Destiny 2 Meta

PVP and PVE weapon types Tier list

By Ric aka Primatrix | Oct 24, 2020

The very way we play Destiny 2 is heavily influenced by the latest Meta.

You can, of course, use whatever weapons you want and completely disregard it, but the closer you get to endgame and competitive content, the more important the meta becomes.

As understanding the meta is not as easy as it seems (and can be, in fact, a complete mystery to rookie guardians), this guide will give you a complete rundown of the state of the current Destiny 2 meta. But before we begin:

What does it even mean? Meta refers to the most used weapons for a particular activity. Generally, these weapons are the most used because they are the most powerful/efficient.

Why should you care? As “Meta = the most lethal and easy to use weapons”, you may want to use it to your advantage and learn to use those weapons for maximum efficiency.

Always changing: The Meta changes often, at least once every season. For that reason, whatever commentary or analysis you find that is a season (or more) old is most likely outdated and potentially irrelevant. Expect this page to be updated at least once per season.


Destiny 2 Meta: Latest changes

This part covers all the latest and most noticeable Meta changes made by Bungie. Consider this a list of the highlights, ordered chronologically. If you’re looking for the complete list with every Meta change for any given season, there is a link to all patch notes in the first column of the table below:

SeasonWeapon TypeTrendCurrent State
Season 12:
Beyond Light

November 2020

Patch notes
Hand cannon weapon type Destiny 2Hand CannonsTrend upAggressives (110 RPM) PVP buff: Increased rate of fire from 110 to 120. Damage falloff for 100 range stat now starts at 32 meters (was lower).
Adaptatives (140 RPM) and Precisions (180 RPM) PVP buff: Damage falloff for 100 range stat now starts at 25m, was 20m.
Precisions (180 RPM) PVP buff: Magazine scaled up by 37 percent.
Lightweights (150 RPM) PVP nerf: Moved all Lightweight Hand Cannons to the Adaptive subfamily (140 RPM), except for Sunshot which will remain 150 RPM.
Sniper rifle weapon type Destiny 2Sniper RiflesTrend downLow zoom snipers PVP nerf: Lower zoom scopes have less aim assist, higher zoom scopes have more, scopes with around 50 zoom are unchanged. Lowest-zoom scopes have a large reduction in aim assist cone angle.
Auto rifle weapon type Destiny 2Auto RiflesTrend downAdaptatives (600 RPM) PVP nerf: Damage per bullet reduced from 15.75 to 14.25. Note: Prior to Season of the Worthy, damage per bullet was 13.75.
Scout rifle weapon type Destiny 2Scout RiflesTrend upGeneral PVP buff: Now a little easier to use with an increase of how much each point of the aim assist stat widens the AA cone. At maximum, the AA cone is now 15 percent wider.
Rocket launcher weapon type Destiny 2Rocket LaunchersTrend upGeneral buff: Increased reserves by 1 or 2 rockets depending on Inventory stat.
Season 11:
Season of Arrivals

June 2020

Patch notes
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse RiflesTrend upHigh-Impact pulses PVP buff: Damage per bullet from 21 to 22. This changes it from 6 crits to 5 crits/1 body to kill a Guardian in PvP at most Resilience values.

Standouts: Cold Denial, Redrix's Broadsword, Premonition.

Shotgun weapon type Destiny 2ShotgunsTrend upSlug shotguns PVE buff: Slug Shotgun PvE damage increased by +30%.

Standouts: First In, Last Out, The Chaperone, Blasphemer.

Combat bow weapon type Destiny 2Combat BowsTrend upGeneral PVE buff: Bow PvE damage VS minors increased by +10%.

Standouts: Trinity Ghoul, Whispering Slab.

