[Top 15] Destiny 2 Best Hand Cannons in 2022 (And How To Get Them)

Not pistols. Shut up.

“Sturdy and reliable, Hand Cannons have long been a preferred tool for self-defense. Their low rate of fire and modest accuracy is more than made up for by their ease of handling and superior stopping power.” - Hand Cannons Grimoire Card

Long feared in the Crucible and a go-to option for PvE junkies, hand cannons are some of the most powerful weapons in all of Destiny 2. Their ability to compete at a wide variety of ranges, versatility in combat, and ease of use makes them a favorite for New Lights and Trials Sweats alike.

Please note that none of the guns on this list are bad per se, merely worse than others. Any 140 RPM hand cannon with a decent roll is among the top 10% of best weapons in the game. I’d easily recommend most (if not all) the weapons on this list, but some more so than others.

Without further ado, let’s get into the list!

15. Annual Skate (Good for PvE and PvP)

How to get Annual Skate (Legendary Hand Cannon) Plus Godroll Guide in Destiny 2 - YouTube

Back in the day, this was a top-tier option for crucible with its Outlaw/Kill Clip roll. However, nowadays there are just better hand cannons that are more easily obtainable. Occasionally Banshee-44 will sell an admirable roll of this weapon, but it’s pretty rare in general. However, if you manage to snag a good roll of this weapon, there’s no shame in using it.

Annual Skate full details: www.light.gg/db/items/6857689/annual-skate/


14. Thorn (Good for PvE)

Destiny 2 - How to get Thorn (Exotic Hand Cannon) after the Beyond Light Update - YouTube

This weapon used to terrorize the Crucible back in D1, and it’s a solid option in today’s meta. However, given that its exotic perk is tough to proc consistently, it leaves you with a less-niche hand cannon that doesn’t really have a place in the meta. However, due to an interesting interaction with Necrotic Grips, Thorn is much better in PvE for add clear than it is for PvP.

Thorn full details: www.light.gg/db/items/3973202132/thorn/

13. The Palindrome (Good for PvP)

Destiny 2 – How to get The Palindrome (Legendary Hand Cannon) Plus God Rolls To Chase - YouTube

Basically the legendary cousin of Ace of Spades, this weapon combines good perks with really good base stats, and the Adept version can take advantage of adept mods. This gun has only one glaring flaw, however: this weapon is no longer obtainable.

It used to be a Nightfall weapon, but with the launch of Season of the Haunted, Bungie removed it from the weapon pool. However, it’s such a good gun and enough people have it to warrant a place in this ranking.

The Palindrome full details: www.light.gg/db/items/1481892490/the-palindrome-adept/

12. The Last Word  (Good for PvP)

How to get The Last Word (Exotic Hand Cannon) after Beyond Light in Destiny 2 - YouTube

Once the king of Destiny 1 PvP, this gun is now only a “decent” option to a slew of nerfs to its range, aim assistance, and usability on different platforms. It does have a steep learning curve and can be unrewarding at longer ranges, making this a weapon that’s not for the faint of heart. Plus, it generally sucks in PvE, so not many use it anyway. But if you want it bad enough, you could make it work.

The Last Word full details: www.light.gg/db/items/1364093401/the-last-word/

11. DFA  (Good for PvE and PvP)

How to get D.F.A. (Legendary Hand Cannon) Plus God Roll Guide in Destiny 2 - YouTube

With a perk pool just a bit better than that of Annual Skate, this weapon’s a fan favorite that came back with season 16. This gun has the advantages of being easily farmable and having an adept version. Though this gun is more nostalgia than anything else, it’s still a viable option.

DFA full details: www.light.gg/db/items/575830664/dfa/

10. Cantata-57 (Good for PvE and PvP)

How to get Cantata-57 (Legendary Hand Cannon) Plus God Roll Guide in Destiny 2 - YouTube

The rating of this weapon depends on who you talk to. It has good stats and a good perk pool for both PvE and PvP, but it’s nothing flashy or special. Its farming potential is pretty high as it’s one of the newly added world pool weapons. Good, but not the best. Once you have the weapon, though, the chances that you’d need another is pretty low.

Cantata-57 full details: www.light.gg/db/items/372697604/cantata-57/

9. Crimson  (Good for PvP)

Destiny 2 – How to get Crimson (Exotic Hand Cannon) - YouTube

Long since a PvP staple, this gun combines an incredibly broad exotic perk with forgiving aim assist and good stats. However, this weapon tends to suffer on Mouse and Keyboard in a way that it does not on Controller: the recoil is more punishing on M&K, similar to how Last Word worked before the nerfs.

There are just better exotic primaries for PvE, but this weapon is available for free-to-play players and is an easy drop from Xur or an exotic engram.

Crimson full details: www.light.gg/db/items/3437746471/crimson/

8. Eriana’s Vow (Good for PvE)


The only hand cannon that uses special ammo, Eriana’s Vow can pack a huge punch in PvE and (if used correctly) it can smack in PvP too. Its high damage combined with synergies with exotics like Lucky Pants makes it a great hand cannon for all content. However, the catalyst is a bore to grind for (requiring completion of 400 ritual activity completions and then 700 kills) so not many players unlock its full potential.

