Escape From Tarkov Best Guns List For Patch 12.12
If you're wanting to survive each raid, knowing the Escape From Tarkov best guns to bring in can be the difference between success and failure. Of course, a lot of the guns can be dramatically improved through Escape From Tarkov's extensive modding feature, but there are some which just stand above the rest in each ammo type. So, if you're wanting to see the full list of the Escape From Tarkov best guns then make sure to keep on reading.
Deciding the Escape From Tarkov best guns differs rather dramatically from traditional shooter games. In Tarkov, the guns themselves have no damage attributes assigned to them, as the damage logically only comes from the ammo itself. Therefore, what determines exactly how good a weapon is comes down to a mixture of factors.
Primarily, the ammo that the gun takes is really what can make or break each weapon, as a 'bad' gun that fires good ammo can still work, whereas the opposite is rarely ever true. Secondly, modability, plus ergonomics and recoil potential are also the determining factor in each gun's viability, as they strongly affect how easy each weapon is to actually use and fire.
So, for all the information on the best Escape From Tarkov weapons, check out our full list below.
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Escape From Tarkov Best Guns: Pistols
FN Five-seveN MK2 5.7x28
While you can deal with pretty much anyone without a face shield with any of the pistols, they all have their relative weaknesses, ranging from fire rate, reload time, to weapon damage and penetration. The FN Five-seveN stands above the rest of the pistols however as a clear favourite, boating a fast fire rate, quick reload, and a unique ammo type that can really surprise enemies. The best ammo for the weapon is effective even up to class six armour, but can easily stand on its own against class four and five too.
Glock 18C 9x19mm
Although the FN Five-seveN stands alone as a pure pistol, there is the option of the Glock 18C as a wildcard of sorts. The main reason you would opt for the Glock 18C over something like the Five-seveN is the fact it has a fully-automatic fire option, and an RPM of 1200. Combine this with the available 50-round magazine and 9x19mm RIP ammo and you'll have a leg-meta machine that can tear through even the most-geared players at close range.
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Escape From Tarkov Best Guns: Shotguns
TOZ KS-23M 23x75mm
Although the KS-23M shotgun isn't as oppressive of a force as it was when it was unleashed into the game, it is still one of Escape From Tarkov's best guns. The key appeal of the pump action shotgun is its unique Star Flashbang Slug, which, as the name signifies, fires a flashbang into opposing players instead of a traditional shot. Combine this with the Shrapnel 10 buckshot, or Barricade Slug and your opposing PMCs won't be able to see what hit them - quite literally in this case.
Saiga 12ga 12/76/MP-153 12ga
These two semi-automatic shotguns largely fill the same role so we've grouped them together based on their playstyle and the fact they take the same ammo. If you are in the right situation, you can't really go wrong with a semi-auto shotgun and buckshot ammo. Perhaps the epitome of spray and pray, most foes will drop before they even realise if you catch them first and just spam your shots. This is perfect for close quarters maps like Factory, but can work in the interiors of a lot of other maps too. The Saiga takes the edge over the MP-153 purely for its superior modding capabilities and its larger magazines, allowing you to keep shooting for much, much longer.
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Escape From Tarkov Best Guns: SMGs
HK MP7A2 4.6x30
The HK MP7A2 is an extremely reliable choice for all situations where you would find yourself using an SMG. The 950 RPM combined with the FMJ rounds from Peacekeeper LL3 can tear through anyone not wearing class six armour, and the ability to take 40 round mags compensates well for the fast fire rate. You can also pick up the sister variant MP7A1, which is almost identical, but it cannot take a foregrip so you're lacking more in the recoil department with that choice.
HK UMP .45 ACP
Almost the counterpoint to the MP7A2 is the UMP .45, which offers a significantly lower fire rate of 600 RPM, but still stays just as powerful - if not more. The UMP benefitted massively from the patch 12.12 recoil changes, which nerfed the recoil of faster firing weapons, making the .45 calibre SMG stand out as a laser among the rest. The ammo also does a very high amount of damage, so legs or the face will be prime targets that are easy to hit. Lastly, it offers insane value at a very early point in the game, as it can be traded with Mechanic and Peacekeeper at LL1 for two easily obtainable barters.
FN P90 5.7x28
Falling into the same ammo type as the aforementioned Five-seveN, it is easy to see why the P90 is such a strong weapon when you add in its high 900 RPM fire rate. It requires very minimal mods, has a good base recoil, and comes baked in with huge 50 round mags, so you can spray for far longer than you realistically need to.
