Destiny 2 is all about finding newer, better guns scattered throughout the solar system and across its many activities. There are a ton of great weapons already in the game, from Legendary guns you’ll find all over the place and in the Crucible, to highly-prized Exotics you can only get from special drops or completing particular quests. And then there are guns that you’ll only find in the game’s six-person Leviathan raid and its new Raid Lairs, and from finishing its super-tough Trials of the Nine multiplayer tournament.
Players are still digging through the huge catalog of firearms in Destiny 2 and its new expansion, Warmind, to discover which are the best, but in the meantime, we’ve picked out a few of our favorites. From spiffy Exotics with unique perks to unassuming Legendary guns that turn out to be great, here are the best weapons in Destiny 2.
You’ll find this Destiny gun after completing the Exotic quest you pick up in Earth’s EDZ, once you’ve completed the series of Quest missions that unlock after the main story campaign is complete. A scout rifle designed for quick movement and quicker reactions, it does serious damage when you ping headshots, whether you’re running around various planets or aiming at other players in the Crucible.
MIDA Multi-Tool has two primary benefits: When you’re aiming down the sights with this gun, your radar will remain active, allowing you to see incoming threats from other directions. It also has a perk that increases your movement speed when it’s equipped, and reloads super fast after you score a precision kill. It’s great for dealing high damage from afar with hit-and-run attacks before you get away from danger that would have otherwise caught you off guard.
Complete the three post-story campaign Quest missions in the EDZ to receive MIDA Mini-Tool, as well as the quest to unlock MIDA Multi-Tool. This is a great combo weapon if you’re using the Exotic. It’s a submachine gun that dumps Energy ammo fast, which is perfect when you get into close-quarters fights where the Multi-Tool isn’t as useful. The Mini-Tool also has a super-fast reload thanks to its Lightweight Frame, so it’ll get you out of a lot of scrapes when you’re in trouble.
Equipping both MIDA guns together at the same time also gives you an additional movement bonus thanks to the MIDA Mini-Tool’s “MIDA Synergy” perk. It’s a powerful, extremely useful combination in any circumstance.
This Exotic weapon can be a handful to unlock, mostly because you need a pal who is also either doing the Rat King quest or has already unlocked the gun in order to receive it. You’ll receive the quest when you complete the Quest line on Titan after the story unlocks. It’s presented as a series of riddles, but the gist is, you need to complete Patrols, Public Events, Crucible matches, and the Nightfall with another player using Rat King. For the Nightfall, you need to finish it with five minutes or more on the timer.
Rat King is a pretty killer sidearm, with a quick firing rate and decent stability. Notch a kill with it and hit the reload button, and it’ll make you temporarily invisible, which is great for emergencies — especially in the Leviathan raid, which is full of swarms of tough enemies. But the best perk is that the more people on your team with Rat King, the stronger it becomes when you’re together. That means if you can get three (or even six in the raid) Fireteam members all equipped with Rat King, you increase its effectiveness significantly. Needless to say, it’s worth the struggle to unlock it.
Hidden among regular auto rifles in Destiny 2 are firearms that are basically miniguns, and Sweet Business is one of the coolest. Sporting a magazine of 100 rounds, it’s great for melting big enemies by dumping a ton of ammo into them. You’ll also want to deploy it on tough missions with lots of enemies, such as Nightfalls, because it’s great for firing into a crowd and leaving nothing behind.
The longer you hold down the trigger on Sweet Business, the more powerful and more stable it becomes, so it pays to pick a target (or a few) and just unload on them. It doesn’t carry too much ammo — you’ll only be able to reload it two or so times before you need to hunt for ammo — but if you pick up ammo while firing, the gun will load it directly into the magazine. With increased hip-fire stability, this means you can walk around like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2, mowing things down with your minigun while grabbing spare ammo to keep the party going.
This pulse rifle comes out of the Leviathan raid, and it’s a slick weapon if you’re lucky enough to snag it. Inaugural Address is a straightforward Energy-based gun, with great handling and recoil perks. Its biggest benefit, though, is Kill Clip: Reload directly after a kill and your entire magazine will receive bonus damage. Pair it with the Outlaw perk, where you get a high-speed reload after a precision kill, and you can raise your damage pretty quickly.
Inaugural Address also has another optional perk you can choose instead of Outlaw called Ambitious Assassin, which overloads your magazine based on how many rapid kills you just got. This means that if you can quickly pick off three or four guys with one clip quickly and then reload, your Kill Clip magazine will be even larger, allowing you to deal a ton more damage to additional targets. Keep killing and you can keep the damage flowing.
