Destiny has a wide range of weaponry for players to get to grips with after their first resurrection, and perhaps one of the most versatile is the pulse rifle.
These burst-round weapons have been a part of a guardian’s arsenal since the first Destiny game, and have been a mainstay weapon for many throughout the entire run time of both the first and second games, whether simply using any old rare item you can get your hands on, or cracking open a legendary or exotic engram, and reaping the rewards hidden within.
With the game being available for over 5 years now, there has been a pretty wide selection of battle rifles that have risen above the rest and found themselves the most coveted or effective weapon in their class.
This is what this guide is about!
Here, we’re going to show you the best pulse rifles that you can find in Destiny 2, taking into account everything from its damage type to the mods and perks that you can have equipped with it, to even looks.
Because if it doesn’t look cool, is it even a real Destiny 2 weapon?
Fans of the Halo series (which Bungie developed the first three games for) might have a strong sense of Deja vu with this particular pulse rifle.
Released as part of Bungie’s 30th Anniversary event, the BXR-55 Battler manages to do the near impossible of bringing the old-school battle rifle from Halo 2, without getting struck with a copyright infringement claim by Microsoft!
Truly, the most powerful of plays!
Joking aside, the BXR is a phenomenal pulse rifle that manages to synergize the classic silhouette and look of the original battle rifle with the current design aesthetics.
And that recreation isn’t just skin deep, either. The hip fire accuracy and barrel stabilization of this weapon are insane, giving you the almost unrivaled ability to score headshots without even looking down the scope, just like the old battle rifle.
And it comes with a sick extra feature: scoring a melee hit with this weapon before firing gives it a pretty big damage buff, emulating the classic halo strategy of one punch, one headshot to your opponents.
Add to that some serious solar damage, and you have what is perhaps THE best pulse rifle in the game for both PvE and PvP.
No wonder people call this weapon an exotic hidden as a legendary weapon!
Smite Of Merain
Well, it certainly has its aesthetics down. You’re exactly going to mistake the Smite of Merain for something made by the vex or fallen, are you?
However, the lack of a bullpup design element makes this particular weapon look and feel more like an auto rifle than your standard pulse rifle weapon.
However, there is more to the Smite of Merain than just a striking design. It also comes with some of the best perks that you can get on a pulse rifle too.
Focused fury is an excellent perk to go within the first column, and can even be stacked with other perks too, giving you a pretty wide range of versatility to show for your primary weapon loadout.
You can go with demolition and firefly, making this an absolute monster and crowd-clearer in PvE, or you can go with eye of the storm and moving target for excellent mid-range options in the Crucible.
Overall, it is hard to go wrong with the Smite of Merain!
The name says it all with this weapon. Especially when it comes to its aesthetics.
The sharp corner sand flat planes make this an instantly recognizable design from the heavily detailed greebles of many other weapons, while still being recognizably a pulse rifle. And looking sinister while doing it!
That scary nature carries over to how it performs in-game too. It is one of only three 4-round burst weapons in the game, squeezing that little extra amount of damage out every time you pull the trigger. That alone might have made it a pretty standout weapon.
But combine that with the fact that it can get the dragonfly and one for all perks at the same time, as well as rapid hit, and you have a beast of a weapon in virtually any setting you use it in, whether you are mowing down vex in PvE, or taking on other players in PvP matches.
The fact that it also deals arc damage is just the icing on top of this already formidable cake!
Many of the best legendary or exotic pulse rifles, and indeed weapons overall in Destiny 2, can often be incredibly hard to find, making them somewhat limited in how helpful they can be to you.
A BXR or Insidious might have amazing stats and perks on paper, but what good is that if you can’t find the darn thing in the first place?
Fortunately, there are weapons like Outbreak Perfected to cover your back if you need a heavy-hitting weapon for that Nightfall raid that you’ve been butting your head against for hours already!
Outbreak Perfected can be found at the exotic kiosk, which already makes it much easier to find than many other weapons on this list, even if it is at a steep price.
Eagle-eyed players who were around for the Ride of Iron DLC from the first game might clock the SIVA-esque design of the panels on this weapon, and that’s no coincidence.
This weapon is infused with SIVA nanites, making its DPS astronomical with the right perks. Couple that with the next-to-no recoil, and this will tear through your opponents in both PvE and PvP.
In short, big gun does big numbers and is easy to use too. And it looks sick as hell!
Well, you know what they say about not shooting the messenger?
Yeah, ignore that advice with this weapon. Because that’s all you’ll want to do here!
The fire rate on this pulse rifle might be a little slow when compared to the other weapons that you may be used to, but the high DPS more than makes up for that.
Combine that with both high ranges for a pulse rifle that starts making scout rifles nervous, as well as the potential perk combination that you can get with this gun, and it will be a reliable go-to for anyone looking to smash through their enemies in PvP.
Plus, the sleek gold pattern on a black base color helps keep this weapon looking fresh and blending into the background with many other pulse rifle designs.
No Time To Explain
Now, if you’re a REALLY old Destiny player, like, we’re talking first Destiny, Peter Dinklage-voiced ghost old, you may recognize the overall design of this weapon as bearing a striking resemblance to The Stranger’s rifle that was given to you as a reward for completing the base game’s campaign (still salty about not being able to upgrade that gun…).
Anyway, No Time To Explain is like that weapon’s better-looking and better-performing younger cousin. So it’s both loved and hated by the community, with its sleek, yet still intentionally alien design.
The lack-of recoil on this gun, while perhaps not quite as incredible as it once was in its heyday, is still nothing to stick your nose up at, making it a very easy weapon to use for veterans and newcomers.
However, it’s in the perks where No Time To Explain starts to shine. Landing headshots with this weapon refunds ammo into your weapon, already a great tool for extended encounters.
But you’ll even spawn in a mini auto turret that shoots hitscan projectiles, and at a high rate as well.
This makes the gun undeniably helpful in PvE, but perhaps more importantly, makes it a nightmare to go up against in PvP, and allows you to dominate 1v1 matches.
It’s an invaluable tool, for sure.
The Third Axiom
The Third Axiom, at least in terms of visuals, hits a very similar mark to The Messenger that e already covered, taking a base pulse rifle design, and giving it a unique paint job and textured finish to help it stand out.
The bright ‘kill-me’ orange top half pops off from the black underside beautifully and strikingly.
However, it is in its stats that many players will start to fall in love with it. Its high range in its base form is already nothing to joke about and is only improved with mods like subsistence and corkscrew rifling, which just turns this into a long-range scout rifle with an insane DPR.
Add to that a sturdy build that makes it easy to handle when both looking down the sights or shooting from the hip, and you have a pulse rifle that will easily become one of your favorites.
So, there you have it!
No, we aren’t covering a pulse rifle called ‘Final Thoughts’ here, we’ve reached the end!
As you can see, depending on the weapon, you’ll find that pulse rifles have a lot of versatility for high-level competitive games in destiny 2, all while looking great too!
So, which of these rifles will you be seeking out first?
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