Apex Legends

Best guns in Apex Legends Season 5: Ultimate weapon tier list

by Isaac McIntyre
Respawn Entertainment

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Apex Legends boasts nearly two dozen deadly guns to choose from in Respawn’s battle royale ⁠— but which are best, and which should you leave behind? Here's our ultimate weapon tier list for Season 5.

The Apex Legends gun metagame changed slightly heading into Season 5, but it was mainly due to nerfs and buffs rather than a new arrival. For the first time in the battle royale’s history, Respawn decided not to add a new weapon to the title’s huge arsenal this season.

Instead, the devs decided to tweak the gun pool, due to the fact they think they’ve found a “sweet spot” in regards to weapons. The headlining change was the Peacekeeper, which was rotated into care packages in Season 5.

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The Mastiff went the other way heading into the new content update, after copping a handful of nerfs to balance it out. The Longbow, Wingman, and Havoc were all nerfed too, while Light picks the Alternator and RE-45 got small buffs.

With those changes in mind, here is Dexerto’s ultimate tier list for Season 5, including which guns you should take every time you see them, and which you should leave in the loot bin ⁠— without further ado, here's the list:

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Devotion — Care Package Heavy Machinegun

Once found across Kings Canyon and World’s Edge as a random drop, Respawn deemed the energy machinegun the Devotion far too powerful and shunted it to care packages. With that change though, they added some extra stats and power.

Now, the Devotion is the deadliest gun in Apex Legends. The heavy weapon has been kept in check by the random chance, but if you see one of these in a loot drop, make sure you pick it up ⁠— an end-game fight with a Devotion will always go your way.

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Peacekeeper — Care Package Shotgun

There may not be a gun that’s seen more changes than the ever-powerful Peacekeeper, and Season 5’s huge list of changes were no different: the close-range all-star has been stripped of its freedom and packed into care drops.

To make up for it, however, it got a handful of big buffs, including tighter pellet spread, tiny rechamber times, faster reload times, and more consistency at close range. All that does is make the shotty even better, really.

The Peacekeeper is, of course, hurt a little by the fact you won’t see it that much in Season 5. When you do, however, make sure you drop your close-range option for it ⁠— if you get close to an enemy with the PK, it’s all over for them.

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L-Star — Energy LMG

The L-Star may have been the weapon that benefitted the most from the sweeping gun changes Respawn made coming into Season 4. The energy LMG now reigns supreme, after being left to rot on care packages every game due to its weak impact.

The energy pick has even knocked the R-99 off the top spot for fast-firing weapons. Though its light rival has a better start-up burst, once the L-Star gets going it shreds. This is the best non-airdrop weapon for close range. It holds its place in S-Tier due to the fact Kings Canyon is a smaller arena than World’s Edge.

Kraber .50 CAL — Care Package Sniper

In the sniper category, the Kraber is king. Unfortunately, it is still only available in care packages, but if you're lucky enough to come across it, you or one of your teammates would be silly not to pick it up. 

With the potential to kill in a single shot to the head, this bolt-action sniper does ridiculous damage at pretty much any range, and even if you miss the head, you'll soften up opponents nicely to allow a teammate to finish them off with ease.

It is worth noting the Kraber does lose a little bit of power because Kings Canyon has a lot more close-range battles. POIs like Labs, Market, and caves across the map all reduce the Kraber’s strength a little, but not enough to bump it out of S-Tier.

Mastiff — Shotgun

The Mastiff had a huge raft of changes made to it in Season 5 (listed below) but the former care drop shotgun still retains its power because it's so much more common in every Apex match. Here are the changes:

  • Reduced damage per pellet from 18 to 13. 
  • Reduced headshot multiplier from 2.0 to 1.25. 
  • Increased blast pattern distances for the outer pairs of pellets. 
  • Increased blast pattern scale ADS multiplier from 0.5 to 0.55. 
  • Reduced fire rate from 1.3 to 1.0. 
  • Reduced projectile size to be more in line with other regular shotguns.
  • Increased shell count from 4 to 6.
  • Increased projectile speed to standard shotgun speed.

There are better choices than the Mastiff now, where once it was basically a ‘must grab’ over everything but the Devotion, but the swapped shotty is taking a new lease on life in Season 5 ⁠— this is still one of the best close-range picks in Apex Legends these days.

R-99 — Light SMG

After a moment at the top of the heap, the R-99 saw a few hits to its status as short-ranged king ⁠— the arrival of the L-Star put a dint in its fearsome reputation, as did the injection of more long-ranged options like the Sentinel.

The light submachine gun is still a great pick whenever you can find one, however, especially if you are lucky enough to find a legendary barrel stabilizer. The ‘99 also boasts the game’s third-best non-boosted DPS ⁠— a must grab for any aspiring Champions of the Area.

R-301 Carbine — Light Assault Rifle

The R-301 has been an all-rounder since Apex Legends first dropped in February 2019, but for a single short stint out of the meta in Season 2, and nothing’s changed now. The carbine is great at range, up close, and is simple to use.

