The Best PVE Weapons in Destiny 2 (July 2021 Meta)

There are so many weapons in Destiny 2 that it can be really hard to know which weapons are best suited for PVE, Crucible, or Gambit. You’ve got a bank full of weapons, sure, but which ones should you actually be using? While it’s possible to just hop into PVE and see what your teammates are using, that’s not really a fun way to figure out what’s what. So here we are, sharing the best PVE weapons in the current meta so you can work out your loadout before diving into your next strike or dungeon.

Keep in mind that you may need to do some adjusting depending on which weapons you don’t have and which slot you choose to use an exotic.

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Our picks are based off a combination of a few different sources. The largest is what the Charlemagne Discord bot which reports the current meta. Among other things, the bot tracks weapon popularity for each game mode. This is super useful to get our baseline information. We also use general community consensus from the Destiny subreddit and our own experiences playing PVE.

Guide last updated on July 13, 2021.

Destiny 2 Witherhoard

Best PVE Kinetic Weapons

Witherhoard / Ignition Code (Grenade Launcher)

Witherhoard will is the best non-Power weapon grenade launcher out there if you aren’t using another exotic. Between its ability to deal direct damage and control chokepoints and such, it’s a super good tool for players to have.

It would be more popular if it weren’t for the release of Ignition Code, a much needed Kinetic single-shot grenade launcher. It’s proven incredibly powerful thanks to perks like Slideshot and Ambitious Assassin.

Fatebringer / Seventh Seraph Officer Revolver (Hand Cannon)

If you’re playing on PC, Fatebringer is very much meta at the moment thanks to being more readily available as the season goes on. For those with Warmind Cell builds, Seventh Seraph Officer Revolver is a good alternative.

Chroma Rush / Seventh Seraph Carbine (Auto Rifle)

Thanks to being on of the newest weapons in the game and the recent Auto Rifle buff, Chroma Rush is proving to be popular. Warmind Cell generating weapons like Seventh Seraph Carbine are also popular this season as the archetype has received new seasonal mods which make them even more powerful.

Extraordinary Rendition / The Huckleberry (SMG)

Extraordinary Rendition feels like an extraordinary submachine gun to be honest. It’s one of the most popular releases from Season of the Chosen and rightly so! It’s accurate, packs a decent punch, and feels so very good to shoot. Those three things alone make it one of the best options available. Though some have complained about the Overload Submachine Gun mod being lackluster, it does help give the weapon archetype a boost.

Night Watch / Hung Jury SR4 / Dead Man’s Tale (Scout Rifle)

Since it came out Dead Man’s Tale has come to be one of the most popular exotics out there. It’s just so satisfying to shoot and with the right random roll, it can handle every add from range. Both it, Night Watch, and Hung Jury SR4 also benefit again this season from having a crucial Champion mod for this weapon type.

Destiny 2 Ikelos SMG God Roll

Best PVE Energy Weapons

IKELOS SMG / Riskrunner / Shayura’s Wrath (SMG)

With no more sunsetting, it’s likely that the IKELOS SMG is here to stay. It’s easily the best weapon that can generate Warmind Cells which means you should expect it to stay on this list until Bungie empowers another kind of build. Seventh Seraph VY-7 is also a viable option.

You may notice a trend here. As the seasons go on, more and more weapons on this list are exclusively from Trials of Osiris. Shayura’s Wrath is no exception and is one of the best SMGs since the days of Recluse. Get it and give it a go. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Salvager’s Salvo / Deafening Whisper / Truthteller (Grenade Launcher)

I can’t count the number of times Guides Writer Collin MacGregor has told the Destiny players at Fanbyte how badly they need to unlock Salvager’s Salvo. The perks on this thing are wild. It’s got Firefly so every enemy it kills also explodes. If you want boss DPS it has Vorpal Weapon, Demolitionist if you’re running a grenade build, and Ambitious Assassin for two shots in the chamber. The flexibility this thing offers is wild!

Combine that with the addition of Breach and Clear and grenade launchers in the Energy and Power slot at the same time have become more popular than ever. Burn that Primeval!

Gnawing Hunter (Auto Rifle)

With the other most popular auto rifle, Steelfeather Repeater, being sunset, Gnawing Hunger has the Energy auto rifle spotlight to itself.

Sunshot (Hand Cannon)

With the popularity of Fatebringer, Igneous Hammer and The Palindrome have fallen off our list for the time being. Sunshot, however, endures. There’s not a ton to say about it other than it’s always been good and will continue to be good.

Vision of Confluence / Trustee (Scout Rifle)

Scout Rifles aren’t he most powerful archetype in Destiny, that’s for sure. But they’re currently being helped along by the seasonal mods which are required in game modes with Champions.

