Apex Legends Best Guns Guide: Use These Weapons To Help You Survive
By Michael Rougeau and Phil Hornshaw on
A big part of the experience of Apex Legends, as with all battle royale games, is searching for the right tools to defeat the many players you're fighting with to be the last squad standing. The early part of every match is all about finding guns quickly to defend yourself; later, you can try to find more effective weapons that will make you deadlier against players who found stronger gear along the way. And throughout every match, you're constantly asking yourself if the gun you've found is better than the gun you're carrying.
We've spent quite a bit of time with Apex Legends at this point, and we've definitely determined that some guns are better than others. Many are good in a pinch, some are great in specific roles, and a few are worth ditching whatever you're carrying whenever you find them. What guns you're carrying can make or break a battle, and having a good spread of fire options among your squad can make you versatile in a lot of different situations. Choosing the right guns is a big part of your strategy in Apex Legends.
Here's a rundown of what guns you should grab as you're working to survive in Apex Legends, and the situations they're great in. Remember too that the right attachments can completely change a weapon's effectiveness and how it handles, so make sure you're keeping an eye out for extended magazines, stocks, optics, and everything else you can get to improve your favorites.
All of this is subject to change, both because Respawn can tweak things through patches and because new weapons will be coming to the game. Case in point, following the February 19 patch, Respawn is set to add a new gun to Apex Legends on February 20.
Generally, we're not fans of many of the light ammo guns in Apex Legends. They don't do much in terms of damage and their magazines are all criminally small. That said, they have their uses, especially early in the game, and their fast fire rates and low recoil can make them pretty deadly. For versatility, the R-301 Carbine is probably your best bet in the opening moments of a match if you can't find something better. It has decent range and magazine size, and you can flip it to single fire if you're really trying to hit something further away. The R-301 isn't going to get most players out of many scrapes later in the game--although we've seen people who use it to extremely potent effect all the way through--but early on, it can be very effective.
Damage: 28 per headshot, 14 per body shot
Again, light ammo isn't really all that great in most Apex matches, and pitting a light ammo gun against a heavy one is usually a good recipe to get killed. That said, in frantic, close-range situations, the Alternator is a reliable choice largely for its capacity to dump a ton of ammo on an enemy in a small amount of time. Its small magazine still hurts its overall effectiveness, but if you're hurting for a gun and expecting to run into trouble, the Alternator will do when you can't find a shotgun.
Damage: 19 headshot, 13 body shot.
This shotgun is underrated because it does less damage than the Peacekeeper in most instances, but it's a lot more forgiving in dangerous situations. That's specifically because it's an automatic shotgun, allowing you to fire again and again in quick succession. Shotguns in general should be your go-to weapons in a lot of situations, especially in the early game, and the EVA's ability to deliver a lot of punishment fast makes it great for getting you out of fights alive. You'll need to be up close and personal with it, but if you're not a great twitch fighter with super-quick aiming abilities, this should be your shotgun of choice.
Damage: 90 headshot, 63 body shot (full spread)
This seems to be the shotgun most favored in Apex Legends right now, and for good reason: It's extremely powerful, especially if you can hit with most or all of a blast at close range. The Peacekeeper fires a lot more slowly than the EVA but makes up for the difference with damage. It's even better if you can apply the Precision Choke attachment, which makes the Peacekeeper very effective even at relatively long ranges. This thing is a solid secondary weapon in most fights if you can close the distance on enemies; up close, accept no substitutes.
Damage: 165 headshot, 110 body shot (full spread)
It's a pistol, but don't write off the Wingman every time you see it just because it's small. It's actually a hand cannon in Apex Legends, it packs a serious punch, and it can win games--some players we know favor it over a shotgun as a secondary weapon. The Wingman deals serious damage even with body shots, and although it fires slowly, if you can connect with an opponent's head, you'll stand a serious chance for taking them out. Some close-range optics, an extended magazine, and a Skullpiercer attachment make the Wingman seriously dangerous. It's probably not something you want to take into the late game, but it can be very lethal for most of a match.
Damage: 90 headshot, 45 body shot.
