Destiny 2 Rocket Launchers Tier List

Ranked for PVP and PVE

By Ric (aka Prim) | updated Feb 17, 2021

Rocket launchers in Destiny 2 used to be in a sorry state. In fact, they had been lacking for so long, many assumed they would never return to their former Gjallarhorn glory days.

But things can change quickly in Destiny, especially the Meta. Last season, they received a bump to their ammo capacity, and this season, they received a much-needed 30% increase in damage against Majors and Bosses.

These two buffs have catapulted Rocket launchers back to the forefront, making them some of the best weapons in the game.

In this guide, we’ll cover both Exotic and Rocket launchers (including their PVP and PVE god rolls) and rank them from best to worst. But more importantly, this guide will also go over the best perks and help you understand what makes a rocket launcher great.


Destiny 2 Rocket Launchers Tier list

These are the different Tier levels used for this ranking:

  • 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. It also covers both PVE and PVP, with the “Excels in” column clearly identifying where each weapon shines.

Alert iconDamage numbers: Damage figures come from Ehroar‘s excellent video analysis. In this guide, burst damage refers to the damage done by 2 rockets shot back to back.

WeaponTierExcels inDrops from ❘ RequirementsBurst DPS ❘ BuffVerdictElement?Archetype?Requirements?
Royal Entry Destiny 2 art
Royal Entry
| Rocket Launcher
Best

S

PVEPlaylist: Strikes
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
73,107

+30% Buff

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Impulse Amplifier) + Lasting Impression

► The best Legendary rocket launcher in the game, Royal Entry has a lot going for it. As a Precision rocket launcher, it comes with tracking out of box.

On top of that, it can roll with all the best rocket perks in the game, including Clown Cartridge, Lasting Impression, Chain Reaction and Impulse Amplifier.
VoidPrecisionFree-to-Play
Destiny 2 The Wardcliff Coil
The Wardcliff Coil
| Rocket Launcher
Best

S

PVPExotic Engram
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
49,909

+41,8% Buff

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

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

► The Wardcliff Coil does less than impressive damage numbers. And while you'll be better served with several other launchers for PVE, the Wardcliff Coil is a beast in PVP.

Thanks to its volley of rockets, this is one of the most effective PVP Heavy weapons in Destiny 2.
ArcExoticFree-to-Play
Code Duello Destiny 2 art
Code Duello
| Rocket Launcher
Strong

A

PVEBattlegrounds
Destiny 2 Season 13 logo
73,107

+30% Buff

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

PVE God Roll: Impulse Amplifier (also good: Auto-Loading Holster) + Lasting Impression

► Able to roll with the brand-new Frenzy perk, Code Duello does the highest burst damage in the entire game. And as Frenzy also affects your reload, it can take your DPS numbers even higher. In fact, with Frenzy, it can do 84,073 burst DPS (+20% damage).

Also, as a weapon found in Battlegrounds, it can be easy to farm this season!
SolarHigh-ImpactSeason 13
Destiny 2 Deathbringer art
Deathbringer
| Rocket Launcher
Strong

A

PVPExotic Quest
Destiny 2 Shadowkeep logo 3
90,133

+11.5% Buff

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

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 a strange beast. In fact, many discard simply because they don't fully understand it. But when used right, Deathbringer can deal massive damage in PVE and can easily lead to insane multi-kills in PVP.

To be fair, Deathbringer's projectiles are not always consistent, which is why a few bad early experiences can lead players to give up on it far too quickly.
VoidExoticShadowkeep
Subzero Salvo Destiny 2 art
Strong

A

PVEEuropa Destination
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
73,107

+30% Buff

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

PVE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin + Chain Reaction

► Being a Precision rocket launcher, Subzero Salvo comes with Tracking out of the box. Add to that Chain Reaction and Ambitious Assassin and you get the best ad clear rocket launcher in the game.

Indeed, Chain Reaction and Ambitious Assassin pair really well. The first makes multi-kills a piece of cake while the other will load 2 rockets in the chamber per multi-kill!
ArcPrecisionFree-to-Play
Sleepless Destiny 2 art
Sleepless
| Rocket Launcher
Strong

A

PVEDreaming City Destination
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
73,107

+30% Buff

Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Archetype: High-Impact

PVE God Roll: Tracking Module (also good: Auto-Loading Holster) + Chain Reaction

► Able to roll with Chain Reaction, Sleepless is an excellent ad clear rocket launcher. Add to that Tracking Module or Auto-Loading Holster and you get a great all-around rocket launcher perfect for general play and solo adventures.
ArcHigh-ImpactFree-to-Play
Heretic Destiny 2 art
Heretic
| Rocket Launcher
Strong

A

PVEMoon Destination
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
73,107

+30% Buff

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

PVE God Roll: Impulse Amplifier (also good: Field Prep) + Lasting Impression

► A 25 RPM rocket launcher capable of rolling with the new Impulse Amplifier + Lasting Impression combo, Heretic is one of the best DPS rocket launchers in the game.

