Best guns in Apex Legends Season 12: Weapon tier list - Dexerto
Apex Legends

Best guns in Apex Legends Season 13: Ultimate weapon tier list

Published: 20/May/2022 11:10 Updated: 20/May/2022 11:18

by Isaac McIntyre

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Apex Legends boasts two dozen deadly weapons to pick from in Respawn’s battle royale, but which truly are the best weapons? Here’s our Apex Legends weapon tier list of the best guns to use in Season 13.

Although Season 13 didn’t add a new weapon to the mix, it did make some significant changes to the existing pool of weapons, with buffs, nerfs, and care package rotations.

Most significantly, the Kraber got a big nerf to its headshot damage, making it a much less reliable one-shot kill. The Kraber has always been top of our rankings in the past, so will this change knock it down?

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Another big change is the return of the Spitfire to ground loot, replaced in the care package by the Mastiff shotgun. And, the ol’ reliable R-301 has been moved into replicators only, alongside the Rampage LMG. LMGs overall got a significant nerf too, reducing fire rate, increasing recoil, longer reload times, and reducing damage ranges.

You should also get acquainted with our tier system:

  • S-Tier: Must-take weapons
  • A-Tier: Top-tier early, mid, and late
  • B-Tier: Solid picks, are replaceable
  • C-Tier: Roleplayers, never main guns
  • D-Tier: Just avoid these weapons

With that in mind, here is our ultimate Apex Legends weapon tier list for Season 13: Saviors, including which guns you should take every time & which you should leave in the loot bin.

Kraber .50 CAL — Care Package Sniper

In the sniper category, the Kraber is the clear king. Even with it’s Season 13 nerfs, there’s no way the Kraber isn’t still an S-tier weapon.

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Although it’s one-shot headshot potential has been reduced, it’s still possible vs lower level helmets/shields, and even if you only get the hitmaker, the opponent will be incredible weak. This bolt-action sniper does massive 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.

Of course, it’s still only available in care packages, but if you’re lucky enough to come across it, someone on your squad should take it – not least to prevent an enemy team getting their hands on it.

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M600 Spitfire — Heavy Machinegun

Now back to floor loot, and hit with some nerfs, you might wonder if the Spitfire is still as overpowered as it once was. The answer is no – but it’s still the best LMG in the game, and it should be no surprise that it still sits in the S-Tier of weapons.

Where the Spitfire shines is its huge magazine, steady rate of fire, controllable recoil, and strong damage. So, pretty much everything. The machinegun works for players who maybe aren’t the best aimers, with it’s forgiving magazine size and slower fire rate.

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.

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It’s now only available in replicators for Season 13, but that isn’t the disaster you might think. Rather, it simply guarantees that you can get an R-301 consistently, every single game, provided you craft it.

Volt — Care Package SMG

The Season 6 submachine gun stormed into the Apex Legends meta at breakneck speed and isn’t slowing down. This weapon has always been one of the best SMGs in Apex Legends, but with its rotation into the Care Package in Season 12, it’s now even deadlier.

The Volt has also gotten a substantial damage increase, as well as a larger magazine size in Season 12.

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VK-47 Flatline — Heavy Assault Rifle

The Flatline is one of the best Assault Rifles in Apex Legends in terms of raw damage output. It’s now back to floor loot after spending a season in the replicator, and it might be the best floor loot weapon available (after the Spitfire).

One of the key areas where the Flatline shines is its unchanging nature. Its recoil is solid, its damage is mid-range but good, and it boasts decent range for an assault rifle.

The only place the Flatline falls short is attachments: it can’t take any barrel mods. That doesn’t stop it from shining as an all-star gun though.

Wingman — Heavy Pistol

The Wingman has always been around the top of the Apex Legends meta, but it can be tricky to get full power out of; it’s 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.

G7 Scout — Care Package 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, its rate of fire isn’t as bad as you would think for a single-shot rifle.

With a scope and some range between you and your target, the Scout’s ability to spam shots can prove useful.

After starting life as a sniper, the G7 became an assault rifle in Season 4. Then it was swapped again in Season 9, into the new “marksman rifle” category. Now it’s been locked away in Supply Drops.

CAR SMG — Light/Heavy SMG

Season 11’s new gun, the CAR SMG, is the quintessential all-star gun. Designed to carry light or heavy ammo, and attachments from either gun line, the CAR is the perfect secondary weapon to stuff in your pocket to avoid those pesky moments when you’re starved of ammo.

