[Top 10] Destiny 2 Best Machine Guns That Are OP (And How To Get Them)

Machine guns, the weapons that make you feel like an unstoppable Terminator, out to sow vengeance and destruction in your wake. Destiny 2 happens to have these guns, each with a different trait to them than makes them all unique. There aren’t many to choose from at the moment, but with the upcoming Machine gun buff, I suspect new ones will be coming soon.

Until then, here are the currently obtainable Machine guns that I recommend you pick up and give a try. I can promise you that at the very least, it will be tons of fun.

10. Thunderlord (Best for PvE)

“They return from fields afar. The eye has passed, the end nears. Do not fade quietly. Let thunder reign again.”

Thunderlord is my top favorite PVE machine gun simply for the reason that it can clear a room in seconds. You rain down lighting on your foes, and it spreads around to take out everything around them. A tightly packed room is easy to deal with, just fire and keep firing and let the arc damage do the rest.

Some argue that there are better machine guns to take up your heavy slot, but Thunderlord still gets a place in this list just from the sheer joy of using it. Take this along during arc burn weeks and your strikes will be finished in no time at all.

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Arc
  • Intrinsic Perk: Reign Havoc: Kills with this weapon generate lighting strikes from above.
  • Exotic Perk: Lightning Rounds - This weapon fires faster and more accurately the longer the trigger is held. Continuous damage generates lightning strikes.
  • Impact: 41
  • Range: 64
  • Stability: 55
  • Handling: 46
  • Reload Speed: 69
  • Rounds/Min: 450
  • Magazine: 63

What makes Thunderlord great:

  • Great for Arc burn weeks.
  • Great at clearing ads.
  • Perhaps the easiest exotic machine gun to get without a seasonal pass.
  • Feels great to use.
  • Often kills minor and major enemies just by lightning damage alone.
  • Available for Free to Play players.

How to Get Thunderlord: 

  • Opening Fated Engrams purchased from Xur.
  • Opening Exotic Engrams dropped during high-level activities.
  • Purchasing from Xur using Legendary Shards.
  • For help finding Xur, use WhereisXur.com


9. Commemoration (Best for PvP and PvE)

“A single word is etched inside the barrel: "Clovis-II-1.”

One of the top PVP machine guns, Commemoration can be found anywhere from Crucible to Trials, and it’s not hard to see why. Commemoration is excellent, offering wonderful ammo control. Picking up a single brick of heavy ammo can result in a good 3-5 kills if you are skilled enough and In a game where heavy ammo is scarce and fought over resource, ammo control matters a lot. For PVP, try Dynamic Sway Reduction and Under Pressure to bag those kills in the heat of combat.

Commemoration is also very decent in PVE, though it doesn’t have much of a gimmick. You just point and hold down your trigger until the thing is dead. Still, it’s great for ad clear, and a good roll is Reconstruction and Under Pressure. This is a raid exclusive weapon, so be prepared for a bit of a grind to get the roll you desire. Don’t worry, there are also other great weapons in Deep Stone Crypt to look for, so no matter what you’ll probably be satisfied with each run.

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Void
  • Impact: 41
  • Range: 76
  • Stability: 55
  • Handling: 42
  • Reload Speed: 64
  • Rounds/Min: 450
  • Magazine: 64

What makes Commemoration great:

  • Great for ad clear.
  • One of the best machine guns for PVP.
  • Does not take up an exotic slot.
  • Tons of great perks to choose from.
  • Great ammo economy. 

How to Get Commemoration: 

  • Can only be found in the Deep Stone Crypt raid.
  • Own the Beyond Light DLC.
  • Drops from the final encounter ‘Abomination’ in the Deep Stone Crypt raid.
  • Purchased from the Security Spoils cache at the end of the raid for 20 Spoils of Conquest. (Only if you have already found the Commemoration and want to try another roll.)
  • Crypt Caches can be bought for 60 Spoils of Conquest for a chance to get a Commemoration if it has yet to drop for you in the raid.
  • Can drop from secret chests if Commemoration has already dropped for a chance of different rolls.
  • If you need help finding a fireteam to get through the raid, try joining a clan, most of which have a dedicated channel/board for those looking for a raid team. 


