[Top 10] Destiny 2 Best Overload Weapons That Are Most Powerful (And How To Get Them)

Champions, the bane of every Destiny 2 season, always coming around to ruin your fun and stomp you into a paste. They are annoying to deal with, either they make a barrier to heal up all the damage you did, don’t stagger when taking damage, or just slap you into next week. You have to deal with them and you have to deal with them quickly to survive most high-level activities.

Below is a list of my picked exotic weapons best suited to deal with these annoyances. Every season tends to change which weapons get mods that specifically interrupt champions, but some weapons have withstood the test of time and are a go-to when a champion is spotted. After all, if you kill them before they even get time to put up a barrier, it doesn’t need a mod.

Some of these are harder to obtain than others, but all are well worth it in the end. 


10. Osteo Striga (Best for PvE)

"Victory is not in the unmaking of an enemy, but in the re-making of an enemy into your blade." —9th Understanding, 7th Revision of Sorrow

Possibly the ‘hardest’ weapon to get at the moment, you only unlock the Osteo Striga pattern after purchasing the Deluxe Edition of the Witch Queen DLC. This may change in the future, but currently, it’s the only way to get it. Of course, there are other reasons to get the Deluxe Edition, but I also really love the Osteo Striga.

By being part of the new crafting system, you can pick and choose a few traits to make this weapon yours. Overall, it works like Thorn in that it does poison damage that ticks down the health of whomever you shot. SMGs sometimes get mods to deal with champions, but with poison you can safely deal damage and then get out of the way, letting them die far away from you. Even better, hitting your target will sometimes poison those around them, making it a great way to deal with many threats all at once.

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Kinetic
  • Intrinsic Perk:  Screaming Swarm - Fires a stream of sentient projectiles.
  • Exotic Perk: Toxic Overload - Landing a final blow or multiple-precision hits triggers a burst that poisons nearby targets.
  • Catalyst completion trait: Poison final blows return ammo to the magazine.
  • Impact: 25
  • Range: 82
  • Stability: 43
  • Handling: 33
  • Reload Speed: 26
  • Rounds/Min: 600
  • Magazine: 27

What makes Osteo Striga awesome:

  • Craftable, so you can reshape the weapon to suit your personal needs.
  • Deals damage over time, letting you move away from the line of fire.
  • Deals with the little guys around Champions as well.
  • Unlimited ammo.

How to Get Osteo Striga:

  • Own the Deluxe Edition of The Witch Queen and finish the primary story campaign. 
  • Head to the relic in The Enclave, Mars.
  • Look under your Triumphs screen, under the Patterns and Catalysts tab, to find and unlock Osteo Striga's pattern.
  • Craft the weapon under the SMG tab.
  • Use the gun normally to level it up.
  • Once it hits level 10, you may reshape the weapon to include its catalyst. Return to the relic and reshape the weapon with its catalyst for 140 Ruinous Element, 2,000 Neutral Element, and 3 Ascendant Alloy.


9. Trinity Ghoul (Best for PvP and PvE)

"I couldn't afford to miss. Not when it was his life on the line." —Marin Mansanas, Tangled Outrider

Trinity Ghoul not only is great against Champions but it’s also considered one of the best ad-clearing weapons in the game. Trinity Ghoul feels like holding lightning in your hands and behaves very much in the same way. Hitting a precision kill grants the next shot chain-lightning that kills everything around it. Champions tend to come out surrounded by little guys who are equally annoying to deal with. Trinity Ghoul removes them from the equation after a few well-placed hits. 

Bows have always been good against Barrier champions as they often get seasonal mods to break their shields. Even despite that, a few good shots are enough to bring most of them down anyway, the trick is doing it fast enough before they can throw up their shields. Pair this up with an arc subclass, and you will not only take out the Champion in your way but also everything else around it.

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Arc
  • Intrinsic Perk: Split Electron - Fires an arrow that splits when released.
  • Exotic Perk: Lightning Rod - Precision kills grant the next shot chain-lightning capabilities.
  • Catalyst completion trait: Forked Lightning - Lightning Rod now triggers from any Arc damage final blow.
  • Impact: 80
  • Accuracy: 97
  • Stability: 51
  • Handling: 67
  • Reload Speed: 64
  • Draw Time: 648

What makes Trinity Ghoul awesome:

  • Pair with arc subclass or other arc weapons to never run out of Lightning Rod (after catalyst completion).
  • Amazing at ad clearing as well as taking down Champions.
  • Easy to obtain for most players.
  • Often gets seasonal mods to stun Champions.
  • Unlimited ammo. 

