Destiny 2 Best Hand Cannons Guide – February 2021 Meta

Even with the latest recoil changes the experience for Destiny 2 players on PC is different than those on consoles. With a mouse and keyboard weapons like hand cannons are incredibly accurate and which makes them an excellent choice no matter what game mode you play. Thankfully, the game is now free on PC so you too can visit the realm of hand cannons if you have a computer to run it. But which hand cannons are the best in Destiny 2? We examined all of the available options and weighed their usefulness in both PVP and PVE and put together some recommendations.

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Destiny 2 Best Exotic Hand Cannons


Personally, I can’t get over my frequent reload syndrome to effectively use Hawkmoon but if you can and have a good roll from the many ways to get new rolls, it’s certainly one of the better options out there.

Great For: PVP
Good For: PVE, Gambit

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!

Surely 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


If PVP is your thing, Crimson might be your weapon of choice. If you ignore PVE play, it’s more popular of a choice than Ace of Spades and for good reason. The burst fire is excellent and can help secure kills and remain accurate while raining down rapid fire at medium range.

Great For: PVP
Good For: PVE, Gambit


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 your opposing Guardian struggles to move and aim at the same time, you can jump and spray your entire clip without second thought.

Great For: PVP

Destiny 2 Best Legendary Hand Cannons

Dire Promise

Out of all the Legendary hand cannons that are easily obtainable, Dire Promise would be our recommendation. Just focus on getting some good rolls — range for PVP, and extra damage for PVE — or chase down one of the hand cannons below.

Great For: PVP
Good For: PVE, Gambit

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

For those like me looking to replace their beloved Dire Promise for PVE, the Palindrome is going to be your go-to weapon. Not only is it a 140 RPM hand cannon, but it can roll with Overflow and Rampage, which is such 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

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

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


Dillon Skiffington

Dillon is the Guides Editor at Fanbyte. He can't seem to quit games as a service or looter shooters — unfortunate news for his backlog, really. Can't get enough game art, soundtracks, or space games. You can find him on Twitter @Squiblon.

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