[Top 10] Destiny 2 Best Auto Rifles (2021 Edition)

Destiny 2 Best Auto Rifles
When the going gets tough you just can't rely on anything other than something that spits out 600 bullets per minute.


In a game as expanisve as Destiny 2, players are always looking for the next big thing in gun play.

Light ‘em up, Guardians - Destiny 2, Bungie’s flagship looter shooter, put the kibosh on sunsetting their weapon pool back in February. What’s that mean for you, though? While initially planning to phase out older gear by capping their power level, Bungie decided to lift those restrictions to make older weapons and armor relevant again. As we collectively brush the dust off of our vaults and gear up for the new Season of the Splicer, let’s take a dip into some of the best (past and present) Auto-Rifles available. 

10) Arctic Haze

A welcomed addition to the loot pool, Arctic Haze is great at mowing things down.

Personally, I like this one for PvE. Auto-Rifles as a whole were nerfed when the Beyond Light expansion came out. However, Arctic Haze was released in the initial weapon pool on Europa. It’s the definition of spray & pray but at 720RPM this thing can be flat out fun taking down swarms of enemies. 

The perk pool isn’t great for Crucible, but for Strikes and general shenanigans try it with -

  • Arrowhead Brake - best recoil control for this weapon and also gives a boost to handling
  • Tactical Mag - additional ammo and boosts stability & reload speed - with a base magazine size of 50 rounds, Tactical Mag makes this gun relentless.
  • Subsistence - kills partially reload the magazine from reserves - this is huge for chaining kills as you will almost never reload, basically turning this gun into a turret.
  • Thresh - kills generate small amounts of Super energy, paired with Subsistence you will always be getting your Super back relatively quick.

You can get Arctic Haze from - 

  • random drops by doing activities on Europa 
  • weapon bounties you can pick up from the planet’s vendor, Variks. 

Here’s a video to show you how -

Just take the guesswork out of it and shoot 720 bullets per minute.

9) Chroma Rush 

It may be the new kid in class, but everyone should be taking notes from it.

Chroma Rush may have just become my favorite full-auto, potentially overthrowing all of the top dogs in this category. It was just released to us in Season of the Splicer in the brand new Override activity. At 720 RPM it’s an absolute beast and way more accurate than it lets on, which makes it deadly in PvP as well as PvE. It legitimately fires in a straight line from the hip and reloads quickly, making it both part reliable and resourceful. A great perk pool rounds out this weapon, including some that haven’t been in the game before. Getting it isn’t all that difficult either, just relies on a little luck. 

Here’s a solid roll to keep an eye out for - 

  • Corkscrew Rifling - evenly boosts range, handling, and stability
  • Tactical Mag - increases stability, reload speed, and adds bullets to the magazine (which is already hilariously high at 51
  • Subsistence - kills with this weapon partially reload the magazine, this perk was just buffed recently making it a must-have
  • Rampage - kills with this weapon temporarily grants increased damage and this stacks up to three times

Keeping it simple here, this roll combines the best of both worlds if you want to use it in PvE and PvP. As mentioned, there are a bunch of new perks this season and this gun can drop with some of them. Try out Heating Up or Adrenaline Junkie if you want to mix things up a bit.

You can find this gun in a couple different ways, here’s how - 

  • The brand new Override activity, located in the H.E.L.M. with the purchase of Season of the Splicer
  • Focusing Umbral Engrams in the Prismatic Recaster
  • Reward packages from the Splicer Servitor

Check it out in action here - 


I watched a player get 50 kills in Crucible with this thing. That's it. That's the caption.

8) Reckless Oracle


Like you needed an excuse to do a Garden of Salvation run.

Reckless Oracle is another solid choice from the 720RPM weapon class in Destiny 2. A raid weapon from Garden of Salvation, this Void-firing energy weapon has outstanding base stats for its archetype, but also a small pool of great perks to all but guarantee a decent drop every time you acquire it. As a Warlock main, I tend to pair this with Nezarec’s Sin, an exotic helmet whose main focus grants increased ability regeneration with Void kills. Regardless of which class you play, this weapon excels all across Destiny 2.

