Auto Rifles have always been in a bit of an odd spot in Destiny 2. It seems like they are viable one season and then out of fashion the next. Regardless of where along the Destiny 2 lifecycle you join, there are some gold standards when it comes to Auto Rifles. Below is a list, albeit not exhaustive, of some of the best Auto Rifles in Destiny 2. Use one of these and you’re bound to shred it in Crucible or crush waves of enemies in PVE.
Best Auto Rifles
The reason you might find yourself using an Auto Rifle in Destiny 2 could be due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, Auto Rifles might just be your jam and you enjoy how they feel. Another reason might be that Auto Rifles are the new meta and you need one that’s guaranteed to net you more kills in Crucible. Finally, there are new mods that can only be slotted into an Auto Rifle and an SMG. Regardless of your reason, there are a few great choices.
It’s worth noting that only Auto Rifles from Forsaken and onwards have a mod slot. This means that weapons from the Destiny 2 base game, Curse of Osiris, and Warmind will not feature a mod slot and thus unable to take an artifact mod.
This Exotic Auto Rifle was a weapon from the original Destiny that has undergone some changes in Destiny 2. What sets Hard Light apart from others are its Exotic perks:
- Volatile Light: Rounds fired from this weapon have no damage falloff, overpenetrate targets, and ricochet off hard surfaces. Projectile damage increases after bounce.
- The Fundamentals: Holding reload changes this weapon’s damage type, cycling between Solar, Arc, and Void.
It should be immediately obvious that Volatile Light makes Hard Light incredible at all ranges in Crucible. While the recoil can be a bit troublesome, having no damage falloff means you will be dealing maximum damage at any range. Furthermore, rounds that bounce get a damage increase. This essentially allows you to shoot around corners.
In PVE content, the Fundamentals becomes a massive asset, especially for Nightfall: The Ordeal where you might need to cover all element types.
SUROS Regime is another Exotic weapon from Destiny 1. While it hasn’t been a go-to item since its introduction in Warmind, it is seeing a surge in popularity in later seasons. The reason for this is the buffs given to Auto Rifles with Season of the Worthy. Players will find the weapon archetype deals slightly more damage on body and precision hits.
As for SUROS Regime’s perks, it comes with SUROS Legacy and Spinning Up. For the first, the bottom half of reach magazine deals bonus damage and has a chance to return health on kill. For the second, holding down the trigger increases rate of fire. What this amounts to is a rapid-fire Auto Rifle that handles like a treat, that also deals a lot of damage while also returning health. It’s a win-win-win.
Monte Carlo is yet another Exotic Auto Rifle that should be in every Warlock’s arsenal in Destiny 2. Warlocks have a slightly longer melee reach and their melees have some extremely potent abilities, both of which benefit from Monte Carlo’s perks:
- Monte Carlo Method: Dealing damage with this weapon reduces your melee cooldown and grants a chance to fully charge your melee ability with each kill.
- Markov Chain: This weapon gains increased damage from melee kills and kills with this weapon. Melee kills grant ammo for this weapon.
Basically, every kill you get with Monte Carlo – or your melee – makes Monte Carlo more powerful. This is sort of like The Recluse’s main perk, Master of Arms, but with the added benefit of melee kills granting ammo. Furthermore, dealing damage slowly recharges your melee ability, with kills having a chance of fully recharging it in one go. Expect to see a lot of Handheld Supernova Warlocks rolling around with Monte Carlo.
The first non-Exotic weapon on the list is Breakneck. This fantastic little Auto Rifle was introduced to Destiny 2 with Season of the Forge, and is one of the many powerful Pinnacle weapons in Destiny 2. Thankfully, being a Legendary weapon post-Warmind, Breakneck can be fitted with mods, making it ideal for those looking to take advantage of their artifact.
What makes Breakneck really compelling is its perk, Onslaught. This perk increases the rate of fire for every stack of Rampage, the other major perk on this Auto Rifle. The result of this is a gun with a rate of fire and damage that increases with every kill. You will be sweeping through mobs in a matter of seconds.
The Ringing Nail
Much like Breakneck, The Ringing Nail is another Auto Rifle introduced with Season of the Forge. However, unlike the Pinnacle weapon, Ringing Nail is actually acquired from the Forges. What this means is that it is easier to unlock, although you don’t have the luxury of knowing the exact perks you will receive. But this is also its biggest asset.
The Ringing Nail can roll with a large variety of perks, and many of these are great for all kinds of content. Some of the few you should look for are Zen Moment, Dragonfly, and Shield Disorient. All of these will help with controlling the Auto Rifle and its utility. For the last column, Kill Clip, Rampage, and Disruption Break offer increased damage potential.
Seventh Seraph Carbine
Finally, rounding off the list is Seventh Seraph Carbine. This Auto Rifle was introduced to Destiny 2 with Season of the Worthy and it features quite a few perks worth checking out. It might not have the same RPM as other Auto Rifles, but it’s got decent handling and stability, which can be boosted further with the right Masterwork.
As for the perks, Fourth Time’s the Charm is worth pursuing. Fourth Time’s the Charm returns two rounds to the magazine on precision hits – making it great when attacking bosses or Champions. For the last column, Swashbuckler continues to be a great option thanks to the boost in damage it affords.
Thankfully, Seventh Seraph Carbine is easy enough to acquire from the new EDZ Seraph Bunker. The only thing you’ll need to do is get a few Warmind Bits and purchase some upgrades.
Now that you’ve rounded out your build with one of the best Auto Rifles in Destiny 2, you can jump into Crucible and start shredding. Alternatively, throw some mods into those weapons and work through some of the harder, end-game content. Be sure to swing by the Shacknews Destiny 2 complete strategy guide for even more weapon suggestions.