Best Destiny 2 Power Weapons

by | Dec 15, 2020 | Weapons

Destiny 2 may want to become a fully-fledged MMO, but we all love it because it’s an excellent first-person shooter.

Destiny 2 is all about the gunplay, and by extension, the weapons. They all feel different and changing weapon types can sometimes feel like changing games. For that reason, weapon guides play an important role around here.

Today, we focus on the most powerful weapon class in the game: Power weapons (recently renamed to Heavy weapons).  We’ll cover both Exotic and Legendary weapons (including their PVP & PVE god rolls) and give you an overview of the current Meta.

About TTK & DPS: You’ll see us talk a lot about TTK, or time-to-kill, and DPS, damage per second, throughout this guide. TTK is important in PVP, because the lower the TTK, the quicker you can kill your opponent. DPS is important for PVE, because the higher the DPS, the more damage you can deal in PVE.


Top Destiny 2 Heavy weapons for PVE and PVP

Destiny 2 Heavy ammoFor the sake of clarity, this guide covers only Power weapons. Unlike Primary and Special weapons that can be either found in the Kinetic or Energy slot, Power weapons can only be found in the Heavy slot. In other words, we’re talking about the weapons that use “heavy” ammo, aka, purple ammo boxes:

These are the different Tier levels used for this 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 the  S Tier and moves down from there:

WeaponTierExcels inDrops from / DifficultyExotic Perk (and my take)TypeSlotDrops from 
The Lament Destiny 2
The Lament | Sword
Best

S

PVEExotic Quest

Easy

Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: NA

Exotic Perk: "Revving the blade increases damage, shield bypass, and adds shield piercing to all attacks. You also gain stacks when dealing damage with revved attacks. Additional stacks increase the damage and damage resistance of heavy attacks."

► The Lament exotic sword is simply a monster. Swords, in general, can deal some of the highest damage possible, provided you can get close enough to your target. But The Lament puts all other swords, except Falling Guillotine, to shame.

And when used properly and paired with the Lucent Blade mod, The Lament's DPS becomes even more impressive. And to top it all off, this weapon is easy to obtain, meaning virtually everyone can have access to one of the highest DPS weapons ever created.

Decent Alternative: Falling Guillotine.
SwordHeavyExotic QuestBeyond Light
Destiny 2 Anarchy
Anarchy | Grenade Launcher
Best

S

PVEExotic Kiosk

Hard

Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

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

► Anarchy used to be one of the most difficult to get and sought after Exotics in the entire game. And with reason. With its damage over time, Anarchy is arguably the best boss-DPS Power weapon in Destiny 2.

Generally speaking, Anarchy is often a favorite for raids and Grandmaster Ordeals, as it can deal a lot of tick damage while you and your fireteam use something like a slug shotgun or sniper rifle in parallel. It's also a go-to tool to tackle some of the toughest solo challenges in the game.

Decent Alternative: Witherhoard.
Grenade LauncherHeavyExotic Kiosk
Destiny 2 Xenophage
Xenophage | Machine Gun
Best

S

PVP + PVEExotic Quest

Hard

Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: NA

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

► Many tests have been made and the results are undeniable: Xenophage is one of the most consistent DPS weapons in the game. On top of that, as it doesn't do precision damage, Xenphage is also easy to use and forgiving. No wonder it's a top recommendation from Sherpas when taking New Lights to a raid.

In PVP, it remains as strong as ever. You can easily use its explosive rounds to two-shot kill any guardian, and you can even kill guardians behind cover by shooting the ground or nearby objects. PS: Xenophage is particularly good in Trials on longer-range maps.

Decent Alternative: Thunderlord.
Machine GunHeavyExotic Quest
Falling Guillotine Destiny 2 art
Falling Guillotine | Sword
Strong

A

PVEUmbral Engram

Easy

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: Season 15

Falling Guillotine PVE God Roll:
Perk 1: Relentless Strikes
Perk 2: Whirlwind Blade (also good: Surrounded)

The Falling Guillotine doesn't need an introduction. After all, half the guardians in the game use it to melt everything in their path.

Indeed, the Falling Guillotine is the strongest sword currently in the game, and the perfect example of how swords should have always been: High risk and high reward. Manage to get close enough without dying and you'll delete your enemies.

