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

by | Jul 8, 2022

[toc] It feels like every season SMGs become better and better, especially for PvP. Don’t get me wrong, SMGs are great for PvE too. They can deal high damage while having decent range (unlike sidearms). In PvP though, they suffered against shotguns and other close-range Special weapons.

But the recent nerfs to shotguns and the release of true best-in-class SMGs are changing the game. With the right SMG and perks, you can seriously  compete in the Crucible.

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.

Destiny 2 Submachine Guns Tier list

The Tier list below includes every Exotic and non-sunset legendary submachine gun 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
TarrabahDestiny 2 Tarrabah art
Tarrabah
Submachine GunExoticPrimarySolarForsaken PackYesS › BestExotic Kiosk
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Exotic Kiosk

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon stores power when dealing or receiving damage. Once full, hold reload to unleash the beast."

► Now that Tarrabah's perk is significantly easier to proc, it has become an extremely popular choice in PVE (especially with Solar 3.0 builds). And since it's now tied for the highest SMG zoom stat at 16, this beast of a weapon can excel in PVP too.
Season 4
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon stores power when dealing or receiving damage. Once full, hold reload to unleash the beast."
Shayura's WrathShayura's Wrath art
Shayura's Wrath
Submachine GunPrecisionPrimaryVoidThe Witch QueenNoS › BestTrials of Osiris
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Trials of Osiris

The Witch Queen
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

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

► Shayura's Wrath is arguably the most well-rounded SMG in the game with its off-the-charts stats and excellent perks. Not only can it excel in PvP due to its high zoom, but it can also pair well with any PvE Void 3.0 build using Golden Tricorn or Adrenaline Junkie.
Season 14
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PvP God Roll: Tunnel Vision (also good: Killing Wind) + Kill Clip
PvE God Roll: Perpetual Motion + Golden Tricorn (also good: Adrenaline Junkie)
Osteo StrigaOsteo Striga art
Osteo Striga
Submachine GunExoticPrimaryKineticThe Witch QueenYesS › BestDeluxe Edition
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Deluxe Edition

The 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 in both PVE and PVP, 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 Osteo Striga God roll. 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."
The HuckleberryDestiny 2 The Huckleberry art
The Huckleberry
Submachine GunExoticPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesS › BestExotic Engram
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Engram

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Increased rate of fire and recoil while you're holding down the trigger. Kills with this weapon temporarily grant increased damage and partially reload the magazine."

► A powerhouse of a weapon, The Huckleberry isn't flashy but can clear ads like nothing else. Without the need to reload and pre-nerf Rampage on your side, nothing will be able to stand in your way. The recent buff to Exotic primary weapons further cemented it as one of the best Exotics in the game.
Season 3
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Increased rate of fire and recoil while you're holding down the trigger. Kills with this weapon temporarily grant increased damage and partially reload the magazine."
CALUS Mini-ToolCALUS Mini-Tool art
CALUS Mini-Tool
Submachine GunMIDA SynergyPrimarySolarSeason 17YesS › BestDerelict Leviathan
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Derelict Leviathan
Season 17 Destiny 2 icon
Season 17
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: MIDA Synergy

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

► Able to roll with the excellent perk Incandescent, CALUS Mini-Tool immediately cemented itself as a top-tier pick with the release of Solar 3.0. Plus, it's one of the few craftable SMGs currently in the game, meaning it's one of the easiest to get as well.
Season 17
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: MIDA Synergy

PvE God Roll: Unrelenting (also good: Moving Target) + Incandescent
Borrowed TimeBorrowed Time art
Borrowed Time
Submachine GunAggressivePrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongPlaylist: Gambit
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Playlist: Gambit

