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Destiny 2: 10 Best SMGs for PvP (2023)

Last updated by Brett Moss  on Nov 14, 2023

Human Made

The Crucible is the ultimate place to test your PvP skills in Destiny 2, and SMGs are by far one of the more popular weapon types in there these days. No matter what PvP modes you play, you’ll be running into a lot of SMGs. There are many elements to what makes a good SMG, but in general you’ll be looking for a good balance of stability and range. In this article, we’ll help you figure out which are the best to farm and potentially craft or masterwork.

Just remember that just because your favorite SMG isn’t on here, that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. There are a bunch of other viable SMGs for PVP, so feel free to try out any that aren’t here and see for yourself!

#10 Rapacious Appetite

PVP God Roll:

  • Chambered Compensator or Corkscrew Rifling
  • Ricochet Rounds
  • Perpetual Motion
  • Target Lock or Headstone

Not only does this SMG look amazing (the Taken aesthetic never fails to impress), but it also has interesting perk options. Obviously Target Lock is the star of the show here as usual, but there’s also Headstone if you’re running a build with Stasis synergies. Since Stasis is so underpowered right now it’s hard to recommend that perk too highly, but there are still fringe uses for it here and there. Otherwise, you’re looking at a fairly standard Perpetual Motion / Target Lock god roll. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Rapacious Appetite also benefits from being craftable. Since it’s a seasonal weapon, it’s not too hard to farm its pattern and get it crafted. While the enhanced perks from crafting don’t do much more than the normal versions, any improvement is still ultimately worth having. This is a great SMG if you don’t mind the low stability, and there are more than enough ways (like Chambered Compensator, for example) to get around that.

#9 The Showrunner

PVP God Roll:

  • Corkscrew Rifling, Arrowhead Brake, Chambered Compensator, or Smallbore
  • Ricochet Rounds
  • Dynamic Sway Reduction or Rangefinder
  • Target Lock

The Showrunner is another newly reissued weapon from earlier in Destiny 2. With its updated perks, The Showrunner is a force to be reckoned with in the Crucible. If you don’t like Trials or have had bad luck with The Immortal, this is one of the best alternatives. You can get the Rangefinder / Target Lock roll that The Immortal has, but since it’s a lightweight frame, it doesn’t have the exact same feel. The Showrunner isn’t quite as strong as The Immortal, but the difference isn’t huge. If you don’t have The Immortal and want a similar weapon, this is a good place to start.

The only choice you’ll really have to make here is which perk you want in the first slot. Dynamic Sway Reduction is more consistent and helps greatly with your accuracy, but Rangefinder is also still good for helping with accuracy in a more roundabout way. Dynamic Sway Reduction is the better pick most of the time, but you could use either one to similar effect.

#8 Multimach CCX

PVP God Roll:

  • Model 8 Red
  • Accurized Rounds
  • Dynamic Sway Reduction or Killing Wind
  • Kill Clip or Iron Reach

Multimach CCX is a lightweight frame SMG that’s a lot better than it gets credit for. While its perks aren’t necessarily insane, they’re great for what they are. And at the end of the day, you really don’t need any more than what the Multimach CCX offers to win games. Dynamic Sway Reduction is a great perk for landing accurate shots, and it’s never bad on any SMG. Killing Wind is stronger if you’re a really aggressive player, and it also pairs well with Kill Clip since both require kills to function.

Ultimately, it’s hard not to want Kill Clip on this kind of SMG. While Iron Reach is a good pick since it gives so much range, Kill Clip’s damage boost is just too good to pass up. In 3v3 game modes you might want Iron Reach since there are less people to activate Kill Clip on, but generally it’s the strongest pick. If you just need a reliable SMG for PVP, Multimach CCX is a great choice. It isn’t the most exciting or the absolute best, but it’s 100% strong enough for people who love SMGs.

#7 Out of Bounds

PVP God Roll:

  • Corkscrew Rifling or Hammer-Forged Rifling
  • Ricochet Rounds
  • Dynamic Sway Reduction
  • Kill Clip

Out of Bounds is arguably the best SMG for newer players, as it’s very easy to farm from the Crucible playlist or Crucible Engrams. Since it’s a Crucible weapon, there are plenty of good perks geared toward PVP. However, despite tons of perk options, Out of Bounds has a pretty straightforward PVP god roll. Dynamic Sway Reduction + Kill Clip gives a solid spread of accuracy and damage bonuses, which is perfect for this type of weapon.

Once you get used to it, you can use Out of Bounds in any level of content. It isn’t very flashy, obviously, but it’s very consistent with the right roll. This is a weapon that you could absolutely master, as it’s unlikely to get significantly nerfed and it’s not one that everyone will immediately recognize. These playlist weapons are rarely mind-blowing, but it’s nice to see how consistently useful they’ve become over the years.

#6 IKELOS_SMG_v.1.0.3

PVP God Roll:

  • Arrowhead Brake, Corkscrew Rifling, or Hammer-Forged Rifling
  • Seraph Rounds
  • Dynamic Sway Reduction, Threat Detector, or Killing Wind
  • Rangefinder or Tap the Trigger

Ever since it was re-issued, the IKELOS SMG has been one of the best guns in Destiny 2 in any capacity. Most of its strength lies in its insane PVE builds based around the Feeding Frenzy + Voltshot roll, but it has some really good ones for PVP as well. Dynamic Sway Reduction + Rangefinder / Tap the Trigger is going to be the most consistent roll, but Threat Detector and Killing Wind both give some more high-risk options.

