Singling out the best Destiny 2 PvP weapons can be tough, especially with the sheer range of them. Following the release of The Witch Queen, you might be wondering which firearms have been tearing up the Crucible recently; there are nearly a thousand weapons in the game, after all, so it’s understandable if you are feeling a little overwhelmed.
One of the simplest joys of Destiny 2 is finding a weapon you love and sticking with it. After all, you don't have to play the meta to have fun. The competitive person-versus-person side of the tracks generally has a little more room for nuance and personal preference than the PvE side, as much of it will come down to your playstyle and personal preferences.
If you’ve mastered a particular type of gun and are surfing the leaderboards, by all means, keep rolling with it. Why mess with a good thing, right?
However, if you are feeling a little lost in the leveling process, or if your current loadout just isn’t cutting it after getting stomped down repeatedly during Trials, these are the weapons you might want to try out.
Destiny 2 PvP weapons
Destiny 2 PvP weapons: the best weapon types
To be honest, since the launch of the Witch Queen, not too much has changed - at least where weapons are concerned. Abilities, Void is everywhere, but for just the guns - Hand Cannons, Hand Cannons, and then more Hand Cannons. While the exact archetype has fluctuated a couple of times, Hand Cannons have almost unanimously been the top primary weapon in the Crucible over the last year.
However, outside of Hand Cannons, there are some other popular primaries. Pulse Rifles make a great alternative, as well as several SMGs. There are certainly ways to make other weapon types work, but they are generally believed to be a little weaker currently.
In the special slot, despite Bungie’s attempts to nerf them, Shotguns still remain strong. Sliding in with a Shotgun and getting a one-hit kill is just always going to be hard to beat. However, if you want something a little more considered, Fusion Rifles are performing very well too... or more specifically one fusion rifle is performing well. Outside of that, Snipers are viable on some maps, but that'll come down to your ability to click heads.
Generally speaking, your Power Weapon isn’t going to make or break your loadout. However, currently, Rocket Launchers are king, with Linear Fusion rifles a distant second.
Destiny 2 PvP weapons: the worst weapon types
Again, with the right loadout and mentality, you can make pretty much anything work in PvP. It all comes down to playstyle to some degree. That being said, there are weapons that are going to make you work harder than others.
Some Rapid Fire Scout rifles have found a little bit of purchase, but unless you're fighting at immense ranges, Scout Rifles are in a pretty poor place. Sidearms certainly have their place too, and some players will swear by them, but they require a certain up close and personal mentality that makes you susceptible to Shotguns, making them a little tough to use.
In the Special slot, Trace Rifles are a weird fit. Some actually have very fast time-to-kill, but their optimal distance largely comes at mid-range, where most primaries operate. Breach Grenade Launchers are also excellent for those that know how to use them, but if you aren’t well versed in them, they are harder to get your head around than, say, a Shotgun.
Heavy weapons don’t make or break PvP loadouts, and just about every type has its place. That said, since Swords can't peek around corners with no ammo anymore, they lost a lot of their competitive utility. For the most part, they require you to be too close to the enemy when many other options can easily secure you one-hit kills at a distance.
Destiny 2 PvP weapons: Best primary weapons
If you're looking for the strongest gear for your primary fire slot, check out these sharp-shooters for a fine balance of precision and brutality.
Pick up as many as you can find and try them out to find your perfect match.
The Eyasluna Hand Cannon is a relatively new addition to the world of Destiny 2. However, it's a returning favorite from Destiny 1 that comes with a huge PvP pedigree. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that pedigree has carried over to the current game, where it has absolutely taken over the meta.
There are also loads of great PvP focused perks you can roll on Eyasluna. In the third column, Perpetual Motion, Rangefinder, Rapid Hit, and Heating Up are all viable. In the last column, Kill Clip, Moving Target, and Snapshot Sights are all great perks too. The point is, it’s probably easier to get a good PvP roll than a bad one.
This biggest issue with the Eyasluna, from a PvP player’s point of view, is that to get it you will have to do the Grasp of Avarice Dungeon and hope it drops. This is higher tier PvE content, but if you are an all-round Destiny player, this really shouldn’t be a problem.
Where to get it?