The addition of the Anvil Receiver hop-up in Season 3 helped the R-301, but Respawn chose to remove it again in Season 5. Regardless, the Carbine is still a solid pickup for early-game duels, or as a secondary gun late into the match.

Hemlok — Heavy Assault Rifle

The Hemlok may be passed over by many players for its full-auto cousins like the R-301 and the Flatline, but do not underestimate it. The Hemlok is deadly considering the amount of wide-open spaces on both Kings Canyon and World’s Edge.

The burst rifle also boasts two modes, three-shot and single. Both can be fantastic, with the long-ranged single-shot option helping you conserve ammo as you poke away at your rivals, and the burst giving you the firepower you need up close.

Prowler Burst PDW — Heavy SMG

The Prowler may be sitting in our A-Tier selection, but it’s worth keeping in mind if you can find a Select-Fire hop-up there aren’t many full-auto weapons better. Even without the rare attachment though, the Prowler shines with its burst-fire option.

Where the Prowler is best is its damage and rate of fire combined with its incredible recoil control because of its burst style. If you can land a five-shot burst onto an enemy, you’ll be dealing 75 damage ⁠— hit twice, and that’s an enemy downed.

G7 Scout — Light Assault Rifle

The G7 Scout may just be the most versatile weapon in Apex Legends. Its range is better than an R-301, and if you can tap the trigger fast enough, it’s rate of fire isn’t as bad as you would think for a single-shot rifle.

After starting life as a sniper, the G7 became an assault rifle in Season 4, and it’s all the better for it. Easier-to-find attachments, as well as sticking to bountiful light ammo stocks rather than the new sniper rounds, have helped the Scout a lot.

With a scope and some range between you and your target, the Scout's ability to spam shots can prove useful, and its Double-Tap hop-up only adds to this. There are a few places where the G7 falls flat, namely ammo supplies, but for the most part, it’s a great all-star gun.

Alternator — Light SMG 

The Alternator has always struggled to shine behind its big brothers the R-99 and R-301 in the Light class, but there’s a time and a place for the slow-firing SMG. In fact, the Alternator actually does more damage per bullet than the R-99.

Even better, the light SMG got a couple of long-awaited buffs in the May 12 patch update ⁠— magazine size increased from 16 to 19, 22 at level 1, 25 at level 2, and 27 and level 3 ⁠— and it’s bumped the fast-shooting gun up a tier.

This weapon holds its place in A-Tier now because of its early-game strength. If you find an Alternator right in the first drop, you’ve basically already won the fight, and earned a stack more loot. Then dump it for an R-99 or R-301 ASAP.

Wingman — Heavy Pistol

The last of the “must take” weapons is the Wingman, a heavy pistol that rewards pinpoint accuracy for players. We’re assuming you’re picking up the hard-to-handle handgun if you can land your shots ⁠— if not, maybe avoid.

The sheer power of the Wingman cannot be denied, however. Nerfs to its bullet count, and to the heavy mag attachment, have tried to bring it in line, but it’s still a top pick. If you’re hitting headshots, you’re dealing nearly 100 damage.

Unfortunately, it did cop a little headshot nerf in Season 5, reducing the damage scale from 2.1 to 2.0. Luckily, it got access to the Skullpiercer hop-up to make up for the change, and that keeps the heavy handgun in A-Tier.

 

 VK-47 Flatline — Heavy Assault Rifle

The Flatline has a similar role in Apex Legends to the Alternator ⁠— its competitors in the Heavy department, namely the Hemlok and Prowler, simply outshine it. That said, the VK-47 still packs a major punch, especially with the Anvil Receiver hop-up.

One of the key areas where the Flatline falls behind the Hemlok is the ability to stick a barrel stabilizer on the burst-rifle. The VK-47 certainly brings the bullets, with its auto-fire rate and 600 RPM, but as other guns become more accurate with attachments, it falls too far behind.

Havoc — Energy Rifle

The Havoc once shone brightly in the early seasons of the game, before falling off hard at the end of Season 3. Only, as it turns out, it had retained much of its close-ranged power despite nerfs. The laser-focused rifle had a major resurgence in Season 4.

Unfortunately for the energy weapon, a few nerfs and tweaks have cowled its power again in Season 5, leaving it near the top of B-Tier. It’s still a powerful pick in the right hands, but it's not the auto-win it became for much of last season.

At the moment, the Havoc’s main issue comes from being a rival to the L-Star, which will be gobbling up energy ammo across King’s Canyon. Considering the Turbocharge hop-up is no longer available, think twice before grabbing this once-great gun.

Eva-8 Auto — Shotgun

We can preface the Eva-8 description by saying if you find a Double-Tap hop-up, slap it on and forget everything we’ve said about this second-choice shotgun. With the two-shot add on, the Eva-8 turns into a ruthless close-up killing machine.

