Our 12 best Destiny 2 Hunter exotics for PvP, PvE and endgame content in Season 23, ranked

Our 12 best Destiny 2 Hunter exotics for PvP, PvE and endgame content in Season 23, ranked
Finlay Cattanach Updated on by

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Want the best Destiny 2 Hunter exotics? Exotics are the rarest and strongest class of gear you can find in Bungie’s space-faring FPS. With special exotic perks, each and every piece of exotic equipment in the game can change your performance, utility, and versatility in significant ways, providing powerful abilities to you and your fireteam. But not all exotics are made equal.

Here, we’re going to cover the top ten best Destiny 2 Hunter exotics, and explain what makes these pieces of elite Hunter gear so good. If you’re looking for similar guides on the best Warlock exotics and best Titan exotics too, or want to know when you can test out your new gear in the Destiny 2 Warlord’s Ruin dungeon, we’ve got you covered. And if you want to grab some of these with minimal effort, don’t forget to check where is Xur this week.

12 best exotics for Hunters in Destiny 2 you should aim to get ASAP, ranked

Here are our picks for the best Hunter exotics in Destiny 2. Keep in mind that this isn’t an exclusive list, and there are plenty of other great exotic armor pieces out there which can boost weapon damage, facilitate a build, or otherwise fill a crucial niche that few other bits of gear can.

  1. Knucklehead Radar
  2. Young Ahamkara’s Spine
  3. Assassin’s Cowl
  4. Renewal Grasps
  5. Cyrtarachne’s Facade
  6. Star Eater Scales
  7. Wormhusk Crown
  8. The Bombardiers
  9. Mask of the Quiet One
  10. Gyrfalcon’s Habuerk
  11. Orpheus Rig
  12. Radiant Dance Machines

Let’s explain each of these choices in a little more detail, and dive into why these exotics are really so good, and how they help Hunters fufil all the strengths of their Destiny 2 class.

12. Knucklehead Radar

Though an unusual choice on the surface, Knucklehead Radar gets its spot on this list for the simple but effective breadth of its utility. Its intrinsic trait, Upgraded Sensor Pack, provides radar while you’re aiming – an especially valuable asset in PvP settings. But it also doubles your radar resolution while crouched, passively boosts airborne effectiveness of all weapons by 20 when aiming down sights, and incrementally increases damage to low-health targets. Specifically, a 1% damage increase per percentage of enemy health below 30% – so an enemy at 10% health will take 20% more damage, for example.

Obviously these abilities all have fantastic utility in PvP settings, and they can be useful in PvE too. While not as support, defence or offence focused as most of our other choices, Knucklehead Radar grants a wide enough number of helpful bonuses to make it a great choice in any build that isn’t focused around a particular exotic, but could still benefit from one.

10 best Destiny 2 Hunter exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Hunter with enhanced radar while aiming down sights from Knucklehead Radar.

Did you know?

The Knucklehead Radar is one of the oldest Hunter exotics in Destiny 2. It originated all the way back in Year 1 of Destiny 1, before undergoing a rework in Year 2 for the release of the Taken King expansion.

11. Oathkeeper

Oathkeeper is a niche exotic, but it fulfils that niche exceptionally well. The arm pieces’ trait Adamantine Brace allow a bow charge to be held indefinitely, as well as providing an increasingly generous damage boost to charged shots. At maximum charge, this reaches a 150% boost to damage dealt with bows. The exotic also passively increases the draw speed and greatly improves the airborne effectiveness of all bows while equipped.

Though its niche does prevent it from getting higher on our list for best Hunter exotics, the increasing prevalence of bows in Destiny 2 is apparent. With some truly excellent new exotic options like Verglass Curve and most recently the Wish-Keeper exotic from the Starcrossed exotic mission, the arsenal of weapons which benefit from what Oathkeeper provides is steadily growing.

10. Young Ahamkara’s Spine

As we covered in our guide on the best Hunter builds, Young Ahamkara’s Spine is a linchpin for making one of the strongest Solar Hunter PvP builds work. The Wish-Dragon Teeth trait massively buffs tripmine grenades, widening their cone, increasing their duration, damage, greatly increasing the mine health, and granting tripmine grenade energy on ability damage. Scorch, something applied by your melee and tripmines, counts as ability damage.

The Young Ahamkara’s Spine grasps therefore serve as the backbone (pun intended) of powerful tripmine grenade builds for hunters. With the right setup and a clean execution of the combat cycle, this exotic precipitates a nearly constant supply of tripmine explosives. This is devastating in PvP, but equally formidable for crowd control in PvE. Recent nerfs have slightly knocked it down the rankings, though.

