Best Pulse Rifles in Destiny 2: Tier List Ranking

by | Jan 8, 2022 | Weapons

Sometimes referred to as “Dad rifles”, some love to hate Pulse rifles. They claim Pulses require no skill and are too easy to use. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Granted, some of them are considered to be among the best weapons for PVP in the entire game. But in PVE, they struggle somewhat.

This guide covers every Pulse rifle in Destiny 2, including both Exotic and Legendary Pulses, as well as the best rolls for PVE and PVP.

Checkmark icon V3Lists updated as of Bungie’s 30th Anniversary event.  

Destiny 2 Pulse rifles Tier list

The Tier list below includes every non-sunset Pulse rifle 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
InsidiousInsidious art v2
Insidious
Pulse RifleAggressive BurstPrimaryArcThe Witch QueenYesS › BestVow of the Disciple Raid
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Vow of the Disciple Raid

The Witch Queen
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive Burst

PvE God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Dragonfly) + Rampage
PvP God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Heating Up) + Rampage

► The only 4-burst pulse rifle to be released in over two years, people had big expectations for this weapon. And with outstanding perk combinations for both PVE and PVP, Insidious blew those out of the water. With an S-Tier Origin Trait and no terrible perks in its pool, there's not much to hate about this pulse rifle. For PVP in particular, Aggressive Burst Pulses hit like a truck, flinching opponents with ease.
Season 16
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive Burst

PvE God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Dragonfly) + Rampage
PvP God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Heating Up) + Rampage
The MessengerThe Messenger art
The Messenger
Pulse RifleHigh-ImpactPrimaryKineticThe Witch QueenNoS › BestTrials of Osiris
Best

S



Excels in:
PvP
Trials of Osiris

The Witch Queen
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: High-Impact

PvP God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Outlaw) + Desperado

► This returning weapon from Destiny 1 is hands down the best Pulse rifle right now. Belonging to the High-Impact archetype, The Messenger benefits from one of the fastest TTKs in the game. On top of that, it has best-in-class base stats and excellent perks. And while all of its perks are good, it can also roll with the exclusive Desperado perk. With Desperado, which greatly increases its rate of fire after a precision kill, its TTK is massively reduced, allowing it to duel absolutely anyone and even go for insane killing sprees in 6v6 modes.
Season 13
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: High-Impact

PvP God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Outlaw) + Desperado
Horror's LeastHorror's Least art
Horror's Least
Pulse RifleRapid-FirePrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesS › BestNightfall: The Ordeals
Best

S



Excels in:
PvP
Nightfall: The Ordeals

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

PvP God Roll: Perpetual Motion (also good: Heating Up) + Kill Clip

► Able to dominate in the Crucible at mid-range, Horror's Least is one of the best pulse rifles in the game. With great stats, an Adept variant, and a well-rounded perk pool, this weapon is a beast and worth grinding if you're a pulse rifle fan.
Season 17
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PvP God Roll: Perpetual Motion (also good: Heating Up) + Kill Clip
BxR-55 BattlerBxR-55 Battler art
BxR-55 Battler
Pulse RifleLegacy PR-55PrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongDares of Eternity
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Dares of Eternity

Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Legacy PR-55

PvE God Roll: Outlaw (also good: Perpetual Motion) + Kill Clip (also good: Blunt Execution Rounds)

► The BxR is a one-of-a-kind Pulse rifle. Meant to pay homage to Halo’s iconic Battle rifle, the BxR goes above and beyond to fill that role. Not only does it look a lot like the Battle rifle, but it also behaves a lot like it too.
30th Anniversary event
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Legacy PR-55

PvE God Roll: Outlaw (also good: Perpetual Motion) + Kill Clip (also good: Blunt Execution Rounds)
New PurposeNew Purpose art
New Purpose
Pulse RifleHigh-ImpactPrimaryStasisDeluxe EditionYesA › StrongDuality Dungeon
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Duality Dungeon

Deluxe Edition
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: High-Impact

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy + Headstone (also good: Desperado)
PvP God Roll: Perpetual Motion (also good: Tunnel Vision) + Desperado

► For those not wanting to grind out The Messenger, New Purpose is the next best thing. Desperado was recently nerfed and is now significantly less potent, but it's still crazy fun in both PvE and PvP. Plus, New Purpose's Stasis element and Headstone can also play an integral part in a PvE Stasis build.
Season 17
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: High-Impact

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy + Headstone (also good: Desperado)
PvP God Roll: Perpetual Motion (also good: Tunnel Vision) + Desperado
Graviton LanceDestiny 2 Graviton Lance art
Graviton Lance
Pulse RifleExoticPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongExotic Engram
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Engram

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

Exotic Perk: "Second shot of a burst rips a hole through space-time, doing high damage and recoil with no falloff. Kills with this weapon cause enemies to detonate and spawn tracking Void projectiles."

