Hard Light - Destiny 2

Hard Light is currently everywhere in Crucible in Destiny 2. Here's where you can get Hard Light and why it's so hot right now.


Hard Light has been dominating Crucible in Destiny 2. This once-humble and often forgotten about Auto Rifle has surged in popularity, and it’s all thanks to an ever-shifting meta. If you want to capitalize on the current landscape and crush in Trials of Osiris, you may need to get Hard Light and learn how to use this unique Exotic weapon.

How to get Hard Light

Hard Light is a random drop from Exotic engrams and Exotic sources. What this means is that there is no quest that will guarantee a Hard Light Exotic Auto Rifle at the end of it, unlike quest for The Fourth Horseman. Even the likes of One Thousand Voices has an exact location where it can be acquired, no matter how slim your chance is of getting it.

destiny 2 hard light exotic sources
Nightfall: The Ordeal is one place where Exotic gear is common.

In saying this, Exotic engrams can be acquired at any time and there are ample places to get Exotic drops. Things like Nightmare: The Ordeal is a good place to farm Exotics. However, chances are your best bet is to purchase Hard Light from Xur.

Do not forget about the Underbelly in the Leviathan raid. If you manage to unlock all chests, you are guaranteed an Exotic engram. This is one of the few ways to farm Exotic engrams in Destiny 2.

Hard Light perks

Hard Light’s perks is where this Exotic Auto Rifle really shines. The weapon has three standard perks, Polygonal Rifling, Alloy Magazine, and Composite Stock, but its real appeal is the Trait and Intrinsic perk:

  • The Fundamentals – Holding reload changes this weapon’s damage type, cycling between Solar, Arc, and Void.
  • Volatile Light – Rounds fired from this weapon have no damage falloff, overpenetrate targets, and ricochet off hard surfaces. Projectile damage increases after bounce.
destiny 2 hard light perks
Volatile Light makes Hard Light a monster in PVP.

The first, The Fundamentals, is more appealing for PVE players. This allows the wielder to change Hard Light’s elemental damage by holding the reload button. In Nightfall: The Ordeal, having access to all elemental types can be critical to success.

Then there’s Volatile Light. This is what makes Hard Light such a dominate force in Trials and standard Crucible. The projectiles from Hard Light have no damage falloff, meaning they do as much damage across the map as they do up close; they ovepentrate through targets, which allows you to deal damage to an enemy behind the enemy you’re shooting; and the projectiles bounce, resulting in more damage.

All of these benefits allow Hard Light to deal a considerable amount of damage, even if the enemy isn’t in the sights.

Hard Light is also a 600 RPM Auto Rifle that is laser-focused. This Exotic has practically zero kick, allowing console players and those using keyboard and mouse to track enemies with pinpoint accuracy.

How and when to use Hard Light

Hard Light is making itself known as a top-level contender in Crucible and end-game PVP content, like Trials of Osiris. While it certainly shines in Crucible, it doesn’t feel as powerful in PVE content. Its main appeal in PVE will of course be the ability to cycle between element types.

destiny 2 when to use hard light
Consider throwing Hard Light into your loadout when you're heading into Crucible.

As for when to use Hard Light, considering it is the meta during Season of the Worthy, it’s worth using this Exotic Auto Rifle during said season or until Bungie makes some changes.

When you are in a Crucible match, use Hard Light whenever the distance between you and an enemy is in the medium to close range. Though there is no damage falloff, it can be difficult to track an opponent at extreme ranges where a Pulse Rifle or Sniper Rifle might work better.

Other than enemies you can see, it’s also worth considering enemies you cannot see. Volatile Light also allows the projectiles to bounce around corners and bounced shots deal more damage. Use this to your advantage to “chase” a fleeing enemy around a corner without having to follow.

Hard Light lore

Hard Light also has a rather cheeky lore tab. This, as a post on Reddit suggests, pokes fun at Steve Job’s Apple speeches, where he would say, “But there is one more thing.”

destiny 2 hard light lore

Hard Light is currently crushing it during Season of the Worthy in Destiny 2. How long it will dominate Crucible and Trials of Osiris is yet to be seen. If you can, try and get Hard Light before the meta shifts, as it is bound to make life a bit easier. Take a look over the Shacknews Destiny 2 complete strategy guide for even more Exotic weapon breakdowns.

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 message him on X: @SamuelChandler 

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