How to Get Trinity Ghoul:

  • Opening Fated Engrams purchased from Xur.
  • Opening Exotic Engrams dropped during high-level activities.
  • Purchasing from Xur using Legendary Shards.
  • For help finding Xur, use WhereisXur.com


8. Dead Man's Tale (Best for PvP and PvE)

"Long, short, they all end the same way." —Katabasis

I’ve talked about Dead Man’s Tale before and how it’s great in PVP and PVE, but in the context of taking out Champions, I will still hold it in high regard. Season 16 saw mods that allowed scout rifles to stun certain types of Champions, something that makes dealing with them less of a headache. As a precision weapon, Scout rifles along with Bows are the go-to precision kill dealers of this season because of it.

It’s a great thing for those that are built around range and precision-based kills, as other weapons tend to require you to get up close and personal to your foe, and not everyone can deal with that. So to that end besides the bows mentioned in this article, I recommend Dead Man’s Tale as your go-to scout rifle when dealing with Champions (and pretty much, everything else.)

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Kinetic
  • Intrinsic Perk: Cranial Spike:  Precision hits grant bonus damage. 
  • Exotic perk: Chaining precision hits grants bonus damage and quickens reload speed. Future drops of this weapon will have random rolls.
  • Catalyst completion trait: Dark-Forged Trigger: Increased hip fire rate of fire and removes hip-fire accuracy penalties.
  • Impact: 67
  • Range: 73
  • Stability: 51
  • Handling: 69
  • Reload Speed: 55
  • Rounds Per Minute: 120
  • Magazine: 14

What makes Dead Man's Tale awesome:

  • Unlimited ammo. 
  • Often receives seasonal mods to deal with Champions.
  • Good at taking everything out, from bosses to Guardians. 
  • Perfect for precision-based player builds.
  • Great for all subclasses.

How to get Dead Man's Tale:

  • Purchase from Xur using Legendary Shards and an Exotic Cypher.
  • For help finding Xur, use WhereisXur.com


7. Riskrunner (Best for PvP and PvE)

“Charge your soul and let the electrons sing.”

If you started playing Destiny after the release of the Beyond Light DLC, you probably already have gotten a Riskrunner. If not, you can easily pick up the quest in the quest archive to get perhaps one of my favorite SMGs in the game. Seriously, this gun is insanely powerful in not only clearing ads but doing tons of damage to your target at the same time. It’s powerful enough that you will sometimes see Riskrunner in PVP, and god help you if you run into a Titan using a Riskrunner.

Season 16 brought mods to the table for SMGs to allow them to take on Champions and I can see the trend continuing in the future. This little guy deals a lot of damage very fast, and sometimes that’s enough even without mods. Getting hit with arc damage only makes it more powerful and you become nearly unstoppable. Because of this, I recommend taking this often overlooked, but powerful little SMG with you wherever you go.

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Arc
  • Intrinsic Perk: Arc Conductor - When taking Arc damage, this weapon becomes more powerful and resists incoming Arc damage. Kills extend the time in this overcharged state.
  • Exotic Perk: Superconductor - When Arc Conductor is active, shots fired have the chance to become chain lightning and return ammo.
  • Catalyst completion trait: Increases Riskrunner's range by 27 and Masterworks the weapon. Masterworked Riskrunner generates Orbs of Light on multikills and tracks the number of enemies killed with it.
  • Impact: 20
  • Range: 55
  • Stability: 60
  • Handling: 51
  • Reload Speed: 42
  • Rounds/Min: 900
  • Magazine: 37

What makes Riskrunner awesome:

  • Great with arc subclass builds.
  • Clears ads around Champions when Arc Conductor activates.
  • Easy for all players to get.
  • Can be cheesed to activate Arc Conductor without getting damaged by enemies.
  • Unlimited ammo.

How to Get Riskrunner:

  • If you are a new player, finish the opening quest, “New Light.”
  • If not, check the quest archive machine next to the postmaster to pick up “Spark of Hope”.
  • Speak to Ikora to unlock the "Spark of Hope" quest.
  • Speak to Zavala, Ikora, and Devrim in this order.
  • Clear the Widow's Walk, Atrium, and Terminus East Lost sectors in Trostland, EDZ.
  • Speak to Devrim to get the "Risk/Reward" mission.
  • Defeat a total of three Fallen captains near The Divide on the Cosmodrome.
  • Find a locked gate on the Cosmodrome. To find the gate, players can look for an entrance to the Breach at the southern part of the Divide.
  • After entering, players will need to follow a waypoint, defeat enemies, and ultimately crack a jumping puzzle.
  • Guardians will need to interact with the arc conductors to obtain the exotic submachine gun, Riskrunner.
  • Speak to Zavala at the Tower to finish the quest.


