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Best Destiny 2 weapons for PvE in Season of the Witch

Whether you're prepping for you next Raid run or Strikes, here’s an extensive list of the very best Destiny 2 weapons for PvE activities in Season of the Witch.

Bungie’s looter shooter is always growing and the selection of weapons now on offer for players to equip can be overwhelming. If you’re looking to jump into a Raid with your fireteam, you’re going to need the best Destiny 2 weapons in hand and ready to go.

When you’re preparing for a high-level activity in Destiny 2, it’s important to keep your loadout in mind, and the Destiny 2 Season of the Witch weapons also offer some great new additions. While the right subclass, armor, and mods are all important, making sure you have the best Destiny 2 weapons equipped can also be the difference between success and failure.

Before we dive into the list, it’s worth keeping in mind that Destiny 2’s PvP combat is a different beast altogether – this list will only focus on top weapons for PvE activities like Nightfalls or Raids. If you do want to slay out in the Crucible though, head over to our best Destiny 2 PvP weapons guide. These will come in very handy when taking the plunge into the competitive Destiny 2 Iron Banner mode.

Anyway, let’s get stuck in. Here’s everything you need to know about the best Destiny 2 weapons available right now – and how you can obtain them.

Best Destiny 2 weapons

Here are our choices for the best Destiny 2 weapons available right now in Season of the Witch:

  • Divinity
  • IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.3
  • Gjallarhorn
  • Long Arm
  • Riskrunner
  • Calus Mini-Tool
  • Disparity
  • Osteo Striga
  • Witherhoard
  • Forbearance
  • Deliverance
  • The Immortal
  • Royal Executioner
  • The Hothead
  • Wish-Ender
  • Quicksilver Storm
  • Ex Diris

Destiny 2 best weapons: An in-game shot of Divinity.

Divinity – Exotic energy trace rifle

There are currently seven Exotic trace rifles in Destiny 2, and they all have their perks when it comes to PvE combat. However, if you’re looking for the best of the bunch and one of the top Destiny 2 weapons for the game’s high level activities, you’re going to need to get your hands on Divinity.

This weapon comes with two perks that make it a boss at taking down bosses: Judgement and Penance. Judgement creates a debuffing field around an enemy after sustained damage and Penance will deal a burst of damage to enemies under the effects of Judgement for long enough. If you’re struggling to land critical hits, Judgement’s debuffing field actually makes every hit a critical, so it’s a fantastic option for quickly dealing damage to enemies with large health pools. It’s been a handy tool in most raids, including the Destiny 2 Root of Nightmares Lightfall raid.

Interested? You can be in with a chance of unlocking the Divinity Exotic by completing the Garden of Salvation raid in the Shadowkeep expansion. There’s no longer a risk of the Shadowkeep expansion content being vaulted, so squad up and grab this beaut. If you want to team up with your friends – check out our Destiny 2 cross-play guide for help on how to do this.

IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.3 – Legendary submachine gun

The IKELOS SMG is one of the best submachine guns in the game, especially if you’re using an Arc build since it can have Voltshot. The IKELOS can also come with Seraph Rounds, Feeding Frenzy, and Frenzy, so there’s lots of great perk options at your disposal.

Besides great perks, the IKELOS also has excellent stats, able to output significant damage at surprising distances once you improve the range stats. While this weapon archetype is being nerfed, the IKELOS SMG is a true powerhouse and will likely remain among the best weapons in Destiny 2. Overall, the IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.3 is a flexible and highly potent weapon in the PvE sandbox right now.

Destiny 2 best weapons: Gjallahorn render.

Gjallarhorn – Exotic rocket launcher

Gjallarhorn is one of Destiny’s most iconic weapons – and it’s also one of its best. This rocket launcher isn’t going to be your main weapon, but it offers a huge damage payload that can take chunks out of enemies when you need it to.

This rocket launcher comes equipped with two perks that are at their best when you’re shoulder to shoulder with your other Guardians: Wolfpack Rounds and Pack Hunter. Wolfpack Rounds cause any fired rounds to split into tracking cluster missiles upon detonation – something nearby allies can enjoy with any non-Exotic rocket launcher, thanks to Pack Hunter. This second perk also increases the reload speeds and handling with the Gjallarhorn when it’s used near allies. There’s never been a better reason to stick with your Fireteam in Destiny 2 – especially if they’re all packing launchers.

If you want to get your hands on it, then you can unlock it through the And Out Fly The Wolves quest, or in the Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack.

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Long Arm – Legendary scout rifle

Long Arm, found in the Spire of the Watcher Dungeon, is one of the best scout rifles in Destiny 2. Based on the Dead Man’s Tale Exotic scout rifle, the Long Arm brings the excellent weapon stats of the Exotic weapon to the field of Legendary scout rifles. While many scout rifles struggle in the closer ranges, the Long Arm is highly versatile, able to content very well at all ranges.

Not only does Long Arm pack a punch and boast high accuracy, but it can also drop with great perk combinations. For instance, Subsistence and Dragonfly, or Rapid Hit and Explosive Rounds are both excellent options. Given Long Arm is an Arc weapon, it also works well with Arc 3.0 builds for generating Arc Wells.