Trinity Ghoul (Bow)

For all the Arc subclasses out there, Trinity Ghoul remains one of the best options out there for clearing lots of weaker enemies. Just be careful because it won’t get you as far in high level content.

Seventh Seraph CQC (Shotgun)

You’re probably not using the Seventh Seraph shotgun to generate Warmind Cells, at least not consistently. That said, it’s still one of the strongest shotguns available right now and is a solid choice.

Best PVE Power Weapons

Anarchy (Grenade Launcher)

Anarchy will remain one of the best weapons in Destiny until Bungie implements some promised nerfs. With it, one of the latest exotic quests is easily solo-able as long as you’re at level. It’s just another addition to the many number of quests and bosses where Anarchy makes them much, much easier.

Falling Guillotine / The Lament / Crown-Splitter / Quickfang (Sword)

With the latest nerfs, swords aren’t as dominant as they once were. People really love Falling Guillotine though so it hasn’t gone anywhere. Some have latched onto the new class exclusive swords, however, if you want to give those a shot!

Xenophage / Corrective Measure (Machine Gun)

Xenophage is best at dealing with bosses while the others will help you tackle groups of weaker enemies. Thanks to the amount of support for other weapon types in recent patches and seasons, Machine Guns are likely the weakest of all the Power weapons. It’s a big reason why we’re now recommending more rocket launchers and swords.

Deathbringer / Hezen Vengeance / Code Duello / The Wardcliff Coil / Eyes of Tomorrow (Rocket Launcher)

Rocket Launchers have finally returned to our list! In the past they’ve been fine at crowd control, but outdone by Machine Guns, and okay at DPS, but outdone by both Swords and Grenade Launchers. Bungie has added new perks, however, and Lasting Impression finally helps them reach new heights. With it, your rockets no longer explode on impact, but instead stick and charge up. After a short delay they explode with a larger blast radius and for more damage.

Deathbringer, in particular, is doing better thanks to the new exotic catalyst.

Update History

July 2021

  • Kinetic – Added Fatebringer, Hung Jury SR4, and The Huckleberry. Removed Heritage, Succession, and The Messenger.
  • Energy – Added Vision of Confluence and Shayura’s Wrath. Removed Seventh Seraph VY-7, Igneous Hammer, and The Palindrome.
  • Heavy –  Added Crown-Splitter, Quickfang, Corrective Measure, and Hezen Vengeance. Removed Blast Battue.

May 2021

  • Kinetic – Added Chroma Rush and Ignition Code. Removed Huckleberry, Sweet Business, Monte Carlo, SUROS Regime, No Time to Explain, and Hawkmoon.
  • Energy – Added Seventh Seraph VY-7. Removed Ticuu’s Divination.
  • Heavy –  Added Deathbringer. Removed Seventh Seraph SAW and Commemoration.

April 2021

  • Kinetic – Added Dead Man’s Tale, Succession, and Sweet Business. Removed False Promises, Dire Promise, and True Prophecy.
  • Energy – Added Seventh Seraph CQC, Igneous Hammer, and The Palindrome. Removed Fighting Lion.
  • Heavy –  Removed Subzero Salvo.

February 2021

  • Kinetic – Added Extraordinary Rendition, The Huckleberry, Hawkmoon. Removed Hailing Confusion, Cold Denial, The Old Fashioned, Friction Fire, Cold Front.
  • Energy – Added Ticuu’s Divination, Salvager’s Salvo, Fighting Lion. Removed Stars in Shadow, Death Adder, Seventh Seraph VY-7, Posterity, Xenoclast IV, Cloudtrike, Adored, IKELOS SR, and First In, Last Out.
  • Heavy –  Added Code Duello, Blast Battue, Eyes of Tomorrow, Subzero Salvo, Wardcliff Coil. Removed Steel Sybil Z-14, Honor’s Edge, Black Talon, Salvation’s Grip, Interference VI, Thermal Erosion, Avalanche, and Outrageous Fortune.

January 2021

  • Kinetic – Added False Promises, Cold Front, Seventh Seraph Officer Revolver, Friction Fire, and Cold Denial. Removed Biting Winds.
  • Energy – Removed Arsenic Bite-4b.
  • Heavy –  Added Black Talon and Avalanche.

December 2020 (Beyond Light Update 2)

  • Kinetic – Added SUROS Regime, Heritage, Seventh Seraph Carbine, and Witherhoard.
  • Energy – Added Deafening Whisper, First In, Last Out, Cloudstrike, Adorned, IKELOS SR, Seventh Seraph VY-7, Posterity, and Trustee.
  • Heavy –  Added The Lament, Seventh Seraph SAW, and Commemoration.

