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Destiny 2: Top 10 Bows, Ranked

TheGamer logo TheGamer 9/6/2022 Charles Burgar
© Provided by TheGamer

Destiny 2: Forsaken introduced Bows, a deadly weapon archetype meant to bridge the gap between Scout Rifles and Sniper Rifles. Bows combine the rapid shots of a Scout Rifle with a Sniper Rifle's high damage per shot.

Related: Destiny 2: The Best Hand Cannons For PvP

As long as you master the draw time on these Bows, they can serve you well in PvE and PvP. Of course, Bows come in all shapes and sizes that benefit certain playstyles much more than others. Exotic Bows and even common Legendaries can dethrone other weapon categories with the right rolls. Here are the best Bows you can use in Destiny 2.

Updated September 6th, 2022, by Charles Burgar: While only one Bow was added in Season of the Plunder, it has a fantastic perk pool that competes with some of Destiny 2's best Bows. We've updated this list to include two Bows: Whistler's Whim and Wish-Ender. The former has some amazing perk combinations, while the latter saw a massive buff in Season of the Plunder that makes it a solid alternative to Arbalest in endgame PvE content.

Whistler's Whim

How to obtain: Trials of Osiris matches and Engrams.

Whistler's Whim is the first Bow to come from the Trials of Osiris. It's also the first Bow to roll with Kill Clip, increasing the weapon's damage by 33% for a few seconds after a kill. That sounds overpowered on paper, but it's not nearly as broken in practice.

This Bow is a Lightweight Frame, meaning its base damage is quite low compared to its Precision Frame cousin. Kill Clip alone won't cause one-taps, but pairing this perk with Radiant will let it one-tap. You can pair Kill Clip with Rapid Hit for faster reloads or Rangefinder for faster arrows and stickier aim assist. Either way, Whistler's Whim is a great Bow in PvE and a solid PvP Primary if you build around it.

Recommended Traits

  • Column One: Rapid Hit, Rangefinder
  • Column Two: Kill Clip, Swashbuckler, Opening Shot


How to obtain: Awoken Talisman quest, obtained from the Quest Archive in the Tower.

It might be surprising to see Wish-Ender on here, but Bungie gave this Exotic a massive buff in Season of the Plunder. It hits a target three times per arrow in PvE, deals more damage versus minibosses, and it has Anti-Barrier Rounds.

A single arrow is all you need to break a Barrier Champion's shield, making this a fantastic alternative to Arbalest. It also hits much harder than before, one-tapping fodder enemies with ease while dealing solid damage to majors. It won't beat Trinity Ghoul in terms of add clear, but if you're looking for a good endgame Bow that counters Champions, Wish-Ender might be for you.

Ticuu's Divination

How to obtain: Purchased from the Exotic Kiosk in the Tower. Costs 1 Exotic Cipher, 100,000 Glimmer, 150 Microphasic Datalattice, and 1 Ascendant Shard.

Ticuu's Divination is a strange hybrid between Trinity Ghoul and Sunshot. This Exotic Bow fires three arrows that aggressively track targets while hip-fired. Aiming before firing will make all three arrows land together.

Unlike Trinity Ghoul, Ticuu's Divination is all about causing explosions. Enemies that are hit by a hip-fired arrow will be "marked," causing them to explode when they are defeated. An aimed shot will cause this detonation prematurely, making this weapon comparable to Sunshot in terms of add clear. Thanks to the Wrath of Rasputin mod, Ticuu's Divination's explosions can even spawn Warmind Cells when they defeat targets.

Related: Destiny 2: Top Auto Rifles, Ranked

If this weapon is so powerful in PvE, why isn't it higher on the list? Two reasons:

  1. Its gimmicky nature makes it somewhat difficult to use in PvP.
  2. Le Monarque exists.

Utilizing the explosive nature of this Bow in PvP can be frustrating in 3v3 environments. It's solid for 6v6 encounters, yet those game types are so chaotic that Bows are usually ill-suited for those types of firefights. As for PvE, Le Monarque fills a similar niche but also counters Champions and heals you. Ticcu's Divination is a powerful Bow you can bring to just about all endgame PvE content, but don't expect this weapon to dethrone Trinity Ghoul or even Le Monarque anytime soon.

Leviathan's Breath

How to obtain: Purchased from the Exotic Kiosk in the Tower. Costs 1 Exotic Cipher, 100,000 Glimmer, 150 Microphasic Datalattice, and 1 Ascendant Shard.

Technically speaking, Leviathan's Breath is a Bow. This massive Heavy weapon deals a massive amount of damage with each shot, although it takes over a second to fully draw this thing. It's impractical for boss DPS in PvE content, yet this weapon is the bane of Champions and Guardians alike.

This weapon got a reworked Catalyst during Year 5, giving this weapon a stronger version of Archer's Tempo. One headshot is all it takes to make this weapon behave like a Precision Bow, allowing you to lay into Champions and tougher foes with ease. Champions die in one or two arrows, while Guardians in the Crucible and Gambit disintegrate if this Bow manages to hit them. It's easy to use, is one of the few Heavy weapons with an anti-Champion property, and it's a menace in Gambit. Don't sleep on this Bow.


How to obtain: Legendary world Engrams.

Arsenic Bite has received a Stasis variant that lives up to that weapon's legacy. Obtained from Legendary Engrams, this Lightweight Bow has just about everything you'd want from a Primary. The Veist Stringer origin trait lets you shoot arrows significantly faster, and the inherent Stasis damage makes this Bow perfect for Stasis builds or anyone looking to free up their Energy slot.

