Destiny 2 Best Exotic Submachine Guns

In Destiny 2, Exotic Submachine Guns are incredibly powerful weapons but with so many options it can be hard to decide which one fits you.

Destiny 2 Tarrabah Exotic SMG
Destiny 2 Tarrabah Exotic SMG

SMGs are incredibly strong in Destiny 2. Their high base damage and fast fire rate allows them to be useful for all levels of content and enemies, and a must have for any guardian’s loadout. In this guide, we will be discussing why you should want to use them, how to use them effectively, and which ones you should consider for your own arsenal.

What are the Best Exotic Submachine Guns in Destiny 2?

The best Exotic Submachine Gun is the Osteo Striga because it has great damage, fantastic add clear, and isn’t build specific. Two other great options are Riskrunner and Huckleberry.

Here is a list of the Best SMGs in Destiny 2:

  • Osteo Striga: Exotic SMG that has some of the best add clear while being insanely easy to use with tracking bullets.
  • Riskrunner: A good looking SMG with an arc chaining damage perk and passive tankiness
  • Huckleberry: One of the most consistent SMGs in the game with a solid damage and reload perk

This list might focus on the current most powerful exotic SMGs in the game, but there are plenty others that can be used with varying success with specific builds. Even non-exotic SMGs can be quite effective in all levels of content and are currently some of the strongest weapons in the game.


Destiny 2 Huckelberry Exotic SMG
Destiny 2 Huckelberry Exotic SMG

The Huckleberry is a tried and true favorite for exotic SMG enjoyers. It was released during the Warmind Expansion and obtainable in random exotic engrams or from Xur.

The Huckleberry is sleek, consistent, and powerful all wrapped up with a beautiful bowtie: The best reload animation in the game. The weapon doesn’t feature poison or crazy AOE lightning damage, instead its power comes from its consistency. While you hold down the trigger, you increase its rate of fire, kills will reload the magazine, and each kill you get will give you a stack of a damage perk called Rampage, up to 3 stacks.

Risk Runner

Destiny 2 Riskrunner Exotic SMG
Destiny 2 Riskrunner Exotic SMG

Riskrunner has been one of the longest running powerful weapons in Destiny 2. It was released as one of the first exotics obtainable by players when Destiny 2 originally released and can be obtained for completing the New Light questline.

Riskrunner having one of the longest streaks of being a powerful weapon is not without merit. It has a perk that upon taking arc damage, your bullets now chain lightning to nearby enemies, reload ammo on kills, and give you some damage resistance to any arc damage. This is incredibly potent versus certain enemies types whose bullets deal arc damage: however, without the perk active the weapon can feel lackluster.

Osteo Striga

Destiny 2 Osteo Striga Exotic SMG
Destiny 2 Osteo Striga Exotic SMG

Osteo Striga took the crown for the Best Exotic SMG and ran with it. Its obtainable during the Witch Queen campaign and was the first craftable exotic allowing for barrel, magazine, and stock customizations.

Not only is this weapon customizable but its one of the easiest weapons to use in the game. Osteo Striga comes with auto-tracking bullets that will track towards enemies, poison that deals tick damage and can spread to nearby enemies, and a reloading/overflowing perk that works just by killing with the weapon. All of these, make a potent weapon for any level of content.

Why Use an Exotic Submachine Gun?

Currently, SMGs are one of the strongest archetypes across the game. They feature some of the highest archetype damage per second while allowing for solid magazine perks, powerful damage perks, and great ease of use. The Exotic SMGs have all of these benefits and then get paired with insanely strong exotics perks that catapult them into some of the best weapons in the game.

Here’s why exotic submachine guns are used in Destiny 2:

Ease to useAggressive playstyle
High DPSLow magazine capacity
Strong perksLow base range

Tips for Using Submachine Guns in Destiny 2:

Here are some additional tips for using Submachine Guns in PvE:

  1. Use them at close range. With low base range on most SMGs and very few ways to increase it, its important that you play within its damage range to have the maximum impact
  2. Focus on lower health targets. Since this is a primary ammo weapon its damage is geared toward lower health enemies. Focusing those enemies as quickly as possible will reduce the risks of using an aggressive close range weapon.
  3. Pair them with a high burst damage special weapons. Being close and personal with enemies can put you in a dangerous position when a hard hitting enemy appears. So having a high burst damage special weapon can help eliminate any major threats before they can overwhelm you.

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