► Significant buffs to both Exotic primaries and Pulse rifles breathe new life to Graviton Lance. It still has stiff competition in the likes of Outbreak Perfected or Bad Juju but it remains an extremely solid option, especially for those rocking a Void build.
Season 1
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Second shot of a burst rips a hole through space-time, doing high damage and recoil with no falloff. Kills with this weapon cause enemies to detonate and spawn tracking Void projectiles."
Bad JujuDestiny 2 Bad Juju art
Bad Juju
Pulse RifleExoticPrimaryKineticForsaken PackYesA › StrongExotic Kiosk
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Kiosk

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

Exotic Perk: "Kills refill the magazine, increase damage for a short duration, and grant Super energy based on the number of kills. Fires full-auto."

► Bad Juju is one of the most underrated weapons in Destiny 2. It can be an absolute monster in PVE and gets even better with the catalyst. And with the recent buffs to Exotic primaries and pulse rifles, it can finally compete with the best.
Season 7
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Kills refill the magazine, increase damage for a short duration, and grant Super energy based on the number of kills. Fires full-auto."
Sacred ProvenanceSacred Provenance art
Sacred Provenance
Pulse RifleAggressive BurstPrimaryKineticShadowkeepYesA › StrongGarden of Salvation Raid
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Garden of Salvation Raid

Shadowkeep
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive Burst

PvE God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Outlaw) + Kill Clip

► Sacred Provenance is an excellent Pulse rifle for PVE and the only reason you don't see it more often is because Pulses are currently in a bad place, DPS-wise.

Still, Sacred Provenance is currently the only aggressive, 4-burst Pulse rifle in the game, and you should definitely keep it if you have, for when Bungie will finally buff Pulses in PVE.
Season 8
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive Burst

PvE God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Outlaw) + Kill Clip
The Third AxiomThe Third Axiom art
The Third Axiom
Pulse RifleAdaptivePrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongPlaylist: Vanguard
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Playlist: Vanguard

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

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy (also good: Killing Wind) + Rampage

► The Third Axiom is the long-lost twin of the Forsaken Pulse rifle, Bygones. Falling into the Adaptive frame archetype, this is a very consistent weapon that will get the job done every time. It also happens to feel great: stable and smooth to fire.
Season 13
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Feeding Frenzy (also good: Killing Wind) + Rampage
Vigilance WingDestiny 2 Vigilance Wing art
Vigilance Wing
Pulse RifleExoticPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongExotic Engram
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvP
Exotic Engram

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

Exotic Perk: "This weapon fires a 5-round burst. When a nearby ally is killed, gain health regeneration, and increased movement speed."

► Vigilance Wing is an excellent weapon to bring to the Crucible. Its ease of use alone nets it an S tier. However, it's also one of the most lethal weapons in the game with a unique 5 burst shot.
Season 1
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon fires a 5-round burst. When a nearby ally is killed, gain health regeneration, and increased movement speed."
No Time to ExplainNo Time to Explain Destiny 2
No Time to Explain
Pulse RifleExoticPrimaryKineticBeyond LightYesA › StrongExotic Quest
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvP
Exotic Quest

Beyond Light
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Precision shots and shots against combatants affected by Stasis return to the magazine. At 10 stacks, a small portal will open, shooting bullets from an alternate timeline version of this weapon. Precision hits extend the portal's duration."

► No Time to Explain is a PVP powerhouse. Not only is it part of the most deadly Pulse rifles archetype (with insanely low TTKs), it also has great base stats and perks that make it nearly unstoppable when activated.
Season 12
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Precision shots and shots against combatants affected by Stasis return to the magazine. At 10 stacks, a small portal will open, shooting bullets from an alternate timeline version of this weapon. Precision hits extend the portal's duration."
The Time-Worn SpireThe Time-Worn Spire art
The Time-Worn Spire
Pulse RifleRapid-FirePrimaryKineticFree-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: Rapid-Fire

PvP God Roll: Under Pressure (also good: Quickdraw) + Iron Grip (also good: Rampage)

