It may take you a while to get to first place in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but that’s okay. The free-to-play battle royale can be ruthless to both new and experienced players, especially with so many weapons to choose from. Of course, there is no guarantee of knowing exactly what you’ll find when you land from the plane at the start of a match. But with the help of our tier list, you’ll have an idea of which equipment you should avoid, and what are the best PUBG weapons that you should definitely pick up.
From plain pistols to assault rifles and even a pan, there are plenty of weapons to choose from. This tier list is focused on the best of each main category: Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles, Shotguns, Submachine Guns, Light Machine Guns, and Designated Marksman Rifles. If you’re a fan of Handguns, I’m very sorry, but you shouldn’t be relying on them that much anyway.
Last Updated: January 14, 2022
Best Assault Rifles
ARs are quite the topic of discussion in battle royales and online shooters. In essence, a good AR must have a decent fire rate, be able to withhold long distances, and hopefully carry a moderate recoil to make it manageable. Lo and behold, the Beryl M762 fits this description fairly well.
It may not be an easy AR to just pick up and use, depending on how experienced you are with PUBG, but it’s one of the best in the game. If you have the chance to put attachments to it before storming into a fight, you will probably always find yourself looking for it in every subsequent match.
In this PUBG tier list, the M416 is a great all-rounder. It has great range, a decent mag size, and the capability of supporting myriad attachments to further increase what makes it one of the best options.
The reload time on this weapon isn’t too bad, and the same goes to the recoil, which moves in an upwards position. It takes a bit for the recoil to kick in, which can help you to move your aim if needed for a clearer, more effective shot.
The gun, the legend. The AK-47 — sorry, AKM is not usually meta, but it’s close enough to the top weapons of the game. It’s as reliable as you expect it to be after having fired it in dozens of other shooters in the past. As per usual, ARs work at their best when they’re paired up with either a close-range weapon or a sniper, depending on your needs.
Best Sniper Rifles
Speaking of snipers, let’s talk about the best one. The AWM remains the top choice in the game. Honestly, if you find one of these during a match, as they can only be picked up from airdrops, don’t let go. There are more snipers, of course, and some may seem more appealing by having a fire rate more akin to marksman rifles. But if you’re always compelled by snipers, this is the one. Just, please, pair it with a scope, as well.
Despite the fact that I can’t give the AWM enough praise, the Kar98k is also a solid choice that will rarely let you down. The reload time doesn’t differ too much from the AWM, so if you have gotten used to that weapon, the change won’t be too drastic.
Without any attachments, the Kar98k also acts as a decent bolt-action type rifle, but you’ll immediately have to switch to a different weapon if you don’t manage to land a critical hit. My recommendation? If you find a good scope for it, equip the attachment and use it as a regular sniper.
More easily recognizable as the pump shotgun, the S1897 packs quite the punch. It’s been years and the potential of this weapon remains there, making it one of the most solid choices — not just for shotguns, but also short-range weapons in general.
Of course, its biggest downside is that you won’t be able to fire it consecutively, so aiming is key. That being said, you can get away with landing shots at mid distances, not just during close encounters. Aim at the head and fire away, but really — even two or three body shots will be enough to take somebody down.
If you absolutely want a rapid-fire shotgun instead, the DBS is the one for you (as long as you stumble upon it inside an air drop). This shotgun stands in a middle ground as it’s still a pump shotgun like the S1897. But thanks to its double barrel, you can shoot twice with almost no wait in between.
This weapon choice can be daunting in close quarters, and due to its nature, you don’t have to worry about going for headshots too often. Landing body shots in fast succession will do the trick in most situations.
Best Submachine Guns
If you’re looking for a fast fire rate, if not the fastest, you can’t go wrong SMGs. Between the options available in the game, the MP5k is the one you shouldn’t ignore. Sure, the Tommy Gun may be more stylish, but this is just a reliable and devastating option in this category.
Wherever you go, it’s likely you’ll encounter another player with an MP5k. While it’s good enough on its own, you won’t unlock its full potential until you have at least a couple of attachments. An extended mag is a must, but you should also search for a scope whenever possible.
In case another player grabs that one MP5k you had glanced at first, don’t fret; it’s not the only option that is more than viable in this PUBG tier list. The UMP45, as rudimentary as it may seem on the outside, can be devastating.
It takes slightly longer to reload, but its fire rate is super quick, it holds a great magazine size from the get-go, and it only gets better from there with the addition of attachments.
Best Light Machine Guns
There aren’t many options in this category, but that’s okay since you don’t need anything besides the MG3. You will find this from air drops, and it comes with two firing modes — in case you want even more speed. It’s a heavy weapon to carry, but one that can definitely melt anything that is in your way.
Highly recommend going prone with this one if you manage to find the right ambush spot. It may be an atypical action to stay in place in PUBG, but that’s how you’ll get the most out of the weapon thanks to an attached bipod that will help with the otherwise shaky stability of LMGs.
In case you’re wondering about the rest, the DP-28 and M249 have become quite slow in the game, which is why you don’t see them in this PUBG tier list. Like, yes, it’s in the nature of LMGs to be sluggish powerhouses, but just avoid these.
Best Designated Marksman Rifles
Ignore the “mini” in the name — this marksman rifle fucks. I personally don’t go for DMRs that often, as they are usually slower than other weapon categories. But if you’re looking for an option with a fast fire rate, consistent recoil that isn’t too hard to handle, and decent reload time, this is the one to hunt for. Just make sure to have at least a couple attachments for it.
Coincidentally, the best marksman rifles share the same number. While the Mini14 tends to be a more popular choice — it has certainly earned its fame — you shouldn’t underestimate the MK14 EBR. If you’re like me and usually prefer auto rifles, activating the auto mode on this DMR leads to surprising results. Same as the Mini14, you may find yourself in disadvantage early on during matches without a few attachments. But once you have them, it’s over for the rest.
It’s a pan and it’s good. You can dispatch other players in a couple hits (as long as they’re unarmored). You may not want to use this too much during mid to late game, but in the meantime, bringing a pan to a firefight may not be a worst choice in the world.
[Disclaimer: Fanbyte is owned by Tencent, which also publishes PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Though the company has no editorial oversight with Fanbyte Media. Nor have any of its representatives had direct contact with this writer.]