Decent Alternative: Temptation's Hook.
SwordHeavyUmbral Engram
Destiny 2 One Thousand Voices art
One Thousand Voices | Fusion Rifle
Strong

A

PVELast Wish Raid

Hard

Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: NA

Exotic Perk: "Charging this weapon unleashes a giant continuous beam of death. The beam superheats its targets upon impact, causing delayed explosions."

► Previously S Tier, this weapon has suffered from buffs and nerfs overall but it's still a DPS powerhouse. One Thousand Voices has suffered from several buffs and nerfs over time, but it's still a DPS powerhouse.

It can do significant area of effect damage, but what makes it truly special is the insane burst damage it can do in a fairly short time. Getting one won't be easy though, as it's a random drop from the Last Wish raid final boss...

Decent Alternative: NA...
Fusion RifleHeavyRaid
Eyes of Tomorrow Destiny 2 1
Eyes of Tomorrow | Rocket Launcher
Strong

A

PVE + PVPDeep Stone Crypt

Hard

Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: NA

Exotic Perk: "This weapon is capable of tracking and firing at multiple targets simultaneously. Killing four or more combatants in a single volley increases the damage of the next volley."

► On paper, Eyes of Tomorrow was supposed to be one the best heavy exotics released in a long time. Some were even calling it the new Gjallarhorn!

Turns out, this rocket launcher has a damage reduction against Bosses, which was disappointing. But still, it remains a strong weapon overall, with high multikills potential in PVP and Gambit, and generally good DPS.

Decent Alternative: Wardcliff Coil in PVP.
Rocket LauncherHeavyDeep Stone Crypt RaidBeyond Light
Commemoration Destiny 2 art
Commemoration | Machine Gun
Strong

A

PVPDeep Stone Crypt

Hard

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: Season 16

Commemoration God Roll:
Perk 3: Dynamic Sway Reduction (PVE perk: Reconstruction)
Perk 4: Under Pressure (PVE perk: Dragonfly or Rampage)

► The natural replacement of the fan-favorite Hammerhead, Commemoration is a solid PVP weapon. It may not have as high base stats as Hammerhead, but it more than makes up for it with great perks.

Commemoration also has a lot of potential for PVE. With the right perks, it can certainly outclass any other legendary machine gun for ad clear.

Decent Alternative: Seventh Seraph SAW.
Machine GunHeavyDeep Stone Crypt RaidBeyond Light
Destiny 2 Tractor Cannon art
Tractor Cannon | Shotgun
Strong

A

PVPExotic Engram

Average

Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: NA

Exotic Perk: "This weapon emits a powerful impulse that pushes enemies away, suppresses their abilities, and makes them more vulnerable to all incoming damage."

► Tractor Cannon was Top tier just a few seasons ago, but now that buffs and debuffs don't stack, it's no longer a must-have.

Tractor Cannon is still a good weapon overall, both for PVE and PVP, and can secure kills just as well as any other Heavy weapon. Plus, it also has the ability to suppress supers, and that alone can be incredibly valuable in high stakes competitive matches.

Good Alternative: One Thousand Voices.

Decent Alternative: NA...
ShotgunHeavyExotic Engram
Destiny 2 Thunderlord art
Thunderlord | Machine Gun
Strong

A

PVERandom Engram

Average

Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

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

► Thunderlord is a Power weapon that definitely deserves more attention. Most Guardians prefer to use Power weapons to deal with Majors or Bosses. But if you are looking for a beast at killing ads, look no further than Thunderlord.

Thunderlord's lighting effects are both lethal and impressive to behold. It also has tons of ammo, making it best in class to deal with red bar enemies by the dozens.

Decent Alternative: Thermal Erosion.
Machine GunHeavyRandom Engram
Destiny 2 Interference VI
Interference VI | Grenade Launcher
Strong

A

PVEWorld Drop

Average

Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: Season 14

Interference VI PVE God Roll:
Perk 1: Clown Cartridge (also good: Auto-Loading Holster)
Perk 2: Full Court

The Interference VI became an instant meta weapon when it was re-released in Season 10. It directly benefited from a nerf to Aggressive frame grenade launchers, but it also raised to the top thanks to great perk combinations.

The only grenade launcher capable to roll with Clown Cartridge and Full court, the Interference VI is the highest DPS grenade launcher currently in the game.

