Destiny 2: The Best Hand Cannons, Ranked (2023)

best hand cannons destiny 2

Destiny 2 has many different types of weapons and they all have their unique attributes which make them fun to use. A fan favorite among these weapon types is the Hand Cannon, which is extremely powerful and very stylish at the same time, resembling a futuristic revolver in design.

Even though Hand Cannons are one category of the game’s weapons, there is a great variety present and each of them has different properties which give them individual pros and cons.

While all of them deal great damage and excel at close-to-medium range, there are differences present that make some ideal for smaller numbers of enemies, while some are meant for crowd control as well.

To make it even harder to know which Hand Cannons are the best, Destiny 2: Beyond Light added more weapons and changed the properties of some of the existing ones as well.

Luckily, we value your time and ended up creating a thorough list of the top 10 best Hand Cannons in Destiny 2 that you can use! So, let’s get started and save you the trouble of trying all of them out yourself.

What is a Sunset Weapon?

Before we get into the best Hand Cannons list, let’s learn what it means for a weapon to be in a ‘sunset’ state in Destiny 2. This is something that I’ve noticed that not many people know about, especially if they’re new, but it’s more important than the players may realize.

While some people enjoy shuffling through different weapons to keep their playstyle diverse and varied – not everyone has that much time to put into the game.

This means that many players try to find a weapon to use as their main and follow its upgrade path to make sure that it’s extremely useful for both PvE and Crucible (PvP) modes.

This brings us to weapons that have been put in the ‘sunset’ state as it’s something that directly affects the upgrade path of a weapon.

Basically, Bungie decided that certain weapons would be too overpowered if they could be upgraded constantly, so after a specific time of their release, they are to be locked to a fixed level capacity.

This was implemented so that you won’t aren’t able to take that weapon any further in strength and as a result, try out other weapons available in the game instead.

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It also might make it harder for you to win against certain players who are using weapons that can be upgraded past the point of the sunset weapon that you’re using, which can be frustrating. On top of that, this also applies to gear in general based on the choice of the developers, not only Hand Cannons.

Fortunately, we’ve tried our best to not include any Hand Cannons on this list that have been subjected to the state of sunset, and nine out of the ten guns that we suggested here, at the time of writing this, do not have a small level capacity.

The only exception is number 9, but that’s because it’s a weapon that is great for limited use while you grind for something better along the way.

And lastly, we recommend that even if you use Hand Cannons that are not present on our guide, check whether it’s been sunset or not first so that your time into upgrading it is not wasted. So, with that out of the way, let’s get right into our list!

The Best Destiny 2 Hand Cannons

Here are the best hand cannons to use in Destiny 2.

1. Dire Promise

Let’s be real, half the reason that people feel so drawn towards the Hand Cannons is the fact they look very similar to real-world Revolvers. Thankfully, the fans are in luck because Dire Promise is not only one of the best Hand Cannons in Destiny 2, but it looks extremely similar to a real-world Revolver with almost no futuristic elements in the design.

It has an aim assist stat of 87 and quite long-range, which rack it up pretty high on the usefulness scale. But the true icing on the cake here is the diverse perks that allow it to be an extremely precise yet powerful gun – which is rare to see as everything has to be balanced otherwise.

If you still play the Crucible mode despite its neglect from Bungie, you’d be happy to know that this gun excels in PvP combat.

2. Posterity

Posterity is an excellent weapon that is great for people that want long-range but without the compromise of power. The gun can hold up to 38 bullets at once if you manage it properly and every time that you hit your opponents, there is a 33% damage boost for 10 seconds as a reward for your success.

If you miss the Magnificent Howl perk that Not Forgotten was well-known for, you can combine the Killing Wind and Rampage perks and it essentially has the same end result.

That would be, of course, the +20 mobility points every time you kill someone, which helps you greatly with the movement which is something important in a game like Destiny 2. But even if your playstyle differs a bit, there are other perk combinations that you can apply which may suit you better.

3. Eriana’s Vow

The Eriana’s Vow Hand Cannon is often considered to be a special weapon due to how powerful it is. It has anti-barrier bullets and each shot that you will land on an enemy or player will cause a lot of damage. If the game had a ‘tank’ weapons category, Eriana’s Vow would definitely be on top of that list solely because of how heavily damaging it can be.

To give you an early idea before going into details – this weapon can damage Champion barriers, which are difficult to destroy otherwise.

Whether it’s real players in PvP or the most difficult of bosses in PvE, you won’t be disappointed with this gun and find it very useful to go around with.

And of course, it looks really cool and its fire/smoke-based aesthetics are something that makes you feel like it’s something that is straight out of the hellish universe of the Doom franchise.

4. Malfeasance

You might get surprised to see Malfeasance so high up in the list, but hear me out. While obtaining the weapon can be difficult due to the fact that you have to complete such a long quest to get it – it’s absolutely worth having once you’re done with the effort.

The most important perk of this gun is called ‘Explosive Shadow’ and it causes bits of your gun to enter the body of your enemy, which then acts as a bomb inside of them.

