Best Destiny 2 PvP weapons: Meta guns for Competitive & Trials of Osiris

Kurt Perry
Destiny 2 Season of the Lost Weapons 2 With Logo

Destiny 2’s PvP meta constantly shifts with new weapons and strategies taking over the Crucible. Here are the best PvP weapons in Destiny 2 to use and dominate Competitive & Trials of Osiris in Into The Light.

Contrary to what some players may think, the Crucible remains an extremely popular battleground for Guardians to test their mettle against one another.

One of the biggest draws of PvP in Destiny 2 is the challenge of buildcrafting and finding the right guns to dominate. This is especially tricky as Bungie continues to release new Legendary and Exotic Weapons causing the meta to constantly shift.

To help you figure out which guns you should be using in the Crucible we’ve put together this list of the best Destiny 2 PvP weapons in Into The Light, based on a mix of their popularity and overall effectiveness.

Contents

Destiny 2: Best PvP weapons in Into The Light

Destiny 2’s PvP Meta is made up of the best weapons in the sandbox. There are all sorts of reasons why a weapon can excel in the Crucible, like having a stacked perk pool, or just feeling great to use.

Using the right weapon is essential if you want to be as competitive as possible, especially in Trials of Osiris where the smallest margins make all the difference. To avoid being left behind by other players, these are the weapons you should be using:

Best Top Slot Weapons (Kinetic, Stasis, Strand)

Primary Weapons

Hung Jury SR4

Hung Jury SR4 scout rifle in Destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Scout Rifle
  • Element: Kinetic
  • Weapon Frame: Precision
  • Debut Season: Season 23 (Reissued)
  • PvP God Roll: Rapid Hit + Box Breathing

Hung Jury SR4 was already fantastic when it was released in Season 20, and the reissue Into The Light variant is equally strong. The main reason to use this over other Scout Rifles is that it gets access to Box Breathing, allowing for a 670 ms TTK against 100 Resilience. That’s extremely competitive, making Hung Jury SR4 an excellent option on larger maps.

Midnight Coup

Midnight Coup hand cannon in Destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Hand Cannon
  • Element: Kinetic
  • Weapon Frame: Adaptive
  • Debut Season: Season 23 (Reissued)
  • PvP God Roll: Explosive Payload + Zen Moment

Also reissued in Into The Light, Midnight Coup is an excellent Hand Cannon that can compete against the very best. It not only feels great but also has really good stats for an Adaptive Frame. This is just an incredibly well-rounded weapon that Hand Cannon enjoyers are such to love.

Rose

Rose hand cannon in Destiny 2
  • Weapon Type: Hand Cannon
  • Element: Kinetic
  • Weapon Frame: Lightweight
  • Debut Season: Season 19 (Reissued)
  • God Roll: Slideshot/Rapid Hit + Explosive Payload

Rose is the best Legendary Hand Cannon in PvP right now. It offers the consistency and damage of an Adaptive frame, yet also has the handling and movement buff of a Lightweight Frame. The only thing preventing this from completely taking over PvP is that it can be somewhat frustrating to farm. If you’re willing to put in the time though, Rose is the gun you want.

The Messenger

The mEssenger (Adept) legendary Pulse Rifle from destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Pulse Rifle
  • Element: Kinetic
  • Weapon Frame: High-Impact
  • Debut Season: Season 21 (Reissued)
  • PvP God Roll: Rapid Hit + Headseeker/Keep Away

The Messenger an extraordinary Pulse Rifle that delivers some of the most consistent two-burst kills possible. It effectively plays like a Legendary version of No Time To Explain, and given how dominant that Exotic has been in PvP, that’s far from a bad thing. Unfortunately, The Messenger is exclusive to Trials of Osiris, so it’s not the easiest gun to farm for more casual players.

