Destiny 2 Exotics guide: all the golden weapons and armour in the game | PCGamesN

Destiny 2 Exotics guide: all the golden weapons and armour in the game

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Update, April 25: We've added the Warmind Exotics.

Update, December 6: We've added the Curse of Osiris Exotics. 

Exotics are Destiny’s – and now the sequel’s – most sought-after loot. They're harder to get, they look sexier, and they have unique perks that will change your whole playstyle (or are just good fun). Here is every exotic weapon and armour piece in Destiny 2 right now, along with advice on how to get them, and our thoughts about whether they're any good.

Looking for something a little more affordable? Try our Destiny 2 legendary weapons guide

While Legendary gear is the meat of your build, Exotics are the spice. Their perks shake things up so dramatically that you can only have one Exotic weapon or armour piece equipped at a time, for the sake of balance (or sanity). Some are so impactful that they should be considered the linchpin of your build, alongside your subclass tree.

In Destiny 2, Exotic weapons have only one row of fixed perks. Of these, two are unique to each gun, and generally work together to define its gimmick. The first is the intrinsic (the gold one on the left), and the second is the 'trait', which is the second-to-last, reading from left to right.

Like Legendaries, Exotics have buttons for infusion and weapon mods, but they don't take shaders. Instead, they can be redecorated with ornament skins available from Eververse.

Destiny 2: Warmind Exotic weapons

These are all the new golden guns added in Destiny 2's second DLC.

Suros Regime

Shortly after the original Destiny launched, auto rifles were at the top of the Crucible meta, and Suros Regime was all the rage. After a savage auto rifle nerf, it never again shone quite so brightly, which is a shame because it always felt great to use and looked gorgeous.

Its Suros Legacy perk caused bonus damage with the bottom half of each magazine and gave a chance to return health with each kill, offering crucial survivability in PvP. It also had the choice of two firing modes: one fired slower but did more damage when aiming down sights, the other fired faster as you kept the trigger pulled. It looks like the sequel's version shares the same icons as many of those perks, but who's to say what they'll do this time around.

The Huckleberry

The Huckleberry is all-new to Destiny 2 in Warmind, and bolsters Tex Mechanica's pretty sparse range of weapons.

This thing

Destiny 2 Warmind Exotic rifle

We haven't seen a UI screen for it yet, like we have with everything else so far, but two new Exotic weapons is clearly too few and there is no way this beast is going to be Legendary. It looks like it's made with Warmind tech and is reminiscent of Sleeper Simulant - the super-cool laser/railgun thing from the original Destiny's Taken King expansion. It's clearly not a reissue of that, as it looks very different, but could it be an auto rifle made with similar tech? We're down for that. Loving the Warmind armour, too.

Destiny 2: Warmind Exotic Armour

Curse of Osiris reintroduces several Exotic armour pieces from the original game, as well as three new Aeon-themed gloves, one for each class, which confer more powerful benefits to nearby allies if they're wearing one of their own. Beat the Osiris storyline and speak with Ikora in the Tower to get yours for free.

Warmind Titan Exotics 

  • Armamentarium (chest piece) - one of the stronger pieces of Titan armour in the original Destiny (though we still miss you, Ruin Wings), it's nice to see The Armamentarium back, even if it's missing a definite article. In the last game, it simply granted a second grenade charge - universally useful. We don't yet know what its perks in the sequel will be.
  • Ashen Wake (gauntlets) - these are all-new to Warmind, so we can't yet guess at what they'll do. Their lore text references the Sunbreakers, so that (and their name) hints at their intended subclass.
  • Eternal Warrior (helmet) - another Exotic returns from the original Destiny, but no-one except fashion players will be too excited to see Eternal Warrior back. It looks great, but it was always a bit rubbish, simply granting a second (not very good) perk on Fist of Havoc. Since perk customisation isn't a thing any more, expect Eternal Warrior to be very different this time round.
  • Wormgod Caress (gauntlets) - a Hive-themed Exotic that isn't horribly ugly! These gauntlets are new in Warmind and have lore text quoting Eris Morn. Is there a chance the gloomy Warlock could be returning?

