Destiny 2 Nightfall weapons Tier List: Ranked for PVE and PVP

by | May 31, 2021

Destiny 2 is a great game with a community that loves to complain, and sometimes, rightfully so.

But there’s one thing Bungie absolutely hit out of the park this season: The weapons. Playlist and Seasonal weapons have been great so far, yet the newly added Nightfall weapons truly stand out, with a few of them now sitting among some of the best weapons in the entire game.

In this guide, we’ll cover all Nightfall: The Ordeal weapons released so far (including their PVP and PVE god rolls) and show you how to farm them.


Destiny 2 Nightfall weapons Tier list

These are the different Tier levels used for this ranking:

  • S Tier – Best: Highest ranking weapon types.
  • A Tier – Strong: Very strong weapon types, 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.

The list starts with the S Tier and moves down from there. It also covers both PVE and PVP, with the “Excels in” column clearly identifying where each weapon shines:

WeaponTierExcels inVerdictElement?Archetype?
The Palindrome Destiny 2 art
The Palindrome
| Hand Cannon
Best

S

Both
Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Primary | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Outlaw (also good: Overflow) + One for All (also good: Rampage)

PVP God Roll: Quickdraw (also good: Killing Wind) + Rangefinder

► The Palindrome embodies everything a Nightfall weapon should be. It has great stats, excellent perks, and can dominate in both PVE and PVP.

The only reason you don't see it more often is because 120 RPM hand cannons currently dominate the Crucible while sidearms and SMGs dominate the PVE scene. But make no mistake, The Palindrome is arguably the best legendary 140 RPM in the entire game right now.
VoidAdaptive
PLUG ONE.1 Destiny 2 art
PLUG ONE.1
| Fusion Rifle
Strong

A

PVP
Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Bottomless Grief (also good: Feeding Frenzy) + Reservoir Burst (also good: Cornered)

PVP God Roll: Under Pressure (also good: Heating Up) + Kickstart (also good: Cornered)

► PLUG ONE.1 is perhaps the most surprising Nightfall weapon released so far. No one expected much from it, mainly because Fusion rifles aren't particularly strong right now, but also because Null Composure was supposed to be the next Loaded Question.

Null Composure ended up being a dud, but PLUG ONE.1 turned out to be excellent, especially for PVP. With the right balance between damage and load times, PLUG ONE.1 also offers remarkable consistency and range.
ArcPrecision
Uzume RR4 Destiny 2 art
Uzume RR4
| Sniper Rifle
Strong

A

PVP
Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Archetype: Adaptive

PVE God Roll: Triple Tap (also good: Clown Cartridge) + Explosive Payload (also good: Vorpal Weapon)

PVP God Roll: Snapshot Sights + Explosive Payload (also good: High-Impact Reserves)

► The most sought-after Sniper rifle this season, at least within the PVP community, Uzume RR4 has a lot going for it, including decent stats and the must-have perk any decent Sniper should have: Snapshot Sights.

While it still suffers from the recent nerfs done to Snipers in PVP, it still offers tons of ease of use and consistency thanks to its relatively high Aim assistance and 50 zoom level.
SolarAdaptive
Hung Jury SR4 Destiny 2 art
Hung Jury SR4
| Scout Rifle
Average

B

PVE
Slot: KInetic | Ammo: Ammo: Primary | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: PERK) + Firefly (also good: Explosive Payload)

PVP God Roll: Rapid Hit (also good: Surplus) + Explosive Payload (also good: Box Breathing)

► The most famous Scout Rifle from Destiny 1 is back and it has a lot to offer, including the Firefly perk. And while one could argue Hung Jury SR4 is one of the best Scouts in the game, it's still "just a Scout".

You'll see this same argument again throughout this list, but we can't ignore Hung Jury's biggest problem: It's still a scout and scouts suck for the most part. Scouts do very little damage and their added range is mostly wasted as most maps and activities in Destiny 2 favour close to middle range weapons.
KineticPrecision
Shadow Price Destiny 2 art
Shadow Price
| Auto Rifle
Average

B

PVE
Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Ammo: Primary | Archetype: Precision

PVE God Roll: Overflow (also good: Feeding Frenzy) + Swaschbuckler (also good: Disruption Break)

PVP God Roll: Killing Wind + Swaschbuckler

► Shadow Price is, unfortunately, the perfect example of what is wrong with Destiny 2's current sandbox. Shadow Price is by itself a fine weapon. It has good stats, good perks, and the only Auto rifle in the game that can take Adept Mods.

But no matter how good it is on paper, Shadow Price will always be held back by its archetype: 450 RPM Precision Auto rifles. In spite of receiving a minor buff, 450 RPM autos still have very little to offer and are outclassed by way too many weapons. Unless Bungie gives the entire archetype a big buff, Shadow Price will never shine.
ArcPrecision
THE SWARM Destiny 2 art
THE SWARM
| Machine Gun
Average

B

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

PVE God Roll: Surplus (also good: Outlaw) + Dragonfly (also good: Vorpal Weapon)
PVP God Roll: Killing Wind (also good: Dynamic Sway Reduction) + Zen Moment (also good: Tap the Trigger)

► THE SWARM suffers from the same issues Shadow Price does, albeit to a lesser extend. High-Impact machine guns are not as bad as 450 RPM auto rifles, but they still suffer from a clear lack of identity.