Eriana's Vow full details: www.light.gg/db/items/3524313097/erianas-vow/

7. Hawkmoon (Good for PvE, Great for PvP)

How to get Dead Man's Tale and Hawkmoon in Witch Queen - YouTube

Hawkmoon is good, but only if you’re good. Like Last Word, this hand cannon has a steeper learning curve and is harder to use than most hand cannons, but being able to one-shot a guardian to the body with your last shot is pretty legit. Unfortunately, the hand cannon’s final shot does not synergize with Lucky Pants, but it’s still pretty good without it. It’s punishing for lesser players, but provides great options for pros.

Hawkmoon full details: www.light.gg/db/items/3856705927/hawkmoon/

6. Igneous Hammer (Great for PvP)

Destiny 2 - How to get Igneous Hammer (Legendary Hand Cannon) plus perks and Igneous Hammer God Roll - YouTube

Probably the best 120 RPM hand cannon in the game, Igneous Hammer has a pretty good perk pool and its adept version has access to adept mods, which are super useful for high-end content like Trials of Osiris. The problem? This gun is a Trials weapon, making it less accessible to casual players. Despite this gun’s versatility and power, it’s a pain to grind for.

Igneous Hammer full details: www.light.gg/db/items/2351180975/igneous-hammer/

5. Judgment (Great for PvE)

How to get Judgment (Legendary Hand Cannon) Plus God Roll Guide In Destiny 2 - YouTube

This gun is famous for its ability to roll with Demolitionist and Adrenaline Junkie in different perk columns, making it perfect for a grenade-focused build. It’s an all-round easy to use hand cannon, with the only notable exception being a slow reload, but definitely pick this one up if you’re a fan of PvE.

Judgement full details: www.light.gg/db/items/1476654960/judgment/

4. Austringer (Great for PvP and PvE)

How to get Austringer (Season of the Haunted) Plus God Roll Guide in Destiny 2 - YouTube

Austringer has the (almost) unique advantage of being craftable, allowing players to choose whatever perks they wish in addition to those perks being able to become enhanced traits. Other than that, its perks are stellar and the gun is available for free-to-play players. One copy is easy to get, but getting five red-bordered ones (to actually craft the gun) is a huge pain…

Austringer full details: www.light.gg/db/items/3055790362/austringer/

3. Eyasluna (Good for PvE and Outstanding in PvP)

How to get Eyasluna (Legendary Hand Cannon) Plus God Roll Guide in Destiny 2 - YouTube

A popular gun from D1, Eyasluna is the legendary form of Hawkmoon. With a really good selection of perks (Most notably, Outlaw/Headstone is amazing for PvE), there’s no bad combination. It may not be the perfect hand cannon, but it’s wildly popular among PvP junkies and is a go-to option for many people. Plus, it comes from an easy dungeon that has a lot of other great loot in it, so consider farming for this weapon the next time it’s in rotation.

Eyasluna full details: www.light.gg/db/items/235827225/eyasluna/

2. Fatebringer (Best for PvE and Good in PvP)

Destiny 2 - How to get Fatebringer (Legendary Hand Cannon) Plus God Rolls for PvP and PvE - YouTube

Another throwback from Destiny The Elder, Fatebringer has a few famously “meh” perks, but it’s not too hard at all to get a really gooddecent roll. Vault of Glass is not too hard to farm either, with it being a pretty easy raid and having a lot of other great loot in it. The ‘ole Firefly/Explosive Payload roll is great for making things explode.

The perk Explosive Payload causes notoriously bad flinch for enemies, making Fatebringer a great anti-sniper weapon. In addition to all that, the adept version of the weapon (obtained from Master VoG runs) can use adept mods. Pretty much best-in-slot for both PvE and PvP, Fatebringer is outclassed by only one other hand cannon.

Fatebringer full details: www.light.gg/db/items/2171478765/fatebringer/

1. The Ace of Spades (Incredible for PvP and Great for PvE)

Destiny 2 - How to get Ace of Spades (Exotic Hand Cannon) after Beyond Light - YouTube

Generally considered to be the best hand cannon for PvP in the game, the Ace of Spades effectively has Firefly, Kill Clip, Outlaw, MIDA Multi-Tool’s exotic perk, and a gigantic magazine size. Pair that with a really good perk combination and an incredibly easy way to get, and you’ve got yourself an Ace up your sleeve. (ah, I stole that one from BraveXHero. Hope he doesn’t mind…)

Ace of Spades full details: www.light.gg/db/items/347366834/ace-of-spades/

If you enjoyed this article, do me a favor by dropping a comment below. Be sure to check out my other articles for more Destiny 2 content. And if you’ve ever wanted to get into writing, I can give you some friendly advice at thewritersrack.com, where I blog daily Monday-Friday. Looking for your next fantasy fiction read? You might want to check out Praetors of Lost Magic, Book 1: The Mage’s Gambit on Amazon, soon to be a finished trilogy!

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I'm a young author with 2-3 years of experience in fiction, nonfiction, and blog posts. However, I've been playing games all my life, and (though I'm somewhat of a scrub) I love writing about them!
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