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10 Best Shotguns in Destiny Two for 2021

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10 Best Shotguns in Destiny Two

There’s nothing quite like the best shotguns in Destiny Two. Bungie held on to the memorable and satisfying close-quarters action of their shotgun design from the original Halo. It just feels so right when you blast away a group of Thrawl in PVE or survive by the skin of your teeth in Crucible.

But here’s the thing. Unlike HaloDestiny Two has tons – and I mean TONS – of shotguns available. And not all of them are made alike. Some are genuinely so terrible that you’d be better off throwing the gun at your enemy rather than shooting it.

So, how do you make sure that you are using Destiny Two’s best shotguns? Read on to find out.

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The Ten Best Shotguns

Destiny two is a complex game when it concerns weaponry. Apart from the various weapon types, mods, and classes, you also have to think about the game mode you are playing and any meta tweaks that come with the most current updates.

Thankfully, most of probably the best shotguns in Destiny 2 are multifaceted, meaning that there’ll be some overlap between use cases. That said, we have identified where each shotgun is most useful, as well as just how you are able to get it. Additionally, every gun on this list is relatively equal in terms of usefulness – it ultimately comes down to your playstyle and where you plan to make use of it. 

But enough talk. Eyes up, Guardian, let’s find you the shotgun of your dreams.

1. First In, Last Out

The best balance of range and stability

10 Best Shotguns in Destiny Two
10 Best Shotguns in Destiny Two

When’s a shotgun not a shotgun? When you have an energy slotted weapon that functions more like a quick-firing, mid-range Fusion Rifle. This legacy weapon can be a great introductory shotgun that quickly evolves into a lethal killing machine, both scoped and from the hip, as you get more comfortable with it.

Why Is It One of the Best?
2 words: stability and range. You usually have to sacrifice one for the other, but First In, Last Out balances both stats in the low 60s. You are able to up the range in exchange for a small dip in handling, making this shotgun the mid range best friend of yours (in case you are okay with a little recoil).

What’s It Good For?
PVE and PVP. You’ll need to work on your ability to quickly aim down sights to make it useful in the Crucible, but it can still be a reliable crutch as a hip-fire weapon in a pinch.

What Mods Should I Use?
You only have one slot, so try to compliment your range or expand your magazine. If you’re using this primarily for PVE, it may be better to equip it with a Major Spec to handle tougher enemies.

  • Backup Mag. Increases magazine size.
  • Sprint Grip. Temporarily increase the weapon ready speed and aim down sights after sprinting.
 

How Do I Get It?
Unfortunately, there is no straightforward way to get First In, Last Out outside Legendary or Umbral engrams. You can earn these through gameplay or by turning in enough materials to Rahul for a random roll.

2. Prophet of Doom

10 Best Shotguns in Destiny Two
10 Best Shotguns in Destiny Two

If you need to fill a high DPS slot that can handle hordes of enemies, it’s worth working for the Prophet of Doom. It has a somewhat random assortment of perks, but it can be a great defensive weapon in overwhelming situations.

Why Is It One of the Best?
The upward potential for Prophet of Doom is actually ridiculous. It already sits within the mid 70s for range and impact. Unlike most shotguns, you are able to approach hundred range with the right armor and perk sets. The usefulness of its somewhat depends on specializing in shotgun perks throughout your full build, but in case you prioritize it and use the full auto trigger perk, it is able to quickly mow down waves of enemies.

 

What’s It Good For?
PVE and Gambit. This gun is meant for crowd control, not precision. It’s built to be fast and pack a punch, but can leave you high and dry if you try it in Crucible.

What Mods Should I Use?
This gun holds a masterwork slot and a standard mod slot. For masterwork, focus on blast radius or try to balance your handling. For your other mod, focus on crowd control.

  • Surrounded Spec. Increases the damage granted by Surrounded. Bonus damage lingers for a brief time when no longer surrounded by three or more enemies.

How Do I Get It?
This gun is a random drop from the Garden of Salvation Raid.

3. The Chaperone

The best Exotic shotgun in Destiny 2

10 Best Shotguns in Destiny Two
10 Best Shotguns in Destiny Two

Have you ever been sniped across the map only to realize someone hit you with a shotgun? Sounds like The Chaperone — it’s a shotgun that hits hard but keeps its distance, making you feel like you’re responsible for yourself.

Why Is It One of the Best?
The Chaperone rewards you for playing it like a sniper, which is actually strange considering it has among the best shotguns in Destiny two. But that is since you are able to take out other Guardians or perhaps high level enemies from almost any distance, usually with a single headshot. In addition to that, the more precise you’re, the better the chances of yours of activating Roadborn (a weapon perk that increases your some other stats as long as you keep it going).

What’s It Good For?
PVE and PVP. The Chaperone may just be the Destiny 2 best PVP shotgun, thanks to the range and perks. But it can also be instrumental in PVE for taking on tough enemies from a distance.

What Mods Should I Use?
This weapon is a classic Exotic, which means that you can’t add any mods.

How Do I Get It?
You need to complete the Holliday Family History Quest, which should drop after playing a few activities.

