Best Rocket Launchers in Destiny 2: Tier List Ranking

by | Dec 15, 2022

Not too long ago, Destiny 2’s Rocket launchers were in an absolutely sorry state. They were underpowered and simply not fun to use. But slowly, they received several buffs, from increased ammo reserves to significant damage increases against Majors and Bosses. All those buffs have catapulted Rocket launchers back to the forefront, with some of them sitting among the best weapons in the game.

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

Destiny 2 Rocket Launchers Tier list

The Tier list below includes every Exotic and non-sunset legendary Rocket Launcher in the game. It starts with the S Tier weapons and moves down from there. It also covers both PVE and PVP, with the “Excels in” column clearly identifying in what area each weapon shines:

NameWeaponsTypeArchetypeAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?RankSourceAvailable?Tier rankSource ❘ DLCFinal VerdictReleasedPerks
Hezen VengeanceHezen Vengeance art
Hezen Vengeance
Rocket LauncherAggressiveHeavySolarFree-to-PlayYesS › BestVault of Glass Raid
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Vault of Glass Raid

Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Lasting Impression (also good: Overflow ) + Vorpal Weapon (also good: Lasting Impression)
PvP God Roll: Impulse Amplifier (Tracking Module) + Cluster Bomb

► Hezen Vengeance has always been a weapon worth farming, but recent buffs and meta-shifts have made this rocket an S-Tier pick. From its excellent perk pool to its better-than-average stats and intrinsic damage, Hezen Vengeance is one of the best legendary rockets currently obtainable.
Season 14
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Lasting Impression (also good: Overflow ) + Vorpal Weapon (also good: Lasting Impression)
PvP God Roll: Impulse Amplifier (Tracking Module) + Cluster Bomb
GjallarhornGjallarhorn art
Gjallarhorn
Rocket LauncherExoticHeavySolar30th AnniversaryYesS › BestGrasp of Avarice Dungeon
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Grasp of Avarice Dungeon

30th Anniversary
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Rounds fired split into tracking cluster missiles upon detonation. Gain increased handling and reload speed when standing near allies. Firing this weapon also grants Wolfpack Rounds to nearby allies wielding non-Exotic Rocket Launchers."

► Despite its slight perk differences compared to Destiny 1, Destiny 2's Gjallarhorn continues its reign as king. Because of its tracking and Wolfpack Rounds in PvP and its perk that buffs nearby allies' rocket launchers in PvE, it's uncommon not to see anyone running Gjallarhorn in most activities.
30th Anniversary event
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Rounds fired split into tracking cluster missiles upon detonation. Gain increased handling and reload speed when standing near allies. Firing this weapon also grants Wolfpack Rounds to nearby allies wielding non-Exotic Rocket Launchers."
Palmyra-BPalmyra-B art
Palmyra-B
Rocket LauncherPrecisionHeavyStasisFree-to-PlayYesS › BestWorld loot pool
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
World loot pool

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

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Lasting Impression (Explosive Light)
PvP God Roll: Impulse Amplifier + Chain Reaction (Chill Clip)

► While Palmyra-B used to be the best legendary rocket launcher available, recent changes have resulted in Precision Frame rockets doing less damage than most other frames. While still an S-Tier choice because of its unrivaled perks and intrinsic tracking, The Hothead and Hezen Vengeance are better options (assuming you can reliably aim without tracking).
Season 16
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Precision

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Lasting Impression (Explosive Light)
PvP God Roll: Impulse Amplifier + Chain Reaction (Chill Clip)
The HotheadThe Hothead art
The Hothead
Rocket LauncherAdaptiveHeavyArcFree-to-PlayNoS › BestNightfall: The Ordeals
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Nightfall: The Ordeals

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

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Field Prep) + Lasting Impression (also good: Explosive Light)

► Containing solid stats, S-Tier perks, and an Adept version, The Hothead is often regarded as the best legendary rocket launcher. And because of recent nerfs to the damage of precision frame launchers, Hothead also does more damage than most competitive options.
Season 15
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Field Prep) + Lasting Impression (also good: Explosive Light)
Eyes of Tomorrow
Eyes of Tomorrow
Rocket LauncherExoticHeavySolarBeyond LightYesA › StrongDeep Stone Crypt Raid
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Deep Stone Crypt Raid

Beyond Light
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 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."

