Destiny 2's best exotic weapon is getting nerfed

Anarchy exotic heavy grenade launcher.
(Image credit: Bungie)

There's a lot going on in the latest edition of This Week at Bungie, including a look at upcoming weapon tweaks and tuning, some more sandbox stuff related to specific perks, info on the Master Vault of Glass raid, and some vague chat about ideas for the game's future. The big hit, though, lands squarely on Destiny 2's best PvE gun: Anarchy.

Anarchy was powerful to the point of being "borderline busted," Tim wrote in his recent analysis of seasonal artifact resets, and that's without the extra kick it's enjoying this season thanks to the Grenade Launcher artifact mods currently in play. The funny thing about Anarchy is that it was initially written off as a bit of a gimmick. The weapon fires electrified grenades which attach to the target, creating a deadly arc field between wherever you place your shots.

Understandably, most players initially just used it for zone controlling, flash frying waves of enemies as they charged towards you. (The shots could also be attached to teammates and vehicles for additional meme potential.) However, as we got more comfortable with the weapon, it became apparent it was also a DPS king. 

Not because Anarchy does insane damage on its own—it's merely decent on that front—but due to its potential to be combo'd with other weapons. The optimal way to use Anarchy is to stick two 'nades to a high health target and, while those are ticking away doing damage, swap to a special weapon like a sniper rifle or a grenade launcher and go to town.

So, Anarchy is good for dealing with both swarms of mobs and bosses. But that's not all. Because it deals its damage over time, it's also incredibly safe and easy to use in high-end content. You simply squat behind cover, peek out to pop a couple of Anarchy shots onto the target, then scurry back while they do their work. Redditor Spynn has a good guide to the weapon, but the point is pretty much that Anarchy has, over time, chased almost all other exotics out of the power weapon slot. 

So it's little surprise that it's glory days are coming to an end. "Anarchy has done too much too well for too many years (without even counting the boost it's gotten this Season, which is due to the sweet Grenade Launcher artifact mods)," Bungie wrote. "So we're making changes that make it great at a couple roles rather than being the jack of all Grenade Launchers."

The initial reaction to the looming nerf on Reddit seems quite mild, suggesting that players foresaw this eventuality and a toning-down was probably overdue. There actually seems to be a sense of relief among some redditors that Anarchy won't be all but mandatory for harder PvE content anymore. "Honestly thank god. I was so tired of using anarchy for every high end activity or raid LFG," Snowie-your-man wrote.

Several others implied the change wouldn't impact them much at all, because they'd simply switch to Witherhoard, another grenade launcher that was just a wee bit overpowered when it arrived in 2020. And of course, there are memes.

(Image credit: thirsisthirsty (Reddit))

As for what exotic will replace Anarchy, keep an eye on Sleeper Simulant, which is belatedly going to benefit from the buff that other Linear Fusion rifles received. Rocket launchers like Deathbringer and Two-Tailed Fox are also already pretty potent, so you can expect them to see even more play.

A date for the nerf hasn't been set but Bungie said it's planned for "the near future." The full update, which does include a gamut of changes coming next week, is yours to enjoy at

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.