Everybody has their own idea of what the best SMG in Destiny 2 is. These weapons have been dominating both PvE and PvP for quite some time now, and for good reason – they’re simply fun to use. Whether you’re here because you agree with me or you’re tired of your current weapons falling short, I’m here to provide some guidance.
Let’s dive into the 12 best Submachine Gun options that Destiny 2 has to offer right now. It’s time for you to get ahead of the META.
The Ikelos SMG
The Ikelos SMG, introduced in Season of Plunder, is undoubtedly the best SMG Destiny 2 has ever seen. This craftable weapon is perfect for both PvE and PvP. With its stellar perk pool and impressive base stats, it has claimed dominance in both game modes.
For PvE players, the Feeding Frenzy/Voltshot combination turns the Ikelos SMG into the ultimate Add-clearing primary weapon. Your reload speed will be lightning fast, and each reload deals an area of effect (AOE) Jolt. PvP mains, on the other hand, should aim for the Tap the Trigger/Dynamic Sway Reduction roll, a classic SMG god roll that should not be ignored.
The Calus Mini-Tool
While the Calus Mini-Tool is a craftable option, it falls short of the Ikelos SMG when it comes to PvP. It can certainly hold its own, but there’s no reason to choose it over the Ikelos SMG. However, it has earned the spot as my second most-used primary weapon in Destiny 2, following closely behind Funnelweb.
This weapon’s success can be attributed to its subclass 3.0-integrated perk, Incandescent. Considered one of Destiny 2’s best Add-clear perks, Incandescent can clear entire waves of red bar enemies in just a few shots. Additionally, the Graverobber perk ensures a high uptime, making it a top choice for both Solar mains and non-Solar mains.
Out of all the SMGs on this list, Funnelweb has perhaps the most storied history. It has dominated the META since its introduction, even before weapon crafting was a thing. Although you can’t craft a Funnelweb, it has been farmed so frequently that most players might already have a god roll without even realizing it.
The key to Funnelweb’s success lies in its simplicity. A roll with Subsistence and a damage perk like Adrenaline Junkie or Frenzy, paired with the Veist Stinger origin trait, allows this Submachine Gun to tear through enemies without the need for constant reloading. Despite the Veist nerfs, you’ll seldom find yourself manually reloading this powerful weapon.
The Hero’s Burden
I began using The Hero’s Burden before it became popular, mainly because of its Feeding Frenzy/Repulsor Brace roll. As a Gyrfalcon’s main, this SMG has become my go-to primary for high-end PvE content. Combining it with the Devour ability makes it nearly impossible for me to die.
Recently, The Hero’s Burden has gained more mainstream success thanks to the new Lightfall perk, Destabilizing Rounds, which has replaced Repulsor Brace. With Destabilizing Rounds, your final blows will cause nearby targets to explode, providing exceptional Add-clear capabilities. This roll, coupled with Feeding Frenzy, makes The Hero’s Burden a force to be reckoned with.
While Unforgiven wasn’t my original goal, it has become a staple in my Hunter Strand build. From my experience, this build is currently the best endgame build in Destiny 2, and Unforgiven is the perfect Submachine Gun to complement it.
I run Rampage with Demolitionist on my Unforgiven roll. This combination allows me to benefit from the grenade regeneration provided by Demolitionist without sacrificing a crucial damage perk. Although the ammo economy takes a hit, a bit of build optimization and mod support easily solve that issue. If you’re looking for a utility SMG to enhance your grenade builds, Unforgiven is your best choice.
Depending on when you’re reading this, you may be shocked by The Immortal’s position on this list. As of now, it is the best SMG in Destiny 2 Crucible, with usage rates exceeding 10%. However, a nerf is imminent, although the details of this nerf are yet to be announced.
The key to The Immortal’s power lies in the Rangefinder/Target Lock perks. Combined with its excellent recoil direction, this SMG allows you to deal full damage well beyond the effective range of Auto Rifles. While it may be frustrating for opponents, it’s undeniably enjoyable to use. Keep an eye out for Bungie’s upcoming nerf, though, as they will likely address its dominance.
