Sidearms were a surprising addition to Destiny 2 but quickly evolved into one of the most-used weapon types in the game. They’re far more forgiving than hand cannons and pack a solid punch due to the number of bullets you can unleash on your opponents. Fast and great for firing both from the hip and when aiming down sights, it’s a reliable weapon that compliments everything.

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However, like every great weapon type in Destiny 2, there are a lot of options available. So, what is the best sidearm in Destiny 2?

12 Best Destiny 2 Sidearms

October 2021 Update: Sidearms have become the new go-to close-to-mid range weapon of choice. With Fusion Rifles shifting into a pure mid-to-long range, Shotguns becoming more unwieldy, and Hand Cannons holding place, now is the best time to start using a Sidearm. On top of those changes, most new entries are blazing fast almost rapid-fire options. We’ve added those to the list and switched a few Sidearms around to better reflect which types are winning out.

Here are our picks for the best sidearms in Destiny 2.

1. Peacebond

Destiny 2’s best Sidearm

Kody Wirth / High Ground Gaming

Why Is It One of the Best?

How is it that Peacebond just feels so good to use? This Legendary Stasis Sidearm has the same benefits as the other Stasis-infused weapons where you can effectively create a build-around Stasis for Pve and PvP. The difference is that it can also serve as an effective weapon all on its own.

With a three-round burst, you effectively get the speed of an SMG with the accuracy of a lightweight Hand Cannon. On top of that, you have plenty of excellent Perks to choose from, including Headstone if you want to lean further into Stasis AOE damage. Stasis aside, find opportunities to strengthen your targeting and reload speed to make this an excellent cleanup weapon alongside a long-range precision Secondary.

What’s It Good For?

PvE and PvP depending on the Perks you roll.

How Do I Get It?

Random drop from completing Iron Banner matches and decoding Engrams.

2. Traveler’s Chosen

The Destiny 2 best Exotic sidearm

Traveler's Chosen
Kody Wirth / High Ground Gaming

A classic weapon given the Exotic treatment.

Why is it one of the best? The inherent ability of this weapon is in its name. By stacking Gathering Light with each kill, you can decide to keep them and increase your base stats or spend them to replenish your class abilities. Five stacks will bring back 50% of your super, and holding three will amp up your aim assist, handling and reload speed to almost hacker-like levels.

It functions perfectly with the new Stasis subclass, making your ability to generate and shatter elements quicker and far more deadly. Just be sure to keep getting kills to make the most of it.

What’s it good for? PvE, PvP, and Gambit. The ability to make decisions on how to use its benefits make this a unique and deadly weapon.

How do I get it? It’s currently unavailable but will likely be purchasable from the Exotic kiosk during Season of the Chosen.

3. Brass Attacks 

Best Aggressive Sidearm

Kody Wirth / High Ground Gaming

Why Is It One of the Best?

The emergence of Brass Attacks during Season of the Chosen may have hinted at the direction this weapon archetype was headed. It serves as an excellent Aggressive Burst weapon that can function incredibly well without additional buffs. In short, it’s a high DPS option that does lack in accuracy but makes up for it with raw power.

What’s It Good For?

PvP and PvE. While the base benefits are best for PvE it can still be useful with the right roll for competitive play.

How Do I Get It?

Battlegrounds or focused Season of the Chosen Engrams.

4. A Swift Verdict

Kody Wirth / High Ground Gaming

The most consistent Sidearm

Why Is It One of the Best?

If speed isn’t your game, then accuracy is the next best thing. Honestly, the aim assist on A Swift Verdict puts it on par with some of the better Hand Cannons while still retaining somewhat better firing and stowing speeds. That’s only benefited further by how well-balanced the rest of the base stats are, making it a prime candidate for testing different Perk combos. 

To start, this weapon is best used for PvP play. If you can, you want to roll for any Perks that further boost your range and target acquisition, such as Rangefinder and Tunnel Vision. You can also go the other direction and try to balance out your overall handling while boosting damage output with Killing Wind and Kill Clip. The latter combo is likely better for PvE, but it still lacks enough of a punch to make it a true powerhouse outside for Crucible.

What’s It Good For?

It’s most useful for PvP where a more precise and consistent mid-range weapon can be incredibly useful.

