The patch changes feel particularly prominent with the Support’s bevy of bullet-hogs, as every LMG with a Storm variant took a major increase to its horizontal recoil value. That results in bullets shaking to the right and left more randomly as you fire, especially when aiming or firing from the hip while mobile. It’s clear the intention here is a reinforcement of the Support’s traditional role as an indirect zone-controller, but the balanced stats found in each Storm weapon still comes in handy if you need to rapidly jump cover or move with your team—it’s just not quite the surefire all-rounder as before. If you prefer establishing sturdier gunner nests, pick the Optical or Suppressive variants for more reliable cover fire.
Unlock rank: 0
The Lewis Gun is both the pan-fed MG that looks like something uncorked from BioShock’s Rapture, and a good starter weapon to learn the basics of the Support’s unique inverse-stability effect. Basically, the first few shots from your gun will suffer a wildly large cone of fire; as you keep the trigger down, your shots will eventually tighten to their max accuracy. This promotes laying down carpets of fire across lanes of incoming or outgoing troop movement. The Lewis’ forgiving recoil and low first shot multiplier is a gentle-enough introduction to the Support, but you’ll want to eventually move on to its big-fry brothers once you’re feeling practiced. Its faults further compound with the highest damage falloff past 30 meters and one of the lengthiest reload animations. The Lewis is good for a “traditional” Support: post up in prone, drop your ammo box, and hug the trigger with a death-grip.
Variants: The initial Low Weight variant is the closest you’ll get to a mobile version of the Lewis with its faster accuracy recovery. A better choice is the Suppressive—an extended magazine and bipod combo is perfect for the Lewis’ intended role as an area-denial tool. An Optical option exists for gunners confident in their aim, as the magnified lens sight helps with acquiring targets but offers little in terms of steadying this mighty machine.
Unlock rank: 0 (2 for our recommended variant)
The Madsen scoffs at any notion of streamlined design with its screen-tall, gravity-fed magazine and chunky receiver housing. Despite its goofy appearance, it’s a stalwart companion in close-quarters fights—it shares the strongest hipfire performance with the BAR and the quickest reload speed on a non-empty magazine. The Madsen’s 540 RPM is mostly middle-of-the-pack in terms of performance, but its 31-round magazine dominates on trench-laden maps or indoor areas where you need to rock and roll without burdensome trifles such as bipods or sights. Make sure to steadily pull your mouse downward as you fire—the Madsen has the strongest upward kick and the worst first-shot recoil.
Variants: The Trench variant best fits the Madsen with its boosted hipfire stat, and it’ll pair well with its optimal sub-20 meter max damage range. The Storm is a straight stat upgrade from the Low Weight variant, though the latter provides slightly better accuracy recovery.
Unlock rank: 10
You’re provided access to the Huot once reaching level 10 on your Support kit, but the worth of spending valuable warbonds on it becomes rather fuzzy once it’s compared to its sibling MGs. In essence, the Huot is a slightly improved Lewis with the same emphasis on average damage, low RPM, and a similarly steep damage dropoff to a weak 15 damage per shot. An inexpedient MG, it’ll get the job done by the time you empty its 26-round magazine, but you’ll probably have to constantly dump your mags to nab effective kills. Its promising stability bestows smooth handling no matter your stance, but the Huot just doesn’t stand out enough as a max-rank weapon and serves more as a jack-of-all pick. There’s better choices for more specific Support roles.
Variants: The Low Weight is the Huot’s only variant which imparts an emphasis on movement and long bursts with little deployment time.
Unlock rank: 0
The unmistakable profile of the M1909’s 30-round strip magazine is one of the iconic standouts of BF1’s time period. It’s wonderfully accurate too, boasting the lowest overall recoil and first-shot multiplier of any MG. The M1909 works surprisingly well while mobile, but you’ll likely chomp through the strip while you’re on the move, and you’ll find greater success pausing and taking a knee to stabilize. It chugs at 450 RPM—the slowest MG of them all—but most of your shots will land where you send them, so this is a great weapon for point defense or safeguarding an objective during a capture.
