Top 10 Arc Weapons (October 2023)

Season of the Witch is underway in Destiny 2, and with it comes a shift in the meta. Some weapons jump the ranks in usage, while others fall short of what they once were. Arc weapons are no exception. So today, we’re discussing the Top 10 Arc Weapons in Destiny 2 as of the Lightfall DLC and Season of the Witch.

10. Oversoul Edict

Destiny 2 Crota's End Pulse Rifle
Image Source: Bungie via Twinfinite

Kicking off the list is the newly returned Oversoul Edict Pulse Rifle from the Crota’s End Raid. This weapon didn’t see a lot of play in Destiny 1, but with some updated perks, this weapon can now shine in the current sandbox of Destiny 2.

For PvE, this weapon can roll with Demolitionist and Voltshot. Demolitionist grants Grenade energy on every kill, which is perfect for Arc builds. Meanwhile, Voltshot will jolt enemies when you reload after a kill.

For PvP, this gun can roll with Keep Away and Headseeker, two top-tier perks in the current PvP sandbox. Keep Away grants increased range, reload speed, and accuracy when no enemies are nearby, while Headseeker gives increased Headshot damage after landing multiple body shots. Simply put, this gun is fantastic no matter which activity you bring into.

9. Centrifuse

The Centrifuse Exotic Arc Rifle in Destiny 2
Image Source: Bungie via Twinfinite

Brought in as the Season Pass award for Season of the Deep, the Centrifuse Exotic Auto Rifle was an excellent addition for Exotic Arc primary weapons.

The weapon can charge itself via your amplified ability, and when fully charged, it can generate Arc explosions that blind enemies and detonate them. Blinding enemies is a nice touch, given that more challenging enemies like Orange or Yellow-bars usually can’t be defeated via the explosion, but the blinding effect will only stun them temporarily.

While it isn’t the most potent Arc Exotic primary weapon on this list, the Centrifuse Auto Rifle allows for a unique turn on build-crafting via the blind effect and still pairs nicely with most builds in general.

8. Iterative Loop

Destiny 2 Arc Fusion Rifle
Image Source: Bungie via Twinfinite

Alongside the Lightfall DLC came the new Neomuna Fusion Rifle, Iterative Loop. Iterative Loop had some tough competition in the long list of powerful Arc Fusion Rifles, but it wasted no time climbing the ranks thanks to its fantastic stat distribution and top-tier perk selection.

Not only did this weapon quickly become one of the most used special weapons in PvP, it even saw usage in high-end PvE content like Raids and Nightfalls, and it still does to this day.

With no nerfs planned for this weapon as of right now, it will likely remain the best Fusion Rifle in the game for PvE and PvP activities.

7. Thunderlord

Destiny 2 Exotic LMG
Image Source: Bungie via Twinfinite

Thunderlord saw a massive increase in usage when the Lightfall DLC arrived, mainly due to an immense buff for all LMGs. Now, it’s one of the highest damage-dealing weapons in the game and can easily shred most bosses, especially when multiple are used.

It’s arguably the most potent Arc-heavy weapon in the game, as it’s fantastic for ad-clear while also being an excellent option for DPS against bosses.

While Rocket Launchers are currently the most powerful weapon type to use for DPS against bosses, Thunderlord is a great secondary option for those who don’t have access to top-tier Rocket Launchers.

6. Riskrunner

Destiny 2 Exotic Arc SMG
Image Source: Bungie via Twinfinite

The first Exotic weapon Destiny 2 players are greeted with, the Riskrunner, has been a staple ad-clear machine since day one. Essentially, if you receive Arc damage in any form, including self-inflicted, you become Emperor Palpatine as you vaporize all of your enemies with lightning.

On top of that, you also gain an Arc shield, making you resistant to incoming Arc damage for a short period of time.

This weapon shined recently in the Abyss Encounter of the Crota’s End Raid, where hundreds of Thrall are swarming you, dealing Arc Melee damage. Take the Melee hit, acquire the shield, and chain your enemies to death with the lightning from Riskrunner. It’s a fantastic Exotic overall that has yet to age even after six years since its release.

