Best Weapons in Destiny 2

There are hundreds of weapons in Destiny 2, and it’s not easy trying to compute which are the best. Often, whether a weapon is good or not depends on the game mode you’re playing, the elemental burn for the activity, or the type of enemy / boss you happen to be fighting. Keep this in mind, because while these weapons stand out as some of the best, there are plenty more that can be better in certain circumstances.

It’s also important to provide the caveat that this list is actually two lists; one for PVE weapons (player vs. everything), and one for PVP weapons (player vs. player). These are the two major categories of activities in Destiny 2, and have completely different standards for what makes a weapon special. For players wanting more information on these weapons, such as the rest of their perks, etc., they can be found at Light.gg.

The three types of enemies that players will encounter in PVE are minors, majors, and bosses. Minors and majors are what you would expect while playing normally, like going through a strike, or doing a seasonal activity. However, nearly all activities end with a boss fight, and bosses can be much more prevalent in certain activities like raids. This distinction is crucial to make because what makes weapons special is when they excel in filling a role, or combating certain types of enemies — as we’ll note in their descriptions.

PVE weapons:

  • izanagi's icon Izinagi’s Burden
  • edge transit icon Edge Transit
  • destiny 2 apex predator icon Apex Predator
  • destiny 2 indebted kindness icon Indebted Kindness
  • destiny 2 outbreak perfected icon Outbreak Perfected
  • destiny 2 gjallarhorn iconGjallarhorn
  • destiny 2 parasite iconParasite
  • destiny 2 fourth horseman iconFourth Horseman
  • destiny 2 taipan icondestiny 2 reed's regret icondestiny 2 cataclysmic iconLinear Fusion Rifles
  • destiny 2 supremacy iconSupremacy
  • destiny 2 hammerhead iconHammerhead
  • destiny 2 thunderlord iconThunderlord
  • destiny 2 forbearance iconForbearance
  • destiny 2 tractor cannon iconTractor Cannon
  • destiny 2 riskrunner iconRiskrunner

izanagi's icon Izanagi’s Burden (Sniper Rifle)

  • Effective Against – Majors and Bosses
  • Slot – Kinetic
  • Ammo – Special
  • Acquisition – Monument to Lost Lights (Tower)
  • Priority – Medium / High
  • Best Use – Rotational Boss Damage
  • Main Perk(s) – Honed Edge: Consume the magazine and load a round with additional range and damage

Izanagi’s Burden (Izi’s) has been around for years and is usually a go-to gun for boss phases. Its perk, Honed Edge, allows it to turn its magazine of four bullets into a single ultra-powerful shot. One honed edge x4 shot is often powerful enough to take out a major single-handedly. When players perfect the reload animation, and “rotating” (i.e., swapping) between it and their main heavy weapon, they can put out massive damage on bosses.

izanagi in menu

edge transit icon Edge Transit (Heavy Grenade Launcher)

  • Effective Against – All
  • Slot – Heavy / Void
  • Ammo – Heavy
  • Acquisition – Onslaught / Hall of Champions
  • Priority – High
  • Best Use – Boss Damage
  • Main Perk(s):
    • Column One – Quick Launch
    • Column Two – Spike Grenades / Augmented Drum / Mini Frags
    • Column Three – Cascade Point / Envious Assassin / Field Prep
    • Column Four – Bait and Switch / Explosive Light

Edge transit came back to players with Into the Light in its Brave Arsenal, and is one of the best heavy options in the game for boss damage. It has a lot of different perk options that can fit different scenarios. For example, a shorter boss damage phase would be better suited for Envious Assassin or Cascade Point, while a longer one would call for Field Prep. Using this while rotating to another good weapon, like Izanagi’s above, will put out crazy numbers.

destiny 2 edge trasnit in menu

destiny 2 apex predator iconApex Predator (Rocket Launcher)