Try it with these perks -

  • Arrowhead Brake - As always with this archetype, we want to maximize recoil control and handling which is exactly what this perk does.
  • High Caliber Rounds - I really like this for bullying enemies - constantly being able to knock opponents back while you unload 720RPM into them is a big plus.
  • Outlaw - Every precision kill you get decreases the time it takes to reload. This can be an odd perk to highlight, being that it seems this perk should be reserved for something more accurate like a Hand Cannon or Sniper Rifle, but thanks to this weapon’s bullet magnetism (see video below) it’s easier than it sounds to nail those crit spots.
  • Demolitionist - Kills generate grenade energy, activating your grenade reloads this weapon. It’s a nonstop flurry of chaining kills with grenades for add-clear just to start the cycle all over again once you throw the grenade. This is a ton of fun in Crucible and general PvE play.

You can get it by - 

  • Completing the second encounter in the Garden of Salvation raid, located on The Moon.

Here’s a video about Reckless Oracle - 

On and on, reckless abandon.

7) Seventh Seraph Carbine

If this is what the Seventh Seraph made then what were the other six doing?

Introduced in Season of the Worthy, the Seventh Seraph weapons are still considered very useful due to their ability to generate Warmind Cells. The Warmind Cells have a slew of uses themselves, even outside of the weapons’ perk pools. However, Precision Frame auto rifles are in a tricky spot right now compared to other archetypes but due to the benefits of Warmind Cells I decided to rank this one a little higher. These cells do everything from suppressing enemies nearby, causing massive splash damage, or even healing your teammates. You can create a bevy of different builds by using Warmind Mods, check it out here and see what you have available. The Seventh Seraph Carbine isn’t a great PvP option and the perk pool leaves something to be desired but the myriad of options courtesy of Warmind Cells make this a great option for most activities.

Take it out for a spin with these perks - 

  • Chambered Compensator - This increases stability and controls recoil at the slight cost of handling, which is fine because you’re going to want to lean into having the most accurate shots possible.
  • Armor Piercing Rounds - Rounds will overpenetrate targets and do more damage against enemy shields. This is a well-rounded perk for PvE and PvP. High Caliber Rounds is another great option.
  • Threat Detector - Increased reload, stability, and handling when you’re within close proximity to enemies. Great perk if you find yourself in the middle of the fray and pairs well with the next perk.
  • Swashbuckler - This weapon will receive increased damage from melee kills and kills with this weapon. If you’re throwing melee kills around chances are you’re neck and neck with opponents. If you’re neck and neck with opponents you’re going to get Threat Detector to proc. You will find yourself constantly dishing out damage with bonuses. 

You can get your hands on this gun from - 

  • Random world drops
  • Legendary Engrams

Here’s a video to show you how -  

Maybe if we all ask nicely Bungie will give a buff to Precision Frames.

6) The Forward Path


The hunt never ends when you're packing one of these.

The Forward Path was reintroduced in Season of Arrivals during the Iron Banner event. This week-long PvP gauntlet hosted by Lord Saladin comes packed with pinnacle gear and every now and then brings new weapons into its loot pool. In this particular season, Bungie reinvented The Forward Path (and Fool’s Remedy, respectfully) with brand new perks to give these guns a whole new feel. These bonuses, Iron Gaze & Iron Grip, heavily boost one stat while dissolving another. It’s an interesting twist that made The Forward Path a really fun (depending on which side of the barrel you’re on) 600RPM repeater that shreds the competition. 

Go ruin someone’s day in the Crucible with these perks - 

  • Red Dot Micro - boosts range, zoom and handling speed. This helps secure the first shot and get the jump on foes. 
  • Flared Magwell - gives a nudge to stability but more importantly, boosts reload speed - which we are going to need because of the new perk, Iron Grip.
  • Feeding Frenzy - rapid kills will come pretty naturally at 600RPM, which is perfect because each one will stack an increase to reload speed.
  • Iron Grip - gives a +20 gain to stability basically making this thing a laser beam. The downside is it takes -40 away from reload speed, hence the importance of balancing it out with the other perks. 

You can find The Forward Path by - 

  • Participating in Iron Banner, a player versus player event that appears about three to four times a season. 

Check it out in action here - 


All I'm saying is a literal baby got a kill with this gun in Crucible so it's gotta be good.

5) Monte Carlo

Pros - useful perks lead to infinite melee charges, Cons - you can't actually use the bayonet attached.

