Destiny 2 best PvE weapons for raids, dungeons & Lost Sectors (Season of the Witch)

Destiny 2 best PvE weapons for raids, dungeons & Lost Sectors (Season of the Witch)
Images via Bungie

Written by 

Dave McAdam


7th Nov 2023 17:30


For many, the focus of Destiny 2 is the PvE gameplay, making these weapons the most important to own. Destiny 2 has one of the longest weapon lists of any FPS game, which is needed for the wide range of activities you can take on in the game.

Whether you are tackling raids in a group, delving into dungeons with friends, or simply adventuring through the system, these weapons are the ones you'll want for PvE in Season of the Witch. For the Crucible fans, we've also got the best Destiny 2 PvP weapons for Crucible, Trials of Osiris, Gambit & Iron Banner.

Best Kinetic weapons for PvE in Destiny 2

Witherhoard, Outbreak Perfected, Heritage, and Fatebringer weapons, some of the best for PvE in Destiny 2
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In the table below, you'll find the best Kinetic weapons for Destiny 2 PvE, as well as how to get them. Bear in mind that this does not mean they are the best in every situation, but owning all of these will have you well-equipped for most situations.

The Kinetic slot in your loadout is a bit of a misnomer now, as it also contains all of your primary Stasis and Strand weapons. Some will be your main weapon, some will be your off-hand, and some will have very niche but powerful uses.

Weapon How to get
Outbreak Perfected Exotic Kiosk in the Tower
Witherhoard Exotic Kiosk in the Tower
Arbalest Shaw Han quest in Cosmodrome (Another Last City)
Sweet Business Exotic Kiosk in the Tower
Fatebringer Vault of Glass raid
Quicksilver Storm Exotic Kiosk in the Tower
Rufus's Fury Root of Nightmares raid
Osteo Striga Witch Queen campaign
Conditional Finality Root of Nightmares raid

Outbreak Perfected

Outbreak Perfected, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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The quintessential primary weapon. Pulse rifles are almost always high in the PvE meta, but regardless of their place in the current game, Outbreak Perfected is always top-tier. It does great damage and is highly accurate, and the SIVA exotic perk creates projectiles on headshot kills that seek out other enemies.

These things combined make Outbreak amazing for single targets, as well as clearing out groups of enemies. It might be a bold statement, but this might be the best PvE exotic in Destiny 2.


The Witherhoard grenade launcher, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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A lot of folks run with their primary weapon in the Energy slot, freeing up the Kinetic slot for something a bit different. Witherhoard makes regular appearances in this slot, as it is just so useful in PvE.

This grenade launcher creates a radius within which enemies take damage over time. There is rarely a time when Witherhoard isn't extremely useful, so if you ever have a good primary weapon in your Energy slot, you should strongly consider pairing it with Witherhoard.


Arbalest, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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Another powerful backup weapon, the Arbalest is an excellent weapon for boss damage in Destiny 2. It is a linear fusion rifle, a class of weapon typically found in the Heavy weapons slot. While it might not pack the punch of its heavy brethren, it packs an awful lot more punch than any other Kinetic weapon.

Arbalest is amazing in Legend Lost Sectors. It is naturally anti-barrier, but in general, it is just great for melting Champions. Bring an Arbalest into anything where you will be facing a lot of tougher enemies, and watch them disappear.

Sweet Business

Sweet Business, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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We must have stepped through a portal to 2017, because Sweet Business is in the Destiny 2 meta again. Many exotic weapons have received buffs in recent months, and few have gotten a bigger boost than Sweet Business.

The latest change has given the weapon occasional explosive rounds. One shot in every 20 fired will explode, becoming slightly less frequent as the weapon's fire rate increases. Auto Rifles have seen some significant improvements in recent Seasons, putting Sweet Business in the best position it has been in years.


Fatebringer, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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You really can't be without a decent hand cannon in Destiny 2, and there are few better weapons for PvE than Fatebringer. This classic drops from the Vault of Glass, and the most dedicated among you might even snag the more powerful Timelost version.

Fatebringer is a great all-around weapon - rarely is it ever a poor choice to equip one. If you can get some powerful perks like Firefly or Rewind Rounds, all the better.

Quicksilver Storm

Quicksilver Storm, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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The original Strand weapon, this auto rifle was a pre-order bonus for purchasing Lightfall and the season pass. Now it can be acquired from the exotic weapon kiosk, giving this goodness to all players. Strand has been a powerful factor in Destiny 2 since Lightfall, and will only continue to be so in Season of the Witch.

Whether you are using a Strand subclass, or another subclass like Arc or Void that can benefit from a Strand weapon, Quicksilver Storm will carry you through a lot of encounters.

Rufus's Fury

Rufus' Fury, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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This is kind of like Quicksilver Storm-lite. It's a Strand auto rifle, but unlike Quicksilver it doesn't come with any fancy grenade launcher mode. It's just a simple and effective automatic rifle that can tear through enemies.