Warmind Warlock Exotics

  • Apotheosis Veil (helmet) - a silly-looking and mediocre Exotic returns from Destiny 1. This used to refresh your health, melee, and grenade when casting your Super, but we don't yet know what it'll do in the sequel.
  • Claws of Ahamkara (gauntlets) - another returning Exotic, but neither silly not mediocre this time. Claws of Ahamkara used to grant an additional charge for all Warlock melees.
  • Sanguine Alchemy (chest piece) - a very handsome chest piece debuting in Warmind. It's worth noting that the original Destiny had a chest called Alchemist's Raiment, which granted Glimmer when you collected primary ammo and recharged your abilities with orbs when your Super was full, but we've no idea what this new item does yet.
  • The Oculus Xol (helmet) - looking like a Khepri's Horn for Warlocks, Oculus Xol is as crustily ugly as all Hive-inspired armour tends to be. Its lore text is a quotation by Eris Morn - interesting - talking about how the Hive see.

Warmind Hunter Exotics

  • Frost-EE5 (boots) - a fan-favourite in the original game, Frost-EE5 enabled a tighter turn radius and faster grenade and melee cooldowns when sprinting, making agile Hunters feel more so.
  • Ophidia Spathe (chest piece) - new to Warmind. This chest piece's lore and appearance are inspired by dualism, and make similar serpentine references as the Warlock's Ophidian Aspect gloves, which benefit melee range and weapon ready/reload speeds. We should stress that we don't know its perks yet, though.
  • Sealed Ahamkara Grasps (gauntlets) - Ahamkara bones sealed in silver, these gloves not only looked cool in the original Destiny, they also granted an extra melee charge, making for a lethal pairing with Nightstalker's smoke bombs.
  • Wormhusk Crown (helmet) - another new Exotic in Warmind with a Hive theme. Perks currently unknown.

Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris Exotic weapons

These are all the new golden guns added in Destiny 2's first DLC.

Prometheus Lens

  • Intrinsic perk: Prismatic Inferno: fires a solar trace beam that generates a damaging heat field that grows while the weapon continues to fire.
  • Trait: kills with this weapon return a fraction of the ammo used to the magazine, extending the beam's duration.

Coldheart's beam grows more powerful the longer it's trained on one opponent, making it excellent for single-target DPS. By contrast, Prometheus Lens is clearly designed for add control: that heat field should let you throw about some splash damage, while your uptime increases with kills. Squashing adds is the easier of the two jobs, so Coldheart is probably more useful, but Prometheus Lens should come in handy in plenty of situations. The Castellum and Royal Pools leap to mind.


  • Intrinsic perk: Banned Weapon: This weapon fires a 3-round burst.
  • Trait: Kills with this weapon heal the wielder. Precision kills also refill the magazine.

Crimson pays homage to Red Death, a pulse rifle from the original Destiny, and it may prove to be the best gun in the game. Its ability to keep you alive is a huge boon in both game modes, but especially in the Crucible, where team shooting and chip damage rules all. Red Death got a stability nerf to compensate for this in the first game, but Crimson's initial stability and range stats look terrific. Its potential to auto-reload also obviates a common weakness of hand cannons, and puts it up with Sunshot as an add control tool in PvE. Combine this with the strength of hand cannons on PC, and I think we'll be seeing a lot of Crimson. In fact, if it really is as good as it seems, I'd guess we're looking at another Reddit outburst followed by a nerf into the ground. Circle of life.


  • Intrinsic perk: Unplanned Reprieve: Fusion projectiles attach and detonate with a delayed Void blast.
  • Trait: Multikills with this weapon immediately reload your equipped Kinetic and Energy weapons from reserves.

Returning from the original game's Taken King expansion, Telesto is a fusion rifle that fires sticky Void bombs, which will detonate after a short delay. This unique behaviour is fun to play with for a while, and the instant reload from multikills adds a little utility, but it's more of a novelty than an optimal choice for any PvE encounters. You can probably forget about it in the Crucible: charge time is on the higher side of medium, which isn't ideal given the explosion delay. 

The Jade Rabbit

  • Intrinsic perk: The Fate of all Fools: Chain body shots to gain bonus damage on your next precision shot and return ammo to the mag.
  • Barrel: Polygonal rifling: increases stability.
  • Magazine: Armour-piercing Rounds: rounds cause extra damage to combatants' shields and overpenetrate targets. Slightly increases range.
  • Trait: Zen Moment: Causing damage with this weapon increases its stability.

The Jade Rabbit was a scout rifle that was exclusive to PlayStation systems in Destiny 1, but now everyone gets a go. Its stability and body shot damage bonuses make it a little more forgiving if your aim isn't the best, and in the original, meant that missing the odd headshot detracted less from the optimal time-to-kill. According to this review by YouTuber MTashed, though, that's no longer true. That's good news for balance, but it does make it hard to see what Jade Rabbit does that's special. Some might say that's the story of Destiny 2's weapon changes in microcosm.