As for perks, Lunulata has some great choices. Shoot to Loot and Headstone is one of the most fun combinations you can use, allowing you to shatter Stasis crystals to safely grab ammo from a distance—a fantastic synergy for GM Nightfalls. It's also the only Bow that can roll with Golden Tricorn, giving this weapon an immense damage boost. For PvP, Rangefinder and Successful Warm-Up can be quite powerful, although it falls behind options like Biting Winds and even the Harmony roll for Wolftone Draw.

Recommended Traits

  • Column One: Shoot to Loot (PvE), Rangefinder (PvP)
  • Column Two: Headstone, Successful Warm-Up, Golden Tricorn (PvE)

Biting Winds

How to obtain: The Dark Priestess Empire Hunt bounty.

Part of Europa's roster of weapons, Biting Winds is easily the strongest PvP Bow in Destiny 2. This weapon is a Precision Frame Bow that can roll with Swashbuckler. Due to how much base damage Precision Frames have, a x5 Swashbuckler stack will make Biting Winds one-tap Guardians to the head.

Perks that compliment Biting Winds include Killing Wind, Rapid Hit, and Moving Target. Killing Wind can be kept active for an absurdly long time once you have x5 Swashbuckler stacks. If you're playing a Competitive game type, Moving Target makes landing headshots trivial. Biting Winds isn't a bad PvE Bow either, but it won't live up to the likes of Arsenic Bite or Trinity Ghoul.

Recommended Traits

  • Column One: Rapid Hit, Moving Target (PvP), Killing Wind
  • Column Two: Swashbuckler

Under Your Skin

How to obtain: PsiOps Battlegrounds and Risen Umbral Engrams.

Under Your Skin is the best Legendary Bow in Destiny 2, and it's not even close. This weapon combines the best aspects of Ticuu's Divination and Hush to create a fast-firing, hard-hitting Bow that excels in PvE and PvP activities.

Related: Destiny 2 The Witch Queen: PsiOps Battleground Guide

The star of the show here is Successful Warm-Up, a perk that drastically reduces the draw time of this Bow after a kill. Paired with Archer's Tempo, your draw speed is comparable to Hush—a Pinnacle Bow from years past renowned for its near-instant draw time. Under Your Skin also comes with the Land Tank Origin Trait, granting Resilience and damage resistance with each combatant final blow.

If you find Archer's Tempo too fast when paired with Successful Warm-Up, you can get Hip-Fire Grip to make this Bow a breeze to land headshots with. Hip-firing a Bow like this never gets old. And thanks to its intrinsic Void damage type, you can use Volatile Rounds. This makes Under Your Skin proc Volatile with almost every arrow, dealing immense AoE and single-target damage. If you love Bows at all, you'll love this weapon.

Recommended Traits

  • Column One: Archer's Tempo, Hip-Fire Grip (PvP)
  • Column Two: Successful Warm-Up

Strident Whistle

How to obtain: Vanguard strikes and Engrams.

Strident Whistle is effectively Le Monarque but in Legendary form. This Precision Bow is currently the only Legendary Solar Bow in Destiny 2 that isn't tied to a raid, so that alone makes it worth chasing. Thankfully, this weapon has some amazing perks that make it an add-clearing machine.

The most notable perk combination on offer is Archer's Tempo and Incandescent, giving this weapon an AoE effect that triggers with each kill. The damage itself might not be great, yet it inflicts a Scorch DoT on targets. With a few back-to-back kills, all remaining enemies will Ignite, dealing immense damage over a large area. If you don't mind a slower draw time on this Bow, you can replace Archer's Tempo with Shoot to Loot to grab ammo from a distance. And if you're a PvP Bow main, this Bow is capable of rolling Surplus and Harmony—an elite perk combination that lets this weapon one-shot Guardians when paired with another damage buff.

Recommended Traits

  • Column One: Archer's Tempo, Shoot to Loot, Surplus
  • Column Two: Explosive Head, Successful Warm-Up, Incandescent, Harmony (PvP)

Le Monarque

How to obtain: Purchased from the Exotic Kiosk in the Tower. Costs 1 Exotic Cipher, 125,000 Glimmer, 200 Dusklight Shards, and 1 Ascendant Shard.

Le Monarque does everything you'd want from a Bow. Here are a few things it can do:

  1. Create poisonous clouds that deal great AoE damage.
  2. One-shot Guardians while you have a 20% damage buff.
  3. Proc Volatile thanks to Volatile Rounds.
  4. Heals you with each multikill.

You'll have to get comfortable landing perfect shots to get the most out of Le Monarque, but that small learning curve is completely worth it. This weapon deals immense damage, prevents Guardians from reviving allies or regenerating HP, clears out waves of enemies with a single arrow (especially with Volatile Rounds), and its Catalyst gives Le Monarque Unrelenting. Bow mains already know how good Le Monarque is, but if you've yet to use it, we highly recommend you give it a try. Once you get used to Le Monarque, you won't want to take it off.

Trinity Ghoul

How to obtain: Exotic Engrams and Xur.

What was once the worst Bow in Destiny 2 has become the best thanks to its Exotic Catalyst. When installed, Trinity Ghoul will activate Lightning Rod after any Arc damage kills a target. This extends to Arc grenades, melee attacks, Supers, and even Trinity Ghoul itself.

As a result, nearly every shot from Trinity Ghoul has Lightning Rod enabled, allowing this Bow to clear entire waves of enemies with a single shot. It has infinite ammo, can take down most enemies in a single shot, and can clear out waves just as well as Riskrunner but from further range. It even does well in 6v6 Crucible playlists, although we don't recommend using it for 3v3 Competitive. Every player should obtain Trinity Ghoul and Masterwork it.

Next: Destiny 2: The Best Sniper Rifles For PvE, Ranked


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