Best SMGs in Destiny 2: Tier List for PvP and PvE

by | Mar 26, 2024

SMGs are one of the most dominant weapon types in Destiny 2, whether for PvE or PvP. Their damage and ease of use make them extremely popular, to the point that Bungie had to buff every other weapon type just so they could keep up.

This guide covers every SMG in Destiny 2, including both Exotic and Legendary submachine guns, as well as the best rolls for PvE and PvP.

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

Destiny 2 Best Submachine Guns: Top-tier Options

This Tier list features the best Exotic and Legendary Submachine guns right now, including Adjudicator:

ItemWeaponsTypeArchetypeAmmo?Element?RequirementsIn loot pool?RankSourceAvailable?Tier rankSource ❘ DLCFinal VerdictReleasedPerksBest of?
Shayura's WrathShayura's Wrath art
Shayura's Wrath
Submachine GunPrecisionPrimaryVoidLightfallYesS › BestTrials of OsirisCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Trials of Osiris
Lightfall Preorder icon
Lightfall
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PvE God Roll: Perpetual Motion + Golden Tricorn (also good: Adrenaline Junkie)
PvP God Roll: Tunnel Vision (also good: Killing Wind) + Kill Clip

► Shayura's Wrath is an excellent choice for any Guardian who wants to take their Void build or Crucible skills further. With impressive stats and some of the most synergistic Void perks in the game, chasing this is almost a no-brainer.
Season 14
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PvE God Roll: Perpetual Motion + Golden Tricorn (also good: Adrenaline Junkie)
PvP God Roll: Tunnel Vision (also good: Killing Wind) + Kill Clip
Top-tier
Osteo StrigaOsteo Striga art
Osteo Striga
Submachine GunExoticPrimaryKineticThe Witch QueenYesS › BestThe Witch Queen CampaignCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
The Witch Queen Campaign
The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Witch Queen
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires a stream of sentient, toxic projectiles that track the targeted enemy. Landing a final blow or multiple precision hits triggers a burst that poisons nearby targets."

► Feeling extremely nice to use, Osteo Striga became an instant favorite for many. Its poison-spreading effect makes it one of the best ad-clear primaries in PVE, and its enemy-tracking bullets make it an easy-to-use option in PVP. Plus, you can craft your own. What's not to love?
Season 16
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires a stream of sentient, toxic projectiles that track the targeted enemy. Landing a final blow or multiple precision hits triggers a burst that poisons nearby targets."
Top-tier
IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.3IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.2 art
IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.3
Submachine GunAggressivePrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesS › BestOperation: Seraph's ShieldCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Operation: Seraph's Shield
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy + Voltshot
PvP God Roll: Killing Wind (also good: Perpetual Motion) + Rangefinder

► All versions of the IKELOS SMG have been S-Tier, but this one might take the cake. Voltshot makes this a no-brainer in PvE, even if you're not on an Arc subclass. And, in PvP, its excellent stats and top-tier perks make it a menace.
Season 19
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy + Voltshot
PvP God Roll: Killing Wind (also good: Perpetual Motion) + Rangefinder
Top-tier
The ImmortalThe Immortal art
The Immortal
Submachine GunAggressivePrimaryStrandLightfallYesS › BestTrials of OsirisCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Trials of Osiris
Lightfall Preorder icon
Lightfall
Slot: Strand Element Strand | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Perpetual Motion (also good: Keep Away) + Hatchling (also good: Demolitionist)
PvP God Rolls: Rangefinder (also good: Encore) + Target Lock

► The Immortal is perhaps the best legendary SMG in the game right now. From absurd PvP-centered stats and perks to synergistic options like Demolitionist and Hatchling for PvE, this weapon has no shortage of outstanding aspects. Sure, stepping into Trials of Osiris can be daunting, but this is worth it.
Season 20
Slot: Strand Element Strand | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Perpetual Motion (also good: Keep Away) + Hatchling (also good: Demolitionist)
PvP God Rolls: Rangefinder (also good: Encore) + Target Lock
Top-tier
Multimach CCXMultimach CCX art
Multimach CCX
Submachine GunLightweightPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesS › BestIron BannerCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Iron Banner
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Attrition Orbs + Frenzy
PvP God Roll: Killing Wind (also good: Dynamic Sway Reduction) + Kill Clip (also good: Iron Reach)