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

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

► Even though Borrowed Time does have some S-Tier perk combinations, its large perk pool and annoying grind weigh it down. That being said, this SMG can get absurdly high zoom for PvP with Rangefinder, and there are some great PvE rolls worth taking a look at too.
Season 14
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Overflow (also good: Feeding Frenzy) + Rampage (also good: Adrenaline Junkie)
PvP God Roll: Rangefinder + Demolitionist
SubmissionSubmission art v2
Submission
Submachine GunLightweightPrimaryKineticThe Witch QueenYesA › StrongVow of the Disciple Raid
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Vow of the Disciple Raid

The Witch Queen
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Overflow (also good: Subsistence) + Frenzy (also good: Swashbuckler)
PvP God Roll: Perpetual Motion + Killing Wind

► Containing alright stats and a wide variety of interesting perk combinations, Submission is a strong option overall. While it isn't the best of the best in both PVE and PVP, it can hold its ground in both, making it a great pick if you don't have anything better.
Season 16
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Overflow (also good: Subsistence) + Frenzy (also good: Swashbuckler)
PvP God Roll: Perpetual Motion + Killing Wind
RiskrunnerDestiny 2 Riskrunner
Riskrunner
Submachine GunExoticPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongExotic Quest
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Quest

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."
Extraordinary RenditionExtraordinary Rendition art
Extraordinary Rendition
Submachine GunAggressivePrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongXûr
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Xûr

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Overflow (also good: Subsistence) + Rampage (also good: Frenzy)

► Extraordinary Rendition's outstanding perks and great feel carry it to the top in PVE. It's just a shame that the only way to obtain this weapon currently is to hope Xûr sells it one week.
Season 13
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Overflow (also good: Subsistence) + Rampage (also good: Frenzy)
Stochastic VariableStochastic Variable art
Stochastic Variable
Submachine GunLightweightPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongWorld loot pool
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
World loot pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy + Multikill Clip

► Considered an arc version of The Recluse by the community, Stochastic Variable is a PvE monster with the right perks. And with Arc 3.0 right around the corner, you can expect to see a lot more of this weapon very soon.
Season 14
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy + Multikill Clip
FunnelwebFunnelweb art
Funnelweb
Submachine GunLightweightPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongWorld loot pool
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
World loot pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Subsistence + Adrenaline Junkie (also good: Frenzy )

► A toned-down version of The Recluse, Funnelweb is currently one of the best PVE options in the game. With solid perk combinations and the ability to fire Volatile Rounds, this weapon makes red bars disappear right in front of your eyes. Plus, it's a world drop, meaning you don't even need to go out of your way to farm it.
Season 16
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Subsistence + Adrenaline Junkie (also good: Frenzy )
Enyo-DEnyo-D art
Enyo-D
Submachine GunPrecisionPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongWorld loot pool
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
World loot pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

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

► Often regarded as "Antiope 2.0" by the community, Enyo-D has everything that makes an SMG good. With a great feel and S-Tier perks, this is one of the best kinetic PvE SMGs currently available. Enyo also has an above-average zoom stat, making it an alright PvP pick as well.
Season 17
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy + Rampage (also good: Multikill Clip)
UnforgivenUnforgiven art
Unforgiven
Submachine GunAggressivePrimaryVoidDeluxe EditionYesA › StrongDuality Dungeon
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Duality Dungeon

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)

► The only SMG in the game that can roll Demolitionist in its first column, Unforgiven is one of the many unique weapons to come from the Duality dungeon. Plus, its second column is full of tons of S-Tier damage and utility perks, making Unforgiven an easy 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)
Multimach CCXMultimach CCX art
Multimach CCX
Submachine GunLightweightPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayNoA › StrongIron Banner
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvP
Iron Banner

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

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

► While close-quarters combat is mostly dominated by shotguns, Multimach CCX remains viable thanks to its consistency, insanely fast time-to-kill (one of the fastest among primary ammo weapons), and an absurd amount of range. The Multimach CCX is a must-have for anyone using SMGs in PVP.
Season 13
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvP God Roll: Killing Wind (also good: Dynamic Sway Reduction) + Kill Clip (also good: Iron Reach)
IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.3IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.2 art
IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.3
Submachine GunAggressivePrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageWorld loot pool
Average

