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best hand cannons

Best Hand Cannons In Destiny 2: PVE and PVP [2021]

Hand cannons are a common sight in Destiny 2. Due to their ease of use and high damage per second, hand cannons are an excellent option for PvE and PvP players. Here are what I believe to be some of the best hand cannons in Destiny 2. We hope you will find this guide useful; for more Destiny 2 guides, check out Best Rocket Launcher Destiny 2 and Best Fusion Rifles Destiny 2.

Best PvE Hand Cannons In Destiny 2

Eriana’s vow

best hand cannons
Eriana’s Vow

Eriana’s vow is arguably Destiny 2’s greatest PvE hand cannon. This weapon is a hand cannon/sniper hybrid in many ways. The perks this hand cannon has to offer make it the greatest PvE weapon for many. You can acquire Eriana’s vow from the monument of lost light for 1 exotic cipher, 125, 000 glimmer, 200 etheric spirals and 1 ascendant shard. The two main perks of this hand cannon are ‘Death at first glance’ and ‘looks can kill.’ Death at first glance utilizes the weapon’s built-in scope and gives the player 45% bonus damage when aiming down sight.

This perk can also be chained using precision shots and by firing at an elemental shield making it especially effective against enemies with large health pools. Looks can kill means this hand cannon fires shield piercing ammo. Your rounds ignore your enemy’s shield and cause damage to their primary health pool straight away. All this, along with its 90 shots per minute firing rate, make it a strong PvE option.

Sunshot

best hand cannons
Sunshot

Sunshot is a powerful PvE hand cannon, especially when it comes to clearing ads. You can find it through exotic engrams. The weapon’s main perks are sunburn and sun blasts. Sunburn causes the gun to fire explosive rounds. Sun blast causes enemies who died with a precision shot or after burning to explode. As a result, the death of an enemy can trigger a chain reaction of enemies burning and dying. This is a sight to behold when facing a large number of low health ads. Sunshot’s 150 shots per minute also help, combined with its perks, make it an exceptional PvP hand cannon.

Malfeasance

best hand cannons
Malfeasance

Malfeasance, thanks to its unique perks and high rate of fire, is another strong PvE hand cannon. You can obtain it by completing its exotic weapon quest. The weapon’s perk of note is explosive shadow. This perk allows malfeasance to shoot slugs themselves into the opponent’s body. Shooting enough slugs cause them to explode, creating an AoE attack that damages surrounding enemies. This makes it a great choice for clearing ads. The high rate of fire (180 rpm) coupled with the large magazine makes this an effective hand cannon for all sorts of PvE encounters, and my favourite best hand cannon of destiny 2.

Fatebringer

best hand cannons
Fatebringer

Fatebringer was one of Destiny 1’s most popular hand cannons, and justifiably so. The iconic hand cannon makes a return in Destiny is and is still an excellent hand cannon. Fatebringer’s important perk is firefly, which causes enemies to explode upon impact and increase the weapon’s reloading speed. It also has a relatively high rate of fire at 140. The explosive rounds along with the rate of fire, make the Fatrebringer great for clearing hoards of ads and a good PvE weapon choice.

Ace Of Spades

This list would’ve been incomplete without Cayde 6’s weapon of choice. The Ace Of Spades is a very powerful PvE hand canon. You have to play through Forsaken’s storyline to get your hands on this hand canon. The key perks of this weapon are ‘Memento Mori’ and ‘Firefly’.

Memento Mori grants you radar while aiming down sight and adds in a few extra damage bullets in your magazine after a kill. Firefly makes enemies explode upon impact and increases the reload speed after precision kills. The two perks complement each other perfectly and help make this hand cannon an excellent choice for PvE players.

Best PvP Hand Cannon In Destiny 2

The Last Word

Best PvP Hand Cannon Destiny 2
The Last Word

The Last Word was known for its quick time to kill in the original destiny and a lot of what it offered has been brought back to the table in Destiny 2. You can buy The Last Word from the monument to the lost for 1 exotic cipher, 125, 000 glimmer, 200 etheric spirals and 1 ascendant shard. While The Last Word may have a bit of a learning curve for newcomers.

Those who acquaint themselves with this gun, however, will not regret it. The last word has the fastest time to kill of all hand cannons and a lightning-fast rate of fire of 225 rounds per minute. The Major perk for The Last Word is Fan Fire, which deals bonus precision hip fire damage and increases the reload time. This means that those who learn to control the hip fire recoil of this gun get a weapon that shreds through enemies.

Thorn

Best PvP Hand Cannon Destiny 2
Thorn

Thor, the classic Destiny hand cannon, had many arcs of its own. It went from being an extremely overlooked weapon in the original Destiny to being buffed to the point that it was considered broken. Thorn dominated PvP games back in the day. While being a fragment of what it was during its golden age, Thorn still packs a punch and is arguably one of the greatest PvP weapons in Destiny 2.

You can buy it from the monument to the lost for 1 exotic cipher, 125, 000 glimmer, 200 etheric spirals and 1 ascendant shard. Its two key perks are ‘mark of the devourer’ and ‘soul devourer’. Mark of the devourer translates to Thorn’s bullets dealing damage over time. This leads to a decreased time to kill and a delayed time to heal. Soul Devourer means once you absorb a soul remnant left behind by a fallen enemy, your weapon will reload partially, and mark of the devourer will deal bonus damage. The weapon also has a relatively fast rate of fire of 140 founds per minute which further decreases its time to kill.

Ace Of Spades

Best PvP Hand Cannon Destiny 2
Ace of spades

Cayde 6’s legendary hand cannon makes a return here as one of the greatest PvP weapons in the game. This hand cannon offers a lot of range and a magazine size of 13, making it a strong choice for mid to long-range encounters. The ability to access your radar while aiming down sight makes it almost overpowered for PvP. The high damage, ease of use and fire rate of 140 rounds per minute make it a very good weapon when it comes to facing other guardians.

Palindrome

Best PvP Hand Cannon Destiny 2
The Palindrome

The Palindrome might just be the best hand cannon In destiny 2. This 140 round per minute hand cannon offers excellent range at the cost of a slight learning curve. You can get your hands on one through master nightfalls. While this may be a challenge too hard for many, the Palindrome makes it worth it. The weapon’s long-range, damage, and quick shooting speed make it a very versatile PvP option. The Palindrome is strong at encounters of every range. The perks of note for the Palindrome is the One for all. Hitting three separate enemies will increase the damage of this gun for some time.

Hawkmoon

Best PvP Hand Cannon Destiny 2
Hawkmoon

Yet another iconic Destiny weapon on this list, Hawkmoon is a 140 round per minute hand cannon that offers a decent range and high damage. To obtain this hand cannon, you’ll have to complete its exotic quest. It also has a very unique perk, ‘Paracasual shot,’ which means final round precision shots will deal a lot of bonus damage.

While this may take a bit of learning for those used to reloading right after a kill, Hawkmoon’s small barrel size means you’ll be triggering the perk quite a lot. This can be very useful for specific 1v1 moments where that last round might just save you where you would’ve certainly otherwise died.

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