoppable rounds staggers unshielded combatants. When fully drawn, the bolt knocks combatants back."

► Able to deal with Unstoppable Champions, Leviathan's Breath is a capable and versatile weapon, even if, for some reason, people love to hate.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Shadowkeep logo 3Combat Bow
Destiny 2 Hard Light
Hard Light
| Auto Rifle
Average

B

-Exotic Engram

Average

Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Rounds fired from this weapon have reduced damage falloff, over-penetrate targets, and ricochet off hard surfaces dealing extra damage. It can also change its damage type"

► Hard Light's reign of the Crucible didn't last long. After receiving a specific nerf that was compounded by an overall nerf to 600 RPM Auto rifles, Hard Light went from been God tier in PVP to merely decent. In PVE, it can still be usable when dealing with lots of elemental shields.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Auto Rifle
Destiny 2 Malfeasance art
Malfeasance
| Hand Cannon
Average

B

-Exotic Quest

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Shoot tainted slugs that burrow into the enemy. Stacking enough slugs causes them all to explode. Bonus damage against Taken enemies and Gambit invaders."

► Malfeasance is yet another weapon that greatly benefitted from the recent hand cannon buff. With the bigger magazine, using its Exotic perk also became easier. Malfeasance definitely has a place within its niche: Taken-heavy areas and Gambit.
Exotic QuestDestiny 2 Forsaken logo 1Hand Cannon
Destiny 2 Coldheart art
Coldheart
| Trace Rifle
Average

B

-Exotic Engram

Average

Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "This weapon shoots a steady cold fusion-powered laser that does exponentially more damage the longer it remains on a target."

► Previously one of the best exotics in the game, Coldheart is barely a decent option, mainly because trace rifles are in a bad place overall. On the flip side, its signature perk has been finally fixed after months of been completely broken!
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Trace Rifle
Destiny 2 Tommy's Matchbook art
Tommy's Matchbook
| Auto Rifle
Average

B

-Exotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Sustained fire with this weapon overheats it, increasing damage but burning the user. Overheat damage is reduced while hip firing."

► Tommy's Matchbook is a fun weapon to use. It even had its 15 minutes of fame when it was first released. Unfortunately, it is overshadowed by stronger Auto rifles both in PVP and PVP, and even more so by stronger weapon types, such as SMGs in PVE and Pulse rifles and Hand cannons in PVP.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Shadowkeep logo 3Auto Rifle
Destiny 2 Bad Juju art
Bad Juju
| Pulse Rifle
Average

B

-Exotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Kills refill the magazine, increase damage for a short duration, and grant Super energy based on the number of kills. Fires full-auto."

► Bad Juju is not as strong as it used to be. Still, it remains an absolute monster at killing ads and it gets even better with the catalyst. Overall, there are more powerful Pulse rifles out there, but if you're interested in getting your Super fast, Bad Juju is the way to go.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Forsaken logo 1Pulse Rifle
Destiny 2 Devil's Ruin art
Devil's Ruin
| Sidearm
Average

B

-Exotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Variable trigger. Press and release to fire individual shots. Hold to charge up a high-powered, Unstoppable rounds staggering laser."

► Able to deal with Unstoppable Champions, this is a fun weapon that can inflict decent damage overall. And as a bonus, it can also melt shotgun apes in PVP in its laser form.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Shadowkeep logo 3Sidearm
Destiny 2 Borealis art
Borealis
| Sniper Rifle
Average

B

-Exotic Engram

Average

Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Holding changes this weapon's damage type. Breaking an enemy shield with that shield's energy type grants bonus damage for the rest of the magazine."

► A completely underrated weapon, Borealis can definitely get the job done in capable hands. It may pale when compared to other Exotic Snipers in terms of pure DPS, especially the brand-new Cloudstrike, but still an extremely usable and capable weapon.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Sniper Rifle
Destiny 2 Lumina art
Lumina
| Hand Cannon
Average

B

-Exotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Kills with this weapon leave behind Remnants which convert your next hip fired shot into an ally-seeking Noble Round that heals them and grants both of you a weapon damage bonus for a short duration."

► Albeit an interesting weapon with above-average stats, Lumina simply has too much competition. On top of that, it requires a coordinated team and the catalyst to be truly effective.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Forsaken logo 1Hand Cannon
Destiny 2 The Queenbreaker art
The Queenbreaker
| Linear Fusion Rifle
Average

B

-Exotic Engram

Average

Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "Fires a long-range precision Arc bolt that blinds enemies on hit. It has a slower charge time and deals greater damage."