Perk Retuning Trend upGeneral PVE buffs:
- Dynamic Sway Reduction: Adds 10 Stability over time in addition to accuracy.
- Pulse Monitor: Take critical damage and you can quickly switch to your now-fully loaded Special weapon! Reload amount from 0.35 to 1.0, +50 Handling, and 5% faster swap speed.
- Hipfire Grip: Now helps you hit shots closer to ADS ranges, still doesn't affect damage dropoff or magnetism.
Reload PerksTrend downReload perks nerf:
- Outlaw: Reload stat from +100 to +50. Reload Duration Scale from 0.8 to 0.9.
_ Feeding Frenzy: Functionality changed to increase reload speed based on the number of rapid kills, up to 5.
- Rapid Hit: Adjusted stacking bonus to give less benefit for the first hit and more with subsequent hits.
Season 10:
Season of the Worthy

March 2020

Patch notes
Sword weapon type Destiny 2SwordsTrend upGeneral PVE buff: Sword attacks have been altered, generally increased in efficacy to account for the energy system. Swords now replace your melee ability with the Sword's energy meter while wielded.

Standouts: Falling Guillotine, Black Talon.

Auto rifle weapon type Destiny 2Auto RiflesTrend upGeneral buff: The following impact values were increased:
- Precision Frame: 17/27.2 Default/Precision (Previously 17/25.5)
- Adaptive Frame: 15.75/25.2 Default/Precision (Previously 13.75/22)
- Rapid-Fire Frame: 13.4/20.1 Default/Precision (Previously 12.5/18.75)

Standouts: All 600 RPM Auto rifles including Gnawing Hunger, Summoner, SUROS Regime.

Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2Grenade LaunchersTrend downAggressive Frames nerf: Aggressive Frame grenade launchers are now Rapid-Fire Frame grenade launchers. Rapid-Fire Frame grenade launchers have had their damage reduced to account for their Rate of Fire (0.8x).
General PVE nerf: Damage to Major enemies and above by Power weapon grenade launchers reduced by ~10%

Biggest Victims: Swarm of the Raven, Love and Death.

Sniper rifle weapon type Destiny 2Sniper RiflesTrend downGeneral PVE nerf: Damage to Major enemies and above reduced to pre-Shadowkeep values (~-20%).
General PVP nerf:
- Adaptive Snipers: Reduced precision multiplier from 3.25x to 2.95x
- Rapid-Fire Snipers: Reduced base impact from 100 damage to 90 damage
Fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2Fusion RiflesTrend downGeneral PVE nerf: Damage falloff for can now floor at 0.5x (Previously 0.75x). Effective range and the impact of the optics stat for this weapon archetype has been reduced across the board.

Biggest Victims: Erentil FR4.

Weapon PerksTrend downGeneral nerf:
- Backup Plan: Backup plan now adjusts impact to match the Rapid-Fire sub-archetype while active. Charge time is now set to match the Rapid-Fire's sub-archetype * 0.85 while active.
- One-Two Punch: The effect now ends upon dealing melee damage or swapping weapons.
Season 9:
Season of Dawn

September 2020

Patch notes
Linear fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2Linear Fusion RiflesTrend upGeneral PVE buff: Precision damage increased by +20%
This change does not affect Sleeper Simulant. Significantly increased target acquisition at close to medium ranges.
Sidearm weapon type Destiny 2SidearmsTrend upGeneral buff: Increased target acquisition across the board.
Season 8:
Shadowkeep launch
Patch notes
Auto rifle weapon type Destiny 2Auto RiflesAuto Rifle
Trend upGeneral PVE buff: PvE damage increased between +30% and +25% depending on combatant rank.
Sniper rifle weapon type Destiny 2Sniper RiflesTrend upGeneral PVE buff: PvE damage increased by +47% against minor enemies, +20% for others.
Hand cannon weapon type Destiny 2Hand CannonsTrend downGeneral nerf: Reduced the effect the range stat has on damage range falloff (effective range) for this weapon archetype
Machine gun weapon type Destiny 2Machine GunsTrend downGeneral nerf: Increased the effects of damage range falloff on this weapon archetype.
Perks and buffsTrend downDamage dealing perks and buff stacking

Destiny 2 PVP Meta (aka the Crucible Meta)

This section covers the state of the current Destiny 2 PVP meta. Keep in mind that the PVP meta is the result of the combination of fast TTKs (time-to-kill) and ease of use. You can read more about it in our Destiny 2 TTK guide.  

PS: If you’re looking for the top PVP weapons right now, you can check our Destiny 2 Best PVP weapons guide. Unlike this guide that focuses on weapon types, that guide covers the Destiny 2 Meta weapons for the Crucible.