4. Astral Horizon

The best Legendary shotgun Destiny 2

10 Best Shotguns in Destiny Two
10 Best Shotguns in Destiny Two

You rarely find an in-game reward that compliments the event you’re playing so perfectly. If you’re able to get the Astral Horizon from a successful Trials run, you’ll likely have much more fun playing Trials.

Why Is It One of the Best?
It is all about high impact. The Astral Horizon is actually a kinetic shotgun that hits hard and recoils like a bucking bronco. But it also leaves your enemies fading into oblivion. When you are able to roll a Quickdraw or perhaps Opening Shot perk to help offset several of the poor handling, all the better. Even without those rolls, you are able to drastically improve your stability, handling, or reload speed by playing as a specific subclass.

What’s It Good For?
PVP and Trials of Osiris. There’s never been a better shotgun for close-range combat. It’s a hip-fire killer that can become more and more proficient in the right hands.

What Mods Should I Use?
We recommend focusing on balancing out your kick for both mod slots. Use the masterwork mod slot to upgrade the stability and use the other for either counterbalance or hip-fire accuracy.

  • Counterbalance Stock. Reduces recoil deviation for the weapon.
  • Freehand Grip. Increases accuracy and ready speed while firing from the hip.

How Do I Get It?
This gun arrived with the Season 10 return of Trials and, at the time, could only be earned by running it. It’s known to appear as a random drop, but your best bet is to participate in Trials whenever it returns.

5. Imperial Decree

The grandaddy of the Crucible

10 Best Shotguns in Destiny Two
10 Best Shotguns in Destiny Two

Do you ever just want a gun that feels good to shoot? One that rewards you for sliding around and popping in and out of your site? The Imperial Decree checks all those boxes.

Why Is It One of the Best?
Unlike later iterations of the aggressive frame kinetic shotguns, the Imperial Decree did not focus on balancing out handling with perks. Rather, it throws in the likes of Snapshot and Slingshot sites to help make up for the small magazine and increase the speed of yours when aiming down sites. While not the best stat/perk combination out there, it does serve as the mold that Bungie appears to be going for on Kinetic shotguns.

What’s It Good For?
PVP. Similar to Astral Horizon, this shotgun helps elevate your close-quarters gunplay. It can be handy in PVE but doesn’t pack the same level of crowd control as other guns.

What Mods Should I Use?
The same rules apply here as they did for the Astral Horizon. Try to balance out your stability to take advantage of the high impact.

  • Counterbalance Stock. Reduces recoil deviation for the weapon.
  • Freehand Grip. Increases accuracy and ready speed while firing from the hip.

How Do I Get It?
Imperial Decree was originally a drop you could acquire by applying specific runes in the Menagerie. With the release of Beyond Light, that activity is now gone, meaning that this shotgun is now part of the random drop pool. You just have to play and hope you get it at some point.

6. Bonechiller

The best PVE shotgun Destiny 2

10 Best Shotguns in Destiny Two
10 Best Shotguns in Destiny Two

A good void sub-class shotgun is hard to find. Thankfully, Bungie has decided to release one with Beyond Light that drops in ample amounts and feels like it was strictly meant for PVE.

Why Is It One of the Best?
Bonechiller is actually among the more recent drops on this list and works great for PVE, because of the more balanced stat pool. The perks exemplify that even more, slowly building up several of the lower stats as stability without sacrificing too much from other stats. It is also a simple drop, meaning that you are able to actively reroll for different intrinsic traits without wasting hours of the time of yours.

What’s It Good For?
PVE. It’s a balanced shotgun with little to specialize in. Not ideal for facing other Guardians, but a great tool when facing different classes of enemies.

What Mods Should I Use?
Focus on improving damage dealt to minor, powerful, or boss-type enemies.

  • Boss Spec. Increases damage against bosses and vehicles.
  • Major Spec. Deals extra damage against powerful enemies.
  • Minor Spec. Deals extra damage against rank-and-file enemies.

How Do I Get It?
Since this shotgun was released with Beyond Light, you can get it by playing the campaign.

7. Lord of Wolves

The best Energy shotgun Destiny 2 PVP

10 Best Shotguns in Destiny Two
10 Best Shotguns in Destiny Two

Lord of Wolves is a fan favorite that was so broken on arrival that it could eviscerate any Guardian unfortunate enough to just glance at it. It has one of the strongest perk variations around and was so popular that it was re-released in the Forsaken expansion to bring it back from the original Destiny.

Why Is It One of the Best?
This shotgun is actually has, fast, and powerful a surprisingly long range – and so much so that it can be easily mistaken for a pulse rifle. It is built to benefit aggressive players and rewards that gameplay type by activating specific damage perks based on successful kills. It might have been nerfed recently, but it is still a solid close to mid range option.

What’s It Good For?
PVE and PVP. What was originally a powerhouse in PVP has now faded into the background. It still provides a fast and powerful short-range burst that can come in handy when in a pinch, but it’s far more useful in PVE nowadays.

What Mods Should I Use?
This Exotic utilizes a legendary catalyst that increases reload speed when activated and passively boosts stability when it is not.