This weapon is consistent and has great perks that fit a variety of playstyles. As far as legendary auto rifles go, this might be the best in the game. As a drop from the Root of Nightmares raid, it is cheaper to get than Quicksilver, but still requires some work.

Osteo Striga

Osteo Striga, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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This weapon has been insane ever since it was first introduced in the Witch Queen DLC. It's fitting that it's still great in the Season of the Witch.

Combining this weapon with Necrotic Grips on a Warlock is a recipe for destruction, but it's amazing in anyone's hands. SMGs are very strong and this is easily a top-tier exotic one.

Conditional Finality

Conditional Finality, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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This weapon from the Root of Nightmares raid is one of the best weapons you can get your hands on. You can basically turn Destiny into DOOM with this stasis/solar hybrid shotgun.

It's extremely powerful up close and offers utility too. Being able to freeze champions, spread solar damage and one-shot enemies all in one makes Conditional Finality an absolute beast.

Best Energy weapons for PvE in Destiny 2

Ikelos SMG, BxR Battler, Divinity, Forbearance weapons, some of the best in Destiny 2 for PvE
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Next up is the energy slot, arguably the most diverse list of weapons around in Destiny 2. You have a lot of options here, particularly for different situations, so be sure to play around with these weapons.

As with the Kinetics, the following list are some of the standout weapons of the category. Particularly important here is how these weapons fit into your build alongside your subclass.

Weapon How to get
Funnelweb/Ikelos SMG Random world drop
Sunshot Exotic Engrams/D2 Campaign
Forbearance Vow of the Disciple raid
Harsh Language Random world drop
Cloudstrike Empire Hunts
BxR Battler Dares of Eternity
Divinity Garden of Salvation raid
Tessellation Pre-order The Final Shape + Annual Pass

Funnelweb/Ikelos SMG

The Ikelos SMG and the Funnelweb, two of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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A solid SMG of any damage type is going to be useful for putting together builds. Void builds have been very strong in recent seasons, and continue to be solid in Season of the Witch. Arc is particularly potent in Season of the Witch thanks to the seasonal artifact perks.

As such, we highly recommend grabbing a Funnelweb for your Void builds, and an Ikelos SMG for Arc builds. The combination of good damage and high fire rate will be extremely useful for all kinds of effects.

Regardless of your class or build, chances are a workhorse Void SMG will fit in nicely. Funnelweb is strong, it's adaptable, and it can be everything you need from a weapon. The Ikelos SMG is an excellent weapon regardless of the scenario, so playing to its strengths will only make it more impressive.


Sunshot, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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This classic hand cannon has returned to prominence in Season of the Witch thanks to the recent hand cannon buffs introduced into the game. It was always a solid weapon before, even when Hand cannons weren't the greatest for PvE, but post-buff Sunshot has become an easy contender for one of the better PvE exotics.

If you are using a Solar subclass, there are very few weapons in the game that will pair better than the Sunshot.

Forbearance & Harsh Language

Forbearance, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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For a more powerful option in your Energy slot, Forbearance and Harsh Language are amazing options. They are both wave frame grenade launchers, which send a wave of damage across the ground in a wave.

These kinds of grenade launchers are amazing for taking out many smaller enemies at once. Harsh Language is a world drop, where Forbearance comes from the Vow of the Disciple raid.


Cloudstrike, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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Cloudstrike saw a huge boost last season with the changes in Season of the Deep. First of all, sniper rifles across the board have seen buffs, and Cloudstrike has had increases to its DPS and ammo capacity.

The season has changed, but Cloudstrike is still and has always been incredible; a weapon that calls down lightning with the power to take down even super-powered Guardians with a single, well-placed shot. Cloudstrike has always been fun to use and continues to be a great option in Season of the Witch.

BxR Battler

BxR Battler, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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The BxR Battler is a reprisal of the Battle Rifle from Halo. It came to Destiny 2 during the Bungie 30th anniversary event, and pretty quickly became one of the most used weapons in the game.

Not just a novelty, this pulse rifle is one of the best in the game. You can farm Dares of Eternity for better perks, so getting a decent one is not difficult at all.


A Warlock firing Divinity, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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The definition of a functional weapon, Divinity is a weapon that every raid team needs. By itself, Divinity does very little. It is a trace rifle, but rather than doing much damage, it creates a bubble on the enemy it hits. Teammates can shoot that bubble to do critical damage to the enemy.

This makes Divinity a must-have for raid bosses. If you want to be your raid team's favourite person, bring along a Divinity and make everyone's life easier.


Tessellation, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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This new weapon is only available right now if you pre-purchase The Final Shape with the annual pass. That is a lot of money to hand out right now for just one gun, but at least it is a very powerful one.

The Tessellation is a fusion rifle with no element of its own, instead, it takes on the element of your currently equipped subclass. As such, it is a very broadly useable weapon, one that can slot into just about any build where needed.