These are the different Tier levels used for the list:

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

The list starts with S Tier and moves down until it reaches the bottom Tier:

PVP Primary weapons meta

Weapon Type TierCurrent State
Auto rifle weapon type Destiny 2Auto Rifles
Best

S

Auto rifles received a significant buff with Season of the Worthy, especially 600 RPM variants. They are undeniably the most lethal and easy to use primaries right now. On top of having some of the fastest TTK in the game (0.7 seconds), they also have good range and large magazines.

They do have one drawback: You have to be out of cover to do damage (unlike a hand cannon or pulse), which makes them less efficient in competitive modes or against skilled hand cannon users.

Lastest "meta change": Auto rifles were buffed with Season of the Worthy, receiving increased base and precision damage.

Hand cannon weapon type Destiny 2Hand Cannons
Best

S

Hand Cannons were the indisputable top tier choice for PVP, but after a nerf to their effective range last year, they no longer dominate the meta as they used to.

To be clear, they are still top tier. In fact, the top PVP players still rock a hand cannon as their primary weapon of choice. They may no longer have the range they used to, but they can still do a lot of damage while peaking in and out of cover (something an auto rifle user cannot do).

Lastest "meta change": Hand cannons were nerfed with Shadowkeep, receiving a reduced effective range.

Sidearm weapon type Destiny 2Sidearms
Strong

A

Sidearms have been slept on for far too long. But things are definitely changing, especially since their target acquisition was buffed. You now see more and more top players main sidearms alongside their favorite sniper.

On paper, sidearms certainly have a limited range, but they still offer some of the best TTKs in Destiny 2.

Lastest "meta change": Sidearms were buffed with Season of Dawn, receiving "increased target acquisition".

Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse Rifles
Strong

A

Pulse rifles have been in a stable position for a while now. They have never been the best but neither the worst. They are workhorses that consistently get the job done.

Often referred to as "dad rifles", they are easy to use, have a good range, and good aim assist. But with the recent PVP buff to the High-Impact archetype, pulses such as Cold Denial, Redrix's Broadsword or even Vigilance Wing have become some of the most lethal weapons in the Crucible.

Lastest "meta change": Pulse rifles were buffed with Season of Arrivals, with High-Impact pulses getting an increased damage per bullet from 21 to 22.

SMG weapon type Destiny 2Submachine Guns
Average

B

The Recluse reigned supreme as the most used PVP primary for a very long time, but after a few nerfs, it finally left room for other SMGs to shine.

SMGs can get the job done. A good SMG with the right rolls (like the new IKELOS SMG with the Surrounded Perk) can get to insanely low TTKs, but unfortunately, 600 RPM auto rifles are so strong, it makes little sense to use an SMG over a well-rolled Gnawing Hunger. For this reason, SMGs are currently considered average.

Lastest "meta change": SMGs haven't received any noticeable PVP changes in a long time.

Combat bow weapon type Destiny 2Combat Bows
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, they 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.

Lastest "meta change": Bows haven't received any noticeable PVP changes in a long time.

Scout rifle weapon type Destiny 2Scout Rifles
Worst

D

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 have good range, but most guardians will use a sniper rifle when engaging in long-distance fights and a scout won't be able to compete.

Lastest "meta change": Scouts haven't received any noticeable PVP changes in a long time.

PVP Special weapons meta

For the sake of clarity, all weapon categories consisting of only 1 or 2 exotics have been excluded. Weapons such as Eriana’s Vow are too unique to be representative of an entire weapon type.

Weapon Type TierCurrent State
Shotgun weapon type Destiny 2Shotguns
Best

S

Arguably the best Special weapon type for PVP, shotguns are both deadly and accessible. Unlike snipers, shotguns are easier to use and can one-hit kill any guardian with a well placed shot in close range.

As Destiny 2's maps were initially created for 4 VS 4 guardians, using a shotgun in today's 6 VS 6 game modes is easier than ever. There's a lot of cover and small spaces where a good shotgun user can tear an entire enemy team.

Lastest "meta change": Shotungs haven't received any noticeable PVP changes in a long time.

Sniper rifle weapon type Destiny 2Sniper Rifles
Best

S

Sniper rifles are also top tier choices for PVP. But unlike shotguns, they have a higher skill-ceiling. In other words, it's harder to master a sniper than it is to master a shotgun, but in the hands of a talented players, there's nothing deadlier than a sniper rifle in the entire game.