8. Corrective Measure (Best for PvE)

“It breaks the rules of reality as ruthlessly as it shatters your foes.”

Another raid exclusive, Corrective Measure drops during the Vault of Glass raid. It shines as a PVE weapon and packs a lot of great perks to strive for. Vault of Glass stands out for dropping weapons with the Firefly trait, a trait that makes enemies explode when dealing precision damage. It’s no different here with a machine gun, and that can let you chain damage that will clear a room in seconds.

Some good rolls to look for are Rewind Rounds for the first trait. Subsistence is also good as well. For the second trait, always go for Firefly. Put these together and you will have the best legendary ad-clear machine gun in the game. Prepare like all Raids, to do a little grinding to get what you want. However, like DSC, there are a lot of other great weapons that make running the raid worth it.

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Void
  • Impact: 41
  • Range: 57
  • Stability: 75
  • Handling: 49
  • Reload Speed: 48
  • Rounds/Min: 450
  • Magazine: 64

What makes Corrective Measure great:

  • Best legendary ad-clear machine gun in the game.
  • Does not take up a legendary slot.
  • Can roll with the Firefly trait.
  • Amazing for PVE play, including strikes and Gambit. 
  • Available for Free to Play players.

How to Get Corrective Measure:

  • Can only be found in the Vault of Glass raid.
  • Tends to drop during the Conflux, Templar, and Atheon encounter.
  • Can be bought from the Cache of Kabr at the end of the raid for 20 Spoils of Conquest.  (Only if you have already found the Corrective Measure and want to try another roll.)
  • Vault Caches can be bought for 60 Spoils of Conquest for a chance to get a Corrective Measure if it has yet to drop for you in the raid.
  • If you need help finding a fireteam to get through the raid, try joining a clan, most of which have a dedicated channel/board for those looking for a raid team. 


7. Heir Apparent (Best for PvE)

“The Red Legion will march again." —Caiatl”

A Guardian Games exclusive, Heir Apparent shines in PVE as a literal tank. Spinning up the barrel spawns an arc shield around you, letting you ignore most minor ads as you pelt bosses and major enemies without fear of harm. With the completed catalyst, it gets even better with a more durable arc shield and partially reloading your magazine when destroyed. Thus, it’s great in casual PVE and in the right hands can go all the way up to higher levels.

Heir Apparent used to be in the PVP scene, but after a nerf, it has fallen out of favor for other types of machine guns. It’s still worth getting it and the catalyst during Guardian Games. You only have a short window of time to get this, so next time the games roll around, jump on it when you can!

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Solar
  • Intrinsic Perk: Heavy Slug Thrower - [Aim Down Sights]: Spin up.
  • Exotic Perk: Armor of the Colossus While at full health, spinning up this weapon protects you with an Arc Shield.
  • Catalyst completion trait: Legion's Bulwark Increases the Arc Shield's durability and partially reloads the magazine if it is destroyed.
  • Impact: 39
  • Range: 69
  • Stability: 62
  • Handling: 70
  • Reload Speed: 55
  • Rounds/Min: 900
  • Magazine: 115

What makes Heir Apparent great:

  • Great for ad-clear.
  • Spawns an arc shield when fully spun up, protecting you from damage for a short amount of time.
  • Even though it only drops during Guardian Games, it’s available for all players to earn.
  • Makes you feel like a tank when you use it. 

How to Get Heir Apparent: 

  • Can only be gotten currently from the 2022 Guardian Games. Talk to Eva Levante to get the ‘Top of Class’ Quest.
  • Finish the ‘Wreathed in Laurels’ quest by gathering 50 laurels during the game. 
  • Finish the ‘Machine-Gun Focused” quest by defeating 100 enemies with machine guns in the daily focus playlist.
  • Talk to Eva again for the Heir Apparent.


