Apex Legends weapons tier list: the best guns in the battle royale game

Here are our picks for the best weapons in Apex Legends

Apex Legends character Loba aims a pistol at the camera against a background of the sea

If you’re wanting to jump into Apex Legends Season 9 but can’t tell your Peacekeeper from your P2020, then you’re in the right place. You want to ensure that you’re dealing the most damage possible at all times, and not picking up a dud weapon from a supply bin. After all, there’s no use picking the best character from our Apex Legends tier list if you’re going to arm them with an RE-45.

Picture this: you drop into Kings Canyon, perhaps landing at Crash Site – where Fuse made his explosive entrance to the games – and there are two more teams hot on your tail. You open up a Supply Bin, but what’s to be found – a Mozambique. But this weapon is no longer the meme it once was, and you need an Apex Legends weapons tier list to keep up.

With the right attachments – namely a decent shotgun bolt – a Mozambique can now down an opponent with a couple of well-placed headshots. So even if you’re a long-time player, seasonal updates will impact how well a weapon performs. Your playstyle will also affect what weapons you pick, obviously, but not all SMGs and snipers were created equal.

This tier list is based on a mixture of our personal experiences using these guns and cold, hard statistics. We’ll keep this updated with every patch that drops, so keep checking back to see if your favourite Apex weapon is still top-tier.

Of course, we’re also noting how good weapons are in Apex Legends’ Arenas mode. While the structure of the tier list will largely stay the same, some weapons offer better utility in the 3v3 mode than others, and some are downright bargains for their material cost.

S-tier

The Kraber, R-99, and Spitfire are the best weapons in Apex Legends right now. These S-tier weapons are the ones you have to get your hands on.

The Kraber sniper rifle in blue, with black, gold, grey, and silver details

Kraber .50-Cal Sniper

Put simply, the Kraber is the best weapon in the game. The sniper rifle can only be found in supply drops, and will likely remain there for the entirety of its Apex Legends lifespan. However despite its rarity, the damage that the Kraber puts out is lethal.

A body shot does 145 damage – that’s enough to crack even a fully-upgraded Evo-shield – and a headshot deals 435. No legend, even if they have a maxed-out shield, gold helmet and the Fortified ability, will survive that. The downsides to the Kraber are its limited ammunition supply and the lengthy reloading process, but if you put in the hours at the practise range, none of that will matter.

You will rarely – if ever – see the Kraber in Arenas mode, however, as it can’t be bought with materials and we’ve yet to see it drop in a care package.

R-99 SMG

The only thing more deadly than a shotgun at short-range is an SMG, and specifically an SMG that does 198 DPS without hitting any headshots. Each round of Light Ammunition only deals 11 damage, but when the R-99 can get through a full 20-round magazine in just over a second, a single spray from the SMG can prove deadly.

You’ll want to look at getting your hands on an Extended Magazine and Barrel Stabilizer as soon as possible in order to maximise your damage and accuracy, but the R-99 is brutal even without attachments. Season 8’s Gold Magazine automatically reloads your weapons, so cycling between an R-99 equipped with the new addition and a shotgun of your choice will help you win any close-ranged fights you put your mind to.

The R-99 is an expensive option in Arenas, especially in the early rounds, but we all know what it can do when you get up close and personal.

A silver Spitfire automatic rifle with targets in the background

M600 Spitfire

The Spitfire has a seemingly endless magazine with little-to-no recoil, so what’s not to love? In all seriousness, whether you’re aiming down sights or just trying some good old spray-and-pray, the Spitfire will do the work for you.

The Spitfire received a nerf at the beginning of Season 9, and another a week into the season, but despite the double duty it remains strong by our reckoning. Bullets do one damage less now, and the biggest magazine has been reduced from 55 to 50 bullets in the chamber. However, its recoil remains negligible, and it’ll be unlikely you’ll ever need to reload in the midst of battle.

Get your hands on the largest extended magazine you can find – in this case, size does matter – and hold your trigger finger down. Combine with Rampart for even more bullets in the chamber, although that might be overkill.

It’s also a solid option for Arenas, but you’ll likely need to wait until the second or third round to purchase the Spitfire alongside a secondary weapon.

A-tier

The weapons here are great choices, and all of them are well worth trying out.

R-301 Carbine

The R-301 is a solid weapon, and has been a mainstay for players climbing the Apex Legends ranks for as long as the game has been around. It’s got very manageable recoil and a range of firing options.

