Destiny is full of a plethora of very unique and very powerful weapons and armor known as “Exotics.” These weapons can range from things like Hand Cannons, Auto Rifles, DMR-like Scout Rifles, Rocket Launchers, Grenade Launchers, Sidearms, Machine Guns, Shotguns, Fusion Rifles, Swords, and so many more. These Exotics give the game its unique “flavor” and are part of what makes Destiny so memorable. For players that want to grind out the latest-and-greatest god roll stats – Exotic armor gives them something to chase. For players that are more dead set on collecting every piece of gear – there’s a ton of Exotic quests that you can complete to earn these powerful weapons. Auto Rifles are pretty underrated for the most part when it comes to Destiny 2, because we have Submachine Guns that can do a better job at ad-clearing at a close range, and Scout Rifles and Pulse Rifles that can handle enemies from a much further range and can also do pretty decent DPS. So, what are our picks for the top 5 Exotic Auto Rifles in Destiny 2?
6. Tommy’s Matchbook
Tommy’s Matchbook was the seasonal Exotic from Season of the Worthy, and its Exotic perk “Ignition Trigger” states that “Sustained fire with this weapon overheats it, increasing damage but burning the user.” While this does sound like a pretty neat perk on paper, the actual damage increase from the perk isn’t nearly enough to warrant nearly killing yourself each time you use it. Destiny is no stranger to weapons that can kill you, since Touch of Malice is one of the most famous Exotics in all of Destiny’s history, with a near-infinite magazine that would drain your health with each shot you fired after emptying the magazine to its last round until you reloaded, but Tommy’s Matchbook just falls short in my (match)book.
5. Sweet Business
Sweet Business isn’t a name you hear too often anymore, which is a shame, because it has so much potential to be a top-tier weapon, but again it just falls short in certain areas. Its Exotic perk “Payday” states that the weapon has a larger magazine (150 rounds to be exact), increased accuracy when firing from the hip, and when you pick up primary ammo the magazine is automatically reloaded. This is another weapon that sounds great on paper, and it is a lot of fun, but it’s just not worth taking up an Exotic slot to use this weapon for DPS when Xenophage, Anarchy, and Deathbringer are in the game.
4. Cerberus +1
Cerberus+1 is another incredibly unique weapon, because it actually has four different barrels that it fires from. The Exotic perk “Four-Headed Dog” reads “Shoots erratic bullets from all gun barrels at the same time,” and it also includes a perk called “Spread Shot Package” that states “aiming this weapon reduces the spread of its projectiles” It’s a fun weapon to use, but you have to rely on RNG in order for it to actually do anything, which makes it incredibly unreliable. However, it was granted a catalyst that gives the weapon an alternative firing mode that allows you to swap to a tighter, close-ranged spread, so it does make it a bit more consistent, but still not the greatest choice in terms of efficiency.
3. SUROS Regime
SUROS Regime is a returning Exotic Auto Rifle from Destiny 1 and the Exotic perk “Suros Legacy” states that “The bottom half of each magazine deals bonus damage and has a chance to return health on kill.” This makes the weapon incredibly powerful in just about any situation, especially Crucible, and it is just as reliable as it was in Destiny 1. However, I don’t seem to see many people using their Exotic slot on an Auto Rifle nowadays anyway, but maybe that will change soon enough.
2. Hard Light
Hard Light is another returning Exotic Auto Rifle from Destiny 1, but unlike SUROS Regime, it’s returned with a pretty major change. Rather than dealing Kinetic damage like it did in Destiny 1, Hard Light has a perk that is also found on the Borealis Exotic Sniper Rifle called “The Fundamentals” that allows the user to hold reload (or press your alt-reload key) to change the weapon’s damage type from Solar, Arc, and Void. This makes it one of the most useful solo weapon for endgame content, specifically activities that involve the Match Game modifier, because Hard Light can handle all types of elemental shields, which is incredibly vital when attempting to solo these activities.
1. Monte Carlo
Coming in at number one, we’ve got yet another returning Exotic Auto Rifle from Destiny 1 (can you sense a pattern here?). Monte Carlo returned to Destiny 2 in Season of the Undying and, like Hard Light, it also had a change from its Destiny 1 counterpart. The trait “Markov Chain” in the Destiny 2 version of the weapon states “This weapon gains increased damage from melee kills and kills with this weapon. Melee kills also grant ammo for this weapon.” The Exotic perk “Monte Carlo Method” also states that “Dealing damage with this weapon reduces your melee cooldown and grants a chance to fully charge your melee ability with each kill.” If you’re trying to build-craft around your abilities, specifically your melee abilities, then Monte Carlo will almost never leave your loadout. This is one of my favorite Destiny weapons of all time, and was actually the first Exotic that I had ever received in Destiny 1, so I was definitely excited to see it return in Destiny 2.
What do you think? Do you agree with this ranking of Destiny 2’s Exotic Auto Rifles? I’m hoping that Bungie will add more in the future, because Auto Rifles are a wildly underrated weapon type.