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Escape From Tarkov Best Guns: Assault Carbines/Marksman Rifles
Kel-Tec RFB 7.62x51mm
A key contingency you will notice across all of the weapons in this category is the use of the 7.62x51mm round, which remains easily one of the strongest rounds in the game, and at a relatively accessible point too. While it is not the absolute best of the 7.62x51 guns, the strength of the RFB comes with its price to strength ratio. It can be bought at Skier LL2 or on the Escape From Tarkov flea market for roughly 60,000 Roubles, and you could realistically just drop a sight onto it and be ready to go. Coupled with the frankly unbeatable price to performance of the 7.62x51mm M80 rounds at Peacekeeper LL2, this is truly one of the strongest budget builds in the game.
Knight's Armament Company SR-25/Springfield Armory M1A 7.62x51mm
These two guns offer a package roughly similar to that of the RFB, but with a higher potential for modding. Where the RFB's strength lies in the fact you don't really need to mod it, the SR-25 and M1A thrive through your own customisation, bringing the potential for lower recoil, higher ergonomics, and larger magazines.
SWORD International Mk-18 .338 LM
This is a bit of a tricky one, as the Mk-18 is technically the best weapon in the entire game, but as such it is insanely difficult to get your hands on. It is the only weapon in the game that takes .338 Lapua Magnum ammo, which - with the AP variant - is a one shot through any armour in the game. However, the tough part is that neither the weapon, nor the ammo can be bought on the flea market. The AP ammo can only be found in raid, and you are only able to buy the Mk-18 from Jager after completing the Hunter quest at LL4, requiring you to kill the Escape From Tarkov Woods boss a whopping 25 times. If you get your hands on it though, you're in for a treat.
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Escape From Tarkov Best Guns: Assault Rifles
Desert Tech MDR 7.62x51
Think about how powerful the 7.62x51mm ammo is in the semi-automatic weapons above, but then imagine how strong it would be fully automatic. There is a 5.56x45mm variant of the MDR that can be obtained much earlier in the progression cycle that is good as well, but you really cannot deny the power of its larger sibling. Both variants require very minimal modding too, but that does come with a relatively restricted recoil ceiling.
FN SCAR-L 5.56x45/FN SCAR-H 7.62x51
The SCAR twins find themselves roughly in the same situation as the MDR, with two variants across two different ammo types. While you should naturally gravitate towards the H variant if you can due to the significantly stronger bullets, the L is still very much viable due to its significantly lower base recoil and slightly higher ergonomics. If you can get your hands on the M856A1 ammo, then this becomes an even better choice.
CMMG Mk47 Mutant 7.62x39
While the king of the fully-automatic rifles has historically always been the M4 and the HK, the 12.12 recoil changes have seen them fall down the rankings a bit. Emerged in their place at the top is the Mk47 Mutant, which was already strong, but has been made comparatively even stronger with its slower fire rate. Combine that with the ever strong 7.62x39 BP ammo, and you've got a weapon that really couldn't be more meta right now.
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Escape From Tarkov Best Guns: Bolt Action Rifles
Lobaev Arms DVL-10 7.62x51
As you have probably noticed as a trend throughout this list, whenever a gun is loaded with 7.62x51mm ammo, it is incredibly strong. If long range battles are your thing, then the DVL-10 is always going to be a reliable choice. Furthermore, if you can stretch to 7.62x51 M62 ammo, which is faster, has a longer effective distance, does more damage, and has better armour penetration than the more common M80, then you will more often be ok with just the one shot.
Finally, rounding off the Escape From Tarkov best guns list is the SV-98 bolt action sniper, which is great for a more budget oriented sniper loadout. You can pick it up for about 50,000 Roubles on the flea market at the right time, and any ammo above the 7.62x54R PS ammo will serve you very well. Furthermore, it has very good natural accuracy, so you can count on the gun to let you hit your shots if you're skilled enough.
So, that completes our Escape From Tarkov best guns list, going over every top tier weapon in the game at the current patch 12.12. If a gun you like isn't on this list, it doesn't mean that it is not worth using, just that it doesn't quite hit the top of the mark in Tarkov. For more introductory Escape From Tarkov tips, check out our guide to get you started in time for the next Escape From Tarkov wipe.