Destiny 2 Exotic Tier List: All 82 weapons ranked for PVE & PVP

by | Sep 19, 2021 | Weapons

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. After all, there are so many of them and new ones are added each season.

Which ones are good and 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 perks, and overall ranking.

Exotics in Destiny 2: Exotics are the highest quality items available to players. Rare and hard to acquire, Exotics are extremely powerful weapons that offer game-changing perks and generally amazing aesthetics. Note that only one Exotic weapon can be equipped at once.


Best Destiny 2 Exotic weapons: Ranked from Best to Worst

Checkmark icon V3List updated as of Season of the Lost (S15).  Link

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!

NameTypeSlotRankDrops fromRequirementsExcels inWeapon ❘ TypeTierSource ❘ DifficultyExotic Perk and Verdict
Vex MythoclastFusion RifleKineticS › BestRaidFree-to-PlayPVE & PVPVex Mythoclast Destiny 2 art
Vex Mythoclast
| Fusion Rifle
Best

S



Excels in:
PVP + PVE
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."

► Buffed in literally 7 different ways this season, Vex Mythoclast is truly one of the most overpowered weapons in the entire game. Able to shred in both PVP and PVE, it is no wonder many continue to run the Vault of Glass, hoping to get lucky...
The LamentSwordHeavyS › BestExotic QuestBeyond LightPVEThe Lament Destiny 2
The Lament
| Sword
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic 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.
AnarchyGrenade LauncherHeavyS › BestExotic KioskForsakenPVEDestiny 2 Anarchy
Anarchy
| Grenade Launcher
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic 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.
DivinityTrace RifleEnergyS › BestRaidShadowkeepPVEDestiny 2 Divinity art
Divinity
| Trace Rifle
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE
Raid

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.
Ace of SpadesHand CannonKineticS › BestExotic KioskForsakenPVPDestiny 2 Ace of Spades art
Ace of Spades
| Hand Cannon
Best

S



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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 is once again, the king of hand cannons. The Adept Palindrome is the only legendary hand cannon that can challenge it.
Trinity GhoulCombat BowEnergyS › BestExotic EngramFree-to-PlayPVEDestiny 2 Trinity Ghoul art
Trinity Ghoul
| Combat Bow
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic 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.
WitherhoardGrenade LauncherKineticS › BestExotic KioskShadowkeepPVEWitherhoard art Destiny 2
Witherhoard
| Grenade Launcher
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic 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.
Eriana's VowHand CannonEnergyS › BestExotic KioskShadowkeepPVEDestiny 2 Eriana's Vow art
Eriana's Vow
| Hand Cannon
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic 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.
The ChaperoneShotgunKineticS › BestExotic QuestBeyond LightPVPDestiny 2 The Chaperone art
The Chaperone
| Shotgun
Best

S



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic Quest

Easy

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!
XenophageMachine GunHeavyS › BestExotic QuestShadowkeepPVEDestiny 2 Xenophage
Xenophage
| Machine Gun
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic Quest

Easy

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.
Dead Man's TaleScout RifleKineticA › StrongExotic QuestDeluxe EditionPVPDead Man's Tale Destiny 2 art
Dead Man's Tale
| Scout Rifle
Best

S



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic Quest

Easy

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.
No Time to ExplainPulse RifleKineticA › StrongExotic QuestDeluxe EditionPVPNo Time to Explain Destiny 2
No Time to Explain
| Pulse Rifle
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Deluxe 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.
Sleeper SimulantLinear Fusion RifleHeavyA › StrongExotic KioskFree-to-PlayPVEDestiny 2 Sleeper Simulant art
Sleeper Simulant
| Linear Fusion Rifle
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
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.
HawkmoonHand CannonKineticA › StrongExotic QuestDeluxe EditionPVPHawkmoon Destiny 2 art
Hawkmoon
| Hand Cannon
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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.
BastionFusion RifleKineticA › StrongExotic KioskShadowkeepPVPDestiny 2 Bastion
Bastion
| Fusion Rifle
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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.
Lorentz DriverLinear Fusion RifleEnergyA › StrongSeason PassSeason 15PVE & PVPLorentz Driver Destiny 2 art
Lorentz Driver
| Linear Fusion Rifle
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP + PVE
Season Pass

Easy

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

Exotic Perk: "This weapon marks targets. Final blows on marked targets generate telemetry patterns which, when picked up, grant bonus ability energy. Collecting 3 telemetry patterns without dying grants bonus damage for a long duration. Also, a precision final blow with this weapon creates an implosion that pulls in nearby targets and damages them with an additional detonation."

