In Destiny 2, the element of your weapon is important. You’ll usually want to use weapons that match your subclass, since it’ll be easier to synergize that way. Arc weapons are essential for any Arc build, so you’ll want to make sure and have at least a few good ones. However, picking the best option can be difficult. In this article, we’ll cover the top 10 Arc weapons in Destiny 2 for all your favorite builds, so let’s get right into it!
Best Arc Weapons in Destiny 2
Let’s jump right into our ranking of the 10 best Arc weapons in Destiny 2.
There was a time not too long ago when The Hothead was the #1 weapon for boss DPS. It isn’t quite the best anymore (mostly because of new options and nerfs), but it’s still the strongest Arc Rocket Launcher you can use. It’s strong not only because it’s one of few good Arc options for its weapon type, but also because of its perks. The Hothead has several potential god rolls, but the most notable are Auto-Loading Holster + Explosive Light, Demolitionist + Explosive Light, and Field Prep + Clown Cartridge.
The Hothead is a PVE weapon exclusively, as there’s really no reason to use it in PVP over other Rocket Launchers. Since it’s a Legendary weapon, it’s perfect for Arc builds that need a non-Heavy Exotic weapon. So if you want to use Riskrunner, Divinity, or a similar Arc Exotic, The Hothead is one of the best Heavy weapons to go along with them. For everything from easy seasonal activities to Grandmaster Strikes, The Hothead is good for any PVE activity.
Even though Cloudstrike got nerfed recently, it’s still a really strong Sniper Rifle for both PVE and PVP. The recent nerf to the lightning strike AOE definitely made it a bit worse (especially in PVP), but it’s still incredibly strong. A skilled player can still grab fairly easily multi-kills in Trials with Cloudstrike, and it’s strong for both boss DPS and add-clear in PVE, which is rare for Sniper Rifles.
Right now, Cloudstrike is more commonly seen in PVP than PVE. Since Cloudstrike spawns a lightning strike with enough damage to one-shot Guardians, it’s still good despite the nerfs. You will need your opponents to be closer together to get the multi-kill, but that’s not too hard. Guardians love to gather up into Rifts or near objectives, or even just to peak a corner. As long as you can land precision shots consistently, you can do anything from go flawless in Trials to complete a Master Raid with Cloudstrike.
The Wendigo GL3 has been solid ever since the Arc 2.0 updates, and it still remains in the top 10 Arc weapons! Any Grenade Launcher with Explosive Light is going to be strong thanks to how easy Orbs are to generate, and that’s definitely the best perk in its slot. In the other one, you could use either Auto-Loading Holster, Impulse Amplifier, or Clown Cartridge. All of these combinations are great for taking out bosses or adds, and the flexibility of having multiple possible god rolls makes it even easier to farm.
You can use the Wendigo GL3 in any form of content. The add-clear rolls are great for easier PVE, where you can get tons of value out of all the add kills and Orbs, and the more boss-specific ones are great for hard content. You can either use the Wendigo GL3 to burst bosses down with the quick-emptying mag, or you can just blow up all the adds and other enemies in the room with it. It’s also solid in PVP, as Impulse Amplifier is the best Grenade Launcher perk for the Crucible.
Phyllotactic Spiral is the best Arc Pulse Rifle for PVP. It isn’t flashy or all that explosive, but it has really high consistency, solid base stats, and good perks. There are two options for the PVP god roll: Keep Away + Headseeker or Keep Away + Kill Clip. Keep Away has been one of the strongest PVP perks ever since it came out, as it gives reload, range, and accuracy bonuses when you’re not near any enemies. That, combined with either Headseeker (bonus damage and accuracy from landing body shots) or Kill Clip (bonus damage after reloading after a kill), makes for a truly excellent PVP roll.
Since Phyllotactic Spiral’s rolls aren’t reliant on any specific strategies, you can build however you want around this as your main weapon. Pair it alongside an Exotic Shotgun like Conditional Finality or The Chaperone for a really good setup in both close and long range fights. Phyllotactic Spiral has a great feel, great perks, and great overall performance in any PVP content.
Forbearance is one of the strongest weapons in Destiny 2 for add-clear, as there are very few weapons which can match its power in that area. With the god roll (Ambitious Assassin + Chain Reaction), you’ll be able to clear out entire waves of adds with a single grenade. Plus, you’ll even be able to load a second round into the mag thanks to Ambitious Assassin. It overflows your mag upon reloading based on the number of multi-kills you got beforehand, so it’s great for this. Just fire a grenade, kill an entire wave, and get two more grenades for the next one. Forbearance just has such a good god roll that it easily makes its way into the best (special ammo) Arc Grenade Launcher position.
The only real downside to Forbearance is that it has no use in PVP. Luckily though, it’s so good in PVE that it doesn’t really matter. If this was a PVE-only list, Forbearance would probably be in the top three. But as it is, sixth feels like a good place for this add-clearing legend.
