Best Machine Guns in Destiny 2: Tier List for PvP and PvE

by | Mar 5, 2024

Machine guns have been underwhelming for a long time, but thanks to recent buffs, they have finally claimed their place in the meta. In fact, today’s top-tier machine guns can easily compete with the best weapons in the game.

This guide covers every Machine Gun in Destiny 2, including both Exotic and Legendaries, as well as the best rolls for PvE and PvP.

s23 Season of the Wish icon Destiny 2 Updated as of Season of the Wish (S23). See Updates.

Destiny 2 Best Machines Guns: Top-tier Options

This Tier list features the best Exotic and Legendary Machine Guns right now, including the reissued Brave Hammerhead:

ItemWeaponsTypeArchetypeAmmo?Element?RequirementsIn loot pool?RankSourceAvailable?Tier rankSource ❘ DLCFinal VerdictReleasedPerksBest of?
Commemoration class=
Commemoration
Machine GunAdaptiveHeavyVoidBeyond LightYesS › BestDeep Stone Crypt RaidCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Deep Stone Crypt Raid
Beyond Light Destiny 2 icon
Beyond Light
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Reconstruction + Killing Tally (also good: Rampage)
PvP God Roll: Rapid Hit + Killing Tally

►Commemoration remains a top contender amongst machine guns even years after its introduction. Reconstruction paired with the 30% damage buff offered by Killing Tally, makes this a no-brainer option in PvE. Given that Machine Guns are some of the few heavy weapons in PvP that can reasonably get a lot of kills, it's easy to see why players will enjoy using Commemoration.
Season 12
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Reconstruction + Killing Tally (also good: Rampage)
PvP God Roll: Rapid Hit + Killing Tally
Top-tier
Corrective MeasureCorrective Measure art
Corrective Measure
Machine GunAdaptiveHeavyVoidFree-to-PlayYesS › BestVault of Glass RaidCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Vault of Glass Raid
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Rewind Rounds (also good: Subsistence) + One for All (also good: Firefly)

► Corrective Measure is still one of the best Machine guns in the entire game. With great perks, a good archetype, and a nice 'feel' to it, Corrective Measure is a weapon you can't go wrong with.
Season 14
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Rewind Rounds (also good: Subsistence) + One for All (also good: Firefly)
Top-tier
Unwavering DutyUnwavering Duty art
Unwavering Duty
Machine GunAdaptiveHeavySolarLightfallYesS › BestTrials of OsirisCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Trials of Osiris
Lightfall Preorder icon
Lightfall
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Subsistence + Incandescent (also good: Killing Tally)

► Unwavering Duty is one of the best Machine guns in the game right now. While you do need to play Trials of Osiris to get it, it will be absolutely worth it if you're looking for a top-tier Solar Adaptive Frame.
Season 19
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Subsistence + Incandescent (also good: Killing Tally)
Top-tier
ThunderlordDestiny 2 Thunderlord art
Thunderlord
Machine GunExoticHeavyArcForsaken PackYesA › StrongExotic EngramCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Exotic Engram
Forsaken Destiny 2 icon
Forsaken Pack
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

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

► One of the all-time Destiny greats, Thunderlord is the cream of the crop when it comes to Machine Guns. With a good archetype, an excellent exotic perk, and a brilliant catalyst, Thunderlord easily lands in the S tier. It excels everywhere: Ad clear, DPS, and even PvP!
Season 4
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Kills with this weapon generate lightning strikes from above and increase reload speed for a short time."
Top-tier
XenophageDestiny 2 Xenophage
Xenophage
Machine GunExoticHeavySolarShadowkeepYesA › StrongExotic QuestCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Quest
Shadowkeep Destiny 2 icon
Shadowkeep
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires high-powered explosive ammunition. Aiming this weapon increases its effective range and zoom magnification."

► While Xenophage was once at the top of the damage rankings, it has been tapered down quite a bit with nerfs. You'll find that other Exotics, such as Thunderlord and Heir Apparent, will out-damage it, but its uniquely high range and fire rate still give it a useful role in the sandbox.
Season 8
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires high-powered explosive ammunition. Aiming this weapon increases its effective range and zoom magnification."
Top-tier
Grand OvertureGrand Overture art
Grand Overture
Machine GunExoticHeavyArcThe Witch QueenYesA › StrongExotic KioskCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Kiosk
The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Witch Queen
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Heavy slug launcher that charges, then fires full auto while the trigger is held. Land hits with the slug launcher to load missiles and then fire to launch all missiles in a single volley."