5. Coldheart

Destiny 2 Exotic Trace Rifle
Image Source: Bungie via Twinfinite

The first Exotic Trace Rifle ever introduced to the Destiny franchise, the Coldheart is one of the oldest Exotic weapons in the game alongside the Riskrunner.

However, like Riskrunner, Coldheart has aged very gracefully, and thanks to some recent Trace Rifle buffs, this weapon became a must-run for Arc builds.

Not only does the weapon deal more overall damage, but when sustaining damage, it now generates Ionic Traces, which grants ability energy back to the user. While this benefits all classes, Arc Warlocks can make full use of this, as their builds revolve around generating an abundance of Ionic Traces.

Overall, this weapon has fantastic endgame use and continues to prove that age doesn’t matter when it comes to relevance for older weapons.

4. Ikelos SMG

Destiny 2 Season 19 Ikelos SMG
Image Source: Bungie via Twinfinite

Re-imagined during Season of the Seraph, the Ikelos SMG quickly returned to power as one of the strongest SMGs for both PvE and PvP. Its newly updated perks like Rangefinder and Dynamic Sway Reduction allow it to compete with Auto Rifles in PvP while defeating opposing Guardians even faster.

Meanwhile, in PvE, it lost access to Demolitionist but gained the new Arc perk, Voltshot, which more than made up for the loss. Voltshot allowed the gun to take on more formidable enemies, especially in more challenging content like Raids or Nightfalls.

Overall, the Ikelos SMG remains one of the strongest SMGs in the game and is a fine substitution for another Arc SMG on this list.

3. Song Of Ir Yut

Destiny 2 Crota's End LMG
Image Source: Bungie via Twinfinite

Recently released with the return of the Crota’s End Raid, the Song of Ir Yut came back with a vengeance, and at long last, we gained a top-tier Legendary Arc LMG.

With Thunderlord dominating the Arc LMG spot for years on end, it was time for a Legendary one to take its place, and the Song of Ir Yut did just that, thanks to its updated perk pool. In particular, not only did it gain access to Demolitionist, which was desperately sought for with Arc Grenade builds, but it also had a new damage perk, Sword Logic, which ramps up the gun’s damage when you get kills with it.

Thus, a new Arc LMG that can comfortably replace Thunderlord while not using up an Exotic slot, leaving it open for other popular options we’ve mentioned on the list thus far.

2. Trinity Ghoul

Destiny 2 Exotic Arc Bow
Image Source: Bungie via Twinfinite

In terms of ad-clearing potential, almost no weapon in the game can rival what the Trinity Ghoul can output. Thanks to its Exotic Catalyst and some buffs, this weapon can shred pretty much any red-bar enemy with one shot and continuously do so as long as you kill an enemy in the process.

It pairs nicely with virtually any Arc build in the game and is considered “too much” for regular gameplay.

This weapon struggles in more challenging content where enemies don’t go down in one hit, but for the vast majority of PvE activities in the game, this Bow will carry you to victory.

1. Forbearance

Destiny 2 Arc Grenade Launcher
Image Source: Bungie via Twinfinite

This entry should not be a surprise, as the Forbearance Grenade Launcher has arguably been the most-used weapon in PvE for nearly two years straight. Waveframe Grenade Launchers are simply in a league of their own, and giving one Chain Reaction makes its ad-clear potential off the charts.

On top of that, if you pair it with Ambitious Assassin, you can reload after a kill and get a second shot in the magazine, further increasing its ad-clear capability.

Overall, the Forbearance set the bar high for future Waveframe Grenade Launchers, and unless it receives a nerf in the future, it will likely remain the most-used PvE weapon in Destiny 2.

About the author

Joe Thomaselli

A fresh college graduate with a passion for Destiny 2, Joe has only been writing professionally for a short time. That doesn’t stop him from covering everything regarding the looter shooter, and more.

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