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Destiny 2: Best Arc 3.0 Hunter Build For PvE

It’s no secret that the Arc subclass is one of the least popular sub-classes in the game, at least when it comes to PvE. Even so, Season 21 of Destiny 2 brings us the Arc Surge buff and a few Seasonal Artifact mods that make running an Arc Hunter build a bit more enticing. If you’re looking to build an Arc Hunter for Season of the Deep then look no further. We here at High Ground Gaming have put together an Arc Hunter build that is shockingly fun to play in both standard and high-end PvE content.

The following Exotics aren’t essential for this PvE Arc Hunter build, but they do provide a substantial buff to its gameplay loop and complement it incredibly well. With that said, if you don’t have access to these Exotics you can substitute them with your favorite piece of Legendary gear.

Exotic Armor

The Dragon's Shadow - Best Arc 3.0 Hunter PvE Build
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

Our first recommended Exotic armor is The Dragon’s Shadow. This is the Exotic you’ll see throughout the build, but it can be substituted with a melee or dodge-centered Exotic like the Assassin’s Cowl. The Dragon’s Shadow reloads all weapons after using your class ability dodge. It also improves your movement and weapon handling speed for a brief time.

Assassin's Cowl - Best Arc 3.0 Hunter PvE Build
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

Our second recommended armor Exotic is called Assassin’s Cowl. This Exotic Helmet grants its user invisibility, restores health, and regenerates shields whenever the wearer gets a kill with a powered melee attack. Defeating more powerful enemies with a powered melee or finisher increases the duration of these buffs. This Exotic is perfect for survivability and clearing activities solo.

Exotic Weapons

Thunderlord - Best Arc 3.0 Hunter PvE Build
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

When it comes to Exotic weapons, we have three recommend choices. The first one is Thunder Lord, an Exotic Arc Machine Gun. Its Intrinsic Trait is called Reign of Havoc and makes the weapon’s final blows generate stunning lightning strikes from above. This Trait also allows the weapon to stun Overload Champions. This weapon is great for dealing with rooms full of adds or dealing continuous damage to bosses. 

Monte Carlo - Best Arc 3.0 Hunter PvE Build
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

The second recommended Exotic is what you’ll see used throughout this build. The Monte Carlo is an exotic Auto Rifle that grants Melee energy whenever you deal damage with the weapon. It also has a chance to completely restore your Melee energy whenever you get a kill with this weapon.

The Melee restoration effect doesn’t actually come up too often if you play this build right, but on the rare occasion that you find your melee and class ability are on cooldown at the same time, this weapon’s ability can really come in handy. 

This weapon is also great for any Arc build during Season 21. During this season, Arc doesn’t have a way to stun Barrier Champions within its own subclass. Instead, you’ll need the Seasonal Artifact Perk that allows Auto Rifles to stun Barrier champions. Since you need to run an Auto Rifle anyway this Season, you might as well run one that helps restore one of our most important abilities.

Coldheart - Best Arc 3.0 Hunter PvE Build
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

Coldheart is an Exotic Arc Trace Rifle and our final recommended weapon. Its basic trait is called Longest Winter and causes the weapon to periodically generate an Ionic Trace while dealing damage to targets in its high damage state.

Unfortunately, Ionic Traces aren’t super useful to this build since they don’t grant the amplified state when collected. Still, they are a great source of armor charge when you have the right armor mod equipped.

Aspects, Fragments, and Abilities for PvE Arc Hunter

Aspects and Fragments are the lifeblood of any good Destiny 2 build. In the case of a PvE Arc Hunter, our Aspects and Fragments are centered around Jolting our targets and making our Melee ability more useful. All Arc Aspects for the Hunter grant 2 Fragment slots.

Arc Aspects

Flow State aspect - Best Arc 3.0 Hunter PvE Build
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

Our first Aspect is called Flow State. This Aspect grants our Guardian the Amplified status whenever we kill a jolted target. It also grants the user improved recharge on their Dodge ability, added resistance while dodging, and increased reload speed while Amplified.

Lethal Current aspect
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

Our second Aspect is called Lethal Current. Lethal Current will trigger after the user activates their dodge ability, causing the user’s next charged Melee attack to have increased lunge range, apply jolt to targets, and create a damaging aftershock at the target’s location. This Aspect also makes all of your melee attacks apply the Blind status to enemies on hit.

Arc Fragments

Spark of Resistance fragment
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

Our first Fragment is called Spark of Resistance. It grants increased resilience while you’re surrounded by combatants. This Fragment also grants the user plus 10 to their Strength stat.

Spark of Instinct fragment - Best Arc 3.0 Hunter PvE Build
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

Spark of Instinct is our next Fragment. This fragment will trigger whenever our Guardian takes damage while critically wounded. A burst of damaging Arc energy will be emitted from the Guardian’s body, dealing damage and Jolting targets hit by it.

