[Top 10] Destiny 2 Best PvE Weapons and How to Get Them (2020 Edition)

Destiny 2 Best PvE Weapons
When Falling Guillotine comes out, it's chopping time.

Destiny 2's PvE has reigned supreme, and any devoted Destiny 2 player would likely agree.

Season of Arrivals has brought a better public event called Contact, as well as a fascinating storyline where we finally meet with our foes, the Darkness. Despite this season still following the divisive season pass structure, it has brought on good things such as farmable raids, an amazing dungeon, and tough story missions. With those activities comes some hefty PvE slaying and Season of Arrivals has blessed us with a plethora of on and off meta weapons, so here’s a good list of weapons you should pursue in helping your quest to defeat the Darkness. Note that for your use, a final sunsetting level will be listed as well. For reference we are currently in Season 11.

1. False Promises (Best Kinetic Auto Rifle)

This High-Impact auto rifle is a PvE machine.

False Promises is a High Impact kinetic auto rifle that comes with this season’s season pass, and is farmable afterwards through the Umbral Engram system. To put this weapon simply, its perk pool is insane. It can roll with Overflow, Killing Wind, Feeding Frenzy, and Subsistence in column one. In the second column it can roll with Swashbuckler, Unrelenting, Rampage, Surrounded, and an unexpected perk in Sympathetic Arsenal. Are you seeing a trend here? All of these perks are heavily invested in basic add clear, either through continuous output of add DPS or increasing your successive damage. 

Stats (False Promises):

  • Impact: 33
  • Range: 75
  • Stability: 25
  • Handling: 42
  • Reload Speed: 44
  • Aim Assistance: 52
  • Recoil: 86

What Makes False Promises Awesome

  • Its perk pool favors constant damage output
  • Rolls with good damage perks
  • Rolls with Unrelenting for constant healing
  • High impact provides flinch damage
  • Easily farmable through Umbral Engrams

Best PvE Setup:

  • Fluted Barrel
  • Ricochet Rounds/Flared Magwell
  • Overflow/Killing Wind/Feeding Frenzy/Subsistence
  • Swashbuckler/Unrelenting/Rampage/Surrounded

Sunset: Power level 1360 (Season 15)

How to Get False Promises + Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEs5rvHHlho

2. Trinity Ghoul (Best Add Clear Bow)

Lightning. Lightning EVERYWHERE.

The Trinity Ghoul exotic recently gained popularity through the release of its catalyst. Its catalyst allows players to trigger its perk Lightning Rod through any arc damage final blow, meaning you will be a constant chain lightning, bow shooting maniac. Obviously with the right build, this means your add clear potential is astronomical due to your massive AOE damage from the consistent Lightning Rod perk. Furthermore, any kill with the Trinity Ghoul will trigger its Lightning Rod perk now, not just from precision final blows. Unfortunately, Bungie has yet to allow us to add mods to exotic weapons but until then, welcome to untapped storm clearing power, Guardian.


  • Impact: 80
  • Accuracy: 86
  • Stability: 55
  • Handling: 58
  • Reload Speed: 55
  • Aim Assistance: 74
  • Recoil: 77

What Makes Trinity Ghoul Awesome:

  • New catalyst makes it easy to proc Lightning Rod
  • Lightning Rod is perfect for add clear
  • Arc damage for arc shields

Best PvE Setup:

  • Default

Sunset: Indefinite

How to Get Trinity Ghoul + Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlx4OZUEkLc

3. IKELOS_SR_v1.0.2 (Best Solo Sniper)

The IKELOS_SR_v1.0.2 is one of the coolest snipers, and it performs well!

Season of Arrivals brought back our favorite outdated IKELOS weapons from the Warmind expansion years ago. Prior to this season, IKELOS weapons could only drop with static rolls, preventing dynamic combinations that you could target according to your playstyle. Fortunately, the IKELOS_SR_v1.0.2 has returned to us with some great combinations, especially if you’re a solo player. You can also farm this weapon through the Umbral Engram system which makes your life a little easier.