► The Time-Worn Spire is a reprised Year 1 Iron Banner weapon that returned with plenty of fantastic perks. It belongs to one of the better archetypes, which, coupled with solid perks, can be a great choice for PVP.
Season 13
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PvP God Roll: Under Pressure (also good: Quickdraw) + Iron Grip (also good: Rampage)
GridskipperGridskipper art
Gridskipper
Pulse RifleRapid-FirePrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongUnobtainable
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvP
Unobtainable

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

PvP God Roll: Heating Up (also good: Moving Target) + Multikill Clip

► One of the biggest surprises last season, Gridskipper may not have the insane TTK of High-Impact Pulses. Yet it still shreds in PVP while simultaneously feeling great in your hands.
Season 14
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PvP God Roll: Heating Up (also good: Moving Target) + Multikill Clip
Darkest BeforeDarkest Before art
Darkest Before
Pulse RifleRapid-FirePrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongProphecy Dungeon
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvP
Prophecy Dungeon

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

PvP God Roll: Surplus (also good: Tunnel Vision) + Rampage (also good: Elemental Capacitor)

► Rapid-Fire pulses are oppressive and excel in medium-range engagements. And while Gridskipper is still great, Darkest Before is the absolute best Rapid-fire currently in the game. It has better base stats and a great sight.
Season 15
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PvP God Roll: Surplus (also good: Tunnel Vision) + Rampage (also good: Elemental Capacitor)
Legal Action IILegal Action II art
Legal Action II
Pulse RifleHigh-ImpactPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongWorld loot pool
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvP
World loot pool

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

PvP God Roll: Feeding Frenzy (also good: Surplus) + Rampage

► Albeit it has average base stats, this gun manages to stand out thanks to its zoom level. Its optics and zoom combine to give the Legal Action II exceptional range. This helps it challenge even Scout rifles in long-range engagements.
Season 15
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: High-Impact

PvP God Roll: Feeding Frenzy (also good: Surplus) + Rampage
Piece of MindPiece of Mind art
Piece of Mind
Pulse RifleRapid-FirePrimaryKineticDeluxe EditionYesA › StrongPsiOps Battlegrounds
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvP
PsiOps Battlegrounds

Deluxe Edition
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PvP God Roll: Perpetual Motion (also good: Overflow) + Moving Target

► With a TTK of 0.80s, Piece of Mind is a solid PVP choice. It's not a High-Impact Pulse and it doesn't have the best TTK, yet it can absolutely shred in PVP while simultaneously feeling great in your hands. As a Rapid-Fire pulse, Piece of Mind isn't great at peak shooting, but if used aggressively, it can easily dominate medium-range engagements.
Season 16
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PvP God Roll: Perpetual Motion (also good: Overflow) + Moving Target
Outbreak PerfectedDestiny 2 Outbreak Perfected art
Outbreak Perfected
Pulse RifleExoticPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongExotic Kiosk
Strong

A



Exotic Kiosk

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

Exotic Perk: "This weapon creates SIVA nanite swarms on rapid hits and precision kills and does more damage to enemies based on the number of SIVA nanites that attach to them."

► Outbreak Perfected is making a comeback, partly because it has always been a good weapon, able to deal considerable damage to single targets, but mostly because it received major buffs against PVE enemies. With a +44% damage against red bar enemies, Outbreak Perfected is finally meta again.
Season 6
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon creates SIVA nanite swarms on rapid hits and precision kills and does more damage to enemies based on the number of SIVA nanites that attach to them."
Collective ObligationCollective Obligation art
Collective Obligation
Pulse RifleExoticPrimaryVoidThe Witch QueenYesB › AverageVow of the Disciple Raid
Average

B



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Vow of the Disciple Raid

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

Exotic Perk: "This weapon leeches Void debuffs when damaging targets that are suppressed, weakened, or volatile. Once charged, damage from this weapon applies the same Void debuffs that were leeched. Weapon automatically reloads when you gain Devour, a Void overshield, or become invisible."

► With the ability to debuff everything in sight, Collective Obligation can do things no other weapon can. That being said, you're almost required to create a build with it to make it worth your exotic slot. While this weapon has potential, having to work so hard to make your exotic feel "exotic" isn't great.
Season 16
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "This weapon leeches Void debuffs when damaging targets that are suppressed, weakened, or volatile. Once charged, damage from this weapon applies the same Void debuffs that were leeched. Weapon automatically reloads when you gain Devour, a Void overshield, or become invisible."
Forge's PledgeForge's Pledge art
Forge's Pledge
Pulse RifleAdaptivePrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageIron Banner
Average

B



Excels in:
PvE
Iron Banner

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

PvE God Roll: Heating Up (also good: Stats for All) + Rampage (also good: One for All)

