Let’s start this guide for the best SMGs in Destiny 2 for PvE, PvP, and Gambit by getting the obvious out of the way. Recluse right now is still arguably the best pound for pound gun in Destiny 2, period. It just requires more skill to use after the nerf.
Recluse is kind of a pain to get, especially if you don’t like PvP as you’ll need to grind competitive Destiny 2 until you reach Fabled rank to complete its pinnacle quest.
However, the grind is worth it as Recluse is one of the best SMG options even after the nerf in Season of Dawn.
Tarrabah, if you can get the drop from Crown of Sorrows, is a solid all round SMG in all modes as well, but it’s harder to get than Recluse and takes up an exotic slot.
As far as Gambit goes, in this case it essentially the same as the guns we would recommend for PvE. Recluse is the only SMG you should consider invading with because it’s such a great all-around SMG, but most likely you’re going to try and use one of your Power weapons anyway.
Speaking of Gambit, Exit Strategy is a great option as well in the Kinetic slot which you can get fairly easily via the Undying ritual weapon quest. And if you played during Season of Undying, Subjunctive is solid as well with the right rolls.
We’re going to go in alphabetical order, but just know that yes once again, Recluse is the best in almost every situation other than a the specific scenarios in PvE where Riskrunner and Huckleberry’s exotic perks can shine.
Best Destiny 2 SMGs
Best for PvE & Gambit
- CALUS Mini-Tool (Energy, Solar) – Reward from the Menagerie/Chalice of Opulence.
- Exit Strategy (Kinetic) – Complete the Gambit Ritual Weapon quest, Clean Getaway.
- Huckleberry (Kinetic, Exotic) – Rare exotic world drop. Incredible for clearing out packs of minor enemies.
- Recluse (Energy, Void) – Complete “The Stuff of Myth” pinnacle weapon quest from Lord Shaxx. Almost no weaknesses, great versus everything.
- Riskrunner (Energy, Arc, Exotic) – Rare exotic world drop. Use it versus the Fallen, not bad versus the Hive either.
- Subjunctive (Energy, Arc) – Vex Offensive drop (no longer available).
- Tarrabah (Energy, Solar, Exotic) – Extremely rare drop from final boss of Crown of Sorrows.