Game Guides

Best Exotic Weapons: Destiny 2 Crucible Guide

Own the Crucible with some of the best Exotic weapons to date.

by Jess Menga

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In Destiny 2’s Crucible PvP mode using the right exotic weapons can help a lot in playing well.  Players can bring exotic weapons into the competitive mode, but not all exotics are created equal.  This guide has been compiled by examining all types of Destiny 2 exotic weapons in the Kinetic, Energy and Power classes.  Since an exotic weapon’s stats roll can drastically affect its performance, we’ve also included a few runners-up where we felt they warranted some credit. Try these exotics out in the Crucible and prosper.

PvP Exotic Kinetic Weapons

Auto Rifle: Cerberus+1 (4.1/5)

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Four-Headed Dog – Shoots erratic bullets from all gun barrels at the same time.
  • Exotic Trait: Spread-Shot Package – Aiming this weapon reduces the spread of its projectiles.

Auto Rifle: SUROS Regime (4/5) – Honorable Mention

  • Exotic Intrinsic: SUROS Legacy – The bottom half of each magazine deals bonus damage and has a chance to return health on kill.
  • Exotic Trait: Spinning Up – Holding down the trigger increases rate of fire.

Combat Bow: Wish-Ender (4.2/5)

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Queen’s Wrath – While aiming down sights with a fully-drawn bow, enemies behind walls are highlighted.
  • Legendary Trait: Broadhead – Piercing arrowhead that damages the target on entry and exit. One shot can overpenetrate multiple targets.

Hand Cannon: The Last Word (4.9/5) 

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Fan Fire – This weapon can be fired quickly and continuously. Faster reload and increased accuracy on successive hip-fire damage.
  • Legendary Trait: Hip-Fire Grip – Ergonomic grips that increase accuracy and stability when firing from the hip.

Hand Cannon: Ace of Spades (4.8/5) – Honorable Mention

  • Basic Intrinsic: Memento Mori – Reloading after a kill loads magazine with a few extra-damage bullets. Grants radar while aiming down sights.
  • Legendary Trait: Firefly – Precision kills with this weapon increase reload speed and cause the target to explode, dealing Solar damage to nearby enemies.

Linear Fusion Rifle: Arbalest (4.1/5)

  • Basic Intrinsic: Compounding Force – Fires slugs that cause massive damage to elemental shields of enemy combatants.
  • Legendary Trait: Disruption Break – Breaking an enemy’s shield with this weapon makes them more vulnerable to Kinetic damage for a brief period.
  • Note: The Arbalest is currently the only Linear Fusion Rifle in the game that takes Special ammo instead of Heavy.

Pulse Rifle: Vigilance Wing (4.5/5) – Season 9

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Harsh Truths – This weapon fires a 5-round burst. When a nearby ally is killed, gain health regeneration and increased movement speed.
  • Legendary Trait: Last Stand – Improved weapon performance and greatly increased recovery when its wielder is the last living member of a fireteam.

Pulse Rifle: Outbreak Perfected (4.1/5) – Honorable Mention

  • Basic Intrinsic: The Corruption Spreads – This weapon creates SIVA nanite swarms on rapid hits and precision kills.
  • Legendary Trait: Parasitism – This weapon does more damage to enemies based on the number of SIVA nanites that attach to them.

Scout Rifle: MIDA Multi-Tool (5/5)

  • Exotic Intrinsic: MIDA Multi-Tool – This weapon boosts move speed.
  • Legendary Trait: MIDA Radar – Radar stays active while aiming down sights.
  • Note: When equipped with the MIDA Mini-Tool, a Legendary Solar SMG, a “MIDA Synergy” creates greater speed benefits.

Shotgun: The Chaperone (4.8/5)

  • Basic Intrinsic: Precision Slug – Fires a single-slug precision round.
  • Exotic Trait: The Roadborn – Precision kills briefly grant bonus handling, range, and precision damage with this weapon.

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Pictured: Vigilance Wing, Kinetic Pulse Rifle, Season 9


PvP Exotic Energy Weapons 

Combat Bow: Le Monarque – Void (4.3/5)

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Poison Arrows – Arrows fired quickly after a full draw become poison arrows. Precision hits with poison arrows spread poison to nearby enemies.
  • Legendary Trait: Snapshot Sights – Faster time to aim down sights.

Combat Bow: Trinity Ghoul – Arc (4/5) – Honorable Mention

  • Basic Intrinsic: Split Electron – Fires an arrow that splits when released. Aiming down sights and fully drawing the bow both decrease the spread.
  • Exotic Trait: Lightning Rod – Precision kills grant the next shot chain-lightning capabilities.

Fusion Rifle: Telesto – Void (5/5)

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Unplanned Reprieve – Fusion projectiles attach and detonate with a delayed Void blast.
  • Exotic Trait: Harbinger’s Pulse – Multikills with this weapon immediately reload your equipped Kinetic and Energy weapons from reserves.

Fusion Rifle: Jötunn – Solar (4.8/5) – Honorable Mention

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Charge Shot – Hold down the trigger to charge up a tracking shot that explodes and burns on impact.
  • Legendary Trait: Shield Disorient – Energy matched shield explosion disorients nearby combatants.

Grenade Launcher: Fighting Lion – Void (4.7/5)

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Delayed Gratification – Grenade projectiles will bounce off surfaces. Hold to fire, and release to detonate.
  • Legendary Trait: Thin the Herd – Direct hits do more damage to enemy combatant shields. Rapid kills against grenade-damaged enemies refill the magazine. Kills always drop Primary ammo.
  • Note: This weapon has a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll appreciate that all it takes to blow your opponents off the scoreboard is a bit of Primary ammo (not Special or Power ammo) and some measured timing.

