Lightfall is nearly here, and with it comes a new year of seasonal loot for Destiny 2. But what of last year's drops? Thanks to the 'Destiny Content Vault', the preceding year of seasonal activities are swept away when a new expansion launches.
That means you only have until Monday, February 27—when Destiny 2 goes down for its 24 hour pre-launch maintenance period—to easily grab anything that you're currently missing. Chances are the weapons of the past four seasons will still be available post-Lightfall, but earning them will almost certainly be more arduous. When The Witch Queen launched, the guns of the Beyond Light era were moved into Dares of Eternity's drop table—a giant, rotating list of loot with no focusing option to make grinding less of a chore.
This last year we've enjoyed some incredible, meta-shifting weapons that deserve a place in your vault. So before Lightfall arrives, here are the 11 best seasonal weapons you need to get—along with a handful of honourable mentions from elsewhere in the game. If you can, try to unlock the crafting pattern on your seasonal weapon of choice. As long as you've earned that, you'll be able to craft a new version from The Enclave at any time. You can progress the pattern via the seasonal vendor in the HELM—buying one red border per vendor per day. Otherwise you'll need to try your luck at the associated seasonal activity.
Season of the Risen
I think this wave-frame could be a low-key monster next season thanks to the changes being made to Solar 3.0—particularly the introduction of Firesprites as the Solar version of Arc's Ionic Traces. The reworked Ember of Tempering fragment will spawn Firesprites on Solar weapon kills. Firesprites naturally give grenade energy, and so will already pair well with the new Ember of Resolve fragment that procs Cure on grenade kills. But there's also the new Ember of Mercy fragment, which also causes Firesprites to grant Restoration when they're grabbed.
In short, Solar is going to let you build heavily into healing and sustain. None of that is specific to Explosive Personality, except for the fact that, if you want an easy way to secure a lot of Solar kills quickly, a wave-frame's area attack is a fantastic choice. I expect to be building heavily into this for my solo run of Lightfall's legendary campaign. If you prefer PvP, consider Disruption Break to make those swap kills even easier.
- Third Column: Auto-Loading Holster or Stats for All
- Fourth Column: Frenzy, One for All or Unrelenting
Piece of Mind
Pulse rifle fans were eating well in Crucible this year. And while No Time to Explain is still the undisputed king of PvP pulses, Piece of Mind emerged as an absurdly good legendary option. So good, in fact, that it got slapped by a zoom nerf—reducing its effective range.
Despite the hit, it remains something of a monster for dad rifle enjoyers. Yes, you're often better off with No Time to Explain—even after its own recent nerfs. But if your Exotic slot is already spoken for—you can pry Black Talon from my cold, dead hands—this is the gun to grab. As for PvE players: you'll get some value out of Adrenaline Junkie as a damage perk, but honestly, there are better pulses to pick if they ever get a buff.
- Third Column: Perpetual Motion or Overflow
- Fourth Column: Moving Target or Elemental Capacitor
Under Your Skin
My favourite bow of the year—and just generally a solid choice given how often bows are part of the anti-champion meta each season. Pop on Archer's Tempo and Explosive Head and you've got a reliable workhorse with a solid, always active damage boost.
But wait, there's more. If you value fun over efficiency, ignore Explosive Head and go for Successful Warm-up instead. Where Archer's Tempo reduces draw time on a precision hit, Successful Warm-Up reduces it on a kill. And the two perks will stack, meaning you'll be flinging out arrows at unprecedented speed (we're ignoring Hush—it was sunset). Whatever you pick it gets the job done, so it's up to you: boring but reliable, or fun?
- Third Column: Archer's Tempo
- Fourth Column: Successful Warm-Up or Explosive Head
Season of the Haunted
Bump in the Night
A rocket launcher I initially dismissed, but one that has become a DPS monster thanks to one particular perk: Chill Clip. If someone on your fireteam is running Gjallarhorn, the Wolpack Rounds it gives to a Chill Clip rocket launcher will repeatedly freeze and shatter the boss for a chunky damage increase. Just note that this strat does have diminishing returns. You'll really only need one of these among your fireteam, with everybody else running the standard go-tos like Hothead or Hezen's Vengeance.
If you really want to top the damage charts, go for Demolitionist in the third column paired with a Starfire Protocol Warlock build. Pop a Witherhoard grenade onto the boss, stand in your Well of Radiance, and let your constantly regenerating fusion grenades reload your rocket launcher for you.