► Despite the fact that Pulse Rifles have never been the meta in PVE, Forge's Pledge can roll with Rampage and other good perks, making it decent when the seasonal champion mods support it.
Season 15
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Heating Up (also good: Stats for All) + Rampage (also good: One for All)
Ogma PR6Ogma PR6 art
Ogma PR6
Pulse RifleLightweightPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageWorld loot pool
Average

B



Excels in:
PvE
World loot pool

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

PvE God Roll: Demolitionist + Wellspring

► Containing some perk combinations we've never seen before, Ogma PR6 is definitely an underrated pick. Able to roll with both Demolitionist and Wellspring at the same time, this exact roll is a must-have for any player making ability-focused builds. Beyond that though, Ogma doesn't have much going for it.
Season 16
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Demolitionist + Wellspring
Cold DenialCold Denial art
Cold Denial
Pulse RifleHigh-ImpactPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageWorld loot pool
Average

B



Excels in:
PvP
World loot pool

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

PvP God Roll: Killling Wind (also good: Feeding Frenzy) + Swashbuckler

► Cold Denial is an incredibly satisfying gun to use, from its firing sound to its recoil pattern. As a High-Impact Pulse, it boasts one of the best time-to-kills in the Crucible, at 0.67 seconds.
Season 11
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: High-Impact

PvP God Roll: Killling Wind (also good: Feeding Frenzy) + Swashbuckler
Stars in Shadow
Stars in Shadow
Pulse RifleHigh-ImpactPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesB › AveragePlaylist: Crucible
Average

B



Excels in:
PvP
Playlist: Crucible

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

PvP God Roll: Killing Wind (also good: Outlaw) + Kill Clip

► Stars In Shadow is currently the only Solar Pulse rifle still viable in the game, making it a must-have weapon for higher-level PVE content.
Season 12
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: High-Impact

PvP God Roll: Killing Wind (also good: Outlaw) + Kill Clip
Syncopation-53Syncopation-53 art
Syncopation-53
Pulse RifleAdaptivePrimaryStasisFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageWorld loot pool
Average

B



Excels in:
PvP
World loot pool

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

PvE God Roll: Outlaw + Headstone

► Other than the fact that it is Stasis, and therefore can roll with Headstone, Syncopation-53 is an average weapon with not too many strong points.
Season 16
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Outlaw + Headstone
Jian 7 Rifle
Jian 7 Rifle
Pulse RifleAdaptivePrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageWorld loot pool
Average

B



World loot pool

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

PvE God Roll: Disruption Break (also good: Ful-Auto Trigger) + Rampage

► Jian 7 Rifle falls into some of the same traps as Hailing Confusion does. Its TTK isn't great and so are its base stats.
Season 10
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Disruption Break (also good: Ful-Auto Trigger) + Rampage
Last Perdition
Last Perdition
Pulse RifleAdaptivePrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesB › AverageWorld loot pool
Average

B



World loot pool

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

PvP God Roll: Rampage (also good: Kill Clip) + Outlaw

► As all Adaptive Pulses, Last Perdition is a consistent weapon that does well all-around but will never truly excel in any aspect of the game. But in spite of that, it remains one of the better choices in the energy slot.
Season 11
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PvP God Roll: Rampage (also good: Kill Clip) + Outlaw
PremonitionPremonition art
Premonition
Pulse RifleHigh-ImpactPrimaryVoidShadowkeepYesB › AveragePit of Heresy Dungeon
Average

B



Pit of Heresy Dungeon

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

PvP God Roll: Killing Wind (also good: Feeding Frenzy) + Rampage

► Premonition used to be one of the top high-impact pulse rifles for PVP, but has been largely replaced by The Messenger in the kinetic slot and a Shadow Star in the Energy slot.
Season 13
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: High-Impact

PvP God Roll: Killing Wind (also good: Feeding Frenzy) + Rampage
Jurassic GreenJurassic Green art
Jurassic Green
Pulse RifleRapid-FirePrimarySolarFree-to-PlayNoB › AverageEvent: Festival of the Lost
Average

B



Event: Festival of the Lost

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

PvP God Roll: Heating Up (also good: Rangefinder) + Adrenaline Junkie (also good: Multikill Clip)

► Rapid-Fire pulses are certainly fashionable since the arrival of Gridskipper and Darkest Before. Jurassic Green has slightly lesser base stats but it remains a competent Pulse for PVP.
Season 15
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PvP God Roll: Heating Up (also good: Rangefinder) + Adrenaline Junkie (also good: Multikill Clip)
Chattering BoneChattering Bone Destiny 2
Chattering Bone
Pulse RifleLightweightPrimaryKineticForsaken PackYesC › WeakLast Wish Raid
Weak

