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Video Game / Destiny 2

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"Welcome to a world without Light."
— Dominus Ghaul

Destiny 2 is the first sequel to the Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying First-Person Shooter game Destiny, developed by Bungie and releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One on September 6, 2017 and PC on October 24, 2017.

Following an invasion by the Red Legion of the Cabal, the Tower and Last City have fallen, and everybody's stuff has been destroyed. Now Guardians, new and old alike, must unite to take back their home from the Cabal and their leader Ghaul. And so a new fight for survival and tons of loot begins.

So far, the game has released the following expansions:


Year One

  • Curse of Osiris: Ikora Rey tasks the Guardian with infiltrating the Infinite Forest, a massive probability engine built within Mercury, in order to find Osiris, the exiled Warlock Vanguard and former teacher of Ikora. The forest explores trillions of simulations and is on the verge of discovering a "Dark Future" of Vex superiority, which they must avert using the power of the Forest itself.
  • Warmind: An ancient Clovis Bray facility is unearthed from below the ice shelfs of Mars. With Warsats falling from the sky, the Guardian teams up with the famed Gunslinger Ana Bray in order to secure the greatest and most dangerous weapon of the Golden Age: Rasputin, the Last Warmind. But with Rasputin's return, so also emerges a long-forgotten Hive cult.


Year Two

  • Forsaken: When called in to quell a riot erupting within the Prison of Elders, Cayde-6 meets his end at the hands of Prince Uldren Sov of the Reefborn Awoken and the Scorned Barons, the ruthless leaders of the Scorn. Working together with Petra Venj and the Fallen mob boss known as the Spider, the Guardian begins the hunt for vengeance against the Barons and Prince Uldren. They scour the lawless lands of the Tangled Shore, and eventually find a greater threat in the hidden Dreaming City of the Awoken.
  • The Black Armory: For eons, Ada-1 has protected the eponymous Armory and the Forge within, keeping it out of sight from any and all third parties. However, the offsite Forges and the secrets of the three families she worked to preserve have been lost to the wilderness. Faced with no other choice (and with the Spider implicitly egging her on), she calls upon the Guardians to reclaim the Forges, offering the spoils of the Armory in return.
  • Joker's Wild: Ready to up the ante and move his plan along, the rogue Lightbearer known as The Drifter invites the Guardians to play the next evolution of his game, Gambit Prime, where the stakes, rewards, and dangers are higher than they were before. Onboard his ship The Derelict, his secrets are brought to light and thrown into question when the contents of the ship's "cargo", the hunk of ice it tows behind it, are revealed to be part of a pact made with the rulers of the Jovians: The Nine.


Destiny 2 contains examples of:

