Sniper rifles have had an interesting presence in Destiny 2. There have been some incredible releases over the years, and plenty of junk to go along with them. As of Beyond Light’s release, the best Destiny 2 sniper rifles are back into the limelight as high DPS weapons with excellent range and strong perk options. In the right hands, they can be instrumental in boss encounters or when taking on Guardians from a distance in the Crucible.
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But what is the best sniper rifle in Destiny 2? And which ones are worth playing with right now?
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10 Best Destiny 2 Sniper Rifles
While the current Destiny 2 meta favors mid-range weapons like hand cannons, auto rifles, and pulse rifles, there is still a strange dedication to accuracy. Perks and mods with stability and range benefits are a must-have. And for those willing to spend time improving their long-range accuracy, sniper rifles are now useful again.
While the update favors newer weapons, there are still some fan-favorite snipers that work incredibly well. Here are the best sniper rifles in Destiny 2 you should look out for.
The Destiny 2 best sniper rifle
A sniper rifle that does what most sniper rifles can’t.
Why is it one of the best? Cloudstrike has excellent base stats that make for a smooth, powerful, and accurate sniper rifle. The inherent Stormbringer perk and Mortal Polarity Intrinsic trait expand it from an excellent precision weapon into an AOE powerhouse. Land a precision final blow to cause lightning to strike. Keep making precision shots and spawn a deadly arc infused lightning storm.
This sniper is one of the best weapons to drop with Beyond Light and takes full advantage of the targeting buff that came with the meta update. It takes a while to acquire, but it’s well worth the effort. It’s by far Destiny 2’s best Exotic sniper rifle.
What’s it good for? PvE, PvP, and Gambit. The well-balanced stats and damage output, combined with the inherent traits and weapon perks, make this sniper ideal for taking on large PvE groups as well as multiple Guardians from a distance.
How do I get it? Complete Variks’ Sabotage — European Explorer 1 and 2. Then farm elective difficulty Empire Hunts to acquire from a random drop.
The Destiny 2 best Legendary sniper rifle
The natural replacement for the Beloved sniper rifle.
Why is it one of the best? Beyond Light brought in some great weapons, and Adored is no exception. While it’s clearly a replacement for Beloved, it isn’t quite as strong, but makes up for its shortcomings with excellent handling and a deep perk pool.
Having Killing Wind and Vorpal weapon makes you a shutdown machine that can get in, take out opponents and get a boost on the way out. Switch to Triple Tap for PvE, and you’ll rarely run out of ammo. And luckily, after you finish the initial questline, it’s easy to land multiple rolls and get options for both game modes.
What’s it good for? PvP and PvE. It’s clearly built for PvP but can still be an excellent PvE option with specific perks.
How do I get it? Complete your choice of the In Your Sights questline from Banshee-44.
The Destiny 2 best sniper rifle for Crucible
The Pinnacle of Crucible weapons in Destiny 2.
Why is it one of the best? I wouldn’t typically put a sunsetted weapon so high up, but Revoker is simply that good for PvP. One of the best Pinnacle weapons to ever appear in the game, this sniper has the unique perk of bringing bullets back into your magazine when you miss. It’s also one of the only snipers with a minimal zoom and works perfectly with Snapshot Sights for rapid gunplay.
Just know you can’t get it right now and that it does have a limited infusion cap until it’s brought back into the loot pool. But if you have it, Master Work it and try any Crucible mode that doesn’t leverage light level for a fun and frantic time.
What’s it good for? This weapon is best for Crucible.
How do I get it? This weapon is currently sunsetted and not available. Be on the lookout next season to see if it makes a comeback.
4. Izanagi’s Burden
The Destiny 2 best energy sniper rifle
The greatest weapons are often the largest burdens.
Why is it one of the best? Originally a reward for completing an Exotic Quest in the Black Armoury, this Exotic weapon has migrated into a legacy weapon. It’s still good, though, thanks to the damage unleashed by a bullet perk that consumes ammo reserves to amplify impact. A clip of four bullets can deal the same damage as a weapon with a clip of six or seven.
