This is a strictly curated list of the very best exotic and legendary items that are currently available for each slot. It has intentionally been limited to a few options per slot in order to avoid the bloat that tends to accompany lists of this sort. Players are certainly encouraged to try all of the items for themselves, however, this list will provide a good starting point for building a strong loadout.
This section will be updated during the week as I am able to test the new items that were recently added in Curse of Osiris. At first glance, Prometheus Lens (Trace Rifle), Ophidian Aspect (Warlock Arms), and Positive Outlook (Auto Rifle) are likely to replace items on the current list.
- MIDA Multi-Tool (Scout Rifle): The MIDA Multi-Tool increases the player’s movement speed and also makes it possible to view the radar while aiming down the sights — an invaluable benefit to situational awareness. If that wasn’t enough, it also has one of the fastest reload times in the game. While it is primarily a PvP weapon, the movement speed boost can also be very helpful in certain PvE encounters such as the Gauntlet.
- Sweet Business (Auto Rifle): Sweet Business is essentially a chain gun. It has a brief (about 4 seconds) ramp up time before it reaches its peak rate of fire. With a large 99-bullet magazine and auto-loading for ammo pickups, its capacity for sustained damage output is nearly unrivaled. While it is powerful on any class, it excels on a Titan equipped with the Actium War Rig.
- Coldheart (Trace Rifle): Coldheart provides strong sustained damage against a single target. It is most useful against low mobility targets with a lot of HP, and sees a lot of usage in the Leviathan raid.
- The Wardcliff Coil (Rocket Launcher): The Wardcliff Coil launches a large volley of rockets that home in on nearby enemies. This makes it very effective at clearing out large packs of enemies.
- Antiope-D (Submachine Gun): As one of the only SMGs with decent range, Antiope-D is a solid choice in both PvE and PvP. It plays more like an Auto Rifle than an SMG, and its Kill Clip perk makes it the highest DPS weapon in this category.
- Nameless Midnight (Scout Rifle): Nameless Midnight is arguably the best long range weapon in the game. It has well-rounded stats and the Explosive Payload perk causes each shot to deal damage in a small area.
- Better Devils (Hand Cannon): Like Nameless Midnight, Better Devils also has the Explosive Payload perk, which causes each shot to deal damage in a small area. Try it out if you like the Hand Cannon playstyle, but note that the other two weapons in this category outperform it significantly in terms of DPS/TTK.
- Uriel’s Gift (Auto Rifle): Uriel’s Gift is currently the single most used weapon in PvP, and is also a very popular weapon in PvE. Well-rounded stats and the High Caliber Rounds perk make it a good choice in almost every situation.
- Positive Outlook (Auto Rifle): Positive Outlook has the Kill Clip perk, making it a significantly higher DPS alternative to Uriel’s. However, it does not have High Caliber Rounds, so choose whichever you prefer.
- Galliard-42 (Auto Rifle): Galliard-42 is the best Auto Rifle for Actium Strikers. The Rampage perk is superior, as Actium Strikers do not reload often enough to fully utilize Kill Clip.
- Last Hope (Sidearm): Last Hope fires quick 3-round bursts. While it outperforms almost all other Kinetic/Energy weapons in terms of sheer damage, it is severely limited by its short range.
- Manannan SR4 (Scout Rifle): Manannan is similar to Nameless Midnight, and also has the Explosive Payload perk. If you prefer to use Better Devils, this is a good long-range option to pair with them.
- Sins of the Past (Rocket Launcher): Sins of the Past has the powerful Cluster Bomb perk, which causes rockets to spawn additional explosive bombs upon impact. This makes it a solid choice for dealing high damage in almost any situation, except against high mobility targets.
- Curtain Call (Rocket Launcher): Curtain Call is a more easily obtainable alternative to Sins of the Past. While it also has the Cluster Bomb perk and deals a similar amount of damage, its lower handling speed, smaller blast radius, and lack of the Auto-Loading Holster perk make it slightly inferior.
- Classical-42 (Rocket Launcher): Classical-42 is another more easily obtainable alternative to Sins of the Past. It is very similar to Curtain Call.
- It Stared Back (Sword): It Stared Back is easily the best choice against any target where short ranged combat is a viable option. The Relentless Strikes perk restores one power ammo after every three hits. Combined with its naturally high ammo capacity (29), this power weapon hardly ever seems to run out of ammo. The Whirlwind Blade perk also provides a stacking damage buff on each hit.