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    Tropes (A to Z) 
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Zavala thinks this of Rasputin, of the eponymous Warmind expansion, and while Ana Bray seems to think she can work with it to defend the Solar System, it really remains to be seen. Between intentionally crashing satellites and short-circuiting Vex with classical music for target practice, Rasputin's allegiance is murky at best.
  • Aerith and Bob:
    • While trying to remember Ghaul's name, Cayde-6 suggests several very normal sounding alternatives like Gary, Gill and Glenn.
    • NPCs have common names like Amanda and the Indian/Hindi-sounding Suraya, as well as RPG names like Ikora, Zavala, and Cayde.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The entire plot of Forsaken, including Cayde's murder, was because Prince Uldren was deceived by an Eldritch Abomination into thinking he was going to the rescue of his missing sister, the Awoken Queen Mara Sov.
    Uldren: Everything I did, I did for her. Funny. The line between light and dark is so very thin. Do you know which side you're on?
  • All Your Powers Combined: When Ghaul finally steals the Traveler's light, he gains Void, Arc, and Solar supers all at the same time, and spams them at the player character endlessly.
  • Ambiguous Ending: The end of Forsaken makes clear that Uldren was killed, but it cuts to black moments before the kill shot is fired. It's not clear if you, Petra, or even both of you pulled the trigger. Although Petra eventually gifts you her Vestian Dynasty sidearm with a line that seems to imply she did the deed.
  • Anachronic Order: An adventure quest in the EDZ called "Anti-Anti-Air" becomes available right before the final missions to stop Ghaul. The quest plays out under the assumption that you've already defeated him.
  • An Arm and a Leg: The Cabal manage to blast one of Cayde's arms off during the final battle leaving him able to work on the Vex teleporter or shoot, but not both. By the time the player reaches him he's lost a leg too. Though, because he's an Exo and/or Guardian and/or Cayde, he's not terribly distressed about it and is none the worse for wear after the game is over. If you stick around a little longer instead of jumping through straight away, Cayde may remark that he never liked that arm anyway, and that he'll have an integrated rocket launcher installed in the next one.
  • Animal Motifs: The updated icons now incorporate this for the three classes: the Titan icon has a lion, the Hunter icon a snake, and the Warlock one a bird of prey.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Destiny 2 focuses on fixing a number of Scrappy Mechanics that previously plagued its predecessor, even after its many improvements.
    • A small, hard-to-notice change is the addition of climbing, fixing the problem of falling off a cliff after you screw up a jump and hit your shins instead. Rather than die embarrassingly without making any effort to reach for the edge, your character will mount over if they're just high enough.
    • Bungie has stated having plans to change the Power Ammo economy in PvE. Enemy Majors (enemies with orange or yellow health bars) will be guaranteed to drop power ammo when killed, helping to fix the frequent problem of Destiny 1's "Heavy Ammo Droughts".
    • Lord Shaxx's Crucible callouts have been subtitled, allowing everyone to experience his glorious exhortations.
    • Previously in the Crucible, Sniper Rifles were the only weapons to have a scope glare, giving themselves away to attentive players, but still surprising them if a player's packing a shotgun. Now, with the new weapon system, all power weapons possess a glow at the end of their barrel that's been Color-Coded for Your Convenience to tell what that enemy player is using.
    • In addition, enemy grenades have a red glow to them so that you know to avoid them, rather than last time where you couldn't tell of that Lightning Grenade was friendly or hostile.
    • The "Director" allows player to bring up a map of the patrol zone, allowing them to more easily navigate the area rather than by memory. This screen also include most the area's missions and points of interest.
    • Players no longer need to go to orbit every time they want to start a new activity or go to a different planet. Instead, they can bring up the Director screen immediately and choose where they want to go from where they stand. In addition, patrol zones can have multiple drop-off zones, allowing them to basically Warp Whistle to different points of the planet.
    • "Public Events" show up on the Director as well, telling you where the event will take place along with a countdown timer for player to tell how much time they have at most. However, players already in the area can also quickly refill all of their weapons and powers by interacting with the Public Event banner, so that they can face it at full strength.
    • "Drang" a sidearm needed to complete an exotic quest, can be bought from an NPC on The Farm, in case the player dismantled the first not realizing they needed it. The same is also true for the MIDA-Mini Tool and Man O' War, despite the latter not being tied to any exotic quests.
    • After the Season 2 update, identical copies of gear in your vault are located next to one another, so you can find and compare instantly if you only want to keep the higher-powered one.
    • Weapon ornaments, once acquired, can be used on any exotic weapon of that type, rather than duplicate ornaments having to be bought for each different character's weapons.
    • Instead of having to visit different kiosks scattered around the Tower, all your banners, emblems, exotic weapons and so on are available under the Collections tab in the Vault.
  • Anti-Grinding: Opening loot chests or picking up planetary resources in quick succession will grant diminishing returns until you are rewarded with almost nothing (usually after looting 4 or 5 objects within a couple of minutes). The only way to reset the unspoken timer is by eliminating the area's High Value Target, completing a Public Event, or simply returning to orbit.
  • Apocalypse How: The Almighty tears apart Mercury as fuel for its energy beam, which links it to the Sun on a quantum level to slowly sap its power and make it collapse into a supernova. Because destroying the Almighty while it is still linked to the Sun would still wipe out the entire system, the Vanguard opts to disable the Almighty's beam instead.
  • Apocalyptic Log: One of Failsafe's assignments has you recover some radio coms dating from the time when the Exodus Black crashed on Nessus, with its survivors slowly dying out until its captain, Jacobson, is the only one left. Throughout the quest, you investigate in hopes of finding clues on whether or not Captain Jacobson is alive. Things get complicated when the Vex are thrown in, having recorded part of Jacobson's memories and transferred it to a non-hostile Harpy, which in turn leads to a wild goose chase that ends in discovering Jacobson's corpse.
  • The Artifact: The Level Advantages system in the Crucible. In Destiny, it was enabled for Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris, meaning higher powered Players would have a strength advantage over lower powered Players whereas in here, Level Advantages are disabled for all Crucible modes, including Iron Banner and Trials of The Nine, making the modes more about skill than relying on being more powerful than the opponent.
  • Arms and Armor Theme Naming: Several examples;
    • SUROS goes for musical elements followed by a number (e.g. Resonance-42).
    • VEIST weapons are (typically) named after venomous creatures (e.g. Valakadyn, Copperhead).
    • Hakke weapons are Named After Somebody Famous, more exactly historical leaders (Athelflad, Eystein, Pribina) and mythical figures (Antiope, Atalanta, Morrigan), followed by a letter indicating ingame rarity (from A to D).
  • Ascended Glitch: Prior to a certain patch, Hawthorne's falcon Louis would frequently spazz out intensely for an unknown reason. In the Dawning, your gift for Hawthorne is a package of sedatives meant to curb Louis's "occasional bouts of high energy."
  • Bag of Spilling: While you can transfer the aesthetics of your characters from the first gamenote , all your weapons and abilities are gone. The weapon loss is explained in-game as the Tower's armory and vaults being destroyed in Ghaul's attack. As for your character levels, they were stolen when your connection to the Traveler was severed by its imprisonment.
  • Battle Intro: The Crucible's pre-match intro consists of a shot of the arena, followed by your team's composition, with your Guardian as its main focus. The Trials of the Nine takes it a little further by giving all eight contestants a small cutscene where they perform their assigned emote, along with showing their loadout.
  • Benevolent A.I.: Failsafe, the half-formal, half-snarky AI of the ship Exodus Black, and pretty much the only good thing about it for the Guardians, as it was also carrying a large amount of SIVA that the Fallen happened to bump into once they discovered the crash site.
  • BFS: More than half of the swords are nearly as long as your Guardian's height and boast a really broad blade. The Titan-exclusive Crown Splitter is unique in that it's a massive claymore that swings really slowly, emphasizing the impact in each mighty blow.
  • Big "NO!": Ghaul lets out two during the story's climax: one when the Young Wolf strikes him down, then another when the Traveler annihilates his immortal form.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The main story: The Guardians manage to defeat Ghaul and retake the Last City from the Cabal, while the Traveler has finally awakened and unleashes a wave of Light that spreads throughout the galaxy, re-empowers the remaining Guardians, disperses Ghaul's essence, and ushers in a second Golden Age. However, the Speaker and dozens or hundreds of Guardians are permanently dead, along with Traveler only knows how many civilians, while the remaining Guardians have to rebuild the City from the damage caused by the Cabal occupation while still being surrounded by threats. There are also a number of rising threats, including the previously unknown Fallen House of Dusk with its mysterious intentions. Additionally, events on Titan and Io indicate that Savathûn has succeeded Oryx as the new God-Queen of the Hive and mistress of the Taken, and that she's coming for Earth. Finally, The Stinger reveals an armada of black pyramid shaped ships, presumed to be either the Darkness or its agents, awoken by the Traveler's Light making their way towards Earth.
    • Averted with the Curse of Osiris as Osiris is rescued along with Sagira by the Young Wolf. Osiris has managed to more or less take over the Infinite Forest, kill Panoptes, and prevent the Vex's plan for universal domination. Osiris also manages to reconcile with Ikora after a century of mistrust.
    • In Warmind Ana Bray manages to help destroy Xol and save Rasputin. However, the Clovis Bray Corporation is revealed to be a corrupt institution which killed thousands of people creating their wonders. Xol is also still alive and drawing people from the Whisper of the Worm.
    • In Forsaken you defeat the Taken entity manipulating Uldren, reclaim the Ace of Spades as your own, and Uldren is killed for what he's done. However, this doesn't change the fact that Cayde is dead, the Vanguard is weaker for it, and Zavala is certain that Uldren's death will carry consequences someday. In addition, its heavily implied that the Young Wolf's obsession with revenge on Uldren and their increasingly brutal actions throughout the campaign have formed a rift between them and Ghost.
      • Also, the raid sees you finally and officially end the Great Ahamkara Hunt by killing Queen Mara Sov's pet Ahamkara, Riven, after it was taken presumably by Savathûn, though this is not confirmed in the game, the pyramid ships seen at the end of the campaign are still en route to Earth, and Queen Mara is still as inscrutable as ever about what she knows about them.
  • Blatant Lies: The flavor text for the Lucky Pants exotic armor quotes Cayde-6 protesting, "What? No, I didn't illegally modify the holster. These are just really lucky pants!" Of course, the main perk is Illegally Modded Holster.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Any weapon from the Leviathan or Last Wish raids or the New Monarchy faction, coming in white-and-gold or red-and-gold respectively. The raid and faction shaders let you bling out most any weapon. Most exotic weapons could qualify as this, even the plainer ones tend to have impressive detail or something to make them stand out compared to the common stuff too. Some standout weapons include:
  • Blood-Stained Glass Windows: The player contact for the EDZ is a soldier named Devrim Kay VIII who has set up a sniper nest in an old abandoned church to wage a one man war against the Fallen in the area.
  • Bonus Dungeon:
    • The Leviathan, home to the exiled Cabal Emperor, Calus. It's only accessible after clearing the story mode and reaching a high enough Power Level. Made available to eligible players one week after the game's release, the Leviathan features the sequel's first raid, but is also a Hub Level of sorts, having an elaborate underground maze that connects the ordeals together and entices the players to take shortcuts, unlocking hidden treasure chests with loot keys along the way. Additionally, the Leviathan hosts the first expansion's raid, separate from the first one, making it relevant even to future content updates.
    • The Shattered Throne, taking place in Mara Sov's abandoned Ascendant Realm, is the first secret mission that's classified as a dungeon by Bungie, and is only accessible through exploring the Dreaming City when the curse is at its strongest (i.e., it's only available one week out of three). Said dungeon is quite expansive, requiring a fair amount of dungeon crawling and preparation against powerful endgame enemies. It's also the only way to acquire Sjur Eido's exotic bow Wish-Ender; one of two exotic bows, it can see enemies through walls when fully charged and is absurdly powerful against Taken enemies.
  • Book-Ends: The opening mission sees you defending the city alongside other players before losing your powers and having to escape the ruins. The last mission sees you charging in to retake the city alongside other players through the ruins.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: Forsaken added bows as a new weapon class, so now Guardians can wield a bow and a sword simultaneously, together with a third weapon. Even two bows and one sword are possible if a Guardian wants to.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Being Taken does nothing for one's hold on sanity, but it's never much mattered before, because all the Taken a Guardian would fight were already out to kill them before Oryx took them. Imagine now what happens when a sympathetic character is Taken. For example, Queen Mara Sov's Techeun servants, who are quite well-mannered and soft-spoken while in their right minds but cackle like The Wicked Witch of the West when you fight them as Taken bosses during the Last Wish raid. One could also say Uldren became this when he fell under the sway of Mara Sov's pet Ahamkara, Riven.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Without the Traveler's Light the Guardians are rendered powerless, losing all their abilities, Healing Factor and Resurrective Immortality. That doesn't stop them from continuing the war and eventually retaking the City from Ghaul.
    • In the brief interval at the beginning of the game when you, the player, are without the Traveler's Light, you beat two packs of Red Legion War Beasts (one led by a Legionary) escaping from the fallen Last City, and then a couple of dozen Fallen making your way to the Shard of the Traveler. All done by yourself alone.
  • Brutal Bonus Level:
    • The Leviathan raid is an invitation from Emperor Calus, the exiled Cabal ruler, to Guardians following the main story's conclusion. As expected, its difficulty is unlike anything faced before, with vast amounts of tough enemies and complex puzzles requiring an entire fireteam to pull through. Communication is a crucial factor to victory in this grueling series of trials, moreso than the previous game's raids. Additionally, the three main tasks (the Royal Baths, the Pleasure Gardens & the Gauntlet) rotate in order each week, so getting good at every one of them is essential, lest your fireteam stall on the very first encounter.
    • The Raid Lairs introduced in Curse of Osiris and Warmind are shorter in length than the Leviathan, but noticeably more intensive at the boss checkpoint, taking the mechanics introduced in each phase and taking them up a notch.
    • "The Whisper", a secret mission that's time-gated and hidden behind a specific public event, pushes the boundaries of platforming through a series of jumping puzzles ladden with Malevolent Architecture, and caps off with several fights against overleveled Taken enemies. Taken Up to Eleven in the Heroic version of this mission where the enemies are even tougher and having a well-oiled fireteam is critical to success.
  • Call-Back:
    • Ever wondered where the bottom pieces of the Traveller went? Turns out it's in European Dead Zone where the Guardians went to recover themselves after losing the Last City.
    • In one EDZ mission, you set up a Frame-Up between the Fallen and the Cabal, with Ghost adding that he called Ghaul a Fallen swear word that he'd rather not translate. It's probably the same word that the Silent Fang leader used to describe the player back in the first game, which, if it means "Traveler-thief" like many fans predicted, would be both scathing and accurate.
    • The final battle against Ghaul features the original "Cabal Stomp" theme that first played when the player encountered the Cabal on Mars.
    • Also in the final battle,Ghaul boasts "I have become legend" when he gets his powers. The motto of the first Destiny was "Become Legend". Ghaul essentially proclaims himself a Guardian.
    • On a less serious note, players patrolling the Sunken Isle section of the European Dead Zone can sometimes encounter a Fallen Vandal with an abnormally high amount of health, enough to require a fireteam of 3 to take down. Perhaps Randall survived in-between games...
    • A comedic example: The Exo Stranger's infamous "I don't even have time to explain why I don't have time to explain", is referenced with Cayde's hilarious line "Don't ask how this happened! I don't have time to explain what I don't have time to understand!"
    • And a tragic example comes in Forsaken, in the Memory of Cayde class items:
    Cayde: "Hey... take me with you."
  • Catch-Phrase: Most SUROS weapons feature variations of a tagline. For example;
    Pentatonic-48 Rocket Launcher: SUROS invites you to light it up.
    Galliard-42 Auto Rifle: SUROS invites you to kick up your heels.
    Resonance-42 SMG: SUROS invites you to strike a chord.
  • Color Motif: In their icons and armor designs, Hunters are now associated with blue, Warlocks with yellow, and Titans with red.
  • Cultural Translation: In the Live-Action trailer, the list of things that have been destroyed depends on which language you're watching the video in. The North American and Commonwealth English versions are slightly different as well.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In the main campaign, each Vanguard leader separated to different planets and featured unique subplots that befit their character and Guardian class (an improvement over Destiny 1 where they had little involvement with the story and largely just a class vendor). Zavala looked to regroup on Titan and take the city by force, Cayde tried to use Vex tech on Nessus to teleport behind enemy lines for an assassination, Ikora went into exile on Io trying to understand how to live without the light from the Traveler.
    • The first three DLC also feature the individual Vanguard leaders in major supporting roles: Warmind has Zavala cautioning Ana and your Guardian on trying to control Rasputin, Osiris has Ikora get involved to find her long-missing mentor and Forsaken has Cayde-6 die in the opening level but his legacy remains and he has left hidden secrets all around the solar system.
  • Deconstruction: Forsaken offers two:
    • The behavior of Real Life players is revealed to be how Guardians actually act, seeking out loot simply to have it, constantly being on the search for power, and being bored by just about any task that comes at no real immediate benefit to them. It's implied that the Traveler is intentionally inflicting this as a mental Restraining Bolt against doing anything that isn't training to fight the Darkness, given how it's treated the other races it blessed in the past.
    • The timeloop affecting the Dreaming City is a deconstruction of events in traditional MMORPG games that repeat indefinitely for either no real in-universe reason or an arbitrary one, lore-wise. Whereas repeating events in other games tend to simply repeat with no real consequence, the curse on the Dreaming City is looping, and it's raising hell on the Awoken who are forced to live out cruel fates, unable to change them, all for a gambit of unclear ends.
  • Despair Speech: Parodied in the "Rally the Troops" teaser, where Cayde-6's speech highlights that they've lost everything, and they might not die if they fight, whereas if they don't, he'll personally kill them. He only manages to turn it into a Rousing Speech at the last minute by mentioning loot.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • The very big one is that a surprisingly large amount of dialogue will change if the player doesn't import a Guardian from the first Destiny. In that case instead of the Young Wolf, the player Guardian and Ghost are all but explicitly stated to be a different pair with little knowledge of the finer points of the events of Destiny 1. For example: the player's Ghost has to ask for an explanation on exactly what the Taken and Warminds are. Though according to Zavala during the Inverted Spire strike, all surviving Guardians have fought in the heart of the Black Garden.
    • In one Adventure in the European Dead Zone, you lure the Cabal into a ambush by having your Ghost impersonate the Fallen and insult the Cabal. What insult he says depends on whenever or not you completed the Main Campaign or not.
    • In several Adventures on Io, you'll see Vex frozen inside Taken Blights, particularly as you investigate potential collusion between the Vex and Taken. If you're quick enough you can Mercy Kill the helpless Vex before they get Taken, meaning you won't have to fight them. Especially notable when you do the final mission of a quest chain, as one of the first rooms has almost a dozen Blights with three or four Vex to each. If you don't mercy-kill them at the start, you'll have to fight them on the way out!
    • Doing enough Public Events (or doing the same Public Event enough times) on a Planet will change the starting dialogue between your Ghost and whoever is the Planet Vendor.
    • In the new Tower, in the hangar there's a sign saying "Days without accidents", followed by a random number. If you decide to jump off the tower (therefore dying), the number resets back to zero when you respawn.
  • Doomed Hometown: The City, the Guardians' headquarters and primary hub zone of the original game, is destroyed by Ghaul's attack.
  • Downer Beginning: The City and the Tower are lost to the Cabal at the beginning of the game. The opening mission will have the player fight in the defense of the Tower, but not even the Guardian who took down Oryx is a match for a Cabal attack of this size. The rest of the game is about picking up the pieces, rebuilding, and (naturally) revenge.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Cayde-6 has a touch of this in the trailer with his "If I don't see you out there, I'll kill you myself!" Watching Guardians are visibly taken aback.
  • Dual Boss:
    • The "Weapons Exchange" Public Event (available on Titan primarily, and the EDZ more rarely) has you trying to destroy a Fallen Walker. If you take the time unlock all 3 Scorch Cannon caches, however, another Fallen Walker will be deployed as part of the Heroic difficulty version of the Public Event. If the weekly Flashpoint focus is on Titan, an additional Repair Shank will spawn to assist the Walker, and there's also a possibility that the Hive on Siren's Watch will interfere in the fight, led by a Fissure Knight. Defeating that Fissure Knight also spawns Naktal, Fury of Savathûn, who also leads a posse of Hive, adding to the chaos.
    • The other Public event type on Titan, the Witches' Ritual, has you try to take the shields down of two extra tough Wizards by standing on pressure plates. While taking them out without any further output only leads to a fight with an even beefier Wizard, triggering the Heroic version while Flashpoint is active spawns not only the Abyssal Champion, a carbon copy of Alak-Hul from The Taken King, but also another tanky Knight, Vanbaluk, Trusted of Savathûn.
  • Dug Too Deep:
    • The Cabal on Nessus inadvertently re-activated the powerful Vex Mind, Protheon, during one of their routine excavations.
    • On Io, the Cabal, once again, excavated the moon for traces of the Traveler's energy, only to attract the attention of a massive Taken army.
  • Dummied Out: Primary Exotics are set up to be painted with shaders, although the option to actually do so is unavailable (you can see how the shader looks like on the gun by inspecting the Shader while having a Exotic in your Primary slot).
  • Dungeon Bypass: The series of jumps in the Agonarch Abyss's Ascendant Challenge can be easily skipped altogether if you use the Striker's Ballistic Slam (Code of the Missile) and aim it towards the temple at the very bottom of the challenge, saving you a considerable amount of time if you're going for the time trial triumph.
  • When going through The Whisper quest for the exotic sniper rifle "Whisper of the Worm," a room near the end of platforming part features a bypass as soon as you enter next to a light-bar, negating the troubling "grass room" altogether.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: The Raid Lairs are designed to take less time to run through most encounters... until you get to the boss, which requires optimal communication and very tight gameplay to root out the smallest errors. To give you a perspective at how hard it is, within one week of the introduction of the "Spire of Stars" Raid Lair, 1 million players on all 3 platforms attempted it, and only a little over 3,000 individuals have beaten the boss.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: The element system has seen one pretty big change from the last game. Unlike in Destiny 1, where shooting an enemy whose shields match the weapon's element grants extra shield damage, Energy Weapons deal extra damage to enemy shields all around. Instead, breaking enemy shields with a weapon of the matching element causes said shield to explode, damaging the shielded enemy and all nearby enemies as well.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: The Iron Banner armour sets have an oriental theme to them this time around (without forgetting the wolf motif of the Iron Lords), with scaled chainmail armour fashioned like feudal-era Japan samurai; the Hunter's helmet even has the mouth of a snarling oni.
  • Fearless Fool: Dominus Ghaul accuses the Player Character of being one of these.
    Dominus Ghaul: You're not brave. You've merely forgotten the fear of death. Allow me to reacquaint you.
  • Foreshadowing
    • In the opening mission Amanda implores the Traveler to do something to stop the Red Legion. During the final mission when it looks like the Vanguard is too late and Ghaul has achieved immortality the Traveler wakes up and personally destroys Ghaul.
    • The tagline: New Legends Will Rise. Ghaul proclaims, "I am Legend!" after his resurrection.
    • During the first assault on Ghaul, Cayde-6 can be heard complaining that his Golden Gun power (the super for the Hunter class) seems to be fizzling. This foreshadows the loss of light that all Guardians will shortly be facing.
    • One of the letter fragments found in Cayde's stashes expresses his distrust of the Awoken of the Reef. Prince Uldren kills Cayde in the trailer for the "Forsaken" expansion.
  • Flaming Sword: The Warlock's new Dawn Blade subclass, with a bit of flaming Sword Beam. Ghaul has these after stealing the Light; he throws Dawnblade swords like Hunter Knives/the Hammer of Sol.
    • Forsaken introduced the Way of a Thousand Cuts super for Hunters, which Cayde-6 shows off during the mob fight cinematic in the Prison of Elders. Hunters can fling six solar-infused knives at a mob of enemies or one big boss. The melee ability also uses this, though the number of knives is reduced by half.
  • Flipping the Table: One exotic emote has your Guardian spontaneously create a table made of Light, then flip it up.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Oh yes. Available in just about every flavor and color. A preorder weapon even shoots a sustained laser that causes lightning damage. Strangely, the dying effect of this causes enemies to burst into flame.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": The clue to one of Cayde's caches on Io recalls how, while attending a long and boring memorial service for a dead Warlock, he made a bet with Banshee-44 that he could make a few tricky jumps on a high mesa. Cayde won the bet despite breaking both his legs.
  • Gambit Roulette: Queen Mara Sov seems to have been engaged in this with someone from as far back as the opening to The Taken King. Players are not sure who, but it's hinted in several pieces of lore that said someone is Savathûn, resident Trickster Goddess of the Hive and Taken, and if true, this means that Mara has known or at least suspected for some time that the events of Forsaken would come to pass regardless of how many secrets she keeps.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: There's nothing stopping you from going back to the Farm or EDZ after answering Zavala's Call to rendezvous at Titan, and Hawthorne behaves as if you never left.
    • The player character is supposed to be the only Guardian to have regained their Light, thus their immortality and powers. This doesn't stop you from teaming up with other players well before the finale, who likewise have their powers and immortality intact.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • The Pleasure Gardens section of The Leviathan Raid is prone to several glitches which can induce lots of frustration since it's supposed to be a Stealth-Based Mission. Sometimes, a War Beast will run up to you for no explicable reason, instantly getting you detected. Other times, a War Beast can detect players through walls, hear the jumping of the players guiding the other players through the maze, and in one specific case, can spawn inside the safe room at the very beginning of the encounter.
    • In general, creating too many orbs and ammo bricks in one instance likely causes the server side to overload, resulting in a "guitar" error code and booting all players in the instance back to orbit. This is prevalent in activities where your fireteam can spam Supers and kill a great amount of enemies in a short time, such as raids and the Reckoning.
  • Genius Loci: Taken Up to Eleven. The book "Dust," obtained in Joker's Wild, reveals that the entire solar system is this, one for each planet. Their name? The Nine.
  • Go Ye Heroes, Go and Die: Cayde-6 tries to give a Rousing Speech that amounts to: I'm pissed all my stuff was blown up, I'm awesome, I totally forgot the Big Bad's name, but if you don't go out there I will kill you, and also we're probably all going to die. It's only when the others point out it was a terrible speech, forcing him to promise "tons of loot", that anyone even cheers.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Turning Public Events into Heroic Events (which nets you more clan XP and better loot) sometimes involves an unorthodox method to activate that's easily missed while you go around completing the event:
      • For the Cabal Excavation, you need to destroy the Thresher that flies in from time to time while capturing the drill, which can throw you off if you were expecting it to be just an intermittent hazard. It's no easy task to down it, either, due to its high health and damage output.
      • For the Fallen Glimmer excavation, you need to destroy the machine powering the drill on all 3 drill sites. It doesn't spawn immediately and looks like just another event prop at first glance, so it can be easy to miss.
      • For the Taken Blight event, you are given the objective to clear out the Blight fields that spawn, but it's only when you quickly step in and out of said fields that you can acquire the "Receding Blight" buff, which is what allows you to inflict damage on the otherwise invulnerable main Blight (the very first floating sphere that spawns in the event). Inflicting enough damage on the main Blight is what triggers the Heroic Event, though you may have an easier time getting the required damage by progressing all the way to the last wave of smaller Blights, which weakens the main Blight to where a few good shots from your Power weapon will do the trick.
      • For the Cabal Injection Rig, you need to destroy the large glowing vents on the structure after killing each Psion instead of backing out during the Evacuation phase as the game tells you to. This means that you have to stay inside the Rig's force field and destroy the vents as you quickly lose your health.
      • For the Vex Crossroads event added in Curse of Osiris, you need to reach the upper levels of the first 'island' you go to, by shooting floating diamonds that appear after you deposit said island' charge (this also means that you have to do this before the second island's charge is deposited). This is easily missed if you go straight to the other island, moreso with the game's objective prompt.
      • The Rift Generator event in the Strand section of the Dreaming City has you defend the eponymous generator from Scorn waves for 5 minutes, and you can kill an Abomination that drops a charge that repairs the generator in case it's damaged. What the game doesn't tell you, however, is that you have to destroy the large Blights that randomly appear in one of the three venues; not only do they disappear rather quickly, but you'd be hard pressed to look for them on your own while you're busy defending the generator, moreso if you're carrying a repair charge.
    • You'll need the Wish-Ender bow found in the Shattered Throne, itself only accessible one week out of the three in the Dreaming City, if you mean to hunt the forty Taken eggs scattered across the city and the Ascendant Realm in pursuit of the "Cursebreaker" seal from the Reefborn Awoken.
    • The Wishes that you can input in the "Last Wish" raid. There is absolutely no way a normal player would come across the plates depicting the various wishes in the wild, as only the most observant completionists would explore every map's boundaries to finally find these plates and decode the symbols into something that can be put in the Wall of Wishes.
  • The Hero: The player's Guardian from the first game has achieved this status in universe over the course of the last game and it is holding here. When speaking to Zavala, Amanda refers to them as 'that guardian you never shut up about.'
  • Heroic Mime:
    • In contrast to how the original story mode of Destiny had the Player Character Guardian sometimes speak in cutscenes (but not in any subsequent expansions), the same Guardian says nothing at all in the story mode of Destiny 2, with the Ghost handling all dialogue.
    • The character's Heroic Mime status is sometimes lampshaded by the designers, especially with the Titan relic "Mask of the Quiet One".
