Best Pulse Rifles in Destiny 2: Tier List for PvP and PvE

by | Oct 19, 2023

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. In fact, some of them are considered to be among the best weapons in the entire game.

Today we cover every Pulse Rifle in Destiny 2, including both Exotic and Legendaries, as well as the best rolls for PvE and PvP.

Checkmark icon V3Updated as of Season of the Witch (S22). See Updates.

Destiny 2 Pulse Rifles Tier List: Top-tier Options

This Tier list features the Top-tier Exotic and Legendary Pulses in the game and covers both PvE and PvP:

ItemWeaponsTypeArchetypeAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?RankSourceAvailable?Tier rankSource ❘ DLCFinal VerdictReleasedPerksBest of?
BxR-55 BattlerBxR-55 Battler art
BxR-55 Battler
Pulse RifleLegacy PR-55PrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesS › BestDares of EternityCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Dares of Eternity
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Legacy PR-55

PvE God Roll: Outlaw (also good: Demolitionist) + Incandescent (also good: Kill Clip)
PvE God Roll: Killing Wind (also good: Perpetual Motion) + Kill Clip

► The BxR has always been a powerful pulse rifle, but it recently got even better. Now with the ability to roll with Incandescent (and the ability to craft it), this pulse rifle continues to dominate most areas of the game.
30th Anniversary event
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Legacy PR-55

PvE God Roll: Outlaw (also good: Demolitionist) + Incandescent (also good: Kill Clip)
PvE God Roll: Killing Wind (also good: Perpetual Motion) + Kill Clip
Top-tier
Oversoul EdictOversoul Edict art
Oversoul Edict
Pulse RifleRapid-FirePrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesS › BestCrota's End RaidCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Crota's End Raid
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PvE God Roll: Demolitionist (also good: Englightened Action) + Voltshot
PvP God Roll: Keep Away + Headseeker (also good: Moving Target)

► From the returning Crota's End raid, Oversoul Edict is one of the best legendary pulses, bar none. Its perk pool has something for everyone and is a solid pick for all manners of content. It is also craftable, so a god roll is only five red borders away.
Season 22
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PvE God Roll: Demolitionist (also good: Englightened Action) + Voltshot
PvP God Roll: Keep Away + Headseeker (also good: Moving Target)
Top-tier
Graviton LanceDestiny 2 Graviton Lance art
Graviton Lance
Pulse RifleExoticPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesS › BestExotic EngramCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Engram
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
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."

► Graviton Lance is a beast of a weapon. It clears out entire rooms thanks to its explosive capabilities. It also synergizes well with certain builds, making it an excellent option right now.
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."
Top-tier
Horror's LeastHorror's Least art
Horror's Least
Pulse RifleRapid-FirePrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesS › BestNightfall: The OrdealsCheckmark icon V3
Best

S



Excels in:
PvP
Nightfall: The Ordeals
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
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
Top-tier
No Time to ExplainNo Time to Explain Destiny 2
No Time to Explain
Pulse RifleExoticPrimaryKineticBeyond LightYesA › StrongBeyond Light CampaignCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Beyond Light Campaign
Beyond Light Destiny 2 icon
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."

► An exceptional pick in PVP (and a fun one in PVE), No Time to Explain's ability to provide you with an extra set of bullets continues to be helpful in most areas of the game.
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."
Top-tier
The MessengerThe Messenger art
The Messenger
Pulse RifleHigh-ImpactPrimaryKineticLightfallNoA › StrongTrials of OsirisError icon V2
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Trials of Osiris
Lightfall Preorder icon
Lightfall
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: High-Impact

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

► Because Desperado is no longer exclusive to this pulse (and because the perk has suffered from a handful of nerfs), The Messenger isn't as popular as it once was. Kill Clip allows this weapon to continue to excel in PVP, but it isn't the monster it was previously.
Season 13
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: High-Impact