Spark of Volts fragment - Best Arc 3.0 Hunter PvE Build
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

Our third Fragment is called Spark of Volts. This Fragment makes you amplified whenever you perform a finisher on an opponent. This Fragment allows us to get the most out of the build’s melee focus and class item mods. This Fragment also increases your Recovery stat by 10.

Spark of Feedback fragment - Best Arc 3.0 Hunter PvE Build
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

The final Fragment used in this build is called Spark of Feedback. This Fragment increases your outgoing melee damage for a short time whenever you take melee damage. It also increases your Resilience stat by 10. Considering how often we’re going to be up close and personal with enemies while using this build, this Fragment will prove incredibly useful.

Arc Abilities

Gathering Storm arc super
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

Arc Super: Either Super works fine with this build so run whichever one you like more. We went with Gathering Storm because it’s a ranged super that can stick to bosses and deal excellent damage over time. Given that this build struggles to use its melee attacks against certain bosses, having a super specifically for hard-to-reach bosses feels like the best call.

Gambler's Dodge arc class ability
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

Arc Class Ability:  Our Class ability of choice is called Gambler’s Dodge. This dodge allows us to quickly move out of the way of enemy attacks and also comes with the added bonus of fully recharging our Melee attack when used next to enemies. When this ability is paired with our Melee ability, we gain the ability to loop our Melee ability and Class ability infinitely while defeating enemies.

Combination Blow arc melee ability
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

Arc Melee Ability: This build is running the Combination Blow Melee ability. This ability increases the amount of damage done by melee attacks after successfully killing a target with your charged melee. This effect can stack up to 3 times. This ability also fully recharges your Guardian’s class ability and grants a small bit of health whenever you get a kill with your charged Melee ability.

Flashbang arc grenade ability
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

Arc Grenade Ability: Our grenade of choice is the Flashbang. This grenade Blinds targets while also dealing damage to them. You could run any of the other Arc grenades if you really wanted to, but we like having access to Blind on demand. This prevents targets from firing their weapons, thus making it easier for us to close the distance and use our Melee ability. 

Best Armor Mods for PvE Arc Hunter

This PvE Arc Hunter build makes use of a lot of melee-focused armor mods. Since we will be using our Melee ability so often, we want to take mods that speed up our ability recharge rates whenever we use our Melee. We are also going to want to take mods that buff our Arc weapons and stats.

Helmet Mods

Kinetic Siphon mod
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

Our first helmet mod is the classic Harmonic Siphon. This mod will allow rapid Arc weapon kills to generate Orbs of Power. Kinetic Siphon does the same thing as Harmonic Siphon, but for Kinetic weapons instead of Arc weapons. Our last Helmet mod is called Hands-On, granting Super energy whenever you get a kill with your Melee ability.

Gauntlet Mods

Impact Induction mod
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

Our first Gauntlet mod is called Heavy Handed. This mod generates an Orb of Power whenever you get a kill with a charged Melee ability. Next up is Impact Induction. This mod reduces your grenade ability cooldown each time you deal damage with your Melee ability. Our final gauntlet mod is called Font of Focus. This mod increases your Discipline stat by 30 points while you have at least one stack of armor charge.

Chest Armor Mod

Arc Reserves mod
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

You have a couple choices for your chest mods, depending on what your stats are looking like. If you don’t have Resilience maxed out to 100, you may want to consider running Font of Endurance for the extra 30 points while armor charged.

If your stats are fine, we recommend running some Arc Reserves mods. These mods increase the amount of ammo you can carry in your Arc weapons, making your Heavy and Special weapons so much more reliable.

Leg Mods

Kinetic Weapon Surge mod
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

We are running two main mods for our legs, Arc Weapon Surge and Kinetic Weapon Surge. Both mods increase your weapon’s damage when you have at least one stack of armor charge. If you have the available energy, feel free to run any other mod or even an additional copy of one of the Surge mods.

Class Item Mod

Font of Restoration mod
Image: Bungie via HGG / Adam Watkins

Our Class Item will be making use of two very important mods. First is the Distribution mod, which grants ability energy to all your abilities whenever you use your class ability near targets. The Second mod is Font of Recovery, which increases your Recovery stat by 30 points as long as you have at least one stack of armor charge. You should also consider running the Time Dilation mod if you have the spare energy or maxed-out Recovery.

Join the High Ground!

And that’s it for our guide to the best Arc 3.0 Hunter build for PvE! Despite being a Hunter build, it really lets you channel that inner Titan since you’re constantly running up to things and punching them in the face. Shotguns and SMGs are great choices for this build since you’ll be spending a lot of time in your opponent’s face. That being said, we do suggest you take an Auto or Trace Rifle with you into combat, since you’ll want a way to reliably deal with long-range enemies.

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Happy Gaming!

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