    • Your Guardian finally decides to speak up after the opening cinematic of Forsaken just long enough to swear vengeance on Uldren Sov for killing Cayde-6. Afterwards, it's right back to stoic silence and letting your Ghost do all the talking.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: The characters in the live-action promo shot and generic Guardians in the Rally the Troops trailer are all helmetless. This is notable as the first game had no options to remove helmets while on missions.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: The game seems to be doing a downright meta take on this trope, with the following evidence:
    • The lore for the Skull of Ahamkara helmet and Claws of Ahamkara gauntlets direct speak to the player.
      • On a similar note, the hidden "Truth of Power" grimoire card does this as well.
    • The Otherside exotic Sparrow directly refers to a "player" that all Guardians have that serve as their complete equal in all things.
    • Perhaps most recently, the latest invitation from the Nine has us walking in on a conversation between them and the Emissary, with the latter talking about the player and even referring to their world as "a game" with the former, of all beings, genuinely struggling to comprehend what she's saying.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: One of Ghaul's big reasons for attacking the tower is that he believes that the Traveler chose wrong when it gave its Light to humanity. The opening attack on the tower is his way of showing it.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Unless by some miraculous streak of luck you come across an Exotic engram before journeying to Io, Asher Mir will be there providing you with a selection of 3 Exotic weapons by simply progressing through the story; you'll have to choose between the Sunshot, the Graviton Lance or the Riskrunner (though subsequent playthroughs won't reward you with any of the guns if you already unlocked them through Exotic engrams). All three weapons are impressive in their own right, and though they face competition with more practical Legendary guns, are much more accessible than some of the Exotics requiring convoluted quest lines, which leads us to...
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • The Legend of Acrius. It's the only shotgun to have maximum impact and range, meaning it'll hit like a truck on any poor sap at a fair amount of distance (at least by shotgun standards), on top of overpenetrating enemies; by all means, it's a nightmare against tightly grouped Guardians and Supers in the Crucible. It's also acquired by completing a very long and hard quest chain that initially involves clearing the Leviathan raid and a Nightfall Strike on Prestige difficulty; all for an incomplete version of the Exotic shotgun . If you want to unlock the weapon's full potential, however, you'll have to complete a few challenges with the incomplete shotgun, then enter the Leviathan again to gather collectibles that drop at every encounter, and you may potentially need to do it twice to get enough. The icing on the cake is that if you want the ornament, you have to complete the raid once more, this time on Prestige Mode.
    • The Sleeper Simulant, returning from Destiny for the Warmind expansion. After completing the expansion's main story, you have to complete additional missions to receive an unique IKELOS Handcannon which you will then have to use to score kills on enemies, have it equipped while doing Heroic Strikes, then beat at least 3 boss rounds in Escalation Protocol (which is no easy feat given the steep power level requirement and the generally slow power progression that comes with this expansion), along with collecting nodes that are hidden on Mars, themselves requiring keys that you create by completing various activities. Finally, you'll have to complete the expansion's final mission again, this time at a power level difficulty of 360. In exchange for this excruciatingly long grind, you are rewarded with the single most powerful Linear Fusion Rifle in the game (in fact, the highest damage in a single hit, excluding a Gunslinger's Golden Gun equipped with the Celestial Nighthawk helmet), coming with the ridiculous ability to refract a shot into multiple lasers should the shot bounce off a hard surface.
    • On the Crucible side of things, Redrix's Claymore, a Legendary Pulse Rifle introduced in Season 3, requires players to attain a fairly good standing in Competitive matches, translating to dozens of victories, made easier with consecutive wins streaks. The reward is a very potent weapon with two perks that synergize really well with each other, making it similar to the raid weapons from Destiny 1's "Wrath of the Machine" raid.
    • Warmind also introduces a trio of Legendary weapons only attainable through the grueling 7-wave Escalation Protocol, and even then, they have a mere 5% drop chance from defeating the final boss. The reward is an IKELOS-themed shotgun/submachine gun/sniper rifle that possesses unique perks made to damage tough enemies even faster. The shotgun in particular is famous for encouraging aggressive boss debuffs followed by close-range slugging.
    • The Whisper of the Worm, being subtly introduced shortly before the Solstice of Heroes and during the first week of the Prestige raid lairs, is an elusive sniper rifle whose stopping power and perks make the D.A.R.C.I. look like a gnat, and is obtained by completing a timed mission that's only accessible through a public event on Io. The secret mission consists of a very complex series of jumping puzzles, followed by several brutal fights against swarms of Taken enemies, all of which must be completed under 20 minutes.
    • The Wish-Ender, a Kinetic Bow that can reveal enemies through walls while aiming down its sights, is obtained through a questline in the Dreaming City while the Taken curse is at its highest and you can access Mara Sov's Throne World, Eleusinia. The missions you must partake in are some of the longest and most grueling, and borrow a few mechanics from the "Last Wish" raid. After defeating Dûl Incaru, you must find a hidden mission in the Tangled Shore, complete it then head back to Erebus, where you have to redo the puzzles up until Sjur Eido's statue before the fight with Dûl Incaru, with the added tasks of coaxing out those same Taken bosses from the Tangled Shore mission and beating them again to charge the tokens you have to give to Sjur's statue.
    • Season 4's pinnacle Crucible rewards program sidelines Season 3's Redrix's Claymore in exchange for two questlines that lead to either the Claymore's companion weapon, Redrix's Broadsword (nearly identical to the Claymore except for randomized barrel and magazine perks), or the handcannon Luna's Howl, possessing an unique perk that turns it into one of the, if not the, deadliest PvP weapons should you keep scoring headshots. Both weapons require a chain of objectives that can only be completed in the Crucible, with the Howl being exclusively tied to the Competitive playlist and requiring a fairly inordinate amount of dedication to reach Fabled rank. Both weapons, while extremely potent in the hands of a skilled player, face solid competition from more common weapons, doing little to justify the draconian effort in acquiring them.
      • As if to put icing on the cake, the Luna's Howl can be succeeded by the Not Forgotten, another fast-firing handcannon that has even more range than the former. To get this one, you really have to go all out in Competitive with your freshly-acquired Luna's Howl, score kills with it, then reach the maximum rank. By the end of it all, you might as well consider yourself in the top percent of Crucible players, with the Not Forgotten being a Bragging Rights Reward.
    • The Malfeasance handcannon is more myth than reality to most Guardians, mainly because it involves an insane amount of luck in Gambit to even start the quest. You have to rely on RNG to spawn the eyegougingly rare Taken Servitor primeval, and then you have to beat it, which is no mean feat in itself, and made even worse if you don't. What follows is an agonizing series of quests to complete, including defeating multiple Taken bosses with Raid-level health, completing a 580-level version of The Corrupted strike, winning ten matches of Gambit while banking 400 motes with the caveat that if you die with motes, your progress will decrease by double the amount you lost, and finally killing twenty-five enemy Guardians in Gambit, AND wiping all four opposing Guardians in one invasion or having a teammate wipe the opposing team 3 times, whichever is easier. After all that work, you will receive one of the quickest ways to kill both Taken and other Guardians in Gambit. Taken Predator ensures your status as The Dreaded both against Taken and invading Guardians, and the intrinsic perk Explosive Shadow makes short work of even the beefiest bosses.
  • Ironic Name: There is absolutely zero evidence that the lore book "Truth to Power" contains anything factual or useful due to the large amount of contradictory information within the book. It's also told by an Unreliable Narrator.
  • It's All About Me: As Cayde-6 says, the most important thing about the loss of the City is "my stuff". And his tale of the fighting, contrasted to Zavala's, features only his own exploits. It's all Played for Laughs.
    Cayde-6: They kept comin', I kept firin'. Not gonna lie; I was magnificent.
    • Later, Cayde-6 solely helps Failsafe and a fireteam from getting torn apart by Fallen scavengers, simply because he heard there was loot he could take in Failsafe's cargo. One of the possible lines of dialogue has him explaining away managing to hack into Failsafe's (blocked) comms by proclaiming he's the best.
  • It Has Been an Honor: The last mission features the powerless Vanguard and Guardians launching an attack to retake the city from Ghaul, stop him from stealing the Light, and achieving godhood. As Zavala, Ikora, and Cayde are being slowly overrun they start saying their goodbyes just in case... except Cayde, who's... well...
    Zavala: Ikora. Cayde. If we don't make is out of this alive... know that I have never been prouder to be part of your fireteam.
    Ikora: If we have to die, at least we'll die in the shadow of the Traveler, old friend.
    Cayde-6: We're about to die, and you're still making speeches!?
  • Kaizo Trap: Almost. At the end of the Savathûn's Song strike, the shell and parts of the end boss still have physics and collision damage enabled. As the boss explodes on death, it's quite possible to get flattened by a flying chunk of Shrieker. Fortunately, the mission is marked as completed the instant the boss dies.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Bungie decided to take a page from its roots to complement Destiny 2's new weapon setup. Kinetic Weapons (i.e. element-less weapons) deal more damage especially against unshielded opponents. Energy Weapons are closer to proper Secondary weapons, dealing less damage than kinetics, but more damage against shields than kinetic weapons.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Certain exotic armor pieces associated with Ahamkara seem to imply that Ahamkara know they are in a video game, referring not to a bearer or a reader but to the player themselves.
    Claws of Ahamkara: We are not the photons on your screen, or the voice in your head, or the words you read. Shut your eyes — tightly — and you may see us.
    Skull of Dire Ahamkara: I came to find you, only you, because you're special. You're from somewhere real. And together we can burn our way back there. Can't we, o player mine?
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: The Speaker's disappearance sends Ikora into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that displays never-before-seen levels of Warlock powernote .
    Ikora Rey: Red Legion, you will take no more from us, and you will find no mercy in me!!
    • Turned Up to Eleven after Uldren kills Cayde. She calls for a full-on invasion of the Reef by the Guardians.
      We will take the Reef by storm. All of us. Every Titan, every Warlock, Every Hunter. If he thinks what he's done is the end... it's not. It's the beginning.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Shard of the Traveler occupying the European Dead Zone somehow transformed its surroundings into a twisted forest not unlike a Taken infestation (the portals that take you deeper into the forest look especially Taken-esque). In spite of this, the Shard is still potent enough to bless your Guardian and Ghost with Light, regaining the powers that were lost with Ghaul's attack, and some more.
  • Living Ship: Calus constantly refers to his flagship, the Leviathan, with feminine pronouns, stating how she's hungry for planets and sometimes ends up eating the wrong thing. The first Raid Lair, "Eater of Worlds", is basically your fireteam entering the Leviathan's "stomach" to get rid of a troublesome Vex infestation.
  • Macross Missile Massacre:
    • The Wardcliff Coil shoots out a large barrage of elemental missiles. While mostly different from its time as a canned exotic in Destiny, it still focuses on getting many of these missiles out as quick as possible.
    • The Drake's main weapon is its cannon, but it also features a large complement of guided missiles that can be launched by holding the left bumper button (which lets you lock on to targets), then releasing it.
    • The game itself opens with a huge barrage of Cabal missiles launched against the Tower.
    • Cabal Colossi retain their barrage of missiles from the first game, except now those missiles split into several more smaller missiles that double as flashbangs. Fortunately, they're also Destructible Projectiles prior to splitting.
  • Mile-Long Ship: The Cabal bring out some of their largest weaponry in this game. First, they field a cage device that's easily five times as long as the standard Cabal warship and can deploy a net that spans the entirety of the Traveler's size. Then, there's the Almighty, a colossal sun destroyer whose wingspan is only slightly smaller than Mercury's diameter. Finally, Calus and his Loyalists come to the Sol system in the Leviathan, a massive planet-eating ship that completely dwarfs Nessus.
  • More Dakka: So so many sources.
    • Sweet Business, an exotic auto rifle taking the form of a compact minigun. It automatically pulls ammo pickups into the magazine whilst spun up, and its damage and rate of fire ramp up over time.
    • Thunderlord returns in Festival of the Lost. It's a Light Machine Gun that fires Arc-enhanced projectiles, its rate of fire increases the longer it's fired, and to top it off, while firing at any speed, it will call down a bolt from the blue to burn your enemies to ash, be they Cabal, Hive, Taken, or opposing Guardian.
    • Submachine guns in design, being faster but weaker than auto rifles. The Peacekeepers, exotic boots for Titans, are designed to turn SMG dakka Up to Eleven by automatically reloading holstered SMGs and allowing them to readied instantly.
    • The Actium War Rig also helps to deliver this to all auto rifles by slowly siphoning reserve ammo into the magazine; 10% of its maximum capacity (rounded up) every second or so. Since Sweet Business is an auto rifle, there's more than a little synergy.
    • Rally Barricade skill for Titan class allows Guardians to reload ammunition instantly every time they crouch behind the cover.
  • Nerf: The transition from Destiny to Destiny 2 has seen some weapons and abilities be reduced in effectiveness due to their overpowered nature in the previous game.
    • Ward of Dawn is relegated to one branch of the Sentinel's abilities set, and is limited to only Armor of Light, eschewing buffs like Weapons of Light or Blessing of Light that made the Defender's Super practically mandatory in the first game. Instead, the Defender's Super is now split into two different types, one for mobile, aggressive defense and one for static defense.
    • Some Exotic weapons and armor pieces that are returning from the first game, such as the Telesto fusion rifle, for example, no longer generates orbs for your fireteam upon a multikill, instead reloading your kinetic and energy weapons while they're holstered. Another example is the Sunbracers gauntlets for the Warlock, which loses its extra grenade charge.
  • Never Found the Body: The Speaker disappears during the attack on the Tower in the opening mission. He's never outright stated to be dead, though, and given Ghaul's interest in the Traveler, there's a good chance he may be simply kidnapped instead of dead. Ikora doesn't take it well either way. It turns out he's been kidnapped by Ghaul, and ultimately dies of his wounds.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • All Crucible-related trailers (as well as snippets of event trailers) omit the fact that players cannot kill other Guardians as fast as demonstrated in the trailers; the reality is that actual gameplay is a lot slower in pace than suggested.
    • The trailers for Curse of Osiris hyped up Khartion, another Vex Mind similar to Atheon in design, as a primary antagonist. Cut to the corresponding story mission where Khartion appears, and it spends a grand total of less than ten seconds before Valus Thuun crushes Khartion into the ground.
  • Nostalgia Level:
    • One Crucible map takes place in the original game's Iron Temple from Rise of Iron. The Crimson Days event from Curse of Osiris brings back Mercury's Burning Shrine in the form of The Burnout, while Warmind re-adds Bannerfall to the rotation. Two more Forsaken Crucible maps copy Pantheon and Shores of Time, similarly.
    • Your quest for avenging Ives' death and ultimately gaining the Thunderlord brings you back to the Cosmodrome, exactly how it looked like in Rise of Iron. Holliday warns you that it's gonna be the only time you get to visit it before Zavala, who put the area on lockdown, takes notice.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: To justify the new acquisition of gear and subclasses, Ghaul's attack has the double effect of both destroying the Guardians stockpile of gear and cutting them off from the Traveler's Light, forcing them to search the system for new equipment and powers.
  • Oh, Crap!: The look on Zavala's face when he sees the Cabal fleet pull out of the storm right in front of the tower oozes not only this but stunned disbelief.
  • Old Save Bonus: Upon starting up the game for the first time, returning players are reminded of the various feats they've achieved in the first game. These feats also reward players with exclusive Emblems based on their respective feats. Veteran Guardians from the first game will retain their appearance, minus their gear, and some in-game dialogue will change to reflect thisnote .
  • One Bullet Clips: Absent on weapons with the "Drop Mag" mod, which grants users much higher reload speed, but at the cost of losing all bullets previously in the magazine, encouraging them to empty their guns first.
  • Out of Focus: The Hive are significantly less important in Destiny 2 compared to Destiny 1, where they were the main focus of two of the first game's expansions. This time around, the Cabal, who were the Out of Focus faction in the first game, are now the main antagonist, with the Hive only being encountered on one major world.
    • That said, the events of various Io missions and the Savathûn's Song strike suggest that the Hive may well be playing a larger role in the future, starting with Warmind featuring a Hive cult as the main antagonistic force.
    • The Hive appear to share the spotlight as the antagonists of the endgame of Forsaken along with the Taken and newcomers, the Scorn, who are Fallen corrupted by impure ether. Also, Savathûn, newly crowned queen of the Taken and the Hive seems to be behind the trouble plaguing the Dreaming City of the Awoken.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Quite a few locations stand out as perfect places to farm faction tokens, kills and the likes.
    • Cargo Bay 3, a Lost Sector in Titan, is generally regarded as the fastest Lost Sector to clear and obtain faction tokens during a Faction Rally thanks to the arena's simplicity; you can just kill the Ogre boss and loot the treasure chest, while completely ignoring the surrounding Hive mobs.
    • Within the secret mission "The Whisper", the floor underneath the grassy chamber is littered with infinitely respawning Shadow Thralls, making it a perfect location for grinding kills for Exotic Masterwork catalysts. The only downside is accessing the mission in the first place, as well as the time limit within that mission.
  • Planet Destroyer: The Almighty, Ghaul's lifework and the Red Legion's pride; it's a moon-sized ship that tears apart planets, turning them into fuel for its energy beam, which in turn is aimed at stars, sapping their power until they go supernova and destroy the entire system. Destroying it directly is not an option, as Asher points out, since it would take out the Sun with it, still resulting in The End of the World as We Know It. It's the second alien superstructure that entered the Sol system that's too dangerous to be destroyed, with the first being Oryx's Dreadnaught (still floating around Saturn's ring), and it's Cabal policy to use it on any rival species that pose a threat to the Cabal (read: all of them).
  • Planet Eater: The Leviathan, Calus's personal flagship, is a massive ship several times larger than even the Almighty or the Dreadnaught, capable of devouring planets to sustain itself. It's also implied to be sentient, given the Cabal gather geological data on how to best grind the planets into food for it. Upon finishing the game's main story and reaching the Power requirement for the raid, the Leviathan enters the Sol system and begins consuming Nessus. The game's first raid takes place on the city-like palace located on the ship's "head".
  • Poor Communication Kills: Uldren Sov nearly wiped out the Awoken, broke the Scorn Barons out of prison, and killed Cayde-6 all because Mara Sov didn't tell him about her plan.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Multiple guardians were killed in the Cabal's initial assault, leaving only what Cayde-6 calls "a bunch of dirty misfits" left to take their home back.
  • “The Reason You Suck” Speech: Ghaul gives a rather brutal one when the player Guardian's Light begins to fade:
    Ghaul: You are weak. Undisciplined. Cowering behind walls. I command legions, conquered worlds, waged war across the galaxy to prove my worth. I alone am worthy of the Traveler's Light. You're not brave, you've merely forgotten the fear of death.
  • Reclaimed By Nature: The European Dead Zone has long been abandoned since the end of the Golden Age, so the area has overgrowth of grass, moss, and other vegetation slowly taking over the rusted and decayed buildings, vehicles, and roads. The fallen shard of the Traveler is causing strange phenomena that may be accelerating the growth as well.
  • Recurring Riff:
    • A solemn violin riff from the track "Journey" that plays as the player escapes the Last City in the mission "Adieu" reappears in a few other places on the soundtrack - most notably the final mission where they return to take the City back.
    • The oppressive drums from "Cabal Stomp" from the first game show up again in some other Cabal-related themes, including Ghaul's final boss theme.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Forsaken seems to be shaping up to be this.
  • Rousing Speech: Commander Zavala gives a speech to surviving Guardians to rally them into launching an attack on the Cabal and retake the City. Cayde tries this, with less success. To contrast the two, here they are, spliced together by character.
    Zavala: Times may be dark, but we are Earth's greatest hope! Look around you. A noble gathering of Guardians new and old. Our home was attacked! I was there and fought against the endless onslaught. Despite the sacrifice of many brave Guardians, we lost everything: the Tower, the City, our home. Today, we know our enemy. His name is Ghaul. I know you look to me in times of peril, but this is not my battle alone. It is time to avenge this injustice, for that is the duty of all Guardians! So I ask you! WHO. WILL. STAND. WITH ME?!
    Cayde: Okay, listen up. You're a buncha dirty misfits! But you're all that's left so you'll have to do. (...) They kept coming, so I kept firin'. Not gonna lie, I was magnificent. So, everything is gone: Your stuff, my stuff, and most importantly, MY STUFF. (...) GARY! Or Gil. Glen? Is it... I don't know, SOMETHING WITH A "G"! (...) Which means if I don't see you out there, I'll kill you myself. Worst case scenario: you die, but who knows? Maybe you won't. (...) YEAH! Uh, really guys? Also, THERE WILL BE A TON OF LOOT!
  • Rule of Three : Big time. Three classes, three subclasses per class, three races, three elements, three factions, three Vanguard leaders. Of course, the three faction leaders as well as the three Vanguard leaders are one of each race, each subclass is attuned to one of the three elements, and so on. There are also three weapon slots, three encounters in the Raid before the boss, three guardians in a Strike fireteam, etc.
  • Schmuck Bait: Go on, try provoking the dozens of Colossi standing guard on the Leviathan's entrance.
  • Scifi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale: Depending on cutscene or situation, the Traveler is either big enough to see from space or small enough to fit within the walls of the Last City and viewable in its entirety from the walls.
  • Shield Bash: The Sentinel Subclass' super summons a Void shield that on top of providing protection can be used offensively, turning the Titan into an intergalactic Captain America.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Inverted; they called in the cavalry. The first Destiny took itself very seriously in tone and dialogue, with much of its humor coming from pieces of lore and later DLC. In Destiny 2's case, not only does the snarky and lackadaisical Cayde-6 take center stage in much of the marketing, the commercials themselves make light of the otherwise grim situation. In-game, new and returning characters both are generally more cheerful and expressive than the first game right out the gate, with Cayde making a lot more quips and jokes that take up a lot of the dialogue.
    • And then, Uldren killed him, Zavala refused to leave the City for fear of their other enemies making use of their absence to wreak havoc, and a devastated Ikora, furious at Uldren's actions, only sided with Zavala to give the illusion of a united front.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A sidearm named Drang looks almost exactly like the other well known Golden Gun.
    • Several Overwatch Ones:
      • One Grenade Launcher you can get from Lord Shaxx's Engrams is called Play of the Game. The flavor text even says "Show no Mercy."
      • During Iron Banner matches, Saladin may shout "DIE! DIE! DIE!" at achieving certain medals. note 
    • An Adventure on Nessus involving Failsafe hacking into the Vex Mind Network on Nessus is called Hack The Planet.
    • Hard Light's exotic ornament is called The Future Is Chrome (for bonus points, it paints most of the gun chrome).
    • A pair of Exotic Hunter Gauntlets has a pair of hidden knives mounted underneath the wrists
    • The "Confused" emote obtainable from Eververse has your character look around in confusion a la John Travolta.
    • The "Bureaucratic Walk" emote has the guardian perfom a certain silly walk.
    • The boss of the Leviathan Raid, Emperor Calus, feels like one massive reference to Emperor Nero of Rome. Both are exceptionally hedonistic rulers of an empire, both were quite popular with the common people but despised by the higher echelons of their governments and societies, both committed terrible deeds as part of their rule, both had a massive palace decorated with gold and jewels, and both were ousted in rebellions led by the aforementioned disgruntled parts of society.
    • There's a legendary scout rifle named "Seven-Six-Five," a reference to 765 Productions. The description is "There's a rhythm to it," a reference to the series' Rhythm Game titles.
    • The ‘Timely Dance’ emote has your Guardian do the Time Warp.
    • The Black Armory shotgun "Threat Level" and its flavor text "Hold on 'til midnight" are a collective reference to Michael Scott's attempt at film-making in The Office.
    • The Season 5 emote Let's Chat is a reference to the very cheesy tape Peter Parker has to watch in detention in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
    • The "Nothing is Wrong" emote is a reference to the "This is Fine" meme, where your character sits at a table and drinks from a mug before it ignites on fire.
  • Silliness Switch: Emotes are more varied this time around, and the rarer ones tend to slide towards the goofy side of things. Indeed, you can enter the Trials of the Nine, a fairly serious and competitive PvP arena, and have your character introduce themselves by galloping, whereas everyone else uses their Ass-Kicking Pose or even sillier dance emotes. As the game's life cycle goes on, even sillier emotes of all rarities get added, including one that has you simulate eating popcorn or even mimicking Calus's opulent mannerisms.
    • Winter holidays add snowball piles everywhere, and can be picked up and thrown. They do quite a bit of damage if they're used on an enemy.
  • Simple Staff: The Hunter's new Arcstrider subclass. A staff made from and/or charged with (presumably) Arc energy, but still used as a Simple Staff. Despite being relatively lackluster, the Raiden Flux exotic picks up the slack by allowing damage to ramp up during the super.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: The Pleasure Gardens section of the Leviathan raid. You have to navigate around the garden in search of power buffs in order to deal enough damage to the 6 Royal Beasts on patrol, and must not be detected by any of them while doing so, otherwise you go straight to the damage phase, buffed or not, with the additional threat of a Total Party Wipe. Prestige Mode adds 2 more Royal Beasts (i.e., one for each spore) and changes their patrol pattern completely.
  • The Stinger: True to Bungie, an additional scene plays post-credits. The Traveler's defeat of Ghaul created a shockwave that can be seen from Oryx's Dreadnaught near Saturn, the Reef, and even outside the galaxy. However, a fleet of black, pyramid-shaped ships also registered the shockwave and are starting to move towards the galaxy.
  • Super Prototype: The Foundry weapons modified by the Black Armory, which have augmented barrels and are decked out in a black paint job and red stripes.
  • Tank Goodness: This installment throws playable tanks into the fray, as opposed to the unusable Cabal Goliath tanks and their usable Interceptor "scout vehicles, which are essentially motorbike tanks". Along with armed tanks, this includes tanks that are unarmed, but no less armored and capable of great speed.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Last Wish raid takes places within the Keep of Voices. The Keep of Voices within the Dreaming City towers over its surroundings, and the Dreaming City itself is on an asteroid in another dimension that can only be entered through the Watchtower on the edge of the Tangled Shore.
    • Forsaken has as a Bonus Dungeon Shattered Throne, a well-hidden secret mission which has a higher power requirement than Last Wish, and leads to the expansion's True Final Boss, in a portal in an inconspicuous hole.
  • Throwing Your Shield Always Works: The Sentinel's Void Shield can be tossed like a frisbee, and can bounce from enemy to enemy should they be close to one another. Extra charges can either be granted from a mid-game upgrade which adds one charge, or by wearing the Doom Fang Pauldron, which allows the shield throw to be recharged at a more reliable rate (by default, it's too slow to recover before the super ends.)
  • Tyke Bomb: Ghaul himself. He was raised by The Consul for the express purpose of deposing the current emperor of the Cabal, because said emperor had humiliated him in the past. Ghaul kills the Consul when he finally pushes Ghaul's temper too far. Said Emperor Lampshades this in The Cabal Booklet.
  • Un-person: Nokris is exiled and erased from the hive's records for the heresy of communing directly with a worm god, bypassing his father Oryx. All that remains is an old statue near the entrance of Oryx's throne room bearing his name, but Ghost can't find anything about him in the World's Grave files, which contained the story of thousands of worlds previously destroyed by the hive and the centuries they've spent seeding Earth.
  • Wham Episode: The game's story starts off with this: After hundreds of years of continued existence, fighting off Fallen attacks, internal strife, and building itself under the safety of the Traveler, not to mention being your home for years, the Last City falls, you lose your Light, and you are forced on the run. The Forsaken expansion creates another one with the death of Cayde-6, who has been a fan favorite character ever since Destiny's series originally began.
  • Wham Line: During the climax of Forsaken's main story, you overhear a voice urging Uldren to complete his objective as you progress through the Watchtower. Before that moment, you are led to believe that said voice belongs to Mara Sov since it's exactly what she sounds like (albeit conspicuously more expressive than her appearances in the first game), but then she forcefully says "Free me, o brother mine." That last bout is a speech pattern that can only indicate that the Anthem Anatheme phrasing is being used to control Uldren, something that is commonly associated with maliciously manipulative beings like the Ahamkara. Indeed, "Mara Sov" is eventually revealed to be an illusion created by the force manipulating Uldren and the expansion's true antagonist, Riven of a Thousand Voices; the last known Ahamkara.
  • Wham Shot: At the end of each cycle in the Dreaming City's curse, you get an oppoturnity to visit Mara Sov in her pocket dimension, and each successive cycle brings interesting developments to the story.
    • The second time, you can get a glimpse of a hologram if you approach the table next to her. Said hologram is shaped like one of the pyramid-like ships that were present during the vanilla story's stinger, indicating that Mara is aware of their imminent arrival.
    • The third visit has you entering the court as Mara finishes an audience with the Emissary of the Nine, warning the latter's masters that the Queen has a limit to her patience. Mara then tells you to not fall prey to the Nine's machinations, before asking you to leave, as her next guest apparently does not appreciate the presence of a Guardian.
    • The fifth visit is marked with Mara's conspicuous absence, with the only things of interest being the usual weekly loot and a hologram on the table which triggers a cutscene. Said cutscene reveals that somewhere in the Dreaming City, a Ghost unexpectedly revives Uldren's corpse, making him a Guardian. Even Uldren himself looks confused upon his revival.
    • The seventh visit has Mara muse about keeping the balance between Light and Dark and recounting a dream where she will meet someone who tells her that "a side should always be taken, even if it's the wrong side". She then bids you goodbye and departs for an indefinite amount of time, with her vanishing animation being nigh-identical to the Exo Stranger from Destiny. Between paraphrasing the Exo Stranger and disappearing in the same manner, Mara Sov raises even more questions in this visit that all the previous ones.
  • William Telling: Appears in the lore tab of the Trinity Ghoul exotic bow, wherein a Guardian accepted a wager from The Rifleman, one of the Scorn targeted by the Player Character in the Forsaken campaign, to shoot a canister of ether off the head of someone important to her. If she wins, she gets a thousand glimmer (the game's currency) and the promise of walking out alive with her friend. If she loses...
  • You Are Too Late: A big factor in favor of the Cabal's attack at the beginning of the game is that they were either lucky or smart enough to jam communications and begin their attack when your guardian has been out on patrol. By the time you make it home the attack is long and well underway.
  • You No Take Candle: The strangely pacifistic and helpful Harpy containing bits and pieces of Captain Jacobson's memories and personality talks in extremely stilted and ungrammatically correct English in Failsafe's personal quest.