The IKELOS sniper rifle is a Rapid Fire 140 RPM frame that grants players with deeper ammo reserves. Combined with its perk pool, you’ll likely have a consistent single target DPS weapon in your arsenal. Its first column can roll with Fourth Time’s the Charm and Triple Tap, while the second column can roll with Box Breathing and High Impact Reserves. When combining perks like Fourth Time’s the Charm and Triple Tap with a perk like High Impact Reserves, you’ll be dishing out damage that scales as you keep firing. In contrast, you can opt for Box Breathing, though Bungie’s nerf has rendered this perk slightly irritating due to inconsistent damage (Box Breathing only provides a damage increase on your first shot AFTER scoping in for a period of time). Combined with a weapon like Anarchy which also provides constant DPS, players might find themselves picking up an IKELOS_SR_v1.0.2 when soloing content.


  • Impact: 55
  • Range: 37
  • Stability: 45
  • Handling: 70
  • Reload Speed: 61
  • Aim Assistance: 73
  • Recoil: 57

What Makes IKELOS_SR_v1.0.2 Awesome:

  • Perk pool favors solo player playstyles
  • Rapid fire frame allows for deeper ammo reserves
  • Solar damage for solar shields
  • Easily farmable through Umbral Engrams

Best PvE Setup:

  • Fluted Barrel
  • Tactical Mag/Seraph Rounds
  • Fourth Time’s the Charm/Triple Tap
  • High Impact Reserves

Sunset: Power level 1360 (Season 15)

How to Get IKELOS_SR_v1.0.2 + Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIU1Ogx_L7Y&t=606s

4. Falling Guillotine (Best Boss Damage)

Spin to win.

If you’ve played Destiny 2 this season for any amount of time, you’ve probably seen players spinning like tops at bosses. Falling Guillotine has been a staple in Guardian loadouts this season due to a recent sword buff as well as perks like Whirlwind Blade and its intrinsic Vortex Frame. This sword works by stacking damage and hits in conjunction, which have great synergy due to Falling Guillotine’s spin to win. It hits incredibly quick and therefore stacks damage quickly as well. Did I mention it also looks incredible? Because it looks incredible. This weapon is farmable through the Umbral Engram system but you need to hit Rank 35 on the season pass before you get it. Slap a Boss Spec mod on there and get to spinning.


  • Swing Speed: 46 
  • Impact: 60
  • Defense: 60 
  • Charge Rate: 32

What Makes Falling Guillotine Awesome:

  • You spin like a top!
  • Only Vortex Frame in game right now
  • Synergy between Whirlwind Blade and Vortex Frame
  • Recent sword buffs make it very good for boss DPS
  • Easily farmable through Umbral Engrams

Best PvE Setup:

  • Honed Edge
  • Burst Guard
  • Tireless Blade
  • Whirlwind Blade

Sunset: Power level 1360 (Season 15)

How to Get Falling Guillotine + Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjv4xFGogLs

5. Death Adder (Best Recluse Replacement)

"Can I copy your homework?" - Death Adder "Sure just change it up a bit so it doesn't look like you copied." - Recluse

Since everyone’s Recluse is getting sunset this next season, the search for a replacement has succeeded (slightly) with the return of Death Adder. This solar SMG even resembles your precious Recluse as it boasts perks that keep your bullets coming. As a Lightweight frame, you have increased mobility when wielding this weapon and combined with its perks, you’ll realize that Death Adder is a very suitable replacement for Recluse. In column one, you can roll Feeding Frenzy which is the perk found on The Recluse. You can also roll Auto Loading Holster and Subsistence, two perks that have become very powerful in  PvE content due to their ability to reduce reload. The second column has Quickdraw, Dragonfly, and Disruption Break. This makes Death Adder a very versatile weapon due to its possibility of quick mobility, AOE damage, and increased kinetic damage. You can farm this weapon from the Prophecy Dungeon, and it will be well worth your time.

Stats (Death Adder):

  • Impact: 15
  • Range: 36
  • Stability: 42
  • Handling: 64
  • Reload Speed: 33
  • Aim Assistance: 55
  • Recoil: 95

What Makes Death Adder Awesome:

  • It looks exactly like your Recluse so you won’t be sad when it gets sunsetted
  • Lightweight frame is ideal for kiting and killing
  • Rolls with Feeding Frenzy, the first perk on Recluse
  • Solar damage for solar shields
  • Farmable through the Prophecy dungeon

Best PvE Setup:

  • Corkscrew Rifling
  • Tactical Mag
  • Feeding Frenzy
  • Dragonfly

Sunset: Power level 1360 (Season 15)

How to get Death Adder + Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrjAuUA1rq0

6. Witherhoard (Best Kinetic Grenade Launcher)

As if the Lake of Shadows Strike wasn't enough, you can now take it with you!