► Multimach CCX is back with Season of the Wish and now has near-equal value in both PvE and PvP. While old rolls still work great for The Crucible, the new combination of Attrition Orbs and Frenzy makes for one of the most useful Kinetic primaries for PvE.
Season 23
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Attrition Orbs + Frenzy
PvP God Roll: Killing Wind (also good: Dynamic Sway Reduction) + Kill Clip (also good: Iron Reach)
Top-tier
CALUS Mini-ToolCALUS Mini-Tool art
CALUS Mini-Tool
Submachine GunMIDA SynergyPrimarySolarBeyond LightYesS › BestPresageCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Presage
Beyond Light Destiny 2 icon
Beyond Light
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: MIDA Synergy

PvE God Roll: Unrelenting (also good: Moving Target) + Incandescent

► While recent meta shifts and weapon additions have made some stray away from CALUS Mini-Tool, this SMG still is held in high regard by the majority of the PvE community. If you're looking for an SMG that pairs perfectly with any Solar build, this is the weapon you're looking for.
Season 17
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: MIDA Synergy

PvE God Roll: Unrelenting (also good: Moving Target) + Incandescent
Top-tier
Unending TempestUnending Tempest art
Unending Tempest
Submachine GunPrecisionPrimaryStasisFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongPlaylist: CrucibleCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Playlist: Crucible
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PvE God Rolls: Demolitionist (also good: Perpetual Motion) + Adrenaline Junkie (also good: Headstone)
PvP God Roll: Perpetual Motion + Target Lock

► While the recent nerf to Target Lock impacted Unending Tempest greatly, the weapon still has a handful of great perk combinations for all areas of the game. While there are options out there that excel in more specific situations, Unending Tempest is a nice one-size-fits-all weapon for those just entering Destiny 2.
Season 22
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PvE God Rolls: Demolitionist (also good: Perpetual Motion) + Adrenaline Junkie (also good: Headstone)
PvP God Roll: Perpetual Motion + Target Lock
Top-tier
AdjudicatorAdjudicator art Destiny 2
Adjudicator
Submachine GunPrecisionPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongProphecy DungeonCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Prophecy Dungeon
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PvE God Roll: Subsistence (also good: Feeding Frenzy) + Onslaught (also good: Rampage )
PvP God Roll: Threat Detector + Fragile Focus

► Adjudicator makes up for its lack of elemental affinity with a suite of powerful damage perks that synergize perfectly with the Crossing Over origin trait. As for The Crucible, Adjudicator is a potent choice for SMG enthusiasts and casual players alike.
Season 23
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PvE God Roll: Subsistence (also good: Feeding Frenzy) + Onslaught (also good: Rampage )
PvP God Roll: Threat Detector + Fragile Focus
Top-tier
RiskrunnerDestiny 2 Riskrunner
Riskrunner
Submachine GunExoticPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongExotic QuestCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Quest
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "When taking Arc Damage, this weapon becomes more powerful and resists incoming Arc Damage. Shots fired can become chain lightning and return ammo. Kills extend the duration of the effect."

► Riskrunner can make you unstoppable, assuming you're taking arc damage (which includes throwing your arc grenade at your feet!). When its perk activates, you literally become an unkillable god able to lethal deal chain damage with ease.
Season 1
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "When taking Arc Damage, this weapon becomes more powerful and resists incoming Arc Damage. Shots fired can become chain lightning and return ammo. Kills extend the duration of the effect."
Top-tier
UnforgivenUnforgiven art
Unforgiven
Submachine GunAggressivePrimaryVoidDeluxe EditionYesA › StrongDuality DungeonCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Duality Dungeon
The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Deluxe Edition
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Demolitionist (also good: Feeding Frenzy) + Adrenaline Junkie (also good: Rampage)