How Do I Get It?
You need to purchase the Forsaken campaign and complete bounties for Spider on the Tangled Shore. It’s a random drop, so actually getting it may take a few bounty completions.

8. Mindbender’s Ambition

The most consistent PVP shotgun in Destiny 2

10 Best Shotguns in Destiny 2
10 Best Shotguns in Destiny 2

Sticking with a single weapon in Destiny 2 PVP appears to be almost impossible. Every update tweaks the meta and nerfs one or perhaps more weapons. The Mindbender’s Ambition has seemingly bucked that trend and remains one of the very best PVP shotguns around.

Why Is It One of the Best?
The Aggressive Frame and Snapshot and Quickdraw perks improve the range while building potential damage. These features have helped this shotgun beat any changes to the entire weapon balance and also makes it incredibly useful for shutting down Guardian supers. It is much less helpful in PVE but can really help stagger more powerful combatants.

What’s It Good For?
PVP. This shotgun is the meta breaker. It’s remained consistent since Forsaken and is a tried and true weapon to lean on.

What Mods Should I Use?
Focus on balancing out your handling or increasing your magazine for a greater chance of surviving combat encounters.

  • Counterbalance Stock. Reduces recoil deviation for the weapon.
  • Backup Mag. Increases magazine size.

How Do I Get It?
This weapon is dropped by the fanatic in the Hollowed Lair strike. There has been talk of sunsetting this content, so this acquisition may change over to a random roll in the future.

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9. Dust Rock Blues

The most precise shotgun in Destiny 2

10 Best Shotguns in Destiny 2
10 Best Shotguns in Destiny 2

Dust Rock Blues is a kinetic weapon that functions more like a fusion rifle. Bungie seems to really love blurring those lines. Unlike some of the others on this list of best shotguns in Destiny 2, though, it leans even further into expanding the range.

Why Is It One of the Best?
Everything relating to this weapon pushes the boundaries of a shotgun’s range. The mixture of Slideshot and Full Choke means you do not have to sit around, aiming down sights. No, this’s mean to be used on the go and rewards you for playing fast. Just be mindful that slotting in your Kinetic space may put you at a disadvantage against other Guardians using weapons with an increased rate of fire.

What’s It Good For?
PVP. It’s great for players that like to sprint around and quickly switch between ADS and hip fire.

What Mods Should I Use?
Focus on balancing your handling and control for this weapon.

  • Counterbalance Stock. Reduces recoil deviation for the weapon.

How Do I Get It?
Dust Rock Blues was originally acquired by completing the Menagerie, but of course, that event has been sunsetted. Now the best way is to farm Public Events in classic locations like the EDZ.

10. Parcel of Stardust

The best shotgun for Gambit in Destiny 2

10 Best Shotguns in Destiny two
10 Best Shotguns in Destiny two

Gambit is that weird outlier where it’s difficult to find weapons that work well against crowds of AI enemies and other Guardians. The Parcel of Stardust changes all that.

Why Is It One of the Best?
This shotgun uses a lightweight frame, which makes it very useful for run and gun movement. The mid tier stability and handling help exemplify this use even more, and in case you happen to get Opening Shot or perhaps Moving Target on the roll of yours, you will probably see an improvement in tracking and range. 

Gambit. Enough said.

What Mods Should I Use?
Prioritize your speed and accuracy when moving with this weapon.

  • Icarus Grip. Improves accuracy while airborne.
  • Freehand Grip. Increases accuracy and ready speed while firing from the hip.
  • Sprint Grip. Temporarily increase the weapon ready speed and aim down sights after sprinting.

How Do I Get It?
Just play Gambit or complete bounties for the Drifter and hope for a good drop.

Best Shotguns in Destiny Two: Honorable Mentions

These very last 5 of the Destiny 2 best shotguns did not quite break into our top 10 list, but they are still great choices in case you happen across them. For probably the most part, you are able to count on them to be slightly lesser versions of several of the others on this list, with only a couple of differences in perks and intrinsic traits.

Legend of Acrius

10 Best Shotguns in Destiny 2
10 Best Shotguns in Destiny 2

IKELOS_SG_v1.0.2

10 Best Shotguns in Destiny 2
10 Best Shotguns in Destiny 2

Duality

10 Best Shotguns in Destiny 2
10 Best Shotguns in Destiny 2

Gunnora’s Axe

10 Best Shotguns in Destiny 2
10 Best Shotguns in Destiny 2

Xenoclast IV

10 Best Shotguns in Destiny two
10 Best Shotguns in Destiny two

High Ground View

Choosing the best shotgun with the right role could be a frustrating process. It becomes much more annoying when you spend hours grinding out specific quest lines or perhaps criteria only to recognize that the reward you unlocked does not fit the playstyle of yours or perhaps needs. 

Ideally, this guide has cut back several of the grind and helped you figure out how you can get that one shotgun you have been looking for in Destiny two. Be on the lookout for more Destiny 2 guides and in case you enjoyed this article! Stay in the know by subscribing to the email list of ours, and do not forget to share the guides of ours with your friends through the favorite social platform of yours.

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