Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds has 25 guns currently available, each with its own set of scopes and attachments to glue on, which means it’s fair to say that keeping track of them all can be a little difficult.
This Battlegrounds weapons guide will make that easier. The random nature of the shrinking circle means you only have limited control over what situations you’ll get into – in other words, you always want to make sure you have a short-range and a long-range weapon. We’ll run you through the pros and cons of each gun, then finish with some advice on attachments.
Remember, deciding which gun to pick up isn’t simply a case of going by which one has the best stats, or even by looking at this list and picking your favourite. You’ll want to consider factors such as what terrain the final circle looks like it might close around, how much ammo you have, what your teammates are using and which gun you have in your other slot. What point in the game you’re at matters too – sniper rifles, for instance, are less useful once the circle has shrunk down to a small area. Also, we haven’t included items found within airdrops due to their rarity. With that in mind, let’s get to it!
Short range weapons
The S12K is a semi-automatic gauge shotgun, and is my close-range gun of choice. Each clip has 5 rounds, which goes up to 8 with an extended mag. It has slots for AR barrel, magazine, and sight attachments – equipping a red-dot will mean less of your screen gets obscured by the gun itself. The large magazine and high-firing rate means there’s less pressure to land every shot, and also makes it more suited to taking out groups when compared to the other shotguns.
If you’re playing solo, a viable alternative to the S12k is the double barrel S686 gauge shotgun. Although it can only fire 2 shells before it needs to be reloaded, those shells do more damage – at point blank range it can one shot someone even if they’re wearing the highest tier armour. You can also double tap to fire both shells in very quick succession. In my experience however, enemies go down quickly enough when you’re close up, that the S12K or the Vector can still get the job done and have rounds left over.
The S1897 is a pump action shotgun with 5 shells in each clip, which makes it a better option than the S686 in duo or squad games – though the time between each shot is still much higher than the S12K. If you do end up using the S1897 or the S686, do your best to find a choke attachment as it will dramatically increase its range. Both guns also have a slot for bullet loops, which decrease their reload times by 30%.
The Vector SMG takes .45 ACP rounds, has a 13 bullet sized clip by default and can fire in single, burst or full-auto. It’s got a full suite of 5 attachment options, and becomes a much more attractive option with an extended mag that takes the clip size up to 25. It really struggles at longer distances though, and can’t match the damage potential of an S12K at close range.
The Uzi uses 9mm ammo, and has space for a barrel, magazine and stock attachment. It can do a lot of damage up close, but has the worst range of any weapon in the game – I’d much rather have a shotgun or a different SMG.
Many people prefer to pack the UMP submachine gun as their short-range option, and not without good reason. It’s more versatile than the other guns here, with a single shot and burst fire mode that make it viable at longer ranges, in addition to a full-auto mode for close engagements. It takes 9mm ammo, which should be in plentiful supply. I’m usually more inclined to take the S12K when I have the choice, seen as I like to camp inside buildings and it’s a better tool for ambushes. If I’m using a sniper rifle rather than an assault rifle, I’ll take the UMP so that I can better handle mid-range engagements.
The Tommy Gun is an SMG that fires .45 ACP rounds, and its fast firing rate gives it better damage than the UMP at close range. It can take a barrel, magazine and grip attachment, though the lack of a sight attachment and poor damage at anything other than close range prevent it from being an ideal choice.
Medium-long range weapons
The M416 takes 5.56mm ammo, and is the only assault rifle with 5 attachment slots. This gives it the best overall stats once it’s fully kitted out, though don’t expect that to happen in every game. If you already have those attachments, picking this up is a no-brainer – the only instance where I wouldn’t swap to it is if a match is nearly over and I don’t think I’m going to find any more.
The AKM uses 7.62 mm ammo, and does the most damage per hit of all the assualt rifles: 2 headshots should be enough to take out anyone who isn’t wearing a level 3 helmet. However, it has more recoil and bullet drop, and can only take a barrel, magazine and sight attachment. The high damage potentially makes it the best assault rifle for taking single shots at a long range, but only if you’re good enough to land them.
