Destiny 2 best Exotic weapons and how to get them (Witch Queen update)

Connor Knudsen
hawkmoon destiny 2 logo
Bungie

Destiny 2 has a vast and ever-expanding weapon arsenal, sometimes leaving players overwhelmed at all of the options. But, amidst all the fodder, there are some clear-cut best weapons in Destiny 2.

Destiny’s exotic weapons have always stood out as some of the most coveted items in the game, even dating back to Destiny 1. These exotic weapons can be collected through questlines, by purchasing them from Xur, completing certain missions, or even just from random drops.

Players can equip one piece of exotic armor and one exotic weapon at a time in the game, so don’t expect to roll into battle with one in each inventory slot.

Below are 10 of the best exotic weapons in Destiny 2’s arsenal, how to find them, and what the best use case for each weapon is (PvP or PvE) ahead of Season 17.


Contents


Best Destiny 2 exotic primary weapons

MIDA Multi-Tool

mida multi tool destiny 2
Bungie
MIDA Multi-Tool, Scout Rifle

Best use: PvP

The MIDA is a staple in the Destiny universe and has stood the test of time due to its utility and reliability. Namely, this gun has an ability that keeps its radar open when aiming down sights (ADS) and it grants movement speed to boot. This makes for a perfect Crucible weapon if you fancy using a Scout Rifle.

The weapon was previously earned through a post-campaign quest but you’ll now find it in the Monument to Lost Lights kiosk next to the vaults in the Tower. It’ll cost you:

Thorn

thorn destiny 2
Bungie
Thorn, Hand Cannon

Best use: PvP

To many, Thorn may be the best gun for PvP that has ever been, and it has been that way for quite some time. Another Hand Cannon, Thorn pierces targets and does damage over time, with kills leaving behind remnants that increase damage when they are picked up. Like most PvP guns, this can be feast or famine at times but has serious potential in the right hands.

Thorn used to be acquired through a multi-step questline that began on the EDZ, but now can simply be purchased at the Exotic Kiosk in the Tower with the following materials.

  • 1 Exotic Cipher
  • 125,000 Glimmer
  • 200 Dusklight Shards
  • 1 Ascendant Shard

Witherhoard

witherhoard destiny 2
Bungie
Witherhoard, Grenade Launcher

Best use: PvE

Witherhoard is one of the best Kinetic weapons in the game, especially when it comes to PvE. It also happens to be one of, if not the best, Grenade Launchers in Destiny 2.

What’s more, it’s also extremely simple to acquire this gun. All players need to do is gather the necessary resources to purchase it at the Exotic Kiosk in the Tower. This is located just next to the Vault. The cost for Witherhoard is listed below:

Witherhoard is a single-shot Grenade Launcher that specializes in area of effect damage. It’s one of the best tools for clearing out crowds and can even deal some serious damage to bosses and mini-bosses.

Hawkmoon

hawkmoon desstiny 2
Bungie
Hawkmoon, Hand Cannon

Best use: PvP

Hawkmoon was re-added to Destiny 2 (and was originally a PlayStation exclusive in the first game), and it’s just as lethal as it’s ever been. Racking up kills and precision hits stacks a Paracausal Charge, empowering the gun’s final round.

It’s also easier to get hold of than ever since you can buy it from Xur, and he’ll offer a slightly different roll each week.

Dead Man’s Tale

Dead Mans Tale Exotic Scout Rifle
Bungie
The Dead Man’s Tale is lethal, and now available from Xur.

Best use: PvP

Previously earned as a reward in the excellent Presage quest, this old-timey scout rifle gets more powerful (and reloads faster) when you land precision hits.

As with Hawkmoon, you can buy it from Xur, and he’ll offer a different role each week.

Best Destiny 2 exotic energy weapons

Vex Mythoclast

Destiny 2 Vex Mythoclast Exotic Auto Rifle
Bungie
The Vex is still a dominant weapon, even after a few nerfs.

Best use: PvP & PvE

This fusion rifle was one of Destiny 1’s most sought-after weapons, and it’s back. It feels closer to an auto rifle than a fusion rifle, and shreds Guardians and bosses in equal measure.

You can earn it as a reward in the Vault of Glass raid.

