Destiny 2: Best Shotguns for PvE and PvP

Shane Black
Destiny 2 Shotguns

Shotguns have been a powerful companion in Destiny 2, offering you the ability to blast your enemies up-close with a strong blast that can drain their shields in one shot.

However, not every shotgun is made equal, and there are many that are simply better than the rest thanks to special abilities and traits to give you different advantages.

To learn more about which shotguns these are and which ones you should focus on acquiring, we’ve compiled a list of the best Destiny 2 shotguns right now, and what mode they’re best used in.

Best Shotguns for PvE

1. Tractor Cannon

Tractor Cannon exotic shotgun from Destiny 2.


  • Impact: 65
  • Range: 10
  • Stability: 80
  • Handling: 40
  • Reload Speed: 15

The first shotgun on our list is probably the most balanced for PvE shotgun in the game, thanks to its Repulsor Force ability. This will send out a pulse that not only pushes enemies away from you, but will also suppress their abilities and leave them vulnerable to incoming damage.

It also comes with excellent mobility and handling with its Scientific Method ability that will trigger these advantages when you damage an enemy. It works in just about any combat situation and can help you dominate any target. While it is great in PvP, its best attributes definitely shine more in PvE.

2. Legend of Acrius

Legend of Acrius exotic shotgun from destiny 2.


  • Impact: 85
  • Range: 100
  • Stability: 80
  • Handling: 10
  • Reload Speed: 20

The penetration of this weapon is impressive; it shoots out Arc energy that will deliver a lot of damage while also going through enemy shields to drain a target’s health far quicker than other weapons would allow. This makes it a great tool for larger enemies, as it can deplete their health in an instant.

Further, it comes with the Long March ability that gives you an extended radar so you will have a better idea of where other players are on a map, and how close they are getting to you.

3. The Fourth Horseman

Screenshot of Destiny 2 shotgun


  • Impact: 80
  • Range: 22
  • Stability: 19
  • Handling: 28
  • Reload Speed: 36

The Fourth Horseman comes with Thunderer, which will allow it to be fired fully automatic and also will increase its rate of fire. Further, each subsequent shot will come with higher damage, though a wider spread as well. However, when engaging in close quarters, this spread is barely noticeable.

It’s a powerful gun that can keep you alive when an enemy gets the jump on you, as its high rate of fire means that you are getting way more shots off than you would with another weapon.

4. Heritage

Destiny 2 Heritage


  • Impact: 70
  • Range: 68
  • Stability: 43
  • Handling: 70
  • Reload Speed: 45

You can really make the Heritage a powerful weapon in Destiny 2 by using Final Blows. When performing an elemental version of these, you will increase the damage of the shotgun’s next shot. Further, it will reload itself over time to make sure you always have ammo to use.

It also handles incredibly well and has recoil that is easy to control. This allows you to make sure you land far more shots than you miss. Having such good handling can make a huge difference when you are swarmed with enemies and need to get several shots off in a row.

Best Shotguns for PvP

1. Duality

Destiny 2: Beyond Light Duality Exotic shotgun


  • Impact: 80
  • Range: 70
  • Stability: 45
  • Handling: 60
  • Reload Speed: 1

Duality offers great damage when both firing from the hip and when aiming down the sights in PvP. How it fires will differ between these two, but both will dish out the pain just fine. However, if you can land its single slug when aiming down the sights, that can be devastating for whoever you hit.

It also comes with On Black Wings, which allow you a stacking damage and reload speed buff when getting pellet final blows. The duration of this will be extended when landing precision hits as well, which can be your best tool in any battle.

2. The Chaperone

Destiny 2 Chaperone Exotic Shotgun


  • Impact: 75
  • Range: 100
  • Stability: 20
  • Handling: 80
  • Reload Speed: 30

The Chaperone is a very precise shotgun that will fire a single slug at your target with its Precision Slug ability. This is effective at getting a good hit on your enemies, while also allowing you better accuracy that other shotguns wouldn’t.

Then you also have its Roadborn ability that will cause Precision kills to briefly grant handling, range, and Precision damage. With how accurate The Chaperone can be, Precision kills are far more likely than you might think.

3. Conditional Finality

conditional finality exotic shotgun from destiny 2.


  • Impact: 80
  • Range: 35
  • Stability: 20
  • Handling: 60
  • Reload Speed: 66

You will alternate your shots with this weapon, the first being Stasis and the second being Solar, and then repeating in that order. If you are able to land most of your Stasis pellets in a shot, the target will be frozen, while landing most of the Solar pellets will cause them to ignite. Both of these are powerful statuses that can change the battle in your favor.

This makes it a powerful combo as you can effectively halt your target in their tracks by freezing them and setting them on fire. It makes PvP encounters far easier since you can just stop the enemy and take them out before they can really even do anything.

4. Lord of Wolves

Destiny 2 Lord of Wolves


  • Impact: 68
  • Range: 20
  • Stability: 39
  • Handling: 40
  • Reload Speed: 80

Much like The Fourth Horseman, you can use this shotgun as a full auto weapon that can rattle off shots in quick succession using its Release the Wolves ability. You can also use its Shrapnel Launcher to shoot a burst of Solar energy that does great damage in short range encounters.

Its burstfire capabilities make it so that you can be a little more loose with your aim, as just landing one of the shots in a burst can be enough to take down your target. This can be a huge advantage in Destiny 2 combat scenarios when you have a handful of shots that can deal the damage you’re looking for.

5. Astral Horizon

Destiny 2 Astral Horizon Shotgun


  • Impact: 80
  • Range: 24
  • Stability: 27
  • Handling: 28
  • Reload Speed: 33

Astral Horizon is great at getting the first hit on a target thanks to the buff it gives to each first shot, while also having improved handling, stability, and reload speed when an enemy in close to you. Plus, you can also get Alacrity which will give you a buff when you are the last living player on your team or running solo.

It’s a solid option that handles really well when in a close fight, which is most likely going to be the case when you are using shotguns. Playing aggressive is the key to landing that first shot and using the buff to take your target down.

6. First In, Last Out

Destiny 2 First In, Last Out


  • Impact: 70
  • Range: 58
  • Stability: 40
  • Handling: 60
  • Reload Speed: 45

First In, Last Out is designed to help you out when you are taking damage. Even when it is stowed, the ammo will be reloaded as you are wounded and also give you better handling. It’s also most powerful against bosses, vehicles, and any Guardian with their Super active.

Because of this, you can run a lot of Destiny 2 content with First In, Last Out, and come out victorious. It’s a great tool that provides a wonderful safety blanket as you take hits from your enemies. When an opponent gets up-close to you, you can whip this out and blast them away.

Shotguns are not the only weapons to use in Destiny 2: The Finale Shape, so be sure to know the best Hand Cannons, Auto Rifles, Swords, Machine Guns, and Linear Fusion Rifles.

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