► Lorentz Driver is one of the strongest Linear Fusion we have ever seen. It does everything Arbalest can do, but much better, thanks to superior stats and exponentially better exotic traits.
Ager's ScepterTrace RifleKineticA › StrongExotic QuestSeason 15PVEAger's Scepter Destiny 2 art
Ager's Scepter
| Trace Rifle
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic Quest

Easy

Slot: Stasis icon Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special

Exotic Perk: "Final blows with this weapon generate a slowing burst around the defeated target.
Stasis final blows transfer ammo to this weapon's magazine from reserves."

► If you ever wondered how cool Coldheart would have been if it was a Stasis weapon, then don't look any further than Ager's Scepter. While not the most meta weapon out there, it definitely is the best Stasis exotic released so far and can work wonders on Stasis builds.
SturmHand CannonKineticA › StrongExotic KioskFree-to-PlayPVPDestiny 2 Sturm art
Sturm
| Hand Cannon
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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...
CloudstrikeSniper RifleEnergyA › StrongExotic QuestBeyond LightPVE & PVPCloudstrike Destiny 2
Cloudstrike
| Sniper Rifle
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP + PVE
Empire 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.
RiskrunnerSubmachine GunEnergyA › StrongExotic QuestFree-to-PlayPVEDestiny 2 Riskrunner
Riskrunner
| Submachine Gun
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic 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.
The HuckleberrySubmachine GunKineticA › StrongExotic EngramFree-to-PlayPVEDestiny 2 The Huckleberry art
The Huckleberry
| Submachine Gun
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic 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..
Traveler's ChosenSidearmKineticA › StrongExotic KioskShadowkeepPVPTraveler's Chosen Destiny 2
Traveler's Chosen
| Sidearm
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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.
JötunnFusion RifleEnergyA › StrongExotic KioskForsakenPVE & PVPDestiny 2 Jotunn
Jötunn
| Fusion Rifle
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP + PVE
Exotic 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.
Eyes of TomorrowRocket LauncherHeavyA › StrongRaidBeyond LightPVPEyes of Tomorrow Destiny 2 1
Eyes of Tomorrow
| Rocket Launcher
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Raid

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.
MIDA Multi-ToolScout RifleKineticA › StrongExotic KioskFree-to-PlayPVPDestiny 2 MIDA Multi Tool art
MIDA Multi-Tool
| Scout Rifle
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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.
TelestoFusion RifleEnergyA › StrongExotic EngramFree-to-PlayPVPDestiny 2 Telesto art
Telesto
| Fusion Rifle
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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.
Monte CarloAuto RifleKineticA › StrongExotic EngramFree-to-PlayPVEDestiny 2 Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo
| Auto Rifle
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic 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.
CrimsonHand CannonKineticA › StrongExotic EngramFree-to-PlayPVPDestiny 2 Crimson
Crimson
| Hand Cannon
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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.
Izanagi's BurdenSniper RifleKineticA › StrongExotic KioskForsakenPVEDestiny 2 Izanagi's Burden
Izanagi's Burden
| Sniper Rifle
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic 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.
Ticuu's DivinationCombat BowEnergyA › StrongExotic KioskDeluxe EditionPVETicuu's Divination Destiny 2 art
Ticuu's Divination
| Combat Bow
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic 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.
The Last WordHand CannonKineticA › StrongExotic KioskForsakenPVPDestiny 2 The Last Word
The Last Word
| Hand Cannon
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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.
ThornHand CannonKineticA › StrongExotic KioskForsakenPVPDestiny 2 Thorn
Thorn
| Hand Cannon
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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!
Polaris LanceScout RifleEnergyA › StrongExotic KioskFree-to-PlayPVPDestiny 2 Polaris Lance art
Polaris Lance
| Scout Rifle
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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.
Tractor CannonShotgunHeavyA › StrongExotic EngramFree-to-PlayPVEDestiny 2 Tractor Cannon art
Tractor Cannon
| Shotgun
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic 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.
Outbreak PerfectedPulse RifleKineticA › StrongExotic KioskForsakenPVEDestiny 2 Outbreak Perfected art
Outbreak Perfected
| Pulse Rifle
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic 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.
Black TalonSwordHeavyA › StrongExotic EngramFree-to-PlayPVPDestiny 2 Black Talon
Black Talon
| Sword
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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.
ThunderlordMachine GunHeavyA › StrongExotic EngramForsakenPVEDestiny 2 Thunderlord art
Thunderlord
| Machine Gun
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic 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.
The Wardcliff CoilRocket LauncherHeavyA › StrongExotic EngramFree-to-PlayPVPDestiny 2 The Wardcliff Coil
The Wardcliff Coil
| Rocket Launcher
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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.
DualityShotgunEnergyA › StrongExotic KioskDeluxe EditionPVPDuality Destiny 2
Duality
| Shotgun
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
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.
Whisper of the WormSniper RifleHeavyA › StrongExotic KioskFree-to-PlayPVEDestiny 2 Whisper of the Worm art
Whisper of the Worm
| Sniper Rifle
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic 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.
Le MonarqueCombat BowEnergyA › StrongExotic KioskForsakenPVPDestiny 2 Le Monarque art
Le Monarque
| Combat Bow
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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.
SunshotHand CannonEnergyA › StrongExotic EngramFree-to-PlayPVEDestiny 2 Sunshot art
Sunshot