Its versatility is its greatest strength, but because of its dynamic ammo, it never hits the same lofty heights as close rivals like the R-99 or VK-47 Flatline.

And, honestly, Titanfall fans should just take it for the nostalgia: there’s plenty of it.

Prowler Burst PDW — Heavy SMG

The Prowler is a deadly weapon that can shine bright if you’re lucky enough to scoop one in the early game, especially now that it’s back in the floor loot.

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

Rampage — Heavy LMG

The latest Apex Legends LMG hits like a truck, but its slow rate of fire is its one downside.

The Rampage shines when you can find a Thermite Grenade to activate its passive. Revving the heavy LMG up changes its RPM from 300 to 390, and boy can you feel the difference. As long as you can feed Thermites into this hungry beast, it’s always going to be a strong power pick.

Developers have had to nerf this weapon a number of times, as well as fix various instant-charge exploits, but now it’s in replicators only – and we’d rather pick the R-301 over it most of the time.

Triple Take — Energy Sniper Rifle

Even though the Triple Take received slight damage nerfs in Season 12, it still ranks as one of the best snipers in the game.

The energy 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.

Now that the Energy sniper is back out on the battlefield, we can confidently say it’s a strong A-Tier gun, and a clear sniper rifle favorite.

R-99 — Light SMG

After a brief period in supply drops — a move Respawn admitted was to try and “stem the tide” of the R-99 — the Light SMG is rightfully back where it belongs; back out on the map as a core weapon in Apex Legends.

A patch last November did bump its damage down a little, 11 per bullet down from 12, but the ‘99 still boasts some of the most deadly DPM in the game though, and any time you can wield one, you should. The ammo issue isn’t all bad either. The gun has a 20-shot clip, but spikes to 27 through upgrades. If you manage your bullets well and don’t “spray and pray” every fight, you should be able to get it to the final fight without a problem.

Unless you have a fully-stocked Spitfire under one arm, and a role-player gun of your choice in the other, the R-99 is basically an early-game must-pick.

Mastiff — Shotgun

This shotty’s power lies in its horizontal spread, combined with its lack of leg-shot drop-off. If you hit an opponent in the chest with the Mastiff, you could deal 104 damage. It can also scrape their heads with the spread, adding another 128 to the pile.

The once iconic shotgun has fallen far in the last few seasons, however. It can work early, but bin it for an EVA-8 or a Peacekeeper if you want close-range power.

It’s back in the care package for Season 13, although generally, we’d prefer to get any of the other care package weapons.

Peacekeeper — Shotgun

This popular Apex Legends shotgun was swapped out of care packages in Season 9 and has been floor loot ever since. Even better, the “PK” feels just as good as in days gone by.

Even better, it now has its Precision Choke by default as well as the new “Kinetic Feeder” hop-up in Season 12.

After the Mastiffs’ whopping Season 8 nerfs, the Peacekeeper is now, finally, back on top in the Apex Legends meta, and is the game’s must-take close range gun again.

Alternator — 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 the same damage per bullet as the R-99.

Hefty buffs also helped the Alternator as it shifted into care packages in Season 10.

This weapon holds its place in B-Tier now because of its early strength, but likely won’t hit S-Tier considering it’s so rare to find and shines best in opening gunfights.

Devotion —  Energy LMG

The Devotion is back on the map after a stint as a care package drop, and the energy machine gun is better than ever. It did have a little touch-up in Season 6 — damage down to 16, and increased recoil ⁠— but that hasn’t changed much.

This energy LMG is probably the deadliest weapon in Apex Legends if you can get it firing on all cylinders. It boasts a monster 255 damage per second and is quite rare to boot. If you get your hands on a Devotion, always make sure you take it.

The Devo also clears other S-Tier picks ⁠— all the care package drops included — due to the fact it’s on the map. It’s rare, but it’s out there, and that matters a lot in Apex matches.

RE-45 — Light Pistol

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, the return of Hammerpoint rounds in Season 12 has made this weapon significantly better against unshielded enemies.

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. 

Hemlok — Heavy Assault Rifle

The Hemlok may be passed over by many players for its full-auto S-Tier cousins like the R-301 and the Flatline, but do not underestimate it ⁠— considering the amount of wide-open spaces World’s Edge, Olympus, and Storm Point all boast, the Hemlok can be deadly.

The burst rifle 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.