10 best Destiny 2 Hunter exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Hunter throws tripmine grenades while wearing Young Ahamkara's Spine.

9. Assassin’s Cowl

Assassin’s Cowl is another fantastic option for improving your Hunter’s survivability and overall versatility. Its Vanishing Execution intrinsic trait turns your Hunter invisible on powered melee final blows. Given how useful invisibility is for disengaging and repositioning, this alone would be great, improving the flow of the combat cycle as you keep the fight more squarely on your terms.

However, the Cowl doesn’t stop there. When you turn invisible in this way, you’ll also gain a small amount of health back. If you’ve ever been the last guardian standing in an intense firefight before, you’ll know how useful this is. Lastly, more powerful combatants defeated by a powered melee final blow or a finisher will extend the duration of invisibility, as well as heal a greater portion of health, setting up a clear risk-reward payoff for this exotic.

10 best Destiny 2 Hunter exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Assassin's Cowl on display.

8. Renewal Grasps

There aren’t many Hunter exotics for stasis, but Renewal Grasps are one of the few exceptions. The Grasps come with an intrinsic trait called Depths of Duskfield, which greatly improve the range of your Duskfield grenades. This is already pretty good, but the Renewal Grasps also bring extra utility to the grenade. Allies inside your Duskfield grenades will take reduced damage, and enemies inside them will deal reduced damage, allowing the grenades to more effectively serve a support role on top of their basic functions.

10 best Destiny 2 Hunter exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Renewal Grasps on display.

7. Cyrtarachne’s Facade

Cyrtarachne’s Facade is likely a more obscure helmet for many compared to some of the choices on this list. In spite of that, it offers a pretty underrated perk. Its Acrobat’s Focus intrinsic trait grants Woven Mail when using a strand grapple, as well as improving flinch resistance while the buff is active. Woven Mail is one of the subclasses’ best buffs, greatly improving your damage resistance while applied. Though it’s seen a small nerf, it’s not too severe an impact on this exotic’s potential.

With this exotic equipped, you’ll be far better on the offensive and defensive. Falling back to reposition with a well-aimed grapple will be safer than ever, and charging into enemies to use the grapple’s melee AOE hit will be less of a risk. It’s a worthwhile investment to pick this one up if you’re looking for an exotic to synergise with your Strand Hunter loadout.

10 best Destiny 2 Hunter exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content Cyrtarachne's Facade on display.

6. Star Eater Scales

Star Eater Scales are all about improving your super, making them highly applicable to almost any Hunter build. Their Feast of Light intrinsic trait improves the amount of super energy you gain from orbs of power. Even better, they give orbs functionality once your super is full.

When you pick up an orb while your super is full with Star Eaters on, it’ll begin to overcharge your super. This means that when you finally unleash it, you’ll receive a burst of healing and a boost to initial damage. At maximum overcharge, you also gain an overshield.

Unfortunately, recent nerfs have hit builds focused around Orbs of Power generation pretty hard, but not so badly that Star Eaters have lost their place. Although it’s more of a challange, Star Eaters can still thrive in fireteam settings, enhancing your efficiency and DPS in PvE.

10 best Destiny 2 Hunter exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Star Eater Scales on display.

5. Wormhusk Crown

This one has been popular on the PvP scene since its inception, and with good reason. So it shouldn’t be too surprising that it makes our list of best Destiny 2 Hunter exotics. Wormhusk Crown is an excellent survivability exotic. Useful in PvE, and astonishing in PvP, it takes full advantage of the inbuilt Hunter stats that make the class what it is.

The Crown’s intrinsic trait, Burning Souls, is simple. When you dodge, you receive a small amount of your health and your shield back.

This adds a fantastic additional layer to the utility of Hunter’s class ability, and becomes even stronger when stacked with invisibility functions. Best of all, it can be the difference between life and death in challenging PvP engagements. As such, the Crown retains its popularity for good reason, and much like Knucklehead, it integrates well into the majority of builds not dependant on specific exotics.

10 best Destiny 2 Hunter exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Wormhusk Crown on display.

4. The Bombardiers

From one great PvP exotic to another. The Bombardiers are our next choice, though these exotic legs can serve pretty well in PvE as well as the Crucible. The Bombardiers come with the perk Parting Gift, which leaves behind a small automated explosive every time you use your dodge. The damage type is dependant on your subclass, and the detonation will instantly inflict that damage type’s signature debuff on anything caught on the blast. So Scorched for Solar blasts, Blind for Arc, Slow for Stasis, and so on.