► Unforgiven is commonly forgotten due to its abysmal reload speed stat but is actually highly underrated. With Demolitionist in the first column and extremely synergistic perks in the second, Unforgiven is a clear choice for any Void 3.0 build.
Season 17
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Demolitionist (also good: Feeding Frenzy) + Adrenaline Junkie (also good: Rampage)
Top-tier
Prolonged EngagementProlonged Engagement art
Prolonged Engagement
Submachine GunLightweightPrimaryStasisFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongVanguard FocusingCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Vanguard Focusing
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy + Multikill Clip (also good: Headstone)

► Basically a Stasis version of Funnelweb, Prolonged Engagement has extraordinary stats and perks to back up its fame. This SMG easily storms through the little competition it has and is an excellent choice for anyone needing a PVE pick.
Season 19
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy + Multikill Clip (also good: Headstone)
Top-tier
No SurvivorsNo Survivors SMG art Destiny 2
No Survivors
Submachine GunAggressivePrimarySolarDeluxe EditionYesA › StrongGhost of the Deep DungeonCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Ghost of the Deep Dungeon
The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Deluxe Edition
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Demolitionist + Adrenaline Junkie (also good: Incandescent)

► The recent nerf to Target Lock may have removed most of No Survivors' utility in The Crucible, but it still highly excels in PvE. While many continue to opt for their crafted rolls of CALUS Mini-Tool, No Survivors does offer a host of different options you can build into that its competition doesn't.
Season 21
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Demolitionist + Adrenaline Junkie (also good: Incandescent)
Top-tier
SubjunctiveSubjunctive art Destiny 2
Subjunctive
Submachine GunLightweightPrimaryArcSeason 23YesA › StrongUndyingCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Undying
Season of the Wish icon Destiny 2
Season 23
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Threat Detector (also good: Stats for All) + Voltshot (also good: One for All)

► One of many weapons that returned with Season of the Wish, Subjunctive's strengths are being entirely overlooked. While options like IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.3 are inarguably well-rounded, Subjunctive offers ad clear combinations for PvE that are nearly unmatched.
Season 23
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Threat Detector (also good: Stats for All) + Voltshot (also good: One for All)
Top-tier

Destiny 2 SMGs: The Complete List

This database includes every viable SMG currently in the game:

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

B

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

S

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

A

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

B

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

C

-Exotic KioskError icon V2 NoThe Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Witch Queen
Season 19EnergyNo
Escape Velocity Destiny 2 artEscape VelocitySubmachine GunLightweightLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Worst

D

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

S

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

C

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

B

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

D

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

D

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

B

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

C

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

C

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

C

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

A

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

C

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

S

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

C

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

C

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

A

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

A

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

D

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

D

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

D

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

S

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

C

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

S

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

C

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

B

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

B

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

B

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

S

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

A

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

B

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

B

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

A

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

B

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

B

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

A

PvEUndyingCheckmark icon V3 YesSeason of the Wish icon Destiny 2
Season 23
Season 23EnergyCraftableTop-tierVoltshot
The Recluse art Destiny 2The RecluseSubmachine GunLightweightLegendaryPrimaryVoidNoPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid VoidOngoing...-Onslaught ActivityError icon V2 NoInto the LightEnergyNo

These are the different Tier levels used for our list:

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

Best Destiny 2 SMGs in 2024

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

 

The Recluse Preview v2 Destiny 2

5. The Recluse

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE and PvP

While The Recluse has an infamous history within Destiny 2, its new variant may not be as strong as some would like.

Despite the weapon having retained its unique “Master of Arms” perk, it now only offers a 15% damage buff, which is on par with Frenzy. Because of this, The Recluse has fallen from the status of a pinnacle weapon to simply another standard addition to the submachine gun category.

Even so, The Recluse is still a competent pick in all areas of the game. While it definitely won’t be meta-shifting, it offers the same potent perks that make its competition so good. These are the top The Recluse God Rolls:

  • PvE God roll: Repulsor Brace + Desperate Measures (also good: Destabilizing Rounds)

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

 

CALUS Mini-Tool SMG Destiny 2 featured

4. CALUS Mini-Tool

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE

With its outstanding perks and stats, CALUS Mini-Tool is the clear choice for most Solar 3.0 builds.

