After some smart changes from the original, PvP in Destiny 2 is really good now. A more balanced weapon meta, nerfed abilities across the board, and slight extensions to times-to-kill have created a competitive game that stands out among PC multiplayer shooters. That said, some guns still stand out from the pack - based on our console experiences, here are the weapons you'll want to track down to shine in Destiny 2's Crucible, Iron Banner, and Trials of the Nine.
Prefer shooting aliens to people? Check out the best PvE weapons in Destiny 2.
Uriel's Gift / The Number
Though there's a narrower range between the top and the bottom of the PvP meta in Destiny 2 than in the original, mid-impact auto rifles have emerged as one of the best weapon archetypes by the all-important metric of time-to-kill. You can identify these rifles by the 'precision frame' intrinsic perk. Any such guns are worth a second look: honourable mentions to Scathelocke and The Prosecutor, and Origin Story's Rampage perk makes it great for PvE. But in the Crucible, we reckon Uriel's Gift is the best of the lot for one reason: High Caliber Rounds.
This is probably the most desirable perk in PvP right now, and Uriel's Gift is the only mid-impact auto that has it. It will cause extra flinch to your opponent with each hit - so much, in fact, that it's almost impossible for them to win a one-on-one engagement once the first round strikes home.
Uriel's Gift can drop from Failsafe's reputation engrams on Nessus, or from general Legendary engrams at the Cryptarch.
The Future War Cult's auto rifle, The Number, is also worth a look. The effect of its Ricochet Rounds perk is basically useless but it does nudge the gun's stats up nicely, and its final perk causes the bottom half of its magazine to do bonus damage. That's handy in PvE, or if you can stand the anxiety of running around the Crucible with a part-empty mag. As a faction weapon, this can drop from Cayde's Stash treasure chests or FWC faction engrams.
MIDA Multi-Tool is one of the most-used guns in Destiny 2 PvP right now. As a scout rifle it has excellent range, it kills reasonably quickly, and most importantly, it has High Caliber Rounds. As if all that weren't enough (it is), its two unique perks will keep your radar active while aiming down sights and give you a movement speed boost, both of which are extremely useful in the Crucible.
Honestly, it's a little ridiculous, and MIDA is probably near the top of Bungie's nerf list. Moreover, since scouts and auto rifles complement each other fairly well and MIDA is a kinetic weapon, you can run it alongside Uriel's Gift for the ultimate try-hard combo.
Still need convincing? MIDA is a guaranteed drop from a fairly simple quest, making it one of the game's easiest Exotics to acquire. Click here for details.
Most sidearms suck in Destiny 2. Most Sidearms aren't Last Hope. It fires in a three-round burst and has good range, keeping its damage consistent at up to middle distances. Unlike the frantic semi-automatic fire of other sidearms, Last Hope's burst fire won't outpace your trigger action, meaning you can focus on your aim. What really pulls it together is its high stability, further boosted by the Zen Moment perk, which means the three-round burst won't kick off target.
Add it all up and it simply equates to a lot of easily directed damage. Keep focused on the opponent's head and don't try to snipe with it, and you'll be amazed how quickly Last Hope can melt enemies. The Vanguard's Last Dance sidearm has the same Omolon frame and a little extra range, but gives up some stability.
Last Hope can drop from Gunsmith, Nessus, and normal Legendary engrams.
A Single Clap
Team shooting is the dominant tactic in Destiny 2's Crucible - the focus on weapon and ability balance means that individual acts of heroism are less common than in the original, and times-to-kill are slightly longer. This means lots of team-based tugs of war based on chip damage from primary and energy weapons. In this context, rocket launchers are ideal for deleting a tightly-packed team, but I can't personally understand why sniper rifles aren't almost as popular. Here's why I think they might be about to make a comeback.
Though all sniper rifles can kill with a single headshot, the damage they do with a bodyshot varies according to their impact stat, which determines every gun's damage-per-bullet. With the Crucible so dominated by chip damage and team fights, high-impact snipers should be ideal for bodyshotting weakened enemies, who are everywhere.
Enter: A Single Clap. Key selling points are high impact, the option for a short-zoom scope, and the Explosive Rounds perk, which can spread some extra splash damage around those team fights. It also has a capacious magazine of five, so it's no slouch as a DPS option against bosses in PvE. It can drop from Gunsmith engrams.
Swords are the ideal noob-creamer in PvP. Players of a certain standard won't make the kind of stupid mistakes you're looking to punish, but you'd be amazed how easy it is to clean up on everyone else. Basic tips: don't charge down lanes into enemy fireteams, but flank them using Blink, the Hunter's dodge, and sliding. Hide behind corners and crouch a lot, since it makes you blip intermittently on the radar. Wait for them to come to you, then let rip.
But all swords are one-shot kills at the correct range, so what makes Unspoken Promise the best? The Relentless Strikes perk, which grants extra sword ammo if you land three hits quickly. What's a bit daft is that its uppercut move hits three times in one animation, so as long as you don't miss, it will refund its own ammo cost. This works even with only one swing left, so it potentially grants limitless ammo, in both PvP and PvE. Unspoken Promise can drop from Gunsmith engrams.