► Even though recent buffs benefited Eyes of Tomorrow in PvE, it still doesn't hold up to other options like Gjallarhorn. However, its absurd tracking continues to make it a near-irreplaceable pick in 6v6 PvP and Gambit.
Season 12
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 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."
AscendancyAscendancy art
Ascendancy
Rocket LauncherPrecisionHeavySolarFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongExotic Kiosk
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Exotic Kiosk

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

PvE Fixed Roll: Impulse Amplifier + Explosive Light
PvP Fixed Roll: Impulse Amplifier + Chain Reaction

► While not as strong as randomly-rolled options such as The Hothead, Ascendancy is an excellent choice for players new to the game. From its intrinsic tracking for PvP to Explosive Light for PvE, Ascendancy proves its worth for those who don't have the time to grind for an S-Tier option.
Season 15
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Precision

PvE Fixed Roll: Impulse Amplifier + Explosive Light
PvP Fixed Roll: Impulse Amplifier + Chain Reaction
Code DuelloCode Duello art
Code Duello
Rocket LauncherHigh-ImpactHeavySolarFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongUnobtainable
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Unobtainable

Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: High-Impact

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

► Now obtainable through Dares of Eternity, Code Duello is a top-tier weapon. With perks such as Auto-Loading Holster and Lasting Impression, this rocket launcher still keeps up with the meta; however, newly obtainable and craftable options are just as good, if not better.
Season 13
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: High-Impact

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Impulse Amplifier ) + Lasting Impression
The Wardcliff CoilDestiny 2 The Wardcliff Coil
The Wardcliff Coil
Rocket LauncherExoticHeavyArcFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongExotic Engram
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvP
Exotic Engram

Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

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

► An outstanding choice for the Crucible, The Wardcliff Coil guarantees kills in any Crucible mode. As long as you don't accidentally blow yourself up, Wardcliff is a reliable and fun option for any PvP player.
Season 1
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon fires a volley of rockets and automatically reloads on ammo pickup."
DeathbringerDestiny 2 Deathbringer art
Deathbringer
Rocket LauncherExoticHeavyVoidShadowkeepYesB › AverageExotic Quest
Average

B



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Exotic Quest

Shadowkeep
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 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."

► One of the more fun weapons to run in Destiny 2, Deathbringer has sadly always been too inconsistent to become meta. While its catalyst helps this problem a bit, it can be challenging to get max damage out of Deathbringer while still having all its void orbs track your target.
Season 8
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 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."
BlowoutBlowout art

Blowout
Rocket LauncherAdaptiveHeavyArcFree-to-PlayYesB › AveragePlaylist: Crucible
Average

B



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Playlist: Crucible

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

PvE God Roll: Field Prep + Explosive Light (also good: Lasting Impression)

► While not the most exciting weapon released in Season of the Seraph, Blowout is a great rocket launcher for new players. While it lacks some S-tier perks like Auto-Loading Holster, this is a great option to chase if you're not ready to grind out The Hothead just yet.
Season 19
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Field Prep + Explosive Light (also good: Lasting Impression)
Tomorrow's Answer
Tomorrow's Answer
Rocket LauncherHigh-ImpactHeavyVoidThe Witch QueenYesB › AverageTrials of Osiris
Average

B



Excels in:
PvE
Trials of Osiris

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

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Lasting Impression

► While it was the most popular rocket launcher for a short while, Tomorrow's Answer is now drowned out by newer choices. And even though there are no substantial problems with it, Tomorrow's Answer isn't used nearly as often because its competition is better (and easier to get!).
Season 10
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: High-Impact

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Lasting Impression
HereticHeretic art
Heretic
Rocket LauncherAggressiveHeavyArcFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageMoon
Average

B



Excels in:
PvE
Moon

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

PvE God Roll: Field Prep + Lasting Impression

► Able to roll with top PvE perks such as Field Prep and Lasting Impression, Heretic is just about average; it's not very popular among the community but is perfectly capable of being a good option for more casual content.
Season 13
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Field Prep + Lasting Impression
Royal EntryRoyal Entry art
Royal Entry
Rocket LauncherPrecisionHeavyVoidFree-to-PlayYesB › AveragePlaylist: Vanguard
Average

B



Excels in:
PvE
Playlist: Vanguard

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

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

► Royal Entry used to be the best rocket launcher in the game but is now commonly regarded as average. While it still contains S-Tier perks, its absurdly large perk pool and low damage have resulted in newer options, such as The Hothead and Hezen Vengeance, taking the throne.
Season 13
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Precision

