Apex Legends boasts two dozen deadly weapons to pick from in Respawn’s battle royale — including the new CAR SMG — but which truly are the best guns in Apex Legends? Here’s our Apex Legends weapon tier list to help you be crowned Champion of the Arena in Season 11: Escape.
The new Apex Legends season is here, and with it — as always — came a raft of balance changes for the battle royale loot pool. A shiny new toy, the CAR SMG from Titanfall 2, was also added to the mix at the start of Season 11.
A quick crash course on the Season 11 gun changes: the popular Triple Take returns to floor loot in the new season, replaced by the G7 Scout. That’s not the only shuffle either — on the balance front, the L-STAR, EVA-8 shotgun, Peacekeeper, and more got changes.
The Longbow also got some major tweaks and Respawn added a brand-new “Dual Shell” hop-up to boost the Mastiff shotgun and 30-30 Repeater.
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 Dexerto’s ultimate Apex Legends weapon tier list for Season 11: Escape, 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 clear king.
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.
In fact, forget snipers; we’d go so far as to say it’s just the king. Unfortunately, it’s still only available in care packages, but if you’re lucky enough to come across it, take it.
M600 Spitfire — Heavy Machinegun
Recent Season 9 nerfs did little to slow the Spitfire’s reign of terror in Respawn’s battle royale. Apex Legends players have realized spewing 35 high-rate bullets — or a whopping 50 with hop-ups — is pretty damn good.
Now, it’s been shifted to care packages with more buffs.
Where the Spitfire shines is, as mentioned, its huge magazine and steady rate of fire. The machinegun works for 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.
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 Carbine has seen a spike in competitive play recently too due to its solid early and mid game. Dominate with it early, then keep it as a trusty secondary.
VK-47 Flatline — Heavy Assault Rifle
The VK-47 is the biggest mover-and-shaker in our Season 11 tier list update, jumping up to Season 11 as the battle royale shifts to Storm Point in ranked playlists.
When we say the Flatline is “the R-301 Carbine of the heavy weapons,” consider that a big compliment in regards to its power and versatility. 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 VK-47 falls short is attachments: it can’t take any barrel mods. That doesn’t stop it from shining as an all-star gun though.
Volt — Energy SMG
The Season 6 submachine gun has stormed into the Apex Legends meta at breakneck speed and isn’t slowing down. Even after the R-99 escaped the care package last season, the Volt retained its spot atop the metagame. In fact, the Titanfall 2 energy weapon is arguably the most-picked gun in the game right now.
The Volt shines in damage per minute. Only a hopped-up Prowler or a HAVOC edge the deadly energy pick, and its low recoil means it can be a terror in any fight.
Wingman — Heavy Pistol
The Wingman has always been around the top of the Apex Legends meta game, but 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.
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 in Season 9.
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.
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, becoming an Heirloom weapon in a shock third change.
The G7 has copped a hit to its availability in Season 11 but for the most part — if you can find it in-game — it’s still a great all-star gun.
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.
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.
Don’t feel like you need grenades either though. The Rampage packs a mean punch, dishing out 24-42 damage per bullet. It’s just even spicier with the hop-up.
Alternator — Care Package 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 A-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.
Triple Take — Care Package Sniper
This season, the Triple Take is no longer a care package drop.
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.
Peacekeeper — Shotgun
This popular Apex Legends shotgun was swapped out of care packages in Season 9, with the Triple Take going the other way, and will be available in floor loot again. Even better, the “PK” feels just as good as in days gone by.
Even better, it now has its Precision Choke by default.
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.
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.
Even better, the Prowler can now toggle fire modes.
Flick the Selectfire into full-auto, and you’ve got one of Apex Legends’ deadliest machine guns possible. It takes just a dozen shots to kill a fully armored legend wearing top-level Evo armor; cut down your opponents with ease!
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 now been dropped, however.
Without it, the Eva-8 struggles a little. 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.
That said, the Eva-8 has become a popular pick in recent months, especially with top players. If you are more comfortable with shotties over recoil-heavy light rifles, definitely add the E-8 to your arsenal early until you find that Peacekeeper.
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.
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.
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.
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.
HAVOC — Energy Rifle
The Havoc once shone bright 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 on Storm Point and World’s Edge.
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 11. 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.
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, 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.
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!
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.
There you have it — Dexerto’s ultimate Apex Legends 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 @AlphaIntel.
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