     Exotic Weapon Tropes 
Much like Destiny 1's trope page, there will be a folder specifically for the Exotic weapons and their associated tropes. In difference from the first game, there's a couple of Exotic weapons which have companion Legendary weapons. These will be associated with the Exotic weapon they are parred with (such at the MIDA Multi-tool and MIDA Mini-tool).

Kinetic Weapons

MIDA Multi-Tool
Multi-Tool: Select application: Ballistic engagement. Entrenching tool. Avionics trawl. Troll smasher. Stellar sextant. List continues.
Mini-Tool: Select application: Flare gun. Water purifier. Interplanetary Positioning System. Encyclopædia Arcana. Personal flotation device. List continues.

Yep. It's back, though maybe not in black. Obtained in the Quest after a questline in the European Dead Zone. A Scout Rifle designed to have as many uses as humanly possible. But in the case of the Guardians, its function as a gun is probably all you need. The MIDA's special abilities grant the wielder increased movement speed in all situations, and allows the radar to remain active even when aiming down its scope.

The MIDA comes with a partner in the form of a Legendary Energy Submachine Gun, MIDA Mini-Tool, which gains the MIDA's speed boost when equipped alongside it.

  • Alternate Timeline: The lore entry for the Multi-Tool implies that the two weapons come from a different timeline, as the weapon logs indicate they were used in some manner of extremely bloody conflict on Mars... that there are no records of in the 'Prime' timeline.
    Zavala — A waste of time, as always. I won't confiscate the Red Death engrams, I won't roll back the SUROS Crucible firmware to its “original” (preposterously inflated) state. And I won't conduct any more “forensic inquiries” like this!
    My Redjacks unlocked your MIDA weapon's logs; simple enough once we used the rifle's own electronic warfare tools. The rifle was designed by primitive AI and manufactured for use by a “revolutionary government” named MIDA. Mars Is Damnably Arid, perhaps.
    Guerilla war suits these versatile weapons. But Rahool insists his records never hinted at a rebel group named MIDA. According to the rifle's cached messages, MIDA's brief reign killed a full ten percent of the Martian people.
    I gave Lakshmi the weapon for her take. She insinuates that it came from another timeline, perhaps through Golden Age experiments. That means it's outside your jurisdiction to ban. —Shaxx
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: One of the Ornaments (alternate appearance options) for the Multi-Tool has it in super-shiny titanium finish, compared to its default drab scheme.
  • Boring, but Practical: As with Jack-of-All-Stats, it does solid damage and doesn't have any outstanding gimmicks compared to other Legendary or Exotic scout rifles. It makes up for it by having a steady firing rate and a useful speed boost.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Designed to be an all-round scout rifle, doing everything pretty well but not excelling at anything in particular. This even extends to the look of the gun, being sort of a mash-up of a bunch of other scout rifles with a couple of extra bits here and there.
  • MacGyvering: The MIDA is a custom "kitbashed" gun, built from the components of multiple different models of scout rifle. Also it was apparently designed by an artificial intelligence.
  • Mythology Gag: The rifle's background in an attrition-filled Martian conflict is a deliberate callback to Marathon, where a similar bloody, genocidal uprising on Mars was a big part of the game's overarching lore.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: While its impact is in the second weakest archetype of Scout Rifles, it enhances your movement speed by a lot, has a very high rate of fire, and lets you use your radar while aiming down its scope; qualities that are rarely seen together with other weapon combinations.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: It will do just about anything, though the only thing it can do relevant to gameplay is shoot stuff.
  • Tag Team: As if the MIDA's performance wasn't enough, it has the MIDA Mini-Tool to act as its partner-in-crime. MIDA Mini acts as a straight-up More Dakka Emergency Weapon to vaporize anyone who gets to close even for the Multi-Tool, and its perk grants it the MIDA's speed boost when it's equipped.

Rat King
We are small, but we are legion.

Obtained in a Quest after completing a questline on Titan. A strange fully-automatic Sidearm surrounded by legend and myth. The Rat King's abilities are especially unique. For starters, if you quickly reload after a kill, you briefly gain invisibility. More unusually, it gains increased fire rate, mag size, and impact the more nearby allies are equipped with this weapon.

  • Balance Buff: The Rat King was overlooked by the playerbase a short while after its discovery for its overly situational boost and lacking payoff. In the lead-up to the Warmind expansion, Bungie announced that the Rat King would see a major buff, giving it fully-automatic fire, tweaking the syntactic conditions for its power boost (only needing other players to have it equipped, rather than drawn), and providing an actual power boost.
  • Cool, But Inefficient: Rat King sounded cool in theory, but demanded a pretty big condition for a fairly lackluster payoff. On top of the quest to obtain it being told purely in riddles, it required additional nearby Guardians to be wielding it to be more powerful. Said definition of "powerful" simply amounted to extra fire rate and mag size, so it ultimately relied on sheer numbers.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Reloading after kill gives you brief invisibility, providing you with some breathing room. A bonus for this in The Crucible is that it lets you vanish from your opponents' radars during the time, allowing you to make a quick getaway after a kill.
  • Magikarp Power: By itself, the Rat King is simply a Sidearm with almost impressively average stat spread. However, combined with other Rat King users, it can quickly whittle down enemies.
  • Shrouded in Myth: The Rat King is somewhere between an urban legend and a myth, meant as a warning to children to never leave the Wall. Children believe that the Rat King leads a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits, going on grand adventures to save the world. Adults, including the Vanguard, believe it's just a myth. Who knows the truth?
  • Zerg Rush: Encourages an intresting FPS version of this tactic. As a Kinetic Sidearm, its performance makes it rather weak, especially since it requires you to be fairly up close to stand a major chance. But if you have nearby allies that are also wielding this weapon, you can easily overwhelm your target.

These ancient ceremonial pistols can be dated back to the early Golden Age. A faded inscription reads, "To Sigrun, from Victor."

Obtained in a Quest after completing a questline on Nessus. An ancient, ceremonial Hand Cannon with strong connections to the late captain of the Exodus Black, Captain Jacobson. Sturm's mechanics lie in its synergy with Energy Weapons, reloading their magazine upon scoring kills then gaining a slight precision damage bonus on Energy Weapon kills until reload.

