Best Grenade Launchers in Destiny 2: Tier List for PVP and PVE

by | Jun 12, 2022 | Weapons

Heavy Grenade launchers completely dominated for years until Bungie progressively buffed other weapon types in an effort to bring balance to the PVE meta.

Grenade launchers were eventually left behind, and these days, they are considered the worst Heavy weapons in the game. But that isn’t the case with Special ammo grenade launchers, which get stronger each season.

This guide covers both Heavy and Special ammo Grenade Launchers in Destiny 2, including both Exotics and Legendaries, as well as the best rolls for PVE and PVP.

Destiny 2 Grenade Launchers Tier list

The Tier list below includes every Exotic and non-sunset legendary Grenade Launcher in the game, including both Heavy and Special ammo variants. It starts with the S Tier weapons and moves down from there. It also covers both PVE and PVP, with the “Excels in” column clearly identifying in what area each weapon shines:

NameWeaponsTypeArchetypeAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?RankSourceObtainable?Tier rankSource ❘ DLCFinal VerdictReleasedPerks
WitherhoardWitherhoard art Destiny 2
Witherhoard
Grenade LauncherExoticSpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesS › BestExotic Kiosk
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Exotic Kiosk

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

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."

► Witherhoard is the quintessential Grenade Launcher. It can deal good damage, lock down an area, stagger an enemy, deal with ads, and all that while being super easy to use. Witherhoard is also a counter to some 'meta' playstyles in PvP due to its AoE effect, hard countering a Ward of Dawn, or a Lorley Splendor Shield.
Season 11
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

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."
Dead MessengerDead Messenger Destiny 2 art
Dead Messenger
Grenade LauncherExoticSpecialVoidDeluxe EditionYesS › BestExotic Quest
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Exotic Quest

Deluxe Edition
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "One-shot handheld Grenade Launcher. Projectiles release a fan of three energy waves on contact with the ground. You can change damage type, cycling between Solar, Arc, and Void."

► Dead Messenger is one of the most potent weapons in the game. Excelling in both PvP and PvE, this Wave Frame Grenade Launcher is not only remarkably easy to use, but it can also completely nullify the Match Game modifier with its ability to change elements.
Season 16
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "One-shot handheld Grenade Launcher. Projectiles release a fan of three energy waves on contact with the ground. You can change damage type, cycling between Solar, Arc, and Void."
Salvager's SalvoSalvager's Salvo Destiny 2 art
Salvager's Salvo
Grenade LauncherLightweightSpecialArcFree-to-PlayYesS › BestExotic Kiosk
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic Kiosk

Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin (also good: Demolitionist) + Chain Reaction

► Salvager's Salvo is incredibly easy to obtain and is still an extremely powerful option. This is a versatile weapon with its set rolls, allowing for some backup boss damage or some of the best add clear in the game. It is perhaps slightly outmatched by Forbearance but remains close due to how easy it is to get.
Season 13
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin (also good: Demolitionist) + Chain Reaction
Ignition CodeIgnition Code Destiny 2 art
Ignition Code
Grenade LauncherLightweightSpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesS › BestXûr
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE
Xûr

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVE God Roll: Slideshot (also good: Ambitious Assassin) + Frenzy

► Breech-Loaded Grenade Launchers are very strong right now, and Ignition Code is no exception. Being the first Grenade Launcher to roll with Slideshot, it lands some points for uniqueness, but with Slideshot, you can deal high DPS or constantly blind enemies over and over.
Season 14
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVE God Roll: Slideshot (also good: Ambitious Assassin) + Frenzy
ForbearanceForbearance Destiny 2 art v2
Forbearance
Grenade LauncherWaveSpecialArcThe Witch QueenYesS › BestVow of the Disciple Raid
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE
Vow of the Disciple Raid

The Witch Queen
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PVE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin (also good: Unrelenting) + Chain Reaction

► The first Wave Frame Grenade Launcher to come from a raid, Forbearance is widely regarded as the best Wave Frame we've gotten thus far. With the ability to roll the combo that made Salvager's Salvo famous, this weapon is an ad-clear machine. Not to mention, Wave Frames are extremely fun to use, and the Origin Trait is a nice cherry on top!
Season 16
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PVE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin (also good: Unrelenting) + Chain Reaction
Lingering DreadLingering Dread Destiny 2 art
Lingering Dread
Grenade LauncherLightweightSpecialStasisDeluxe EditionYesA › StrongDuality Dungeon
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Duality Dungeon

Deluxe Edition
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVE/PVP God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Ambitious Assassin) + Chill Clip

► Lingering Dread is the first of its kind. It's the first Special Stasis Grenade Launcher, and it comes with one of the newer Stasis perks, Chill Clip. However, despite the potential nuance that Chill Clip may bring, Lingering Dread doesn't shake up the meta. It is merely another 'pretty good' option.
Season 17
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVE/PVP God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Ambitious Assassin) + Chill Clip
AnarchyDestiny 2 Anarchy
Anarchy
Grenade LauncherExoticHeavyArcForsaken PackYesA › StrongExotic Kiosk
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic Kiosk