B



Excels in:
PvE
World loot pool

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

PvE God Roll: Subsistence (also good: Threat Detector) + Demolitionist

► Just like other IKELOS and Seventh Seraph weapons, IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.2's average perks and stats used to be counteracted by the absurd power of Warmind Cells. However, now that Warmind Cells have been heavily nerfed, there's no reason to run this SMG over other more popular options.
Season 11
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Subsistence (also good: Threat Detector) + Demolitionist
Cold Front
Cold Front
Submachine GunAggressivePrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayNoB › AverageEvent: Dawning
Average

B



Excels in:
PvE
Event: Dawning

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Subsistence + Rampage

► A weapon exclusive to the Dawning seasonal event, Cold Front only comes around once a year. And while it does have some great perks attached to it, other better options can be farmed year-round.
Season 12
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

PvE God Roll: Subsistence + Rampage
MIDA Mini-ToolMIDA Mini-Tool art
MIDA Mini-Tool
Submachine GunLightweightPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageThe Gunsmith
Average

B



The Gunsmith

Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE Curated Roll: Hip-Fire Grip + Kill Clip

► Being so easily obtainable and having Kill Clip makes MIDA Mini-Tool not too bad of an option for completely new players. Once you dive into the game a bit more, however, there's no reason to keep this over CALUS Mini-Tool or any other SMG you may come across.
Season 12
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE Curated Roll: Hip-Fire Grip + Kill Clip
Friction Fire
Friction Fire
Submachine GunPrecisionPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageXûr
Average

B



Xûr

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PvE Fixed Roll: Subsistence + Rampage

► One of the better weapons from Season of the Hunt, Friction Fire seemed promising at first but has since been overshadowed by stronger choices. While its good stats and perks continue to make it a viable option, there are better SMGs out there that are easier to obtain.
Season 12
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PvE Fixed Roll: Subsistence + Rampage
Every Waking MomentEvery Waking Moment art
Every Waking Moment
Submachine GunPrecisionPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageMoon
Average

B



Moon

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

PvE God Roll: Subsistence + Adrenaline Junkie (also good: Multikill Clip)

► Containing various enticing PvE perks in both columns, it's surprising how little Every Waking Moment is discussed. This is most likely because there are just too many better options currently available. With absurdly good options like Shayura's Wrath and Unforgiven, Every Waking Moment sadly gets drowned out in a sea of better picks.
Season 14
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PvE God Roll: Subsistence + Adrenaline Junkie (also good: Multikill Clip)
The Hero's BurdenThe Hero's Burden art
The Hero's Burden
Submachine GunAdaptivePrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageIron Banner
Average

B



Iron Banner

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

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy + Kill Clip

► The Hero's Burden has a solid perk pool, but its average stats prove to be its downfall. If you don't have a better SMG, this one will get the job done. However, with how many S-Tier SMGs there are already, there's no reason to run The Hero's Burden for too long.
Season 17
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy + Kill Clip
Escape Velocity
Escape Velocity
Submachine GunLightweightPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakWorld loot pool
Weak

C



World loot pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Overflow + Osmosis

► Because of its selectable scopes, Escape Velocity can get one of the highest SMG zoom stats in the game at 16. That said, its perk pool is almost completely empty in terms of desirable perks for PVE or PVP, essentially making it a worse version of the Multimach CCX.
Season 10
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Overflow + Osmosis
Death Adder
Death Adder
Submachine GunLightweightPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakWorld loot pool
Weak

C



World loot pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy (also good: Subsistence) + Dragonfly