The Colony

  • Intrinsic perk: Insectoid Robot Grenades: fires insectoid robot grenades that chase targets and explode in close proximity.
  • Trait: Serve the Colony: insectoid robot grenades quickly repopulate the magazine from reserves while the Colony is unequipped.

As seen in the Osiris loot trailer, The Colony's grenades are delivered by robotic insects that will track down enemies. We've no idea how this will perform until we get our hands on it for some testing, but hopefully the insects' homing ability will address the inconsistency of grenade launchers, at least part of which is due to their low accuracy and splash damage. The time it takes for them to reach their target is an obvious concern in the Crucible, but could be balanced by having them do enough damage to one-shot an opponent.

Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris Exotic Armour

Curse of Osiris reintroduces several Exotic armour pieces from the original game, as well as three new Aeon-themed gloves, one for each class, which confer more powerful benefits to nearby allies if they're wearing one of their own. Beat the Osiris storyline and speak with Ikora in the Tower to get yours for free.

Curse of Osiris Titan Exotics 

  • Aeon Safe (gauntlets) - summoning a barricade grants the following to nearby Aeon Cult allies: Grenade energy to Warlocks; Barricade energy to Titans; Dodge energy to Hunters. Other allies receive a fraction of the shared energy.
  • Khepri's Horn (helmet) - Solar damage kills recharge your Barricade, which unleashes a blast of Solar energy when summoned.
  • Helm of Saint-14 (helmet) - your Ward of Dawn blinds enemies that enter it. Guarding with Sentinel Shield temporarily blinds nearby enemies. 
  • Mk. 44 Stand Asides (boots) - grants an overshield when sprinting at full health with Seismic Strike, Hammer Strike, or Shield Bash equipped. Hits with these abilities recharge a portion of your melee energy.

Curse of Osiris Warlock Exotics

  • Aeon Soul (gauntlets) - throwing grenades grants the following to nearby Aeon Cult allies: Grenade energy to Warlocks; Barricade energy to Titans; Dodge energy to Hunters. Other allies receive a fraction of the shared energy.
  • Vesper of Radius (chest piece) - Rifts release an Arc shockwave when cast. Rift energy recharges faster when you are surrounded by enemies.
  • Ophidian Aspect (gauntlets) - weapons ready and reload very quickly. Melee range is extended.
  • The Stag (helmet) - grants Rift energy when you are critically wounded. On your death, creates a brief healing rift on your corpse.

Curse of Osiris Hunter Exotics

  • Aeon Swift (gauntlets) - dodging grants the following to nearby Aeon Cult allies: Grenade energy to Warlocks; Barricade energy to Titans; Dodge energy to Hunters. Other allies receive a fraction of the shared energy.
  • Gemini Jester (boots) - dodging disorients nearby enemies and temporarily removes their radars.
  • Shinobu's Vow (gauntlets) - improves Skip Grenade, and you gain an additional Skip Grenade charge.
  • Graviton Forfeit (helmet) - increases the duration of any invisibility effects. Your melee recharges faster while you are invisible.

Destiny 2 Exotic kinetic weapons

MIDA Multi-Tool

  • Intrinsic perk: Mida Multi-Tool: this weapon boosts movement speed.
  • Barrel: Corkscrew Rifling: slightly increases range, stability, and handling speed.
  • Magazine: High-Caliber Rounds: shots from this weapon knock the target back farther. Slightly increases range.
  • Trait: MIDA Radar: radar stays active while aiming down sights.
  • Stock: Hand-Laid Stock: this weapon is optimised for recoil control. Increases stability.

MIDA Multi-Tool grants additional benefits when the Legendary SMG MIDA Mini-Tool is equipped in your energy weapon slot. Both are available via the EDZ's world quest - check out our Exotic weapon quest guide for details.

Should you bother? Absolutely. Not only is MIDA one of the easier weapon quests, it's also one of the best Exotics in the game overall. It has a good damage profile, its speed boost perk affects your sprint speed (which the mobility stat doesn't), and it's enjoyable to shoot. Most importantly, it has high-caliber rounds. These can stunlock enemies in PvE, and cause so much flinch in PvP that one hit is all it'll take for your opponent to miss their following shots. The perpetual radar is also very handy in the Crucible. 

Honestly, we wouldn't be surprised if MIDA is nerfed soon. We just hope it'll make it to the PC launch.