PvE & PvP God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Outlaw) + Kill Clip(also good: Desperado)
Top-tier
InsidiousInsidious art v2
Insidious
Pulse RifleAggressive BurstPrimaryArcThe Witch QueenYesA › StrongVow of the Disciple RaidCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Vow of the Disciple Raid
The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
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

► One of very few 4-burst pulse rifles, 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
Top-tier
New PurposeNew Purpose art
New Purpose
Pulse RifleHigh-ImpactPrimaryStasisDeluxe EditionYesA › StrongDuality DungeonCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Duality Dungeon
The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
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
Top-tier
Battle ScarBattle Scar art
Battle Scar
Pulse RifleLightweightPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongLost SectorCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Lost Sector
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: Perpetual Motion (also good: Shoot to Loot) + Kinetic Tremors
PvP God Roll: Perpetual Motion (also good: Keep Away) + Headseeker

► Yet another world drop to make waves, Battle Scar is an exceptionally strong pulse rifle with an equally strong perk pool. Not only that but its origin trait buffs practically all stats for the low cost of simply dealing damage and not dying. The only problem is getting it to drop.
Season 20
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Perpetual Motion (also good: Shoot to Loot) + Kinetic Tremors
PvP God Roll: Perpetual Motion (also good: Keep Away) + Headseeker
Top-tier
Phyllotactic SpiralPhyllotactic Spiral art
Phyllotactic Spiral
Pulse RifleHigh-ImpactPrimaryArcLightfallYesA › StrongNeomunaCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Neomuna
Lightfall Preorder icon
Lightfall
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: High-Impact

PvE God Roll: Keep Away (also good: Compulsive Reloader) + Voltshot
PvP God Roll: Keep Away + Kill Clip (also good: Headseeker)

► The first pulse rifle to get Voltshot, Phyllotactic Spiral has been highly sought after since its release with Lightfall. Its range lets users activate Keep Away more consistently, which aids in the reload speed when proc'ing Voltshot. The only issue you'll find with it is getting it in the first place.
Season 20
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: High-Impact

PvE God Roll: Keep Away (also good: Compulsive Reloader) + Voltshot
PvP God Roll: Keep Away + Kill Clip (also good: Headseeker)
Top-tier
Different TimesDifferent Times art Destiny 2
Different Times
Pulse RifleRapid-FirePrimaryStrandSeason 21YesA › StrongSeasonal activityCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Seasonal activity
Season of the Deep Icon
Season 21
Slot: Strand Element Strand | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PvE God Roll: Subsistence + Hatchling
PvP God Roll: Moving Target + Headseeker

► Our first Strand pulse, while just a reskin of Outlast, is a fairly powerful Rapid-Fire. Rapid-fires continue to be a solid choice for PvP, and in PvE, they synergize extremely well with Tangle or Threadling-based builds. And on top of it all, it's craftable!
Season 21
Slot: Strand Element Strand | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PvE God Roll: Subsistence + Hatchling
PvP God Roll: Moving Target + Headseeker
Top-tier
Chattering BoneChattering Bone art Destiny 2
Chattering Bone
Pulse RifleLightweightPrimaryKineticForsaken PackYesA › StrongLast Wish RaidCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Last Wish Raid
Forsaken Destiny 2 icon
Forsaken Pack
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Kill Clip) + Kinetic Tremors (also good: Rampage)

► A simple perk refresh, and now Chattering Bone is one of the best pulse rifles in the game. One of very few guns to get Kill Clip in column 3, Chattering has perk combos that will dominate in any content, no matter the difficulty. And did I mention its craftable?
Season 4
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Lightweight