Rapid-fire frame Fusion Rifles are arguably the best Fusions, so this is a great one to go for. Like a lot of other weapons, the god roll here revolves around a single perk: Voltshot. It allows you to gain the Voltshot buff after reloading after a kill, which chains lightning to enemies whenever you shoot them. This turns Iterative Loop into an add-clearing machine, but it’s still capable of much more thanks to its other perks. Pairing Compulsive Reloader with Voltshot works great since Voltshot requires you to reload anyway, and Under Pressure is generally always a good Fusion perk. However, Lead From Gold is also great in content where you plan on using heavy ammo mods to guarantee the drops.
Outside of PVE, Iterative Loop is also a strong PVP weapon. There are several perk options for PVP, but Under Pressure + Kickstart is the best. This allows you the bonus stability and accuracy from Under Pressure along with damage and charge rate bonuses when/after sliding with Kickstart. Honestly, all of these Lightfall weapons are so beautiful that it’s great that several of them ended up being really strong.
Stormchaser is one of few aggressive frame Linear Fusion Rifles, and it’s easily the best one. The aggressive frame Linears fire three-round bursts, which makes them stand out drastically compared to normal ones. However, while the burst firing method might sound harder to control, it has some major advantages. It can be annoying sometimes, but it can actually make landing shots against mobile enemies much easier. Stormchaser is the best of these aggressive frames because its base stats are strong and it has multiple great PVE god rolls. Any combination of Clown Cartridge, Rapid Hit, or Auto-Loading Holster goes perfectly with either Firing Line or Vorpal Weapon for great boss DPS rolls.
This weapon is mostly intended for use against bosses or high-HP enemies like Champions. Since it’s the main damage dealer, you’ll have plenty of room in your loadout for Exotic add-clear or support weapons. This can be helpful in Grandmaster Strikes or other difficult content, so it’s good to have a great Legendary DPS weapon like Stormchaser for those situations.
Divinity is a very specific weapon, so you won’t want to use it all the time. When you shoot an enemy with Divinity, a large Arc bubble will appear on them. The bubble functions as a large, easy-to-hit crit spot that your teammates can take advantage of. This is great for boss fights where the boss has a small crit spot, or when they move around too much to hit easily. For bosses like Warpriest in King’s Fall or Atheon in Vault of Glass, Divinity is essential. In addition to the crit bubble, Divinity also debuffs (weakens) targets it spawns the bubble on. This makes bosses even easier to kill, and it’s the reason people always ask for a Div player in LFG groups.
Divinity also has a fringe presence in PVP, but it doesn’t exactly excel there. That being said, it’s really fun to spawn the bubble on enemy Guardians and let your teammates take them out with ease. It’s probably not the play for competitive PVP, but for casual play it can be really fun to do.
The IKELOS SMG is the best SMG in the game right now, and it’s also the best Legendary Arc weapon. IKELOS weapons have been strong again since they got updated last year to their v.1.0.3 variant, but this SMG is the only one we see a lot of in difficult content. The perks for the SMG are perfect for add-clear purposes, as it has access to both Voltshot and Feeding Frenzy. Killing adds has never been easier, as this weapon simply deletes them all with ease. You’ll see this SMG constantly, from raids all the way to destination patrols.
This SMG is undeniably better in PVE, but some people do like it in PVP as well. However, now that Rangefinder has been nerfed/reworked, it’s not quite as viable. The best PVP roll is either Dynamic Sway Reduction or Perpetual Motion paired with Tap the Trigger. It’s certainly not a bad pick, but compared to other Energy SMGs like No Survivors or Shayura’s Wrath, it just doesn’t hold up.
The IKELOS SMG is simply incredible. It almost makes using a Heavy weapon not even necessary, unless of course you’re using the only one higher than this spot on the list.
Thunderlord is our pick for the best Arc weapon in Destiny 2. This is largely thanks to its Exotic perks/trait. The intrinsic trait, Reign Havoc, causes final blows to spawn lightning bolts that deal respectable damage in both PVE and PVP. This intrinsic also allows Thunderlord to stun Overload Champions, which makes it inherently stronger in content with Champions (GM strikes, some Raids, etc.). Then there’s the perk, Lightning Rounds. It allows Thunderlord to shoot faster and with more accuracy as the trigger is held down, and sustained damage of this type also spawns more lightning bolts. Combine this with the catalyst which partially reloads the weapon each time you spawn a lightning bolt, and you’re ready for any PVE content you could possibly want to do.
In PVP, Thunderlord is also amongst the strongest heavy weapons. While being an Exotic in that slot does limit its playability, it’s perfect if you plan to hunt the heavy ammo often. You’ll be able to defeat enemy Guardians almost instantly, and it’ll even spawn the lightning to take out any stragglers. It’s a great weapon that everyone should use, and it’s not even hard to get or utilize!
Join the High Ground!
Thanks for checking out this article on the best Arc weapons in Destiny 2! Arc builds are tons of fun to use these days since it’s so easy to blow up everything you see, and thankfully it’s actually an effective strategy as well. Have fun hunting down all these weapons, and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more Destiny 2 rankings like this.