Rat King

  • Intrinsic perk: Rat Pack: this weapon becomes stronger when nearby fireteam members also have it equipped. Stacks up to six times.
  • Barrel: Smallbore: slightly increases range and stability.
  • Magazine: Tactical Mag: slightly increases stability, reload speed, and mag size.
  • Trait: Vermin: reloading immediately after a kill grants a brief period of invisibility.
  • Grip: Smooth Grip: slightly increases stability and handling speed.

Now this is an Exotic. That Rat Pack gets six stacks means it unleashes its true power in the raid - we wonder if any encounters there have been designed around invisibility? Even if not, we can see ourselves getting a lot of use out of Rat King in PvE more generally. Need some breathing room? Quickly smoke any old mob, reload, and run somewhere to recover.


Sturm grants additional benefits when the Legendary sidearm Drang is equipped in your energy weapon slot. 

  • Intrinsic perk: Accomplice: kills with this weapon fill the magazine of the equipped energy weapon from reserves.
  • Barrel: Extended Barrel: increases range, decreases handling speed.
  • Magazine: Extended Mag: greatly increases magazine size, decreases reload speed.
  • Trait: Storm and Stress: kills with the sidearm Drang grant bonus precision damage until the next reload.
  • Grip: Combat Grip: this weapon causes much less vertical recoil.

So kills with Drang boost Sturm's precision damage, and kills with Sturm refill Drang's magazine so you never need to lose the damage buff. Sounds interesting, and potentially very powerful, depending on how big that buff is and how long it lasts. Also, Sturm looks like Han Solo's DL-44 blaster from Star Wars, which we enjoy.

Fun trivia: 'Strum und Drang', conventionally translated to 'Storm and Stress' (though a more literal translation of 'drang' would be 'urge' or 'drive'), was a German literary movement. In response to the perceived constraints of Enlightenment rationalism, it celebrated individual subjectivity and extremes of emotion.

Sweet Business

Is this the best-named weapon in gaming history? Up there with Thunderfury, anyway. Sweet Business is technically an auto rifle, but clearly the correct word for it is 'minigun'. It has 99 rounds per magazine and fires 300 per minute.

  • Intrinsic perk: Payday: grants a larger magazine and increased accuracy when firing from the hip.
  • Barrel: Polygonal Rifling: increases stability.
  • Magazine: High-Caliber Rounds: shots from this weapon knock the target back farther. Slightly increases range.
  • Trait: Business Time: holding down the trigger boosts this weapon's damage and rate of fire, and automatically loads ammo pickups into the magazine.
  • Stock: Composite Stock: slightly increases stability and handling speed.

There's no overheat mechanic on Sweet Business, as in some other gaming miniguns, so its two perks together mean you can spam out damage indefinitely if you can pick up enough ammo, or if you double-tap crouch behind a Titan's rally barricade in what will surely become a leading PvE DPS tactic. Its range doesn't look great, but this'll be awesome for putting the hurt on bosses if they're close enough.

Vigilance Wing

  • Intrinsic perk: Harsh Truths: fires a five-round burst. When a nearby ally is killed, gain health regeneration and increased movement speed.
  • Barrel: Corkscrew Rifling: slightly increases range, stability, and handling speed.
  • Magazine: Alloy Magazine: faster reloads when mag is empty (gameplay shows its magazine size is 50).
  • Trait: Last Stand: improved weapon performance when the wielder is the last living member of a fireteam.
  • Stock: Composite Stock: slightly increases stability and handling speed.

This is a pulse rifle with a golden aesthetic that calls to mind the Trials of Osiris, and it's been pretty effective for us in the Crucible so far; its unique damage profile enables consistent three-burst kills, even if you don't always land your headshots. A little sight travel is inevitable with the five-round burst, but stability and recoil direction are good enough that this is only an issue at longer ranges. In PvE it's fine, but doesn't really offer enough value to command your Exotic slot over the big hitters. 

The Harsh Truths perk has a surprisingly large activation radius, so it should trigger often, especially as sticking to your team is such a dominant tactic in PvP these days. However, much like the STAG helmet from the original Destiny, you never want to be in a situation where Last Stand is going to trigger, so that's less of a selling point and more of a bonus. Of no less importance: look how pretty it is.

Destiny 2 Exotic energy weapons


  • Intrinsic perk: Cold Fusion: this weapon shoots a steady cold fusion-powered laser.
  • Barrel: Extended Barrel: increases ranges, decreases handling speed.
  • Magazine: Enhanced Battery: increases magazine size.
  • Trait: Longest Winter: Coldheart's laser does exponentially more damage the longer it remains on a target.
  • Stock: Hand-Laid Stock: increases stability.

