Finding the best guns in Battlefield 2042 is a little trickier than you might think, despite the fact it has relatively few weapons available to players at launch.
Despite this, there's some pretty big play style differences depending on which weapon you opt for in Battlefield 2042.
One marksman rifle might give you excellent handling attributes with relatively little damage, for example, while another might be able to take down an enemy in a single hit, but with high recoil values and greater weapon sway when aiming down the sights.
On this page, we'll be presenting the best weapons in Battlefield 2042, divided up into categories of assault rifle, marksman rifle, sniper, LMG, SMG, and shotgun.
On this page:
- How should you build your Battlefield 2042 loadout?
- Battlefield 2042 meta: What are the best guns in Battlefield 2042 at launch?
- Best assault rifle in Battlefield 2042 recommendation
- Best SMG in Battlefield 2042 recommendation
- Best LMG in Battlefield 2042 recommendation
- Best marksman rifle in Battlefield 2042 recommendation
- Best sniper rifle in Battlefield 2042 recommendation
- Best shotgun in Battlefield 2042 recommendation
How should you build your Battlefield 2042 loadout?
First of all, it's important to preface this guide with some critical information. Battlefield 2042's characters are called Specialists, and there's a limited number of them in the game, each offering their own passive and active skills. Although they have very set skills, catering to play styles of medic, attacker, defender, and such, any Specialist can equip any weapon in the game, allowing for a great bit of flexibility.
Additionally, you might have already seen that there are 'loadouts' by way of types in Battlefield 2042. When you're picking a Specialist at the beginning of the match, you'll have four options to choose from: Assault type, Medic Type, Engineer Type, and Sniper Type. You can customise these loadouts on the homepage of Battlefield 2042, switching out weapons, equipment, and everything else as you please.
But you can actually switch out weapons freely even after you've chosen your loadout type in a match of Battlefield 2042. It might sound like a lot to get your head around at first, but once you've chosen your Specialist and loadout type, you can then freely change your main weapon at the main Deployment screen. This can be done both at the beginning of the match, and anytime you bite the dust thereafter.
Knowing this is brilliant for flexibility in Battlefield 2042, because it means you don't have to change your entire loadout whenever you want to change play style. If you're a medic that likes running into combat, select an SMG or assault rifle, but then if you later feel like hanging back and picking off attackers, you can just simply change to a marksman or sniper rifle without switching out all your kit.
Battlefield 2042 meta: What are the best guns in Battlefield 2042 at launch?
As things stand right now at launch, there's a clear few favourite weapons among Battlefield 2042 players. The current Battlefield 2042 meta is dominated by assault rifles and SMGs, for one very simple reason; they're fast-firing.
Guns with a rapid rate of fire nearly always win out in scenarios in Battlefield 2042, as if you're peppering someone with bullets while they're trying to aim down the sight of a marksman rifle, you're going to throw off their aim.
The PP-29 SMG in particular, thanks to its rapid fire rate and relatively solid handling, is currently very popular - while the AK-24 is also seeing plenty of use thanks to great stopping power attributes.
There's also some sadly redundant weapons in Battlefield 2042, like shotguns, which unfortunately don't have much of a function in a game that typically specialises in mid-to-long distance firefights.
Best assault rifle in Battlefield 2042 recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: AK-24
How to unlock the AK-24: Reach player level 11
Honestly, there's not much in this race between the assault rifles in Battlefield 2042. The M5A3 is a solid choice early on, but the AK-24 just edges it out in pure firepower and range, which makes it pretty much the de facto choice for the vast majority of Battlefield 2042 players right now.
The AK-24 only requires you to reach player level 11 to unlock it, which is probably why it's used by just about every player in Battlefield 2042's Conquest and Breakthrough modes. Additionally, it boasts single fire, burst fire, and full auto modes, meaning you can actually turn it into a pretty decent marksman rifle from range, if you've got a suitable scope.
If you're looking to bolster the stats of the AK-24 at all, to get it back up to the accuracy and handling levels of the M5A3, then you're going to want to unlock and kit the weapon out with the LWG Grip, and ARCOM Tactical Muzzle Brake, each of which can be unlocked by attaining 60 kills across all modes with the AK-24.
Best SMG in Battlefield 2042 recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: PP-29
How to unlock the PP-29: Reach player level 18
You're going to get killed by this weapon a lot in Battlefield 2042. Over the opening weekend of Battlefield 2042's early access period, a hell of a lot of players were opting for the PP-29 at close range, for the simple reason that it gets the job done in nearly every scenario.
What the PP-29 lacks in handling compared to the standard PBX-45 SMG, it more than makes up for in accuracy and range. The PP-29 is an incredibly quick weapon in close quarters, perfect for either attacking or defending various points in Conquest and Breakthrough, and if you can unlock a decent scope for the weapon, it'll do well when fired in short bursts at mid range.