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

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

► Anarchy, to this day, still has the strongest damage over time effect for boss damage. In high-end content, Anarchy still holds strong and is still a decent pick for Raids or high difficulty Nightfalls as you can also deal DPS with a high damage Special weapon such as a Sniper or Fusion Rifle.
Season 5
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Grenades stick to surfaces and chain Arc bolts to other mines. It also has the Moving Target perk."
TruthtellerTruthteller Destiny 2 art
Truthteller
Grenade LauncherLightweightSpecialVoidFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongWorld loot pool
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
World loot pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Field Prep) + Demolitionist

► Truthteller comes with a variety of strong perks, including utility perks such as Demolitionist and Quickdraw, or raw damage perks like Multikill Clip and Swashbuckler. It is a consistent option and is often kept as an option for many players, even in high-level content.
Season 11
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Field Prep) + Demolitionist
Deafening Whisper
Deafening Whisper
Grenade LauncherWaveSpecialVoidFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongXûr
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Xûr

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PVE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin (also good: Lead From Gold) + Auto-Loading Holster

► Deafening Whisper was one of the first Wave Frame grenade launchers in Destiny 2, and it still holds strong despite some recent additions to the archetype. Deafening Whisper has a relatively small perk pool and powerful options, making it easy to get a solid roll.
Season 12
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PVE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin (also good: Lead From Gold) + Auto-Loading Holster
Pardon Our DustPardon Our Dust Destiny 2 art
Pardon Our Dust
Grenade LauncherLightweightSpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongDares of Eternity
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Dares of Eternity

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Ambitious Assassin) + Vorpal Weapon

► Pardon Our Dust might be one of the most versatile weapons in the game. It can provide menacing add clear with Ambitious Assassin, strong backup DPS with Auto-Loading Holster and Vorpal Weapon, or work in ability-focused builds with Demolitionist or Wellspring. Pardon Our Dust is simply an excellent weapon all around.
30th Anniversary event
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Ambitious Assassin) + Vorpal Weapon
ParasiteParasite Destiny 2 art
Parasite
Grenade LauncherExoticHeavySolarThe Witch QueenYesA › StrongExotic Quest
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic Quest

The Witch Queen
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Ffires Hive worms which explode on impact. The size and damage of the explosion scales with the number of enemies you've defeated just before firing this weapon. Taking damage from your own worm projectile detonation empowers your weapons for a short time."

► Arguably the most unique gun in the game, Parasite fires live explosive worms instead of regular grenades. If you can get lots of Worm's Hunger stacks, this weapon can do some insane damage. Its unmatched burst damage and extremely high fun factor combine to make Parasite an extremely strong option in PVE.
Season 16
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Ffires Hive worms which explode on impact. The size and damage of the explosion scales with the number of enemies you've defeated just before firing this weapon. Taking damage from your own worm projectile detonation empowers your weapons for a short time."
Explosive PersonalityExplosive Personality Destiny 2 art
Explosive Personality
Grenade LauncherWaveSpecialSolarDeluxe EditionYesA › StrongPsiOps Battlegrounds
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
PsiOps Battlegrounds

Deluxe Edition
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PVE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy (also good: Auto-Loading Holster) + Frenzy (also good: One For All)

► There's a lot to love about Explosive Personality. With a solid PVE-oriented perk pool and the Land Tank Origin Trait, which gives you damage resist on kill, you can't go wrong with this amazing Wave Frame Grenade Launcher.
Season 16
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Wave

PVE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy (also good: Auto-Loading Holster) + Frenzy (also good: One For All)
Orewing's Maul
Orewing's Maul
Grenade LauncherLightweightSpecialVoidFree-to-PlayNoA › StrongIron Banner
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Iron Banner

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVP God Roll: Quickdraw (also good: Pulse Monitor) + Rangefinder

► Orewing's Maul is a personal favorite. However, compared to its main rival, Truthteller, it falls slightly short in PvE due to its perk pool. However, in PvP, Orewing is excellent. With Rangefinder, you can easily reach maximum velocity, and Quickdraw allows you to hot-swap much quicker.
Season 11
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVP God Roll: Quickdraw (also good: Pulse Monitor) + Rangefinder
Memory InterdictMemory Interdict Destiny 2 art
Memory Interdict
Grenade LauncherAdaptiveHeavyVoidFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongWorld loot pool
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
World loot pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PVP God Roll: Impulse Amplifier (also good: Quickdraw) + Disruption Break

► Memory Interdict is a fan favourite for PvP. With a perk such as Impulse Amplifier, you can easily take down opponents due to the massively increased velocity. Impulse Amplifier also allows you to spec into Blast Radius or Handling instead of Velocity, which improves the overall stats on the gun.
Season 14
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PVP God Roll: Impulse Amplifier (also good: Quickdraw) + Disruption Break
Crowd Pleaser
Crowd Pleaser
Grenade LauncherAdaptiveHeavyVoidFree-to-PlayYesB › AveragePlaylist: Gambit
Average

B



Excels in:
PVE
Playlist: Gambit

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Threat Detector (also good: Killing Wind) + Quickdraw

► Crowd Pleaser is a decent option for PvP. It isn't as popular as some of its competition due to its vast perk pool, making it hard to get the god roll. However, Crowd Pleaser comes with good perks such as Quickdraw, Killing Wind, and Threat Detector, which are all decent choices for PvP.
Season 12
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Threat Detector (also good: Killing Wind) + Quickdraw
Empty VesselEmpty Vessel Destiny 2 art
Empty Vessel
Grenade LauncherLightweightSpecialSolarFree-to-PlayYesB › AveragePlaylist: Strikes
Average

B



Excels in:
PVE
Playlist: Strikes

Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Ambitious Assassin) + Demolitionist

► Empty Vessel is still a decent option, despite the many powerful options out there. Being the first Solar Breech-Loaded Grenade launcher makes it quite unique. The main downside to Empty Vessel though is its massive perk pool.
Season 14
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Lightweight

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Ambitious Assassin) + Demolitionist
Fighting LionDestiny 2 Fighting Lion art
Fighting Lion
Grenade LauncherExoticPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageExotic Engram
Average

B



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic Engram

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

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."