► Grand Overture is one of the best picks for burst DPS right now. Only rivaled by Parasite, Grand Overture can be used in a myriad of situations. This machine gun is perfect for encounters that require burst damage, but it also delivers solid total damage numbers.
Season 16
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Heavy slug launcher that charges, then fires full auto while the trigger is held. Land hits with the slug launcher to load missiles and then fire to launch all missiles in a single volley."
Top-tier
Fixed OddsFixed Odds art
Fixed Odds
Machine GunHigh-ImpactHeavySolarDeluxe EditionYesA › StrongDuality DungeonCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Duality Dungeon
The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Deluxe Edition
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: High-Impact

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy + Incandescent (also good: Rampage)

► A fan favorite, Fixed Odds is one of the best options among slow-firing Machine guns. Offering a fine selection of perks, Fixed Odds is a great pick and performs nicely in more difficult content featuring beefier enemies.
Season 17
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: High-Impact

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy + Incandescent (also good: Rampage)
Top-tier
Qullim’s TerminusQullim’s Terminus art
Qullim’s Terminus
Machine GunHigh-ImpactHeavyStasisFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongKing's Fall RaidCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
King's Fall Raid
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: High-Impact

PvE God Roll: Unrelenting + Killing Tally (also good: Headstone)

► Qullim's Terminus is a solid option. But due to its strong competition, namely the Fixed Odds, Qullim's can feel a bit pointless. That said, just because another weapon surpasses it doesn't mean Qullim's is bad. If you have a good roll, hold on to it!
Season 18
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: High-Impact

PvE God Roll: Unrelenting + Killing Tally (also good: Headstone)
Top-tier
Retrofit EscapadeRetrofit Escapade art

Retrofit Escapade
Machine GunRapid-FireHeavyVoidThe Witch QueenYesA › StrongOperation: Seraph's ShieldCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Operation: Seraph's Shield
The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Witch Queen
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PvE God Roll: Fourth Time's the Charm + Target Lock (also good: Rampage)

► Retrofit Escapade remains one of the most popular heavy machine guns in the game due to its excellent damage output. While there are alternatives for higher damage output using other weapon types, Retrofit Escapade is a consistent and reliable weapon.
Season 19
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PvE God Roll: Fourth Time's the Charm + Target Lock (also good: Rampage)
Top-tier
Circular LogicCircular Logic art
Circular Logic
Machine GunAdaptiveHeavyStrandLightfallYesA › StrongTerminal OverloadCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Terminal Overload
Lightfall Preorder icon
Lightfall
Slot: Strand Element Strand | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

God Rolls: Feeding Frenzy + Hatchling (also good: Demolitionist)

► Adaptive Frame variants have always been the go-to machine guns for most players, providing a perfect balance between all stats. This, in addition to Circular Logic’s unique Strand element, makes for a great weapon in all scenarios.
Season 20
Slot: Strand Element Strand | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

God Rolls: Feeding Frenzy + Hatchling (also good: Demolitionist)
Top-tier
Song of Ir YûtSong of Ir Yût art
Song of Ir Yût
Machine GunAdaptiveHeavyArcFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongCrota's End RaidCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Crota's End Raid
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Reconstruction + Target Lock

► A candidate for best arc heavy machine gun in the game, the Cursed Thrall origin trait coupled with a great perk pool offered here make this weapon a PvE favorite.
Season 22
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Reconstruction + Target Lock
Top-tier
Marcato-45Marcato-45 art Destiny 2
Marcato-45
Machine GunAdaptiveHeavyStrandFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongWorld loot poolCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
World loot pool
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Slot: Strand Element Strand | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Demolitonist (also good: Slice) + Hatchling (also good: Onslaught)

► A strand Machine Gun with a unique perk pool, Marcato-45 can be a great support weapon. Combine Slice and Hatchling, and you can really cut down on the damage that enemies are outputting on your fireteam. You can also go for a more straightforward PvE roll in Demolitionist and Onslaught.
Season 23
Slot: Strand Element Strand | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Demolitonist (also good: Slice) + Hatchling (also good: Onslaught)
Top-tier

Destiny 2 Machine Guns: The Complete List

This database includes every viable Machine gun in the game:

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmo?Element?RequirementsIn loot pool?AmmoElementTierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Destiny 2 The Huckleberry artThe HuckleberrySubmachine GunExoticExoticPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Average

B

PvEExotic EngramError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 3KineticNo
Osteo Striga artOsteo StrigaSubmachine GunExoticExoticPrimaryKineticThe Witch QueenYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Best

S

PvE + PvPThe Witch Queen CampaignCheckmark icon V3 YesThe Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Witch Queen
Season 16KineticCraftableTop-tier
Destiny 2 RiskrunnerRiskrunnerSubmachine GunExoticExoticPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Strong

A

PvEExotic QuestError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 1EnergyNoTop-tier
Destiny 2 Tarrabah artTarrabahSubmachine GunExoticExoticPrimarySolarForsaken PackYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Average

B

PvPExotic KioskError icon V2 NoForsaken Destiny 2 icon
Forsaken Pack
Season 4EnergyNo
The Manticore artThe ManticoreSubmachine GunExoticExoticPrimaryVoidThe Witch QueenYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Weak