Best LMG in Battlefield 2042 recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: LCMG
How to unlock the LCMG: Already available
As of right now, Battlefield 2042 only offers players two LMG weapons to get to grips with: the LCMG, and the PKP-BP. You won't unlock the latter of the two weapons until you attain player level 32, but that's perfectly fine, since the LCMG is unlocked from the very beginning of Battlefield 2042, and actually happens to be the superior weapon anyway.
Obviously, the LCMG is best used if you don't mind shelling players from at least mid range. Attaining just five kills with the weapon will unlock decent optics for the LMG, so you don't even need to spend a lot of time generating kills with the weapon to unlock some pretty decent mid range boosts for it.
It's hard to fault the LCMG in any one area, especially when you compare it to its higher-level counterpart. The weapon has solid firepower, with great accuracy and range, and it's not even let down by a particularly dodgy handling value. As long as you're not squeezing the trigger for extended periods of time at long range, the LCMG can do it all.
There are also some decent unlockable options for the LCMG if you want to give any of its attributes a precious boost. For example, attaining 90 kills with the LMG will unlock the Rattlesnake Grip option for the underbarrel slot, great for stabilising the weapon's accuracy and range, while the Warhawk Compensator gives a nice boost to recoil control for the same kill number.
Best marksman rifle in Battlefield 2042 recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: SVK
How to unlock the SVK: Reach player level 14
The DM7 is a perfectly reliable marksman rifle in Battlefield 2042 in the early hours, but it's the SVK that packs a significantly harder punch. Where the DM7 is more controller but has less stopping power, the SVK trades in the handling and a little bit of the accuracy for far superior firepower, making the trade-off worth it.
With the SVK, you're going to achieve a one-hit kill if you can hit an enemy player directly in the head, and it'll take two shots to kill the vast majority of enemy players anywhere else on the body, with the obvious exception of whether or not they've got any armor plates equipped.
Yes, the SVK does sacrifice handling and accuracy for this firepower, but it's not enough to significantly hinder the weapon. Whereas the DM7 frequently takes four hits to kill another player (which gives them ample time to quickly dart behind cover and out of sight), the SVK has enough stopping power and rate of fire to dispatch opponents at a far quicker rate.
It also helps that the SVK automatically comes equipped with a ranged scope, perfect for handling enemies converging to defend points in modes like Conquest and Breakthrough. If you want to boost the handling and accuracy of the weapon at all though, then you might want to unlock and equip the Tactical Compensator, which can be unlocked through earning 120 total kills with the rifle.
Best sniper rifle in Battlefield 2042 recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: DXR-1
How to unlock the DXR-1: Reach player level 24
The DXR-1 hits like an absolute train. This sniper rifle is the second one you're going to unlock in Battlefield 2042, and compared to the previous SWS-10, it has greater firepower, accuracy, range, and zoom level. Although it doesn't compare in firepower to the NWT-50, which can literally rip through a brick wall or the armor of a tank, it's ultimately the best of both worlds.
That's about it in terms of what the DXR-1 doesn't have, however. It has the firepower to take out an enemy with a single shot to the upper body if they're even a tiny bit wounded and without armor plates, and it has the accuracy and zoom levels to let you find a good spot overlooking a Conquest or Breakthrough point, and pick players off with ease.
Sniping in Battlefield games has never been easy, with excessive bullet drop over distances to contend with. With the difficulty of sniping working against you, the DXR-1 arguably gives you the best chance to succeed when trying to pick off enemies from range, making it the go-to sniper for anyone who's over player level 24.
Best shotgun in Battlefield 2042 recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: GVT 45-70
How to unlock the GVT 45-70: Reach player level 21
We're going to level with you: there are precious few situations in Battlefield 2042 where a shotgun is a viable option. EA DICE's shooter series is famed for fighting over big battlegrounds with tanks, planes, and other vehicles, so it makes sense that Battlefield 2042 only continues in this trend towards even bigger warfare.
The result is wide open battlefield with very few chances to get in close with your enemies before you're riddled with bullet holes. As such, shotguns really aren't very practical at all in the new game, but that being said, the shotgun that has the best chance to succeed is the GVT 45-70, purely because of its range.
The GVT 45-70 has considerable range because it comes unlocked with a scope, like the SVK marksman rifle. Because of this, you can hit targets a fair distance away with this shotgun, although this comes at the cost of the GVT 45-70 being a lever-operated weapon, so it lacks the firing rate of the MCS-880 or the 12M Auto, both of which shell out bullets at a far higher pace, but with much less range.
This isn't saying the GVT 45-70 is going to guarantee you success at range, however. Bullet drop-off is very much alive and well in Battlefield 2042, so the further away you are from an enemy, the less they're going to be impacted by your bullets, even if you do end up hitting someone in the face with the GVT 45-70. There's not much in this race to be the best shotgun in Battlefield 2042, but the GVT 45-70 has to take the crown.