The weapon is designed to be partnered up with Drang, a Energy Sidearm that reloads a round into Sturm's magazine for every kill it makes, even going past its usual mag size. In addition, overloaded rounds granted by Drang receive an immense damage boost.

  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: Sturm's design takes many cues from the Mauser C96, especially with its front-loaded magazine. Likewise, Drang's design takes after the Luger. Both guns being inspired by early 20th century pistols certainly makes them stand out in the game's plethora of futuristic weapons.
  • Balance Buff: Sturm and Drang received buffs with the release of the Warmind expansion. Drang got an overall stat boost, including its Impact, allowing it to more reliably take out opponents, while Sturm's surplus rounds would receive an 80% damage boost. To demonstrate, Bungie previewed this change with a Crucible clip showing Drang taking out players single-handedly before double-tapping the next opponent with Sturm.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Sturm und Drang, commonly translated as "storm and stress" or "noise and storm", was a romantic movement in late 18th-century Germany focusing on emotional extremes.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Both Sturm and its "Symbiosis" Ornament give the weapon a very shiny look about it. Being described as a "ceremonial pistol", it's probably intended as such.
  • Boring, but Practical: On one hand, its exotic perks are nothing to write home about. On the other hand, it's got an excellent spread of stats, a huge mag with a whopping 12 rounds, and excellent synergy with all Energy Weapons, but especially its cousin Drang which can load Sturm up to a whopping 21 rounds!
  • Meaningful Name: "Sturm" and "Drang" are German for "Storm" and "Stress" respectively. It also refers to an artistic movement in 18th century Germany, exemplified by the expression of emotional unrest and rejection of literary norms. Considering the weapon's Lore Entry, it seems to be a physical manifestation of the concept.
  • Tag Team: Sturm's gimmick works best with the Energy Sidearm, Drang, which reloads a round into Sturm's mag with each kill it makes, potentially up to a preposterous 21 rounds! Switching between these two at the right moments can make Sturm and Drang wreak havoc on the enemy.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Going by the Lore Entry, this weapon was given to a woman named Sigrun by the Captain. Sigrun desperately wished to go along with Jacobson, but was left behind. Considering what happened to the Exodus Black and the Collapse, safe to say that neither of them saw a happy ending.

Sweet Business
...I love my job.

It's a gatling gun. Do the math. Sweet Business boasts a massive magazine, a bonus to hipfire accuracy, solid kinetic DPS, and the ability automatically reload the weapon upon obtaining an ammo pickup. In addition, Sweet Business's effective range increases as it continues to spew bullets. As a downside, its fire rate briefly starts off slow before it truly begins to unleash Hell.

  • Balance Buff:
    • Decried since launch for having too little ammo compared to how fast it dishes bullets out, Sweet Business received a massive capacity increase in Warmind, allowing players to stock up to 1000 rounds in reserve.
    • Patch 2.0 increased its bullet damage to fall in line with 600 RPM auto rifles, but this also means that when the gun is fully revved up and firing at 900 RPM, you can shred Crucible opponents very quickly, making it a metaphorical chainsaw in that mode. This is a far cry from the days where Sweet Business was touted as a PvP gimmick and was relegated to PvE.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: The "Down to Business" Ornament turns the chassis gold and the barrels into chrome. Killing in and death by bling is probably the best thing anyone can ask for these days.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Sweet Business suffers from a couple key weaknesses that hold its destructive power back: the spin-up time makes it slightly tricky for unskilled players, especially in PvP; and it can easily waste through its 99 round magazine if you can't handle the kick. Learning how to manage that meager amount of bullets and pre-emptively starting up the firing animation is the key to maximizing this weapon's efficiency.
  • Gatling Good: It's a minigun rifle.
  • More Dakka: A 99 round magazine, massive fire rate, and the ability to automatically reload on ammo pickups means that you'll be firing this gun for a pretty long time. You can likely beat out most other weapons by simply outpacing their fire rates. More Dakka, thy name is "Sweet Business". It's also the best candidate for using in tandem with the Titan's Actium War Rig, an exotic chestplate which feeds 10 bullets from Sweet Business's reserves every 2 seconds.
    "You ain't gotta tell me."
    Lore Entry
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Going by the Lore Entry, someone used this sweet babe for some... "spiders". If they meant simple nuisances, then this weapon probably vaporized them.

Vigilance Wing
"The eye remains open. The Lighthouse remains lit."
—Brother Vance

A Pulse Rifle with unknown connections to the disciples of the most powerful Warlock, Osiris. This enigmatic rifle boasts the inherent ability to fire a five-round burst instead of the standard three. It also grants the power to bring vengeance to your enemy, restoring your health and granting a speed boost whenever a nearby ally is killed. If the wielder the last Guardian standing in a Fireteam, the Vigilance Wing receives an all-around performance boost.

  • Balance Buff: To give its Determinator some more "oomph", the Warmind update buffed its "Last Man Standing" skill by maxing out the wielder's Recovery stat when active, allowing them to more easily survive to make a comeback.
  • Determinator: Vigilance Wing is built on the ability to persevere, even through dire situations, with its recovery and performance boost when allies die and performance boost when you're the last Guardian standing.
  • More Dakka: It shoots 5-round bursts instead of 3 rounds, giving it better use in close-quarters. Its masterwork in the Warmind expansion makes it fully automatic, negating the need to pump the trigger.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Are your allies dying? That becomes the Vigilance Wing's strength, and encourages you to strike back with extreme prejudice.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: This gun's perks are rather niche and situational. However, its five-round burst, almost completely vertical recoil, and overall great performance makes this weapon a real power even without the perks.

According to official Vanguard policy, this weapon does not exist.

Introduced in the Curse of Osiris expansion, this is the Red Death Pulse Rifle's weird little brother. Erased from the Vanguard's records for reasons unknown, this bloodstained Hand Cannon features a 3-round burst instead of heavy semi-automatic fire, making it an oddity among Hand Cannons. Much like its predecessor, kills with Crimson heal its wielder with the added bonus of refilling the magazine on precision kills.

  • Balance Buff: Recognizing player complaints, Bungie gave Crimson a much-needed buff for the Warmind expansion, giving it much more reserve ammo as well as greatly tweaking the damage to match the time-to-kill of Aggressive-type Hand Cannons.
  • Bayonet Ya: Like its predecessor, it mounts a nasty-looking bayonet, though gameplay-wise it doesn't grant any melee bonus.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Its Silver Bullet ornament removes all the blood, and replaces the frame with a gold and silvery metal...even the spikes are made of gold. There's also a lot of scrollwork engravings on many part of the gun (including parts of the bayonet) and it has an immaculate white (possibly ivory) grip.
  • Cool, But Inefficient: Unlike Red Death, which was easy-to-use if a bit slow, Crimson has a lot of caveats to be sufficiently practical. Being a Hand Cannon, it has much less total ammo than Red Death and demands skillful aim to make sure those shots count since it also deals less damage per shot. As such, Crimson can easily run out of ammo in the middle of a firefight if its user isn't accurate.
    • That being said, its Masterwork increases its range, which allows it to veer a little closer to Difficult, but Awesome territory.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Because of its 3-round burst, you have to treat the Crimson as more of a close-to-medium-range Pulse Rifle instead of a Hand Cannon. This is made more evident once you get its Masterwork version, which boosts its range to be able to compete with most actual Pulse Rifles' reach.
  • Evil Weapon: Being a miniature Red Death, a bloodstained rifle that was originally stated to be a Guardian killer, safe to say that Crimson isn't that much better. The lore entry details a conversation between a Guardian and their Ghost, with the Guardian gradually becoming more aggressive.
  • More Dakka: Crimson stands out with its burst-fire and large magazine, trading the Hand Cannons' high per-shot damage for sustained fire. Its low damage per shot means it deals similar damage on trigger pull to most hand cannons.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Like Red Death, its default paintjob is black with a splash of blood. The "Silver Bullet" ornament contrasts the default appearance by being an immaculate white (with a more elegant bayonet).
  • Simple, yet Awesome: After Warmind's Balance Buff, Crimson closely matches what Red Death used to be in that it had a very simple performance, but very useful results. In addition, chaining headshot kills means that you'll hardly need to reload or break off from heated engagements, making it a very appealing choice for survivalists.

Jade Rabbit
"What kind of harebrained scheme have you got in mind this time?"

A kinetic Scout Rifle returning from Destiny in Curse of Osiris. A mysterious weapon with an unknown history with the Daito foundry. The Jade Rabbit's signature ability lets it chain non-critical hits to increase the power of the next critical shot, refunding your magazine upon doing so

  • Boom, Headshot!: Zigzagged. Unlike most scout rifles which thrive on landing headshot after headshot, the Fate of All Fools encourages the player to shoot the body multiple times before finally landing a critical hit to deal even more damage than a normal.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Stacking body damage before the next headshot will greatly extend your magazine's lifespan, if not make it this.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: A 10 round magazine does not leave a lot of room for error. And you'd arguably deal more damage landing constant headshots. However, chaining body shots before landing a crit gives the bonus reward of refunding your magazine, saving you a lot of ammo.
  • Meaningful Name: "Jade Rabbit" is the name for the companion of Chang'e, the Chinese Moon Goddess. "The Moon Rabbit" using a mortar and pestle is a common element in East Asian folklore, but since we're focused on China, The Jade Rabbit's job was pounding up the ingredients to the Elixir of Life for Chang'e. With the Jade Rabbit rifle, you're definitely giving a different kind of pounding.
  • Mighty Glacier: To much irony, the Jade Rabbit has a slow rate of fire and its main perk requires you to sacrifice a lot of damage by chaining non-crits first before landing a crit, which means that you'll be in for a prolonged fight. However, in the right hands, it can keep up that beating constantly.

SUROS Regime
Nostalgia as a weapon of war. Style as a hallmark of victory.

A kinetic Auto Rifle originally in the first Destiny game now brought back in a new blue color scheme. Though considered an antique by various circles due to its Golden Age history and rarity by never mass production, this weapon is nonetheless the pride and joy of the SUROS foundry. The SUROS Regime innately empowers the bottom half of every magazine, dealing extra damage as well as having a chance to heal the wielder on a kill. SUROS Regime also comes with a choice of two firing modes: Spinning Up increases the rate of fire as the trigger is held down, while Dual Speed Receiver trades firing speed for bonus damage when you shoot aimimg down the sights.

  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: SUROS Regime finds its roots back in the Golden Age, and considered an antique of a weapon. It doesn't stop it from being a fan-favorite among Destiny veterans.
  • Boring, but Practical: Despite its lack of spectacle (especially with its unceremonious "plinking" firing sound), especially for an Exotic, SUROS Regime is a solid and flexible weapon.
  • Blue Is Heroic: The Regime returns with a blue paint job instead of the previous white or black.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: SUROS Regime has generally been considered a full-auto high-capacity Scout Rifle by the community, providing a good balance of damage and fire rate. This is even further enhanced by the Regime's flexibility: Choosing Spinning Up goes down the Lightning Bruiser path by enhancing the fire rate, while Dual Speed Receiver lets you play the Mighty Glacier with a slow, steady, and punishing assault.
  • Raygun Gothic: Takes design cues from 50s Sci Fi, featuring a very curvy and almost tubular frame. Even its muzzle evokes the circular cage-y thing from classic laser guns.

The Huckleberry
Nothin' in the world that 30 rounds can't solve.

A Kinetic Tex Mechanica Submachine Gun introduced in the Warmind Expansion, The Huckleberry dares you to ride the bull... literally. Its Ride the Bull perk increases the rate of fire and recoil of the weapon the longer the trigger is held. Kills will reload a portion of the magazine, as well as further increase its damage (up to three stacks). Its Masterwork version refills the entire magazine upon a kill.

  • Balance Buff: A stealthily applied one in Forsaken, as many users who obtained the Masterwork catalyst complained that the Ambitious Assassin perk had very little synergy with the intrinsic partial magazine refund, so it was changed to refilling the entire magazine; a straight upgrade from the 15 rounds refilled on the basic Huckleberry.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: As standard with Tex Machanica, The Huckleberry combines an old-fashioned wooden stock with a fancy golden frame.
  • Bottomless Magazines: So long as its targets can be killed in under 15 rounds, the Huckleberry can fire indefinitely without reloading, as the refill is generated for free, rather than being pulled from reserves. The Masterwork version ups the ante by simply refilling the entire magazine upon a kill, giving you more room for error.
  • Close-Range Combatant: Even among the SMG class, as Huckleberry's main perk increases its recoil as it fires, making it do best when it's too close to miss your opponent.
  • Gatling Good: Quite interestingly, this gun has a internal rotary cylinder in the receiver that also acts as its magazine, despite the weapon being single-barrel.
  • More Dakka: When its main perk is active, it'll spew bullets like crazy and possibly forever so long as you keep landing kills. This makes it a pretty close rival to Riskrunner and even Sweet Business!
  • Shout-Out: The Huckleberry's original Flavor Text was "I'm yours."
  • Unorthodox Reload: Huckleberry's unusual mechanical design means its reload action stands out, as your Guardian removes an internal cylinder from the top and pops it a new one, almost like someone loading a shell into a pump-action into the barrel instead of the tube.

Ace of Spades
"Folding was never an option" - Cayde-6

Cayde-6's trademark hand cannon, the Ace of Spades is reclaimed by the player Guardian at the conclusion of the main story of Forsaken. While it's a returning exotic from The Taken King (and no longer exclusive to Hunters), the Ace has been overhauled from its original incarnation - it has lost its signature Maverick perk, but gains a new one in the form of Memento Mori, which grants six extra-damage bullets when reloading after a kill. Of course, the gun still retains Third Eye, which grants radar while aiming down the sights, and Firefly, which causes enemies to explode on precision kills.

  • Ace Custom: It's a variant of the original game's Hard Luck Mk. 52 hand cannon (which itself is likely manufactured by Tex Mechanica), built by Banshee-44 on commission from Cayde.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Ace's Firefly perk rewards precision kills, causing enemies to explode into Solar light and greatly boosting its otherwise lackluster reload speed.
  • Gun Twirling: Instead of twirling when drawing it like in the first game, the twirling is now part of the reload animation.
  • Meaningful Name: Besides being named after Cayde's son, "Ace," the "ace of spades" is the highest card in the deck in English-speaking countries, fitting Cayde's Playing Card Motifs. In legend and folklore, it's also known as the death card.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: Unlike most Exotics, Ace of Spades doesn't really have any specific gimmick that requires the player to alter their playstyle - it's simply a solid, high-capacity hand cannon that packs a lot of basic perks - Firefly combines two extremely powerful basic perks in Dragonfly and Outlaw, and Memento Mori carries the attributes of both MIDA Multi-Tool's Third Eye and a suped-up version of Kill Clip.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Gained one extra bullet from its original Taken King incarnation to pack a 13-round cylinder, which is pretty huge compared to other hand cannons, likely referencing the number of suits in a deck of cards and being an ironic joke about Cayde's gambling.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Following the story events of Forsaken, your Guardian can collect its pieces and keep it in memory of Cayde-6.
  • Unorthodox Reload: The unique reload animation sees the user twirling the gun backwards, letting gravity empty the cylinder before refilling it with a speedloader.
  • Your Head Asplode: Firefly causes enemies to explode into Solar light on scoring a headshot kill.

The Chaperone
"My mother had a shotgun we called the Chaperone. Kept us alive out there before we got to the City." —Amanda Holliday
Another returning Taken King Exotic, the Chaperone is a replica of Nora Holliday's kinetic shotgun, obtained from a similar PVP-focused quest as it was in the first game. The Chaperone fires a single slug instead of a spread shot and grants The Roadborn on precision kills, granting bonus handling, range, and precision damage.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Carries ornate etchings running down the barrel, stock, and grip. Unlike most guns, its ornament actually makes it look less fancy.
  • Days of Future Past: Not that Destiny is any stranger to this trope, but it's a lever-action shotgun in the distant future of the Destiny setting.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Being a slug shotgun means that you need to land headshots to make the Chaperone worth it. Keeping the Roadborn perk active also means that you have to keep chaining those headshot kills. It's a high risk, high reward weapon that comes with a sky high skill floor; if used masterfully, it becomes one of the deadliest weapons in the Crucible.
  • Nerf: Both a direct and indirect one from its incarnation in the first game: directly, it completely lost its The Survivor perk, which refunded two shots to the chamber upon scoring three rapid precision kills with The Roadborn active. Indirectly, precision slug shotguns are now a common class of weapon in Destiny 2, making the Chaperone significantly less special than it once was.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: While not as long-ranged as any rifles, the Chaperone has a maxed out range stat and as such carries significantly more range than other shotguns in the game, boosted further when The Roadborn is active.

"Because three heads are good, but four are better" - Jeza "Jeopardy" Verlayn

A Kinetic Auto Rifle built out of junk, the Cerberus+1 is all about spewing as much lead as possible. Its Four-Headed Dog perk allows all of its barrels to fire erratically at once. This beast can be brought under control with Spread-Shot Package, which will tighten the spread when you aim down the sights.