PvE God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Kill Clip) + Kinetic Tremors (also good: Rampage)
Top-tier
Outbreak PerfectedDestiny 2 Outbreak Perfected art
Outbreak Perfected
Pulse RifleExoticPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongExotic KioskCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Kiosk
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
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's theme and great firing feel alone make it a popular PVE choice. And with buffs to Exotic primary weapon damage, it's now an excellent option for casual PVE content.
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."
Top-tier
Collective ObligationCollective Obligation art
Collective Obligation
Pulse RifleExoticPrimaryVoidThe Witch QueenYesA › StrongVow of the Disciple RaidCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Vow of the Disciple Raid
The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
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."
Top-tier
Smite of MerainSmite of Merain art
Smite of Merain
Pulse RifleAdaptivePrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongKing's Fall RaidCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
King's Fall Raid
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Demolitionist (also good: Focused Fury) + Adrenaline Junkie (also good: One for All)

► From its synergistic combinations like Demolitionist and Adrenaline Junkie to its ability to roll with two damage perks at once, Smite of Merain's perks alone make it a solid choice for PVE. 4-burst pulse rifles will continue to be the most potent option, but this can be a unique alternative.
Season 18
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PvE God Roll: Demolitionist (also good: Focused Fury) + Adrenaline Junkie (also good: One for All)
Top-tier
Veles-XVeles-X art
Veles-X
Pulse RifleAggressive BurstPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongExotic KioskCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Kiosk
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive Burst

PvE God Roll: Repulsor Brace + Golden Tricorn (also good: Kill Clip)

► Veles-X is a perfect sidekick to any Void 3.0 build and one of the better ritual weapons we've gotten recently. If you don't have Collective Obligation, Veles-X is an exceptional pick.
Season 19
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive Burst

PvE God Roll: Repulsor Brace + Golden Tricorn (also good: Kill Clip)
Top-tier
DisparityDisparity art

Disparity
Pulse RifleAggressive BurstPrimaryStasisThe Witch QueenYesA › StrongOperation: Seraph's ShieldCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Operation: Seraph's Shield
The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
The Witch Queen
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive Burst

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

► Being both a Stasis and 4-burst pulse rifle, Disparity doesn't have much competition. Even if it did, however, it would still excel—its S-Tier perks make it an excellent choice for medium-level PVE content.
Season 19
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Aggressive Burst

PvE God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Outlaw) + Headstone (also good: Kill Clip)
Top-tier
The Time-Worn SpireThe Time-Worn Spire art
The Time-Worn Spire
Pulse RifleRapid-FirePrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayNoA › StrongIron BannerError icon V2
Strong

A



Excels in:
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: 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)
Top-tier
Jurassic GreenJurassic Green art
Jurassic Green
Pulse RifleRapid-FirePrimarySolarFree-to-PlaySeasonalA › StrongEvent: Festival of the LostNote icon V2
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvP
Event: Festival of the Lost
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PvP God Roll: Keep Away (also good: Perpetual Motion) + Headseeker

► With a refreshed perk pool, Jurassic Green is easily an A-tier rapid fire for PvP. Boasting the same range and PvP god roll as Oversoul Edict, this is a pulse worth grinding for.
Season 15
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Rapid-Fire

PvP God Roll: Keep Away (also good: Perpetual Motion) + Headseeker
Top-tier
Piece of MindPiece of Mind art
Piece of Mind
Pulse RifleRapid-FirePrimaryKineticThe Witch QueenYesA › StrongVox ObscuraCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvP
Vox Obscura
The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
The Witch Queen
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
Top-tier
Psi Hermetic VPsi Hermetic V art
Psi Hermetic V
Pulse RifleHigh-ImpactPrimaryStasisFree-to-PlayYesA › StrongLost SectorCheckmark icon V3
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvP
Lost Sector
Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: High-Impact

PvP God Roll: Outlaw (also good: Enlightened Action) + Kill Clip (also good: Headseeker)

► More than a Stasis Messenger, Psi Heremetic has a small but strong perk pool that will please any player. While it has some decent PvE perks, you might want to wait until Season 23 as pulses are getting a buff then, which could turn this into a solid endgame option.
Season 22
Slot: Stasis Stasis | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: High-Impact

PvP God Roll: Outlaw (also good: Enlightened Action) + Kill Clip (also good: Headseeker)
Top-tier