This is exciting - Coldheart is a brand new weapon type that Bungie are calling a 'trace rifle.' Made by the high-tech tinkerers at the Omolon weapons foundry, Coldheart is powered by an energy-laced liquid that also doubles as a coolant. The gun's valves pump that liquid throughout its innards, much like a heart.

As Destiny 2's first trace rifle, Coldheart fires a constant stream of energy that designer Jon Weisnewski says will be great for single-target DPS, if you can keep it centred on the target's weak spots. It does Arc elemental damage, and hence will be equipped in your energy slot.

It looks great, but there's a catch: it's pre-order exclusive until December 5, 2017, at which point it'll be added to the regular game for all players. Check out some gameplay and hear about the design philosophy in the IGN First video in which it was announced.

Fighting Lion

Fighting Lion is a grenade launcher that equips in the energy weapon slot, and deals Void damage.

  • Intrinsic perk: Delayed Gratification: grenade projectiles will bounce off surfaces. Hold the trigger to fire, and release to detonate.
  • Barrel: Countermass: greatly controls recoil, increases stability and handling speed.
  • Magazine: Implosion Rounds: increases projectile speed and stability, but decreases blast radius.
  • Trait: Thin the Herd: direct hits with this weapon do more damage to shielded enemies. Rapid kills against grenade-damaged enemies will refill the magazine.
  • Stock: Short-Action Stock: greatly increases handling speed.

If you think Fighting Lion is a cheeky way to get two power weapons, think again: its damage is so much less than a proper grenade launcher, and its blast radius so feeble, that this is basically the worst Exotic in the game right now.

The design is interesting enough: prime shielded enemies with this, switch to another weapon to finish them off, switch back to your freshly-reloaded Fighting Lion, and repeat for a reliable cycle of damage. It just doesn't work out that way in practice - without more damage, or possibly a bigger splash to prime more enemies, this thing is approaching useless.

Graviton Lance

Graviton Lance is a pulse rifle that deals Void damage.

  • Intrinsic perk: Black Hole: the third round in a burst rips a hole through spacetime, doing high damage and recoil with no falloff.
  • Barrel: Hammer-Forged Rifling: increases range.
  • Magazine: Accurised Rounds: increases range.
  • Trait: Cosmology: kills with this weapon cause enemy targets to detonate.
  • Stock: Fitted Stock: increases stability and improves recoil direction. Slightly decreases handling speed.

With range-boosting perks and no damage falloff on the Black Hole bullet, this is one to bring when you want to keep enemies at a distance. Explosions from Cosmology will spread splash damage around.

It feels great to shoot and looks lush, but so much of each burst's damage is piled into that third bullet that if it misses you may as well have not bothered pulling the trigger at all. So it takes some getting used to - you have to learn to anticipate the sudden kick on the last round so that it lands consistently. We're not saying it's bad, but there are probably better picks for your Exotic slot.

Hard Light

  • Intrinsic perk: Volatile Light: rounds fired from this weapon have no damage falloff, overpenetrate targets, and ricochet off hard surfaces.
  • Barrel: Polygonal Rifling: increases stability.
  • Magazine: Alloy Magazine: faster reloads when mag is empty.
  • Trait: Arc Core/Solar Core/Void Core: in a rare example of a selectable trait, you can choose the elemental damage type Hard Light deals.
  • Stock: Composite Stock: slightly increases stability, slightly increases handling speed.

Hard Light returns from the original Destiny, where it was never too popular as it didn't do enough to demand your Exotic slot. Customisable elemental damage is new for Destiny 2, though, and combines with high stability and no damage falloff to make it a tempting prospect in PvE.

In practice, it's still a little disappointing. You have to open your menu to switch elements, which is too laborious to be much help with the rotating element modifiers in Nightfall strikes. More seriously, your screen will shake horribly whenever you fire it. This makes it painful to use and harder to keep on-target than its high stability would suggest.


Riskrunner is an Exotic submachine gun that deals Arc damage.

  • Intrinsic perk: Arc Conductor: increases weapon power when you receive Arc damage.
  • Barrel: Arrowhead Break: greatly controls recoil, increases handling speed.
  • Magazine: Extended Mag: greatly increases magazine size, decreases reload speed.
  • Trait: Superconductor: when Arc Conductor is active, shots fired have a chance to become chain lightning, and to return ammo.
  • Stock: Short-Action Stock: greatly increases handling speed.

