Best guns in Apex Legends Season 8: ultimate weapon tier list - Dexerto
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Best guns in Apex Legends Season 8: Ultimate weapon tier list

Published: 10/Feb/2021 3:30 Updated: 9/Mar/2021 17:28

by Isaac McIntyre

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Apex Legends boasts nearly two dozen deadly guns to choose from in Respawn’s battle royale ⁠— including the new 30-30 Repeater rifle — but which are best, and which should you ignore? Here’s our ultimate weapon tier list to help you be crowned Champion of the Arena in Season 8.

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 gun, the heavy 30-30 Repeater rifle, was also added to the mix at the start of Season 8.

In terms of buffs and nerfs, the loot pool actually got away mostly unscathed this time around. The Spitfire copped a few heavy blows, and was given more bullet damage, while the Alternator and EVA-8 shotgun were buffed. 

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Heading the other way, the Volt SMG had its damage reduced.

Finally, the Double Tap and Gold Barrel Stabilizer hop-ups were removed. Anvil Rounds have been added in their place, and a new Gold Extended Magazine, which auto-reloads for you, has also been introduced.

With these changes in mind, here is Dexerto’s ultimate tier list for Season 8, including which guns you should take every time you see them, and which you should leave in the loot bin ⁠— without further ado, here’s the list:

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.

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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.

Peacekeeper — Care Package Shotgun

The Peacekeeper may well be the most notorious gun in Apex Legends. The all-star shotgun has had more changes than any other weapon in the battle royale, and finally found itself put in care packages in mid-May to collar it a little bit.

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That switch to the drop ships hasn’t dampened the PK’s dominance, however; it just means it appears a little less right now. A cracking headshot will deal ~165 damage, and clean up any 1-vs-1 you come across with ease. Still a must-take in Season 8.

R-99 — Light SMG

The R-99 is back, baby. 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 (Olympus again this season) 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.

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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 Devotion under one arm, and a role-player gun in the other, the R-99 is basically a must-pick. Take it, and dominate every fight.

Kraber .50 CAL — Care Package Sniper

In the sniper category, the Kraber is king. Unfortunately, it is still only available in care packages, but if you’re lucky enough to come across it, you or one of your teammates would be silly not to pick it up. 

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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.

It is worth noting the Kraber does lose a little bit of power on Kings Canyon because of the close-range battles. POIs like Labs, Market, and caves across the map all reduce the Kraber’s strength a little, but not enough to bump it out of S-Tier.

Prowler Burst PDW — Care Package SMG

The new Prowler Burst PDW has yet to prove itself as a dominant care package pick, but considering how well it shone before being shifted to the drops, it’s definitely strong.

The former heavy SMG, now an “Heirloom” rarity weapon, had a few changes in the Apex Legends Season 7 patch. It will always drop with a Selectfire Receiver and Digital Threat, as well as a boosted 35-shot clip. It also has 175 backup ammo.

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

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; talk about cutting down opponents with ease!

30-30 Repeater — Heavy Assault Rifle

Season 8 Changes

  • Added to the Apex Legends loot pool.

We know that the 30-30 has been dominating Apex Legends matches so far, and is certainly a blast to use ⁠— we’ve been scooping them up whenever we can ourselves!

That said, its high presence on the map has been because of its debut; Dexerto certainly tips it to be a super-charged power pick, and definitely be around A-Tier, but we can’t bring ourselves to slap it straight into “S” without a bit of time in the battle royale.

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 shotty, or something in a different ammo type like the R-99 or Volt SMG, you have a complete package. That’s where the 30-30 is a real top-class pick ⁠— it combos well with a lot of Apex options.

Volt — Energy Submachine Gun

Season 8 Balance Changes

  • Bullet damage decreased from 16 to 15.

The Season 6 submachine gun has stormed into the Apex Legends meta at breakneck speed and isn’t slowing down. The Volt has benefitted slightly from the R-99 being sent to the care package too ⁠— it’s now the best map SMG pick by far.

