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Destiny 2 Best Exotic Weapons for PvE & PvP: Season of the Witch

Destiny 2 offers a vast array of weapons, which can be overwhelming for players. However, amidst all the choices, there are some clear-cut best Exotic weapons for both PvE and PvP in the Season of the Witch.

Destiny’s Exotic weapons have always been highly coveted, dating back to the original game. These unique weapons can be acquired in various ways, such as purchasing them from Xur, completing Exotic missions, or even through fishing.

Since players can only equip one Exotic gun at a time, it’s important to know which ones are meta to make the best use of the limited slot. To help you make the right choices, we have compiled a list of the best Exotic weapons in Destiny 2 for both PvE and PvP in the Season of the Witch.

Best Exotic Kinetic Weapons

Arbalest

The Arbalest exotic linear fusion rifle from Destiny 2.

Best use: PvE

The Arbalest is a truly unique weapon, as it is the only Linear Fusion Rifle that uses Special Ammo while occupying the Kinetic slot. Its standout feature is its ability to break shields of Champions or Bosses with a single shot.

However, the Arbalest is not limited to being a shield-breaking support weapon. It also boasts excellent DPS and range for a special weapon. If you have the accuracy to consistently land precise shots, this weapon is a great choice for any build and is even necessary in certain encounters.

To acquire the Arbalest, you can obtain it as a rare random drop from world drop Exotic engrams.

Conditional Finality

Conditional Finality exotic shotgun from Destiny 2.

Best use: PvE/PvP

Conditional Finality is an exceptional shotgun known for its versatility, making it useful in all of Destiny’s core playlists. This Exotic weapon deals both Stasis and Solar damage, allowing it to ignite and freeze targets with each shot.

Its versatility shines when facing champions in higher-level content, as it can reliably stun them, something that other weapons cannot achieve. If future updates introduce a Shotgun anti-Champion Artifact, expect Conditional Finality to be part of every meta loadout.

You can acquire Conditional Finality as a rare drop after completing the Root of Nightmares raid.

Quicksilver Storm

Quicksilver Storm Exotic Auto Rifle from Destiny 2.

Best use: PvE

With the rise of Exotic primary weapons in the Season of the Witch, Quicksilver Storm has become a popular choice thanks to its significant advantages. This Strand Auto Rifle boasts 100 Stability, making it incredibly easy to control. However, its standout feature is the unique underbarrel grenade launcher.

Shooting enemies charges up the Storm’s grenade launcher, which can then be fired without any additional cost. These explosive shots deal fantastic damage comparable to that of meta Special weapons. The Quicksilver Storm also synergizes well with the Strand, making it suitable for any occasion.

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To acquire the Quicksilver Storm, you can speak to the Cryptarch at The Tower after purchasing Lightfall.

Wish-ender

Wish-ender exotic bow from Destiny 2.

Best use: PvE

Wish-ender has long been a powerful option, thanks to its high damage for a Primary weapon and intrinsic anti-Barrier shots. Although it has a slow draw rate, its potency compensates for this drawback.

The rework of Season of the Deep’s Oathkeeper has also heightened the popularity of Wish-ender among Hunter players, but it is not limited to Hunters. Wish-ender excels regardless of the player’s class.

To acquire Wish-ender, you need to complete the ‘Wish-ender’ Exotic quest obtained in the Shattered Throne dungeon.

Witherhoard

Witherhoard exotic grenade launcher from Destiny 2.

Best use: PvE/PvP

Witherhoard is one of the best Kinetic weapons in Destiny 2, especially in PvE. It is arguably the best Grenade Launcher in the game, surpassing even Forbearance.

Witherhoard specializes in area-of-effect damage, making it excellent for clearing adds and dealing significant damage to bosses. Its catalyst, once unlocked, grants it Auto-Loading Holster, which enhances its DPS rotations.

To acquire Witherhoard, you can purchase it from the Exotic Archive using x1 Exotic Cipher, x100,000 Glimmer, x200 Legendary Shards, and x1 Ascendant Shard.

