Best Hand Cannons in Destiny 2: Tier List for PVP and PVE

by | Jun 3, 2022 | Weapons

Hand cannons have been at the top of the meta since the early days of Destiny 1. 8 years later, they remain at the top for PVP. If you look carefully, you’ll see that the vast majority of serious PVP players are hand cannon users.

Hand cannons may not be as popular on the PVE side of the game but they remain extremely capable nonetheless, especially when they’re favored by seasonal mods.

This guide covers every Hand Cannon in Destiny 2, including both Exotic and Legendary hand cannons, as well as the best rolls for PVE and PVP.

Destiny 2 Hand Cannons Tier list

The Tier list below includes every Exotic and non-sunset legendary hand cannon in the game. 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
SunshotDestiny 2 Sunshot art
Sunshot
Hand CannonExoticPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesS › BestExotic Engram
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Exotic Engram

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

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

► The only remaining lightweight frame (150 RPM) hand cannon in the game, Sunshot is a one-of-a-kind weapon that destroys ads. While there are non-exotic options that could replace this, there's no question that Sunshot is extremely fun to use and nice to shoot.
Season 1
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon fires explosive rounds. Targets killed with Sunshot explode in Solar energy."
The PalindromeThe Palindrome Destiny 2 art
The Palindrome
Hand CannonAdaptivePrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayNoS › BestNightfall: The Ordeals
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Nightfall: The Ordeals

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

PVE God Roll: Outlaw + One for All
PVP God Roll: Killing Wind + Rangefinder

► With S-Tier perks for both PVE and PVP, great stats, and an adept version, there is nothing to hate about The Palindrome. Plus, it can get max range, can take advantage of Volatile Rounds, and it feels amazing to fire, making it one of the best legendary weapons in the game.
Season 13
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Outlaw + One for All
PVP God Roll: Killing Wind + Rangefinder
FatebringerFatebringer Destiny 2 art
Fatebringer
Hand CannonAdaptivePrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesS › BestVault of Glass Raid
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Vault of Glass Raid

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Explosive Payload + Firefly
PVP God Roll: Killing Wind + Opening Shot

► One of the most iconic legendary weapons in the game, Fatebringer comes with insane stats and great perks. While it does have some competition, namely Eyasluna, this almost-perfect Hand Cannon holds its ground as an all-time community favorite.
Season 14
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Explosive Payload + Firefly
PVP God Roll: Killing Wind + Opening Shot
EyaslunaEyasluna Destiny 2 art
Eyasluna
Hand CannonAdaptivePrimaryStasis30th AnniversaryYesS › BestGrasp of Avarice Dungeon
Best

S



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Grasp of Avarice Dungeon

30th Anniversary
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Outlaw + Headstone
PVP God Roll: Rangefinder + Kill Clip

► One of the most popular and beloved weapons from Destiny 1 has returned and it's even stronger than before. Eyasluna offers god-tier stats and an extremely good perk selection that will help it dominate the Crucible.
30th Anniversary event
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Outlaw + Headstone
PVP God Roll: Rangefinder + Kill Clip
Ace of SpadesDestiny 2 Ace of Spades art
Ace of Spades
Hand CannonExoticPrimaryKineticForsaken PackYesS › BestExotic Kiosk
Best

S



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic Kiosk

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

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."

► Arguably the best 140 RPM hand cannon in the game, Ace of Spades has a lot to offer. With excellent base stats and some of the best perks around, namely Momento Mori, which is like Kill Clip on steroids and the ability to see your radar while zoomed in, this weapon has a bit of everything.
Season 4
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

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."
LuminaDestiny 2 Lumina art
Lumina
Hand CannonExoticPrimaryKineticForsaken PackYesA › StrongExotic Kiosk
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Exotic Kiosk

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

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."

► Ever since it received a wide variety of stat and damage buffs in Season 16, Lumina has become an amazing hand cannon. It feels great to use, and the 35% buff it gives is rare to come by. Plus, with Solar 3.0, you can expect to see some new builds with this weapon very soon.
Season 7
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

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."
AustringerAustringer Destiny 2 art
Austringer
Hand CannonAdaptivePrimaryKineticSeason 17YesA › StrongDerelict Leviathan
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Derelict Leviathan
Season 17 Destiny 2 icon
Season 17
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Outlaw + Rampage
PVP God Roll: Eye of the Storm + Opening Shot (also good: Rangefinder)

► With a fanbase that rivals that of Spare Rations, nearly everyone was waiting for the day that Austringer came back. That day has come, and Austringer is once again a great pick for anything in the game. With amazing stats, even better perks, and the ability to be crafted, it's hard to not see why people love this weapon.
Season 17
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Outlaw + Rampage
PVP God Roll: Eye of the Storm + Opening Shot (also good: Rangefinder)
Nation of BeastsNation of Beasts Destiny 2
Nation of Beasts
Hand CannonAdaptivePrimaryArcForsaken PackYesA › StrongLast Wish Raid
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Last Wish Raid