- Third Column: Demolitionist or Auto-Loading Holster
- Fourth Column: Chill Clip or Vorpal Weapon
What a year it's been for submachine guns. It started with Funnelweb, a world loot pool drop that paired nicely with the Void 3.0 rework. And in the seasons that followed, each Light subclass received the perfect partner in SMG form. The returning Calus Mini-Tool is a top Solar SMG, thanks to the new Incandescent perk that, on kill, spreads Scorch to nearby enemies. Wade into a dense pack, and you'll be firing off Ignitions without a care.
Incandescent is really the only thing worth rocking in the fourth column, but you've got some options for the third. Threat Detector buffs a handful of stats—including reload speed—when enemies are near, and Grave Robber reloads the weapon on melee kills. Personally, though, I'm using Unrelenting to proc health regen after a rapid killstreak. Thanks to the aforementioned explosions, you'll be getting plenty of rapid kills.
- Third Column: Unrelenting, Threat Detector or Grave Robber
- Fourth Column: Incandescent
Crucible players are spoilt for choice when it comes to 140 rpm hand cannons. Just this season, we were given both Rose and Exalted Truth—likely two of the best legendary PvP hand cannons in the game right now. Given that, is there any point in an Austringer?
Kind of. If you've already got a Crucible favourite picked out, Austringer can be safely skipped. But it's one of just two 140 rpm hand cannons available for crafting, meaning it offers a deterministic way to craft a PvP god roll. And thanks to its access to enhanced perks, a little time investment means you can create a roll that can easily compete with the competition in one of Destiny 2's most popular PvP archetypes. As for PvE, an Outlaw/Rampage roll would do the job if hand cannons ever get their much needed buff. Really, though, you'd be better off with the other craftable 140: Zaouli's Bane from the King's Fall raid.
- Third Column: Eye of the Storm or Snapshot Sights
- Fourth Column: Rangefinder or Opening Shot
Season of the Plunder
Look, I'll level with you: I did not like Plunder's guns. They're a bit weird looking, for one thing. More than that, though, most of them just don't stand out compared to other weapons in their archetype. I'm not going to use No Reprieve when Heritage is simply the best slug shotgun in the game. I'm not bringing Sailspy Pitchglass to a damage phase when Cataclysmic, Reed's Regret and Taipan-4FR all exist.
The only exceptions are purely down to Plunder's introduction of the incredible Voltshot perk. Get a kill, reload, and you'll apply Jolt to the next enemy you shoot. Jolt is one of the best keywords in the game, able to chain lightning to easily clear out packs of adds. Brigand's Law and Tarnished Metal were the first guns to have Voltshot as an option, with the edge going to Tarnished Metal as the more useful option for harder activities. Ultimately, though, neither are as good as the Voltshot weapon introduced in Season of the Seraph…
- Third Column: Rapid Hit or Demolitionist
- Fourth Column: Voltshot or Explosive Payload
Season of the Seraph
In a year of SMG highlights, the Ikelos is arguably the best. Already a beloved gun based on its v1.0.2 re-release from back in Season of Arrivals, this new iteration is better still. The reason: that Voltshot perk. It's even more perfect on an SMG, because the effective range is just more favourable (and enjoyable) for most of Destiny 2's PvE activities.
Unlike Calus Mini-Tool and Funnelweb—both 900 rpm guns—the one downside to the Ikelos_SMG is that it only holds 28 bullets in the magazine. For that reason you'll want a reload perk like Threat Detector or Feeding Frenzy in the third column—you'll be reloading it all the time anyway, because that's how you proc Voltshot. Really, if you prioritise one single gun from this list, it should probably be this. In fact, get two: I've seen plenty of people also rocking this in PvP with Perpetual Motion or Killing Wind in the third column, and Tap the Trigger or Rangefinder in the fourth column.
- Third Column: Threat Detector or Feeding Frenzy
- Fourth Column: Voltshot
Path of Least Resistance
Coldheart has been my trace rifle of choice since the launch of Arc 3.0, thanks to the constant tick of Ionic Traces it provides. But PC Gamer's own Tim Clark is a big advocate for this year's legendary options: Hollowed Denial from Season of the Haunted, and Path of Least Resistance from Season of the Seraph. Both are great options for double-special builds, where you run two special weapons in order to guarantee more heavy ammo drops.
