A pretty significant chunk of your time in Anthem's endgame is going to revolve around grinding out top-tier gear to make sure your Javelin is the shiniest (and naturally, the most ridiculously destructive) exosuit on the block. With masterwork and legendary weapons being the figurative cream of the lead spraying crop, it should go without saying that your sights are going to be fixed primarily on those.
But you've got so many options! Which of these rare and elusive shooters is actually worth the expenditure of your precious and valuable time? Luckily for you, we've done a little research on the matter and have a pretty solid set of suggestions that you'll definitely want to take into consideration when deciding which gun's going to go bang in the most satisfying way, and which ones are better left to the less-informed Freelancer.
While a lot of the weight in that decision will end up hinging on what sort of build you're running, and that's taken into consideration with a lot of these picks, there are a few ridiculously overpowered firearms that are almost absolute musts if you should be lucky enough to dig one up. Some of them might surprise you! Let's find out which ones.
25 Best: Cycle Of Pain (LMG)
The perk attached to this light machinegun might be a little straightforward, perhaps even boring, but it's reliable and really brings the pain when put to use. Your rate of fire gets a boost when hitting weak points, and this bonus can stack multiple times.
Considering this particular type of LMG hits the hardest but suffers from the lowest fire rate, this is an incredibly effective perk that can result in monstrous amounts of damage being dished out if you aim for weak points consistently.
24 Best: Truth Of Tarsis (Sniper Rifle)
This sniper rifle has been championed by quite a few players as the best one in the game, and while that may be a little subjective, it's hard to deny how insanely effective this thing is in the right hands. The masterwork perk for this one will set off chain combos on enemies that have been primed with a status effect.
Pairing it with grenades or abilities that can inflict status effects onto multiple bad guys renders this sniper rifle a joy to use against crowds, kicking out ridiculous numbers against your status-affected targets. You'll want to be careful and place your shots carefully though, as you need to reload between every shot.
23 Best: The Last Stand (Autocannon)
I'd normally chuck out anything that relies on your suit being at low health in order for the perk to kick in. After all, who really wants to be in that situation? But since the Colossus players generally find themselves taking a lot of heat, and this weapon is one of those Colossus-only autocannons, it deserves a little special consideration.
This perk provides an incredible boost to weapon damage when health hits a low point, and since you're likely to hit that point several times over the course of a mission when playing as Colossus, you'll end up yielding a surprising amount of benefit from this weapon.
22 Best: Elemental Rage (Assault Rifle)
This assault rifle might seem pretty unremarkable damage wise, but it fulfills an incredibly useful niche as a support weapon. Every bullet that lands on an Elite enemy will increase the elemental damage that it takes by a small amount, and it stacks incredibly high, up to a 100% increase.
Both you and your teammates benefit from this, making this weapon an incredible addition to your arsenal if you're running a Storm Javelin, or have friends that do. If you're preparing to face a lot of hard targets or bosses, consider bringing this guy along to keep the opposition nice and squishy.
21 Worst: Vassa's Surprise (Machine Pistol)
I suppose having the ability to replenish your ammo by landing melee attacks could be useful, especially in desperate situations where ammo's scarce. But you shouldn't encounter that situation too often. If you're making a melee build, you probably don't need the bullets that badly. If you need the bullets that badly, then you probably don't want to be in melee.
Anyway, that's what this odd duck of the machine pistol family does. It's probably not so bad if your options are sorely limited. But you'll likely have plenty at your disposal, so pass this one up.
20 Best: Close Encounter (Heavy Pistol)
While it's a bit outclassed by other options under the heavy pistol category, the Close Encounter isn't something to be ignored, particularly for Interceptors or other close range builds.
With this one, you'll get a significant weapon damage boost after dashing, which is easy to trigger precisely when you need it and is likely to be triggered anyway if you're fighting in close quarters. You definitely want to keep this handy if agile, in your face combat sounds like something resembling your style.
19 Best: Radiant Fortress (Shotgun)
It's a good, well-rounded shotgun that charges your shields if you can land eight shots in a single burst. Considering that it's a shotgun, that really shouldn't be too much to ask, and the recharge is significant, bringing back roughly a third of your shields.
Depending on your build, this either makes you a lot more tanky or lends a high degree of survivability where it's needed. Neither of these ever amounts to a bad thing, so you're likely making a good decision when adapting the Radiant Fortress into your loadout.
