Hand Cannons are some of the most iconic guns in Destiny. When I think of Destiny PVP, I tend to think of something like Thorn or Ace of Spades, and in recent times maybe Spare Rations. Bungie outlined some changes to Hand Cannon’s going into Beyond Light, which should balance out hand cannons in the meta. We’re likely to be getting some good new weapons soon, including the return of the Exotic Hawkmoon, however, there are some hand cannons in the game right now that are worth investing in to get off on the right foot in Beyond Light. The following is a guide for the best hand cannons to get before Beyond Light.
What I’ll do is provide some suggestions that are in the game right now. We all still have a few days before Beyond Light drops on November 10th (as some of them require completion of a quest) so there’s still time to get everything on this list.
Let’s have a look at the best hand cannons:
Dire Promise is a Legendary Kinetic Hand Cannon
It’s currently a Lightweight Frame – Superb handling. Move faster with this weapon equipped. However, due to the changes, Bungie laid out in their update this is going to change to Adaptive.
Looking at the stats is has 80 for impact, 45 range, 50 stability, 61 handlings and 54 for reload speed. It’s currently a 150 rpm, but that’s going to change in Beyond Light to 140. It’s also got 11 in the magazine. The curated roll comes with Triple Tap and Swashbuckler. For PVP Rangefinder and Snapshot, Sights would be good and for PVE the curated roll will do you just fine.
Dire Promise is a versatile Hand Cannon which is good in PVP and PVE. It does remain to be seen if this one is going to survive the reconfiguration of hand cannons with the Beyond Light changes, but I think it’s worth picking up if you don’t have it. This is a random drop from activities – I’ve had good luck turning in tokens at Shaxx and the Gunsmith, so if you’re not having any luck from activities themselves then I’d recommend trying turning in tokens at vendors and seeing how you get on.
Crimson is an Exotic Kinetic Hand Cannon and shoots much like a pulse rifle with a three-burst shot. It could be about to benefit from the changes coming in Beyond Light, so it’s well worth getting your hands on it.
Let’s have a look at the perks:
- Banned Weapon – This weapon fires a 3-round burst.
- Cruel Remedy – Kills with this weapon heal the wielder. Precision kills also refill the magazine.
The stats on Crimson are impressive. 92 for impact, 60 for range, 82 stability, 50 handlings and 64 for reload speed. It’s 415 rpm with 14 in the mag. If this one gets affected by the range buff for adaptive hand cannons in Beyond Light, then this one is going to be deadly. Back in Shadowkeep, this one got a range to nerf, so if that goes back to near where it was… it could be a secret weapon for Beyond Light. To get this one it’s a random world drop exotic, so no quest for this one. You can pick it up from Xur if he’s selling it at the weekends or try your luck on exotic engrams.
Thorn is an Exotic Kinetic Hand Cannon. It handles well, has devastating perks and sounds awesome. It’s an iconic hand cannon, having first appeared in Destiny 1.
- Mark of the Devourer – Rounds pierce targets and deal damage over time. Kills with this weapon leave behind Remnants.
- Soul Devourer – Absorbing a Remnant strengthens Mark of the Devourer and partially refills the magazine.
Thorn has some great stats too with 80 for impact, 41 range, 60 stability, 68 handling and 46 for reload speed. It’s currently a 150 rpm hand cannon with 11 in the magazine. That’s going to change though due to the hand cannon changes in Beyond Light. But going down to 140 may not be so bad, it may be able to two-tap in PVP with its perks activated.
This one is available through a quest (which you can check out here). You do have to own the Forsaken DLC for this quest, but I would imagine that’s relatively cheap now given its nearly 2 years old. If you’re on Xbox then it’s available through Xbox Game Pass.
Sturm is a bit of an outsider. This is currently a 110 hand cannon that’s going to be made into a 120 rate of fire gun. Will that be enough to make it more effective in the game? Only time will tell, but I think it’s worth getting hold of it just in case.