6. Huckleberry (Best for PvE)

“Nothin' in the world that 30 rounds can't solve.”

If you want to do a lot of ad clearing but don’t want to be chained to a specific subclass, then Huckleberry is the right SMG for you. It’s perhaps one of my favorite exotics not only because of how powerful it is but because of how fun it is to use. It has enough power to not only melt ads but can also melt major enemies, including Champions, as long as you are making kills. Simply hold down the trigger, aim at your target, and occasionally sweep to take out a few minor ads from time to time to never have to stop and reload.

It’s stupidly great for PVE and despite it being an older weapon, it’s still finding quite a lot of use. Season 16 gave anti-barrier mods to SMGs and I’m fairly sure they are going to keep following the pattern. Even without mods, it’s still a great weapon and if used right, you become a walking mini-turret. 

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Kinetic
  • Intrinsic Perk: Ride the Bull - Increased rate of fire and recoil while you're holding down the trigger. Kills with this weapon reload a portion of the magazine.
  • Exotic Perk: Rampage - Kills with this weapon temporarily grant increased damage. Stacks 3x.
  • Catalyst completion trait: Bull Rider - Kills with this weapon now reload the entire magazine.
  • Impact: 23
  • Range: 58
  • Stability: 56
  • Handling: 87
  • Reload Speed: 10
  • Charge Time: 750
  • Magazine: 37

What makes Huckleberry awesome:

  • Unlimited ammo.
  • Melts both ads and major enemies, including Champions.
  • If used right, you don’t need to stop to reload and your damage will stack.
  • Works with all subclasses. 
  • Available to all players. 

How to Get Huckleberry:

  • Opening Fated Engrams purchased from Xur.
  • Opening Exotic Engrams dropped during high-level activities.
  • Purchasing from Xur using Legendary Shards.
  • For help finding Xur, use WhereisXur.com


5. Arbalest (Best for PvE)

"We didn't have linear fusions in the Dark Age. But we made it work." —The Drifter

A go-to weapon for Grandmasters, Arbalest is a reliable linear fusion rifle that does the work of two exotics at once. Not only does it automatically take care of Barrier Champions without the need of a mod, but it also takes down other shields as well, even elemental ones. With this rifle alone, you don’t have to juggle mods or equip weapons with specific subtypes to handle high-level PVE content. Just grab the Arbalest and go!

That being said, with any type of linear fusion rifle, you need to be smart about your ammo. However, equipping some ammo finding mods tends to offset this flaw, and being sure to break shields will refill your magazine. If you have to pick one rifle to heave to deal with shields and champions, take Arbalest with you.

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Kinetic
  • Intrinsic Perk: Compounding Force - Fires slugs that cause massive damage to combatant shields. Strong against [Shield-Piercing] Barrier Champions.
  • Exotic Perk: Disruption Break - Breaking an enemy's shield with this weapon makes them more vulnerable to Kinetic damage for a brief period.
  • Catalyst completion trait: Genesis - Breaking a combatant's shield with this weapon fills its magazine from reserves. Energy weapons regenerate ammo on hit when matching the damage type to the combatant's shield.
  • Impact: 41
  • Range: 60
  • Stability: 60
  • Handling: 28
  • Reload Speed: 35
  • Charge Time: 533
  • Magazine: 5

What makes Arbalest awesome:

  • Does the work of two exotics at once.
  • Makes preparing for Champions and shielded enemies easier.
  • Stuns Barrier Champions without taking up a mod slot.
  • Works well with any build and subclass.
  • Considered one of the best late-game PVE exotics.

How to Get Arbalest:

  • Opening Fated Engrams purchased from Xur.
  • Opening Exotic Engrams dropped during high-level activities.
  • Purchasing from Xur using Legendary Shards.
  • For help finding Xur, use WhereisXur.com


4. Le Monarque (Best for PvP and PvE)

"Wings flutter. Beauty distracts. Poison injects. The butterfly's curse extends to your enemies. A short life, shortened further by your hand." —Ada-1

Another poison-based weapon, Le Monarque has started making its rounds again with the introduction of void 3.0. It was already powerful in its own right, but after the buff, it is now one of the best bows to take against enemies of this season and future seasons. You can see it everywhere, from PVP to PVE, taking out enemies silently and quickly. The Catalyst brings an extra edge to the table by keeping you alive in a fight. It only made Le Monarque much better and more viable in PVP.

In terms of dealing with Champions, it is awesome. Void shields have become very common, and a single hit is enough to pop most shields. Not only that, but poison damage spreads to everything around your target on precision hits. Not kills, but merely hitting a foe once is enough to cause its poison effect. Thus, you can chip at a big bad and remove every small guy around them at the same time.