► Previously amazing when invading in gambit, The Queenbreaker has suffered from too many nerfs. At this stage, even after receiving a damage buff, The Queenbreaker has little to offer and certainly does not deserve that coveted Exotic slot. Especially when Sleeper Simulant is also available and equally easy to access via the Exotics kiosk.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Linear Fusion Rifle
Destiny 2 Lord of Wolves art
Lord of Wolves
| Shotgun
Average

B

-Exotic Engram

Average

Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

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

► After months of dominating Destiny 2's PVP, Lord of Wolf eventually got a (well-deserved) nerf that made it disappear from the Crucible. That said, Lord of Wolves is still one of the highest DPS weapons in the game.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Shotgun
Destiny 2 The Fourth Horseman art
The Fourth Horseman
| Shotgun
Average

B

-Exotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

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...
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Shadowkeep logo 3Shotgun
Destiny 2 Two-Tailed Fox art
Two-Tailed Fox
| Rocket Launcher
Average

B

-Exotic Engram

Average

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "Shoots two rockets, one Void and one Solar, that can track onto the same target. The Void rocket suppresses enemies. The Solar rocket causes damage over time."

► There's nothing wrong with Two-Tailed Fox. In fact, when used with the right mods and Charge with Light builds, it can do good damage. Having said that, it currently lags behind some of the better legendary rocket launchers currently available.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Rocket Launcher
Destiny 2 Skyburner's Oath art V2
Skyburner's Oath
| Scout Rifle
Average

B

-Exotic Engram

Average

Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "This weapon lobs large, explosive, seeking slugs when firing from the hip. When aiming down sights, the slugs travel fast and straight, with higher damage and a lower rate of fire."

► One of the worst-ranked exotics for a long time, Skyburner's Oath was recently fixed and can now be considered "usable". In fact, when dealing with Cabal enemies, it can be a viable option that also happens to be fun to use.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Scout Rifle
Destiny 2 Truth art
Truth
| Rocket Launcher
Average

B

-Exotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "This weapon's rockets have tracking and detonate when they are within close proximity of their targets."

► Rocket Launchers are finally popular once again thanks to the significant buffs they recently got. Truth received a decent buff too and remains viable in Gambit. But with the release of the new Eyes of Tomorrow raid rocket launcher, Truth became largely irrelevant.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Forsaken logo 1Rocket Launcher
Destiny 2 Graviton Lance art
Graviton Lance
| Pulse Rifle
Weak

C

-Exotic Engram

Average

Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Second shot of a burst rips a hole through space-time, doing high damage and recoil with no falloff. Kills with this weapon cause enemies to detonate and spawn tracking Void projectiles."

► While its void projectiles can kill ads in cool ways, Graviton Lance can barely keep up with good legendary Pulse rifles. With that in mind, it's hard to recommend it over something like No Time to Explain or even Outbreak Perfected.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Pulse Rifle
Destiny 2 The Prospector art
The Prospector
| Grenade Launcher
Weak

C

-Exotic Engram

Average

Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "Hold to fire grenades. Release to detonate all live grenades simultaneously. Grenades stick to surfaces and set targets on fire."

► The Prospector has never been the most popular exotic out there, but it used to get the job done when dealing with bosses. Nowadays, with Rocket launchers and Linear Fusion Rifles been stronger than ever, The Prospector struggles to find its place.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Grenade Launcher
Destiny 2 Wavesplitter art
Wavesplitter
| Trace Rifle
Weak

C

-Exotic Engram

Average

Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Laser damage has three power levels that oscillate while the trigger is held down. Collecting an Orb of Light grants a short period of maximum power."

► There's nothing wrong with it, but Trace rifles are in a bad spot and are easily outmatched by other types of weapons in both DPS and TTK.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Trace Rifle
Destiny 2 Sweet Business art
Sweet Business
| Auto Rifle
Weak

C

-Exotic Engram

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Larger magazine. Increased accuracy when firing from the hip. Picking up ammo for this weapon immediately reloads it."

► While it can be fun to use, especially when pre-firing it and surprising opponents in PVP, Sweet Business definitely feels underpowered and is easily outclassed by even legendary Auto rifles.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Auto Rifle
Destiny 2 Prometheus Lens art
Prometheus Lens
| Trace Rifle
Weak

C

-Exotic Engram

Average

Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Fires a Solar trace beam and generates a damaging heat field that grows while the weapon continues to fire. Kills with this weapon return a fraction of the ammo used."

► There's nothing wrong with it, but Trace rifles are in a bad spot and are easily outmatched by other types of weapons in both DPS and TTK.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Trace Rifle
Salvation's Grip Destiny 2
Salvation's Grip
| Grenade Launcher
Weak

C

-Exotic Quest

Average

Slot: Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "This weapon's projectiles create Stasis crystals and freeze nearby targets. Charging this weapon increases the freeze radius and amount of Stasis crystals created."

