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The Ultimate Guide to the Top 12 Grenade Launchers in Destiny 2 (2023)

Destiny 2 is known for its wide array of powerful weapons, and among them, Grenade Launchers (GLs) have emerged as some of the best add-clear and DPS options. With expert knowledge gained from 15 years of experience in the PvE scene, I have carefully curated a list of the 12 S-tier Grenade Launchers that every aspiring Guardian should have in their Vault.

Why Grenade Launchers?

Grenade Launchers have been dominating the PvE META in Destiny 2 for quite some time now. Ever since the Season of Arrivals, GLs have consistently proven their worth. These versatile weapons excel in both add-clearing and dealing massive burst damage to tough enemies. If you’re a PvE player, having a collection of these powerhouse weapons is essential for success.

Witherhoard – A Meta-Shattering Force

Let’s start with a Grenade Launcher that has become a true legend – Witherhoard. Since its introduction, this Kinetic GL has had an immense impact on the META. Firing a shot with Witherhoard creates a pool of Taken Blight that inflicts incredible tick damage. This deadly synergy, combined with Auto-Loading Holster, allows you to switch to your heavy weapon and unleash devastating DPS while the tick damage continues to wreak havoc. Not to mention, Witherhoard’s add-clearing capabilities are second to none.

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Parasite – The Ultimate Burst DPS Option

When it comes to dealing explosive burst damage, Parasite takes the crown. This Grenade Launcher has the ability to one-shot Champions even at Master difficulty. As you eliminate enemies with other weapons, Parasite starts building a powerful buff called Worm’s Hunger, increasing your damage with each stack. While it may not excel in sustained DPS due to the stack mechanic, this single-shot monster is an indispensable tool for those moments when you need to obliterate a high-value target quickly.

Forbearance – The Reigning Add-Clear Special Weapon

Regarded as the single best add-clear special weapon in Destiny 2, Forbearance’s effectiveness is unmatched. This Wave Frame GL, equipped with Chain Reaction, offers a unique combination of increased damage radius and explosive chain reactions. You can shoot a single grenade across a room, and the resulting explosion will wipe out everything in its path. If you’re seeking optimal add-clearing potential, Forbearance is the way to go.

Salvager’s Salvo – A Pinnacle of Grenade Launchers

Throughout the years, many Pinnacle weapons have risen and fallen, but none have left such a lasting impact on the META as Salvager’s Salvo. This Arc GL, featuring intrinsic Ambitious Assassin/Chain Reaction, stands tall even in the face of newer perks. Its versatility shines, especially when facing enemies with Arc shields. Despite lacking subclass synergy, Salvager’s Salvo manages to hold its own against the best Grenade Launchers Destiny 2 has to offer.

Harsh Language – Destabilizing the Competition

Harsh Language takes inspiration from the formidable Forbearance, presenting a captivating twist. With Destabilizing Rounds as its unique perk, this Wave Frame GL turns enemies near their demise into volatile explosives. Although it may lack the immediate gratification of Chain Reaction, the explosive volatility it offers far surpasses other add-clear options. Two shots from Harsh Language are enough to obliterate entire rooms, beautifully complementing Void 3.0 abilities.

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Prodigal Return – The Defiant Newcomer

Season of Defiance and Lightfall welcomed Prodigal Return, a Grenade Launcher that deviates from its Arc predecessors. Instead of Chain Reaction, it rolls with Voltshot, an intriguing perk that synergizes perfectly with the nature of GL gameplay. Reloading after every shot, Prodigal Return ensures an abundance of Jolted enemies and unleashes waves of destruction upon hordes of red bar adversaries. Grab this gem before Season of Defiance bids farewell.

Regnant – The Heir to Wendigo’s Throne

Once revered as the god roll Grenade Launcher, Wendigo now yields its position to Regnant. This explosive powerhouse shines with Envious Assassin, a perk that overflows the magazine when you secure kills with other weapons. Combine this with Explosive Light, and you have a force capable of decimating enemies with an entire drum full of grenades. While Wendigo still holds its own and pairs well with Izanagi’s Burden, Regnant steals the show with its sheer firepower.

Ignition Code – The Utility Master

Ignition Code stands out from the rest by offering unmatched utility in Master and Grandmaster content. Featuring Disorienting Grenades, this Kinetic GL blinds entire rooms of enemies, providing a significant advantage in high-level encounters. Adding to its arsenal is the Slideshot perk, empowering Guardians to shoot, slide, and conquer even the toughest challenges. Although it may not excel in everyday activities, Ignition Code is an indisputable asset in the most demanding situations.

Anarchy – The Forgotten Exotic

While its glory days may have faded, Anarchy should not be underestimated. As an Exotic Grenade Launcher, it may not outshine the best options available, but it has its unique uses. With tick damage akin to Witherhoard, Anarchy allows Warlocks to regenerate their Fusion Grenades. Its Arc damage synergizes exceptionally well with Surge modifiers and Champion mods, making it a viable choice when facing formidable foes. Don’t let this forgotten gem gather dust in your Vault.

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Fighting Lion – The Sleeper Hit

It’s time to dispel the notion that Fighting Lion is a mere afterthought. With easy access to Volatile Rounds, this Void Grenade Launcher proves its worth in both PvE and PvP activities. Boasting infinite ammo, Fighting Lion delivers a never-ending cascade of explosions. This versatile GL played a pivotal role in obtaining the Witherhoard Catalyst in the Crucible and remains a staple in many Guardian’s PvE builds. Don’t miss out on its incredible explosive potential.

Wilderflight – A Proof of Concept

Wilderflight secures the final spot on this list as a testament to its unique concept. This Double Fire Grenade Launcher fires two grenades simultaneously, setting it apart from other GLs. While it may not possess extraordinary add-clearing perks, Wilderflight offers an intriguing framework for experimentation. As you explore the possibilities this weapon presents, keep an eye out for potential future additions to this fascinating archetype.

In Conclusion

That concludes our exploration of the top 12 Grenade Launchers in Destiny 2 as of the year of Lightfall. With GLs continuing to dominate the PvE META, it’s crucial to have a well-stocked arsenal ready for any challenge. Whether you’re seeking devastating burst damage or unparalleled add-clearing capabilities, these Grenade Launchers will elevate your gameplay and ensure your success in Destiny 2’s ever-evolving universe. So, prepare your Vault and arm yourself with these extraordinary weapons as you embark on thrilling adventures.

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