Riskrunner

riskrunner destiny 2
Bungie
Riskrunner, Submachine Gun

Best use: PvE

One of the most satisfying and literally electric guns in Destiny, Riskrunner stands as perhaps the game’s best Submachine Gun. Its “Arc Conductor” perk is a big reason why this gun is as powerful as it is in PvE, as it makes players resistant to Arc damage. So, for strikes and raids that deal heavily in Arc damage, Riskrunner is a great choice.

Riskrunner is obtained from an exotic engram, which players get from random exotic drops earned in various Destiny 2 activities.

Eriana’s Vow

Destiny 2 Guardian carrying Eriana's Vow
Bungie
You know a gun is good when it’s featured in a trailer

Best use: PvE

Hand cannons have often gone through dominant periods, but Eriana’s Vow breaks away from seasonal relevance by offering the ability to pierce Barrier Champions without needing to equip the requisite mod.

That makes it ideal in higher-tier PvE content and is well worth picking up from the exotic kiosk in the Tower.

Divinity

Destiny 2 Divinity Exotic Weapon
Bungie
Divinity can rip through Overload Champions.

Best use: PvE

Another great way of dealing with barrier champions, this trace rifle can disrupt Overload Champions with sustained fire. Not only does that stun them, but Divinity will also debuff them — meaning they’re easier to kill.

You’ll need to complete the Garden of Salvation raid in the Shadowkeep expansion to have a chance of earning it, though.

Trinity Ghoul

trinity ghoul bow
Bungie
Trinity Ghoul, Combat Bow

Best use: PvE

Trinity Ghoul is ideal for working through red bar enemies in bigger boss fights. That’s because its arrows split, allowing them to take out multiple opponents, while chaining kills will cause lightning damage between the arrows, too.

The gun is obtained from an exotic engram, which players get from random exotic drops earned in various Destiny 2 activities.

Best exotic heavy weapons

Gjallarhorn

Destiny 2 Gjallarhorn weapon
Bungie
Gjally is back, and it’s been worth waiting for.

Best use: PvE

A true legend in the Destiny franchise, Gjallarhorn returned as part of the 30th Anniversary Pack’s set of weapons. It fires Wolfpack Rounds that split into smaller explosives after an initial detonation. New in D2, though, it’ll also share these rounds with non-exotic Rocket Launchers that your fireteam is using.

To get it, you’ll need to pick up an exotic quest once you buy the pack, then follow our guide — as a warning, though, you’ll have to complete the Grasp of Avarice dungeon, so you’ll want to put a squad together.

One Thousand Voices

Destiny 2 One Thousand Voices fusion rifle
Bungie
You’ll need to get through the Last Wish raid to earn One Thousand Voices.

Best use: PvE

This Fusion Rifle is capable of unleashing a giant beam of death that superheats opponents to cause explosions. That makes it lethal against bosses in PvE content.

You’ll need to get it from Shadowkeep’s Garden of Salvation raid, but it’s well worth the effort.

The Lament

the lament weapon
Bungie
The Lament, Sword

Best use: PvE

The lone Sword stands at the top of this list. The Lament is an absolute beast and allows for some of the most DPS in the game, due to its ability to be revved up and deal massive bonus damage.

The questline for The Lament is called, aptly, “Lost Lament.” The most time-consuming part of this quest involves finding dead exos throughout Europa. Otherwise, there are several steps to this quest, but it will serve to be more laborious than challenging once you’ve located those dead exos. You’ll need to finish the Beyond Light campaign to be able to start the quest.

Best Destiny 2 Weapons for PvE and PvP (including Legendaries)

Destiny 2 has a plethora of weapons to choose from, and it’s not all about Exotics.

The following weapons are all widely considered some of the best Destiny 2 weapons in the post-Witch Queen meta, so go check them out.

Best PvP Weapons in Destiny 2

We’re put together a guide for the game’s best PvP weapons based on their usage.

Best PvE Weapons in Destiny 2

  • Dead Messenger (Exotic grenade launcher)
  • The Enigma (Legendary Glaive)
  • Likely Suspect (Legendary Fusion Rifle)
  • Eyasluna (Legendary Hand Cannon)
  • Funnelweb (Legendary SMG)
  • Krait (Legendary Auto Rifle)

So, there you have it – that’s everything you need to know about the best weapons in Destiny 2.

Destiny 2 Witch Queen’s expansion has kicked off an exciting new future for the loot-shooter/MMO. Be sure to check out more of our guide content on Dexerto.

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