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Destiny 2 Best Machine Guns Guide - February 2020 Meta

Machine guns are some of the most flexible Power weapons in Destiny 2. From clearing adds to taking out other Guardians, there’s not much they can’t do. Here are our picks for the best machine guns in Destiny 2 for both PVE and PVP.


Routinely topping the list of most-used Power weapons across all game modes in Destiny 2, the Hammerhead is the all-around best machine gun available in the game for most purposes. Its combination of good range and great accuracy, access to fantastic barrels, and ability to roll fantastic perks like Feeding Frenzy, Rampage, Surrounded, and Quickdraw make it a powerful choice for any Guardian.

Great For: PVE, PVP, Gambit

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Probably the most unusual machine gun in Destiny 2, Xenophage behaves more like a scout rifle than its brethren. It fires explosive shots at an extremely slow rate, making it a tricky weapon to get the hang of. In most modes it’s outclassed by other machine guns, but it really shines in Gambit, where it’s giving Truth a run for its money as the weapon of the Invader. It requires a little more skill to use, but once you get the hang of Xenophage you’ll be sniping Guardians from across the map.

Great For: Gambit

21% Delirium

This Gambit Pinnacle weapon rolls a little differently than Hammerhead, but is also among the most popular Power weapons in the game. Its rapid-fire frame and lower accuracy encourage close quarters encounters, where it absolutely chews through anything it hits. But 21% Delirium’s big advantage is the combination of Overflow and Killing Tally — with the right armor and weapon mods, it can practically become a Primary weapon that never needs to reload in PVE.

Great For: PVE, PVP, Gambit

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Available only during the winter Dawning seasonal event, the Avalanche has slightly worse range and stability than the Hammerhead. Previously, it was an objectively worse weapon — but in the wake of a  range nerf of all machine guns, it stands out with access to sights in the place of Hammerhead’s barrel perks. With a good sight like the SPO-57, High Caliber Rounds, and a Range masterwork, it can actually outrange the Hammerhead. Throw on Slideways and you’ve got a surprisingly deadly Crucible weapon.

Great For: PVP, PVE


The existence of Hammerhead really hurt Thunderlord, providing much of the same utility while keeping open the Exotic slot. That said, Thunderlord is still a good choice for a PVE machine gun. It shines as an add clear weapon and works wonders in Gambit, where it can tear apart powerful enemies and Guardians alike.

Great For: PVE, Gambit


A rapid-fire frame introduced in the Season of the Undying, Edgewise’s selectable perks give it some flexibility in PVE encounters. In particular, it stands out as the only machine gun in Destiny 2 that can currently roll Demolitionist. In many situations it’s outclassed by Hammerhead and 21% Delirium, but it’s worth playing with if you run a grenade-heavy build.

Great For: PVE

Those are our picks for the best machine guns in Destiny 2! Got a Fixed Odds you adore or a Temporal Clause you swear by? Let us know in the comments. We’ll update this post alongside most major Destiny 2 updates to add and remove any contenders for best available machine guns.

About the Author

merritt k

merritt k is Content Manager at Fanbyte, covering Destiny 2 and other live games.