15 Best Submachine Guns in Destiny 2 (Ranked)

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If you like playing aggressively, chances are you’re enamored with SMGs throughout your career in gaming. And Destiny 2 is a prime opportunity to live out your bullet-pumping fantasy.

SMGs are an excellent weapon in a Guardian’s hands.

They’re aggressive, but can also be incredibly stable and smooth. You can fire from the hip on short-range encounters, or aim down sights to get some precision kills in more distanced shootouts.

In other words, SMGs are versatile and always get the job done. They’re the middle ground between good balance, nice handling, and massive destructive potential.

Whether you’ve always loved SMGs or just want to adapt to Destiny 2’s new SMG-heavy meta, here are my picks for the best in the game that you need in your arsenal.

15. CALUS Mini-Tool

CALUS Mini-Tool Destiny 2 Submachine Gun

How to get: This Legendary Solar Submachine Gun can be acquired from the Menagerie, aboard the Leviathan, once you’ve unlocked the Chalice of Opulence and can input rune combinations.

A variant of the MIDA Mini-Tool refitted to suit the Emperor’s tastes, the CALUS Mini-Tool is a devastating 900rpm SMG with superb handling.

Which can be further improved by having the MIDA Mini-Tool equipped as well thanks to their MIDA Synergy trait.

One of the best traits you can get with this weapon is Disruption Break, especially if you’re playing Co-Op activities. Otherwise, Slideways and Feeding Frenzy are better for PVP.

14. Trackless Waste

Trackless Waste Destiny 2 Submachine Gun

How to get: Get a Kinetic SMG by completing activities on the Tangled Shore, where it can drop from many bounties and encounters. Alternatively, it can be obtained from the Menagerie after entering a specific rune combination into the Chalice of Opulence.

Not only does it look cool in its default red color scheme, but thanks to solid stats and a very high fire-rate, the Trackless Waste has become a staple of both PVE and PVP.

Whether you get a roll with Kill Clip, Ricochet Rounds, Zen Moment, or all three at the same time, you’ll find plenty of use for this killing machine.

13. The Hero’s Burden

The Hero’s Burden Destiny 2 Submachine Gun

How to get: The Hero’s Burden is obtained from Iron Engrams, which you’ll get by completing Iron Banner matches and earning rank-up packages from Saladin.

This Legendary Void SMG brings amazing range to the table, as long as you take care of its stability issues.

At 900rpm, rolling Zen Moment and even Ricochet Rounds goes a long way towards giving you a smoother shooting experience.

While Kill Clip is generally recommended, Tap the Trigger is the better trait for better stability and accuracy.

12. Antiope-D

Antiope-D Destiny 2 Submachine Gun

How to get: This Legendary Kinetic SMG can only be obtained by ranking up with Banshee-44.

At 600rpm, the Antiope-D is one of the slower-shooting guns in our ranking.

But it makes up for it with high damage, excellent range, and precision.

While classic picks like Zen Moment and Kill Clip are always great traits to strive for, this gun could benefit greatly from something like Appended or Extended Mags to bolster its somewhat lacking magazine size.

11. Pillager

Pillager Destiny 2 Submachine Gun

How to get: To get the Pillager, complete Gambit matches and rank up with the Drifter. There’s also a quest from Ada-1 that will net you a curated version of the gun.

This Legendary Kinetic SMG has been described by some as a Kinetic version of The Recluse, which means it’s a great choice for PVP.

You’ll move fast, aim easy, and pump your enemies full of lead at 900rpm thanks to its Lightweight Frame.

Roll it with Rampage and something for a bit more stability such as Zen Moment, and you’ll shred in the Crucible.

10. Bad Reputation

Bad Reputation Destiny 2 Submachine Gun

How to get: Get this Legendary Solar SMG from any Legendary Engrams. It’s also one of the guns you can obtain from the Menagerie by setting up the right runes in the Chalice of Opulence.

One of the Bad Reputation’s best features is the possibility of rolling the Genesis trait, which reloads your weapon every time you bring down an enemy’s shield.

This is a game-changer in PVE.

But it doesn’t work at all in the Crucible, so you’d be better off complimenting this precise weapon with Grave Robber to keep it fed.

Or just doubling down on stability with Zen Moment or Tap the Trigger.

9. Escape Velocity

Escape Velocity Destiny 2 Submachine Gun

How to get: The Escape Velocity is a random Legendary drop you could get while doing basically anything, you’ll just have to keep trying!

This Kinetic SMG shines not only for its great handling and high fire-rate of 900rpm, but for its stellar trait pool, which makes it easy to get a solid drop for different roles.

