What are the best weapons in Destiny 2? There are hundreds of Destiny 2 guns which can roll with functionally infinite perk combinations. Some improve your damage or reload speed and others boost the effective range or stability of your weapon. You might also discover new, niche abilities that changes your play style.
Like the perks they come with, most of the guns you'll acquire in Destiny 2 are totally random—you never know what you're going to get or when, which is part of the thrill of the grind. That said, several activities offer direct ways to obtain specific guns, and you can use these activities to more reliably get the weapons and perk combinations you want.
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I've rounded up the 25 best Destiny 2 weapons that can be obtained through direct, actionable activities, such as exotic quests and weapon bounties. Some methods still require a bit of grinding, but you'll always know what weapon you're going to get. This gives you much more control than the usual random rewards. Here I'll go over how to complete these activities, the strengths of each weapon, and the top-tier perks for each gun.
Black Armory Forges
Black Armory weapons are obtained by completing the Forge bounties sold by Ada-1, the Black Armory smith found in the west wing of the Tower. Complete Ada's daily and weekly bounties to earn materials to spend on weapon-specific bounties. You can only purchase two weapon bounties each week, but you can repeat them as many times as you want. In other words, once you get the machine gun bounty, you can grind out 10 or even 100 machine guns that week.
From there Black Armory weapon bounties play out very similarly. As a general rule, you'll need to get kills with the specified weapon type, kill some orange-bar elites for special collectibles, and complete a Black Armory Forge to finish the weapon, which will drop at the end of the activity. Forges can now be accessed through a playlist in the EDZ, so it really doesn't take that long to complete a weapon bounty. You can easily do three or more bounties an hour, which equates to two or three shots at your dream roll. There are eight Black Armory weapons in total, but three in particular stand out above the rest. Those are:
Slot 1: Feeding Frenzy or Outlaw
Slot 2: Rampage or Kill Clip
The Blast Furnace, otherwise known as the Dad Furnace, is one of the strongest workhorse weapons in Destiny 2. It has monstrous range, controllable recoil, a clean sight, and excellent perk potential. The god roll here would be Feeding Frenzy and Rampage. Feeding Frenzy gives you a huge boost to reload speed after every kill, and Rampage increases your damage each time you get a kill, stacking up to 30%. It's easy to get and easy to use.
Slot 1: Feeding Frenzy
Slot 2: Rampage or Surrounded
Compared to other machine guns, Hammerhead has frankly disgusting range and stability, to the point that it's been dubbed the best scout rifle in Destiny 2. Yeah, it's that good. It's a 450 RPM machine gun, so it performs solidly in both PvE and PvP. Like Blast Furnace, it can also roll with Feeding Frenzy and Rampage, ensuring a steady stream of destruction.
Slot 1: Kill Clip or Surrounded
Slot 2: Rampage
For the last Black Armory weapon on this list, we have the Kindled Orchid, one of the few energy hand cannons worth using. Kindled Orchid is a 140 RPM model, so it's a little on the slow side, but it's got the power to make up for it. It's the only hand cannon that can roll with both Kill Clip and Rampage: these two perks provide huge damage bonuses, and this combination is every bit as lethal as it sounds. This curated roll also comes with Drop Mag, a magazine type that gives a huge boost to reload speed which feels like having Feeding Frenzy active all the time.
The Menagerie is a horde mode with a unique currency and reward system. In a nutshell, you collect colored runes and then socket them into the Chalice of Opulence in specific combinations which determine what loot you receive from the chest at the end. You earn runes by completing the treasure maps sold by Werner in the Tower, or by grinding miscellaneous activities while using the Runefinder consumables Werner also sells.
Once you have the runes you want, load the Menagerie on Nessus, clear the random (but fairly self-explanatory) arenas and bosses you're assigned, and open the chest to claim your loot. For this portion of the guide, I'll also outline which runes you need to obtain each gun. You can find more details in our Destiny 2 Menagerie recipes guide.