  • MacGyvering: The gun's origin: its creator, Jeza Verlayn, crash-landed on the Tangled Shore carrying a shipment of weapons and something called the Photonic Heart. She did the math, and...
    Jeza Verlayn: The first time I fired the Cerberus+1 and felt that puppy kick, I knew: plans are overrated.
  • More Dakka: 1 gun, 4 barrels, each which fire separately and draw from their own ammo reserve. It throws out a lot of lead, especially at close range. It's often used as a shotgun replacement in the Crucible, for this reason.
  • Powerful, but Inaccurate: This can actually work in the gun's favor: at close range, you can just point it at an enemy, hold the trigger, and one of the barrels is bound to spit something that'll connect. However, this comes with a severe impairment to long range, though you can remedy that as well with Spread-Shot Package.

"Don't fret. It's a simple expedition. We'll be back before lunch." —Sjur Eido, First Queen's Wrath

An Awoken-themed Bow, the Wish-Ender grants its wielder the upper hand on their enemies with Queen's Wrath, which allows to see enemies through walls so long as they are aiming the bow while drawn. On top of that, bolts shot from it can penetrate multiple enemies and deal extra damage to Taken enemies.

  • Ancestral Weapon: It was first wielded by Sjur Eido, the first Queen's Wrath (with the latest being Petra Venj). Upon completing a cleansing trial in which you need to go out of your way to find and defeat some Taken bosses around the Shattered Throne, Sjur's spirit will reward you with the bow.
  • Great Bow: It's the largest and strongest bow in the game as of Forsaken, and slowly fires overpenetrating arrows. Being displayed on your character menu when it's equipped also shows you its size relative to other weapons.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: Wish-Ender deals massive damage to Taken enemies on top of overpenetrating targets in general and the X-Ray Vision mentioned below. It's also the only weapon in the game that can destroy the forty Taken eggs scattered throughout the Dreaming City and the Ascendant Realm.
  • X-Ray Vision: A minor variant, as you need to aim the bow while the arrow is drawn to see enemies through walls.

"Nothing kills a Guardian faster than another Guardian." — The Drifter

Obtained at the end of a convoluted questline in which you gain the Drifter's trust, the wicked-looking Malfeasance is a Kinetic Hand Cannon that fires tainted slugs that burrow into an enemy and simultaneously explode once five shots have landed on a given target. Its Taken Predator perk grants bonus damage against Taken enemies and Gambit invaders. The Drifter intends to arm a crew of Guardians with this gun in order to face the Man with the Golden Gun when the time comes.

  • Balance Buff: After a series of complaints about the being very underpowered for its Exotic value, Bungie buffed its damage output in Gambit significantly, making it a menace against invading players and an excellent Primary against Taken blockers if you're short on Special and Heavy ammo.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: This thing fires heavy tainted slugs that are somehow effective against Taken enemies and Gambit invaders. The latter in particular have it really bad since in the fast-firing Malfeasance can kill in 3 headshots and well under a second (this is only rivaled by the Luna's Howl, a pinnacle Crucible Hand Cannon), and not even a Super's extra armor will do the trick, because Explosive Shadow will completetly eat it away.
  • Zerg Rush: Since the Explosive Shadow perk is not limited to a single Malfeasance user, you can have a full fireteam fire their Malfeasances at a single target and proc the explosions contstantly. The Drifter also lampshades how he doesn't expect a single Guardian armed with this gun to take down Shin Malphur, but maybe a whole crew of them will.

Izanagi's Burden
"Shame. Guilt. Fear. We all bear them. Gather your regrets, purge them as best you can. Let your enemies feel the weight of your burdens." — Ada-1

The weapon that Ada-1 once used to avenge her mother from rogue Risen warlords, Izanagi's Burden is a Kinetic Sniper Rifle that specializes in dealing massive damage in a single shot by way of its unique abilty, Honed Edge, which collapses all rounds in the magazine into a single bullet.

  • Cool Sword: Aesthetically speaking, the decals on this sniper are arranged so that the barrel looks like the blade of a sword, with the scope and the magazine forming the guard and the rear stock acting as the hilt. Nearly every sound that comes with handling this weapon is punctuated by a metallic ringing, and activating Honed Edge comes with the characteristic sound of an unsheated blade. Even Ada-1's promotional art has her holding the rifle like she's presenting a ceremonial sword.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Special ability or not, it's still a sniper rifle with no overpenetrating capabilities, meaning it's a single target weapon with a cumbersome scope, and Honed Edge is of minimal assistance with bodyshots in PvE note . What makes this weapon so valued is its Honed Edge x4 damage multiplier when netting a headshot, which stands at a whopping 499% compared to a unbuffed shots, making the Burden far and away the most powerful weapon in the game when it comes to single hit damage, only surpassed by single impact supers like a Celestial Nighthawk Golden Gun, a Thundercrash or a Nova Bomb.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: Using Honed Edge requires extra care in landing your precision hits in order to deal maximum damage, as failure to do so means that you just wasted four rounds that could have been better off fired separately.

The Last Word

"Yours, until the last flame dies and all words have been spoken." - Shin Malphur to you, as you journey forth into the unknown

The signature Weapon of Choice of Shin Malphur and Jaren Ward before him, The Last Word returns from Destiny as part of the Annual Pass during The Black Armory. It's an automatic hand cannon that eschews aiming down the sights for rapid-fire hip shooting, rewarding the user with faster reloading and increased accuracy from successive hip-fire damage thanks to its main perk, "Fan Fire".

  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: There is a lot of gold on its frame. The gun even has the name of the manufacturer inlaid in it.
  • More Dakka: At a blazingly fast fire rate of 225 RPM and the ability to be fired continuously as long as you hold down the trigger, The Last Word delivers a rain of bullets and mows enemies down very quickly for a Primary when paired up with abilities that instantly pull ammo from reserves, bypassing its naturally small magazine size of 8.
  • New Old West: True to Tex Mechanica flavor, The Last Word has embraces the Wild West revolver aesthetic down to the gun-twirling. You also get to perform a fan fire when shooting form the hip, a staple from Old West movies.
  • Weapon of Choice: It was initially crafted by Jaren Ward, who used it to free the town of Palamon. When he died, his protégé Shin Malphur took it for himself and used it to kill Dregden Yor in their fateful confrontation, and has a remained a staple of his ever since. It's also this very weapon that inspires every Gunslinger other than Shin Maplhur when they summon their Golden Gun from thin air.


"To rend one's enemies is to see them not as equals, but objects—hollow of spirit and meaning." —13th Understanding, 7th Book of Sorrow

The iconic hand cannon of Dredgen Yor and the spiritual opposite of The Last Word, Thorn (or rather one of its copies) returns as part of an Exotic Quest during Joker's Wild. Still retaining its signature ability of Mark of the Devourer, piercing targets and causing Damage Over Time, it now features a new power that leaves behind "Remnants" after every kill. Absorbing these with Soul Devourer strengthens Mark of the Devourer and partially fills up Thorn's magazine, ensuring that with a steady stream of bodies, Thorn will never need to reload.

  • Abnormal Ammo: Fires rounds that can be better described as railroad spikes than actual bullets.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Every time you absorb a Remnant, a portion of Thorn's clip is refunded, meaning that you can go on a killing spree without ever reloading, as long as the enemy is weak enough to be killed by Thorn and you always pick up the Remnant they leave behind.
  • Damage Over Time: Mark of the Devourer does this to any enemy shot by Thorn. Absorbing a Remnant powers this up to a greater extent.
  • Evil Weapon: Well, it sure as hell doesn't look like a weapon of the Light. Thorn was corrupted and twisted by Hive magic, slowly turning its user into the infamous Dredgen Yor, but the copies wielded by players have been thoroughly purified with Light to make sure its influence doesn't turn them into monsters.
  • Spikes of Villainy: It's still just as spiky and ominous-looking as always.
  • Weapon of Choice: Yor wielded the original Thorn as his iconic weapon of terror, something the Shadows of Yor emulate with their copies.

Energy Weapons

“Can’t outrun the sunrise” — Liu Feng

A Solar Hand Cannon invented by the Titan, Liu Feng, who also forged the Warlock Exotic Gauntlets, Sunbracers. Easily obtained, devastatingly effective; the Sunshot is likely one of the first exotic weapons a player will acquire, and quite possibly one of the best handcannons in the game. It fires explosive incendiary bolts that highlight enemies and, on killing shots, causes them to explode — circumventing one of the Handcannon class' typical weaknesses; Mook swarms.

  • Balance Buff: Not that it needed one. But with the release of Warmind, Sunshot received a buff to its on-kill explosions increasing their size and damage. Talk about "scorched earth".
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: While its explosive properties in make it excel against crowds and weak enemies, Sunshot otherwise has all-around balanced stats, especially for a Hand Cannon, making it pretty good at almost everything while not exactly excelling in any other specific situation or requiring any complicated strategies.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: There are two ways to tell if someone is using Sunshot; either its distinctive report, or the constant explosions. Its incendiary rounds detonate on impact, and enemies killed with it explode as well, causing splash damage to any other nearby enemies. If an enemy should be killed by this splash damage, they explode too. A single shot from Sunshot can wipe out swarms of Hive Thralls or Cabal Hounds in a glorious chain reaction. Warmind increases the explosion's radius, damage and ability to chain more explosions.

The latest Omolon engineering leverages liquid fuel as coolant to keep weapon systems at biting subzero temperatures.

Obtained as a Preorder Bonus, but became available to all alongside the release of Curse of Osirisnote . An Exotic Trace Rifle, one of the new weapon types introduced; Coldheart is the first Omolon original design since the Collapse, using cryogenic liquid as both its ammo and its coolant. As a Trace Rifle, Coldheart fires a pinpoint laser at the enemy. The weapon is both unique in its mechanics as it gains increased damage the longer it is focused on one target, as well as using its coolant as ammunition.

  • Anti-Frustration Features: The Trace Rifle family shares the same weapon type as Auto Rifles, since (as of writing) only three Trace Rifle type weapons exist - and all three are Exotics. This means you can infuse Auto Rifles into your Trace Rifle and vice-versa without worrying about compability issues.
  • Balance Buff: Though already a solid weapon, the release of Warmind also buffed its precision damage to a massive +40% bonus.
  • Critical Hit Class: Its Warmind buff landed Coldheart in this. With its massive critical damage bonus, Coldheart can vaporize chunks of bosses' health if so long as you keep it focused on their weak spots, possibly rivaling even Power Weapons.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Fires one long cold beam of liquid coolant at its target. That does Arc damage. Somehow.
  • Gradual Grinder: Its individual damage numbers are pretty small. However, its breakneck damage rate plus the boost allows it to rapidly burn holes into weak enemies and strong opponents alike. In the early days of the game, it was widely believed to have the strongest damage in the game if left unchecked

Prometheus Lens
"Cryptarchs made a crystal that starts fires? Get me one. I don’t care how you do it. Go!"' — Cayde-6

Introduced with Curse of Osiris, Prometheus Lens is the Solar brother to the Arc Coldheart. Another Trace Rifle, Prometheus Lens creates an incendiary field at the contact point that grows larger as the weapon deals damage. It has a smaller capacity than the Coldheart, but every kill siphons ammo into its cells from reserve, making the Lens deadlier against swarms of weaker enemies compared to the boss-killer Coldheart.

  • Balance Buff: The Prometheus Lens was initially super-broken on release, vaporizing opponents with just a few taps, so it got Nerfed into the ground shortly after. After another tweak to make it compete a little better, the Warmind buff was able to find some closure by rearranging its damage, making its Solar sphere deal more damage while the beam dealt less to make it fit more into its "mook masher" role.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Upon killing an enemy with the Lens, the weapon will refund a very generous amount of energy (about 80, out of 101 in the magazine). This is handy when you want to clear out weak mobs, as you can simply sit back and keep holding down the trigger while masses of Thralls get burned to a crisp. Patch 2.0 nerfs this by making it pull from reserves instead, balancing out the base damage increase that came in the same update.
  • Kill It with Fire: Being a Solar weapon, this comes naturally. It also does damage over time after contact with an opponent.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: Generates a flaming sphere at the point of contact, making it effective against swarms of enemies. On top of that, for every kill you score with it, it automatically refills the magazine for you, allowing you to keep the beam going for as long as there are mooks around for you to shoot.

Fighting Lion
"I call it the Zhang Fei. It hits almost as hard as I do."
—Wei Ning

Standing out as a Grenade Launcher classed as an Energy Weapon, the weapon was invented by the Titan, Wei Ning, in an attempt to forge her strength in firearm form. Fighting Lion's grenades can bounce off walls and be detonated remotely by releasing the trigger. Its unique trait is that direct hits deal more damage to shielded opponents, softening them after breaking their shields. Quickly killing enemies after dealing damage instantly refills the weapon, possibly overfilling it.

  • Balance Buff: Still unsatisfied with a prior buff made, Bungie further buffed the grenade launcher in the Warmind expansion, granting it more reserve ammo and rearranging the damage so that the explosion would deal more damage, rather than relying so heavily on direct impacts.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Fighting Lion's performance does exactly what Energy Weapons are supposed to do, only a little bit better. However, it doesn't deal enough damage to act as a secondary Power Weapon, nor does it have enough flexibility to make it a great Energy Weapon. Ultimately, you're better off using a Legendary that's likely to dish out more net damage with greater flexibility.
  • Gone Horribly Right: After player complaints, especially with the Lion's damage, Bungie buffed the weapon to deal more damage with its main perk allowing it to overfill. The problem? It can easily kill minor mooks with a single blast, rendering the perk pointless. However, you can now simply kill other nearby enemies quickly after dealing damage to activate the effect.
  • Splash Damage: The Lion's Blast Radius was very small, meaning that a direct hit was all you could rely on for any serious damage. Bungie would eventually re-balance the damage between the explosion and direct impact.
  • Tag Team: The Fighting Lion's intended playstyle is to strike an enemy with a grenade, and then kill them with something else, be it another weapon or one of your abilities.

Graviton Lance
Think of space-time as a tapestry on a loom. This weapon is the needle.

An oddity of a Pulse Rifle that seems to shoot miniscule black holes, this weapons is the physical embodiment of a violation of space-time. The Graviton Lance functions very differently from other Pulse Rifles. It fires two-round bursts; a weak shot followed by a powerful round with harsh recoil, but no damage falloff. Secondly, enemies killed by this weapon explode in a cascade of exploding Void seekers.

  • Balance Buff: While Graviton Lance was decent, it was overshadowed by its lack of firepower and reliability, especially when compared to Sunshot, another Exotic with a Firefly-like perk. With the release of the Warmind expansion, Bungie revamped the weapon, making it a two-round burst instead, but in return greatly enhancing the on-kill explosion from a single lackluster "poof" to something resembling the glory days of Gjallarhorn.
  • Cool, But Inefficient: To quote Bungie, the weapon was initially "all spectacle, not enough utility." It's undeniably one of the coolest guns in the game, but its firing pattern and tendency for victims to fly too far away to kill anyone with the explosion made it little more than a romanticized scout rifle.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Due to odd spread of damage within its bursts, plus its irregular recoil, and its lack of damage falloff, it'd probably be better to treat the Graviton Lance not as a Pulse Rifle, but as a Scout Rifle. The lore justification explained by Bungie was that the initial round carved a sort of vacuum tunnel thought the atmosphere, making way for the final round which is an unstable singularity.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Graviton Lance makes for an excellent precision weapon, especially since every second round has no damage falloff. However, you need to land that second round to deal massive damage, and since you're wrestling with the odd recoil at the same time, it's going to take some practice to get the most out of this gun.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Kills with this weapon make targets explode gloriously in a swarm of Void explosions. A single kill can possibly wipe out an entire squad. The Warmind expansion also comes with a patch that adds Void Seekers upon killing an opponent with the Graviton Lance, and enemies killed by those Seekers also explode.

Hard Light
"Ionized polymer synballistic attack platform. The system's lethality is dynamically robust across tactical spaces."

Returning from Destiny as an Energy Weapon, Hard Light is unique in having bullets that ricochet off of hard surfaces, overpenetrate their targets, don't suffer from damage falloff, and can even deal double damage after ricocheting. On top of that, the weapon has a new unique perk that makes it able to fire any element that player chooses.