Destiny 2 Pulse Rifles: The complete list

This database includes every viable Pulse currently in the game:

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
No Time to Explain Destiny 2No Time to ExplainPulse RifleExoticExoticPrimaryKineticBeyond LightYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PvE + PvPBeyond Light CampaignError icon V2Beyond Light Destiny 2 icon
Beyond Light
Season 12KineticNoTop-tier
Destiny 2 Outbreak Perfected artOutbreak PerfectedPulse RifleExoticExoticPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PvEExotic KioskError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 6KineticNoTop-tier
Destiny 2 Bad Juju artBad JujuPulse RifleExoticExoticPrimaryKineticForsaken PackYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Average

B

PvEExotic KioskError icon V2Forsaken Destiny 2 icon
Forsaken Pack
Season 7KineticNo
Destiny 2 Vigilance Wing artVigilance WingPulse RifleExoticExoticPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Average

B

PvPExotic EngramError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 1KineticNo
Revision Zero artRevision ZeroPulse RifleExoticExoticPrimaryKineticThe Witch QueenYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Average

B

PvEOperation: Seraph's ShieldCheckmark icon V3The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
The Witch Queen
Season 19KineticCraftable
Destiny 2 Graviton Lance artGraviton LancePulse RifleExoticExoticPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Best

S

PvEExotic EngramError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 1EnergyNoTop-tier
Collective Obligation artCollective ObligationPulse RifleExoticExoticPrimaryVoidThe Witch QueenYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Strong

A

PvEVow of the Disciple RaidError icon V2The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
The Witch Queen
Season 16EnergyNoTop-tier
Belisarius-D art Destiny 2Belisarius-DPulse RifleAggressive BurstLegendaryPrimaryStrandFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStrand Element StrandCrucible CompetitiveError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 23KineticNo
The Time-Worn Spire artThe Time-Worn SpirePulse RifleRapid-FireLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayNoPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PvPIron BannerError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 13KineticNoTop-tier
The Messenger artThe MessengerPulse RifleHigh-ImpactLegendaryPrimaryKineticLightfallNoPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PvE + PvPTrials of OsirisError icon V2Lightfall Preorder icon
Lightfall
Season 13KineticNoTop-tierKinetic Tremors
Chattering Bone art Destiny 2Chattering BonePulse RifleLightweightLegendaryPrimaryKineticForsaken PackYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PvELast Wish RaidCheckmark icon V3Forsaken Destiny 2 icon
Forsaken Pack
Season 4KineticCraftableTop-tierKinetic Tremors
Piece of Mind artPiece of MindPulse RifleRapid-FireLegendaryPrimaryKineticThe Witch QueenYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PvPVox ObscuraCheckmark icon V3The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
The Witch Queen
Season 16KineticCraftableTop-tier
New Purpose artNew PurposePulse RifleHigh-ImpactLegendaryPrimaryStasisDeluxe EditionYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStasis Stasis
Strong

A

PvE + PvPDuality DungeonError icon V2The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
Deluxe Edition
Season 17KineticNoTop-tier
Smite of Merain artSmite of MerainPulse RifleAdaptiveLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PvEKing's Fall RaidCheckmark icon V3Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 18KineticCraftableTop-tier
Disparity art
DisparityPulse RifleAggressive BurstLegendaryPrimaryStasisThe Witch QueenYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStasis Stasis
Strong

A

PvEOperation: Seraph's ShieldCheckmark icon V3The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
The Witch Queen
Season 19KineticCraftableTop-tier
Battle Scar artBattle ScarPulse RifleLightweightLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PvE + PvPLost SectorError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 20KineticNoTop-tierKinetic Tremors
Different Times art Destiny 2Different TimesPulse RifleRapid-FireLegendaryPrimaryStrandSeason 21YesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStrand Element Strand
Strong