Slot 1: Outlaw
Slot 2: Rampage or Demolitionist
Slot 1: Desire rune
Slot 2: Red rune
Austringer is an exceptional 140 RPM hand cannon with high range and stability, consistent recoil, and strong aim assist (a hidden stat which is even noticeable when playing with a mouse). I recommend the popular Outlaw + Rampage roll, but Austringer is also one of the few hand cannons which can roll Demolitionist, which refunds grenade energy on kills. It's a perk worth using, especially given the grenade Artifact mods in Shadowkeep.
Slot 1: Grave Robber or Feeding Frenzy
Slot 2: Trench Barrel or Swashbuckler
Slot 1: Wealth rune
Slot 2: Green rune
Destiny 2 is overflowing with good shotguns, but the flexibility and availability of Imperial Decree makes it a great pick. It has solid base stats and can roll with some fantastic perks, including the favored Grave Robber + Trench Barrel combo. Trench Barrel gives you a three-shot damage buff after a melee strike, and Grave Robber reloads your gun after a melee kill, so you can see how things can get nasty in close quarters.
Slot 1: Snapshot or No Distractions
Slot 2: Quickdraw or Fourth Time's the Charm
Slot 1: Jubilation rune
Slot 2: Red rune
Beloved is one of very few snipers that can roll No Distractions and Fourth Time's the Charm—giving you reduced flinch and refunded ammo after consecutive headshots, respectively—which is a fantastic combo for boss DPS. It's snappy, it's got a great scope, and it's pretty easy to get a serviceable roll.
Essences are new in Shadowkeep, and they're among the simplest quests to grind. You can purchase Essences using Phantasmal Fragments from the Lectern near Eris Morn on the Moon. Once you have one you need to complete the objectives outlined; that's usually killing enemies with a certain weapon or in a given area. They're easy to get and easier to grind, so Essences are a fantastic source of strong weapons. That said, each Essence does have a hidden collectible attached to it, so I've linked guides for each below.
Slot 1: Outlaw
Slot 2: Multikill Clip or Rampage or Demolitionist
Essence guide: Destiny 2 Necromantic Strand location
Like Kindled Orchid, Loud Lullaby is capable of one-shotting most enemies thanks to its high-damage, low-RPM model, and compared to other 110 hand cannons, it's remarkably zippy. It can also roll with Multikill Clip, the best damage-boosting weapon perk in the game, and Demolitionist, which is fantastic for grenade builds.
One Small Step
Slot 1: Grave Robber or Threat Detector
Slot 2: One-Two Punch
Essence Guide: Destiny 2 Fangs of Shun'gath location
One Small Step is the only 140 RPM shotgun that can roll with One-Two Punch, which gives your next melee attack a huge damage boost after you land all the pellets in a shotgun blast. This perk is especially potent with melee-based Exotics like Titan's Peregrine Greaves or Hunter's Liar's Handshake. Its high RPM lets you tear through waves of enemies, and One-Two Punch allows you more damage out of each shot against sturdier enemies.
Slot 1: No Distractions or Field Prep
Slot 2: Firing Line or Fourth Time's the Charm
Essence guide: Destiny 2 Horned Wreath location
Tranquility has the best perk pool of any sniper rifle, hands down. Field Prep gives you more ammo and boosted reload speed (while crouching), No Distractions greatly reduces flinch, Firing Line boosts your damage during endgame activities, and Fourth Time's the Charm gives you potent ammo kickbacks as long as you land your shots.
Love and Death
Ammo: Spike Grenades
Slot 1: Field Prep
Slot 2: Full Court
Essence guide: Destiny 2 Bound Manacle location
Grenade launchers are the reigning kings of heavy weapon DPS, and Love and Death is the best grenade launcher Bungie's ever made. The best roll possible is: Spike Grenades + Field Prep + Full Court. This is one of the rare cases where your magazine perk really matters, as Spike Grenades provide a hefty boost in direct damage, especially when paired with Full Court, which amps up your damage the longer your grenade is in the air. Finally, Field Prep gives you more ammo and faster reloading, making it another staple perk for boss killers.