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Impulse Amplifier) + Lasting Impression
SleeplessSleepless art
Sleepless
Rocket LauncherHigh-ImpactHeavyArcFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageDreaming City
Average

B



Excels in:
PvE
Dreaming City

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

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

► With a wide range of relatively new perks, Sleepless is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a rocket launcher for more casual content. While it doesn't compare to the top-tier options, Sleepless continues to be a niche option for those looking to have fun.
Season 13
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: High-Impact

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Tracking Module) + Chain Reaction (also good: Vorpal Weapon)
Red HerringRed Herring art
Red Herring
Rocket LauncherAdaptiveHeavyVoidFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageThrone World
Average

B



Excels in:
PvE
Throne World

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

PvE God Roll: Field Prep + Lasting Impression

► Being part of one of the most competitive weapon types, the Red Herring Rocket Launcher has a high standard to live up to. Sadly, with no intrinsic tracking and few S-tier perks, this weapon isn't worth using over its competitors.
Season 16
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Field Prep + Lasting Impression
Bump in the Night Bump in the Night art
Bump in the Night
Rocket LauncherAggressiveHeavyStasisSeason 17YesB › AverageSeasonal activity
Average

B



Excels in:
PvE
Seasonal activity
Season 17 Destiny 2 icon
Season 17
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Field Prep) + Vorpal Weapon (also good: Chill Clip)

► While Bump in the Night does have various top-tier PvE perks, it gets drowned out by all the great options we currently have. Unless you want to use Chain Reaction or Chill Clip for fun, crafting a Palmyra-B or farming for The Hothead will be more worthwhile.
Season 17
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Field Prep) + Vorpal Weapon (also good: Chill Clip)
Roar of the BearRoar of the Bear
Roar of the Bear
Rocket LauncherHigh-ImpactHeavySolarFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageIron Banner
Average

B



Excels in:
PvE
Iron Banner

Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: High-Impact

PvE God Roll: Field Prep (also good: Demolitionist) + Lasting Impression (also good: Incandescent)

► Roar of the Bear is back and has a couple of perks to back up its reissue in PvE. The Hothead and other rockets will still be the go-to options, but perks like Incandescent help Roar of the Bear stir the pot.
Season 18
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: High-Impact

PvE God Roll: Field Prep (also good: Demolitionist) + Lasting Impression (also good: Incandescent)
Two-Tailed FoxDestiny 2 Two-Tailed Fox art
Two-Tailed Fox
Rocket LauncherExoticHeavyVoidFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageExotic Engram
Average

B



Exotic Engram

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 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."

► An enjoyable option that's never seen much popularity, Two-Tailed Fox just doesn't cut it when Gjallarhorn and The Hothead are dominating. That said, while nothing has been added yet, synergies with Solar and Void 3.0 could elevate this mediocre weapon to the next level.
Season 4
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 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."
TruthDestiny 2 Truth art
Truth
Rocket LauncherExoticHeavyVoidForsaken PackYesC › WeakExotic Kiosk
Weak

C



Exotic Kiosk

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

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

► Because it has insane tracking, but nothing more, Truth has always only excelled in Gambit. However, nowadays, it even gets outclassed there; newer tracking options such as Gjallarhorn and Eyes of Tomorrow can sadly do the job better.
Season 7
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon's rockets have tracking and detonate when they are within close proximity of their targets."
Hoosegow
Hoosegow
Rocket LauncherAdaptiveHeavyArcFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakWorld loot pool
Weak

C



World loot pool

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

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Cluster Bomb

► Notorious for being one of the weakest yet most common drops in the Prophecy dungeon, Hoosegow has never been a go-to choice for the community. Like many other lacking rocket launchers, Hoosegow will likely fail to become meta unless it gets a perk pool refresh.
Season 11
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Cluster Bomb
Bad Omens
Bad Omens
Rocket LauncherAggressiveHeavyVoidFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakWorld loot pool
Weak

C



World loot pool

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

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Cluster Bomb


► Lacking S-Tier damage perks for PvE, Bad Omens has fallen due to power creep. Unless it gets a refresh, Bad Omens' relatively small and mediocre perk pool will continue to make this weapon something to pass on.
Season 11
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Auto-Loading Holster + Cluster Bomb
Subzero Salvo
Subzero Salvo
Rocket LauncherPrecisionHeavyArcFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakEuropa
Weak

