Best Destiny 2 PvE weapons: Meta guns in Season of the Witch

lightfall gearBungie

Lightfall is now in its third season and the meta has evolved yet again forcing players to update their loadouts to keep up. Here are the best Destiny 2 PvE weapons that are currently dominating the meta in Season of the Witch.

Although off-meta guns can be fun to use it’s usually best to stick to the top-tier weapons when tackling more demanding content. The difference between a solid gun and a meta gun is staggering and can single-handedly be the reason you clear a Raid, Dungeon, or GM.

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With randomized perks and different archetypes, there are always going to be guns that stand out above the competition. The PvE meta forms from these particularly strong firearms, and if you want the best DPS you will want to use them.

With the help of the tried-and-true community tool Destiny Tracker, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular weapons across all of Destiny 2 PvE, covering everything from campaign missions to end-game Raids and Grandmaster Nightfalls.

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Destiny 2 best PvE weapons in Season of the Witch

10. The Other Half

The Other Half legendary Sword in Destiny 2.Bungie

Legendary Swords aren’t particularly strong so why is The Other Half so popular? Simply, its unique perk Eager Edge allows Guardians to fly across the map and take advantage of numerous advanced movement techs that can be a lot of fun when mastered.

God Roll: Jagged Edge + Swordmaster’s Guard + Eager Edge + Vorpal Weapon

9. Commemoration

Commemoration void machine gun in destiny 2

Commemoration has remained the best legendary Machine Gun ever since it was given a perk refresh in Season 19, and it’s no surprise given that Reconstruction and Killing Tally have the kind of meta-defining synergy that’s so strong it practically feels like cheating.

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God Roll: Arrowhead Brake + Extended Mag/Accurized Rounds + Reconstruction + Killing Tally

8. Riptide

The Riptide Legendary Fusion Rifle as seen in Destiny 2.Bungie

The Riptide makes an unsurprising appearance on this list with it being one of the best non-Exotic utility weapons in Destiny 2. Crucially, this Fusion Rifle gets access to Chill Clip which is wonderful for stunning Unstoppable Champions and taking advantage of shatter damage.

God Roll: Arrowhead Brake + Accelerated Coils/Enhanced Battery + Auto-Loading Holster + Chill Clip

7. Forbearance

The Forbearance legendary grenade launcher as seen in Destiny 2.Bungie

Chain Reaction for unmatched add clear? Check. Ambitious Assassin giving a huge magazine on reloads? Check. Fantastic stats across the board and the ability to be crafted? You know it. Since its release, Forbearance has been the best Legendary GL in Destiny 2 and that remains true to this day.

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God Roll: Quick Launch + High-Velocity Rounds + Ambitious Assassin + Chain Reaction

6. Rufus’s Fury

Rufus's Fury legendary auto rifle in Destiny 2.Bungie

While it is a little overhyped Rufus’s Fury is a genuinely excellent Auto Rifle with Rapid-Fire Frames arguably being the best choice for an AR. Throw in Enhanced Target Lock and it’s safe to say this is currently the best non-Exotic Strand Primary in Destiny 2.

God Roll: Arrowhead Brake + Richochet Rounds + Demolitionist + Target Lock

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5. Ex Diris

Ex Diris Arc Exotic Grenade Launcher in destiny 2

New to Season of the Witch, Ex Diris is this season’s Exotic and has proven to be strong with the right loadout. It has great synergy with Arc, hits hard, and is one of the stronger add-clear Exotics in the game right now. It’ll be interesting to see if it remains popular once everyone’s tried out the shiny new toy.

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God Roll: Curated Roll

4. Sunshot

Sunshot exotic solar hand cannon in destiny 2.

Holy Hand Cannon buff. When Bungie made Destiny’s most iconic gun type stronger in PvE they couldn’t even begin to imagine what the result would be. Sunshot has risen to unprecedented levels with it becoming easily the best Solar weapon in Destiny 2 PvE. Be sure to give this a try if you haven’t already.

God Roll: Curated Roll

3. Retrofit Escapade

Retrofit Escapade Void legendary machine gun in Destiny 2.Bungie

With Banshee being kind enough to regularly sell this fan-favorite LMG this season it’s no surprise to see its usage rate skyrocket. As always, Retrofit Escapade is an awesome DPS choice for encounters where you can stay up close in a Well of Radiance while landing constant precision shots.

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God Roll: Arrowhead Brake + Appended Mag + Fourth Time’s the Charm + Target Lock

2. Quicksilver Storm

Quicksilver Storm Exotic Auto Rifle from Destiny 2.Bungie

Quicksilver Storm is still the best Exotic weapon introduced in Lightfall. This Strand Auto Rifle not only has 100 Stability making it extremely accurate but also an alternate fire grenade launcher that offers Special ammo damage potential without having to consume any ammo.

God Roll: Curated Roll

1. Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo, an Exotic Auto Rifle in Destiny 2 with a new catalyst.Bungie

It took eight years but Monte Carlo’s mighty blade can finally be used as a melee weapon courtesy of its new catalyst. Combine that with Synthoceps and you’ll be dealing six-figure damage numbers with a simple melee attack which is more than enough to make this one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2.

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God Roll: Curated Roll

Destiny 2 Best PvE weapons: Most popular Destiny 2 PvE weapons (by usage %)

The PvE meta as of September 5, 2023, per Destiny Tracker:

  1. Monte Carlo (2.95%)
  2. Quicksilver Storm (2.62%)
  3. Retrofit Escapade (2.27%)
  4. Sunshot (2.23%)
  5. Ex Diris (1.98%)
  6. Rufus’s Fury (1.90%)
  7. Forbearance (1.78%)
  8. Riptide (1.74%)
  9. Commemoration (1.67%)
  10. The Other Half (1.63%)

Keep an eye on this page to make sure you’re up-to-date on the best Destiny 2 PVE weapons, and check out some other helpful content here:

Deepsight Harmonizers: How to farm, use, and what weapons to convert | Exotic Mission Rotator: What it is, how to access, schedule, loot table | Best Exotic weapons | Best PvP Weapons | Best PvE Weapons | Destiny 2 Season of the Witch: Release date, raid, power cap, & more | Best Titan Builds | Best Warlock Builds | Best Arc 3.0 Builds | Best Solar 3.0 Builds | Best Void 3.0 Builds  |  Best Stasis Builds

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