Let’s start this guide for the best SMGs in Destiny 2 for PvE, PvP, and Gambit in 2021 as of Beyond Light by having a moment of silence for Recluse, the undisputed queen of Destiny 2’s PvE scene until the moment it was sunset… Thank you. On to the rest of this guide.
Best Destiny 2 SMGs 2021
Best for PvE & Gambit
- Escape Velocity (Kinetic) – Random world drop.
- Extraordinary Rendition (Kinetic) – Reward from Battlegrounds content.
- Friction Fire (Kinetic) – Random world drop.
- Huckleberry (Kinetic, Exotic) – Rare exotic world drop.
- Ikelos_SMG (Energy, Arc) – Random world drop.
- Riskrunner (Energy, Arc, Exotic) – Rare exotic world drop.
- Seventh Seraph VY-7 (Energy, Arc) – Random world drop.
- Stochastic Variable (Energy, Arc) – Random world drop.
- Tarrabah (Energy, Solar, Exotic) – Obtained via the exotic kiosk.
Aggressive frames are in right now when it comes to legendary SMG options, and your best bets there are Ikelos_SMG and Extraordinary Rendition which are both very popular. Seventh Seraph VY-7 is also a decent choice if you prefer it while still being able to make Warmind Cells. Although Warmind Cells aren’t nearly as powerful as they once were, they are still decent to have around and are still workable in some builds.
On the exotic end of things, Huckleberry is among the most underrated weapons in the game. There are few better Kinetic trash mob clearing weapons in the game and it’s just a blast to use. Like almost any other SMG, it’s not going to be great against anything particularly tanky.
When I say almost any other SMG, what I’m alluding to is Tarrabah. Tarrabah is a pain in the butt to use. You have to charge up Ravenous Beast to get it to do anything special and you can’t stow it or even look at your ghost otherwise the bar restarts.
However, if you commit to the Tarrabah playstyle and get Ravenous Beast active, Tarrabah turns into an absolute monster of a weapon capable of even denting high HP majors. When used with elemental well mods such as Font of Might, you can stack the damage even higher.
If you’re planning on fighting lots of Fallen, such as in the Deep Stone Crypt raid (particular first and third encounters) Riskrunner will smoke Fallen thanks to its chain lightning capability after taking arc damage (a favorite of the Fallen).