Unending Tempest

Unending Tempest Stasis submachine gun in Destiny 2
  • Weapon Type: SMG
  • Element: Stasis
  • Weapon Frame: Precision
  • Debut Season: Season 22
  • God Roll: Dynamic Sway Reduction + Target Lock

Meet the gun that killed off The Immortal. Even after both SMGs and Target Lock were nerfed in PvP, Unending Tempest has remained a powerhouse. It has great sights, a fast TTK, and is one of the easiest guns to dominate with. It doesn’t matter if you are a top 1% player or a complete newbie, getting an Unending Tempest god roll is a must.

Special Weapons

Defiance of Yasmin

Defiance of Yasmin sniper rifle in Destiny 2
  • Weapon Type: Sniper Rifle
  • Element: Kinetic
  • Weapon Frame: Adaptive
  • Debut Season: Season 18
  • God Roll: Snapshot Sights + Opening Shot

When it comes to top slot Sniper Rifles, your options are limited. Most of the best PvP snipers are energy weapons, but Defiance of Yasmin is the exception to that rule. Received as a drop from King’s Fall, this raid gun is incredible with it not only having high Aim Assistance but also the dream perk combination of Snapshot Sights and Opening Shot.

Fractethyst

Fractehyst shotgun in Destiny 2
  • Weapon Type: Shotgun
  • Element: Stasis
  • Weapon Frame: Precision
  • Debut Season: Season 15
  • God Roll: Quickdraw/Slideshot + Opening Shot

Having first appeared before The Witch Queen was even released, Fractethyst is one of the oldest weapons on this list. The thing is, it still works as well as ever, with Opening Shot pairing really well with either Quickdraw or Slideshot. It may be three years old, but Fractethyst is still the best Stasis Shotgun for PvP, and arguably the best Special Legendary weapon altogether.

Imperial Decree

The Imperial Decree Legendary Shotgun in Destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Shotgun
  • Element: Kinetic
  • Weapon Frame: Aggressive
  • Debut Season: Season 18 (Reissued)
  • God Roll: Slideshot + Opening Shot

If you like Precision Frame Shotguns, Fractethyst is unmatched, but those who prefer Aggressive Frames will want to use Imperial Decree. Its reissued variant is a PvP monster, with Slideshot negating the need to reload, and Opening Shot making it super consistent. What’s amazing about Imperial Decree is that it’s craftable and from seasonal activities, making it accessible to just about anyone.

Exotic Weapons

Ace of Spades

Ace of Spades Exotic Hand Cannon from Destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Hand Cannon
  • Element: Kinetic
  • Exotic Perks: Memento Mori, Firefly
  • Catalyst: Funeral Pyre
  • Debut Season: Season 4

As Exotic Weapons go, Ace of Spades is about as simple as they come. By killing enemy players you trigger Memento Mori, empowering your next six shots. These empowered shots deal more damage and will destroy others if you land your shots. Ace of Spades is as easy to use as it is satisfying, so it’s no surprise to see so many players still using this classic gun.

Conditional Finality

conditional finality exotic shotgun from destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Shotgun
  • Element: Stasis
  • Exotic Perks: Split Decision, Paracausal Pellets
  • Catalyst: N/A
  • Debut Season: Season 8

Conditional Finality is a shotgun that shoots flames out of one barrel and ice out of the other. The fire triggers Ignitions dealing more damage, while the Ice freezes enemy Guardians leaving them defenseless. What really makes Conditional Finality so good in PvP is its incredible Handling, which makes it the perfect candidate for playing aggressively and getting up close.

Forerunner

Forerunner exotic sidearm in Destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Sidearm
  • Element: Kinetic
  • Exotic Perks: Full Stop, Pace Yourself
  • Catalyst: The Rock
  • Debut Season: Season 15

Forerunner was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Crucible changes in Season 23. While it may be a Sidearm, it’s better used as a highly mobile Scout Rifle that excels in medium-range gunfights. If used right, Forerunner can outgun just about anything, largely thanks to its ability to kill in just three shots despite having a relatively fast fire rate of 200 RPM.