It’s ideal to get it with Overflow and Quickdraw for an excellent PVP weapon. But even something like a Threat Detector/Surrounded combo could make it an amazing gun for PVE where you’re often knee-deep in Dregs and other minor enemies.

8. Breath of the Dragon

Breath of the Dragon Destiny 2 Submachine Gun

How to get: Lord Saladin will give out this Legendary Arc SMG as a reward for completing Iron Banner-related activities and ranking up with his faction.

A weapon that you’ll want exclusively for close-quarters combat in the Crucible is the Breath of the Dragon.

It has great destructive power and solid stability at the cost of terrible range.

Ricochet Rounds and other range-increasing traits are very useful, but you really should focus on traits to make it even more vicious such as Slideways and Rampage.

7. Bug-Out Bag

Bug-Out Bag Destiny 2 Submachine Gun

How to get: This amazing Legendary Solar SMG is a standard drop from The Reckoning and Gambit Prime, so just keep going at it and you’ll eventually get it.

If you’re still relatively new in the game or just can’t aim for your life, the Bug-Out Bag is a great option that’s both easy to use and packs a punch.

It has all-around solid stats and fires 900 rounds per minute, which is a dangerous combination for a weapon with such a good range.

It can also roll Demolitionist, which recharges Grenade Energy with every kill and can be an incredible asset for some builds.

6. Exit Strategy

Exit Strategy Destiny 2 Submachine Gun

How to get: Get this Ritual Weapon by completing the Clean Getaway pursuit, which will have you pop into Gambit and murder droves of enemies with your SMG.

This Legendary Kinetic SMG is one of the most popular in the game thanks to its incredibly solid traits, which you don’t even have to grind for since they’re not randomized.

Traits like Swashbuckler and Threat Detector are just invaluable on an SMG, and they make this already-solid 900rpm gun into a force to be reckoned with.

5. Seventh Seraph VY-7

Seventh Seraph VY-7 Destiny 2 Submachine Gun

How to get: This Legendary Arc SMG is a Season Pass reward from Season 10, obtained once you reach Rank 31 on the free track. Further rank-ups will eventually make it possible to farm it from Crucible, Gambit, and strikes.

Like most Seventh Seraph weapons, this SMG has access to an excellent roll pool.

Feeding Frenzy and Vorpal Weapon are excellent choices for PVP and PVE respectively.

While its Precision Frame already gives it great range and stability, something like Smallbore to further improve it isn’t a bad idea either.

4. Hard Truths

Hard Truths Destiny 2 Submachine Gun

How to get: If you want this Legendary Kinetic SMG you’ll have to prove yourself to Lord Shaxx by completing Crucible matches and ranking up with him. Alternatively it can be obtained from the Menagerie by setting up the Chalice of Opulence a certain way.

While its Aggressive Frame trades all stability for damage potential, Hard Truths remains a solid choice for both PVP and PVE.

Primarily thanks to traits like Ricochet Rounds and Zen Moment, which solve the stability issue and are easy to grind for from the Menagerie.

3. The Huckleberry

The Huckleberry Destiny 2 Submachine Gun

How to get: This Exotic Kinetic SMG belongs in the world loot pool and can only be obtained by trusting the RNG and opening as many Exotic Engrams as possible… unless you notice Xûr is selling it, which seldom happens. Keep an eye out!

As with most Exotics, The Huckleberry is valued for its unique traits like Ride the Bull, which greatly increases your rate of fire the longer you hold the trigger.

Coupled with Rampage increasing your damage with each kill, this gun will melt through anything PVE has to throw at you.

Definitely worth looking into this one if you can get it.

2. Riskrunner

Riskrunner Destiny 2 Submachine Gun

How to get: The Riskrunner is a reward from the Pain and Gain quest given out by Banshee-44, but it also drops at random from Exotic Engrams.

This is another Exotic SMG to watch out for due to its Arc Conductor trait.

It makes its Arc-damaging bullets more powerful when the user is receiving Arc Damage, which is easy to predict in most strikes and raids.

While Arc Conductor is active, your bullets also have a chance of becoming chain lighting. And you’ll even get some back in the magazine whenever this happens. Nice!

1. The Recluse

The Recluse Destiny 2 Submachine Gun

How to get: This can only be acquired by reaching the Fabled rank on the Crucible’s Glory playlist, and completing a triumph called The Stuff of Myth.

This Pinnacle Weapon with a slick and modern design is just a beast from any angle.

At 900rpm, traits like Ricochet Rounds and Polygonal Rifling go a long way to help you land your shots.

And Feeding Frenzy helps keep downtime at a minimum.

The icing on the cake is Master of Arms, which increases The Recluse’s damage with each kill. And this truly cements it as one of the best possible weapons to bring into the Crucible.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.