Guardians fighting the enemies of humaninty in Onslaught in Destiny 2
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Best Weapons to Stun Barrier Champions in Destiny 2

Put those pesky Barrier Champions in the ground with the top-tier Anti-Barrier Weapons in this Destiny 2 tier list.

Barrier Champions are #2 on my list of least favorite Champions in Destiny 2, but thankfully there are tons of ways to break their shields and stagger them. We’ll be covering the best Anti-Barrier weapons available right now, as well as how to get them.

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The Best Anti-Barrier Weapons in Destiny 2

Our list combines weapons with intrinsic Anti-Barrier traits as well as additional options that you can use when you have an ability like Radiant active that grants your weapons Anti-Barrier qualities while the effect is up. I’m not touching on seasonal artifact Barrier mods, as those change regularly.

The highest-tier weapons on this list are all extremely hard to come by, either locked behind endgame quests, expansions you need to buy, or pure RNG. That said, if you can get your hands on any (or better yet all) of them, you’ll be ready for tons of difficult content. Here are the best anti-barrier weapons in Destiny 2:

  • Wish-Ender Exotic Bow.
  • The Lament Exotic Sword.
  • Arbalest Linear Fusion Rifle.
  • Eriana’s Vow Exotic Hand Cannon.
  • Hammerhead Legendary Machine Gun.
  • Midnight Coup and Other Top-Tier Hand Cannons.
  • Succession or Other Aggressive Frame Sniper Rifles.
  • Riptide Fusion Rifle.

Wish-Ender Exotic Bow

The Wish-Ender Exotic Bow in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

The Wish-Ender has been a staple of high-difficulty Nightfall content almost since its introduction all the way back in the Forsaken expansion. Not only does it break Barrier Champion shields in one or two shots, it also has some of the highest potential damage of any non-Heavy Bow. And did I mention its scope lets you see through walls when you aim down sights? Because it does all of those things.

A menace in both PvE and PvP, the Wish-Ender can be so powerful because you need to complete the Shattered Throne Dungeon as part of the quest that unlocks it. No, I know that not every quest-locked weapon is actually good, but this one is more than worth the time spent getting it.

The Lament Exotic Sword

The Lament Exotic Sword in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

The Lament was so busted when it was released with the Beyond Light expansion it’s been on the receiving end of several fairly notable nerfs. That hasn’t stopped it from being one of the best Anti-Barrier weapons in content where you can get up close and personal with a Champion. Even better, if you’re in a Raid or Dungeon where the boss stays still during DPS, you and your fireteam (if using) can equip The Lament and go to town in relative comfort. The weapon’s reliance on specific combo timing and cooldown management is also a fun mini-game you get to play while using it.

Arbalest Linear Fusion Rifle

The Arbalest Linear Fusion Rifle in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

The OG Anti-Barrier weapon, the Arbalest, is still a solid fall-back option if you don’t have ammo in your Heavy weapon or want a fire-and-forget way to get rid of Barrier Champions. The Arbalets has also seen its fair share of nerfs since its release in the Season of the Drifter, toning back its bullet magnetism and overall damage. However, even in the hardest Destiny 2 content, it can still one-tap a Barrier shield and then chunk the Champion’s health in just a few shots. As the only Special ammo Linear Fusion Rifle, it’s also easy to keep the Arbalest stocked and ready to fire.

Eriana’s Vow Exotic Hand Cannon

The Eriana's Vow Exotic Hand Cannon in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Eriana’s Vow is in a weird spot, as it’s been mostly powercrept since its release in Season of the Undying, the Shadowkeep expansion’s first season. Between its poor ammo economy, slow rate of fire, and general clunkiness, there are usually better options to put in your Special slot or, as you chose, Exotic.

I’ve put it on the list because if you absolutely must break a Barrier Champion shield in a single shot with the biggest Hand Cannon in the game, there’s nothing else like it. Eriana’s is also good for dealing with enemies that use physical shields like Cabal Phalanxes, and it can turn annoying encounters into something much more comfortable.

Hammerhead Legendary Machine Gun

The BRAVE Hammerhead Machine Gun in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Available again via the Onslaught activity, the Hammerhead — an iconic Machine Gun original from the Black Armory season — is a monster when dealing with Barrier Champion shields. You do need to activate an ability like Radiant to grant it Anti-Barrier abilities, but once it has them, the Hammerhead will shred the Champion’s shield followed shortly by its health bar.

The Hammerhead is also a solid workhorse weapon in almost any other activity that doesn’t need Rockets or other burst DPS weapons. It can clear mobs like nobody’s business, and can do serviceable damage of its own, though that’s not its main role.

Midnight Coup and Other Top-Tier Hand Cannons

The BRAVE Midnight Coup Hand Cannon in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Whenever Hand Cannons aren’t the go-to anti-Unstoppable choice, they make for great Anti-Barrier options as well. Even in Grandmaster Nightfall content, it only takes three or four shots to break a Barrier shield, and you can easily swap to your DPS weapon or Special secondary to finish the enemy off. Hand Cannons are also back in vogue in PvE, and the BRAVE Midnight Coup returns the king of Hand Cannons to its throne. Get it, use it, love it. There is no other way.

Succession or Other Aggressive Frame Sniper Rifles

The BRAVE Succession Sniper Rifle in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Once upon a time, Bungie added Anti-Barrier sniper rifles to the seasonal artifact. No one I knew thought it was a good idea. Then we tried it, and it was amazing. The Succession Sniper, now available as part of the BRAVE Arsenal, was my go-to Barrier-sniping rifle, and it remains one of the best options even all this time after. There are more efficient weapons, sure, especially if the content is in closer quarters. Don’t let that stop you from using a well-rolled Aggressive Frame Sniper to send Barrier Champions back whence they came.

Riptide Fusion Rifle

The Riptide Fusion Rifle in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

There’s really nothing the Riptide can’t do, and while Fusion Rifles aren’t the go-to for anti-Champion gameplay, Riptide not only offers easy break damage but with Chill Clip, they’re usable on all Champion types. The only difference is in how you go about staggering them. And unlike every other weapon on this list, the only requirement to get Riptide is to play PvP a little bit. There are no quests, no special activity types, and no content locks. Simply earn Crucible Engrams, focus them on Riptide, and profit. Or cry when you don’t get the one you want for twenty pulls.

Anyhow, those are our picks for the top three tiers of Anti-Barrier weapons currently available in Destiny 2. There are dozens of other choices if you want to get a little spicy or just prefer the feel of different weapons. For more content on the game, check out our guides to the Regnant Grenade Launcher, Imperial Decree, and Immortal god rolls, and even more in our Destiny 2 guides hub.


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Author
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John Schutt
John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.