Scout rifles in Destiny 2 are one of the best primary options for ranged damage. In addition to being a strong general option, they’re also great for stunning Champions when they have a mod for it. Scout rifles are a multi-purpose weapon in Destiny 2, meaning they can be used for a ton of activities. Over the last year or so we’ve seen scout rifles rise in popularity due to their great synergies with new content, so let’s take a look at the best of the best.
There are tons of unique options for scout rifles, from legendary weapons to Exotics. So what are the best scout rifles in Destiny 2?
Best Destiny 2 Scout Rifles
We’ll start with the best and work our way down for this list. All of these are great choices for at least one type of activity, if not all of them!
The best Solar Scout Rifle
Why is it one of the best? Staccato-46 might not be flashy at all, but it has incredible perks, great base stats, and it’s a Solar weapon so it synergizes well with Solar builds. The best perk rolls are Explosive Payload or Incandescent and Triple Tap or Outlaw. Explosive/Triple Tap is the best for difficult content where you plan on laying into Champions or other strong enemies. Incandescent/Outlaw is great for easier content where you can more reliably get precision kills.
This is the ultimate scout rifle for PVE content right now, and unless something major changes it’ll probably stay that way for a while. If you’re looking for the best scout rifle perks along with build synergies, this should be just what you’re looking for.
What’s it good for? PVE is the best place for Staccato-46, but it’s not horrible in PVP.
How do I get it? World Drop.
2. Long Arm
The best Scout Rifle for hip-firing
Why is it one of the best? This is the best Scout Rifle for PVP in Destiny 2. It strongly resembles the Exotic, Dead Man’s Tale, in both appearance and feel. It’s a classic old west rifle, modified with the Arc energy from Spire of the Watcher. The best PVP roll is Hip-Fire Grip and either Explosive Payload or Opening Shot. Since this weapon’s origin trait gives it bonuses on hip-fire kills, this perk line-up allows you to take advantage of that easiest.
For PVE, Long Arm is also one of the strongest picks. Explosive Payload and Rapid Hit is a great PVE combo, as is Explosive/Wellspring with the right builds. If you like the feel of this weapon, it’s a great tool to use in any content. The hip-firing can take some getting used to, but it’s incredibly fun once you get the hang of it.
What’s it good for? You can use Long Arm anywhere.
How do I get it? Spire of the Watcher dungeon
3. Doom of Chelchis
The best Void Scout Rifle
Why is it one of the best? Doom of Chelchis looks awesome, drops from one of the best raids, and shreds enemies just like any Scout Rifle should. It’s another precision frame weapon, and it has similar perks to Staccato-46. The best roll for Doom of Chelchis is either Dragonfly or Frenzy in the last slot and Explosive Payload in the other. You can also get the very interesting combo of Firefly and Dragonfly at the same time on this weapon, which is certainly fun (even if it probably isn’t the best).
You really can’t go wrong with a good Doom of Chelchis roll. It’s the best Void Scout Rifle right now, so it really shines in Nightfall strikes with the right modifiers. Even if you prefer another Scout, you should keep one of these in the vault just in case.
What’s it good for? PVE.
How do I get it? King’s Fall raid
4. Dead Man’s Tale
The old west rifle
Why is it one of the best? Why is it one of the best? Dead Man’s Tale is legitimately one of the best playing and feeling Scout Rifles in Destiny history. This bolt-action Exotic is accurate to a fault, provides the option for quick two-bullet reloads, and packs enough power to take down Majors and Guardians alike with a few well-placed hits.
There’s also the fact that it’s one of only a couple Exotic weapons that has some randomized perks. In addition to its intrinsic trait and other static perks, Dead Man’s Tale has one slot that rolls randomly each time. Unfortunately, since Xur is the only way to get this weapon right now, it can’t be farmed traditionally. However, since Xur’s roll is random each week, you can still get the god roll you want with a little bit of luck.
What’s it good for? PVP and Gambit.
How do I get it? Xur.
Everyone’s trusty Scout Rifle
Why is it one of the best? Trustee is an obvious choice for this list. Let this archetype sink in — a Solar rapid-fire frame Scout Rifle. Sounds like it’ll shred, right? Then throw in the possibility of rolling the Reconstruction and Incandescent perks. With those two combined you can mow through enemies while rarely ever having to reload.
Combined with the excellently balanced base stats, these perks take advantage of what makes Scout Rifles so strong. The Trustee is accurate, fast, and equipped with a deep clip that lets you work through mobs and quickly transition to larger enemies. It’s not as useful in Crucible, but it’s a decent mid-range option if you want to run with a scout rifle. There are definitely better Crucible-oriented scout rifles though.
What’s it good for? PVE.
How do I get it? Deep Stone Crypt raid.
6. Hung Jury SR4
One of the strongest kinetic Scout Rifles
Why is it one of the best? Hung Jury is another precision frame option with an incredible fire rate. Now that it’s been updated to include an origin trait, it’s even better than before. Hung Jury is one of the most efficient Scout Rifles thanks to its incredible perk pool, in addition to its base stats. The newest edition of Hung Jury brings another new perk–Kinetic Tremors. With Kinetic Tremors, landing multiple shots will emit a burst of AOE damage. Combine that with Rapid Hit and you have an incredible Kinetic scout rifle.
