Best Destiny 2 PvP weapons: The Crucible meta picks 2024

Destiny 2
(Image credit: Bungie, Inc.)

The right gear is essential to success in Destiny 2. That's especially the case throughout The Crucible, its PvP (player-versus-player) multiplayer suite, doubling as the proving ground for its Guardians. 

There's a reason so many can recite the Riflemen's Creed, even if they aren't in the United States Marines. They might have watched Jarhead or Full Metal Jacket a few too many times, or they might have absorbed it through osmosis. Either way, it's undeniable that you can grow attached to whatever weapon of destruction you lay your hands on, fictional or not. 

That's why we've combed through the expansive loot pool of Destiny 2 to help you narrow down which rifle is your rifle, not the many like it — yours — when it comes to PvP activities. This list will give you a rundown of the best Legendary weapons, what rolls to look for, and how you get them.

Best Shotgun: Wastelander M5

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Windows Central (screenshot))
  • Weapon: Wastelander M5
  • Roll: Smallbore, Accurized Rounds, Enhanced Slideshot, and Enhanced Opening Shot
  • How to get it: Xur's Treasure Hoard and Dares of Eternity drop

Shotguns: you love them or hate them. They pack an impressive punch, and with the right timing, they'll take your head clean off. They're also unreliable, with a wide bullet spread that definitely didn't touch you, and lag definitely played a role. None more so than the Wastelander M5.

This baby is a craftable Kinetic shotgun that fits snugly in your back pocket. Its Lightweight Frame means you run slightly faster with it drawn and hot swapping to or from the weapon is incredibly fast. This roll is about running, gunning, and then sliding into an advantageous point to one-bang enemies and dip out. With accurized rounds, you start with 60 Range, and that's upped to 80 Range for three seconds following a slide. You also get an extra 20 Range from Opening Shot, maxing out Wastelander's Range stat and getting a bump in Aim Assist.

Best Pulse Rifle: Piece of Mind

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Windows Central (screenshot))
  • Weapon: Piece of Mind
  • Roll: Hammer-Forged Rifling, Ricochet Rounds, Enhanced Perpetual Motion, and Enhanced Moving Target
  • How to get it: Season of the Risen drop, War Table purchase, or Psiops Battlegrounds drop

Pulse Rifles are so strong in the current meta that we've included two as must-haves in this guide, starting with Piece of Mind. While it might lack Range stats, it builds up the Stability and Handling of Piece of Mind to ensure you can run and gun in the mid-range, where it exceeds all others. 

At 540 rounds-per-minute (RPM), some players even opt to include the Full Auto mod to ensure they don't miss a beat when firing Piece of Mind. With Enhanced Moving Target, you can even aim down its sights, strafe incredibly effectively, and maintain a steady rate of fire. Piece of Mind even benefits from its Origin Trait, giving additional Resilience after a kill, making sure you can get in and out of one-on-one duels with ease.

(Another) Best Pulse Rifle: BxR-55 Battler

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Windows Central (screenshot))
  • Weapon: BxR-55 Battler
  • Roll: Arrowhead Brake, Ricochet Rounds, Enhanced Perpetual Motion, and Enhanced Kill Clip
  • How to get it: Xur's Treasure Hoard and Dares of Eternity drop

The BxR-55 Battler is the second Pulse Rifle to make this list, and this homage to Bungie's Halo series is in a league of its own. The special frame, the Legacy PR-55 Frame, is exclusive to the BxR, and it's the king of hip firing and smooth Handling and Stability.

This recommended roll plays into this, encouraging you to run and gun with the BxR and steamroll opponents with the snowballing effect of Enhanced Kill Clip. Instead of sitting and holding the mid-range, shoot from the hip and stay on the move. It's the Pulse Rifle for those that don't enjoy playing traditional Pulse Rifles. 

Best Hand Cannon: Austringer

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Windows Central (screenshot))
  • Weapon: Austringer 
  • Roll: Hammer-Forged Rifling, Ricochet Rounds, Enhanced Eye of the Storm, and Enhanced Rangefinder
  • How to get it: Leviathan drop or purchased from the Crown of Sorrow

When it was first introduced, the Austringer was a beast that terrorized The Crucible. It was later sunset and eliminated from play. When the Season of the Haunted rolled around, it returned as a craftable weapon, and was the most sought-after Hand Cannon in Destiny 2. It's a perfect addition to many of the best Destiny 2 builds right now.

With this roll, you are the king of clutching out a duel. The Austringer becomes more accurate, stable, and deadly with each hit you take. It already has a reasonable Range stat sitting at 60, but the boosted Range and Magnification of Enhanced Rangefinder help it compete at longer ranges than most Hand Cannons. The punch it packs upon hit is also no slouch and flinches opponents to a point where you can even take on some Pulse Rifle users at close-mid range.