C

-Exotic KioskError icon V2 NoThe Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Witch Queen
Season 19EnergyNo
Destiny 2 XenophageXenophageMachine GunExoticExoticHeavySolarShadowkeepYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavySolar Solar
Strong

A

PvEExotic QuestError icon V2 NoShadowkeep Destiny 2 icon
Shadowkeep
Season 8HeavyNoTop-tier
Destiny 2 Heir Apparent artHeir ApparentMachine GunExoticExoticHeavyArcFree-to-PlaySeasonalHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyArc Arc
Average

B

PvEEvent: Guardian GamesError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 10HeavyNo
Destiny 2 Thunderlord artThunderlordMachine GunExoticExoticHeavyArcForsaken PackYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyArc Arc
Strong

A

PvE + PvPExotic EngramError icon V2 NoForsaken Destiny 2 icon
Forsaken Pack
Season 4HeavyNoTop-tier
Grand Overture artGrand OvertureMachine GunExoticExoticHeavyArcThe Witch QueenYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyArc Arc
Strong

A

PvEExotic KioskError icon V2 NoThe Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Witch Queen
Season 16HeavyNoTop-tier
Deterministic Chaos artDeterministic ChaosMachine GunExoticExoticHeavyVoidLightfallYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyVoid Void
Weak

C

-Exotic QuestError icon V2 NoLightfall Preorder icon
Lightfall
Season 20HeavyNo
Escape Velocity Destiny 2 artEscape VelocitySubmachine GunLightweightLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Worst

D

-World loot poolError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 10KineticNo
Multimach CCX artMultimach CCXSubmachine GunLightweightLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Best

S

PvE + PvPIron BannerError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 23KineticNoTop-tierKinetic Tremors
Extraordinary Rendition artExtraordinary RenditionSubmachine GunAggressiveLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Weak

C

-World loot poolError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 13KineticNo
Cold Front art Destiny 2Cold FrontSubmachine GunAggressiveLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlaySeasonalPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Average

B

-Event: DawningError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 12KineticNo
Friction Fire Destiny 2 artFriction FireSubmachine GunPrecisionLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Worst

D

-World loot poolError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 12KineticNo
Forensic Nightmare artForensic NightmareSubmachine GunPrecisionLegendaryPrimaryStasisFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStasis Stasis
Worst

D

-Throne WorldCheckmark icon V3 YesFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 16KineticCraftable
Submission art v2SubmissionSubmachine GunLightweightLegendaryPrimaryKineticThe Witch QueenYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Average

B

PvE + PvPVow of the Disciple RaidCheckmark icon V3 YesThe Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Witch Queen
Season 16KineticCraftableBait and Switch
Enyo-D artEnyo-DSubmachine GunPrecisionLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Weak

C

-GunsmithError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 17KineticNo
Pizzicato-22 artPizzicato-22Submachine GunAdaptiveLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Weak

C

-GunsmithError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 18KineticNo
Blood Feud artBlood FeudSubmachine GunAggressiveLegendaryPrimaryStasisFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStasis Stasis
Weak

C

-XûrCheckmark icon V3 YesFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 18KineticCraftable
Prolonged Engagement artProlonged EngagementSubmachine GunLightweightLegendaryPrimaryStasisFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStasis Stasis
Strong

A

PvEVanguard FocusingError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 19KineticNoTop-tier
Synchronic Roulette artSynchronic RouletteSubmachine GunPrecisionLegendaryPrimaryStrandLightfallYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStrand Element Strand
Weak

C

-Terminal OverloadError icon V2 NoLightfall Preorder icon
Lightfall
Season 20KineticNo
The Immortal artThe ImmortalSubmachine GunAggressiveLegendaryPrimaryStrandLightfallYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStrand Element Strand
Best

S

PvE + PvPTrials of OsirisError icon V2 NoLightfall Preorder icon
Lightfall
Season 20KineticNoTop-tier
Rapacious Appetite art Destiny 2Rapacious AppetiteSubmachine GunAggressiveLegendaryPrimaryStasisSeason 21YesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStasis Stasis
Weak

C

PvESeasonal activityCheckmark icon V3 YesSeason of the Deep Icon
Season 21
Season 21KineticCraftable
The Showrunner artThe ShowrunnerSubmachine GunLightweightLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Weak

C

-Recovered Red WarError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 22KineticNoKinetic Tremors
Unending Tempest artUnending TempestSubmachine GunPrecisionLegendaryPrimaryStasisFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStasis Stasis
Strong

A

PvE + PvPPlaylist: CrucibleError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 22KineticNoTop-tier
Adjudicator art Destiny 2AdjudicatorSubmachine GunPrecisionLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PvE + PvPProphecy DungeonError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 23KineticNoTop-tierKinetic Tremors
Seventh Seraph VY 7 Destiny 2 artSeventh Seraph VY-7Submachine GunPrecisionLegendaryPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Worst

