Now that we’ve reviewed each of Destiny’s Exotic weapons, we’d thought it would be useful to rank them in PvE and PvP. This article will focus on PvP.
Awhile ago, before the Exotic patch, we created a Top 5 Exotic list for overall use. This list will be for every Exotic.
We’d also like your feedback on which Exotics you feel are the best. Everyone has different playstyles, and we’d like your thoughts about why X weapon is better or worse than another.
For the House of Wolves Exotics, you can find our initial thoughts for each of them here.
- Bad Juju
- Hard Light
- MIDA Multi-Tool
- Monte Carlo
- No Land Beyond
- Red Death
- SUROS Regime
- The Last Word
- Universal Remote
- Vex Mythoclast
- Tier 1 weapons are considered the best of the best, borderline overpowered.
- Tier 2 weapons are exceptional, but not as great as Tier 1.
- Tier 3 weapons are OK, worth using sometimes.
- Tier 4 weapons preform poorly, and probably should be avoided.
These tiers were inspired by a community-voted Reddit poll.
The weapons in each tier are listed in alphabetical order, not in order of how good they are within their own tier.
Though you won’t be using it often, when you do, you’re guaranteed to get at least a few kills because of its tracking.
With the additional tracking cluster missiles that seek out targets after the initial blast, you can easily take out someone nearby.
Hawkmoon (Timed PS Exclusive)
In terms of what one would expect from a Hand Cannon, Hawkmoon is the pinnacle. With its high accuracy, large magazine, and exceptional Impact, the weapon is at the top of its class and overall is above average.
All this, combined with the chance of increased bullet damage (making 2 shots to kill possible), makes for a weapon that any hand cannon lover will be thrilled to use.
Pulse rifles just aren’t that great, but thankfully the 10% damage buff makes this one of the best. Red Death has a very high Impact rating too, the second-highest of all pulse rifles.
The Unflinching and Red Death perks really do well in keeping you alive, making this the best PvP pulse rifle.
For 1v1 encounters in close-medium range, it doesn’t get much better than this.
With impact and rate of fire identical to Thorn, TLW has long earned its place at the top of the PvP charts.
With its buffs, this weapon is simply a killing machine. Only 2 shots are needed for a kill because of the damage over time.
While it may not be as good as The Last Word or Hawkmoon for 1v1, it’s still one of the best hand cannons.
Like the Regime, it’s everything you want in a rocket launcher: intense tracking and early detonation. The potency of the tracking will allow you to pull off some amazing kills too.
With a 3 round magazine and balanced stats, it’s perfect for PvP.
Its signature perk, Timeless Mythoclast, allows it to never have to be charged like a normal fusion rifle, which makes it act like an auto rifle.
In close-medium range PvE and PvP, this weapon will dominate. If you’re on a larger map, consider using SUROS or Hawkmoon, because it just can’t compete with those at longer ranges.
Full auto, regenerating ammo, high range/stability shotgun… what more could you ask for?
With its latest update the reload speed was increased significantly, making this a top choice for Guardians who want to get up close and personal.
It’s got a high fire rate & healthy magazine size, allowing it to dish out damage at a high rate. One of the best features of this weapon is its ability to improve your movement speed and agility.
The perks on this sniper rifle are great, but a Legendary reroll sniper could have equally good perks.
It’s a great weapon to use, but it’s easily replaceable.
Easily one of the best fusion rifles, it excels in PvP because of its quick recharge speed and balanced stats.
There’s also a decent amount of options for upgrading its stability or range/accuracy so you can customize the weapon to your playstyle.
While personally I don’t enjoy using this, it does deserve its place in the second tier because of how easily it can take out enemies/vehicles.
Once you get a feel for Pocket Infinity and understand its quirks, it might grow on you, but I’d go with Plan C any day for its fast recharge/reload.
Arguably the strongest auto rifle in the game (certainly with the highest Impact), it’s truly a force to be reckoned with. All of its base stats are balanced and perfect for an auto rifle.
As for the perks, they’re very useful and each provide good utility. There’s basically nothing wrong with this weapon!
This heavy machine gun is in a similar spot as Patience and Time. Its perks are awesome and it’s a powerful weapon, but it’s replaceable.
Against All Odds for example would work just as well for the limited time you have with your heavy.
Pulse rifles just aren’t good in PvE/PvP in general, but the horrid impact rating makes using this a chore.
If you can aim well, even a Legendary scout rifle or hand cannon will have a lower time to kill than Bad Juju.
Similar to the Thunderlord, this rocket launcher just doesn’t have much going for it that you can’t get with any other decent rocket launcher.
The Pyromancer perk just isn’t that good because of how quickly it disappears, and most people will know to avoid it, so it doesn’t serve as a threat.
Furthermore, without tracking, and with extremely low velocity, why waste your Exotic slot for it? Check out some of the Legendary alternatives we include in this article.
This auto rifle suffers from the same issues as Monte Carlo and unfortunately many of the new Legendary auto rifles: low impact.
Even though the stability was increased, its unique perk feels like a gimmick and isn’t beneficial for most PvP encounters.
What is an excellent PvE weapon, falls short in PvP. The only utility this weapon has going for it for PvP is the regenerating ammo.
Unfortunately, unlike Patience and Time or a Legendary like Praedyth’s Revenge, the stability and rate of fire is too low on Ice Breaker, making something like LDR 5001 or Efrideet’s Spear just as good or better (with the right perks).
Monte Carlo (Timed PS Exclusive)
Even though this auto rifle received a stability increase, it still falls behind in terms of raw damage.
It barely makes it into tier 2 because of its utility to reduce/eliminate the cooldown on your melee ability. Depending on your setup (high strength = lower melee cooldown) and subclass you might get more use out of this it than others.
This is a borderline tier 4 weapon, and only is in the third tier because it can return ammo to the magazine.
As with Thunderlord, there’s really no reason to use your Exotic slot for this, since basically any heavy machine gun will be able to take out enemies just as easily/quickly.
The 4th Horseman (Timed PS Exclusive)
Just barely squeezing into tier 3, this weapon is outclassed by Invective and literally any other full auto shotgun.
It has the lowest range of any shotgun and the reload speed is horribly low too (5.3 seconds without the Speed Reload perk). In PvP this will leave you scrambling around trying to slowly reload your weapon with at least two shots to guarantee a kill on someone.
Is this gun fun to use? Absolutely. Is it a great Exotic? Well, no. If this was a secondary weapon, it’d be much more useful.
While this could be great for really small maps, there’s no reason to use this as your primary weapon.
The only horrible weapon, this primary sniper rifle just doesn’t deserve to be an Exotic right now.
It’s place in PvE is understandable in some circumstances, but in PvP, it’s really frustrating to use when compared to any of the Tier 1-3 primary weapons.
Will the most skilled players be able to do well with this weapon? Sure, but it certainly isn’t a good choice for the vast majority.