How Do I Get It?

Random drop from the Prophecy Dungeon.

5. Devil’s Ruin

The Destiny 2 best energy sidearm

Devil's Ruin
Kody Wirth / High Ground Gaming

The linear fusion rifle of sidearms.

Why is it one of the best? Devil’s Ruin leverages fantastic handling and virtually no kick to make up for middling damage and poor reload speed. This comes in handy when utilizing its alt-firing mode, which eats up your current clip in exchange for a constant beam of energy emanating from the firearm — perfect for taking down enemy shields or an overzealous Guardian. With extended ammo and increased reload speed armor mods, you can quickly follow-up with a handful of standard headshots to finish the job.

What’s it good for? PvE and PvP. The variable fire options make it perfect for weakening enemies and ending them in a few taps.

How do I get it? Acquire it as a random Exotic Engram drop.

6. Drang

The Destiny 2 best long-range sidearm

Drang
Kody Wirth / High Ground Gaming

An Earth artifact, but make it fashion.

Why is it one of the best? Drang was initially a sleek looking weapon that played terribly. Over time, it’s benefited from updates to become an excellent long-range sidearm that includes the ability to stack multiple damage buffs. 

To get the most out of this weapon, you’ll want to run it with Sturm. By getting kills with Drang, you can immediately switch over to Sturm to land hits with an overflow damage round. Getting kills with Sturm then does the same for Drang, making for an endless combination of damage if you’re able to switch fast enough.

Besides this unique relationship, it also has an excellent perk pool. We recommend aiming for Disruption Break and Rampage to take further advantage of switching between weapons.

What’s it good for? PvE, PvP, and Gambit. Running the Sturm/Drang combo allows for a crazy damage output that quickly removes shields to make enemies far more vulnerable.

How do I get it? Complete the “My Captain” quest on Nessus.

7. Punching Out

A true rapid-fire Sidearm

Kody Wirth / High Ground Gaming

Why Is It One of the Best?

Punching Out may be one of the easiest weapons to unlock over and over again. Thankfully, it’s also a Rapid Fire Frame making it a perfect option based on the current weapons meta. The only drawback is that is one of those weapons that includes virtually every Perk under the sun, making it difficult to land on the ones you want. 

If you’re willing to grind some Vanguard activities, or just wait patiently, then try to roll for damage and capacity Perks like Overflow and Kill Clip. If you want to leverage this for PvP, look for combinations that grant greater stability and balance your stats including Rangefinder, Elemental Capacitor, or even Encore. 

What’s It Good For?

PvP and PvE thanks to the Rapid-Fire Frame.

How Do I Get It?

Random drop from Vanguard Strikes and Engrams.

8. Last Hope

The Destiny 2 best sidearm overall

Last Hope
Kody Wirth / High Ground Gaming

First up on our list of best sidearms in Destiny 2? A well-balanced weapon that reminds you what you’re fighting for.

Why is it one of the best? The Last Hope acts more like a highly accurate SMG over your standard hand cannon. The Omelon Adaptive Frame provides a range of well-balanced stats alongside a three-shot burst. This becomes invaluable if rolled with Feeding Frenzy and Multikill Clip, which amps up the damage and reload speed. 

What brings it all home is the high stability that allows you to increase damage without concern for accuracy. It’s the best rapid-fire sidearm in the game and perfectly toes the line between an SMG and a hand cannon.

What’s it good for? PvE, PvP, and Gambit. The balanced frame and burst fire make it perfect for taking on enemies at mid-range.

How do I get it? It’s a random Legendary Engram roll.

To truly fine-tune its use, this is where you need to pay attention to Perks. Focus on grabbing One for All or Rampage to make the most of your loose accuracy and turn it into damage buffs. If you decide to run it in PvP on the other hand, Rapid Hit and Killing Wind may be your best options. In either case, this is an excellent weapon that has just been somewhat outshined by later drops.

9. Rat King

The Destiny 2 best kinetic sidearm

Rat King
Kody Wirth / High Ground Gaming

Together we are strong, or maybe just a meme.

Why is it one of the best? There have only been a few weapons that feel so good to use as a team. Lining up and shredding opponents with the Sweet Business and actively disappearing with the Rat King. And unlike Sweet Business, which was a balancing issue, Rat King was built around multiple Guardians running it. 

