Destiny 2 Guide: Tips For How To Be The Best Hunter
By Miguel Concepcion on
You've decided to save the solar system with the staff-wielding talents of the Hunter class in Destiny 2 for PC, PS4, or Xbox One. Not only did you pick a well-rounded savior skilled in gunplay and melee combat, you're also going to look awesome when you rack up those kill counts. The base abilities and the power of your Super can take you far, but we have tips on how to make the most of this crafty and agile class.
To get a general handle of playing the Hunter--or any class for that matter--consult our Beginner's Guide. And be sure to check out our other Destiny 2 guides, tips, and tricks for even more help on how to master the game. If you're curious about other classes, click from the links below.
But if you're ready to start thinking about optimizing your playstyle for endgame content, read ahead!
Near, Far, or Invisible?
Every Hunter subclass is armed and qualified to be a useful contributor no matter the mode. These three Hunter types deliver different experiences due to their distinct abilities, and making the most of this class means mastering a subclass that plays to your strengths. Stick with your starting subclass, the Arcstrider, if you like to take the fight to the enemy, as it's hands down the best melee fighter. If you're not the up-close-and-personal type but still enjoy the rush of racking up kills, the ranged weapon prowess of the Gunslinger offers a wealth of abilities and buffs tailored for shooter fans. If you're less of a glory-seeker and more of a team player, there's gratification to be found in the Nightstalker subclass. It has a number of non-lethal yet highly effective abilities that immobilizes and disorients enemies, making them easy targets for nearby Guardians.
Movement Is King
The first several hours will be spent unlocking the Arcstrider's abilities. Both of its passive ability sets--Way of the Warrior and Way of the Wind--play up the class' melee strengths. This gives you a lot of practice at jumping into the fray and fatally punching enemies in quick succession. Become accustomed to jumping or rushing quickly into crowds and getting out once your health goes critical. When you max out your movement skills, you'll be able to triple jump, making yourself a tougher target to hit. And while the Hunter doesn't have a traditional midair power slam, you still can be an effective killer from the skies by coming down from a double or triple jump with a melee blow.
What makes the Hunter the most agile class are its two dodge abilities. Both of these should be used as often as possible, not just for practice, but also so you can figure out which skill is right for you. If you're very comfortable with melee combat--or are sticking with the Arcstrider--the Gambler's Dodge is the way to go, since it recharges your melee ability. Complement this dodge with two passive abilities within the Way of the Warrior path, Combination Flow and Combat Flow. When used together, these powers can potentially make you unstoppable since one ability recharges your dodge ability while the other triggers health regeneration. The Marksman's Dodge is more suited to Hunters who lean toward ranged weapons, as it quickly reloads your armed weapon. This is especially useful if find yourself equipped with powerful weapons with long reload times.
Chain The Arc Staff
Since the Arcstrider is the first Hunter subclass you unlock, you'll get a lot of time to play around with the Arc Staff. It's one of the most user-friendly Supers in Destiny 2, allowing you to wail on nearby enemies. While you can do a lot of damage by relying on the powerful slam from the air, you'd missing out on the Arc Staff's lethal nuances. Since this Super uses both the melee and ranged weapon buttons, you can experiment with different combinations by using both inputs in a string of attacks.
Optimizing The Gunslinger
If, after spending a few hours with the Arcstrider, you find yourself more comfortable with ranged combat, switch to the Gunslinger after you've unlocked this subclass. Two of the Way of the Outlaw passive abilities add benefits to the Golden Gun Super. If you're adept at precision kills, you're missing out if you're not unlocking the Way of the Sharpshooter passive abilities, all of which reward your deadeye talents. The best complements to your precision as a sharpshooter are the area-of-effect benefits of the incendiary grenade. Combine these with the deadly throwing knives within either passive ability path.
Carefully Manage Your Golden Gun
A single shot from the Gunslinger's Golden Gun is one of the most potent Super attacks in Destiny 2. The trouble is that, by default, you only have three rounds before the Super needs recharging. It goes without saying that you need to pick your targets carefully. This doesn't diminish the value of the Gunslinger, though. Half of the subclass's eight passive abilities are designed to enhance this Super, whether it's improved accuracy, doubling your ammo (at the expense of a shorter duration), or increased damage.
The Adaptive Nightstalker
The Hunter Nightstalker is a lethal subclass, especially if you know how to tailor its abilities specific to PvP and PvE. Against the AI, it's an excellent support player, but it's also self-sufficient when you find yourself isolated. Use Vanish In Smoke to create an invisibility cloud for you and your nearby allies. It's also easy to take the fight to the AI, which is why you should prioritize the Swarm and Incendiary Grenades over the Tripmine Grenade. Conversely, you can surprise opponents in The Crucible with traps like the Tripmine and the Snare Bomb. Speaking of PvP, the Nightstalker can be a huge contributor defensively and offensively, especially when using Vanishing Step and Keen Scout to disappear and boost sprinting, respectively. Last but not least, look for armor that enhances sprinting and sliding, both of which go a long way in making you hard to kill.
Tap Into The Shadowshot
On its own, the Shadowshot--the Super ability of the Nightstalker--isn't lethal, but it restricts your foes' movements and abilities, making them vulnerable to your friends and your own follow-up attacks. This also makes the Nightstalker most useful when playing with a group. Whether alone or in a group, the true power of the Shadowshot is harnessed through your passive abilities. Under Way of the Trapper, you can enhance the Super with Deadfall, which unleashes Void Anchor traps. When choosing Way of the Pathfinder, the Moebius Quiver can transform the Shadowshot into a damage-dealing Super. Heart of the Pack, which conjures Orbs of Light as you kill, unscores the Super's usefulness against multiple enemies, as opposed to a single boss.
Don't Get Melee Cocky
Whatever melee abilities you're comfortable with, don't get overconfident when you're in crowds. Combination Blow--one of the Way of the Warrior passive abilities--triggers health regeneration and increase melee damage, and this boost can feel empowering, but you're not invincible. It can be easy to get caught in a killing spree and ignore your low health. This also applies to the Arc Staff. Just because you have the superhuman ability to disintegrate your foes doesn't mean you're impervious to attacks, especially when your staff can't reach far off enemies.