Since this weapon drops from Nightfall strikes, it’s nice that it’s a great pick for that kind of content as well. You can get one of these from a Nightfall strike, then go right back into another one with it. It’s easily one of the best scout rifles for the hardest content in the game.
What’s it good for? PVE.
How do I get it? Nightfall Strikes.
7. Polaris Lance
An essential Scout Rifle for Solar builds
Why is it one of the best? The Polaris Lance is what scout rifles used to be. A weapon built for mid-to-long distance attacks that rewards you for accuracy. Land four precision hits in a row and send your enemies an explosive surprise with a small AoE attack. It also has the Zen Moment perk, further adding to your accuracy as you do damage, and the ability to apply Dragonfly once Masterworked.
The fact that it’s so traditional has often left this weapon out in the cold, but it holds up surprisingly well despite how different it feels. Keep it at the ready to help you face major enemies in PVE whenever you need a Scout Rifle that synergizes well with your Solar builds.
What’s it good for? PVE, especially with Solar builds.
How do I get it? Exotics Archive at the Tower.
8. Vision of Confluence
A well-balanced and reliable Scout Rifle for both PVE and PVP
Why is it one of the best? Vision of Confluence might be in desperate need of an update, but it’s still a surprisingly strong pick. What makes this weapon actually useful is how well balanced it is combined with the excellent perk options. Rewind Rounds combined with Firefly or Disruption Break truly makes the most of this weapon’s focus on precision in PvE. While Tunnel Vision or Killing Wind combined with Kill Clip ensures you have a balance of damage buffs and further precision in PvP.
Sure, it’s a Raid weapon, meaning that getting the right roll is a lengthy process. It’s also not craftable and lacks an origin trait, so it has been power-crept a bit. But it’s still a solid choice, especially if you already have one sitting around in the vault. There’s also a Timelost version with improved stats that drops from the Master difficulty Vault of Glass raid.
What’s it good for? Anything where you might need good precision damage.
How do I get it? Vault of Glass raid.
Not flashy, but incredibly valuable
Why is it one of the best? There aren’t many high-impact frame Scout Rifles left in Destiny 2, as most were sunset years ago and not many have come out since they stopped sunsetting. Luckily, Perses-D carries the torch. It can roll with Explosive Payload and Rapid Hit, which is good on any PVE Scout Rifle. Since it’s a Stasis weapon, it can also roll with Headstone. This isn’t great on every build, but if you’re running Stasis it can become a core element.
Perses-D is a Scout that’s certainly worth using from time to time, even in difficult content. Now let’s just hope Bungie gives the archetype some attention so we can get some more of them.
What’s it good for? Difficult PVE content where you’ll need sustained damage.
How do I get it? World Drop.
10. Touch of Malice
The coolest Scout Rifle in the game
Why is it one of the best? It’s kind of sad that Touch of Malice isn’t higher on this list, as it’s the most unique weapon on this list by far. When Touch of Malice runs out of ammo, you can continue firing a more powerful shot at the cost of your own health. You can fire Touch of Malice infinitely, as long as you can survive it. This means it’s always been better on Warlocks, who can stand in a Rift or Well of Radiance while using it.
Unfortunately, the nature of this weapon makes it only really good for specific encounters. It’s great in the Oryx boss fight and similar extra long damage phases, but it doesn’t perform well in standard PVE or PVP content. It’s great to have for what it is good at, and because it’s cool, but we can’t put it much higher than this.
What’s it good for? Long, sustained DPS phases in PVE. For something like an Oryx boss fight, it’s a great primary DPS weapon. Warlocks also get a lot of value out of it since they can heal themselves with Rifts.
How do I get it? King’s Fall raid.
Destiny 2 Best Scout Rifle Mods
The best mods for scout rifles in Destiny 2 work to improve damage, accuracy, and reload speed. You can’t treat Scout Rifles like Sniper Rifles. Usually, you’ll need to stay on the move, taking enemies on from short-to-mid distance while also capitalizing on the long-range capabilities of Scouts. Here are the mods we recommend you try out. Let’s start with PVE:
- Major Spec: Deals extra damage against powerful enemies.
- Minor Spec: Deals extra damage against rank-and-file (weaker) enemies.
- Backup Mag: Increases magazine size.
- Freehand Grip: Increases accuracy and ready speed while firing from the hip. (Best on Long Arm)
And here are the best for PVP:
- Radar Tuner: Radar immediately returns when you stop aiming down sights.
- Freehand Grip. Increases accuracy and ready speed while firing from the hip.
- Sprint Grip. Temporarily increases the weapon’s ready speed and aim down sights speed after sprinting.
- Icarus Grip. Improves accuracy while airborne.
- Targeting Adjuster. This weapon gains better target acquisition.
Join the High Ground
Scout Rifles are a great weapon type in Destiny 2, especially if you know which to use. Make sure your fireteam knows which scout rifles to pick by sharing this article to your favorite social platform. For more Destiny 2 articles like this, be sure to sign-up for our email list.
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Update 4/1/21 – added Dead Man’s Tale to number 1 position and dropped Mida Multi-Tool to honorable mention
Update 10/20/21 — Vision of Confluence, Contingency Plan, Servant Leader, and Hung Jury SR 4 added to list.
Update 4/4/23 – Reworked the list to be up to date as of Season 20.