Overall, snipers are in weird place right now. A recent nerf rendered the Rapid-Fire archetype less viable. This forced players to Agressive and Adaptive Frames, namely Revoker and Beloved. This has lead Bungie to warn that they're looking into how snipers behave in PVP and, I assume, push people to use something other than Revoker.

Lastest "meta change": Sniper rifles were nerfed with Season of the Worthy, receiving
a reduced precision multiplier for Adaptive snipers and a reduced base impact from 100 to 90 damage for Rapid-fire snipers.

Fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2Fusion Rifles
Average

B

Fusion rifles were so good just a few months ago, many called them "broken", especially the Erentil FR4. But in typical Bungie fashion, all fusion rifles were nerfed. Nerfed too hard in fact.

Fusion rifles are no longer what they used to be, but they remain a decent weapon type to use in the Crucible. In fact, they can be very fun and are well-suited for newer players getting familiar with Destiny 2's PVP. But as you improve your game, you may want to graduate to a shotgun instead.

Lastest "meta change": Fusion rifles were nerfed with Season of the Worthy, receiving an increased damage falloff and a decreased effective range.

Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2Grenade Launchers
Average

B

When it comes to Special ammo Grenade launchers, there's Mountaintop and then there's the rest. Mountaintop is so strong, many claim it's downright broken. It also calls for a toxic type of gameplay, which is why most hate it and are glad to see it sunset next season.

The other special ammo grenade launchers are still decent, namely a Truthteller with a good roll or the brand-new Witherhoard. In the hands of an experienced player they can be lethal, but they remain much less effective than the top tier choices.

Lastest "meta change": While not technically a "nerf", special ammo grenade launchers will greatly suffer from the Mountaintop's retirement.

-
Weak

C

-
Trace rifle weapon type Destiny 2Trace Rifles
Worst

D

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

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

Lastest "meta change": Trace rifles haven't received any noticeable PVP changes in a long time.

PVP Heavy weapons meta

Same as before, weapon categories consisting of only 1 or 2 exotics have been excluded. In this case, snipers, shotguns, and fusion rifles have been excluded:

Weapon Type TierCurrent State
Rocket launcher weapon type Destiny 2Rocket Launchers
Best

S

Unlike for PVE, rocket launchers are in a great place right now for PVP. As ammo economy isn't an issue in the Crucible, their insane high-burst damage allows them to shine.

Rocket launchers, and especially the exotics, can basically guarantee a kill without requiring much skill. And if used right, you can easily get multikills. Even in competitive modes, they are still preferred due to their consistency.

Lastest "meta change": Rocket launchers were nerfed with Shadowkeep, having their DPS destroyed with the removal of instant reloading capabilities.

Machine gun weapon type Destiny 2Machine Guns
Strong

A

Machine guns are extremely popular in PVP. They have excellent damage, great TTKs and come with enough ammo to kill 3 or 4 enemies.

Not all machine guns were created equally, of course, but with the right perks, they can be incredibly stable.

Lastest "meta change": Machine guns haven't seen any significant changes in a while.

Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2Grenade Launchers
Average

B

Grenade launchers can be excellent options in PVP. They are powerful and can come with great perks. When using something like Proximity grenades, they become even more reliable and easy to use.

Compared to the other Heavy weapon types, grenade launchers remain strong contenders. And when you take into account the exotics, namely The Colony, they basically give you free kills.

Lastest "meta change": Grenade launchers were nerfed with Season of the Worthy, receiving a reduced damage to all Rapid-fire frames.


Sword weapon type Destiny 2Swords
Weak

C

Swords may be top tier in PVE because they're high risk and high rewards, but in PVP, the risk is much higher than the reward.

You can, of course, use a sword to benefit from the third person view and wait for opponents around corners. But in many situations, you could find yourself completely vulnerable out in the open while chasing an enemy. For this reason, you won't see many sword users in the Crucible (except those that use them for 3 peeking...).

Lastest "meta change": Swords were buffed with Season of the Worthy, receiving a complete overhaul of how they function.