This Exotic pulse rifle, which comes from random drops, is great for modes like Trials of the Nine, the Crucible, and Strikes where you’ll have a team beside you. Its primary bonus is that, instead of firing a three-round burst, it fires five. If you’re a precise shooter, you can wreck enemies with it, and Crucible players will go down quicker than they expect thanks to the extra two rounds hitting them in the dome.
The Fireteam perks that come with Vigilance Wing are pretty cool as well. When a team member is killed, Vigilance Wing’s Harsh Truths perk restarts your health regeneration immediately and increases your movement speed, making it great for running to get resurrect teammates. You’ll also receive increased weapon performance when your teammates are all dead with the Last Stand perk, giving you more chances to make a comeback.
Another raid weapon, Mob Justice is a submachine gun that’s great for getting into the thick of things. It’s fairly stable, but it benefits from being up close and personal thanks to its fast handling speed. You’ll also move faster when aiming down the sights thanks to the Moving Target perk, so it’s built for front-line combat.
Like Inaugural Address, Mob Justice has two optional perks that put it over the top when it comes to coolness. The first is Pulse Monitor, which automatically reloads a part of your 34-round magazine when you’re critically wounded, giving you a chance to kill your killers without having to stop and reload. You can switch that perk for Ambitious Assassin, too, which overflows your magazine on reload based on how many rapid-fire kills you just racked up.
This sci-fi shotgun fires Energy rounds and benefits from a lot of unique additions. First, its Repulsor Force perk actively pushes enemies away when you hit them, giving you distance on bad guys. It also sports increased range over other shotguns, helping you continue laying down the hurt. Perks such as Particle Repeater and Composite Stock mean Tractor Cannon also has solid stability to help you deal with recoil.
When using thew Scientific Method perk, damaging enemies also increases Tractor Cannon’s speed and handling, so once you’ve committed to an attack, you’ll benefit from keeping it up. In the Warmind expansion, the force of the Tractor Cannon has been increased enough that it sends enemies flying in most circumstances, making it not only powerful, but hilarious. You can also unlock a Masterwork for the gun just by fighting enemies in the world. Look for this one from random Exotic engrams.
An Exotic fusion rifle built for relentless assaults, Merciless is effective even if you aren’t the best shot in Destiny 2. It sports a bigger magazine than other fusion rifles at eight shots, and comes with a perk that increases the gun’s charge speed when you land a hit but don’t get a kill, at least until you finish your enemy. Basically, it’s built for you to keep firing until your enemy is good and dead.
Once you do get your kill, Merciless encourages you to keep going. Reload directly after a kill and the weapon’s damage will be increased right away, allowing you to go after a new target with full force. Merciless also features a high stability stat, which means you should be able to manage the recoil and adjust your aim quickly.
An Exotic hand cannon you might grab as you make your way through the main story campaign, Sunshot is a phenomenal weapon to have in your back pocket when paired with something like an auto rifle. It’s a slow-firing Energy weapon with explosive rounds, one that turns enemies killed with critical hits into Solar bombs that damage those around them. Those explosions have been greatly increased in the Warmind expansion, making Sunshot a great gun to have with you in a variety of circumstances.
Sunshot’s other perks are great for using it at long range, too. It has high stability, high impact, and pretty good distance, and any enemy you hit with Sunshot is highlighted so you can keep after them even if they slip behind cover. It’s a great counterpart to a fast-firing auto rifle or other close-range weapons, and useful for crowds thanks to its explosive capabilities.
This random Legendary drop is a great rocket launcher that’s easy to miss. It deals heavy damage to a big area, making it great for crowds and boss enemies alike. In rocket launchers, blast radius and projectile velocity are the most important stats, and Curtain Call is strong on both fronts. It also reloads pretty fast, allowing you to get you firing as quickly as possible.
The big benefit of Curtain Call, however, is that, along with its big explosions and fast rockets, it launches cluster bombs upon impact, which fly out from the shell and explode around it. This wreaks havoc on large areas, and is almost like adding a second rocket to your shot. Curtain Call is great for taking down scores of enemies or making an entire team of Guardians very sad in the Crucible, especially in game modes like Control where teams tend to bunch up.
If you like lightning, you’ll love Riskrunner, which comes from random Exotic drops. The submachine gun fires fast and is great against enemies that wield arc weapons like the Fallen. Its Arc Conductor perk absorbs incoming fire from Arc weapons and uses it to overcharge the gun, thus making you resistant to Arc damage. As you rack up kills, you’ll extend this protection even longer.