  • Effective Against – Majors and Bosses
  • Slot – Heavy / Solar
  • Ammo – Heavy
  • Acquisition – Last Wish Raid / Mara Sov H.E.L.M (only for Season of the Wish)
  • Priority – High
  • Best Use – Boss Damage
  • Main Perk(s):
    • Column One – Quick Launch
    • Column Two – Impact Casing
    • Column Three – Reconstruction
    • Column Four – Bait and Switch / Explosive Light / Surrounded

Apex Predator is the best rocket launcher option for boss damage, thanks to its uniqueness as an adaptive frame rocket launcher that can have Reconstruction as a perk option. It ultimately comes down to game mode and boss type for when you would rather use this over other damage options. For example, if you’re in a six-person activity, the boss doesn’t have a crit spot, and someone in your group has the exotic rocket launcher Gjallarhorn (which improves other rocket launcher damage), then you’re off to the races!

destiny 2 apex predator in menu

destiny 2 indebted kindness iconIndebted Kindness (Rocket Sidearm)

  • Effective Against – Minors and Majors
  • Slot – Arc
  • Ammo – Special
  • AcquisitionWarlord’s Ruin Dungeon (Earth, EDZ)
  • Priority – High
  • Best Use – Clearing minors and majors
  • Main Perk(s):
    • Column Three – Lead from Gold
    • Column Four – Any perk except Attrition Orbs

Indebted Kindness is a unique rocket sidearm that has quickly become a community favorite among players. It has superb ammo economy, especially with Lead from Gold, and it can chew through most tougher enemies without a hitch (excluding bosses, of course). This is a good choice for seasonal activities, nightfalls, dungeons, and some raid encounters.

destiny 2 indebted kindness in menu

destiny 2 outbreak perfected icon Outbreak Perfected (Pulse Rifle)

  • Effective Against – All Enemies (with team also having it equipped)
  • Slot – Kinetic
  • Ammo – Primary
  • Acquisition – Zero Hour Exotic Mission (Into the Light)
  • Priority – Medium
  • Best Use – Situational Boss Damage
  • Main Perk(s):
    • Third Column – Rewind Rounds
    • The Corruption Spreads – This weapon creates SIVA nanite swarms on rapid hits and precision kills.
    • Parasitism – This weapon does more damage to enemies based on the number of SIVA nanites that attach to them.

Outbreak has a long history in Destiny, but for the purposes of this guide, let’s talk about the niche role it fills. It is special because when a full team is using it on an enemy (the more, the better), then it will progressively do more and more damage. This is great in almost all normal activities, but on many endgame bosses, it won’t compare to the damage that other weapons can do. However, when a team is trying to defeat a boss with a lot of health and they’re struggling to find enough heavy ammunition, it can be one of the best choices. Since it’s a primary weapon, it’s very easy to use, and you have infinite ammo.

destiny 2 outbreak perfected in menu

For brevity’s sake, we won’t give you a description of all the weapons in our list. However, it’s good to know that they exist and are sometimes perfect tools for certain obstacles in the game. One of these situations, for instance, is the extremely short boss damage phase. For those, you might want to have destiny 2 parasite iconParasite, or destiny 2 fourth horseman iconFourth Horseman. What if the boss is far away and has a crit spot? Then you would bring out a Linear Fusion Rifle (destiny 2 cataclysmic iconCataclysmic, destiny 2 reed's regret iconReed’s Regret, destiny 2 taipan iconTaipan-4FR), with a strong sniper to rotate to like izanagi's iconIzanagi’s or destiny 2 supremacy iconSupremacy.

Maybe you want to help the rest of your fire team get more damage on a boss, which is always a good idea. Then you could debuff the boss with something like destiny 2 tractor cannon iconTractor Cannon, or buff your fire team with destiny 2 gjallarhorn iconGjallarhorn (as mentioned with Apex Predator).

If you’re being overwhelmed with minors (adds), then it’s a good idea to have destiny 2 hammerhead iconHammerhead, destiny 2 thunderlord iconThunderlord, or destiny 2 forbearance iconForbearance to clear them out. If you’re dying to arc damage, then you can throw on destiny 2 riskrunner iconRiskrunner. The key is having variety so that you can quickly swap to what you need, while not affecting your current build too much.