6. Thermal Erosion (Best for PvE)

“Europa has relit the fire in my soul; one that even its freezing winds cannot chill." —Clovis Bray”

Thermal Erosion is a gun that is often passed up because of how unassuming it looks. It doesn’t have many damage perks, and it looks more like a Nerf gun than a real machine gun. However, looks can be deceiving, and Thermal Erosion can become an absolute beast in the right hands. It fires fast with a Rapid-Fire frame and comes with some very nice perks. 

Wellspring and Demolitionist are both great trait picks, but the fact you can also get Dragonfly and Tap the Trigger in the second trait column means that this gun can take you far. It’s perfect for casual PVE like Gambit and general world exploration. It can even do well in higher-level PVE when paired with the right build and perks. Thermal Erosion is certainly worth picking up.

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Solar
  • Impact: 25
  • Range: 44
  • Stability: 44
  • Handling: 39
  • Reload Speed: 71
  • Rounds/Min: 900
  • Magazine: 65

What makes Thermal Erosion great:

  • Fires fast, shredding ads before they can attack.
  • Comes with unconventional, but amazing traits.
  • Can roll with Dragonfly, which is stupidly powerful on a machine gun.
  • Does not take up an exotic slot.
  • Perfect for players that know how to pair traits and builds for maximum damage.

How to Get Thermal Erosion: 

  • Own the Beyond Light DLC and complete the main story.
  • Drops as rewards from Warrior Empire Hunt Bounties from Variks.
  • Sometimes drops from defeated Brig HVTs on Europa.


5. Recurrent Impact (Best for PvE)

“It's enough to drive someone out of their mind.”

Oh, do I love Recurrent Impact. It’s a very good feeling machine gun, and I find myself taking it with me to just about any PVE activity from strikes to Gambit. It’s easy and it’s fun and you can great some great traits along with it. It already comes with the Land Tank trait, which well…makes you into a tank. It’s easy to move with it and shoots fast, which matters a lot when things start getting heavy.

The best thing about it is that you can craft a Recurrent Impact once you unlock its pattern. That opens up a whole new world of traits that you can pick and choose to make your dream machine gun. For the first column try for Subsistence or Perpetual motion. The second column is great with One for All or Headstone. Whatever you pick, it’ll be made just for you, which is something anyone can appreciate.

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Stasis
  • Impact: 25
  • Range: 34
  • Stability: 43
  • Handling: 40
  • Reload Speed: 66
  • Rounds/Min: 900
  • Magazine: 78

What makes Recurrent Impact great:

  • Does not take up an exotic slot.
  • Can be crafted with many choices of traits.
  • Easy to get. Drops often.
  • Available to Free to Play players. 
  • Feels more mobile than other machine guns.

How to Get Recurrent Impact: 

  • Drops from Season 16 activities.
  • Drops from Psiops Chests.
  • Can be focused from the HELM war table. 
  • Pattern can be extracted and crafted at the Relic on Mars.


4. Grand Overture (Best for PvE)

“It's not over until the vast red artificial intelligence sings.”

Machine guns tend to have one job in the Destiny 2 meta, which is to clear ads. As a result, many machine guns tend to fire more bullets with less damage tacked to each one. This overwhelms and shreds through ads and even minors with relative ease, and most people carry machine guns for that reason. Grand Overture is different. It’s slow to fire, but it does tremendous amounts of damage.

It’s more of a boss weapon than anything else. You will want to stay still and just pelt a boss when a DPS phase comes up. It fires missiles too, so it feels like a very slow tank and should be treated as such. As a result, you tend to not see Grand Overture a lot, but it’s a viable weapon in the right hands.

