Best guns in Apex Legends Season 17: Ultimate weapon tier list
There are a lot of weapons in Apex Legends, but not all of them are built equally, with some clearly better than others. Choosing the right weapon for the right situation is half the battle. Here’s our tier list of the best weapons to use in Apex Legends Season 17.
Apex Legends Season 17 has come with a whole slew of weapon changes, a mix-up to the ranked mode, and a new Legend that’s all focused around making the most of the weapon he’s got in hand.
The L-Star enters the care package, allowing players to make much better use of its ability to put a ton of rounds downrange without having to store all that ammo in their backpack. Meanwhile, the RE-45 returns to the floor and goes right back to mediocrity.
With the EVA-8 and 30-30 returning to the floor, Apex Legends gets some of its mainstay weapons back in people’s hands from the start of the game. The Sentinel and Alternator are now being locked behind the crafting rotation, meaning they’ll likely be less common to see around.
Here are the best (and worst) guns in Apex Legends Season 17, tiered based on their strength and versatility. But first, here’s a short introduction to our tier system and what each tier says about the weapons in it.
With that in mind, here is our ultimate Apex Legends weapon tier list for Season 17:
Kraber .50 CAL — Care Package Sniper
Although its one-shot headshot potential has been reduced, the Kraber is still an unbelievably strong weapon. This bolt-action sniper does massive damage at pretty much any range. And, even if you miss the head, you’ll soften up opponents enough for a quick weapon swap or an assist from a teammate to easily confirm the kill.
If you’re lucky enough to come across it, someone on your squad should take it. Even if you aren’t the best sniper, playing against someone who’s good with the Kraber can be an absolute nightmare.
Nemesis — Energy Assault Rifle
The launch of Season 16 brought with it a brand-new Assault Rifle, the Nemesis. In comparison to the rest of the weapons in Apex Legends, this gun truly stands out.
It needs some attachments to get going, but the Nemesis’ mag size, its high stopping power at 17 damage per shot, high fire rate, low recoil, and almost non-existent bullet drop make this thing a laser beam both literally and figuratively.
Once you get the hang of its 4-shot burst pattern and get into the rhythm of using this weapon properly, it hits incredibly hard. However, it does have a bit of a learning curve, and its burst fire makes it awkward to use in close range.
G7 Scout — Light Marksman Rifle
Now that it’s out of the care package, the G7 Scout has been made easily accessible at any point in the game. And it’s almost always worth picking up.
With a scope and some range between you and your target, the Scout’s ability to spam shots will annoy other squads to no end. It’s also extremely ammo efficient, and frees up some inventory space in comparison to a typical Assault Rifle or SMG.
The white magazine upgrade takes the Scout from 10 ammo to 15, meaning that you don’t need the best attachments to give this weapon some massive upgrades. But, with a Double-Tap Trigger and the right scope, this weapon shreds mid-range targets at every point in the game.
VK-47 Flatline — Heavy Assault Rifle
The Flatline is one of the best Assault Rifles in Apex Legends in terms of raw damage output. Despite having some pretty awful ironsights and more recoil than the R-301, its Light ammo counterpart, the Flatline is S-tier for a few reasons.
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. Not only that, but it doesn’t need many attachments to thrive. The base Flatline is an exceptionally strong weapon, and it’s good at all points in the game.
It’s inched the R-301 out of S-tier following the Season 15 changes, and the Flatline’s hipfire is still solid despite the nerfs. If you’re looking for an Assault Rifle that isn’t the Nemesis, this is a great all-rounder.
Bocek — Care Package Compound Bow
The Bocek Bow came into Apex Legends as a monstrous weapon, one that broke the meta and was an absolute terror in mid-range engagements before getting nerfed. After being restricted to the care package, this bow has landed it a bit closer to its power level at release with some added versatility.
Shatter Caps and Deadeye’s Tempo don’t exist as floor pickups anymore. Instead, they just come stock standard with the Bocek. And, despite not being able to pick up arrows anymore, 60 arrows is more than enough to last though most games of Apex.
The near-silent and somewhat incognito nature of the Bocek combined with its base damage of 70 make it capable of outtrading other marksman weapons with ease.
Peacekeeper — Shotgun
The Peacekeeper is an incredibly popular Shotgun choice, and for good reason. Its high damage, accuracy at range, and incredibly satisfying 2-hit kills in earlier stages of the game make it an incredibly attractive pickup.
With Season 16 buffs that make pellet hits more consistent than before, there’s more reason than ever to pick up this weapon. And, considering it was already strong before, it’s hard to leave this one on the ground.
If you’re calm and collected in the most hectic of close-range fights and can maintain a steady hand, the Peacekeeper is the Shotgun for you.
