Finding the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2 is a complicated process. It often depends on the mode you’re playing, the enemies you’re facing, and even specific perks to make a weapon useful. That doesn’t mean there aren’t weapons out there that will get the job done no matter what you’re doing.
You just need to know which weapons are currently best for playing Destiny 2 PvE.
Best PvE Weapons in Destiny 2
Beyond Light and Season of the Hunt has led to a giant drop of new weapons and a slight overhaul to the overall weapon meta. In many ways, it resembles the status of Crucible, but with a few unique differences.
Right now, you can expect a balanced use of auto rifles, pulse rifles, and hand cannons, especially long-range Kinetic options. SMG’s and shotguns round out the lineup and serve as natural compliments to more accurate primary weapons.
Best PvE Kinetic Weapons Destiny 2
Kinetic weapons can be incredible DPS options to either lay into powerful enemies or wipe out smaller ADS. Stick with options that leverage high fire rates and unique perks to stack damage.
1. No Time to Explain
One of the best PvE Exotic weapons Destiny 2
A so-so pulse rifle from the original Destiny that has been reinvented as a highly effective Exotic.
Why is it one of the best? We’ve mentioned No Time to Explain in both our best PvP and best pulse rifles list. It’s that good and works most effectively as a PvE weapon.
Thanks to the stasis benefits and perk combos, you can turn this pulse rifle into a highly accurate full-auto weapon with additional surrounding damage thanks to the Time Slip perk. Aim for precision damage after laying out a stasis grenade or melee attack to keep your clip full and take out waves of enemies without breaking a sweat.
How do I get it? Finish the Beyond Light campaign or purchase the expansion option that includes it as a pre-order perk.
2. False Promises
One of the best PvE Legendary weapons Destiny 2
A weapon that stays true to its name and acts more like a highly effective pulse rifle rather than your standard auto rifle.
Why is it one of the best? If you’re going to use an auto rifle in your kinetic slot, False Promises is your best option. This slow-firing auto rifle is best when rolled with the Swashbuckler and Overflow perks, which allows you to just keep firing. This helps offset the lower impact and take advantage of the greater range to continuously land precision damage and chip away at more powerful enemies.
Killing Wind or Eye of the Storm perk rolls can also do the same thing for you but with a slightly better boost to accuracy.
How do I get it? Acquire it with a Pyramid-Focused Umbral-Engram or Rifle Focused Umbral Engram.
3. Dire Promise
The best Legendary hand cannon for PvE in Destiny 2
A high-intensity hand cannon that provides impressive damage at a lightning-fast firing rate.
Why is it one of the best? An excellent replacement for those that don’t care for auto or pulse rifles, the Dire Promise is built for massive damage and speed. Unfortunately, the kick can hurt your ability to consistently maintain damage, but this can be offset with the Steady Hands perk and High Calibur Rounds. You’ll also want to look for the Overflow perk to expand your clip to an astonishing twenty-two shots.
How do I get it? Acquire it through random Legendary Engram drops.
4. Cold Denial
The best Legendary pulse rifle for PvE in Destiny 2
A surprisingly consistent pulse rifle thanks to the deep perk pool.
Why is it one of the best? What do you get when you combine the zoom of a hand cannon with the slow, powerful shots of a pulse rifle? The Cold Denial, which can be further augmented with the Extended Barrel and Richocet Rounds perks. You’ll be able to accurately layout a ton of damage, thanks to the lighter zoom while allowing any missed shots to still do some damage against large groups. Just be sure to have a faster short-range weapon to use alongside it.
How do I get it? Acquire it through random Legendary Engram drops.
5. Monte Carlo
The best Exotic auto rifle for PvE in Destiny 2
A fan favorite has returned and now takes full advantage of the stasis sub-class.
Why is it one of the best? Stasis is the best thing to happen to the Monte Carlo in almost a year. It allows you to stack damage against frozen enemies and easily refill your melee ability to do it all over again. Just know that if you don’t play stasis and don’t have armor mods to amp up the auto rifle impact, you’re better off using something else. The low impact just isn’t enough to take down more powerful enemies.
How do I get it? Acquire it through random Exotic Engram drops.
Best PvE Energy Weapons Destiny 2
Energy weapons have long been among the best PvE weapons Destiny 2 has to offer. Let’s take a look at the top options around.
1. Gnawing Hunger
The best Legendary auto rifle for PvE in Destiny 2
An auto rifle with perk varieties that can be rolled to favor your specific playstyle.
Why is it one of the best? This auto rifle has fairly solid base stats thanks to the adaptive frame, which makes it a well-rounded option even without the perks. Still, what makes this weapon so useful is the ability to either extend the magazine, eliminate recoil, or overpower your grenade regeneration.
You can use it as a middling crowd control weapon, allow yourself to spam grenades or focus on range and impact to turn it into a pulse rifle variation. It’s up to you, and if you have multiple variations available, you can easily complement your primary weapon choice.
How do I get it? This is part of the world loot pool and can be acquired through random Legendary Engram drops from most activities
2. Stars In Shadow
The best Legendary pulse rifle for PvE in Destiny 2
Take on powerful enemies from a distance with this meticulous and robust pulse rifle option.
