The best guns in Destiny 2: Beyond Light (2023)

Beyond Light is in full swing, and as the new season marches on, there are (possibly not enough) new weapons for players to hunt down. Are any of them actually usable for end-game PvP or PvE? As someone who spends far too much time in private lobbies tinkering with digital guns, that's what I'm here to help you figure out.

The best guns in Destiny 2: Beyond Light (1)

Xenoclast IV

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The best guns in Destiny 2: Beyond Light (2)

For the launch of Beyond Light we've partnered with Bungie to create a series of guides and explainer videos. These are being made by some of the best known Destiny 2 content creators and experts. For full disclosure anything published as part of this program will include this panel.

Where you get it: Strike Playlists
Archetype: Lightweight Frame Shotgun
Perks to look out for:

  • PvE: Disruption Break, Rampage, Trench Barrel, Vorpal Weapon, Surrounded, Swashbuckler, One-Two Punch, Assault Mag
  • PvP: Vorpal Weapon, Thresh, Dual Loader, Slideshot, Assault Mag

Lightweight Frame shotguns are always a favorite of mine. The lightweight frame factor means you'll move faster with the weapon, and Xenoclast IV comes with a boatload of perks. That's partially bad news, because it means relatively bad odds of getting the exact roll that you want, but good news in the sense that no matter what your shotgun drops with, it's very likely it'll drop with an interesting roll. For PvP players, you've got Vorpal Weapon—ideal for shredding players out of their roaming supers. Dual Loader is a new perk that lets you load 2 shells at a time, which can help you quickly get out of a jam. Slidehost gives you a quick partial reload and range boost. And another brand new perk, Thresh, means killing combatants will grant a small amount of super energy. Supers are still really strong in D2 PvP, and anything you can do to get yours a little quicker is a big advantage in my book.

For the PvE folk, Disruption Break, Rampage, Trench Barrel, Vorpal Weapon, Surrounded, Swashbuckler, or even One-Two punch are all viable options. Each perk is a unique way to deal extra damage—go for whichever best meshes with your playstyle.

The best guns in Destiny 2: Beyond Light (3)

Stars in Shadow

Where you get it: Crucible
Archetype: High-Impact Frame Pulse Rifle
Perks to look out for:

  • PvE: Thresh, Demolitionist, Kill Clip, Disruption Break, Genesis
  • PvP: Quickdraw, Killing Wind, Outlaw, Feeding Frenzy, Thresh, Moving Target, Kill Clip, Vorpal Weapon

Stars in Shadow shoots slow, and hits hard. Bring that bad boy into PvP, and with just two pulls of the trigger you can down an enemy guardian by sinking both shots into the dome at a clean .67 second time-to-kill. Like the Xenoclast, you've got a ton of perk options to work with. PvP wise, you've got classics that can help dish out more damage—Kill Clip being the go-to, and maybe Vorpal Weapon if you wanna threaten roaming supers. For perks that can beef up your pulse rifle neutral game, you've got plenty: Killing Wind for additional range, handling and movement on a kill, Quickdraw for cracked out handling at all times, Moving Target to help land shots better, and, once again, the brand new Thresh to help keep your super meter moving a bit quicker.

It's got a bunch of great rolls for PvE too. As mentioned, Kill Clip can help pump up your damage output, but don't overlook both Disruption Break or Genesis—which you can actually pair together. Genesis will auto-reload your weapon when breaking an enemies shield, and Disruption Break causes enemies to take more damage from kinetic gunfire after their shields have been broken.

The best guns in Destiny 2: Beyond Light (4)

Hailing Confusion

Where you get it: Europa Event Drops
Archetype: Adaptive Frame Pulse Rifle
Perks to look out for:

  • PvE & PvP: Unrelenting, Quickdraw, Wellspring, Surplus

Whereas the Stars in Shadow is an Energy weapon, Hailing Confusion is Kinetic, and a member of the Adaptive Frame family. It's not the fastest firing rifle out there, but it's got well-rounded stats and feels incredibly reliable. The perks to keep an eye out for on this pulse, in my opinion, work great for either PvP or PvE. If you're a fan of not-dying, you've got Unrelenting, where rapidly defeating targets triggers health regen. Quickdraw is a classic perk if you want your weapon to feel snappy, but if you're looking for new things to roll with, might I recommend either Surplus or Wellspring. Wellspring allows you to generate ability energy with each kill—not bad if you're running an ability heavy build. Surplus, on the other hand, improves handling, reload and stability for each fully charged ability. Try Wellspring if you love spamming abilities, and try Surplus if you would rather focus on gunplay. Or, if you're lucky, you might get the two together, which is a neat combo. Wellspring to charge up your ability energy, and then Surplus to take advantage of having your abilities fully charged.

