A PvP player is really only as good as the weapon they are using. While this may be a troubling sentiment for new PvP players, you don’t have to worry too much. Destiny 2 has plenty of powerful and competitive weapons that you can use while grinding out Bounties in The Crucible. We here at High Ground Gaming have compiled a weapon tier list for the best PvP options in Destiny 2 as of 2023!
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13 Best PVP Weapons in Destiny 2 Tier List
All of these weapons have been chosen based on their stats, traits, and popularity in The Crucible. Typically, weapons that have healing abilities, AoE effects, or subclass regenerating abilities tend to rank higher than weapons that lack such features. Another major factor for putting this tier list together was the Impact, Range, and Rounds Per Minute stat of each weapon.
The Impact stat is the amount of damage a weapon does, so high Impact often means a faster time to kill. It’s a similar case for Rounds Per Minute, as a higher one will enable you to hit an opponent with more bullets. However, this stat is often balanced out by having a low Impact stat.
Finally, we tried to include a good mix of both Legendary and Exotic weapons on this list since some weapons can be extremely rare or hard to obtain.
Note: Not all the weapons on this tier list get a description below. Most do, but some lower-ranked ones do not.
A Closer Look at the Best Destiny 2 PVP Weapons
Let’s talk about why exactly these are the best PVP weapons and how to get each one.
The best quick-fire hand cannon for PvP in Destiny 2
Why is it one of the best? This weapon excels in all the areas that matter – damage, range, stability, and reload speed. Having this weapon heal the user after getting a kill is also completely invaluable. That trait alone allows you to win multiple one-on-one fights back to back if you play your cards right. Once you consider the fact that Crucible is just a series of 1v1s and 1v2s, picking this weapon becomes a no-brainer.
Crimson is a 415 Rounds Per Minute hand canon with an impact stat of 92. All of its other stats are also pretty high as well. Its Exotic Perk is called Banned Weapon. This perk simply makes the weapon fire in three-round bursts. Cruel Remedy is this weapon’s Exotic Trait and heals the wielder each time they get a kill. This trait will also reload the weapon’s magazine whenever you land a precision kill.
How do I get it? Exotic Engrams or Xur.
Graviton Lance (S-Tier)
An incredible Void Pulse Rifle with equally great visual design
Why is it one of the best? Having great range, stability, and a strong AoE trait that spawns tracking projectiles makes this weapon an absolute monster in game modes like Control and even Gambit.
This weapon fires 300 Rounds Per Minute with a magazine size of 31. It has an impact stat of 29 and a stability stat of 100. The Exotic Perk for Graviton Lance is called Black Hole, which increases the damage and recoil of the second shot of a burst. This shot has no damage falloff. This weapon’s basic origin trait is Cosmology, which causes enemies killed by this weapon to detonate and spawn Void projectiles that track targets.
How do I get it? Exotic Engrams or Xur.
Ace of Spades (S-Tier)
The signature weapon of Destiny 2
Why is it one of the best? Ace of Spades is the definitive Hand Cannon. It’s a 140 Rounds Per Minute weapon with an impact stat of 84. This weapon’s recoil direction is 100 which makes landing successive headshots much easier.
The Exotic perk for this weapon is called Momento Mori, granting the weapon a few extra damage rounds whenever you reload after getting a kill. This perk also allows the player’s radar to remain active while aiming down sights.
Its legendary trait is Firefly, which grants increased reload speed to this weapon whenever you get precision kills with it. Precision kills with this weapon will also cause targets to explode, dealing solar damage to nearby enemies.
How do I get it? Exotic Archive at the Tower.
No Time to Explain (S-Tier)
We don’t have time to explain (it’s good though)
Why is it one of the best? No Time to Explain is an Exotic pulse rifle that deals non-elemental kinetic damage. This gun’s Exotic Perk is called Rewind Again, which returns ammo to the gun’s magazine when the user lands precision shots or shots against slowed/frozen enemies. This weapon also comes with the Feeding Frenzy trait, which increases the weapon’s reload speed each time you get a rapid kill with it. Its second trait is Time-Slip, which activates at 10 stacks of Rewind Again. This trait summons a portal next to the gun that shoots rounds from an alternate timeline. Precision hits will extend the portal’s duration.
This weapon allows you to do back-to-back firefights in The Crucible without needing to reload after every fight. After all, you should be aiming for precision shots against enemy Guardians at all times.
How do I get it? This weapon is given to the player by the Exo Stranger after completing the Beyond Light campaign. Players no longer need to own the deluxe edition of Beyond Light to obtain this weapon. You can also get the Exotic Catalyst for No Time to Explain via a quest from the Exo Stranger.
The Immortal (S-Tier)
One of the deadliest SMGs in the Crucible
Why is it one of the best? The Immortal is one of the most popular PvP weapons in the entire history of Destiny 2. This gun is a legendary kinetic submachine gun that fires Strand rounds. The Immortal has the aggressive frame archetype, which grants the weapon higher damage in exchange for higher recoil. This weapon also has some fairly terrifying stats with a 22 in impact and decent range, and it fires at 750 Rounds Per Minute.
The Immortal has three Basic Origin Traits but we only need to focus on one, that being Field Tested. This trait increases range, stability, handling, and reload speed after defeating targets or dealing damage with this weapon. There really isn’t much else to this one.
The Immortal is simply a gun with great stats, a powerful archetype, and good perk roll options. It kills quickly and efficiently, and at the end of the day, that’s all a Guardian needs to do well in The Crucible.
How do I get it? The Immortal can be earned by completing challenges in the Trials of Osiris, so if you want it, you’re gonna have to sweat for it.