It grows stronger with more players using it within a certain proximity. And with the full auto frame and Infestation Catalyst, this weapon has held up as an excellent rapid-fire option as long as you convince other players to run it. Sure, it may be more of a meme weapon now, but it’s still useful for players that like to coordinate attacks.

What’s it good for? PvP and PvE. Best when used by multiple Guardians in Crucible or high-level encounters.

How do I get it? Purchase it from the Exotic Kiosk.

10. Breachlight

The Destiny 2 best Legendary sidearm

Breachlight
Kody Wirth / High Ground Gaming

A weapon that lives up to the legacy of Saint-14.

Why is it one of the best? Originally a reward from completing The Sundial, Breachlight serves as one of the best activity-based reward weapons around. The Aggressive Frame provides a high-impact two-burst fire. And the perk pool on this weapon runs deep, including the likes of Elemental Capacitor, Vorpal Weapon, Demolitionist, and Rampage, among others.

It’s another sidearm that hits hard and plays like a slightly faster hand cannon. The only drawback is that it’s now impossible to get, so be on the lookout for a rerelease in upcoming seasons.

What’s it good for? PvE, PvP, and Gambit. With the right perks, this weapon is great for anything.

How do I get it? It’s a random Legendary Engram drop, but it will be sunsetted during Season of the Chosen.

11. The Last Dance

The Destiny 2 best sidearm PvP

The Last Dance
Kody Wirth / High Ground Gaming

The sidearm you want to use when you take it personally.

Why is it one of the best? Another three-burst fire weapon, The Last Dance takes things a step further with its available perks. Ideally, you’ll stack Full Auto Trigger System and Rangefinder to use alongside your Extended Mag. This takes advantage of the high impact and overall stability while increasing the firing speed and range. Throw in a reload speed armor mod, and you’ll be knocking down Guardians before they ever see you.

What’s it good for? PvP, Gambit, and PvE. The deep perk pool makes this high damage weapon useful for any game mode, but the overall aim assist and low recoil makes it ideal for Crucible.

How do I get it? Acquire it as a random Legendary Engram drop or from completing random world activities.

12. High Albedo

The newest Destiny 2 sidearm

High Albedo
Kody Wirth / High Ground Gaming

It keeps going and going as long as you keep taking down enemies.

Why is it one of the best? Almost every weapon in Beyond Light has been excellent, and High Albedo is no exception. This Adaptive Frame sidearm again allows for three-round bursts that can be augmented even further with the Full Auto Trigger System. Roll it with Wellspring to increase ability regeneration, and you have a weapon that lets you take risks and rewards you with continuous ability use and health regeneration if you succeed. 

You’ll want to leverage a reload speed mod if you can and be prepared to run this in short-to-mid range battles. The range and zoom simply aren’t great for any long-range conflicts.

What’s it good for? PvE, Gambit, and PvP. Great for any mode due to the health regeneration perk that lets you keep going as long as you keep getting kills.

How do I get it? Complete the “European Weapon” quest from Variks.

Destiny 2 Best Sidearm Mods

To make the best sidearms in Destiny 2 work best, you’ll want to leverage mods that extend your magazine, reduce your recoil, and/or improve your accuracy. Don’t focus solely on an accuracy mod if you can, since these weapons are designed to make up for precision with pure volume. Instead, look for one that has multiple benefits or opt for a different mod. Here are our recommendations for the best mods for sidearms Destiny 2.

  • Backup Mag. Increases magazine.
  • Counterbalance Stock. Reduces recoil deviation for the weapon.
  • 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.

Square Up and Draw

There’s nothing better than taking down enemies with one of the best sidearms in Destiny 2. Just be sure that you use one of the options on this list, or you may find yourself struggling to make a dent in anything!

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Update Log

10/12/2021 Updates

  • Buzzard and Seventh Seraph SI-2 dropped from list.
  • Drang moved from #8 to #6.
  • Last Hope moved from #1 to #8.
  • Devil’s Ruin moved from #3 to #5.
  • Peacebond, Brass Attacks, A Swift Verdict, and Punching Out added to list.

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