Full-auto is usually the way to go unless you’re peeking at opponents at the longer edges of this weapon’s usable range, when single-fire will give you more accuracy. The usual attachments of Extended Light Magazine, an Barrel Stabilizer, and a nice optic are preferable here.

The R-301 is literally too expensive to buy in the first round of Arenas, but in subsequent rounds it could be a very viable option. We’d either save up or wait to upgrade it a couple of times to get a decent scope and extended magazine on there, but that will use up a lot of your hard-earned cash. The choice is yours.

The EVA-8 shotgun, sporting a black, red, and silver skin. It has a large drum protruding from the bottom of the weapon

EVA-8 Auto

Yes, we genuinely believe that the EVA-8 is the best shotgun in Apex Legends right now. Now that the Mastiff has been nerfed to oblivion and the Peacekeeper has been taken out of care packages, the EVA-8 puts in that close-ranged work for us. The fully-automatic weapon gives you a higher DPS than any other shotgun due to its rapid rate of fire, and it’s got a nice, clean grouping of pellets that mean you can score big hits quite easily.

There’s not much of a headshot multiplier, but no negative modifiers for hitting opponents’ legs makes up for that. You’ll need to grab a Shotgun Bolt as soon as possible to get the firing rate as high as possible, but with an Epic-level bolt attached, the EVA is a really viable option.

For the bargain price of 250 materials, this rips opponents apart in Arenas. We’d especially recommend it if you plan on rushing your opponents through the portals on Phase Runner, or if you’re planning to use a Gibby Dome to snag some essential care package weapons.

Prowler Burst PDW

The Prowler is the second weapon that you can find in supply drops in Season 9, a powerful SMG with auto and burst settings.

Seasoned Apex players will know all about the constant arguments over whether automatic or burst fire is best, so we’ll stay out of it and let you decide. Bursts shoot five 15-damage rounds in quick succession with incredible accuracy and minimal recoil, whereas automatic mode lets you keep your finger on the trigger until you’ve depleted a whole 35-round magazine. Headshots do 23 damage per bullet – that’s 115 per burst – so aiming for an enemy’s noggin is, as usual, the best course of action.

You’ll need better control of the recoil for automatic fire, but both settings have the ability to melt shields and rip through flesh.

The Prowler has turned up in a couple of our Arenas matches, but is only available in the care package. It’s worth taking a chance and getting hold of it if you can, though, because it will fare you well if you can collect it safely.

An ivory Volt SMG, with pale blue highlights, is inspected. The background is a desert littered with shooting targets

Volt SMG

The Volt is on the borderline of being an A-tier or B-tier weapon. However, it is comfortably the best option for your hoard of Energy Ammunition, and is the perfect weapon for beginners.

As well as rivaling the Prowler at 15 damage per shot and 23 per headshot, the Volt has next-to-no recoil and very little bullet drop, even at mid-range. It feels really nice to fire, and does impressive damage as well. Our personal preference is slapping a 2x Bruiser sight on it and the obligatory Extended Magazine. That said, the iron sights aren’t bad at all, and reloading is quick. Just don’t try to hipfire with the Volt – it’s as unreliable as a Wraith main carrying your banner to a Respawn Beacon.

The Volt is a solid choice in Arenas, too, being easy to use and less expensive than some of the other options at this level.

Bocek Bow

We finally have a bow in the Apex Games! And it’s really good. The Apex Legends, Bocek Bow is a new addition for Season 9, which takes new hop-ups, new ammo, and even fits into a new weapon category. First of all, the Bocek Bow obviously fires arrows, as any good bow should. This not only means you never have to reload a magazine, but you can collect arrows that are sticking out of terrain or from opponents’ death boxes if you peppered them with a few shots.

Naturally, the bow has a pretty slow rate of fire, but the first hop-up helps with that. Deadeye’s Tempo makes it so that if you time your shot well – exactly when the bowstring is fully drawn for maximum power – your next shot will draw faster and have a higher velocity. This hop-up also fits on the Sentinel, although it simply activates after your first shot in that case. So, if you’ve got an eye for a target and a good sense of rhythm, you can pump out charged shots pretty quickly, which do 60 damage to the body and even more to the head.

Of course, if the string isn’t fully pulled back, the shot will be less powerful. However, a second hop-up will help you out here. Shatter Caps split your arrow into multiple parts, acting like a pseudo-shotgun. We didn’t find this as useful as the Deadeye’s Tempo, but the fact that you can attach both hop-ups simultaneously and change between them is game-changing, and means that the long-range bow can do reasonable damage even when your opponents rush you.

