Best Destiny 2 builds for the Crucible and Raids

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What are the best Destiny 2 builds? Whether you’re a seasoned player or a blueberry, you can always learn something new about the complexities of buildcrafting in this popular looter shooter. While the game used to heavily limit how players could develop their character subclass builds, it now contains a host of Aspects and Fragments for each subclass, as well as armour mods to produce elemental wells and Charge with Light buffs, weapons that synergize with specific build elements, and exotics that amplify specific character traits.

Whether you want to be the most overpowered Guardian in the free PC game, you’re gearing up to take on the Lightfall raid, or you’re just struggling to beat the Calus boss fight, we’ve compiled the top-tier builds for each of the classes so you can dominate whatever game mode you like with ease.

The best Destiny 2 builds

The best Destiny 2 class builds are designed to be versatile and carry a player through any activity in the game. Builds in Destiny 2 are inherently more complicated than they are in other FPS games, which is why we’ve broken down the best overall builds and included some ways to optimise them based on whether you’re gearing up for PvP or PvE.

Before we jump in, note that you’ll want to focus on getting your armour’s overall resilience stats as close to 100 as possible. Resilience determines your Guardian’s overall health, and making sure you’ve optimised your armour to give you the maximum amount of health possible will help you survive the game’s most difficult encounters.

 A Warlock Shadebinder in action.

Warlock

Supercharged Shadebinder turret build

We’ve already shared a version of this build in our best Destiny 2 Warlock builds guide, and it’s worth highlighting the power of this build in both PvP and PvE contexts. The Stasis build turns the Warlock’s grenades into Stasis turrets that damage and slow enemies. The build’s coldsnap grenades received a buff in late 2022, and developers also increased the movement penalty caused by their slowing effects.

Subclass

Shadebinder – Winter’s Wrath (summons a Stasis staff that casts out Stasis shards and freezes targets and also casts a shockwave that shatters frozen targets).

  • Class ability: Healing rift or empowering rift both work with this build.
  • Grenade: Coldsnap grenade.
  • Aspects:
    • Glacial Harvest: Freezing targets creates Stasis shards around the target.
      Bleak Watcher: Press and hold the grenade button to turn grenades into turrets.
  • Fragments:
    • Whisper of Torment: Gain grenade energy each time you take damage.
    • Whisper of Durance: Slows from abilities last longer, and lingering ability duration increases. (+10 Strength)
    • Whisper of Shards: Shattering a Stasis crystal temporarily increases grenade recharge rate. (+10 Resilience)
    • Whisper of Conduction: Stasis shards track to your position.

Exotic armour – Osiomancy Gloves: Grant coldsnap grenades better tracking and grant grenade ability upon both hitting and freezing an enemy.

Mods

  • Harmonic Siphon: Rapid weapon final blows with damage matching subclass type create an Orb of Power.
  • Grenade Kickstart: When grenade energy is fully expended, gain grenade energy.
  • Better Already: Health regenerates immediately after picking up Orb of Power.
  • Distribution: Reduces all ability cooldowns when using class ability near targets.
  • Perpetuation: Reduced ability cooldown when using class ability.
  • (PvE only) Lord Kelvin’s Basilisk: Void and Stasis grenades disrupt enemies, delaying ability regeneration and lowering combatant damage output.
  • (PvE only) Elemental Shards: Stasis shards count as elemental wells.
  • (PvE only) Well of Restoration: Stasis elemental well grants additional energy for the ability that has the lowest energy. Multiple copies of this mod increase its effect.

Weapons 

Any preferred Stasis weapon with a Headstone trait, which causes precision blows to spawn a Stasis crystal at the enemy’s location. However, Ager’s Scepter, which is one of the best Destiny 2 PvP weapons, is a solid choice.

Note that this build relies on Osmiomancy Gloves, which grant a buff to coldsnap grenades but seem counterintuitive because it doesn’t trigger on grenades that turn to turrets. The idea here is to alternate between the turrets and the regular coldsnap grenades to earn the buff, and then keep cycling them to drop 3-4 turrets at a time.

 A Hunter Nightstalker stands planning an attack.

Hunter

Infinite invisibility Nightstalker build

This build leverages the Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk to maximise Hunter invisibility. Everything about this build is designed to strengthen invisibility, making it useful in both PvP and PvE. This is why it’s already on our list of the best Destiny 2 Hunter builds, though we’ve included a few slight deviations here. It allows players to cycle invisibility to allow them to avoid detection and escape from enemies rapidly and seamlessly. Invisibility grants a 35% damage buff with this build, too, so leverage the build by chaining it as much as possible.

The synergies here are many, but they all work together to create something greater than the sum of its parts. There’s the potential to cycle invisibility, which will also reload your weapon and, in some cases, weaken your target with the next melee attack. Invisibility lasts longer, and, if you’re leveraging finishers, they’ll grant a reserve overshield and a buff to ability regen each time. If you’re using Echo of Starvation, this combo will also grant Devour for health regen, and with the Collective Obligation, you can also siphon any debuffs and apply them to other enemies, too. It’ll also reload each time you earn Devour.

Subclass

Nightstalker – Shadowshot – Moebius Quiver (Super ability lets players tether enemies to anchor, weakening and suppressing them. It also fires two volleys of arrows that seek nearby targets, and Shadowshot makes targets volatile and increases damage).