Hemlok — Care Package Assault Rifle
The Hemlok has long been passed over by many players for its full-auto cousins like the R-301 and the Flatline, but its buffs after getting put in the care package have put it head and shoulders above the competition.
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.
The Hemlok isn’t the easiest weapon to use, but it’s very strong at mid-range. Well-placed Hemlok shots can down targets surprisingly fast with its high base damage of 23. It can easily down most enemies in 3-4 bursts.
Volt — Energy SMG
The Volt is back. Having this weapon off the crafting rotation and back on the ground is a blessing for SMG players hungry to get their hands on the weapon hot off the dropship, and it’s still one of the best weapons in Apex Legends.
It’s got great ironsights and high DPS for early game fights, and it does just as well with attachments. And, with the R-99 getting a small mag nerf, there’s more reason than ever to grab this weapon.
It’s really, really hard to go wrong with the Volt. As long as you’re within 50 meters of your opponent, it’s one of the best weapons you can have in your hands.
Eva-8 Auto — Shotgun
After spending a few seasons on the bench, the EVA-8 is back and better than ever. Well, ok, it’s not quite as broken as it was in early seasons, but it’s finally worth picking up again.
Buffs to the EVA-8’s fire rate, the return of the Double Tap hop-up, and a stock attachment slot all gave this shotgun a huge boost in Season 14. The EVA has gained its own identity as a shotgun that’s speedy in every way. It shoots fast, swaps fast, reloads fast, and goes through ammo fast.
Despite being the least ammo efficient Shotgun of the bunch, this weapon shreds targets fast enough that it won’t matter. And, now that it’s off the crafting rotation and back to being ground loot, there’s more reason than ever to pick up this shotty.
Mastiff — Shotgun
This shotty’s power lies in its tight, horizontal pellet spread. The requirement to ADS for decent accuracy takes some getting used to, but a good player with a Mastiff in-hand is an absolute menace.
Having a consistent 2-shot kill that has above-average accuracy at range for a shotgun makes the Mastiff incredibly lethal. Even with a 5 shot capacity and a somewhat slow rate of fire, the Mastiff’s close range prowess is unrivaled in Apex. If you land your shots.
This weapon is in A-tier because of how much more difficult it is to use than its counterparts. If you’ve got a feel for the Mastiff’s unique spread pattern, it’s great. If you don’t? You won’t be hitting much. The Mastiff is a very hot and cold weapon, but its upsides make it more than worth putting in A-tier.
Rampage — Heavy LMG
The Rampage is out of the care package, off the crafting rotation, and back into the ground loot pool. What it lacks in close-range prowess it more than makes up for with reliable damage at range and very efficient ammo usage. Even with no attachments, the Rampage is powerful.
What’s more, its ability to rip through doors if you’ve got a Thermite grenade to charge it up with makes it easy to catch opponents off guard and quickly dispatch anyone trying to guard doors. With ARs being nerfed, the Rampage is only stronger than it was before.
If DMRs like the Scout and 3030 don’t appeal to you as single-fire weapons, the Rampage is a great choice with its higher fire rate and general ease of use. It’s really hard to go wrong with this gun, but it has a bit less versatility than an Assault Rifle.
R-301 Carbine — Light Assault Rifle
The R-301 has been an all-rounder since Apex Legends first dropped, and it’s remained that way ever since.
While its capacity without a light magazine upgrade is pretty small at 18 rounds, its laser precision and high fire rate make it a rifle that’s hard to pass on. If you pick up the R-301, you know what you’re getting.
The R-301 isn’t particularly interesting or ground-breaking as a weapon, but its consistency and reliability make it a wonderful choice in any gunfight. However, the slight damage nerf it received, the enhanced potency of the 30-30 and Triple Take, and the Rampage being back on the floor gives this weapon enough competition to put it below S-tier.
Wingman — Sniper 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 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 it altogether.
Also, the Wingman isn’t nearly as ammo efficient as it used to be. The swap to Sniper Ammo means that, instead of just keeping a stack of 60 Heavy ammo on hand, you have to take up two inventory slots with Sniper ammo just to get 56 shots.
Though thoroughly nerfed, the Wingman is certainly worth picking up. Especially now that it has Skullpiercers. If your marksmanship is good enough, having a Wingman at your hip as a secondary option is a good call for confident players.
30-30 Repeater — Heavy Marksman Rifle
What the 30-30 does well, it does really well. 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’ll be ready for almost any firefight.
Additionally, the wide availability of Heavy ammo, a slot for Skullpiercers, and Dual Shell now being built into the weapon during Season 14 make the 30-30 an incredible mid to long-range option. While it can out-DPS the G7 in the hands of a deadeye marksman, the G7’s ease of use and consistency do put the 30-30 a little lower on the list.