A

PvE + PvPSeasonal activityCheckmark icon V3Season of the Deep Icon
Season 21
Season 21KineticCraftableTop-tier
Psi Hermetic V artPsi Hermetic VPulse RifleHigh-ImpactLegendaryPrimaryStasisFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStasis Stasis
Strong

A

PvPLost SectorError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 22KineticNoTop-tier
Sacred Provenance artSacred ProvenancePulse RifleAggressive BurstLegendaryPrimaryKineticShadowkeepYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Average

B

PvEGarden of Salvation RaidError icon V2Shadowkeep Destiny 2 icon
Shadowkeep
Season 8KineticNo
Cold Denial artCold DenialPulse RifleHigh-ImpactLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Average

B

PvPWorld loot poolError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 11KineticNo
Legal Action II artLegal Action IIPulse RifleHigh-ImpactLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Average

B

PvPXûrError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 15KineticNo
Syncopation-53 artSyncopation-53Pulse RifleAdaptiveLegendaryPrimaryStasisFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStasis Stasis
Average

B

PvPGunsmithCheckmark icon V3Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 16KineticCraftable
Stay Frosty art Destiny 2Stay FrostyPulse RifleLightweightLegendaryPrimaryStasisFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStasis Stasis
Average

B

PvPEvent: DawningError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 19KineticNo
Autumn Wind artAutumn WindPulse RifleRapid-FireLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Average

B

PvPPlaylist: CrucibleError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 20KineticNo
Nightshade artNightshadePulse RifleLightweightLegendaryPrimaryStrandFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStrand Element Strand
Average

B

PvPRecovered Red WarError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 22KineticNo
Hailing Confusion Destiny 2 artHailing ConfusionPulse RifleAdaptiveLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Weak

C

-EuropaError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 12KineticNo
Perses-D artPerses-DPulse RifleHigh-ImpactLegendaryPrimaryStasisFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStasis Stasis
Weak

C

-GunsmithError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 16KineticNo
Adhortative art Destiny 2AdhortativePulse RifleAdaptiveLegendaryPrimarySolarSeason 23YesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar SolarUndyingCheckmark icon V3Lightfall Preorder icon
Season 23
Season 23EnergyCraftableIncandescent
Scalar Potential art Destiny 2Scalar PotentialPulse RifleRapid-FireLegendaryPrimaryArcSeason 23YesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc ArcSeasonal activityCheckmark icon V3Lightfall Preorder icon
Season 23
Season 23EnergyCraftable
BxR-55 Battler artBxR-55 BattlerPulse RifleLegacy PR-55LegendaryPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Best

S

PvE + PvPDares of EternityCheckmark icon V3Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
30th Anniversary eventEnergyCraftableTop-tierIncandescent
Horror's Least artHorror's LeastPulse RifleRapid-FireLegendaryPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Best

S

PvPNightfall: The OrdealsError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 17EnergyNoTop-tier
Oversoul Edict artOversoul EdictPulse RifleRapid-FireLegendaryPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Best

S

PvE + PvPCrota's End RaidCheckmark icon V3Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 22EnergyCraftableTop-tierVoltshot,Sword Logic
Jurassic Green artJurassic GreenPulse RifleRapid-FireLegendaryPrimarySolarFree-to-PlaySeasonalPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Strong

A

PvPEvent: Festival of the LostError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 15EnergyNoTop-tierIncandescent
Insidious art v2InsidiousPulse RifleAggressive BurstLegendaryPrimaryArcThe Witch QueenYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Strong

A

PvE + PvPVow of the Disciple RaidCheckmark icon V3The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
The Witch Queen
Season 16EnergyCraftableTop-tierBait and Switch
Veles-X artVeles-XPulse RifleAggressive BurstLegendaryPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Strong

A

PvEExotic KioskError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 19EnergyNoTop-tier
Phyllotactic Spiral artPhyllotactic SpiralPulse RifleHigh-ImpactLegendaryPrimaryArcLightfallYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Strong

