How to Get the D.F.A. Hand Cannon in Destiny 2

Get your hands on the latest must-have weapon in Destiny 2, the D.F.A. hand cannon.


As part of Update 1.1.4, Destiny 2 now includes Nightfall-specific rewards, and one of the most highly sought-after weapons is the D.F.A. hand cannon. This hand cannon features a few perks which make it worth adding to your ever-growing collection, but acquiring it is a little more challenging that simply buying it from a vendor.

How to Get the D.F.A. Hand Cannon

The D.F.A. (Death From Above) hand cannon is a Nightfall-specific reward that is tied to the Tree of Probabilities Strike. In case it isn’t immediately obvious what you need to do, boot up the Nightfall strike when Tree of Probabilities is active and complete the strike repeatedly until you receive the D.F.A. from the chest that spawns after the boss dies.

There are a few shortcuts you can take during the Tree of Probabilities strike to help cut down the time it takes to complete the run. First and foremost, you should party up with like-minded players who also want to go fast and farm for the D.F.A. hand cannon.

With your crew sorted, jump into the Nightfall and start running. The only time you should stop and fight is when the game actively prevents you from progressing without killing enemies. These points happen frequently throughout the Tree of Probabilities strike, so take the time to learn them during your attempts so you can begin the killing process before the game tells you:

  • Before entering the Infinite Forest
  • Any Daemon-blocked gates in the Infinite Forest
  • Just before the Sparrow section
  • During the fight with Valus Thuun

Outside of these sections, you are free to move as quickly as possible though you may find yourself needing to kill a few enemies if they pose any real threat to your fireteam.

As you enter the boss arena where Valus Thuun crushes the Vex Gate Lord (the inspiration for the hand cannon’s name), run to the back of the arena and immediately face where Valus Thuun will land. If you have a Titan on your team, make sure they activate a Small Barricade while a Warlock also activates an Empowering Rift. When these two abilities are used together (as in, literally on top of one another), your DPS on any boss greatly increases, specially if you're using Curtain Call (one of the best weapons in Destiny 2), Grenades, and Supers. 

If you don’t manage to kill the boss immediately, take your time clearing out the adds and pressing deeper into the arena. Once Valus Thuun is dead, make your way to the chest and cross your fingers as this is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Open the chest and collect the rewards that spring out. Hopefully you’ll receive the D.F.A. hand cannon, if you don’t, you’ll want to run the Nightfall again.

D.F.A. Hand Cannon Perks

What makes the D.F.A. hand cannon so appealing is its base stats and a couple of the perks. The rate of fire of the D.F.A. is rather fast, and when coupled with its competitive impact rating, it becomes a beast of a weapon in Crucible.

  • Adaptive Frame
  • Arrowhead Brake/Polygonal Rifling/Extended Barrel
  • Accurized Rounds/Drop Mag
  • Opening Shot/Rampage

The Rampage perk makes it a dangerous weapon to face, as every kill increases the damage output of the weapon, helping you secure kills with ease. However, if you don’t find Rampage useful in PvP, Opening Shot is nothing to sneeze at as it gives you fantastic accuracy on the first bullet out of the clip.

Getting your own D.F.A. hand cannon is an exciting moment, almost as thrilling as finally getting a god roll Imago Loop. Because the Tree of Probabilities only appears as the Nightfall strike every so often, you will need to spend just about every waking moment grinding this strike until you unlock the D.F.A. Be sure to check out Shacknews’ Destiny 2 Complete Strategy Guide for more how-tos and tips!

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

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