Destiny 2: The 15 Best Shotguns, RankedThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
As is the case in most multiplayer shooters, shotguns are a major force in Destiny 2’s PVP.
Much to the chagrin of everyone who hasn’t gotten a good boomstick yet.
And it’s easy to understand! These weapons are brutally devastating, bringing down both mobs and other Guardians with as little as one pull. One second you’re there, the next you’re cheese.
That said, the fact that they’re just as good in PVE keeps anyone from developing any negative feeling towards shotguns in-game. And most people recognize the need to have at least a couple of competent shotguns to pull from when needed.
To help you choose what’s good and what should be dismantled, have a look at our rankings below.
How To Get: This minimalist-looking firearm can be acquired from Crucible Engrams given out by Lord Shaxx for participating in the Crucible and earning rank-up packages.
This Legendary Solar Shotgun shines for being both strong and extremely easy to use in both PVP and PVE.
Mostly thanks to its Rapid-Fire Frame and some great traits like Rifled Barrel, which makes up for its strictly “meh” range.
It also rolls with Slideshot and Rampage, two amazing traits that’ll give you an edge in combat.
14. Hawthorne’s Field-Forged Shotgun
How To Get: You have a chance of acquiring this Legendary weapon any time you open a Legendary Engram from whatever source. In other words, it’s a random drop.
Hawthorne’s Shotgun is all about stability and handling thanks to its Lightweight Frame.
This characteristic also lets you move faster with it equipped, which is always an asset for any play style.
One of the gun’s better aspects is being able to roll the Full-Auto Trigger System along with strong traits like One-Two Punch or Demolitionist. This makes it viable in both PVP and PVE.
13. Perfect Paradox
How To Get: The Perfect Paradox is a reward for completing the Recovering the Past quest given out by Osiris. It’ll become available after you’ve done your first mission for Osiris and participated in the Sundial at least once.
This Legendary Kinetic Shotgun introduced during Season of the Worthy has a superb trait pool to roll from.
Having a Rapid-Fire Frame means it has plenty of bullets and fires full-auto by default, which is usually great on a shotgun.
Get it with Swashbuckler or Demolitionist and your PVP enemies won’t last over a second.
12. Lord of Wolves
How To Get: This uniquely constructed weapon has a chance to drop from any Exotic Engram. You could also buy it from Xûr if you ever see him stocking it. Check back every week!
The first Exotic in our ranking is this very special Solar-damaging shotty that’ll make you rain fire upon your enemies with ease.
Thanks to its abilities (Shrapnel Launcher and Release the Wolves) this shotgun fires in 5-shot bursts, or a 10-shot one if you hold down the reload button.
This is ideal for taking care of bulky enemies in the blink of an eye, but will also make your foes in Crucible jittery to be around you.
How To Get: The Python is a reward from the Splitting Distance quest given out by the Drifter. It involves reaching “Heroic” Infamy rank and, well, just blasting a lot of people away in Gambit matches.
This Legendary Void Shotgun is a high-damage beast with a lot of recoil.
But it’s also the only weapon in the game that can roll Overflow and One-Two Punch at the same time.
Add a Backup Mag and you’ll have a 12 shot SG that goes up to 13, and every one of those shots is deadly. A well-used Python can completely dominate a Crucible match.
10. Retold Tale
How To Get: Get this by completing weekly and daily challenges for Petra Vanj in the Dreaming City. It also has a chance to drop from the final chest in the Ascendant Challenge, or rewarded by the bounty itself.
Also packing Void damage is the Legendary Retold Tale, sporting one of the most amazing-looking designs in the game and a wonderful trait pool.
Full Choke is a must to increase your effective range and damage concentration. And Accurized rounds can be great to further improve it.
This thing is fun to play and lethal in the mid to short-range.
9. The Chaperone
How To Get: Snag The Chaperone from the Holliday Family History quest, which is (unsurprisingly) given out by Amanda Holliday.
This Exotic Kinetic Shotgun looks like someone loaded a Hand Cannon with shotgun shells.
But it’s quite the contrary.
Thanks to its Precision Slug trait, it fires a single heavy round that deals massive damage at longer distances than your usual SG.