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Outlaw + Dragonfly (also good: Kill Clip)

► Primarily known for its curated roll of Outlaw + Dragonfly, Nation of Beasts quickly became a very nice pick in PVE. It is a good hand cannon. It has always been. It just struggles to keep up with recently released monsters such as Eyasluna or The Palindrome.
Season 4
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Outlaw + Dragonfly (also good: Kill Clip)
Ancient GospelAncient Gospel Destiny 2 art
Ancient Gospel
Hand CannonAdaptivePrimarySolarShadowkeepYesA › StrongGarden of Salvation Raid
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Garden of Salvation Raid

Shadowkeep
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Outlaw) + Dragonfly (also good: Kill Clip)

► Even though it can roll with some great perks, there are simply too many other hand cannons that outclass the Ancient Gospel in a variety of ways. All that said, it isn't a bad choice for PVE whatsoever.
Season 8
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Outlaw) + Dragonfly (also good: Kill Clip)
Eriana's VowDestiny 2 Eriana's Vow art
Eriana's Vow
Hand CannonExoticSpecialSolarShadowkeepYesA › StrongExotic Kiosk
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Exotic Kiosk

Shadowkeep
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

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

► Previously a no-brainer in activities with Barrier Champions, Eriana's Vow now sits in the shadow of its main competitor: Arbalest. While still an extremely fun and unique gun that's worth using once in a while, this weapon just hasn't been able to keep up with the meta.
Season 8
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Special ammo Destiny 2 Special | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires special shield-piercing ammunition. Bonus damage when aiming down sights on the opening shot of an attack."
Igneous HammerIgneous Hammer Destiny 2 art
Igneous Hammer
Hand CannonAggressivePrimarySolarThe Witch QueenNoA › StrongTrials of Osiris
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVE
Trials of Osiris

The Witch Queen
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PVE God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Outlaw) + Rampage

► While not as strong as it previously was in Season of the Chosen, Igneous Hammer boasts the best stats out of all 120 RPM Hand Cannons and comes with some sweet perks. Even though it isn't currently meta, this weapon can excel in any environment you put it in.
Season 13
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PVE God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Outlaw) + Rampage
The Last WordDestiny 2 The Last Word
The Last Word
Hand CannonExoticPrimaryKineticForsaken PackYesA › StrongExotic Kiosk
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic Kiosk

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

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

► While The Last Word has been crazy on controller for years, mouse and keyboard users haven't had the same experience. Luckily, this weapon got buffed on M&K in Season 17, meaning you'll probably see a lot more of it.
Season 5
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon fires full auto. Hip-fire shots deal bonus precision damage while increasing reload speed and accuracy."
ThornDestiny 2 Thorn
Thorn
Hand CannonExoticPrimaryKineticForsaken PackYesA › StrongExotic Kiosk
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic Kiosk

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

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 slowling down. The damage over time is a pain to fight against in PVP, and it's a super fun gun to use in PVE as well. Even if the meta doesn't favor Thorn, it's still a great option.
Season 6
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Rounds pierce targets and deal damage over time. Kills leave behind Remnants which, when absorbed, increase damage."
Crimil's Dagger
Crimil’s Dagger
Hand CannonAggressivePrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayNoA › StrongIron Banner
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Iron Banner

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Rangefinder (also good: Outlaw ) + Kill Clip

► Though Aggressive Frame Hand Cannons were significantly nerfed a while ago, Crimil's can still two-tap with Kill Clip active. However, without the perk active, Crimil's Dagger (and any other 120 RPM hand cannon) lags behind the competition in PVP.
Season 11
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Rangefinder (also good: Outlaw ) + Kill Clip
Hawkmoon
Hawkmoon
Hand CannonExoticPrimaryKineticBeyond LightYesA › StrongXûr
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
Xûr

Beyond Light
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

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 didn't like 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 perhaps the best hand cannon we have ever seen. Despite this, Hawkmoon has a pretty obvious flaw: it’s only consistent if you are consistent.
Season 12
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

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."
Cantata-57Cantata-57 Destiny 2 art
Cantata-57
Hand CannonAdaptivePrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongWorld loot pool
Strong

A



Excels in:
PVP
World loot pool

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

PVP God Roll: Eye of the Storm + Opening Shot (also good: Rangefinder )

► Lots of players are calling the Cantata-57 the best Legendary Hand Cannon, and its impressive stats and powerful Origin Trait back that up. With several great perk combos, this is a great pick that rivals other top PVP hand cannons.
Season 16
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVP God Roll: Eye of the Storm + Opening Shot (also good: Rangefinder )
Waking VigilWaking Vigil Destiny 2 art
Waking Vigil
Hand CannonAdaptivePrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageDreaming City
Average

B



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Dreaming City

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

PVE God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Outlaw) + Kill Clip
PVP God Roll: Killing Wind + Opening Shot