Linear fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2Linear Fusion Rifles
Weak

C

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

On top of that, they have a charged time, which makes them feel like a charge-time snipers that also require Heavy ammo. In PVP, you want a Heavy weapon that can easily down several guardians. A skilled player can probably do that with a linear fusion rifle, but other weapon types can accomplish that more easily.

Lastest "meta change": Linear fusion rifles haven't seen any significant changes in a while.

-
Worst

D

-

For the record, we may know what changes are coming to the Meta with Beyond Light, but as long as we cannot test the changes ourselves, the Meta tier lists below will remain up to date with the Season of Arrivals meta.


Destiny 2 PVE Meta

This section covers the state of the current Destiny 2 PVE meta.

And just as the previous PVP tier lists, the PVE Meta tier lists below are up to date with the latest Destiny 2 sandbox update, released as part of Season of Arrivals.

PS: If you’re looking for the top PVP weapons right now, you can check our Destiny 2 Best PVE weapons guide.

These are the different Tier levels used for the list:

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

The list starts with S Tier and moves down until it reaches the bottom Tier:

PVE Primary weapons meta

Weapon Type TierCurrent State
Auto rifle weapon type Destiny 2Auto Rifles
Best

S

Auto rifles received a significant buff with Season of the Worthy, especially 600 RPM variants. They are undeniably the most lethal and easy to use primaries right now, as they have good range and large magazines.

They do have one drawback: You have to be out of cover to do the max possible damage (unlike a hand cannon or pulse), which makes them riskier in endgame content.

Lastest "meta change": Auto rifles were buffed with Season of the Worthy, receiving increased base and precision damage.

Sidearm weapon type Destiny 2Sidearms
Best

S

Sidearms have been some of the most slept on weapons in Destiny 2 for too long. But ever since they were buffed and Recluse nerfed, the larger player base has realized their potential. They do some of the highest DPS in the game while having a decent magazine size.

Their only drawback is the fact they have limited range, making them a little risky in Master and Grandmaster content.

Lastest "meta change": Sidearms were buffed with Season of Dawn, receiving "increased target acquisition".

Hand cannon weapon type Destiny 2Hand Cannons
Strong

A

Hand Cannons were the top tier choice for PVE content for years, but after a nerf to their effective range last year, they are no longer the go-to primaries they used to be.

Don't get me wrong though, hand cannons are still extremely strong and efficient. They are definitely viable for Master and Grandmaster content, and although their range suffered, they are still great at hiding behind cover in-between shots.

Lastest "meta change": Hand cannons were nerfed with Shadowkeep, receiving a reduced effective range.

Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse Rifles
Strong

A

Pulse rifles have been quite stable for a while now with most sandbox changes focusing on other weapon types.

And that's a good thing, as Pulse rifles are in a good place. They do reasonable damage, have a good range, and are, overall, safe and easy to use in Master and Grandmaster content.

Lastest "meta change": Pulse rifles haven't received any noticeable PVE changes in a long time.

Combat bow weapon type Destiny 2Combat Bows
Average

B

Combat bows may not be very popular, but they 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 (namely, solo flawless dungeon attempts).

With virtually infinite range, bows can deal good damage from insane distances. Granted, their damage is not as good as other weapon types, but they do offer a lot of safety.

Lastest "meta change": Bows were buffed with Season of Arrivals, receiving +10% PvE damage VS minors.

SMG weapon type Destiny 2Submachine Guns
Average

B

The Recluse reigned supreme as the best PVE primary for a very long time, but it was an exception. Because in general, SMGs are not bad, but they aren't great either.

They can do decent damage but now that auto rifles are so strong, it's hard to recommend an SMG over a good 600 RPM auto rifle. And even if you don't care about having more range, a sidearm will do better DPS too.

Lastest "meta change": SMGs haven't received any noticeable PVE changes in a long time.

-
Weak

C

-
Scout rifle weapon type Destiny 2Scout Rifles
Worst

D

Where to begin with scout rifles? Scout rifles have been in a sorry state for a long time. They offer good range but their damage is simply abysmal compared to other weapon types.

To be fair, some Scouts can get the job done, namely the re-issued Night Watch. But there's no reason why you should use a scout when auto rifles and pulse rifles are so much more lethal and consistent.

Lastest "meta change": Scouts haven't received any noticeable PVE changes in a long time.

