Destiny 2 PVE DPS Mastery: Tips, Techniques, & Builds

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At one moment, you’ll get to a point when you feel like you’ve known everything about Destiny 2. You need to figure out what to do next, but you’ll likely assume the content ceiling is reached. But there’s a possibility that maybe,, you may have missed some Raids and sometimes have problems completing them. Most fireteams often get stuck on bosses due to the need for one thing: better DPS.

Best Builds

In this article, we’ll tell you what DPS in Destiny 2 PvE is, how to improve it, and what is required. We have a lot of work to do, so let’s dive right in and start exploring our material!

What Does DPS Mean and How Can I Improve It?

DPS or Damage Per Second is a simple metric of how much damage (dmg) you deal to an enemy every second. You can often see numbers flying around when shooting down the enemy, and in Raids or Dungeons, after the wipe or defeating the final boss, see the final damage numbers. Your dmg depends on various factors, whether it be a weapon in your hands or another slot, subclass, Exotic armor, buffs, debuffs, and multiple further little factors that synergize with each other.

And in order to understand how each of the elements affects DPS, we will analyze them in detail in the following sections.

Choice of Guns and Perks

The very first and most important step is the apparent selection of the best weapons for DPS in Destiny 2 PvE. Each gun has unique features and could be helpful in completely different ways. Of the prominent examples:

That is why if you go to a Raid, then you need to keep the best guns for any situation in your inventory.

Source: Bungie

Interesting Fact: the same type of weapon sometimes are capable of differentiating tremendously from each other in terms of damage. How so? It’s pretty simple: perks and their archetypes. Too often, players don’t understand “How to increase DPS in Destiny 2 PvE,” and one perk is being able to completely change gun harm, just like an archetype.

For instance, you get the best legendary Sniper Rifle, Succession, and its perks are Shot Swap and Osmosis. You decide to use it on the boss. Unfortunately, both perks are completely useless, and this sniper seems like total garbage. At the same time, your teammate also uses it and deals much more dmg because of Reconstruction and Vorpal Weapon, which increases its damage and fills its clip with ammo twice as much. And in the meantime, someone in the team has Irukandji with Fourth Time’s The Charm and Firing Line but dealt the most DPS due to the archetype and the damage perk that works with two teammates around. For clarity, have more examples with detailed numerals: DPS chart in Destiny 2 PVE

Double Specials

Previously, taking two special guns with you was absolutely ineffective in Destiny 2. However,  everything has changed with Bungie’s 30th Anniversary add-on release and various patches. Such Double Special Combo has become one of the most popular and advanced DPS techniques in Destiny 2 PvE. There are several reasons for this:

These three reasons are a priority in many boss fights, so try the Double Special tactic to have the best DPS.

DPS Subclasses and Exotic Armor

As much as you want to play Strand Hunter or Solar Titan, these subclasses don’t deal that much harm to enemies. If you desire to maximize your harm to opponents, then you have to sacrifice something. But then, which subclass and Super should you choose?  We’ll analyze this to better understand DPS in Destiny 2 PvE.

Every Warlock knows they must maintain the Well of Radiance for any DPS phase. This Super heals and gives bonus gun damage to all Fireteam members who are in it. But did you know Well can become even stronger by using the right Exotics, like Starfire Protocol or Lunafaction Boots? The chest will improve your damage with Fusion Grenades, while the Boots will support the whole team with a faster reload speed. However, if the team already has Well of Radiance, you have the ability to just take Void subclass with Nova Bomb or Strand with Needlestorm.

Titans also don’t have a wide range of choices. If you want to become a Support — Void is perfect. In addition to the powerful Void Overshield, this subclass has Ward of Dawn, which boosts guns’ DPS no worse than Well of Radiance. It’s important to know that those Buffs don’t stack, so you always have a backup plan in the form of a Striker. Thundercrash damage can’t impress you, so be sure to use Cuirass of the Falling Star. It’ll fix this problem.

Hunter can be called a DPS class because of the massive selection of Exotics and Supers. First of all, you must know about Star-Eater Scales. Those Legs are capable of improving your Super’s dmg by up to 70%. In combination with the Exotic, any Super is good, but Blade Barrage and Gathering Storm will perform the best. We also advise that you pay attention to the Mask of Bakris, which increases your Arc Weapons harm by up to 20%, and stacks with Well and Ward. Don’t forget about Void Hunter, who inflicts the strongest Debuff in the game, but we’ll talk about that later in the article.

