Known for flashy abilities, lengthy invisibility, and massive utility potential, Hunters in Destiny 2 are an essential part of any fireteam, both in PvP and PvE. With an unprecedented amount of flexibility, this class has a wide range of playstyles thanks to its range of subclasses and Exotics.

Related: Destiny 2: The Best Hunter Builds For PvP And PvE

Exotics are key to making Hunters powerful, granting benefits ranging from ability regeneration to a powerful follow-up punch attack. For Guardians looking for an upper hand against the enemies of the Traveler and Guardians alike, here are the best exotics for Hunters in Destiny 2 as of Season of the Lost.

Updated January 8th, 2022, by Charles Burgar: The Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack made some sweeping changes to Exotics and ability cooldowns. Hunters saw some of the largest changes, the most notable being a nerf to both dodge cooldowns. This has resulted in St0mp-EE5 becoming even more powerful in PvP while nerfing Dragon's Shadow and other dodge-oriented Exotics. We've updated this tier list to account for the 30th Anniversary changes.

10 Mask Of Bakris

Destiny 2 Mask of Bakris Exotic Helmet

Light Shift: Replaces your Stasis subclass Dodge ability with a longer range, faster moving Shift that partially cloaks you during use. After Shifting, your Arc weapons deal increased damage to combatants for a short time, and you deal increased damage to all slowed or frozen combatants.

The Mask of Bakris replaces your Stasis dodge with Shift, a short-range teleport ability that cloaks you during its effect. When you finish Shifting, you receive a 10% damage bonus to Arc weapons for ten seconds. Any slowed targets you damage will also receive 10% more damage. Both effects stack with buffs and debuffs, although your Shift ability cannot recharge while these buffs are active.

PvE

Mask of Bakris is a great PvE Exotic due to its Light Shift buff. While active, your Arc weapons will deal 10% more damage, and any slowed combatants you hit will take 10% more damage from you. Since you can only use this Exotic with Revenant, you'll be able to take advantage of that slow debuff quite easily. Pair this helmet with a good Arc Heavy weapon, and you'll be able to shut down Champions with ease. It's also a good choice for Revenant mains that want a DPS-increasing Exotic for raid content, although you're usually better off using Golden Gun.

PvP

There are quite a few downsides to using this Exotic. You have to be using Stasis, it adds ten seconds to your dodge cooldown, its Arc buff doesn't work in PvP, it can't be used in the air, and you are still vulnerable during your Shift animation. The dodge nerfs in the Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack hit Mask of Bakris especially hard, reducing the effectiveness of Utility Kickstart while extending your base dodge cooldown. In simple terms, this Exotic extends your dodge cooldown to 24-28 seconds at 100 Mobility.

Yet none of those negatives really impact this Exotic's greatest strength: its unmatched mobility. The confusion this helmet creates in PvP is absurdly strong for aggressive players. You can use your dodge to rush targets with a Shotgun, retreat from an aggressive player, or dodge Super projectiles. When paired with the Winter Shroud Aspect, Mask of Bakris can single-handedly swing a gunfight in your favor. But should you use this Exotic poorly, you'll have no means of escape for what feels like an eternity. It's a high-risk, high-reward Exotic that can fundamentally change the way you partake in Destiny 2's Crucible.

Pros Cons
  • Allows you to teleport
  • Increases your damage output
  • Excellent for repositioning in PvP
  • Increases dodge CD by 10 seconds
  • Damage buff doesn't work in PvP
  • Can only be used by Revenants
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9 Star-Eater Scales

Destiny 2 Star-Eater Scales Hunter Exotic

Feast of Light: You gain additional Super energy from Orbs of Power you pick up. While your Super energy is full, picking up an Orb of Power overcharges your Super, causing you to gain a burst of healing when cast and a bonus to your Super damage. At maximum overcharge, you also gain an overshield.

There's a lot is going on with this Exotic, so let's break it down.

