Destiny 2 – Most Popular PVE Exotic Weapons

There’s plenty of exotic weapons in the game, but as the meta moves and shifts which ones should you prioritise over the others? Today I am going to have a look at the most popular PVE exotic weapons in the game, plus where and how to get them.

To help me work out which are the most popular weapons, I am using a website called Destiny Tracker. It’s a great website, and one you should definitely check out.

Let’s dive into the most popular exotic weapons in PVE.

Risk Runner 0.69%

Risk Runner is good if you’re going to be going up against tanky enemies offering up Arc Damage, as the intrinsic perk on Risk Runner is Arc Conductor. When taking Arc Damage the weapon becomes more powerful and resists incoming Arc Damage. Kills extend the time in this overcharged state. It also has a perk called Super Conductor, when Arc Conductor is active shots fired have the chance the become chain lightning and return ammo. Risk Runner is a pretty underrated Exotic Weapon. That maybe because it’s been with us since day one, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less effective than others. Definitely recommend giving this one a shot!

You can get this weapon from the New Light quest. This is also a free-to-play exotic, and you don’t need any DLC to access this one.

Trinity Ghoul 0.72%

Trinity Ghould was introduced during Forsaken back in Season 4 of Destiny 2. The idea was good, but given it was a bow it never really felt powerful in your hands. Now, with this new catalyst, it’s gone from a bang average weapon into one of the best weapons in the game.

Let’s check out the perks on the Combat Bow.

  • Split Electron – Fires an arrow that splits when released. Aiming down sights and fully drawing the bow both decrease the spread.
  • Lightning Rod – Precision kills grant the next shot chain-lightning capabilities.

To get Trinity Ghoul it’s a random world drop exotic, so finding them out there in the wild, grinding nightfalls and making sure you check Xur each Friday to see if he’s selling it or not. Beware, you do need access to the Forsaken expansion to pick up this weapon.

This is hands down the most fun you can have in PVE. Make sure you pick up the catalyst though, as that turns the fun up to 10! To get the catalyst, complete strikes with the weapon equipped and it should drop for you pretty fast.

Hawkmoon 0.86%

Hawkmoon was introduced on December 8th 2020 into Destiny 2 and it’s an Exotic Kinetic Hand Cannon. Looking at the stats we have Impact 78, Range 57, Stability 67, Handling 74, Reload Speed 63, Rounds Per Minute 140 with Magazine 8.

Let’s have a quick look at the perks:

  • Paracausal Shot – Final blows and precision hits with Hawkmoon grant stacks of Paracausal Charge. The final round in the magazine deals bonus damage based on the number of stacks. Stowing Hawkmoon on the final round removes this bonus.
  • Transformative – Future drops of this weapon will have random rolls. Some good rolls to look our for include Opening Shot, Rangefinder and Killing Wind.

You can get random rolled Hawkmoon from the Harbinger mission, found on the EDZ.

Witherhoard 1.7%

This one comes with Primevals Torment – Projectiles fired by this weapon light the target or nearby area on impact. It also comes with Break the Bank – Blighted Targets take more damage over time and blight the nearby area on death.

Witherhoard is a 90 rpm grenade launcher and holds 6 shots, but can only be shot one at a time. It’s got impact stats of 60, the stability of 67 and handling of 53. This is a pretty unique gun. Rather than shooting bullets, or regular grenades, this shoots out blights which damage over time and this can be used in one of two ways. You can either shoot directly at the target for maximum damage, or you can shoot next to the enemy to cause partial damage or essentially create a trap that sits on the floor damaging over time.

This currently isn’t available in the game right now, as it was a past seasonal exotic. However, Bungie will hopefully add this to the kiosk in a few seasons time.

Xenophage 6%

Xenophage is a machine gun for the power slot. Its main perk is Pyrotoxin Rounds, which fires high-powered explosive ammo. It’s a solar weapon and has max stats for impact, pretty good range of 71 and has 120 rpm with 20 in the magazine. It’s a very strange machine gun, as normally they have a high rate of fire and lots of ammo… this one is a little different.

As well as Pyrotoxin Rounds is comes with Full Bore for that increase in range and a small decrease in stability, High Calibre Rounds which knock the target back further, Rangefinder and Composite Stock.

You can pick this one up from the Exotic Quest on the moon, check out the guide for Xenophage on the channel.

Anarchy 6.3%

Anarchy is an exotic, power grenade launcher that features Arc Traps. These are grenades that stick to surfaces and chain arc bolts to other mines. Its got max velocity stats, 64 stability, 63 handling and is 150 rounds per min with 6 in the mag. Its great for DPS and will help you take down dungeon and raid bosses in no time at all, so its definitely a good one to pick up.

You can get this one from the Exotic Kiosk in the Tower.

The Lament 10%

The Lament is an Exotic Power Sword. Let’s have a look at the perks.

  • Banshee’s Wail – Increases damage, shield bypass, and adds [Shield-Piercing] shield piercing to all attacks. Gain stacks when dealing damage with revved attacks. Additional stacks increase the damage and damage resistance of heavy attacks.
  • Revved Consumption – Damaging a combatant heals the wielder.

This is the best PVE weapon in the game right now, although that could all change with the 15% nerf to swords coming in Season of the Chosen.

This is currently available through a quest in Beyond Light called The Lost Lament quest. Given it’s a Beyond Light Exotic, you’ll need the Beyond Light Expansion to access this quest and exotic. Given it’s power, it’s definitely worth it.

That’s it for the current most popular PVE exotics in the game. I wanted to give a few honorable mentions, even though they aren’t on the popular list here. Izanagi’s Burden is a great kinetic sniper, Travelers Chosen is an awesome sidearm which allows you to get your abilities back, Thorn is a very powerful hand cannon and Cloudstrike rains down lightning on your opponents.

I am surprised Cloudstrike isn’t higher up the list to be honest, given it’s design. It’s simply one of the best snipers in the game which has to be used to understand how effective it really can be. In PVP you can take out a whole team if they are bunching up together.

Let me know down in the comments YOUR most popular PVE exotic weapons.

That’s it for this guide for the most popular pve exotic weapons in Destiny 2. For more Destiny 2 Beyond Light content check out the full guide and subscribe on YouTube to This Week In Video Games today.