C.A.R. — Light/Heavy SMG
Designed to carry light or heavy ammo, and attachments from either gun line, the CAR SMG is the perfect secondary weapon to stuff in your pocket to avoid those pesky moments when you’re starved of ammo.
While still a solid option, the CAR has a distinct disadvantage in comparison to the other SMGs. Having had its barrel attachment removed without the addition of a laser sight makes the CAR feel a bit underwhelming in comparison to last season.
It still has a leg up on something like the Alternator, but the CAR has gone from fighting for S-tier to hanging on to A-tier for dear life.
R-99 — Light SMG
The R-99‘s identity as an SMG that rains torrential gunfire is alive and well in Apex Legends Season 16. Laser sights were implemented in Season 14, leaving barrel stabilizers in the dust for SMGs. The R-99 is better up close than ever before, but a bit worse at engagements beyond 30 or so meters. Running the R-99 with a Shotgun will confine you to close range, and has made this SMG a bit more niche than Assault Rifles like the Flatline or R-301.
The R-99 still shreds opponents like no other if they let you get close enough to land shots, but it’s outperformed by other options if you can’t close the gap.
L-Star — Care Package LMG
The LMG category isn’t in the best spot right now. While the Rampage is still an incredibly strong choice, the Spitfire and Devotion aren’t stellar weapons. The L-Star has long been stuck in low tiers and, while it isn’t quite an S-tier weapon yet, it’s got the potential to get there with its care package enhancements.
The L-Star being put in the care package solves a lot of issues with the weapon like needing to keep ammo on hand, and the fact that its projectiles now penetrate targets gives it a unique selling point.
While it still has all the downsides of an LMG like slow movement speed while aiming down sights, it’s also got the ability to put a ton of rounds downrange without having to worry much about reloading.
Havoc — Energy Assault Rifle
The Havoc has had one hell of a comeback story. It was only meta in Apex Legends’ early days and a brief time in Season 4. Beyond that, this weapon was one of those guns you’d wince at having to use.
After a series of buffs in Season 13, the Havoc has a new lease on life. With easily controllable recoil, extremely consistent hipfire, and a large mag size both stock and with an energy mag equipped, the Havoc is a worthwhile pickup at almost any point. Not even the Season 16 AR hipfire nerfs have kept this weapon down.
Holding onto this weapon for the late game is a bit of a dice roll, and its effectiveness later on really depends on whether or not you can get your hands on a Turbocharger. However, if you manage to find the pivotal hop-up alongside this weapon, the Havoc is unrivaled in its class.
A-tier with a Turbocharger, and C-tier without.
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. However, it does have some value late if you decide to hold onto it.
Where the Prowler is best is its damage and rate of fire, combined with its incredible hipfire accuracy with a laser sight. If you can land a five-shot burst onto your enemy, you’ll be dealing 75 damage — hit twice, and that’s a down on a white-shielded enemy.
The fact that the Prowler takes Heavy ammo makes staying stocked up pretty easy with this weapon, and, if it weren’t for the Prowler’s burst pattern, it’d be an easy A-tier weapon.
However, using this SMG outside of close range is endlessly frustrating. The 5-round burst pattern feels horrible at anything past 50-60 meters, and makes this weapon a less attractive option than most other SMGs.
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. Or so we thought. It had a resurgence in Season 16, resulting in yet another round of nerfs going into Season 17.
While it runs through ammo quickly and gives away your position immediately, having the power of hitscan on your side can be game-winning. It’s much less efficient than it was before, but the Charge Rifle is still worth grabbing if you’re playing things slow and looking for a weapon to poke with.
Longbow DMR — Sniper Rifle
The Longbow is an incredibly powerful and consistent Marksman rifle, one that’s worth picking up now more than ever. Barrel stabilizers are easy to find, Sniper ammo is more plentiful than ever, and Skullpiercer rewards players that take the time to go for headshots.
Even without a scope, the iron sights provide a clear view. And, with 55 damage a shot, it will easily put down most targets with a few solid hits. Additionally, the Skullpiercer hop-up will give this Marksman rifle a real edge. The ability to 2-shot headshot an enemy gives the Longbow an incredibly low TTK.
This weapon isn’t quite as fast to fire and versatile as the G7 Scout and 30-30, and it has the caveat of being locked behind the crafting rotation. However, it can still be useful in the right situation.
M600 Spitfire — Light Machine Gun
The Spitfire is a shell of its former self, ravaged by the Apex Legends Season 14 changes to the weapon.
Where the Spitfire shines is its huge magazine and steady rate of fire. However, the recoil nerfs have made this weapon much more difficult to use at medium range. Not great at close range, not great at medium range, and borderline unusable at long range. This weapon isn’t an easy sell.