The Bocek received a nerf early on in Season 9, reducing body damage by 10, slightly decreasing its rate of fire, and reducing the number of arrows per inventory stack. However, it remains nearly completely silent, and the projectile drop is negligible even at mid to long-range, so it remains a strong pick.

With the new excitement around it, we expect to see a lot of bows in the early days of Season 9. It also borders on a must-buy in Arenas, as its lack of bullet drop at medium ranges proves incredibly effective, albeit for the steep price of 600 materials.

Alternator SMG

Think of the Alternator as a mini-R-99. While it does a hefty 16 damage per bullet (compared to just 11 per bullet on the R-99), its rate of fire is much slower, meaning it does just 160 DPS compared to the R-99’s 198.

However, it’s hardly fair to constantly compare the Alternator to one of the best Apex Legends weapons – it does have some merit. Hipfire an Alternator as soon as you land and unshielded enemies will drop at your feet.

150 materials cheaper than the R-99 in Arenas, it seems like a nice budget pick if you fancy something different and are fine with rushing your opponents.

Wingman pistol in front of a desert background

Wingman

While the 30-30 Repeater is quickly making a name for itself as the “long-ranged Wingman”, we still prefer our trusty sidearm. The Heavy ammo-toting pistol is our favourite sidearm in the game, but it requires some precise aiming to maximise its usefulness.

The Wingman is our favourite pistol, because of the sheer damage it does with every round. Each hit from a Wingman deals 45 damage, which doubles to 90 for a headshot. The Wingman is the only pistol that doesn’t decrease its headshot multiplier at longer range, so you can comfortably use it at medium distances and even deal decent damage at long range.

Headshots get even more deadly in Season 9, as the multiplier has increased from 2.0 to 2.15, likely due to the removal of the Skullpiercer hop-up – so get down to the Firing Range to hone your aim.

The Quickdraw Holster also increases hipfire accuracy by quite some way, rivaling the Skullpiercer if you’re struggling to land a headshot. Paying the 500 materials in Arenas will be worth your time if you can hit your shots, but we’d consider upgrading at least once to get a decent optic.

VK-47 Flatline

The Flatline is a great choice if you’ve got heavy ammo to burn. Each bullet does good damage and hipfire gives great results, and you can always switch to single-fire mode to improve its long-range performance.

However, the iron sights are terrible. Like, really terrible. Replacement optics are a requirement, even if it’s just a 1x, and an Extended Heavy Magazine will do you well, too. The Anvil Receiver hop-up offers an interesting option to multiply damage by 2.25x by sacrificing rate of fire and using two ammo per shot.

The Flatline is also a valid pick in Arenas, offering plenty of versatility with its two firing modes. We’ve had some reasonable success investing heavily in it in early games to quickly establish a lead.

B-tier

These weapons are all solid picks or useful in certain situations. If you happen across any of these, they’re worth taking a minute to think about – unless you’re already kitted out with an A-tier loadout, that is.

A yellowy Charge Rifle, with a canyon and firing range targets in the background

Charge Rifle

The Charge Rifle is a completely unique weapon, which fires a laser beam across the map to damage foes. It is the only hitscan weapon in Apex Legends – meaning that each shot instantly hits what the weapon is pointed at, no matter the range.

There’s no bullet drop (I mean, there are no bullets so it makes sense), but it can take a while to charge up, uses two Sniper ammo per shot, and can give away your position on the map. However, it can be used effectively to charge up your Evo-Shield from long range in the early stages of the game.

You can’t afford it in the first round of Arenas, but we found the Charge Rifle to be borderline broken in Artillery. Take to the high ground and you’ll have unparallelled views of your surroundings, so your opponents better say goodbye to their evo-shields!

Peacekeeper

The Peacekeeper has been removed from care packages, and received a small nerf to all of its stats in the process, which is to be expected. Like the Triple Take, the Peacekeeper still comes with an in-built choke to help your pellets find their targets.

Gibby mains will argue the case for both the Peacekeeper and the Mastiff when it comes to a bubble fight, but we really can’t see past the EVA-8 when it comes to shotguns right now.

In Arenas, why would you pay so many materials for a Peacekeeper when the EVA-8 is right there? We’re spoiled for choice with shotguns, but there’s only one option for us.