Longbow DMR — Sniper Rifle

The Longbow is a solid pick out of the B-Tier guns. The Kraber and Sentinel are undoubtedly superior snipers, yes, but the Longbow is still a handy pickup for eagle-eyed players. The loss of the ever-powerful Skullpiercer hop-up in Season 9 hurts the Longbow a lot though and drops it down a tier in the Legacy update.

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. Just don’t expect magic at range.

Bocek — Compound Bow

Not since the dreaded Charge Rifle winter have we seen a new Apex Legends weapon make quite a splash right out the gates. The new bow copped a bundle of nerfs in the first Season 9 update, but it has still stayed relatively powerful. Its main power is its ‘endless’ clip ⁠— not having to reload is very handy.

The Bocek dishes out huge damage for every arrow (which can be collected later). Keep your eyes peeled for the Shatter Caps and Deadeyes Tempo hop-ups too.

The bow is potentially the most underrated weapon in Apex – but it does require an accurate player to weild it, and may be better suited to mouse and keyboard players, than controller aimers.

30-30 Repeater — Heavy Assault Rifle

What the 30-30 does right, it does really right. Its range, damage, and accuracy are all top class, and unless you’re face-to-face with an enemy, it’s usually a great pick.

If you can pair the Repeater with a shotgun, or something small and in a different ammo type like the R-99 or Volt SMG, you should have a complete package. That’s where the 30-30 is a real top-class pick ⁠— it combos well with a lot of Apex Legends options.

L-Star — Energy LMG

Though its light rival R-99 has a better start-up burst, once the L-Star gets going it shreds. This is the best non-airdrop weapon at super close range. That said, it gets outclassed by the Volt SMG in most things in the Energy category, meaning it has to get bumped down to C-Tier.

Make sure you spend time getting used to the L-STAR’s spread pattern if you want to win fights; it’s a tricky one, so learning it is well worth the effort.

It’s been nerfed again in Season 13, along with the other LMGs, and it was already the worst of that category.

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 cowled its power again, leaving it in the middle of C-Tier.

It’s still a powerful pick in the right hands, but it’s not the auto-win it became in mid-2020. At the moment, the Havoc’s main issue comes from being a rival to the uber-powerful Volt, which will be gobbling up energy ammo.

If you can find a Turbocharge hop-up, however, this Energy rifle can still shine very bright.

Sentinel — Sniper Rifle

The king has been usurped. With Triple Takes back in the loot pool, the Sentinel loses its Apex Legends luster somewhat and is now relegated to a C-Tier pick when it comes to long-range combat in Apex Legends.

Okay, we’ll admit that is a bit of hyperbole — the Kraber exists too — but considering the Sentinel can be found in floor loot, it still is one of the most prevalent snipers in Season 12. The Longbow nerfs (via Skullpiercer) have left the Sentinel to duke it out with the returning Triple Take.

Outside the Kraber, this heavy sniper rifle boasts the biggest damage per bullet at range. Hit two shots, and an opponent should be knocked.

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 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.

Mozambique — Shotgun

 

What is there to say about the Mozambique that hasn’t already been said? The former 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.

That being said, there’s hope for the ‘bique. It cleared the P2020 after its Legacy buffs, which increased its magazine capacity from a meager four, up to six.

The low-tier Mozambique is likely doomed to stay poor forever though, with Respawn confirming they decided to have a few “less good” guns for balance. That means we won’t see a respite for the six-shot shotgun heading into the future.

If you do need to grab a ‘bique, however, make sure you ADS and aim for the head. If you land six shots against an unarmored enemy, you should deal around 360 damage, which isn’t too bad after eight seasons of true mediocrity!

Eva-8 Auto — Shotgun

Once upon a time, if you scooped up a rare Double Tap hop-up and slapped it on the Eva-8, there weren’t many better close-quarter guns in the game; it turned the shotty into a ruthless killing machine. 

That hop-up has since been dropped, however, and the EVA-8 is easily the worst shotgun of them all.

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.

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; it will deal considerably more damage to unshielded enemies.

A character in Apex Legends holding a weapon.
Respawn Entertainment
The best thing about Apex Legends is that there’s a gun for every situation.

Remember, however, this tier list is subjective and subject to change depending on future updates with weapon buffs and nerfs.

For more Apex tips and tricks, check out our guides:

How to link your Origin account to Steam | What is tap strafing? | How many people play Apex in 2021? | How to get higher FPS | Does Apex have cross-progression? | Best Legends tier list | Heirloom guide | Crossplay guide | Apex Pack tracker guide | Legend pick rates