Thermal Erosion

Where you get it: Variks' Hunts on Europa
Archetype: Rapid-Fire Frame Machine Gun
Perks to look out for:

  • PvE: Dragonfly, Wellspring, Field Prep
  • PvP: Quickdraw, Dynamic Sway Reduction, Tap the Trigger

Thermal Erosion is a rapid fire frame machine gun acquired from Europa, and feels great mainly as a quick PvE damage-dealer. For anything where you're fighting another Guardian (including Gambit, where this gun can also shine), I think Quickdraw and either Dynamic Sway Reduction or Tap the Trigger are your hands down best picks. Reason being? They help the guns base performance—faster handling, better accuracy, more easy-to-land shots on a target, etc. Maybe also Killing Wind for better weapon performance, but after a kill.

For PvE, Dragonfly is noteworthy, as headshot kills create an elemental damage explosion. (AoE damage is always a fun way to burn trash.) The brand new Wellspring is also there, if you want to regenerate all abilities on a kill, or maybe just Demolitionist if you really love using your grenade a ton. I also have to give a shoutout to Field Prep. It's maybe not as fun or flashy as Dragonfly, but extra ammo reserves and better reload are both great for PvE, especially raids.

The best guns in Destiny 2: Beyond Light (6)

Coriolis Force

Where you get it: Variks' Hunts on Europa
Archetype: Aggressive Frame Fusion Rifle
Perks to look out for:

  • PvE: One For All, Thresh, Unrelenting, Killing Wind

Coriolis Force is a new fusion rifle that's one of a kind—the first member of the aggressive frame family. High damage with a moderate charge time of 660, similar to the Dream Breaker or TImeline's Vertex. However, unlike those other guns, Coriolis Force has the unique trait of firing horizontally. Every bolt releases from the gun at the exact same moment in a complete straight line. While I'm not so much a fan of this weapon in PvP, it's remarkably effective in PvE; ideal for crowd control and dealing big damage to majors.

The gun comes with plenty of perks I've already mentioned in this article, including Killing Wind, Moving Target, Unrelenting and Thresh. Here's a new perk we haven't touched on yet though, One For All. Hitting three separate targets buffs your damage for a moderate duration. Take note, you don't have to hit three targets with one fusion shot—it can be multiple shots as long as you do it quickly. The damage buff in PvE is about 35%, and goes on for about 10 seconds. I strongly feel this perk is borderline mandatory for PvE use because of how strong it pairs with the weapon.

The best guns in Destiny 2: Beyond Light (7)


Where you get it: World Drop, Europa
Archetype: Precision Frame Shotgun
Perks to look out for:

  • PvE: One For All, Triple Tap
  • PvP: Opening Shot, Firmly Planted

The bonechiller is a slug shotgun, meaning rather than firing a volley of pellets, it fires one large slug round. Slug shotties are great for PvP or PvE. In PvP, one shot to the head from fairly far away is capable of putting down an enemy guardian. Naturally you have to be more accurate than a regular pellet shotgun, but there are perks you can go after to make the job a tad easier. Opening Shot is borderline mandatory on any PvP slug shotty roll, giving you better range and accuracy on your opening shot, thus better odds of landing that headshot. Firmly Planted is a perfect pairing, especially if you're the type who likes to slide into PvP engagements with your shotty. Increased accuracy, stability and handling while crouched, which is something you can slide into.

On the PvE side, slug shotguns do great on majors and bosses, and once again, we have access to One For All, our brand new cracked out damage perk. Pair together with Triple Tap, and you've got the ability to dish out big damage and get bullets back into your mag if you're accurate.

The best guns in Destiny 2: Beyond Light (8)

Friction Fire

Where you get it: Wrathborn Hunts
Archetype: Precision Frame Submachine Gun
Perks to look out for:

  • PvE: Vorpal Weapon, Rampage, Wellspring, Unrelenting, Killing Wind

Friction Fire is a 600RPM submachine gun with reliable damage output and very manageable recoil direction. You can rock it in PvP if you want, but I actually prefer using it in PvE.