This weapon can still be devastatingly powerful in extended gunfights, but it’s often outtraded by higher DPS weapons. It might feel good to use since it’s got such a large magazine size, but it’s hard to justify putting this any higher than B-tier in comparison to other weapons.
Devotion — Energy LMG
The Devotion has been released from the crafting rotation, and it’s… still the Devotion. Certainly not the best weapon in Apex Legends, but a weapon that does have a place in the game.
This energy LMG is probably the deadliest weapon in the game if you can get it firing on all cylinders. It boasts a monstrous 255 damage per second, but only if you can keep its recoil under control.
Barrel stabilizers are more common these days, however, and there’s some real value in taking this weapon if you can find a Turbocharger. Unfortunately, the Turbocharger is a rare find, and the weapon’s lack of functionality without it makes it a difficult sell.
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.
Good hipfire, a slow-yet-consistent rate of fire, and some incredible ironsights make this weapon an strong early pickup. It doesn’t need attachments to be a strong weapon. However, this gun has landed itself in the C-tier due to being locked behind the crafting rotation. With its main strength being how good it is with almost no attachments, it has significantly less use cases.
If you’re a new player and you’re looking for an easy-to-use SMG, it might be worth crafting. Otherwise, just save your materials for something else.
Triple Take — Energy Marksman Rifle
The Triple Take is a weapon with a lot of potential. It can do a lot of damage, it can be easier to use in close quarters than other DMRs, and it can be very powerful in the right hands.
However, the Triple Take rarely lives up to its potential. With the G7, 30-30, and Longbow all filling its role with more ammo efficiency and versatility, this gun feels like its been left in the dust. Kinetic Feeder was removed in Season 15, but it’s not like the hop-up helped this weapon’s power level much, anyways. Sliding and accurate, long-range fire don’t mix very well.
The Triple Take is fine. It’s hard to get excited about coming across a this weapon on the ground.
RE-45 — Light Machine Pistol
The RE-45 certainly has its uses. This weapon has never been the best choice in Apex Legends. Even when it was in the care package, some players would choose to leave it in the package. Now that it’s out, the RE-45 doesn’t have many use cases.
While it has high DPS, it’s also got a small base mag size at 16 and is worse than a standard SMG in almost every way. There’s no situation where the RE-45 is outright better than any other weapon. It’s not horrible, but you won’t see anyone getting excited about picking up the RE-45.
Sentinel — Sniper Rifle
With how strong Marksman Rifles are, there’s no point in picking up the Sentinel unless you absolutely have to or really want to. The frequency in which you’ll be fighting at a range that this weapon excels is fairly low.
It’s impossible to get a 2-shot kill on a purple shield or higher without a headshot, it gets out-DPSed but almost every weapon in the game, and it doesn’t have the same hitscan power as the Charge Rifle. If it wasn’t for the Sentinel coming with Deadeye’s Tempo built-in, this Sniper Rifle would be on the edge of D-tier.
Bolt action snipers are incredibly satisfying and fun to use, which is why it hurts to put the Sentinel so low. Every other option in the Marksman and Sniper categories is just flat-out better. The Sentinel is more of a fun weapon than a good one, but can still be useful in the hands of a deadeye sniper. And, now that it’s on the crafting rotation, at least you can nab it if you’ve got the right attachments.
Mozambique — Shotgun
The Mozambique isn’t a great gun. While it has more range than other weapons in its class, the Mozambique’s low damage combined with the removal of Hammerpoint rounds in Season 15 has placed it right back in D-tier.
The Mozam’s best and worst traits are bundled into one with its long range. Three 15-damage pellets in a tight spread give this Shotgun deceptively long range, but also make it surprisingly unwieldy at close range. Hipfiring with this thing is completely unreliable, but ADSing also feels off thanks to its slow projectile speed.
The Mozambique is a bit bizarre and difficult to use. It can work as a last result, but you might be better off throwing hands than picking up this Shotgun.
P2020 — Light Pistol
The P2020 was already a D-tier weapon when Hammerpoint rounds were in the game, and it’s an even more sorry state now that they’re gone.
Even with Hammerpoint rounds and a laser sight, it’s really hard to justify holding on to this pistol. The highest praise that can be levied toward the P2020 is that it does, in fact, function. It’s, for sure, better than throwing bullets at your enemies. But not by much.
Joking aside, even with the P2020 being a subpar weapon, it can still dish enough damage to take down targets if you have a fast trigger finger. It’s certainly usable, but that’s the highest praise this weapon deserves.
Remember, this tier list is subjective and subject to change depending on future updates with weapon buffs and nerfs.
The game offers plenty of ways to access new Apex Packs and loot items. You can buy Apex Coins to spend in the in-game store, giving you wider access to new items.
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