The Cloudstrike Exotic Sniper Rifle from Destiny 2: Beyond Light
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Destiny 2: How to Get Cloudstrike (2023)

The Cloudstrike Exotic Sniper Rifle is a menace in endgame Destiny 2 PvP. Here's how to get it.

Learning how to get Cloudstrike in Destiny 2 gives you access to a fan-favorite choice. The Exotic Sniper Rifle’s ability to create thunderbolts and clear whole fireteams with a single shot can be incredibly clutch, and it’s very popular in Trials of Osiris when the mode features a control point. It’s also a solid PvE option if your Exotic weapon slot isn’t occupied with something else. If you’re newer to Destiny or haven’t invested in many of the older expansions, getting your hands on it can prove troublesome.

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How to Get Cloudstrike in Destiny 2 (2023)

Image via Bungie

Here’s how to get Cloudstrike in Destiny 2 in 2023:

  • Own the Beyond Light expansion.
  • Unlock Empire Hunts.
  • Grind Empire Hunts.

First and foremost, if you want the Cloudstrike Exotic Sniper Rifle in 2023 — or any other year — you need to own the Beyond Light expansion. Without it, no Exotic Sniper for you. Not now, and not in a year.

If you own Beyond Light, you must complete the story campaign and the post-campaign content until you start earning the ability to unlock Empire Hunts. Once you can launch the weekly Empire Hunt from the Europa Director, you can start the next phase of earning the Cloudstirke: the grind.

Related: How to Get the Immortal SMG

How to Get Cloudstrike From Empire Hunts: Tips for the Grind

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Cloudstrike is a random drop from the weekly Empire Hunt — and a rare one at that. Every level of Empire Hunt can award it, but the higher the difficulty you choose, the higher your chance of getting the Exotic. Ignore that it’s not listed as a reward in the screenshot. I already had the Exotic Sniper when I took the picture.

Unlike more recent Raid Exotics, like Conditional Finality or Touch of Malice, there’s no way to increase Cloudstrike’s drop rate in Destiny 2. You might get it on your first run, or it might take you 20, 30, or even more tries. There’s some bad luck protection, meaning every time you don’t get the Exotic, your chances of getting it increase by a marginal amount. And I do mean marginal: a few percent at best.

Cloudstrike Exotic Catalyst and Perks

Now that you know how to get the Cloudstrike in Destiny 2, you’ll want to know more about its Catalyst. The Cloudstrike Exotic Catalyst drops from Vanguard Ops activities, so be ready to run some strikes. The Catalyst unlocks after 400 kills with the weapon and grants Triple Tap, refunding one bullet for every three that score precision hits. A PvE perk, to be sure, but this Exotic Sniper is making waves in PvP with its ability to clear capture points entirely.

Scoring a precision kill against another Guardian automatically triggers the lightning storm around them, and it can defeat whole fireteams in a single shot. It’s not the most overpowered weapon locked behind a seasonal or expansion paywall (and which one is actually overpowered remains up for debate), but it’s up there.

That’s how to get Cloudstrike in Destiny 2. If you’re looking for ways to earn more Exotic weapons, see our guide to unlocking the Gjallarhorn, the Vex Mythoclast, and others in our D2 guides hub.

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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.