During the second week of Season of the Seraph, I obtained a god roll Prolonged Engagement. It had a perfect barrel, ammo type, Subsistence, Headstone, and Veist Stinger. It was essentially a Stasis Funnelweb, and I had wanted one for so long. Unfortunately, I accidentally dismantled that roll, and it broke my heart. Thankfully, with Lightfall, focusing this weapon at Zavala is now possible, so there’s no excuse not to obtain one.
What makes Prolonged Engagement exceptional is the fact that it’s a Stasis Funnelweb. It benefits from Stasis integration and frees up your energy slot. You can easily swap out Headstone for something like Frenzy if that’s your preference. With its great perk pool and archetype, Prolonged Engagement is more than capable of shining in the META.
Extraordinary Rendition stands out because it’s a Kinetic SMG. Before Prolonged Engagement, there were few Kinetic Submachine Guns that could compete with their energy slot counterparts. However, Extraordinary Rendition managed to hold its ground and became my weapon of choice between Season of the Chosen and Season of the Lost.
Similar to the Funnelwebs of its time, Extraordinary Rendition excels in its simplicity. Subsistence combined with One For All, Frenzy, or Rampage creates an incredibly effective Add-clearing weapon. Although it may have been overshadowed by newer releases, it still deserves a spot on this list.
Before the release of the Ikelos SMG in Season 19, Shayura’s Wrath was at the top of the SMG META. Although it didn’t make as big of an impact as The Immortal, it remained a dominant force until the rise of the Ikelos SMG. Its great base stats, coupled with the potential for insane accuracy and stability, made it a top-tier weapon.
A Shayura’s Wrath with Dynamic Sway Reduction, along with either Kill Clip or Tap the Trigger, offers minimal recoil. Tap the Trigger further enhances this already accurate weapon, although some may prefer the damage boost from Kill Clip despite the absence of a perk like Outlaw. Even with recent additions to the roster, Shayura’s Wrath remains one of the top three PvP SMGs.
We don’t have many Exotic SMGs in Destiny 2, and the few we do have tend to be underwhelming. However, that is not the case for Osteo Striga. This Exotic primary belongs to the poison archetype of weapons, along with Thorn and Le Monarque, and takes advantage of abilities like Warlock’s Necrotic Grips.
Osteo Striga is the best SMG for high-end PvE content at the moment. While this archetype doesn’t typically perform well in those activities, Osteo Striga carried me through the Legendary Lightfall campaign. With tracer rounds ensuring accuracy and range, each final blow and precision hit triggers poison explosions, similar to an Ignition blast. Enemies hit by the explosions also become poisoned. This weapon is undoubtedly S-tier.
Although Submission falls short due to its poor range, it deserves a spot on this list because it’s craftable, attainable, and capable of competing with the best during its time, provided you have the right perks.
Submission has a unique roll of Encore/Killing Wind. It’s the only SMG that can access this combination of perks, and we have Bungie to thank for that. A single kill with Submission increases every single one of the gun’s main stats. If you manage to get this roll on an Adept Submission, equip an Adept range mod, and you’ll have nearly 100 range after a single kill. This is on a 900 RPM SMG.
Last but not least, we have Riskrunner. While you’ll rarely see this weapon in high-level activities because it’s outclassed by non-Exotic alternatives, it’s still a solid choice. Moreover, it’s easy for new players to acquire. You can obtain Riskrunner through the New Light campaign, and it surpasses many of the game’s standard META options.
Veteran players may not see the need for Riskrunner, as they likely already possess the Ikelos SMG – the best Submachine Gun in Destiny 2. However, for newer players who lack a variety of weapons and Exotics, Riskrunner will quickly become their best friend. Once you complete the campaign, equip it and witness the possibilities within Destiny 2.
In my opinion, the Ikelos SMG is the best Submachine Gun in Destiny 2. However, the other 11 Submachine Guns on this list are all viable contenders for that title, with each having its own unique use case where it excels. Instead of focusing on just one SMG, consider embracing the entire SMG class and switch up your weapon selection based on the activity and build you’re utilizing.
Remember, the keys to success in Destiny 2 are Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness, and Your Life Experience (E-E-A-T, YMYL). Consider these factors when making your weapon choices, and you’ll surely excel in the game. Happy hunting!