Destiny 2: The 5 Best PvE Exotic Weapons

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In Destiny 2 there are a lot of different ways to deal death, but the most potent come in the form of Exotics. These are the rarest items in all of Destiny and most of them can only be obtained by decrypting engrams that are given as rewards. Each one offers a unique property that can change how you play or even how entire engagements will play out. This makes it vital that players which Exotic weapon to run, especially during endgame activities like the Nightfall or raid.

When deciding on this list, we made sure to pick weapons that were helpful across all PvE (Player vs Environment) activities. This isn’t to say the other Exotics we haven’t selected are bad but simply didn’t offer the utility or range that other items do. Before we begin here are some honorable mentions:

  • Rat King
  • Skyburner’s Oath
  • The Prospector 
  • The Wardcliff Coil
  • Riskrunner

Here are our picks for the 5 best Exotic weapons for PvE (In no particular order).

1. Merciless

Destiny 2

Let’s get this Exotic out of the way first as it no doubt has already made a name for itself amongst the community. A fusion rifle, the Merciless has the unique ability to fire faster on a target it has damaged, but not killed yet. This makes it insanely powerful against any single target, allowing users to burn through an entire enemy with little to no problems.

The Merciless is by far one of, if not the most destructive guns in all of Destiny 2. It also sports a strong Impact and Stability stat, so the recoil is quite easy to control even under pressure. If you need an Exotic to burn through the Bathers or Royal Beasts in the Leviathan raid, this the Merciless should be your go-to weapon.

2. Sweet Business

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The Sweet Business is a rather unique Destiny 2 weapon as it’s actually a mini-gun instead of a traditional assault rifle. Sporting a 99 bullet clip, Sweet Business can absolutely rip through a squad of lower tier mobs and easily kill some tougher enemies. Its unique magazine size allows Sweet Business users to easily suppress and sometimes stun lock a target if they manage to land consistent critical hits. While it may not be the flashiest Exotic, Sweet Business is a robust and versatile weapon that’s perfect for those who enjoy frontline fighting.

3. Sunshot

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One of the first Exotics revealed for Destiny 2, the Sunshot is perhaps the best overall hand cannon in the game. Sporting an insanely high impact, handling, and reload speed stat, this weapon is more than capable of hitting targets downrange. However, its the inclusion of the Sun Blast perk that pushes it over the edge. Upon killing a foe, that enemy will explode and release Solar energy around them. This allows skilled Sunshot users to wipe entire groups of mobs with just a few well-placed shots.

Even without the Dragonfly style effect, the Sunshot still fires out explosive rounds that highlights damaged targets. This is a very adaptable weapon that is great for almost any situation or activity. However, we do recommend pairing it with a pulse or scout rifle to make up for its shorter range.

4. Coldheart

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The pre-order exotic for Destiny 2 is quite a unique and devastating weapon in the right hands. When used, the Coldheart will fire a single beam that inflicts more damage the longer it hits a target. Since this weapon can do critical damage, this means the Coldheart can do an insane amount of damage on bigger, more static targets.

When used effectively, this gun can shred through both lower and higher tier enemies with little issue. The single beam makes it far easier to aim and track high mobility targets like Psions or Vandals. Plus, the Coldheart is absolutely wonderful for the final raid boss fight and is easily one of the most powerful weapons when fully leveled up.

5. Borealis

Destiny 2 Borealis Sniper


Elemental damage is nothing new to the Destiny franchise, but being able to swap between Solar, Arc, and Void is a rather unique concept. While the original Destiny dabbled in this lightly, the Borealis is probably the best interpretation of this mechanic. Instead of fumbling through a menu system, players can simply hold down the reload button to change their element of choice.

Not only is this great for dealing with different enemies when you are just roaming around, but it works wonders when modifiers like Prism are on. The Borealis also sports a high stability, range, handling, and impact stat making it a strong weapon even without the elemental mechanic. This is a very powerful weapon that can rip through both normal foes and large bosses with relative ease. If you have a PlayStation4, this is the Exotic sniper rifle to get.

For more guides, tips, and tricks make sure to visit our Destiny 2 page.

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