Like maximum weapon archetypes, there are some that rise above the rest. Whether it’s for his or her unique perk combinations or outstanding damage output, these Sidearms have carved a gap for themselves in Destiny 2’s complicated sandbox. Their damage output and ease of use are tough to fit. From common Legendaries to more particular Exotics, right here are the ten quality Sidearms in Destiny 2.
Updated July 14th, 2021, by Charles Burgar: Sidearms have seen an indirect buff partway through Season of the Splicer. With the recent nerf to Shotguns, Sidearms are now able to excel at shutting down aggressive players in close-quarters engagements. We’ve updated this list to recommend a few Sidearms that saw a massive boost to their lethality thanks to these Shotgun nerfs. Perk recommendations have also been simplified.
10 Seventh Seraph SI-2
How to obtain: Legendary world Engrams.
As with most weapons introduced in Season of the Worthy, the Seventh Seraph SI-2 is a weapon with underwhelming stats and perks. However, don’t write this weapon off.
This is one of the only Sidearms in Destiny 2 that can spawn Warmind Cells. Spawning nuclear cores that can wipe entire waves of enemies is enough to make the SI-2 a great choice for PvE, yet it does come with a few decent perks. Full Auto Trigger System and Dragonfly is a solid combination for PvE, giving this weapon a good degree of add-clearing potential. Crucible players are better off using another weapon, but PvE players shouldn’t sleep on this Sidearm.
- Column One: Full Auto Trigger System, Demolitionist
- Column Two: Dragonfly (PvE), Surrounded
9 Devil’s Ruin
How to obtain: Purchased from the Exotic Kiosk in the Tower. It costs 1 Exotic Cipher, 100,000 Glimmer, 150 Dusklight Shards, and 1 Ascendant Shard.
Devil’s Ruin is a strange hybrid between a Sidearm and Trace Rifle. Its main fire behaves as you’d expect from a Sidearm, firing at 300 rounds per minute. When you hold the fire button down, it releases a high-damage beam that disintegrates anything in its path.
With virtually no recoil, Devil’s Ruin destroys any weaker enemy in one or two shots. For waves of enemies or tougher foes, the charged beam can make those encounters trivial. It’s fantastic for PvE, PvP, and practically becomes a Special weapon if you pair this gun with the Surprise Attack Combat Style mod.
8 The Keening
How to obtain: Crucible matches and Engrams.
The Keening is a solid Sidearm, utilizing the same Adaptive Frame as the fantastic Drang. Unlike Drang, The Keening comes with random rolls.
An absurd aim assist stat of 83 and a near-perfect recoil stat of 99 makes The Keening a beast on its own. Perks further enhance this, with the likes of Killing Wind, One for All, and Wellspring being available on this gun. It has a rather massive perk pool, allowing this weapon to fit virtually every PvE and PvP loadout. Complete Crucible matches for a chance at obtaining this Sidearm.
- Column One: Moving Target (PvP), Killing Wind
- Column Two: Multikill Clip, Wellspring
7 High Albedo
How to obtain: Variks weapon bounties on Europa.
Beyond Light’s roster of weapons contain some interesting perks, focusing more on utility perks than damage boons. High Albedo is a great example of this, having no damage perks in its perk pool.
Fortunately, High Albedo can pack a serious punch if you land your shots. Players can focus on obtaining a roll with utility perks along the lines of Demolitionist or Wellspring. Full Auto Trigger System can also roll on this weapon, making it a breeze to use. It’s a fantastic PvE weapon for Guardians that prefer using their abilities over their guns. Crucible players will want a different Sidearm, as its base stats aren’t as good as the likes of Drang or The Keening.
- Column One: Full Auto Trigger System, Killing Wind
- Column Two: Demolitionist, Wellspring
6 The Vision
How to obtain: Legendary world Engrams and focused Umbral Engrams.
The Vision is a three-round burst Sidearm, similar to how High Albedo behaves. Unlike that weapon, The Vision can roll with damage perks that increase its lethality.
For the primary column, you may use either Ambitious Assassin or Full Auto Trigger System. The 2nd column is where it gets thrilling. The Vision can roll with One for All, Swashbuckler, or Kill Clip. Combined with the already outstanding harm values of a three-spherical burst Sidearm, The Vision can carve thru enemies in PvE with little difficulty.
As for PvP, The Vision is a solid choice. A roll with Full Auto and Kill Clip makes for a lethal combination in 6v6 and even Competitive Crucible. It won’t beat Drang or Farewell for consistency, yet The Vision’s overall lethality makes it a solid choice for experienced Sidearm mains.
- Column One: Full Auto Trigger System, Ambitious Assassin
- Column Two: One for All (PvE), Kill Clip, Swashbuckler
How to obtain: Override and focused Umbral Engrams.
