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FORTNITE WEAPON TIER LIST

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To improve your skill at a game like Fortnite you need to understand the map, practice your combat building skills, and have a decent understanding of the loot that can be found around the map to have a fighting chance at the coveted Victory Royale. The one common factor that unifies Fortnite with other games of its genre are the weapons. While a skilled player can absolutely win a gunfight in Fortnite using clever building, traps, or items with knockback, you aren’t going to come by many wins without the use of the various weapons scattered across Fortnite’s map.

Like other battle royale games, each match you drop into the map without any significant weaponry and are forced to scavenge for loot as quickly as possible. At first, picking up any weapon available is all that's necessary for survival, but as we progress through a match we might find ourselves asking, “what are the best guns in Fortnite?” and “what guns should I be prioritizing as I find rare weapons throughout the match?”

In this article we’re going to go through all the current weapons in Chapter 5 Season 2 and rank them S, A, B, or C tier based on how good they are at performing their designated role in-game. If you’re interested in learning more about the best guns in Fortnite read on.

  • S-Tier: Reaper Sniper Rifle, Warforged Assault Rifle, Ranger Pistol, Gatekeeper Shotgun
  • A-Tier: Nemesis AR, Frenzy Auto Shotgun, Harbinger SMG, Chains of Hades, Wings of Icarus
  • B-Tier: Thunderbolt of Zeus, Thunder Burst SMG
  • C-Tier: Huntress DMR, Hammer Pump Shotgun
Fortnite Best Guns in Each Category

ASSAULT RIFLES

Assault rifles are the classic faithful damage dealers of Fortnite. They have the versatility to be used at close and medium range and generally have the accuracy to land headshots for some added damage. Across the many chapters and seasons of Fortnite, it's rare to find an assault rifle that ranks below a B tier. Here’s our reasoning on where we placed them for Chapter 5 Season 2:

Warforged Assault Rifle - With a large mag size, fast fire rate, and punishing damage, the Warforged Assault Rifle lands itself solidly in the S tier. The overall damage per second potential of this weapon makes shredding your opponents a breeze at close and medium range and the high DPS can really chunk your opponents. The drawback with the Warforged Assault Rifle is its high recoil, making it a less suitable choice for long-ranged engagements.

Nemesis AR - The Nemesis AR is a solid all-rounder assault rifle. While it lacks in DPS compared to the Warforged Assault Rifle, it has a quicker reload speed, and is more suited for medium to long range fights where recoil can be a make-or-break factor. The Nemesis AR gets a respectable A tier. While it does not excel in any one category, its well rounded nature makes it a good gun to pick up.

SNIPER RIFLES

Sniper rifles can be exceptionally hard to rank for Fortnite because the average player is going to be better off getting in close to medium range to land more shots, but a skilled shooter player won’t have any issue making the most out of any bolt action sniper variant in Fortnite. Snipers tend to get a 2x damage bonus for headshots, meaning opponents get instant-downed when you land a headshot. The drawback of snipers is that they are relatively ineffective at close range, so make sure you pair these weapons with a close range weapon to defend against pushers.

Reaper Sniper Rifle - The Reaper Sniper Rifle is the only sniper rifle in Chapter 5 Season 2, but it is an exceptionally good choice. Players that are highly skilled at long-range fights will be able to one-shot shielded opponents, or even break shields on a body shot. This sniper rifle also comes with a 3 shot magazine, making follow-up shots easier to land. The only issue with the Reaper is that they frequently drop with close range or no sights, meaning you will have to find a weapon mod bench to get the most out of this weapon. That said, a kitted out Reaper Sniper Rifle is one of the best weapons in Fortnite for Chapter 5 Season 2.

MARKSMAN RIFLES

Marksman rifles are Fortnite’s middle ground between an assault rifle and a sniper rifle. Typically, these are semi-automatic precision weapons that are more effective at range than assault rifles. They are also typically outfitted with longer range optics, but thanks to the mod benches added in Chapter 5, they can now be outfitted with optics for any range.

Huntress DMR - Compared to previous seasons’ marksman rifles, the Huntress DMR has higher damage, and a higher headshot multiplier bonus at 1.75x. Unfortunately, due to the lower fire rate, the overall DPS is significantly lower than the Tactical or Thermal DMRs from Chapter 4. Additionally, the Huntress DMR marks the first time that a marksman rifle has been given damage falloff, with the effective damage range of the Huntress falling off after 50 meters. All things considered, the Huntress can’t contend with the high damage of the Reaper Sniper Rifle, nor with the higher mid-range DPS of the assault rifles. The only point of firing this gun is to give away your position, which means this weapon will find its place in the C tier.

SMGS

SMGs have been relatively inconsistent in past Fortnite seasons. They either rank as some of the best guns in the game or are completely ignored for other weapons. They’re great in a pinch for close quarters on a hot drop but quickly become useless in more open spaces.

Harbinger SMG - The spray and pray SMG of the season is the Harbinger SMG, a close range weapon best for rushing the enemy and quickly bursting them down. The high DPS and fire rate of this weapon make it extremely deadly at close range, but being an SMG it does suffer when getting into medium or longer ranged engagements. However, due to the Harbinger’s strength as a pushing weapon, it lands solidly in the A tier

Thunder Burst SMG - The Thunder Burst SMG is a surprising addition to Fortnite’s weapons roster. While it is an SMG, the Thunder Burst is less about close range spray, and more about accuracy in medium range engagements. It’s definitely a better mid-range option than the Harbinger SMG or any of the shotguns, but it lacks in comparison to either of the assault rifles. Overall, the Thunder Burst SMG will come in at an underwhelming B tier.

