Destiny 2 Best Hunter Exotic Armor Tier List (PVE)

Destiny 2 Hunter Exotic Armor Tier List (PVE)

Welcome to our PVE Destiny 2 exotic armor tier list for Hunter!

The armor will be organized by S/A/B/C tiers with specific categories for Helmet, Gauntlets, Chest, and Legs.

To learn more about our methodology, head to the bottom of the article.

Note: White represents Witch Queen Exotic, teal represents Arc subclass, red represents Solar subclass, purple represents Void subclass, and blue represents Stasis subclass.

The Final Shape has launched in Destiny 2, bringing a game-changing Prismatic Subclass. Get an edge in the meta with our top Prismatic builds for Hunters, Warlocks, and Titans.

If you’re looking for our other armor tier lists, check them out here:

destiny 2 hunter exotic armor tier list pve

Destiny 2 Hunter Armor Tier List for PVE

  • S-tier
    • Helmet
      • Celestial Nighthawk
      • Assassin’s Cowl
      • Workhusk Crown
    • Gauntlets
      • Caliban’s Hand
      • Young Ahamkara’s Spine
    • Legs
      • Star-Eater Scales
  • A-tier
    • Helmet
      • Graviton Forfeit
    • Gauntlets
      • Shards of Galanor
      • Aeon Swift
    • Chest
      • Omnioculus
      • The Sixth Coyote
    • Legs
      • Orpheus Rig
  • B-tier
    • Helmet
      • Mask of Bakris
    • Gauntlets
      • Athrys’s Embrace
      • Khepri’s Sting
      • Liar’s Handshake
      • Renewal Grasps
    • Chest
      • Ophidia Spathe
      • Lucky Raspberry
      • Raiden Flux
    • Legs
      • Lucky Pants
      • Gemini Jester
      • The Bombardiers
      • St0mp-EE5
      • Fr0st-EE5
  • C-tier
    • Helmet
      • Blight Ranger
      • Foetracer
      • Knucklehead Radar
    • Gauntlets
      • Shinobu’s Vow
      • Mechaneer’s Tricksleeves
      • Oathkeepeer
    • Chest
      • Gwisin Vest
      • Raiju’s Harness
      • The Dragon’s Shadow
    • Legs
      • Radiant Dance Machines

Destiny 2 Hunter Armor Exotic Tier List Commentary

S-tier Helmet

Celestial Nighthawk

Increases golden gun damage greatly. Best alternative to Star-Eater Scales.

Assassin’s Cowl

Similar to Wormhusk Crown that it gets you out of bad situations. The conditions are harder to meet, but the benefits are greater.

Workhusk Crown

Great exotic to get out of a pinch by instantly giving health back.

S-tier Gauntlets

Caliban’s Hand

With the solar subclass you get a knife back on kill. With this exotic and solar you get infinite knives that cause massive ignition damage if you get a kill with the knife.

Young Ahamkara’s Spine

A top offensive exotic that allows you to throw many tripmines with no worry of damaging yourself.

S-tier Legs

Star-Eater Scales

This exotic is the means to have the highest damage dealing super in the game.

A-tier Helmet

Graviton Forfeit

Ensures you fully recover health due to the invisibility extended duration.

A-tier Gauntlets

Shards of Galanor

Not quite what Star-Eater Scales is, but is the next best option if you don’t have that exotic.

Aeon Swift

Solid option for reload and ability regeneration especially in content with champions active.

A-tier Chest


Allows you to be invisible essentially whenever you want and lessens the damage from stray shots or splash damage that may hit you when invisible.

The Sixth Coyote

Dodging gives a lot of benefits for hunters, this allows you to get them twice.

A-tier Legs

Orpheus Rig

Increases the damage of Tether significantly and gives ability+super energy

B-tier Helmet

Mask of Bakris

The damage bonus is nice, but is rather limiting in that it is only applied to arc weapons or slowed/frozen targets.

B-tier Gauntlets

Athrys’s Embrace

Decent means to get some burst damage to higher health targets with a super charged weighted knife, but not enough to make it really worth it.

