Exotic Sidearms have been a bit of a letdown in Destiny 2, to be quite honest. They don’t have much range, they don’t have much power, and they are far outclassed by Submachine Guns and Auto Rifles. However, Legendary Sidearms are actually quite good when you’ve got weapons like the Seventh Seraph SI-2, The Fool’s Remedy, and the unfortunately sunset Breachlight (rest in peace, Breachlight), there’s a ton of options to pick from and they’re all quite good. Unfortunately, the Exotic Sidearms didn’t really get the same treatment as their Legendary counterparts. I really don’t care for any of the Exotic Sidearms in Destiny 2, with the exception of one. So, how do you go about ranking these 4 Exotic Sidearms in Destiny 2? Well, you start with:
4. Cryosthesia 77K
Cryosthesia 77K is the seasonal Exotic that was introduced in the Season Pass for Season of the Splicer. Its Exotic perk “LN2 Burst” states that the weapon has a “Variable Trigger: Press and release to fire individual shots. Hold to fire a Charged Shot when Liquid Cooling is active.” Liquid Cooling, you wonder? Liquid Cooling is another perk on the weapon that states “Final blows with this weapon enable a Charged Shot for a short duration. Targets hit by this shot are instantly frozen at the cost of the weapon’s entire magazine.” I have to say that when I saw that this weapon deals Stasis damage and sits in the Kinetic slot, I was a lot more intrigued to see what it could do; unfortunately, there is just absolutely no reason to use this weapon in any situation. The fact that the Charged Shot costs the entire magazine to freeze a single target just blows my mind, there is absolutely no reason for this to cost more than a couple of rounds, and even then I still don’t think it would be worth an Exotic slot. The only thing that I could even think to justify using this weapon in any activity would be to complete Stasis bounties or quests, that’s it. Even as a normal Sidearm, I still don’t like using this gun. I really hope that Bungie decides to rework it at some point, because I just don’t see any use for this at all.
3. Devil’s Ruin
Devil’s Ruin was the seasonal Exotic from Season of the Dawn and it has an Exotic perk called “Close The Gap.” What Close The Gap does is it allows you to press and release to fire individual shots, or you can hold to charge up a high-powered stunning laser that is strong against Unstoppable Champions. In all honesty, this Sidearm isn’t all that terrible, especially because it had a Champion mod built into the weapon intrinsically. The only thing is that now, in Season of the Splicer, we have Unstoppable Sidearm in the Artifact which means that we can use any Sidearm we want without burning through ammo, and without using an Exotic slot to do it. It’s not terrible, but it’s definitely not the best by any means. Plus, it is kind of fun to walk around shooting a big Solar laser at enemies.
2. Traveler’s Chosen
Traveler’s Chosen is an Exotic Sidearm that was introduced in Season of Arrivals through an Exotic quest. The Exotic perk on Traveler’s Chosen reads “Final blows with this weapon grant stacks of Gathering Light.” Consuming stacks of Gathering Light will grant melee, grenade, and class ability energy based on the number of stacks. This is actually a pretty useful perk, but what makes it even more interesting is that there is another perk called “Gift of the Traveler” which states that “Each stack of Gathering Light improves this weapon’s reload, handling, and target acquisition.” So, you can either max out your stacks of Gathering Light and consume them to get a boost of ability energy, or you can hold onto those stacks to improve the weapon’s overall stats. Even as a regular Sidearm without any Exotic perks, Traveler’s Chosen is a pretty solid option. Still wouldn’t take it into any endgame content, but it’s fun to use.
1. Rat King
Finally, we’ve got Rat King, the Exotic Sidearm in Destiny 2 that is a complete and total meme, but actually is pretty good, but only when every person on the fireteam is using it. The Exotic perk on Rat King is called “Rat Pack” and it states “This fully automatic weapon becomes stronger when nearby allies also have it equipped. Stacks up to 6 times.” The other unique perk on Rat King is called “Vermin” and it grants you a brief period of invisibility when you reload immediately after a kill. There is a world of utility here, but it really only works if you have a full team using the gun.
I really hope that Sidearms actually get decent one of these days. Maybe a Sidearm that shoots Gjallarhorn rockets? Wishful thinking, I guess…