Matador 64 (S-Tier)
A brutal powerhouse
Why is it one of the best? The Matador is a legendary shotgun that fires Arc energy shells. It has an impact stat of 80, a range stat of 72 (which is fairly high for a shotgun), and a magazine size of 5.
This weapon uses the precision frame archetype, which grants the weapon a more oval-shaped spread to its fired pellets. The spread is more in line with a Guardian’s body shape, making it much easier to land every pellet and therefore much easier to secure a kill.
This weapon has access to quite a few trait rolls, but the two most popular basic traits are Threat Detector and Opening Shot. Threat Detector increases reload speed, handling, and stability when enemies are in close proximity to one another. The second trait, Opening Shot, improves the weapon’s accuracy and range on the first shot you fire after aiming down sights.
How do I get it? Matador 64 can be obtained as a drop from the Grasp of Avarice dungeon (all encounters), so gather up a fire team and prepare for a grind.
Simple but effective in every way
Why is it one of the best? Rose is a legendary kinetic hand cannon. It has a respectable impact stat of 84 and a range stat of 43. Hand cannons tend to be a rather popular pick for PvP, and Rose is no exception – being one of the most picked hand cannons ever.
This weapon’s archetype is lightweight frame, granting improved handling and allowing you to move faster while the weapon is equipped. This weapon’s two recommended basic traits are Explosive Payload and Rapid Hit. Explosive Payload makes your weapon’s projectiles create an area-of-effect detonation on impact. Rapid Hit causes rapid precision hits to temporally increase your weapon’s stability and reload speed.
How do I get it? Competitive matches in the Crucible (although it’s currently not in the rotation as of Season 21).
The multi-kill Sniper Rifle
Why is it one of the best? Snipers have always been pretty strong in The Crucible due to their ability to one-shot or severely wound enemy Guardians from a distance. This sniper has the potential to damage or even outright kill multiple enemy Guardians in quick succession thanks to its perks.
Cloudstrike is an Exotic Sniper Rifle that shoots Arc energy bullets. This weapon’s standard Exotic Perk is called Mortal Polarity, which generates a lightning strike at a target’s location after landing a precision final blow. Landing multiple precision hits will trigger the Stormbringer perk and summon a lightning storm at the last point of impact.
This weapon’s catalyst can only be obtained as a random drop at the end of playlist activities. This includes Vanguard, Crucible, and Gambit. Cloudstrike’s Catalyst grants the weapon a new perk called Triple Tap. Triple Tap will return a round to the magazine when you land multiple precision shots and will increase the weapon’s handling by 25 points.
How do I get it? Empire Hunts.
For people who never stop running and never want to see another reload animation
Why is it one of the best? This weapon’s basic trait is Regenerative Motion, which reloads your weapon gradually while sprinting. In addition to that, it shoots 450 rounds per minute at an Impact rating of 29. It’s got decent range, good stability, and great handling.
This weapon’s Exotic Perk is called Overcharge Capacitor. It allows this weapon to build up electrostatic charges while sprinting, sliding, and firing your weapon. This charge increases the weapon’s reload speed and range. Getting final blows with this weapon while it’s charged causes an Arc explosion. Final blows from this fully charged weapon generate a blinding explosion.
How do I get it? Season 21 pass (free and paid sides).
Imperial Decree (A-Tier)
One of the best kinetic shotguns in Destiny 2
Why is it one of the best? Imperial Decree is a Legendary kinetic shotgun with an aggressive frame and great perk selection. This shotgun shoots 55 Rounds Per Minute and has an impact stat of 80.
Imperial Decree’s Basic Origin Trait is called To Excess. This trait grants you an increase to your Strength and Discipline stat for a moderate duration after you get a kill with full super energy available. This is great because your Guardian’s Melee and Grenade abilities are two of the most powerful tools available to you in the Crucible, so getting them back quickly can be an absolute game-changer.
How do I get it? Legendary Engrams and faction rank-up rewards.
Vigilance Wing (B-Tier)
The best Pulse Rifle for supporting your team (or carrying them)
Why is it one of the best? This pulse rifle provides advanced burst fire and a health regeneration perk built for Trials of Osiris. If a fireteam member goes down, you gain health, which can be crucial when coming down to the wire. This is only expanded in larger match sizes, which can turn you invincible for a few moments when your team goes down. The main drawback is the lower impact and damage output, making this better suited for tag-teaming than facing down enemies solo.
How do I get it? Exotic Engrams or Xur.
SUROS Regime (B-Tier)
A classic Auto Rifle that’s a blast to use
Why is it one of the best? It’s a tried and true death machine that has remained one of the best auto rifles around since it first dropped. Whether you’re running selective fire or full auto, SUROS Regime will mow down enemies as it gradually increases its firing speed. It’s one of those weapons that feels like cheating because of how good it feels to fire, especially when aiming down sights. It isn’t quite as powerful as it once was but is still so good to play alongside a strong, short-range shotgun.
How do I get it? Exotic Engrams or Xur.
Felwinter’s Lie (B-Tier)
The most annoying weapon to play against
Why is it one of the best? Felwinter’s Lie is the truest iteration of a shotgun that the Destiny team has ever produced. It has terrible range, but thanks to the perk options, it can be a one-shot weapon at any time. And with the shot package frame, it slowly spreads damage across your shot, meaning that your power hits harder than most and has the potential to one-shot beyond its range. It’s gotten it’s fair share of nerfs over the years to a point where it’s no longer the best shotgun in PVP, but it’s still a strong option.
How do I get it? Exotic Archive at the Tower (under the legacy gear section).
Join the High Ground
We hope you found our best PvP weapons in Destiny 2 guide helpful. Did we miss your favorite weapon to use in PvP? Be sure to drop a comment below. Thanks for your support and happy gaming!