► When it was first released, Waking Vigil was a hit in PVP. However, as we've gotten more and more weapons throughout the years, Waking Vigil has sadly been left in the dust. It can still roll with S-Tier perk combinations for both PVE and PVP, but it gets outclassed by other Hand Cannons like The Palindrome and Eyasluna.
Season 13
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Outlaw) + Kill Clip
PVP God Roll: Killing Wind + Opening Shot
Bottom DollarBottom Dollar Destiny 2 art
Bottom Dollar
Hand CannonAggressivePrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesB › AveragePlaylist: Gambit
Average

B



Excels in:
PVE + PVP
Playlist: Gambit

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

PVE God Roll: Outlaw + Rampage
PVP God Roll: Kiling Wind + Opening Shot

► Previously one of the best Hand Cannon during the 120 meta, Bottom Dollar sadly no longer sees nearly as much use. While it is a pain to grind, there are tons of good perk options for both PVE and PVP, making this Hand Cannon still worth using sometimes.
Season 13
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PVE God Roll: Outlaw + Rampage
PVP God Roll: Kiling Wind + Opening Shot
Seventh Seraph Officer Revolver
Seventh Seraph Officer Revolver
Hand CannonPrecisionPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesB › Average
Average

B



Excels in:
PVE


Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Fourth Time's The Charm + Multikill Clip (also good: Timed Payload)

► Like most of the other Seventh Seraph weapons, the Officer Revolver doesn't have the best perk pool. And since Warmind Cells were heavily nerfed a while ago, there isn't a point in using this gun. Its mediocre stats, lack of top-tier perk combinations, and frame, all make the Officer Revolver not worth using.
Season 10
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Fourth Time's The Charm + Multikill Clip (also good: Timed Payload)
Posterity
Posterity
Hand CannonPrecisionPrimaryArcBeyond LightYesB › AverageDeep Stone Crypt Raid
Average

B



Excels in:
PVE
Deep Stone Crypt Raid

Beyond Light
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Reconstruction (also good: Rapid Hit) + One for All (also good: Rampage)

► With an extremely strong perk pool and amazing stats, Posterity is easily the best 180RPM Hand Cannon in the game. Its only problem at the moment is that it's a Precision Hand Cannon, which are quite weak throughout the game. While it isn't the best choice now, it might be worth picking up a roll that you like for when 180s get buffed.
Season 12
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Reconstruction (also good: Rapid Hit) + One for All (also good: Rampage)
D.F.A.D.F.A. Destiny 2 art
D.F.A.
Hand CannonAdaptivePrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageNightfall: The Ordeals
Average

B



Excels in:
PVE
Nightfall: The Ordeals

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Outlaw + Rampage

► A community favorite back in Year 1, D.F.A. has been brought back in, sadly, a pretty average state. This weapon doesn't have the stats or perks to carry it in PVP, and while it can roll Outlaw / Rampage, there isn't too much here for high-level PVE content either.
Season 17
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Outlaw + Rampage
CrimsonDestiny 2 Crimson
Crimson
Hand CannonExoticPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageExotic Engram
Average

B



Excels in:
PVP
Exotic Engram

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

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

► Effectively a Hand Cannon version of Red Death from Destiny 1, Crimson received mixed reviews when it first came out that still hold up today. Just like The Last Word, Crimson is good on a controller in PVP but lacks everywhere else in the game.
Season 2
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon fires a 3-round burst. Kills with this weapon heal the wielder. Precision kills also refill the magazine."
Dire PromiseDire Promise Destiny 2 art
Dire Promise
Hand CannonAdaptivePrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageWorld loot pool
Average

B



Excels in:
PVP
World loot pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVP God Roll: Opening + Shot + Rangefinder

► With some good stats and S-Tier perks, it's pretty obvious why some people (including myself) love Dire Promise in PVP. However, as time has gone on and more things have come out, Dire Promise has sadly become outclassed by its competition. Nonetheless, this Hand Cannon will never be a bad pick and still feels great to use.
Season 10
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVP God Roll: Opening + Shot + Rangefinder
Survivor's EpitaphSurvivor's Epitaph Destiny 2 art
Survivor's Epitaph
Hand CannonPrecisionPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesB › AveragePlaylist: Crucible
Average

B



Excels in:
PVP
Playlist: Crucible

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PVP God Roll: Killing Wind + Kill Clip

► With numerous perks to give this weapon extra range and damage, Survivor's Epitaph is one of the better Precision Hand Cannons out there. Despite this, 180RPM Hand Cannons still lack everywhere in the game, and grinding for this one isn't fun.
Season 14
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PVP God Roll: Killing Wind + Kill Clip
Loud LullabyLoud Lullaby Destiny 2 art
Loud Lullaby
Hand CannonAggressivePrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageMoon
Average

B



Excels in:
PVP
Moon

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Moving Target (also good: Heating Up) + Kill Clip

