There’s just something about the Hunter class that makes it incredibly popular among the Destiny community. Maybe it’s the slick armor sets, charming personality (pour one out for Cayde), or the elusive but precise playstyle. In any case, they’re fast-moving masters of the blade and six-shooter and truly feel like the embodiment of a space cowboy.
Thankfully for the Hunter mains out there, they’re not all style. There’s plenty of substance in the Hunter subclasses to make them powerful threats in PvE and the Crucible. But which is the Destiny 2 best Hunter subclass?
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Every Hunter Subclass Ranked
Like the Titan and Warlock, the Hunter has some incredibly powerful and some ridiculously useless subclass options. Out of all the classes, they typically get hit hardest with any meta changes, including the recent implementation of Stasis. So, what is the Destiny 2 best Hunter subclass? Let’s explore every Hunter subclass ranked to find out.
10. Way of the Current — Arcstrider Subclass
- Tempest Strike: After sliding, unleash a devastating uppercut.
- Ebb and Flow: Hit a target with an Arc ability to electrify them. Successfully meleeing electrified enemies disorients them and grants grenade, melee, and dodge energy.
- Lightning Weave: Melee hits greatly increase weapon reload speed.
- Whirlwind Guard: While wielding your Arc Staff, deflect incoming projectiles and triple Arc Staff damage for a short time.
Way of the Current is an unfortunate case where a subclass is decent but overshadowed by literally every other ability a Hunter can wield. The ranged melee and alternate Super ability make for an interesting combination that promotes ranged play and defense. But they can be difficult to execute, and the inherent abilities simply don’t provide enough support to boost their output.
It’s a valiant attempt at an alternate for Arcstrider, but it misses the mark and puts you at a disadvantage if used against other Guardians. Unless you want more defensive abilities, this should be left untouched in PvE encounters as well.
What’s it best for? PvE. There’s nothing wrong with this subclass, but there are just far better options for encounters, making this only relatively useful in PvE.
9. Way of a Thousand Cuts — Gunslinger Subclass
- Knife Trick: Throw flaming knives that burn targets.
- The Burning Edge: While enemies burn, your dodge ability recharges faster.
- Playing With Fire: Destroying burning enemies speeds up the recharge rate of Knife Trick.
- Blade Barrage: Vault into the air and unleash a volley of Solar-charged explosive knives.
Knives and gunslinging define the personality of a Hunter. Those two things don’t necessarily work well together, especially if the majority of your abilities seem to forget that firing a weapon exists. In many ways, this melee-centric ability-set seems like an attempt to balance out the introduction of the range-based Way of the Current, and it finds similarly so-so results.
Sure, the melee abilities do work well together. But the lack of benefit it provides Blade Barrage (which is excellent, by the way) is somewhat limiting. Now, if your melee kills also recharged your Super, that would be a different story.
What’s it best for? PvE and Gambit. This subclass is perfect for getting up close and clearing out hordes of minor enemies.
8. Way of the Outlaw — Gunslinger Subclass
- Proximity Explosive Knife: Throw a knife that buries into a surface upon impact and explodes when detecting a nearby enemy.
- Chains of Woe: Precision kills increase weapon reload speed for you and nearby allies.
- Deadshot: Significantly improves your targeting ability with Golden Gun.
- Six-Shooter: Golden Gun can be fired rapidly up to 6 times and refunds a bullet with each kill.
This is the subclass that makes you feel like you’re the anti-hero in a space western. The Six-Shooter Super allows you to fire your Golden Gun in a wide spread and nail precision damage thanks to Deadshot. Throw in your detonating throwing knife and ability to increase your reload speed with precision kills (both weapon and ability), and you have yourself an accurate but explosive subclass to run with.
The only drawback here is that the actual damage caused by your abilities is relatively low. And precision kills lack any real benefit to damage output. An inherent perk or buff would go a long way in bringing Way of the Outlaw back into the fray, but for now, it’s just a fun experience for low-level encounters.
What’s it best for? Low-level PvE and Crucible. This is a fun subclass to run for skilled players but shouldn’t be used for top-tier or competitive encounters.
7. Way of the Warrior — Arcstrider Subclass
- Combination Blow: Kill an enemy with this melee ability to regenerate health and temporarily increase melee damage.