  • Class ability: Marksman’s Dodge, which performs an evasive manoeuvre and causes dodging to automatically reloads weapon and also has a faster cooldown the alternative.
  • Grenade: Suppressor grenade.
  • Aspects:
    • Vanishing Step: Causes dodging to make the player invisible.
    • Stylish Executioner: Defeating a weakened, suppressed, or volatile target grants invisibility and truesight, and the next melee attack while invisible weakens the target.
      • Truesight means enemies are shaded and pulse red through walls.
  • Fragments:
    • Echo of Persistence: Void buffs applied to you have increased duration. -10 Mobility.
    • Echo of Instability: Defeating targets with grenades grants volatile rounds to Void Weapons. +10 Strength.
    • Echo of Undermining: Void grenades weaken targets. -20 Discipline.
    • Echo of Obscurity: Finisher final blows grant invisibility. +10 Recovery
      • If working toward more challenging activities, use Echo of Starvation instead: Picking up and Orb of Power grants Devour. -10 Recovery.

Exotic armour

Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk – Grants a bonus to weapon damage after emerging from being invisible. When invisible and you defeat an enemy with a finisher, you and your allies gain a reserve overshield and improved class ability regeneration. You can deploy reserve overshields using your class ability.

Mods

  • (PvE only) Reaping Wellmaker: Upon activating your Class Ability, the next weapon’s final blow spawns a Void elemental well.
  • Harmonic Siphon: Rapid weapon final blows with damage matching your subclass type create an Orb of Power.
    • With Echo of Starvation, this will grant you Devour.
  • Dynamo: Reduces Super Ability cooldown when using class ability near targets.
  • (PvE only) Bountiful Wells: Elemental well mods now stack, spawning additional wells for each copy of the mod equipped.
    Place as many of these as possible, as they will allow you to stack buffs.
  • (PvE) Well of Utility: Picking up a Void elemental well grants you additional class ability energy. Multiple copies of this mod increase this effect.
  • Utility Kickstart: When class ability energy is expended, gain class ability energy.
  • (PvE only) Font of Might: Picking up an elemental well that matches your subclass energy grants a bonus to weapon damage.
  • Powerful Friends: When you become Charged with Light, nearby allies also become Charged with Light. +20 Mobility
    The primary benefit of this is increased Mobility, but your teammates will also benefit from you becoming Charged with Light.

If you’re playing any PvP activities, focus instead on additional Charged with Light mods such as Taking Charge (grants Charged with Light upon picking up Orbs of Power), High-Energy Fire (which Charged with Light, gain a bonus to weapon damage), and, with the weapon listed below, Swift Charge (become Charged with Light by rapidly defeating combatants with Pulse Rifles, Sidearms, or Submachine Guns).

Weapons

Collective Obligation: This Void Vow of the Disciple Raid weapon can leech Void debuffs when damaging targets that are suppressed, weakened, or volatile. After leaching, you can alternate the weapon action to apply the same leeched debuffs. Additionally, it automatically reloads when a player gains Devour, a Void overshield or becomes invisible. The Void leech will also cause a 20% damage increase when active with this build.

 A Titan Striker prepares to fight.

Titan

Thundercrash Titan total destruction build

There’s no argument that Arc Titans are presently overpowered, particularly in PvP. Even with some recent nerfs that impacted the Titan storm grenade, which decreased its roaming duration and the bonus lifetime damage granted by Spark of Magnitude from 2 seconds to 1.5 seconds, this build will make you an unstoppable force among peers. While it isn’t on our best Destiny 2 Titan builds guide, this one is focused on being good in every scenario, while those are specific to PvP or PvE.

The best Destiny 2 build is the incredibly powerful Arc Titan. It leverages the Heart of Inmost Light, which also happens to be on our list of the best Destiny 2 exotics. While there are numerous variations of this build that players favour for their personal use, we’ve used a modified version of a build from YouTuber Aztecross for this guide.

Subclass

Striker – Thundercrash (hurtle through the air to crash into targets).

  • Class ability: Player’s preference.
  • Grenade: Storm grenade.
  • Aspects:
    • Touch of Thunder: Grants storm grenades a thundercloud that tracks enemies and fires bolts of lightning beneath it.
    • Knockout: Critically wounding or breaking target shields increases melee damage and range, and melee attacks grant health regen and amplify you.
  • Fragments:
    Spark of Magnitude: Grants your storm grenades increased damage.
  • Spark of Shock: Grenades jolt targets. (-10 Discipline)
  • Spark of Resistance: When surrounded, increase damage resistance. (+10 Strength)
  • Spark of Amplitude: Rapidly defeating targets while amplified grants an Orb of Power.

Exotic armour

Heart of Inmost Light: Using an ability (grenade, melee, or barricade) empowers the other two abilities granting faster regen, plus more damage for grenades and melee and more HP for barricades).

Mods

  • Ashes to Assets: Gain bonus Super energy on grenade kills.
  • Bolstering Detonation: Grants class ability upon causing damage with a grenade.
  • Recuperation: Grants health when picking up Orbs of Light.
  • Bomber: Reduces grenade cooldown when using a class ability.
  • (PvE only) Elemental Ordinance (as many as possible): Defeating an enemy with a grenade grants an elemental well that matches your energy type.
  • (PvE only): Seeking Wells: Wells you create move toward the player.
  • (PvE only) Bountiful Wells: Mods that cause you to spawn elemental wells now stack.

As with the Hunter build, you’ll want to instead focus on Charged with Light mods for PvP activities, given that wells do not work in PvP.

Weapons

Any preferred weapon that can secure kills in rapid succession will grant Orbs of Light with this build. In PvE, this means any weapon good for taking down ads, such as the Thunderlord or the Grand Overture. In PvP, meta weapons such as Dead Man’s Tale or No Time to Explain are good options.

That’s everything you need to know about the best builds in Destiny 2, one of the best PC games available to anyone with a computer and a working internet connection. Now that the Destiny 2 Lightfall expansion is here and the Strand subclass is finding its feet in the meta, there’s never been a better time to mix up your builds. We’ll have everything you need to know to help you explore all-new build possibilities.

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