Decent Alternative: Crowd Pleaser.
Grenade LauncherHeavyWorld Drop
Destiny 2 The Wardcliff Coil
Wardcliff Coil | Rocket Launcher
Strong

A

PVPExotic Engram

Average

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: NA

Exotic Perk: "This weapon fires a volley of rockets and automatically reloads on ammo pickup."


When it works as intended, The Wardcliff Coil is incredibly lethal and could potentially wipe an entire team in PVP. On top of that, it's a consistent and reliable weapon that practically guarantees kills, even in competitive modes. If you're looking for an easy to use Power weapon for the Crucible, the Wardcliff Coils is for you.

And as an added bonus, the Wardcliff Coils also has the ability to easily shut down supers from range.

Good Alternative: Truth.
Rocket LauncherHeavyExotic Engram
Destiny 2 Whisper of the Worm art
Whisper of the Worm | Sniper Rifle
Strong

A

PVEQuest removed

Unavailable

Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

"Higher base precision damage. Rapidly landing three precision hits refills the magazine and missing a shot has a chance to return ammo."

► Whisper of the Worm is one of the best DPS weapons in Destiny 2, especially if you're a good shot. And since Izanagi's Burden was nerfed, it's again a high-end PVE favorite.

It's really too bad the weapon is currently not obtainable, but Bungie promises it will be back and available through the Monument to Lost Lights as early as next season!

Decent Alternative: IKELOS_SR_V1.0.2.
Sniper RifleHeavyUnavailable
Destiny 2 Heir Apparent art
Heir Apparent | Machine Gun
Strong

A

PVESeason 10 Reward

Unavailable

Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy

"This weapon can be fired only when fully spun up. While at full health, spinning up this weapon protects you with an Arc Shield."

► Heir Apparent is a unique and fun weapon that simply shreds in PVE. It may not have the best DPS but it can deal good total DPS due to its huge magazine size. If you're looking for a fun ad-clearing weapon, Heir Apparent is a great choice.

Unfortunately, Heir Apparent is currently not obtainable in-game. If you missed this one 2 seasons ago, you will probably have to wait until next season when Bungie will probably add it to the Monument of Lost Lights.

Decent Alternative: Thermal Erosion.
Machine GunHeavyUnavailable
Destiny 2 Deathbringer art
Deathbringer | Rocket Launcher
Strong

A

PVPExotic Quest

Average

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: NA

Exotic Perk: "Fires remotely detonated projectiles that drop Void orbs on combatants. Hold to fire, release to detonate. The further a Void orb falls, the more powerful its detonation becomes."


Deathbringer is one of the most fun heavy weapons in the Crucible. If you catch a team on spawn, you can wipe them all out with a well-placed detonation.

You can also use it to shoot it at a wall when someone pushes you and still secure a few kills in a pinch. It's great at tracking enemies, and overall, a slept on weapon more guardians should try.

Decent Alternative: Black Talon.
Rocket LauncherHeavyExotic Quest
Seventh Seraph SAW Destiny 2
Seventh Seraph SAW | Machine Gun
Average

B

PVPCurrently Unavailable

NA

Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: NA

Seventh Seraph SAW PVP God Roll:
Perk 1: Zen Moment
Perk 4: Vorpal Weapon (also good: Elemental Capacitor w/Void)

► Machine guns are popular in PVP because they offer an excellent ammo economy. When used right, one ammo brick can result in 4-5 kills.

The Seventh Seraph SAW is one of the few legendary machine guns that will survive sunsetting later this year, which is why it easily earned a spot here. That said, it does have good stats and decent perk options.
Machine GunHeavyCurrently NA
Crowd Pleaser Destiny 2 art
Crowd Pleaser | Grenade Launcher
Average

B

-Gambit

Easy

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: Season 16

Crowd Pleaser God Roll:
Perk 3: Killing Wind
Perk 4: Chain Reaction

► In direct competition with Blast Battue, the other adaptive grenade launcher released this season, Crowd Pleaser seems to be more geared towards PVP.

And unlike PVE, PVP currently lacks viable grenade launchers. But with the right perks, Crowd Pleaser can be the perfect replacement for Play of the Game or Edge Transit.
Grenade LauncherHeavyGambitFree-to-Play
Subzero Salvo Destiny 2 art
Subzero Salvo | Rocket Launcher
Average

B

-Europa Weapon Quest

Average

Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: Season 16

Subzero Salvo God Roll:
Perk 3: Surplus (also good: Ambitious Assassin)
Perk 4: Chain Reaction (also good: Cluster Bomb)

► Rocket launchers overall lag behind swords and grenade launchers in terms of DPS and lethality.