| Hand Cannon
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic 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.
Vigilance WingPulse RifleKineticA › StrongExotic EngramFree-to-PlayPVPDestiny 2 Vigilance Wing art
Vigilance Wing
| Pulse Rifle
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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.
Rat KingSidearmKineticA › StrongExotic KioskFree-to-PlayPVEDestiny 2 Rat King art
Rat King
| Sidearm
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic 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.
One Thousand VoicesFusion RifleHeavyA › StrongRaidForsakenPVEDestiny 2 One Thousand Voices art
One Thousand Voices
| Fusion Rifle
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Raid

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!).
Heir ApparentMachine GunHeavyA › StrongExotic QuestFree-to-PlayPVEDestiny 2 Heir Apparent art
Heir Apparent
| Machine Gun
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Guardian Games

Easy

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.
Legend of AcriusShotgunHeavyA › StrongExotic KioskFree-to-PlayPVEDestiny 2 Legend of Acrius art
Legend of Acrius
| Shotgun
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic Kiosk

Average

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.
DeathbringerRocket LauncherHeavyA › StrongExotic QuestShadowkeepPVPDestiny 2 Deathbringer art
Deathbringer
| Rocket Launcher
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic Quest

Easy

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.
SUROS RegimeAuto RifleKineticA › StrongExotic EngramFree-to-PlayPVPDestiny 2 SUROS Regime
SUROS Regime
| Auto Rifle
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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.
The ColonyGrenade LauncherHeavyB › AverageExotic EngramFree-to-PlayPVPDestiny 2 The Colony art
The Colony
| Grenade Launcher
Average

B



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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.
Fighting LionGrenade LauncherEnergyB › AverageExotic EngramFree-to-PlayPVPDestiny 2 Fighting Lion art
Fighting Lion
| Grenade Launcher
Average

B



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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).
The Jade RabbitScout RifleKineticB › AverageExotic EngramFree-to-PlayPVPDestiny 2 The Jade Rabbit art
The Jade Rabbit
| Scout Rifle
Average

B



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic 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!
ArbalestLinear Fusion RifleKineticB › AverageExotic EngramFree-to-Play-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.
Ruinous EffigyTrace RifleEnergyB › AverageExotic KioskShadowkeep-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.
TarrabahSubmachine GunEnergyB › AverageExotic KioskForsaken-Destiny 2 Tarrabah art
Tarrabah
| Submachine Gun
Average

B

Exotic Kiosk

Average

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.
SymmetryScout RifleEnergyB › AverageExotic KioskShadowkeep-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.
Wish-EnderCombat BowKineticB › AverageExotic QuestForsaken-Destiny 2 Wish Ender art
Wish-Ender
| Combat Bow
Average

B

Exotic Quest

Easy

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.
Leviathan's BreathCombat BowHeavyB › AverageExotic KioskShadowkeep-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.
Hard LightAuto RifleEnergyB › AverageExotic EngramFree-to-Play-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.
MalfeasanceHand CannonKineticB › AverageExotic QuestForsaken-Destiny 2 Malfeasance art
Malfeasance
| Hand Cannon
Average