There are a lot of heavy ammo assault rifles in Apex Legends, but we find the burst fire guns to be less than reliable from a lethality perspective in most cases. The full-auto Flatline, on the other hand, is the meat-and-potatoes of Apex guns. It has great versatility and utility in a lot of situations thanks to both automatic and single-fire modes, it can handle a lot of scopes, and it'll do you good in just about any mid-range encounter you can think of thanks to its solid damage and accuracy. An extended magazine is almost essential, and you'll probably want to toss the Flatline for better alternatives like an LMG or sniper later in the game, but the Flatline's reliability makes it a great choice most of the time.
Damage: 32 headshot, 16 body shot.
There are currently only two light machine guns in Apex Legends, so they're not super common, but they are two guns you're going to want to get familiar with when you find them. The Spitfire in particular is your entry-level LMG and a great, deadly weapon to have for almost any encounter. The heavy ammo it fires means it hits hard, and it has a big magazine and can drop a lot of lead quickly, making it the kind of gun that's great for racking up kills even if you're not a particularly great Apex player. It still requires a degree of aiming capability so if you're missing a lot, consider a shotgun, but at lots of ranges the Spitfire will drop enemies quickly--in most cases, you want one on your team.
Damage: 40 headshot, 20 body shot.
The tougher-to-use but arguably more effective light machine gun is the Devotion, which fires energy ammo rather than heavy ammo. In our experience, it seems to be the stronger of the two guns, which is offset by the fact that it has to "spin up" when you fire it--for the first second or so while you're pulling the trigger, the gun warms up before it starts shooting. You can cut that time down significantly with the Turbocharger attachment, but if you're good at anticipating the spin-up, you don't even need it. The Devotion's accuracy and damage, plus its ability to send all kinds of fire really quickly, make it a great gun for dropping people at all kinds of ranges.
Damage: 34 headshot, 17 body shot.
As snipers go, the Longbow is reliable and powerful, but requires quite a bit of skill to use. Its single-fire action means it fires slowly, which makes it tough to put a lot of shots out quickly, and its heavy ammo makes bullet drop pretty noticeable at longer ranges. But if you can hit stuff with it, you can use it to win matches, especially with a strong sniper scope like the 4x-8x variable, an extended magazine, and a Skullpiercer attachment. Practice makes perfect with the Longbow, but generally speaking, you want at least one teammate to be carrying this guy in most late-game scenarios. Spend some time learning how scopes calculate bullet drop and you'll do even better; we explain how it works in our list of things the game doesn't tell you.
Damage: 110 headshot, 55 body shot.
If you find a Triple Take, grab it--or give it to someone on your team who can snipe if you can't--because these things are absolutely deadly. The energy sniper is great at just about any range and does serious damage, although its three-round spread lessens its effectiveness at longer ranges. You can combat that by finding and applying a Precision Choke attachment to tighten up the spread, which makes it even more lethal. For a sniper rifle, the Triple Take is also pretty useful up close, since its three-round spread means you can fire it without a scope from the hip like a shotgun. That's not the recommended use case, but in a pinch, it can be surprisingly effective.
Damage: 138 headshot, 69 body shot.
Mastiff -- A Devastating Shotgun
There are top-tier guns in Apex Legends that you'll only find in care packages: the Kraber sniper and the Mastiff shotgun. Grab a Mastiff and get to close range against opponents and you'll be in a winning position a lot of the time. The shotgun does huge damage and its spread is horizontal, rather than rounded like most shotguns. That means it can hurt multiple enemies at once, and is devastating if you're really close to an enemy. The drawback, of course, is its lack of utility at range, and like the Kraber, it can't be reloaded or altered with attachments. However, the Mastiff makes up for those deficiencies with so much raw power that if you can get one, your squad will appreciate it.
Damage: 90 headshot, 63 body shot (full spread).
Kraber -- The Most Powerful Sniper
If you've got an eye for sniping, the Kraber is probably the best gun in the game. The .50-caliber sniper rifle scope lets you get more range than any other Apex Legends weapon, and it ravages enemies by dealing huge damage per shot. In fact, you can drop enemies with a single headshot through a Level 1 helmet. The drawback is that the Kraber comes with only eight rounds, and when you're finished with them, it becomes useless. On top of that, it's the only bolt-action sniper in the game, which means you'll only get one shot at a time. Like the Mastiff, raw devastating damage makes up the difference, and in skilled hands, the Kraber wins matches. Keeping it from other squads is reason enough to go after supply drops whenever you can.
Damage: 250 headshot, 125 body shot.