D

-World loot poolError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 10EnergyNo
MIDA Mini-Tool artMIDA Mini-ToolSubmachine GunLightweightLegendaryPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Worst

D

-GunsmithError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 12EnergyNo
Death Adder Destiny 2 artDeath AdderSubmachine GunLightweightLegendaryPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Worst

D

-World loot poolError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 11EnergyNo
IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.2 artIKELOS_SMG_v1.0.3Submachine GunAggressiveLegendaryPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Best

S

PvE + PvPOperation: Seraph's ShieldCheckmark icon V3 YesFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 19EnergyCraftableTop-tierVoltshot
Borrowed Time artBorrowed TimeSubmachine GunAggressiveLegendaryPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Weak

C

-Playlist: GambitError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 14EnergyNo
Shayura's Wrath artShayura's WrathSubmachine GunPrecisionLegendaryPrimaryVoidLightfallYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Best

S

PvE + PvPTrials of OsirisError icon V2 NoLightfall Preorder icon
Lightfall
Season 14EnergyNoTop-tier
Stochastic Variable artStochastic VariableSubmachine GunLightweightLegendaryPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Weak

C

-XûrError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 14EnergyNo
Every Waking Moment artEvery Waking MomentSubmachine GunPrecisionLegendaryPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Average

B

-MoonError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 14EnergyNo
Funnelweb artFunnelwebSubmachine GunLightweightLegendaryPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Average

B

PvEGunsmithError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 16EnergyNo
The Hero's Burden artThe Hero's BurdenSubmachine GunAdaptiveLegendaryPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Average

B

-Iron BannerError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 17EnergyNoDestabilizing Rounds,Repulsor Brace
CALUS Mini-Tool artCALUS Mini-ToolSubmachine GunMIDA SynergyLegendaryPrimarySolarBeyond LightYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Best

S

PvEPresageCheckmark icon V3 YesBeyond Light Destiny 2 icon
Beyond Light
Season 17EnergyCraftableTop-tierIncandescent
Unforgiven artUnforgivenSubmachine GunAggressiveLegendaryPrimaryVoidDeluxe EditionYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Strong

A

PvEDuality DungeonError icon V2 NoThe Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Deluxe Edition
Season 17EnergyNoTop-tierRepulsor Brace
Out of Bounds artOut of BoundsSubmachine GunLightweightLegendaryPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Average

B

-Playlist: CrucibleError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 18EnergyNo
Bug-Out Bag art Destiny 2Bug-Out BagSubmachine GunAdaptiveLegendaryPrimarySolarSeason 21YesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Average

B

PvEFishingError icon V2 NoSeason of the Deep Icon
Season 21
Season 21EnergyNoIncandescent
No Survivors SMG art Destiny 2No SurvivorsSubmachine GunAggressiveLegendaryPrimarySolarDeluxe EditionYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Strong

A

PvEGhost of the Deep DungeonError icon V2 NoThe Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Deluxe Edition
Season 21EnergyNoTop-tierIncandescent
The Title art Destiny 2The TitleSubmachine GunAggressiveLegendaryPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Average

B

PvEEvent: Guardian GamesError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 23EnergyNoRepulsor Brace
Parabellum art Destiny 2ParabellumSubmachine GunAdaptiveLegendaryPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Average

B

-World loot poolError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 23EnergyNo
Subjunctive art Destiny 2SubjunctiveSubmachine GunLightweightLegendaryPrimaryArcSeason 23YesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Strong

A

PvEUndyingCheckmark icon V3 YesSeason of the Wish icon Destiny 2
Season 23
Season 23EnergyCraftableTop-tierVoltshot
The Recluse art Destiny 2The RecluseSubmachine GunLightweightLegendaryPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid VoidOngoing...-Onslaught ActivityError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Into the LightEnergyNo
THE SWARM artTHE SWARMMachine GunHigh-ImpactLegendaryHeavyArcFree-to-PlayYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyArc Arc
Average

B

PvENightfall: The OrdealsError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 13HeavyNo
Seventh Seraph SAW Destiny 2Seventh Seraph SAWMachine GunHigh-ImpactLegendaryHeavyArcFree-to-PlayYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyArc Arc
Worst

D

-XûrError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 10HeavyNo
Avalanche art Destiny 2AvalancheMachine GunAdaptiveLegendaryHeavySolarFree-to-PlaySeasonalHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavySolar Solar
Average

B

-Event: DawningError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 12HeavyNoIncandescent
Commemoration Destiny 2 artCommemorationMachine GunAdaptiveLegendaryHeavyVoidBeyond LightYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyVoid Void
Best

