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 8 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 the latest addition to Apex Legends, Fuse, made his explosive entrance to the games – and there are two more teams hot on your tail. After all, you want to check out all the new changes to Kings Canyon, so why drop anywhere else? 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 Hammerpoint Rounds – a Mozambique can now down an opponent with one well-placed headshot. 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.

S-tier

The Kraber, Mastiff, and R-99 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.

Mastiff Shotgun

Shotguns are brutal in Apex Legends, especially if you’re utilising an offensive character like Wraith or Bangalore, and in our opinion the Mastiff is the best of the best. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a very tight call between this and the care package-only Peacekeeper, but the Mastiff just edges it.

The main thing the Mastiff has going for it is the availability of shotgun ammo. You probably only need to carry one stack, but in all likelihood you’ll be able to keep yourself topped up as you move through the game. The two shotguns have a very similar damage output, with the Mastiff doing 13 damage for each of the eight pellets it sprays for a maximum of 104 for a body shot. The Peacekeeper does 10 damage for each of its 11 pellets to hit for 110.

One last thing to note is the Mastiff’s spread pattern, which sprays all eight pellets in a straight horizontal line. Because of this, 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 tighter.

The R-99 submachine gun with an ocean-inspired design. Coral, fish, and other aquatic details are present in blues and oranges

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.

A-tier

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

Peacekeeper

The Peacekeeper is unlucky not to place higher on this tier list, if we’re honest. The main thing holding it back is its rarity – you’ll only find one every few games, and then you’ll have to fight your teammates for who gets to use it. What’s more, its ammunition is limited to what you find it with, so hitting every shot is more vital than with the Mastiff.

However, the Peacekeeper has a lot going for it. It does slightly more damage than the Mastiff, and has a much more agreeable star-shaped spread pattern – perfect for headshots. Speaking of which, the Peacekeeper offers a tasty 50% headshot multiplier, which could deal up to 165 damage per shot if you’re accurate. The Peacekeeper will delete opponents – if you can find it.

Prowler Burst PDW

The Prowler is the final weapon that you can find in supply drops in Season 8, although we imagine it could be replaced before the Peacekeeper, and definitely before the Kraber. For now, though, it’s 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.

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 shoot, 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.

Hemlok Burst AR

Despite a recent nerf, the Hemlok still puts in a strong showing in Apex Legends Season 8. 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.

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

The Eva-8 isn’t a bad shotgun, it’s just outclassed by its two older brothers the Mastiff and the Peacekeeper. However, the fully-automatic weapon actually offers more DPS than its shotgun rivals due to its rapid rate of fire.

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 viable option.

Triple Take

Our current pick of the ground-loot Sniper Rifles, the Triple Take fires three projectiles in a horizontal line, which can do a decent chunk of damage to opponents. Aiming down the sights powers up the in-built choke (which can be turned off), and bunches the projectiles closer together.

If all three projectiles hit an opponent, they’ll do a nice 69 damage, which doubles for a headshot. The Triple Take has a quick rate of fire and can penetrate through enemies for collateral damage. However, our favourite thing about the Triple Take is that you can use it as a hipfiring shotgun at close-range, making it an incredibly versatile weapon.

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.

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

30-30 Repeater

At first glance, the 30-30 Repeater looks pretty average – however, in our testing, it performs significantly better than it should. The repeat-action rifle is quite a complicated beast, but manages to perform well at all ranges. First of all, the heavy assault rifle 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.

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The 30-30’s most surprising asset, however, is that when hipfiring it almost acts like a shotgun. We don’t quite understand why either, but are half-expecting a nerf to hit it soon. In the meantime, though, grab the biggest Extended Heavy Magazine you can find and try out a 2x-4x Variable AOG.

Even ALGS Winter Circuit #1 winners Mikkel, Can, & Dan believe the weapon is overperforming, telling The Loadout that the 30-30 is currently “too strong” when we chatted about Season 8.

Wingman

While the 30-30 Repeater is quickly making a name for itself as the “long-ranged Wingman”, perhaps the Wingman should be called the “short-ranged 30-30”. 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 with the addition of Skullpiercer Rifling – an attachment we wholeheartedly recommend – so get down to the Firing Range to hone your aim.

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 Devotion LMG with a blue skin. Swirls of yellow, red, and white are also mixed in

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 in Season 8 as you can find them in the Explosive Holds dotted around the map.

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.

Alternator SMG

Think of the Alternator as a mini-R-99. Unfortunately, it’s just not as good in any aspect. While it does a pretty good 16 damage per bullet (compared to just 11 per bullet on the R-99), but 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 weapons in the game – it does have some merit in the early stages of the game. Hipfire an Alternator as soon as you land and unshielded enemies will drop at your feet.

VK-47 Flatline

The VK-47 fills a weird niche in the Apex Legends meta: it is a short-ranged Assault Rifle. While each bullet does good damage and hipfire gives great results, the long-range performance just isn’t up to scratch for a weapon of this type.

Furthermore, 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.

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.

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HAVOC Rifle

The HAVOC is like a smaller version of the Devotion LMG. While many people prefer to use this Assault Rifle over the LMG, we prefer the bigger magazine of the latter.

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.

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.

D-tier

These weapons are really pretty 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 having an extra round added to its magazine – now it holds four in the chamber.

However, the Mozambique’s biggest buff comes through the reintroduction of Hammerpoint Rounds, which doubles its damage against unshielded opponents – perfect for early game situations. Despite this buff, it’s not enough to drag it out of the bottom tier.

A silver Spitfire automatic rifle with targets in the background

M600 Spitfire

The best thing we can say about the Spitfire is that it has a massive magazine – especially if you grab an Extended Magazine and utilise Rampart’s passive ability.

The recoil is small, but somewhat unpredictable, and despite the respectable damage per bullet, the Spitfire has a low rate of fire for an automatic weapon. Seriously, pick up a Hemlok instead.

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.

Longbow DMR

The Longbow does less damage than the Sentinel, but has more recoil than the Triple Take, meaning that either of the other Sniper Rifles are a better choice depending on what you want to prioritise.

If you can maintain high levels of accuracy, grab the Skullpiercer hop-up to add extra damage to headshots – although we maintain this would be better used on a Wingman.

P2020

The P2020 is a pretty useless pistol if we’re completely honest. Hammerpoint Rounds take it off the bottom of the tier list, as the Hop-up gives a reasonable damage boost versus unshielded opponents.

RE-45 Auto

The RE-45 is only useful for carrying attachments while you wait for an R-99, R-301, or even an Alternator. 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. Seriously, just punch your opponents instead.

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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