► Salvation's Grip is a difficult weapon to rank. It definitely struggles in terms of pure DPS, but it can be very useful for PVP Stasis builds that rely on shattering crystals as part of the main strategy.
Exotic QuestDestiny 2 Beyond Light logo 1Grenade Launcher
Destiny 2 Merciless art
Merciless
| Fusion Rifle
Weak

C

-Exotic Engram

Average

Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Non-lethal hits make this weapon charge faster. Reloading immediately after a kill increases weapon damage for a short time."

► Merciless outputs decent damage and handles just fine, but unfortunately doesn't offer much compared to other exotic fusion rifles in this list.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Fusion Rifle
Destiny 2 Cerberus+1 art
Cerberus+1
| Auto Rifle
Weak

C

-Exotic Engram

Average

Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "Shoots erratic bullets from all gun barrels at the same time. Aiming this weapon reduces the spread of its projectiles."

► Cerberus+1 can be fun to use, especially with the catalyst, but even then you'll be better served with virtually any other Exotic assault rifle.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Auto Rifle
Destiny 2 DARCI art
D.A.R.C.I.
| Sniper Rifle
Worst

D

-Exotic Engram

Average

Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "Aim at an enemy to activate Personal Assistant and view critical information. When Personal Assistant is active, this weapon has better target acquisition and deals significantly more precision damage."

► When something like Cloudstrike can do everything better than D.A.R.C.I. while only requiring Special ammo instead of Heavy, it becomes clear that this weapon desperately needs a rework to become viable again.
Exotic EngramDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Sniper Rifle
Destiny 2 Worldline Zero art
Worldline Zero
| Sword
Worst

D

-Exotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

Exotic Perk: "Press while sprinting to launch a heavy blink attack. Attacks partially bypass elemental shields."

► Worldline Zero was a must-have when "warlock skating" was a thing for speed-running, but since Bungie removed that feature, Worldline Zero became completely irrelevant.
Exotic KioskDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Sword
Vex Mythoclast Destiny 2 art
Vex Mythoclast
| Fusion Rifle
--Raid

Very Hard

Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Primary

Exotic Perk: "This weapon fires a single bolt with each trigger pull. Defeating targets builds stacks of Overcharge. Swap firing modes when fully Overcharged to charge up and fire more powerful linear fusion shots."

► This weapon will be released on May 22 alongside the Vault of Glass raid.
RaidDestiny 2 Free to Play logo 1Fusion Rifle

How to get the best Exotics in Destiny 2

In a nutshell, there are now 4 ways you can find exotic weapons in Destiny 2:

  1. Exotic engrams: These can be found in the Season pass, they are sold by Xur and can also drop randomly at any time.
  2. Exotic quests: The most iconic exotics are often tied to Exotic quests of varying degrees of difficulty and length.
  3. Raid drops: A select handful of exotics can only drop from raid bosses.
  4. The Monument to Lost Lights (aka, the “Exotics Kiosk”): A new way to acquire exotics tied to previous Season Passes or Seasonal Exotic quests no longer around.

There isn’t much more to say about Exotic engrams, only that they have a higher chance to drop from end-game activities. If collecting exotics is your priority, Nightfall: The Ordeals are for you. And the higher the difficulty, the higher the chance to get one.

Things can always change in future seasons, and the best way to be prepared is to keep an eye on our Destiny 2 Roadmap.

Destiny 2 Exotic Engram

Image: Reddit user Kaizion

Exotic quests

Exotic quests are a different story. They are, for the most part, long and complicated, each deserving a good tutorial. To get you started, you can head over to our comprehensive guide featuring all Destiny 2 exotic quests still available (including video guides), but also all the Exotic quests that were recently removed and put into the DCV (Destiny Content Vault).

But worry not, all those weapons that were left with no quest are still available…

Exotic Kiosk: The Monument to Lost Lights

Bungie recently introduced a new method to acquire most Exotic weapons that are no longer available in-game. Most of these weapons were previously connected to vaulted Exotic quests or Exotics that were connected to previous seasons. Either way, the Monument to Lost Lights has all of those exotics for sale.

You can read all about it in our Monument to Lost Lights guide, including the cost to acquire each Exotic and a complete tier list to help you prioritize.

Monument to Lost Lights Forsaken Destiny 2

Raid drops

Finally, a few exotics can only drop from raid bosses, such as the brand-new Eyes of Tomorrow rocket launcher which can only drop from the Deep Stone Crypt raid. You can simply filter the Tier list above and set the column “Drops from” to “Raid” to see all of them. The most infamous example was Anarchy, probably because it was one of the best PVE weapons in the game while being hard to obtain…

Exotics are unique weapons and are supposed to be difficult to obtain. And now that Bungie is sunsetting Legendary weapons, Exotics have become even more important.