Precision kills with it further improve handling, range, and precision damage, so keep hunting for those yellow numbers.
8. Parcel of Stardust
How To Get: This Legendary weapon is given out by the Drifter as a reward for completing Gambit matches and ranking up. Do your bounties!
The Parcel of Stardust is a Kinetic weapon with a Lightweight Frame that’ll let you move around swiftly and position yourself for devastating shots.
This is ideal considering its massive damage and nice range if you get the right traits.
Since you’re going for one-shot kills, Rampage and Opening Shot are ideal.
7. Threat Level
How To Get: This amazing shotgun drops from the Scourge of the Past raid on Earth, introduced in the Forsaken expansion.
This Legendary Kinetic Shotgun can be incredible for PVE or PVP thanks to a solid trait pool and its Rapid-Fire Frame. You just can’t go wrong with a full-auto shotgun.
While Grave Robber and Rampage might be the better idea for PVE, consider Quickdraw and Slideshot to make your way around the battlefield swiftly in Crucible.
How To Get: This Legendary Solar shotty can be found on Mars by doing the Escalation Protocol wave-survival activity. It’s often dropped by one of the bosses in Level 7.
The IKELOS is considerably more popular in PVE than PVP.
Specifically because Rapid-Fire Frames are simply better suited for turning Cabal into minced meat than dealing with other Guardians.
The best rolls with this weapon tend to include the Trench Barrel trait for extra damage, handling, and reload speed after a melee kill, making it ideal for Warlocks.
5. Tractor Cannon
How To Get: While it looks like it was just modded in from another game, the Tractor Cannon is actually a random drop from Exotic Engrams. It can also be bought from Xûr if you catch him selling it.
This Exotic Void Shotgun is one of the most unique in the game thanks to its Repulsor Force, which makes every shot from this weapon destroy shields and blast enemies away.
It’s stable, has great handling, almost no recoil, and is absolutely devastating.
Just keep in mind it uses Heavy Ammo, so keep an eye on your supplies.
4. Dust Rock Blues
How To Get: This firearm drops from Wanted enemies in different Lost Sectors all across the system, like Pathfinder’s Crash and the Whispered Falls on the EDZ, and Core Terminus on Mars.
As a high-range Legendary Kinetic Shotgun, the Dust Rock Blues is especially efficient in PVP.
If you manage to get one with Full Choke you’ll be flabbergasted by just how much reach this weapon has.
Couple that with the possibility to get Rampage or Slideshot, and you can begin to understand why it’s so widely used.
3. Seventh Seraph CQC-12
How To Get: You’ll have to get your grind on and make the most out of Season 10 to get this Seventh Seraph shotgun. It’s the Rank 45 reward from the Season Pass’ free track. Further ranks will also give you a slight chance to get it from the Crucible, Gambit matches, and Strikes.
It looks like a revolver, and it has a Lightweight Frame that’s pretty appropriate considering its size.
Being able to move faster with it is great. But the gun shines for its excellent trait pool, including Trench Barrel, Vorpal Weapon, and Slideshot.
This Legendary Solar Shotgun is the most popular SG for PVE situations.
2. Astral Horizon
How To Get: This absurdly powerful weapon can be earned from the Trials of Osiris by completing challenges and turning in tokens to Saint-14 to rank up.
Its Aggressive Frame makes it a high-impact, high-recoil weapon.
But with the right roll you can easily get that recoil under control.
Smallbore and Assault Mag are some ideal traits to achieve that, and they don’t get in the way of also getting Swashbuckler to absolutely devastate your enemies.
1. Mindbender’s Ambition
How To Get: To get the best shotgun in Destiny 2, you’ll have to grind the Nightfall strike “The Hollowed Lair” and hope it drops from the final chest.
As has been proven by the community and their undying love for this weapon, the Mindbender’s Ambition is one of the most menacing guns you can carry into a Crucible match.
Not only does it look boss, but it hits very hard thanks to its Aggressive Frame. And it can roll with Full Choke, Slideshot, and other amazing traits.
Did I mention any kills with it increase your rate of fire?
Shoot. Kill. Shoot faster. Kill faster. It’s simple, easy, and fun for the whole family! Well, most of the family.
Winners typically have more fun than the losers.