Vex Offensive is also new in Shadowkeep, though it's technically part of the Season of the Undying. It's a short, straightforward horde mode about killing Vex, and its loot pool is very generous. You'll receive at least four Vex items every run, including two or more weapons, so it's not hard to get good rolls. On top of that, you can complete weapon-specific bounties sold by Ikora to guarantee at least one desired weapon every run. You can find out how to unlock Vex Offensive here, and we have some top Destiny 2 Vex offensive tips.
Slot 1: Feeding Frenzy
Slot 2: Multikill Clip or Rampage or Dragonfly
Adhortative is basically an energy version of Blast Furnace. It's an accessible pulse rifle with multiple great rolls, including the fabled Feeding Frenzy + Multikill Clip combo which turns it into a PvE and PvP monster. You can't go wrong with Rampage or Dragonfly either, and at the rate Vex Offensive spits out guns, you can obtain all three with fairly little trouble.
Slot 1: No Distractions or Outlaw
Slot 2: Multikill Clip or Rampage
Imperative is the only primary weapon that can roll with No Distractions, and you really shouldn't underestimate the value of its reduced flinch. That said, Outlaw + Multikill Clip or Outlaw + Rampage is every bit as powerful on this scout rifle as it is on guns like Austringer.
Slot 1: Rapid Hit or Outlaw
Slot 2: Kill Clip or Demolitionist
It's hard to find good 180 RPM hand cannons, but Optative is a contender. It's got high reload speed to begin with, and Rapid Hit or Outlaw will crank that to 11. It's got access to Kill Clip for a damage boost, which is especially potent given its high fire rate, or Demolitionist for grenadephiles. Slap a Backup mod on this thing to boost its mag size and you'll be all good.
Most exotics are acquired through random loot, but a select few have quests tied to them, and some are even awarded for completing certain missions. Here they are:
Izanagi's Burden is the best DPS weapon in the game, full stop. Its exotic perk turns its four-round mag into one mega-shot which deals immense burst damage, especially once you get its Exotic Catalyst, which will drop from the Heroic Menagerie once you acquire the weapon itself. Here's how to get Izanagi's Burden. Note that due to Forge changes introduced in Shadowkeep, the Izanagi quest is currently borked and heavily RNG-dependent, so it may take you a few weeks to put the necessary pieces together.
Ace of Spades
Cayde-6's trusty hand cannon does everything. It's got a big mag, huge range, built-in Outlaw thanks to Firefly (an exclusive kinetic version of Dragonfly), and a unique damage perk called Memento Mori which adds yet more damage and range to your shots when you reload after a kill. It also has Third Eye so you never lose sight of your radar. It's the best hand cannon in Destiny, period.
Bad Juju is a machine. Its exotic perk refills the mag and increases your damage after every kill, and as an added bonus, each kill provides additional Super energy. Here's how to get Bad Juju.
Deathbringer is one of Destiny 2's most creative Exotics, and it's one of very few viable rocket launchers. It shoots tracking Nova Bombs which deal more damage the farther they travel, so your aim is to detonate a round above enemies and watch the bombs float down to them. Deathbringer is solid on bosses, utterly destroys mobs, and it's pretty easy to acquire. Here's how to get Deathbringer.
Divinity is the Garden of Salvation exotic, but it's worth the slog. This trace rifle creates a field that weakens and stuns anything it hits, making it invaluable against boss DPS. Holding the beam over an enemy will also deliver periodic bursts of damage; not just a stellar support weapon, Divinity is strong in its own right. Here's our full Garden of Salvation raid guide, and here's how to get Divinity.
