Destiny 2: Strongest PvP Weapons and Exotics Meta Guide for PC

This guide is aimed mostly at giving newer players some goals and objectives to farm, as Destiny 2 can be overwhelming otherwise by u/Raintechnoid.

Please note that this list is designed for PC players specifically, and although much of the information will still be relevant to controller players, certain differences regarding the way Aim Assist and Recoil affects weapons may cause slight differences in the Meta between platforms. 

General Tips for PvP affecting what weapons to equip:

For newer players especially, these are my top possible tips:

ALWAYS use 1 Primary ammo weapon and 1 Special ammo weapon. Special ammo guns are capable of 1 shot KO’s and you want to put yourself in situations where you use your special ammo as often as possible. ie Snipers should play around open lanes, and shotgunners should play in caves and near corners as much as possible. Using 2 Primary weapons is a tough habit to break and using 2 primaries is severely limiting in terms of the strength of your loadouts.

Always use 2x scavenger perks on your boots. This gives you 3 ammo per green brick instead of 1. Not only does more ammo directly make you stronger, but it also gives you more opportunities to experiment, practice and learn your guns. This is also part of being a courteous teammate; When you have 6+ special ammo, you can leave green bricks for your teammates instead of picking up multiple bricks for yourself.

Equip armor elements corresponding to your equipped guns’ armor perks. This allows you to use armor perks to supplement your weapons (Scavenger, Dexterity, Unflinching, Targetting, Loader perks, etc)

Weapon TypeElement of Armor with Corresponding Perks:
Sniper RiflesVoid armor
Grenade LaunchersVoid armor
ShotgunsArc armor
Fusion RiflesSolar armor

You should try to pair short-range primary weapons with long-range special weapons and vice versa This allows you to be effective at a variety of ranges and will help increase your map presence and give you a clear idea of which weapon you should be holding at any given time. Playing an open lane? Pull out your long-range weapon. Ducking into the caves? Pull out your short-range weapon. This will subconsciously train you to think about which weapon is best drawn in various scenarios and scales well into higher-level play.

Examples:

Some primary weapons such as The Last Word, SMG’s and Sidearms are only strong at close range, meaning these weapons pair best with Sniper Rifles.

Other Primary weapons such as Scout rifles and Pulse rifles are only good at long range, meaning these pair best with Shotguns.

Thorn and most Hand cannons are strong anywhere from close range to mid-long range making them versatile enough to use with practically any loadout. Likewise, Fusion rifles are also effective at a variety of ranges and pair well with many primary weapons.

Primary Weapons

This Meta tends to prefer Kinetic Primary weapons due to the presence of strong exotics such as Thorn and Last Word.

Kinetic

  • Thorn (Exotic Quest) Most solid all-rounder PvP primary weapon, good in any loadout.
  • The Last Word (Exotic Quest) Strongest PvP primary weapon at short range but also capable of decent ranges in a pinch.
  • Ace of Spades (Exotic Quest) Strong, but I believe Thorn to be stronger
  • Spare Rations (Reckoning) Most solid nonexotic PvP Primary weapon. Get max possible range. Multiple God rolls.
  • Austringer (Menagerie) Budget Spare Rations. Aim for max range, my preferred god roll is Eye of the Storm & Rangefinder
  • Randy’s Throwing Knife (PvP Quest) Very popular PvP Scout rifle, farm it in Momentum Control using a Jade Rabbit/Mida Multi
  • Blast Furnace (Forges) Aggressive Pulse Rifle causes high flinch and has solid TTK. Multiple Godrolls
  • Sacred Provenance (Garden of Salvation) Alternative to Blast Furnace. Multiple Godrolls
  • Bygones (Gambit) Adaptive frame pulse rifle, situationally faster TTK with certain rolls and a decent alternative to Aggressives.

Energy

  • Waking Vigil (Menagerie) Get max range possible. Multiple Godrolls. Versatile ranges.
  • Recluse (PvP quest) Usually used for short-range and popularly used with MountainTop or Snipers
  • Not Forgotten (PvP Quest) Very long PvP quest. Versatile ranges.
  • Luna’s Howl (PvP Quest) Used to get Not Forgotten but has a much lower range.
  • Last Hope (Random drop) After 2.7.0, Last Hope boasts a TTK of 0.5s and 18m damage falloff with a good roll, making it VERY solid.
  • Right Side of Wrong (Ma’adim Subterrane Lost Sector on Mars) Aggressive Pulse Rifle, similar to Blast Furnace but as an energy
  • Claws of the Wolf (Iron Banner) Rapid Fire frame Pulse Rifle for fans of this archetype

Special Weapons

This is where you will be picking the main weapon that you will be basing your playstyle around. There are 4 choices: Sniper Rifles, Shotguns, Fusion Rifles, and Grenade Launchers. I’ll be including a few of the most solid choices for each and some honorable mentions.

I tend to recommend Shotguns and Snipers for most players. ALL players should try to become proficient at both shotguns and snipers; this allows you to be a very versatile player and gives you the ability to adapt to maps and counter certain enemy players who are on killstreaks.