► The Fighting Lion can be one of the most fun weapons to use but also one of the most annoying weapons to fight against. Mastering the Fighting Lion playstyle in the Crucible can yield excellent results. However, it takes time to master and it requires quite a niche playstyle.
Season 1
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

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."
Interference VIDestiny 2 Interference VI
Interference VI
Grenade LauncherAdaptiveHeavyArcFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageWorld loot pool
Average

B



World loot pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Field Prep) + Full Court

► Interference VI is a decent option in terms of Heavy Grenade Launchers. It is an Adaptive frame which makes it pretty average but better than its Rapid-Fire counterparts. Interference VI also receives some points for its solid perk pool with Full Court, allowing it to deal some more damage.
Season 10
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Field Prep) + Full Court
Typhon GL5Typhon GL5 Destiny 2 art
Typhon GL5
Grenade LauncherAdaptiveHeavyStasisFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageWorld loot pool
Average

B



World loot pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Impulse Amplifier + Explosive Light (also good: Chill Klip)

► Even though Typhon GL5 has some great perks like Explosive Light, it doesn't excel in any part of the game simply because it's a heavy Grenade Launcher. Until these become stronger options for either ad clear or DPS, this weapon will sadly be forgotten by most of the community.
Season 16
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Impulse Amplifier + Explosive Light (also good: Chill Klip)
The ProspectorDestiny 2 The Prospector art
The Prospector
Grenade LauncherExoticHeavyArcFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakExotic Engram
Weak

C



Exotic Engram

Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

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

► The Prospector isn't too strong right now. While it does have the highest single magazine DPS out of all Grenade Launchers, it is hard to make a case for it as there are much better DPS options out there. However, should Grenade Launchers see a buff, Prospector will be a top contender for damage.
Season 1
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Hold to fire grenades. Release to detonate all live grenades simultaneously. Grenades stick to surfaces and set targets on fire."
The ColonyDestiny 2 The Colony art
The Colony
Grenade LauncherExoticHeavyVoidFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakExotic Engram
Weak

C



Exotic Engram

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

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

► The Colony is a bit of a joke right now in both PvE and PvP. It is notoriously easy to avoid in the Crucible by simply jumping and is near useless in PvE due to its lack of damage. It also hogs up your exotic slot, making it not worth your time.
Season 2
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon's grenades are insectoid robots that chase targets and explode close to them."
Berenger's Memory
Berenger's Memory
Grenade LauncherRapid-FireHeavyVoidFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakWorld loot pool
Weak

C



World loot pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PVE God Roll: Field Prep + Auto-Loading Holster

► The Berenger's Memory can roll with a few decent perks in both perk slots. However, Heavy Grenade Launchers aren't in the best of places right now, so it is best to opt for stronger DPS options such as Rocket Launchers or Linear Fusion Rifles.
Season 11
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PVE God Roll: Field Prep + Auto-Loading Holster
Blast Battue
Blast Battue
Grenade LauncherAdaptiveHeavyArcFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakXûr
Weak

C



Xûr

Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PVP God Roll: Quickdraw + Disruption Break

► Blast Battue is in the Adaptive archetype of Heavy Grenade launchers. This archetype is one of the stronger frames in PvP. However, Blast Battue falls short compared to some of its Adaptive PvP competition.
Season 12
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PVP God Roll: Quickdraw + Disruption Break
Love and DeathLove and Death Destiny 2 art
Love and Death
Grenade LauncherRapid-FireHeavySolarFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakMoon
Weak

C



Moon

Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Clown Cartridge) + Full Court

► Love and Death suffers from its archetype. Rapid-Fire Grenade Launchers don't exactly deal good total damage. However, they do excel in single magazine DPS, which means that options like Clown Cartridge can elevate Grenade Launchers like Love and Death closer to the level of Adaptive Grenade Launchers.
Season 14
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Clown Cartridge) + Full Court
TarnationTarnation Destiny 2 art
Tarnation
Grenade LauncherRapid-FireHeavyArcThe Witch QueenYesC › WeakWellspring
Weak

C



Wellspring

The Witch Queen
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PVE God Roll: Clown Cartridge + One For All

► Tarnation suffers from the poor Rapid-Fire archetype and a poor perk pool. However, the saving grace of Tarnation is its ability to be crafted, completely nullifying the RNG aspect. It can also come with Enhanced Perks, which place it above its Rapid-Fire competition.
Season 16
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PVE God Roll: Clown Cartridge + One For All
Swarm of the Raven
Swarm of the Raven
Grenade LauncherRapid-FireHeavyVoidFree-to-PlayNoD › WorstIron Banner
Worst

