Apex Legends boasts a wide assortment of firearms for players to choose from, ranging from the close quarters Mozambique shotgun to the extremely potent sniper rifle called The Kraber. However, swiftly sorting through the many guns in the game requires some sense of which are better or worse than others. Season 12 has introduced many changes which necessitate new considerations when choosing what weapons are best.
Many players turn to Assault Rifles as their primary weapon because of their versatility and a certain degree of forgiveness an automatic gun grants players with their aim — but not all assault rifles are created equal. There are noticeable differences between them, making some superior to others in their class. Here are the assault rifles in the game, ranked from worst to best.
The Havoc assault rifle uses Energy ammunition and fires needle-like beams at enemy legends. Dealing 18 damage with body shots and 32 damage on a headshot, the Havoc can do some serious damage, but it has some significant drawbacks. While it has a good rate of fire, shooting 672 shots per minute, it’s difficult to make full use of that unless you’ve picked up the Turbocharger Hop-Up. Without it there is a significant delay between pulling the trigger and the Havoc actually firing, which can make a huge difference unless a player is talented enough to keep the gun constantly on the verge of going off.
The recoil on the Havoc also makes firing at a distance fairly difficult, and without the ability to attach a barrel modification to the gun, there’s no real way to diminish the kickback the Havoc generates. Overall, with the reliance on finding a Gold tier Turbocharger and no way to reduce recoil, the Havoc should be an Apex player’s last choice for an assault rifle.
Firing a quick three round burst each time a player pulls the trigger, the Hemlock Burst AR is a Heavy assault rifle which does the most damage per shot of all available assault rifles. Each successful hit does 20 damage to the body or 35 damage to the head, and if a player can manage to connect every shot, that additional damage adds up quickly. With the ability to use the Boosted Loader Hop-Up to increase an already-decent magazine size, the Hemlock is a solid choice for the intense firefights that characterize Apex Legends.
It’s not without significant drawbacks, though. The Hemlock’s fire pattern is three shots in a vertical line, which can take a bit of practice to line up on horizontally moving targets, and to make the Hemlock really effective a player can’t afford to miss a shot, as the pause between each burst fire is fairly significant compared to the auto-fire of other assault rifles available.
The VK-47 Flatline is an assault rifle that fires Heavy ammunition, with body shots doing 18 damage and headshots doing 32. One of the most popular guns in the game, it can reliably decimate opponents with decent accuracy over range and an excellent hip fire spread. Some have referred to the Flatline as a more advanced version of the R-301 Carbine because its recoil is more pronounced and it hits harder, but the gun has its own identity as the best Heavy assault rifle in the game.
Season 12 has imposed one large disadvantage on the Flatline though — Respawn has removed it from the floor loot pool for the foreseeable future, meaning that any player who wishes to bring the Flatline to bear on their opponents must spend valuable time and resources to craft one. This also deprives them of using those materials for important healing items that can be created at a Replicator. Additionally, the recoil can be just enough that a player having a bad day might end up struggling to hit anything consistently at range.
The R-301 Carbine is a Light gun which, despite having one of the smaller magazine sizes in the Assault Rifle category and doing the least amount of damage, is the best assault rifle of Season 12. Only clocking in at 14 damage to the body and 25 damage on a headshot, it also can only fire at most 28 bullets before needing to be reloaded. However, the low damage and limited ammunition are offset by the incredible accuracy and high rate of fire the R-301 has.
The 301 can hold its own against more long-ranged Marksmen weapons and can seemingly evaporate shields and health with how quickly the bullets hit. This is often the gun most players have their first great games with, and even professional Apex players frequently favor this rifle over any other. Because of this, and because the Flatline is now restricted to the Replicator, the R-301 Carbine is the best assault rifle in Apex Legends.
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