Sturm is an Exotic Kinetic Hand Cannon
- Accomplice – Kills with this weapon fill the magazine of the equipped Energy weapon from reserves.
- Storm and Stress – Kills with Drang reload this weapon and overflow a bonus damage round into the magazine.
The stats are pretty average. 92 for impact, 64 for range, 56 stability, 46 for handling and 55 for reload speed. It also only has 9 in the mag. However, the saving grace of this hand cannon is its partner weapon, Drang.
Drang is due for some changes coming in Beyond Light too. Moved the “Together Forever” trait to the intrinsic, similar to how the (Baroque) version works. Added the following perks: Accurized Rounds, Moving Target. There is an issue with the masterwork on this weapon that prevents it from being upgraded. This will be fixed in a later update. The Gunsmith will begin selling a version of this weapon on November 10 with no infusion cap.
Given the availability of Drang in Beyond Light and Sturm being moved to 120 rate of fire means Sturm could be one to keep an eye on when it comes to Hand Cannons in Beyond Light.
Nature of the Beast
Nature of the Beast is a Legendary Energy Hand Cannon.
Precision Frame – Recoil pattern on this weapon is more predictably vertical. Fires quickly with high accuracy.
Let’s have a look at the stats. 78 for impact, 40 for range, 65 for stability, 42 for handling and 32 for relod speed. It’s currently 180 rpm with 11 in the mag. However, according to the changes the magazine scaled up by 37 percent.
The curated roll comes with Subsistence and Dragonfly. For PVP snapshot sights and rangefinder would be good and for PVE the curated roll sounds like a good option. Demolitionist is also available, which is always good in PVE.
You can get this one from random drops from the end of activities and also by turning in tokens to vendors. Zavala has been a useful source for this hand cannon for me, however, it’s random so do consider that when handing in tokens. I’ve also had a few from Umbral Engrams too.
Ace of Spades
Ace of Spades is Exotic Kinetic Hand Cannon. It handles well, has devastating perks and sounds awesome (much like Thorn). It’s an iconic hand cannon once belonging to Cayde-6 (the former Hunter Vanguard).
- Memento Mori – Reloading after a kill loads magazine with a few extra-damage bullets. Grants radar while aiming down sights.
- Firefly – Precision kills with this weapon increase reload speed and cause the target to explode, dealing Solar damage to nearby enemies.
Looking at the stats 84 for impact, 78 range, 46 for stability, 46 for handling and 48 for reload speed. This one is already a 140rpm hand cannon and has 13 in the mag. Given it’s exotic perks, with the changes this one could shine in Beyond Light.
This one is available through a quest (which you can check out here). You do have to own the Forsaken DLC for this quest, but I would imagine that’s relatively cheap now given it’s nearly 2 years old. If you’re on Xbox then it’s available through Xbox Game Pass.
Sunshot is going to have an advantage over all the hand cannons in the game come Beyond Light. This is going to be the only 150 rpm hand cannon in the game, therefore we could be on the cusp of a Sunshot meta. Let’s check out the gun itself.
Sunshot is an Exotic Energy Hand Cannon.
- Sunburn – This weapon fires explosive rounds and highlights targets that take damage from Sunshot.
- Sun Blast – Targets killed with Sunshot explode in Solar energy.
Looking at the stats we have 80 for impact, 38 for range, 46 for stability, 83 for handling and 75 for reload speed. It’s going to remain a 150 rate of fire hand cannon and has 12 in the mag.
To get this one it’s a random world drop from an exotic engram or you can pick it up from Xur at the weekend.
That’s it for my rundown of some of the best hand cannons to get going into Beyond Light. Let me know if you think there is something missing and what you’re top 5 list would look like.
That’s it for this guide for the top five best Exotic Armour for Warlocks in PVE. For more Destiny 2 content like this check out the Shadowkeep Guide or check out the YouTube Channel.