- Combat Flow: Melee kills recharge your Dodge ability.
- Deadly Reach: Dodging increases your melee range, allowing you to lunge further to strike enemies.
- Lethal Current: After dodging, each Arc Staff hit creates an AOE lightning aftershock.
Way of the Warrior serves as the better melee-based Arcstrider subclass. While melee kills and attacks still create this synergistic effect between abilities, the improved dodging, health regeneration, and increased range actually make them usable in combat. You can also stack your damage and health regeneration, meaning that your melee ability can kill stronger enemies as long as you’re able to finish off a few minor ADS first.
Unfortunately, like Way of a Thousand Cuts, the focus on melee still limits the use of this subclass. The dodge abilities and increased range for both your melee and Super are excellent, but they simply don’t benefit each other.
What’s it best for? PvE. The melee focus is again somewhat limiting, but it’s still a fun option for low-to-mid-tier PvE activities.
6. Way of the Trapper — Nightstalker Subclass
- Snare Bomb: Throw a Smoke Bomb that sticks to surfaces and, once detonated, will slow and disorient nearby enemies.
- Keen Scout: Sprint and sneak faster, and gain an enhanced tracker.
- Deadfall: The Void Anchors fired from Shadowshot become traps that can be fired from an increased range and last longer.
- Vanishing Step: Dodging makes you vanish for a short time
Way of the Trapper truly makes you a hunter. Every ability is designed around stalking your prey, executing fast but silent kills, and entrapping your enemies in a Void-tinged snare. It takes the best of the Nightstalker subclass and turns it into an all-in-one and easy-to-use ability set.
The only drawback is that this was once an incredibly powerful subclass that has been balanced into oblivion. The other Nightstalker subclasses simply provide greater specialty and overall damage output rather than toeing the line between being elusive and powerful..
What’s it best for? PvE and Gambit. This is the perfect subclass for crowd control and halting Major enemies in their tracks, but lacks value for PvP.
5. Way of the Wind — Arcstrider Subclass
- Disorienting Blow: Strike an enemy with this melee ability to disorient them and nearby enemies.
- Focused Breathing: Sprinting recharges your dodge ability and increases maximum sprint speed.
- Combat Meditation: While critical, melee and grenade abilities recharge at a rapid rate.
- Lightning Reflexes: Dodging makes you harder to kill.
Way of the Wind feels like it’s modeled after the core ability set of the Titan Arc subclasses, but with a good injection of Hunter elusiveness. It encourages you to play aggressively, makes you incredibly fast, and throws in some excellent dodge functionality to keep you out of harm’s way. Even when you get in trouble, it boosts ability regeneration to get you back into the fight.
Unfortunately, your speed does sacrifice power — any lengthy or difficult PvE encounters will be frustrating unless you’re playing the survivor role. However, this is an excellent option for PvP and can present you as a frustratingly difficult enemy to hit.
What’s it best for? Crucible. Being fast and hard to hit is key for succeeding in the Crucible. And the ability regeneration ensures you’re always ready to face an incoming Guardian.
4. Way of the Wraith — Nightstalker Subclass
- Flawless Execution: With full health, precision kills grant invisibility, true sight, and increased melee range.
- Shattering Strike: After performing a Flawless Execution, your melee attacks weaken enemies.
- Corrosive Smoke: Throw a smoke bomb that slows enemies and damages them over time.
- Spectral Blades: Summon a pair of deadly void blades and sneak up on enemies using Veil of Shadows. Execute light attacks or heavy attacks that allow you to return to being invisible.
Way of the Wraith hits that balance of elusiveness and power so much better than the Trapper subclass. It encourages you to play a bit safer and rewards you for successful precision kills by giving you an advantage against enemies up close. The combination of invisibility with a corrosive smoke bomb can be deadly in the right hands.
Then there’s you super, which is arguably one of the most easily executable abilities in the game. Any time you’re in danger of going out, you can simply leverage a heavy attack to go invisible. Landing hits can be difficult with this ability, making it less useful in PvE encounters, but the tight environments in Crucible make it incredibly useful for PvP.
What’s it best for? PvP and Gambit. Your Super and precision buffs make this the Destiny 2 best Hunter subclass for PvP encounters.
