Best Hand Cannons in Destiny 2 – PVE Tier List (May 2024)

New to Destiny 2 and looking for the best PvE hand cannons? This tier list ranks them all, saving you the time and frustration of figuring it out yourself.

Hand cannons are iconic Destiny 2 weapons, dealing powerful precision damage.

In PvE, they excel against various enemies, from grunts to bosses. But choosing the right one can be tricky! This tier list simplifies the process, ranking the best hand cannons based on their effectiveness in the current Lightfall expansion.

Get ready to dominate with the perfect weapon! Also, to play with the best PvE classes, check out our Destiny 2 class tier list.

S-Tier – Best Hand Cannons in Destiny 2 PVE

Best Hand Cannons in Destiny 2 PVE

Hand cannons in the S-tier are the absolute best guns for PvE content. They offer high damage, impressive range, and powerful perks that make them incredibly versatile and effective in a variety of situations.

These hand cannons are top-tier choices for players who want to quickly eliminate enemies and take down bosses with ease:

  • Zaouli’s Bane
  • Fatebringer
  • Ace of Spades
  • Eriana’s Vow

Even though all of these hand cannons are OP in current D2 PVE Meta, my favorite still is Ace of Spades. This Exotic hand cannon remains a top choice for PvE players, thanks to its combination of high damage, precision, and utility.

Its signature Firefly perk can cause enemies to explode on precision kills, making it great for clearing out groups of enemies, and its Memento Mori perk grants bonus damage after a kill, allowing it to deal massive damage to bosses.

Related: Best Bloodborne Weapons

A-Tier – Destiny 2 Weapons

Tier A Best Destiny 2 Hand Cannons PVE

Hand cannons in the A-tier are still excellent choices for PvE, with high damage and versatile perks that make them effective against most enemies.

While they may not be quite as powerful as S-tier hand cannons, they are still highly effective and reliable and can be a great choice for players who prefer a particular playstyle or weapon type:

  • Nation of Beasts
  • Hawkmoon
  • Sunshot
  • Thorn
  • Vulpecula
  • Eyasluna
  • Austringer
  • Midnight Coup
  • Trust

From this list Nation of Beasts stands out on top for me. This Legendary hand cannon is a favorite of many PvE players, thanks to its high damage, fast fire rate, and Dragonfly perk, which causes enemies to explode on precision kills.

It’s a solid all-around hand cannon that can quickly eliminate most enemies, and its Rampage perk grants bonus damage after a kill, making it even more effective.

The Sunshot hand cannon also has a lot of potential, thanks to its fast fire rate and ability to chain explosions on kills. However, it suffers from low damage and a small magazine size, making it less effective against tougher enemies.

Trust is a Legendary hand cannon that is a great choice for players who prefer a more forgiving playstyle, thanks to its fast fire rate, high stability, and Explosive Payload perk, which deals additional damage on impact. It’s not as OP as the most powerful hand cannons from tier S, but it’s reliable and effective in most situations.

Related: Splatoon 3 Weapon Tier List

B-Tier – Destiny 2 Weapons

B-Tier - Destiny 2 Hand Cannons PvE

Hand cannons in the B-tier are solid choices for PvE, with reliable damage and perks that make them effective in most situations.

They may not be the most powerful or versatile hand cannons, but they are still highly effective and can be a great choice for players who prefer a more forgiving play style:

  • Lumina
  • The Palindrome (Adept)
  • Something New
  • Ikelos_HC_V1.0.3
  • D.F.A.
  • Posterity
  • Ancient Gospel
  • Jack Queen King 3

Related content: Monster Hunter Rise Best Weapons

C-Tier Hand Cannons


Hand cannons in the C-tier are the least effective choices for PvE. While they may still be fun to use in low-level content, they are generally not reliable or effective against tougher enemies or in high-level content.

These hand cannons may have some redeeming qualities, but they are generally not recommended for serious PvE players:

  • True Prophecy
  • Igneous Hammer
  • The Last Word
  • Cantata-57
  • Crisis Inverted

Related: CS2 Weapon Tier List

Final Words

Hand cannons are a classic Destiny 2 weapon choice for PvE, but finding the right one matters. This tier list helps you quickly identify the best options for your playstyle and the challenges you face.

Got feedback on our rankings? Share them below! This list is a starting point – everyone’s opinions are valid. Our goal is to give you a strong foundation for choosing the perfect PvE hand cannon. The rest is up to your preferences!

Which one is your favorite hand cannon for PvE? I’m Thorn between Ace of Spades (Miss my bro Cayde-6) and Nation of Beasts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a hand cannon good for PvE?

Hand cannons that are good for PvE generally have high damage, good range, and useful perks that make them effective against a wide range of enemies.

Can hand cannons be used in endgame content?

Yes, many of the hand cannons on this list are highly effective in endgame content like raids and Nightfall strikes.

Is it possible to get these hand cannons in the game right now?

Yes, all of the hand cannons on this list are currently available in Destiny 2. Some may be easier to obtain than others, but all are obtainable through various activities in the game.

Should I only use the hand cannons on this list?

No, while the hand cannons on this list are highly effective, there are other hand cannons and other types of guns in the game that may be just as effective for your play style. Use this list as a guide, but don’t be afraid to experiment with other weapons as well.

Will this Destiny 2 tier list change over time?

Yes, as Destiny 2 updates and new weapons are added to the game, this tier list may change. Be sure to check back regularly for updates and changes to the list.

Don’t forget to rate our Best Destiny 2 PVE Hand Cannons Tier List below!

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About Stephen

Stephen - Meta Tier ListStephen has immersed himself in the world of gaming for over 20 years, starting his journey in the 90s with SEGA consoles. With a passion for hack and slash action RPG games, he finds himself drawn to titles like Torchlight, Grim Dawn, and Path of Exile. Stephen's love for FPS games is equally strong, as he honed his skills starting with the legendary CS 1.6 and continues to dominate in CS:GO. Destiny 2 has also captured his heart, with an impressive 1,000 hours invested in each of these games (yes, each!). When he's not slaying virtual monsters or leading his team to victory, you can find Stephen exploring the latest gaming trends and sharing his insights with fellow gamers.

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