  1. Grabbing an Orb of Power grants twice as much Super energy, even Masterwork Orbs.
  2. When your Super bar is full, grabbing an Orb of Power grants one stack of Feast of Light. This buff increases the damage of your Super and heals you when you cast your Super.
  3. If you reach x8 Feast of Light, the buff's cap, you gain an overshield upon casting your Super.
  4. You lose all stacks of Feast of Light when you cast your Super or die.
  5. At x4 Feast of Light, your Super deals 55% increased damage.
  6. At x8 Feast of Light, your Super deals 70% increased damage.

PvE

If a perk or Exotic description is a paragraph long, there's a good chance it's good. Star-Eater Scales is no exception. These boots allow you to cast your Super much more frequently, and it boosts the strength of your Super if you decide to hold onto it.

Related: Destiny 2: Every Super Ranked From Worst To Best

You can use these boots in one of two ways:

  1. Gain your Super much faster, allowing you to spam your Super more frequently.
  2. Hold your Super to create a supercharged version by grabbing Orbs.

The former is excellent for general PvE content, while the latter is much more suited for raids and pinnacle PvE content. Star-Eater Scales has a level of versatility that makes them a great choice in PvE. Every build can take advantage of these boots, and those that build around Star-Eater Scales can expect a ludicrous amount of damage or Super spam—whichever you prefer.

PvP

Gaining twice as much Super energy from Orbs of Power is incredibly strong, yet PvP arenas typically aren't littered with Orbs. These boots are serviceable in 6v6 playlists, but they don't offer the neutral game benefits that other Hunter Exotics provide.

Pros Cons
  • Doubles Super energy from Orbs of Power
  • Enhances every Super
  • Enables Super-spam builds
  • Lose all stacks on death
  • Limited use in PvP
  • Opportunity cost for PvP
    • Forgo movement Exotics

8 Fr0st-EE5

Destiny 2 Fr0st-EE5

Rapid Cooldown: Increased grenade, melee, and dodge regeneration while sprinting. Dodging increases your sprint speed.

Fr0st-EE5, not to be confused with St0mp-EE5, is a pair of Exotic boots that grant passive ability energy regeneration while you sprint. Dodging will also increase your sprint speed by a small amount for ten seconds. Sprinting will increase your ability regeneration by around 25% and is multiplicative with other buffs.

PvE

The multiplicative nature of these boots makes them absurd for certain builds. For example, using these boots while Whisper of Shards' buff is active will lower your grenade cooldown to seven or eight seconds. This also mitigates the dodge cooldown nerfs that occurred with the Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack. If you can find a way to add other ability regeneration buffs into your build, Fr0st-EE5 is effectively a 25% buff to those effects. Spamming abilities is incredibly easy with these boots, making them a great choice for most PvE content.

PvP

Fr0st-EE5 received a massive nerf with the Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack, so much so that it's tough to recommend using them now. The ability regeneration buff from Fr0st-EE5 is no longer multiplicative, your sprint buff uptime is lower due to recent dodge nerfs, and the nerf to Kickstart armor mods really hurt the snowballing you could pull with this Exotic.

Even with all of those nerfs, Fr0st-EE5 isn't a terrible option if you want an Exotic that passively makes your abilities come back faster. Shatterdive Hunters will still be hard-pressed to find a better ability Exotic than this. But for those who don't rely on their abilities in PvP, there's not much reason to use Fr0st-EE5 anymore.

Pros Cons
  • Great ability uptime
  • Useful for all game modes
  • Passively improves your build
  • Sprint buff is tied to your dodge
  • Ability regen buff is significantly worse in PvP than PvE
  • Relies on good armor stats and mods to reach its potential

7 Celestial Nighthawk

Destiny 2 Celestial Nighthawk

Hawkeye Hack: Modifies Golden Gun to fire a single high-damage shot. Enemies eliminated by the shot explode and grant you Super energy.

Despite bottom tree Gunslinger's buff in Season of Dawn, Celestial Nighthawk is still the best Exotic to use if you plan on using Golden Gun. While equipped, this Exotic helmet will condense all of your Golden Gun shots into one supercharged shot that deals six times as much damage as normal. Killing a target with Golden Gun will cause them to explode and refunds 33% of your Super energy.

