Destiny 2 - Best exotic weapons (2023)

Destiny best exotic weapons 2023
Credit: bungie

Destiny best exotic weapons 2023
Credit: bungie

Destiny 2 is an ever-changing experience, despite this, there's something you can always count on: trying to find the best exotic weapons to use can be a painful grind, especially if you have no idea which ones you should prioritize getting.

In this guide, we'll give you the top picks for best exotics weapons to use in Destiny 2 in 2023. Whether you're playing PvP or PvE, most of these can do the job in both, however, we will specify if we think the gun in question is top-tier in a single category or both.

It's also worth mentioning that their performance can differ a little bit depending on if you're playing on PC or console but since most of these have set perks (i.e. you can't farm them with specific ones that benefit console aim assist or the precision mouse and keyboard offer) we won't be taking this too much into consideration.

The best exotic weapons to use in Destiny 2

Some of these exotic weapons can be hard to get, while others are yours by simply buying certain pieces of content. We've put a good mix of weapons that can be used across all activities so there's bound to be something for you!

Witherhoard Grenade Launcher

  • Good for: PvP and PvE
  • How to get: buy it from the exotic kiosk (must own the Shadowkeep expansion)
witherhoard exotic grenade launcher destiny 2
expand image
Credit: Bungie
The most important exotic to have

If you've ever tried to do raids, dungeons, or other high-end content, chances are you'll be asked whether you have this gun or not. Witherhoard has been a staple of everyone's loadout for years at this point, with some slight nerfs still unable to control its dominance.

Even in PvP, this GL is simply too good for crowd control, so it's often seen in maps with tight corridors. Furthermore, once you buy it from the kiosk, you'll earn the catalyst with no RNG involved by simply talking to the Gunsmith, Banshe-44.

The catalyst basically gives Witherhoard an Auto-Loading Holster perk functionality, so it's a must-have.

Arbalest Linear Fusion Rifle

  • Good for: PvE
  • How to get: Complete the Another Last City exotic quest
arbalest destiny 2 exotic
expand image
Credit: Bungie
Need Anti-Barrier for free? Look no further

Ah Arbalest, another perennial king of the PvE meta in Destiny 2. Not only is this weapon powerful in its own right, being one of the few kinetic Linear Fusion Rifles out there, but its intrinsic Anti-Barrier Champion capabilities will give you more versatility when it comes to building your loadout in more difficult content like GM Nightfalls.

Another big plus is that starting with Lightfall, Shaw Han can give players an exotic quest that's relatively easy, as it serves as an introduction for newcomers, and it's completely free!

Divinity Trace Rifle

  • Good for: PvE
  • How to get: Shadowkeep exotic quest (requires expansion)
divinity destiny 2 exotic weapon
expand image
Credit: Bungie
Divinity is a great weapon for PvE

Divinity may have gotten nerfed big time, having said that, there's no other weapon in the game that makes crit shots easier to hit for your teammates, particularly important in raids.

If you don't know how this gun works and why it's still considered one of the best support exotics in Destiny 2, let's keep it simple: as you do continued damage, a circular field will envelop the target, weakening them and making them more susceptible to crit shots, plus it will stun Overload Champions!

Check out our guide, if you want to learn how to unlock the Divinity.

Cloudstrike Sniper Rifle

  • Good for: PvE and PvP
  • How to get: Random drop from Empire Hunts
cloudstrike destiny exotic sniper
expand image
Credit: Bungie
Cloudstrike is a great tool in any mode

Let's talk Sniper Rifles now, with none better than Cloudstrike at the moment. If we're talking PvE, the exotic perk is absolutely perfect for add clearing.

A Cloudstrike precision final blow will generate a lightning bolt that will obliterate nearby targets, however, landing precision hits without killing them will unleash a lightning storm at the point of impact.

So as you can see, whether it's burst damage in PvP modes that favour moving together like Trials of Osiris or sustained DPS to a boss in PvE, Cloudstrike is a solid pick.

Osteo Striga SMG

  • Good for: PvE and PvP
  • How to get: Complete The Witch Queen campaign
osteo striga exotic smg
expand image
Credit: Bungie
A beast of a weapon!

Osteo Striga is an absolute beast of a weapon for most content in the game. It's a solid SMG that plays a little differently than virtually all others since it's not hitscan: it fires small poison projectiles, landing precision hits or final blows will trigger an area of effect poison burst that will deal damage over time to close enemies.

Immediately you can see how this can bring benefits to either PvE in the form of add clear, or creating havoc in PvP when playing against teams that always seem to move together.

One more thing worth noting with the Osteo Striga: it's craftable! That means you can tune it with a nice selection of perks to your heart's content.

And that's it! We believe these exotic weapons are the perfect blend of easy to get plus how good they can actually be in all types of Destiny 2 content.

If you're looking for more Destiny 2 goodness, why not check out all the new ability changes coming with Season 21, also known as Season of the Deep.

This Article's Topics

Explore new topics and discover content that's right for you!