It does lack additional perks, and has largely been surpassed with snipers that it inspired. But it still serves as a classic, powerful option that keeps things simple.
What’s it good for? PvE, Crucible, and Gambit. The damage output is so good that it’s perfect to use against powerful enemies or one-shotting Guardians.
How do I get it? Acquire it by turning in an Exotic Cypher in the Tower.
5. Ikelos_SR v1.0.2
The Destiny 2 best sniper rifle for PvP
A product of the Warmind that was seemingly designed to burn through Guardians.
Why is it one of the best? Rapid-fire frames have always been a mixed bag for snipers, but the latest iteration of the Ikelos takes full advantage. Thanks to the Seraph Rounds, you don’t need to worry about bullet drop pat long-distances and can leverage Moving Target and Quickdraw to further increase your speed and accuracy. Think of it like a longer range but equally accurate scout rifle with the firing speed of an amped-up pulse rifle. It’s perfect for constant movement that leads to posting up at a moment’s notice.
What’s it good for? This weapon is best for PvP thanks to rapid-fire, aim assist, and handling.
How do I get it? Acquire it by upgrading your reputation with Banshee-44 or through random Legendary world drops.
6. Frozen Orbit
The Destiny 2 best situational sniper
Why is it one of the best? Frozen Orbit will look and play like all reasonably good sniper rifles. It has excellent range and impact damage, a small amount of ammo, and fairly low stats for everything else. However, it adds to this with a large perk pool that can cater to specific activities.
For PvP, you have great options like Hammer-Forged Rifling, Moving Target, and Snap-shot sites. For PvE and Gambit, you can roll with Arrowhead Brake and Appended Mag to increase your ammo capacity, range, and handling. Throw in Clown Cartridge or Triple Tap to increase your magazine size further and truly take advantage of the damage this weapon can unleash.
What’s it good for? Try it in PvP, Gambit, and PvE as long as you roll the right perk combos.
How do I get it? Acquire it by completing Crucible matches or earning rank-up packages.
The Destiny 2 best kinetic sniper rifle
A single word etched into the barrel spells doom for your enemies.
Why is it one of the best? This Aggressive Frame sniper is built to layout damage from far, far away. The only drawback is the small clip size, which can be removed with a Reconstruction and Vorpal Weapon perk roll. This gives you six bullets instead of three — paired with passive reload, the boost makes it a deadly option for taking on powerful enemies.
For the Crucible fans out there, you can instead look for Killing Wind and Snapshot Sights to improve your ability to take enemies down while on the move. Just be ready to take on the Raid multiple times to find the right roll.
What’s it good for? PvE, PvP, and Gambit depending on your perk rolls.
How do I get it? Acquire Succession by completing the second encounter in the Deep Stone Crypt Raid.
8. Long Shadow
The Destiny 2 best sniper rifle with perks
Take a deep breath and hope for a good roll.
Why is it one of the best? On the surface, this is a pretty average sniper rifle. But with the Field Prep and Triple Tap perks rolled, you can jack up the damage output and increase your ammo reserves. Switch to Extended Magazine and leverage the Backup Mag to give yourself eight to ten bullets to work with. Now you have a long-lasting and far more deadly sniper rifle to work with.
What’s it good for? It’s best for PvE due to the high-level DPS and deep ammo pool with the right perks.
How do I get it? You can acquire Long Shadow by completing Strikes or upgrading your reputation with Zavallah.
9. The Supremacy
The best reworked Destiny 2 sniper rifle
A fan favorite from the original Destiny returns.
Why is it one of the best? Arrowhead Brake, Snapshot, and Triple Tap make this weapon incredibly brutal in short bursts. Throw in the Extended Mag and Backup Mag to deepen your ammo pool and layout even more damage without losing stability. In many ways, this sniper functions like the Long Shadow but is far more difficult to get. The only real benefit it has is the Arrowhead Break perk, which makes a huge difference in recoil control.
What’s it good for? PvE and Gambit. It’s not bad for Crucible, but there are far better options available.
How do I get it? Acquire it as a random drop in the Last Wish Raid.