This is as good as it sounds whenever you're facing a lot of Arc attacks - it can quite literally shoot indefinitely in such situations. Coupled with chain lightning to spread all that damage around, and it's a dream for mopping up adds. However, in PvP and outside of those situations, it's a fairly mediocre SMG. Nice to have, but you really want something more consistent.

Skyburner's Oath

We get to use one of the Cabal's guns against them - here's hoping it's more effective in our hands than theirs. This is a scout rifle dealing Solar damage.

  • Intrinsic perk: Slug Rifle: this weapon fires Solar slugs that get stronger when aiming down sights.
  • Barrel: Extended Barrel: increases range, decreases handling speed.
  • Magazine: Extended Mag: greatly increases magazine size, decreases reload speed.
  • Trait: For the Empire: this weapon is full auto, does extra damage to Cabal, and penetrates Phalanx shields.
  • Stock: Short-Action Stock: greatly increases handling speed.

Definitely one of the better Exotic weapons. Obviously, it shines against Cabal, and gives a handy solution to those annoying Phalanxes. Its low fire rate and reasonable stability means it can be fired on full auto without too much trouble, especially if you aim down sights, which reduces its fire rate further. In the raid, it competes with Coldheart for your energy weapon slot, but can be very helpful for sweeping up Cabal adds.


Sunshot is a hand cannon dealing Solar damage.

  • Intrinsic perk: Sunburn: Sunshot fires explosive rounds, and highlights enemies it damages.
  • Barrel: Chambered Compensator: sincreases stability, recoil, and direction. Slightly decreases handling speed.
  • Magazine: Accurised Rounds: increases range.
  • Trait: Sun Blast: causes killed enemies to explode with Solar energy.
  • Grip: Textured Grip: greatly increases handling speed, slightly decreases stability.

Welcome to arguably the best Exotic in the game for general purpose PvE use. Sunshot's explosive rounds, and especially the explosions caused by dead enemies, are much stronger than you might imagine. Together they add up to heaps of splash damage that can make add-clearance a breeze. Weak mobs, like Hive Thrall and Cabal Hounds, are wiped clean from this world in just a couple of rounds.

Magazine size isn't great, but reload speed is fast enough to give plenty of uptime nonetheless. Matt’s quite a big fan of this one, as you’ll read in his PC hands-on preview. There are better DPS options against bosses, and it kinda sucks in the Crucible, but otherwise this is one of the best weapons in the game right now.

Destiny 2 Exotic power weapons


  • Intrinsic perk: Personal Assistant: aim at an enemy to view its health and other critical information on the scope.
  • Barrel: Extended Barrel: increases range, decreases handling speed.
  • Magazine: Extended Mag: greatly increases magazine size, decreases reload speed.
  • Trait: Target Acquired: when Personal Assistant is active, this weapon has better target acquisiton and deals more precision damage.
  • Stock: Short-Action Stock: greatly increases handling speed.

This is an Arc sniper rifle, and a pretty dull one compared to the great Exotic sniper rifles of the original - Ice Breaker, Black Spindle, Zen Meteor... how we miss you.

We haven't had a chance to test it yet, so, it might be more useful than it is exciting. Depending on the boost to precision damage, it might be a good DPS option against bosses, and depending on the boost to target acquisition (which means aim assist), it might be a good option in PvP. 


Merciless is an Exotic fusion rifle that deals Solar damage.

  • Intrinsic perk: Conserve Momentum: non-lethal hits with projectiles make this weapon charge faster until its wielder gets a kill.
  • Barrel: Chambered Compensator: increases stability and recoil direction. Slightly decreases handling speed.
  • Magazine: Extended Mag: greatly increases magazine size, decreases reload speed.
  • Trait: Impetus: reloading immediately after a kill increases weapon damage for a short time.
  • Stock: Fitted Stock: increases stability and improves recoil direction. Slightly decreases handling speed.

Gjallarhorn was an Exotic rocket launcher in the first Destiny, which surfaced as the must-have weapon for PvE because of each warhead's homing cluster bombs, which did almost as much damage as the initial explosion.

If any launch Exotic in Destiny 2 is the next Gjallarhorn, it's Merciless. Non-lethal hits will cause the next one to charge faster, and if you don't get a kill at all, each blast charges almost immediately by the end of the magazine. This means crushing DPS against bosses. The only downside is its limited reserve ammo, which means your second magazine is only six bursts, for a max of 14 rounds in total. Still, those 14 rounds fill most of the raid's damage phases pretty neatly, almost as if by design.

Despite its rather bland looks - I'm constantly praying for an ornament in every Bright Engram - Merciless should be top of your Xur shopping list, or your RNGesus wish list.