The Volt shines in damage per minute, just like the Devotion. Only a hopped-up Prowler or a HAVOC edge the plucky energy pick, and its low recoil means it can be a terror in any fight.

This shouldn’t change much after its nerf either.

The only issue the Volt has is that it often competes with the Devotion for energy ammo and operates in a similar fashion. The SMG appears on the map much more often, however, so it basically becomes the go-to core gun in Season 8.

Mastiff — Shotgun

The Mastiff has taken the Peacekeeper’s place as the on-map shotgun pick of choice in the last few seasons, and that hasn’t changed in Season 6 either.

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

The Mastiff is also in a great place right now considering the meta. If you want to pick up an ultra-powerful Devotion, or run the Volt ⁠— who wouldn’t right now? ⁠— then the Mastiff does a great job in that late-game pairing in any match.

Wingman — Heavy Pistol

The last of the “must take” weapons is the Wingman, 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.

Unfortunately, it did cop a little headshot nerf late in Season 5, reducing the damage scale from 2.1 to 2.0. Luckily, it got access to the Skullpiercer hop-up to make up for the change, and that keeps the heavy handgun in A-Tier.

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 addition of the Anvil Receiver hop-up in Season 3 helped the R-301, and now that it’s been added back in Season 8, the Carbine should shine. The machine gun is a solid pickup for early-game duels, or as a secondary gun late into the match.

With the emergence of the Volt and Devotion at the top of the food chain, consider changing from light ammo into energy as soon as you can. If you need to share the arsenal with your squadmates though, the R-301 will do its job for you well.

Eva-8 Auto — Shotgun

Season 8 Balance Changes

  • Rate of fire increased from 2.0 to 2.1.

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. Without attachments, 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 Mastiff.

Hemlok — Heavy Assault Rifle

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

The assault rifle copped a few nerfs heading into Season 7, including a reduction in its headshot damage, but the heavy pick should still shine bright in early 2021.

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.

VK-47 Flatline — Heavy Assault Rifle

The Flatline has a similar role in Apex Legends to the Alternator ⁠— its competitors in the Heavy department, namely the Hemlok, Prowler, and Wingman, simply outshine it. That said, the VK-47 still packs a major punch, especially with extended mags.

One of the key areas where the Flatline falls behind the Hemlok is the ability to stick a barrel stabilizer on the burst-rifle. The VK-47 certainly brings the bullets, with its auto-fire rate and 600 RPM, but as other guns become more accurate with attachments, it falls too far behind.

The Flatline has also fallen out of favour slightly due to the Volt. If you want to avoid clashing with your teammates on energy ammo, however, the VK-47 could be a solid pick-up.

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 in Season 6, leaving it in the middle of B-Tier. It’s still a powerful pick in the right hands, but it’s not the auto-win it became for much of last season.

At the moment, the Havoc’s main issue comes from being a rival to the uber-powerful Volt and Devotion, both of which will be gobbling up energy ammo. Considering the Turbocharge hop-up is no longer available, think twice before grabbing this once-great gun.

G7 Scout — Light Assault Rifle

The G7 Scout may just be the most versatile weapon in Apex Legends. It’s range is better than an R-301, and if you can tap the trigger fast enough, it’s rate of fire isn’t as bad as you would think for a single-shot rifle.

After starting life as a sniper, the G7 became an assault rifle in Season 4, and it’s all the better for it. Easier-to-find attachments, as well as sticking to bountiful light ammo stocks rather than the new sniper rounds, have helped the Scout a lot.

With a scope and some range between you and your target, the Scout’s ability to spam shots can prove useful. The G7 has copped a hit to its pride in Season 8 with the emergence of the 30-30 Repeater, but for the most part, it’s still a great all-star gun.

L-Star — Energy LMG

The L-Star may have been the weapon that benefitted the most from the sweeping gun changes Respawn made coming into Season 4. Where once the energy LMG was left to rot on care packages every game due to its weak impact, now it reigns supreme.