This season also sees the sunsetting of The Mountaintop, a pinnacle kinetic grenade launcher obtainable through a quest from Lord Shaxx. Chances are you’ve come face to face with The Mountaintop, and its use in PvE is still spectacular due to high single target damage while offering good add clear. In this season, Witherhoard was introduced as another kinetic grenade launcher whose exotic perk Primeval’s Torment leaves behind a blight that will damage enemies over time. This results in many pools of constant damage that will provide constant DPS while clearing ads, making it an alternative to Anarchy as well. Unfortunately, this weapon does take up your exotic slot, but you can form some very efficient loadouts with Witherhoard as your base weapon.

Stats (Witherhoard):

  • Impact: 60
  • Velocity: 21
  • Stability: 67
  • Handling: 53
  • Reload Speed: 40
  • Aim Assistance: 84
  • Recoil: 96

What Makes Witherhoard Awesome:

  • It’s free to obtain on the season pass
  • Set it and forget it; just shoot it and let the blights do the work
  • Its catalyst is free to obtain through the Gunsmith
  • It shoots blights. Come on.
  • BONUS - It’s really troll in PvP

Best PvE Setup: 

  • Default

Sunset: Indefinite

How to get Witherhoard + Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHK7eW9w6es

7. Xenophage (Most Reliable DPS)

Optimal DPS with minimal effort? Sign me up.

Xenophage has proven itself to be a reliable DPS weapon in PvE over the course of this season and due to a minimal meta shift, it still remains in many PvE loadouts today. Xenophage has nothing too spectacular about it, except that it’s consistent. It is highly manageable and deals a decent amount of damage per shot. This makes it desirable in many ad clearing instances as well as endgame boss fights. With nerfs coming to loadouts involving Izanagi’s Burden, Xenophage has proven itself as a good alternative to more micro managing loadouts that require constant attention to how you play.


  • Impact: 100
  • Range: 71
  • Stability: 39
  • Handling: 37
  • Reload Speed: 38
  • Aim Assistance: 33
  • Recoil: 85

What Makes Xenophage Awesome:

  • It comes from a targetable quest (no RNG)
  • Easy to manage; requires no micromanage for optimal DPS
  • Works very well with Actium War Rig for Titans
  • Looks freakin’ awesome

Best PvE Setup: 

  • Default

Sunset: Indefinite

How to Get Xenophage + Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6S6Wg3xSlLQ&t=2s

8. Gnawing Hunger (Best Energy Auto Rifle)

This gun will leave you HUNGRY for more! No?

Gnawing Hunger not only excels in PvP, but also in PvE. This farmable energy auto rifle is obtained through the Umbral Engram system and boasts a very balanced perk pool for both PvP and PvE activities. Its first column can roll Tap the Trigger and Zen Moment for stability, but it can also roll with Subsistence which partially reloads your magazine as you clear enemies. The second perk column can roll with Demolitionist, Rampage, Multikill Clip, Kill Clip, and Swashbuckler. All these perks are magnificent for PvE as four are pure damage perks and Demolitionist is incredibly useful for grenade builds such as Oppressive Darkness. If you grind for a Gnawing Hunger for a few engrams, chances are you’ll find a roll that you’re happy with and it might even be worth farming several depending on your playstyle. I personally have Tap the Trigger and Swashbuckler roll, but I’ve been searching for a Subsistence and Demolitionist roll for my Warlock build. Be sure to grab as many as you can before this season is over.


