Destiny 2 best PvE meta weapons for raids & dungeons in Season of the Wish

Destiny 2 best PvE meta weapons for raids & dungeons in Season of the Wish
Images via Bungie

Written by 

Dave McAdam

Last updated 

13th Mar 2024 10:22

Contents

Few games have the depth of weaponry that Destiny 2 has, particularly for high-level PvE activities like dungeons and raids. That's not to mention the litany of PvP-focused weapons that players can also strive for.

When it comes to PvE weapons for taking on the likes of Warlord's Ruin or King's Fall, you need high damage, precision, and utility - so here are my picks for some of the top-tier PvE meta weapons in the game.

Best Kinetic weapons for PvE

Witherhoard, Outbreak Perfected, Heritage, and Fatebringer weapons, some of the best for PvE in Destiny 2
Click to enlarge

In the table below, you'll find the best Kinetic weapons for Destiny 2 PvE, as well as how to get them. There is no one weapon that suits every situation, but having each of these in your back pocket will serve you well.

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
Riptide Random reward in The Crucible

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.

Witherhoard

The Witherhoard grenade launcher 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 unusual. 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

Arbalest, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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Another powerful off-hand weapon, the Arbalest is an excellent Kinetic weapon for dealing boss damage in Destiny 2. It's 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's just great for melting Champions. Bring an Arbalest into anything where you will be facing a lot of tougher enemies, and watch them disappear.

Fatebringer

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 in Destiny 2
Click to enlarge

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 element in Destiny 2 since Lightfall, and will only continue to be so in Season of the Wish.

Whether you are using a Strand subclass, or another subclass build 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 in Destiny 2
Click to enlarge

This weapon has been incredibly powerful ever since it was first introduced in the Witch Queen DLC. While it has been balanced out somewhat in the Season of the Wish patch, it is still an exceptionally strong weapon that belongs in everyone's inventory.

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 super shotgun 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.

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Riptide

The Riptide fusion rifle in Destiny 2
Click to enlarge

This Stasis fusion rifle makes regular appearances in the loadouts of raiders and high-level players. This is for a few reasons, primarily for the perk Chill Clip. Chill Clip is a perk that can freeze enemies and is pretty much guaranteed to take effect when landing shots with Riptide.

Having a fusion rifle in your Kinetic slot is great as it frees up your Energy slot to use other weapons. The fact that Riptide can have such a useful function by freezing enemies, while also doing decent damage, makes it an incredible tool in all high-end PvE situations.

Best Energy weapons for PvE

Ikelos SMG, BxR Battler, Divinity, Forbearance weapons, some of the best in Destiny 2 for PvE
Click to enlarge

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/Calus Mini Tool Random world drop/exotic mission rotators
Sunshot Exotic Engrams/D2 Campaign
Indebted Kindness Warlord's Ruin dungeon
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/Calus Mini Tool

The Ikelos SMG and the Funnelweb in Destiny 2
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A solid SMG of any damage type is going to be useful for putting together subclass builds. As such, we highly recommend grabbing a Funnelweb for your Void builds, and an Ikelos SMG for Arc builds. We especially recommend grabbing the Calus Mini Tool in Season of the Wish, as Solar builds are the focus of the current seasonal artifact perks.

Funnelweb is a world drop and can appear anywhere, but with the changes in Season of the Wish you can now get these weapons from Lost Sectors. Ikelos SMG can drop in Operation: Seraph's Shield, and CMT drops in Presage, so jump on those exotic missions when they come up in the rotation. All of the above can appear in Xur's offerings each weekend, so keep an eye on him as well.

Regardless of your class or build, chances are a workhorse 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

Sunshot, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
Click to enlarge

This classic hand cannon returned to prominence in Season of the Witch thanks to the hand cannon buffs introduced in that season. 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, which is particularly hot this season, there are very few weapons in the game that will fare better than the Sunshot.

Indebted Kindness

Indebted Kindness sidearm from Destiny 2
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The most recently added weapon on our list is Indebted Kindness. This Arc sidearm was introduced alongside Warlord's Ruin as one of the rewards from that dungeon. What makes Indebted Kindness unique in Destiny is that this is the first Rocket-Assisted frame sidearm in the game.

What that essentially means is this pistol fires rocket-propelled rounds that explode on impact. It has easily the highest damage of any sidearm in the game, and has quickly become a favourite among players. Warlord's Ruin is an amazing dungeon, but Indebted Kindness alone is enough reason to run it as many times as you need to get one.

Forbearance & Harsh Language

Forbearance 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.

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

Cloudstrike, one of the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2
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Cloudstrike saw a huge boost last year with the changes made 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 seasons have 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 requires serious skills and precision to be fully effective, but when it works there is nothing better.

BxR Battler

BxR Battler in Destiny 2
Click to enlarge

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. This weapon is never out of season, and with Solar builds being a big thing in Season of the Wish, it is even more desirable right now.

Divinity

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 one 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

Tessellation in Destiny 2
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This newer 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.

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

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 but 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.

Weapon How to get
Dragon's Breath Season pass
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"

Dragon's Breath

The Dragon's Breath rocket launcher in Destiny 2
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Another return from Destiny 1, Dragon's Breath is available this season on the season pass. This reprised version of the weapon has new functionality, making it one of the more interesting rocket launchers in the game.

Now, instead of leaving a flaming trail when you fire it, the rocket embeds in the target before exploding, spreading flames around the area and scorching nearby enemies. In the right build, this can become an incredibly high-damaging weapon, especially with the rocket launcher perks available in Season of the Wish.

Commemoration

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 Stone 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

Thunderlord 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 Wish has less of a focus on Arc compared to previous seasons, 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.

Gjallarhorn

A Hunter firing the Gjallarhorn in Destiny 2
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Another 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 isn't a 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 end-game 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 can fire two rockets at once.

One rocket does Solar damage, the other rocket does Void damage. The 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 particularly strong this season, and Two-Tailed Fox is one of the best.

Taipan-4Fr

Taipan-4Fr 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

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 can do, is fire massive projectiles that explode on impact.

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

For more on the game, head to our Destiny 2 homepage for all kinds of guides like our post-Lightfall story recap, our weekly reset guide, the weekly Lost Sector rotation, or check back each weekend to find out what's new with Xur and Trials of Osiris.

Dave McAdam
About the author
Dave McAdam
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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