18 Best: Ralner's Blaze (Assault Rifle)
This is a solid pick for almost any play style, with a straightforward perk that ignites enemies that you establish a hit streak on. However, where it really shines is when you or your friends have a lot of great detonator abilities, but you're in need of a primer.
The ignition effect accomplishes this easily, reliably, and often, instantly rendering your Javelin a priming machine if you've got a reasonably steady aim and can keep a steady stream of hits landing on your targets.
17 Best: Unending Battle (Machine Pistol)
Being a wonderful complement to close range and melee builds, this is definitely the machine pistol you want to have on your hip if you're specializing in either. While it doesn't produce the most fantastic DPS in class, the perk practically doubles weapon and melee damage for five seconds when hitting an enemy.
The catch is that you need to be within point-blank range for it to work, which is not a problem for melee builds that are going to be in the thick of it anyway.
16 Worst: Artinia's Gambit (LMG)
It does what an LMG needs to do, so that much is a relief. The problem is that the masterwork perk for Artinia's Gambit is borderline useless. It sounds cool in theory – producing an AOE explosion every time you reload the weapon.
But in practice, it's incredibly underwhelming. It has a very small radius, only hitting enemies that have practically crawled all the way into your lap. Cool idea, terrible execution, wasted potential. Leave this one be unless you really need something that goes "bang."
15 Best: Glorious Result (Heavy Pistol)
The Glorious Result is just as advertised – pulling the trigger produces a glorious result, so long as you're fairly talented at zeroing in on enemy weak points. Trust me, with this weapon, taking care with your aim will pay you back exponentially.
Hitting those weak points produces a fairly crazy increase to your weapon damage output, so keep hammering them to produce damage numbers that are sure to turn some heads. If you want to really see how ridiculous this thing can get, keep an Avenging Herald on you as well. But we'll talk about that one in another entry.
14 Best: Siege Breaker (Sniper Rifle)
Wedging itself comfortably into a niche between sniper rifles and assault rifles, the Siege Breaker is one of the more widely loved and appreciated weapons that Anthem has on offer.
Landing three consecutive hits on a target will freeze them and prime them for a detonator ability. This is incredibly useful for keeping crowds of enemies manageable, pinning down bosses or simply prepping them for a damaging combo. It won't take you long to fall in love with this weapon once you've had a chance to take it for a spin.
13 Best: Papa Pump (Shotgun)
Despite being a little unwieldy to use, the big papa of the shotgun family tree is rarely a disappointing addition to one's collection. Reloading the weapon provides your Javelin with a hefty damage bonus and increases the weapon's force, making it a hard-hitting, frequently stunning battering ram. The latter is particularly useful for locking down harder hitting, tougher enemies.
You'll need to work on your timing and stay pretty cozy with the center of the action to get the most benefit out of it, but the reward is entirely worth the risk.
12 Best: Light Of The Legion (Assault Rifle)
It should be noted that this exclusive legendary assault rifle will by no means be your best friend throughout the entirety of the game. It'll comfortably see you through your first few hours in, through level ten or so. And with the perk recharging your shields every time you reload, you might have a tough time saying goodbye once you out level it.
Of course, you'll have to have purchased the Legion of Dawn edition of the game in order to have access to this nice little number. Whether or not that's worth it is up to you, but it is nice to have a reliable and incredibly useful weapon in your hands as you're learning the game and planning out your build.
11 Worst: Soothing Touch (Marksman Rifle)
Here we have a great example of a very poorly designed weapon and perk combination. The perk for the Soothing Touch reduces recoil after scoring a hit, and can stack several times with consecutive hits.
This isn't really useful at all in practice. With the weapon being a marksman rifle, to begin with, recoil control isn't ever enough of an issue to warrant such an incredibly high degree of compensation. Seeing this one pop up is going to be a surefire disappointment when you could've wound up with something much better. And by "something better" we mean nearly any other masterwork weapon you could possibly find.
10 Best: Wyvern Blitz (Sniper Rifle)
It isn't the best of the best when it comes to sniper rifles, but the Wyvern Blitz kicks out the tremendous damage you'd expect from them if you're maintaining a hover, as the perk attached to it provides a significant damage bonus when striking weak points from there.
Since the elevation provides a nice sniping vantage, the perk works with the weapon and the play style surrounding it perfectly. Since the Avenging Herald provides its overpowered damage bonus under the same condition, you'd obviously be smart to take it along for the ride if you're lucky enough to have one when putting together a build for this.