  • Impact: 21
  • Range: 53
  • Stability: 49
  • Handling: 67
  • Reload Speed: 61
  • Aim Assistance: 65
  • Recoil: 54

What Makes Gnawing Hunger Awesome:

  • Auto rifles recently got a buff
  • Rolls with the best stability perks
  • Rolls with the best damage perks
  • Rolls with Demolitionist, one of the most overlooked PvE perks
  • Void damage for void shields
  • Easily farmable through Umbral Engrams

Best PvE Setup: 

  • Arrowhead Brake
  • Tactical Mag
  • Subsistence
  • Demolitionist/Rampage/Multikill Clip

Sunset: Power level 1360 (Season 15)

How to Get Gnawing Hunger + Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0ir3mAcO-k

9. Anarchy (Best Exotic Grenade Launcher)

Anarchy performs just like its name. Arc traps make this weapon viable in numerous PvE encounters.

Anarchy is an exotic grenade launcher from The Scourge of the Past raid. This weapon has a cool exotic perk called Arc Traps which chain lightning between shots, resulting in DOT damage. This weapon is incredibly useful in PvE not only for boss damage, but for managing ads. Despite the damage capping out at two grenades, by launching several more at a time you effectively create a barrier to trap ads while you finish them off with the weapon of your choice. Furthermore, it doubles as a fantastic boss DPS weapon, making Anarchy a very versatile weapon (try using it with the IKELOS_SR_v1.0.2). Bungie also made all raids farmable for Moments of Triumph, meaning you can run Scourge of the Past over and over until you get your Anarchy. As far as raids go, it’s a fairly straightforward one and a good team can run through it in the length of a strike. I managed to get mine after three runs so hit up the LFG for a chance at this great weapon!


  • Velocity: 100
  • Range: 63
  • Stability: 64
  • Handling: 63
  • Reload Speed: 67
  • Aim Assistance: 69
  • Recoil: 50

What Makes Anarchy Awesome:

  • It shoots arc traps
  • Set it and forget it; just shoot the boss and let the traps do damage
  • Set up add traps with mines
  • Deep ammo reserves
  • Farmable through the Scourge of the Past raid

Best PvE Setup: 

  • Default

Sunset: Indefinite

How to Get Anarchy + Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4zqNZc9DXg

10. IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.2 (Best Alternative Energy SMG)

Two words, one phrase: Warmind Cells.

This weapon made a surprising return with the IKELOS line of weapons, and in a saturated weapon slot of energy weapons, you might not think there’s a spot for the IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.2, but it might surprise you. This SMG is an Aggressive Frame weapon, meaning it has higher base damage but also comes with a high recoil. This SMG can roll with Subsistence and Grave Robber in column one and can roll with Vorpal Weapon, Demolitionist, and Surrounded in the second column. This SMG is sort of the Aggressive Frame version of the Death Adder, and depending on which frame you prefer, this can be a great alternative. With a perk like Subsistence, you don’t have to worry about reloading while you’re hosing down ads and perks like Vorpal Weapon allow you to deal good damage to bosses. If you want to prioritize ad clear, you can also get Demolitionist to replenish grenades and auto reload your weapon when using grenades. The best part of this SMG is that it can still spawn Warmind cells, making it a tiny nuke generating killing machine. Try the IKELOS _SMG_v1.0.2 if you’re trying to switch up your loadout; you’ll be pleasantly surprised.


  • Impact: 22
  • Range: 54
  • Stability: 39
  • Handling: 73
  • Reload Speed: 32
  • Aim Assistance: 42
  • Recoil: 90

What Makes IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.2 Awesome:

  • IKELOS weapons are the coolest looking ones
  • Aggressive Frame SMG for more flinch
  • Can spawn Warmind Cells! Hello?!
  • Decent perk pool
  • Arc damage for arc shields
  • Easily farmable through Umbral Engrams

Best PvE Setup: 

  • Corkscrew Rifling
  • Tactical Mag
  • Subsistence
  • Demolitionist

Sunset: Power level 1360 (Season 15)

How to get IKELOS_SMG_v1.0.2 + Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMl6qPUcjV8

You might have noticed some of these picks might be quirkier than you thought, and you’re right! However, these weapons are all very versatile in today’s PvE meta due to their perk pools, grindability, and buffs. There are the obvious loadouts consisting of Wendigo GL3, Whisper of the Worm, Divinity, etc. but I thought it’d be fun to put these weapons in as well. This list provides a good balance of single target DPS and add clear, so get to grinding and have fun!


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Shoot first, ask questions later only dictates my mindset in video games. I promise!
Gamer Since: 1995
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Destiny 2
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