Outbreak Perfected

Outbreak Perfected exotic pulse rifle in Destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Pulse Rifle
  • Element: Kinetic
  • Exotic Perks: The Corruption Spreads, Parasitism
  • Catalyst: Enhanced The Corruption Spreads
  • Debut Season: Season 23 (Reissued)

Before Season 23, Outbreak Perfected genuinely sucked in PvP. Its handling and reload speed were both so slow, that it was hard to justify ever using it. However, Into The Light added a craftable variant that lets you choose which barrel and grip to equip. This alone would have elevated the Exotic Pulse Rifle into the PvP meta, but it can now also use Headseeker, which guarantees its place amongst the elite.

Thorn

The Thorn Exotic Hand Cannon in Destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Hand Cannon
  • Element: Kinetic
  • Exotic Perks: Mark of the Devourer, Soul Devourer
  • Catalyst: Refined Soul
  • Debut Season: Season 6

Thorn got left behind by power creep with so many other incredible Hand Cannons replacing it. That is until it got a new catalyst in Season 23. With its catalyst, Thorn gets a massive Range boost, once again making it competitive. If that’s enough for you, Remnants also grant additional Range, Mobility, and Handling, turning this iconic Hand Cannon into an indisputable powerhouse.

Best Energy Weapons (Arc, Solar, Void)

Primary Weapons

Drang (Baroque)

Drang (Baroque) sidearm in Destiny 2
  • Weapon Type: Sidearm
  • Element: Solar
  • Weapon Frame: Unique (Together Forever)
  • Debut Season: Season 17
  • God Roll: Moving Target/Quickdraw + Zen Moment

It’s not the easiest weapon to use, but Drang (Baroque) is a top-tier option for those who enjoy Sidearms. Don’t fall into the trap of pairing it with Sturm though. That combination is fun for casual game modes but isn’t worthwhile in either Competitive or Trials of Osiris. Also, avoid Incandescent. Regardless of what some people claim, it’s not a good choice for PvP.

Elsie’s Rifle

Elsie's Rifle pulse rifle in Destiny 2
  • Weapon Type: Pulse Rifle
  • Element: Void
  • Weapon Frame: High-Impact Frame
  • Debut Season: Season 23
  • God Roll: Zen Moment + Headseeker

Previously known as The Stranger’s Rifle, Elsie’s Rifle is Destiny 2’s take on an old classic. Though largely useless in PvE, Elsie’s Rifle is incredible in PvP where it is one of the few Pulse Rifles that can reliably two-burst. In particular, Zen Moment in the third slot is incredible on a Pulse Rifle, as it makes this weapon extremely stable and consistent.

Igneous Hammer

Igneous Hammer legendary Solar Hand Cannon in Destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Hand Cannon
  • Element: Solar
  • Weapon Frame: Aggressive
  • Debut Season: Season 22 (Reissued)
  • God Roll: Keep Away + Eye of the Storm

If you like the feel of Aggressive Frame Hand Cannons, Igneous Hammer is the gun for you. With Keep Away procced, this Hand Cannon is practically a pocket Scout Rifle. A Scout Rifle with fast handling and access to just about every meta PvP perk at that. Sure, Keep Way and Eye of the Storm are incredible, but you can also use Rapid Hit, Rangefinder, Moving Target, or Opening Shot.

Prosecutor

Prosecutor Arc Auto Rifle in Destiny 2
  • Weapon Type: Auto Rifle
  • Element: Arc
  • Weapon Frame: Precision
  • Debut Season: Season 23 (Reissued)
  • God Roll: Zen Moment + Target Lock/Tap the Trigger

The refreshed Prophecy loot table came and went with a lot of Destiny 2 players overlooking it. However, that’s not to say it didn’t introduce some great weapons, with Prosecutor being the standout. This Arc Auto Rifle is the best AR in Destiny 2. It isn’t just dominant in PvP, but somehow has a stacked perk pool for PvE too. Do yourself a favor and go and farm Prophecy’s first encounter to get one of these.