Plus, it's not that hard to obtain and is an excellent excuse to farm the Altars of Sorrow in the Moon.
ArcAggressiveFree-to-Play
Eyes of Tomorrow Destiny 2 1
Eyes of Tomorrow
| Rocket Launcher
Strong

A

BothRaid
Destiny 2 Beyond Light logo 1
52,098

+XX% Buff

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

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."

► Eyes of Tomorrow was somewhat disappointing because of the low damage it does to bosses. Still, it remains an excellent weapon for ad clear, but more importantly, a monster in Gambit and PVP (in 6v6 modes).
SolarExoticBeyond Light
Tomorrows Answer Destiny 2 art
Average

B

Trials of Osiris
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
73,107

+30% Buff

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Archetype: High-Impact

PVE God Roll: Impulse Amplifier + Lasting Impression

► Also capable of rolling with Impulse Amplifier and Lasting Impression, Tomorrow's Answer is technically a great DPS rocket launchers too.

But the fact you have to play Trials to get it, and that other equivalent/easier to obtain options exist, makes it less appealing.
VoidHigh-ImpactFree-to-Play
Destiny 2 Truth art
Truth
| Rocket Launcher
Average

B

-Exotic Kiosk
Destiny 2 Forsaken logo 1
64,949

+31% Buff

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon's rockets have tracking and detonate when they are within close proximity of their targets."

► Recipient of one of the biggest damage buffs at +31%, Truth does decent damage and remains a menace in Gambit. But with the arrival of the new Eyes of Tomorrow raid rocket launcher, Truth is nowhere near as popular as it used to be.
VoidExoticForsaken
Destiny 2 Two-Tailed Fox art
Two-Tailed Fox
| Rocket Launcher
Average

B

-Exotic Engram
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
63,027

+12.3% Buff

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Shoots two rockets, one Void and one Solar, that can track onto the same target. The Void rocket suppresses enemies. The Solar rocket causes damage over time."

► Two-Tailed Fox is, on paper, one of the best boss-damage exotic rocket launchers right now. But it still does less damage than some Legendaries on this list.
VoidExoticFree-to-Play
Bad Omens Destiny 2 art
Average

B

World Loot Pool
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
73,107

+30% Buff

Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Archetype: Aggressive

PVE God Roll: Tracking Module (also good: Auto-Loading Holster) + Cluster Bomb

► Bad Omens is average at best. Its God roll includes Tracking Module, which is something all Precision rocket launchers get for "free". On top of that, it's missing all the best PVE damage perks.
VoidAggressiveFree-to-Play
Shining Sphere Destiny 2
Weak

C

Iron Banner
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
73,107

+30% Buff

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

PVE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Tracking Module

► The Iron Banner rocket launcher doesn't have much going for it. It has an extremely limited perk selection and is extremely hard to target farm, as all things Iron Banner...
ArcAdaptiveFree-to-Play
Hoosegow Destiny 2 art
Weak

C

Prophecy Dungeon
Destiny 2 Free to Play logo 1
73,107

+30% Buff

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

PVE God Roll: Tracking Module (also good: Auto-Loading Holster) + Cluster Bomb

► It's hard to recommend the Hoosegow. Part of the Prophecy dungeon loot pool, it's not that easy to farm and lacks all the top PVE damage perks, such as Lasting Impression or Frenzy.
ArcAdaptiveFree-to-Play
Apex Predator Destiny 2 art
Worst

D

Last Wish Raid
Destiny 2 Forsaken logo 1
73,107

+30% Buff

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

PVE God Roll: Tracking Module + Auto-Loading Holster

► What makes this weapon one of the worst of its kind is the fact it has an extremely limited and weak perk selection. And is difficult weapon to acquire, as it can only be found in the Last Wish raid.
SolarAdaptiveForsaken

Destiny 2 Best Rocket Launcher Perks

Before we dive into the facts and figures that determine which are the top perks, you need to keep in mind one important thing:

Every legendary rocket launcher does the same damage per rocket.

This makes perks all the more important. When the base damage is technically the same for all Rocket Launchers, it’s the perks that will make or break them.

Among the many excellent rocket launcher perks available, the most popular are often the damage-dealing perks. Again, from Ehroar‘s videos, these are the damage increases you can expect from the most popular damage-dealing perks:

Perk Increase Damage
Base Damage 73,107
Cluster Bomb 6.1% 77,559
Frenzy 15% 84,073
Lasting Impression 19% 87,017

Do note that these figures include the Impact Casing perk, which grants 10% more impact.

Best Rocket Launcher Perks for PVE

The best PVE perks will depend on your expected usage. These are the most common situations you’d want to have a top-tier Rocket launcher for PVE for.

0. All-around perks

But before we start discussing specific scenarios and use cases, the following perks are always good to have, mainly because they will greatly improve your rocket launcher’s uptime:

  • Auto-loading Holster: “The holstered weapon is automatically reloaded after a short period of time.”
  • Field Prep: “Increased ammo reserves. Faster reload, stow, and ready when you’re crouching.”
  • Impulse Amplifier: “Massively increases projectile velocity, increases reload speed.”