S

PvE + PvPDeep Stone Crypt RaidCheckmark icon V3 YesBeyond Light Destiny 2 icon
Beyond Light
Season 12HeavyCraftableTop-tierRepulsor Brace,Reconstruction
Thermal Erosion Destiny 2 artThermal ErosionMachine GunRapid-FireLegendaryHeavySolarBeyond LightYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavySolar Solar
Weak

C

-Empire HuntsError icon V2 NoBeyond Light Destiny 2 icon
Beyond Light
Season 12HeavyNo
Archon's Thunder artArchon's ThunderMachine GunHigh-ImpactLegendaryHeavySolarFree-to-PlayNoHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavySolar Solar
Weak

C

-Iron BannerError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 14HeavyNo
Corrective Measure artCorrective MeasureMachine GunAdaptiveLegendaryHeavyVoidFree-to-PlayYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyVoid Void
Best

S

PvEVault of Glass RaidError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 14HeavyNoTop-tier
Shattered Cipher artShattered CipherMachine GunRapid-FireLegendaryHeavyVoidFree-to-PlayNoHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyVoid Void
Weak

C

-World loot poolError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 14HeavyNo
A Fine Memorial artA Fine MemorialMachine GunAdaptiveLegendaryHeavyArcFree-to-PlayYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyArc Arc
Average

B

PvEMoonError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 14HeavyNo
Recurrent Impact artRecurrent ImpactMachine GunRapid-FireLegendaryHeavyStasisThe Witch QueenYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyStasis Stasis
Average

B

PvEVox ObscuraCheckmark icon V3 YesThe Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Witch Queen
Season 16HeavyCraftable
Chain of Command artChain of CommandMachine GunAdaptiveLegendaryHeavyStasisFree-to-PlayYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyStasis Stasis
Weak

C

PvEExotic KioskError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 17HeavyNo
Fixed Odds artFixed OddsMachine GunHigh-ImpactLegendaryHeavySolarDeluxe EditionYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavySolar Solar
Strong

A

PvEDuality DungeonCheckmark icon V3 YesThe Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Deluxe Edition
Season 17HeavyCraftableTop-tierIncandescent
Planck's Stride artPlanck's StrideMachine GunRapid-FireLegendaryHeavyArcFree-to-PlayYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyArc Arc
Weak

C

-XûrCheckmark icon V3 YesFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 18HeavyCraftable
Qullim’s Terminus art Qullim’s TerminusMachine GunHigh-ImpactLegendaryHeavyStasisFree-to-PlayYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyStasis Stasis
Strong

A

PvEKing's Fall RaidCheckmark icon V3 YesFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 18HeavyCraftableTop-tier
Retrofit Escapade art
Retrofit EscapadeMachine GunRapid-FireLegendaryHeavyVoidThe Witch QueenYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyVoid Void
Strong

A

PvEOperation: Seraph's ShieldCheckmark icon V3 YesThe Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Witch Queen
Season 19HeavyCraftableTop-tier
Unwavering Duty artUnwavering DutyMachine GunAdaptiveLegendaryHeavySolarLightfallYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavySolar Solar
Best

S

PvETrials of OsirisError icon V2 NoLightfall Preorder icon
Lightfall
Season 19HeavyNoTop-tierIncandescent
Terminus Horizon art Destiny 2Terminus HorizonMachine GunHigh-ImpactLegendaryHeavyArcDeluxe EditionYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyArc Arc
Average

B

-Spire of the Watcher DungeonError icon V2 NoThe Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Deluxe Edition
Season 19HeavyNoVoltshot
Circular Logic artCircular LogicMachine GunAdaptiveLegendaryHeavyStrandLightfallYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyStrand Element Strand
Strong

A

PvETerminal OverloadError icon V2 NoLightfall Preorder icon
Lightfall
Season 20HeavyNoTop-tier
Qua Xaphan V artQua Xaphan VMachine GunHigh-ImpactLegendaryHeavyVoidFree-to-PlayYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyVoid Void
Average

B

PvEPlaylist: GambitError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 22HeavyNo
Eleatic Principle artEleatic PrincipleMachine GunRapid-FireLegendaryHeavyArcSeason 22YesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyArc Arc
Weak

C

-Seasonal activityCheckmark icon V3 YesSeason of the Witch (S22) icon
Season 22
Season 22HeavyCraftable
Song of Ir Yût artSong of Ir YûtMachine GunAdaptiveLegendaryHeavyArcFree-to-PlayYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyArc Arc
Strong

A

PvECrota's End RaidCheckmark icon V3 YesFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 22HeavyCraftableTop-tierVoltshot,Sword Logic,Reconstruction,Bait and Switch
Marcato-45 art Destiny 2Marcato-45Machine GunAdaptiveLegendaryHeavyStrandFree-to-PlayYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyStrand Element Strand
Strong

A

PvEWorld loot poolError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 23HeavyNoTop-tier
Hammerhead art Destiny 2HammerheadMachine GunAdaptiveLegendaryHeavyVoidFree-to-PlayYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyVoid VoidOngoing...-Onslaught ActivityError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Into the LightHeavyNo

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.