► While Death Adder's first column of perks has several S-Tier options, the second column is pretty barren for both PvE and PvP. And with the constant additions of S-Tier options like CALUS Mini-Tool, there's no reason to go out of your way to grind this mediocre gun.
Season 11
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy (also good: Subsistence) + Dragonfly
Forensic NightmareForensic Nightmare art
Forensic Nightmare
Submachine GunPrecisionPrimaryStasisFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakThrone World
Weak

C



Throne World

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

PvE God Roll: Perpetual Motion + Kill Clip (also good: Headstone)

► Being the first Stasis SMG, you'd expect Forensic Nightmare to excel in some way--sadly, this isn't the case. With only an average range stat and no range-boosting perks, this weapon falls flat in PVP. Plus, it's missing top-tier perks for PVE, making it a very weak pick.
Season 16
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PvE God Roll: Perpetual Motion + Kill Clip (also good: Headstone)
Seventh Seraph VY-7
Seventh Seraph VY-7
Submachine GunPrecisionPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesD › WorstWorld loot pool
Worst

D



World loot pool

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

PvE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin (also good: Fourth Time's The Charm) + Dragonfly

► With very mediocre stats and no interesting perks, there's no reason to use the Seventh Seraph VY-7. Even if you want to use Warmind Cells, the IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.2 has better perks and is easier to obtain.
Season 10
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Precision

PvE God Roll: Ambitious Assassin (also good: Fourth Time's The Charm) + Dragonfly
Out of BoundsOut of Bounds art
Out of Bounds
Submachine GunLightweightPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesOngoingPlaylist: CrucibleOngoing...

Playlist: Crucible

Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight



► Still too early to tell, review ongoing...
Season 18
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

Pizzicato-22Pizzicato-22 art
Pizzicato-22
Submachine GunAdaptivePrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesOngoingWorld loot poolOngoing...

World loot pool

Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive



► Still too early to tell, review ongoing...
Season 18
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

Blood FeudBlood Feud art
Blood Feud
Submachine GunAggressivePrimaryStasisSeason 18YesOngoingSeasonal activityOngoing...

Seasonal activity
Season 18 icon
Season 18
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive



► Still too early to tell, review ongoing...
Season 18
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive

The ManticoreThe Manticore art
The Manticore
Submachine GunExoticPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesOngoingSeason PassOngoing...

Season Pass

Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Dealing damage while grounded charges antigrav repulsors. Dealing damage while airborne extends antigrav repulsors. Dealing damage while airborne increases this weapon's damage output."

► Still too early to tell, review ongoing...
Season 19
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Dealing damage while grounded charges antigrav repulsors. Dealing damage while airborne extends antigrav repulsors. Dealing damage while airborne increases this weapon's damage output."
Prolonged EngagementProlonged Engagement art
Prolonged Engagement
Submachine GunLightweightPrimaryStasisFree-to-PlayYesOngoingPlaylist: VanguardOngoing...

Playlist: Vanguard

Free-to-Play
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

God Rolls: To be confirmed...

► Still too early to tell, review ongoing...
Season 19
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

God Rolls: To be confirmed...

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 SMGs in 2022

This section not only covers the top Submachine guns currently in the game, it also tells you where you can find them. This guide covers every weapon source in Destiny 2 and most of the sources below are self-explanatory, but in doubt, you can always leave a comment below or ask away on our Discord server.

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

 

The Huckleberry Destiny 2 featured SMG

5. The Huckleberry

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE

One of the very few weapons that have been consistently good since its debut, The Huckleberry is an ad-clear monster.

Unlike Osteo Striga and other top-tier options, Huckleberry isn’t too flashy. As you fire, the weapon’s rate of fire will slowly increase. Additionally, when you get a kill, the magazine will give you a stack of Rampage and partially reload the magazine (or fully, with the catalyst). All of this combined results in an ad-clearing beast capable of chunking down majors and Champions with a few Rampage stacks.

While Huckleberry does lack in PvP, its zoom was increased to 15 recently. And even though that doesn’t boost it up to S-Tier, it’s definitely worth a try now in The Crucible.