  • Balance Buff: Hard Light was retooled a little for the release of the Warmind expansion, given the ability to switch elements mid-game by holding the "Reload" button like the Borealis, and the ability to deal double damage after ricocheting off of surfaces.
  • Beam Spam: Brought back from Destiny, and made even more apparent now that it's an Energy Weapon.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: One of the ornament switches its normally drab grey paint to a super-shiny chrome finish. Appropriately, it's named "The Future is Chrome".
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Hard Light doesn't do very much damage per shot compared to other auto rifles, but it has a high fire rate and its shots suffer no falloff over range.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Hard Light was later given the power to deal double damage after ricocheting off of surfaces. Hitting opponents with its bouncing rounds is no easy feat, even with the gun's ability to spray bullets, but suffice to say that managing to do so will very rewarding.
  • Jack of All Trades: Besides being an energy weapon and auto rifle, the weapon also has not one specific elemental damage type, but three that the player can switch between by holding the reload button. Because of this, the weapon has become quite a favorite to get bonus shield-break damage on shielded enemies. It's a little outclassed by the 'dedicated' energy auto rifles in terms of per-shot damage and stability, though.
  • More Dakka: Pulling the trigger fills the air full of heated polymer. Along with overpenetrating targets and bouncing off walls, this thing is an easy way to let the enemy know that now you own the hallway, and they aren't getting it back any time soon.
  • One-Hit Polykill: Easily over-penetrates targets and have a very high chance to ricochet off of hard surfaces once it has its unique upgrade, which can allow you to mulch a hallway full of weak enemies like Thrall.
  • Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future: It's got a very square-ish look to it, to say the least.
  • Nonindicative Name: Despite the name, it does not actually involve Hard Light.
  • Pinball Projectile: Its unique upgrade also causes its polymer bullets readily bounce of surfaces at oblique angles.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Played for Laughs. Its weapon description is a parody of meaningless corporatese, referencing the fact that it's a tech demo by the City's weapon companies. To expand on this, its Lore Entry is even a Shoutout to Steve Jobs' tech demos.
  • Shout-Out: The weapon's lore is one to the Apple iPhone.
  • Super Prototype: The weapon was never meant for general production, and the high standards demanded by its fabrication make it impractical for mass manufacture. It was intended more as a proof of concept weapon from which other derivative weapons could be produced.
  • Unusual Ammo: Rather than relying on conventional magazines, the Hard Light may actually make its own bullets using the principles of stereolithography.

Charge your soul and let the electrons sing.

An Arc Submachine Gun that crackles with electricity. While this weapon is equipped, suffering even the slightest amount of Arc damage will supercharge the weapon for a time; increasing its damage, grant you some resistance to Arc damage, while allowing it to frequently chain lightning on hit and reload ammo on doing so. Scoring kills in this deadly state refreshes its duration, allowing you to stay supercharged until you run out of ammo.

  • Balance Buff: Riskrunner was no slouch, but Bungie wanted to make the weapon more fun anyway for the Warmind expansion. Riskrunner's Arc charge can now activate even when the weapon's holstered, and the Arc damage resistance can now take effect in the Crucible. You'll still need to pull the weapon out to feel the effects, but it nonetheless gives Riskrunner a constant presence in a firefight.
  • Chain Lightning: When powered by its perks, the Riskrunner's bullets turn into lightning bolts that chain to nearby enemies and occasionally refill your ammo. It lasts as long as you can keep up with scoring constant kills while the perk is active.
  • Lightning Gun: Much like the Zhalo Supercell from the first game, it's a gun whose main purpose is to look cool while mowing down enemies with lightning.
  • Logical Weakness: Without its signature abilities, Riskrunner is just a standard SMG, which will suffer when it's out of its element. Expect players in the Crucible to start switching to anything but Arc damage just to make sure that this weapon doesn't overpower them.
  • Magikarp Power: Without its perks, it's a pretty bog-standard SMG. But once it gets a taste of Arc damage, hooooooo boy, your enemies are royally screwed. It shines against the Fallen (as the vast majority of their weapons are Arc-based) as a result, but it's mediocre against the Hive, Vex, and Cabal as these factions make very sparing use of Arc damage.
  • More Dakka: It shoots fast. It shoots lightning. And it can potentially shoot forever. Have fun vaporizing swarms of enemies while singing "Greased Lightning".
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: When activated, its perk is the same as the Zhalo Supercell, but as a non-power SMG, with a different aesthetic, and a requirement to activate.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Activating this weapon's perks requires that you take Arc damage, a highly counter-intuitive move, but with a massive payoff. In the event that there are no enemies that use Arc-based weapons, you can damage yourself by running into Arc-based scenery, or use an Arc subclass and throw a grenade on yourself.

Skyburner's Oath
The inscription, written in a Cabal dialect, reads: “Victory or death!”

A repurposed/stolen Cabal Slug Rifle, Skyburner's Oath is a Scout Rifle that fires Solar rounds. It's unusual in that aiming down the weapon's sights reduces its rate of fire in exchange for increasing its per-shot firepower by around 25%, while firing from the hip granted the weapon slow-moving explosive rounds. Unlike most weapons in the Scout Rifle class, it's also fully-automatic — albeit it still fires much slower than even the slowest auto rifles. As a neat little detail, its ammo readout displays Cabal symbols rather than the standard numerals players would be familiar with.

  • Balance Buff: At launch, the Skyburner's Oath suffered from only benefiting the most against Cabal enemies and had a very slow rate of fire. With the Warmind expansion, Bungie retools its hip-fire function by turning it into a miniature grenade launcher with homing shots when hip-fired, granting it greater versatility.
  • Grenade Launcher: Post-rework, the Oath's hipfire functions like a miniature grenade launcher, firing slow projectiles that slightly home in on enemies and explode on contact.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: This is the Oath's whole thing; it deals bonus damage to Cabal enemies in general, and its shots bypass Phalanx energy shields entirely. It shines in Cabal-heavy encounters, like certain story missions, strikes (e.g. Arms Dealer), and the Leviathan Raid.
  • Mighty Glacier: When aiming down the sights, this weapon fires more slowly. When firing from the hip, the weapon loses its Hitscan properties. It even sounds heavy, as the slugs it shoots are accompanied by a slow metallic thud in contrast to the other Scout Rifles' lighter-sounding shots.
  • Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future: True to Cabal form, it's a chunky, ugly thing with a bare-bones folding stock.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The Skyburner's Oath doesn't have flashy perks like most other Exotic weapons, but they're respectable enough to take on most encounters and still deal decent damage.

Light is a spectrum. Why limit yourself to a single hue?

Originally released as a PS4 Exclusive, the Borealis is an extremely unique Sniper Rifle with a special energy matrix to mimic any type of energy frequency. In layman's terms, it has the ability to change its element as it's wielded, from Solar to Arc to Void and back. In addition, upon breaking an enemy's shield with the matching element, it reloads a round and doubles Borealis' damage until the next manual reload or element change.

  • Balance Buff: To let Borealis stand out after Hardlight inherited the same element-switch function, Borealis received a new ability allowing it to deal double its damage after breaking an enemy shield until you reload it or change its element.
  • Meaningful Name: This weapon's name comes from "Aurora Borealis", referring auroras coming from the north pole.
  • Stance System: Borealis passively changes its element when wielded, making it a contender to even Hard Light in terms of versatility. Much like the Hardlight, you only need to hold the reload button to change its element, making it useful in Prestige Nightfall strikes with the Prism modifier, given the Prestige difficulty locks you from modifying your equipment through the menu. Bungie later buffed Borealis so that it'd deal double damage after breaking an enemy's shield, but with the gimmick of this bonus resetting if you reload or change the weapon element, adding a special "Risk vs. Reward" of blasting away crowds by switching elements to detonate shields or keeping the element to lay down heavy damage.
  • Version Exclusive Content: It was formerly the only Exotic weapon that's unique to the PlayStation 4.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: While the Borealis features a high Impact and is a Power Weapon, its setup makes it better for surgically eliminating shielded enemies, what with the auto-reload and element system. Matching the element to the target's shield will make it more effective with the resulting shield detonation.

Polaris Lance
"I've forgotten so much of my past life, of my family. But when I hold this rifle, everything feels right. I feel like… I'm home." —Ana Bray

A Solar Scout Rifle and Ana Bray's personal weapon released with the Warmind expansion that is obtained from the multi-stage "Nascent Dawn" quest. The Polaris Lance thrives on precision with The Perfect Fifth perk, which refunds bullets on landing precision hits and grants you a delayed explosive round if you land 4 precision shots in quick succession.

  • Bottomless Magazines: Precision shots refund the bullet rather than load one from your reserves so the Polaris can potentially shoot forever.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Polaris is slow-firing, has some kick, and requires precision to be at its best. But with practice, wielders will find its best quite rewarding as it can fire theoretically indefinitely so long as you keep landing critical hits with a bonus explosive shot every few hits.
  • Evolving Weapon: Midway in its quest, you first obtain this weapon as a Legendary Scout Rifle, the BrayTech RWP Mk. II, which lacks the explosive rounds, and has inferior stats. Progressing through the quest will eventually reward you with the Polaris Lance.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Polaris' explosive rounds are special in that it's dealt on top of the shot, unlike how normal explosive rounds split the damage between the bullet and the explosion, meaning that it's effectively dealing bonus damage. Obtaining the Masterwork version will add the Dragonfly perk to the weapon, turning every precision kill into a bomb.

Lord of Wolves
By this right alone do I rule.
A Fallen Shrapnel Cannon fitted for Guardian hands and returning from the original game. While the first gun was meant more to be used within the Prison of Elders, this Lord has gotten a new suite of perks. It still fires a burst of shot, but now killing an enemy will double the amount of shot in each burst for a short period of time thanks to Release the Wolves.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Like the Crimson, the Lord of Wolves fires its pellets in a burst, functioning more like a short range pulse rifle than a shotgun.
  • More Dakka: It's a burst shotgun, so it's a given. However, this trope really comes into play once you kill an enemy with it, and the Release the Wolves perk is activated; as long as the perk is active, the number of bursts you fire is doubled per trigger pull. The caveat to this is that you wind up emptying your clip very quickly because of this.

Trinity Ghoul
"I couldn't afford to miss. Not when it was his life on the line." —Marin Mansanas, Tangled Outrider
An Arc Bow, the Trinity Ghoul likes to do things in threes. Split Electron makes it so arrows split into three when released. The Arc part comes in with Lightning Rod which makes the next shot you fire after a precision kill release a wave of chain lightning.
  • Chain Lightning: Lightning arrows gained from critical hits have this thanks to the Ghoul's other perk...
  • Recursive Ammo: Arrows fired from this bow split into three arrows. Precision hits reduce the spread.
  • Shock and Awe: Precision hits turn the next arrow into a lightning bolt that deals Arc damage.

The second Playstation Exclusive weapon, Waveplitter is a Void Exotic Trace Rifle built by Omolon that has an interesting array of perks. Harmonic Laser gives the gun three powerlevels that change while the trigger is held down, but you can max out it's power by picking up an orb which activates Supercharged Battery.

Entropy is inevitable.

A Solar Fusion Rifle from parts unknown. What is known, however, is that the on-board systems seek utter destruction of your enemies, and is aware of it. Merciless' unique ability reduces its charge time for every non-lethal shot, getting shorter until it's almost instantaneous. Immediately reloading when it does score a kill, grants it a brief damage boost, renewing its purpose.

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Merciless is described as having an artificial intelligence, but not a very smart one. As such, it's aware of its purpose as a weapon, and will push itself if it fails to fulfill it. This is to explain its charge time reduction.
  • Magikarp Power: Merciless starts out with a slow charge rate, but it will spiral out of control if it keeps landing non-lethal hits. This makes it monstrous against bosses, as they have plenty of health, and Merciless can quickly melt chunks of it.
  • More Dakka: While not unique, with Pocket Infinity or Vex Mythoclast from Destiny, Merciless's fire rate can go out of control if it's not killing its target.
  • Sadist: Merciless literally exists to cause pain.

"Vestiges of the Queen's Harbingers yet linger among Saturn's moons."

A returning weapon from ''Destiny',' Telesto is a Void Fusion Rifle with the ability to fire projectiles that stick to enemies and explode on a delay, rather than vaporize on contact. Additionally, landing multikills with this weapon will reload Kinetic and Energy weapons.

  • Difficult, but Awesome: Telesto's delayed explosive bolts make it a rather gimmicky weapon to ride with. Since the damage kicks in later, Telesto can open up new strategies, such as wiping out several mooks after emptying your other weapons to keep up a rampage, or tagging an enemy before going into cover to recover while your opponent dies later. A more advanced strategy can even be to spray it in your opponent's path, damaging or even killing them as they walk over the bolts.
  • Foreshadowing: The Telesto's lore tab details a message sent from a Reef Paladin to Petra Venj, reading in between the lines reveals a secret message that paves the way for the Forsaken DLC's storyline. This is even corroborated by other languages (particularly the French translation), which uses the same pattern.
    "1. Contingency reserves overdrawn. We underestimated nobility troth reparations. Uldren suggests that we open reintegration talks. Have you discussed endowment support?"
    "2. If Reef endorses support, Paladin Oran will engineer reinforcement."
    Hidden message (after combining all first letters): CROW UNTRUSTWORTHY DESIRES POWER.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Retains its exploding fusion bolt, making it especially good against crowds.

Le Monarque

"Wings flutter. Beauty distracts. Poison injects. The butterfly's curse extends to your enemies. A short life, shortened further by your hand." —Ada-1

The Pinnacle weapon of the Meyrin Family, Le Monarque aims to make your enemies death a slow and painful ordeal. the Poison Arrows perk allows you to do just that if you fire quickly after a full draw. Precision hits will cause the arrow to release poison, damaging nearby enemies.

  • Damage Over Time: As long as you can proc Poison Arrows, your enemies will slowly take damage. It won't kill meaning you will need a followup shot to finish them off.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Given you have a short window to fire the arrow off in order to get the damage over time, it means you must be quick to the draw or accurate with your shots.
  • One-Hit Polykill: As long as you hit precision shots, you can keep releasing poison clouds which can help when dealing with mobs.


"Untamed. Destructive. As forceful and chaotic as Ymir himself." —Ada-1

The pinnacle weapon of the Rassmussen Clan, Jötunn provides all the wanton destruction you could want. Its Charge Shot will allow you to fire an explosive round that will track and burn anything caught in its radius.

  • Arm Cannon: For a fusion rifle, it's actually quite small and fits directly over your hand.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: The Jötunn's explosive shell has a fair bit of travel time and, despite its homing properties, is easily avoided if the target constantly strafes or dodges to the side. As such, its telegraphed projectile is better suited for slow and stationary enemies.

Power Weapons

The Colony
We outnumber you. We will find you. You are alone, and we are colony.

Introduced in the Curse of Osiris expansion. A VEIST grenade launcher which fires explosive tracking drones instead of grenades. It also reloads itself when stowed away. Inspired by the sight of man dying a slow and agonizing death to spider venom, lore-wise, it's pretty much VEIST's magnum opus and their main design theory personified. By Veist's admission, even this is pretty messed up.

  • Action Bomb: Shoots drones that seek out their target and explode, instead of regular grenades.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Designed with an artificial intelligence system out for blood. Its lore reveals that all VEIST weapons have this AI installed on them, similar to Merciless.

Thank you for using the Data Analysis, Reconnaissance, and Cooperative Intelligence device. You may call me Darci.

An Arc Sniper Rifle with an on-board AI to learn its wielder's habits and assist. Aiming at an enemy through the scope reveals additional information, such as exact health numbers, distance, etc. While an enemy's info is obtained, D.A.R.C.I. gains better target acquisition and precision damage. It is one of four Exotic weapons that are so powerful as to go against Patch 2.0's weapon slot changes and remain squarely in the Power slot.

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: D.A.R.C.I. and apparently other weapons like it gather information of what their wielders do, including more private and less useful info...
  • Balance Buff: The "Go Fast" update addressed the underlying issue of Sniper Rifles being underwhelming and applied a general increase to precision damage on all archetypes, with this exotic sniper becoming a solid DPS choice against stationary bosses. The Warmind expansion goes an extra mile and buffs the D.A.R.C.I.'s precision damage multiplier to a whopping 4.0x (whereas the highest multiplier Legendary snipers can have is 3.0x) when the enemy is highlighted and the sniper's intrinsic perk is active.
  • Enemy Scan: Sighting up an enemy reveals data like its health and distance.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Deserves a mention when compared to the only other sniper rifle in the Power slot, the Whisper of the Worm. The D.A.R.C.I. is randomly acquired from Exotic engrams, and doesn't need much to proc its intrinsic perk, yet it's capable of outdamaging the Whisper in a contest of short-term DPS. In contrast, the Whisper is acquired through a grueling secret mission and fires much slower than the D.A.R.C.I., but will always win out any damage contest that takes longer than 20 seconds, as the D.A.R.C.I. will eventually run out of ammo while the Whisper won't.
  • Take That!: D.A.R.C.I.'s network likes to gossip about player's who quit Crucible matches when losing, or enter strikes but don't participate, both notorious and hated practices in the playerbase.

The Prospector
"Some things should stay buried."

An Arc Grenade Launcher, created by Tex Mechanica. Yes, you read that right, the creators of the famous "The Last Word" Hand Cannon created this weapon. Made in the spirit of blast mining, The Prospector launches its payload in fully automatic fire. While the grenades detonate upon impact with an enemy, they will also remain undetonated until the trigger is released, creating a large cascade of fireworks.

  • Balance Buff: The simultaneous detonation was near-impossible to pull off reliably. So the update on Warmind's release gave Prospector Sticky Bombs to make it easier to set such traps, as well as a lingering damage effect to increase this weapon's lethality.
  • Boring, but Practical: When you get down to brass tacks, the Prospector's main draw is its impressive rate of damage, thanks to its full-auto firing mode for a Grenade Launcher and lingering damage effect. This is fairly simple in the face of other Power Weapons, but it still won quite a number of players over.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Making use of the simultaneous detonation. Taking in the bounce of the grenades, the radius of the explosion, the rate of fire, pulling one off with massive success required impressive skill and calculation. Warmind later simplified this by making the grenades stick until detonation.
  • More Dakka: Much like other Tex Mechanica weapons, which thrive on high firerates, you can bet your glimmer on this weapon emptying all 6 grenades in a matter of seconds.
  • Sticky Bomb: The Warmind update gave it these to make setting traps easier.