9 Best: Divine Vengeance (Assault Rifle)
If you like assault rifles, and you like explosions, then you're sure to love this. Every third bullet to an enemy's weak point will result in a satisfying and incredibly damaging ka-boom, especially if you're boosting your fire damage.
And if you need to add a cherry on top of that goodness, the core weapon fires in four round bursts, allowing it to work perfectly with its masterwork perk. It's simple, it works, and it looks awesome, so consider all of the boxes ticked here.
8 Best: Thunderbolt Of Yvenia (Marksman Rifle)
This marksman rifle works very similarly to the Divine Vengeance assault rifle in principle, except instead of producing explosions after landing so many hits on an enemy's weak point, it has a flat out random chance to kick out an incredibly hurtful electric charge when it strikes.
As such, it's a pretty good weapon. It hurts a lot, is very simple to use and trigger its effect, and makes a fine weapon to carry into battle if a solid marksman rifle fits your play style and electric damage fits your build.
7 Best: Fist Of Stral (Autocannon)
If you like playing the Colossus, and you find this autocannon, you use it. There's really not much else to it, and little argument to be had. Well, unless you also happen to have the Endless Siege, in which case you'll have trouble making up your mind. But that's a good bit of trouble to have.
The perk is really simple. You hit enemies, you deal more damage. Is it a little boring? Sure. Simple? Totally and absolutely. But you'll have a hard time finding something better to equip, because it's simply that good.
6 Worst: Retaliation Of Garretus (Machine Pistol)
This machine pistol takes a perk that works somewhat well with other weapons and drags it into the mud. The perk we're talking about is a damage increase that takes effect when you're low on health.
While this can work out with other selections, like the Colossus-specific weapon The Last Stand, attaching it to a lightweight machine pistol doesn't seem very intuitive. Builds that would be likely to take such a weapon along likely won't feel too comfortable being in the middle of the fight with low health, making this a pretty unremarkable contribution.
5 Best: Endless Siege (Autocannon)
When playing the Colossus, the Endless Siege is probably the top contender for the best autocannon that you could possibly lug into the fight. Like its cousin, the perk is pretty straightforward and a bit boring. But it's incredibly powerful, so you'll be kicking out remarkable DPS while you're being bored. It balances out pretty well.
The perk levies a straight and monstrous increase to both your magazine size and base damage, so you'll be kicking out scarier bullets and find yourself interrupted by annoying reloads much less frequently. While it's a great perk, I have to wonder why it's so totally lacking in mechanical finesse. Maybe they were running out of ideas?
4 Best: Rolling Carnage (Shotgun)
If you're light on your feet, say, as an Interceptor, but you still fancy the solid punch that a shotgun provides, then you really need to consider tacking the Rolling Carnage onto your build.
Utilizing a dash will increase your weapon damage by a solid chunk, and it'll stack up to three times, providing a total damage increase of roughly 150% for twenty seconds if you break out a triple dash. This is a must-have if you find yourself dashing in and out of close combat, as it'll really let you make the most of it.
3 Best: Avenging Herald (Heavy Pistol)
The Avenging Herald is probably going to be the most common answer when you ask a group of Freelancers what the best weapon in the game is. The weapon itself hits good and hard, especially for a pistol, but the perk that it's packaged with is what makes this thing completely overpowered.
Hovering with this weapon gives you a flat 200% damage increase, no questions asked. The kicker is that this effect persists even while the weapon is holstered, making it an almost necessary companion once you manage to get your hands on one. It's so incredibly powerful that you can probably safely expect a nerf to be on the way.
2 Best: Death From Above (Marksman Rifle)
Anthem certainly has a way with names when it comes to weapons, and this marksman rifle maintains the trend quite well. Hovering while carrying Death From Above will lend you an incredible 65% increase to damage when you hit a weak point.
Since weak points are, well, weak to begin with, this isn't something you want to turn your nose up at. This perk will also apply while you've got the weapon holstered, meaning you can mix and match at your leisure if you like the perk, but may not want to be locked into using a marksman rifle the entire time.
1 Worst: Renewed Courage (LMG)
The masterwork perk attached to this LMG is both weird and lacking in useful applications. The last shots fired from a magazine reduce your recoil for a time, which is alright I suppose, but firstly, it's going to immediately waste some of that valuable time with a reload animation.
It isn't quite as useless as recoil reduction applied to a marksman rifle, for example, but it's still a lot less than exciting and the catalyst for its effect just feels really awkward. It's a nice thought, but it's really bland and underpowered compared to your other options.