CALUS Mini-Tool’s claim to fame is Incandescent, which allows it to excel in PvE even without a Solar subclass. Pair this with Unrelenting in the first column, and you’ll also get near-constant health regeneration. CALUS Mini-Tool is also craftable, making it relatively straightforward to obtain. This also means the weapon can get enhanced perks, allowing it to excel further.

Overall, this weapon is a beast. While it doesn’t have the raw strength many other options offer, its unparalleled Solar 3.0 synergy makes it one of the best SMGs out there. These are the top CALUS Mini-Tool God Rolls:

  • PvE God roll: Unrelenting (also good: Moving Target) + Incandescent

How to get it: CALUS Mini-Tool can be acquired by completing the Presage Exotic Mission.

 

The Immortal SMG featured

3. The Immortal

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE and PvP

Available through the Trials of Osiris, The Immortal lives up to the prestige of its source activity.

Starting with PvE, this weapon can roll with either Demolitionist or Hatchling in the second column, making it an excellent pick for Strand builds. While we’re bound to get better Strand options in the future, this SMG is the clear choice for most Strand setups right now.

The Immortal is also a monster in PvP; with impressive stats and some top-tier perks, there’s no end to this weapon’s strengths. If you’re looking for a well-rounded pick that will likely last you a while, The Immortal is a great choice. These are the top The Immortal God Rolls:

  • PvE God roll: Perpetual Motion (also good: Keep Away) + Hatchling (also good: Demolitionist)
  • PvP God roll: Rangefinder (also good: Encore) + Target Lock

How to get it: The Immortal can be acquired via Trials of Osiris engrams and rank-ups.

 

IKELOS_SMG_V1.0.3 Submachine gun

2. IKELOS_SMG_V1.0.3

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE and PvP

The IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.3 is easily the best Legendary submachine gun in Destiny 2, boasting some of the most impressive stats and perks in the game.

In PVE, the clear perk combination is Feeding Frenzy and Voltshot. Even if you’re not taking advantage of its Arc 3.0 synergy, Voltshot is an incredible perk that can clear the field of enemies in a handful of shots.

However, the IKELOS SMG doesn’t stop there: it’s also outstanding in The Crucible. With absurd stats and S-Tier perks like Killing Wind and Rangefinder, this weapon is exceptionally consistent and can even excel in relatively long-range scenarios.

IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.3 is also craftable, allowing it to roll with enhanced versions of all the above traits. This also makes it significantly easier to obtain and should reduce the time you’ll need to invest in a god roll.

This is the third version of the IKELOS SMG we’ve seen in Destiny 2, and it’s very clearly the best. If you’re looking for a good pairing for your Arc 3.0 build or want a generally strong SMG, this is the one for you. These are the top IKELOS SMG God Rolls:

  • PvE God roll: Feeding Frenzy + Voltshot
  • PvP God roll: Killing Wind (also good: Perpetual Motion) + Rangefinder

How to get it: IKELOS_SMG_V1.0.3 can be acquired by completing the Operation: Seraph’s Shield Exotic Mission.

 

Osteo Striga SMG Destiny 2 featured

1. Osteo Striga

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE and PvP

This weapon has everything you need. The bullets it fires track enemies, it has a poison-spreading effect, and it just feels nice to use. In PvE, the easy and consistent ad-clear potential of this weapon rivals that of Huckleberry. Osteo Striga is also way more fun and flashy than The Huckleberry, boosting its ranking even more.

In PvP, the main draw to this weapon is its tracking bullets, which allow it to compete at longer ranges. The tracking feature also makes Osteo Striga significantly easier to use compared to other options, making it great for new players.

Lastly, the weapon is craftable, meaning you can customize the weapon however you’d like and secure your very own Osteo Striga god roll. All in all, there isn’t much to hate about this weapon. Its ad-clear, ease-of-use, and fun factor are all unrivaled, making it the best SMG currently in the game.

