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?
10 Best Destiny 2 Sidearms
It’s hard to say how much the upcoming Season of the Chosen will affect the viability of sidearms. More than likely, they’ll reflect any changes made to hand cannons to some degree. But more than likely, they’ll still work well as quick-firing, high-DPS weapons to use alongside your favorite shotgun or pulse rifle.
Here are our picks for the best sidearms in Destiny 2.
1. Last Hope
The Destiny 2 best sidearm overall
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.
2. Traveler’s Chosen
The Destiny 2 best Exotic sidearm
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. Devil’s Ruin
The Destiny 2 best energy sidearm
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.
The Destiny 2 best Legendary sidearm
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.
5. Seventh Seraph SI-2
The Destiny 2 best sidearm PvE
A reliable and surprising weapon built to be unleashed from the holster.
Why is it one of the best? The Lightweight Frame is one of those design choices that seem to do more harm than good. Sure, every weapon (including the SI-2) is easy to handle and boosts your movement, but it kills your other base stats. Luckily, the firing speed, high aim assist, low kick, and the chance to roll Dragonfly and Auto-Loading Holster do even things out. And the ability to generate Warmind Cells is still a great feature, even if it’s not as useful as it once was.
What’s it good for? PvE and Gambit. The weaker base stats and overall benefits are far more useful for PvE activities.
How do I get it? Acquire it as a random Legendary Engram drop.
6. The Last Dance
The Destiny 2 best sidearm PvP
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.
7. Rat King
The Destiny 2 best kinetic sidearm
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.
The Destiny 2 best long-range sidearm
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.
9. High Albedo
The newest Destiny 2 sidearm
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.
The most balanced sidearm in Destiny 2
Become the harbinger of death.
Why is it one of the best? While this Ritual weapon may be a bit more basic than what has come after, it still works as a well-rounded weapon with some unique perks. With Osmosis, you swap the elemental damage over to your sub-class after throwing a grenade and keep it until you switch weapons. On top of that, it increases your grenade regeneration, which makes it incredibly useful in elemental specific playlists.
It is sort of a one-trick pony, but it can be incredibly useful for specific matchmade activities.
What’s it good for? PvE. Osmosis and Fourth Times a Charm make for an excellent way to keep popping grenade abilities.
How do I get it? Complete the “Anything That Moves” quest from Zavalla or acquire it as a random Legendary drop in playlists.
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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