PvE

Technically speaking, not using this Exotic will yield more total damage since Line 'Em Up will never activate during your Super. That does require players to land all three Golden Shots to a target's head, something that many Hunter mains know isn't always feasible. A single, high-damage shot that can instantly kill most targets is going to be preferable in raids and most PvE pinnacle content. If your team needs a DPS Super, you can't get much better than Bottom Tree Gunslinger and Celestial Nighthawk.

PvP

Don't use Celestial Nighthawk in PvP. Ever. You sacrifice three to six bullets that can one-shot Guardians for a single bullet that can detonate enemies. That's never worth it.

Pros Cons
  • Drastically improves Golden Gun's burst DPS
  • You only have to line up one headshot instead of three
  • Refunds Super energy on kill
  • Detrimental for PvP
  • Only useful for Bottom Tree Gunslinger
  • Limits Orb generation

6 Assassin's Cowl

Destiny 2 Assassin's Cowl

Vanishing Execution: Powered melee final blows grant invisibility and restore a portion of health and shields. Finishers and final blows against more powerful targets increase the duration of the invisibility and the amount of health and shields restored.

Related: Destiny 2: Beyond Light - What Are Aspects (& How To Obtain All Of Them)

Assassin's Cowl grants nine seconds of invisibility and partial healing upon defeating a target with a melee ability. Finishers and kills against majors and bosses increase the healing effect and boosts the invisibility duration to 15 seconds.

PvE

Assassin's Cowl fundamentally changes how you play a Hunter. Melee ability kills or finishers give you a way of disengaging from a fight, allowing you to recover your health or reload your weapons. It does mean you'll need to stay at close range, yet the healing this Exotic provides is more than enough to keep you in the fight in most activities. And since you can proc Assassin's Cowl on finishers, it gives you a safety net in just about every PvE encounter with fodder enemies.

This Exotic really shows its potential on Top Tree Arcstrider and Revenant. The former allows you to frequently punch targets to death, becoming invisible while restoring almost all of your health upon doing so. The latter turns you into an ice ninja that acts as a synthesis of the Nightstalker and Revenant playstyles. Use your grenade to freeze or shatter targets, then throw a Withering Blade on a weakened target to get out of a gunfight. If you love playing aggressively or main Revenant, you need to give Assassin's Cowl a try.

PvP

While this Exotic does work in PvP, its usefulness is limited at best. Enemies can still see you while you're invisible, and it doesn't hide you from enemy radar while double jumping or when you begin to sprint. Unless you have some type of ranged melee attack, getting this helmet's Exotic perk to activate is incredibly risky. Most players are better off using something else.

Pros Cons
  • Works with any subclass
  • HP and shield restore is substantial
  • Invisibility has a long duration
  • Tough to activate in PvP
  • Aggressive playstyle is hit-or-miss for GMs and Master raids
  • Lackluster for certain Subclass specs

5 Omnioculus

Destiny 2 Omnioculus

Beyond the Veil: You gain a second Smoke Bomb charge and heave damage resistance while invisible. When you make an ally invisible, they gain damage resistance while invisible and you gain melee energy.

While playing Bottom Tree Nightstalker, you have two melee charges instead of one. Anyone that becomes invisible from your Smoke Bombs will gain 10% damage resistance while invisible. You also gain 50% Smoke Bomb energy for each ally you make invisible.

PvE

Omnioculus lets you bypass the Gambler's Dodge nerf in the Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack since it gives you melee energy outright. Making two allies invisible is fairly easy in content where it matters, allowing you to spam infinite Smoke Bombs to give allies Heart of the Pack and extra damage resistance.

Damage resistance might seem redundant when you're invisible, but this DR can be a lifesaver when going up against AoE attacks. It also stacks with other DR sources like Protective Light and Concussive Dampener, making your team much harder to kill. Overall, Omnioculus is a powerful endgame Exotic for Nightstalker Hunters that gives you on-demand invisibility and damage resistance. If you run Grandmaster Nightfalls or raids at all, you need this Exotic in your inventory.