The Superconductor perk pairs with Arc Conductor, channeling that energy into shots that have a chance to create lightning that bounces between targets. Basically, this means that you’ll want to take Riskrunner and charge directly into groups of Fallen and other enemies, so you can absorb their Arc fire and turn it into lightning that’ll zap its way through the entire group. An extended magazine and high stability means you should be able to rack up tons of kills this way. Look for a Masterwork for Riskrunner that you can get for killing tough bosses in Strikes.
This Exotic hand cannon comes from a quest you’ll earn after completing the three Quest missions that unlock on Nessus after finishing the main story campaign. On its own, Sturm is a bit of a letdown. It fires high-damage, high-impact rounds at good range, but its slow fire rate means you need to hang back to use it effectively.
Sturm’s a decent weapon, but its major perks come from the weapon you pair it with, Drang. Even if you don’t use Drang, Sturm has the benefit of automatically reloading your Energy weapon as you use the hand cannon to rack up kills, so you can quickly go from one weapon to the next without stopping to reload.
The real pairing for Sturm, Drang, drops at the end of the Nessus quest line. Equip it in your Energy slot when you have Sturm to receive some really great benefits, assuming you like pistols. Drang has solid range and good stability, but fires a bit slow for a sidearm, so like its counterpart, it’s good for midrange attacks and for staying out of the main fight.
When paired with Drang, you get to make use of the Together Forever perk. Kills with Drang reload Sturm from its reserves, and Sturm’s Accomplice perk uses kills to reload your Energy gun — in this case, Drang. This creates a situation in which you should be able to fire Sturm until it’s empty, switch to Drang, drain its magazine, and then switch back to a fully-loaded Sturm, provided you’re getting kills. You can continually switch back and forth between the two guns as you rack up kills and never have to reload.
You might get this trace rifle (read: Laser beam) while making your way through the main story campaign, but it’s a great gun to keep with you and one that will get a lot of use in Crucible. Coldheart fires a single, continuous laser beam that increases damage the longer you hold it on a target. In the Crucible, this means Coldheart eats people alive if you can catch them in the open without cover, because even as they run away, you should be able to hold the beam on them. It’s actually really frustrating when you run up against it.
Coldheart has great range, a big magazine, and tons of stability, so you can zap people from way downrange with it. It’s especially effective against boss enemies and in long-range Crucible maps, where you can get it on enemies that won’t get away from you easily and players who have nowhere to hide. The Warmind expansion adds a Masterwork for this gun, which you can find by killing tough bosses in Strikes.
This Exotic, anti-Cabal Energy scout rifle comes out of random drops and is handy for Strikes and the raid especially, and although its slow firing rate reduces its effectiveness to some degree, it’s been tweaked in the Warmind expansion to give its rounds a slight bit of homing that makes it great for firing from behind cover. It also has good range and good handling, and its Slug Rifle perk increases damage when aiming down sights, making it ideal for people who stay back and fire away from a distance.
The big benefit of Skyburner’s Oath is that it does increased damage against Cabal targets in general, meaning you might want to bring it along on the Leviathan raid. It also can automatically penetrate Cabal Phalanx riot shields, which are annoying to deal with during Leviathan, especially in its final battle. Full-auto firing also means you can lay into enemies without having to let up on the trigger, while the extended magazine ensures you’ll take down what you’re aiming at, ideally from the safety of cover.
Hawthorne’s Field-Forged Shotgun
Another great gun for fighting in the thick of things, this Legendary shotgun will likely pop up as a reward when you turn in EDZ tokens to Devram in the EDZ. It’s notable because it’s one of the few (and possibly the only) shotguns in the game right now that sports full-auto fire. This makes it great for emergencies in both the Crucible and during regular missions when you need to deal big damage in the thick of the fighting.
The rest of Hawthrone’s Shotgun perks amp up its usefulness in sticky situations. It has a low recoil and fast handling, so you’ll be able to bring it to bear quickly and fire until it’s empty. You can adjust between perks for increasing handling or reloading, as well as increasing range. Its Lightweight Frame also increases your movement speed, so you can get in, fire away, and slip off, hopefully before anyone has time to react.
An Energy pulse rifle you’ll get from random Exotic drops, Graviton Lance has good range and extremely good stability, making it great for zapping people and aliens at a distance. The three-shot burst gets a big damage boost with its final round thanks to the Black Hole perk, too, so if you can consistently catch headshots with it, you’ll wreck whatever you’re shooting at. The gun has been significantly beefed up in the Warmind expansion, so expect to find it in the Crucible quite a bit.
The other handy thing about Graviton Lance is that taking advantage of its headshot damage gives you an added bonus: Exploding enemies. Its Cosmology perk turns enemies killed with precision hits into bombs that’ll damage anyone close by. If you can stay out of the fight and use range to plug away at baddies or other players, Graviton Lance can be highly effective.