Exotic Perk: “Fires a stream of sentient, toxic projectiles that track the targeted enemy. Landing a final blow or multiple precision hits triggers a burst that poisons nearby targets.”

How to get it: Osteo Striga can be acquired by purchasing The Witch Queen’s Deluxe edition.

SMGs and the PvP Meta: TTK

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

Weapon Type RankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
Hand cannon weapon type Destiny 2
Hand Cannons
S › Best
Best

S

Trend up► Hand Cannons feel great right now and can deal with all the other meta options, provided they are in the hands of a skilled player. They are unbelievably forgiving in terms of aim-assist and can compete at solid ranges. Hand Cannons are the jack of all trades, and while they may not dominate up close or far away, they are incredibly scary to face in a mid-range duel.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (120 RPM) - Example: Igneous Hammer
PVP Primaries
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Pulse Rifles
S › Best
Best

S

-► Pulse Rifles have seen a resurgence in the past few seasons, with constant buffs to all types of Pulse Rifles. It is hard not to find success with one due to the high-flinch potential of Rapid-Fire Pulses or the lethal time-to-kill of High-Impact Pulses.

► Best Archetype: High-Impact (340 RPM) - Example: The Messenger
PVP Primaries
SMG weapon type Destiny 2
Submachine Guns
S › Best
Best

S

Trend up► SMGs remain a staple of the PvP meta. SMGs absolutely shred enemies at close range and as soon as their top option is nerfed, a new top-tier SMG is introduced to replace it. SMGs have been, and seemingly will remain, meta for a long time to come.

► Best Archetype: Aggressive (720 RPM) - Example: The Immortal
PVP Primaries
Sidearm weapon type Destiny 2
Sidearms
A › Strong
Strong

A

-► Sidearms have lost their place at the top of the meta, but they remain a solid pick, especially for players using a Controller, as they inherently have manageable stability with a rapid time-to-kill. Honestly, the main reason they've lost their place at the top is due to how powerful SMGs are right now.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (325 RPM) - Example: Forgiveness
PVP Primaries
Auto rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Auto Rifles
A › Strong
Strong

A

Trend up► After a couple of recent changes and buffs, Auto Rifles are feeling great to use right now, especially in the more casual Crucible playlists. While they may not have the juice to compete with some of the top dogs, they are still a solid pick and can help you frag out with relative ease.

► Best Archetype: Precision (450 RPM) - Example: Ammit AR2
PVP Primaries
Combat bow weapon type Destiny 2
Combat Bows
B › Average
Average

B

-► Bows are incredibly unique. They have a remarkably slow time to kill, however, this isn't where Bows shine. Hotswap builds with bows can be incredibly potent and don't require much learning either. Bows also provide incredible value when teamshooting opponents. Despite this, Bows on their own are quite mediocre and need something behind them to really shine.

► Best Archetype: Precision (Slower Draw Time) - Example: Strident Whistle
PVP Primaries
Scout rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Scout Rifles
C › Weak
Weak

C

Trend down► Scout Rifles are struggling right now. In most situations, the maps are too small to benefit the long range of a Scout rifle. An Aggressive or High-Impact Pulse Rifle will better serve your needs. Plus, Scout Rifles are abysmal up close. There are one or two outliers that shine but, on the whole, Scout Rifles are in a weak spot.

► Best Archetype: Rapid-Fire (260 RPM) - Example: Fang of Ir Yût
PVP Primaries

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

When it comes to PvP, top SMGs dominate the Crucible:

-Weapon TypeArchetypeOptimal TTKOptimal KillBody Shot TTKSpecs---Best in Class
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMGAdaptive

900 RPM

0.7311 crit 1 body1.13

High stability & range, poor recoil

The Hero's Burden artThe Hero's Burden
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMGPrecision

600 RPM

0.806 crit 3 body1.10

Excellent range & aim assist, low handling

Shayura's Wrath artShayura's Wrath
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMGAggressive

