Destiny 2 – Best Machine Gun to Use

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If you need a new Machine Gun to flesh out your build in Destiny 2, then this is the list for you.

We will go over all of the best Machine Guns and their strengths to help you find one that suits your needs.

Recommended Read: How to Delete a Character in Destiny 2

The Best Machine Gun to use in Destiny 2 is Thunderlord.

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Best Machine Guns in Destiny 2

Machine Guns are powerhouse weapons that are one of the more versatile Heavy weapon options in Destiny 2.

They come with a large reserve of ammo, which means you can use that reserve to either deal with hordes of enemies or dump into a Boss for some insane DPS.

The best Machine Guns are the ones that provide you with the most options in any given situation. You should be familiar with our pick for number one.


Thunderlord has just about everything going for it and nothing against it.

This 450 RPM Exotic Machine Gun excels at the two things that make Machine Guns great. It can easily handle a large group of enemies and it can dish out a ton of damage to Champions and Boss enemies.

The Intrinsic Perk Reign Havoc causes final blows to create lightning strikes that deal area-of-effect damage to any enemy near your initial kill. This lightning strike has Disruption properties that can stun Overload Champions.

It also comes with the Feeding Frenzy Perk to make your reloading much, much faster than other Machine Guns. This is important to factor in as many Machine Guns have a very lengthy reload time.

Thunderload has an inherent property that makes it fire faster and more accurately the longer you hold down the trigger. Which plays perfectly into the power fantasy that comes with Machine Guns.

All of this together makes Thunderload a jack-of-all-trades weapon, outputting some of the highest damage per second you can find on a Machine Gun and will shred through ads with ease.

It used to be one of the single highest-damage weapons in the game back when auto-reloading abilities were everywhere.

With the nerf to many auto-reloading abilities, Thunderload was given a Catalyst that gives it the Return Stroke Perk, partially reloading the magazine from reserves whenever a lightning strike is created.

This massively increases the DPS this weapon can output and is a must-have if you plan on using Thunderlord as your Heavy weapon of choice.

You can get Thinderlord from the Exotic Kioske in the Tower. It will cost 1 Exotic Cipher, 100,000 Glimmer, and 1 Ascendant Shard.

Grand Overture

In terms of single-weapon DPS, Grand Overture is one of the best around.

This Exotic Machine Gun has received some very nice buffs that have skyrocketed its DPS potential. While the weapon may only fire at a rate of 100 RPM, the Perks more than makeup for it.

This weapon comes with the Intrinsic Perk Wrath of the Colossus, firing slug rounds that charge up while holding the trigger before finally firing full auto. This feels similar to a Linear Fusion Rifle until you get the weapon going full speed.

The Omega Strike Perk grants you a missle charge with every slug-round hit.

Holding down your reload key will swap over to your rocket mode and fire a barrage of all of the missiles you have charged up, dealing a considerable amount of damage.

These missiles have decent tracking, making it very easy to land all of your shots to maintain optimal DPS.

Firing a full magazine from Grand Overture, alongside a volley of missiles, will allow you to reach one of the highest DPS options a single weapon can produce.

The Catalyst for Grand Overture causes missile explosions to blind nearby enemies and create chain explosions on final blows.

This is nice to have, especially when dealing with Champions, though it doesn’t add to what already makes Grand Overture such a potent weapon.

Overall, Grand Overture is a fine pick for your Heavy weapon if you plan on going in solo. While it isn’t the best by any means, you will hear no complaints from your Fireteam for bringing it into your end-game PvE activities.

You can get the Grand Overture from the Exotic Kioske in the Tower. It will cost 1 Exotic Cipher, 100,000 Glimmer, and 1 Ascendant Shard.

Retrofit Escapade

Since its release, Retrofit Escapade has been considered the best Legendary Machine Gun in the game.

This Rapid-Fire Frame Machine Gun just so happens to be the Void element. This makes it the perfect candidate for Void 3.0 builds.

Specifically, Hunters using the Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk Exotic Chest piece will want to get one of these for their Void build. A Void Machine Gun can take advantage of Volatile Rounds and help you maintain near-infinite invisibility.

For Perks, this gun comes with the god roll of Fourth Time’s the Charm and Target Lock.

Fourth Time’s the Charm will reload your magazine for you when damaging high-health targets like Champions and Bosses while Target Lock will give you a damage boost that continually increases the longer you shoot the same target.

This Perk combo makes Retrofit Escapade a beast of a Legendary Machine Gun, both in terms of DPS as well as general ad clearing.

Aside from this god roll, you can also get decent Perks like Feeding Frenzy for faster reloads, as well as Frenzy or Golden Tricorn for alternative damage boosts.

It can’t be overlooked just how much damage this weapon can do as a Legendary Machine Gun. It is a reliable choice and is the perfect choice for those who love to use their Void subclasses.

This Season 19 reward can now only be obtained randomly from the Operation: Saraph Shield Mission or purchased from either Banshee-44 or Xur.


The Machine Gun that is so close to being a Rocket Launcher.

This Exotic Machine Gun packs a punch and is up there with some of the greats in terms of overall DPS. The Intrinsic Perk Pyrotoxin Rounds causes the weapon to fire high-powered explosive bullets at 120 RPM that deal AOE damage.

It also comes with the Rangefinder Perk, increasing its Range and zoom magnification for easy target acquisition. This is mostly extra, as the weapon can be fired from the hip with just as much precision.

