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What makes a good beginner weapon in Apex Legends?

  • Hard-hitting guns that require few attachments to be viable are top tier in Apex Legends.
  • The R-301 and Flatline have been a staple in loadouts of all tiers no matter the season.
  • The CAR SMG and Volt SMG are quick, hit hard and only get better with attachments.

Apex Legends has one of the steepest learning curves in the battle royale video game genre. Like all competitive video games, there’s some stuff you’re only going to learn with time and practice, but one area you can focus on right out of the gate is which weapons are useful and which ones are going to take time to master. 

Here are our suggestions for Season 17: Arsenal on which weapons you should pick up. Whether you're a newbie to the game and the genre, or you’ve been fragging forever and are just beginning in Apex Legends, these are the top 5 weapons you should always grab on drop.

R-301 Carbine

"Pure Performance" Skin for the R-301 Carbine in Apex Legends.

Peak Performance skin for the R-301 Carbine

The 301 is one of the simplest, deadliest and most versatile weapons in the game. It’s an assault rifle that runs light ammo. You’ll see plenty of players at high and low ranks running with this gun for long, medium and close range. It has both a fully automatic and semi-automatic firing mode. 

The recoil and drift are easy to control with a bit of practice and if you get this fully kitted, you’ll be a beast so long as you’re playing smart. We recommend a 2x HCOG “Bruiser” sight for medium-range encounters to get the most out of your R-301.


The CAR was added in Season 11 and quickly found its way into a lot of player loadouts. This submachine gun shares a similar profile with the R-99, so if you end up liking one, you’ll likely vibe with the other as well. But there are a few key differences. 

The first is that the CAR can run either light or heavy ammo, so you should never have to worry about being low on ammo. It also has amazing hip fire accuracy, so much so that it’s the only SMG that doesn’t get the laser sight attachment to further improve it. Practice enough with a CAR and when you get the drop on someone, you just hold the trigger and watch the numbers climb.

VK-47 Flatline

"Revelations" skin for the Flatline in Apex Legends.

Revelation skin for Flatline

This heavy assault rifle is the R-301’s bigger, older sibling. They don’t quite have the same finesse that they use to, but they more than make up for in raw firepower. They have fully automatic and semi-automatic fire modes. The kick on the Flatline is a bit harder to control than the 301, but once you get it down, it packs a much bigger punch. 

Compare the 32 headshot damage of a Flatline to the 23 headshot damage of the 301 and you’ll start to see the difference between light and heavy ammo weapons. The firing rate is a bit slower as a result, but never underestimate the Flatline at any range in a firefight.


The energy light machine gun from Apex Legends, the Devotion with the legendary reactive skin "Dragon's Spine."

Dragon's Spine skin for the Devotion

This light machine gun has a few drawbacks you'll want to be aware of and compensate for in any given moment, but it's also one of the most powerful and terrifying weapons to go up against. It takes quite a few attachments to get fully kitted, but when it is and you have a Turbocharger Hop-Up, this LMG will shred anything its path. 

That being said, if you don't have a Turbocharger you want to avoid taking head-to-head fights with other squads because you'll go down quickly before this has time to wind up. If you can get the drop on someone though, stick this into their back and hold the trigger for a quick clean-up.

Volt SMG

When it comes to energy weapons, there are a lot of very powerful reasons to pick up any given one. But the Volt remains the most consistent as it has no drawbacks and attachments just make it better. While the Devotion and Havoc both require Turbochargers to be good and the Nemesis has a burst fire pattern master, the Volt you can just pick up and go. It has great hip fire accuracy and virtually no fall-off when fighting at mid-range.

Honorable Mention: RE-45

The RE-45 Auto Pistol from Apex Legends with the "Out for Blood" skin.

Out for Blood skin for the RE-45.

Fresh out of the care package in the previous season, the RE-45 auto pistol can often be overlooked. In a game with so many amazing ARs and SMGs, who wants to pick up a pistol? But the RE-45 can pump out numbers, especially if you pick it up early off the ground when you have to fight before you get a chance to loot properly. 

If you manage to find its golden hop-up, the Hammerpoint Rounds, it deals additional damage to unshielded targets. This makes it ideal for pushing wounded enemies or finishing them off quickly when they're down.

Want more Strategies and Tips?

If you're looking for more ways to up your game and increase your chances of mastering Apex Legends then check out these guides on the best places to drop, from King's Canyon to Olympus. You can also check out our Weapon Tier List, tips for starting Ranked Mode or the best Legends to play. Or if you’re just here for fun and want to make sure your Legend looks the best they can, check out the best Legendary skins in the game.