Yes, this means if you shoot a few rounds into an enemy with Malfeasance using the ‘Explosive Shadow’ perk, they will all explode after a few seconds and cause high damage to them from both your initial shot and the following explosion.

It may take a while to get used to this weapon due to how differently it acts in comparison to everything else on the list, but it’s undoubtedly one of the best Hand Cannons in Destiny 2. You won’t even need to switch your load-out very often, as it’s excellent in both PvE and PvP gameplay.

5. Thorn

Thorn is a bit of an infamous weapon due to how powerful it is – which is something that the developers acknowledge as well and try their best to balance it. Some of the balancing attempts made it too weak, while others made it too powerful.

But thankfully, the developers have managed to find the perfect modifications for it and it’s still a very powerful Hand Cannon nonetheless.

The weapon provides a small number of DoT damage every time you manage to kill someone and if you struggle with fighting Guardians, then this weapon while having the Soul Devourer buff, is extremely useful.

It’s a bit of an all-rounder weapon that you can’t go wrong with, and it’s especially useful in PvE due to its offensive qualities.

6. Ace of Spades

Ace of Spades is a very interesting Hand Cannon that can be very useful if used strategically. First of all, there’s a nice piece of lore behind this gun which reveals that it belonged to Cayde-6 and he left a will saying that the gun should belong to whoever killed him.

Unfortunately for him, it’s up for sale in the game and you can obtain it whenever you’re ready to go to the ‘Monument to Lost Lights’ area.

The best perk for this gun is the ‘Firefly’ one as it makes enemies that you shoot with precision short explode.

As you may have figured it out already – it’s a great weapon for fighting large hordes and controlling the crowd since it makes enemies explode one by one and clears up the field of battle.

That’s not all, though, as it has another perk called ‘Memento Mori’ which gives you a radar to follow enemies with, and reloading your gun will add a few powerful bullets into the current magazine. It’s an all-rounder weapon for both PvE and PvP combat, the player just has to make sure that the right perks are equipped to it.

7.  IKELOS_HC_v1.0.2

When you read such a complicated name for a weapon, you know that there’s something special about it. And your knowledge is correct, as this unique Hand Cannon can generate Warmind Cells, which is very rare to find as an ability for weapons in the game.

While the weapon requires more focus and strategy compared to some of the trigger-happy weapons listed in this guide, it’s still an excellent choice for people who know their way around the game.

Its perks are pretty useful if prioritized right and you can increase its range to a great level too with Seraph Rounds. It’s one of the weapons that are great both in PvP and PvE, but if you’re not new to the game, you must already know that the ability to generate Warmind Cells is something that you can never have enough of in solo gameplay.

8. True Prophecy

True Prophecy is a weapon that looks more like a handgun than a revolver but doesn’t be fooled by its looks. It’s a 120 RPM Hand Cannon that has been consistently useful throughout the many different seasons that Destiny 2 has seen.

Whether it’s PvP or PvE combat, you will often see players use this gun a lot and wonder what makes it so good.

It’s a very agile weapon that has a decent range and is pretty good in terms of mobility as well. It can have Drop Mag, Rangefinder, and Timed Payload equipped simultaneously and that makes it a very good weapon for fighting opponents that are far away from you, while it’s obvious that it’s excellent for close-ranged combat too due to its Hand Cannon qualities.

9. Spare Rations

Destiny 2 best hand canons

Spare Ration is an excellent gun that is often considered one of the best Hand Cannons that Destiny 2 has to offer. If you’re someone that appreciates having a bit of aim-assist in their gun, then you’ll be very delighted to know that this weapon has a very high value.

It has great stats that make it extremely useful for almost every situation and game mode, such as MultiKill Clip which gives it a 50% damage boost for 4 to 5 seconds.

And if you take aim-assist too seriously, you can apply Moving Target to have the highest assist value possible in the game.

The only downside to this weapon is that it’s currently sunset, but it’s not really a big deal because this weapon acts as more of a ladder towards getting a better gun without a small level cap anyway by now.

10. Crimson

If you played the first Destiny game and miss the ‘Red Death’ pulse rifle since it was not added back into Destiny 2, then this Hand Cannon is the gun that you’re looking for.

It has a perk called ‘Banned Weapon’ which allows you to shoot three bullets at the same time and another perk called the ‘Cruel Remedy’ which gives you a bit of health every time you kill an enemy.

It’s especially useful to have a weapon like this if you’re a bit of a support player, as it allows you to clutch rounds with the ability to heal yourself back. And of course, it’s pretty useful for PvP as well because you can often get killed over having less health left from your encounters with enemies.

And lastly, come on, it looks really sophisticated yet cool.

That’s it for our guide of the 10 best Hand Cannons in Destiny 2 that you can use. We hope that you found the perfect gun for you to use in this list, and we’re here to answer any questions that you might have.

And now that you’re here, you might want to check out some of our other helpful lists on the website too!

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