Best Sniper Rifle: Beloved

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Windows Central (screenshot))
  • Weapon: Beloved 
  • Roll: Fluted Barrel, Ricochet Rounds, Enhanced Snapshot Sights, and Enhanced Quickdraw
  • How to get it: Leviathan drop or purchased from the Crown of Sorrow

Above all else, snappiness is the most crucial feature of any good Sniper Rifle in PvP. That and Aim Assist. The Beloved, with Snapshot Sights and Quickdraw, is both. This roll is one you need to play with to understand.

It doesn't have the highest Range stat compared to some others, but the scope and handling of The Beloved feel right for the size of the majority of maps. The near 70 Aim Assist stat also introduces far more leniency than the Beloved really should. You'll be popping heads in no time with a bit of experience, with the only real factor in losing Sniper battles being the speed at which you take your position. It's just that good.

Best Fusion Rifle: Main Ingredient

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Windows Central (screenshot))
  • Weapon: Main Ingredient
  • Roll: Red Dot Micro, Projection Fuse, Under Pressure, and High-Impact Reserves
  • How to get it: Strike rewards and Vanguard Packages or Xur might sell another God Roll at some point

There was not one, nor two, but four weekends Xur sold a bunch of devastatingly good Fusion Rifles. Every last one of them is a variation of the Main Ingredient. It was so good that Bungie had to nef Firmly Planted to stop it from totally eclipsing every other weapon in The Crucible. 

Even after the nerfs, the Main Ingredient still sits atop the pile of Fusion Rifles. This particular weapon roll is the first weapon recommendation in this guide that cannot be crafted, so you will need a bit of luck in obtaining one. If you do, however, you'll find that it makes the most of the low ammunition count bestowed upon you in The Crucible with a 6% bump in damage and a 30% improvement in Accuracy and Stability. The scope and battery are just the icing on the cake when extending the Main Ingredient's range. It is still an incredibly effective weapon without them.  

Best SMG: Out of Bounds

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Windows Central (screenshot))
  • Weapon: Out of Bounds
  • Roll: Arrowhead Brake, Ricochet Rounds, Dynamic Sway Reduction, Rangefinder
  • How to get it: Crucible match rewards and Shaxx reward Packages, or Xur might sell one/four

Submachine Guns are the go-to for aggressive players. Mix in an SMG with a Fusion Rifle or a Shotgun, slap on a Quick Charge armor mod, and that's a recipe for close-range destruction. 

Of all the SMGs you could slot into these builds, Out of Bounds is by far and away the best. This Lightweight Frame is agile as they come with increased Handling and a higher movement speed when equipped. It's also an Energy weapon, which pairs well with the Wasteland M5. When it comes to rolls, our recommendation is the PvP king. Holding down the trigger and aiming down your sights is surprisingly accurate, and the Range boost from Rangefinder is on another level. The goal is to stick to your opponents like glue and never let go of the trigger.

We've also rounded up some honorable mentions for Exotics that didn't quite make the cut on our list but are worth considering when it comes to PvP.

Le Monarque

How to get it: Completing the Butterfly's Grace Exotic Quest. 

 Despite its numerous nerfs, Le Monarque is still deadly in PvP. What makes it so great is that the damage over time can keep opponents out of firefights for far longer than intended. While a singular hit precision hit can no longer kill low Resilience Guardians, it will put the majority of Guardians at a health gate low enough for a follow-up shot to secure a kill. 

It means that anybody tapped with a poisonous arrow will run for the hills and patiently wait for the damage over time to drop off and then recover, allowing your other teammates to either chase them down or focus on other priority targets.

Lorentz Driver

How to get it: Completing the REVISION 7.2.2 Exotic Quest

 While Sniper Rifles are an ever-present danger in The Crucible, there's no denying that Lorentz Driver is one of the best-ranged weapons in Destiny 2 when it comes to PvP. The fact that a single headshot not only kills a Guardian outright but creates a damaging vortex on their position is ridiculous. 

Cloudstrike might offer a similar outcome, but its disruption to players in the surrounding area is nothing compared to Lorentz. There's also the added benefit of pre-charging around corners. Even the threat of hearing a Lorentz Driver charge up a shot makes anyone think twice about poking their head out. Then you have the Langrian Sight, which marks targets too. It's highly effective and partially why some ask for yet another nerf to this demon of a Linear Fusion.

The Chaperone

How to get it: Completing the Holliday Family History Exotic Quest

There is no greater ranged Shotgun than The Chaperone. From the word go, The Chaperone has 100 Range and can deal precision damage, knocking your block clean off from some alarmingly long ranges. It's the counter-shotgun shotgun. While many others need to run and gun to make the most of their shotgun, users of The Chaperone can lie in wait. Lie in the shadows and take time to line up the shot. It's a thing of beauty.

Hopefully, this guide introduced you to a new weapon or reignited your love for a forgotten great. While guns play an important role in any shooter, that's especially the case for Destiny 2's extensive arsenal and ever-changing meta.

While these are the weapons we recommend, there are many more to explore. Maybe you like slower-firing SMGs or love a good ol' Dad Rifle as your Pulse Rifle of choice. So long as you are winning, there really is no wrong answer in The Crucible.

Ryan Esler