C



Europa

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

PvE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin + Chain Reaction

► Because of Ambitious Assassin, Chain Reaction, and its intrinsic tracking, Subzero Salvo is a great ad clear choice in casual content. However, because of recent buffs to machine guns, there isn't a good reason to run a rocket launcher over an LMG for major ad clear.
Season 12
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Precision

PvE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin + Chain Reaction
Apex Predator
Apex Predator
Rocket LauncherAdaptiveHeavySolarForsaken PackYesD › WorstLast Wish Raid
Worst

D



Last Wish Raid

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

PvE God Roll: Tracking Module + Auto-Loading Holster

► Containing a selection of only three perks per column, all of which are weak, Apex Predator is often regarded as one of the worst raid drops in the game. There's really no reason to go back to Last Wish to chase this weapon.
Season 4
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Tracking Module + Auto-Loading Holster
Shining Sphere
Shining Sphere
Rocket LauncherAdaptiveHeavyArcFree-to-PlayNoD › WorstIron Banner
Worst

D



Iron Banner

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

PvP God Roll: Snapshot Sights + Tracking Module

► Being the same frame and element as The Hothead, you'd expect Shining Sphere to be at least average automatically. However, because of its horrible perk pool, this rocket launcher is one of the worst.
Season 11
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Adaptive

PvP God Roll: Snapshot Sights + Tracking Module

These are the different Tier levels used for our list:

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

More Destiny 2 Tier lists:

Best Destiny 2 Rocket Launchers in Season 19

This section not only covers the top Rocket Launchers currently in the game, but it also tells you where you can find them. In case you’re still in doubt, we have a guide that covers how to get every weapon in Destiny 2.

Overall, these are our Top 5 favorite Rocket launchers for PvE and PvP.

 

Ascendancy Destiny 2 featured rocket launcher

5. Ascendancy

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE and PvP

One of the various top-tier ritual weapons, Ascendancy is an excellent option for newer players who don’t want to grind as much.

Because it only has four static perks, there isn’t much to this weapon; Explosive Light is a fantastic DPS choice for PVE, while Chain Reaction can serve as a more fun option with Ambitious Assassin. While the lack of Field Prep and Auto-Loading Holster in Ascendancy’s first column makes it considerably weaker than options like The Hothead, this rocket launcher is an excellent replacement for those wanting a reduced grind.

As for PVP, Ascendancy’s intrinsic tracking and solid perks carry it to victory. Impulse Amplifier and Chain Reaction can be great here, allowing for relatively easy kills.

Ascendancy definitely isn’t the best rocket launcher out there, but you can’t get much better for such a little grind. If you don’t have anything else on this Top 5, this above-average rocket launcher will work just fine.

PvE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Impulse Amplifier
  • Perk 2: Explosive Light

How to get it: Ascendancy can be from the Monument to Lost Lights in the tower.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?
Ascendancy artAscendancyRocket LauncherPrecisionLegendaryHeavySolarFree-to-PlayYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavySolar Solar
Strong

A

PvE + PvPExotic Kiosk
Free-to-Play
Season 15HeavyNo

 

Palmyra-B Rocket launcher

4. Palmyra-B

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE and PvP

Widely regarded as the best rocket launcher when it first came out, Palmyra-B is now outclassed (but only by a little).

Able to roll with Auto-Loading Holster and either Explosive Light or Lasting Impression, Palmyra is still considerably strong in PVE. Plus, with its Stasis element, Palmyra allows for great synergy with Font of Might and a Stasis subclass.

Despite all that, Palmyra has one weakness: its Precision Frame. Bungie recently reduced the damage of this frame of rockets in exchange for the intrinsic tracking it provides, making The Hothead and Hezen Vengeance much more desirable.

If you’re running a Stasis subclass with Font of Might or simply don’t believe in your aiming skill, Palmyra-B could be the most potent option. However, the three rocket launchers we’ll cover next are stronger in most scenarios.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Auto-Loading Holster
  • Perk 2: Lasting Impression (Explosive Light)

PVP God roll:

  • Perk 1: Impulse Amplifier
  • Perk 2: Chain Reaction (Chill Clip)

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

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?
Palmyra-B artPalmyra-BRocket LauncherPrecisionLegendaryHeavyStasisFree-to-PlayYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyStasis Stasis
Best

S

PvE + PvPWorld loot pool
Free-to-Play
Season 16HeavyCraftable

 

Hezen Vengeance Destiny 2 featured rocket launcher

3. Hezen Vengeance

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE and PvP

Coming from the Vault of Glass raid and containing similar rolls to The Hothead, Hezen Vengeance is somewhat of an underrated pick.

