Destiny 2 fields so many excellent auto rifles that picking the best one is agonising.
Auto rifles are among the best weapons in Destiny 2 right now, and there are very few that aren’t worth at least checking out.
The most familiar and basic weapons category remains one of the most effective. The beauty of auto rifles is, of course, the ability to just hold down the trigger and get in a huge number of shots very quickly – provided you can hold the reticule on the target. Destiny 2’s collection of auto rifles make this very easy, and auto rifles are subsequently a go-to in PvP, where experts wield them like scalpels.
They’re also excellent in PvE. In general, auto rifles don’t have the range of scout rifles, which means you need to get among it a bit more – but many of bonuses that reward you for doing so, and hip fire isn’t terrible, which is an unusual state of affairs. Recommended, but watch your ammo reserves.
On this page, part of our Destiny 2 guide, we’ll run down the best auto 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.
The best auto rifle in Destiny 2 is, of course, the one you personally enjoy using and find effective, and they’re all so good that almost any with be excellent in any circumstances – but there are definitely a few stand out models to focus on.
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 run down the best auto rifles in Destiny 2.
Best auto rifle for PvP: Origin Story
There’s a reason Origin Story’s all over your killfeed, and it’s that it has the most manageable recoil pattern of any Precision auto rifle. TTK is king in PvP, and if you can land headshots reliably then the Precision paradigm has the best performance among auto rifles. You should already see why Origin Story is so highly favoured despite no standout perk; that said, the scope selection is very good, including a Snapshot option, and Rampage does help you rack up kill after kill. Low aim assist makes it trickier to use than some other favourites, but that’s how many Crucible hounds prefer it.
- “Your inciting incident is their tragic ending.”
- View on Destiny Tracker: Origin Story
- Found in: Vanguard Tactician (Strike) engrams
- Alternative: The Number, Uriel’s Gift and Prosecutor are all excellent choices with similar performance, though not Kinetic.
Best auto rifle for PvE: Ghost Primus
Ghost Primus has the highest aim assist of any Legendary auto rifle, so if you just need something to lock onto the baddies while you wail away, it’s the gun of choice for you – especially if you balance it with a Kinetic stability mod. It has two synergistic perks that mean the end of your magazine is both more accurate and deadly than the opening shots, which is arse-backwards for PvP but can be used against AI to great effect. Being an Adaptive auto rifle, Ghost Primus has very, very good body shot TTK and almost as good a critical TTK as the Precision models.
- “The Ghost Primus was strong because of his disfigurement, not in spite of it. He alone had the vision to share my dream of a new, perfect world. Ghaul was a creature of singular beauty, and I loved him.”
- View on Destiny Tracker: Ghost Primus
- Found in: Leviathan Raid drops, Leviathan Raid engrams
- Alternative: Scathelocke is another good Adaptive auto rifle with increased damage at the end of the magazine.
Best Energy auto rifle: Valakydn
We could have listed a stack of the Precision Energy autos again here, but decided to opt for something a little bit different: the Rapid Fire auto rifle paradigm favours short range body shot engagements, and if you bear that in mind you’ve got an excellent tool for popping shields, shutting down supers, and rocking your targets with so much screen shake they can’t hit the side of a barn. Valakydn in particular is especially good as a variety of perk option give you the opportunity to min-max for a little extra range, stability, faster reload or handling – whatever you prefer. The faster reload on any empty magazine, combined with increased accuracy and stability in the lower half of the magazine, encourage you to empty your chambers at each engagement. Master the tricky recoil on this one for fun and profit.
- “In dark water, my fangs are bared.”
- View on Destiny Tracker: Valakydn
- Found in: Io, Gunsmith, Faction and random drop Legendary engrams.
- Alternative: Perseverance is comparable Energy Rapid Fire auto rifle with a similar perk.
Best Exotic auto rifle: Hard Light
This was actually a really difficult choice because the two Exotic auto rifles are both very good for different reasons. Hard Light wins out by being the easiest to use – in fact, with phenomenal aim assist and perfect recoil management, it’s one of the most beginner-friendly guns in Destiny 2. It has excellent handling, reload speed and stability, and its unique perks mean it over-penetrates, has no damage fallout, and projectiles richochet off hard surfaces. So even if a target is technically out of effective range, you have a good chance to kill them even if you actually miss. Also, you can fire it around corners if you know someone’s hiding. OP?
- “Ionized polymer synballistic attack platform. The system’s lethality is dynamically robust across tactical spaces.”
- View on Destiny Tracker: Hard Light
- Found in: Exotic engrams, Xur inventory
- Alternative: Sweet Business is incredibly deadly, but requires an experienced hand to use effectively – and is easily countered.
Not your top candidates for best auto rifle in Destiny 2? Let us know your thoughts below.