Grasp of Avarice Dungeon
The Palindrome is another top-tier hand cannon, that is very similar to Eyasluna. They both have the same fire rate, and are both equally popular at the top of the PvP meta. The point is, these are two very similar Hand Cannons. The choice is going to come down almost entirely to your ‘feel’ for either. Sound, animation and other factors create that feel, but if you have access to both, choose which one you like more, and if you only have one or are missing another, don’t worry about it too much.
The other great thing about the Palindrome is that it has a ton of good rolls. In the third column Quickdraw, Killing Wind and Outlaw are what you are looking for. In the last column, Rangefinder and Rampage are great options too. Its rolls aren’t quite as PvP focused as Eysaluna, but the upside is it has good PvE perks too so it's a versatile all-rounder kind of weapon.
Palindrome continues its similarities to Eyasluna in how you obtain the gun too. It comes from another top tier PvE activity, Nightfalls. If you are chasing an Adept version too, you will have to complete a Grand Master Nightfall, probably the hardest content in the game. However, if you are an all-around Destiny 2 player, getting your hands on one should be entirely attainable.
Where to get it?
Nightfalls when it's on the weekly rotation. Adept version available from Grand Master Nightfalls.
Dead Man’s Tale
Scout Rifles aren’t in a great spot right now in PvP. Rapid-Fire Frames are a very niche pick, but there is one that stands above the others. The Dead Man’s Tale is a very effective Exotic weapon, especially when it comes to more range and hitting other Guardians in the head. Since its release in Season of the Chosen, it has been a constant menace.
Thankfully it is easy to get too. All you have to do purchase it from the Monument to Lost Lights kiosk in the Tower. You can also buy it from Xur, who will bring a different roll every week. The perk you probably want most in PvP is Outlaw or Vorpal Weapon (to kill Guardians in Supers), but Killing Wind, Snapshot Sights, and Moving Target are all reasonable options too.
Make sure to try and get the Catalyst for the gun too. It speeds up the gun when fired from the hip and takes away hip-fire penalties. This is great for quickly burning down targets. If you love to click heads, Dead Man’s Tale is your dream gun.
Where to get it?
The Monument to Lost Lights kiosk in the Tower
Piece of Mind
The Piece of Mind has been one of the surprising breakouts for the Season of the Risen. The Rapid-Fire Pulse is rising in popularity currently and could continue to do so. Pulse Rifles are actually in an under-appreciated but viable spot right now and can challenge most Hand Cannons pretty effectively. The Piece of Mind is currently one of the most exciting options in the slot.
It’s also has some great perks for PvP you might want. In the third column, the new perk compulsive reloader is a friend to most Crucible players. If you are yourself a compulsive reloader, the boost in reload speed is very nice to have. In the final column, something like the new perk Focused Fire will go far. Vorpal weapon is also a great choice for surprising Guaridans using their Supers. They may think they are safe due to the resistance you get when Supering, but a couple of bursts will put them in their place.
If the Piece of Mind doesn't do it for you, perhaps consider Darkest Before and Gridskipper. Both are great PvP pulse rifles.
Where to get it?
Season of the Risen activities
Ace of Spades
Looking for a Hand Cannon that is a little flashier than the Eyasluna or Palindrome? Have an Exotic slot open in your PvP build that you want to use? The Ace of Spades is for you. The weapon functions very similarly to the Eyasluna and Palindrome being a 140 RPM Hand Cannon. However, its Memento Mori Exotic Perk means kills with it give you explosive, super-charged rounds which can be huge difference makers in PvP.
Another great thing about Ace of Spades is that it's easy to get. You only have to have an Exotic Cypher and purchase it from the Forsaken tab on the Monument to Lost Lights kiosk in the Tower.
That being said, it does have some minor drawbacks. Because it is Exotic, it has fixed perks. You can’t find an Ace of Spades more tailored to your own playstyle. Also, it obviously takes up your Exotic slot so won’t let you take something like the Chaperone with you. Some might also find it’s recoil animation quite unwieldy.
However, if you can tame the Ace of Spades, it can pay massive dividends. It’s usually a great PvP option and has been in most metas, so mastering the gun should set you up to future success too.
Where to get it?
Monument to Lost Lights kiosk in the Tower
Vex Mythoclast is a weird gun. It’s part Auto-Rifle, part Linear Fusion Rifle, however, it's actually neither. Instead, it's classed as a Fusion Rifle of all things. Whatever it is though, it's a great option in the Crucible.
