Destiny 2 - Crimson Exotic Hand Cannon

Learn how to get the Crimson exotic hand cannon in Destiny 2, and why you’d want it.


With every new DLC in Destiny 2 tends to come a collection of new exotic armor and weapons. The Curse of Osiris DLC is no different. Guardians are already figuring out what is good and what is bad, and they have decided that the Prometheus Lens is good. It’s not the only good exotic to release with the Curse of Osiris, though. Today, I’ll be talking about the Crimson exotic hand cannon, the spiritual successor to my favorite exotic of all time, Red Death.

Crimson Exotic Hand Cannon

The barrel of the Crimson exotic hand cannon looks very similar to that of Red Death in the original Destiny. They bayonet, and blood spatter, lets you know that this weapon means business, although that is a purely cosmetic touch. You can’t stab your foes with it, but you can still destroy them.

For once, an exotic weapon’s best perk isn’t the intrinsic perk. The intrinsic perk is called Banned Weapon, and it allows the hand cannon to fire a three-round burst. That’s cool and all, but it’s the trait that sets this one aside. Called Cruel Remedy, the Crimson exotic hand cannon heals its wielder when they get a kill with it, and it refills the entire magazine if you get a precision kill. That’s freaking awesome.

Crimson also has better stats than Better Devils in almost every category. Better Devils has a bit better handling, but gets smashed in every other measurable way, including impact, range, stability and reload speed. You can also fire Better Devils more often than Crimson, although the three-round burst means you can fire more projectiles per minute than Better Devils. Basically, you divide the rounds per minute of Crimson by three, and that’s how many times you can pull the trigger in 60 seconds. That’s 140 for Better Devils and 129 for Crimson.

How to Get Crimson in Destiny 2

Bad news, Guardians, but you’ll need RNGesus to help you out with this one. There is no exotic quest that will bring you the Crimson exotic hand cannon in Destiny 2. You are going to have to go back to the soul sucking practice of farming exotic engrams. I landed mine by decrypting a random legendary engram that I received from a heroic strike, but that’s just stupid luck. Your best bet is to farm the exotic engrams in the manners we discuss in our guide. You could also get it from Xur, but the Traveler only knows how long it might take for him to stock that.

Is Crimson Good or Bad?

Crimson is situational and will likely only be useful to those who enjoy using hand cannons. I say that because members of my fireteam hate them, so no matter how good Crimson may be, they won’t care to use it over a weapon more their style. I’m in the boat where I want to love hand cannons, but I’m just not good with them. Give me Red Death, though, and we’re rolling.

I say that Crimson is situational because in my short time using it, I was greeted with both success and disappointment. It works very well if you focus on enemies with small health bars, so Dregs, Acolytes, Thrall, etc. It doesn’t work so well when you try to dance with a yellow-bar Captain. It takes so long to kill them that the Cruel Remedy trait just isn’t helpful here. By the time you kill that yellow-bar Captain, you are also dead, and probably out of Kinetic ammo as well. But, that’s why you have an Energy and Power weapon slot, right?

I’m not the best Crucible player, but I’m average to above average. I took the Crimson in for a spin while I was doing my Call to Arms milestone and had a wide range of results. The first game was bad, but I got better as I figured out how to use it. The bullet pattern is vertical, so you need to aim just below the head to land a critical hit with the third shot. It will take more than one burst to kill your opponent, however, so you need to continue to adjust your aim. The range is good, so you can likely use distance to outperform the other hand cannon users in the match.

What worked for me the most was being aggressive. I’m typically a scout rifle player mixed with a submachine gun in my Energy slot. This means I usually stay back to pick away at opponents. With Crimson you shouldn’t do that. You need to be close to the fight. Land some shots with Crimson and follow up with a melee strike. As a Hunter I made myself hard to hit by using my agility, and I managed to turn out an MVP game as a result. I’m still not a hand cannon guy, but those who enjoy them could likely smash their foes with Crimson.

For more help with Curse of Osiris beyond the ins and outs of the Crimson exotic hand cannon, be sure to visit the Shacknews Destiny 2 complete strategy guide.

Managing Editor

Bill, who is also known as Rumpo, is a lifelong gamer and Toronto Maple Leafs fan. He made his mark early in his career through guide writing and a deep understanding of editorial SEO. He enjoys putting in the work to create a great content, be it a wild feature or grinding out an in-depth collectible guide. Tweet him @RumpoPlays if you have a question or comment about one of his articles.

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