750 RPM

0.679 crit1.00

High range, low aim assist

The Immortal artThe Immortal
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMGLightweight

900 RPM

0.6711 crit1.13

High aim assist and handling, low range

Funnelweb artFunnelweb
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMG

Exotic

0.739 crit 3 body0.93-Destiny 2 RiskrunnerRiskrunner
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMG

Exotic

0.807 crit 1 body1.10-Osteo Striga artOsteo Striga
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMG

Exotic

0.679 crit1.00-Destiny 2 The Huckleberry artThe Huckleberry
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMG

Exotic

0.679 crit1.00-Destiny 2 Tarrabah artTarrabah

That said, TTK is only half of the picture. With limited range, SMGs were historically dominated by Shotguns in the short range and by hand cannons and Pulses rifles in the medium to long range.

But the many nerfs and buffs in the game have completely changed the PvP meta in favor of SMGs. SMGs now excel in short to medium-range engagements, and if you play your cards right and avoid longer-range engagements, you can absolutely dominate a lobby.

SMGs and the PvE Meta: DPS

How do Submachine guns compare to other primary weapons in PvE?

Weapon Type RankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
SMG weapon type Destiny 2
Submachine Guns
S › Best
Best

S

-► SMGs are doing very well right now. They have good DPS to tear through ads and beefier orange bar enemies, but also come with excellent perks. There are a plethora of good SMGs you can go for right now, like Funnelweb, Unforgiven, Every Waking Moment, or Extraordinary Rendition, the choice is completely yours. They may struggle slightly in super high-end content, but they are still definitely usable.

► Best Archetype: Aggressive (750 RPM) - Example: Unforgiven
PVE Primaries
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Pulse Rifles
S › Best
Best

S

-► Pulse Rifles are in a great place right now. They offer good range and pretty decent damage, allowing you to take down some beefier targets nicely. There are also some excellent pulses in the game right now, like Insidious, Sacred Provenance, or New Purpose. Unfortunately, High-Impact and Aggressive frames are the only archetypes worth your time, as the others rely on Exotic Perks or god rolls to compete.

► Best Archetype: Aggressive (450 RPM) - Example: Insidious
PVE Primaries
Hand cannon weapon type Destiny 2
Hand Cannons
S › Best
Best

S

Trend up► Hand Cannons have shot up the rankings thanks to the changes introduced this Season, all the way up to the S tier. They have solid range and can dispatch enemies with complete ease in almost all difficulties. Hand Cannons have truly taken over the spotlight with their most recent buffs, and they shouldn't be leaving it any time soon.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (140 RPM) - Example: Fatebringer
PVE Primaries
Combat bow weapon type Destiny 2
Combat Bows
A › Strong
Strong

A

-► Bows are a high-damage, high-range option for players who prefer to keep their distance. The main issue with bows is that they are slow at clearing ads (outside of Trinity Ghoul). and when you have to deal with ads up close, bows can massively struggle. However, their solid range and excellent damage make them a strong option.

► Best Archetype: Precision - Example: Under Your Skin
PVE Primaries
Auto rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Auto Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

-► Auto Rifles currently feel like a worse version of SMGs. They have a bit more range, but outside of the absolute top-shelf content such as Grandmaster Nightfalls, range isn't too much of a factor. And if you are actively tackling difficult content, Auto Rifles aren't exactly the best pick either, making Autos a decent, but outclassed option right now.

► Best Archetype: Rapid-Fire (720 RPM)- Example: Quicksilver Storm
PVE Primaries
Scout rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Scout Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

Trend down► Scout Rifles are the definition of average right now. They can do the job just fine, you can plink away at enemies from a safe distance in high-level content; however, when it comes down to it, most players will prefer to use a Hand Cannon or SMG as they simply do the same job better and faster. Scouts aren't bad at all, but they certainly aren't a go-to

► Best Archetype: Lightweight (200 RPM) - Example: Tarnished Mettle
PVE Primaries
Sidearm weapon type Destiny 2
Sidearms
C › Weak
Weak

C

Trend down► Aside from a few select sidearms with certain perks, there really isn't much of a reason to use Sidearms. They have slightly higher damage numbers than SMGs, but typically come with significantly less range. Outside of top-tier weapons like a god-roll Brigand's Law or High Albedo, there is no real reason to run a sidearm.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (491 RPM) - Example: High Albedo
PVE Primaries

Keep in mind that when it comes to PvE, DPS is one of the most important factors. As you know, the higher the DPS, the more damage you can deal to a Boss or Major. This DPS chart includes the DPS numbers for every weapon in Destiny 2.