D



Iron Banner

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Quickdraw

► Swarm of the Raven used to be one of the strongest weapons in the game back in Season of Opulence. However, Destiny 2 has changed a lot since then, and Swarm of the Raven has been left behind with its unimaginative perks and subpar archetype.
Season 11
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Quickdraw
Outrageous Fortune
Outrageous Fortune
Grenade LauncherRapid-FireHeavySolarFree-to-PlayYesD › WorstWorld loot pool
Worst

D



World loot pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Quickdraw

► Outrageous Fortune is yet another victim of the Rapid-Fire archetype. With its lacking perk pool and low damage, Outrageous Fortune fails to compete with other Rapid-Fire Grenade Launchers, let alone stronger archetypes.
Season 11
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Quickdraw
Salvation's GripSalvation's Grip Destiny 2
Salvation's Grip
Grenade LauncherExoticHeavyStasisBeyond LightYesD › WorstExotic Quest
Worst

D



Exotic Quest

Beyond Light
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

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 hasn't evolved with the rest of the game. Previously, it was the only Stasis weapon in the game; however, simple perks like Headstone can replicate Salvation's Grip's effect without the cost of your Exotic or Heavy slot. It's best to stay away from Salvation's Grip until it receives a rework or strong catalyst.
Season 12
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

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."
Canis MajorCanis Major Destiny 2 art
Canis Major
Grenade LauncherRapid-FireHeavySolarFree-to-PlayYesD › WorstXûr
Worst

D



Xûr

Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PVE God Roll:
Field Prep + Vorpal Weapon

► Canis Major is a poor pick right now due to its lack of Auto-Loading Holster, which feels like a necessity for Heavy Grenade Launchers. Being a poor pick for DPS and lacking in PvP, Canis Major falls short everywhere in the game right now.
Season 15
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PVE God Roll:
Field Prep + Vorpal Weapon

These are the different Tier levels used for our 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.

More Destiny 2 Tier lists:

Best Destiny 2 Grenade Launcher in 2022

This section not only covers the top Grenade launchers currently in the game, it also tells you where you can find them.

PS: This guide covers every weapon source in Destiny 2 and most of the sources below are self-explanatory, but in doubt, you can always leave a comment below or ask away on our Discord server.

Overall, these are our Top 10 favorite Grenade Launchers for PVE and PVP.

 

Lingering Dread grenade launcher Destiny 2 featured

10. Lingering Dread

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

Being the first Special Stasis Grenade Launcher, Lingering Dread earns some points for uniqueness. It gains some points for style by being a part of the Duality suite of weapons that all look remarkably stylish.

Lingering Dread comes with Chill Clip which functions about how you’d expect it to with a Breech-Loaded Grenade Launcher. The single shot that it fires slows targets hit. This ‘slow’ effect makes it a powerful option in the Crucible and a unique iteration on the crowd control role that Special Grenade Launchers fill in PvE content.

Despite its Stasis capabilities, Chill Clip’s main competitor is Blinding Grenades. While you can get Lingering Dread with Chill Clip and Blinding Grenades, there is no real point as the enemy is already blind, and enemies simply moving slower while blinded doesn’t amplify Lingering Dread by a large margin.

This makes it, despite its uniqueness, a pretty ‘okay’ option that will be as viable as every other Grenade Launcher in the game.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Ambitious Assassin)
  • Perk 2: Chill Clip

How to get it: Lingering Dread can be acquired by completing the first or final encounter of the Duality dungeon.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Lingering Dread Destiny 2 artLingering DreadGrenade LauncherLightweightLegendarySpecialStasisDeluxe EditionYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialStasis Stasis
Strong

A

PVE + PVPDuality Dungeon
Deluxe Edition
Season 17KineticNo

 

9. Fighting Lion

Crucible logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVP

The Fighting Lion is a unique weapon as it is the first Grenade Launcher that uses Primary ammo. This alone immediately makes it a potent option as Grenade Launchers, especially in PvP, are very powerful options due to their ‘spamming’ nature. Being able to bounce off of walls and pressure opponents behind cover is a very strong option that many players can often overlook. Fighting Lion can capitalize on spam as it has infinite ammo making it a very high-pressure weapon to play against.
Another benefit to the Fighting Lion is its excellent base stats with an incredible 100 Handling. Furthermore, its Exotic Catalyst, Chimera, allows for an even more fluid playing experience. It grants your equipped Kinetic and Heavy increased Handling and Accuracy for a brief period allowing for a blindingly fast time to kill with a ‘hot-swapping’ build.

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.”

How to get it: Fighting Lion can be acquired via Exotic engrams or Xûr.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Destiny 2 Fighting Lion artFighting LionGrenade LauncherExoticExoticPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Average

B

PVPExotic Engram
Free-to-Play
Season 1EnergyNo

 

8. Anarchy

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

Anarchy has seen quite the fall from grace. It was previously one of the most potent weapons in PvE by trivialising even the most challenging pieces of content in the game. However, Anarchy has had its damage reduced and its ammo reserves cut down.
Many other powerful options exist in the game, especially in the Heavy ammo slot with exotics Gjallarhorn or Sleeper Simulant or even with Legendaries like Reed’s Regret or Hothead. These potent options put Anarchy to the wayside as the damage it does now simply doesn’t match the other options we have.
However, despite the changes and additions of other powerful options, Anarchy remains as one of the strongest Grenade Launchers in the game. The ability to simply stick two Anarchy shots to a target and then swap to a high damage Special Weapon is still a solid option, and in certain Nightfalls with Arc Burns like Lightblade, Anarchy can still hold up as a powerful option.

