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Destiny 2: Witch Queen Best Hand Cannons Guide - March 2022 Meta

Have to hand it to these weapons.

Due to the fundamental differences between recoil and aiming on consoles and PC, it’s hard to write an end-all-be-all guide specifying which Hand Cannons reign supreme in Destiny 2: The Witch Queen. That said, this mostly applies to weapon types, rather than specific guns within those archetypes. There have been many times where Hand Cannons were all the rage on PC and next to useless on console.

Keep in mind that this Destiny 2 guide specifically talks about the best Hand Cannons available, not whether Hand Cannons are good on your platform or not. We’ve examined all of the available options, weighed their usefulness in both PVP and PVE, and put together some recommendations.

More Destiny 2 Content:

Destiny 2 Best Exotic Hand Cannons

Ace of Spades

There’s no doubting that Ace of Spades is the best overall exotic Hand Cannon. It’ll serve you in just about any game mode Destiny 2 has to offer. Run it in PVE, PVP, Gambit — you name it!

I’ve written enough about Ace of Spades over the last year or so for you to know why the weapon is good. On PC, it’s incredibly accurate, provides radar even when zoomed in, and lets you knock down enemies in rapid succession once Memento Mori has been activated. Also, Firefly is always great.

Great For: PVE, PVP, Gambit


Until Bungie hotfixes Gambit, damage buffs are now using PVE values instead of PVP like it should be. With this, Hawkmoon can one-shot a ten Resilience invader with only a single stack of Paracausal.

Great For: Gambit


If PVP is your thing, Crimson might be your weapon of choice. The burst fire is excellent at securing kills and the weapon remains accurate while raining down bullets at medium range.

Great For: PVP
Good For: PVE, Gambit


Patch after patch, Sunshot is old reliable. When the meta is uncertain and everyone is trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t, Sunshot is oftentimes a reliable Hand Cannon you can use until the community at large figures out what is actually best.

Good For: PVE


Thorn is basically in the same situation as Crimson. Popular in PVP due to its damage-over-time poison effect. There are so many times when you nearly get a kill only to have your opponent sneak away behind cover. Thorn makes it so those close calls become secured kills.

If you’re a Warlock with Necrotic Grip, it’s also a top-tier PVE weapon.

Great For: PVP, PVE
Good For: Gambit

The Last Word

Last Word is the least popular in PVE out of the bunch, but it remains a PVP staple due to its rapid hip-fire nature. It’s unlike any other Hand Cannon in its ability to shoot from the hip accurately and quickly. This makes it a popular choice in Crucible. While an opposing Guardian struggles to move and aim at the same time, you can jump and spray your entire clip without a second thought.

Great For: PVP

Eriana’s Vow

Any weapon with intrinsic shield piercing will always be a great choice in difficult endgame content, freeing you up to use a different Champion mod.

Great For: Difficult Champion Content

Destiny 2 Best Legendary Hand Cannons


The current most popular legendary Hand Cannon in all of Destiny 2. This 140 RPM Hand Cannon comes with a suite of terrific perks and is especially potent for those making a Stasis build. There are a lot of fantastic primary perks for this gun, so narrowing it down to the “objectively best” is a little tricky. That’s why it’s so good, though. You can seek whatever perks you personally like and the weapon will still be fantastic.

Great For: PVE, PVP


Explosive Rounds and Firefly in one weapon is enough to make Fatebringer popular for as long as it’s usable.

Great For: PVE


Vulpecula is among the best new-ish Stasis weapons, in large part thanks to its perk pool. With Outlaw and Shoot to Loot in the first tree alongside Adagio or Explosive Payload in the second, it’s a super reliable weapon to use.

Good For: PVE

Luna’s Howl & Not Forgotten

With Power level caps, you can’t exactly use either of these Hand Cannons in high-level activities like Nightfalls, raids, or Trials of Osiris. You may even not want to use them for regular old PVE activities. In regular old Crucible, however, they’re still perfectly fine and easier than ever to obtain. Just visit the kiosk for Lost Lights in the Tower!

Great For: PVP

The Palindrome

Not only is Palindrome a 140 RPM Hand Cannon, but it can also roll with Overflow and Rampage, which is a disgusting perk combination. The PVP god roll of the Palindrome is simultaneously powerful and unsurprising. We are running the usual suite of range boosting perks to give us an edge against players: Quickdraw and Rangefinder.

For more details, check out our Palindrome god roll guide!

Great For: PVP, PVE, Gambit

Bottom Dollar

We recommend looking for perks like Outlaw, Rapid Hit, Feeding Frenzy, Wellspring, Thresh, and Rampage for PVE. These are some of the best perks in the PVE meta and work wonderfully on a powerful primary weapon like Bottom Dollar. As for PVP, Opening Shot, Rangefinder, Rampage, Slideshot, and Killing Wind are all terrific options.

Great For: PVP
Good For: PVE, Gambit


Cantata-57’s perk pool is stacked with excellent PVP options. Rapid Hit, Rangefinder, Opening Shot, Steady Hands, Timed Payload, Eye of the Storm — the list goes on. All of that means it’s easy to get one really good roll without stressing about having the one single god roll.

Great For: PVP

That’s it for now! Have any Destiny 2 Hand Cannons you’d recommend? Maybe you rock a sunset weapon still or one of the raid Hand Cannons? Let us know why you think it’s so good in the comments below.

Guide put together with the help of Fanbyte Guides Writer Collin MacGregor.

About the Author

Dillon Skiffington

Dillon is the Senior Game Guides Editor at Fanbyte. He's spent about 2,000 hours playing a bun boy in Final Fantasy XIV and 800 hours maining Warlock in Destiny 2.