November 2020 (Beyond Light Update 1)

  • Kinetic – Added No Time to Explain, Hailing Confusion, Biting Winds, Monte Carlo, Escape Velocity, Night Watch, True Prophecy, and The Old Fashioned. Removed Witherhoard (Weapon Disabled Currently), Mountaintop, False Promises, Forward Path, Outbreak Perfected, Lonesome, Breachlight, Perfect Paradox, and Ace of Spades.
  • Energy – Added Arsenic Bite-4b, Truthteller, and Xenoclast IV. Removed Ruinous Effigy, Divinity, The Summoner, Hard Light, The Recluse, Eriana’s Vow, and First In, Last Out.
  • Heavy –  Added Salvation’s Grip, Interference VI, Thermal Erosion, Outrageous Fortune, Steel Sybil Z-14, and Honor’s Edge. Removed Temptation’s Hook, Black Talon, 21% Delirium, Thunderlord, Wendigo GL3, and One Thousand Voices.

August 2020

  • Kinetic – Added Ace of Spades. Removed Bite of the Fox.
  • Energy – No changes.
  • Heavy –  Added Thunderlord.

July 2020

  • Kinetic – Added Bite of the Fox, Perfect Paradox. Removed Spare Rations, Ace of Spades.
  • Energy – Added Ruinous Effigy, IKELOS SMG. Removed Reckless Oracle.
  • Heavy –  Removed Steel Sybil Z-14 and Honor’s Edge.

June 2020

  • Kinetic – Added Witherhoard, False Promises, and Lonesome. Removed Monte Carlo, Breakneck, Austringer, Seventh Seraph Carbine, Steelfeather Repeater, and Sweet Business.
  • Energy – Added Trinity Ghoul, Gnawing Hunger, Reckless Oracle. Removed Tommy’s Matchbook, Seventh Seraph CQC-12, Loaded Question, Trophy Hunter, and Python.
  • Heavy –  Added Temptation’s Hook, Wendigo GL3, and Falling Guillotine. Removed Heir Apparant and Love and Death.

May 2020

  • Kinetic – Added Breckneck and Austringer. Removed Breachlight and Exit Strategy. 
  • Energy – Added The Summoner, Trophy Hunter, Python, Divinity, and Seventh Seraph CQC-12.  Removed Arc Logic and Fourth Horseman.
  • Heavy –  Added Goldtusk, Heir Apparent, Anarchy. Removed Thunderlord, Wendigo GL3, and Stryker’s Sure Hand.

April 2020

  • Kinectic – Added Seventh Seraph Carbine, Dire Promise, Outbreak Perfected. Removed Breakneck, Sweet Business.
  • Energy – Added Sunshot, Last Hope, Seventh Seraph VY-7, The Fourth Horseman, Loaded Question. Removed Symmetry, Misfit.
  • Heavy – Added Honor’s Edge, Black Talon, Interference VI, Steel Sybil Z-14, Stryker’s Sure Hand. Removed Anarchy.

March 2020

  • Kinectic – Added Spare Rations, Sweet Business, Breakneck, Exit Strategy. Removed No Turning Back, Randy’s Throwing Knife, Patron of the Lost Causes, Izanagi’s Burden, Bygones, Blast Furnace.
  • Energy – Added Tommy’s Matchbook, Hard Light, Arc Logic, Misfit. Removed Subtle Calamity, Arsenic Bite-4b, Fighting Lion, Devil’s Ruin, Outlast.
  • Heavy – Added Anarchy. Removed Avalanche, Edgewise, Love and Death, Pyroclastic Flow, Zenobia-D.

February 2020

  • Kinectic – Added Monte Carlo, Ace of Spades. Removed Wish-Ender.
  • Energy – Added Arsenic Bite-4b, Devil’s Ruin. Removed Oxygen SR3, Graviton Lance, Telesto.
  • Heavy – Added Zenobia-D. Removed Black Talon.

January 2020

  • Kinectic – Added Bygones, Patron of the Lost Causes, Blast Furnace. Removed Rat King, Smuggler’s Word, Lonesome.
  • Energy – Added Fighting Lion, Graviton Lance, Telesto, Oxygen SR3. Removed Eriana’s Vow, Drang, Anonymous Autumn, Translation Theory.
  • Heavy – Added Avalanche, Pyroclastic Flow, Xenophage. Removed Fixed Odds, Bad Omens.