Best Destiny 2 Machine Guns in 2024

Ready to dig deeper into the absolute best Machine guns in Destiny 2 right now? These are the cream of the crop, our favorites (for PvE and PvP):

 

Corrective Measure Destiny 2 featured machine gun

5. Corrective Measure

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE

Corrective Measure is a top-tier void heavy machine gun that was reintroduced along with the Vault of Glass raid in Season 14. It can be found via the Conflux, Templar, or Atheon encounters within the raid – giving you at least three chances for it to drop in your first run of the raid.

In PvE, Rewind Rounds and Firefly is the preferred roll as you’ll find the ability to keep your magazine loaded and continue activating the explosive Firefly perk incredibly effective in crowd control scenarios. The weapon also provides great boss DPS via a Rewind Rounds and High Impact Rounds perk combination

For PvP, maximizing stability and handling is the way to go. Look for a roll with Dynamic Sway Reduction and Tap the Trigger so you can aim uninterrupted and shred your opponents in duels.

  • PVE God roll: Rewind Rounds + Firefly (also good: High Impact Rounds)

How to get it: Corrective Measure can be acquired by completing the first, third, or fifth encounter of the Vault of Glass raid.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmo?Element?RequirementsIn loot pool?AmmoElementTierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Corrective Measure artCorrective MeasureMachine GunAdaptiveLegendaryHeavyVoidFree-to-PlayYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyVoid Void
Best

S

PvEVault of Glass RaidError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 14HeavyNoTop-tier

 

Grand Overture Machine gun Destiny 2 featured

4. Grand Overture

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE

Grand Overture has had quite an underdog story. It has gone from one of the most overlooked exotic weapon options to becoming a top DPS dealing weapon. It is currently one of the best boss damage options in the game.

The reason Grand Overture excels is its exotic perks which turn this weapon into a heat-seeking missile launcher. When facing a boss, you can unload the weapon’s unique slug rounds into the boss which, in turn, loads the missiles granted by the exotic perk Omega Strike. Firing those missiles and alternating back to the slug rounds to reload the missiles again will have you maximizing your damage output.

Exotic Perk: “Heavy slug launcher that charges, then fires full auto while the trigger is held. Land hits with the slug launcher to load missiles and then fire to launch all missiles in a single volley.”

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

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmo?Element?RequirementsIn loot pool?AmmoElementTierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Grand Overture artGrand OvertureMachine GunExoticExoticHeavyArcThe Witch QueenYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyArc Arc
Strong

A

PvEExotic KioskError icon V2 NoThe Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Witch Queen
Season 16HeavyNoTop-tier

 

Commemoration Destiny 2 featured machine gun

3. Commemoration

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE and PvP

Commemoration is a void heavy machine gun that was introduced back in Beyond Light. This weapon can be found as a random drop after completion of the final encounter of the raid. It has a great perk pool that has kept it at the top even years after its introduction.

Starting with PvE, the roll you want to get is Reconstruction and Killing Tally so you can continue to activate the 30% damage boost provided by Killing Tally without the need to reload. Killing Tally will make your damage output impressive as you take out minor enemies and shift your gaze to major enemies or bosses.

In PvP, viable perks include Surplus and Under Pressure. Seeing as you will be operating with a small amount of ammo in The Crucible, Under Pressure should kick in upping your stability and accuracy. These are the top Commemoration God Rolls:

  • PvE God roll: Reconstruction + Killing Tally
  • PvP God roll: Surplus + Under Pressure

How to get it: Commemoration can be acquired by completing the Deep Stone Crypt raid.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmo?Element?RequirementsIn loot pool?AmmoElementTierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Commemoration Destiny 2 artCommemorationMachine GunAdaptiveLegendaryHeavyVoidBeyond LightYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyVoid Void
Best

S

PvE + PvPDeep Stone Crypt RaidCheckmark icon V3 YesBeyond Light Destiny 2 icon
Beyond Light
Season 12HeavyCraftableTop-tierRepulsor Brace,Reconstruction

 

Hammerhead featured Destiny 2

2. Hammerhead

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE and PvP

Just like nearly all other 450 RPM machine guns currently available, Hammerhead is likely to become a top pick in all areas of the game for years to come.

In PvE, Hammerhead offers pretty much everything you’d want. Whether you’re using it for ad clear, DPS, or in combination with a build that utilizes something like Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk on Hunter, Hammerhead’s diverse perk pool can cater in any direction.