Sunshot is arguably the most underrated weapon in the history of Destiny 2. This thing is basically Dragonfly: The Gun. Unlike Dragonfly, its exotic perk doesn't require headshots to make enemies explode, and this includes things killed by its own explosions. You can probably see where this is going: a single shot can wipe out an entire group of enemies, and that never gets old. Obtain Sunshot by completing Destiny 2's basic Red War campaign, and you can get its Exotic Catalyst as a random drop.
Riskrunner is all about arc damage, both dealing and receiving it. It's a fine SMG on its own, but it comes to life once you take arc damage, as its exotic perk gives you basically infinite ammo and a hefty shield for a few seconds after you get zapped. Oh, and did I mention the chain lighting rounds? Those are good, too. The best part is that you can obtain Riskrunner just by completing the new Destiny 2 Pain and Gain mission added with New Light. Just follow the prompts in your quest tab.
Pinnacle and Ritual quests
Finally, we have Pinnacle weapons with unique exotic-like perks. Also there are Ritual weapons, which replaced the too-strong Pinnacle guns. Each season has one Pinnacle (or Ritual) weapon for the Vanguard, Crucible, and Gambit playlists, and you need to play lots of Strikes, PvP, or Gambit to get them.
If you've played Destiny 2 you will have heard of Recluse. It's the strongest primary weapon in Destiny history, and likely the main reason Pinnacle weapons were removed from Destiny 2. Its unique perk, Master of Arms, is basically a better Rampage in that it activates with kills using any weapon. To get it, grab the quest from Shaxx and reach 2,100 Glory in the Survival playlist—easier said than done, I know, but it's worth it. If you're playing alone, use the freelance (solo) playlist.
Loaded Question is the only fusion rifle worth using in PvE. Its unique perk gives its projectiles a massive damage boost and AoE effect provided the magazine is full. And, thanks to Auto-Loading Holster, it pretty much always is. Grab the quest from Zavala and complete a bunch of Strikes while getting fusion rifle kills to make it yours.
Destiny 2 doesn't offer much in the way of crowd control, but Wendigo's blinding grenades do a fantastic job of shutting down enemies. Its Explosive Light perk empowers your next grenade each time you pick up an Orb of Light. This stacks up to six times so those blinding grenades can do heavy damage, too. It even has Auto-Loading Holster so it's always ready to go. To get it, grab the quest from Zavala and complete a bunch of Strikes while getting grenade launcher kills.
Edgewise is the only Ritual weapon on this list, not because the others are bad, but because they don't fill a specific role quite as well as Edgewise. That role is add clear, and Edgewise does it better than just about everything, with the possible exception of Delirium 21%. You can pair Feeding Frenzy or Field Prep with Rampage or Demolitionist, and there's not a bad combination among them. To get it, pick up the quest at Zavala and complete a ton of Strikes while getting machine gun and Solar kills.
No, we didn't forget about auto rifles, it's just they're not terribly good. Breakneck is the exception: this Pinnacle weapon's unique perk increases its fire rate as you build Rampage stacks, and it has hidden Feeding Frenzy to boost its reload. It chews through anything at close-to-mid-range, and it's fairly easy to get. To do so, grab the quest from the Drifter and play lots of Gambit while getting auto rifle kills.
We couldn't possibly cover every good weapon in this list, so we focused on ones that can be acquired through easy or straightforward means. There are plenty of other rewarding activities out there, though, so here's a quick roundup of some other fantastic guns and where they come from:
- Mountaintop grenade launcher (difficult Crucible quest)
- Sole Survivor sniper rifle (Reckoning)
- Spare Rations hand cannon (Reckoning)
- Anarchy grenade launcher (Scourge of the Past raid rare final boss drop)
- One Thousand Voices fusion rifle (Last Wish raid rare final boss drop)
- Delirium 21% machine gun (long Gambit Pinnacle quest)
- Mindbender's Ambition shotgun (Hollowed Lair Nightfall rare drop)