3. Way of the Sharpshooter — Gunslinger Subclass
- Weighted Knife: Throw a knife that deals extra precision damage and replenishes your melee with successful kills.
- Practice Makes Perfect: Each precision hit reduces the cooldown of your Super.
- Knock ‘Em Down: Precision kills increase weapon stability and handling. Your Super also does more damage when this buff is active.
- Line’ Em Up: Execute precision damage with your Golden Gun. Precision hits generate Orbs of Light, increase its damage and extend its duration.
Way of the Sharpshooter is the old reliable of Destiny 2 subclasses. It’s well balanced, easy to use, and incredibly precise (hence the name). And unlike some of the other melee-focused abilities, this subclass actually benefits your Super and weapon handling, which is a much-needed benefit over going in with your fists.
Speaking of your Super, the Line’ Em Up and Knock ‘Em Down work perfectly together to land precision hits. These in turn help recharge abilities, buff weapon damage, or expand the duration of your Super. All of this makes for a subclass that feels formidable and viable for almost any type of encounter.
What’s it best for? PvE, Gambit, and Crucible. The precision, ability regeneration, and well-balanced nature of this subclass make it useful for every game mode.
2. Way of the Pathfinder — Nightstalker Subclass
- Vanish in Smoke: Throw a Smoke Bomb that makes you and nearby allies invisible. It also provides the Heart of the Pack buff that grants increased weapon speed and increases mobility, recovery, and resilience.
- Lockdown: Grenade effects last twice as long.
- Combat Provision: Damaging enemies with grenades regenerates your melee ability. Making allies invisible regenerates your grenade energy.
- Moebius Quiver: Fire Shadowshot multiple times in rapid succession and deal massive damage against tethered enemies that spawn Orbs of Light and grant nearby allies the Heart of the Pack buff if eliminated.
Way of the Pathfinder has had quite the glow-up over the last few years. What was once a subpar ability set has shifted into a support subclass that can provide both evasive abilities to your team as well as powerful enemy-clearing grenade and Super execution. And the real benefit is that using either of these abilities will regenerate your melee or grenade, which starts the cycle all over again.
This is genuinely the best subclass for working with a Fireteam. Your Super alone actively generates Orbs of Light, grants an incredible buff, and tethers enemies in place. This does limit its viability in PvP unless you’re running with a well-coordinated squad, but it does make for one of the best offensive and defensive ability sets in any other game mode.
What’s it best for? PvE and Gambit. Anytime you need to take on vast hordes of minor enemies, this subclass can help you do that.
1. Revenant — Stasis Subclass
- Silence and Squall: Create Stasis Kama blades. The first is thrown towards enemies to freeze them in place. The second is thrown and detonates on impact to create a Stasis storm that targets nearby enemies.
- Withering Blade: Wield sharp-edged shuriken that bounces off multiple foes, damaging and slowing them.
Ah, Stasis — the fantastic loop of freezing, shattering, and freezing all over again. Like the Titan’s Stasis abilities, Revenant promotes this loop while letting you shoot across the map toward your enemies. In many ways, this subclass feels like the natural evolution of Hunter melee abilities. Yes, there’s still a focus on direct combat, but the option to freeze and shatter opponents makes it far less risky.
On top of that, you actually get beneficial long-range attacks that allow you to capitalize on them up close. Whether it’s stalling a large group of enemies and diving in to shatter them or allowing your shurikens and Stasis storm to gradually damage enemies, you have plenty of options. What’s even better is once you have specific Aspects and Fragments unlocked, you can customize your ability set to play like Stasis versions of other Hunter abilities.
All in all, Stasis is an excellent addition that brings some of the experimentation with Hunter subclasses clearly into view. It will likely remain a top option for a long, long time.
What’s it best for? PvE, PvP, and Gambit. Stasis abilities are still overpowered and present an excellent opportunity to square up on your enemies and take them down with cold precision and damaging AOE. Without a doubt, the Destiny 2 best Hunter subclass for PvE.
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Playing as the Destiny 2 best Hunter subclass means you have the power to back up all that swagger. Be sure to let the Hunter main in your Fireteam know which ability set they should be running by sharing this article on your favorite social channels. And for the latest on Destiny 2, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.