Destiny 2 PVP Exotic Weapons Tier List – Updated April 2022

Destiny 2 PVP Exotic Weapons Tier List – Updated April 2022

There are a lot of weapons in Destiny 2 and it can be pretty daunting to know which to bring into a raid or difficult activity. This is only enhanced with exotic weapons, the rarest type of gear in Destiny 2, and items you can only have one of equipped at any time. It’s critical to know which exotic weapons to hunt for or purchase from the Monument to Lost Lights in The Tower. To alleviate this burden, I have put together a tier list of every single PVP exotic currently in the game so you know which ones you should be infusing and bringing with you into Destiny 2’s most competitive modes.

Author’s Note: Developer Bungie is constantly buffing and nerfing weapons each season, so a weapon’s ranking can change. We also consider seasonal mods and catalysts, as these can often have a dramatic impact on a weapon’s effectiveness. Remember, you can pretty much use any exotic in PVP if you’re good enough, but some are simply better than others. I will also be factoring in how these exotics function in pinnacle activities like Trials of Osiris and Iron Banner.

S

The Wardcliff Coil

Ace of Spades

The Chaperone

The Last Word

The Colony

S

Hawkmoon

Dead Man’s Tale

Lord Of Wolves

Duality

Gjallarhorn

A

Vigilance Wing

Thorn

Bastion

Forerunner

Heir Apparent

A

Sunshot

Jotunn

Le Monarque

Lorentz Driver

Black Talon

A

Crimson

B

MIDA Multi-Tool

Eyes of Tomorrow

Outbreak Perfected

No Time to Explain

Thunderlord

B

Osteo Striga

Vex Mythoclast

Tractor Cannon

One Thousand Voices

Witherhoard

B

SUROS Regime

Lumina

Cloudstrike

C

Sweet Business

Bad Juju

Wish-Ender

Monte Carlo

Grand Overture

C

Graviton Lance

Prometheus Lens

Telesto

Polaris Lance

Xenophage

C

The Jade Rabbit

Tarrabah

Devil’s Ruin

Two-Tailed Fox

Truth

C

Tommy’s Matchbook

Ticuu’s Divination

Telesto

The Prospector

Symmetry

D

Sturm

Rat King

The Huckleberry

Cerberus +1

Malfeasance

D

Izanagi's Burden

Izanagi’s Burden

Arbalest

Parasite

The Lament

Traveler’s Chosen

D

Cryothesia 77k

Ager’s Scepter

Coldheart

Fightning Lion

Merciless

D

Borealis

Trinity Ghoul

Eriana’s Vow

Divinity

Collective Obligation

D

Ruinous Effigy

Fourth Horseman

Fourth Horseman

Edge of Concurrence

Edge of Action

Edge of Intent

D

Dead Messenger

Legend of Acrius

D.A.R.C.I.

Worldline Zero

Sleeper Simulant

D

Whisper of the Worm

The Queenbreaker

Anarchy

Deathbringer

Leviathan’s Breath

D

Salvation’s Grip

Hard Light

What Do the Rankings Mean?

Now that we have our tier list, it’s time we go over what each of these rankings mean. I am looking solely at how these weapons perform in the Crucible. If you want to bring an exotic into a PVE activity, make sure to check out my other tier list. As stated above, a very skilled player can make any weapon work, however, some exotic weapons are objectively better than others for PVP. But there are always weird scenarios and metas popping up that may elevate a specific weapon above others. There are a lot of factors to consider when judging an exotic weapon, but I am looking more at the overall performance of the gun rather than if it works in specific niche scenarios. These exotics have been ranked from S to D tier, with the former being the best and the latter being weapons you will pretty much never need to use.

S — Great for every PVP activity.
A — Terrific and works in nearly all PVP content
B — Good and usually popular choices. However, there are some better options out there.
C — Suboptimal. There are better choices, but it can get the job done if you need it to.
D — There are better and more useful Legendary weapons than these.

If a weapon is in the S tier, it’s the absolute best of the best. You almost can’t go wrong with using any of these weapons as they are frequently used in activities like Trials of Osiris. There’s rarely ever a scenario where an exotic like Ace of Spades or The Chaperone won’t be one of the best weapons in your loadout. A tier is reserved for fantastic weapons that may not be useful for every single engagement. They are often extremely popular choices like Thorn, Black Talon, and Bastion. However, I wouldn’t categorize them as best in slot or their respective archetypes — especially with the rise of enhanced perk weapons.