SHOTGUNS

Ever since Fortnite’s inception, shotguns have been a staple in every build. While some of the seasonal melee weapons end up overtuned enough to nullify the need for a shotgun, they never totally lose their place in the meta. Other close range weapons may shine more in some seasons, but it’s hard to match either the engagement or finishing power that a shotgun provides in a firefight.

Gatekeeper Shotgun - As the new shotgun of this season, the Gatekeeper is coming in hot with an easy S tier rating. The raw damage per shot is slightly lower than that of the Hammer Pump Shotgun, but the fire rate and DPS of the Gatekeeper is far superior. If you use all three shells right at the beginning of your fight, you are nearly guaranteed to get a kill. If you don’t clean up the kill, just swap to a pistol or SMG to finish them off. Gatekeeper is looking to be the king of shotguns this season, especially if you kill Cerberus for the Mythic Cerberus’ Gatekeeper Shotgun.

Frenzy Auto Shotgun - The Frenzy Auto Shotgun is another solid close-range option for when you just want to spray down an opponent. At lower rarities, the Frenzy struggles a little, but the higher rarity Frenzy is a little more consistent as a DPS option. The main issue that the Frenzy Auto Shotgun has is its high recoil when firing full auto, which can offset its otherwise respectable DPS. If you want to offset this and boost the Frenzy’s threat level, make sure you stop by a weapon mod bench and equip something like a muzzle brake or vertical foregrip to really allow the Frenzy to shine.

Hammer Pump Shotgun - While it does boast the most single shot damage, the Hammer Pump Shotgun is in a bit of a rough spot this season, getting outclassed by the two other strong shotgun options. Unfortunately, this means the Hammer will be bringing up the rear of the list at an unfortunate C tier. If you pick up this weapon, try to swap it out for another shotgun as soon as possible. Otherwise it still functions well as a one-shot burst before you swap to another weapon for DPS.

PISTOLS

Pistols always end up being a sleeper hit amongst serious Fortnite players as they can deliver remarkable accuracy and a strong fire rate for players with fast fingers or instant tap triggers. While they often lose out to SMGs, the occasional pistol superstar like the Hand Cannon will put pistols on the map.

Ranger Pistol - The only pistol this season, the Ranger Pistol is one of those aforementioned superstars that completely outshines the SMGs of this season. Not only does this pistol have roughly the same DPS as the Harbinger SMG, but the faster reload time makes it a more reliable DPS option. Surprisingly, the Ranger also excels at medium range fights, with its accuracy not being too far off from the mid-range oriented Thunder Burst SMG. The Ranger is an easy S tier and the clear best use of your light ammo this season.

SEASONAL WEAPONS

Some of the most fun additions to the game are the unique weapons added in every season. Whether these are collab items like the ODM Gear from Attack on Titan, or just weapons created to fit the seasonal theme, these weapons are the wild card of each season and usually define the meta. Just like the seasons before it, Chapter 5 Season 2 brings in 3 new seasonal weapons to help shake up the Fortnite meta.

Chains of Hades - Likely the strongest (and coolest) weapon of the new season, the Chains of Hades are a melee weapon with an alternate fire that allows you to throw out the chain and pull an enemy in. The generous hitbox on the pull can trivialize mid-range fights and get you up close and personal to combo the enemy to death, or pull out your shotgun and finish the job. You can also use the pull on Wings of Icarus users to bring them crashing down from the sky, giving the Chains of Hades enough utility to grant them a spot in the A tier.

Wings of Icarus - As one of the more hotly debated items this season, the Wings of Icarus are everywhere. Every late game fight feels like getting circled by vultures, waiting to dive bomb you and finish you off with a Gatekeeper shotgun. The evasiveness of this item also makes it pretty difficult to land shots on airborne opponents, so you will likely have to wait for them to come closer before launching any anti-air counterattack. That’s not to say that the Wings are without fault, as they increase the size of the player hitbox, making your character easier to hit overall. However, the increased hitbox can be counteracted with good movement, so the Wings of Icarus will sit comfortably in A tier.

Thunderbolts of Zeus - There seem to be a lot of players concerned about the strength of the Thunderbolts of Zeus, but the truth is that this weapon just has too much counterplay to be consistent. When using the Thunderbolts, you are suspended in place in the air, making you a vulnerable target for anyone else watching the fight. This also means you cannot chase your targets after you begin casting the Thunderbolts, which gives your target time to escape, especially with Underworld Dash. However, the raw damage and splash range of the Thunderbolts make them a good option to use in a big fight with multiple teams, so we put Thunderbolts of Zeus at an okay B tier.

Of course, none of this matters if you don’t have the mechanical skill to really make these weapons excel. With SCUF gaming controllers, you have quick access to vital actions like jumping and sliding for movement, pinging to give your team information, or even build mode to quickly set up a defensive fortification. Be sure to check out our guide for getting started in Fortnite for tips on how to set up your SCUF controller to get the most out of your aim, building, and movement.

We hope this tier list proves helpful in your future matches of Fortnite and maybe you now have a stronger understanding of what might be the best guns in Fortnite. If you’re looking for more Fortnite content, head to the Fortnite game hub for more.

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Fortnite, the colorful free to play battle royale from Epic Games, features unique building mechanics, creative challenges, and intense competitive gameplay on PS4 ®, PS5 ®, Xbox One ®, Xbox Series X/S ®, PC, and mobile.