This Legendary auto rifle might pop up when you turn in Reputation tokens in the Tower, and it’s a pretty great gun to have around, especially when you need something solid to free up an Exotic slot for one of your other weapons. The Vanguard weapon is a reliable auto rifle with low recoil and good range, making it a great middle-of-the-road option for both the Crucible and fighting enemies around Destiny 2.
Rampage is the perk of note for Origin Story. As you notch kills with the gun, Rampage gives Origin Story a big damage increase that’ll stack up to three times. This makes it great in a variety of situations, especially if you can knock out several targets quickly. You can also opt for either the Flared Magwell perk, which increases reload speed significantly, or an Extended Magazine, depending on your style.
This Energy scout rifle comes from random Legendary drops with lots of solid stats right out of the gate. The big benefit is that it’s fully automatic, which often makes it more effective than other scout rifles because you can focus less on firing and more on aiming.
You can choose between Seven-Six-Five’s Accurized Rounds perk for a range increase, or Armor-Piercing Rounds that do more damage and are better at knocking out enemy shields. The gun also sports a Lightweight Frame, so it handles fast and increases your movement speed when you’re wielding it.
Garden Progeny 1
The first gun to come out of Curse of Osiris‘ lengthy series of Prophecy Tablet quests, which are only available once you’ve cleared most of the content in the expansion, is actually pretty good. Garden Progeny 1 is a weird-looking scout rifle that fires slowly, but hits very hard, and doesn’t have a ton of kickback. That makes it great for landing headshots from well out of the fight.
Garden Progeny 1 is pretty effective both in the course of story missions and in the Crucible. It makes for a great long-range alternative to an auto rifle, and while it might not be quite as effective as MIDA Multi-Tool, it’s a more versatile option that makes you effective at multiple ranges. You’ll get it from your first Lost Prophecy tablet — here’s a full guide on how to unlock it and the rest of the Lost Prophecy weapons..
The fact that this gun’s initials are the letters O and P might have been deliberate on Bungie’s part. Positive Outlook is a phenomenal, devastating energy auto rifle you can get as a quest reward in the Curse of Osiris story, or as a Vanguard reward. Against both aliens and other players, Positive Outlook ravages your enemies, and is probably the best expansion gun we’ve used so far.
There’s a key combination that makes Positive Outlook so powerful: It has a very low recoil and a large, 33-round magazine. nce you’ve got it trained on somebody’s head, it stays there for the duration. Perks that add to Positive Outlook’s range, like “Accurized Rounds,” make it deadly from clear across a Crucible map, and its Kill Clip perk adds bonus damage on those occasions when you have to bother to stop and reload. You’ll see this gun a lot in Destiny 2 player vs. player, because it’s reliably lethal.
A trace rifle (read: giant laser beam) similar to Coldheart, Prometheus Lens was the dubious star of the Destiny 2 meta in the early days of Curse of Osiris because it was a powerful, long-range Guardian-melter. Bungie’s response to dealing with the gun that took over the Crucible was to nerf it significantly, but Prometheus Lens is still a fairly effective Exotic that can do some serious damage.
Prometheus Lens’ accuracy and range makes it a useful weapon, but it also has a handy perk, Flame Refraction, which returns returns some ammo to the magazine for every kill you nab, allowing you to fire it for longer. Basically, you can hold the trigger down and keep it your beam going as long as you keep racking up the kills.
You’ll find Prometheus Lens in an Exotic engram or as a Powerful Milestone reward. There’s also a Masterwork to unlock for the gun, which might drop when you kill bosses in Strikes.
A returning favorite from The Taken King, Telesto is a fusion rifle with a fun spin on the way that weapon type’s usually works. It fires a burst of energy like other fusion rifles, but instead of immediately ripping into the enemy, its bursts stick to the character and then detonate a second later. It turns bad guys (and other players) into fusion bombs, which is extremely enjoyable, and makes Telesto more deadly than other fusion rifles because its ammo can attach to things like walls and floors, allowing you to still damage enemies even if you miss them.
Telesto is also great in tight squeezes. It handles well, deals a ton of damage, and reloads fast. Plus, as a bonus, the Harbinger’s Pulse perk reloads your other weapons whenever you rack up a multi-kill.
Telesto drops from Exotic engrams and can pop up as a Powerful Milestone reward.
Crimson is one of those truly unique exotic guns, with all kinds of perks that set it apart from anything else. Banned Weapon gives Crimson, a hand cannon, a three-round burst rather than the weapon class’ standard, slow-firing shot. Cruel Remedy heals you every time Crimson bags a kill. If it’s a precision kill, you get more ammo in the magazine. That’s kind of ridiculous.