The M16A4 does slightly less damage than the AKM as it uses 5.56mm ammo, but has a higher bullet speed that makes taking long range shots easier. It’s got space for a scope, barrel and magazine attachment, and has a burst-fire mode rather than full-auto. Spamming burst-fire actually does more damage at close range than the full-auto of other assault rifles, which also makes this the best choice in this category for short-range engagements.
The SCAR shoots 5.56mm bullets, takes every attachment other than a stock, but has the worst stats of any assault rifle. It’s one saving grace is that the recoil is a little easier to control than with other weapons, but you should still only use it if you can’t find anything better.
The Crossbow has good damage and is naturally stealthy, but the downsides far outweigh the positives. It’s got a long reload time between each shot (although that was recently increased by 35%) and there’s a large amount of drop on each bolt, making it too unwieldy to be used effectively.
This might sound a little counter-intuitive, but a sniper rifle won’t always be your best bet for long range headshots. The VSS is better suited to close range engagements, and any assault rifle with an 8X scope will be more than capable of taking enemies out at a distance – especially the M16.
The VSS is a sniper rifle, though the huge amount of bullet drop on each 9mm projectile makes it difficult to use at anything other than close range. The advantage it has over other weapons is that it comes with an inbuilt suppressor and a scope, which you can use to take shots at a longer range once you’ve learnt how. A VSS can be surprisingly useful in the late game, when the circle has shrunk down and not giving your position away is even more important than usual.
The Mini-14 DMR is the latest gun to be added, and uses 5.56mm rounds. It fires in semi-auto with 20 rounds in each clip, and the minimal amount of bullet drop on each shot means that it can compete with the M16 and SKS at long distances. It’s got space for a muzzle, magazine and sight attachment. It does more damage than the M16, and is better at medium range than the SKS – making it my preferred choice over those two.
The SKS is a semi-auto carbine rifle that uses 7.62mm bullets, and has space for all 5 attachments. While each shot can do a considerable amount of damage, the gun is held back by high recoil and the low spawn rate of sniper rifle attachments.
The Kar98K is a bolt-action sniper rifle that fires 7.62mm rounds, and does the most damage of any non-crate weapon: it can kill anyone with a level 2 helmet in a single headshot. As you’d expect from a bolt-action rifle, however, it’s got an incredibly slow firing rate – making it the best non-crate weapon for long ranges, but difficult to use in any other situation.
Pistols become pretty much irrelevant once you’re past the opening few minutes of a game, with one or two exceptions. The first of those is the P18C, which has an automatic firing mode that means its damage can begin to compete with that of a bigger gun – though there aren’t many situations where it wouldn’t be better to just, you know, use a bigger gun.
One situation where a pistol can be useful is if you’ve found a pistol suppressor and have the drop on someone. If you’re confident you can take them out with it, then doing so will make it much less likely that you’ll get killed while looting their body.
Before I go, I’ll give you a quick rundown on which attachments to equip. For the barrel modification, suppressors are nearly always the best option. They don’t completely eliminate noise, but they do make it much harder for anyone you shoot at to work out where you are. If you can’t find one, it comes down to personal preference between a flash hider and a compensator, but bear in mind that the flash hider actually reduces some recoil as well as hiding your muzzle flash. Also remember that there’s no point in equipping a compensator on a bolt-action rifle.
The angled grip slightly reduces both horizontal and vertical recoil, while the vertical grip reduces vertical recoil significantly. Again it comes down to personal preference, though I prefer the angled grip as shots that go wide due to horizontal recoil are more likely to miss the target entirely.
For the magazine attachment, the extended mag wins out over the quickdraw mag: it puts those extra bullets directly into your clip, making it more likely that you’ll actually get a chance to use them. The extended quickdraw mag is outright better though, as it combines the effects of those two attachments.
In regards to scopes, an 8x on any assault rifle can effectively turn it into a sniper rifle. If you’re playing in third person, don’t worry about being caught out if someone appears at close-range – just right click to aim your weapon without looking through the scope. Another underused trick is to quickly swap out your optics to best suit the current situation.