The Summoner

The Summoner auto rifle in Destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Auto Rifle
  • Element: Solar
  • Weapon Frame: Adaptive
  • Debut Season: Season 23 (Reissued)
  • God Roll: Dynamic Sway Reduction/Zen Moment + Target Lock

If Precision Frame Auto Rifles aren’t your thing, consider using The Summoner instead of Prosecutor. This Adaptive Frame AR feels great to use and gets access to several top-tier PvP perks. It has an incredible TTK while also being laser-accurate, which is more than enough to cement its place in the current meta.

Special Weapons

Beloved

Beloved sniper rifle in Destiny 2
  • Weapon Type: Sniper Rifle
  • Element: Solar
  • Weapon Frame: Adaptive
  • Debut Season: Season 17 (Reissued)
  • God Roll: Snapshot Sights + Moving Target/Quickdraw

Beloved has been one of the most popular Sniper Rifles for some time now for two main reasons: It’s got a stacked perk pool and low zoom. Low zoom may sound like a bad thing, but it makes it easier to use Beloved more aggressively, which is perfect for high-skill players. Unfortunately, it can be frustrating to get a craftable version of Beloved these days without using Deepsight Harmonizers.

Retold Tale

Retold Tale shotgun in Destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Shotgun
  • Element: Void
  • Weapon Frame: Precision
  • Debut Season: Season 23 (Reissued)
  • God Roll: Quickdraw/Slideshot + Snapshot Sights

Surprisingly, this weapon being reissued in Season of the Wish didn’t do much for its viability. That’s not a big problem though, as it was already excellent. Just as before, pair Quickdraw or Slideshot with Snapshot Sights for a fast-handling, lethal Shotgun that is devastating up close. As it’s a Precision Frame, you can even stretch its Range to still cause enemies serious problems up to 7 meters away.

Matador 64

The Matador 64 Legendary Shotgun in Destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Shotgun
  • Element: Arc
  • Weapon Frame: Precision
  • Debut Season: Season 15
  • God Roll: Threat Detector/Perpetual Motion + Opening Shot

At this point, Matador 64 is the most meta gun of Destiny 2’s meta guns. Ever since it was released, this Arc Shotgun has been top-tier in PvP. While its perks are great, it’s more so the unique feel of this weapon that makes it so popular. It’s so easy to use and yet also so incredibly strong. Plus, it’s fairly easy to farm too, being a drop from Grasp of Avarice.

Exotic Weapons

Cloudstike

The Cloudstrike exotic sniper rifle from Destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Sniper Rifle
  • Element: Arc
  • Exotic Perks: Mortal Polarity, Stormbringer
  • Catalyst: Triple Tap
  • Debut Season: Season 12

For the most part, Cloudstrike is just a Sniper Rifle that feels great to use. What helps it stand out is Mortal Polarity, its unique Exotic Perk which reigns lightning down every time you secure a final blow. In PvP, this lightning can take out multiple Guardians at once giving you the potential for some incredible plays.

Graviton Lance

The Graviton Lance Exotic Pulse Rifle from Destiny 2 with UI hidden.
  • Weapon Type: Pulse Rifle
  • Element: Void
  • Exotic Perks: Black Hole, Cosmology
  • Catalyst: Vorpal Weapon, Turnabout
  • Debut Season: Season 1

Before it was nerfed in Season 23, Graviton Lance was unbelievably dominant. Even after that nerf, it remains one of the best weapons in Destiny 2 PvP. It won’t be chaining multi-kills together like before, but for one-on-one gunfights, it is a beast. Don’t be fooled by its Pulse Rifle identity either, Graviton Lance feels like a top-tier Scout Rifle more than anything.

Jotunn

Destiny 2 Jotunn Exotic Fusion Rifle
  • Weapon Type: Fusion Rifle
  • Element: Solar
  • Exotic Perks: Charge Shot, Shield Disorient
  • Catalyst: Cornered, Incandescent
  • Debut Season: Season 5

It’ll take some practice, but once you know what you’re doing, Jotunn is one of the deadliest Special ammo weapons in Destiny 2 PvP. This turbo toaster feels like a micro Rocket Launcher with tracking projectiles. Just be aware that Jotunn has developed a reputation for being a toxic weapon. So, don’t be surprised if the enemy team’s language gets increasingly colorful as you dominate them with it.