With the ability to roll Auto-Loading Holster and Lasting Impression, Hezen directly competes with Hothead. However, Hezen has something Hothead doesn’t: Overflow. Overflow isn’t the most fantastic perk, but it can excel when bursting down Champions.

Hezen Vengeance can also excel in PVP; with perks like Quickdraw, Tracking Module, Impulse Amplifier, and Cluster Bomb, there isn’t too much to hate about this weapon in the Crucible.

Hezen Vengeance is a great, well-rounded pick for anyone needing a reliable rocket launcher. While some of its competitors slightly beat it, there isn’t much to hate about this S-Tier weapon.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Lasting Impression (also good: Overflow )
  • Perk 2: Vorpal Weapon (also good: Lasting Impression)

PVP God roll:

  • Perk 1: Impulse Amplifier (Tracking Module)
  • Perk 2: Cluster Bomb

How to get it: Hezen Vengeance can be acquired by completing the fourth or fifth encounter of the Vault of Glass raid.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?
Hezen Vengeance artHezen VengeanceRocket LauncherAggressiveLegendaryHeavySolarFree-to-PlayYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavySolar Solar
Best

S

PvE + PvPVault of Glass Raid
Free-to-Play
Season 14HeavyNo

 

The Hothead Rocket launcher

2. The Hothead

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

A strong choice ever since it was released in Season of the Lost, The Hothead’s perks and its Adept version allow it to excel in both PVE and PVP.

From the DPS-heavy combo of Auto-Loading Holster and Lasting Impression to the burst damage synergy of Field Prep and Clown Cartridge, The Hothead has you covered for PVE. While most players use it with a potent special weapon such as Izanagi’s Burden, this top-tier rocket launcher can also excel at ad clearing and burst champion damage.

The Hothead can also succeed in PVP thanks to its perks, such as Impulse Amplifier and Tracking Module. Its performance is nowhere near as impressive here as it is in hardcore PVE activities, but this weapon’s consistency and ease of use are hard to ignore.

With its unrivaled perks, above-average stats, and Adept version, there’s no question why The Hothead is such a popular choice. If you spot this weapon in the weekly rotation, pick up a roll; there’s not much else that compares.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Auto-Loading Holster (also good: Field Prep)
  • Perk 2: Lasting Impression (also good: Explosive Light)

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

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?
The Hothead artThe HotheadRocket LauncherAdaptiveLegendaryHeavyArcFree-to-PlayNoHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyArc Arc
Best

S

PvENightfall: The Ordeals
Free-to-Play
Season 15HeavyNo

 

Gjallarhorn Destiny 2 featured rocket launcher

1. Gjallarhorn

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE and PvP

In a surprise to absolutely no one, Gjallarhorn continues to be the best rocket launcher in the game. Having at least one Gjallarhorn in raid or Grandmaster Nightfall groups is a no-brainer because of its intrinsic tracking and magazine size of two (with the catalyst). And with its buff to nearby ally rockets, running one Gjallarhorn makes your ally’s weapons more potent.

Gjallarhorn’s tracking and Wolfpack Rounds make it an option worth using in the Crucible too. Competing with The Wardcliff Coil’s ability to grant free and reliable kills, seeing someone run this monster of a rocket in your next Gambit or Crucible match is almost guaranteed.

While it’s nowhere near as powerful as it was in Destiny 1, Gjallarhorn still finds a way to dominate the rocket launcher scene. From its great perks and catalyst to its unique quest, recommending this outstanding weapon is easy.

Exotic Perk: “Rounds fired split into tracking cluster missiles upon detonation. Gain increased handling and reload speed when standing near allies. Firing this weapon also grants Wolfpack Rounds to nearby allies wielding non-Exotic Rocket Launchers.”

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

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?
Gjallarhorn artGjallarhornRocket LauncherExoticExoticHeavySolar30th AnniversaryYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavySolar Solar
Best

S

PvE + PvPGrasp of Avarice Dungeon
30th Anniversary
30th Anniversary eventHeavyNo

Rocket Launchers in PvP: Consistency

TTK is usually important in PvP, because the lowest the TTK, the faster you can kill your opponent.

This TTK guide includes the TTKs for every weapon in Destiny 2. But Heavy weapons follow different rules (except machine guns). These are supposed to be the most powerful weapons in the entire game and the expectation is that they one-shot enemy guardians. This is why TTK is not applicable here.