► Since the recent nerf to 120 RPM hand cannons, Loud Lullaby is one of the only two 120 RPM hand cannons that can 2-tap Guardians in the Crucible thanks to the perk Kill Clip. With the potential to roll with Kill Clip and Surplus to improve its average stats, Loud Lullaby is definitely worth farming for PVP.
Season 14
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Moving Target (also good: Heating Up) + Kill Clip
Annual SkateAnnual Skate Destiny 2 art
Annual Skate
Hand CannonAdaptivePrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageWorld loot pool
Average

B



Excels in:
PVP
World loot pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVP God Roll: Outlaw + Opening Shot

► Annual Skate doesn't turn many heads with its average stats and scarce S-Tier perks. While this weapon could be considered average, there are too many above-average options to make this one worth using.
Season 15
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVP God Roll: Outlaw + Opening Shot
MalfeasanceDestiny 2 Malfeasance art
Malfeasance
Hand CannonExoticPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageExotic Quest
Average

B



Exotic Quest

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

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."

► One of the more interesting Hand Cannons on this list, Malfeasance still really hasn't found a solid place in the game. While it does excel at killing Taken and invaders in Gambit, that's an incredibly small niche. Plus, it's a part of the most lacking archetype, making it a poor choice everywhere else.
Season 4
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

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."
JudgmentJudgment Destiny 2 art
Judgment
Hand CannonAdaptivePrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageProphecy Dungeon
Average

B



Prophecy Dungeon

Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Demolitionist + Adrenaline Junkie (also good: Timed Payload)

► Considered underrated by a small portion of the community, Judgment does have some interesting perk combinations that can't be found on many other Hand Cannons. While this gun has found its small place in the game, it's hard to rank Judgment too high because of all the other amazing options.
Season 15
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Demolitionist + Adrenaline Junkie (also good: Timed Payload)
Frontier's CryFrontier's Cry Destiny 2 art
Frontier's Cry
Hand CannonPrecisionPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageIron Banner
Average

B



Iron Banner

Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Rapid Hit + Kill Clip

► Frontier's Cry can actually roll with some decent perks, but still falls flat in every activity as Precision Frame Hand Cannons aren't very good.
Season 16
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Rapid Hit + Kill Clip
SturmDestiny 2 Sturm art
Sturm
Hand CannonExoticPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakExotic Kiosk
Weak

C



Exotic Kiosk

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

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

► After its time in the spotlight in Season of the Chosen, Sturm has returned to being a pretty niche pick. Even if you play into the gameplay loop of using this gun by equipping Drang, it just feels like a lot of work for not too much payoff. While unique and fun at times, Sturm just isn't a top-tier pick right now.
Season 1
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Kills fill the magazine of the equipped Energy weapon from reserves. Kills with Drang reload this weapon and provides bonus damage."
True Prophecy
True Prophecy
Hand CannonAggressivePrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesC › Weak
Weak

C





Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Opening Shot + Rampage

► While True Prophecy used to be a top-tier PVP pick, it now has fallen from grace along with all other 120RPM Hand Cannons. If 120s get a buff, this weapon will return to being a great choice; for now, however, you're better off using a 140.
Season 10
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Opening Shot + Rampage
Nature of the Beast
Nature of the Beast
Hand CannonPrecisionPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakWorld loot pool
Weak

C



World loot pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PVP God Roll: Quickdraw + Rangefinder

► Containing average stats and a weak perk selection, Nature of the Beast doesn't have much going for it. This weapon is in one of the worst archetypes in the game (Precision Hand Cannons), and its stats/perks don't help it, making this a weapon that should just be used for infusion material.
Season 11
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PVP God Roll: Quickdraw + Rangefinder
IKELOS_HC_v1.0.2
IKELOS_HC_v1.0.2
Hand CannonPrecisionPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakWorld loot pool
Weak

C



World loot pool

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

PVE God Roll: Subsistence (also good: Triple Tap) + Rampage

► Coming in with only slightly above average stats and very few top-tier perks, IKELOS_HC_v1.0.2 doesn't do too much that other weapons can't. If 180RPM Hand Cannons ever get buffed, this might be worth a second look--for now, though, there isn't much of a reason to go searching for this weapon.
Season 11
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Subsistence (also good: Triple Tap) + Rampage
The Steady Hand
The Steady Hand
Hand CannonAggressivePrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayNoC › WeakIron Banner
Weak

C



Iron Banner

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Killing Wind + Swashbuckler

► Just like all other 120RPM Hand Cannons, The Steady Hand has gradually become a less desirable option in PVP. Plus, the only damage perk it has is Swashbuckler, which makes it harder to two-tap with this weapon compared to True Prophecy, Loud Lullaby, or Crimil's Dagger.
Season 12
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Killing Wind + Swashbuckler
VulpeculaVulpecula Destiny 2 art
Vulpecula
Hand CannonPrecisionPrimaryStasisFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakXûr
Weak

C



Xûr

Free-to-Play
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Outlaw + Headstone (also good: Explosive Payload)

