Vanguard best weapons: Our best AR, sniper rifle, shotgun, SMG and LMG weapon recommendations in Call of Duty Vanguard

Our selection of top weapons to use in Vanguard.

Learning the best guns in Vanguard is not an easy task considering the sheer variety, from assault rifles to shotguns, marksman rifles and SMGs.

The weapons meta in modern Call of Duty games remains ever-shifting, especially with Warzone serving as an integration of several experiences. Vanguard will soon be joining the roster of Black Ops Cold War and Modern Warfare with its own options as well. In the meantime, it's best to prepare yourself beforehand.

After spending time across the game's multiplayer modes, we've come up with the best weapons in Vanguard for you to learn the ins and outs of the game with the right tools.

On this page:

If you're interested in Zombies as well, don't miss our pages on covenants and the best builds to choose from. For anything multiplayer related, we have a complete list of Call of Duty: Vanguard maps and an explainer on how to unlock Call of Duty: Vanguard operators.

Call of Duty Vanguard Beta: PS5 vs Xbox Series X/S Multiplayer + 120Hz Mode Tested!

How we decided the best weapons in Call of Duty Vanguard

The more weapons co-exist together in a Call of Duty game, the more difficult it is to categorise the best options from the bunch - in this regard, Vanguard is not exception.

There are dozens of different weapons at launch, ranging across the categories we've grown used to at the moment. Some guns are more familiar than others - especially if you've unlocked them in Warzone already - but there are others that feel like quite the standout regardless of their simplicity.

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Have you seen the number of attachments on these things?!

While looking for the best weapons in Vanguard, it was hard to look away from assault rifles and SMGs. If you ever got tired of the meta revolving around them in Warzone or Black Ops Cold War, sadly, it's still the same case here. Jump into any multiplayer match and you'll rarely see a shotgun or a marksman rifle.

Does this mean you should avoid using other categories? Not at all. But it's worth keeping in mind that the majority revolves around the aforementioned gun types in most cases. Still, the element of surprise of bringing a sniper rifle or LMG with you may turn things in our favour.

If you're curious about which weapons you should go for right away, jump to our next section.

Best AR in Vanguard recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: STG44
How to unlock the STG44: Reach Player Level 1

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There will likely won't be any matches where the STG44 isn't present. This assault rifle is unlocked from the get-go when you play the game for the first time, and what a treat it is.

It's a devastating weapon with great rate of fire, high damage, and a versatility that makes it suitable for everything between short to long distances. If you're unsure about jumping to specific weapons, or just want a reliable option before you get to unlock others, this is the one to use.

If you want to get the most out of this sniper rifle, see our best STG44 loadout recommendation.

Best Sniper Rifle in Vanguard recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: Type 99
How to unlock the Type 99: Reach Player Level 1

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Remember the Swiss K31? If you're looking for a similar weapon in terms of mobility and bolt-action fire, the Type 99 gets quite close to it.

Snipers are, of course, famously known for leading you to take it slow and possibly stay grounded in an specific spot waiting for the right moment to attack. But with this option you're free to move around the map and take quick shots thanks to a fast ADS speed. Plus, it packs quite the punch if you're aiming at least above the chest.

Best Marksman Rifle in Vanguard recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: STV-40
How to unlock the STV-40: Reach Player Level 27

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Marksman rifles tend to be a peculiar choice in Call of Duty games when facing other popular weapon types in multiplayer matches. Their slow rate of fire sets a disadvantage from the get-go, but they always carry some hefty damage.

Instead of seeing them as just marksman rifles, players tend to use these as snipers of sorts. The STV-40 is perfect for this as a semi-automatic rifle that is excellent for headshots. Pair it up with a good optic and you'll be all set.

Best Shotgun in Vanguard recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: Einhorn Revolving
How to unlock the Einhorn Revolving: Reach Player Level 1

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Yes, we're mentioning shotguns in our best weapons roundup - the Einhorn Revolving it's definitely worth a sentence or two. It introduces itself as an iconic weapon during Vanguard's campaign, and it also makes strides in multiplayer.

The revolving cylinder isn't just for show. This shotgun packs a punch, shoots fast, and reloads at a decent speed all things considered. It doesn't have the biggest magazine in the world, but when you're able to take down enemies with just one shot, it's not like it makes that much of a difference.

Best SMG in Vanguard recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: MP40
How to unlock the MP40: Reach Player Level 16

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A top SMG that is excellent at both short to medium ranges. It has a devastating fire rate and a decent magazine size that will rarely leave you without ammo in the most intense situations.

As with SMGs in general, you may end up exposed in long distances. But as soon as you can get close enough to an enemy, it's over for them. It's great for ADS fire, but don't underestimate its hipfire.

If you want to get the most out of this sniper rifle, see our best MP40 loadout recommendation.

Best LMG in Vanguard recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: DP27
How to unlock the DP27: Reach Player Level 18

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Love them or hate them, LMGs are powerhouses. Carrying massive magazine sizes, ridiculous damage, and quite a hefty weight on your shoulders.

Of course, you can't use LMGs expecting for a lightweight experience, but the DP27 certainly makes up for this with accuracy that can rival long range encounters with ease if you opt for burst fire instead of full-auto.

Best Launcher in Vanguard recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: Panzerschreck
How to unlock the Panzerschreck: Reach Player Level 26

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There isn't much to say about launchers. You aim, they shoot a missile, and 90% cause an absurd amount of damage on impact. These are meant for vehicles, but no one is going to prevent you to take one with you as a secondary weapon.

If you're up for some mayhem across multiplayer, the Panzerschreck is a great option, shooting 88mm explosive rockets as opposed to the M1 Bazooka that shoots 66mm rockets. Don't expect a ton of accuracy with this weapon - but hey, it's not like you will need it anyway.


If you're interested in multiplayer, we have lists of Operators and multiplayer maps, as well as the best Vanguard weapons, including the STG44 loadout, MP40 loadout and Automaton loadout. In other modes, we can explain the best zombies builds, best covenants, and the campaign locked issue.


Best Melee in Vanguard recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: FS Fighting Knife
How to unlock the FS Fighting Knife: Reach Player Level 22

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Whether because you like the improved agility that melee weapons can provide over using just your melee attack, or maybe because you're reminiscent of Counter-Strike, there is a knife available in Vanguard.

The FS Fighting Knife is described as a 'CQC tactical knife' employed for 'fast, quite and deadly wetwork' - based on our experience, it certainly matches the description. We're not sure if we would recommend this over a gun, but hey, we won't judge.

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About the author

Diego Arguello

Diego Arguello

Contributor  |  diegoarguello66

Diego is a freelance writer from Argentina who has learned English thanks to video games. He missed most of the classics, but can gush about Doom, Persona, The Darkness and pinballs for hours. Probably on Twitter right now.

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