Destiny 2 players love a good scout rifle. We run through the best ones.
Scout rifles are a favourite weapons category in Destiny 2. As long as you’ve got even a moderately steady hand you can land precision hits from a comfortable distance, and in a game that favours critical damage so highly, that’s a good thing – so of course you’ll want the best scout rifle you can get.
Scout rifles are Destiny 2’s long range, low rate of fire, high impact weapon class. Damage is high enough that it takes very few shots to off a Guardian on the other side of the map if you’re handy with your boomstick, and generous auto aim mean almost everyone is. You’ll find yourself on the receiving end a lot in PvP now that sniper rifles are less commonly used, but the good news is many of them are difficult to use up close, and that’s a weakness you can exploit – or guard against.
Scout rifles are an excellent choice in PvE, where enemy AI makes it easy to get yourself in the perfect position to snipe away at your leisure from cover. There are very few encounters where this strategy will fail you.
On this page, part of our Destiny 2 guide, we’ll run down the best scout rifles for PvE and PvP. Combine this with our advice on the best armour attributes in Destiny 2 and our lists of armour sets and where to find them, and you have everything you need to craft a perfect Destiny 2 build.
There are many scout rifles to choose from, and all of them will do the job – but we definitely think there are a few that stand out from the pack thanks to their perks or feel, and qualify for nominations as the best scout rifles in Destiny 2.
Note that the opinions expressed here are derived from the state of the Destiny 2 PvP and PvE meta during Season 1 (September 2017 onwards). A major rebalance is expected when Season 2 begins, and we’ll update once the dust settles.
Alright, let’s get into it. Here are the best scout rifles in Destiny 2.
Best kinetic scout rifle for PvP: Nameless Midnight
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Nameless Midnight is a hugely popular scout rifle not because of its stats (it’s actually outclassed by other members of the Precision paradigm, which is itself one of the weaker TTK paradigms of the scout rifle class) but because it feels excellent to use. Although the stability is a little lower than desired and the aim assist is nothing to write home about, it’s amazingly accurate, and has a reasonable rate of fire, handling and reload time to boot. Additionally, Explosive Payload means there’s less damage drop off at range, which may give you the edge you need to knock down a MIDA. Pretty good in PvE, too.
- “Strange things wake at the stroke of twelve.”
- View on Destiny Tracker: Nameless Midnight
- Found in: Vanguard Tactician (Strike) engrams
- Alternative: Call to Serve is another scout rifle that just feels ice-crisp precise, and also has Triple Tap. It’s a really close second to Nameless Midnight, and both of these scout rifles should be in everybody’s collection.
- Alternative 2: The End has no downsides, but it takes a skilled player to really take advantage of its Slideways perk.
Best energy scout rifle for PvP: Black Scorpion-4sr
This is a Rapid-Fire scout rifle with the option to fire in full auto; if you land precision shots, its TTK is equalled only by its stablemate Contingency Plan. What elevates Black Scorpion-4sr is the boost to movement speed while on ADS, which combines beautifully with above average stability to allow you to deliver critical after critical. This is a closer range scout rifle, making it perfect for those agile players who like to get in among it, and great for shutting down a roaming Super coming right for you. Advanced players only, maybe, but isn’t that what we’re all aiming for?
- “I attack from the shadows. I never miss.”
- View on Destiny Tracker: Black Scorpion-4sr
- Found in: Gunsmith engrams
- Alternative: Tone Patrol is an energy scout rifle with High Caliber Rounds, to stagger your opponents.
Best scout rifle for PvE: Manannan SR4
Lightweight scout rifles are forgiving to those who can’t guarantee a precision shot every time, have even higher auto aim and provide a movement boost; the only downside is a truncated range compared to other paradigms. The Manannan SR4 is the best of them, offering fantastic crowd control thank to Explosive Payload – which also means it does extra damage to shields on top of the energy weapon bonus, making it extra effective in that regard. Good handling and reload make up for a bit of instability.
- “Escort your foes to their defeat.”
- View on Destiny Tracker: Manannan SR4
- Found in: Gunsmith engrams
- Alternative: Tango 45 has Triple Tap, which is great for quickly clearing adds without reloads.
Best automatic scout rifle: Conspirator
Another Lightweight scout rifle, Conspirator has all the benefits discussed above but packs in Dragonfly for crowd control and can be fired in full-auto mode with a held trigger. You’ll have to learn to control its recoil, but if you can do it the precision shots just pile up. The handling is excellent and the reload speed’s pretty good, too. Make the most of the speed boost to get in among them.
- “Did Ghaul always dream of a republic? What terrible worm burrowed into his heart that he would betray my love and plot against me?”
- View on Destiny Tracker: Conspirator
- Found in: Leviathan Raid engrams
- Alternative: Seven-Six-Five is another great scout rifle with full-auto fire.
Best Exotic scout rifle: MIDA Multi-tool
The absolute best scout rifle if you just look at average stats, MIDA Multi-tool is a Lightweight paradigm beast outclassed only by the longer range of the High-Impact scout rifles – and that’s a negligible disadvantage. The enormous aim assist in MIDA is partly why you see it used so often in PvP – it’s just way easier to get headshots than almost any other weapon – but the always-on radar is an even bigger advantage in the right hands, and that movement speed boost, well – we all love that in the Crucible, don’t we. Finally, High-Caliber Rounds means any opponent you hit will have a bloody hard time hitting you back. The #1 Crucible weapon by a wide margin; the lore indicates Bungie knew it would dominate early PvP meta, and does not care.
- “Select application: Ballistic engagement. Entrenching tool. Avionics trawl. Troll smasher. Stellar sextant. List continues.”
- View on Destiny Tracker: MIDA Multi-tool
- Found in: MIDA Multi-tool Exotic weapon quest
- Alternative: Skyburner’s Oath is almost as good actually, except in hipfire mode. We’ll be interested to see how The Jade Rabbit stacks up.
Not your assessment of the best scout rifles in Destiny 2? Share your thoughts, we’re open to discussion.