Overall, The Huckleberry is a solid pick for ad-clear that won’t be nerfed any time soon.

Exotic Perk: “Increased rate of fire and recoil while you’re holding down the trigger. Kills with this weapon temporarily grant increased damage and partially reload the magazine.”

How to get it: The Huckleberry can be acquired via Exotic engrams or Xûr.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?
Destiny 2 The Huckleberry artThe HuckleberrySubmachine GunExoticExoticPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Best

S

PvEExotic Engram
Free-to-Play
Season 3KineticNo

 

Borrowed Time SMG Destiny 2 featured

4. Borrowed Time

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE

A weapon that hasn’t had much popularity until very recently, Borrowed Time has begun to excel due to the recent zoom changes.

In PvE, there isn’t much to say about this weapon. It can roll with some S-Tier combinations, but there isn’t a reason to go out of your way for this when CALUS Mini-Tool is here with Incandescent.

In PvP, however, this gun can get the highest zoom stat in the game (on SMGs). All you want to look for is Rangefinder, which will bump Borrowed Time’s zoom stat up to an absurd 16.5. And while you most likely won’t notice this in moment-to-moment gameplay, Borrowed Time still wins the hearts of many by being so easy to farm.

While there are some better options out there, Borrowed Time holds its ground with its S-Tier perks and easy obtainability, making it #4 on our list.

PvE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Overflow (also good: Feeding Frenzy)
  • Perk 2: Rampage (also good: Adrenaline Junkie)

PvP God roll:

  • Perk 1: Rangefinder
  • Perk 2: Demolitionist

How to get it: Borrowed Time can be acquired by completing matches from the Gambit Playlist.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?
Borrowed Time artBorrowed TimeSubmachine GunAggressiveLegendaryPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Strong

A

PvE + PvPPlaylist: Gambit
Free-to-Play
Season 14EnergyNo

 

Tarrabah SMG Destiny 2 featured

3. Tarrabah

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE and PvP

While it was one of the weaker raid exotics at launch, Tarrabah has gone through many buffs that have made it one of the best options right now.

With the combined factors of The Recluse being sunset and its exotic perk becoming easier to trigger, Tarrabah has slowly made its way to the top in PvE. It feels nice to use, combines well with Solar 3.0 builds, and rivals Huckleberry’s ad-clear potential with Ravenous Beast active.

Tarrabah has also seen more popularity in PvP due to its recently increased zoom stat. Now at 16, it’s tied for the highest base SMG zoom stat in the game, making it useful even in longer ranges. Plus, if you’re able to stay alive for long periods, Ravenous Beast allows you to get tons of free kills.

While it may take a bit of time to obtain this weapon, Tarrabah is well worth it. It’s an extremely good pick anywhere, and there’s no denying that obliterating everything in sight with Ravenous Beast is extremely fun.

Exotic Perk: “This weapon stores power when dealing or receiving damage. Once full, hold reload to unleash the beast.”

How to get it: Tarrabah can be purchased at the Monument to Lost Lights in the Tower.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?
Destiny 2 Tarrabah artTarrabahSubmachine GunExoticExoticPrimarySolarForsaken PackYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Best

S

PvE + PvPExotic Kiosk
Forsaken Pack
Season 4EnergyNo

 

Shayura's Wrath Destiny 2 featured SMG

2. Shayura’s Wrath

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE and PvP

Arguably the most well-rounded legendary SMG in the game, Shayura’s Wrath has everything that makes an SMG good.

With perks such as Golden Tricorn and Adrenaline Junkie in the second column, Shayura’s is an easy pick for any PvE Void 3.0 build. And even though the first column is slightly lacking, Shayura’s excellent feel and ease of use are unrivaled.

This gun doesn’t stop there, however. With high zoom and S-Tier perks such as Killing Wind and Kill Clip, Shayura’s is just as good in PvP. Its other stats, base TTK, and consistency also contribute to making Shayura’s Wrath an irreplaceable part of any Guardian’s loadout.