PVE Special weapons meta

For the sake of clarity, all weapon categories consisting of only 1 or 2 exotics have been excluded. Weapons such as Eriana’s Vow are too unique to be representative of an entire weapon type.

Weapon Type TierCurrent State
-
Best

S

-
Shotgun weapon type Destiny 2Shotguns
Strong

A

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

Overall, shotguns are finally hitting that sweet spot between risk and reward. Slug shotguns are finally viable too, thanks to a recent PVE buff.

Lastest "meta change": Slug shotguns were buffed with Season of Arrivals, receiving a massive +30% PVE damage.

Sniper rifle weapon type Destiny 2Sniper Rifles
Average

B

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

But Bungie decided to nerf them hard because they were "too safe", bringing them back to pre-Shadowkeep values. Except, they were buffed with Shadowkeep because they were too average...

Lastest "meta change": Snipers were nerfed with Season of the Worthy, receiving a -20% PvE damage VS majors.

Fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2Fusion Rifles
Average

B

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

That said, fusion rifles deserve more love, because even if they were nerfed, they are still powerful. They are capable of dealing more damage than snipers while being safer to use (due to having more range) than shotguns.

Lastest "meta change": Fusion rifles were nerfed with Season of the Worthy, receiving an increased damage falloff and a decreased effective range.

Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2Grenade Launchers
Weak

C

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

Thing is, Mountaintop will be retired with Beyond Light and won't be viable for endgame content anymore. And as much as people keep saying Truthteller will replace it, no other grenade launcher will be nearly as good as the Mountaintop.

Lastest "meta change": While not technically a "nerf", grenade launchers will greatly suffer from the loss of the Mountaintop.

-
Worst

D

-

PVE Heavy weapons meta

Same as before, weapon categories consisting of only 1 or 2 exotics have been excluded. In this case, snipers, shotguns, and fusion rifles have been excluded:

Weapon Type TierCurrent State
Sword weapon type Destiny 2Swords
Best

S

Swords have never been stronger than they are today. The huge rework they received with Season of the Worthy made them much more usable. They are now safer to use, have a better ammo economy, and can deal much more damage.

Swords have taken an even more prominent place this season, with the release of the monster that is Falling Guillotine. That sword is as high risk / high reward as it gets. When used right, you can basically delete any enemy in front of you, no matter the difficulty.

Lastest "meta change": Swords were buffed with Season of the Worthy, receiving a complete overhaul of how they function.

Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2Grenade Launchers
Strong

A

Grenade launchers used to be the top tier choice for PVE content, especially Aggressive Frame variants such as Swarm of the Raven. But after the removal of the Aggressive Frame archetype entirely (now called Rapid-Fire) and a blanket nerf to all grenade launchers, they are no longer the indisputable choice.

To be fair, they remain a strong option, especially when getting too close to the enemy is impossible. Otherwise, they have been replaced by Swords as the go-to damage-dealing Heavy weapon type in the game.

Lastest "meta change": Grenade launchers were nerfed with Season of the Worthy, receiving a reduced damage to Major enemies of -10% overall and a reduced damage to all Rapid-fire frames.

-
Average

B

-
Rocket launcher weapon type Destiny 2Rocket Launchers
Weak

C

Rocket launchers went from top tier to mediocre in a heartbeat when Bungie removed most auto-loading abilities. This means we now have to actually reload these extremely slow single-round weapons every time we fire them.

This makes all the difference because, for as much damage a rocket can do, their reload time destroys their DPS. Until Bungie finally gives them a proper buff, there is no reason to use a rocket launcher over a good grenade launcher right now.

Lastest "meta change": Rocket launchers were nerfed with Shadowkeep, having their DPS destroyed with the removal of instant reloading capabilities.

Linear fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2Linear Fusion Rifles
Weak

C

Linear fusion rifles are also in the middle of an identity crisis. They cannot do as much damage as grenade launchers and even lag behind exotic heavy snipers.

Granted, some of the newer linear fusion rifles with Vorpal weapon and firing-line can do decent DPS but there's really no reason to use one over a grenade launcher or even Whisper of the Worm if you need to be precise.

Lastest "meta change": Linear fusion rifles haven't seen any significant changes in a while.

-
Worst

D

-

The Last Word

Conclusion