► Releasing with the first round of Stasis Legendary Weapons in Season 15, Vulpecula was originally loved because it was the only Stasis Hand Cannon in the game. However, with the addition of Eyasluna, there isn't a place for this 180 RPM hand cannon anymore.
Season 15
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Outlaw + Headstone (also good: Explosive Payload)
Crisis InvertedCrisis Inverted Destiny 2 art
Crisis Inverted
Hand CannonAdaptivePrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakPlaylist: Crucible
Weak

C



Playlist: Crucible

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

PVP God Roll: Compulsive Reloader + Rangefinder (also good: Opening Shot)

► Crisis Inverted can roll with some top-tier PVP perks and has nice synergy between Compulsive Reloader and Omolon Fluid Dynamics. However, with its fairly low range stat and gigantic perk pool, this weapon isn't worth farming over the Cantata-57, Eyasluna, or Palindrome.
Season 16
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVP God Roll: Compulsive Reloader + Rangefinder (also good: Opening Shot)
Finite ImpactorFinite Impactor Destiny 2 art
Finite Impactor
Hand CannonAggressivePrimaryArcFree-to-PlayNoD › WorstIron Banner
Worst

D



Iron Banner

Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Killing Wind + Iron Reach

► Being an Adaptive Frame Hand Cannon, Finite Impactor has some tough competition with S-Tier picks like The Palindrome and Eyasluna. And with some abysmal overall stats and mediocre perks, this weapon sadly ends up being one of the weakest 140s in the game.
Season 14
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PVP God Roll: Killing Wind + Iron Reach

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 Hand Cannons in 2022

This section not only covers the top hand cannons 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 hand cannons for PVE and PVP.

 

Nation of Beasts hand cannon Destiny 2 featured

10. Nation of Beasts

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

Nation of Beasts has slowly gotten less attention as time has gone on, but it’s still an amazing choice.

This weapon has a small but mighty perk pool. There are only one or two bad perks total, and with only four perks per column, every roll you get is bound to be a keeper.

While Nation of Beasts has tons of S-Tier perk combinations, there’s one roll that is this weapon’s claim to fame: Outlaw + Dragonfly. This perk combination is extremely fun and can only be found on a handful of Hand Cannons, making this one still worth using.

Sure, it’s no Palindrome or Eyasluna, but Nation of Beasts can get the job done nicely. And with Arc 3.0 on the horizon, you can expect this gun to excel even more very soon.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Outlaw
  • Perk 2: Dragonfly (also good: Rampage)

How to get it: Nation of Beasts can be acquired by completing encounters in the Last Wish raid.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Nation of Beasts Destiny 2Nation of BeastsHand CannonAdaptiveLegendaryPrimaryArcForsaken PackYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Strong

A

PVELast Wish Raid
Forsaken Pack
Season 4EnergyNo

 

The Last Word hand cannon Destiny 2 featured

9. The Last Word

Crucible logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVP

Despite The Last Word being crazy on a controller, it’s hard to rank it too high here because of its lacking performance on mouse and keyboard.

Arguably the most unique Hand Cannon on this Top 10, The Last Word fires at 225RPM and encourages you to hip-fire. Not only does this make you feel like a space cowboy, but it also allows you to kill a Guardian in a whopping 0.53 seconds.

That said, this weapon does have its drawbacks, namely its range and stability stats. While these stats are some of the lowest out of all Hand Cannons, they don’t remove Last Word from the picture completely and are simply there to counteract its crazy TTK.

Overall, this is a great pick for anyone using a controller and might be a fun choice every once in a while for mouse and keyboard players too. However, it’s hard to give this Hand Cannon a fair ranking because of the drastically different experiences you’ll see on different platforms.

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

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

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Destiny 2 The Last WordThe Last WordHand CannonExoticExoticPrimaryKineticForsaken PackYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PVPExotic Kiosk
Forsaken Pack
Season 5KineticNo

 

Cantata 57 hand cannon Destiny 2 featured

8. Cantata-57

Crucible logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVP

One of the best weapons to come out of The Witch Queen DLC, Cantata-57 surprised everybody when it was released.

Most easily described as a toned-down version of Eyasluna or The Palindrome, Cantata has some of the same things going for it. Good overall stats, S-Tier perks, and even something that the other two don’t have: a top-tier Origin Trait.

While all these things allow it to compete with some of the best Hand Cannons in the game, it does still get outclassed. There are options with better stats and perks, and Cantata has almost nothing for PVE players.

That said, however, Cantata-57 shouldn’t be overlooked, and can still excel in its own right if you get a sweet roll.

PVP God roll:

  • Perk 1: Eye of the Storm
  • Perk 2: Opening Shot (also good: Rangefinder)

How to get it: Cantata-57 can be randomly acquired as end-of-match activities, from the Gunsmith, Legendary engrams and Prime engrams.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Cantata-57 Destiny 2 artCantata-57Hand CannonAdaptiveLegendaryPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Strong

A

PVPWorld loot pool
Free-to-Play
Season 16EnergyNo

 

Sunshot hand cannon Destiny 2 featured

7. Sunshot

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE and PVP

While Sunshot seems very simple at first glance compared to other Exotics, it’s one of the best feeling and most fun weapons to use out there right now.

