With the ever-increasing list of weapons and perks in Destiny 2, it can be hard to figure out specifically which ones are boosting your damage the most. That’s why we did the nerd math (shoutout Aegis on Youtube for this spreadsheet), messed around with API tools and ultimately collated the optimal DPS setups for each class, with variations for different boss styles (ranged, melee, etc).
Subclasses – Strand, Arc or Void?
We’ve only chosen the top 3 contenders for this list, sorry Stasis and Solar – you just can’t cut it for pure DPS anymore. Solar holds its own incredibly well for solo challenges and survivability, and Stasis is getting its rework next season – so maybe we’ll see some great new options soon.
Regardless, we’ll lay out the pros and cons of using these 3 top picks:
Strand is an amazing new option for Melee fights, specialising in One-Two Punch shotgun shenanigans and sword damage. Bladefury also being one of the highest damaging supers gives it bonus points. Where Strand falls off is its hyperfocus on melee, leaving only Thread of Ascent as the sole DPS boost in distanced fights. Strand also doesn’t have a useful team buff, besides Banner of War. You’re shoehorned into running Synthoceps, but I can’t complain about that.
Overall though, Berserker Titan does its job the best – it is hands-down the best melee DPS option in the game, surpassing Arc Hunters and even Throwing Hammer Titans.
Arc Titans are no longer on top. Thundercrash still has top-tier damage, but it leaves you with an empty kit after use. In distanced fights with short DPS windows, such as Templar, Arc Titans benefit greatly from the one-and-done super. However, the subclass only really shines nowadays for ad-clear. You’re also forced into running Cuirass of The Falling Star for DPS, when utility-focused exotics like Armamentarium exist.
So, Void Titans are a unique case. Bubble + Weapons of Light serves as the easiest and highest fireteam damage boost in the game – doubling as a protective shield during endgame activities. Almost every team will want a Void Titan for DPS, but with options like Strand rotations on the table it can be hard to pull yourself away. Exotic options include Synthoceps, Heart of Inmost Light and No Backup Plans.
Weapons, Weapons, Weapons…
Depending on the boss’s style, as well as your subclass – you’ve got quite a few options when it comes down to weapons. There’s an answer for everything, and we’ve got the best-in-slot gear for all of it.
We’ve come up with ~3 options for the Kinetic slot, with some wiggling room for unique choices. Short-range encounters or our Strand Titans will opt for a Lightweight Frame shotgun, or Witherhoard. More specifically, the Wastelander M5 with Assault Mag, Lead From Gold and One-Two Punch. The Wastelander M5 has been craftable for a while, dropping red-frames from Dares of Eternity with Xur.
Another option for Lightweight shotguns would be Swordbreaker (even better if Adept), dropping from the Crota’s End reprised raid. Given its Strand element, surge mods may be cheaper during a given season, at the cost of lower damage overall. Assault Mag, Pugilist/Demo/Subsistance and One-Two Punch are our recommended perks, with Sword Logic coming in at a solid second place despite its situational use-cases.
Other subclasses will usually opt for Witherhoard (remember only one can be active on a boss at a time) or Izanagi’s Burden. Both serve as great DPS boosting options in-between rocket cycles.
Our final contenders for this position are Riptide and Nox Perennial V – both are solid flex picks that completely carry outside of pure boss DPS, however they both come with nice bonuses and great damage for taking out bosses. Riptide with Chill Clip serves as a fully self-contained Stasis kit, providing bonus shatter damage ontop of its strong burst. Nox Perennial V with Accelerated Coils, Lead From Gold/Envious Assassin and Controlled Burst acts almost as a throwback to the old Cartesian Coordinate days. Insanely high damage and charge speed allows this fusion to put up serious numbers.
When talking stricly DPS there are only two real candidates for the position, regardless of class. Xenoclast IV with Auto-Loading/Lead From Gold and One-Two Punch serves as the Lightweight shotgun for Strand users.
Wilderflight, the twofer grenade launcher from Spire of the Watcher, is an outstanding swap-build option. Featuring Spike Grenades, Auto-Loading and Frenzy/Vorpal, this weapon is an absolute machine for pumping out damage at mid to long ranges in-between cycles.
Probably the most-polarising topic of debate, what heavy weapon is the absolute best? The answer isn’t simple, there’s a slew of heavy weapons that fit different roles. The support options are important to note first because they affect the whole team. Gjallarhorn boosts the team’s rocket damage by somewhere between 30-80%, it’s unclear right now because of how buggy Wolfpack Rounds are, but it’s a sizeable increase. Tractor Cannon is a flat 30% damage increase on affected enemies, another laughably high boost.
For swords, the two options are Bequest – from Deep Stone Crypt – and The Lament. Bequest with Swordmaster’s Guard, Relentless Strikes and Surrounded is slightly better than Lament, but does required Surrounded to stay proc’d for the whole DPS phase. The Lament offers a much simpler yet slightly worse damage cycle, stacking Banshee’s Wail and executing a heavy attack.
For rocket DPS, Apex Predator sits above the rest, with The Hothead coming in at a close second. Cold Comfort with Ensemble and Bait & Switch serving as a last resort. Apex Predator with Impact Casing, Reconstruction and Bait & Switch/Explosive Light/Frenzy is the best option, featuring flexes for swap-builds and rocket-dumping strats.