Skip to main content

The best Destiny 2 Exotics - 10 Exotic weapons everyone should use

Destiny 2
(Image credit: Bungie)

Choosing the best Destiny 2 Exotics can be somewhat tricky since some of them are acquired randomly from Exotic engrams. Fortunately for new players, many of the top-tier Exotics are tied to unique quests or specific activities, making them much easier to obtain. With that in mind, we've highlighted 10 incredible Exotic weapons that all players can earn without relying on RNG. The best Destiny 2 Exotics are always changing – as evidenced by how many of these Exotics are from Year 4 content – but none of these guns will ever let you down.  

Divinity 

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Bungie)

How to get it: Complete the Divinity Destiny 2 quest tied to the Garden of Salvation raid in the Destiny 2: Shadowkeep expansion.

Why you should use it: Trace rifles always have their own gimmick, and Divinity's is especially powerful. Holding its beam on enemies will trap them in an arc cage, and this cage not only increases the damage enemies take, anything that hits it (including swords and rockets) will deal critical damage, plus Divinity itself periodically deals a big chunk of damage to caged enemies. Divinity is also one of the strongest Overload options for dealing with Champions since a single zap can instantly stun. Divinity is versatile, powerful, and a must-have for heaps of team-based content.  

Xenophage 

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Bungie)

How to get it: Complete the Destiny 2 Xenophage quest which is also unlocked through the Destiny 2: Shadowkeep expansion. 

Why you should use it: Xenophage fires explosive rounds that hit like a truck and basically can't miss, making it the best machine gun for boss damage. It holds a ton of ammo, has a hefty magazine, and it's just incredibly consistent and comfy to use. It's arguably the best all-rounder in the entire game. From Champions to raid bosses to groups of orange-bars, there's virtually nothing a magazine of Xenophage can't chew through.  

The Lament 

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Bungie)

How to get it: Complete the Destiny 2 Lament quest unlocked through the Destiny 2: Beyond Light expansion.

Why you should use it: At some point, a designer at Bungie looked at swords and thought, "These are cool, but what if they were chainsaws?" and the Lament was the result of this thought. It's an Exotic sword with a special guard that revs its blade, dramatically increasing its damage and causing hits to heal you. Oh, and it deals anti-barrier damage, just because. If whatever you're fighting can be hit with a sword – like the mid-boss of the Deep Stone Crypt Raid – you want to hit it with Lament. It has the highest single-target damage of any weapon in the game, and its healing ability makes it a remarkably safe choice for Nightfalls.  

Witherhoard 

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Bungie)

How to get it: Buy it from the Exotic kiosk in the tower and unlock its catalyst by speaking to the gunsmith Banshee-44.

Why you should use it: Witherhoard fires poisonous rounds that can infect enemies directly to cause damage over time, or spawn pools of poison that deal damage in an area. These two damage sources can be stacked on a boss – infect them first then hit them with a puddle – and killing an infected enemy will also cause a pool to spawn. It's all AoE, all the time, in other words, which makes it very good. Its Exotic catalyst takes Witherhoard to the next level, though, giving it the Auto-Hoading Holster perk and turning it into a fire-and-forget source of powerful neutral damage. Witherhoard is good literally everywhere thanks to its excellent ammo economy, and you'll likely never get tired of using it.  

Anarchy 

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Bungie)

How to get it: Buy it from the Exotic kiosk using seals earned from current raids. It will take many, many raids to get enough seals, but it'll be worth it. 

Why you should use it: Think of Anarchy as Witherhoard's big brother. It's an arc heavy grenade launcher that can be used for passive single-target damage or wide-range AoE thanks to its lightning tether grenades. If you shoot down a barrage of four grenades, anything that walks through the resulting lighting square will get zapped. If you stick two grenades to a boss, it will take a ton of damage over time, freeing you up to swap to a special weapon like a sniper or slug shotgun. Anarchy also holds a lot of ammo, which makes it a strong choice for Grandmaster-level content. It's free damage and area control in one Exotic, making it one of the best raid Exotics and best general Exotics of all time.  