Destiny 2 Beyond Light Exotics

These weapons are part of the full Tier list above, but for those who want to know more about the latest Exotics, these are all the Exotic weapons released with Beyond Light and Season of the Hunt (from latest released to oldest):

 

Hawnkmoon Destiny 2 Full V2

Hawkmoon

Weapon Type: Hand Cannon Slot: Kinetic
Ammo: Primary Source: Exotic Quest

Archetype: Exotic Hand Cannon ❘ 140 RPM

Tier: Best S

Exotic Perks:

  • Paracausal Shot: Final blows and precision hits with Hawkmoon grant stacks of Paracausal Charge. The final round in the magazine deals bonus damage based on the number of stacks. Stowing Hawkmoon on the final round removes this bonus.
  • Transformative: Future drops of this weapon will have random rolls.

Excels in: PVP.

 

Eyes of Tomorrow Destiny 2 image

Eyes of Tomorrow

Weapon Type: Rocket Launcher Slot: SolarHeavy
Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammoHeavy Source: Final Encounter

Archetype: Exotic Rocket Launcher❘ 20 RPM

Tier: Strong A

Exotic Perks:

  • Eyes on All: This weapon is capable of tracking and firing at multiple targets simultaneously.
  • Adaptive Ordnance: Killing four or more combatants in a single volley increases the damage of the next volley.

Excels in: PVP and Gambit.

 

Cloudstrike Destiny 2 Full V2

Cloudstrike

Weapon Type: Sniper Rifle Slot: ArcArc
Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammoSpecial Source: Empire Hunts

Archetype: Exotic Rocket Sniper Rifle ❘ 140 RPM

Tier: Strong A

Exotic Perks:

  • Mortal Polarity: Precision final blows generate a lightning bolt at the target’s location.
  • Stormbringer: Rapid precision hits create a lightning storm at the point of impact.

Excels in: PVE, but can hold its own in PVP too.

 

The Lament Destiny 2 Full V2

The Lament

Weapon Type: Sword Slot: SolarHeavy
Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammoHeavy Source: Exotic Quest

Archetype: Exotic Sword

Tier: Best S

Exotic Perks:

  • Banshee’s Wail: Increases damage, shield bypass, and adds [Shield-Piercing] shield piercing to all attacks. Gain stacks when dealing damage with revved attacks. Additional stacks increase the damage and damage resistance of heavy attacks.
  • Revved Consumption: Damaging a combatant heals the wielder.

Excels in: PVE.

 

Salvations Grip Destiny 2 Full V2

Salvation’s Grip

Weapon Type: Grenade Launcher Slot: Stasis Heavy
Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammoHeavy Source: Exotic Quest

Archetype: Exotic Grenade Launcher ❘ 120 RPM

Tier: Weak C

Exotic Perks:

  • Cryocannon: This weapon’s projectiles create Stasis crystals and freeze nearby targets.
  • Flash Freeze: Charging this weapon increases the freeze radius and amount of Stasis crystals created.

Excels in: Neither.

 

Duality Destiny 2 Full V2

Duality

Weapon Type: Shotgun Slot: SolarEnergy
Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammoSpecial Source: Season 12 Pass

Archetype: Exotic Slug Shotgun ❘ 65 RPM

Tier: Average B

Exotic Perks:

  • Compression Chamber: Fires a pellet spread in hip-fire or a single high-damage slug while aiming.
  • On Black Wings: Pellet final blows grant a stacking precision damage and reload speed buff. Precision hits with slugs extend the duration.

Excels in: Neither.

 

No Time to Explain Destiny 2 Full V2

No Time to Explain

Weapon Type: Pulse Rifle Slot: Kinetic
Ammo: Primary Source: Beyond Light Deluxe

Archetype: Exotic Pulse Rifle  ❘ 340 RPM

Tier: Best S

Exotic Perks:

  • Rewind Again: Precision shots and shots against combatants slowed or frozen by Stasis will return to the magazine.
  • Full Auto Trigger System: Holding down the trigger will fire this weapon at full auto.

Excels in: PVP.

 


Ranking criteria

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

Also, even with hundreds of hours of playtime, I’m far from being neither an expert on the matter nor an amazing PVE/PVP player. But that’s the whole point of this site. I’m just a blueberry who loves this game and wants to share everything I’ve learned so far!

For that reason, this Tier list also takes into account everything I’ve learned from watching hundreds of videos from the most talented Destiny 2 players out there. The Reddit Tier list from Skyknight and the video Tier list from Skarrow9 were both great sources of inspiration.

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! A good example is Fighting Lion. Not the most efficient but sooooo much fun to use!

If you strongly disagree with some of the rankings here, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. But more importantly, what is your own personal Top 3, and why?

Want to keep the conversation going?

Have questions about this post, Destiny 2 in general, or are simply looking for a cool D2-focused community? Join our Discord server!
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