Here are all the best Destiny 2 Exotic weapons from Year One, and if you're not sure what Destiny 2 Year One Legendary weapons to keep or to infuse, head to Page 2!
Why we love it: At a base level Sturm is just a great hand cannon. The extended barrel gives it a longer range than similar guns, and the extended mag lets you blast away for longer (although is countered by a slower reload). Energy weapon kills also boost its precision damage until you reload.
However, the real bonus here is that kills with Sturm will give you extra energy weapon ammo. But there's more: the quest to get Sturm involves using an energy weapon handgun called Drang. It's partnered with the exotic and will specifically reload it (and it alone) when you get kills with it. So if you have both equipped, a little judicious juggling will constantly keep both guns topped up. Drang, by the way, is a neat side-arm for the Crucible.
Why we love it: If there’s ever a gun to covet, this is the one. Play in a fireteam who are touting the King too, and you’ll be able to boost your damage - damage that can stack up to SIX times - which is incredible, let’s face it. You’ve also got Smallbore increasing your range and stability, with Tactical Mag also helping improve the latter. Reloading instantly after a kill will you give a brief period of invisibility, and Smooth Grip helps get that gun locked and ready quicker.
Why we love it: This Scout Rifle is a boon for anyone looking to boost their speed but remain just as powerful. You might be familiar with it from the original Destiny, but for those coming into Destiny 2 fresh, this is an Exotic with a focus on agility. Not only does it boost your sprint speed, but it also keeps your radar active while you're looking down the sights, meaning your prepared for surprises and quick enough to avoid them.
Why we love it: I’ve had an on/off thing with Hand Cannons since Destiny’s inaugural year, but I’m really enjoying my time with Sunshot. Not only does it hold eight rounds and fires 150 rounds per minute - making it reasonably nifty for a hand cannon - its perk Sunburn fires explosive rounds, whilst Sun Blast makes Solar enemies explode, dealing extra damage as they do so. Most enjoyable of all, Grip boosts handling, which means it’s easier than ever to pop those Cabal headshots. It’s also perfect for taking down Shanks with a single shot.
Why we love it: Graviton Lance is one of the first Exotics you’ll encounter, and if you like a Pulse Rifle with good range, this is the gun for you. The initial two bullets are super smooth, but every third carries the intrinsic (passive) perk Blackhole, which means it rips a hole in the timely-wimely space-time continuum to pack a mean punch at the expense of stability. Fitted Stock helps with your recoil and stability at the cost of speed, but keep your distance - which is easy given Hammer-Forged Rifling and Accurised Rounds both boost your range - and Cosmology means your enemies will explode on contact. Nice.
Why we love it: This Exotic Pulse Rifle is a monster in PvP. First off, it fires five-round bursts with considerable stability and RPM, meaning you can take down foes at range, fast. Even better, its Harsh Truth perk means that when allies in your Fireteam are killed you get instant health regeneration and increased movement speed, which is super-handy for revives or avenging your buddies in Crucible. You also get an Alloy Magazine, which boosts reload speed when the mag is empty, and Last Stand which further boosts weapon performance when you're the last living member of your Fireteam - perfect for staying alive in Strikes and Raids. On top of that... it looks pretty. Just look at it!
Why we love it: Just like the submachine gun, the Trace Rifle is all new. It’s not going to be much good to you in a brawl, but if you’re looking for something with a laser-focus to do serious DPS on a boss, you should give this a go - particularly as Longest Winter means the longer you aim at an enemy, the more damage you’ll do. It’s another Arc elemental, and your handling, magazine, and stability are all available to tweak. It was meant to be available as a pre-order bonus, but Guardians are finding he in the wild too.
The Wardcliff Coil
Why we love it: Ok, this Exotic Rocket Launcher can feel like a bit of a novelty, but it's a real crowd-clearer in PvE, and it's a cheap kill or two EVERY TIME in the Crucible. Because it fires a salvo of rockets (liberally pisses them in a wide radius, actually) you'll usually catch something or someone with any kind of semi-aimed volley. It looks great, sounds great, and because it automatically reloads on Heavy Ammo pick-up, you can use it in an emergency by simply switching and firing without too much aiming. Only one shot per Heavy Ammo pick-up in PvP, but you can clear an entire Fireteam with that single salvo...
Why we love it: We're loving Merciless for its awesome Intrinsic perk - Conserve Momentum. If you shoot an enemy without killing it, this perk actually increases your rate of fire until you get a kill. But it gets better. If you reload immediately after killing an enemy, Merciless increases damage output because of its Impetus trait. Both of those together make this weapon a boon for fighting a boss. Its other perks include improving recoil direction, aids stabilisation and extends the mag size. Phew.
Part of the reason we love Sweet Business is that its description simply reads, "I love my job". If you're the guy working at Bungie designing this weapon, we really don't blame you. But back to Destiny 2. Sweet Business is all about, well, getting down to business with high-caliber rounds for knocking back your enemies further, and increased hip fire accuracy.
Who wouldn't want an Exotic grenade launcher for blasting Strike bosses into oblivion or dissolving your fellow Guardians in the Crucible? Well, that's exactly what the Prospector is and it's got a few more perks to boot. It might look like something from the Wild West, but it's Intrinsic Perk allows you to shoot up to eight grenades at the same time, which will all explode at once when you release the trigger.
So those are our top picks right now... but what are yours? We'll be updating this feature every day to keep on top of all the best weapons as they appear.
Don't forget to check out page 2 for our favourite Legendary weapons.
Huge thanks to the Guardians of xXBigDaddyD and Romity459 for their help and screenshots!