C



Last Wish Raid

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Outlaw (also good: Rangefinder) + Rampage

► Chattering Bone is a disappointing weapon, especially as it requires you to conquer the Last Wish raid for a chance to obtain it.
Season 4
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Outlaw (also good: Rangefinder) + Rampage
Hailing Confusion
Hailing Confusion
Pulse RifleAdaptivePrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakEuropa
Weak

C



Europa

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

PvE God Roll: Firmly Planted + Demolitionist

► Hailing Confusion has a slower optimal TTK than 340 RPM Pulse rifles, but it's a more forgiving weapon if accuracy is an issue. It also features a clean Red Dot sight and a healthy selection of perks.

Overall, it's not a bad weapon, but it's still outclassed by more lethal / less forgiving archetypes.
Season 12
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Firmly Planted + Demolitionist
Perses-DPerses-D art
Perses-D
Pulse RifleHigh-ImpactPrimaryStasisFree-to-PlayYesC › WeakWorld loot pool
Weak

C



World loot pool

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

PvE God Roll: Rapid Hit + Explosive Payload (also good: Headstone)

► While Perses-D can roll with some of the best PVE scout rifle perks, it falls into an archetype that is extremely lacking, making other weapons (such as Night Watch and Hung Jury SR4) better picks overall.
Season 16
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: High-Impact

PvE God Roll: Rapid Hit + Explosive Payload (also good: Headstone)
YesteryearYesteryear art
Yesteryear
Pulse RifleAdaptivePrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesOngoingPlaylist: GambitOngoing...

Playlist: Gambit

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



Season 18
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

Smite of MerainSmite of Merain
Smite of Merain
Pulse RifleAdaptivePrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesOngoingKing's Fall RaidOngoing...

King's Fall Raid

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



Season 18
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

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 Pulse Rifles in 2022

This section not only covers the top Pulses 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 10 favorite Pulse Rifles for PVE and PVP.

 

Stars in Shadow Destiny 2 featured

10. Stars in Shadow

Crucible logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVP

PvP is where this gun truly shines. As a High-Impact frame Pulse, it too delivers an insanely fast 0.67 seconds time-to-kill. This fast TTK plus Kill Clip makes this weapon a true menace in PVP.

PVP God roll:

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

How to get it: Stars in Shadow can be acquired by completing PVP matches from the Crucible Playlist.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceAvailable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Stars in ShadowPulse RifleHigh-ImpactLegendaryPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Average

B

PvPPlaylist: Crucible
Free-to-Play
Season 12EnergyNo

 

Legal Action II Destiny 2 featured

9. Legal Action II

Crucible logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVP

Another High-Impact Pulse, Legal Action II has that same insanely fast TTKs as Stars in Shadow and The Messenger.

And whereas it has average base stats, this gun manages to stand out thanks to its zoom level. Its optics and zoom combine to give the Legal Action II exceptional range. This helps it challenge even Scout rifles in long-range engagements.

PVP God roll:

  • Perk 1: Feeding Frenzy (also good: Surplus)
  • Perk 2: Rampageli>

How to get it: Legal Action II can be randomly acquired as end-of-match activities or via Legendary and Prime engrams.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceAvailable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Legal Action II artLegal Action IIPulse RifleHigh-ImpactLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PvPWorld loot pool
Free-to-Play
Season 15KineticNo

 

Gridskipper Destiny 2 featured

8. Gridskipper

Crucible logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVP

One of the biggest surprises last season, Gridskipper may not have the insane TTK of High-Impact Pulses. Yet it still shreds in PVP while simultaneously feeling great in your hands.

Gridskipper benefits from all of the best new perks, especially Heating Up, which help it effortlessly chain kills in 6v6 matches. As long as you play aggressively, it can easily dominate medium-range engagements.

PVP God roll:

  • Perk 1: Heating Up (also good: Moving Target)
  • Perk 2: Multikill Clip

How to get it: Gridskipper can be acquired by completing Overrides and focusing Umbral engrams.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceAvailable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Gridskipper artGridskipperPulse RifleRapid-FireLegendaryPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Strong

A

PvPUnobtainable
Free-to-Play
Season 14EnergyNo

 

The Third Axiom Destiny 2 featured

7. The Third Axiom

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

The Third Axiom is the long-lost twin of the Forsaken Pulse rifle, Bygones. Falling into the Adaptive frame archetype, this is a very consistent weapon that will get the job done every time. It also happens to feel great: stable and smooth to fire.