Khepri’s Sting

Pairs well with Quickfall as a melee will then make you invisible, but is tied to the smoke bomb charge.

Liar’s Handshake

At a time this was a high end damage exotic, but it has since fallen off.

Renewal Grasps

Helps overall survivability, but is tied to a long grenade cooldown and there are better options for staying alive.

B-tier Chest

Ophidia Spathe

Throwing knives are good, but this exotic lost a lot of luster with the new Solar 3.0 rework that gives knives back on a kill, making 2 charges serve little purpose.

Lucky Raspberry

Decent option for getting a lot of arc bolt grenades back, but playing around arc bolt grenades is not the most effective playstyle.

Raiden Flux

Stay tuned for Arc 3.0, but as of now arc staff is not a good DPS option.

B-tier Legs

Lucky Pants

The buff to damage is nice as it ranges from 60-600% increase, but it cannot be reactivated for 10 seconds after use which is a long downtime.

Gemini Jester

PvE enemies don’t have a radar, but they do get disoriented for 5 seconds which has some value. The range is limited though.

The Bombardiers

To get value out of the bomb you need to be in a position you probably shouldn’t be in the first place. The secondary effect based on subclass is a nice bonus.


These are good for jumping puzzles, and otherwise shouldn’t really be considered.


Getting ability energy back is nice, but there are many other passive means that don’t require you to perform an action that prevents you from dealing any damage which is the downside of sprinting.

C-tier Helmet

Blight Ranger

There are very few opportunities to reflect projectiles. Far more consistent to use a high damaging super rather than relying on a target to shoot a projectile at you to bounce back.


Tracking a target through a wall isn’t worth an exotic slot with how immobile PvE enemies are.

Knucklehead Radar

Radar isn’t the most necessary thing in PvE. A Dreg sneaking up on you while you are ADS won’t be the difference between living and dying.

C-tier Gauntlets

Shinobu’s Vow

Check back after Arc 3.0, but as of now skip grenades are not the best option.

Mechaneer’s Tricksleeves

Limits you to use of sidearms which are fine, but the added bonus to the sidearms is not worth an exotic in PvE.


To maximize DPS, shoot as fast as possible. This exotic promotes the opposite.

C-tier Chest

Gwisin Vest

The super this serves is not a good PvE option and this exotic does not boost it enough to make it a solid option.

Raiju’s Harness

Only buffs the defensive portion of your super, which isn’t worth an exotic.

The Dragon’s Shadow

These stats are essentially available with the new Solar 3.0 class, and aren’t too impactful in PvE play.

C-tier Legs

Radiant Dance Machines

The extra dodges do not give effects activated on dodge, so with this exotic you are slightly more evasive, nothing more.

Exotic Armor Tier List Methodology

When ranking exotics the following criteria are taken into account:

  • Is the effect the exotic brings strong?
  • If the exotic is class, weapon, or element specific, is that respective class, weapon, or element strong that it is worth building around or does this exotic make that otherwise weak aspect strong?
  • Will the exotic have a lot of uptime in which the effect is active or usable?
    • If an exotic solely buffs a super it is taken into account that it can be swapped to for just a super, but is not rated as if the exotic is only used when super is casted due to the convenience of a hot swap to a certain exotic for a super and then a swap back.
  • Do other exotics perform a similar function or role better?
  • Is the exotic good in content that is both low and high difficulty?

S Tier

  • Not necessarily a must use, but these exotics are the strongest and applicable to most if not all situations.

A Tier

  • Slightly less strength and or use cases than S Tier. Some of these exotics are top options for particular situations and are good exotics for most situations.

B Tier

  • Typically only fairly good unless a build solely revolves around the exotic, and even if that is done, the build is less than optimal or is only a good option in a very specific situation. These exotics are worth using if you have limited options otherwise.

C Tier

  • These exotics are typically not worth the slot and their effect is either minimal or extremely niche.

For more meta analysis, check out our other Destiny tier lists.