Destiny 2 best PvE weapons for Nightfalls, raids, and endgame content

Destiny 2 best PvE weapons for Nightfalls, raids, and endgame content
Nico Vergara Updated on by

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Looking for the Destiny 2 best PvE weapons? There’s a huge arsenal of weapons in Destiny 2, and an ever changing meta. This can often make picking out the best weapons to bring into engagements a difficult task.

With the Final Shape release date growing closer on the horizon, it’s as important as ever to optimise your loadouts. Here then are our picks for the current Destiny 2 best PvE weapons. These are guns that excel for one reason or another in fighting non-player enemies across various styles of gameplay. If you’re trying to grind Nightfalls or Lost Sectors to get Ascendant Shards, these weapons are worth considering when you pick your loadout.

Best PvE weapons in Destiny 2

Weapons fall into three different slots in Destiny 2: primary, secondary and heavy. These are also sometimes called kinetic, energy and power, but we’ll stick with the former descriptors for the sake of clarity. Here are our picks for the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2 in each slot.

Best primary weapons for PvE

These are the best choices for primary weapons in PvE right now.

Destiny 2 best PvE weapons: A guardian uses Quicksilver Storm in combat.
  • Quicksilver Storm (Exotic)
    • A strand auto rifle that packs a high rate of fire and a lot of power. With the right strand fragments equipped, this thing can shred through waves of enemies with ease. It’s perk allows it to convert into a three-round grenade launcher after scoring hits with its micro-tracer rockets. For a secondary function on a primary gun, the grenade launcher does a diabolical amount of damage, easily scoring 50k hits.
  • Outbreak Perfected (Legendary)
    • The Outbreak Perfected pulse rifle is proving a favourite accomplice for Day One teams right now, and with good reason. Its intrinsic perk, The Corruption Spreads, creates swarms of SIVA nanites to attack targets on rapid hits or precision kills. This is enhanced by its trait Parasitism, which makes enemies attacked by SIVA more vulnerable to damage. Where this weapon really shines is in fireteams. Having multiple Outbreaks stacks the SIVA effects of its attacks immensely, allowing it to rapidly and destructively deal with enemy combatants. You’ll find it a great choice for raids, Strikes, and the weekly Nightfall strikes.
  • Witherhorde (Exotic)
    • Witherhorde is a special-ammo grenade launcher, and has been popular since its arrival in the game. What makes it a favoured PvE choice is that its grenades leave a pool of Taken energy on the ground where they hit, which damages anything stood inside of it. This makes Witherhorde a fantastic choice for clearing out tougher enemies, and for dealing an over time damage bonus to slow or stationary bosses.
  • Rufus’ Fury (Legendary)
    • Another auto rifle, Rufus’ Fury is a fantastic choice if you want an alternative to Quicksilver so that you can use your exotic pick in another slot. It can roll with a variety of exceptional perks, our personal favourite roll being a Frenzy and Rewind Rounds roll. It also has a spectacular rate of fire, and shockingly little recoil.
  • Heritage (Legendary)
    • Who doesn’t love a good shotgun? Accessible through the Deep Stone Crypt raid, this powerful Kinetic Shotgun has good impact and range, and excellent handling. It can rapidly defeat smaller targets, and unleash sizable damage against larger foes. It can also roll with both Reconstruction and Recombination.
  • Riptide (Legendary)
    • Though not quite as deadly as it was last season, make no mistake, this stasis fusion rifle is still among the strongest in the game. Riptide boasts a great rate of fire for its weapon class. Combining that rapid fire frame with good handling and reasonable impact, it’s quick, versatile and offers stellar support. Though it’s shining potential trait Chill Clip has seen a bit of a nerf with Season of The Witch, it’s still viable. On sustained hits, this perk can freeze enemies, offering an easier stun option against Unstoppable Champions.

Best secondary weapons for PvE

These are what we’d choose to go with for builds looking to run one of the best secondary PvE weapons right now.

