Destiny 2's meta may not currently favor grenade launchers, both heavy and special, but this weapon archetype has managed to hold on to its decently powerful position for quite some time now. After being meta for over a year ago in the game, they have slowly started to come back and take on a more prominent role.
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Grenade launchers are fantastic utility weapons. They can deal damage, blind certain enemies, and clear rank-and-file enemies quickly. Thanks to the game having two different flavors of grenade launchers, too, players can pick and choose whether they prefer a heavy or a special one. Here's which grenade launchers are worth the player's time in Destiny 2.
Updated on March 16, 2023, by Anastasia Maillot: Grenade launchers have received massive balance changes in Destiny 2's Lightfall expansion, mainly heavy grenade launchers, which have been forgotten for far too long by the PVE meta. As of Lightfall, heavy grenade launchers deal 20% more damage against bosses, champions, minibosses, and vehicles, and 40% more damage against red-bar enemies. This alone should make heavy grenade launchers a must-have for any PVE players, even if they haven't quite beaten rocket launchers in the current DPS meta—but it's early in the year, so this could change. Special ammo grenade launchers continue to be incredible in PVE as well, with one newcomer in the wave frame category making waves in the first weeks of Lightfall. Here are the best grenade launchers in Destiny 2's early Lightfall era.
13 Explosive Personality
- How To Get: Craftable, occasionally sold by Banshee-44
Wave frame grenade launchers are a lot of fun as they hold a ton of ad-clear potential. Although Forbearance is still king when it comes to Wave frames, Explosive Personality is another brilliant option from the Season of the Risen weapon pool for players looking to add a bit more damage to any Solar 3.0 builds that specialize in ad-clear.
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The good thing about this grenade launcher is that it can be crafted, once enough patterns have been unlocked, and it opens up the possibility of unlocking Enhanced perks. Auto-Loading Holster is a must-have, and for the second perk, players can pick ones like Golden Tricorn, Frenzy, or Disruption Break.
12 Cry Mutiny
- How To Get: Can be bought in the legacy gear tab in the Monument to Lost Lights
Season of the Plunder introduced a heavy grenade launcher as its ritual weapon, known as Cry Mutiny. This Solar grenade launcher shows a lot of promise when it comes to Solar builds in particular, as it comes curated and fully Masterworked with the Incandescent perk.
Incandescent can also be switched to Demolitionist, a highly desirable perk in the era of 3.0 subclasses. The second column is a choice between Swashbuckler or Vorpal Weapon, both of which are very powerful perks, though Swashbuckler has a slight edge over Vorpal Weapon since Cry Mutiny will likely be used as an ad-clearing tool rather than a boss DPS weapon.
11 Pardon Our Dust
- How To Get: Xur's Treasure Chest in Eternity, now also craftable.
Players who prefer not to wait for Ignition Code to roll around into Xur's rotating inventory can also try to grind for Pardon Our Dust, which is another Kinetic grenade launcher and can also roll with the highly useful Blinding Grenade perk. If anything, this weapon is a nice backup for those who couldn't get an Ignition Code.
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This one is far easier to get by simply completing some Dares of Eternity and using the Treasure Keys to open the chest in Eternity next to Xur. Keep in mind that some RNG is involved in this as well, so a Pardon Our Dust isn't always guaranteed.
10 Salvager's Salvo
- How To Get: Legacy gear tab in Monument to Lost Lights
In anticipation of Arc 3.0, Salvager's Salvo could be a useful pick-up for a lot of players. It's in the Energy slot and deals Arc damage, and since it was once one of the seasonal weapons in Destiny 2, it comes with some incredibly juicy perks worth playing around with.
To get this grenade launcher, players can buy it easily from the Legacy gear tab at the Tower's Monument to Lost Lights. The perk options include Vorpal Weapon or Chain Reactions, and Ambitious Assassin or Demolitionist. All of these are some of the best perks out there for grenade launchers.
- How To Get: Reward from Spire of the Watcher dungeon on Mars
This Void grenade launcher had everyone's attention when the Spire of the Watcher dungeon launched back in season 20. What makes it unique is that it's a double-fire grenade launcher that launches two shots.
Not just that, but its perk pool is full of great options. Look for one with Disorienting Grenades for that blinding option, as well as Auto-Loading Holster. Demolitionist and Repulsor Brace are also interesting choices for the first column, and in the second column, Vorpal Weapon and Frenzy are considered top picks.
8 Dead Messenger
- How To Get: The Witch Queen Exotics tab at the Monument to Lost Lights
The Dead Messenger is a really interesting Exotic grenade launcher, due to its ability to change its element. This can make it a powerful weapon of choice in PVE activities that require players to have multiple types of elemental damage to deal with shielded foes and such, though Arbalest will still be the more obvious choice.