On top of having some of the best base stats among Adaptive frame Pulse rifles, The Third Axiom can also roll with a wide range of strong perks, making it a desirable weapon for both PvE and PvP.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Feeding Frenzy (also good: Killing Wind)
  • Perk 2: Rampage

How to get it: The Third Axiom can be acquired by completing Strikes from the Vanguard Playlist.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceAvailable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
The Third Axiom artThe Third AxiomPulse RifleAdaptiveLegendaryPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Strong

A

PvEPlaylist: Vanguard
Free-to-Play
Season 13EnergyNo

 

Sacred Provenance Destiny 2 featured v2

6. Sacred Provenance

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

Sacred Provenance is currently the only aggressive, 4-burst Pulse rifle in the game, making it an absolute fan-favorite among Pulse aficionados.

Some may not like it due to its slow playstyle, but with excellent range and ease of use, Sacred Provenance is without a doubt a top-tier weapon for both PvP and PvE.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Rapid Hit (also good: Outlaw)
  • Perk 2: Kill Clip

How to get it: Sacred Provenance can be acquired by completing the third encounter in the Garden of Salvation raid.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceAvailable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Sacred Provenance artSacred ProvenancePulse RifleAggressive BurstLegendaryPrimaryKineticShadowkeepYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PvEGarden of Salvation Raid
Shadowkeep
Season 8KineticNo

 

BxR-55 Battler Destiny 2 featured

5. BxR-55 Battler

Vanguard logo Destiny 2Best PVE Pulse in Destiny 2

The newest Pulse on the block, the BxR is an entirely different beast. Meant to pay homage to Halo’s iconic Battle rifle, the BxR goes above and beyond to fill that role. Not only does it look a lot like the Battle rifle, it also behaves a lot like it too.

The BxR-55 Battler is all about that extra precision when shooting from the hip. Just like Dead Man’s Tale or even The Last Word on controller, this Pulse excels when shot from the hip. This gives it a lot of flexibility. It can be lethal at long ranges but also close ranges when shot from the hip. Couple with something like Blunt Execution Rounds, this pulse can be an excellent tool for a good PVE melee build.

PVE God roll:

  • Perk 1: Outlaw (also good: Perpetual Motion)
  • Perk 2: Kill Clip (also good: Blunt Execution Rounds)

How to get it: BxR-55 Battler can be acquired by completing Dares of Eternity runs or turning in Treasure keys at Xûr’s in Eternity.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceAvailable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
BxR-55 Battler artBxR-55 BattlerPulse RifleLegacy PR-55LegendaryPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Strong

A

PvE + PvPDares of Eternity
Free-to-Play
30th Anniversary eventEnergyCraftable

 

Vigilance Wing Pulse rigle Destiny 2 featured

4. Vigilance Wing

Crucible logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVP

Vigilance Wing is an excellent weapon to bring to the Crucible. Its ease of use alone nets it an S tier. However, it’s also one of the most lethal weapons in the game with a unique 5 burst shot.

Vigilance Wing is indeed quite forgiving and lets you get kills without having to hit too many crits. This, combined with its range, makes it a nearly unstoppable force in the mid to long-range engagements.

Exotic Perk: “This weapon fires a 5-round burst. When a nearby ally is killed, gain health regeneration, and increased movement speed.”

How to get it: Vigilance Wing can be acquired via Exotic engrams or Xûr.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceAvailable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Destiny 2 Vigilance Wing artVigilance WingPulse RifleExoticExoticPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PvPExotic Engram
Free-to-Play
Season 1KineticNo

 

Darkest Before Destiny 2 featured

3. Darkest Before

Crucible logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVP

Gridskipper set the stage last season and demonstrated that Rapid-Fire Pulses could also excel in PVP. Unlike High-Impact Pulses which are all about insanely fast TTKs as long as you can hit your shots, Rapid-Fires are all about overwhelming your enemies with bullets.

Rapid-Fire pulses are oppressive and excel in medium-range engagements. And while Gridskipper is still great, Darkest Before is the absolute best Rapid-fire currently in the game. It has better base stats and a great sight. Darkest Before is reason enough to run the Prophecy dungeon every week.