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Void
  • Intrinsic Perk: Poison Arrows - Arrows fired quickly after a full draw become poison arrows. Precision hits with poison arrows spread poison to nearby enemies.
  • Exotic Perk: Snapshot Sights - Faster time to aim down sights.
  • Catalyst completion trait: Unrelenting - Rapidly defeating targets triggers health regeneration. Guardians and powerful combatants count as more than one kill.
  • Impact: 76
  • Accuracy: 85
  • Stability: 83
  • Handling: 72
  • Reload Speed: 73
  • Draw Time: 684

What makes Le Monarque awesome:

  • Great against void shield opponents.
  • Easily stuns Champions with seasonal mods.
  • Great for ad-clear.
  • Extremely powerful with void 3.0 subclass builds.
  • Can be taken to any activity.

How to Get Le Monarque:

  • Head to the Monument to Lost Lights in the Tower.
  • Look under the ‘Forsaken’ Tab to find Le Monarque.
  • Purchase for One Exotic Cipher, 125,000 Glimmer, 200 Dusklight Shards, and One Ascendant Shard. 


3. Witherhoard (Best for PvP and PvE)

"Like a one-man private security company." —The Drifter

If I had to pick one weapon that always comes in at the last second to save the day, I would pick Witherhoard. It’s a Raid boss killer and has killed many an unwary Guardian in PVP. It’s easy to use. You point and click. If you miss you will still do damage. If you hit the target, they just die. You don’t need to have the best aim to use Witherhoard, so it’s great for all skill levels, beginner and expert.

The best way to use this against Champions is to let them stumble into the Blights and kill themselves. Champion AI is not very smart, so if you are facing a Champion with no way to stun it, simply fire Witherhoard at them and let the Blight eat away at their health. They will die as you take cover in safety. Not only that but any other foe can also be trapped in the Blight and die too, leaving you with a cleared area and a sense of gleeful malice. 

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Kinetic
  • Intrinsic Perk: Primeval's Torment - Projectiles fired by this weapon blight the target or nearby area on impact.
  • Exotic Perk: Break the Bank - Blighted targets take damage over time and blight the nearby area on death.
  • Catalyst completion trait: Silent Alarm - Increases handling. Holstering this weapon automatically reloads it after a short period of time.
  • Velocity: 21
  • Impact: 60
  • Stability: 71
  • Handling: 67
  • Reload Speed: 40
  • Rounds/Min: 90
  • Magazine: 6

What makes Witherhoard awesome:

  • Doesn’t need a lot of skill to use.
  • Does AOE damage as well as direct damage.
  • Can be used to take on Champions when faced with no way to stun them.
  • Somehow always comes in clutch, winning encounters at the last second. 
  • Easy to obtain for newer players.

How to Get Witherhoard:

  • Head to the Monument to Lost Lights in the Tower.
  • Look under the ‘Shadowkeep’ Tab to find Witherhoard.
  • Purchase for One Exotic Cipher, 100,000 Glimmer, 150 Glacial Starwort, and One Ascendant Shard 


2. Dead Messenger (Best for PVP and PvE)

“A gift for the empress who has everything.”

A brand new exotic grenade launcher, Dead Messenger is already making waves all across both the PVP and PVE meta. Its greatest strength is the ability for it to change its damage type. By default, it starts with void damage, but you can cycle through the other elemental types to match the shield of any foe before you, allowing you to pop them quickly. Popping elemental shields with the same energy type does massive damage already, letting you mop up the remnants of their health easily.

Not only that, but killing Guardians with a Super and popping shields will grant you an overshield (provided you finish the catalyst), letting you run in and cause a lot of mayhem for a short amount of time. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have a weapon that can swap damage types, leaving you feeling less stressed and prepared when facing high-level PVE content. Before I used Borealis for shield popping, but I have since replaced it with Dead Messenger. 

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Void
  • Intrinsic Perk: Trinary Vision - One-shot handheld Grenade Launcher. Projectiles release a fan of three energy waves on contact with the ground.
  • Exotic Perk: The Fundamentals [Alternate Weapon Action] : Change this weapon's damage type.
  • Catalyst completion trait: Turnabout - Using this weapon to break the shield of a combatant or a Guardian using their Super will grant you an overshield.
  • Blast Radius: 55
  • Velocity: 94
  • Stability: 34
  • Handling: 73
  • Reload Speed: 64
  • Rounds/Min: 72
  • Magazine: 1

What makes Dead Messenger awesome:

  • Swappable damage type means less preparation needed for dealing with shielded combatants. 
  • Popping shields and killing Supered Guardians grants an overshield. 
  • Powerful in all types of gameplay. 
  • Great for all subclasses.
  • Removes the need to equip varied damage-type weapons to deal with high-level PVE enemies.