Perkwise, you've got Wellspring for ability regeneration, Unrelenting for health regeneration, and Slideways for partial ammo regeneration. But if you want a straightforward trash-shredding roll, hunt down the combination of Subsistence & Rampage. With those two perks together, kills partially reload your mag from reserves, and you gain increased damage output that stacks up to three times. It's kind of like a legendary version of Huckleberry. It's always nice to have legendary-ish versions of exotic guns to free up your exotic pick for something else.

The best guns in Destiny 2: Beyond Light (9)

Deafening Whisper

Where you get it: Wrathborn Hunts
Archetype: Wave Frame Grenade Launcher
Perks to look out for:

  • PvE & PvP: Auto-Loading Holster, Ambitious Assassin, Wellspring, Killing Wind

Deafening Whisper is an interesting weapon. It's effective in both PvP & PvE, but it requires a fair bit of both patience and practice to master. Unlike most other grenade launchers, the Whisper fires a wave of energy along the ground similar to the Titan's thermite grenade. One of my favorite perks for a single shot grenade launcher is actually one we haven't gone over yet, Auto-Loading Holster, which makes any holstered weapon auto-reload itself after a few seconds. It's not a flashy perk, but with one shot nade launchers like the Whisper, you can fire off a shot, then quickly switch to your primary weapon and finish off anyone you hurt while the launcher reloads itself in the background. You can also pair it with Ambitious Assassin, which allows you to overflow the magazine if you manage to get more than one kill with the weapon—meaning two shots in the tube of a one shot launcher. Again, the weapon requires a bit of practice, but is powerful in the right hands.

The best guns in Destiny 2: Beyond Light (10)

Crowd Pleaser

Where you get it: Gambit
Archetype: Adaptive Frame Grenade Launcher
Perks to look out for:

  • PvE: Chain Reaction, Field Prep, Clown Cartridge, Spike Grenades
  • PvP: Proximity Grenades, Quickdraw, Killing Wind, Threat Detector

The Crowd Pleaser is a brand new adaptive frame grenade launcher, making it solid at killing Guardians in PvP, but slightly better at damaging majors & bosses in PvE. But thanks to the addition of a new perk, Crowd Pleaser can effortlessly clean out mobs of low level enemies in PvE as well. The perk is called Chain Reaction; each final blow with this weapon sets off an elemental damage explosion. It's sort of like Firefly, but you don't need to get a headshot in order to activate it. Any enemy killed by the Crowd Pleaser (wth Chain Reaction) will result in an elemental explosion. One grenade alone with this perk can lay waste to multiple enemies all in a clump. Even though there's plenty of other perks to love on the Crowd Pleaser, I definitely want Chain Reaction paired together with Clown Cartridge, where reloading this weapon randomly overflows the mag from reserves. It's extremely hard to beat the combination of more explosions paired with a larger magazine size.

The best guns in Destiny 2: Beyond Light (11)


Where you get it: Pinnacle Weapon Quest
Archetype: Adaptive Frame Sniper Rifle
Set perks:

  • PvE: Triple Tap, Vorpal Weapon
  • PvP: Snapshot, Killing Wind

The final weapon on my list is an absolute no-brainer: the Adored sniper rifle. It's a brand new ritual weapon in Season 12, and comes with four pre-fixed weapon perks. There may not be any variety here, but the Adored oozes utility in both PvP and PvE. If you don't pick this weapon up, you're doing yourself a disservice.

In PvP, the Adored can roll deep with Snapshot and Killing Wind, two perks that greatly beef up the neutral game potential of the weapon. Snapshot lets you ADS at lightning quick speed, and Killing Wind, of course, improves range, handling and mobility for a short duration. Get quick scopes, quick kills, and move quickly—all things that snipers love in PvP.

But Adored is great in PvE too. In addition to Snapshot and Killing Wind, Adored comes with both Vorpal Weapon and Triple Tap. Vorpal lets you deal more damage to a boss, and Triple Tap puts bullets back in your mag for three crit shots in a row. No matter how you cut it, Adored is a weapon that should do great in either end-game PvP or PvE. Pick it up today, and thank me later.

I should mention that the Deep Stone Crypt raid is now live, with even more great guns to chase after. I won't spoil 'em here for those of you who haven't yet tackled that challenge yet, just know there's more rock solid weapons on the table up for grabs.

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