PVP God roll:

  • Perk 1: Surplus (also good: Tunnel Vision)
  • Perk 2: Rampage (also good: Elemental Capacitor)

How to get it: Darkest Before can be acquired by beating the Prophecy dungeon‘s final boss.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceAvailable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Darkest Before artDarkest BeforePulse RifleRapid-FireLegendaryPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Strong

A

PvPProphecy Dungeon
Free-to-Play
Season 15EnergyNo

 

No Time to Explain Destiny 2 featured

2. No Time to Explain

Crucible logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVP

No Time to Explain is a PVP powerhouse. Not only is it part of the most deadly Pulse rifles archetype (with insanely low TTKs), it also has great base stats and perks that make it nearly unstoppable when activated.

Its exotic perk ‘Rewind Again’ allows for consistent and forgiving kills. This, combined with its incredible range and clean sights, make it a top-tier option everywhere in the game, including PVE.

Exotic Perk: “Precision shots and shots against combatants affected by Stasis return to the magazine. At 10 stacks, a small portal will open, shooting bullets from an alternate timeline version of this weapon. Precision hits extend the portal’s duration.”

How to get it: No Time to Explain can be acquired by purchasing Beyond Light’s Deluxe edition.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceAvailable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
No Time to Explain Destiny 2No Time to ExplainPulse RifleExoticExoticPrimaryKineticBeyond LightYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PvPExotic Quest
Beyond Light
Season 12KineticNo

 

The Messenger Destiny 2 featured

1. The Messenger

Crucible logo Destiny 2Best PVP Pulse in Destiny 2

The best Legendary Pulse Rifle in the entire game, The Messenger is a returning weapon from Destiny 1 that comes with a top-tier perk previously reserved only for Pinnacle weapons: Desperado.

With Desperado, TTK can be massively reduced, allowing for insane killing sprees, especially with Rapid Hit or Outlaw. The Messenger is also incredible in PvE, due to its top-notch perk selection and generally great stats.

PVP God roll:

  • Perk 1: Rapid Hit (also good: Outlaw)
  • Perk 2: Desperado

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

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceAvailable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
The Messenger artThe MessengerPulse RifleHigh-ImpactLegendaryPrimaryKineticThe Witch QueenNoPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Best

S

PvPTrials of Osiris
The Witch Queen
Season 13KineticNo

Pulse Rifles 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 it comes to PVP, Pulse rifles are a strong choice. In fact, they probably are the top second choice for competitive players, just behind hand cannons. Some of the top Pulses are even considered “Meta”, especially High-impact Pulses that can reach insane time-to-kills (TTK).

-Weapon TypeArchetypeOptimal TTKOptimal KillBody Shot TTKSpecs---Best in Class

Do keep in mind that TTKs aren’t everything. Versatility and ease of use also come into play. High-Impacts may offer one of the best TTKs in the game, but if you can’t land your shots, the archetype loses all its advantages.

If you’re looking for a more forgiving alternative, Rapid-Fires (Darkest Before) and Adaptives (The Third Axiom) can be excellent choices too.

Pulse Rifles 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, Pulses deal very mediocre damage:

-Weapon TypeArchetypeAverage DPSBurst DPSTotal DamageSpecs---Best in ClassChange?Ammo
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse Rifle

Exotic

6,1457,340422,810With averaged 'nanites"Destiny 2 Outbreak Perfected artOutbreak PerfectedSamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse Rifle

Exotic

3,6874,381371,126With CatalystNo Time to Explain Destiny 2No Time to ExplainSamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse Rifle

Exotic

3,6024,222215,100-Destiny 2 Vigilance Wing artVigilance WingSamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse RifleAdaptive2,8253,246194,778High handling, decent rangeThe Third Axiom Destiny 2 artThe Third AxiomSamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse RifleRapid-Fire2,7713,285137,970High aim assist, low rangePiece of Mind Destiny 2 artPiece of MindSamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse RifleAggressive Burst2,7443,232241,312Excellent range, low aim assistInsidious Destiny 2 art v2InsidiousSamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse RifleHigh-Impact2,7203,281250,128High range & recoil, low aim assistThe Messenger Destiny 2 artThe MessengerSamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse Rifle

Exotic

2,7072,984271,733-Destiny 2 Graviton Lance artGraviton LanceSamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse RifleLightweight2,5733,046160,805Excellent handling, low rangeOgma PR6 Destiny 2 artOgma PR6SamePrimary

Endgame content

Whereas Pulses can dominate any Crucible match, be it casual 6v6s or Trials of Osiris rounds, they currently struggle in PVE. They have the range and ease of use to compete, but they simply deal too little damage. And since hand cannons and scout rifles recently received a PVE damage buff, Pulse rifles struggle even more.

For this reason, you won’t often see Pulse rifles in PVE endgame content, unless seasonal Pulse rifle mods become available (Anti-barrier, Overload, etc).