Why is it one of the best? Similar to the Cold Denial, Stars in Shadow is handy thanks to the deep perk pool. It starts as an effective long-range weapon with decent stopping power and stability. But with a combination of Kill Clip and either Genesis, Thresh, or Demolitionist, you can build out your Guardian to produce increased damage and replenish specific core abilities. Focus on which abilities you use the most and aim to claim those rolls.
How do I get it? Acquire it as a random Legendary Engram drop from playing Crucible.
The best hand cannon for PvE in Destiny 2
A precise, rapid-fire weapon that encourages fast-paced gunplay.
Why is it one of the best? The Posterity serves as one of the most powerful base stat hand cannons in the game. It also proves to be one of the most versatile, working in almost every game mode thanks to the effective stopping power and handling. You’ll want to roll for Reconstruction, Rampage, and Tactical Mag to boost your damage and raise your core stats even further, allowing you to lean into the well-rounded nature of this hand cannon.
How do I get it? Defeat the boss in the Deep Stone Crypt Raid or revisit the two secret chests on subsequent playthroughs.
4. First In, Last Out
The best shotgun for PvE in Destiny 2
An effective single-shot weapon viable for both precision and run-and-gun gameplay.
Why is it one of the best? This isn’t your standard shotgun. The range and stability are second to none and don’t diminish your damage output. The only drawback is the reload speed and single-shot mechanic, which makes it effective against powerful enemies, but difficult to manage large groups. You can remedy this by rolling an option with the Surrounded perk and autoloading holster to make switching between this weapon far more effective. Try to choose a kinetic weapon with a greater fire rate to complement the slow but high damage of this shotgun.
How do I get it? Acquire it through random Legendary or Umbral Engram drops.
The best Exotic hand cannon for PvE in Destiny 2
Manage large groups of enemies by burning them up.
Why is it one of the best? Any weapon that causes elemental damage after being hit is a great option in PvE. The more long-term damage you can cause, the easier it is to manage more enemies or chip away at powerful opponents. Work to defeat enemies with precision damage to activate explosive finishers and look for any opportunity to improve your hand cannon accuracy with armor mods.
How do I get it? Acquire it by completing the Red War campaign.
Best PvE Power Weapons Destiny 2
Rocket launchers were once the go-to option for PvE. The low AOE damage with the latest meta changes makes them obsolete, with machine guns, grenade launchers, and even swords becoming the Destiny 2 best PvE power weapons.
The best machine gun for PvE in Destiny 2
First up we have Xenophage, one of the destiny 2 best heavy weapons for pve. This is a a strangely accurate and hard-hitting machine gun with explosive rounds that’ll incinerate Cabal, Fallen, Vex, and Hive with ease.
Why is it one of the best? Thanks to the continuous damage and accuracy buffs to machine guns, the Xenophage has slowly turned into one of the best power weapon options out there. The large magazine lets you deal out an almost neverending rain of mid-DPS offset by how consistently you’ll land shots. This makes every hit with an explosive round far more useful and the weapon far more deadly than the higher DPS machine guns out there.
How do I get it? Acquire it as a random Exotic Engram drop.
2. Falling Guillotine
The best sword for PvE in Destiny 2
Looking for the best Hunter PvE weapons to use in Destiny 2? Whether you’re a blade-wielding Hunter or just a Warlock with a vengeance, spinning is an excellent sword trick that lays out consistent damage. And the Falling Guillotine does it best.
Why is it one of the best? This sword is all about getting up close and personal to layout consistent damage. Try to roll Honed Edge to increase your damage output, Swordmaster’s Guard to improve the charge time, and Whirlwind Blade to boost your spin attack. The spin attack is really what makes this weapon so useful, allowing you to bounce enemies to a safe distance if things get too hairy.
How do I get it? Acquire it by reaching rank 30 on the Season of the Hunt Season Pass.
3. Salvation’s Grip
The best grenade launcher for PvE in Destiny 2
The first weapon to channel stasis energy, and man, it’s so good.
Why is it one of the best? This grenade launcher functions like no other in Destiny 2. Your DPS with this weapon won’t quite match up with other solid grenade launchers, but it makes up for this by reflecting your stasis abilities. That’s right — this grenade launcher freezes enemies in stasis crystals, which can be expanded by charging the weapon.
It only makes me wish there was a legendary weapon with the same damage loop of No Time to Explain that could benefit from the stasis production. In the meantime, focus on using shotguns and pulse rifles that can quickly shred through the crystals you create.
How do I get it? Acquire it by completing the Beyond Light campaign and the Stasis Prototype Exotic questline.
Focus On Collecting
PvE is designed for experimentation, and it takes time to acquire the best PvE weapons Destiny 2. Use what you have on hand, and keep grinding those raids to acquire ever-better weapons. It’s the looter shooter way.
Also, be sure to share this guide on the best PvE weapons Destiny 2 offers with your fireteam so you can develop cohesive weapon combinations, and for more Destiny 2 guides like this one, be sure to subscribe to our email list.
Gnawing Hunger from a random exotic engram drop huh…….somebody copy and pasted and doesnt play the game lol
Hey Cody! Appreciate you catching that error and it’s now been updated. I tend to duplicate earlier sections when writing articles to streamline formatting and completely missed updating how to actually get Gnawing Hunger. You’d think the Purple Legendary Banner on the image would’ve clued me in that I hadn’t changed it yet but unfortunately missed it this time lol. Thanks for reading and for keeping me honest there!