There are so many weapons in Destiny 2, Exotic or otherwise, 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. That’s why we’re here sharing the best PVE weapons in the current meta so you can work out your loadout before diving into the game mode.
We’ll be listing at least ten options and putting a spotlight on five of them, discussing what makes them useful. 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 outfit with an Exotic.
More Destiny 2:
- The Best Crucible Weapons in Destiny 2 (March 2020 Season of the Worthy Meta)
- The Best Gambit Weapons in Destiny 2 (March 2020 Season of the Worthy Meta)
- Destiny 2 Enter the Vault Quest Guide – Fourth Horseman Quest Steps
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.
This guide was last updated on March 26, 2020 after the Season of the Worthy meta has well settled.
Best PVE Kinetic Weapons
The Mountaintop (Grenade Launcher)
While hard to obtain, The Mountaintop continues to be a powerful PVE weapon for both hammering bosses and clearing adds.
Seventh Seraph Carbine (Auto Rifle)
Auto rifles are already good in the current Destiny 2 meta and this season’s Warmind Cell mechanic that’s naturally going to make the Seraph weapons more appealing. Now there are some seasonal mods that do not require a Seraph weapon to generate Warmind Cells, but if you want a chance to generate them all the time, Seventh Seraph Carbine is one of the best choices available.
Steelfeather Repeater (Auto Rifle)
One of the Season of the Dawn’s 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.
Spare Rations (Hand Cannon)
Spare Rations has long been one of the most recommended legendary hand cannons. If not super popular, it’s consistently been flying under the radar. With Hammer-Forged Rifling and High-Caliber Rounds to increase range, the gun can accurately shoot across serious distances. Then give it Rapid Hit and Kill Clip to really keep the stability and increased damage rolling.
Sidearms have never really made an appearance on any of our best Destiny weapons lists. That’s changed this season since sidearms can now equip Anti-Barrier Mods, and Breachlight is one of the best picks for that role — it’s hard-hitting and gets some great perks like Demolitionist and Vorpal Weapon.
Dire Promise (Hand Cannon)
As far as legendary hand cannons go, Dire Promise seems to be the one that everyone is chasing. It’s super basic, but a great hand cannon with the best rolls is super reliable and opens up your other slots to use exotics.
Monte Carlo (Auto Rifle)
If you’re a big fan of melee kills, Monte Carlo is the auto rifle for you. Thanks to the Monte Carlo Method intrinsic perk, any damage dealt with this weapon reduces your melee cooldown. It also provides a small chance to fully recharge your melee ability with each kill. This helps with Markov Chain, another trait which provides a feedback loop with both melee and weapon kills powering it up.
Ace of Spades (Hand Cannon)
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 really knock down enemies in rapid succession one Memento Mori has been activated. Also Firefly is always great.
Exit Strategy (SMG)
For those of us without the following energy weapon (it’s Recluse, of course it’s Recluse), Exit Strategy is a good second choice SMG. Since only SMGs and Sidearms can use this season’s Anti-Barrier mods, it’s likely why folks are on the hunt for a good backup.
Other Good Weapons
Outbreak Perfected (Pulse Rifle)
Best PVE Energy Weapons
The Recluse / Riskrunner (SMG)
SMGs continue to be the meta choice for the energy slot. Even with the latest nerfs, The Recluse is so powerful because it can rapidly eliminate adds. Kill an opponent with any weapon and the SMG will get a damage boost. Kills with The Recluse itself will increase reload speed for a short time. It is the best weapon in the game. Of course, getting it requires being very good at Crucible as it’s one of the Season of the Drifter Pinnacle weapons. If you haven’t earned it yet, we recommend the new solo queue competitive playlist.
Riskrunner is a viable alternative. It’s especially powerful if you find yourself fighting enemies that deal arc damage.
Tommy’s Matchbook (Auto Rifle)
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 — though it’s mostly outclassed by its Exotic peer Hard Light.
Hard Light (Auto Rifle)
Welcome to the Season of Hard Light! This once-middling auto rifle has become one of the most popular PVP & PVE 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.
Sunshot (Hand Cannon)
Sunshot has always been hovering right around the top ten weapons in Destiny. With Season of the Worthy, however, it’s getting a chance to shine. This is a somewhat recent development as the Seraph Tower on the Moon has a chance to reward the Wrath of Rasputin armor mod. With it, any solar splash damage final blows have a chance to create Warmind Cells. So lots of players have returned to the Solar subclasses armed with Sunshot, not having to worry about the Seraph weapons themselves.
Arc Logic (Auto Rifle)
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.
Arc Logic fulfills a similar purpose as another Arc auto rifle. Honestly just choose whichever one you prefer!
Seventh Seraph VY-7 (SMG)
Basically what we said above, in combination with the fact that this season’s artifact does require SMGs for Anti-Barrier rounds. Now there are some seasonal mods that do not require a Seraph weapon to generate Warmind Cells, but if you want a chance to generate them all the time, this weapon can fill that role.
The Fourth Horseman (Shotgun)
The Fourth Horseman might be new, but it puts out some serious DPS. If you aren’t using an exotic in another slot, it’s certainly a great option for the role.
Other Good Weapons
Loaded Question (Fusion Rifle), Eriana’s Vow (Hand Cannon), Last Hope (Sidearm)
Best PVE Power Weapons
21% Delirium / Hammerhead / Thunderlord / Xenophage (Machine Guns)
Destiny 2 machine guns reign supreme when it comes to basic PVE encounters. No other power weapon can deal with huge numbers of targets at varying distances. Just make sure you’re not using them against bosses, since Bungie nerfed their effectiveness against them a few patches ago.
Honor’s Edge / Black Talon / Interference VI / Steel Sybil Z-14 / Stryker’s Sure Hand (Swords)
Swords are meta! Really! With their rework, blocking no longer costs ammo which makes Passive Guard, a seasonal artifact mod, super useful. With it you receive less damage from combatants that are close to you as long as you have your sword out. When blocking you can basically soak a huge amount of damage without a worry in the world. As such, tons of players have been turning to swords for the sake of survivability on top of their damage.
Wendigo GL3 (Grenade Launcher)
Wendigo GL3 will likely be the go to grenade launcher for anyone who’s earned it. If you don’t have it, most folks seem to be trending towards machine guns, though I’m still a fan of Love and Death or anything with Spike Grenades really.
A Note on Rocket Launchers
Rocket Launchers really aren’t in a great place right now. Cluster Bomb can only do so much to make up for their lackluster damage. If you’re going to use one right now, go with one of the exotics like Truth or Wardcliff Coil.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Energy – Added Graviton Lance, IKELOS_SG_v1.01, Misfit, Jötunn. 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.
- 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.
- 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, 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.
- 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.
- 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.