Destiny 2 Pulse Rifles: Are they Meta?

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

Are Pulse Rifles good in Destiny 2?

The current Meta for PVE

So, are Pulses 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

Submachine guns are in a great place right now. With good DPS, decent ammo, and acceptable range, SMGs are seen as the perfect compromise between range and damage.

On top of that, specific SMGs such as the IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.2 or Extraordinary Rendition are exceptionally good. True top-tier PVE choices, including endgame activities.
PVE Primaries
Auto rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Auto Rifles
A › Strong
Strong

A

Auto rifles, in general, are not as strong as SMGs. They simply cannot do as much damage as SMG.
On the flip side, they offer better range, and in some situations, excellent ammo.

But a few auto rifles can truly excel and can be easily considered S-tier individually, namely the 720 RPM Chroma Rush and the 600 RPM Gnawing Hunger.
PVE Primaries
Sidearm weapon type Destiny 2
Sidearms
A › Strong
Strong

A

Sidearms may be some of the most slept on weapons in Destiny 2. Most guardians prefer to stay away from them due to their limited range. But on the other hand, their DPS is unmatched as long as you can get close enough to stay within their optimal range.

This makes sidearms slightly riskier in endgame content such as Grandmaster content.
PVE Primaries
Hand cannon weapon type Destiny 2
Hand Cannons
A › Strong
Strong

A

While Hand cannons easily dominate in PVP, they are currently lackluster in the DPS department. Their DPS is so poor, even Bungie acknowledged it and already announced an incoming PVE buff.

But to be fair, they are still viable for Master and Grandmaster content, mainly due to their peak shooting capabilities.
PVE Primaries
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Pulse Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

Pulse rifles are true work horses. They do reasonable damage, have a good range, and are, overall, safe and easy to use in Master and Grandmaster content.

They may not excel in the DPS department, are still extremely solid all-around choices.
PVE Primaries
Scout rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Scout Rifles
B › Average
Average

B

Scout rifles are slowly making a comeback. They will be easily outclassed by every other weapon types in most content, but they are proving to be excellent for endgame content.

Their long range, combined with the surprisingly high DPS of some of the best Pulses, makes them finally viable for endgame content.
PVE Primaries
Combat bow weapon type Destiny 2
Combat Bows
C › Weak
Weak

C

Combat bows can truly excel in some niche situations. Namely, in very difficult content in which you want to stay as far away from enemies as possible.

With virtually infinite range, bows can deal good damage from insane distances.
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
S › Best
Best

S

-► Hand cannons will always be S-tier, they are incredibly versatile at many ranges and can deal incredibly high damage in a single shot, allowing for super effective 'peak-shooting'. Hand Cannons also often come with plenty of aim assist, making them an accessible yet incredibly potent option for everyone.

► 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
SMG weapon type Destiny 2
Submachine Guns
S › Best
Best

S

Trend down► Submachine Guns have always had one hard counter, Shotguns. However, with the recent Shotgun range nerfs, SMGs have risen massively up the ranks and now are able to comfortably compete in the short-mid range. SMGs are on the up, and it is one of the best times to become an SMG aficionado.

► Best Archetype: Precision (600 RPM)- Example: Shayura's Wrath
PVP Primaries
Sidearm weapon type Destiny 2
Sidearms
B › Average
Average

B

-► Sidearms are a solid pick, however, they have super stiff competition in the way of SMGs and certain Special Weapons such as Shotguns and Fusion Rifles making them a little harder to succeed with, but still a viable pick.

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

C

Trend down► 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
Scout rifle weapon type Destiny 2
Scout Rifles
A › Strong
Strong

A

Trend up► Scout Rifles have seen a very recent resurgence with the buffs to the Lightweight and High-Impact archetypes. They can now contest medium to long ranges a lot more comfortably and they aren't as pressured by Pulse Rifles as they were in the past. Scout Rifles have become one of the best options if you want to opt for a slower, more passive playstyle.

► Best Archetype: High-Impact (150 RPM) - Example: Polaris Lance
PVP Primaries

Your turn

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

Latest changes made to this guide

Things change fast in Destiny 2, especially when a new Season or Expansion launches. For that reason, this post will be updated at least once per season.

With the release of Season of the Lost (Season 15) and Bungie’s 30th Anniversary event, the following weapons were added:

  • BxR-55 Battler
  • Jurassic Green
  • Darkest Before
  • Legal Action II

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

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1 Comment
  1. Brendan

    On the darkest before review, it says gridskipper instead of darkest before in its description, in the very first section, overall a very useful tier list!

    Reply
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