In PVE, Sunshot is extremely fun, allowing you to disintegrate enemies into explosions of Solar energy. And with the 40% damage buff to all Exotic primary weapons in The Witch Queen, this weapon feels better than ever to shoot.

Because of its intrinsic explosive rounds (which heavily flinch opponents), this weapon is an underrated menace in PVP as well. Sunshot is also the only remaining 150RPM Hand Cannon, meaning it increases your movement speed while holding it, and it has a slightly faster base TTK than 140RPM (Adaptive) Hand Cannons.

Overall, there really isn’t anything to hate about Sunshot. It’s unique, fun, and can pack a punch in any activity you use it in.

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

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

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Destiny 2 Sunshot artSunshotHand CannonExoticExoticPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Best

S

PVE + PVPExotic Engram
Free-to-Play
Season 1EnergyNo

 

Ace of Spades hand cannon Destiny 2 featured

6. Ace of Spades

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE and PVP

If you went back to a random period of time in Destiny 2 and asked if Ace of Spades was good, the answer would almost always be an astounding “Yes!”.

Ace of Spades is arguably the most well-rounded Hand Cannon, having something for everyone. High stats? Check. A damage perk? Check. Explosions? Of course! This weapon has seemingly no drawbacks and has pseudo-Kill Clip, Outlaw, Firefly, and Third Eye (allowing you to see your radar while aiming down sights) all built in.

All of that said, this weapon has only really been meta a couple of times, as there have always been legendary weapons that get the job done just as well. However, that’s no reason to write off Ace of Spades, as it still continues to excel everywhere in the game.

If you want a strong Hand Cannon to use out of the box without needing to grind for a good roll, Ace of Spades has your back.

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.”

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

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Destiny 2 Ace of Spades artAce of SpadesHand CannonExoticExoticPrimaryKineticForsaken PackYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Best

S

PVPExotic Kiosk
Forsaken Pack
Season 4KineticNo

 

Hawkmoon hand cannon Destiny 2 featured

5. Hawkmoon

Crucible logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVP

Potentially the most anticipated weapon theorized to come to Destiny 2, Hawkmoon had some mixed reviews at its release. While some people were stuck on the fact that it isn’t too similar to its original Destiny 1 version, others looked past that and found that it’s one of the strongest Hand Cannons in the game.

The premise of this gun is simple: it fires normally, until the last shot. That last shot does extra damage depending on how many precision hits you landed throughout the rest of the magazine. This perk can get strong pretty quickly, and can even allow you to 1-shot a Guardian with the right amount of stacks.

Despite this, Hawkmoon has a pretty obvious flaw: it’s only consistent if you are consistent. To make this weapon strong, you need to be on your A-game all the time. And while this is a fun and strong choice at times, other options just don’t require as much consistency from you to be just as good.

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.”

How to get it: Hawkmoon can be acquired from Xûr.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
HawkmoonHand CannonExoticExoticPrimaryKineticBeyond LightYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PVPXûr
Beyond Light
Season 12KineticNo

 

Thorn hand cannon Destiny 2 featured

4. Thorn

Crucible logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVP

Another Exotic Hand Cannon returning from Destiny 1, Thorn has been a fan favorite throughout the entire franchise.

The damage over time effect it puts onto enemies is extremely annoying to fight against as it almost completely removes the ability to heal during a gunfight. Not only that but with the Soul Devourer perk active, the enhanced damage over time can allow you to kill low-resilience Guardians in only two shots.

This exotic feels nice to shoot, is easy to use, and is extremely tough to fight against. While it may not be strong enough to break the Top 3, Thorn is still an amazing choice that shouldn’t be passed up.

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

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

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Destiny 2 ThornThornHand CannonExoticExoticPrimaryKineticForsaken PackYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PVPExotic Kiosk
Forsaken Pack
Season 6KineticNo

 

Fatebringer hand cannon Destiny 2 featured

3. Fatebringer

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE and PVP

Starting the Top 3 strong is Fatebringer, one of the most iconic weapons in the franchise. This weapon was extremely strong and unique in Destiny 1, and with off-the-charts stats and unique perk combinations, it doesn’t disappoint in Destiny 2.

Beginning in PVE, Fatebringer’s strongest roll is the same one that made it famous in Destiny 1: Explosive Payload + Firefly. While the number of explosions you create with this roll might be considered overkill by some, it’s hard to deny that seeing so many numbers on your screen is loads of fun. Plus, Firefly has Outlaw built-in, which means there isn’t even a reason for a reload speed perk.

As we step onto the PVP side of things, Fatebringer only shines brighter. With some of the best base stats in the game and the simple yet effective roll of Killing Wind + Opening Shot, this weapon is a lot of players’ go-to Hand Cannon for the Crucible.