Weapon Combos

With all the variety of guns and armor, it’s easy to get confused, especially if you want to combine them. We’ll list the most popular and effective combinations you can try, but never be afraid to experiment!

Buffs and Debuffs

There are a huge number of buffs and debuffs in the looter shooter, which are challenging to figure out. Some can stack together to have more effect, while others don’t. We can describe all of them indefinitely. Therefore, we have only described the most essential and powerful buffs and debuffs you could use.


The strongest Debuff during Season 20 is 30%, which you are able to achieve in 3 ways:

Source: Bungie

The easiest option for DPS would be Super Hunter. Regardless, it only lasts for a short time. If you have the opportunity to be close to the boss, then Tractor Cannon is a great option. Regarding Felwinter’s Helm, it’s too difficult and inefficient to use.

The most common Debuff you’ll see in the game would be 15%, and it is much easier to place on the enemy than the options above. The most popular representative is Divinity, which in addition to the Debuff, creates a huge sphere that counts as a Crit Spot. Any weapon or Ability that has the capability to cast Weaken will also increase harm against enemies by 15%.

It is important to note that all debuffs don’t stack with each other, but one could overlap another. For example, you can use Divinity for Crit Spot along with Tractor Cannon for 30% bonus damage.


The situation is much more confusing with buffs, and explaining all the pitfalls is a topic for a separate article. This spreadsheet will assist you if you want to get to know them better.


Ward of Dawn and Well of Radiance are the most straightforward and potent buffs. They’ll raise the damage by your weapon to 25%. And we have good news for you: they stack with Weapon Surge Mods, and you are able to set them into Legs armor. The increased damage depends on the number of copies inserted (10%/17%/22%), so always use three of the same mod to be more effective.

Three Best Damage Per Second Builds  

The Supers of each class are just as important during the DPS phases, as guns aren’t the only thing that matters here. Keep one effective Hunter, Warlock, and Titan build to improve PvE DPS in Destiny 2.

Arc Star-Eater Scales Hunter

Star Eater Build

The build right here became very useful with Lightfall’s release due to the ease of generating Orbs of Power through Melee Ability and Heavy Handed. Although the Exotic armor has already given you more Super Energy for picking up Orbs, we can speed up the process thanks to Hands On. Once the Feast of Light buff reaches four stacks, Gathering Storm is ready to roll with 70% boosted damage. Simple but very effective.

Solar Starfire Warlock

Starfire Protocol

This build will inevitably cease to exist in Season 21, but use it while you can. Starfires themselves are broken Exotic that produce 20% grenade energy per hit while in Well of Radiance or Empowering Rift. Essentially, allowing you to quickly recharge your grenades within a matter of seconds, allowing you to spam them repeatedly. Those grenades can be even more useful with Ashes to Assets and Firepower mods that grant Super energy and Orbs of Power by taking down enemies with them.

If you decide to join two Warlocks with the same build to beat the Dungeon’s boss, you don’t need a weapon to carry out one DPS Phase with colossal damage. And if you still want to make it even better, then Witherhoard + Trace Rifle will support you in this case. No wonder the Solar Warlock build appears in all Top DPS builds for Destiny 2 PvE.

Arc Cuirass of the Falling Star Titan

Cuirass of the falling star

Assuming you’re a Titan and like to use Thundercrush in any activity, especially on bosses. In that case, Cuirass of the Falling Star Exotic is a must-have. It’ll increase the harm from your Thundercrush by 100% and provide you Overshield on impact. This Chest-piece is mandatory for DPS phases. The Exotic is irreplaceable in any fireteam on the Taniks, Atraks-1, or Persys.

Plus, you have the ability to get Thundercrash back faster with Thruster and the above mods. After crashing into the target, use the Class Ability, and in this way, you’ll return what part of the super Ability.

Final Words

Achieving great damage in this looter shooter can be easy if you understand all the game’s mechanics and how to use them correctly. Knowing debuffs, buffs, weapons, tactics, and so on will keep you getting much better at endgame PvE activities.

We hope our DPS tips for Destiny 2 PvE will assist you and your allies in battles and against bosses. And if so, be sure to share your results in the comments! We wish to improve our guide with your feedback to work together to achieve even more success.

Thanks for Reading. Owl is flying away!

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