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

How to get it: Anarchy can be purchased at the Monument to Lost Lights in the Tower.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Destiny 2 AnarchyAnarchyGrenade LauncherExoticExoticHeavyArcForsaken PackYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyArc Arc
Strong

A

PVEExotic Kiosk
Forsaken Pack
Season 5HeavyNo

 

7. Explosive Personality

Crucible logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVP

Explosive Personality is one of the two new Wave Frame Grenade Launchers with The Witch Queen and Season of the Risen. As with all new weapons in the past season, Explosive Personality can be crafted, allowing for an easy grind to your own personal god roll.
Explosive Personality is also unique because it is the first Solar Wave Frame Grenade Launcher in the game. It comes with some excellent perk choices that allow for a curated experience.
The new Origin Trait ‘Land Tank’ also comes guaranteed on Explosive Personality. It is one of the strongest Origin Traits we got with the release of The Witch Queen. Land Tank can give you up to a 15% damage resist with three kills which is very easy to do with a Wave Frame Grenade Launcher. All of this together makes Explosive Personality a versatile and powerful option.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Feeding Frenzy (also good: Auto-Loading Holster)
  • Perk 2: Frenzy (also good: One For All)

How to get it: Explosive Personality can be acquired by completing PsiOps Battlegrounds and focusing Umbral engrams.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Explosive Personality Destiny 2 artExplosive PersonalityGrenade LauncherWaveLegendarySpecialSolarDeluxe EditionYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialSolar Solar
Strong

A

PVEPsiOps Battlegrounds
Deluxe Edition
Season 16EnergyCraftable

 

5. Ignition Code

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

The Ignition Code from Season of the Splicer is a powerful option as a utility or backup weapon. With the ability to roll with Blinding Grenades, the Ignition Code can keep full rooms of enemies at bay in the way that other Grenade Launchers can’t due to Slideshot. Ignition Code is the first Grenade Launcher to come with Slideshot as a perk, and it synergises excellently with Grenade Launchers as the ability to spam Blinding Grenades at a crowd of enemies or Spike Grenades at a boss with a perk like Vorpal Weapon is excellent.
However, the downside of the Ignition Code is that aside from perhaps three perks, there are no other good perks on the gun, and with it no longer being acquirable, you may not have access to a strong roll of this weapon anymore.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Slideshot (also good: Ambitious Assassin)
  • Perk 2: Frenzy

How to get it: Ignition Code can be acquired from Xûr.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Ignition Code Destiny 2 artIgnition CodeGrenade LauncherLightweightLegendarySpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Best

S

PVEXûr
Free-to-Play
Season 14KineticNo

 

5. Pardon Our Dust

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

The Pardon Our Dust is a fantastic option released recently with the 30th Anniversary Pack. Players can obtain the Grenade Launcher through the gameplay loop involved with Dares of Eternity by earning treasure Keys to open the Treasure Chest by Xur.
The Pardon Our Dust is a consistent option that is not too hard to farm out and can roll with some excellent perks for boss damage or add control. Like most other Grenade Launchers, it comes with the standard Blinding Grenades or Spike Grenade. Furthermore, Pardon Our Dust can roll with perks like Ambitious Assassin, Auto-Loading Holster, Vorpal Weapon, Demolitionist or even damage perks such as Adrenaline Junkie, it is like the swiss-army knife of Legendary Grenade Launchers. It covers almost all bases and performs excellently across the entire game.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Ambitious Assassin)
  • Perk 2: Vorpal Weapon

How to get it: Pardon Our Dust can be acquired by completing Dares of Eternity runs or turning in Treasure keys in Eternity.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Pardon Our Dust Destiny 2 artPardon Our DustGrenade LauncherLightweightLegendarySpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PVEDares of Eternity
Free-to-Play
30th Anniversary eventKineticNo

 

Salvager's Salvo grenade launcher Destiny 2 featured

4. Salvager’s Salvo

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

Salvager’s Salvo is one of the most satisfying weapons in the game. With its set roll of Ambitious Assassin and Chain Reaction, Salvager’s Salvo becomes an add clearing beast. It can also deal some substantial damage as it comes with Spike Grenades and the choice of Vorpal Weapon in the final perk slot.

Salvager’s Salvo is still, to this day, is still one of the best options and a commonly used option, ranking 54th out of all weapons in terms of PvE usage on DestinyTracker.com’s usage list.

Another bonus for the Salvager’s Salvo is that it is straightforward to grab the quest from the Abandoned Quests terminal by the Postmaster and get grinding for it.

In PvP, Salvager’s Salvo is a powerful option due to its Spike Grenades. Grenade Launchers are still quite the menace in the Crucible. With the ability to score a one-hit kill on a direct hit, Salvager’s Salvo emerges as a simple and powerful option in PvP.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Ambitious Assassin (also good: Demolitionist)
  • Perk 2: Chain Reaction

How to get it: Salvager’s Salvo can be purchased at the Monument to Lost Lights in the Tower.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?

