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Destiny 2: Top 10 Sidearms, Ranked

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

Sidearms are widely regarded as one of the best Primary weapon archetypes for PvE in Destiny 2. Forgiving recoil patterns, high damage output, and a solid selection of perks make this weapon archetype a fantastic choice for most Guardians.

Related: Destiny 2: Every Weapon In Season Of The Plunder

Like most weapon archetypes, there are a few that rise above the rest. Whether it's for their unique perk combinations or incredible damage output, these Sidearms have carved a niche for themselves in Destiny 2's complicated sandbox. Their damage output and ease of use are hard to match. From common Legendaries to more unique Exotics, here are the ten best Sidearms in Destiny 2.

Updated September 6th, 2022, by Charles Burgar: Season of the Plunder released a fantastic Sidearm for players to chase. Named Brigand's Law, this pistol manages to pack the same add-clearing punch that Trinity Ghoul is known for. We've updated this list to include Brigand's Law, showcasing its unique perks and overall lethality in PvE content.

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 recent Shotgun nerfs.

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. Thanks to the infinite ammo change in Season 15, Devil's Ruin is a fantastic weapon for PvE and especially powerful in PvP.

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. You can also use Devil's Ruin as a pocket Heavy weapon in PvP since it has infinite ammo. Charge the weapon before starting an engagement, then watch your enemy disintegrate in half a second. It's fantastic for PvE, PvP, and practically becomes a Special weapon if you pair this gun with the Surprise Attack Combat Style mod.

Punching Out

How to obtain: Vanguard Strikes and Engrams.

Rapid-Fire Sidearms are surprisingly powerful in Destiny 2 with the right perks. Punching Out is arguably the best Rapid-Fire Frame in the game, mainly due to its excellent perks. Since it's a playlist weapon, you will have to fight against a massive perk pool to get the roll you want. But when that perfect roll finally drops, you won't want to use anything else.

Related: Destiny 2: The Best Warlock Builds For PvP And PvE

Overflow, Subsistence, Feeding Frenzy, and Season 15's Encore perk are great options on this gun for PvE. It can also roll with quite a few damage perks, Kill Clip being the most notable. Punching Out can chew through Guardians just as well as PvE combatants. Encore and Kill Clip is a dream to use, giving this weapon an immense boost to its stability, accuracy, and damage when you need it most. All Sidearm fans need to give Punching Out a try, provided you get one to drop.

Recommended Traits:

  • Column One: Encore (PvP), Rangefinder (PvP), Subsistence, Overflow
  • Column Two: Kill Clip, Frenzy, Elemental Capacitor (PvP)

Forgiveness

How to obtain: Trials of Osiris Engrams and matches.

Forgiveness is the closest thing to Breachlight we have that isn't sunset. This weapon can roll with Demolitionist and Adrenaline Junkie, uses the same archetype as Breachlight, and Forgiveness has a better stat package than just about every Aggressive Frame Sidearm in the game.

A base range of 60, 90 aim assist, and an Airborne Effectiveness stat of 25 means you'll be landing most of your shots with ease. Throw on a Sidearm Targeting mod on your helmet, and this weapon should live up to its name by being one of the forgiving Sidearms in the game. For PvP, consider a roll with Killing Wind and Rapid Hit to give this weapon a degree of consistency that only Exotics can match. If you care about Sidearms at all, keep an eye out for this gun whenever Trials of Osiris is active.

Recommended Traits:

  • Column One: Demolitionist, Killing Wind, Well-Rounded
  • Column Two: Adrenaline Junkie, Rapid Hit, Multikill Clip

Brigand's Law

How to obtain: Season of the Plunder activities.

Brigand's Law is a Legendary version of Trinity Ghoul condensed into Sidearm form. This weapon can roll with Voltshot, a powerful Arc variant of Kill Clip that causes your first shot in a fresh magazine to inflict Jolt. And since Jolt deals a massive amount of damage in PvE, this Sidearm can clear entire hordes with just a few shots.

You can pair Voltshot with Pugilist for a fantastic Arc 3.0 weapon, allowing you to weave melee attacks and Jolt lightning with ease. As for PvP, Brigand's Law doesn't quite live up to Punching Out but is a solid choice. Perpetual Motion with Rangefinder or Swashbuckler is a solid combination, but we recommend looking elsewhere for a god roll PvP Sidearm.

Recommended Traits:

  • Column One: Pugilist, Feeding Frenzy, Perpetual Motion
  • Column Two: Voltshot, Swashbuckler, Rangefinder (PvP)

Drang (Baroque)

How to obtain: Opulent chests and Focused Umbral Engrams.