There isn’t anything to hate about this weapon. With amazing stats, great perks, and an adept version for PVP, or the ability to become a mini-Sunshot in PVE, Fatebringer has a little something for everyone.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Explosive Payload
  • Perk 2: Firefly (also good: Kill Clip)

PVP God roll:

  • Perk 1: Killing Wind (also good: Explosive Payload)
  • Perk 2: Opening Shot

How to get it: Fatebringer can be acquired by completing the third or fourth encounters of the Vault of Glass raid.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Fatebringer Destiny 2 artFatebringerHand CannonAdaptiveLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Best

S

PVE + PVPVault of Glass Raid
Free-to-Play
Season 14KineticNo

 

The Palindrome hand cannon Destiny 2 featured

2. The Palindrome

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE and PVP

Arguably the most well-rounded Legendary Hand Cannon in Destiny 2, The Palindrome is a perfect addition to any Guardians’ arsenal.

This is one of the best PVP Hand Cannons we have to date. It boasts an absurd 55 range stat along with the S-Tier perks of Killing Wind, Rangefinder, and Quickdraw. Not only that, but it also has an outstanding aim assistance stat and almost-perfect recoil direction, making it feel like a dream to fire. Plus, this weapon is pretty amazing in PVE as well, coming with some great perks and allowing you to take advantage of Volatile Rounds.

All that being said, it’s hard to imagine why this isn’t number one on this list. The main reason is for the removal of Rampage in its perk pool, which really hurt this weapon on the PVE front. However, it can still be argued that any of these Top 3 Hand Cannons are better than one another, and it’s hard to come up with a final verdict. That being said, this is a great weapon all-around, and you should definitely go search for a roll before it inevitably leaves the weapon rotation for a bit.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Outlaw
  • Perk 2: One for All

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Killing Wind (also good: Quickdraw)
  • Perk 2: Rangefinder

How to get it: The Palindrome can be acquired by completing Nightfall: The Ordeals (the highest difficulties have increased drop rates).

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
The Palindrome Destiny 2 artThe PalindromeHand CannonAdaptiveLegendaryPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayNoPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Best

S

PVE + PVPNightfall: The Ordeals
Free-to-Play
Season 13EnergyNo

 

Eyasluna hand cannon Destiny 2 featured

1. Eyasluna

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE and PVP

Finishing our Top 10 off is Eyasluna from the Grasp of Avarice dungeon, another great choice for PVE and PVP players alike.

When looking at this gun in PVE, there are a couple of different routes you could go that all make this an S-Tier weapon. If you’re looking for a weapon for your Stasis build, Outlaw + Headstone is the obvious choice. However, Kill Clip and Demolitionist are also great options in the second column if you’re looking for something a bit more generalized.

In PVP, this gun is a menace. Boasting the highest base range stat of all Legendary 140RPM Hand Cannons at 56, and above-average stats in every other category, it’s no wonder this weapon feels so nice to fire. Not only that, but Rangefinder in the first column can bump that stat up even more, and Moving Target in the second column makes this even more consistent.

While Eyasluna doesn’t have an adept version like The Palindrome or Fatebringer does, its unique Stasis abilities, absurd stats, and unrivaled Crucible perks make it better than any other Hand Cannon in the game right now.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Outlaw (also good: Rapid Hit)
  • Perk 2: Headstone (also good: Kill Clip)

PVP God roll:

  • Perk 1: Rangefinder
  • Perk 2: Moving Target

How to get it: Eyasluna can be acquired by completing the Grasp of Avarice dungeon.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceObtainable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Eyasluna Destiny 2 artEyaslunaHand CannonAdaptiveLegendaryPrimaryStasis30th AnniversaryYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStasis Stasis
Best

S

PVE + PVPGrasp of Avarice Dungeon
30th Anniversary
30th Anniversary eventKineticNo

Are Hand Cannons Meta?

How do they compare, in general, with other primary weapon types? In other words: Are hand cannons good in Destiny 2?

The current Meta for PVE

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

Weapon TypeRankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
SMG weapon type Destiny 2
Submachine Guns
S › Best
Best

S

Submachine guns are in a great place right now. With good DPS, decent ammo, and acceptable range, SMGs are seen as the perfect compromise between range and damage.

On top of that, specific SMGs such as the IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.2 or Extraordinary Rendition are exceptionally good. True top-tier PVE choices, including endgame activities.
PVE Primaries
Auto rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Auto Rifles
A › Strong
Strong

A

Auto rifles, in general, are not as strong as SMGs. They simply cannot do as much damage as SMG.
On the flip side, they offer better range, and in some situations, excellent ammo.

But a few auto rifles can truly excel and can be easily considered S-tier individually, namely the 720 RPM Chroma Rush and the 600 RPM Gnawing Hunger.
PVE Primaries
Sidearm weapon type Destiny 2
Sidearms
A › Strong
Strong

A

Sidearms may be some of the most slept on weapons in Destiny 2. Most guardians prefer to stay away from them due to their limited range. But on the other hand, their DPS is unmatched as long as you can get close enough to stay within their optimal range.