It’s all about consistency when it comes to rocket launchers in PVP. You want a rocket launcher that can easily secure those one-kills. That’s why The Wardcliff Coil is such a popular choice for PVP.

Rocket Launchers in PvE: DPS

DPS is important for PvE, because the higher the DPS, the more damage you can deal to a Boss or Major.

But before we look into damage numbers and ease of use (two of the most important factors to take into account in PVE), we need to be clear about the role Rocket Launchers are supposed to fill. 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

Based on that, when using a Rocket launchers, you’re looking to dish burst damage to a single target, such as a Champion, or for a short damage phase.

This DPS chart includes the DPS numbers for every weapon in Destiny 2. When it comes to actual DPS, Rocket launchers are in a great place right now, with some of the top exotics and legendary god rolls sitting at the top of the Meta:

-Weapon TypeArchetypeAverage DPSBurst DPSTotal DamageSpecs---Best in ClassChange?Ammo

Top Rocket Launcher Perks

But not every rocket launcher will excel PVE, be it for burst damage against a Boss or crowd control. First of all, we 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. 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.

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

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 received).

Destiny 2 Rocket Launchers: Are they Meta?

We’ve talked about the best Rocket launchers for PVE and PVP already, but how do they compare, in general, with other primary weapon types? In other words:

Are Rocket Launchers good in Destiny 2?

The current Meta for PVE

So, are Rocket Launchers good in Destiny 2 PVE? This table summarizes how the several Heavy weapon types rank against each other in PVE:

Weapon TypeRankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
Sword weapon type Destiny 2
Swords
B › Average
Average

B

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

► Swords have fallen slightly out of the meta since the days of Falling Guillotine, however, they are still a solid pick. Swords like The Lament and Heartshadow are both solid options for slaying majors and dealing good boss damage. They are unfortunately very risky, though, and when Linear Fusion Rifles deal the incredible amount of damage they do right now, it is difficult to recommend Swords.

► Best Archetype: Exotics - Example: The Lament
PVE Heavies
Rocket launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Rocket Launchers
A › Strong
Strong

A

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

► Rocket Launchers are solid options. They deal good burst damage and are effective for killing high-health targets like Majors quickly. Their ammo economy is poor, unfortunately, meaning that you will need to be conservative with how you use your rockets.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (20 RPM) - Example: The Hothead
PVE Heavies
Linear fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Linear Fusion Rifles
S › Best
Best

S

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

► Linear Fusion Rifles are the cream of the crop. They can deal very high damage consistently. They have solid DPS and incredible total damage, making them amazing for Raids and other high-level pieces of content. There are also plenty of strong options right now, including the Taipan-4FR or Cataclysmic, which both come with excellent perks and have good damage.

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

B

-Main role: Add Clear

► Machine Guns are a different kind of Power weapon. Instead of focusing on boss damage (outside of Xenophage), Machine Guns focus on ad clear. And they are excellent at ad clear, especially Thunderlord; however, given that abilities and primary weapons are excellent at add clear, Machine Guns are currently mediocre options for your Heavy slot.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (140 RPM) - Example:
PVE Heavies
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Grenade Launchers
D › Worst
Worst

D

Trend downMain role: Add Clear (Secondary role: Single Target Damage).

► Grenade Launchers are in a very sad state right now. Outside of maybe Typhon GL5, Heavy Grenade Launchers are in a terrible spot. They do not have great boss damage and also do not have good add clear, making them very, very pointless in all content.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (120 RPM) - Example: Typhon GL5
PVE Heavies
Sniper rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Exotic Sniper Rifles
C › Weak
Weak

C

-Main role: Single Target damage

► Exotic Snipers are very niche. They are far from the top of the meta right now as they are simply harder to use and in many ways inferior to Linear Fusion Rifles.

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

The current Meta for PVP

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

Weapon TypeRankTierTrendRole ❘ 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
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
Grenade launcher weapon type Destiny 2
Grenade Launchers
S › Best
Best

S

Trend up► 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
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 now redundant.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive/Lightweight- Examples: Half-Truths/Quickfang
PVP Heavies
Linear fusion rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Linear Fusion Rifles
C › Weak
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.
PVP Heavies

Your turn

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

About The Author

Ric Molina
Ric Molina
I've been covering gaming since 2012, and some of my work has been featured by large brands, including MSN.com, Forbes, Rock Paper Shotgun, and more. I've been obsessed with Destiny 2 for years now, and I hope to provide new and returning players with the guides and resources I wish I had when I first started.
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