If you are new to the world of Destiny 2 then come take a look at the best hand cannons the game has to offer.
Best Destiny 2 Hand Cannons
Hand cannons come under the pistol archetype, only they are much bigger, stronger, and hit much harder than any other peashooter. Hand cannons are some of the most satisfying weapons to use in Destiny 2. They come in all shapes and sizes are each one is quite unique and fresh and comes with some cool perks that change the game. While they are not locked behind any class, Hunters are the most synonymous with hand cannons and let me tell you something, a hand cannon looks ten times more cooler in the hands of a Hunter. With all that said, here are the best hand cannons in Destiny 2:
- Ace Of Spades
- The Last Word
- Eriana’s Vow
- Fatebringer (Timelost)
- Dire Promise
- True Prophecy
- Igneous Hammer (Adept)
- The Palindrome (Adept)
- Bottom Dollar
- Seventh Seraph Officer Revolver
Let’s take a look at some of the Hand Cannons that are unanimously considered the best and are a must-have, for your growing collection.
Destiny 2 Best Exotic Hand Cannons
Exotic weapons are unique and come with a fixed set of perks. These weapons are supposed to bring something new into the game that nothing else does and they sure do shine. These are some of the best exotic hand cannons in Destiny 2:
Ace Of Spades
Ace, Cayde-6’s gun. Cayde was the most beloved character in all of Destiny and when we finally got to wield his trusted piece, Ace became one of the most beloved guns in the game. Ace Of Spades was a Hunter exclusive in Destiny 1 and was halfway good. Ace Of Spades in Destiny 2 however, is a beast. It comes with the perk “Memento Mori” which states that every time you get a precision kill the magazine is loaded with bullets that do extra damage.
This combined with “Firefly” which causes the enemy to explode on a precision kill makes this gun one of the most fun and satisfying to use. You’ll constantly be blocking Memento Mori because you’ll always be aiming for the head with this. Ace is a KING in PvP as well as it can quite literally map people. There’s some difference between console & PC of course but good god does it destroy enemy Guardians. Ace Of Spades is, by far, one of the best Hand Cannons in Destiny 2.
The Last Word
Wielded by the legendary Shin Malphur himself The Last Word turns your rootin-tootin-cowboy-shootin fantasy into a reality. Right of the bat, this gun has the best firing animation out of all weapons, and man does this thing look sexy. But the form ain’t all this gun is about, it’s also the function. Last Word is not a PvE gun so don’t expect to be a banger there.
You can use it for fun or roleplay in PvE but its main draw(see what I did there?) is PvP. Its main perk is “Fan Fire” where hip fire shots do more precision damage and based on the stacks of Fan Fire, you get increased accuracy and reload speed for a short duration. This in combination with Hip-Fire grip and Accurized Rounds makes The Last Word land all its shots into the dome of the enemy Guardians. It requires skill to use and it just brings a bunch of BANG! BANG! BANG! DEAD! With it. Also, did I mention that it fires full auto?
If Shin is known for the Last Word then there’s another Guardian known for something else. The tale of Shin Malphur hunting Dredgen Yor(or Rezayl Azzir) is the most glorified and intense in all of Destiny. We are not discussing the lore however, we are discussing guns. And Dredgen Yor’s gun, Thorn, is deadly. Comes with the perk “Mark Of the Devourer” which says that rounds fired with this gun do extra damage-over-time to enemies and when they die, they drop remnants which compliments the second perk “Soul Devourer” where picking up these Remnantspartially refills the magazine and strengthens the damage of Mark Of The Devourer.
The synergy between these perks is quite something. Thorn literally stings. And the corruption damage that it does over time can mess people up in PvP. Just like Last Word, Thorn is also a PvP weapon primarily but this does have its uses in PvE. It’s one of the coolest-looking weapons in Destiny 2 and comes with rich lore and history surrounding it and functions like a true champ! Solid weapon.
Who remembers Red Death from Destiny 1? It came back into Destiny 2 and was not a pulse rifle, but a hand cannon and was not called Red Death anymore. It got compacted in its form factor and by extension functionality but it sure retained its deadly nature. Crimson is once again a PvP first, PvE second weapon but despite that, it shines in both scenarios.
The reason behind that is its beautiful perk selection, the first of which is called “Banned Weapon” which states that this weapon fires in three-round bursts effectively making it a pulse rifle of sorts, and then the second perk called “Cruel Remedy” which states that kills with this weapon heals the wielder and precision kills also refill the magazine. Ain’t that insane?
Crimson is by far one of the most annoying weapons to go against in the Crucible because it fires fast and in bursts, has an INSANE range with the catalyst, and the guy wielding it heals and reloads instantly if he gets a precision kill. Despite that this gun requires skill and play where you know when to get into engagements and when to best avoid them. Crimson is unique and very much worth it.
The holy trinity of Destiny 1 hand cannons got complete when Hawkmoon came back. This alongside The Last Word and Thorn were the go-to guns in Destiny 1 and its return in Destiny 2 comes with some big yet impressive changes. Hawkmoon’s main draw in Destiny 1 was its perk luck in the chamber which gave it two random magic bullets in the magazine that can one-shot in PvP(yes you heard that right) and do crazy high damage in PvE. That’s not the case anymore, at least the case isn’t exactly the same.