 

3. Dead Messenger

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE and PVP

The Dead Messenger is a new Exotic Grenade Launcher that dropped with The Witch Queen and is the first Exotic Wave-Frame to be introduced into Destiny 2.
The Dead Messenger comes with the perk that appears on both Hard Light and Borealis, The Fundamentals. This perk allows you to swap between Solar, Arc and Void damage making Dead Messenger a versatile option in Match Game content. This ‘changing element’ feature also allows it to synergise excellently with all of the revamped subclasses such as Void 3.0 and Solar or Arc 3.0 later.
However, what makes Dead Messenger different is the Trinary Vision perk which releases three waves instead of the regular one that comes with Legendary Wave Frames. This perk makes it a menace in the Crucible as it is much harder to avoid and forces you to jump, making it an easy kill for your opponent. In many players’ opinions, it will be one of the meta picks in Season 17 for fast and easy kills.

Exotic Perk: “One-shot handheld Grenade Launcher. Projectiles release a fan of three energy waves on contact with the ground. You can change damage type, cycling between Solar, Arc, and Void.”

How to get it: Dead Messenger can be acquired by completing an Exotic quest.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Dead Messenger Destiny 2 artDead MessengerGrenade LauncherExoticExoticSpecialVoidDeluxe EditionYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialVoid Void
Best

S

PVE + PVPExotic Quest
Deluxe Edition
Season 16EnergyNo

 

Forbearance Grenade Launcher Destiny 2 featured

2. Forbearance

Vanguard logo Destiny 2Best PVE Grenade Launcher in Destiny 2

The Forbearance is the new Special Ammo add clearing monster dropping from the new raid, Vow of the Disciple. Due to its perk pool and element, it is a direct rival to the Salvager’s Salvo, as Forbearance can also roll with perks such as Ambitious Assassin and Chain Reaction.
While the Forbearance is much harder to obtain, in my own and many other players’ opinions, it is well worth it as Forbearance is much easier to use than Salvager’s Salvo, but it also is much easier to use and can provide some better add clear too.
The ‘wave’ of damage that Wave-Frames provide is quite wide and easy to hit, even on the most mobile targets. However, with options like Salvager’s Salvo, you are more prone to missing and dealing hardly any damage. Overall, Forbearance is a weapon you undoubtedly want in your inventory.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Ambitious Assassin (also good: Unrelenting)
  • Perk 2: Chain Reaction

How to get it: Forbearance can be acquired by completing the second or final encounter of the Vow of the Disciple raid.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Forbearance Destiny 2 art v2ForbearanceGrenade LauncherWaveLegendarySpecialArcThe Witch QueenYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialArc Arc
Best

S

PVEVow of the Disciple Raid
The Witch Queen
Season 16EnergyCraftable

 

1. Witherhoard

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE and PVP

Witherhoard is one of the best weapons in the entire game. It provides damage over time, area denial, add clear and can counter some of the most oppressive abilities in the Crucible.
The main strength of Witherhoard lies in its versatility. It is one of the best add clearing weapons in the game as it can lock down spawn doors, not even giving the enemies a chance to spawn in and shoot you. This alone makes it a near must-have in your inventory for some of the game’s hardest and most prestigious pieces of content, such as Grandmaster Nightfalls or even Day One Raids.
In the Crucible, Witherhoard is one of the strongest counters to Ward of Dawn. Many in the PvP community agree to be powerful options in gamemodes such as Trials of Osiris or Competitive. Overall, Witherhoard is an excellent option and is a weapon you should have with you at all times.

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.”

How to get it: Witherhoard can be purchased at the Monument to Lost Lights in the Tower.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Witherhoard art Destiny 2WitherhoardGrenade LauncherExoticExoticSpecialKineticFree-to-PlayYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Best

S

PVE + PVPExotic Kiosk
Free-to-Play
Season 11KineticNo

Grenade Launchers in PVP: Lethality & TTK

TTK is particularly important in PVP, because the lowest the TTK, the faster you can kill your opponent. You can read all about it in our TTK guide.

However, TTK applies to Primary ammo weapons for the most part. When it comes to Special and Heavy ammo weapons, such as Grenade Launchers, you want an effective weapon that can consistently deliver one-hit-kills.

Heavy grenade launchers

In that department, Heavy grenade launchers can do the job. In fact, I like them a lot because their ammo economy (usually 3 grenades) can help you secure 3 kills if you play your cards right.

Special grenade launchers

Special ammo Grenade launchers were not made for one-hit-kills and it shows. However, they can still be excellent for area control. Witherhoard can do wonders there.

Grenade Launchers in PVE: DPS

DPS is important for PVE, because the higher the DPS, the more damage you can deal to a Boss or Major.

This DPS chart includes the DPS numbers for every weapon in Destiny 2. Below you can find the latest DPS figures for grenade launchers:

-Weapon TypeArchetypeAverage DPSBurst DPSTotal DamageSpecs--Best in ClassChange?Ammo

Are GENRE Meta?

We’ve talked about the best Grenade Launchers for PVE and PVP already, but how do they compare, in general, with other primary weapon types? In other words:

Are Grenade launchers good in Destiny 2?