A

PvE + PvPNeomunaCheckmark icon V3Lightfall Preorder icon
Lightfall
Season 20EnergyCraftableTop-tierVoltshot
Gridskipper artGridskipperPulse RifleRapid-FireLegendaryPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Average

B

PvPWorld loot poolError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 14EnergyNo
Darkest Before artDarkest BeforePulse RifleRapid-FireLegendaryPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Average

B

PvPProphecy DungeonError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 15EnergyNo
Ogma PR6 artOgma PR6Pulse RifleLightweightLegendaryPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Average

B

PvEGunsmithError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 16EnergyNo
Yesteryear artYesteryearPulse RifleAdaptiveLegendaryPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Average

B

PvE + PvPPlaylist: GambitError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 18EnergyNoRepulsor Brace
Jorum's Claw artJorum's ClawPulse RifleAdaptiveLegendaryPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Average

B

PvPIron BannerError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 20EnergyNoIncandescent
Outlast art Destiny 2OutlastPulse RifleRapid-FireLegendaryPrimarySolarSeason 21YesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Average

B

PvPFishingError icon V2Season of the Deep Icon
Season 21
Season 21EnergyNo
Stars in Shadow Destiny 2 artStars in ShadowPulse RifleHigh-ImpactLegendaryPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Weak

C

-Playlist: CrucibleError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 12EnergyNo
The Third Axiom artThe Third AxiomPulse RifleAdaptiveLegendaryPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Weak

C

-Vanguard FocusingError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 13EnergyNo
Premonition artPremonitionPulse RifleHigh-ImpactLegendaryPrimaryVoidShadowkeepYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Weak

C

-Pit of Heresy DungeonError icon V2Shadowkeep Destiny 2 icon
Shadowkeep
Season 13EnergyNo
Last Perdition Destiny 2 artLast PerditionPulse RifleAdaptiveLegendaryPrimaryVoidFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryVoid Void
Weak

C

-World loot poolError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 11EnergyNo
Forge's Pledge artForge's PledgePulse RifleAdaptiveLegendaryPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayNoPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Weak

C

-Iron BannerError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 15EnergyNo
Jian 7 Rifle Destiny 2 artJian 7 RiflePulse RifleAdaptiveLegendaryPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Worst

D

-World loot poolError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 10EnergyNo

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 Pulse Rifles in 2023

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

 

Psi Hermetic V pulse rifle featured Destiny 2

5. Psi Hermetic V

Crucible logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVP

More than just a Stasis Messenger, Psi Hermetic is a world drop worth waiting for.

New in Season 22, Psi Hermetic was singled out right away thanks to it being a new high-impact pulse in the Kinetic slot, something not seen since Season 17. While it might not roll with the coveted Desperado, it has some other powerful PvP perks to let it hold its own, such as Kill Clip or Headseeker. And thanks to it having Headstone, this might be a solid synergy pick when pulses get buffed in Season 23.

Start earning those gunsmith ranks so you too can land your perfect Psi Hermetic roll today!

PvP God roll:

  • Outlaw + Kill Clip

How to get it: Psi Hermetic V can be acquired by completing matches from the Crucible Playlist.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Psi Hermetic V artPsi Hermetic VPulse RifleHigh-ImpactLegendaryPrimaryStasisFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStasis Stasis
Strong

A

PvPLost SectorError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 22KineticNoTop-tier

 

Revision Zero Pulse rifle screen

Revision Zero Pulse rifle, Destiny 2

4. Revision Zero

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

A two-in-one weapon, Revision Zero is here to switch things up.

A craftable exotic from Season of the Seraph, Revision Zero is just as powerful as it is interesting. Boasting intrinsic Anti-Barrier capabilities and a sniper mode, Rev can achieve peak performance in any PvE content. It truly shines in the endgame, where the higher base damage thanks to being an exotic primary can pick off ads with ease and next season, the sniper mode will be buffed to make taking down barrier champions that much easier.

Revision Zero can be acquired from the Seraph Station Exotic Mission, found under the Legends tab in the director.