When it comes to actual DPS, SMGs are at the top, only surpassed by Sidearms, which have an even more limited range:

-Weapon TypeArchetypeSustained DPSMag DPSTotal DamageSpecs---Best in ClassChange?Ammo
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMG

Exotic

1570022425With "Ravenous Beast"Destiny 2 Tarrabah artTarrabahSamePrimary
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMG

Exotic

1066614300-Osteo Striga artOsteo StrigaSamePrimary
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMG

Exotic

746011124"Ride the Bull" averageDestiny 2 The Huckleberry artThe HuckleberrySamePrimary
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMG

Exotic

64989540w/ "Arc Conductor"Destiny 2 RiskrunnerRiskrunnerSamePrimary
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMGLightweight64639255High aim assist and handling, low rangeFunnelweb artFunnelwebSamePrimary
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMG

Exotic

63599255GroundedThe Manticore artThe ManticorePrimary
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMGAggressive62938904High range, low aim assistUnforgiven artUnforgivenSamePrimary
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMGPrecision61498180Excellent range & aim assist, low handlingShayura's Wrath artShayura's WrathSamePrimary
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMGAdaptive60658685High stability & range, poor recoilThe Hero's Burden artThe Hero's BurdenSamePrimary

Endgame content

For the record, while SMGs excel in most PvE content, they aren’t a great choice for Master and Grandmaster content. For the most difficult activities, you’ll want a long-range option that allows you to easily peek shoot (think Scouts or Bows).

But for everything else, including Dungeons, Raids, Legend Nightfalls, and below, SMGs are a great choice.

Before you go…

Are you looking for a top-tier Special and Heavy weapon to complete your loadout? We also cover the Best Destiny 2 Sniper Rifles and Best Destiny 2 Rocket Launchers.

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

See latest Updates

We keep our content up to date! These are the latest changes made to this guide:
  • March 25, 2024: General updates and the inclusion of Season 23 SMGs.
  • October 18, 2023: General updates (based on the current sandbox) and the inclusion of Season 21 and 22 SMGs.
  • May 1, 2023: General updates and the inclusion of Season 19 and 20 SMGs.
  • July 8, 2022: The guide is published for the first time.

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

About The Author

Andrew Sideris
Andrew Sideris
With my over seven years of game knowledge, six months of writing experience for Blueberries.gg, and hundreds of Blueberries already guided through endgame content, I hope to allow newcomers to have the same great introduction I had all those years ago. You can find Andrew on Twitter.
More from Andrew Sideris
9 Comments
  1. Pandacakes

    Ummm I don’t think that multimach is the best PvE smg, just a small mistake but it makes a difference.

    Reply
    • Ric Molina

      Yep, coding error right there… All corrected, thank you for the heads up!

      Reply
      • ConfidentFlame

        🤔 it says Seventh Seraph is best in class in precision…. But it’s got a D ranked, and the best Precision is Shayura’s…. Kinda confusing 😅

        Reply
  2. Nathanael Ligon

    Can we update Pizzicato-22?

    Reply
  3. Matteo

    There is a mistake: Synchronic Roulette is a Strand weapon 🙂

    Reply
    • Ric Molina

      100%, thank you for the heads up, will correct it now!

      Reply
  4. Cameron

    Hey, ikelos is definetly S tier
    volt shot +feeding frenzy and dsr and rangfinder AND it can be crafted + it has amazing stats

    Reply
  5. Veggies

    Can we get a rating on No Survivors? 🙂

    Reply
  6. Veggies

    Hey, where’d The Recluse go?

    Reply
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