The changes introduced in the Apex Legends Season 4 update may have improved the Prowler past the R-99 on the battle royale's totem pole of weapons.
The arrival of Season 4 brought its fair share of new content and changes in Apex Legends. One of the biggest changes was to weapon balancing - a whopping 10 different guns were either buffed or nerfed in the February 4 update.
The Prowler was among the guns that were buffed - its damage per shot was increased from 14 to 15 and it was also added to the new pool of gold weapons for this season, meaning it can also be found fully-stacked with the best attachments.
While the change may seem inconspicuous - only one more damager per shot - it's actually made the weapon noticeably more powerful. In fact, some believe that it's become viable enough to surpass the R-99.
Since the early days of the game, the R-99 has been consistently regarded as one of the best, if not the top gun in the game, so to make such a claim is very bold.
However, facts are facts, and both the Prowler's stats and in-game functionality point to it being potentially being the better SMG, as we explain below.
Apex Legends weapon stats: Prowler vs R-99
When it comes to in-game stats, the two weapons are almost identical in their damage per second (DPS) and time to kill (TTK).
The automatic version of the Prowler with the Selectfire Hop-Up attached has a 200 DPS, exactly the same as the R-99. However, the default burst-fire Prowler has a 214 DPS, so hitting accurate bursts with the gun makes it pretty powerful.
In terms of TTK, both weapons are as close as can be, with the Prowler killing in 1.05 seconds for both versions and the R-99 in 1.04.
Advantages of Prowler vs R-99
While the stats may be equal between the two weapons, maybe slightly favoring the Prowler, the case for it being better than the R-99 becomes more clear when comparing their functionality
For one, it has significantly less muzzle flash, which is instantly a huge advantage. Muzzle flash has historically been one of the game's biggest nuisances as players have complained endlessly about how much it can throw off their aim.
Secondly, thanks to the Season 4 buff, the Prowler's damage per shot is actually higher than the R-99, so while it may shoot a bit slower, you can hurt opponents more with the same accuracy.
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Last but not least, the Prowler features more ammo capacity for all of the extended mag attachments. At their base, the two guns have the same clip size but most players don't go long without equipping an extended mag on their weapons.
The video below offers a full breakdown of this SMG battle, including gameplay showcasing why the Prowler might be better than the R-99, courtesy of popular Apex YouTuber 'The Gaming Merchant.'
Is the Prowler the best gun in Apex Legends Season 4?
While there's a strong case for why the Prowler might be better than the R-99 in Season 4, it might be too much of a stretch to call it the best weapon overall.
Simply put, there's no real argument for it being better than the L-STAR, which some rank highest among all the guns due to the sizeable buffs in received at the start of the season.
Of course, with how close these weapons are in terms of viability, one being better than the other comes down to individual opinion and how each player plays the game.
The important thing is that more and more guns are entering the meta conversation, which can only be good for the game's overall balance.