The best Destiny 2 Exotic weapons that all Guardians should get

Destiny 2 exotic weapon dragon's breath bungie image
(Image credit: Bungie)

Packing some of the best Destiny 2 Exotics in your loadouts will really help you out in endgame activities, whether its by melting bosses or obliterating hordes of foes. Exotic weapons are some of the most fun and powerful things to use in Destiny 2, and with so many of them, it's hard to know which ones to pursue and equip. To help you in the right direction, I've listed 10 of the best Exotics in Destiny 2, including how to get them.

Best Destiny 2 Exotics

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Bungie)

The following Exotic weapons in Destiny 2 are some of the best in the solar system – especially for high-difficulty PvE activities like Strikes, Dungeons, and Raids. Some of these Exotics also have an Exotic Catalyst which, once unlocked, improves the weapon even further. Although, fair warning: not all of them are easy to get, with some requiring lengthy quests or lots of resources to unlock, and that goes for the catalysts too.

Certain Exotic weapons definitely outperform some of the ones listed below, but often only with highly specific builds or on certain Subclasses. The following weapons are great all-rounders that any of the Destiny 2 Classes can wield effectively – pair them with some of the best Destiny 2 Exotic armor pieces and you'll have a nice build going.

Destiny 2 Arbalest

Destiny 2 Exotic weapon Arbalest linear fusion riflet

(Image credit: Bungie)

A precise and highly useful special weapon, Arbalest can fit into a lot of loadouts. It deals good critical damage but absolutely shreds enemy shields and makes Barrier Champions almost trivial to deal with.

  • Type: Linear Fusion Rifle, Kinetic damage, special ammo
  • Exotic perks: Fires slugs that deal massive damage to enemy shields. Strong against Barrier Champions. Breaking an enemy's shield with this weapon makes them more vulnerable to Kientic damage for a brief period.
  • How to get it: Exotic Engrams, activity rewards, Xur.

Destiny 2 Conditional Finality

Destiny 2 exotic weapon conditional finality shotgun

(Image credit: Bungie)

A double-barrelled shotgun that fires one Stasis and one Solar shot, dealing lots of damage thanks to Freeze and Ignition keywords. A highly reliable burst damage special weapon. Great against Unstoppable Champions too.

  • Type: Shotgun, Stasis (and Solar) damage, special ammo
  • Exotic perks: Landing nearly all Stasis pellets will freeze targets. Landing nearly all Solar pellets will ignite targets.
  • How to get it: Chance to drop from beating the final boss in the Destiny 2 Lightfall Root of Nightmares Raid.

Destiny 2 Divinity

Destiny 2 Exotic weapon Divinity Trace Rifle

(Image credit: Bungie)

Divinity is one of the best Exotics in Destiny 2 because it increases the power of everyone else’s weapons. Focusing its beam on an enemy, surrounds them in a glowing cage that weakens and stuns them. Only one person in the fireteam needs it and it's a huge help against bosses that move a lot or have difficult-to-hit crit spots, such as Destiny 2 Tormentors.

  • Type: Trace Rifle, Arc damage, special ammo
  • Exotic perks: Sustained damage with Divinity envelops the target in a cage that weakens and stuns them, making it strong against Overload Champions. Targets under the effects of the cage long enough are struck with a burst of damage.
  • How to get it: Complete the Destiny 2 Divinity quest tied to the Garden of Salvation Raid from Destiny 2 Shadowkeep.

Destiny 2 Dragon's Breath

Destiny 2 exotic weapon dragon's breath rocket launcher

(Image credit: Bungie)

Great for Solar builds, this Exotic Rocket Launcher deals solid damage against bosses and can clear out clusters of weaker foes with abundant ignitions.

  • Type: Rocket Launcher, Solar damage, heavy ammo
  • Exotic perks: Rockets embed themselves in struck targets and periodically eject incendiary fuel that inflicts Scorch. The longer Dragon's Breath goes without firing, the more fuel the next rocket contains. Igniting nearby targets partially replenishes fuel. This weapon refills itself from reserves upon gaining maximum fuel.
  • How to get it: Unlock it at the Monument to Lost Lights kiosk under Lightfall Exotics.

Destiny 2 Gjallarhorn

Destiny 2 Exotic weapon Gjallarhorn rocket launcher

(Image credit: Bungie)

The Destiny 1 damage king is still a great Exotic even in Destiny 2. Its great stats and defining Wolfpack Rounds make it a top-tier rocket launcher. It can also grant Wolfpack Rounds to nearby allies for their Legendary Rocket Launchers, making Gjallarhorn a superb team weapon too.