Variants: The Storm is the M1909’s first variant, and it’s a great all-around choice for punching holes or sweeping supportive fire. Its Optical and Telescopic versions adds further magnification in addition to the default vertical grip, with the latter tossing in a bipod for long-distance harassment, good for maps with open sections the enemy will be forced to cross to get to you.
Unlock rank: 1
The MG15 is the Rambo gun of BF1. Packing a beastly 100 rounds per drum, this is a juggernaut of an MG that shares the highest possible max damage of Support guns with the Madsen. It’s ace at suppressive fire with its deep ammo reserves and high bullet velocity, and it’ll send your enemies ducking after they realize just how much metal is flying their way. Otherwise, the MG15 is slow—it predictably has the longest reload animation and even has the slowest deploy time (the motion of bringing your gun into ready position when you equip it) of any MG. Like the Lewis, it’s amazing at constant, indirect punishment—just don’t bother trying to hipfire; its unaimed accuracy is one of the worst in the game.
Variants: The Storm is a balanced all-rounder that utilizes the MG15’s speedy bullets to assist with recoil control and is a stronger choice for most fights over the default Low Weight’s mobile-heavy bonuses. The Suppressive is the thematic husband to the MG15; it expands ammo capacity to a whopping 200 rounds per drum and adds a bipod. Nothing says “This is my trench!” more than a fully deployed Suppressive MG15 turning a pathway into hot lead lava.
Unlock rank: 2
For Support players with an Assault identity crisis, the BAR is for you. With the highest MG RPM (600, faster than the MP 18), the speediest reload time, and low hipfire penalty, the BAR is a perfect fit for run-and-gunners who stay on the move. Its glaring downside is its miniscule 20-round magazine; you’ll be reloading at a dangerously high frequency to keep topped off even after a one-on-one engagement. The BAR packs an intense punch against anyone within 30 meters, and it has one of the smaller damage ranges among the MGs; just don’t expect to emerge unscathed if you round a corner into the middle of a squad.
Variants: The Trench is a smart starting variation for the BAR, as the added vertical grip amplifies its already strong hipfire. The Storm and Telescopic variations are a decent alternative if you want to use the BAR in a more classic Support setup; the latter is especially useful with its included bipod for changing cover and rapidly deploying into accurate fire.
Chauchat (They Shall Not Pass DLC)
(Gif via Rangedkill)
Unlock requirements (Low Weight variant): Obtain 50 kills with the Lewis Gun Suppressive variant & perform 75 resupplies
Unlock requirements (Telescopic variant): Accumulate 15 kills with the M1909 Benét-Mercié Telescopic variant in a round & obtain 10 mortar kills
The Chauchat is a wonderful in-game glimpse of World War I-era innovation with its reduced bulk and half-moon open magazine. That magazine only holds 20 rounds, so like the BAR, it doesn’t take long for it to click dry with overzealous fire. It’s an avatar of the slow-firing, high-damage weapon archetype brought in with They Shall Not Pass: a hard-hitting 32 maximum damage per bullet within roughly 30 meters, a chuggy 360 RPM—the slowest LMG of the pack—and the slowest bullet velocity to boot. Its kill efficiency feels quite powerful with good aim, as it’ll dust a foe in a couple less bullets than practically every other LMG. Its brutish stopping power pairs well with its amazing hipfire accuracy, the second lowest behind the Benet, to quickly overwhelm nearby enemies in as little as three hits. This is a keen LMG for mid-range targeted eliminations, and the Chauchat’s tame hipfire will see you out of any surprises around corners.
Variants: Unlocking the Low Weight version of the Chauchat is a good start to acclimating yourself to its crawling rate of fire and meager magazine. If you need distance, try the Telescopic variant for a higher aimed magnification. You’ll predictably have to deal with more shot recoil using the latter, so consider tap-firing out single shots like a Medic rifle to improve chances of landing as many powerful bullets as you can.