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 for close range. It moves up to B-Tier due to its buffs, which will help players dish out more damage over time in Olympus.

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

Alternator — Light SMG

Season 8 Balance Changes

  • Bullet damage increased from 15 to 16.

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.

Even better, the light SMG got a couple of long-awaited buffs in the May 12 patch update ⁠— magazine size increased from 16 to 19, 22 at level 1, 25 at level 2, and 27 and level 3 ⁠— and it’s bumped the fast-shooting gun up a tier.

This weapon holds its place in B-Tier now because of its early-game strength. If you find an Alternator right in the first drop, you’ve basically already won the fight, and earned a stack more loot. Then dump it for a Volt or R-301 as soon as possible.

Longbow DMR — Sniper Rifle

The Longbow is a solid pick out of the B-Tier weapons, and scrapes in above C-Tier due to the fact it’s the best of the non-drop sniper rifles. The Kraber is undoubtedly superior, yes, but the Longbow is still a very handy pickup for eagle-eyed players.

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. 

It did receive a slight headshot scale nerf (2.15 to 2.1) in Season 5, but like the Wingman it got access to the Skullpiercer hop-up in return. That boosts its headshot scale to 2.5; turning it back into a deadly option in a pinch.

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RE-45 — Light Pistol

The RE-45 sneaks onto the top of C-Tier thanks to its mid-May 2020 buffs, which boosted its bullet damage (11 to 12) and fixed its issues with reload times. It now has a 1.5 base reload, down from 1.74, and 1.95 when empty.

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.

Triple Take — Sniper Rifle

The Triple-Take 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. 

The Triple Take also won out in the August 17 patch, when the Precision Choke was added to its base build. Not enough to fire it into ‘B,’ but it’s definitely better. Swap the Triple Take out for a better long-range option later in the game.

M600 Spitfire — Heavy Machinegun

Season 8 Balance Changes

  • Bullet damage increased from 18 to 19.
  • Regular reload speed increased from 2.8 to 3.2 seconds.
  • Empty reload speed increased from 3.33 to 3.8 seconds.

The Spitfire has had an interesting run in Apex recently. In our Season 3 tier list we dubbed the M600 “incredibly versatile,” but as Season 5 rolled around it lost that extra punch over range to keep it in the upper tiers. That hasn’t changed this season either.

Where the Spitfire shines is its huge magazine, and steady rate of fire. The machinegun also fits 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.

Sentinel — Sniper Rifle

A Season 4 buff for the debutant sniper rifle the Sentinel has helped the newest gun gain some relevance, but it’s overshadowed by long-standing options. With Kings Canyon’s return, it’s deadly range has been muted even more.

For the most part, the Sentinel feels out of place in Apex Legends. It requires calculated, pinpoint shots to deal its huge 105-140 damage to shielded enemies with headshots, but if you miss and hit the body, you’re handing out just 70.

Seems good in practice, but its slow rate of fire lets it down, and with those slow damage numbers, other rifles are simply better. The switch back to Kings Canyon has not helped the Sentinel either, unfortunately. There are better guns.

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 has 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.

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, as it will deal considerably more damage to unshielded enemies.

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.

The ‘bique did have a little tweak in Season 6, with its clip size bumped up to four after five seasons with just three in the chamber. It didn’t change much, however.

The low-tier Mozambique is also doomed to stay relatively poor forever too, with Respawn confirming they decided to have a few “less good” guns for balance. That means we won’t see a respite for the four-shot shotgun this season.

If you do need to grab a ‘bique, however, make sure you ADS and aim for the head. If you land four shots against an unarmored enemy, you should deal around 240 damage, which gives you enough time to find a far better weapon.

Respawn Entertainment
The best thing about Apex Legends is there’s a gun for every situation.

There you have it ⁠— Dexerto’s ultimate Apex Legends Season 8 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 got something wrong on the list? Let us know @TitanfallBlog, and stick around for all the latest Apex Legends news, updates, guides, and more.