As for The Crucible, Hammerhead’s consistent and stable feel alone makes it a top-tier choice. Even regardless of perks, the weapon will quickly become a staple heavy option for casual and competitive Guardians alike. These are the top Hammerhead God Rolls:

  • PvE God roll: Rewind Rounds or Rampage + Killing Tally (also good: Onslaught)
  • PvP God roll: Under-Over (also good: Rampage) + Tap the Trigger

How to get it: Hammerhead is a Brave weapon from the Onslaught activity.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmo?Element?RequirementsIn loot pool?AmmoElementTierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Hammerhead art Destiny 2HammerheadMachine GunAdaptiveLegendaryHeavyVoidFree-to-PlayYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyVoid VoidOngoing...-Onslaught ActivityError icon V2 NoFree to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Into the LightHeavyNo

 

Thunderlord Machine gun Destiny 2 featured

1. Thunderlord

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE and PvP

Ironically one of the first exotic weapons showcased by Bungie way back in Destiny 1, Thunderlord still reigns supreme. It is not only one of the most effective heavy weapon options in the game, it is also one of the most fun. You can find this arc exotic heavy machine gun via any Exotic engrams throughout the world.

In PvE, this may be one of the best options no matter your scenario. Trying to crowd control? Thunderlord’s excellent exotic perk Reign Havok will supply you with ample AOE damage as it rains lightning around you. If it’s boss damage you seek, Thunderlord comes in at the top of the class in that department as well.

In the Crucible, should you find some heavy ammo to load up Thunderlord, you are guaranteed to out-duel the next poor guardian that comes into your view. You will find the time to kill to be impressive as you shred your opponents.

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

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

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmo?Element?RequirementsIn loot pool?AmmoElementTierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Destiny 2 Thunderlord artThunderlordMachine GunExoticExoticHeavyArcForsaken PackYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyArc Arc
Strong

A

PvE + PvPExotic EngramError icon V2 NoForsaken Destiny 2 icon
Forsaken Pack
Season 4HeavyNoTop-tier

Machine Guns and the PvP Meta: TTK

We covered which Machine guns are considered top-tier (and should be farmed) and which ones can be safely ignored. But how do they compare to other Heavy weapons in PvP?

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

S

-► Rocket Launchers remain a staple in many players' loadouts. They can provide high-range one-shot kills, and can also do AoE damage which can potentially allow you to clear teams if they are close enough together.

► Best Archetype: Precision (15 RPM) - Example: Gjallarhorn
PVP Heavies
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Grenade Launchers
S › Best
Best

S

-► Heavy Grenade Launchers are an incredible option for those who are confident in landing their direct hits. They can functionally serve as a Rocket Launcher, but instead of coming with only a single shot, Grenade Launchers can bring 3, which, of course, means more potential kills.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (120 RPM) - Example: Memory Interdict
PVP Heavies
Machine gun weapon type Destiny 2
Machine Guns
A › Strong
Strong

A

-► Machine Guns are still an incredible option for Control as they can provide many kills. However, they do require multiple shots to kill which can lead to you potentially being Sniped or peak-shot by a Primary Weapon.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (450 RPM) - Example: Corrective Measure
PVP Heavies
Linear fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Linear Fusion Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

► 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.PVP Heavies
Sword weapon type Destiny 2
Swords
C › Weak
Weak

C

-► Swords are perhaps the most fun option (especially with Eager Edge); however, they are too inconsistent to warrant any competitive use. Furthermore, benefitting from third-person view is no longer possible without Heavy ammo, making the only niche usage swords had redundant.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive/Lightweight- Examples: Half-Truths/Quickfang
PVP Heavies

Remember that when it comes to PvP, TTK is perhaps the most important factor. As you know, the lower the TTK, the faster you can kill your opponent. This TTK guide includes the TTK figures for every weapon in Destiny 2.

Machine guns and the PvE Meta: DPS

How do Machine guns compare to other Heavy weapons in PvE?

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

S

Trend upMain role: Burst Damage (Secondary role: Add Clear)

► If an S+ category existed, Rocket Launchers would be there. They absolutely dominate the DPS meta for any boss that isn't Crota and easily outclass other options thanks to their flexibility in damage rotations and their ability to be spammed at bosses. Rockets are incredibly strong right now, and it wouldn't be surprising if they received some tuning soon.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (20 RPM) - Example: The Hothead
PVE Heavies
Machine gun weapon type Destiny 2
Machine Guns
A › Strong
Strong

A

Trend upMain role: Add Clear

► With the nerf to double-special loadouts, players can't mindlessly spam Machine Guns at enemies anymore and be rewarded for it. However, Machine guns are still excellent at ad clear and remain decent for DPS. That said, for DPS, they are massively outclassed by Rocket Launchers.

► Best Archetype: Rapid-Fire (900 RPM) - Example: Retrofit Escapade
PVE Heavies
Sword weapon type Destiny 2
Swords
A › Strong
Strong

A

Trend upMain roles: Add Clear & Single Target damage (i.e. Boss damage).