Further, it has a special ability that allows you to consume your grenade to give the weapon a single, devastating shot. Bring the weapon into a build that keeps your grenade energy topped up and you will have a world-beater in the palm of your hand.

Best Heavy weapons for PvE in Destiny 2

Four of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2, the Thunderlord, Gjallarhorn, Taipan, and Xenophage
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Now for the big guns. Heavy weapons are often the most fun to discuss and rarely have much use outside of hitting a big thing as hard as you can.

That said, you might be surprised by the variety of ways you can hit big things, so here are some of the best weapon options to round out your PvE arsenal for Destiny 2.

Weapon How to get
Commemoration Deep Stone Crypt raid
Thunderlord Random exotic drop, potentially bought from Xur
Grand Overture Exotic Kiosk in the Tower
Gjallarhorn Shaw Han quest in Cosmodrome (And Out Fly the Wolves)
Two-Tailed Fox Random exotic drop, potentially bought from Xur
Legend of Acrius Exotic Kiosk in the Tower
Taipan 4-Fr Random world drop
Xenophage Complete Shadowkeep exotic quest "The Journey"


Commemoration, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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For the most part, Machine Guns are extremely strong in the PvE meta, and a lot of people are using this weapon in all PvE activities. Commemoration is a reward from the Deep Sight Crypt raid, meaning you can potentially craft one yourself.

Machine Guns are always good, but right now they are really good. Commemoration is the best of the bunch in most scenarios, so you would do well to have one in your Heavy slot at almost all times. It is also a Void weapon, which pairs nicely with the particularly potent Void builds available right now.


Thunderlord, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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Thunderlord is a classic that has been around since the beginning of the original Destiny. This beastly Machine Gun does Arc damage and strikes the enemy with bursts of lightning for extra damage.

With the catalyst, you will basically never need to reload the gun. You can fire hundreds of rounds from this weapon at a raid boss without stopping, making it an exceptional weapon to bring into raids. Season of the Witch has less of a focus on Arc compared to the previous season, but Thunderlord is still an extremely strong and accessible option for PvE.

Grand Overture

Grand Overture, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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Similarly to the Thunderlord, the Grand Overture is an exotic Arc Machine Gun that can dish out beastly damage. It isn't generally considered to be on the same level as Thunderlord, but in the right circumstances and in the right hands, Grand Overture can outperform the damage of Thunderlord by a considerable amount.

It all comes down to how well you use the volleys it fires, and how your Arc class is set up. Without the right circumstances Grand Overture isn't amazing, but you can get ungodly amounts of damage out of Grand Overture when the conditions for it are right.


A Hunter firing the Gjallarhorn, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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The other timeless classic from the old days. Gjallarhorn was once the most powerful weapon Destiny had ever seen and remained so for a long time. It has returned finally in Destiny 2, and while it cannot reclaim its place at the top, it certainly is no slouch.

The powerful Wolfpack Rounds of Gjallarhorn are still extremely potent, with the added ability to grant their power to nearby allies also using rocket launchers. A Gally alongside a team of rocket launchers is a top-tier way to make bosses go away.

Two-Tailed Fox

Two-Tailed Fox, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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Speaking of rocket launchers that have gotten a glow-up, the Two-Tailed Fox just grew a third tail. This weapon was always quite cool, as it fires two rockets at once.

One rocket does Solar damage, the other rocket does Void damage. The new catalyst for the weapon adds a third rocket that does Arc damage, making this easily one of the most versatile weapons in the game. Rocket launchers are always a solid choice for killing tough enemies, and Two-Tailed Fox is one of the best.


Taipan-4Fr, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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While its time at the top may have come to an end, the Taipan-4Fr is still among the best in the Heavy weapon category of Destiny 2. This linear fusion rifle is everything you would want from its class, it is precise, it hits hard, and it doesn't make life difficult.

If you are ever unsure of which heavy weapon to bring to a situation, a linear fusion is always a good option and a Taipan is always a great option.


Xenophage, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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This is an odd one, but certainly an interesting and useful weapon. This Heavy machine gun only carries a handful of bullets and does not fire very quickly. What it does do, is fire massive projectiles that explode on impact.

Xenophage hits like a truck, which is essentially what you want a Heavy weapon to do. There are some specific cases where it is very useful, but for the most part you can really just point this weapon at anything and make it go away.

Those are our picks for the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2 for Season of the Witch. For more on the game, head to our Destiny 2 homepage for all kinds of guides like our Destiny 2 post-Lightfall story recap, or our regularly updated Destiny 2 weekly reset guide.

Dave is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon, after several years of freelancing across the industry. He covers a wide range of games, with particular focus on shooters like Destiny 2, RPGs like Baldur's Gate 3 and Cyberpunk 2077, and fighting games like Street Fighter 6 and Tekken 8.

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