For the most part, in PvP, you will be using the primary fire which acts like a very accurate, very powerful Auto-Rifle. However, you can get charges as you kill opponents. This allows you to change the fire mode into a Linear Fusion Rifle shot which can one hit kill some damaged Guardians.
Perhaps the biggest issue with Vex Mythoclast is that it's one of the hardest guns to get in the game. It's a random drop from the Atheon fight in the Vault of Glass, meaning you have to beat the Raid. Worse than that though, the drop rate is very low (with some estimates as low as 4%.) That means that not only will you have to do the Raid, you will likely have to do it a lot.
However, if you can get your hands on the Vex Mythoclast it can absolutely shred opponents. It suffered a recent nerf, but that’s only been a minor setback to its popularity.
Where to get it?
Atheon boss fight in Vault of Glass Raid
Auto rifles aren't tearing up the leaderboards, but they hold their own more so than other types of weapons. For some, Hand Cannons just don't gel with them, so a continually firing weapon is a better option.
If you are someone who loves auto rifles, you're going to going to want to spend some time in Trials this season. The Summoner has just been reintroduced into the Trials pool and it's got some great perk options this time around.
In terms of the third column, you probably want to check out Overflow so you can shoot through several Guardians in just one clip. You might also just want to go with Dynamic Sway Reduction too, an auto rifle's best friend, making it have a very controllable fire.
In the fourth column, Rampage is your best option. It will synergizes especially well with Overflow, allowing you to demolish Guardian after Guardian. Failing that, Rangefinder is also a fine perk, helping you secure kills from further away.
Where to get it?
Available through Trials of Osiris
Funnelweb and Shayura's Wrath
The Funnelweb isn't just tearing up the PvE weapon meta, but it's holding its own in PvP too.
Most primaries here are mid-range, however, there are other options out there. If you’d rather your primary to be more focused on close-quarters combat than either the Funnelweb or Shayura's Wrath are the choices for you.
Both guns have great PvP perks. Dynamic Sway Reduction, Killing Wind or Quick Draw with Kill Clip or Snapshot Sights is a great Crucible Shayura's Wrath.
For the Funnelweb, good PvP rolls could be Killing Wind or Perpetual Motion with Adrenaline Junkie or Rangefinder.
The key to using an SMG is to be wary of Shotguns. Those are all over the place in PvP and at very close range, you might find yourself dead before you can whittle down an enemy.
That said, there is a sweet spot that is out of reach of Shotgun users and before an SMG drops off. If you get used to playing instinctively at this range, you'll shred enemies faster than almost any other primary. It might take a little bit but if you can master playing in that range, you’ll tear apart opponents.
Where to get it?
Shayura's Wrath is from Trials. Funnelweb is a random World Drop.
Destiny 2 PvP weapons: best special weapons
Shoot with style and pack a punch full o'flair with these A-tier special weapons.
Change it up and give them a go to see which one works best with your preferred playstyle - after all, the sky's barely a limit in Destiny 2.
For now, it seems that the terror that had plagued PvP for years, the Felwinter's Lie, has finally been pushed off the top of the meta following recent nerfs. That doesn't mean that Shotguns are out though. In fact, they remain the most popular special weapon type.
The rising option is the Season of the Risen ritual weapon, Reckless Endangerment. Lightweight frame shotguns haven't always been the best in PvP but this one comes with a great set roll. You will likely want to select Perpetual Motion and Snapshot Sights (though a case could be made for Steady Hand being viable.) It's just generally a very snappy shotgun that will help you zip and zoom faster as a character. Sometimes it might take two shots rather than one to put someone down, but that comes with the territory of lightweight frames.
It's also easy to get too. All you need to do is reach level 16 in Crucible, Gambit, or Vanguard activities and you'll get the set roll. If you'd like a full breakdown, here's how to get the weapon.
If that isn't for you, elsewhere the Riiswalker and Seven Seraph CQC Shotguns are also performing well.
The Chaperone has always been great in PvP, but in recent months it has become excellent. It’s one of the most used Shotguns in the Crucible, and once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to see why. It's received a small nerf in the Witch Queen, but it has remained very viable.
When you think about a Shotgun, you think about close-quarter combat. Chaperone takes that runs. Really far. Chaperone fires a slug shot and if you hit someone in the head, it’s a direct kill.