Riskrunner – Exotic submachine gun

Yes, you read that right. Riskrunner is an old Exotic that’s been around so long most Guardians have forgotten it exists. But it has always been potent, and since the advent of Arc 3.0, this little monster has a new lease of life.

Riskrunner’s unique perk is the Arc Conductor, which reacts to incoming Arc damage (such as enemy weapons fire). It becomes more powerful and resists the incoming damage – but the real beauty is the Superconductor element that procs with it. This turns your shots into chain lightning that can absolutely decimate crowds of enemies. It’s particularly lethal for mob-clearing in Gambit.

Destiny 2 best weapons: A white gold and blue Riskrunner submachine gun

It’s also an easy weapon to get hold of. New Lights will receive the quest from Shaw Han when finishing up the opening questline in the Cosmodrome, and the steps to acquiring the weapon are pretty simple. It also comes with the Catalyst, which increases range when unlocked.

Pair this with any Arc build (or any build at all, really), and the addition of Arc Conductor and Superconductor make it a truly terrifying force on the battlefield.

Calus Mini-Tool – Legendary submachine gun

The Calus Mini-Tool SMG is certainly one of the best Destiny 2 PvE weapons and a staple of Solar builds. In many ways, it’s a Solar variant of the IKELOS SMG, having great synergy in Solar setups. Get this weapon with the excellent Incandescent perk and enemies will drop like flies.

The Calus Mini-Tool also bolsters impressive stats that will help you go toe to toe with even the toughest opponents. Focus on improving the range value as much as you can and you’ll have a powerful yet agile weapon in your hands that you will never want to unequip.

Disparity – Legendary pulse rifle

Here’s the thing: regardless of any associated Perks or stats, Disparity is one of the best-looking guns we’ve seen in Destiny 2 for a while. Introduced in Season of the Seraph, it’s a 450 RPM Stasis Pulse Rifle with a dual Origin Trait and a great Perk pool.

You can either use Hakke Breach Armaments for increased damage against enemy machinery like turrets, or you can use the new trait, Ambush, which gives you enhanced damage and handling during the opening moments of an encounter.

If you’re lucky enough to drop it with Outlaw and Desperado, you’ll never leave home without it in PvE. But it can also roll with perks like Frenzy, Rapid Hit, and Headstone which are other great perk options.

Disparity is not only super stylish, it’s also a beast of a gun in the right hands.

Destiny 2 best weapons: An in-game shot of Osteo Striga, the Exotic SMG from The Witch Queen.

Osteo Striga – Exotic submachine gun

Simply put, Osteo Striga is perhaps the best weapon in Destiny 2 overall and has been a fan favourite since its release in The Witch Queen. This is mainly thanks to its incredible AoE add-clearing potential through its poison effect. Landing a final blow or multiple precision hits will trigger a poison burst that spreads to nearby enemies, all of which will take damage over time. What’s more, if you have the Osteo Striga Catalyst, then you’ll also overflow your magazine if this poison kills enemies.

If you’re up against a group of enemies, kill one and watch the poison quickly spread. It even excels at boss encounters since the effect will trigger on successive precision hits, meaning you can focus on the boss while the poison kills any nearby weaker enemies.

This is not a weapon you want to miss out on, so we’ve got everything you need to know about how to get Osteo Striga in Destiny 2 and its Exotic Catalyst.

Witherhoard – Exotic grenade launcher

The Witherhoard is a go-to Exotic weapon in end-game activities such as Nightfalls and raids. It’s got the power to deal heavy single-target and AoE damage, stun enemies, and control areas thanks to its unique perk of firing blights. Simply fire that at the ground to create a damaging zone or directly at an enemy to imbue them with the blight.

If you’ve got the Witherhorad Catalyst then you’re in for even more fun as it will automatically reload if you swap to another weapon for a short period of time. This helps it excel in boss encounters even better as you’re not wasting time reloading, instead swapping to another weapon.

You’ll no doubt want this weapon in your arsenal, so here’s how to get Witherhoard in Destiny 2 and its Exotic Catalyst.

Forbearance – Legendary grenade launcher

The Forbearance grenade launcher from the Vow of the Disciple raid is another great special weapon, often regarded as the best wave frame grenade launcher yet.

If you can get your hands on the Forbearance god roll with Ambitious Assassin and Bait and Switch, then you’re in for some add-clearing fun with this powerful wave frame grenade launcher. Surplus and Chain Reaction is another fun perk combination for this weapon. With the overhaul to armor mods, Special weapons have become even more potent with more frequent ammo drops, almost letting you use Forbearance as your main weapon.

Deliverance – Legendary fusion rifle

The Deliverance is another stellar weapon from the Vow of the Disciple raid in The Witch Queen. What makes this weapon unique is that it’s a rare kinetic legendary fusion rifle, allowing you to have another powerful weapon in the special slot.