  • Type: Rocket Launcher, Solar damage, heavy ammo
  • Exotic perks: Rockets fired split into tracking cluster missiles (Wolfpack Rounds) upon detonation. Gain increased handling and reload speed when standing near allies. Firing Gjallarhorn also grants Wolfpack Rounds to nearby allies wielding non-Exotic Rocket Launchers.
  • How to get it: Complete the Destiny 2 Gjallarhorn quest as part of the Destiny 2 Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack.

Destiny 2 Graviton Lance

Destiny 2 exotic weapon graviton lance pulse rifle

(Image credit: Bungie)

A punchy, two-burst Pulse Rifle that also feels like a Scout Rifle. It's got great range and stability, but the fact that it causes enemies to explode and spawn Void projectiles makes it an excellent add-clear Exotic weapon.

  • Type: Pulse Rifle, Void damage
  • Exotic perks: The second shot of a burst deals high damage with no damage falloff, though recoil is high. Kills with this weapon cause enemy targets to detonate and spawn Void projectiles that track targets.
  • How to get it: Chance to drop from decrypted Exotic Engrams or could be sold by Xur.

Destiny 2 Outbreak Perfected

Destiny 2 exotic weapon outbreak perfected pulse rifle

(Image credit: Bungie)

Another Exotic Pulse Rifle, Outbreak Perfected is a highly versatile weapon that's also really easy to use. SIVA nanites created by this weapon help with killing weaker enemies and increase damage, which means Outbreak Perfected can even be good against bosses.

  • Type: Pulse Rifle, Kinetic damage
  • Exotic perks: Outbreak Perfected creates SIVA nanite swarms on rapid hits and precision kills. Outbreak Perfected deals more damage to enemies based on the number of SIVA nanites attached to them.
  • How to get it: Zero Hour Exotic mission reward.

Destiny 2 Sunshot

Destiny 2 exotic weapon sunshot hand cannon

(Image credit: Bungie)

Despite being an original Destiny 2 weapon, Sunshot is one of the best Exotic primary weapons available thanks to its synergy with Solar keywords. It's another great weapon for dealing with lots of weaker enemies thanks to its ability to cause explosions and deal Scorch damage.

  • Type: Hand Cannon, Solar damage
  • Exotic perks: Sunshot fires explosive rounds and highlights targets that take damage from it. Targets defeated with Sunshot explode with Solar Energy, scorching other nearby targets.
  • How to get it: Chance to drop from decrypted Exotic Engrams or could be sold by Xur.

Destiny 2 Witherhoard

Destiny 2 exotic weapon witherhoard grenade launcher

(Image credit: Bungie)

The blighting damage-over-time effects from direct hits with this grenade launcher and the pool of goop its shots leave behind make Witherhoard for a great secondary boss damage weapon – shoot a boss with a grenade to blight them then quickly switch to your heavy weapon while Witherhoard’s damage ticks away – it’s even better when you get its auto-loading catalyst too.

  • Type: Grenade Launcher, Kinetic damage, special ammo
  • Exotic perks: Projectiles fired by this weapon blight the target or nearby area on impact. Blighted targets take damage over time and blight the nearby area on death.
  • How to get it: Unlock it at the Monument to Lost Lights kiosk under Shadowkeep Exotics.

Destiny 2 Xenophage

Destiny 2 Exotic weapon Xenophage Machine Gun

(Image credit: Bungie)

Xenophage is a unique Machine Gun that slowly fires explosive rounds that hit like a truck. While they can't deal critical damage, the projectiles have almost no range falloff and are so big that it's quite hard to miss with them. All in all, it's a very consistent and easy-to-use Exotic weapon that works in a whole range of activities and loadouts.

  • Type: Machine Gun, Solar damage, heavy ammo
  • Exotic perks: Fires high-powered explosive ammunition.
  • How to get it: Complete the Destiny 2 Xenophage quest which is available in Destiny 2 Shadowkeep.

© GamesRadar+. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Will Sawyer
Guides Writer

Will Sawyer is a guides writer at GamesRadar+ who works with the rest of the guides team to give readers great information and advice on the best items, how to complete a particular challenge, or where to go in some of the biggest video games. Will joined the GameRadar+ team in August 2021 and has written about service titles, including Fortnite, Destiny 2, and Warzone, as well as some of the biggest releases like Halo Infinite, Elden Ring, and God of War Ragnarok.

With contributions from