With its build-crafting potential in PvE and S-Tier perks in PvP, Shayura’s Wrath is a must-have weapon for any player wanting to give SMGs a try.

PvE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Perpetual Motion
  • Perk 2: Golden Tricorn (also good: Adrenaline Junkie)

PvP God roll:

  • Perk 1: Killing Wind (also good: Tunnel Vision)
  • Perk 2: Kill Clip

How to get it: Shayura’s Wrath can be acquired via Trials of Osiris engrams and rank-ups.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?
Shayura's Wrath artShayura's WrathSubmachine GunPrecisionLegendaryPrimaryVoidThe Witch QueenNoPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Best

S

PvE + PvPTrials of Osiris
The Witch Queen
Season 14EnergyNo

 

Osteo Striga SMG Destiny 2 featured

1. Osteo Striga

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE and PvP

With how much it has going for it, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like Osteo Striga.

This weapon has all 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 when compared to The Huckleberry, boosting its ranking up 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.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?
Osteo Striga artOsteo StrigaSubmachine GunExoticExoticPrimaryKineticThe Witch QueenYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Best

S

PvE + PvPDeluxe Edition
The Witch Queen
Season 16KineticCraftable

SMGs in PvP: Lethality & TTK

TTK is particularly important in PvP, because the lowest the TTK, the faster you can kill your opponent. You can read all about it in our TTK guide below.

This TTK guide includes the TTKs for every weapon in Destiny 2. When looking strictly at TTK numbers, SMGs are quite strong. In fact, a few of these archetypes features some of the best TTK figures you’ll see on a primary weapon:

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

900 RPM

0.7312 crit1.13

High stability & range, poor recoil

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

600 RPM

0.807 crit 2 body1.1

Excellent range & aim assist, low handling

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

750 RPM

0.679 crit1

High range, low aim assist

Unforgiven artUnforgiven
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMGLightweight

900 RPM

0.6711 crit1.13

High aim assist and handling, low range

Funnelweb artFunnelweb

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

The many nerfs to shotguns finally allowed SMGs to breed. SMGs can finally 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 in PvE: DPS

DPS is important for PvE, because 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 actually in a great place:

-Weapon TypeArchetypeAverage DPSBurst DPSTotal DamageSpecs---Best in ClassChange?Ammo
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMG

Exotic

12,25015,615468,450With "Ravenous Beast"Destiny 2 Tarrabah artTarrabahSamePrimary
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMG

Exotic

6,1148,450331,240-Osteo Striga artOsteo StrigaSamePrimary
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMG

Exotic

4,8138,198245,925With "Ride the Bull x2"Destiny 2 The Huckleberry artThe HuckleberrySamePrimary
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMGLightweight4,6636,833180,378High aim assist and handling, low rangeFunnelweb artFunnelwebSamePrimary
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMGAggressive4,5916,558206,031High range, low aim assistUnforgiven artUnforgivenSamePrimary
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMGAdaptive4,3006,075187,110High stability & range, poor recoilThe Hero's Burden artThe Hero's BurdenSamePrimary
SMG weapon type Destiny 2SMGPrecision3,8755,645220,155Excellent range & aim assist, low handlingShayura's Wrath artShayura's WrathSamePrimary

Unlike Sidearms which deal a lot of damage but have an extremely limited range, SMGs offer a more acceptable compromise. They can’t deal as much damage as Sidearms, but their superior range makes them more usable. And when compared to most other Primary weapons, SMGs offer straight-up better DPS.

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 content in the game, 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.

Are SMGs Meta?

We’ve talked about the best Submachine guns for PvE and PvP already, but how do they compare, in general, with other primary weapon types? In other words:

Are SMGs good in Destiny 2?