G7 Scout

The G7 Scout fits into the new Marksman class, and is useful for peeking corners, spamming the trigger, and getting chip damage on unsuspecting foes.

The most important attachment to look for is a decent optic, a 3x or 2-4x are our preferred options. While the G7 could be the most popular Marksman class weapon going forwards, we anticipate the Bocek Bow will see more play initially – and could potentially outshine the Scout going forwards thanks to its versatility and the ability to take two hop-ups at the same time.

A blue metallic Triple Take sniper rifle in front of a desert background

Triple Take

We loved the Triple Take as a ground-loot sniper rifle, but its utility has been somewhat hamstrung by the fact that it has moved into care packages and been reclassified as a Marksman rifle in Season 9. It has received a slight buff in the process, but the lack of sniper optics hurts.

This means it can’t take sniper optics, but you do get plenty of ammunition to play with if you’re lucky enough to find one. It keeps the built-in choke that makes its three pellets so dangerous, but its rarity and lack of long-range optics really do make us wonder about its viability in Season 9 and beyond.

Here’s our advice for climbing the Apex Legends ranks

Mastiff Shotgun

How the mighty have fallen. The Mastiff sat in our S-tier for many moons, an unbeatable option for close-range firefights. Nowadays, that is not the case.

After a big nerf in the Chaos Theory rebalances, the once-great shotgun now only does a maximum of 88 damage per shot – if all your pellets hit – compared to the Peacekeeper’s vastly superior 110. Its slow rate of fire and horizontal spread pattern also mean that even the humble EVA-8 is a safer option these days.

Because of this spread pattern, we don’t recommend trying for headshots unless you’re practically standing in front of your opponent. Aiming for the shoulder area is your best bet to maximise damage – and looking down your sights will keep the spread a little bit tighter.

HAVOC Rifle

The HAVOC is like a smaller version of the Devotion LMG. It has more manageable recoil than its big brother, and the ability to beam opponents runs in the family. It does less damage per round and has a smaller magazine than the Devotion, but that hardly matters when you get up to full firing speed. The HAVOC has also been made easier to control earlier in the recoil pattern in Season 9, which is a nice bonus.

You’ll want to prioritise finding a Turbocharger so you can get the HAVOC up to speed as quickly as possible, and then grab an Extended Energy Magazine. However, with the popularity of the user-friendly Volt SMG, Energy Ammo can be a little hard to find these days.

Ammo is less of a problem in Arenas, what with the lack of looting and such, but having to fully upgrade your HAVOC in order to get that Turbocharger makes it a very expensive option. However, if you see a fully-kitted variant of the AR drop in a care package then it’s definitely worth picking up.

Devotion LMG

The Devotion LMG can be devastating in the right hands. Its Energy Ammunition fires so rapidly that it seems to transform into a beam of damage, wrecking anyone in its path. Use Rampart to get a little boost to your magazine size and hold that trigger down to take some lives.

You’ll want to get some practise managing the sizable recoil. Oh, and find yourself a Turbocharger, otherwise you’ll be dead before the barrel is up to full speed. Luckily, the hop-up is much more widely available from Season 8 onwards, as you can find them in the Explosive Holds dotted around the map.

In Arenas, it suffers from the same problems as the HAVOC, and to be honest the two weapons sit pretty much equally on our tier list. Pick whichever you’re more comfortable with.

C-tier

C-tier weapons are pretty low on the tier list. They’ll be just fine for when you first drop in, but try to replace them as quickly as possible.

Longbow DMR

The Longbow does less damage than the Sentinel, but has more recoil than the Triple Take, offering a middle ground option for players who like to sit back and chip away at their foes. If you’re good at clicking heads, then this bolt-action sniper could be for you, but a relatively slow rate of fire and pitiful body damage for its weapon type mean you need to make every shot count.

If you can maintain high levels of accuracy, its headshot multiplier has been increased from 2.0 to 2.15 to compensate for the vaulting of the Skullpiercer hop-up.

There may be some use for the Longbow in the Artillery or Phase Runner Arenas maps, but only if you’ve got the materials to upgrade it so you can attach a long-range optic.

Hemlok Burst AR

Despite a couple of recent nerfs, the Hemlok still puts in a strong showing in Apex Legends Season 9. A three-round burst from this Assault Rifle will do a hefty 60 damage if all the shots hit, but the vertical recoil could easily help one of those bullets hit a 35-damage headshot.