For Hollowed Denial, you're looking at Lead From Gold and Repulsor Brace on a Void build. The former perk gives you special ammo on heavy ammo pickup. The latter gives you a Void overshield when killing Void debuffed enemies. Path of Least Resistance, meanwhile, of course benefits from the Voltshot perk. Pair it with Stats for All to secure those faster reload times. For extra spice, run it on an Arc build with Spark of Beacons to blind enemies with every kill while Amplified. And be sure to throw in a Special Finisher to ensure you've got a way to consistently generate special ammo—come Lightfall, it won't even cost you super energy.
- Third Column: Stats for All
- Fourth Column: Voltshot
Judgment of Kelgorath
The first aggressive frame glaive pretty much carried me through a solo flawless clear of the Duality dungeon. Just pair it with Karnstein Armlets, which grant health regen on melee kills, and stab your way to being functionally unkillable. The Season of the Seraph season pass already offers a great roll for Judgment of Kelgorath—at level 45 on the free track, you get Overflow and Close to Melee, a new perk that gives 10 seconds of increased glaive melee damage after a projectile kill.
My crafted version, meanwhile, is running Demolitionist and Incandescent. The scorch damage that spreads on an Incandescent kill still counts as weapon damage, which means any further kills from its damage-over-time will generate even more grenade energy from Demolitionist. It's a cool interaction that mitigates Judgments one major downside: it's appalling reload speed.
- Third Column: Overflow or Demolitionist
- Fourth Column: Close to Melee or Incandescent
LMGs are getting a buff next season, and, given the general changes being made to difficulty across a variety of activities, could well become a legitimate pick in the PvE sandbox. There are plenty of choices when it comes to great LMGs—Commemoration from the Deep Stone Crypt raid is a particular favourite of mine. But Retrofit Escapade is up there thanks to having Target Lock in its perk pool.
With Target Lock, the gun's damage increases the longer you fire on a particular target. That gives it some extra spice against meatier enemies such as champions. It's void too, so will benefit from builds that incorporate Volatile Rounds.
- Third Column: Fourth Times the Charm or Feeding Frenzy
- Fourth Column: Target Lock
Here are some honourable mentions that may also be harder to acquire after Lightfall's launch. I'm ignoring weapons from raids, dungeons and other fixed locations that aren't leaving next season—rather, these are the world loot pool drops and ritual weapons that may not be as accessible as of next week.
Funnelweb: While this Void SMG doesn't have any Void 3.0 perks in its pool, it does still pair perfectly with Volatile Rounds—either through the Void 3.0 fragments, or the Hunter's Gyrfalcon's Hauberk. Subsistence/Frenzy is a great roll, although—for my Warlock's grenade-spamming Contraverse Hold build—I've started using Adrenaline Junkie instead. You can find it in the world loot pool, or as a potential drop from Season of the Plunder's Veist Weapon focusing option.
Taipan-4FR: A solid option in this, The Year of the Linear Fusion Rifle. Taipan isn't the best linear, but it's damn good for how easy it is to get. You can easily pick it up from The Enclave on Mars, as part of the questline that teaches you how crafting works. There's no telling if this will change with Lightfall's release—particularly as the economy around crafting is getting updated—so make sure you at least unlock the pattern before Tuesday. Linears are getting nerfed with Lightfall's release, but they'll probably still be very good for certain boss encounters.
Aurvandil FR6: Another world loot drop, this time for a Stasis fusion rifle. The prize here is the combination of Reconstruction and Chill Clip. The latter's slow effect normally only applied to the top half of the magazine, but Reconstruction can overfill the magazine by double its normal size. That means, if it's fully loaded, a full three quarters of your shots will be benefiting from Chill Clip. You can grab this as a possible drop from Season of Plunder's Omolon Weapon focusing option.
Wendigo GL3: Heavy grenade launchers are getting a chunky buff for Lightfall, to the point that they could become a competitive option for boss damage in raids and dungeons. The returning Wendigo is still one of the best GLs for damage output, thanks to its perk pool containing Explosive Light—which gives a big buff to its damage when you pick up Orbs of Power. You can farm this from the Warden of Nothing Nightfall this week. Keep an eye out for a reload perk in the third column: Clown Cartridge, Field Prep or Auto-Loading Holster. Also consider Cascade Point in the fourth column—the big increase in rate-of-fire will make it a strong pick for burst DPS.