Monte Carlo made its return from the original Destiny way back in Season of the Undying. In my eyes it still holds up thanks to a unique blend of high rate of fire and perks that work really well with the current Stasis sub-class meta. By adminstering damage with this weapon you reduce your melee cooldown and kills grant a chance to fully restore your melee - at 600RPM you are always getting your melee back within some capacity. This is a huge benefit paired with a Stasis sub-class, as those melee abilities are useful for add-clear in PvE and slowing/freezing opponents in PvP. Its other intrinsic perk, Markov Chain, acts in the same vein as Swashbuckler - but it stacks five times for even more damage than normal. Melee kills boost damage for the weapon, weapon damage cools down melee, melee kills grant ammo to the gun, bada bing bada boom.

Take ‘er out for a spin and check out the perks - 

  • Monte Carlo Method - The main draw, this cools your melee down just by causing damage with the gun and also has a chance of fully restoring your melee after a kill.
  • Fluted Barrel - Big boost to handling and a good boost to stability that helps keep this 600RPM repeater on the straight and narrow.
  • High Caliber Rounds - These rounds knock the target back further, which not only keeps them from shooting back but also buys you time to fill that melee back up to possibly sneak one in while your foe is recovering.
  • Markov Chain - Like Swashbuckler, melee kills increase damage as do kills with the weapon itself. Big difference is that the damage boost stacks up to five times. It will also grant ammo from melee kills.
  • Composite Stock - Another modest boost to stability and handling to help keep your targeting on track.

You can find this weapon from -

  • Extremely rare world drops
  • Exotic engrams
  • Visit Xur, a vendor who exclusively sells Exotic gear, from Friday to Monday, and check his inventory.

Check Monte Carlo out in action here - 

This is such a wild gun and pairing it with Stasis feels like it should be against the law.

4) The Summoner

And to think, you don't even have to hold a blood ritual or whatever to use this gun.

The Summoner should be a familiar sight to the weekend warriors plowing through Trials of Osiris every weekend (with honesty and integrity, of course). Despite the past issues it has had with cheaters, players throwing games just to complete a bounty, and some insane organized dice roll game involving an old Hakke emblem, the weapons have had a good run so far … if you have the patience to farm them. The Summoner also has an Adept version with boosted stats and unique perks. With a good assortment of perks for both PvE and PvP, chances are if you’re picking this weapon up you’re making someone question their life in the various activities located in The Crucible. 

Sweat it out in Trials of Osiris or take out your frustrations on a group of Dregs hundreds of light levels under you with these perks - 

  • Arrowhead Brake - I will always bank on this type of barrel for any auto rifle over 450RPMs - it just keeps your shots from flying all over the place for more accurate takedowns.
  • High Caliber Rounds - Couple of good options here, but I like these to help out the low impact The Summoner has. These rounds fill out a desired need and make sure you leave your opponents staggering left and right to give you an edge. 
  • Zen Moment - Increases stability while you cause damage. This can be a huge benefit if you find yourself one on one in a firefight or mowing down waves in PvE content. 
  • Rampage - Kills grant increased damage and stacks up to three times. Pretty simple - chaining kills boosts damage, causing damage boosts stability, stability helps guarantee kills, rinse, lather, repeat. 

Real quick - it’s also worth noting that a buff was recently given to the perk, Celerity. Super useful in PvE and PvP if you are the last remaining member of your fireteam, as it boosts handling, target acquisition, reload speed, and incoming flinch damage. I left it out only because I hate banking on my teammates dying to get a buff, but hey, maybe that’s your thing.

You can get The Summoner by -

  • Playing Trials of Osiris, a PvP event that takes place Friday through Monday
  • These weapons rotate weekly so be sure to check out what's available before you hop in. 

See it in action here - 


3) Hard Light

Once upon a time this was the only gun anyone wanted to use in Crucible and boy, was that a whole thing.

Hard Light has been around for as long as the Destiny franchise has been. While it’s first year in Destiny 2 was a little rough, it has since fixed a screen-shake issue that made this weapon unbearable. Nowadays it’s still a solid option if you’re looking to bring an auto rifle into PvE or PvP, especially if you have the Hard Light Catalyst as it maxes out it’s stability. The bullets from Hard Light overpenetrate targets and also ricochet off of surfaces, the bullets that bounce off of surfaces actually do more damage as well. This can be useful in Crucible against other Guardians if you pull the shots off right. You can also change this weapon’s damage-type by holding the reload button - super useful if you solo PvE activities and need to take down multiple types of enemy shields.