Fusion Rifles and Grenade launchers are also strong but you can explore these at your own leisure.

Sniper Rifles

On Snipers, you are looking for the best possible ADS and draw/stow times. This means high handling and Snapshot Sights. With quickdraw, Handling is effectively maxed so Range becomes the next best Stat. High RPM is better, but 140 RPM’s cannot 1 shot supers, whereas 90 RPMs can. 72 RPM’s are generally considered inferior, but not by much and allow for 1 shot-body shot in certain circumstances with damage buffs.

The opening shot is also an extremely strong perk. Moving Target is considered very helpful, and 140 RPM’s may consider getting Boxed Breathing which allows these snipers to 1 headshot supers similar to 90RPMs and 72RPMs

Snipers pair well with short-range weapons such as The Last Word, SMG’s, Sidearms, and other Hand cannons.

  • Beloved (Menagerie) 90 RPM Energy. Capable of 1 shot headshotting all Supers. Godroll is Snapshot + Quickdraw with max range
  • Apostate (Altar) 140 RPM Energy. Godroll is Moving Target + Snapshot with max Handling.
  • Omniscient Eye (Garden of Salvation) 140 RPM Energy. Look for any roll with Snapshot and max Handling.
  • The Supremacy (Last Wish) 140 RPM Kinetic. Look for any roll with Snapshot and max Handling.
  • Revoker (PvP Quest) 72 RPM Kinetic. Low firing rate and low handling with no quickdraw makes this gun quite sluggish compared to others in the list, but Reversal of Fortune allows for ammo regained on misses.
  • Sole Survivor (Reckoning) 90 RPM Energy. Also very solid in PvE with the Firing line, you can farm both PvP and PvE variants. PvP Godroll is Snapshot + Opening Shot with highest possible Handling (Fluted Barrel, Handling MW)

Shotguns

On Shotguns, you are looking for the highest One-Hit-Kill range possible. This means RANGE and Full Choke will be your priorities in terms of stats/barrels for Pellet based shotguns. Note that some shotguns with the same OHKO distance will have lower consistency than others, for example, Retold Tale reportedly has ~40% consistency at 7.5~9m, but Mindbenders Ambition has around a ~70% consistency at 8~8.5m range, so take all OHKO range numbers with a grain of salt.

Slug shotguns, on the other hand, are a unique type of shotgun and boast higher OHKO ranges at the expense of needing a headshot to kill, but otherwise would require 2 body shots or a body shot plus a melee attack for lethal. Pellet shotguns, on the other hand, can kill in one shot to the body making pellet shotguns much more forgiving and extremely easy to use comparatively.

The best Pellet Shotgun Perk will always be Quickdraw, and either Snapshot Sights or Slideshot. Slideshot is used for the reload on classes without an auto-reload such as Hunters or Transversive Steps Warlock, and Snapshot Sights is considered best perk otherwise. Note that Slideshot does NOT perceptibly increase OHKO range on shotguns despite claiming to increase range in the perk description.

On Slug Shotguns, the value of Opening shot becomes arguably higher than Slideshot or Snapshot sights, making Quickdraw & Opening shot the ideal god roll here with max possible range.

Shotguns pair well with longer-range hand cannons such as Thorn, Ace, Spare rations, Pulse Rifles, and Scout Rifles

Energy

  • Mindbender’s Ambition (Hollowed Lair Nightfall). Capable of ~8.5m OHKO range.
  • Retold Tale (Dreaming City) Capable of ~8.5m OHKO range but less consistent than Mindbenders
  • Gunnora’s Axe (Iron Banner) SHOOTS A SLUG. As with all slug shotguns, it requires a headshot to kill, or 2 body shots. Gunnars are capable of ~11.5m OHKO on a headshot.
  • Lord of Wolves (Random Exotic drop) Exotic shotgun. Got nerfed, previously capable of killing at 20m, now barely kills at 13.5m. At 12m and below, only 4 of your 10 shots need to hit for lethal. Always use with RTW perk active.

Kinetic

  • Dust Rock Blues (Menagerie) Basically same as Retold Tale at ~8.5m OHKO range but kinetic instead
  • The Chaperone (Exotic Quest) Exotic shotgun. SHOOTS A SLUG. Capable of ~13.5m OHKO on headshots or higher with the Roadborne Ornament which increases range. As with all slugs, body shots are nonlethal.
  • Blasphemer (Pit of Heresy/Altar) SHOOTS A SLUG. Basically the same as Gunnoras Axe but as a kinetic. ~11.5m OHKO range.
  • Parcel of Stardust (Gambit) Lightweight Frame increases sprint speed + mobility, a popular alternative for gap closing especially when not using sprint speed exotic boots. Curated roll is capable of ~7.5m OHKO range. Curated roll is the only roll that can get quickdraw.

Fusion Rifles

Fusion Rifles are a bit rarer than Shotguns and Snipers, and seem to be a love it or hate it weapon type. Fusion Rifle Mains will equip these and drop 20 kills a game, and none Fusion Riflers will equip one and struggle to get a single kill with them at all. But should you put in some effort to learn how to use them, Fusion Rifles can prove extremely powerful.