Great at mid and long-range, a 2x-4x Variable AOG sight would be our pick of optics, along with an Extended Heavy Magazine, Barrel Stabilizer, and Stock. Bursts at mid-range can quickly rack up damage, and hipfiring at close-range is an option if an opponent gets up close. The Hemlok is no slouch on single-fire mode, either, which is best utilised when you zoom into that 4x range. Just make sure you find an optic, as the iron sights obscure a lot of your vision.

In Arenas or Battle Royale mode, we’d usually opt for the full-auto Flatline or Spitfire over the Hemlok in its current state, however.

The 30-30 repeater - a silver, brown, and grey weapon with gold details, set against mountains and firing range targets

30-30 Repeater

Early testing showed the 30-30 Repeater had some promise. However, in its role as a Marksman Rifle, we’d nearly always choose a G7 Scout or Bocek Bow.

The 30-30 was built for mid to long-range fights and, despite a drastic bullet drop, the reasonable rate of fire and low recoil mean you can grab headshots with surprising accuracy and damage.

Aiming down sights powers up your shots, and can give them a maximum of 35% damage boost at the expense of fire rate. Another benefit is that bullets are reloaded individually, meaning that, although reloading a full magazine can take a while, you can load a couple of bullets into the chamber if you need to in the middle of a fight.

The 30-30 can now take the Shatter Caps hop-up also, giving it a pseudo-shotgun status at short range. However, this isn’t enough to carry the Marksman Rifle above C-tier.

RE-45 Auto

The RE-45 is a nifty little automatic pistol with a rapid rate of fire. While most players only use it for carrying attachments while you wait for an R-99, R-301, or Alternator, it has some use, especially in the early stages of the game. It has a high rate of fire but a pretty small magazine, meaning that you’ll likely need to reload multiple times during a fight. Sometimes it does feel like you should punch your opponents instead.

This is the only weapon that has changed tier purely due to Arenas, however. For the negligible cost of 250 materials, the RE-45 acts as a miniature R-99 for under half the cost. In early rounds where you have fewer materials to play with, an upgraded RE-45 can put in the work when you charge right at your opponent. In later rounds it is outclassed, but remains a bargain automatic weapon that provides excellent value.

D-tier

These weapons are really dire. Like, maybe your fists are a better option?

Mozambique Shotgun

While it still resides in the lowly D-Tier, the Mozambique has come a long way from the absolute bottom of the pile, mostly due to the fact it now hold six rounds in the chamber.

Unfortunately, Hammerpoint Rounds have been vaulted in Season 9, which hurts the Mozambique significantly.

The Mozambique is free in Arenas, so will likely be your choice of secondary weapon in the early rounds. It’s probably not worth upgrading, however. Use those materials to buff your primary weapon or buy some ‘nades and head for the supply drop to switch out the Mozambique mid-game.

L-Star EMG

The L-Star had its moment in the spotlight in Season 6, but subsequent nerfs have left it in the dust a little. It dishes out a lot of damage, but the bright muzzle flashes can make it hard to follow opponents, and the overheating mechanic takes some getting used to.

There’s no way to extend the magazine (because it doesn’t have one) and the recoil is wild and unpredictable. There are many better uses for your Energy Ammo.

Check out the best Apex Legends characters

Sentinel

The Sentinel does good damage, but has a lot of recoil and an incredibly low rate of fire. There are some benefits, especially if you’re willing to sacrifice some precious Shield Cells to amp up the sniper’s damage.

Bullets can also penetrate through enemies if they line up nicely, but we’d much rather take the higher rate of fire of the Triple Take, despite each shot doing less damage.

Season 9 gives the Sentinel access to the new Deadeye’s Tempo hop-up, which increases its rate of fire with subsequent shots. However, at this stage it doesn’t appear to be enough of a buff to move the Sentinel from the bottom tier. Furthermore, in Arenas you only get enough Shield Cells for one charge-up per round – unless you buy more, that is.

P2020

The P2020 is a pretty useless pistol if we’re completely honest. It’s had a little damage buff in Season 9, but it’s not enough to make it worth picking up.

Despite being free to use in Arenas, we would only ever choose it over the Mozambique if we were running another shotgun as our primary.

That does it for our round-up of every Apex Legends weapon – congratulations if you made it all the way to the end. As we mentioned earlier, we’ll update this tier list with every change and patch that occurs in the game to keep you in the loop with how each weapon is performing and whether they’re worth picking up.

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