You can fit the IKELOS SMG into any build, as long as it needs a close-range weapon. It is an arc weapon, but there aren’t very many relevant synergies with that for this weapon. Voltshot is an option as an Arc 3.0 weapon, but it doesn’t do all that much in PVP. The IKELOS SMG is better than ever these days, so it’s absolutely worth crafting. Even though it is better in PVE, don’t overlook the IKELOS SMG for PVP use either.

#5 Unending Tempest

PVP God Roll:

  • Arrowhead Brake, Corkscrew Rifling, or Hammer-Forged Rifling
  • Accurized Rounds
  • Dynamic Sway Reduction or Perpetual Motion
  • Target Lock

Unending Tempest is one of several SMGs that seem intended to serve as alternatives to The Immortal. After how dominant it was for so long, it’s not surprising that Bungie has moved in this direction for SMG design lately. Unending Tempest is one of the better SMGs out there right now, with a simple god roll that doesn’t mess around too much. Dynamic Sway Reduction is great for making sure you don’t miss any shots, that way Target Lock is more effective. Perpetual Motion, however, works better if you’re constantly on the move.

There are a lot of viable options for god roll perks on Unending Tempest. You could even go with perks like Headstone or Killing Wind if you’re wanting to stray away from the more popular rolls. Either way, though, you won’t regret picking up a good Unending Tempest whenever you get the chance.

#4 Tarrabah

(No god roll for this one, since most Exotics have pre-determined perks that aren’t randomized.)

Tarrabah is the only Exotic weapon on this list, which is a shame. For whatever reason, Bungie has never bothered with releasing an Exotic SMG for PVP that actually felt like a PVP weapon, but Tarrabah is as close as they’ve ever come. It’s Exotic intrinsic, Ravenous Beast, is one of the strongest for PVP. As you deal and/or take damage, you’ll build up a charge meter. Once full, you can use your alternate weapon action to activate the buff, which drastically increases your damage.

With Ravenous Beast active, you’ll be able to delete enemy Guardians right off the map. The damage boost is insane and makes Tarrabah feel like a heavy weapon while active. If you don’t mind farming a bunch of Spoils of Conquest in raids, Tarrabah is worth having for any SMG fan. It’d be nice if there was an easier way to get it (or if the Spoils system wasn’t so needlessly confusing), but it is what it is. And luckily, Tarrabah is worth the trouble you’ll have to go through to get it.

#3 No Survivors

PVP God Roll:

  • Arrowhead Brake, Corkscrew Rifling, or Hammer-Forged Rifling
  • Ricochet Rounds
  • Rangefinder
  • Target Lock

To be honest, it’s wild that No Survivors isn’t talked about even more. It’s a Solar aggressive frame SMG with Rangefinder + Target Lock as a god roll, so there isn’t much to explain here. In general, No Survivors has pretty much everything you could want from in an SMG. The only thing preventing No Survivors from placing even higher on this list is the lack of alternate perks. If you don’t like Rangefinder, you’re just out of luck since there aren’t any other PVP options. Same goes for Target Lock, but luckily there aren’t many reasons you wouldn’t want it anyway.

In both PVP and PVE, No Survivors is a great SMG that you should seek out. If Rangefinder hadn’t been nerfed, this might honestly be the best pick overall. But for now, it’ll have to settle for being solidly in the top 3.

#2 Shayura’s Wrath

PVP God Roll:

  • Hammer-Forged Rifling
  • Accurized Rounds
  • Dynamic Sway Reduction, Killing Wind, or Moving Target
  • Kill Clip

Shayura’s Wrath is a precision frame SMG, which means it’s much easier to control than most. That gives it a different feel from most of the other popular SMGs out there right now, which is always worth considering. If you like the way a weapon feels, it doesn’t really matter if it’s good or not. The good thing here, though, is that Shayura’s Wrath is actually really good as well!

Since precision frame SMGs already benefit from good accuracy, it means you can put more points into stats like Range without feeling like you’re making a mistake. This weapon doesn’t really need extra Stability or Handling, so you get a ton of extra bonuses in other categories. The Range bonuses from Hammer-Forged Rifling and Accurized Rounds are incredible, and paired with perk combos like Dynamic Sway Reduction / Killing Wind + Kill Clip, you really can’t go wrong.

#1 The Immortal

PVP God Roll:

  • Corkscrew Rifling or Hammer-Forged Rifling
  • Ricochet Rounds
  • Threat Detector or Rangefinder
  • Target Lock

If you’re looking for the best of the best, The Immortal is the place to start. For seasons now, The Immortal has dominated everything from Trials to Mayhem. The strength of the Target Lock perk in PVP was proven by The Immortal, and the rest of its stats just make it even better. As an aggressive frame SMG, it’s great for bursting enemies down as fast as possible. It’s a near-perfect SMG that shows exactly why the weapon type as a whole is so powerful in Destiny 2.

There is also an adept version of The Immortal which you can get by going flawless in Trials during weeks where The Immortal is the featured weapon. Since you have to play Trials to get it, though, a lot of Guardians have chosen to go with other, easier-to-get options. We’ve covered all of those already, but if you could only use one SMG in PVP, we’d recommend The Immortal over all other ones. It’s fairly close, but we’d say it’s the best SMG for PVP in Destiny 2.


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