THE SWARM is a good machine gun with good base stats and good perks, especially for PVE, but machine guns as a whole still lag behind Swords, Rocket Launchers and even Grenade launchers.
ArcHigh-Impact

Destiny 2 Nightfall weapons rotation 2021

There are 6 Nightfall-specific weapons in total (excluding the Year 1 Nightfall weapons that were retired last year). 3 of them were released last season while the other 3 were released this season. For the moment, only the 3 Nightfall weapons from this season, aka Season of the Splicer, are available in-game.

Nightfall Weapon this week

These 3 weapons are currently on a weekly rotation, with only one of them dropping each week. The following calendar outlines what weapon is dropping when:

WeekWeaponsElementAmmo
June 1PLUG ONE.1 Destiny 2 artPLUG ONE.1 | Fusion RifleArc ArcDestiny 2 special ammo Special
June 8Hung Jury SR4 Destiny 2 artHung Jury SR4 | Scout RifleKineticPrimary
June 15Uzume RR4 Destiny 2 artUzume RR4 | Sniper RifleSolar SolarDestiny 2 special ammo Special
June 22PLUG ONE.1 Destiny 2 artPLUG ONE.1 | Fusion RifleArc ArcDestiny 2 special ammo Special
June 29Hung Jury SR4 Destiny 2 artHung Jury SR4 | Scout RifleKineticPrimary
July 6Uzume RR4 Destiny 2 artUzume RR4 | Sniper RifleSolar SolarDestiny 2 special ammo Special
July 13PLUG ONE.1 Destiny 2 artPLUG ONE.1 | Fusion RifleArc ArcDestiny 2 special ammo Special
July 20Hung Jury SR4 Destiny 2 artHung Jury SR4 | Scout RifleKineticPrimary
July 27Uzume RR4 Destiny 2 artUzume RR4 | Sniper RifleSolar SolarDestiny 2 special ammo Special
August 3PLUG ONE.1 Destiny 2 artPLUG ONE.1 | Fusion RifleArc ArcDestiny 2 special ammo Special
August 10Hung Jury SR4 Destiny 2 artHung Jury SR4 | Scout RifleKineticPrimary
August 17Uzume RR4 Destiny 2 artUzume RR4 | Sniper RifleSolar SolarDestiny 2 special ammo Special

What about Season 13 weapons?

If you too are still looking for a decently rolled Palindrome, you’ll have to be patient, as the 3 Nightfall weapons from last season are currently unavailable. But according to Bungie, they will be reintroduced by the middle of this season:

Palindrome, Shadow Price, and The S.W.A.R.M. will be taking a hiatus for the first half of the Season. When they return, all three will be available as potential post-game rewards when completing Nightfalls on featured weeks.

It’s still unknown exactly how they will be reintroduced to the loot table and what their rotation will look like, but rest assured this post will be updated as soon as we know more.


Destiny 2 Nightfall weapons farm: How to get them

Farming Nightfall weapons is as straightforward as it gets: they only drop from Nightfall: The Ordeals completions (accessible via the Strikes menu in the Director).

This means you’ll have to wait until the weapon you want is on rotation to farm Nightfall: The Ordeals. Exact drop rates are unknown but the higher the difficulty of the Nightfall, the higher the chances to earn one.

Adept Nightfall weapons

On top of offering higher drop rates, Grandmaster Nightfalls (the most difficult in the entire game), drop Adept versions of the Nightfall weapon. As the Trials of Osiris Adept weapons reserved for Flawless runs, Adept weapons offer better stats (via an improved Masterwork) and can accept Adept mods, which are superior to normal mods.

Needless to say, Adept versions of these weapons are superior and a major flex (as Grandmaster Nightfalls are not an easy feat for the average player).


Ranking criteria

For the record, as much as we tried to keep this tier list as objective as possible, it’s still based on our personal experience playing the PC version of the game.

If you’re wondering what criteria was used to build this Tier list, these are the main factors I took into account:

  • Lethality: The higher the effective DPS and usability, the higher the ranking.
  • Consistency: Some weapons may not have the highest DPS numbers, but they are so consistent, they more than make up for their lower DPS numbers.
  • Ease of use: Similar to the point above, some weapons are very effective because they are easy to use and don’t require too much skill or setup. This is also rewarded with higher rankings.
  • PVE/PVP Performance: High lethality in either PVE or  PVP is equally valuable. However, a weapon that is good at both PVE and PVP should rank higher than one that is slightly better on only PVE or PVP.
  • Fun factor: Not the most important factor, but it also helps if the weapon is damn fun to shoot with!

If you strongly disagree with some of the rankings here, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. By the way, what is your personal favorite?

Want to keep the conversation going?

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