The uses in PvP are pretty obvious – it gives you a huge advantage in close-quarters combat against anything short of a shotgun to the face. Of course these effects are also useful in PvE activities as a way of dealing with tougher enemies and stunning Destiny 2 Champions. Taken as a whole then, they’re a great exotic for adding a new tactic to any Hunter’s playbook.

3. Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk

It’s probably little surprise to see this one on our best Destiny 2 Hunter exotics. Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk is an exceptional Void Hunter exotic, providing a complex series of bonuses that improve the subclasses’ performance and open up exciting new potential combat patterns.

The See Me, Feel Me intrinsic trait of the Hauberk revolves around invisibility again. While invisible, finishers on enemies will grant your weapons bonus damage, improve your and your nearby allies’ class ability regeneration, and grant you and nearby allies a reserve overshield, deployable when you activate your class ability. In addition, you’ll gain Volatile Rounds on your void weapons whenever you exit invisibility.

Gyrfalcon’s effectively allows a Hunter to share their superior survivability with their fireteam, as well as reaping the benefits of powerful damage bonuses that, in the right setup, can facilitate some exceptionally strong Void Hunter builds. Even if you’re not looking to craft a build around it, it remains an excellent choice among the best Hunter exotics.

10 best Destiny 2 Hunter exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Gyrfalcon's Hauberk on display.

2. Orpheus Rig

Another build-critical exotic, Orpheus Rig legs are a key component of some of the strongest Void Hunter builds out there. Uncanny Arrows grants ability energy for every enemy tethered by a Deadfall Shot or Mobius Quiver super. In this case, that ability energy includes supers themselves. With the right setup, a good Hunter can utilise the intrinsic trait of Orpheus Rig to maintain an extremely fast super recharge, usually two minutes or less. Given how useful the void subclass is for hunters in suppressing enemies, improving their survivability, and empowering teammates, it goes without saying that this is a fantastic PvE exotic to have.

10 best Destiny 2 Hunter exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Hunter dodges while wearing Orpheus Rigs.

1. Radiant Dance Machines

If you’re looking for a truly showstopping dodge enhancer, this is the exotic for you. Radiant Dance Machines have an intrinsic trait called The Dance. This trait allows you to dodge additional times after activating your dodge while near enemies. Defeating enemies while the buff is active extends the duration of infinite dodge.

Given the various builds and combinations that can expand the utility and usefulness of the dodge, these exotic legs have the potential to support some truly overpowered builds. But even if you’re not outfitting your dodge to be one of the most broken mechanics in the game, it’s still a lot of fun to mess around with.

10 best Destiny 2 Hunter exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Radiant Dance Machines on display.

What are the best Hunter exotics for PvE in Destiny 2?

As you’ll have seen from this list, some exotics perform particularly well in different situations. Here are our top three picks for the best PvE exotics for Hunters in Destiny 2.

  • Assassin’s Cowl – The risk-reward strategy can pay off greatly for Hunters, allowing you to survive in situations other classes might struggle with.
  • Radiant Dance Machines – Given the high applicability of the dodge to various powerful builds, having short periods of unlimited dodge potential can create some extremely potent Hunter builds.
  • Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk – The bonuses to DPS potential, personal survivability, and team support allow Hunters with this exotic to perform better and offer more to a fireteam than most other pieces of gear.

What are the best Hunter exotics for PvP in Destiny 2?

Being an especially deadly class in PvP, it should be little surprise that plenty of options on our list can bring a serious threat to bear when fighting other Guardians. Here are our top three picks for the best PvP exotics for Hunters in Destiny 2.

  • Wormhusk Crown – A simple exotic that works well in most builds and buffs survivability, one of the most important statistics to consider in PvP engagements.
  • Young Ahamkara’s Spine – These exotic arm pieces make it on here simply for being the key component to one of the best Solar Hunter PvP builds in the game.
  • The Bombadiers – A close-range counter that’s difficult to get away from. Your enemies can’t do much if they’re blind, on fire, or a block of ice.

That covers our list for the top ten best Destiny 2 Hunter exotics. Your armour alone won’t be enough to complete a truly superior build though. Whether you’re after specific weapons like the Wish-Keeper exotic and its Starcrossed exotic mission, or more lists of the top contenders, be sure to check out our lists for the best Destiny 2 PvE weapons and best Destiny 2 PvP weapons to complete your loadouts and go into Destiny 2 season 23 well prepared.

What’s the best Hunter void exotic in Destiny 2?

The best Hunter void exotic is probably Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk, which provides a vast amount of utility and combat bonuses to both the player and their teammates.

What’s the best Hunter solar exotic In Destiny 2?

The best Hunter solar exotic in the game may be Young Ahamkara’s Spine, which facilitates one of the strongest solar hunter builds in the game, the tripmine build.