The current Meta for PVE

This table summarizes how the several primary weapon types rank against each other in PVE:

Special ammo:

Weapon TypeRankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
Shotgun weapon type Destiny 2
Shotguns
S › Best
Best

S

► Shotguns are in a great place right now, and that's mainly due to the buff to slug shotguns but also the many new shotguns recently released with great stats and insane damage-dealing perks such as Reconstruction, Vorpal weapon, one-two punch, etc.

Overall, shotguns are finally hitting that sweet spot between risk and reward. Slug shotguns, in particular, are among the best shotguns in the game.
PVE Specials
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Grenade Launchers
S › Best
Best

S

► Special ammo Grenade launchers used to be Top tier, but that was only because of the Mountaintop. Technically, the Mountaintop is still one of the best (if not THE best) special weapon for PVE.

Thing is, Mountaintop will be retired with Beyond Light and won't be viable for endgame content anymore. And as much as people keep saying Truthteller will replace it, no other grenade launcher will be nearly as good as the Mountaintop.
PVE Specials
Sniper rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Sniper Rifles
A › Strong
Strong

A

► Up until Season of Dawn, snipers were the best PVE special weapons in the game. They were extremely lethal and safe to use in endgame content, as they allowed players to deal insane DPS from afar.

But Bungie decided to nerf them hard because they were "too safe", bringing them back to pre-Shadowkeep values. Except, they were buffed with Shadowkeep because they were too average...
PVE Specials
Fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Fusion Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

► Fusion rifles were recipients of a significant nerf some time ago, making them technically weaker than before.

That said, fusion rifles deserve more love, because even if they were nerfed, they are still powerful. They are capable of dealing more damage than snipers while being safer to use (due to having more range) than shotguns.
PVE Specials
Trace rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Trace Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

► Trace rifles don't have much going for them in PVP. They can deal respectable total damage, which can be useful on a boss. But in PVP, you wan't the opposite.

With insanely high TTKs (remember, high = bad), it can take forever to down an opponent, unless they're absolutely terrible and barely move at all, or you have excellent tracking. Generally speaking, Trace rifles take too long to do significant damage and most opponents will either hide or counter you with something that hits harder, such as a shotgun.
PVE Specials

Heavy ammo:

Weapon TypeRankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
Sword weapon type Destiny 2
Swords
S › Best
Best

S

-Main roles: Add Clear & Single Target damage (i.e. Boss damage).

Current State: Swords are incredibly strong right now. Several buffs and a huge rework during Season of the Worthy made them much more usable. They are now safer to use, have a better ammo economy, and can deal much more damage.

Swords are as high risk / high reward as it gets. If used right, a top-tier sword can basically delete any enemy, even on higher difficulties. No wonder The Lament and Falling Guillotine are still some of the best Power weapons available.
PVE Heavies
Rocket launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Rocket Launchers
A › Strong
Strong

A

Main role: Burst Damage (Secondary role: Add Clear)

Rocket launchers went through a rough patch that relegated to the least preferred Heavy weapon in the entire game.

Bungie has been hard at work at making them relevant again, and after two noticeable buffs, Rocket launchers are making a huge comeback. With great DPS potential and bigger magazines, they are among the best tools at your disposal, no matter the content.
PVE Heavies
Linear fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Linear Fusion Rifles
A › Strong
Strong

A

Main role: Single Target damage (Secondary role: Burst Damage)

Current State: Linear fusion rifles have been in the middle of an identity crisis for a while, but that should finally change this season. With increased damage to critical hits, Linear Fusions are now much more lethal and rewarding, provided you can hit your shots.

It's still too early to tell how meta they can become, but keep an eye on Sleeper Simulant, or a Threaded Needle with Vorpal Weapon. These will be among your top DPS options this season.
PVE Heavies
Machine gun weapon type Destiny 2
Machine Guns
B › Average
Average

B

Trend downMain role: Add Clear

Current State: Machine guns are not what they used to be, not for PVE at least. While a god-rolled Commemoration or a Thunderlord will definitely get the job done at clearing ads, they remain the shadow of their former selves.

Bungie itself has confirmed they need to be fine-tuned, but that could take a while... To be fair, they still have their place and have proven to be excellent to deal with elemental shields in Grandmaster Nightfall: The Ordeals.
PVE Heavies
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Grenade Launchers
B › Average
Average

B

Trend upMain role: Add Clear (Secondary role: Single Target Damage).

Current State: Grenade launchers went from the indisputable PVE choice to just an average, situational weapon type, in a matter of months.

To be fair, they remain viable, especially when getting too close to the enemy is impossible. Otherwise, they have been replaced by Swords as the go-to damage-dealing Heavy weapon type in the game.
PVE Heavies
Sniper rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Exotic Sniper Rifles
C › Weak
Weak

C

Trend upMain role: Single Target damage

Current State: Finally, we have Exotic Sniper rifles, a very niche choice represented by only 2 weapons, D.A.R.C.I and Whisper of the Worm.