Farewell is a deceptively strong Sidearm. At first glance, it seems to be a subpar version of Lonesome or other Lightweight Sidearms. But thanks to its perk pool, Farewell is a surprisingly good PvP Sidearm.
This is the only Sidearm that can roll with Heating Up, giving this weapon some much-needed accuracy and stability after a kill. If you play Destiny on a controller, you might want to use Tunnel Vision instead to drastically improve your aim assist after a kill. For pure consistency, you can put Rangefinder on this gun—one of the only Sidearms in Destiny 2 that can roll with this perk. You can pair either of these perks with Multkill Clip, Thresh, or Vorpal Weapon. It’s easy to use and consistently lands its shots if you have Heating Up or Tunnel Vision active—something Sidearms typically struggle with.
It deals solid damage, is incredibly easy to use thanks to its perk pool, and farming for multiple Farewells is fairly easy. If you love Sidearms, you should have a good Farewell in your Vault.
- Column One: Heating Up, Tunnel Vision (PvP), Rangefinder
- Column Two: Multikill Clip, Thresh
4 Rat King
How to obtain: Purchased from the Exotic Kiosk in the Tower. It costs 1 Exotic Cipher, 100,000 Glimmer, 150 Helium Filaments, and 1 Ascendant Shard.
As one of three Exotic Sidearms in Destiny 2, Rat King has massive shoes to fill to be worth using. Thankfully, this is one of Destiny 2’s hidden gems.
No other Sidearm in the game can grant invisibility and health after a kill, let alone so consistently. The constant invisibility this gun grants can trivialize solo flawless dungeons, Master content, and even PvP. Hunters will get even more use out of this gun, as the invisibility this weapon grants does benefit from various Nightstalker subclass passives. Pair this weapon with Omnioculus for a great time.
Rat King truly excels as a close-range Primary in PvP. The TTK on Rat King is surprisingly short, it’s fairly easy to use, and the invisibility on kill manipulates the enemy’s radar—allowing you to get the jump on your next target. Rat King is an underused Exotic for Destiny’s Crucible that can finally shine with Season of the Splicer’s nerf to Shotguns.
How to obtain: Purchased from Banshee-44 in the Tower. It costs 1,000 Glimmer, 25 Legendary Shards, and 35 Gunsmith materials.
Even after three major expansions and multiple seasons, no Legendary Sidearm in Destiny 2 has been able to top Drang’s lethality in PvP. As the companion weapon of Sturm, Drang is an Adaptive Sidearm that feels fantastic to use. And thanks to it originating from Year 1, it always comes with the same roll.
An goal assist stat of 70, above-common zoom of 14, and a great range stat make Drang a dream to use. Landing consecutive headshots with this weapon is an absolute breeze. If that wasn’t sufficient, this weapon also comes with Moving Target and Rampage. If you want to land Sidearm kills in PvP or love the archetype, you may be tough-pressed to find a Sidearm better than Drang.
2 Traveler’s Chosen
How to obtain: Purchased from the Exotic Kiosk in the Tower. It costs 1 Exotic Cipher, 125,000 Glimmer, 200 Dusklight Shards, and 1 Ascendant Shard.
Similar to the Khvostov in the original Destiny, Traveler’s Chosen has been brought back as an Exotic. Unlike Khvostov, this weapon is much easier to build around.
Every kill with Traveler’s Chosen will grant a stack of Gathering Light which will increase to 3 stacks in line with kill if it is in opposition to a Guardian. Aim help, dealing with, and reload velocity are all improved with every stack. Three stacks are enough to make this weapon top-tier, but going past it makes this weapon a strong contender with the Last Word.
What makes this weapon truly great is how these Gathering Light stacks can be exchanged at any time for ability regeneration. Consuming stacks by holding the reload button will grant grenade, melee, and class ability energy for each stack. Five stacks are all it takes to regenerate over 50% of each ability. For PvP, this is one of the best Sidearms you can use. For PvE, this is a build-enabling weapon. If you love spamming abilities, it’s hard to top Traveler’s Chosen.
1 Brass Attacks
How to obtain: Battlegrounds and focused Umbral Engrams.
Fans of Season of Dawn’s Breachlight Sidearm need to get their hands on Brass Attacks. Part of the same Aggressive Burst archetype, Brass Attacks packs a serious punch without any damage buffs active.
This weapon’s default damage output makes it fantastic for PvE, but its perk pool takes Brass Attacks to a whole other level. Feeding Frenzy and Rampage makes it behave just as Breachlight did, although players tackling pinnacle content might prefer Rapid Hit and One for All. Crucible players can also obtain some great rolls, Killing Wind and Rampage pairing together nicely in PvP gunfights. This weapon can even roll with Frenzy. Brass Attacks is certainly one of Season of the Chosen’s best offerings.
- Column One: Feeding Frenzy, Rapid Hit
- Column Two: One for All (PvE), Rampage