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The Dead Messenger was once acquired from the Vox Obscura Exotic quest, but can now be purchased from the Exotic kiosk. One of the more unique aspects of this weapon is that it fires in a cone-shaped area of effect, which increases its effectiveness, particularly when clearing ads.
- How To Get: The Witch Queen Exotics tab at the Monument to Lost Lights
Simply known also as "the worm", this peculiar weapon contains a worm that can be launched at enemies at high speed, dealing incredible damage to targets if players have previously killed about twenty enemies to fully charge their worm's hunger at x20.
Parasite is a niche Exotic, but where it shines is its ability to deal quick burst damage at once. It's perfect for short DPS windows like Deep Stone Crypt's Atraks-1, though it didn't benefit from any of the balance changes to grenade launchers (understandably so, given its high burst damage potential).
6 Koraxis's Distress
- How To Get: Root of Nightmares raid
Introduced in the brand-new Lightfall raid, Root of Nightmares, Koraxis's Distress is a heavy grenade launcher that comes in Strand flavor. That alone makes it desirable, given that Strand weapons are, for now, quite rare with only a few options available. But even so, Koraxis's Distress does come with interesting perk choices and as a raid weapon, it can also be crafted once the patterns are unlocked.
In the first column, the early favorite is definitely Reconstruction, which allows the weapon to reload itself overtime. It's sort of a cheaper version of Auto-Loading Holster, and can even go up to double capacity, which is great. The second column's most notable perk is Hatchling, which pairs perfectly with most ad-clear focused Strand builds, with final blows having a chance to spawn a Threadling.
5 Wendigo GL3
- How To Get: Vanguard focusing
Wendigo GL3 was thought to be the next meta DPS weapon prior to Lightfall's launch, and though this didn't end up being the case, it's still a remarkably good Arc heavy grenade launcher. Better yet, those who never got the chance to farm this grenade launcher in the final weeks of season 20 can now simply focus it over at Zavala.
The ideal two perks are Auto-Loading Holster and Explosive Light, which guarantee the highest damage on this heavy grenade launcher. A great addition to the collection of any PVE player.
4 Harsh Language
- How To Get: World drop (Legendary engrams)
Harsh Language is a new Void wave frame grenade launcher that has come to challenge the rule of Deafening Whisper, and boy does it do this well. Its second column can roll with Destabilizing Rounds, which basically makes nearby enemies volatile when defeating targets with it. It also comes with an incredible Origin Perk called Field Tested, which buffs several of its stats (stability, handling, range, and reload) when scoring kills.
In the first column, players have a few good options to choose from: Envious Assassin, Threat Detector, and Stats For All are incredibly powerful choices for Harsh Language. The only downside is that this weapon is a world drop, making it an elusive one to farm.
- How To Get: Shadowkeep Exotics tab on Monument to Lost Lights
Another fantastic ad-clearing weapon is the Witherhoard. It's one of the must-have PVE weapons every player should have in Destiny 2, especially when paired with its catalyst that gives it Auto-Loading Holster.
Witherhoard fires a projectile slug which will blight the target. It creates pools of this blight on the ground as well, which quickly kills off enemies. Enemies affected by the blight will leave behind a blighted area as well. In both PVP and PVE it's quite the annoying weapon to deal with and has been in a powerful position in the game's meta for some time now.
Even after a nerf to how long the blighted pool remains to the ground, Witherhoard is one of the most effective weapons in the game, though as of Lightfall it's even more important to score direct hits on targets to benefit from the blighter effect for a long period of time.
- How To Get: Vow of the Disciple raid, craftable
Forbearance is one of the few craftable grenade launchers in the game, along with Explosive Personality. However, Forbearance is a slightly better option overall, even if it isn't quite as accessible as it requires players to complete encounters in the Vow of the Disciple raid. Five patterns are needed to unlock it for crafting.
Players should look for perks like Chain Reaction and Ambitious Assassin. Its intrinsic perk Souldrinker is extremely powerful in PVE, which will regenerate the player's health depending on how many kills they have scored before reloading the weapon.
- How To Get: War Table rewards, Defiant engrams, and reward chests at the end of Defiant Battlegrounds
Season of Defiance brought in several new weapons worthy of note, but none are quite as interesting as Regnant, which in the mind of many beats even good old Wendigo GL3. This season, thanks to the powerful Void artifact perks, Regnant definitely shines in terms of damage and ad-clear. Once the patterns are unlocked, players can craft and level their ideal roll.
Like with Wendigo GL3, Regnant's best combo is Auto-Loading Holster and Explosive Light, though in some cases Destabilizing Rounds paired with Repulsor Brace or Envious Assassin are great for more ad-clear-oriented builds. However, for boss DPS, the first perk combo remains the best.
Destiny 2 is available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and Stadia.
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