Heavy Exotic Snipers are far from being meta right now. D.A.R.C.I is one of the most underwhelming Exoticsin the entire game, while Whisper of the Warm is the shadow of its former self due to the blanket nerf all snipers received a few seasons ago.
PVE Heavies

The current Meta for PVP

What about PVP? This table summarizes how they rank against each other in PVP:

Special ammo:

Weapon TypeRankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
Shotgun weapon type Destiny 2
Shotguns
S › Best
Best

S

Shotguns are so strong right now, they have been officially identified as a problem. They are simply too dominant in the current sandbox.

Shotguns are extremely lethal, easy to use, and encourage players to use them even more than primary weapons. And as Destiny 2's maps are relatively crowded (they were conceived for 8 players only), close-quarters combat is heavily encouraged, thus allowing shotguns to shine.
PVP Specials
Sniper rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Sniper Rifles
A › Strong
Strong

A

► Sniper rifles have always been a top choice for PVP. But unlike shotguns, they have a higher skill-ceiling. In other words, it's harder to master a sniper, but in the hands of a skilled player, there's nothing deadlier than a sniper rifle in the entire game.

Overall, snipers are in a weird place right now. Recent nerfs to their flinch and aim assist have made them harder to use, which lead to even more people using shotguns. But if you do cross paths with a sniper user, beware. If they are still using one, it's because they know how to use it...
PVP Specials
Trace rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Trace Rifles
A › Strong
Strong

A

► If you try to use Trace Rifles as any other Special weapon, you'll be very disappointed. Shotguns, snipers, and even fusion rifles are meant to be one-hit-kill weapons. Trace rifles, on the other hand, are not. They are slow.

But if you try to use them as a primary weapon, you'll see their true potential. With enough ammo, they behave like souped-up auto rifles, reaching the TTK of some of the best primary weapons in the game.
PVP Specials
Fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Fusion Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

► Fusion rifles have been struggling for a while. After their big range nerf a few seasons ago, mainly due to the infamous Erentil FR4, Fusion rifles have lagged behind shotguns and snipers.

Bungie is clearly trying to rectify the situation, offering a few minor buffs here in there. Fusion rifles still have a long way to go before becoming competitive again, but standouts such as Bastion or the newer PLUG.ONE can still dominate a lobby.
PVP Specials
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Grenade Launchers
B › Average
Average

B

► The reign of Special ammo Grenade launchers came to an end the day the Mountaintop was retired. And the Crucible has been a happier place ever since. Jokes aside, Mountaintop was a real problem. It was too strong, downright broken, while the rest of its kind left a lot to be desired.

These days, special ammo grenade launchers have finally found some balance. Some of the latest breechloaded grenade launchers are very good on paper, but unlike Mountaintop, they require some skill to be lethal in the Crucible.
PVP Specials

Heavy ammo:

Weapon TypeRankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
Rocket launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Rocket Launchers
S › Best
Best

S

Rocket launchers are in a great place right now for PVP. As ammo economy is not an issue in the Crucible, their insane high-burst damage per rocket allows them to shine.

Rocket launchers, and especially the exotics, can basically guarantee a kill without requiring much skill nor effort. And if used right, you can easily get multi kills in 6v6 modes. Rocket launchers even have a place in competitive modes, namely the Wardclif Coil, due to their consistency.
PVP Heavies
Machine gun weapon type Destiny 2
Machine Guns
A › Strong
Strong

A

Machine guns are always a safe bet in PVP. They have excellent TTK, are very consistent from medium to long-range, and have enough ammo to kill easily 2 to 3 guardians, 4 if you play your cards right.

Not all machine guns were created equal, though, as some of them are much stronger than the rest, especially the exotics (Heir Apparent immediately comes to mind). But with the right perks, legendary Machine guns can also shine
PVP Heavies
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Grenade Launchers
B › Average
Average

B

Grenade launchers can be good options in PVP. They are powerful and can come with great perks, including the newish Chain Reaction, which can easily net you multi kills when hitting enemies grouped together. When used with something like Proximity grenades, grenade launchers can be even more reliable and easy to use.

Compared to the other Power weapon in the game, grenade launchers remain strong contenders. And when you take into account the exotics, namely The Colony, they can basically give you free kills.
PVP Heavies
Sword weapon type Destiny 2
Swords
C › Weak
Weak

C

Swords may be a top-tier choice in PVE due to their high-risk, high reward approach. But in PVP, the risk is much higher than the reward.

You can, of course, use a sword to benefit from the third-person view and wait for opponents around corners. But in many situations, you could find yourself completely vulnerable out in the open while chasing an enemy. On top of that, 3-peeking with swords is considered a douchy approach by the community, and with reason!
PVP Heavies
Linear fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Linear Fusion Rifles
C › Weak
Weak

C

Linear fusion rifles are in the middle of an identity crisis. They are stronger than sniper rifles and have more aim assistance, but they still require Heavy ammo and a headshot to one-shot an enemy.

On top of that, they also have a charge time to take into account. Compared to a sniper rifle that fires immediately and only uses Special ammo, Linear Fusion rifles make little sense for the Crucible. In PVP, you want a Heavy weapon that can either easily down several guardians or guarantee a kill in a high-stakes match. It isn't impossible to do with a linear fusion rifle, but other weapon types can accomplish that more easily.
PVP Heavies

Your turn

You now know everything there is to know about Grenade launchers in Destiny 2, whether that is for PVP or PVE content.

Let's keep the conversation going

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