While it's apparently entirely possible to win a game of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds , for those of us less committed to pacifism, finding and firing guns is the key to victory. This guide will take you through the most potent firearms on offer, discussing the key points you need to know about each weapon and offering tips on how best to modify them.
Updated August 2017 with new weapons and some adjustments to the previous rankings.
🌟 SCAR-L: What sets the SCAR above all other assault rifles is the ability to control the recoil when firing, particularly when you have an array of modifications attached. It’s the only AR that can comfortably use automatic fire at medium range.
Groza: A new care package-only assault rifle, the Groza is similar to the AKM, but with a higher rate of fire and slightly different recoil. It's clearly a beast: a tough gun to control from the hip, but aiming down the sights makes a nice straight vertical line and the recoil can be managed. It's worth picking up if you find one, or are brave enough to hit up a supply crate. Have some 7.62 ammo ready.
M16: A great ‘off the shelf’ option that requires fewer modifications than the SCAR to reach its full potential. The M16 is fast and accurate in single shot mode compared to other ARs, while burst fire is best limited to close range. It has just has three attachment slots: magazine, barrel, and optics.
AKM: Does the most damage per bullet, meaning it’s an exceptional tool if you’re able to land multiple headshots, but heavy recoil and a slightly slower rate of fire mean it’s probably the weakest Assault Rifle overall (unmodified), with a poor automatic fire mode—though the best players can take advantage of it's power. For best results stick to single-shot above 20m and always try to land those headshots (it should only take 2 headshots to down an enemy—if you can land them). Only has three modification slots: magazine, barrel, and optics.
M416: Offers similar levels of modification to the SCAR, with the option to add a tactical stock that is required if you plan on using automatic fire anything above 20 meters. Not quite as stable as the SCAR, but with a faster rate of fire it’s still very viable. A good all-round weapon that doesn’t truly excel at anything.
Recommended assault rifle mods:
Vertical grip/angled grip – The angled grip improves stability to a lesser degree and offers faster aiming down the sight, but you should prioritize the stability boost of a vertical grip to get the most out of your AR.
Compensator, suppressor, flash hider – one of the key choices you need to make. Suppressors are deadly on all assault rifles, severely limiting your opponent’s ability to locate you through directional audio. A compensator steadies recoil which can be vital if you’re planning to fire in full-auto at anything above close range. If you find a suppressor, prioritize it over a compensator unless you have another suppressed weapon. Recent community testing has shown that the flash hider reduces recoil to the same degree as the compensator, while giving the added utility of hiding gun-fire, making it a great pickup.
Extended mag – Simply more useful than a Quickdraw mag. Having those extra bullets at the ready fundamentally means that they're ready to fire, rather than reloading more quickly.
2x 4x or 8x scopes – Assault rifles truly shine with decent optics, the superior magnification of an 8x allows you to focus on headshots.
🌟 Vector: A tiny package of doom that incapacitates quickly and is limited only by its short range. There's no weapon I'd rather have in the last moments of most matches, where I'm enclosed in a small area. Nearly always best used in full-auto, firing in bursts to retain accuracy beyond 15m.
UMP: The bridge between SMGs and assault rifles, with the slower rate of fire offset by limited recoil and a better effective range (30-40m) than the Vector. The UMP requires a lot of modifications to reach its full potential. Fire it in full-auto to take people down quickly. Its 9mm ammo should be plentiful.
Uzi: Fast, but wildly inaccurate. With a stock the Uzi becomes far more stable, but it’s still terrible at anything above 15-20 meters.
Recommended SMG mods:
Extended magazine – Absolutely vital to make the Vector and Uzi in particular shine, as the base, magazines are so shallow.
Suppressor – High rate of fire plus near-silence is an insane combo.
Vertical foregrip – Gives a vital boost to both the Vector and the UMP’s effectiveness at range by steadying the recoil.
Uzi stock – If you have your heart set on using an Uzi, be sure to pick this up to improve stability and lessen recoil.
🌟 AWM: Immensely powerful. The AWM is the only gun in the game that will one-hit KO against a level 3 helmet. With exceptional range, in the right hands it’s an invaluable tool for taking down well-geared foes. You'll only find it in care packages, along with its .300 Magnum (7.62×67mm) ammo type.
SKS: The second-weakest long gun, fulfilling its role as a marksman rifle rather than a fully-fledged sniper weapon. I tend to prioritize it below assault rifles unless there’s a handy sniper rifle silencer to attach to it, due to the rarity of sniper mods and the selection of solid single-fire assault rifles.
Kar-98k: A fantastic rifle, with decent iron-sights and deadly accuracy. Try to take the extra moment to line up headshots while operating the Kar-98—the slow rate of fire often means you’ll get limited opportunities to shoot and it can be difficult to hit targets that are moving defensively. A single headshot will KO enemies wearing anything below a level 3 helmet. Body shots will require at least two shots, or three against a level 3 vest.
M24: Kind of like the AWM’s little brother—not quite as powerful but still highly effective at distance. If you want to hide in the hills and take potshots, this will be your weapon of choice thanks to its relatively abundant 7.62mm ammunition.
Mk14 EBR: We haven't hit a supply drop with one of these yet, so we can't speak from experience, but here are the details: The Mk14 is a new mid-power marksman rifle with a tripod that increases stability while prone, and a higher bullet velocity than the SKS, Kar98, and M24. The Mk14 EBR and the VSS below are the only marksman rifles with automatic firing modes. We wouldn't say no to one if we came across it.
VSS: The VSS is an unusual weapon. It comes with a permanent scope, and though its subsonic 9mm ammo is weak and tough to put on mark at long distances, the suppression makes it hard for targets to gauge your location. If you’re struggling to find optics and assault rifles, it can give you medium range capability in a pinch, and could come in handy in the late game.
Recommended sniper mods:
8x scope, 15x scope – An AWM or M24 with no scope is a curse in disguise—they have no iron-sights.
Suppressor – Nothing in Battlegrounds is more terrifying than realising a sniper is shooting at you, without being able to tell which direction they’re firing from.