How to Get Dead Messenger:

  • Own the current season 16 season pass.
  • First finish The Investigation mission and the Rising Tensions quest.
  • Head to the H.E.L.M and acquire the Operation Elbrius questline from the war table.
  • Play through the first seven Operation Elbrius quests.
  • Empress Caiatl will then give you the Vox Obscura mission from the H.E.L.M. War Table.
  • Vox Obscura mission should now become accessible from the Throne World map screen with a recommended power level of at least 1550.
  • Finish a series of  timed objectives until you defeat the final boss, Qabix,
  • The Dead Messenger will be in the chest at the top of the final room. 
  • To unlock the Dead Messenger’s Catalyst, complete Vox Obscura on master difficulty.


1. Gjallarhorn (Best for PvP and PvE)

"If there is beauty in destruction, why not also in its delivery?" — Feizel Crux

I’ve already sung my praises about Gjallarhorn, but in terms of going about Champions, there is but one simple statement. A Champion can’t use its abilities if it’s already dead. Gjallarhorn is a point and delete-style weapon, doing tons of damage to either outright kill a major or at least take a good 3/4ths of their health down in a single shot. I have faced Champions this season that I brute-forced killed with Gjallarhorn, no special mods required at all. 

Gjallarhorn is powerful already with capabilities of ad-clear as well as doing high DPS damage. Sometimes you don’t want to be precise. Sometimes you don’t want to have to both with special mods and specific weapon types. Sometimes you want to meet a challenge with overwhelming force, and Gjallarhorn does just that and more.

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Solar
  • Intrinsic Perk: Pack Hunter - Gain increased handling and reload speed when standing near allies. Firing this weapon also grants Wolfpack Rounds to nearby allies wielding non-Exotic Rocket Launchers.
  • Exotic Perk: Wolfpack Rounds - Rounds fired split into tracking cluster missiles upon detonation.
  • Catalyst completion trait: More Wolves - Increases magazine size. Final blows with Wolfpack Rounds spawn a faster, more powerful missile at the target's location.
  • Blast Radius: 95
  • Velocity: 51
  • Stability: 68
  • Handling: 69
  • Reload Speed: 43
  • Rounds Per Minute: 15
  • Magazine: 1

What makes Gjallarhorn awesome:

  • Does enough damage to skip the need for champion mods.
  • Seeking missiles go after other enemies, making it great for ad-clear as well.
  • Using Gjallarhorn grants a buff to your allies if they are using non-exotic rocket launchers.
  • Just plain fun to use.
  • Powerful enough to brute-force your way through most activities.

How to Get Gjallarhorn:

  • Download the 30th Anniversary update and play a round of Dares of Eternity.
  • Go to Xur's Treasure Hoard and talk to Xur to get the ‘And Out Fly The Wolves’ quest.
  • Go to the Cosmodrome and speak to Shaw Han, he will point you to the Grasp of Avarice dungeon.
  • Complete Grasp of Avarice dungeon to get one Wolfpack Round. Return to Shaw.
  • Kill high level fallen to get seven more Wolfpack Rounds. Return to Shaw.
  • Go to Banshee in the Tower. He will send you to complete the Exodus Garden 2A Lost Sector in the Cosmodrome.
  • Return to Shaw. There is a workbench across from him that will prompt you to assemble all the pieces you have together. 
  • You now have the Gjallarhorn! The catalyst can be found in chests in the Grasp of Avarice dungeon.


Witherhoard versus Riven. A fine way to remove paracausal wish dragons infesting your city!

In the end, Bungie does what Bungie does. They like to cycle through different weapons for each season, hoping to inspire people to pick up something new and perhaps, find the enjoyment that they didn’t expect to have. However, some things tend to be consistent, and the weapons I wrote about above tend to come out on top every season because they are so good, even without seasonal mods.

Seasonal mods do make things better, so when a season comes up with a focus on bows, SMGs, or even grenade launchers, you can be sure that you’ll have a favorite fairly soon to deal with its challenges. Who knows what will come in season 17, but I can be confident that the list above will still help you out no matter what activity you want to do.

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A cryptid hailing from the Pennsylvanian countryside, April can be found in her cave playing various games from D&D to Fallout. Gifts of dice are needed to prevent attacks on livestock.
Gamer Since: 1995
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Destiny 2
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, This War of Mine, DOOM

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