Without it, however, the Eva-8 struggles to shine. Without attachments, this full-auto shotgun can feel frustratingly weak, and there are not many early-game situations where you’d not be better served by a fast-firing RE-45, or an Alternator.

Longbow DMR  Sniper Rifle

The Longbow is a solid pick out of the B-Tier weapons, and certainly the best of the non-drop sniper rifles. The Kraber is undoubtedly superior, yes, but considering the Longbow pops up on the map a lot more, it’s a handy pickup for eagle-eyed players.

Even without a scope, the iron sights provide a clear view, and with 50 damage a shot, it will put down an unshielded enemy in two. It did receive a slight headshot scale nerf (2.15 down to 2.1) in the Season 5 patch, but like the Wingman it got access to the Skullpiercer hop-up in return. That boosts its headshot scale to 2.5, and turns it back into a deadly option.

M600 Spitfire Heavy Machinegun

The Spitfire has had an interesting run in Apex recently. In our Season 3 tier list we dubbed the M600 heavy machinegun “incredibly versatile,” but now that Season 5 has rolled around it’s just lacking that extra punch over range to keep it in the upper tiers.

Where the Spitfire shines is its huge magazine, and steady rate of fire. The machinegun also fits players who maybe aren’t the best aimers to a tee: if you missing the mark with your ADS shots, grab this LMG and start hip firing to victory.

RE-45 — Light Pistol

The RE-45 sneaks into the bottom of B-Tier thanks to its May 12 buffs, which boosted its bullet damage (11 to 12) and fixed its issues with reload times. It now has a 1.5 reload time at base, down from 1.74, and 1.95 when empty.

Overall, the RE-45 suffers the same issue a lot of the guns lower down on our totem pole are whacked with ⁠— there are just simply better options. The Alternator is a stronger light choice early in the game, and every other light pick is better once you get into the mid-game.

With that said, this auto-pistol does shine early. It's fairly easy to control, and once you add a couple of attachments to it and you have a perfectly viable mid-game gun. It has to go in the C-Tier though, as it's essentially an attachment holder until you find an R-99.

Sentinel Sniper Rifle

A Season 4 buff for the debutant sniper rifle the Sentinel has helped the newest gun gain some relevance, but it's overshadowed by long-standing options. With Kings Canyon’s return, it's deadly range has been muted even more.

For the most part, the Sentinel feels out of place in Apex Legends. It requires calculated, pinpoint shots to deal its huge 105-140 damage to shielded enemies with headshots, but if you miss and hit the body, you're handing out just 70.

Seems good in practice, but its slow rate of fire lets it down, and with those slow damage numbers, other rifles are simply better. The switch back to Kings Canyon in Season 5 has not helped the Sentinel either, unfortunately.

Triple Take — Sniper Rifle

The Triple-Take sniper rifle is a funny old weapon. It’s branded as a long-ranged gun, and has all the attachments to make it into a lethal sniper rifle, but the once-energy rifle actually fairs better up close in the early stages of the game.

This is because of its spread, which fires off three projectiles. If you can get three of the 50-60 damage bolts to land, you’ll tear enemies down ⁠— basically like another shotgun. Swap the Triple Take out for a better long-range option later in the game.

Charge Rifle — Sniper Rifle

When the Charge Rifle landed in World’s Edge in Season 3, there was nothing better. Its long energy beams could carve teams up with ease, and if you didn’t find cover quickly you could be melted before you were able to return a shot.

After two whopping nerfs, however, the Charge Rifle has slipped a little in usefulness, and the Winter of the Beam Shot came to an end. Now, it’s best if you can find a long-range scope. Otherwise, most other snipers are better.

P2020 — Light Pistol

No surprises here – the P2020 is a weak pistol, which can be completely ineffective to use at any sort of range, and should really only be a last resort in the early game.

There is, of course, one exception – when you find a Hammerpoint Rounds hop-up. If you do find one, you might want to consider holding on to the P2020 for longer, as it will deal considerably more damage to unshielded enemies.

Mozambique — Shotgun

What is there to say about the Mozambique that hasn’t already been said? The poor tri-shot shotgun is inarguably the worst weapon in the game ⁠— unless you’re charting tier lists based on what you find first in every match, and then it’s S-Tier.

The low-tier Mozambique is doomed to stay relatively poor forever too; Respawn confirmed they decided to have a few “less good” guns for balance. That means we won’t see a respite for the tri-shot shotgun this season.

If you do need to grab a ‘bique, however, make sure you ADS and aim for the head. If you land three shots against an unarmored enemy, you should deal around 207 damage, which gives you enough time to find a far better weapon.

Respawn Entertainment
The best thing about Apex Legends is there's a gun for every situation.

There you have it ⁠— Dexerto’s ultimate Apex Legends Season 5 weapon tier list. Remember, however, this tier list is subjective, and subject to change depending on future updates with weapon buffs and nerfs.

Think we put something too high, or too low on the tier list? Let us know at @TitanfallBlog, and stick around for all the latest Apex Legends news, updates, guides, and more.