Hand Cannon: Eriana’s Vow – Solar (4/5)

  • Basic Intrinsic: Looks Can Kill – This weapon fires special Shield-Piercing ammunition. It comes with a scope. Strong against Barrier Champions.
  • Legendary Trait: Death at First Glance – Bonus damage when aiming down sights on the opening shot of an attack. This bonus is preserved if the shot deals precision damage or strikes an elemental shield.
  • Note: Takes Special ammo (not Primary).

Scout Rifle: Symmetry – Arc (4.2/5) – Season 9

  • Basic Intrinsic: Revolution – This weapon fires full auto. Hold reload to swap to Arc Seeker mode. Arc Seekers track toward enemies you target.
  • Legendary Trait: Dynamic Charge – Precision hits build up Dynamic Charge. Swapping to Arc Seeker mode increases damage and partially reloads the magazine based on the number of charges.

Sidearm: Devil’s Ruin – Solar (4.2/5) – Season 9

  • Basic Intrinsic: Close the Gap – Variable trigger. Press and release to fire individual shots. Hold to charge up a high-powered, [Stagger] staggering laser. Strong against Unstoppable
  • Legendary Trait: Pyrogenesis – Fully charging the laser refills the magazine from reserves.

Trace Rifle: Coldheart – Arc (4/5)

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Cold Fusion – This weapon shoots a steady cold fusion-powered laser.
  • Legendary Trait: Longest Winter – Coldheart’s laser does exponentially more damage the longer it remains on a target.

Trace Rifle: Wavesplitter – Void (4/5) – Honorable Mention

  • Basic Intrinsic: Harmonic Laser – Laser damage has three power levels that oscillate while the trigger is held down.
  • Legendary Battery: Supercharged Battery – Collecting an Orb of Light grants a short period of maximum power that starts with an automatic reload.

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Pictured: Devil’s Ruin, Solar Sidearm, Season 9


PvP Exotic Power Weapons

Fusion Rifle: One Thousand Voices – Solar (4.7/5)

  • Basic Intrinsic: Ahamkara’s Eye – Charging this weapon unleashes a giant continuous beam of death.
  • Exotic Trait: Unforseen Repercussions – This weapon’s beam superheats its targets upon impact, causing delayed explosions.

Grenade Launcher: The Colony – Void (4.7/5)

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Insectoid Robot Grenades – This weapon’s grenades are insectoid robots that chase targets and explode close to them.
  • Exotic Trait: Serve the Colony – Insectoid robot grenades quickly repopulate the magazine from reserves while the Colony is unequipped.

Linear Fusion Rifle: The Queenbreaker – Arc (4.2/5)

  • Basic Intrinsic: Wire Rifle – Fires a long-range precision Arc bolt that blinds enemies on hit.
  • Legendary Trait: Hip-Fire Grip – Ergonomic grips that increase accuracy and stability when firing from the hip.

Linear Fusion Rifle: Sleeper Simulant – Solar (4/5) – Honorable Mention

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Dornröschen – The weapon’s laser overpenetrates enemies and refracts off hard surfaces.
  • Legendary Trait: Moving Target – Increased movement speed and target acquisition when moving while aiming down sights.

Machine Gun: Thunderlord – Arc (4.7/5)

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Reign Havoc – Kills with this weapon generate lightning strikes from above.
  • Legendary Trait: Feeding Frenzy – Kills with this weapon increase reload speed for a short time.

Rocket Launcher: The Wardcliff Coil – Arc (5/5)

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Mad Scientist – This weapon fires a volley of rockets.
  • Legendary Trait: Mechanized Autoloader – This weapon automatically reloads on ammo pickup.

Rocket Launcher: Deathbringer – Void (4.5/5)

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Dark Deliverance – Fires remotely detonated projectiles that drop Void orbs on enemies. Hold to fire, release to detonate.
  • Legendary Trait: Dark Descent – The further a Void orb falls, the more powerful its detonation becomes.

Rocket Launcher: Truth – Void (4.5/5)

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Prototype Trueseeker – This weapon’s rockets have tracking. Lock onto targets when aiming down sights.
  • Legendary Trait: Grenades and Horseshoes – Projectiles will detonate when they are within close proximity of their targets.

Shotgun: Legend of Acrius – Arc (5/5)

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Shock Blast – This weapon fires blasts of high-damage Arc energy that overpenetrates enemies.
  • Legendary Trait: Long March – Detect enemies on your radar from farther away.

Shotgun: Tractor Cannon – Void (4.5/5) – Honorable Mention

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Repulsor Force – This weapon emits a powerful impulse that pushes enemies away, suppresses their abilities, and makes them more vulnerable to all incoming damage.
  • Legendary Trait: The Scientific Method – Damaging an opponent temporarily increases speed and handling.

Sword: Worldline Zero – Arc (5/5)

  • Exotic Intrinsic: Tesseract – While sprinting, press designated button to perform an AoE attack. After sprinting and then jumping, press designated button while airborne to teleport forward.
  • Legendary Trait: Tireless Blade – Sword ammo granted for every other powered sword kill.

While the weapons in this list are widely considered by the community to be the best Exotic weapons for PvP in Destiny 2, having the right roll on each weapon is a big help. You can check your own weapon rolls and even compare weapons stat-for-stat on light.gg. You can also check out our list of the best Legendary weapons to date for Crucible here.

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