Exotic Perk: “Precision hits grant targeting data. Swap to the alternate scope, loading high-damage rounds based on the amount of targeting data. Strong against Barrier Champions. Increased movement speed and target acquisition when moving while aiming down sights.”

How to get it: Revision Zero can be acquired from the Operation: Seraph’s Shield Exotic Mission.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Revision Zero artRevision ZeroPulse RifleExoticExoticPrimaryKineticThe Witch QueenYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Average

B

PvEOperation: Seraph's ShieldCheckmark icon V3The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
The Witch Queen
Season 19KineticCraftable

 

Outbreak Perfected Pulse rifle

3. Outbreak Perfected

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

A Day One raid staple, Outbreak Perfected is the true workhorse of the game.

Once a secret mission reward, Outbreak can be acquired by any player through the Monument to Lost Light in the Tower, and it’s one of few exotics recommended to new players for a good reason. Alone it can dish out exceptional damage, but when paired with others, it can shred bosses and high-tier enemies with ease as the nanites stack quicker, meaning longer uptime and better damage. All for the low cost of simply hitting critical shots.

If a primary DPS weapon is missing from your life, pick up Outbreak today!

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.”

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

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Destiny 2 Outbreak Perfected artOutbreak PerfectedPulse RifleExoticExoticPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PvEExotic KioskError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 6KineticNoTop-tier

 

Oversoul Edict Pulse Rifle

2. Oversoul Edict

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE and PvP

Back from Destiny 1, Oversoul Edict is here to shine.

Now a craftable weapon, Oversoul Edict has quickly become a popular pulse within the community, and it’s not hard to see why. It boasts some impressive stats for a rapid-fire, and its perk pool lets it perform exceptionally well in any content. While it might not be an end-game pulse just yet, Season 23 might change that for the better.

Hop into the Hellmouth today to start getting your Oversoul Edict god roll!

PvE God roll:

  • Demolitionist + Voltshot

PvP God roll:

  • Keep Away + Headseeker

How to get it: Oversoul Edict can be acquired from the Crota’s End raid.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Oversoul Edict artOversoul EdictPulse RifleRapid-FireLegendaryPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryArc Arc
Best

S

PvE + PvPCrota's End RaidCheckmark icon V3Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 22EnergyCraftableTop-tierVoltshot,Sword Logic

 

BxR-55 Battler Destiny 2 featured

1. BxR-55 Battler

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PvE and PvP

The OG of all pulses, the BxR-55 Battler, or just the Battler, is one of the best legendary pulses in the game.

Dropping from Dares of Eternity, the Battler is a reskin of the classic Halo burst rifle, and it even demonstrates that in its intrinsically better hip fire accuracy. This lets it play much better in close-quarters situations, and the perks are just icing on the cake. Kill Clip turns it into a two-burst machine, and Killing Wind will help push out that two-burst range even more. In PvE, even though pulses are a tough sell, the Battler performs just as well against these aliens as it did in Halo.

Hop into Dares today to start getting that pattern so you too can own a piece of history.

PvE God roll:

  • Outlaw + Incandescent

PvP God roll:

  • Killing Wind + Kill Clip

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?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
BxR-55 Battler artBxR-55 BattlerPulse RifleLegacy PR-55LegendaryPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Best

S

PvE + PvPDares of EternityCheckmark icon V3Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
30th Anniversary eventEnergyCraftableTop-tierIncandescent

Pulse Rifles and the PvP Meta: TTK

We already covered which Pulses are 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 Pulses can dominate the Crucible:

-Weapon TypeArchetypeOptimal TTKOptimal KillBody Shot TTKSpecs---Best in Class
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse RifleAdaptive

390 RPM

0.935 crit 2 body1.47

High handling, decent range

The Third Axiom artThe Third Axiom
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse RifleLightweight

450 RPM

0.877 crit 1 body1.33

Excellent handling, low range

BxR-55 Battler artBxR-55 Battler
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse RifleRapid Fire