PvP

Omnioculus does lose some value in PvP but is far from useless. Going invisible will wipe you from the enemy's radar, give you Heart of the Pack, a chunk of your grenade energy back, and you'll gain 10% damage resistance. That DR buff is enough to alter the TTK of just about every meta weapon in the Crucible. While niche, Omnioculus can be a powerhouse in the Crucible when used correctly.

Pros Cons
  • Gives you nigh-infinite Smoke Bombs in PvE
  • Has excellent synergy with Nightstalker
  • Makes you much tougher to kill in PvP
  • Lackluster for solo content
  • Only works with one Nightstalker tree
  • Smoke Bomb invisibility takes two seconds to work in PvE

4 The Dragon's Shadow

Destiny 2 The Dragon's Shadow

Wraithmetal Mail: Dodging reloads all weapons and increases both movement and weapon handling speeds for a brief time.

Yet another dodge-augmenting Exotic, the Dragon's Shadow grants the Wraithmetal Mail buff for ten seconds after you dodge. This buff grants the following:

  • Auto reloads all of your weapons after you dodge
  • Faster sprint speed
  • Further slide distance
  • +50 mobility
  • Faster reload speed
  • A massive increase to weapon handling (more than Quickdraw)
  • Faster reload speed

PvE

The Dragon's Shadow is surprisingly strong in PvE, giving you a massive boost to handling while auto-reloading all of your weapons after a dodge. This can lead to some powerful DPS options like double slug Shotgun swapping or weaving Rocket Launcher shots with your Special weapon. If used properly, you can drastically improve your DPS with this Exotic. It doesn't beat Celestial Nighthawk or other must-have PvE Exotics for raids or Grandmaster Nightfalls, but if you want a great neutral game Exotic that works with any subclass, the Dragon's Shadow is a great choice.

PvP

Wraithmetal Mail is one of the strongest buffs in PvP. Unfortunately, this Exotic was hit the hardest with the Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack. This Exotic's downtime was effectively doubled with the nerf to Gambler's Dodge and Utility Kickstart. You can't maintain 100% uptime with this Exotic unless you run double Utility Kickstart mods, Marksman's Dodge, and Bottom Tree Arcstrider. Even then, you'll need to constantly be sprinting to maintain Wraithmetal Mail.

Related: Destiny 2: How To Increase Your Crucible Valor And Glory Ranks

It says a lot about the strength of Wraithmetal Mail that Dragon's Shadow is still so high on the list despite this cataclysmic nerf. This buff effectively gives all of your guns Quickdraw, Snapshot Sights, and it allows you to ignore reloading entirely. Gunfights are heavily swung in your favor while this perk is active, but the nerf to dodge cooldowns in the Anniversary Pack have made this Exotic much less desirable.

Pros Cons
  • Hastens everything you do
  • Auto-reloads all weapons
  • Works with all subclasses
  • You feel sluggish when the buff expires
  • Almost impossible to reach 100% uptime in PvP
  • Encourages dodging before gunfights, removing a vital disengage tool

3 The Sixth Coyote

Destiny 2 The Sixth Coyote Cropped

Double Dodge: Gain a second dodge charge.

Every Hunter subclass gets two dodge charges if the Sixth Coyote is equipped. That means you can recharge two melee charges or reload your gun twice at will, all while disabling enemy aim assist during your animation.

PvE

This Exotic is phenomenal in PvE since it can be paired with Bottom Tree Nightstalker's Smoke Bombs to give you and your fireteam invisibility at will. The ability to chain two Marksman or Gabler's Dodges together is nothing to scoff at either. Auto-reloading two magazines in your weapon can drastically increase your burst DPS against a boss, making weapons like the Fourth Horseman much stronger. Whether you need a DPS boost or plan to cheese Nightfalls, The Sixth Coyote has your back.

PvP

The Sixth Coyote is much stronger in PvP than most give it credit for. Having a second dodge is incredible for getting out of dangerous situations or throwing an opponent's aim off, although this boon is less impactful on PC due to more precise aiming and larger FOV settings. It also makes Surplus an S-tier perk, as your second dodge counts as having a second ability charged. Give this Exotic a try if you're tired of using St0mp-EE5 or want to mitigate the 30th Anniversary dodge cooldown nerfs.