Let’s get into what makes this gun great - 

  • Volatile Light - Rounds fired from this weapon have no damage falloff, overpenetrate targets and ricochet off hard surfaces. Projectile damage increases after bounce.
  • Polygonal Rifling - Reduces recoil to help keep your shots accurate.
  • Alloy Magazine - when the magazine is empty this gun reloads faster, encouraging you to dump the whole clip.
  • The Fundamentals - You can change this weapon’s damage type - useful against enemy shields, especially activities with the Match Game modifier.
  • Composite Stock - Increases stability and handling speed

You can find Hard Light from -

  • Extremely rare world drops
  • Exotic Engrams
  • Visiting Xur, Friday through Monday, to see if he’s selling it

Check it out here -

This gun is so reliable, give it another chance if you haven't used it recently.

2) Suros Regime

It's like the Cadillac of fully automatic rifles, a Cadillac that's MO is putting down everything around it.

Suros Regime and Hard Light are interchangeable at the #2 spot in my eyes, they’re both top tier when it comes to auto rifles but I gave the edge to Suros Regime because of how universal its usage is. The entire bottom half of the magazine does bonus damage and has a chance to heal on a kill. It also comes with two firing modes to cater to players’ style. One speeds up the rate of fire the longer you hold the trigger and the other slows the rate of fire while aiming down sights but grants bonus damage. 

Take a look at the perks and see if it’s for you -

  • Suros Legacy - Bottom half of the magazine deals bonus damage and has a chance to return health on a kill. Speaks for itself, just a solid all around perk useful in every activity.
  • Hammer Forged Rifling - Boosts range, pretty simple. 
  • Tactical Mag - Boosts stability, reload speed, and adds extra bullets to the magazine.
  • Spinning Up/Dual Speed Receiver -  So, you have a choice here. Spinning Up increases the rate of fire while you hold the trigger down and Dual Speed Receiver slows the rate of fire while you aim down sights and does bonus damage. If you’re looking for a faster time to kill you might like Spinning Up, if you’re a more deliberate player you may like Dual Speed Receiver. Choice is yours. 
  • Hand Laid Stock - Increases stability for smoother shots. 

You can find Suros Regime by -

  • Extremely rare world drops
  • Exotic Engrams
  • Visiting Xur, Friday through Monday, and check if he’s selling it

Check it out in action here -

It's a perfect place to start if you don't usually use repeaters thanks to its interchangeable perks.

1) Gnawing Hunger

I am in a comitted relationship with this rifle. We have a beautiful home and our children are handguns. We don't have much but we are happy.

Gnawing Hunger is the current crowned king of auto rifles in Destiny 2, introduced to us way back in Season of the Drifter. It has yet to be usurped by another contender despite being nerfed a few seasons ago. The time to kill with this weapon is synonymous with the name, it is ravenous to take down anything in your way. Thanks to a rich perk pool, a strong damage output, and laser beam like focus, this puts it on top of the list. I lean on this thing like a crutch in any and all situations across Destiny 2.

See for yourself by trying these perks - 

  • Arrowhead Brake - The preferred type of barrel for this archetype as it boosts handling and also keeps the recoil to a minimum.
  • Tactical Mag - More ammo to shred through combatants, plus a boost to stability and reload speed. 
  • Subsistence - Kills with this weapon partially reload the magazine so you virtually never have to stop shooting. Bungie just buffed this perk as well, making this gun a bonafide bullet hose.
  • Demolitionist - Just about every perk for this slot is good so don’t fret if the one you have didn’t roll with this, but I love Demolitionist because kills cool down your grenade so you get it back faster and then reload your gun when you use your grenade.

You can get Gnawing Hunger from -

  • Competing in Gambit
  • Legendary Engrams
  • Focusing Umbral Engrams into Worldly Weapons Engrams

See what it’s all about here - 


When will this gun no longer be relevant? It's been around year after year and yet still hasn't been knocked down. Truly one of the greats.

There you have it, hope this helps you on your never ending quest to find the best loot out there. Auto-rifles are a lot of fun to use and there are a myriad of different ways to find one that suits your play style. What are some of your favorites? Did I miss anything? How do we like the new weapons that have been put into the game? Let me know in the comments below and happy hunting, Guardians.

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Gamer Since: 1996
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