- Double-Edged Answer (Sword): Double-Edged Answer is a more easily obtainable alternative to It Stared Back. It shares the Relentless Strikes perk, however, it does not have Whirlwind Blade, making it an inferior choice.
- Hawthorne’s Field-Forged Shotgun (Shotgun): Hawthorne’s Field-Forged Shotgun is another strong short-range option. Fully automatic fire allows players to do a lot of damage very quickly, but it also consumes ammo quickly.
- Maxim XI (Sniper Rifle): While most Sniper Rifles perform poorly, the combination of the Snapshot Sights perk and fast handling speed makes Maxim XI the exception to the rule. This is a great weapon for PvP, or in certain PvE situations where you are either fighting a high-mobility target, or where explosive weapons may be dangerous to use. Make sure to use the short zoom sights.
- Orpheus Rig (Legs): Orpheus Rig is very powerful on a Nightstalker when combined with The Way of the Tracker specialization. Tethering a group of 10 or more enemies can instantly refresh all of the Hunter’s abilities, including Shadowshot. This allows the Hunter to repeatedly cast Shadowshot, quickly clearing out large groups of enemies and providing the rest of the team with a steady supply of Orbs of Light.
- Celestial Nighthawk (Head): In contrast to Orpheus Rig, Celestial Nighthawk excels at dealing large amounts of damage to single targets, such as bosses. A Gunslinger using the Way of the Sharpshooter specialization can pull some pretty ridiculous numbers with a single precision shot — for example, close to 400k on Emperor Calus!
- St0mp-EE5 (Legs): St0mp-EE5 provide a boost to the Hunter’s sprint speed, which can be helpful during battles where mobility is more important than damage, such as The Gauntlet.
- Actium War Rig (Chest): Actium War Rig automatically reloads Auto Rifles, which effectively more than doubles their magazine capacity. Actium War Rig along with Sweet Business and Uriel’s Gift is one of the most powerful loadouts currently available.
- Crest of Alpha Lupi (Chest): Crest of Alpha Lupi heals the Titan for about one-third of an HP bar. This is useful in PvE, but it really shines in PvP, where the boost in health can often be the difference between a kill and a death.
- Dunemarchers (Legs): Dunemarchers increase the Titan’s sprint speed, which can be helpful during battles where mobility is more important than damage, such as The Gauntlet.
- Nezarec’s Sin (Head): Nezarac’s Sin reduces the cooldown of all of the Warlock’s abilities, including supers, whenever Void energy is used to kill an enemy. This includes Energy and Power weapons that have Void mods equipped. Nezarac’s Sin works best with a Devour build, since grenades will also trigger the cooldown reduction.
- Karnstein Armlets (Arms): Meleeing an enemy with Karnstein Armlets grants a small heal and reduces the cooldowns on all abilities except supers. This synergizes very well with the Stormcaller subclass, since all attacks made during Stormtrance count as melee attacks.
- Transversive Steps (Legs): Transversive Steps improve the Warlock’s sprint speed, which can be helpful during battles where mobility is more important than damage, such as The Gauntlet.
- Recovery Armor: Due to the current strength of recovery in both PvE and PvP, all classes should be using Recovery-based legendary armor. There are several sets available for each class, and the only differences between them are purely cosmetic.
- Hunter (Survivalist): 9 Recovery Maximum (10 may be possible now?)
- Road Complex (Engrams/Drops)
- Gensym Knight (Io)
- Floating/Flowing (Trials)
- Simulator(Future War Cult)
- Titan (Restorative): 10 Recovery Maximum
- Kerak (Engrams/Drops)
- Retro-Grade (Engrams/Drops)
- Gensym Knight (Io)
- Phoenix Strife (Crucible)
- Crushing/Annihilating (Trials)
- Iron Truage (Iron Banner)
- Sovereign (New Monarchy)
- Warlock (Restorative): 10 Recovery Maximum
- Heiro Camo (Engrams/Drops)
- Philomath (Engrams/Drops)
- Gensym Knight (Io)
- Exodus Down (Nessus)
- Fulminator/Emperor’s Minister (Leviathan)
- Simulator (Future War Cult)