With those crazy perks, Crimson is great both in and out of the Crucible. The three-round burst aspect is especially helpful when you bring it to bear against other players, while the healing and reload perks make Crimson great for extended battles against hordes of aliens.
Like most of these weapons, you’ll find Crimson in an Exotic engram, or as a Powerful Milestone reward. As of the Warmind expansion, you can also unlock a Masterwork version of Crimson, which also will drop randomly in the world while you’re killing enemies.
One of the easiest-to-get rewards in Warmind is also one of the most effective guns to come out of the expansion. The Kibou AR3 is an energy auto rifle that’s likely to be a workhorse of your arsenal as you make your way through the content on Mars. The Kibou’s precision frame makes it easy to handle as you pour ammo onto enemies, and it packs powerful rounds with the Armor Piercing perk. The fun part, though, is the Dragonfly add-on, which makes turns enemies you take down with precision kills into elemental bombs that damage nearby baddies. Kibou’s a great gun for chewing up shields and a useful weapon to take with you into the Crucible.
You can get the Kibou AR3 as a quest reward from Ana Bray early in the Warmind story, or snag it from her by turning in tokens on Mars.
Braytech Winter Wolf
Speaking of auto rifles, there’s another great one hidden in Warmind. The Braytech Winter Wolf is notable because it’s just so damn easy to use. A very stable, long-range auto rifle, the Winter Wolf comes with a precision frame that makes the kind of gun that lets you put bullet after bullet into the enemy’s head without having to struggle to stay on target. It’s also geared to dish out a lot of damage over time, with perks including Armor Piercing Rounds and High-Impact Reserves, making the gun great against shields and especially effective toward the end of the clip. In general, the Winter Wolf is effective from far away, packs a lot of damage and doesn’t kick around a lot, making it a great primary weapon both out in the world and in the Crucible.
You can find the Winter Wolf after unlocking the encrypted nodes scattered around Hellas Basin, which you can open once you gather up Resonant Stems. Those nodes have a chance to send you back to Ana Bray with an item you can trade in for one of her winter-themed weapons, and there’s a one-in-five chance it’ll be the Winter Wolf.
The Rasputin-themed hand cannon in Warmind can be a highly effective energy weapon. Like most hand cannons, it’s a high-impact gun that packs a major wallop. It also has a few perks that make it even more effective: Seraph Rounds give it an armor-piercing flare, and the Rampage perk means the hand cannon powers up the more kills you get with it. In Crucible, you might consider switching to the Threat Detector perk to make the HC good for those quick, close engagements. This is a reliable second weapon, great for pairing with a good auto rifle or pulse rifle, for when you need to flip over to some unexpectedly high damage.
You can find the IKELOS_HC by first completing all the story missions on Mars as part of the Warmind expansion, and then returning to Ana Bray and completing the blue Quest missions that appear after you speak with her again. The IKELOS_HC is your reward for completing those missions as well.
One of the two toughest weapons to get in Warmind is the Wordline Zero, the best sword we’ve had the pleasure of using in Destiny 2. The Exotic sword is highly overpowered as compared to your normal blades — it has a high ammo capacity and its Tempered Edge and Infinite Guard perks mean you don’t lose any efficiency when choosing between defensive and offensive capabilities with the blade. You also get the Assassin’s Blade perk, which gives you more damage and speed for every kill you rack up. The real fun of Worldline, though, is the spinning “Tesseract” move you can activate by sprinting a short distance and hitting the attack button, allowing you to zap multiple enemies at once.
To get the Worldline Zero, you have to find 35 of the colored test nodes hidden throughout the Warmind expansion — no easy task. Luckily, we have a guide to help you find all 45 of the test nodes and unlock the sword.
A blast from the past, the Sleeper Simulant is your reward for completing one of the longest and grindiest quests in Warmind. Like its own Destiny version, the gun is a high-powered, slow-firing linear fusion rifle that deals insane damage when wielded correctly. Though it only has a couple of shots in the magazine, the Sleeper wrecks both high-health bosses and anybody that has the misfortune to get hit by it in the Crucible. It’s a great mainstay to keep you in your arsenal for those moments when you absolutely have to destroy somebody’s face, and it’ll give you one-hit kills even with body shots when you use it against other players.
To get the Sleeper Simulant, you need to unlock the IKELOS_HC_V1.0.1 and then complete the “Pursuit” that comes with it. It’s mostly requires completing a lot of different tasks with the IKELOS hand cannon equipped, as well as killing a lot of Hive and Cabal enemies. Use our guide to get you to the Sleeper Simulant fast.