Legend of Acrius

Legend of Acrius is a big, heavy shotgun that deals Arc damage.

  • Intrinsic perk: Shock Blast: this weapon fires blasts of high-damage Arc energy that overpenetrate enemies.
  • Barrel: Full Bore: greatly increases range. Decreases stability and handling speed.
  • Magazine: Accurised Rounds: increases range.
  • Trait: Long March: detect enemies on your radar from farther away.
  • Stock: Fitted Stock: increases stability and improves recoil direction. Slightly decreases handling speed.

A long-range shotgun with a longer-ranged radar? It's like Bungie designed a gun to remind everyone why the changes to power ammo and weapon slots needed to happen. Like the original's Felwinter's Lie and Matador, this is a beast in the Crucible, where it can one-shot enemy Guardians even in their Super at alarming distances. 

Legend of Acrius is obtained through a quest, which is tied to the raid (see our Exotic quest guide for the steps). Amusingly though, it's a terrible choice to actually take into the Leviathan or in PvE more generally, thanks to its poor handling, reload speed, reserve ammo, and magazine size (you get six rounds at max, and only two in the chamber). Also, though its range is maxed out, that's only by shotgun standards, so it won't even reach Calus. This is a Crucible monster, but leave it at home elsewhere.

The Prospector

The Prospector is an Arc-elemental grenade launcher and one of the only weapons in Destiny 2 so far made by the Western-themed Tex Mechanica foundry.

  • Intrinsic perk: Excavation: hold the trigger to fire grenades. Release to detonate all live grenades simultaneously.
  • Barrel: Volatile Launch: greatly increases blast radius, slightly decreases handling speed and projectile speed.
  • Magazine: Augmented Drum: greatly increases magazine size, greatly decreases reload speed.
  • Trait: Full Auto Trigger System: holding down the trigger will fire this weapon at full auto.
  • Stock: Hand-Laid Stock: increases stability.

Blast radius is a prize stat on rocket launchers and grenade launchers - it lets you mop up more adds in PvE and makes it harder for opponents to escape their doom in PvP. The Prospector doesn't have a large blast radius. It could throw out decent damage with a magazine of eight and fully automatic fire, but then there's that agonising reload speed. The ability to delay detonation is interesting, but hard to get too much value out of in practice. We're not convinced, to be honest.

Tractor Cannon

  • Intrinsic perk: Repulsor Force: this weapon fires a powerful impulse to push enemies away.
  • Barrel: Chambered Compensator: sincreases stability, recoil, and direction. Slightly decreases handling speed.
  • Magazine: Particle Repeater: increases stability.
  • Trait: The Scientific Method: damaging an opponent temporarily increases speed and handling.
  • Stock: Composite Stock: slightly increases stability and handling speed.

Tractor Cannon is fun. It's not remotely competitive in any game mode - having had its damage heinously nerfed to pay for its knockback effect - but it's fun. If you like being annoying, you can boop enemies off cliffs in the Crucible, or into walls for some bonus physics damage. That's if they don't kill you first, because even at point blank range, Tractor Cannon can't score one-shot kills in PvP, and it's just as toothless in PvE. This is one for messing about, not winning stuff.

The Wardcliff Coil

Fun story: the UI icon for the Wardcliff Coil was first spotted in the database for the original Destiny's Taken King expansion, when it was affectionately dubbed the rocket microphone (or similar). It resurfaced after the Destiny 2 reveal, when its unique perks were prefixed with the word 'dubious', which led to YouTuber PlayerUnknown naming it 'Dubious Volley'. Everyone loved that until Luke Smith was like "nah" and told us it's actually called the Wardcliff Coil. Oh well.

  • Intrinsic perk: Mad Scientist: this weapon fires a volley of rockets.
  • Barrel: Volatile Launchgreatly increased blast radius, slightly decreased handling and projectile speeds.
  • Magazine: Extended Mag: greatly increased magazine size, greatly reduced reload speed.
  • Trait: Mechanised Autoloader: automatically reloads on ammo pickup.
  • Stock: Composite Stock: slightly increases stability and handling speed.

Despite what the perks suggest, Wardcliff Coil has, like other rocket launchers, only a single-round magazine. Its ability to instantly reload itself when picking up power ammo compensates somewhat for this, especially if you're running about. Then there's the eight-shot volley: the mini-rockets will seek targets by themselves and their tracking range is limited, so results can be unpredictable, but each pull of the trigger undoubtedly packs far more damage than that of a conventional rocket launcher. 