Destiny 2 best PvE weapons: A guardian defeats a Hive wizard with The Deicide.
  • Forbearance (Legendary)
    • Forbearance is a special ammo grenade launcher, and one of the most popular in the game right now. Coming from the Vow of The Disciple raid, Forbearance is a wave-frame launcher, meaning that after grenade impact, it launches a straight line energy shockwave out in the direction it was fired in. This gives it massive ad-clearing potential. It’s Souldrinker origin trait heals you for kills made before reloading, and it can also roll with Ambitious Assassin and Chain Reaction, dramatically increasing its damage potential.
  • Graviton Lance (Exotic)
    • Graviton Lance is a popular pulse rifle and well-suited for clearing easy and tough enemies. It’s exotic trait, Black Hole, gives the second shot of the burst tremendous damage, and its Cosmology perk causes targets defeated by the weapon to explode with void energy. Combined with strong range and a stunning 100 in stability, Graviton is extremely capable. What makes it an even better choice though is that it’s Cosmology perk recieved a huge PvE damage buff of 67% come the mid-season update.
  • Trinity Ghoul (Exotic)
    • While bows saw something of a renaissance for PvP during Season of The Deep, there are fewer options that do as well for PvE. Trinity Ghoul is an exception. Through the use of its Lightning Rod intrinsic trait, this bow creates a chain lightning effect whenever you land a precision kill. If you get its catalyst however, you’ll be able to create the effect no matter where you aim.
  • Epochal Integration (Legendary)
    • Picked up from the very first mission in the Veil quest weekly series, this hand cannon comes masterworked, with some brilliant rolls for PvE. On top of high impact and stability, the gun has ricochet rounds and the Incandescent perk, making it excellent for clearing out groups quickly. It also has a choice between origin traits Nanotech Tracer Rockets, or Harmonic Resonance, which will improve its damage and performance if you’re also running Rufus’ Fury.
  • The Deicide (Legendary)
    • While there are shotguns for this slot that can do more damage, and even ones with better rolls, few can match the devastating combination of The Deicide’s magazine size and speed. With an Rapid Fire frame, an RPM of 140 and a magazine size of up to 8 rounds if you roll one with an Appended mag, this weapon can rip through groups of ads with startling speed. Even better, as a void weapon, it can roll with Destabilising Rounds, and benefit from Volatile Rounds depending on how your Void subclass is set up.
  • Ex Diris (Exotic)
    • The latest seasonal exotic, Ex Diris would be deserving of a place here just for its capability to give Hive boomer Knights a taste of their own medicine. This special slot arc grenade launcher is however an excellently powerful weapon in its own right. It’s got pretty good handling and reload speeds for its weapon class. Corrupted Nucleosynthesis takes this further, enraging when you take or deal sustained damage with it and boosting rate of fire. Loyal Moths is the ultimate payback trait, spawning in a loyal Lucent Moth on kills that tracks and destroys enemies for you.

Best heavy weapons for PvE

Here are our picks for the best heavy weapons in Destiny 2 PvE right now.