B-tier is probably the most difficult tier to place some guns, as they need to be good, but not overwhelmingly strong. Some B-tier weapons can be slightly niche choices that are still remarkably effective like Tractor Cannon or weapons that got a nerfed so they aren’t overwhelmingly strong such as Vex Mythoclast. C-tier consists of okay guns, but you are usually better off running a legendary weapon or anything listed in the tiers above it. I also am putting guns in C-tier that heavily rely on specific builds or additional gear pieces to shine like Sweet Business with Actium War Rig. Finally, there’s D-tier which are just weapons you rarely ever want to use in PVP. There are almost always better choices regardless of the archetype and you can probably do more damage with a good roll on a legendary weapon than these.

Destiny 2 Deepsight Tier 2 3

How Are the Rankings Selected?

I know what you’re thinking: “Why is my favorite exotic in C or D tier? I love that weapon!” Look, there are a lot of fun weapons in Destiny 2. However, some weapons aren’t nearly as effective when you’re up against experienced PVP players. Lumina is a solid PVE weapon that can be helpful in raids or dungeons, but it pales in comparison to the Ace of Spades or The Last Word. I do not doubt that a multiple Gilded Flawless player can make a gun like Malfeasance look impressive, but for most users, you’ll want to stick to weapons like Thorn or Hawkmoon.

As for Gambit, there was no real consideration for this activity since it’s a mix of PVP and PVE. That being said, Gambit is still one of the least played modes, and only a small handful of exotic weapons in our lower tiers are truly impactful there. Ultimately, players typically lean to a PVE loadout for this mode unless they plan to invade and fight other players every game. Given this is then catering to an even smaller percentage of players, how a gun performs in Gambit didn’t impact any placements in my tier list.

There are many factors to consider when ranking a weapon, such as its damage values, perks, what slot it takes up, and how it fills the roll designed for it. Damage values are simple enough — you compare a weapon’s destructive force versus another. Yet we also need to consider an exotic weapon’s role in your loadout. For example, you may only use a Heavy weapon once a game at best. It’s critical that a Heavy weapon actually kills someone with the very limited ammo you have. Additionally, Special weapons only start with a few rounds and you’ll need to scavenge ammo off bodies. Since we cannot always guarantee this, we need to ensure those few bullets we have will allow us to quickly kill an enemy Guardian.

I should also mention this is ultimately a subjective list. Destiny 2 is a game with a lot of systems and mechanics, so you can make use of any gun if you’re truly skilled enough. Additionally, if you really like or are comfortable with a specific firearm you should absolutely use it. I love the Bad Juju, even though it’s only an okay option for most PVP activities. You may disagree with a selection — that’s totally fine! This is simply to help those looking to get into the toughest PVP challenges offered in Destiny 2 or for those unsure of what weapons they should prioritize getting.

Highlights

Dead Man’s Tale and Hawkmoon: Currently the only two exotics that can roll with random perks, it can be tricky to quantify where they belong on this list. Most of this is because both guns can roll with great PVE or PVP perks, so it ultimately comes down to what’s on your specific version of each weapon. When deciding their placement, I focused mainly on the best PVP perks available for them since that’s the optimal roll for each gun. While this might be a tad unrealistic, if you’re serious about using these guns then you’ll be hunting for god rolls of these weapons.
Collective Obligation: At the time of writing this, I do not own Collective Obligation. My luck in the Vow of the Disciple raid hasn’t been great, so the weapon’s placement was entirely based on research and second-hand recommendations from people who have a lot of PVP experience (and better luck than me!) in Destiny 2.
Sunshot: Now this might seem like an odd choice for those who don’t play a lot of Crucible, but the Sunshot is an absolute menace. A lot of this is because the Sunshot is the only 150 RPM hand cannon in the current sandbox. This gives it a distinct advantage over a lot of other hand cannons as it can fire slightly faster than others while dishing out a solid amount of damage. The catalyst also gives it a great range and stability boost, making this one of the best PVP hand cannons in the game.
Crimson: I feel like Crimson is often slept on. Even though some players do use it, this gun is not nearly as popular as Ace of Spades, Hawkmoon, or other primary exotic weapons. This is a shame, as Crimson is an absolute monster in the Crucible. Not only does it have a terrific aim assist stat, but this burst weapon deals great damage and heals you after every kill. Did I mention it also reloads a portion of your magazine after each kill? Yeah, Crimson is kinda wild and remarkably dangerous once you learn to control the recoil.
Rat King: Look, I love a good meme gun, but that’s all Rat King will ever be. It’s a funny joke weapon that can be pretty busted with an invisibility-focused Hunter, but most people are just using this to meme. Yes, killing people with it is funny, but that doesn’t make it a B or above-tier weapon.

Author: Deann Hawkins