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Arc
  • Intrinsic Perk: Wrath of the Colossus - Fully automatic, slow-firing slug launcher with a charge time.
  • Exotic Perk: Omega Strike - Land hits with the slug launcher to load missiles,[Alternate Weapon Action] and then fire to launch several missiles in a volley.
  • Catalyst completion trait: Grand Overture Catalyst Missile explosions will blind combatants. Those defeated by missile impacts then explode.
  • Impact: 53
  • Range: 100
  • Stability: 91
  • Handling: 70
  • Reload Speed: 64
  • Rounds/Min: 100
  • Magazine: 70

What makes Grand Overture great:

  • Does great DPS damage against bosses and majors.
  • Works like a tank that can also fire missiles. 
  • Slow, but each hit tends to kill something. 
  • Great for tankier class builds. 
  • Great range for a machine gun.

How to Get Grand Overture: 

  • Drops as a reward in the Season of the Risen seasonal pass.
  • May be avalible eventually in the Monument to Lost Lights kiosk.


3. Archon's Thunder (Best for PvE)

“Earth weapons strong, but Eliksni make stronger. What your Zavalakel says: stronger, together?" —House Light Weaponsmith”

An Iron Banner exclusive, you are going to need a little grinding to get this machine gun. With changes coming to Iron Banner, it’s unsure how easy Archon’s Thunder will be to get in the future. I don’t see it being easier to get, but perhaps they will change its drop rates or make it able to be directly bought. We’ll have to see what Bungie decides to do.

Still, it’s a great machine gun with high-impact damage. It works well for heavy-duty ad clear and be taken to most levels of PVE play. There are a lot of great traits to look for with Archon’s Thunder as well. Field Prep, Auto-loading Holster, and Arrowhead Brake are valid choices for your first column. For the second, you can’t go wrong with Killing Wing or Rampage. It may take a while to get a drop you like, but it’s easy to find something to fit your playstyle.

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Solar
  • Impact: 70
  • Range: 68
  • Stability: 52
  • Handling: 86
  • Reload Speed: 85
  • Rounds/Min: 360
  • Magazine: 52

What makes Archon's Thunder great:

  • Many great traits mean that Archon’s Thunder can go with most builds.
  • Available to Free to Play players. 
  • Does not take up an exotic slot.
  • Great for heavy-duty ad-clear.
  • One of the best current PVE machine guns.

How to Get Archon's Thunder: 

  • Play Iron Banner matches for a chance of a random drop.
  • Turn in Iron Banner tokens for a chance to get Archon’s Thunder.


2. Seventh Seraph SAW (Best for PvE)

“Chained away long ago; its jaws too eager in times of peace.”

An oldie but goodie, Seventh Seraph SAW is a great choice when looking for a PVE machine gun. It’s a high-impact gun, so it deals quite a lot of damage. Plus with its ability to roll with Vorpal Weapon, it can be used in high-level play against boss fights. A good machine gun can fill multiple roles, and Seventh Seraph SAW can be used for both ad-clear and DPS boss phases. If you want a well-rounded machine gun, this is the one for you.

Because this is a vendor weapon now, you don’t have to let luck decide your rolls. Each week offers a different roll (if Xur is carrying it that week) so you can take a look at what traits you prefer. You will want to look for Field Prep and Vorpal Weapon to shred everything in your way, and you will just need a little bit of patience to get it. Make sure you check in with Xur every week to see if he has the Seventh Seraph SAW god-roll in stock.

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Arc
  • Impact: 70
  • Range: 70
  • Stability: 30
  • Handling: 45
  • Reload Speed: 38
  • Rounds/Min: 360
  • Magazine: 43

What makes Seventh Seraph SAW great:

  • A vendor weapon means that traits are visible before buying.
  • Does not take up an exotic slot.
  • Available to Free to Play players. 
  • Can roll with Vorpal Weapon.
  • Is a great, well-rounded machine gun.

How to Get Seventh Seraph SAW: 

  • Sold by Xur for legendary shards and glimmer.
  • For help finding Xur, use WhereisXur.com


1. Xenophage (Best for PvE)

“This might sting a little.”

