Shotguns may not always be your weapon of choice in Apex Legends, but having one in your back pocket can save you in a tight situation. Learning how to control them and use them best will be a life-saver.
Unlike SMGs, which are your other option for close-range fights, shotguns don't have a recoil pattern, but instead a spread pattern.
One tap of the fire button will send out a number of pellets, depending on which shotgun you've got. The weakest, the Mozambique, fires three, while the Peacekeeper fires 11.
However, there is more to the puzzle than this. In addition to knowing the number of pellets and their spread, you may not have been aware that aiming down sights (ADS) actually drastically impacts some shotguns.
It's very easy to see the shotgun spreads, simply by going into the firing range and testing them out.
Apex Legends shotgun spreads (Not ADS)
When aiming down sights though, two of the shotguns, Mozambique and Mastiff, have much tighter spreads. In theory this means you will hit more of your pellets on the target, especially if they are more than a few meters away.
Apex Legends shotgun spreads (ADS)
The Mastiff's spread is almost halved, and this effect would be exponential the further away your target is. Clearly, you'll want to pretty much always ADS when using a Mastiff, and the Mozambique too (if you don't immediately drop it!)
Meanwhile, the Peacekeeper and EVA-8 remain pretty similar regardless of hipfire or ADS, but this changes if equipped with a precision choke.
With the choke, aiming in will reduce the spread significantly, up to three levels, and can turn the peacekeeper into a sniper-like weapon.
- Read More: How to master the Mastiff in Apex Legends
This is why the Peacekeeper is still the shotgun of choice for most, as you won't feel stuck at such a disadvantage even if the enemy is 10 meters away.
For other weapons, make sure to check out our recoil / spray pattern guide, to manage their predictive recoil.