When Destiny 2 was released back in 2017, there were only a certain number of exotic weapons that were considered useable. But, after the release of Destiny 2's first-ever expansion - Curse of Osiris, Bungie started adding more and more exotic weapons (and armor) in the loot pool. Some were acquirable through the weapons' quests. Fast-forwarding to the release of Shadowkeep, Bungie made Destiny 2 (base game and two expansions) Free-to-Play for all players. Meaning, you don't need to pay a single dime if you want to try out the game which comes with a LOT of content.
Since Destiny 2: New Light is a free-to-play game, we are looking into the top ten exotic weapons that you can get in Destiny 2 without spending any money on the expansions like Forsaken and Shadowkeep.
10 Worldline Zero
Back in Destiny 1, one of the all-time favorite weapons was - Exotic Swords. But sadly, with Destiny 2, we didn't get to play with the Raze Lighter, Dark Drinker, or Bolt Crasher. But, Bungie did add an exotic sword with the second expansion of Destiny - Warmind.
Worldline Zero is a heavy sword meaning this will consume heavy ammo. While this weapon is not very useful for the damage and DPS phases, there are some instances where this sword can do wonders. If you want to speed-run a Nightfall or a Strike, you can use this sword by using its heavy attack that'll give you a really significant mobility boost. Below, you can find the perks on this weapon:
Tesseract: While sprinting, press to perform an AoE attack. After sprinting and then jumping, press while airborne to teleport forward.
Tireless Blade: Sword ammo granted for every other powered sword kill.
9 Whisper of the Worm
This weapon was THE best weapon for DPS phases in raid encounters or in Nightfalls until Bungie decided to nerf it down to the pits of the Moon. Yes, you heard that right. Back in Year 2 of Destiny 2, Whisper of the Worm was demolishing raid encounters and kind of breaking the game where you just have to find a hiding spot and aim and shoot.
Despite getting all the nerfs, Whisper of the Worm is still worth getting and can still out-DPS many other exotic weapons. And on top of all, you can get this weapon without paying anything. This weapon comes with a perk called "White Nail" which states, "Higher base precision damage. Rapidly landing three precision hits will refill the magazine." You can acquire this weapon by completing the mission "The Whisper."
Risk Runner follows the same steps of Zhalo Supercell from Destiny 1. It's a 900 RPM sub-machine gun that can very useful in clearing ads and low-health enemies. This is one of the first exotics you can get in Destiny 2 by completing the main story campaign and doing the "Pain and Gain" questline.
The main perk on this weapon is "Arc Conductor" which is, "When taking Arc Damage, this weapon becomes more powerful and resists incoming Arc Damage. Kills extend the time in this overcharged state." Risk Runner is a very under-rated exotic weapon. With the nerf of Recluse, this weapon will finally get more traction in the Destiny community.
Arbalest was added in the Season of the Drifter in the Year 2 of Destiny 2. This is a linear fusion rifle that is very good at taking enemy's shields down. Obviously, since Bungie has made Destiny 2 free-to-play, you can get this weapon right now even if you don't own Forsaken's Annual Pass.
The main intrinsic perk on this weapon is "Compounding Force" which allows you to take down enemy shields very easily. Keep in mind, this weapon is not very useful when it comes to DPS the final boss in the raid or in strikes.
6 The Huckleberry
This submachine gun was also released in the Warmind expansion back in 2018. The Huckleberry is a kinetic SMG with the rounds per minute of 750. There is no specific questline for this weapon meaning you can acquire this weapon from random exotic engrams, or you can purchase this from Xur when it brings it.
The perk on this weapon is called "Ride the Bull" which states, "Increased rate of fire and recoil while you're holding down the trigger. Kills with this weapon reload a portion of the magazine." This weapon is mainly used in the Crucible and Competitive playlists.
5 Tractor Cannon
When it comes to booping the enemies off the edge of the map, Tractor Cannon is your best friend. This is honestly the most fun weapon you can use inside the Crucible of Destiny 2. But if we talk about PvE, this weapon is on a whole other level.
Tractor Cannon is a support weapon that can do wonders when used with a proper strategy. Its main perk is "Repulsor Force" which is, "This weapon emits a powerful impulse that pushes enemies away, suppresses their abilities, and makes them more vulnerable to all incoming damage."
4 Wardcliff Coil
A Rocket Launcher that was leaked back in the early days of Destiny 1. And with the release of Destiny 2, we finally get to use this unique looking rocket launcher. Wardcliff Coil one of the best rocket launchers in the game right now. It's very efficient in PvP as well as in PvE.
You can take down the whole enemy team with a single rocket if used timely. The exotic trait on this rocket launcher is "Mad Scientist" which states, "This weapon fires a volley of rockets." You can acquire this weapon randomly by doing pinnacle activities.
3 Bad Juju
One of the best weapons in Destiny 1 and now in Destiny 2 as well. The feel of this weapon is just good. And not just that, this weapon is very useful inside of PvE and PvP.
With its perk called "String of Curses" that allows you allows you to refill your magazines upon kills, increase damage for a short duration, and grant Super energy depending on the Strings of Curses' strength. You can acquire this weapon by placing 18 tributes in the Tribute Hall and complete The Other Side mission.
2 Outbreak Perfected
This weapon was first introduced in Destiny 1 as Outbreak Prime. It was a raid exotic from Wrath of the Machine raid. Now in Destiny 2, Bungie has re-added this weapon with a tweak in its name. Apart from the name for this exotic, the rest is mostly the same.
You kill enemies with a precision shot [tldr_position]and it'll create nanites that'll seek and damage nearby enemies. To acquire this exotic pulse rifle, you need to complete the "Zero Hour" mission that takes place in the old Tower. The main trait of this weapon is "The Corruption Spreads."
1 Fighting Lion
You might be thinking, why is this weapon on the top spot? Well, there is a solid reason for that. While this weapon can be very difficult for some players to use, after getting used to it, Fight Lion can do most of the other weapon's job.
It can be used as a long-range killing machine in PvE (requires a precise aim). And you can demolish hoards of enemies with just a single grenade. The unique thing about this grenade launcher is its exotic perk "Delayed Gratification" which states "Grenade projectiles will bounce off surfaces. Hold to fire, and release to detonate."