Vex Mythoclast

Destiny 2 Vex Mythoclast Exotic Auto Rifle
  • Weapon Type: Fusion Rifle
  • Element: Solar
  • Exotic Perks: Timeless Mythoclast, Temporal Unlimiter
  • Catalyst: Calculated Balance
  • Debut Season: Season 14

Vex Mythoclast is another Exotic weapon that doesn’t play anything like you’d expect. Despite being a Fusion Rifle, this Raid Exotic is best treated like an Auto Rifle. It’s a rather excellent Auto Rifle at that. The only thing keeping it in check is its reduced 360 RPM fire rate, but if one day it returns to 390 RPM, you can be damn sure a Vex Mythoclast meta will follow closely.

Best Heavy Weapons

Cataphract GL3

Cataphract GL3 strand heavy grenade launcher in destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Heavy Grenade Launcher
  • Element: Strand
  • Weapon Frame: Adaptive
  • Debut Season: Season 22
  • God Roll: Impulse Amplifier + Chain Reaction

As one unfortunate Destiny 2 player found out, Cataphract GL3 is hard to farm. If you can put up with the grind and enjoy Trials of Osiris though, it is currently the best Heavy weapon in PvP. You’ll want both Proximity Mines and Impulse Amplifier, with the other perks being far less important. Good luck on the grind!

Edge Transit

Edge Transit grenade launcher in Destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Heavy Grenade Launcher
  • Element: Void
  • Weapon Frame: Adaptive
  • Debut Season: Season 23 (Reissued)
  • God Roll: Impulse Amplifier + Explosive Light

If you don’t feel like spending hours and hours farming the god roll Cataphract GL3, go and get Edge Transit instead. It’s 95% as good, rolls more or less the same perks, and is much, much easier to farm. Ideally, you’ll want to get this before Weapon Attunement is removed from Onslaught once The Final Shape is released.

Gjallarhorn

Gjallerhorn exotic rocket launcher from Destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Rocket Launcher
  • Element: Solar
  • Exotic Perks: Wolfpack Rounds, Pack Hunter
  • Catalyst: More Wolves
  • Debut Season: Season 15

Outside of maybe Tractor Cannon at a push, Gjallarhorn is the only Exotic Heavy Weapon worth using in PvP. It won’t always be as strong as one of the meta Grenade Launchers, but its heat-seeking rounds and massive area of effect make it comically easy to use.

Hammerhead

Hammerhead machine gun in Destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Machine Gun
  • Element: Void
  • Weapon Frame: Adaptive
  • Debut Season: Season 23 (Reissued)
  • God Roll: Under-Over + Tap The Trigger

Machine Guns are often overlooked in PvP as other Heavy weapons have insta-kill potential. While Hammerhead can’t do that, it does still offer a rapid TTK that will demolish any automatic Primary or Special weapon. A few LMGs are viable right now like Heir Apparent and Commemoration, but Hammerhead’s access to Tap The Trigger makes it especially consistent at long range.

Semiotician

Semiotician legendary Strand Rocket Launcher in Destiny 2.
  • Weapon Type: Rocket Launcher
  • Element: Strand
  • Weapon Frame: High-Impact Frame
  • Debut Season: Season 22
  • God Roll: Impulse Amplifier + Explosive Light

Although Rocket Launchers are generally outclassed by Grenade Launchers, Semiotician is at least worth considering. A High-Impact Frame with access to Impulse Amplifier has a lot of killing potential, offering both a big blast radius and relatively fast projectile velocity. It’s also easy to farm so there’s no harm in crafting a Semiotician and giving it a go.

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About The Author

Kurt Perry is a British games writer who started at Dexerto in April 2023. He graduated from Staffordshire University in 2019 with a BA in Games Journalism and PR. Prior to joining Dexerto, Kurt contributed 900 articles for PC Invasion including over 350 guides. He's an all-rounder who is particularly knowledgeable about Call of Duty, Destiny, and Pokemon.