B

Exotic Quest

Easy

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.
ColdheartTrace RifleEnergyB › AverageExotic EngramFree-to-Play-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!
Tommy's MatchbookAuto RifleEnergyB › AverageExotic KioskShadowkeep-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.
Bad JujuPulse RifleKineticB › AverageExotic KioskForsaken-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.
Devil's RuinSidearmEnergyB › AverageExotic KioskShadowkeep-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.
BorealisSniper RifleEnergyB › AverageExotic EngramFree-to-Play-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.
LuminaHand CannonKineticB › AverageExotic KioskForsaken-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.
The QueenbreakerLinear Fusion RifleHeavyB › AverageExotic EngramFree-to-Play-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.
Lord of WolvesShotgunEnergyB › AverageExotic EngramFree-to-Play-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.
The Fourth HorsemanShotgunEnergyB › AverageExotic KioskShadowkeep-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...
Two-Tailed FoxRocket LauncherHeavyB › AverageExotic EngramFree-to-Play-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.
Skyburner's OathScout RifleEnergyB › AverageExotic EngramFree-to-Play-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.
TruthRocket LauncherHeavyB › AverageExotic KioskForsaken-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.
Cryosthesia 77KSidearmKineticC › WeakExotic KioskDeluxe Edition-Cryosthesia 77K Destiny 2 art
Cryosthesia 77K
| Sidearm
Weak

C

Exotic Kiosk

Average

Slot: Stasis icon 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.
Graviton LancePulse RifleEnergyC › WeakExotic EngramFree-to-Play-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.
The ProspectorGrenade LauncherHeavyC › WeakExotic EngramFree-to-Play-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.
WavesplitterTrace RifleEnergyC › WeakExotic EngramFree-to-Play-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.
Sweet BusinessAuto RifleKineticC › WeakExotic EngramFree-to-Play-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.
Prometheus LensTrace RifleEnergyC › WeakExotic EngramFree-to-Play-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.
Salvation's GripGrenade LauncherHeavyC › WeakExotic QuestBeyond Light-Salvation's Grip Destiny 2
Salvation's Grip
| Grenade Launcher
Weak

C

Exotic Quest

Easy

Slot: Stasis icon 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.
MercilessFusion RifleEnergyC › WeakExotic EngramFree-to-Play-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.
Cerberus+1Auto RifleKineticC › WeakExotic EngramFree-to-Play-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.
D.A.R.C.I.Sniper RifleHeavyD › WorstExotic EngramFree-to-Play-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.
Worldline ZeroSwordHeavyD › WorstExotic KioskFree-to-Play-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.

How to get Exotics in Destiny 2

In a nutshell, there are several ways you can find exotic weapons in Destiny 2. Some are definitely easier than others, while some can be indefinitely farmed while others are capped per season:

1. Decrypting Exotic engrams

Exotic engrams can randomly drop when playing the game. Your luck will certainly play a role here, but the more you play, the more chances you’ll have to find an Exotic in the wild. Random Exotic engrams can drop either from defeated enemies or when completing activities.

If you want to increase your odds, you’ll want to tackle more specific, difficult, activities. More on that below.

Destiny 2 Exotic Engram

An Exotic engram found in the wild

2. Completing Exotic quests

Quest Exotics: The most iconic exotics are often tied to Exotic quests of varying degrees of difficulty and length. Exotic quests are, for the most part, long and complicated, each deserving a good tutorial. Be warned that several Exotic quests were recently removed from the game and put into the DCV (Destiny Content Vault).

To get you started, you can head over to our comprehensive guide featuring every Destiny 2 exotic quest still available (including video guides).

3. Buying Exotics at The Monument to Lost Lights

The Monument to Lost Lights (aka, the “Exotics Kiosk”) is a fairly new method to acquire Exotics weapons that were previously connected to old Season Passes and Exotic quests that are no longer available in-game. 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 decide what to get next.

Monument to Lost Lights Forsaken Destiny 2

The Monument to Lost Lights

4. Buying Exotics from Xur every weekend

Xur is an infamous NPC that appears every weekend (from Friday’s reset to Tuesday’s reset) and offers a different Exotic weapon and Exotic armor (one per class) every weekend. Xur also sells a random Exotic Engram that can contain either a weapon or armor piece.

5. Claiming Exotics from the Season Pass

The easier Exotics available to you can be found in the Season Pass. Both the Paid and Free tracks of the Season Pass offer a handful of Exotic engrams. All you need do is earn the XP to unlock them before the season is over.

Season of the Splicer Season Pass featured

 

6. Resetting your Valor and Infamy

Resetting your Valor and Infamy will reward you with an Ascendant Shard the first reset of the Season each, and then Exotic engrams for every subsequent reset that same season.