Wardcliff Coil
Ingenuity. Desperation. A haphazard prototype of terrible power. Such were the factors at play in the Wardcliff Incident.

An Arc rocket launcher, originally found in the Destiny 1 files through datamining, found its debut in the sequel. The weapon fires a volley of tiny seeker rockets, that will try to get to their target. In addition, it has the ability to automatically reload upon obtaining a Power Ammo pick-up while being wielded. Originally the weapon was created by a scientist as a last ditch effort to fight against over a hundred Fallen that tracked him.

  • MacGyvering: Was cobbled together with random junk by a Guardian scientist in desperation against a legion of Fallen, and it shows. The frame appears somewhat rusted with its paint fading; and even the "sight" is nothing, but a bolted-on U-shaped strip of metal.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Coil's main draw and schtick. It fires a swarm of micro-missiles to overwhelm the enemy, rather than a single large payload.
  • Powerful, but Inaccurate: While the weapon can rival the Gjallarhorn in terms of power, you'll have to be pretty close to your target to make sure your volley actually hits them.

Tractor Cannon
Property of Ishtar Collective. WARNING: Gravity propulsor beam can cause serious injury or even death.

An exotic Void 'shotgun', the Tractor Cannon deals fairly low damage - and launches victims away with extreme force. Dealing damage with this weapon grants a bonus to the wielder's speed and handling, as well as inflicting its victims with Suppression and Void Burn, negating their powers and making them more vulnerable to Void damage. The initial pulse is unlikely to kill, but the propulsion caused by the blast probably will. It is one of four Exotic weapons that go against Patch 2.0's weapon slot changes, remaining squarely in the Power slot while the rest of the shotguns go in the Kinetic or Energy slots.

  • Balance Buff: The Tractor Cannon was disliked by the playerbase for its lack of power and viability, despite having a rather fun concept. With the release of the Warmind expansion, Bungie granted it the ability to increase Void damage taken for anyone hit by it, allowing follow-up blasts to deal more damage as well as combo up with any Void heat you and your team are packing.
  • Blown Across the Room: The Tractor Cannon's gimmick is launching foes away with extreme force. Its actual attack power is fairly modest.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: Post-rework TC's Void Burn makes anyone shot with it take extra damage from Void-dealing weapons.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Making the most out of this weapon takes serious work. Before the low damage and range meant that you had to get dangerously close to the enemy and hope to God that the impact from the kinetic blast would slam your opponent in a wall or off a cliff. The rework grants much greater damage potential, but requires a well coordinated team to nuke an enemy with Void damage.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: The Tractor Cannon's biggest weakness is its lack of Range, even among the Shotgun class. To be effective, you need to be dangerously close to the enemy.
  • Support Party Member: Tractor Cannon's rework allows users to take up this role instead, making it a major oddball among Power Weapons. You'd dish out way more damage with, say, a Rocket Launcher. But a combination of Tractor Cannon's "Void Burn" effect and the right teamwork can easily overshadow even most Power Weapons.

Legend Of Acrius
"In the Cabal legend, a hero seeks to possess the sun. He succeeds. Then, he becomes Emperor. The Cabal… are not a subtle people." —Tyra Karn

Acquirable only by completing The Leviathan Raid, the Legend of Acrius is a monstrously powerful Cabal Arc Shotgun. Though its capacity is extremely limited and its fire rate low, its damage is extreme and its shots pierce through opponents. Players must first have completed the game to make its quest available — then they must complete various trials and ultimately repeat the raid several times to unlock the Legend's full potential. It is one of four Exotic weapons that are so powerful as to go against Patch 2.0's weapon slot changes and remain squarely in the Power slot.

  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Completing the Leviathan Raid on Prestige mode unlocks an unique ornament for this shotgun.
  • Balance Buff: The Legend of Acrius languished in the shadow of pinnacle Lengendary shotguns like the IKELOS_SG_v1.0.1 during Forsaken's launch, as that weapon's intrinsic perks made it capable of beating the Legend in a DPS contest, bringing into question the latter's value as an Exotic in the Power weapon slot. Come Patch 2.1.4, well into Black Armory and a mere month before Joker's Wild, it received a massive damage buff that turns it into a close-range shredding machine that completely outstrips the aforementioned pinnacle Legendaries, with difficult bosses like the Shattered Throne's Vorgeth dropping dead with at least 8 shots (out of 11 in total).
  • BFG: Being made for the Cabal, who are all giant space rhinos, the Legend is massive in Guardian hands.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: True to Calus's aesthetic, the ornament The Emperor's Pleasure gives the gun a white paint job with black furniture, and golden decals printed on the gun. Even its inner workings and its trigger seem to be gold-plated.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: Its lack of ammo is offset by its piercing blast ability, which allows you to kill multiple enemies at once should they happen to be in a tight formation.
  • Magikarp Power: When you first get the Legend of Acrius, it handles extremely poorly (that is, it takes forever to pull out and put away), holds a single shot, reloads slowly, and most of its special perks are disabled. Only by completing a series of challenges and running the Raid some more can you unlock its special perks and increase its ammunition capacity.
  • Significant Anagram: Acrius -> Icarus. An excerpt from the weapon's lore entry specifically highlights this;
    That really is the entire myth. A Cabal named Acrius desires the sun, and he takes it and becomes the first Emperor of the Cabal. Other scholars have already noted the parallels and differences with our own ancient Earth myth of Icarus, which famously has a far more humbling ending.

Sleeper Simulant
Subroutine IKELOS: Status=complete.
MIDNIGHT EXIGENT: Status=still in progress.

A Solar Linear Fusion Rifle originally in Destiny sees it's return with Warmind as part of a lengthy quest. Sleeper still works as veterans remember it, dealing ludicrous damage per shot (short of a Super) while the Dornröschen perk which allows its shots to overpenetrate enemies and ricochet off surfaces into multiple beams.

  • Balance Buff: A weird variant in Patch 2.0. Its base damage is reduced, but since Linear Fusion Rifles are being buffed and overall precision damage is increased in the same update, it's practically become stronger, and enjoys a larger ammo clip and higher reserves, making it a solid competitor to the Whisper of the Worm (which had the advantage of a whopping 20 rounds total up until that point, and so much more on account of its White Nail perk; the Sleeper only had 8, or 10 with Masterwork, and now it sports 15 following Patch 2.0). Additionally, its precision damage has been amped to the point where it's the same as connecting all five refracted lasers on a single target, making the weapon very deserving of its Power slot and Exotic value.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Trying to make the Sleeper's shot refract off the ground for more damage on a single opponent or for clearing out multiple foes at once requires some rather unorthodox positioning game and situational awareness. However, if you can pull it off, you'll find the damage output to be thoroughly more satisfying than a simple shot to the head.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Much like in the first game, the Sleeper Simulant's shot can kill its wielder if it happens to ricochet off a wall and then back on the poor sap.
  • Mythology Gag: The weapon's design is, again, a throwback to Halo's Spartan Laser, firing a charged red beam that overpenetrates and deals some of the highest single-shot damage in its respective game.
  • One-Hit Polykill: The Sleeper Simulant's penetrating shot allows you to hit multiple targets if you're lucky. If you're especially lucky, the splitting ricochet beam might hit something else as well.
  • Pinball Projectile: Much like Hard Light, Sleeper's shots can bounce off multiple surfaces with the added bonus of splitting into multiple beams.
  • Spread Shot: Exploding shot variant. In comparison to the original version, Destiny 2's Sleeper Simulant not only has its shots ricochets off hard surfaces, but has the shots refracts into five separate lasers that continue to bounce a few times that hold the same damage as the first.

Worldline Zero
A single strike can alter the course of history.

The first Exotic Sword of Destiny 2, the Arc-powered Worldline Zero is acquired by collecting 35 data fragments scattered across the Hellas Basin. After sprinting briefly, the sword gains the ability to perform a powerful teleport attack to drop on your enemies.

  • Cool Sword: Even compared to the previous Exotic Swords, the Worldline has an unusual design: it's a single-edge blade with the fuller entirely removed and replaced with two nodes going end to end to generate electricity.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Pun fully intended. Worldline Zero's special attack requires you to sprint briefly before it can be pulled off. It's also only other sword to come with the Infinite Guard perk, the first being the Warlock exclusive Eternity's Edge.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: Its Tesseract perk allows you to teleport and finish with a deadly spinning attack.

Whisper of the Worm
A Guardian's power makes a rich feeding ground. Do not be revolted. There are parasites that benefit the host... teeth sharper than your own.

A hidden Exotic Sniper Rifle found by completing a secret mission on Io that's only accessible through a Taken Blight public event. The Whisper of the Worm is a high-impact weapon that refills its magazine upon quickly landing 3 precision hits, and has a chance at giving back one bullet should you miss a target. It is a returning weapon from Destiny, though its name is different. It is one of four Exotic weapons that are so powerful as to go against Patch 2.0's weapon slot changes and remain squarely in the Power slot.

  • Accidental Discovery: Much like the Black Spindle from the first game, in that respect. Players started noticing an unique boss roaming on Io whenever the Taken Blight public event spawned during weekends, and killing it spawns a wormhole that teleports Guardians into a secret mission; a rather brutal one at that, as it comprises of a series of complex jumping puzzles and multiple fights against endgame-level Taken enemies, all of which must be completed under 20 minutes.
  • Balance Buff: Not that it ever needed it in such a short amount of time between its discovery and the weapons slots change in Forsaken, but the Whisper's version of Box Breathing perk is untouched by the nerf that resets the extra damage modifier after each shot, and also increased the damage modifier from 30% to 44%. All in all, it very much cements the Whisper into the Power slot even when other Sniper Rifles have become equippable on the Kinetic and Energy slots.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The White Nail perk allows you to fire forever as long as you land 3 precision hits in quick succession. Unlike the Triple Tap perk which takes ammo from reserves and puts it back into the magazine, White Nail instead refunds ammo out of thin air; the one perk that made the original Black Hammer sniper rifle from Crota's End the absolute best PvE sniper before The Taken King nerfed it.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Being a sluggishly slow sniper rifle, the Whisper is nowhere as versatile as most other Exotics and really requires you to land precision hits to justify its use. Once you do land those crits, however, you'll quickly find out that it's the very best weapon to use against bosses and other damage sponges.
    • To put in prespective, the Sleeper Simulant, another Exotic-class Power weapon, deals nearly as much precision damage as the Whisper in its default configuration, but the Whisper's Masterwork grants it the Boxed Breathing perk, increasing the precision damage modifier from 2.5x to 4.0x after a few seconds, making the Whisper much more powerful than the Sleeper in terms of damage dealt to a single target. However, the Sleeper Simulant is much more versatile, being able to overpenetrate multiple enemies to a greater degree than the Whisper and possessing creative applications with its refracting lasers.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Chaining precisions hits with this monster is harder than it looks due to the slow fire rate and poor aim assist. Once you get it down, though, it becomes the fearsome sniper rifle from the first game, tearing most bosses apart with sustained fire.
  • Evil Weapon: It's a wicked-looking sniper rifle with a Taken aesthetic, and it feeds itself on anything it kills, making it more powerful. To cap things off, this weapon is Xol himself, having transformed himself into the Whisper after his defeat in Warmind. He subverts the usual evil takeover by presenting the weapon as a token of appreciation for the Guardians' strength.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Quite tellingly, the weapon can be acquired without ever touching the Warmind DLC, and upon reading the lore tab, you'll learn that Xol "died" in that expansion's events, which is a big spoiler in itself.
  • Soul Jar: Of Xol, with the lore tab showing he is still quite active and intelligent in there.

The Queenbreaker
Despite the Breakers' treachery, Her Majesty still stands.
Like the Lord of Wolves, The Queenbreaker is another Fallen weapon from Destiny but now it's in the power slot with a new trick. Shots fired from this weapon now have the ability to blind enemies on hit. The main gimmick is still intact, which allows you to switch scopes and change how the gun works. Marksman Sights gives you more range and damage at the cost of charge time and vice versa for Combat Sights.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Before a fix was applied for it in Joker's Wild, this gun was erroneously coded with a 200% aim assist stat, making it seek an opponent's crit spot like a magnet even though you visually weren't shooting at said crit spot. This turned the gun into an ideal invasion weapon in Gambit, where long sight lines are something opposing players must keep in check.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: The switching of scopes changes how the weapon works, from long range sniper rifle to medium range rifle.

Black Talon
"His life brought peace to the Reef. His death brings a sword." —Crows of the Black Hull
A sword forged to honor the loss of Mara and Uldren after the assault on the Dreadnaught, the Black Talon allows users to fire off a Sword Beam.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: As it was made in remembrance of the Reef's loss of their queen and her brother, extra care was taken in its forging without compromising on practicality:
    • The hilt is made of a pearlescent material, with a sculpted crow motif on its D-guard.
    • The face of the blade is made of a dark, apparently strong metal with intricate scrollwork carvings cut through it to resemble swirling clouds.
    • There are jewels inserted in the bottom of the guard, and in the crow's eye, but the largest, most prominent one is inserted near the tip of the blade inside the scrollwork.
  • Cool Sword: The Black Talon is a ceremonial sword made to commemorate the death of Mara Sov and her brother Uldren. What really makes it cool is that in spite of its ornate appearance, it is still a very functional and powerful weapon that sees a lot of use in both PVE and PVP because of its ranged power attack.
  • Sword Beam: Its power attack is a heavy slash that fires a wave of Void light with tracking properties. In addition to being chained twice in a row, the waves are capable of hitting targets that are clumped closely enough together.

One Thousand Voices
I can be anyone you wish, o murderer mine.
A Heavy Solar Fusion Rifle obtained as a rare drop from completing the "Last Wish" Raid, One Thousand Voices functions more like a trace rifle than its listed weapon type. Ahamkara's Eye allows the weapon to continuously fire when fully charges while Unforeseen Repercussions causes delayed explosions on anyone the beam hits. It is the fifth weapon to violate the weapons slots changes of Patch 2.0, being a Fusion Rifle that's in the Power slot instead of the Energy slot.
  • Necessary Drawback: To prevent such an obscenely powerful weapon from overshadowing every single other gun, it has paltry reserves, only going up to 8 total charges and gaining little from ammo bricks, and a very long charge time that can take the wind out of the sails if you're in a heated firefight. It also can kill the user if one of the explosions caused by the laser so much as detonates next to them.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The trail left by the beam detonates into 6 separate explosions, each with a deceptively large blast radius that rivals Rocket Launchers.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The perk description "giant continuous beam of death" is not a metaphor. This thing fires one massive beam of Solar energy that creates a series of explosions that wipe out anything that's not called a boss. Even then, it only needs a couple more shots to take a boss down.

They return from fields afar. The eye has passed, the end nears. Do not fade quietly. Let thunder reign again.
The much awaited return of Heavy Machine Guns in Destiny 2 begins with the Thunderlord. Acquired by completing "The Lost Cryptarch" questnote , this D1 favorite finds itself with a new round of tuning. It still retains Feeding Frenzy and Lightning Rounds but it now comes with a new intrinsic perk Reign Havoc, which causes enemies killed by it to explode into a lightning bolt, damaging nearby enemies.
  • Chain Lightning: Reign Havoc summons a lightning bolt on a kill, damaging all enemies nearby. If said enemies die by that lightning bolt, they too will summon a bolt on their corpse, making it a common scenario for the Thunderlord to clear an entire swarm of Thralls with just a single kill.
  • Lightning Gun: Overshadowing the Riskrunner in that respect, the Thunderlord fires crackling bolts of lightning instead of regular bullets, and said bolts have a very nasty Chain Lightning effect to them. The gun itself also generates lightning around its circuits even when not used.
  • More Dakka: Lightning Rounds causes the gun to fire faster the longer the trigger is held. Combine this with a Rally Barricade or a Lunafaction Boots-empowered Rift and things can get out of hand quickly.


"Stick to wall, ground, human… then FFFFFRRRRRYYYYY! Hehehehehehehe." —Siviks, Lost to None
A Fallen themed grenade launcher obtained from The Scourge of the Past Raid, Anarchy lets you area control with ease. Arc Traps lets grenades stick to any surface (or friendly guardians) and will chain arc bolts between grenades, creating a deadly web.
  • Chain Lightning: Any grenades is close proximity to each other will chain arc energy between them, killing anything that wanders through it.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: This weapon is fairly unorthodox compared to other Heavy Exotics, as it is unable to compete in a contest of raw damage and requires the player to be creative about setting up the Arc web around their target. If done right, however, the Anarchy becomes a terrifying area denial weapon that makes enemies think twice about stepping on the wrong ground, as well as a persistent damage source thanks to the grenade launcher's high reserves.
  • Gradual Grinder: While the Anarchy is rather lackluster in upfront damage, it makes up for it with its Arc traps, which rapidly build up damage on any target that steps into the web you create.
  • Sticky Bomb: Grenades fired from it will attach to any surface and will actually stay for quite awhile. They can even stick to mobile objects, giving you the liberty to throw them on your fellow Guardians and hope they go around tripping up enemies with the Arc conduit that's created between them.


Example of: