Destiny 2 Auto rifles have gotten a big boost in Season of the Worthy, with an across-the-board damage increase that has rocketed them to popularity in PVP. The weapon type once struggled to find a place between close-range SMGs and long-range pulse rifles, but now shines with consistent damage output and a number of useful Exotics.
March 2020 Update:
- Revised Hard Light
- Added Suros Regime, Monte Carlo, Tommy’s Matchbook, Misfit
- Removed Pluperfect, Age-Old Bond
Welcome to the Season of Hard Light! This once-middling auto rifle has become one of the most popular PVP weapons in Destiny 2 after the weapon type buff — and it’s not hard to see why. A large magazine, great rate of fire, richochet rounds, and zero damage dropoff mean that Hard Light is equally effective at close and long range. I expect we’ll see a nerf to Exotic auto rifles soon, but until then, Hard Light will continue chewing up the Crucible.
Great For: PVP
After receiving some buffs late last year, the always-fun Sweet Business is now in a better position than ever across all Destiny 2 activities. It mows enemies down like nobody’s business in PVE, and its surprisingly high range and huge magazine makes it annoying to face in Crucible. You’ll have to learn the timing of its spinup when using it in the latter mode, but once you do it can be a beast. Its only major flaw is one shared with most Exotic primaries in the game — not being able to equip anti-Champion mods.
Great For: PVE, Gambit
One of the Season of the Dawn’s new Saint-14-themed weapons, the Steelfeather Repeater is a rarity — a rapid-firing auto frame that has random rolls. And like the rest of the Sundial weapons, it can get some pretty great perks: Subsistence, Vorpal Weapon, and Swashbuckler, to name a few. In PVE it’s an absolute terror at clearing red bar enemies when rolled with Multikill Clip and Feeding Frenzy. Add in a reload masterwork and you’ve got a bullet hose that simply will not quit.
Great For: PVE, Gambit
Good For: PVP
More Destiny 2:
- A Humble Proposal For the Next Season of Destiny 2
- How to Level Your Destiny 2 Season Pass With Empyrean Restoration
- Destiny 2 Best Sidearms Guide
Returning from Destiny a couple of seasons ago, the Monte Carlo is an auto rifle that wants to be used at close range — its Markov Chain perk gives it increased damage on melee kills and kills with the weapon itself. That combination can be especially useful for ad clearing in PVE, but it’s a dangerous combination in PVP, too, where it functions as a consistent auto rifle with what is essentially a better version of Rampage that also recharges your melee attack.
Great For: PVE, PVP
Available via the season pass, Tommy’s Matchbook is something of a tricky auto rifle to use. Holding down the trigger increases the rate of fire, but also sets you ablaze — this won’t actually kill you, but it will take your shields down. Once you get the hang of it or learn to pair it with abilities like the Warlock’s Healing Rift, Tommy’s Matchbook is great at enemy clearing in PVE and can be pretty effective in PVP too — though it’s mostly outclassed by its Exotic peer Hard Light.
Great For: PVE
Good For: PVP
If you’re looking for a non-Exotic Energy auto rifle, Misfit won’t let you down. Perks like Dusk Dot D1 and High-Caliber Rounds mitigate its so-so range, while Tap the Trigger and Zen Moment boost its already-good stability. Combine with an Auto Rifle Loader mod and you’ll be spitting rounds almost constantly.
Great For: PVP, PVE
Are you a die-hard auto rifle fan? Have a favorite we missed? 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 auto rifles.