Best Destiny 2 Exotic Energy Weapons

Cloudstrike

Cloudstrike exotic sniper from Destiny 2.

Best use: PvP

The Cloudstrike is an iconic Exotic sniper rifle introduced in Season 12. It offers everything Crucible players desire, including consistent one-shot kills, good handling, and the potential for awe-inspiring montage clips.

Its unique trait, Mortal Polarity, creates lightning whenever you land a precision final blow. This lightning spreads to nearby enemies, giving the Cloudstrike area-of-effect capabilities and the ability to take out multiple Guardians in one shot. While its performance in PvE is not as impressive, it still holds its own.

To acquire the Cloudstrike, you need to complete higher-difficulty Empire Hunts, which can be obtained from Varik on Europa.

Divinity

Divinity exotic trace rifle from Destiny 2.

Best use: PvE

Divinity has always been a strong choice due to its unique ability to debuff bosses, causing them to take more damage. All targets affected by Divinity suffer 15% increased damage, including regular enemies, champions, and bosses.

In Season 21, the addition of Cenotaph Mask further enhances Divinity’s effectiveness. This Exotic helmet reloads Divinity from reserves, enables target marking, and causes enemies to produce ammo for your team, making it invaluable in team play.

To acquire Divinity, you need to complete the ‘Divinity’ Exotic quest, requiring a run-through of the Garden of Salvation raid.

Le Monarque

Le Monarque exotic bow from Destiny 2.

Best use: PvE/PvP

Le Monarque is a versatile Exotic Bow that can be used with any build in the Energy slot. Its Intrinsic Trait, Poison Arrows, offers excellent damage and area-of-effect capabilities.

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In addition to its add clearing abilities, Le Monarque has intrinsic Overload stun, making it an effective weapon against champions. It also synergizes well with the reworked Oathkeeper Exotic armor.

To acquire Le Monarque, you can visit the Exotic Archive and exchange x1 Exotic Cipher, x125,000 Glimmer, x200 Legendary Shards, and x1 Ascendant Shard.

Sunshot

Sunshot exotic solar hand cannon in Destiny 2.

Best use: PvE

Among the Exotics in the Season of the Witch, Sunshot received a spectacular improvement. The Hand Cannon buffs have positioned Sunshot as one of the strongest Exotic Primary weapons in Destiny 2.

Sunshot boasts good damage, synergy with Solar builds, and excellent add-clearing capabilities, making it a versatile choice for any situation. If there’s one gun from this list that you should try, it’s Sunshot.

To acquire Sunshot, you can obtain it as a rare random drop from world drop Exotic engrams.

Trinity Ghoul

Trinity Ghoul exotic combat bow from Destiny 2.

Best use: PvE

If Le Monarque doesn’t suit your needs, Trinity Ghoul is another outstanding Exotic Combat Bow. This Arc Bow offers arguably the best add-clearing capabilities of any weapon in Destiny 2, thanks to its unique perk, Lightning Rod.

With its catalyst, Lightning Rod can trigger on any Arc final blow, making Trinity Ghoul an exceptionally reliable Primary weapon that can wipe out large groups of enemies within seconds. While it may not be suitable for all purposes, it excels in its specific role.

To acquire Trinity Ghoul, you can obtain it as a rare random drop from world drop Exotic engrams.

Best Destiny 2 Exotic Power Weapons

Gjallarhorn

Gjallarhorn exotic rocket launcher from Destiny 2.

Best use: PvE/PvP

A legendary weapon in the Destiny franchise, Gjallarhorn makes its return in the 30th Anniversary Pack. It fires Wolfpack Rounds that split into smaller explosives after the initial detonation. In Destiny 2, it also shares these rounds with non-Exotic Rocket Launchers used by your fireteam.