Pros Cons
  • Great synergy with most subclasses
  • Good PvP outplay potential
  • Counts as a charged ability for the purposes of Surplus
  • Dodge CD is paused while dodging
  • Less viable for PvP on PC

2 Wormhusk Crown

Destiny 2 Wormhusk Crown

Burning Souls: Dodging gives a small health and shield bump.

Wormhusk Crown needs no introduction. This helmet grants a flat chunk of health after you dodge, effectively causing your dodge to heal you. At 100 mobility, this helmet grants you a 40% heal every 11 seconds.

PvE

Unlike most PvP Exotics, Wormhusk Crown is a surprisingly good PvE Exotic. There are very few ways of getting your health back as a Hunter in Destiny 2, most of which involve Combat Style mods or Exotic weapons. Wormhusk Crown gives you a sizable health bump for dodging, an action you'd normally perform when you're in danger. This isn't the best Exotic for pinnacle PvE content, but if you're tired of dying in more casual content, this helmet will save your life more times than you might expect. If you want to take Wormhusk into hard content, pair this helmet with Middle Tree Gunslinger.

PvP

If it wasn't clear, Wormhusk Crown in PvP is the main reason we've rated this helmet so highly. Players typically rush Hunters when they dodge on low life. This Exotic flips those encounters on their head by granting a sizable amount of HP after a dodge, allowing you to get straight back into a duel.

These Exotics allow you to get away with much more sloppy movement and aggressive gameplay, making these an excellent Exotic for players that are new to playing Hunter. Even Hunter mains will use this Exotic for the number of aggressive plays it lets you get away with, allowing you to aggressively snipe or duel enemies in competitive modes. Simply put, Wormhusk Crown is one of the best PvP Exotics in Destiny 2—arguably the best for newer Hunters. Just be sure to spec for 100 Mobility and use Marksman's Dodge to get the most out of this Exotic.

Pros Cons
  • Tied to your dodge
  • Allows for aggressive gameplay
  • HP bump is mediocre in PvE
  • Tough to use other Exotics once you're used to Wormhusk

1 St0mp-EE5

Destiny 2 St0mp-EE5

Hydraulic Boosters: Increases sprint speed and slide distance. Improves High Jump, Strafe Jump, and Triple Jump.

Mobility is king in Destiny 2, both for PvE and PvP. St0mp-EE5 is all about enhancing your mobility, causing your jumps to become stronger while increasing your sprint and slide speeds.

PvE

Movement Exotics are entirely subjective in PvE. They prevent you from using a Super-enhancing Exotic like Celestial Nighthawk, although the movement enhancements can make the difference for some players. St0mp-EE5 are as powerful as they come in terms of movement Exotics, making your jumps and overall mobility much stronger. You can avoid enemies more easily, slide to cover much faster, and be able to traverse the battlefield more quickly than other players.

It's up to you if that's worth it over other top-tier PvE Exotics. You'll at least want to have a pair of these boots in your inventory for when you encounter a platforming section.

PvP

You won't find a better movement Exotic in Destiny 2. St0mp-EE5 have everything you'd want from a movement Exotic: faster sprint speed, further slide distance, and much stronger jumps. These boots transform your movement game, allowing you to traverse maps in the blink of an eye. When players speak of "hoppity Hunters," these boots are what allow that playstyle.

These boots also open up traversal paths on certain maps. If you headbutt a ceiling with a Strafe Jump while St0mp-EE5 are equipped, you'll gain an immense amount of momentum. Chaining these jumps can give you more speed than a top tree Dawnblade using Icarus Dash or a pre-nerf Shiver Striking Titan. Simply put, there isn't a better PvP Exotic for Hunters in Destiny 2. These boots give you so many options for engaging, disengaging, and generally annoying your opponents.

Pros Cons
  • Drastically improved agility
  • Enhanced jump is fantastic for jumping puzzles and PvP
  • Great for all game types
  • Tough to use other Exotics once you get used to them
  • Doesn't offer many benefits in PvE

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