December 2019 (Season of Dawn Update)

  • Kinectic – Added Breachlight, Steelfeather Repeater, Wish-Ender, Rat King, Smuggler’s Word, No Turning Back, Randy’s Throwing Knife, Lonesome. Removed Braytech Werewolf, Pluperfect, Sweet Business, Breakneck, Exit Strategy, Huckleberry, Ace of Spades, Go Figure.
  • Energy – Added Symmetry, Outlast, Drang, Anonymous Autumn, Translation Theory. Removed Subjunctive, Misfit, Arc Logic, Arsenic Bite, Fighting Lion.
  • Heavy – Added Edgewise, Black Talon, Bad Oments, Crooked Fang-4fr. Removed Temporal Clause, Avalanche, Edge Transit, Swarm of the Raven.

December 2019

  • Kinectic – Added Exit Strategy. Removed Monte Carlo.
  • Energy – Added Arc Logic. Removed Loaded Question, Graviton Lance.
  • Heavy – Added Love and Death, Swarm of the Raven, Avalanche. Removed Through Fire and Flood, Zenobia-D.

November 2019

  • Kinectic – Added Braytech Werewolf, Sweet Business, The Huckleberry. Removed Outbreak Perfected, Ten Paces, Duke Mk 44.
  • Energy – Added Graviton Lance. Removed Arc Logic.
  • Heavy – Added Temporal Clause, Zenobia-D. Removed A Fine Memorial.

October 2019 (Update 2)

  • Kinectic – Added Monte Carlo, Duke Mk. 44, Pluperfect. Removed Austringer, Huckleberry, Trackless Wastes.
  • Energy – Added Subtle Calamity, Eriana’s Vow, Misfit, Arsenic Bite, Sunshot. Removed Every Waking Moment, Reckless Oracle, Telesto.
  • Heavy – Added Fixed odds, Through Fire and Flood, Zenobia-D, Avalanche. Removed Play of the Game, Swarm of the Raven, Love and Death, Deathbringer, One Thousand Voices.

October 2019

  • Kinectic – Added Go Figure, Ten Paces, Smuggler’s Word, and Trackless Waste. Removed Bad Juju, Midnight Coup, Rose, Blase Furnace.
  • Energy – Added Reckless Oracle, Subjunctive, Arc Logic, Every Waking Moment. Removed Sunshot, Ikelos Shotgun, Telesto, Graviton Lance, Jotunn, and Misfit.
  • Heavy – Added Wendigo GL3, Deathbringer, A Fine Memorial, One Thousand Voices, Love and Death. Removed Outrageous Fortune, Anarchy, Tractor Cannon, The Wardcliff Coil.

September 2019

  • Energy – Added Graviton Lance, IKELOS_SG_v1.01, Misfit, Jotunn. Removed Prometheus Lance, Tarrabah, Nation of Beasts, Hard Light.
  • Heavy – Added The Wardcliff Coil, Anarchy, Tractor Cannon, Edge Transit. Removed Fixed Odds, Wendigo GL3, Through Fire and Flood, One Thousand Voices.

August 2019

  • Kinetic – Added Rose. Removed Lumina.
  • Energy – Added Riskrunner, Prometheus Lens, Nation of Beasts, and Hard Light. Removed Beloved, Kindled Orchid, Trust, and The Epicurean.
  • Power – Added Play of the Game and Through Fire and Flood. Removed Bane of Sorrow and Legend of Acrius.

June 2019

  • Kinetic – Added Austringer, Lumina, and Bad Juju. Removed Go Figure, Duke Mk. 44, Threat Level.
  • Energy – Added Tarrabah, Beloved, Sunshot, The Epicurean, and Trust. Removed Riskrunner, IKELOS Shotgun, Jotunn, Telesto, and Subtle Calamity.
  • Power – Added Fixed Odds, Wendigo GL3, Legend of Acrius, and Swarm of the Raven. Removed Play of the Game, Edge Transit, Through Fire and Flood, and Bad Omens.

June 2019

  • Kinetic – Added The Mountaintop and Threat Level. Removed Bygones and Thorn.
  • Energy – Added Fighting Lion, Loaded Question, CALUS Mini-Tool, and Subtle Calamity. Removed Nation of Beasts, Trust, Hard Light, and Misfit.
  • Power – Added Play of the Game, Edge Transit, Through Fire and Blood, and Bane of Sorrows. Removed The Wardcliff Coil, Tractor Cannon, Whisper of the Worm, and Avalanche.

May 2019

  • Kinetic – Removed Spare Rations.
  • Energy – Added Telesto, Hard Light, Misfit. Removed The Ringing Nail, Luna’s Howl, and Prometheus Lens.
  • Power – Added Bad Omens. Removed The Prospector.

And that’s that for our guide to the best PVE weapons in Destiny 2! Thanks for taking the time to check it out. We wish all of you trigger happy Guardians out there the best of luck in mowing down the forces of darkness.


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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