Drang has dominated the Sidearm scene in PvP ever since Destiny 2 launched. This Sidearm counterpart to the Sturm Hand Cannon is easy to use, has incredible base stats, and came with a rather solid roll. Thanks to the Menagerie weapons coming back in Season of the Haunted, players can finally farm for a randomly-rolled Drang again with the Drang (Baroque) version.

Related: Destiny 2: The Best Hand Cannons For PvP

An aim assist stat of 70, above-average zoom of 14, and a good range stat make Drang a dream to use. Landing consecutive headshots with this weapon is an absolute breeze. If that wasn't enough, this weapon has some fantastic perks. Eye of the Storm and Rampage gives this weapon a great deal of consistency in a duel and a boost in lethality after you down a Guardian. Well-Rounded and Swashbuckler is also a good combo. And if you're a PvP main, consider a roll with Disruption Break and Incandescent to synergize nicely with Kinetic weapons and Solar subclasses. Drang also gets bonus points for being one of the few Sidearms you can craft in Destiny 2.

Recommended Traits:

  • Column One: Eye of the Storm, Moving Target (PvP), Well-Rounded, Disruption Break (PvE)
  • Column Two: Rampage, Swashbuckler, Incandescent (PvE)

Trespasser

How to obtain: Season Pass reward.

Trespasser has returned from the original Destiny stronger than ever. This Sidearm fires three-round bursts that become supercharged upon reloading after a kill. These supercharged bursts fire six shots in one burst, capable of instantly killing most PvE fodder enemies. Killing an enemy with this burst supercharges your next burst and reloads the gun, allowing you to theoretically fire supercharged bursts indefinitely.

In practice, Trespasser isn't going to fire supercharged bursts forever. This weapon can't one-burst a Guardian in PvP, although it can lay in some absurd damage. For PvE, Trespasser is a devastating add-clearing machine that matches the likes of Trinity Ghoul and Riskrunner, albeit slightly less effective than those options. In PvP, Trespasser is a fantastic Sidearm that can nab easy kills with good trigger discipline and aim.

Forerunner

How to obtain: Magnum Opus quest.

This really shouldn't be considered a Sidearm. The Forerunner is a 200 RPM Sidearm that uses Special ammo, retaining the iconic design, scope, and overall lethality that made the Halo: Combat Evolved Magnum it's based on so special.

In PvE, this weapon is a menace. Forerunner deals extra damage on precision hits to unshielded targets, which is most of the enemy types you'll be facing. It one-taps all red bars, destroys majors, and can even take down stunned Champions without much hassle. Use this weapon with the Surprise Attack mod and a Disruption Break Energy weapon to turn Forerunner into a Heavy weapon.

For PvP, Forerunner is also a powerhouse. It can three-tap Guardians to the head at incredible distances, mimicking the power of Luna's How and Not Forgotten during the Forsaken expansion. It also recovers quite a bit of ammo from Special bricks, allowing you to use this as a Primary weapon after a few kills. It isn't a game-breaking Sidearm like some Crucible players have suggested, but it's hard to deny that Forerunner is one of the best Sidearms in Destiny 2. It certainly lives up to the Halo Magnum it's based on.

Peacebond

How to obtain: Iron Banner matches and Engrams.

Destiny 2's first Legendary Stasis Sidearm, Peacebond is nothing short of a powerhouse. This three-round burst Sidearm is unique in that it can roll with Rangefinder and a Stasis-related perk: Headstone. This perk will spawn a Stasis crystal at a victim's corpse after you land a precision kill. You can then shatter the crystal to deal massive AoE damage, or preserve it to benefit from Whisper of Chains. This perk's versatility is simply unmatched.

If you don't like using Stasis, you can replace Headstone with Swashbuckler, Harmony, or Snapshot Sights if you play PvP. It has great range, feels amazing to use, and can provide some incredible utility when built around. Keep your eyes out for this Sidearm whenever Iron Banner rolls around.

Recommended Traits:

  • Column One: Rangefinder, Subsistence
  • Column Two: Headstone, Swashbuckler, Snapshot Sights (PvP)

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 increases to three stacks per kill if it's against a Guardian. Aim assist, handling, and reload speed are all increased with each 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. It even fires in full-auto and gains Osmosis with its Catalyst, allowing for some absurd PvE build potential.

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 per stack. For PvP, this is one of the best Sidearms you can use. For PvE, this is a build-enabling weapon, especially with the Catalyst. Having a pistol that can fully recharge your abilities and swap elements is nothing short of S-tier.

Next: Destiny 2: Top Auto Rifles, Ranked

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