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The best Destiny 2 Exotics: 10 Exotic weapons that every player should own

(Image credit: Bungie)

Destiny 2 is now in its third year, so it's built up dozens upon dozens of unique and powerful Exotics. The trouble is, acquiring most of them comes down to blind luck - either betting on random drops or pinning your hopes on Xur. With that in mind, we've rounded up 10 great Exotics that come from specific quests and activities. These Exotics aren't necessarily easy to get - although some of them are - but there's no guesswork involved, making them much more attainable than, say, Anarchy. Here are the best Destiny 2 Exotics you can use to build up your arsenal.  

Ace of Spades 

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How to get it? Complete the Destiny 2 Ace of Spades quest. 

Why should you use it? Ace of Spades reminds me of those old PlayStation commercials in that it only does everything. This hand cannon comes with Outlaw for fast reloads, Third Eye for constant radar, Firefly for explosive precision kills, and Memento Mori rounds that add yet more bonus damage when you reload after a kill. It also has incredible range and stability, a 13-round magazine, and it's gorgeous.  

Bad Juju 

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How to get it? Complete the Destiny 2 Bad Juju quest. 

Why should you use it? Bad Juju was one of the best primary weapons in the original Destiny, and it's even stronger in Destiny 2. This full-auto pulse rifle does three things every time you get a kill: it fully reloads itself (using generated ammo, not reserve ammo), it builds a stacking damage buff called String of Curses, and it gives you bonus Super energy. Bad Juju does good damage and has a lot of utility, making it a top-tier primary.  


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How to get it? Complete the Divinity Destiny 2 quest inside the Garden of Salvation raid. 

Why should you use it? Divinity is one of the most unique and powerful raid Exotics in Destiny's history. Similar to Coldheart, Divinity is a trace rifle that rewards you for focusing your beam on one target. However, its real strength lies in the damaging field it generates around targets. This field acts as a secondary crit spot, and it disrupts and weakens enemies inside, leaving high-priority targets like majors and bosses extremely vulnerable. This is a go-to Exotic in many high-level activities, and while its quest is a bit of a bugbear, it's well worth it.  

Izanagi's Burden 

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How to get it? Complete the Destiny 2 Izanagi's Burden quest. 

Why should you use it? Izanagi's Burden delivers the highest and most consistent DPS of any weapon in Destiny 2, full stop. Its Exotic perk, Honed Edge, lets you condense its four-round clip into one powerful shot, letting you deal massive burst damage to bosses and majors. Once you get its Exotic catalyst, which buffs Honed Edge shots even further, this railgun will tear through anything unlucky enough to find its way into your sights.  


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How to get it? Play the Red War campaign and select Sunshot as your reward. 

Why should you use it? Like Ace of Spades, Sunshot is a hand cannon that excels at clearing groups of enemies. But where Ace of Spades focuses on utility, Sunshot goes all-in on explosions. Anything killed by Sunshot explodes with Solar energy, and that includes enemies killed by its explosions. You can probably see where this is going. In the right situation, a single round from Sunshot can clear an entire room. So yeah, it's good.  

The Last Word  

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How to get it? Complete the Destiny 2 Last Word quest. 

Why should you use it? The Last Word is one of the most iconic hand cannons in Destiny, and it's one of the strongest choices for the Crucible. This is a short-range, fan-firing, six-shooter style weapon with Western flair and Tex Mechanica power. The Last Word has one of the fastest kill times in the game, and it's great fun to use.  

Lord of Wolves  

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How to get it? Complete bounties sold by Spider in the Tangled Shore. 

Why should you use it? Speaking of Crucible menaces: Lord of Wolves. This Exotic shotgun fires solar bursts which have huge range, and once you get its Exotic catalyst, things get real nasty in PvP. Did I mention the alternate firing mode which makes each burst more lethal? The only downside is that the bounties that drop Lord of Wolves are a bit random, but its drop rate is among the most consistent out there, so you shouldn't have a hard time getting a hold of it.  


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How to get it? Complete the Destiny 2 Thorn quest. 

Why should you use it? Thorn rounds out our recommended PvP Exotics with a bang. This hand cannon fires piercing rounds which deal damage over time, and you can increase that damage by collecting special orbs dropped by defeated enemies. This corrosive damage also helps offset the range nerf that impacted other hand cannons, cementing Thorn as a top-shelf Crucible pick.  

Whisper of the Worm  

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How to get it? Complete the Destiny 2 Whisper of the Worm mission. 

Why should you use it? Whisper of the Worm isn't the game-breaking heavy it once was, but it's still very strong, and a worthy rival to Izanagi's Burden. This heavy sniper rifle refills itself when you rapidly land three precision shots, letting you empty your reserves without stopping to reload. It doesn't have functionally infinite ammo anymore, but Whisper is still a high-DPS weapon with some of the best total damage in the game. Besides, it's worth getting for its mission alone.  


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How to get it? Complete the Destiny 2 Xenophage quest. 

Why should you use it? Xenophage is the ultimate comfy weapon. It's a machine gun that shoots explosive rounds which make it feel more like a grenade launcher, and it utterly deletes everything apart from bosses. Groups of trash mobs? Dusted. Majors? Chunked. High-value targets? Dumpstered. Xenophage is fun and easy to use, and while it's not top-tier, it's by no means bad against bosses. You can use it virtually anywhere and have a good time.  

As a staff writer and former freelancer, Austin focuses on day-to-day news happenings which serve as the perfect cover-up for his Destiny 2 column. He majored in journalism, loves to hate headlines, and never takes his Switch out of the dock.