Destiny 2 best PvE weapons: A guardian kills a boss with Thunderlord.
  • Thunderlord (Exotic)
    • Thunderlord is one of the most destructive machine guns in the game. Final blows bring down devastating lightning strikes, and if you have the catalyst, you can bring them down from precision hits as well, with each strike partially reloading the magazine. It’s got a bit of a windup, but once it gets going, Thunderlord is capable of dealing devastating damage to bosses – only currently surpassed by the rocket launcher meta. It can clear out ads with unparalleled efficiency. It can also stun Overload Champions.
  • Gjallarhorn (Exotic)
    • The reigning king of rocket launchers is almost a no-brainer, especially with an ongoing damage meta for the weapon class. Wielding a 100 in blast radius and a solid reload rate for a rocket launcher are both bonuses for this weapon. It’s true potential comes from its perk Wolfpack Rounds – small cluster missiles that spill out and track targets following primary detonation. What makes this weapon exceptional right now though is the catalyst, which gives Wolfpack Rounds to all nearby allies with non-exotic launchers. This allows a full fireteam with rockets to output some of the highest damage in the game during boss encounters.
  • Cataclysmic (Legendary)
    • Another weapon from the Vow of The Disciple raid, this linear fusion rifle has been and still remains a great choice. It’s stats are nothing to write home about, though a Precision Frame makes it easier to score precision hits with. Coming with a Souldrinker origin trait like Forbearance, it’s a good way to boost your survivability while also taking down tough enemies. It can also roll with a host of desirable perks on it, including Rewind Rounds, Clown Cartridge, and Fourth Time’s The Charm.
  • Tractor Cannon (Exotic)
    • This one’s a team-player weapon. Tractor Cannon is a heavy shotgun, and a bit of a weird weapon. Upon hits it deals massive knockback, so it’s a good way to create space if you’re caught in close quarters with a powerful foe. What really makes it shine at the moment is its that a hit with the gun will apply the Suppress void debuff to enemies, weakening their damage and shutting off their abilities. It’ll also leave them more vulnerable to damage. When stacked with the right builds, this can make Tractor Cannon the lynchpin in unleashing some truly staggering damage numbers against bosses.
  • The Other Half (Legendary)
    • This is probably the most popular sword in the game right now, but not for the reasons you may think. The Other Half is a blade coming from 30th Anniversary chests in Dares of Eternity. If you’re lucky, it’ll drop with a perk called Egar Edge. This perk is the foundation of well-skating and shatter-skating techniques – a movement that flings players through the air at normally impossible to reach speeds. Having this weapon grants you the ability to access another scale of mobility, pulling off feats that would otherwise be impossible within the game.
  • Apex Predator (Legendary)
    • Apex Predator might seem like an odd choice at first, but arguably, this is the single highest damage weapon in the game right now. The reason for this is mainly down to rolls. While an Adaptive Frame is nothing to write home about, its God-roll, Bipod and Reconstruction, grant the launcher astonishing DPS in the right setup. Bipod will greatly increase the total ammo reserves and allow the launcher to hold two in the magazine at once. Swapping it out between volleys for a weapon like a high power fusion rifle gives Reconstruction a chance to auto-reload the weapon for you, optimising the number of shots you can get off. This strategy combined with a Well of Radiance and Deadfall Tether can easily reach the millions in damage within single DPS phases against bosses.

What is the best PvE weapon in Destiny 2?

It’s impossible to say definitively what the best PvE weapon of all is in Destiny 2 right now. For our money though, we’d say Thunderlord is a good bet for non-boss encounters. While it doesn’t have the raw damage potential of a rocket launcher, it’s versatility as a machine gun, large magazine capacity, and ability to stun Overload Champions make it able to perform exceptionally in almost any circumstance. For bosses, a God-roll Apex provides simply the best DPS you can get.

Best PvE god rolls in Destiny 2

God rolls refer to a synergy between two or more rolled perks on a weapon in-game. A god roll is usually two already powerful perks that, together, become more than they were apart, massively improving the power, versatility or utility of a weapon. Some rolls will just work better for different players depending on playstyle and preferences. But there are a few that really stand out. Here are our top picks for combination perk rolls you want to keep an eye out for on PvE oriented weapons.

  • Rewind Rounds & Feeding Frenzy. The former refills the weapon magazine once empty based on the number of hits in the last mag, and the latter improves reload speed for each rapid kill. Combined on a long-performance weapon like a machine gun, these two perks can massively prolong its sustained fire capability and overall combat speed.
  • Ambitious Assassin & Chain Reaction. The former overflows the magazine based on the number of rapid kills before hand, the latter creates elemental damage explosions on kills. Combined on a high-impact weapon like a grenade launcher, this combo can clear a room rapidly and set you up for better performance on the next magazine.
  • Reconstruction & Bipod. Reconstruction slowly reloads a weapon passively over time, Bipod doubles the magazine and total capacity of a weapon, while reducing the damage. Exclusive to rocket launchers, this combination allows for absurd damage output, making it a perfect raid choice. Passive reloads and more rounds total far outweigh Bipod’s damage reduction and reduce time wasted in damage checks reloading, making for a smoother, more sustained period of direct damage output which can quickly climb into the millions.

That covers our list for the Destiny 2 best PvE weapons in the game right now. These are of course only our choices, and not an exhaustive list. Be sure to check in on the best PvP weapons too though if you want more insight into the top guns and blades you can pick up right now. Or take a look at the new Season of the Wish weapons that have arrived with the Destiny 2 Season 23 launch.

What is the best rocket launcher in Destiny 2?

Gjallarhorn is currently the best rocket launcher in Destiny 2.

What is the best weapon type in Destiny 2?

At the moment, shotguns, auto rifles, rocket launchers, bows, and hand cannons are all in the meta for weapon types in Destiny 2.