Good perks include Backup Plan, Firmly Planted, Under Pressure and Tap the Trigger. Max Range increases damage drop off for improved lethal kill ranges, whereas Stability helps tighten the bolt spread which can increase consistency, whereas faster charge time will let you get off shots faster.

  • Erentil FR4 (Menagerie/Gunsmith) Energy Fusion Rifle. Slightly higher base stats and tighter pellet spread than Wizened
  • The Wizened Rebuke (Iron Banner) Energy Fusion Rifle. Can roll with different perk combos than Erentil and can be easier to farm for players without a fully upgraded chalice
  • Jotunn (Forges) Energy Exotic Fusion Rifle. Shoots a single projectile that seeks and tracks enemies, explodes and burns on impact.
  • Telesto (Random Exotic Drop) Energy Exotic Fusion Rifle. Shoots multiple projectiles that detonate on contact or after a delay.

Grenade Launchers

Grenade Launchers are another love it or hate it weapon archetype. Effectively using a grenade launcher means learning the projectile drop and travel time of the grenades, plus learning how to lead moving targets and learning how the grenades ricochet off the walls and floors. There is also a timed trigger pull mechanic that controls when grenades explode, all of which take substantial time to learn.

However, certain Grenade launchers exist which detonate on impact with the ground, and these grenade launchers are much easier to use. Simply fire at your opponent’s feet, and switch to a primary weapon such as recluse to finish them off. This skips the harsh learning curve and these grenades are much easier to use in PvP.

  • The Mountaintop (PvP Quest) Kinetic Grenade Launcher. Plays similar to a rocket launcher, aim at your opponent’s feet and clean up with a primary weapon, or direct hit for an instant kill. Usually used with high ground advantage (AKA just jump when you shoot)
  • Martyr’s Retribution (Sundial) Energy Grenade Launcher. Basically throws a thermite grenade wave forward from point of impact dealing 130 damage to all in a line. Followup with a primary to finish off weakened enemies. However, very easy to dodge and counter.

Power Weapons

Power weapons in PvP are a much simpler affair. You very rarely pick up Power Ammo, and when you do, you want something that will simply win you every encounter you get into.

  • Hammerhead (Forges) Probably used on 90% of players in the crucible. Very solid PvP weapon, good ammo efficiency and very intuitive to use; Plays exactly like a beefed-up Autorifle. My preferred god roll is Dynamic Sway Reduction and Rampage, with the highest possible Range and/or magazine size increasing perks which increase ammo gained on ammo pickups.
  • Play of the Game (Crucible Random Drop) Another solid choice for PvP. Detonates immediately on impact with the ground, but unlike special ammo grenades, splash damage is capable of instantly killing enemies. Good rolls include Proximity Grenades, Quickdraw, and the highest possible blast radius. Commonly used to farm MountainTop.

General PvP Exotic Armors

Recommendations for the strongest PvP Exotic armors to use in the crucible. There are lots of strong exotic armors but you generally speaking can’t go wrong with these.

Hunter:

  • The Dragon’s Shadow For 10 seconds after dodging, gain increased handling, reload speed, and +50 hidden mobility. Dodging also reloads all 3 of your equipped weapons. Use with high mobility and pair with Gambler’s Dodge for free melee charges and an increase in roll-distance. Optionally you can also add battery mods for some shields.
  • Wormhusk Crown After dodging gain a small bump to health and shields. Use with Battery mods and high mobility to become extremely hard to kill. This lets you survive some hilariously dangerous situations.
  • Stomp-EE5 Increases sprint speed and improves jump height and slide distance. Very strong for PvP especially with shotguns to gap close and move unpredictably.
  • Fr0st-EE5 Sprinting grants Grenade, Melee, and Dodge ability energy, and dodging increases sprint speed. Pair with Battery mods for incredibly fast ability cooldowns and a decent amount of dodge shields to boot.

Titan

  • One-Eyed Mask Marks enemies who damage you; killing the marked player increases the damage and heals you. Nerfed recently, but still very solid.
  • Dunemarchers Increased sprint speed. Sprinting also builds up a charge, melee an enemy for this charge to damage and chain to all nearby opponents.
  • Lion Rampant Improves the effectiveness of Titan Double Jumps and allows accurate hipfire whilst mid-lift. Generally used with Catapult Lift.
  • Synthoceps Increases melee lunge range and increases melee and Super damage when surrounded by enemies
  • An Insurmountable Skullfort Arc melee ability kills restore health and regenerate melee energy. Use with Arc Top or Middle tree.
  • Doom Fang Pauldrons Your Void Melee ability kills now generate super energy, and kills during your super generate super energy and recharge your shield throw

Warlock

  • Transversive Steps Increases Sprint speed and sprinting for a short period of time also reloads the current weapons.
  • Ophidian Aspect Increases handling and reload speed for all equipped weapons. It also increases the melee lunge range.
  • Contraverse Hold 40% reduction to incoming damage whilst charging a void grenade and returns a random amount of grenade energy upon getting a grenade kill. Use with Middle tree Void’s Handheld Supernovas and high discipline for one of the strongest abilities in the game

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