One quirk that comes with this weapon is that it can not land precision hits. This means it will not gain any additional damage from shooting an enemy’s crit spot.

You don’t use Xenophage for ad clearing, as it has a very small ammo reserve for a Machine Gun. What this gun provides is consistent damage from just about any range.

It will take out most Major enemies with a single shot and will make quick work of Champions. It is a good choice for some Boss phases though it gets outperformed by many alternatives.

To get Xenophage, complete the Journey Exotic Quest. See our guide on How to Get Xenophage for more info.


With every Dawning Event comes another chance at getting this insane Machine Gun.

Avalanche is one of two Solar 450 RPM Machine Guns in the game, the second being acquired from Trials of Osiris.

This weapon, being a common drop from the Dawning Event, makes it a much better candidate for the average player to obtain.

The new Season 23 version has some great Perks on it, with Subsistence being a must-have on your god roll. This Perk will partially reload the magazine from reserves with every kill, virtually eliminating the need to ever reload when clearing ads.

Since this is a Solar weapon, Incandescent is a clear choice for scorch stacks and easy AOE damage with every kill.

This is a very potent Perk combination that you should definitely try to get your hands on whenever Avalanche is available to farm.

The other Perk you will want to look for is Target Lock. Once again, this Perk is perfect for Machine Guns as their large magazine size takes full advantage of the Perk’s damage boost.

Rewind Rounds and Auto-Loading Holster both roll in the same column as Subsistence, so you shouldn’t have a hard time getting a good reloading Perk regardless of your roll.

While this weapon may not be topping the damage charts, it does what every Machine Gun should and is efficient at doing it.

In PvP, this weapon is a community favorite for its insane 90 Aim Assist stat, practically locking onto any Guardian you see. If you are looking for a new Machine Gun for Quickplay, this is the one.

This weapon can only be obtained during the Dawning Event. You can get it from Engrams or focus one with enough Engrams.


It is a Machine Gun with Reconstruction.

Commemoration is one of the many great weapons to come from the Deep Stone Crypt Raid. It is a 450 RPM Void Machine Gun, making it another great choice for Void 3.0 builds.

It has access to one of the best Perks for just about any weapon in Destiny 2, Reconstruction. This Perk will gradually reload your weapon while it is not in use, doubling your effective magazine size when fully loaded.

For a Machine Gun, this means you can have a ton of shots ready to be unloaded into crowds of enemies or a single Boss for sustained damage without having to reload.

This is practically a must-have Perk for this weapon as it beats out the likes of Feeding Frenzy and Subsistence by a mile.

For our damage-enhancing Perk, you have some options. Rampage is a great choice for general use as it is pretty easy to maintain full Rampage stacks with a Machine Gun.

For single-target DPS, Firing Line will give you a 20% buff to damage just for standing near your Fireteam while doing damage.

Killing Tally is a great middle-ground for another 20% damage buff that can be maintained without a Fireteam.

Commemoration can be acquired from the Deep Stone Crypt Raid. It is craftable and easily farmable, so you shouldn’t have too hard of a time getting the perfect god roll for you.

Corrective Measure

The gun that almost replaces 21% Delirium.

Yet another 450 RPM Void Machine Gun. While Corrective Measure isn’t craftable, it does have a Perk that you won’t find on Commemoration, and that Perk is Firefly.

Firefly causes your precision final blows to explode and deal area-of-effect damage while increasing your reload speed for a short time.

This Perk makes Corrective Measure even more ammo-efficient than other Machine Guns as a single shot is all it will take to deal with most groups of Minor enemies.

To pair with Firefly, you actually have quite a few different Perk options. Rewind Rounds will constantly be activating from your increased reload speed to give you an even larger magazine size for free.

Subsistence is yet another amazing ammo-generation Perk if you plan on mainly using this weapon for killing ads.

Demolitionist is also a good Perk for DPS, as you can constantly keep your grenade ability up for a free on-demand reload.

For PvP, you have Dynamic Sway Reduction and Tap the Trigger, both of which are ideal for keeping this weapon’s recoil in check.

Machine Guns are very efficient Heavy weapons in PvP, so making every shot count will only increase your kill count as well.

Corrective Measure drops from the Vault of Glass Raid.


A good choice for a Strand subclass build.

Marcato-45 is one of the two Strand Machine Guns currently in the game. It takes full advantage of the Strand-synergetic Perks while having some other great options should you want a more generalized Machine Gun.

For your Strand build Perks, you will want to get Slice and Hatchling.

Slice will allow you to sever enemies and reduce their damage for a short time, while Hatchling will create Threadlings that will seek out enemies and deal area-of-effect damage.

While this weapon isn’t topping any DPS charts, it is a great gun for survival, with Slice to deal with Major enemies and Champions and Hatchling for efficient wave clear.

Aside from being a Strand weapon, many have taken to the god roll of Demolitionist and Onslaught to continually recharge your Grenade ability and cheat out reloads while maintaining a 37% increased fire rate.

This is a world drop weapon. You can get one from any Rank-Up rewards or Legendary Engrams.

Those are the best Machine Guns in Destiny 2.

What do you think of this list? Are there any weapons that you think deserve a spot? Let me know in the comments!

Opie Cain

Opie has played Destiny 2 since release. Crafting articles that capture the essence of this epic universe. Beyond this, he enjoys 3D printing and 3D modeling, along with social and competitive VR gaming.

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