► Swords are in a good spot right now. In fact, they are the go-to option for Crota in Crota's End. However, this is only because of a modifier that increases Sword damage against Crota. Outside of this specific boss, Swords are a decent option that doesn't excel simply because they are out-damaged by other heavy weapons.

► Best Archetype: Whirlwind - Example: Falling Guillotine
PVE Heavies
Linear fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Linear Fusion Rifles
A › Strong
Strong

A

Trend downMain role: Single Target damage (Secondary role: Burst Damage)

► Linear Fusion Rifles might not be the top dogs anymore, but they are still serious contenders when it comes to total damage. Options like Cataclysmic and Briar's Contempt can still see some use in today's meta. However, despite their strengths, most situations do not require the amount of total damage that Linear Fusions offer, and if they do, options like Leviathan's Breath can fill that void very easily.

► Best Archetype: Precision (533 RPM) - Example: Reed's Regret
PVE Heavies
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Grenade Launchers
B › Average
Average

B

-Main role: Add Clear (Secondary role: Single Target Damage).

► Grenade Launchers are on the rise, and with a couple of changes, we could see them soar to the top of the pile. For now, though, they remain a mediocre option with a couple of outliers, such as the Cataphract GL3, which is mainly good because it has Bait and Switch, not because it's a Grenade Launcher.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (120 RPM) - Cataphract GL3
PVE Heavies
Sniper rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Exotic Sniper Rifles
C › Weak
Weak

C

-Main role: Single Target damage

► Exotic Snipers still require more help. D.A.R.C.I remains a complete joke, and Whisper of the Worm isn't strong enough to bring the ranking up. While Whisper is a surprisingly decent option, it requires a teammate using Divinity in most situations, unless you are very consistent with your shots. And even then, Rocket Launchers are still superior DPS options.

► Best Archetype: Aggressive (72 RPM) - Example: Whisper of the Worm
PVE Heavies

According to Bungie, these are the different roles for Heavy weapons:

Role Explanation Target Weapon types
Add Clear Clearing weaker enemies faster than you could with a primary ammo weapon. For most content, primaries do the add clear job perfectly well, so this is most useful in high-difficulty PvE. Main: Machine Guns, Grenade Launchers, Swords

Secondary: Rocket Launchers

Single Target Damage Burning down a boss. Main: Linear Fusion Rifles, Exotic Snipers, Swords

Secondary: Grenade Launchers, Machine Guns

Burst Damage Burning down a champion quickly, or for bosses with multiple damage phases, clearing a phase quickly. Main: Rocket Launchers

Secondary: Linear Fusion Rifles

Remember that DPS is one of the most important factors when it comes to PvE. As you know, 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.

When it comes to actual DPS, Machine guns are much more capable these days:

-Weapon TypeArchetypeSustained DPSMag DPSTotal DamageSpecs---Best in ClassChange?Ammo
Machine gun weapon type Destiny 2Machine Gun

Exotic

2245733064562088-Destiny 2 XenophageXenophageSameHeavy
Machine gun weapon type Destiny 2Machine Gun

Exotic

222351365141378482-Grand Overture artGrand OvertureSameHeavy
Machine gun weapon type Destiny 2Machine Gun

Exotic

21247309711994829-Destiny 2 Thunderlord artThunderlordBuffedHeavy
Machine gun weapon type Destiny 2Machine Gun

Exotic

1872123640945600-Destiny 2 Heir Apparent artHeir ApparentBuffedHeavy
Machine gun weapon type Destiny 2Machine GunRapid-Fire1388018930779916-Recurrent Impact artRecurrent ImpactBuffedHeavy
Machine gun weapon type Destiny 2Machine Gun

Exotic

12771182041074280-Deterministic Chaos artDeterministic ChaosHeavy
Machine gun weapon type Destiny 2Machine GunAdaptive1212416290977400- class=CommemorationBuffedHeavy
Machine gun weapon type Destiny 2Machine GunHigh-Impact11837150601104400-THE SWARM artTHE SWARMBuffedHeavy

Before you go…

Are you looking for a top-tier Primary and Special weapon to round out your loadout? We cover the Best Destiny 2 Auto Rifles and Best Destiny 2 Trace Rifles, too.

You now know everything there is to know about machine guns in Destiny 2, whether that is for PvP or PvE content.

See latest Updates

We keep our content up to date! These are the latest changes made to this guide:
  • March 5, 2024: General updates and the inclusion of Machine guns from Season 23.
  • November 20, 2023: Inclusion of Season 21 and 22 new machine guns.
  • April 30, 2023: General updates and the inclusion of Season 19 and 20 new machine guns.
  • May 20, 2022: The guide is published for the first time.

Stay tuned, and don’t forget to bookmark this page for next season!

About The Author

Ryan Schilling
Ryan Schilling
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1 Comment
  1. Nathanael

    Qullim’s Terminus is still ongoing?

    Reply
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