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Best Hand Cannons for PvE, PvP, Gambit (2021)

There’s truly no shortage of great hand cannons in Destiny 2. It’s arguably the most popular and most reliable archetype in all of Destiny 2 and is useful across all game modes; at least as of Beyond Light. In any event, we’re going to go over the best hand cannons in Destiny 2 for 2021.

Best Hand Cannons in Destiny 2 2021

Best for PvE & Gambit

  • Ace of Spades (Kinetic, Exotic) – Purchased from the exotic kiosk.
  • Ancient Gospel (Energy, Solar) – Possible drop from completing encounters in the raid, Garden of Salvation.
  • Crimson (Kinetic, Exotic) – Rare exotic world drop.
  • Eriana’s Vow (Energy, Solar, Exotic) – Obtained as a season pass reward for Season of the Undying.
  • Loud Lullaby (Kinetic) – Possible reward from completing Moon activities and Altars of Sorrow.
  • Lumina (Kinetic, Exotic) – Purchased from the exotic kiosk.
  • Malfeasance (Kinetic, Exotic) – Obtained via an exotic quest.
  • Nation of Beasts (Energy, Arc) – Possible drop from completing encounters in the raid, Last Wish.
  • Posterity (Energy, Arc) – Possible drop from completing encounters in the raid, Deep Stone Crypt.
  • Seventh Seraph Officer Revolver (Kinetic) – Random world drop.
  • Sunshot (Energy, Solar, Exotic) – Possible reward choice from Red War campaign, random rare exotic world drop otherwise.
  • The Palindrome (Energy, Void) – Possible drop from completing Nightfall: The Ordeal.
  • Thorn (Kinetic, Exotic) – Purchased from the exotic kiosk.
  • Volpecula (Kinetic, Stasis) – Possible drop from completing Season of the Lost activities.

While a lot of great hand cannons were sunset when Beyond Light dropped there was fortunately already a massive list of viable hand cannons in Destiny 2 so there’s still plenty of choose from.

If you’re a Hunter, the Lucky Pants buff has really changed the game. Hand Cannons like Malfeasance and Crimson are just absolutely shredding and have vaulted those two in particular to the top of the list if you’re a hunter wearing those exotics.

As Stasis weapons trickle in as of Season of the Lost, Volpecula stands out with a few choice perks including the new perk, Headstone, which spawns a Stasis crystal after precision kills. If you’re rocking a Stasis build, having the ability to generate crystals far more often for your build can be quite appealing.

Most of the exotic weapons are great in their own ways for just about everything in Destiny 2 other than boss damage. Sunshot and Ace of Spades are great for working through adds. Thorn and Crimson can help you wade through tougher enemies, and Eriana’s Vow has the unique niche of being able to pierce through champion barriers making it a popular Nightfall pick.

More niche, but still worth mentioning is Lumina in case you’re in a really under-leveled situation and want to play it extremely cautiously. Just try and grind out that catalyst at least if you’re going to rock Lumina, it makes a big difference.

On the legendary end of things, Posterity from the new raid Deep Stone Crypt, is worth mentioning as well. This is because it can roll with Reconstruction, a unique raid perk that allows the magazine to not only autoload over time, but increase the maximum magazine size to double the base.

This means that with perks and mods you can get Posterity’s magazine size to a massive 34 shots! So while 180 RPMs are not the most powerful hand cannons around, Posterity will make up for it by being able to shoot forever before you need to reload.

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Best Hand Cannons for PvP

  • Ace of Spades (Kinetic, Exotic) – Purchased from the exotic kiosk.
  • Bottom Dollar (Energy, Void) – Possible reward from Gambit matches and Gambit rank-ups.
  • Crimson (Kinetic, Exotic) – Rare exotic world drop.
  • Dire Promise (Kinetic) – Random world drop.
  • Igneous Hammer (Energy, Solar) – Reward from Trials of Osiris.
  • Loud Lullaby (Kinetic) – Possible reward from completing Moon activities and Altars of Sorrow.
  • Sunshot (Energy, Solar, Exotic) Rare exotic world drop.
  • Survivor’s Epitaph (Kinetic) – Possible drop from Crucible rank-up packages and rewards.
  • The Last Word (Kinetic, Exotic) – Purchased from the exotic kiosk.
  • The Steady Hand (Kinetic) – Reward from Iron Banner
  • Thorn (Kinetic, Exotic) – Purchased from the exotic kiosk.
  • True Prophecy (Kinetic) – Random world drop.
  • Sturm (Energy, Arc, Exotic) – Purchased from the exotic kiosk.

While in general exotic hand cannons tend to rule the roost in PvP, the last few seasons have added quite a few powerful and interesting legendary hand cannons including Bottom Dollar and The Steady Hand.

They join Dire Promise and True Prophecy as solid hand cannon options; and in the case of those two, they will just narrowly avoid the sunset sword as Season of the Worthy weapons will in fact be spared following the several of sunset policy by Bungie.

If you can manage to get some work done in Trials of Osiris, Igneous Hammer is an extremely popular and meta hand cannon right now that can free up the ability to use an exotic primary or heavy weapon.

Many hand cannon mains though rock an exotic. Ace of Spades, post Beyond Light buff, is extremely popular right now but Thorn, Crimson, Sunshot, The Last Word, and even Sturm (especially when paired with Drang) are all viable options.

The beauty of being a hand cannon main in PvP is that you have so many varying exotic options to choose from, it really comes down to which playstyle you like best. I tend to lean towards Thorn because of its two-tap potential and the tracking you get from the poison DoT, but it really comes down to your preference.

That’s all for our best hand cannons in Destiny 2 for PvE, PvP, & Gambit as of Beyond Light and Season of the Chosen. If you’re interested in learning more weapon recommendations. Check out our all-encompassing lists below:

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