540 RPM

0.807 crit 2 body1.40

High aim assist, low range

Piece of Mind artPiece of Mind
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse RifleHigh-Impact

340 RPM

0.675 crit 1 body1.20

High range, low aim assist

The Messenger artThe Messenger
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse RifleAggressive

450 RPM

0.737 crit 1 body1.60

Excellent range, low aim assist

Insidious art v2Insidious
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse Rifle

Exotic

0.777 crit 1 body1.72

4-Burst mode

Revision Zero artRevision Zero
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse Rifle

Exotic

0.78 crit1.20-Destiny 2 Vigilance Wing artVigilance Wing
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse Rifle

Exotic

0.877 crit 1 body1.33-Destiny 2 Bad Juju artBad Juju
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse Rifle

Exotic

0.877 crit 1 body1.33-Destiny 2 Outbreak Perfected artOutbreak Perfected
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse Rifle

Exotic

1.004 crit 2 body1.87-Destiny 2 Graviton Lance artGraviton Lance

Some of the top Pulses are considered “Meta”, especially High-impact Pulses that can reach insane time-to-kills (TTK). 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 can be an excellent choice too.

Pulse Rifles and the PvE Meta: DPS

How do Pulses 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, Pulse rifles are average:

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

Exotic

1132814573With x5 "nanites"Destiny 2 Outbreak Perfected artOutbreak PerfectedSamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse Rifle

Exotic

984398434-burst, Rounds + "Hunter's Trace"Revision Zero artRevision ZeroPrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse Rifle

Exotic

62857117-Destiny 2 Graviton Lance artGraviton LanceSamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse Rifle

Exotic

53945394w/ Catalyst; "Time-skip Portal"No Time to Explain Destiny 2No Time to ExplainSamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse Rifle

Exotic

53306316-Destiny 2 Vigilance Wing artVigilance WingSamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse RifleRapid-Fire41524788High aim assist, low rangePiece of Mind artPiece of MindSamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse RifleAdaptive40394589High handling, decent rangeThe Third Axiom artThe Third AxiomSamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse RifleHigh-Impact39834465High range & recoil, low aim assistThe Messenger artThe MessengerSamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse RifleAggressive Burst39434418Excellent range, low aim assistInsidious art v2InsidiousSamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse Rifle

Exotic

38834589-Collective Obligation artCollective ObligationPrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse RifleLightweight38394455Excellent handling, low rangeOgma PR6 artOgma PR6SamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse RifleLegacy PR-5538044455Excellent handling, low rangeBxR-55 Battler artBxR-55 BattlerSamePrimary
Pulse rifle weapon type Destiny 2Pulse Rifle

Exotic

09810String of Curses x5Destiny 2 Bad Juju artBad JujuPrimary

Endgame content

Whereas Pulses could dominate any Crucible match, be it casual 6v6s or Trials of Osiris rounds, they struggled in PvE for the longest time. They had the range and ease of use to compete, but they simply dealt too little damage. Luckily, the recent buffs given to Pulses (plus the buffs planned for next season) allow them to finally compete and become viable options in PvE.

Your turn

You now know everything there is to know about Pulses 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:
  • October 19, 2023: General updates (based on the current sandbox) and the inclusion of Pulses from Seasons 20 to 22.
  • December 15, 2022: General updates and the inclusion of Year 5 Pulses.
  • April 10, 2021: The guide is published for the first time.

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About The Author

Wyatt Lamb
Wyatt Lamb
If you asked any of my friends what I like to do with Destiny 2, they’d probably say “break it”. Build the biggest DPS, clear ads the fastest, zip zoom across the room; that’s my game. And with Blueberries.gg, I hope to show you all how to top the charts and make your friends go “wow”. You can find Wyatt on Twitter.
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3 Comments
  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
  2. Veggies

    Graviton Lance is absolutely S-Tier with the recent meta changes.

    Reply
  3. veggies

    Entry for Tarnished Mettle has been removed?

    Reply
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