The current Meta for PvE

So, are SMGs good in Destiny 2 PvE? This table summarizes how the several primary weapon types rank against each other in PvE:

Weapon TypeRankTierTrendRole ❘ 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
Auto rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Auto Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

Trend down► 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: Adaptive (600 RPM) - Example: Gnawing Hunger
PVE Primaries
Sidearm weapon type Destiny 2
Sidearms
B › Average
Average

B

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
Hand cannon weapon type Destiny 2
Hand Cannons
B › Average
Average

B

-► While Hand Cannons routinely dominate the PvP meta, they are often outclassed by weapon types that can either offer better DPS or better range. There are a couple of solid options, such as Fatebringer or Zaouli's Bane, but putting those aside, you'll be better off using something else.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (140 RPM) - Example: Fatebringer
PVE Primaries
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Pulse Rifles
S › Best
Best

S

Trend up► 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
Scout rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Scout Rifles
S › Best
Best

S

Trend up► Scout Rifles have come a long way. They are a solid and consistent option for anyone that prefers a safer and slower playstyle. They also shine in high-level content due to their excellent range. The best part about Scout Rifles, however, is their versatility across archetypes. Basically, every type of Scout Rifle is viable and can be used anywhere in the game.

► Best Archetype: Aggressive (72 RPM) - Example: Tarnished Mettle
PVE Primaries
Combat bow weapon type Destiny 2
Combat Bows
A › Strong
Strong

A

Trend up► 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

The current Meta for PvP

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

Weapon TypeRankTierTrendRole ❘ Current StateCategory
Hand cannon weapon type Destiny 2
Hand Cannons
A › Strong
Strong

A

Trend down► Hand Cannons are in a bit of a strange spot. Many will argue that they are still the best weapons in the game, however, due to the prevalence of Pulse Rifles and Sidearms, and certain special weapons like Arbalest and Lorentz Driver, Hand Cannons have slowly been pushed out of many players' main pick. They are still excellent duelling weapons though, and feel amazing to use so they still retain a strong ranking.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (140 RPM) - Example: Eyasluna
PVP Primaries
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Pulse Rifles
S › Best
Best

S

Trend up► 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
Sidearm weapon type Destiny 2
Sidearms
S › Best
Best

S

Trend up► Sidearms recently received a monumental buff to their ease of use and effective range by increasing auto-aim fall-off distance by 30%. This means that Sidearms simply can kill from further away, and more easily. Sidearms are particularly potent on a controller.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (300 RPM) - Example: Drang
PVP Primaries
Auto rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Auto Rifles
C › Weak
Weak

C

-► Auto Rifles aren't doing greét right now. They contest a similar range as Hand Cannons, however, they lack the peak shooting potential that Adaptive Hand Cannons bring. They can also be contested at close range by SMGs, making them difficult to use everywhere. However, a good player can still find value in an Auto Rifle as they do provide high flinch and constant damage.

► Best Archetype: Adaptive (600 RPM) - Example: Gnawing Hunger
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
B › Average
Average

B

Trend down► Scouts have been tuned down to make them less potent in the hands of the average player. However, good scout rifle players will still be able to do pretty well in lobbies, however, they may find themselves outmatched by Pulse Rifles.

► Best Archetype: High-Impact (150 RPM) - Example: Polaris Lance
PVP Primaries
SMG weapon type Destiny 2
Submachine Guns
A › Strong
Strong

A

Trend down► A few SMGs were recently hit with a range and/or damage nerf that knocked them down a peg or two. However, SMGs still have fast TTKs at short to medium ranges but are slightly outclassed by Sidearms now.

► Best Archetype: Aggressive (900 RPM)- Example: Borrowed Time
PVP Primaries

Your turn

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

About The Author

Andrew Sideris
Andrew Sideris
When my brother introduced me to the Destiny franchise in 2015, I immediately knew that it would take up a lot of my free time for years to come. 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.
More from Andrew Sideris
3 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
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