That said, Subzero Salvo does come with good stats and very interesting perks, such as Chain Reaction, which make it a decent crowd-control weapon.
Rocket LauncherHeavyEuropa Weapon QuestFree-to-Play
Corsairs Wrath Destiny 2 art
Corsair's Wrath | Linear Fusion Rifle
Average

B

-Wrathborn Hunts

Easy

Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: Season 16

Corsair's Wrath God Roll:
Perk 3: Outlaw
Perk 4: High-Impact Reservers (also good: Tresh)

► Linear Fusion rifles are generally outclassed by Swords and snipers. That alone means this weapon cannot be ranked much higher.

Having said that, Corsair's Wrath has good stats, good perks, and a very satisfying feel. If you're into linear fusion rifles, this one is a must.
Linear Fusion RifleHeavyWrathborn HuntsSeason Pass
Bequest Destiny 2 art
Bequest | Sword
Average

B

-Deep Stone Crypt

Hard

Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: Season 16

Bequest God Roll:
Perk 3: Tresh
Perk 4: Surrounded

► Bequest, unfortunately, came in the wrong time. The sword itself is not bad. It does good base damage and has interesting ad clearing perks.

But it has to compete with The Lament and Falling Guillotine, two outstanding weapons. On top of that, Bequest lacks Whirlwind Blade, a must-have perk for any self-respecting DPS sword...
SwordHeavyDeep Stone Crypt RaidBeyond Light
Salvation's Grip Destiny 2
Salvation's Grip | Grenade Launcher
Average

B

-Exotic Quest

Easy

Slot: Stasis Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: NA

Exotic Perk: "This weapon's projectiles create Stasis crystals and freeze nearby targets. Charging this weapon increases the freeze radius and amount of Stasis crystals created."

► Salvation's Grip is a difficult weapon to rank. Compared to some of the top Exotic Heavy weapons, it definitely struggles in terms of sheer DPS.

That said, if you're perfecting a Stasis build and count on shattering crystals as part of your main strategy, then Salvation's Grip can do wonders for you.
Grenade LauncherHeavyExotic QuestBeyond Light

Destiny 2 Power weapons Meta (as of December 2020)

It’s always exciting to review the best weapons in any given category, understand where to find them, and then go for them. After all, the chase for the best weapons is at the heart of Destiny 2. That said, it’s also important to understand how the different weapon types compare against each other.

What is “Meta”? 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.

We talk a lot about Swords, for example, and less about Rocket Launchers. This section will give you a good overview of the current PVE and PVP Meta for Power weapons.

PS: If you’re looking for the complete rundown of the state of the current Meta for PVP and PVP, check out our Destiny 2 Meta weapons guide.

As done before, the 2 lists below start with the S Tier weapon types and move down from there:

PVE Power weapons meta

Weapon TypeTierRole ❘ Current State
Sword weapon type Destiny 2
Swords
Best

S

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

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

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

A

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

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

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

A

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

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

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

B

Main role: Add Clear

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

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

B

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

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

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

C

Main role: Single Target damage

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

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

For the record, weapon categories consisting of only 1 or 2 exotics have been excluded from this overview. In this case, Heavy snipers, shotguns, and fusion rifles have been excluded.

PVP Power weapons meta

Weapon TypeTierRole ❘ Current State
Rocket launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Rocket Launchers
Best

S

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

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

A

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

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

B

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

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

C

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

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

C

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

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

The Last Word

By now you should have a good understanding of what the best Power weapons in Destiny 2 are. Hopefully, you also understood the importance of keeping these lists up to date. Bungie usually changes the “sandbox” with buffs and nerfs that can rather any “Weapons ranking” obsolete overnight.

You can rest assured this overview is up to date with the current Beyond Light sandbox and it will be updated as soon as a significant sandbox update occurs!

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?

Join our 500-guardian strong Discord server!

1 Comment
  1. Leaf

    What about machine guns for PvE?

    Reply
Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prophecy dungeon Destiny 2 Featured Parallax

Improve your Destiny 2 experience

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

You have Successfully Subscribed!