Eriana's Vow 

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Bungie)

How to get it: Buy it from the Exotic kiosk in the Tower and unlock its catalyst by speaking to the gunsmith Banshee-44.

Why you should use it: Eriana's Vow is one of the most reliable and versatile weapons around. It's a hand cannon that uses special ammo, so think of it as a high-capacity sniper with superb ammo efficiency. Its special perk deals bonus critical damage as long as you always hit headshots or shoot shields, plus it does bonus shield damage on top of being an anti-barrier weapon. Its Exotic catalyst ups its magazine from six to nine rounds and adds in Auto-Loading Holster, making it much easier to pull it out when you need to pop a Champion shield or just pop some heads. Eriana's Vow is another mainstay choice for high-end content with lots of Champions, especially Nightfalls and Lost Sectors, and it's a downright essential Exotic to have. 

Izanagi's Burden 

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Bungie)

How to get it: Buy it from the Exotic kiosk in the Tower, and get its catalyst as a random common drop from miscellaneous activities. 

Why you should use it: After a mix of buffs and nerfs, Izanagi's Burden is still just plain good. It's a sniper rifle that can compress its four-round magazine into a single powerful shot, and its catalyst makes that one shot even more devastating. This makes it great for bursting down Champions, and even as a special weapon, Izanagi's Burden is competitive as a boss DPS option. The fact that it is a special weapon also makes Special Ammo Finisher a strong mod for any build running this sniper, and that makes it incredibly reliable in challenging content.  

Ticuu's Divination  

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Bungie)

How to get it: Purchase or level the Season 13 season pass, or buy it from the Exotic kiosk in the future. Talk to Banshee-44 to get its Exotic catalyst.

Why you should use it: Ticuu's Divination is a bow in name only. It plays more like a tracking grenade launcher. Basically, you hip-fire arrows to prime enemies with a debuff, and then hit primed enemies with precision shots to trigger an explosion. Any explosions triggered this way can also trigger more explosions, so you can see how this weapon snowballs. The best part is that any Ticuu's Divination can prime or detonate shots, so if you have two or three of these in your team, you can have one person spam hip-fire arrows while everyone else constantly detonates them. This combo is extremely powerful against Champions and large groups of enemies, especially for a primary weapon, and it's well worth owning Ticuu's Divination just for that.  

Bad Juju 

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Bungie)

How to get it: Buy it from the Exotic kiosk in the Tower and get its catalyst as a random common drop. 

Why you should use it: It's often difficult to justify an Exotic primary weapon, but Bad Juju really is the whole package. Its unique perk refills the magazine and generates bonus Super energy after every kill, builds a stacking buff that increases weapon damage, and it allows for full-auto fire, which is mighty comfy on a high-RPM pulse rifle like this one. That's basically Full-Auto, Thresh, Rampage, and Subsistence in one perk. Its Exotic catalyst makes it easier to build stacks of its damage buff, String of Curses, which is just the cherry on top. Bad Juju is one of the best weapons for killing red-bar enemies, and unlike The Huckleberry – another great choice – you can guarantee it just by visiting the Exotic kiosk. 

Dead Man's Tale  

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Bungie)

How to get it: Complete the Destiny 2 Dead Man's Tale Exotic quest, and unlock its catalyst by clearing the hard version.

Why you should use it: The Destiny universe technically has weapon manufacturers, but they're often overlooked since guns kind of blend together. That said, Tex Mechanica, the creators of icons like The Last Word, Chaperone, and now Dead Man's Tale are unforgettable. Dead Man's Tale is a 120 RPM semi-auto scout rifle that gains precision damage and reload speed every time you land a headshot, but it really takes off once you get its Exotic catalyst. This thing entirely removes hip-fire accuracy penalties and boosts the RPM to 150 when hip-firing, letting you land pin-point headshots from the hip at scout rifle range. Dead Man's Tale is good in basically all content, both PvE and PvP, and it delivers one of the most enjoyable and satisfying weapon fantasies in Destiny 2.  

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.