10. Trophy Hunter
The Destiny 2 best sniper rifle PvE
Strange that this wasn’t brought back officially for Season of the Hunt.
Why is it one of the best? Currently, the only Void sniper rifle that’s worth something in Destiny 2, the Trophy Hunter is great for dealing high damage from a distance. Amplify this even further with Vorpal Weapon and shoot to extend your mag to increase your capacity to seven. Nothing else is extraordinary about this one, but it’s perfect whenever you have to deal with Void burn.
What’s it good for? PvE, thanks to the perk rolls. Don’t try to use it for PvP, as it’s simply not built for it.
How do I get it? Originally acquired as a season pass item in Season of Dawn, now possible to find it in a random Legendary Engram drop. But it is a slim chance thanks to RNG.
Honorable Mentions: Destiny 2 Best Sniper Rifles
The following sniper rifles are fairly powerful, but they’re a little too situational to make it into our top 10 list.
Whisper of the Worm
The most powerful Destiny 2 sniper rifle
A weapon that feeds off you as you feed off it.
Why is it one of the best? Whisper of the Worm serves as a rework of the Black Spindle sniper rifle from the original Destiny. It retains the accuracy perk from the original, allowing you to avoid reloading by landing three headshots in a row. It only gets really good once you activate the Catalyst, which improves range and precision damage if you aim down sites before firing.
This makes it perfect for bullet-sponge boss battles but requires a lot of work before it becomes really useful.
What’s it good for? It’s best for PvE and limited in PvP due to it being a Power weapon.
How do I get it? Acquire it by completing The Whisper quest chain.
Eye of Sol
The most balanced Destiny 2 sniper rifle
Patience and balance will lead you to victory.
Why is it one of the best? Eye of Sol brings some interesting combinations from other weapons that create a well-balanced (if not a slightly weaker) sniper rifle. With even-tiered stats, the Box Breathing perk, and the Celerity perk, you can continuously improve your handling, range, and kickback. It’s especially useful if you’re the last Guardian remaining, but make sure you have enough distance to layout consistent damage.
What’s it good for? PvP due to the aim assist benefits.
How do I get it? Acquire it as a random drop in Trials of Osiris.
The Destiny 2 best Exotic sniper rifle
An often-overlooked weapon due to its PS4 exclusivity.
Why is it one of the best? Borealis is a sniper rifle that carries stats akin to a Rapid-Fire Frame but with the stopping power of an Aggressive Frame. Its inherent perk in certain situations can eviscerate Guardians, and the elemental damage switch when reloading provides unique opportunities in PvP. This really could be one of the best snipers out there if it weren’t for more modern options adopting many of its perks. Sadly, being a timed PS4 exclusive didn’t allow it to get its due.
What’s it good for? Useful in PvP and PvE due to different perk benefits.
How do I get it? Acquire it as a random Exotic Engram drop or as a random purchase from Xur.
Destiny 2 Best Sniper Rifle Mods
If you’re running with a sniper rifle, you want to use mods that increase your accuracy. If you want a few more bullets at the ready, an extended mag can also be handy. Only opt for it over accuracy benefits if you feel comfortable with your sniper’s stability, range, and kick. Here are the mods we recommend you choose from depending on your playstyle.
- Targeting Adjuster. This weapon gains better target acquisition.
- Sprint Grip. Temporarily increases the weapon’s ready speed and aim down sights speed after sprinting.
- Freehand Grip. Increases accuracy and ready speed while firing from the hip.
- Icarus Grip. Improves accuracy while airborne.
- Counterbalance Stock. Reduces recoil deviation for the weapon.
High Ground View
If you’ve been waiting to give the Destiny 2 best sniper rifles a shot, now is the time. Long-range and Legendary options are now incredibly competitive, and it seems like Bungie will continue to lean into benefits for faster firing and more accurate weapons. Be sure to share this guide on your favorite social channel to let your fireteam know that snipers are back, and subscribe to our email list for more Destiny 2 guides.
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Update 4/1/21 – added Frozen Orbit to number 6 position and dropped Whisper of the Worm, Eye of Sol, and Borealis to honorable mentions