Apex Legends dev reveals surprising statistic about the 'best' SMG - Dexerto
Apex Legends

Apex Legends dev reveals surprising statistic about the ‘best’ SMG

Published: 7/Apr/2021 17:49 Updated: 7/Apr/2021 17:50

by Calum Patterson


Picking what weapons to use in Apex Legends is always a tricky task, especially with the meta changing frequently. In the SMG category, the R-99 is often seen as the top dog – but Respawn stats have thrown a spanner in the works.

You can always use our own tier list for Apex Legends weapons to determine what weapons you want to pick up. We’ve listed the R-99 as an ‘S tier’ weapon, and comfortably the best SMG.

The R-99’s fast fire rate and good accuracy (especially with a few attachments equipped) is perfect for any player, at any level. But, interestingly, the data doesn’t actually back up this claim.


Rather, the Alternator, often snubbed for its slower fire rate, may actually be a better pick – at least according to the ‘win rate’ statistic.

Respawn Entertainment

R-99 vs Alternator in Apex Legends

Despite the R-99’s favoritism, Apex Legends developer Daniel Klein revealed that it actually has a lower win rate than the Alternator.

In this case, win rate can be thought of as the ‘encounter win rate’: “the number of times you get a knock down with the weapon vs number of times you get knocked down while using the weapon.”

However, this statistic doesn’t tell the whole story. As Klein continues, the developers also track the ‘downs per pickup’ – and in this case, the R-99 scores way higher.


As the developer explains, it’s likely that players more often use the Alternator in the early game, before dropping it later for a weapon they prefer. That means Alternators may come up against opponents with less shield, healing and generally better loot, thus boasting a higher win rate than the R-99.

So, ultimately, the higher win rate stat doesn’t mean for certain that the Alternator is a better weapon than the R-99. But, it does perhaps tell us that people are sleeping on it, and it might be a better weapon in the late game than you expect.


But, this will likely all be subject to change when the next major update rolls around, and everything changes once again in the weapon meta. Season 9 of Apex Legends is due to drop on May 4, 2021.