That kill range is surprisingly far to start, making you a menace if you can get headshots. On top of that, once you get a precision kill, it procs the Roadborn Exotic Trait, which makes its kill distance extremely, extremely far for a Shotgun. So far, it may even be considered midrange.
If you are looking for a Shotgun with a little more flair (it makes a whip sound when you reload it, which is just very cool) and precision, the Chaperone will do you wonders. It will leave your opponents screaming, “what?!” as they are killed by a Shotgun five meters away.
Where to get it?
Complete the Blast from the Past quest
If a Shotgun isn’t your speed, or you want an answer to the hoards of Shotguns users, Fusion Rifles are a very viable option. In terms of the most popular ones out there, Main Ingredient is eating up the lion’s share of the meta. In fact, it's the single most used weapon in PvP. This is due to that pesky Xur selling two god rolls for the weapon in close succession, meaning a lot of people have it.
In terms of what you are looking for on Main Ingredient, unfortunately, its perk pool is pretty restrictive. The roll you are looking for comes with Under Pressure or Firmly Planted and Tap the Trigger.
Fusion Rifles are great at securing kills from mid-range and thus are a good counter to Shotguns. If you see someone rushing you, just charge your bolts up and let rip. Plug One is a very decent alternative to Main Ingredient too, which is good as Main Ingredient is a random world drop which makes grinding for it hard.
Where to get it?
Random World Drop or weapon vendors
Lorentz Driver was introduced in Season of the Lost and has hovered around the top of the meta ever since. The Exotic is an extremely powerful ranged weapon, that has the potential to kill not just who you are shooting but other enemies close to them.
Lorentz Driver is a special ammo Linear Fusion Rifle that can easily one-hit-crit any Guardian in Crucible. It has a charge up time, but is generally much easier to use than a Sniper due to heavy aim assist. What’s more though, Lorentz Driver has multi-kill potentially. Killing someone with a headshot will create a ‘suck’ where they died. This will drag other Guardians into it, pulling them out of cover, before exploding, often killing them.
For maps that allow range, it can take over. You just need to get used to the cadence of playing at the Lorentz’s optimal range, and staying alive if anyone gets too close. Pairing it with something like an SMG for Guardians who do try to rush you is probably a great idea.
Where to get it?
Season of the Lost Battle Pass
Destiny 2 PvP weapons: Best heavy weapons
If you're looking to truly tear up the Crucible with something a bit bigger than a standard rifle, look no further than our picks of the best heavy-duty weaponry in the game.
Gjallarhorn (or any Rocket Launchers)
Heavy Weapons aren’t an enormous consideration in PvP simply because they are only up periodically and only if you get to them before other Guardians. However, you can never go wrong with a Rocket Launcher. Their ability to almost guarantee one or two kills from a distance makes them awesome. No aiming, just point in a general direction and shoot.
Gjallarhorn is a great option right now, as it’s easily attainable. Its Wolf Pack Rounds mean that even after the explosion, if near-by Guardians managed to avoid the blast, the tracking modules afterwards should secure the kill. The Wardcliff Coil is also a great choice as its scattershot nature makes it almost impossible to avoid.
But honestly, most any Rocket Launcher will do. If you have a couple to choose from, one with Cluster Bomb or a high Blast Radius will do just nicely. Take your pick. Destiny has plenty of Rocket Launchers that will do the job.
Where to get it?
Complete the And Out Fly the Wolves quest
Reed’s Regret is an excellent choice if you want something a little more precision-based in your loadout. It’s a one-hit kill on headshots and you get a reasonable about of ammo meaning you can stretch a Heavy Ammo Brick further than other Power Weapon options.
Reed’s Regret is attainable in Trials, which can be a pain, but if you are looking to get better at PvP anyways, it’s worth throwing yourself against the competitive waves to hone your skills.
Thankfully, the best thing about Reed’s Regret is that in PvP, there isn’t really a roll you need. Something like Quick Draw and Rampage would be ideal, but almost any combination of the perks is fine. A headshot with one Reed’s Regret will kill a Guardian just as much as another.
Where to get it?
Trials of Osiris
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Patrick Dane is TechRadar Gaming's Guides Editor. With nearly a decade in the games press, he's been a consistent voice in the industry. He's written for a plethora of major publications and travelled the world doing it. He also has a deep passion for games as a service and their potential to tell evolving stories. To wit, he has over 2000 hours in Destiny 2, over 1000 in Overwatch and is now deeply into Valorant.