Xenophage used to be the number one machine gun in the game…that is until Bungie nerfed it hard. It has fallen out of use in PVP, mostly finding use in PVE for those that know how to use it. It’s a strange weapon for sure. It’s like combining a sniper rifle and a machine gun, turning it into an anti-material rifle. It hits like a truck, so it does great damage to major and lower-level Champions. It does solar AOE damage, so it can help control crowds. It has now become a nice overall heavy weapon that can do many jobs…just not as well as it used to.

Still, some folks love Xenophage, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s rather time-intensive to get and can be confusing for most players. It requires a multi-step quest and finishing a dungeon, so most people will need to bring a friend or two along to help. Being dedicated enough to even get Xenophage reflects on those that use it, as in the hands of the skilled, Xenophage can be just as effective and deadly as it was in the past.

Weapon Stats:

  • Damage type: Solar
  • Intrinsic Perk: Pyrotoxin Rounds - Fires high-powered explosive ammunition.
  • Exotic Perk: Rangefinder - Aiming this weapon increases its effective range and zoom magnification. Increased projectile velocity while aiming Rocket Launchers, Grenade Launchers, and Bows.
  • Impact: 100
  • Range: 89
  • Stability: 34
  • Handling: 37
  • Reload Speed: 38
  • Rounds/Min: 90
  • Magazine: 26

What makes Xenophage great:

  • Can be used as a sniper rifle, picking off enemies at a distance.
  • Can do AOE damage to ads.
  • Hits very hard.
  • Can punch through Guardians and Majors alike.
  • Great for killing invaders in Gambit.

How to Get Xenophage: 

  • Own the Shadowkeep DLC and finish the main storyline.
  • Head to the Scarlet Keep and go inside. When you see a green crystal, take the left path and follow until you see a small path on the right wall leading upward.
  • In the main room, there will find four statues along the walls - two on each side. You will need to light them in a specific order (front right, back left, back right, front left). A chest will spawn and officially start ‘The Journey’ Quest.
  • Go to the Anchor of Light. You will need to go left to get to the Fallen area. You will see a burning orb on top of one of the buildings. You will need to use this to light lanterns in a specific order before time runs out. At the end, dunk the orb in a small Hive spire.
  • Travel to all four K1 Lost Sectors on the moon and solve the puzzles at the end. When solved a chest containing a path fragment will spawn. 
  • You will now do the rest of the quest in the Pit of Heresy dungeon. The first step is after the first encounter. There will be a room with doors. Find the one with the rune above it. Enter it and activate the rune inside.
  • The next step is in the room with the Hive Ogres. You will need to light lanterns again. Go to the left hallway to pick up the orb and light the lanterns in the right hallway. Drop down to the cliff ledge in the left hallway and activate a plate with runes on it. It will summon platforms that lead to another orb. Grab it and return to the rightmost hallway again. Avoid the Ogres and hug the wall until you find a locked red door with two lanterns. Light them and open the door. Go inside to go to the next step.
  • Step 3 is to defeat the boss. You will need to collect and deposit orbs of flame to get buffs that will allow you to damage them. On defeat, they will drop a Hive bug.
  • Return to Eris and she will give you the Xenophage.


You too can own your very own handheld rail-gun!


There you have it, friends, a list of machine guns picked out and compiled for you. Some are harder to get than others, and some are easy to get. Some are Free to play, and some are only available for season pass and DLC holders. There’s a little something for everyone, and hopefully, it will be enough to help you decide which to go after.

Machine guns are some of the most fun guns to use in Destiny. It makes you feel invincible, and nothing is more awesome than clearing a room in seconds. Some don’t even feel like machine guns at all but are still just as viable and awesome as the others. If anything else, I can promise you’ll have tons of fun with these. 

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A cryptid hailing from the Pennsylvanian countryside, April can be found in her cave playing various games from D&D to Fallout. Gifts of dice are needed to prevent attacks on livestock.
Gamer Since: 1995
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Destiny 2
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, This War of Mine, DOOM

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