Grenade Launchers have long been the underdog in Destiny 2, but thanks to some slow power creep, they are dominating the current PVE meta. There are over 20 Grenade Launchers, but only a few can really be considered the “best”, and even then, there’s a single perk that raises them to new heights.
Best Grenade Launcher perks
Grenade Launchers have received incremental buffs to the point that they are now the dominant option in clearing raids and endgame content. The new Crown of Sorrow raid is the shining example where a good launcher can make a world of difference.
Now that Grenade Launchers are top tier, there are a few things you want to be looking for:
- Spike Grenades
- Full Court
Spike Grenades is a perk that has gone under the radar for a while, mainly because Grenade Launchers were never that good. Spike Grenades deal increased damage on direct hits to enemies, which is easy when attacking bosses.
The other thing here, Full Court, is another excellent perk that boosts a Grenade Launcher's lethality. The further the projectile travels, the more detonation damage the grenade deals. This means the further you are from the boss, the more distance the grenade has to travel, which resutls in more damage.
It's also worth noting that Tractor Cannon, despite no longer offering a 50% damage boost to Void damage, is still a viable option in boosting the damage output of an entire team. When you have 5 people in your Fireteam with a Grenade Launcher and one with Tractor Cannon, you can begin to do some ridiculous damage. Even when you take into account the damage loss of one person using Tractor Cannon, the buff brings 165% damage to the table.
Beyond these two basic requirements, there are some other features that make for a great Grenade Launcher:
- Drum barrel
- Field Prep
- Explosive Light
Drum barrel is the obvious choice, as it refers to those Grenade Launchers that hold more than a single shot in the barrel. This allows you to dish out more damage in less time, as you don’t need to load each shot.
Field Prep expands ammo reserves, along with a few other effects that aren’t really as important. Basically, the more ammo you have, the better.
Lastly, Explosive Light. This perk is only available on a single Grenade Launcher, but it’s damage can allow you to get away with missing Spike Grenades or Void damage if your RNG luck just doesn’t come through.
Best Grenade Launchers
There are a few prime candidates when it comes to finding the best Grenade Launcher in Destiny 2. As mentioned above, there are a few key features to look out for. However, if you can’t find a Grenade Launcher with these exact specifications, fear not, because you will still be in a better position than if you were to not use any of these.
Wendigo-GL3 is the Vanguard Pinnacle weapon introduced with Season of Opulence. Unlike most of the other Grenade Launchers on this list, you can set out and actually acquire this weapon with little to no difficulty. You’re guaranteed to get the right perks because it’s a Pinnacle weapon, so there’s no frustrating RNG.
What makes Wendigo such a powerful option is its perk, Explosive Light. This increases the damage of each grenade for each Orb of Light you pick up, maxing out at 6. With a lot of Orbs of Light available, you could ensure each grenade shot receives the extra damage.
The Mountaintop is another Pinnacle weapon in Destiny 2, this time associated with Crucible. This Grenade Launcher was added with Black Armory and is rather difficult to unlock as it requires a lot of Grenade Launcher double kills in Crucible. You will also need to reach Glory Rank Brave in Competitive Crucible.
Putting aside the journey to unlocking it, The Mountaintop works wonders as a Kinetic slot weapon. It deals Kinetic damage which means it gets a buff against shield-less enemies, plus it comes with the coveted Spike Grenades perk. Because it is a Lightweight Grenade Launcher, it has a slower rate of fire, making it not quite as great as some of the other options.
Play of the Game
Play of the Game used to dominate Crucible with its Proximity Grenades perk, but nowadays you want one with Spike Grenades for PVE content. Thankfully, Play of the Game is available through Crucible and rank-up packages, making it one of the easier launchers to acquire. With a 120 RPM, it’s a fast option if you’ve got nothing else on this list.
Much like the previous entry, Outrageous Fortune is a common drop, but this time from Vanguard rank-up packages, making it easy enough to acquire. It can come rolled with Spike Grenades as well as Field Prep, but unfortunately it deals Solar damage instead of Void. One strength it does offer over Play of the Game is its RPM, which sits at 150 making it a fast firing option.
Not the most glamorous Exotic out there, but it gets the job done if you absolutely cannot find an alternative from this list. The main boon of The Prospector is its rate of fire, sitting above even the mightiest option on this list. The downside is that it doesn’t come with Spike Grenades nor does it deal Void damage. Unfortunately, it’s the poor man’s option when you’ve got absolutely terrible luck.
The meme of Destiny 2 is having the last laugh. There is only a single Grenade Launcher that is better than Edge Transit, and it’s coming up next. But for now, everyone and their cat has an Edge Transit because we’ve all received at least 50. What makes Edge Transit so good is that it can roll with Spike Grenades, Field Prep, and it does Void damage. What’s more, it’s available through multiple sources, making acquiring this weapon incredibly easy. Now, check your Vault to see if you have a god roll Edge Transit. I can’t believe I just wrote that.
Swarm of the Raven
The reigning champion of damage output is Swarm of the Raven. This Grenade Launcher is an Iron Banner weapon, meaning you can only acquire it once a month. This launcher can roll with Spike Grenades, Field Prep, and does Void damage. What’s more, it’s got a faster RPM than Edge Transit, meaning you can get the damage out faster. Good luck getting one of these, as it will require a lot of Iron Banner matches.
Ehroar has a fantastic video breaking down the numbers of the Swarm of the Raven versus Wendigo-GL3. The short of it is that Swarm of the Raven surpasses Wendigo-GL3 after seven or more shots. This is assuming you don’t continue to pick up Orbs of Light and you’re applying Tractor Cannon’s Repulsor Force.
The age of Grenade Launchers is at hand. Bosses are melting faster than ever before and it’s all thanks to a few buffs that have crept the humble launcher up higher. If you want to be in the current meta, you’ll need to get one of the best Grenade Launchers in Destiny 2. For more weapon breakdowns and guides, check out the Shacknews Destiny 2 complete strategy guide.