1. Boss DPS and/or Damage phases 

If you’re looking to deal the highest possible damage to a boss, a god roll will look something like this:

  • Lasting Impression: “Rockets attach on impact and detonate after a delay. Increases blast radius and damage.”
  • Frenzy: “Being in combat for an extended time increases damage, handling, and reload for this weapon until you are out of combat.”

Needless to say, combining a good uptime perk (such as Impulse Amplifier)  with a top tier damage perk (such as Lasting Impression) can result in one of the best PVE weapons in the game.

2. Crowd Control

Sometimes you just need to deal with a bunch of red bar enemies (ads). In those situations, you’ll need entirely different perks than before, something like these:

  • Chain Reaction: “Each final blow with this weapon creates an elemental damage explosion.”
  • Cluster Bomb: “Rockets spawn cluster bombs upon detonation.”

Finally, it is worth mentioning that Rocket launchers are not considered optimal for crowd control. A grenade launcher or machine gun will probably better serve you. In the current meta, you’ll want to use a rocket launcher for damage phases against bosses and majors (and benefit from that juicy +30% damage buff they just received).


Best Destiny 2 Exotic Rocket Launchers for PVP

When it comes to PVP, you can of course find suitable rocket launchers with the right perks (Quickdraw and Tracking Module come to mind). But truth is, the top Exotic rocket launchers are vastly superior to any god-rolled legendary.

We covered all the exotics in the tier list above, but if you’re looking for the quick and dirty conclusion, these are the exotics you’d want to bring to the Crucible:

The Wardcliff Coil Destiny 2 featured

The Wardcliff Coil

Weapon Type: Rocket Launcher Slot: SolarHeavy
Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammoHeavy Source: Final Encounter

Considered one of the best PVP weapons in the game, this is an easy-to-use weapon that basically guarantees at least one kill per shot.

 

Eyes of Tomorrow Destiny 2 image

Eyes of Tomorrow

Weapon Type: Rocket Launcher Slot: SolarHeavy
Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammoHeavy Source: Final Encounter

The new rocket launcher from the Deep Stone Crypt is one of the most sought-after weapons right now. With its tracking capabilities, this thing is extremely lethal in both PVP and Gambit.

If you’re convinced and eager to hear how to get these top-tier weapons, read on.


Destiny 2 Rocket Launchers sources: How to get them

The table above includes a column titled “Drops from  ❘ Requirements“. This section goes deeper and includes more detailed steps on how to acquire all the shotguns still viable in Destiny 2:

Destiny 2 Exotic Rocket Launchers sources

This is how you can obtain the several Exotic shotguns in our Tier list:

  • Exotic Quest: Some Exotics, such as Deadbringer, require you to complete a dedicated Exotic quest. For more information, check out our Exotic Quests hub.
  • Raid: Eyes of Tomorrow is the latest raid weapon to be added to the game, as it can only drop from the Deep Stone Crypt‘s final boss.
  • Exotics Kiosk: Many Exotics, such as Truth, can be acquired via the Exotics Kiosk in the tower, officially called the Monument to Lost Lights. You can read all about it, including costs and requirements, here.
  • Random Engrams: Finally, some Exotics, such as The Wardcliff Coil or Two-Tailed Fox can only randomly drop while playing the game or by acquiring Exotic engrams (most notably from the Season Pass or from Xur).

Destiny 2 Exotic Engram

If you’re interested in the Legendary options, read on.

Destiny 2 Legendary Rocket launchers sources

This is how you can obtain the several Legendary shotguns in our Tier list:

  • Playlist weapons: Some weapons, such as Royal Entry, can only drop from specific Playlist activities, in this case, Strikes.
  • Trials of Osiris: Tomorrow’s Answer can only drop while getting wins in the endgame PVP mode Trials of Osiris, Destiny 2’s endgame (and brutal) PVP mode. Beware that drops rotate weekly, so you’ll have to patient and wait until Astral Horizon becomes part of the weekly drops.
  • World Loot Pool: Some Legendaries can only randomly drop while playing the game, either as end-of-match rewards or when finding Legendary engrams.

Finally, several sources are self-explanatory, but in doubt, you can always leave a comment below with your question or ask away on our Discord.


Ranking criteria

For the record, as much as we tried to keep this list as objective as possible, it’s still based on our personal experience playing the PC version of the game.

Finally, if you’re wondering what criteria was used to build this Tier list, these are the main factors I took into account:

  • Lethality: The higher the effective DPS and usability, the higher the ranking.
  • Consistency: Some weapons may not have the highest DPS numbers, but they are so consistent, they more than make up for their lower DPS numbers.
  • Ease of use: Similar to the point above, some weapons are very effective because they are easy to use and don’t require too much skill or setup. This is also rewarded with higher rankings.
  • PVE/PVP Performance: High lethality in either PVE or  PVP is equally valuable. However, a weapon that is good at both PVE and PVP should rank higher than one that is slightly better on only PVE or PVP.
  • Fun factor: Not the most important factor, but it also helps if the weapon is damn fun to shoot with!

If you strongly disagree with some of the rankings here, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. By the way, what is your personal favorite?