Deliverance demolishes the opposition with the PvE god roll of Demolitionist and Chill Clip. It’s definitely worth getting your hands on if you’re open to taking on the raid. Like with Forbearance, this weapon has also benefitted from the increased power and availability of Special weapon ammo that has come with the armor mod update.

Destiny 2 best weapons: An in-game shot of The Immortal Trials of Osiris SMG.

The Immortal – Legendary submachine gun

The Immortal is one of the hottest weapons right now in both PvE and PvP. Acquired through playing Trials of Osiris, The Immortal can be quite tricky to get but is well worth the effort.

Being a Strand weapon, The Immortal is great in PvE Strand builds, particularly since The Immortal god roll in PvE can have Hatchling and Threat Detector. This weapon has a surprising amount of range while delivering lots of damage and synergising well with the new Strand builds players have been experimenting with.

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Royal Executioner – Legendary fusion rifle

The Royal Executioner, released in Season of Defiance, has quickly become one of the best Destiny 2 PvE weapons thanks to a specific perk combination.

The Royal Executioner god roll features Envious Assassin and Reservoir Burst. With Envious Assassin you’ll overflow the magazine with rapid kills using other weapons, allowing Reservoir Burst to be active for all of the extra rounds. This will massively increase damage and also cause targets to explode. Alternatively, you could use Incandescent over Reservoir Burst, especially if you’re using a Solar build.

The Hothead – Legendary rocket launcher

The Hothead has long been an excellent heavy weapon option in endgame activities due to its great, unique perk options. If you’ve got a teammate using Gjallahorn, another one of the best Destiny 2 weapons, then The Hothead will be even more deadly than usual as well.

In terms of The Hothead god roll in PvE, you will want Clown Cartridge and Field Prep, with Impact Casing and Hard Launch. This will be a great boost when it’s time to deal massive damage to bosses as The Hothead will have increased ammo capacity and direct hit damage. When this weapon is in the Nightfall weapon rotation, it’s certainly one worth grinding for.

Destiny 2 best weapons: An image of the Wish-Ender Exotic bow against a grey background.

Wish-Ender – Exotic bow

Wish-Ender is somewhat of a surprise on this list of best Destiny 2 weapons in PvE. After all, this weapon was rather underwhelming when it launched in Forsaken. Now, however, after some buffs and shifts in the overall PvE meta, Wish-Ender is one of the most used weapons in endgame activities, particularly Grandmaster Nightfalls.

This is largely due to its innate ability to counter and absolutely obliterate Barrier Champions, which are common in endgame activities. In modes like Grandmaster Nightfalls, this is an invaluable weapon for most runs if you want to emerge victorious with a high score.

Destiny 2 best weapons: A render of the Quicksilver Storm Exotic Strand auto rifle in Lightfall.

Quicksilver Storm – Exotic auto rifle

There’s no better match than Quicksilver Storm and a Strand build, they’re two peas in a pod. Not only is Quicksilver Storm already an incredibly powerful and versatile auto rifle, but it also has great synergy with the Destiny 2 Strand subclasses.

It’s unique perk which generates ammo for a secondary grenade launcher mode is perhaps its biggest draw, however. This secondary fire mode has absurd damage considering this is an auto rifle, not an Exotic grenade launcher. Therefore, Quicksilver Storm provides the best of both worlds, from consistent damage as an auto rifle to staggeringly high damage with its underbarrel grenade launcher.

Find out how to get Quicksilver Storm in Destiny 2 and its powerful Destiny 2 Quicksilver Storm Catalyst to up your arsenal right away.

Ex Diris

Ex Diris is quite a unique weapon but it certainly ranks among the best Destiny 2 weapons in PvE when used correctly, especially if you’re a Hunter. With a massive amount of ammo, this grenade launcher is great for firing into a great of enemies and letting it handle the rest. What do we mean by the exactly? Well, Ex Diris creates explosive moths on impact that with chase down enemies and blow up, blinding them in the process. With good and mobbing potential, Ex Diris is one to keep an eye on.

Find out how to get the Destiny 2 Ex Diris weapon here.

Destiny 2 PvE meta weapons

Here are the Destiny 2 PvE meta weapons by usage rate according to Destiny Tracker:

  • 1. Thunderlord – 2.59%
  • 2. Quicksilver Storm – 2.42%
  • 3. Forbearance – 2.34%
  • 4. Wish-Ender – 2.13%
  • 5. Witherhoard – 2.12%
  • 6. Centrifuse – 2.06%
  • 7. Riptide – 1.91%
  • 8. Rufus’s Fury – 1.69%
  • 9. Gjallahorn – 1.61%
  • 10. The Hothead – 1.44%

This can give you a strong sense of what’s meta in the PvE scene right now, particularly for Grandmaster Nightfalls and raids, though they’re not always the best weapons for every scenario like some of the ones we’ve listed above.

Well, that’s all there is to it – the best Destiny 2 weapons available right now in Lightfall and Season of the Witch. It’s not all about your weapons though, so find out all there is to know about Destiny 2 Artifice Armor. Check out our guide to the best free Xbox games here and the best free PS5 games here for other games you’ll love.