6. Completing Nightfall: The Ordeals at the highest difficulties

As mentioned before, Exotic engrams have a higher chance to drop from end-game activities. If collecting exotics is your priority, Nightfall: The Ordeals are for you. There isn’t a single activity that rewards as many Exotic engrams as high-difficulty Nightfalls do. Farming Master and Grandmaster Nightfalls are no easy feat, but if you find the right team, research the best strategies, and can pull it off, you won’t know what to do with so many Exotic engrams.

7. Completing Raids

A select handful of 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.

Destiny 2 Roadmap Vault of Glass

The Vault of Glass: Destiny 2’s newest 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…

So in conclusion, what is the best way to get Exotics in Destiny 2?

The best method to get Exotics in Destiny 2 will depend on your (and your team’s) skill level. If you’re a seasoned player able to easily put together a competent Fireteam, farming Nightfall: The Ordeals will net you the fastest results. If you’re a new player that mostly plays solo, you’ll want to religiously visit Xur every weekend and ensure you unlock all of your Season Pass Exotic engrams.


Destiny 2 new Exotics released in 2021

These are all the Exotic weapons released in Destiny 2, starting with the most recent Season of the Lost Exotics up to the Exotics released with Beyond Light:

NameTypeSlotRankDrops fromReleasedRequirements
Lorentz DriverLinear Fusion RifleEnergyA › StrongSeason PassSeason 15Season 15
Vex MythoclastFusion RifleKineticC › WeakRaidSeason 14Free-to-Play
Cryosthesia 77KSidearmKineticC › WeakExotic KioskSeason 14Deluxe Edition
Ticuu's DivinationCombat BowEnergyA › StrongExotic KioskSeason 13Deluxe Edition
Dead Man's TaleScout RifleKineticS › BestExotic QuestSeason 13Deluxe Edition
The LamentSwordHeavyS › BestExotic QuestSeason 12Beyond Light
HawkmoonHand CannonKineticA › StrongExotic QuestSeason 12Deluxe Edition
No Time to ExplainPulse RifleKineticA › StrongExotic QuestSeason 12Deluxe Edition
CloudstrikeSniper RifleEnergyA › StrongExotic QuestSeason 12Beyond Light
Salvation's GripGrenade LauncherHeavyC › WeakExotic QuestSeason 12Beyond Light
Eyes of TomorrowRocket LauncherHeavyA › StrongRaidSeason 12Beyond Light
DualityShotgunEnergyA › StrongExotic KioskSeason 12Deluxe Edition

For more information regarding each weapon’s exotic perks, source, etc, you can find all those details in the tier list above.


Destiny 2 Exotics in-depth

How many Exotics are there?

Despite being the rarest and most powerful items available, the game has been receiving a healthy quantity of new Exotics each season. As of Season of the Splicer (Season 14), a total of 81 Exotic weapons have been released so far.

The easiest Exotics to get in Destiny 2

As you start your adventures,  you’ll want to focus on the most accessible Exotics first. Luckily, all but a few raid and quest-exclusive Exotics are fairly easy to acquire, as long as you’re prepared to grind. Most exotics can be found via Exotic engrams, which means that every method that rewards Exotic engrams (Season Pass, Xur, Rank resets, etc) will help you find new Exotic weapons and armor easily.

Upgrading your Exotics: Catalysts

Dead Man's Tale Catalyst Destiny 2Unlike Legendary weapons that can be upgraded by simply spending some resources, Exotics require specific items called Catalyst. Not every Exotic has a catalyst and finding the catalysts that do exist are lengthy and difficult affairs, but most of them grant significant improvements and can sometimes transform average weapons into powerhouses.

 

Our Catalyst guide covers every catalyst in the game, including how to find them, their benefits, and how to unlock them.


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?


Latest changes

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:

  • Lorentz Driver

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

  • Fusion rifles moved up
  • Scout Rifles moved up

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

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26 Comments
  1. Jagger c

    I completely disagree with your ranking of graviton lance, it’s an absolute ad killing machine. Shoot a burst into a horde of thrall and it completely wipes them out, especially due to the fact that its detonation ability still activates on ads killed with the explosion or void projectiles. Enough low level ads in one spot and it can take out knights or wizards without you even shooting them. On top of that, it’s a pvp godsend. Due to the second shot having both high damage and no falloff, its a great counter to snipers and can reliably 2 burst guardians. Just my experience though.

    Reply
    • Ric Molina

      Hey, you make some fair comments. But I did warn that you would probably disagree with something on the list 🙂

      Seriously though, it’s impossible to have everyone agree on a tier list, and even if I increased the ranking of something, it would have to be in favor of something else (as the ranking is relative to every other weapon). As far as exotic pulses go, there are much better options for PVE and PVP ranking higher. But again, that’s only my opinion!