Unlike PVE weapons that are typically geared towards fitting a role, the most sought after PVP weapons usually have perks that either make them easier to use, or do extra damage. This is because the best way to gain an advantage over another player is to hit your shots, and lessen your time-to-kill (TTK). There’s also a noticeable difference in how particular weapons perform depending on their input (controller or mouse and keyboard M&K). The best website for seeing all the different weapon stats, perks, etc. for PVP is d2foundry.gg.

PVP Weapons:

  • destiny 2 conditional finality iconConditional Finality
  • destiny 2 luna's howl iconLuna’s Howl
  • destiny 2 ace of spades iconAce of Spades
  • destiny 2 the messenger iconThe Messenger
  • destiny 2 the summoner iconThe Summoner
  • destiny 2 rose iconRose
  • destiny 2 thorn iconThorn
  • destiny 2 austringer iconAustringer
  • destiny 2 hawkmoon iconHawkmoon
  • destiny 2 igneous hammer iconIgneous Hammer
  • destiny 2 matador iconMatador 64
  • destiny 2 chaperone iconChaperone
  • destiny 2 mercurial overreach iconMercurial Overreach
  • destiny 2 drang iconDrang
  • destiny 2 traveler's chosen iconTraveler’s Chosen
  • destiny 2 shayura's wrath iconShayura’s Wrath
  • destiny 2 unending tempest iconUnending Tempest
  • destiny 2 snorri iconSnorri FR5

destiny 2 conditional finality icon Conditional Finality (Shotgun)

  • Slot – Kinetic / Stasis
  • Ammo – Special
  • Acquisition – Root of Nightmares Raid
  • Main Perk(s):
    • Split Decision – Dual barrels split into Stasis and Solar damage.
    • Paracausal Pellets – Landing nearly all Stasis pellets will freeze targets; landing nearly all Solar pellets will ignite targets.

Conditional Finality is a great shotgun for a couple of reasons. It has great range, and can kill most guardians while they’re in their super. In most 3v3 game types (like Trials and Competitive), guardians that have zone supers, like bubble titans and well warlocks, are prevalent because they can win games by securing areas. This shotgun can kill those guardians in their wells or bubbles, which helps to negate that advantage.

destiny 2 conditional finality in menu

destiny 2 luna's howl icon Luna’s Howl (Hand Cannon)

  • Slot – Solar
  • Ammo – Primary
  • Acquisition – Onslaught / Hall of Champions
  • Main Perk(s):
    • Column Three – Slideshot, Eye of the Storm
    • Column Four – Opening Shot, Magnificent Howl

Luna’s is a unique hand cannon because it has a much more stable recoil pattern (like a 180 rounds per minute hand cannon), even though it’s an adaptive frame (140 rounds per minute). This makes it one of the easiest hand cannons with which to land that crispy three-tap — especially on controller. Try to find a roll with better range perks, and any of the recommended perks noted above. It’s worth mentioning that Magnificent Howl is particularly potent for a damage perk because it’s one of the few that doesn’t have a timer, much like…

destiny 2 lunas howl in menu

destiny 2 ace of spades icon Ace of Spades (Hand Cannon)

  • Slot – Kinetic
  • Ammo – Primary
  • Acquisition – Monument to Lost Lights (Tower)
  • Main Perk(s):
    • Memento Mori – Reloading after a kill loads magazine with a few extra-damage bullets. Grants radar while aiming down sights.
    • Firefly – Precision kills with this weapon increase reload speed and cause the target to explode, dealing Solar damage to nearby enemies.

