15 Best Pulse Rifles in Destiny 2 for 2021 – Part two
8. Graviton Lance
The Destiny 2 best Void damage pulse rifle
Similar to the Vigilance Wing, the thing that makes this pulse rifle special is its unique perks. This is the mother of long-range and stable pulse rifles, and it rewards you for sticking to your target.
Why is it one of the best? It’s another example of how to make energy damage work with pulse rifles — in this case, by throwing in unique perks. Black Hole makes your second shot incredibly powerful and is balanced by an insane amount of stability. Throw in the Cosmology perk, and on any occasion where Void is the high-damage subclass, you’ll be mowing down enemies thanks to your ability to turn them into target-seeking projectiles.
What’s it good for? PvE. Pull this out when facing down boss enemies that are susceptible to Void damage. Yes, the Black Hole perk could make this useful in Crucible, but the fire rate severely dampers its viability.
How do I get it? It’s acquired as a random Exotic Engram drop or as a purchase from Xûr’s shop when available.
9. Jian 7 Rifle
The Destiny 2 best rapid-fire pulse rifle
You likely see a trend with a few of these pulse rifles. They launched when the team was first starting to figure out how to make them unique, but the in-game meta neutered them. Now the Jian 7, like many others, is getting its time to shine.
Why is it one of the best? You could almost mistake this pulse rifle for an incredibly stable assault rifle thanks to the Adaptive Frame and getting a Full-Auto Trigger System perk. If you can, focus on amping up the range on this weapon with mods to truly take advantage of the refined handling. You’ll quickly find it to be effective from long-range, as well as up close.
What’s it good for? PvE and Gambit. The one drawback is the weak impact, which is only rectified if you get the Full-Auto perk. Stick to using this for crowd control and avoid trying to go one-on-one with any Guardians.
How do I get it? Acquire it as a random Legendary Engram drop.
10. Bad Juju
The Destiny 2 best classic Exotic pulse rifle
When most people think of excellent Destiny 2 pulse rifles, Bad Juju typically jumps to the top of the list. It was probably the first to break out as a viable option and is still a tried and true PvE weapon.
Why is it one of the best? The amplified status effects that help refill your magazine, increase weapon damage, and refill your super are truly a curse on your enemies. Plus, it’s full auto, which can make retaining those buffs difficult but worth mastering.
What’s it good for? PvE. This can be a difficult weapon to master and is best for amping yourself up against large hordes of enemies.
How do I get it? This is now a legacy weapon that can be acquired in the tower if you have the right materials and have played through specific mission chains.
11. Chattering Bone
The Destiny 2 best lightweight pulse rifle
Chattering Bone was all anyone talked about after the Last Wish Raid dropped. The elegant design alone makes it worth collecting. And while it may not be top-tier due to recent additions, it still works as a solid option when staying on the move.
Why is it one of the best? You’ll rarely find a Lightweight Frame that can still pack a punch thanks to the right perk rolls. Look to get this with an Outlaw, Rampage, or Kill Clip perk and amp it up even further with a grip mod of your choosing.
What’s it good for? PvE and Gambit. It just doesn’t pack enough of a rapid punch to be viable in Crucible, but it’s great for taking on multiple enemies at once.
How do I get it? Chattering Bone is acquired as a random drop in the Last Wish raid.
The Destiny 2 best variable pulse rifle
With Bungie relying so much on perks to amplify pulse rifles, it was only a matter of time until one dropped that relied solely on perks to be any good.
Why is it one of the best? It doesn’t have bad starting stats, but what it does have could easily be better. But if you can roll one with Kill Clip and Outlaw, you’ll be able to unleash bullets into your enemies only to amplify the damage when you finally reload.
What’s it good for? PvE, PvP, and Gambit. This is a well-balanced weapon that can be useful in any game mode with the right perks.
How do I get it? It’s acquired as a random drop from the Pit of Heresy on the Moon or by turning in Dreambane Engrams.
13. Claws of the Wolf
The Destiny 2 best Iron Banner pulse rifle
Pulse rifle drops in Iron Banner have been so-so over the last few years. They’re typically mid-tier weapons with a slow firing rate. But the latest iteration of Claws of the Wolf changes that thanks to its rapid-fire frame.
Why is it one of the best? This is a mid-range defensive weapon. Perfect for holding points and dissuading any Guardians from approaching. The only drawback is the small clip, which can be increased with the right perk roll.
What’s it good for? PvP and PvE. Use this as a last stand weapon to hold points or take on waves of enemies. But don’t expect to do massive damage against powerful enemies or when facing Guardians solo.
How do I get it? Turn in Iron Engrams or as a random drop when playing Iron Banner events.
The Destiny 2 best Solar damage pulse rifle
First released with the Season of the Drifter, the Outlast serves as a reminder of how often pulse rifles were just slower versions of auto rifles. Luckily the balanced stats and rapid-fire frame help this weapon get past that issue.
Why is it one of the best? The perk rolls on this weapon can help turn it into a stable auto rifle if you happen to get the Full-Auto Trigger or Rampage. As one of the rare solar trait pulse rifles, it’s your best option when facing solar-powered opponents.
What’s it good for? Gambit. The perk pool and rapid-fire frame are meant to help you take out solar shielded enemies while also doing enough close-range damage to eliminate invading Guardians.
How do I get it? Complete bounties in Gambit Prime.
15. Redrix’s Broadsword
The best balance of range and stability
This is the Year 2 version of Redrix’s Claymore, altered to perform best as a PvP weapon. The high impact frame combined with the incredible range and stability makes this a deadly weapon with the right perks.
Why is it one of the best? The damage, range, and impact on this weapon are top-notch and only hindered by the slower firing rate. Luckily, the right perks can remedy this. While it won’t always be the best option available, you can expect it to ride out any meta changes and still be effective.
What’s it good for? PvP. Look to roll Desperado and Outlaw to help amp up your firing rate, and you’ll soon see this taking down Guardian health at a rapid pace.
How do I get it? Acquire it as a random drop in Crucible or by turning in rank up packages to Lord Shaxx.
Destiny 2 Best Mod Specs for Pulse Rifles
The mods you use depend on the perks you have and how you intend to play. When it comes to pulse rifles, you’re typically looking to take advantage of the effective range and targeting your weapon already has. These are our general recommendations:
- Sprint Grip: Temporarily increase the weapon ready speed and aim down sights after sprinting.
- Targeting Adjuster: This weapon gains better target acquisition.
- Icarus Grip: Improves accuracy while airborne.
- Freehand Grip: Increases accuracy and ready speed while firing from the hip.
If you’re able to refine your targeting with armor mods, and looking to specialize in other PvE elements, then these are the best enemy and crowd control mods to use:
- Surrounded Spec: Increases the damage granted by Surrounded. Bonus damage lingers for a brief time when no longer surrounded by three or more enemies.
- Rampage: Kills with this weapon temporarily grant increased damage. Stacks 3x.
Look for ways to take advantage of inherent weapon perks when choosing your mods. Other than that, it’s up to your preference and how you’re building out the rest of your armor and weapon mods.
A Little Bit of Time to Explain
Pulse rifles have grown to be an entirely new beast in Destiny two. They are more unique, more useful, and push players to take on an aggressive mid range play style which will benefit some Fireteam in Crucible, Raids, or perhaps Gambit. For more Destiny 2 guides this way one, be sure to subscribe to the email list of ours, and do not forget to share this with your fireteam to help compliment their build with the right pulse rifle.
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