      Reply
      • Thinkamabobl

        I think that Huckleberry and Tommy’s are underrated. Tommy’s is better than surfs because of the huge mag and overheating. I think it’s like the touch of malice because of the perk trading health for damage and rate of fire. Very cool.

        Reply
  2. POOPSMITH

    Ruinous Effigy?

    Reply
    • Ric Molina

      Yep, working on a PVE weapons guide right now… But as soon as I’m done in a few days, I’ll add both Ruinous Effigy and Traveler’s Chosen to the tier list!

      Reply
  3. PH

    Will you be adding beyond light exotics when they release

    Reply
    • PH

      Also will you be making this for armor too

      Reply
      • Ric (aka Primatrix)

        I definitely should…. Maybe I’ll tackle Titan’s because I mained that class for almost a year but for the two other, I would be completely out of my league! But yeah, so much content planned and so little time… Don’t expect this soon 🙁

        Reply
    • Ric (aka Primatrix)

      Definitely! Just updated the guide yesterday to include Traveler’s Chosen. The aim is to update this list as soon as new exotics are released AND/OR sandbox changes change the tier list itself!

      Reply
      • kroma

        Could you please add beyond light? Because I just got the weapons for it(Still need salvation’s grip and cloud strike) but I don’t know if they’re good or not.

        Reply
  4. Luca

    Jotunn should be S

    Reply
    • Ric (aka Primatrix)

      I would put it S because I personally love it! But objectively speaking, there are higher tier options for PVE and PVP…

      Reply
  5. Thinkamabobl

    Also, on the heir apparent, it says bad dps, but dps means damage per second, so you should say it has good total damage because of its mag size.

    Reply
    • THECRACKEDCUTTLEFISH

      Hey is it possible that you may do a season of chosen one as well… I believe ruinous effigy is better than it is on this list but every thing else I agree with… you did an amazing job

      Reply
  6. Dazzer

    WoRlDlInE zErO iS gOd In PvP dUe To ThE hEaVy AtTaCk, oh also hunter worldline skating!?

    Reply
  7. Leaf

    Is there going to be an update to this following the Season of the Chosen balance changes? Because rocket launchers just got a massive buff to damage, and there’s the new exotic bow at play too.

    Reply
  8. Ian Hawcock

    Cloudstrike??
    Sniper rifles are for picking off enemy’s at a large distance (across a map) unawares of your presence
    But cloudstrike’s buff only works with a precision final blow which in my mind takes away the very point of the weapon
    So your enemy needs to have seen you landed a shot on you and will no doubt be avoiding your return fire while you look down the weapons sights at a range that’s really bit too close for a Sniper to be properly useful
    Use a auto rifle instead!
    And don’t get me started on linear fusion rifles!!!

    Reply
    • kip

      In the sense you described it, it’s not terribly compelling, but that’s not really the strength of the weapon. The perk also procs if you land 3 or so precision shots in a row. When you line up on a boss and drill him several times in his crit spot, the DPS is absolutely massive, and has the bonus of clearing adds around him. No sniper can touch it, and unlike swords or shotguns, you don’t have to be close to the boss to get stomped or whatever. It’s also far more useful throughout an encounter than say a specialized exotic heavy, so it makes for a more flexible load-out.

      It must be said if you’re not great at landing precision shots, it’s not going to be a good choice. I’m average at it myself, so for me it’s situational.

      Reply
  9. JOHN

    Are you going to be ranking the Season 13 weapons soon?

    Reply
  10. rockpicken

    Outbreak’s quest was removed but it’s available in the kiosk. So it’s not unavailable and in fact I’m hunting for it now, need a few dusk light shards.

    Reply
    • Ric (aka Prim)

      Agreed, that line needed to be updated as both Outbreak and Whisper were added to the Exotics Kiosk with Season 13.

      Reply
  11. Servers Are Down

    Um you missed four exotics from season 14. Cryosthesia 77K, First Tempo, Super Good Advice, and Vex Mythoclast.

    Reply
  12. Dwarvire

    malfeasance?

    Reply
  13. HXXLIGVN

    Vex Mythoclast is dominant right now in pvp after the season of the lost rework. Definitely higher than c tier imo.

    Reply
    • Ric (aka Prim)

      You are absolutely right, I forgot to update the Vex since it received literally 7 different buffs this season. It’s obviously S Tier now, especially now that the Particle Deconstruction mod is a thing!

      Thanks for the reminder

      Reply
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