Ace of Spades is one of the most popular guns in Destiny 2 history, and it has been hanging around the Crucible for most of that time for a reason. It has a very competitive range stat, and its shots feel crispy on both controller and M&K. The real incentive to using it over other hand cannons, though, is its perk Memento Mori; you get a kill and reload, then you have extra damage shots that aren’t on a timer. This lowers the number of critical hits needed to kill a player from three down to two crits and one body shot, making it drastically more forgiving. What’s more, the extra damage means you can kill guardians from much further away.

destiny 2 ace of spades in menu

destiny 2 the messenger icon The Messenger (Pulse Rifle)

  • Slot – Kinetic
  • Ammo – Primary
  • Acquisition – Trials of Osiris
  • Main Perk(s):
    • Column Three – Rapid Hit, Moving Target
    • Column Four – Keep Away, Headseeker

The Messenger stands out as an amazing pulse rifle becasue it’s in an archetype that has the best time-to-kill (.67 seconds), and it has great stats to make that time acheavable. One perk combo that should always be sought after on pulse rifles is Rapid Hit, Headseeker; the reason being that Headseeker can make a kill require less critical hit(s), and Rapid Hit boosts stability so critical hits are easier to execute. For players looking for a similarly great pulse in the elemental slot, look for destiny 2 elsie's rifle iconElsie’s Rifle.

destiny 2 the messenger in menu

destiny 2 the summoner icon The Summoner (Auto Rifle)

  • Slot – Solar
  • Ammo – Primary
  • Acquisition – Trials of Osiris
  • Main Perk(s):
    • Column Three – Dynamic Sway, Zen Moment, Elemental Capacitor
    • Column Four – Tap the Trigger, Target Lock, Kill Clip

Auto rifles have slowly been becoming better and better in PVP, and the Summoner has the perks, stats, and feel to make it a top contender. The best roll (or god roll) would probably be Zen Moment and Target Lock, becasue zen will help keep the weapon steady for critical hits, and Target Lock makes the weapon require less critical hit(s) to procure the kill. As kids these days say, “the thing’s a laser”.

destiny 2 the summoner in menu

Maybe the most important thing to take away from this segment is that most archetypes of guns can perform well in the crucible, but there’s no substitute for skill. Great players can take the worst weapons and compete with them. That being said, if two players of equal skill duel, then the one that has a weapon with a better time-to-kill will usually win if they’re at the correct range.

Hand cannons have always been a fan favorite; they excel at doing burst damage for peek-shooting and team-shooting. Some great options for these would be destiny 2 rose iconRose, destiny 2 thorn iconThorn, destiny 2 austringer iconAustringer, destiny 2 hawkmoon iconHawkmoon, and destiny 2 igneous hammer iconIgneous Hammer. Shotguns are the favorite special weapon because most of the maps are smaller in size, and a lot of game modes incentivize locking down areas. Some other great shotguns are destiny 2 matador iconMatador 64, and destiny 2 chaperone iconChaperone.

If you prefer sniping, then one sniper (of many) you can try is the destiny 2 mercurial overreach iconMercurial Overreach acquired from the competitive crucible mode. However, if you’re on a small map, then you’ll definitely want to pair it with a sidearm (better for controller users) or submachine gun (better for M&K users). Good examples of these are: destiny 2 drang iconDrang, destiny 2 traveler's chosen iconTraveler’s Chosen, destiny 2 shayura's wrath iconShayura’s Wrath, and destiny 2 unending tempest iconUnending Tempest.

  • destiny 2 rose iconRose
  • destiny 2 thorn iconThorn
  • destiny 2 austringer iconAustringer
  • destiny 2 hawkmoon iconHawkmoon
  • destiny 2 igneous hammer iconIgneous Hammer
  • destiny 2 matador iconMatador 64
  • destiny 2 chaperone iconChaperone
  • destiny 2 mercurial overreach iconMercurial Overreach
  • destiny 2 drang iconDrang
  • destiny 2 traveler's chosen iconTraveler’s Chosen
  • destiny 2 shayura's wrath iconShayura’s Wrath
  • destiny 2 unending tempest iconUnending Tempest
  • destiny 2 snorri iconSnorri FR5

Do you have some favorite guns that didn’t make the list? Are there any on the list that you’d like more information about? Tell us in a comment!

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Kelson H.
Kelson H.

Kelson is a spud head from out west. He is most happy when holding a milky tea with too much honey and playing a sprawling role playing game or reading a fantasy novel. His video game tastes vary but his main genres are looter shooters, RPGs, and real time strategy games.

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