Picking the Right Weapon in Destiny 2

As a Destiny noob, picking the right weapon early on in the game completely baffled me. I moved over from PC to PS4 with poor aim, limited knowledge of the game and it’s “meta” and spent most of my time face down re-spawning thanks to my ghost.  But with the help my friends (Justin, Matt, Eric and Arm) I was able to drastically improve my knowledge of how and most importantly WHY picking the right weapon in Destiny 2 is essentially for success.  Here’s my tips to save you the pain of dying over and over.


For those that are new to the game, elements play a key role in your weapon’s damage and function.  As a new Destiny player I had no idea what that meant and or the purpose so let me explain. By default, your main weapon is Kinetic.  Think of this as your all around go to when enemies are not shielded or susceptible to elemental damage.  In Nightfalls (PvE instance) you’ll receive notification of rotating elemental susceptibility.  Some elemental weapons will out preform your kinetic but it largely depends on your enemy.  It’s not all about “attack value.”

There are three elements based on the subclasses in Destiny 2; Solar (orange), Void (purple), and Arc (blue).  You’ll notice some mobs have a shield around them with an additional health bar.  The color of the shield surrounding them determines the type of element they are sustainable to.  If you destroy their shield using the correct element, they will take extra damage (up to 3x).  So you want a loadout that has one of each if possible.

Kinetic – White damage by default.

Secondary – Your basic element that can be changed in your inventory depending on your needs.  You would want to pair this up with common enemies you’ll be facing to take advantage of the shield.  Also make sure it’s different from your Power and Subclass so you have all three covered (Void Auto Rifle).

Power Weapon – Limited ammo both in PvE and PvP but very powerful.  A good loadout would include this as a second element different than your class and secondary weapon (Solar Grenade Launcher).

Subclass – Can be used as the missing element (Arc subclass using grenades).

Types of Weapons

Now that we understand the basics of elements and trying our best to pick three, the next important tip is what TYPE of weapon do I use?  It really depends on the player and content meaning PvE and PvP and/or are you good at headshots or need sustain DPS? I don’t think there’s a right answer but let me give you an idea of my thought process.

PvE Weapons (Leveling/Nightfalls/Strikes/Etc)

  • Kinetic – Since this is used all around, I like something that is reliable at range.  A good weapon at end game is the Scout Rifle Mida Multi-Tool which can be obtained by completing the post campaign story (blue quest) on Earth EDZ.  I want to make sure I have something for long range and short or sustain damage both in PvE and PvP.
  • Elemental – I’ve found it useful to have a auto rifle so I can take advantage of breaking a shield.  My favorite weapon so far is Uriel’s Gift.  You can obtain this on Nessus or random Legendary Engrams and it’s amazing for sustain DPS up close or at medium range.
  • Power Weapon – This is really context heavy, but let’s say we are leveling or doing some PvE (Strikes/Nightfalls).  I like something with range and high burst potential.  Grenade Launch is my favorite and the Exotic Prospector has helped me win a couple of Nightfalls due to its rapid fire burst potential.  Another good option would be missile launchers as well.

PvP Weapons (Crucible/Trials)

  • Kinetic – I still like my scout rifle or something at range depending on the build that I’m playing.  However, I see a big advantage for some to use extremely high burst weapons like Hand Cannon or Sidearm (Hunters I’m talking to you), especially if you are great with head shots.  PvE you can sometimes get away with hunkering down and holding down the trigger where as PvP you might get a split second to kill a player and that’s why bursty weapons make great choices.
  • Elemental – If you go with a Scout for range then go with a burst weapon here.  Otherwise I like an auto rifle or the Mida mini-tool/Uriel combined with Sidearm.
  • Power Weapon – I prefer up close and personal one-shot weapons like shotguns or swords since it’s all about burst and you can’t beat these.

Keep in mind, there are plenty of different combinations that work and are effective and you need to just try them until you find that perfect weapon.  Have trouble with head shots? Pick up an Auto Rifle and mash that trigger.  MLG headshot Master?  Pick up a Sidearm and just one shot people.  It depends but the above list will give you some place to start.

Class Benefits

Depending on your class and subclass you may receive an additional benefit for certain weapon loadouts.  For instance, the Sweet Business weapon has a massive spin up time and ammo capacity with a very long reload time.  This is an ideal PvE weapon for Titans using the barricade because of the instant reload.  You can be safe from damage, massive sustain DPS and no reload for a brief period.

Another example would be the Hunter and Sidearms that reward headshots.  Combine this with certain type of gear (Exotics – more on these later) that allow for faster reload times and you are set.

On my Arc Warlock with my healing rift, I love Auto Rifles because I can sit in my circle, heal and lay down fire without worrying about dying.

Take a look at your build, ask yourself what does it reward? Headshots, sustain DPS, instant reloading?  Then pick a weapon or type of subclass that fits your weapon loadout.


At the end of the day, I feel strongly that Destiny 2 rewards skill over gear.  However, how many times have you JUST about killed the other guy?  That’s the difference between picking the right weapon in Destiny 2.  I thank you for reading this guide and let me know if you like this content by leaving a comment or stopping by my YouTube channel.

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