If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Destiny: 16 essential weapons for PvE


Destiny: 16 essential weapons for PvE

Taking down everything from fleet-footed thrall to Prison of Elders nemesis Skolas requires damage delivered heavy and fast. These are the tools you need to conquer Destiny’s PvE End Game.

Yes, even a Level 34 Guardian can be unattractive without the proper equipment. You may be sporting a month’s worth of Kell armour from Variks, but when you’re stepping into the Prison of Elders that basic kinetic gear just isn’t going to cut it. So we’ve outlined the (mostly) elemental-damage legendary and exotic prizes to aim for when Raiding or praying to RNGesus.


Vestian Dynasty

Wow. We started out wondering if this widespread freebie from Petra Venj would amount to anything much, but the arc damage sidearm has quickly become indispensible to many. Ascended to 365-damage, it pounds Fallen Captains into submission and melts Vex Harpies. We’re including this over Found Verdict, that’s how much we love it. We have another suggestion for shotguns…



Out of three ‘first choice’ shotguns (others being Found Verdict and The 4th Horseman, both arc), we’re going with the void damage Swordbreaker. Yes, it has the lowest impact of all three but it has the best rate of fire, fastest reload speed, equips in a split-second and it really enjoys killing Hive. In any case, with plenty of scope for arc damage elsewhere, a void shotty versus Vex got the vote.


Vision of Confluence

This solar damage Scout Rifle with Sureshot, Zen Moment and Full Auto perks on-board is the go to weapon for the majority of routine headshots and causing enemies to flinch. It chews through Cabal with ease and is irreplaceable in the Vault of Glass. The conundrum here is that it can only be acquired in the Venus Raid from killing Atheon, but it drops fairly regularly on Normal or Hard.



Arguably the single-most sought after in the game now that Gjallarhorn seems to be dropping more regularly for people, this arc damage Hand Cannon is phenomenal now that it boasts 365-damage. It instant evaporates Vex Goblins and Hive Thrall, just be sure to equip Single Point Sling instead of Explosive Rounds to maximise damage. Only drops at the Templar in Vault of Glass on Hard mode.


Corrective Measure

Void damage Heavy Machine Gun that lets you choose between Perfect Balance, Armour Piercing Rounds or Field Scout – all of which are useful depending on the situation. We prefer to go with Field Scout for boss fights where Heavy Ammo drops are in short supply. This provides 300 rounds with 100 round clips. You should soon be in luck after killing the Vault’s Gatekeepers on Normal or Hard.


Praedyth’s Revenge

Favoured mainly for its perfect balance and Firefly potential, Revenge feels like operating a surgeon’s tool from range. It’s so easy to aim that any other sniper rifle feels like a bitch to control, other than Patience and Time (see next). It’s a fairly common drop from the Templar boss in the Vault of Glass. We’ve one assigned to each of our three Guardians; this is how much we rely on it.


Patience and Time

This exotic and not too common (unless Xur is selling) arc damage sniper rifle is capable of ridiculous damage in Arc Burn Nightfall Strikes. It has the added advantage of an invisibility perk that lasts for eight seconds , which resourceful Guardians have been using to help solo the Abyss (aka ‘lamps’) in the Crota’s End Raid. Sadly there is still lens glint while aiming, but this is no big deal for AI enemies.



Exotic, solar damage sniper rifle Icebreaker is another essential tool, and not only because its 6-round clip auto-regenerates. The Icebreaker perk is similar to Firefly, except that the enemy combusts upon dying even if you can’t land the headshot. One of the secret perks is that any other Special Weapon you’re carrying also gains a full clip after switching over from this when fully loaded.



Needing no introduction, but here’s what we’ve got to say about it now. This exotic rocket launcher is listed as solar damage, but tends to demolish shields of any type. In Prison of Elders rounds that require mines to be dismantled, Gjallarhorn missiles accompanied by tracking cluster missiles keep areas clear for Guardians that don’t have a Ward of Dawn or Stalker/Vanish at the ready.


Red Death

The closing stages of the Crota’s End Raid prevent Guardian health from regenerating, and ever since this exotic pulse rifle has become much sought after because it fully regenerates health after a kill. It’s a beast in terms of preventing your Guardian from missing a shot under fire (Unflinching), while causing enemies to falter using High Calibre Rounds. Xur has sold this multiple times now.


Abyss Defiant

Your main reason to go after this solar damage auto rifle is its Lich Bane perk that has a good chance of disorienting Wizards. This is of huge benefit during The Prison of Elders, especially when up against Hive bosses Gulrot the Unclean and Urrox the Flame Prince. It keeps the pressure off while you reach for Icebreaker, Gjallarhorn or Hunger of Crota. Drops from the bridge encounter in CE.


Word of Crota

While it’s nowhere near as glamorous as Fatebringer, it’s Prison of Elders yet again that has put Word of Crota back on the map and an early choice to Ascend using Etheric Light. It’s perks are not really much to write home about, even the Phantom Gift granting additional rounds for consecutive critical hits. Choose Hammer Forged over Explosive Rounds. Drops from Crota on Hard mode only.


Oversoul Edict

It’s worth running just the Abyss (‘lamps’) in Crota’s End each week until you’ve landed this arc damage pulse rifle. It has a ridiculous rate of fire that is also Full Auto, and its bullets cut through Hive Knights’ pesky shields. It murders Psions in seconds, and sends Fallen Captains scurrying. It seems to break through elemental shields of all types through sheer persistence alone!


Fang of Ir Yût

You’ll need to get lucky after dropping Crota on Hard mode, but it’s worth it for Third Eye and Hive Disruptor on this arc damage Scout Rifle. We’ve not been particularly impressed by the Target Mark perk that highlights enemies you’ve tagged, we’d rather have the faster reload benefits of Spray and Play. We’re also bigger fans of High Calibre Rounds at the expense of Perfect Balance or Field Scout.


Black Hammer

It’s all about the White Nail perk on this solar damage sniper rifle that potentially lands infinite critical hits when you’re landing three in a row. Atheon has been collapsing in one exit from the Oracle gates lately, and PoE boss Skolas was having his noggin knocked back repeatedly to make for easy (yeh right) kills before the recent patch. It’s amazing, and drops on Crota’s End Normal mode.


Hunger of Crota

Also known affectionately as Baby Gjallarhorn, although its cluster bombs drop clumsily to the ground instead of enveloping foes after the tracking missile has done its job. But for a legendary solar damage RPG that hates Hive Knights, it’s a gift from Crota’s End on Normal mode. The choice of Javelin or Heavy Payload depends on whether your clearing adds or punching Crota on the nose.

About the Author

Paul Davies


Black Friday Sale: save 25% off a yearly subscription!

Your support helps keep VG247 a kick-ass, no BS destination for discussion of the biggest topics in video games. Join today to unlock:

  • Ad-free browsing
  • Monthly Letter from Editor Tom Orry
  • Commenting Flair
  • Merch Discounts
See more information
VG247 logo

Buy our t-shirts, yeah

They're far more stylish than your average video game website tat.

Explore our store
VG247 Merch