Gjallarhorn’s greatest strength lies in its versatility. It deals significant damage, fires tracking missiles, excels at add-clearing, and can generate numerous Orbs of Power when its catalyst is unlocked. Although nerfs to Wolfpack Rounds in the Season of the Witch have slightly reduced its popularity, it remains a potent weapon.

To acquire Gjallarhorn, you need to complete the ‘And Out Fly the Wolves’ Exotic quest obtained from Xur in Eternity.

Legend of Acrius

Legend of Acrius exotic shotgun from Destiny 2.

Best use: PvE

Sometimes, a gun’s sheer damage output is enough to make it meta. While the Legend of Acrius lacks versatility and range, it compensates with an absurd amount of damage. This Exotic shotgun can eliminate enemies faster than most weapons when fired at point-blank range.

While the Legend of Acrius has always been a decent situational choice, the Season 21 damage range buff and reworked No Backup Plans have elevated it to an absolute monster. In the right encounter, it proves itself as one of the best Exotic weapons in Destiny 2.

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To acquire the Legend of Acrius, you can visit the Exotic Archive and exchange x1 Exotic Cipher, x150,000 Glimmer, x2 Ascendant Shard, and x240 Spoils of Conquest.

Sleeper Simulant

Sleeper Simulant exotic linear fusion rifle from Destiny 2.

Best use: PvE

A weapon doesn’t have to be well-rounded to be worth using, and the Sleeper Simulant exemplifies this notion. This Exotic Linear Fusion Rifle excels at one thing: dealing massive damage to bosses through consistent precision hits.

The Sleeper Simulant takes Linear Fusion Rifles to the next level. It hits hard, is easy to use, has a fast fire rate, and pairs well with certain Solar 3.0 builds. If you can consistently land shots with precision, the Sleeper Simulant is one of the best damage-dealing weapons in Destiny 2.

To acquire the Sleeper Simulant, you can visit the Exotic Archive and exchange x1 Exotic Cipher, x125,000 Glimmer, x200 Legendary Shards, and x1 Ascendant Shard.

Thunderlord

Thunderlord exotic machine gun from Destiny 2.

Best use: PvE/PvP

Ah, the Thunderlord. This is the first Exotic ever shown off in Destiny 1, making it a historical piece. However, it was not particularly useful for most of its history. Nevertheless, Machine Guns received a buff in Season 20, propelling Thunderlord to become the most dominant PvE weapon in Destiny 2.

While its popularity has slightly declined since then, Thunderlord remains a top-tier choice due to its constantly reloading magazine, respectable damage output, add-clearing capabilities, and the ability to stun Overload Champions.

To acquire Thunderlord, you can obtain it as a rare random drop from world drop Exotic engrams.

Tractor Cannon

Tractor Cannon exotic shotgun from Destiny 2.

Best use: PvE/PvP

Using your Heavy slot for a utility shotgun may seem questionable, but the reality is that Tractor Cannon is one of the best Exotic weapons in Destiny 2. Why? Because it can inflict a debuff on enemies, causing them to take 30% more damage from all sources.

In large teams, this debuff drastically speeds up encounter clears. Surprisingly, Tractor Cannon is also a formidable PvP weapon, as its wide spread can easily eliminate Guardians at close range.

To acquire Tractor Cannon, you can obtain it as a rare random drop from world drop Exotic engrams or by opening Maeve’s Stash on the Cosmodrone.

That’s all you need to know about the best Exotic weapons in Destiny 2 for both PvE and PvP. Be sure to check out more of our guide content on Dexerto:

  • Deepsight Harmonizers: How to farm, use, and what weapons to convert
  • Exotic Mission Rotator: What it is, how to access, schedule, loot table
  • Best Exotic weapons
  • Best PvP Weapons
  • Best PvE Weapons
  • Destiny 2 Season of the Witch: Release date, raid, power cap, & more
  • Best Titan Builds
  • Best Warlock Builds
  • Best Arc 3.0 Builds
  • Best Solar 3.0 Builds
  • Best Void 3.0 Builds
  • Best Stasis Builds

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