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The 10 Best PVE SMGs in Destiny 2 (October 2023)

If you’re looking for a close-quarters crowd control weapon in Destiny 2, then you’re probably reaching for an SMG. There are plenty to choose from, so here are our picks for the 10 best PVE SMGs in Destiny 2. This list isn’t in any particular order — these are all great weapons depending on your needs and preferences.

Best Destiny 2 PVE SMGs

1. Osteo Striga 

Destiny 2 Best SMGs Osteo Striga

Osteo Striga is a potent add control weapon. Especially when it’s fully crafted, it can dispose of weaker enemies extremely quickly. It works even better for Warlocks using the Necrotic Grip exotics, who can spread the poison it inflicts between foes.

2. Riskrunner

Destiny 2 Best SMGs Riskrunner

It may be quite old at this point, but Riskrunner is still plenty reliable. In any situation in which you’re likely to be facing Arc shields and Arc-wielding enemies, Riskrunner will chew through even tougher Destiny 2 enemies with a quickness. Against enemies that don’t use Arc it’s less useful, but you can always pop its Exotic perk yourself using your own Arc grenades.

3. Unending Tempest


A new ritual weapon in the Season of the Witch, Unending Tempest is a Precision Frame Stasis SMG that drops from the Crucible. However, it has a bunch of perks you could want from a PVE-focused SMG, creating unique combinations we haven’t seen before. It has classics like Subsistence with Frenzy and Demolitionist with Adrenaline Junkie. Players can also pair Demolitionist and Headstone, or try Collective Action with Gutshot Straight and Frenzy. 

4. Submission

Destiny 2 Best SMGs Submission

Obtained from the Vow of the Disciple Raid, Submission is one of the best kinetic SMGs in the game. It’s got a nice spread of ammo and damage perks, it’s craftable, and there’s even an Adept version if you care to obtain it. Souldrinker is a pretty good Origin Trait, too.

5. Calus Mini-Tool

Destiny 2 Best SMGs Calus Mini-Tool

Probably the most popular weapon to come out of Season of the Haunted, the Calus Mini-Tool is an add-killing machine. It boosts your movement speed, can roll Incandescent, and feels great to fire. Definitely the best Solar SMG currently available in Destiny 2.

6. Funnelweb

Destiny 2 Best SMGs Funnelweb

When Funnelweb was introduced in the Witch Queen expansion it became an instant player favorite. Not only does it have superb handling and decent stability, it has the Veist Stinger Origin Trait, a small but useful perk pool, and can benefit from Volatile Rounds. It was great in Witch Queen, and it’s still an outstanding SMG.

7. IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.3

Destiny 2 Best SMGs IKELOS_SMG

The third version of the IKELOS SMG is the best yet, with a new Origin Trait and access to the Arc-specific Voltshot perk — it’s even craftable now. It’s probably the best non-Exotic Arc SMG in Destiny 2 at the moment, and while it pairs great with Arc subclasses, pretty much anyone can get some use out of it.

8. No Survivors


No Survivors is an Aggressive Frame Solar SMG that drops from the Ghosts of the Deep dungeon. It primarily drops from the first and second encounters, but players can also get it from secret chests. When it comes to perks, the third column only has Demolitionist, but the fourth column has a solid array of perks to choose from. Incandescent, Adrenaline Junkie, Target Lock, Pugilist and Collective Action are all solid pairings with Demolitionist. This SMG can be an absolute powerhouse in PVP, and is worth spending the time to grind the Ghosts of the Deep dungeon.

9. The Showrunner


The Showrunner is a reprised Lightweight Frame Kinetic SMG from the Red War weapon pool that players can focus at the Ritual Table in Season of the Witch. This is the only SMG with Kinetic Tremors and that alone makes it special for your arsenal. While the base magazine can activate one rotation of Kinetic Tremors, this SMG also has Overflow, which can activate multiple rotations of Kinetic Tremors. The Showrunner has perks like Collective Action for a damage buff that takes advantage of your abilities and holds no ground against Kinetic Tremors.

10. The Immortal 

Destiny 2 The Immortal

Of the two Strand SMGs currently in Destiny 2, The Immortal is by far the better option. It has two fantastic Origin Traits in Alacrity and Field-Tested, damage perks like Target Lock, and has access to the Strand perk Hatchling. If you can nab a good roll of this thing from Trials, it’s an excellent choice for any Strand subclass user.

Update History

  • October 2023: Removed Tarrabah, Unforgiven, and Shayura’s Wrath. Added Unending Tempest, No Survivors, The Showrunner. 
  • June 2023: Removed Prolonged Engagement and The Huckleberry, added Shayura’s Wrath and Tarrabah
  • March 2023: Removed Blood Feud, added The Immortal

About the Authors

merritt k

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

Sahil Bajaj

Sahil Bajaj is a Narrative Designer and Game Writer who is currently working as a freelancer. He's worked with companies like Sweet Baby Inc, Veritable Joy and the 4 Winds Entertainment. He plays all Destiny 2 classes equally and is Guardian Rank 11.

Alejandro Josan

Alejandro Josan is a video game guide and review writer and has been covering Destiny 2 for Fanbyte since June 2023. He has covered Destiny 2 for sites such as Gamer Journalist and PC Invasion. In every game that features class selection, tanks have always been his class of choice, making him the ideal Titan Guardian. Tier lists, seasonal content, and weapon god rolls are his main focus, and you will find him grinding for Pinnacle Gear every week.