“Exotic” means a lot of things when it comes to weapons in Destiny 2. Some Exotics behave completely differently from any other gun in the game, while others are glorified Legendary weapons. It’s this latter group I’m concerned with today — those weapons that just don’t feel that special, and certainly aren’t anyone’s go-to picks for their Exotic slot. I don’t think Exotics need to be the most powerful weapons in the game, but they should at least be unique. Here are ten Exotics in Destiny 2 that need changing to make them live up to the name, along with some suggestions for how they could be improved.
1. Skyburner’s Oath
My first Exotic and perhaps Destiny 2‘s most underwhelming, Skyburner’s Oath is just a terrible Scout Rifle. Its ability to break Phalanx shields was maybe relevant during the Red War campaign, but is now a quality I had completely forgotten about and didn’t remember until I looked it up for this list. Plus, its variable rate of fire has been done better by Symmetry. Skyburner just doesn’t feel Exotic, and that’s a shame, because it’s the only weapon in the game that references a CCR song in its lore.
Suggested Buff: Ditch Skyburner’s anti-Cabal properties, which aren’t all that interesting. Give it a new perk called Fortunate One playing on the weapon’s lore about survivability that combines Eye of the Storm and Pulse Monitor.
Easily the least useful Exotic Fusion Rifle, Merciless is a neat idea in need of a rework. It’s designed to be a weapon that increases in effectiveness until an enemy is finally dead. The problem is that it takes so long to get up to an effective level of damage that almost any other option is better for taking out powerful enemies and bosses.
Suggested Buff: Have rapid hits on the same target reload the weapon from reserves.
I love Malfeasance. I really do. It looks great, especially with the Red String of Fate ornament. But beyond its look, it just doesn’t feel like an Exotic weapon. The increased damage to Taken and exploding slugs are hardly noticeable, so that even in the new Prophecy dungeon I feel like I’m restricting myself by using it.
Suggested Buff: The easiest thing to do here would be to just give Malfeasance a catalyst that increases its reload speed and/or the explosion radius of its slugs, but that wouldn’t be terribly interesting. A more unique approach would be to lean into the dangerous Taken nature of the weapon and have it grant a Rampage-like damage buff that starts damaging and/or kills the user after too many stacks, but can be discharged by using an ability.
4. Jade Rabbit
Headseeker is a bad perk, and Jade Rabbit is a glorified Headseeker. This gun’s sole purpose is to get Scout Rifle kills in Momentum Control for the Randy’s Throwing Knife quest. Aside from its neat look, it simply isn’t an Exotic weapon.
Suggested Buff: Lose Fate of All Fools. In its place, give Jade Rabbit an Exotic perk called Bunny Hopping that increases stability, damage, and range for a few seconds after a jump. Too on the nose? Maybe, but it’s an adorable, twitchy little nose.
When it was the only Trace Rifle in the game, Coldheart felt special. Now, there’s no real reason to use it over Divinity or Ruinous Effigy.
Suggested Buff: Remove the whole intensifying damage feature and give it the ability to slow enemies down while also Staggering Unstoppable Champions.
- Destiny 2 IKELOS SG Guide
- What Are Exotic Ciphers in Destiny 2?
- Destiny 2 Still Has a Big Problem With Bounties
Borealis is really just the sniper rifle version of Hard Light, but what makes the latter Exotic good really isn’t its ability to switch Elemental types — it’s the overpenetration and lack of damage falloff. Switching damage types just isn’t an important feature outside of clearing bounties and some exceptionally specific Nightfall scenarios, so Borealis needs a new USP to make it truly Exotic.
Suggested Buff: Wrap Ionic Return into a new perk that also incorporates more powerful versions of Shield Disorient and Genesis, making Borealis into a weapon that excels at matching and breaking shields and rewards doing so with regenerating ammo. Yes, Bungie doesn’t love messing with the ammo economy, but tying it to shield breaks would prevent it from being used to melt bosses, and Borealis is still just a Special sniper rifle anyway.
Undoubtedly the Exotic with the biggest gulf between attainability and utility, Tarrabah likely suffered from its release in the heyday of its SMG cousin The Recluse. The idea of charging up a gun to send in into a berserk mode is cool, but in practice the fact that you lose charge when switching weapons makes Tarrabah far too finicky to use.
Suggested Buff: This one’s easy — just let Tarrabah keep its charge when it’s holstered.
8. The Queenbreaker
Hey, remember The Queenbreaker? Unless you played a lot of Gambit back before the Season of Opulence introduced Truth as the Invader weapon of choice, probably not. Linear fusion rifles are in a bad place generally speaking, but The Queenbreaker really has nothing to recommend it.
Suggested Buff: Give it Firing Line and hey, why not play with the Fallen inspiration of the weapon by having it turn the wielder invisible for a few seconds on a precision hit?
A weapon with an incredible concept but a lackluster execution, D.A.R.C.I. has languished in the shadow of Whisper of the Worm since the latter’s release. For an intelligent, communicative gun, it doesn’t help you very much.
Suggested Buff: Fuck it, D.A.R.C.I. talks to you. Constantly. No gameplay benefit, but it sure would feel Exotic, huh?