It's great for sweeping up mobs - even shielded ones - but it struggles with DPS duties against bosses since you need to be close enough to lock on, and mobile enough to keep refilling the chamber. There are better choices for the raid, but don't forget it entirely. Consider this: it's cool.

Destiny 2 Exotic armour

Many more armour pieces than weapons return from the original Destiny. Where the leak hasn't given specific details, we've filled in the blanks based on what they were like in the first game.

Titan Exotic armour

  • Insurmountable Skullfort (helmet) - kills with Arc melee abilities trigger health regeneration, and restore melee energy.
  • Mask of the Quiet One (helmet) - grants ability energy when damaged, and health regeneration when inflicting Void damage.
  • ACD/0 Feedback Fence (gloves) - melee kill build up explosive energy. Getting hit by an enemy melee attack unleashes this energy in a devastating explosion.
  • Doom Fang Pauldron (gloves) - shield bash melee kills recharge shield throw. Melee ability kills recharge Sentinel Shield super.
  • Synthocepts (gloves) - increased melee lunge range. Improved damage when surrounded.
  • Actium War Rig (chest) - steadily reloads a portion of your equipped auto rifle's magazine from reserves.
  • Crest of Alpha Lupi (chest) - generates an additional orb of light from supers, and a healing pulse when barricade is activated.
  • Hallowfire Heart (chest) - greatly improves the recharge rate of your Solar abilities while Hammer of Sol is charged.
  • Dunemarchers (boots) - increased sprint speed. Sprinting builds up a static charge. After melee attacking an enemy, that charge will chain damage to nearby enemies.
  • Lion Rampant (boots) - additional aerial maneuverability.
  • Peacekeepers (boots) - reloads stowed submachine guns, and allows you to ready them instantly.

Warlock Exotic armour

  • Crown of Tempests (helmet) - Arc ability kills increase the recharge rate of your Arc abilities.
  • Eye of Another World (helmet) - highlights priority targets and improves the regeneration speed of your grenade, melee, and rift abilities.
  • Nezarec’s Sin (helmet) - Void damage kills grant ability energy.
  • Skull of Dire Ahamkara (helmet) - provides additional damage resistance during Nova Bomb. Nova Bomb kills grant super energy.
  • Karnstein Armlets (gloves) - melee attacks grant health recovery and ability energy.
  • Sunbracers (gloves) - increases the duration of solar grenades and grants grenade energy on melee hits. These have the same appearance as the Sunbreaker gloves from Destiny 1.
  • Winter's Guile (gloves) - eliminating enemies with melee attacks increases your melee damage.
  • Starfire Protocol (chest) - grants an extra fusion grenade charge, and fusion grenade kills grant Rift energy.
  • Wings of Sacred Dawn (chest) - when Dawnblade is equipped, aiming down sights while airborne will hold you in place for a short time. Precision hits extend this effect's duration.
  • Lunafaction Boots (boots) - your Rifts gain the additional ability to automatically reload allies' weapons.
  • Transversive Steps (boots) - move faster and automatically reload energy weapons while sprinting.

Hunter Exotic armour

  • Celestial Nighthawk (helmet) - modifies Golden Gun to fire a single, high damage shot. Victims killed by the shot explode.
  • Foetracer (helmet) - visually marks targeted enemies.
  • Knucklehead Radar (helmet) - provides radar while aiming down sights.
  • Mechaneer's Tricksleeves (gloves) - sidearms ready and reload faster.
  • Young Ahamkara's Spine (gloves) - increases tripmine grenade duration and marks enemies damaged by the blast.
  • The Dragon’s Shadow (chest) - increases movement and weapon handling speeds for a short time after dodging.
  • Lucky Raspberry (chest) - increases the chaining capabilities of your Arcbolt grenade, and has a chance to recharge it each time it deals damage.
  • Raiden Flux (chest) - quick successive attacks with Arc Staff increase its damage output and duration.
  • Lucky Pants (boots) - increases hand cannon ready speed and initial accuracy.
  • Orpheus Rig (boots) - provides ability energy for each enemy tethered by Shadowshot anchors.
  • ST0MP-EE5 (boots) - increases sprint speed and slide distance. Improves jump.

Xur, Agent of the Nine

You'll be able to purchase most of the above gear from Xur, a special vendor who deals in Exotic equipment. There are a few catches, however: he only accepts legendary shards, and only appears on weekends.

At least he's always easy to find - his location is marked in your Director. Just click to track him and follow your HUD. We review his stock each time he appears, so if it's the weekend, check out our Xur post to learn where he is right now and what you should buy.

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