Destiny 2 offers a plethora of weapons for you to chase across different activities, both in PvE and PvP.
Naturally, just as some are harder to get making them more exclusive (like raid, dungeons, Trials of Osiris, or Iron Banner arms, to name a few), others are designed to prevail on either PvE or Crucible.
All of it is mostly dependent on perk combinations; however, there are times when Bungie designs certain weapons to be solely PvE or PvP exclusives.
Here, we'll focus on PvE-centric weapons, how to get them, and quickly go over some perks that will make them excel in this category.
Two important distinctions we want to mention: first off, we won't be focusing too much on exotics (there'll be maybe a couple mentioned) since we already have a dedicated article to the best exotic weapons in Destiny 2. Second, we'll also consider how easy it is to obtain certain weapons; no point in recommending a gun you can't get.
Best PvE weapons in 2023
We mentioned that we wouldn't be focusing too much on Destiny 2 exotics; however, there's one we got to mention immediately.
Thunderlord Exotic machine gun
An old fan favourite, first seen during the E3 Destiny 1 reveal back in 2013. Thunderlord became popular during Season of Defiance due to how well it pairs with the raid encounters of Root of Nightmares.
Furthermore, it's relatively easy to get, if not a bit RNG-based, since it's a world drop. So we recommend doing Nightfalls of any difficulty to increase your chances. The Catalyst is also worth doing since it will refill your magazine when you do lightning damage, perfect for meltdown bosses.
Funnelweb submachine gun
Despite some nerfs to SMGs, you can't deny the versatility of the archetype in the current PvE sandbox, and no better option than the Funnelweb submachine gun.
A solid 900RPM SMG that can be earned via random world drops or occasionally offered by either Xur or Banshee, this Void weapon is perfect for any content in PvE you wish to tackle.
It has a solid perk pool, including Subsistence, Adrenaline Junkie, Rangefinder, and more. The real kicker is the Origin Trait, Veist Stinger, which has a chance to refill the magazine while you're shooting completely.
Retrofit Escapade machine gun
Why yes, another machine gun that's also a Void weapon. The Retrofit Escapade became a top-tier gun when it was released on Season of the Seraph and still is very reliable.
Sadly, getting a crafted version of the gun is impossible since the only way you'll be able to get your hands now is via Banshee or Xur. Still, the perk pool has some amazing traits like Heating Up, Fourth Time's The Charm, Target Lock, Vorpal Weapon, and more designed to make this gun a boss destroyer.
Forbearance grenade launcher
Grenade launchers are great for PvE content and none better than the Forbearance grenade launcher. The only hurdle is that you'll need to jump into the Vow of the Disciple raid, so if you don't have anyone to play, it might be impossible to get.
If you can get your hands on this Arc-type GL, you can find some amazing perk combos such as Ambitious Assassin, Rampage, Chain Reaction, and Sleight of Hand.
Witherhoard grenade launcher
The king of PvE, how can we not mention it? Witherhoard has been at the top of everyone's recommended list, and for good reason.
Relatively easy to get via the kiosk and super powerful and versatile even without the Catalyst, Witherhoard is for Destiny 2 players what Gjallarhorn was for og Destiny Guardians. If you get the Catalyst, it'll essentially give the gun Auto-Loading Holster, making it the best PvE weapon in the game.
For more articles like this, take a look at our Destiny and Guides page.