This makes sidearms slightly riskier in endgame content such as Grandmaster content.
PVE Primaries
Hand cannon weapon type Destiny 2
Hand Cannons
A › Strong
Strong

A

While Hand cannons easily dominate in PVP, they are currently lackluster in the DPS department. Their DPS is so poor, even Bungie acknowledged it and already announced an incoming PVE buff.

But to be fair, they are still viable for Master and Grandmaster content, mainly due to their peak shooting capabilities.
PVE Primaries
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Pulse Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

Pulse rifles are true work horses. They do reasonable damage, have a good range, and are, overall, safe and easy to use in Master and Grandmaster content.

They may not excel in the DPS department, are still extremely solid all-around choices.
PVE Primaries
Scout rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Scout Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

Scout rifles are slowly making a comeback. They will be easily outclassed by every other weapon types in most content, but they are proving to be excellent for endgame content.

Their long range, combined with the surprisingly high DPS of some of the best Pulses, makes them finally viable for endgame content.
PVE Primaries
Combat bow weapon type Destiny 2
Combat Bows
C › Weak
Weak

C

Combat bows can truly excel in some niche situations. Namely, in very difficult content in which you want to stay as far away from enemies as possible.

With virtually infinite range, bows can deal good damage from insane distances.
PVE Primaries

The current Meta for PVP

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

Weapon TypeRankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
Hand cannon weapon type Destiny 2
Hand Cannons
S › Best
Best

S

Hand Cannons are and have always been the top PVP choice in Destiny. Nerfs can bring them slightly down and give other weapon types a chance, but in the end, the top players will always gravitate towards hand cannons.

It all comes down to the very nature of hand cannons. They can deal a lot of damage in a short amount of time, meaning they are perfect at peak shooting in and out of cover (something an auto rifle, for example, cannot do).
PVP Primaries
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Pulse Rifles
S › Best
Best

S

Sometimes referred to as "dad rifles", pulse rifles are generally easier to use, have a good range, and good aim assist. And with the recent buff to the High-Impact archetype, top pulses, such as The Messenger, have become some of the most lethal weapons in the Crucible.

And by the way, not all Pulses behave the same. Some, such as Adaptive frames, are somewhat easy to use and could be considered "Dad rifles", whereas High-impacts are harder to master but have some of the most lethal time-to-kill in the entire game.
PVP Primaries
Sidearm weapon type Destiny 2
Sidearms
A › Strong
Strong

A

For some reason, Sidearms have never been particularly popular in PVP. But things are definitely changing, especially since their target acquisition was buffed last year. You now see more and more top players main sidearms alongside their favorite sniper.

On paper, sidearms certainly have a limited range, which puts them in direct competition with shotguns, but Sidearms still offer the best TTKs among primary weapons in Destiny 2. Don't be surprised to see them gain momentum as shotguns continue to receive nerfs.
PVP Primaries
SMG weapon type Destiny 2
Submachine Guns
B › Average
Average

B

SMGs are far from being the "meta" choice in PVP. Other weapons types can be almost as lethal while significantly offering better range.

Still, SMGs can get the job done. In fact, a very good SMG with the right perks, such as the new Shayura's Wrath or the Multimach CCX, can be a true menace in the Crucible, with low TTKs and decent range.
PVP Primaries
Combat bow weapon type Destiny 2
Combat Bows
B › Average
Average

B

Combat bows are definitely a niche choice for PVP. You will rarely see a guardian using a bow in the Crucible, and that's because bows are far from being the most optimal tool to get the job done.

With a headshot, bows can "almost" kill an enemy, but during the time you'll need to shoot a second arrow, your enemy will be either gone or you will be already dead. Exceptions such as Le Monarque do exist of course, but in general, you'll be better served with other weapon types.
PVP Primaries
Auto rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Auto Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

Auto rifles had their 15 minutes of fame when they received a significant buff in Season of the Worthy, especially the 600 RPM variants. But Auto rifles were quickly reigned in and brought back to their usual place: the middle of the pack.

Every now and then, an outlier will see some usage in the Crucible, such as the new Chroma Rush, but in general, ARs suffer from a big drawback: They force you to stay out of cover all the time (unlike a hand cannon or pulse), which makes them less effective in competitive modes or against skilled users.
PVP Primaries
Scout rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Scout Rifles
C › Weak
Weak

C

To be clear, everything this applies to every Scout rifle in the game, except Dead Man's Tale, an exponentially superior Scout than the rest.

Whether we're talking about PVE or PVP, Scout rifles have been in a sad state for a long time. In PVP, they have some of the worst TTKs in the game and will lose most fights in close to medium range. They do offer good range, but most maps cater to closed-quarter combat.
PVP Primaries

Your turn

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

Let's keep the conversation going

Have questions about this post, Destiny 2 in general, or are simply looking for a friendly D2-focused community?

Check out our community Discord (already 500 guardians strong!).

0 Comments
Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Improve your Destiny 2 experience

Subscribe and receive all the Weekly Reset challenges, essential loot, farming tips, and more!

You have Successfully Subscribed!