Hawkmoon comes with the perk “Paracausal Shot” where each precision shot that hits a crit spot increases the damage of the next and this stacks up to 7 times. If you manage to get all 7 crit shots then the 8th and final shot’s damage will be nuts. The second perk will be random for this gun as this was the first exotic in the history of Destiny that came with the possibilities of random rolls. In the hands that know how to be precise Hawkmoon is ungodly and brings a world of hurt with it.
The only hand cannon in Destiny that uses special ammo and comes with a scope, Eriana’s Vow is a handheld sniper rifle. The perk called “Looks Can Kill” states that this weapon fires armor-piercing rounds that are good against barrier champions this acts in combination with “Death at First Glance” which states that you get bonus damage with the first shot of the magazine and that damage is preserved f the shot hits a crit or matching elemental shield. Eriana’s is definitely in the niche and requires you to be precise and consistent for you to be able to get the most out of it.
That high demand/ playstyle may not be for everyone but people who use this gun can tell you how good it is. It’s somewhat underrated in comparison to its peers but it’s the only hand cannon of its kind and it does good damage in PvE as well. I keep using the word unique and I must say, Eriana’s Vow is the kind of unique that you have to see with your own eyes(Or use it with your own hands).
With the exotics out of the way let’s take a look at some of the legendaries. These weapons come with random rolls, which means they will have random perks in each of their respective columns and are much more preferential. I am going to briefly touch on each one of them and tell you where you can get them and what combination works for them.
Originally a weapon from the Trials of The Nine Judgment made its return this season as a 140RPM kinetic hand cannon that can be acquired from the Prophecy Dungeon. The 140s are in the meta and Judgment is a great pick for that sweet PvP action. It doesn’t have the best of perk choices but Demolitionist or Tunnel Vision in the first column in combination with Adagio or Timed Payload in the second are solid options.
The Pride & Joy of the Vault Of Glass raid, Fatebringer is back in Destiny 2 and is a 140RPM kinetic hand cannon. I am talking about the Time lost variant here which can only be acquired by beating the Templar challenge on master. Don’t worry if you don’t have the Timelostone, the standard version works just fine. Since Time lost already comes with the signature Firefly and Explosive Payload combination you should try and get Rewind Rounds or Killing Wind in the first column and Kill Clip or Frenzy in the second. Works for both standard and Timelost versions.
Dire Promise is a random world drop or you can get it from the gunsmith and is arguably the best kinetic 140 according to most of the players. It feels good to use and comes with great perks for PvP. If you can manage to get one with Snapshot Sights in the first column and Rangefinder in the second? You are golden.
The 120RPM archetype was dominant in the past couple of seasons and while they have been tweaked a bit, they still pack a punch. True Prophecy is again a random drop and is a kinetic weapon. Rangefinder or Opening Shot in the first column with Timed Payload or Explosive Payload in the second makes this gun a force to be reckoned with.
Igneous Hammer (Adept)
Perhaps the hardest one to get on this list, the Adept Igneous can only be obtained by going flawless in Trials Of Osiris on the given week. Although with all the Trials changes going flawless has become a much easier task it’s still painful. The standard Igneous also works just fine so don’t dwell too much on the adept version. Igneous Hammer is a 120RPM solar energy hand cannon and as for its perks, in this sandbox, you cannot go wrong with Rapid Hit in the first and Snapshot Sights in the second column.
The Palindrome (Adept)
If Igneous is the hardest gun to get out of a PvP activity then the Adept Pali comes from the hardest PvE activity. Just like the rest, you don’t NEED the adept version, the normal one will work just fine. Adept Palindrome comes from Grandmaster nightfalls and standard one can be obtained from any nightfall when the gun is in rotation and is a 140RPM void energy gun. There are some truly amazing perks for this gun such as Overflow, Outlaw, and Killing WInd in the first and Rampage, Rangefinder, and One For All in the second columns respectively.
A void energy 120RPM hand cannon that comes from Gambit. This one was quite elusive for a long time but now is much easier to obtain. The problem s that it has such a large perk pool that getting the perfect roll can be a pain. It’s still well worth the grind, however, because of its perks such as Rapid Hit, Outlaw, Rangefinder, and Killing Wind in column 1 and nasty things like Multi Kill Clip, Rampage, Explosive Payload, Dragonfly and Opening Shot in column 2.
Seventh Seraph Officer Revolver
These last two are !80Rpms which have never been considered over the 140s and 120s but the Seventh Seraph Officer Revolver is one heck of a gun. Fires at 180RPM and sits in the kinetic slot, this gun can generate warmind cells with mods and is incredibly fun to use with the combination of perks like Ambitious Assassin and Timed Payload. Don’t
skip this one. This can be obtained as a random drop or through gunsmith packages.
Finally, we have the Vulpecula, the newest in the bunch, and the first-ever kinetic Stasis hand cannon. It fires at 180RPm and what separates it from the rest are its looks and its unique perks. Since it’s one of the rare Stasis weapons, it can come with Stasis perks. You have the usual suspects in column 1 like Outlaw and Killing Wind then there is a fun new one called Shoot To Loot. Column 2 comes with new perks like Headstone, Harmony, and Adagio. The best part about Vulpecula is that it cannot come with a bad roll as even the worst combinations for this one are very fun to use and offer a lot of function.
Phew! That’s a lot of guns, and this is just ONE archetype. But that’s the beauty of Destiny, It’s like Pokemon, the only difference being that those Pokemon are guns here and you gotta catch ’em all. If you found this article useful feel free to check out other Destiny 2 Guides here at GamerTweak.