Best guns & meta weapons in Escape from Tarkov patch 0.14.11

Best guns & meta weapons in Escape from Tarkov patch 0.14.11
Images via Battlestate Games

Written by 

Harry Boulton

Last updated 

4th Mar 2024 12:12


Choosing the best guns in Escape from Tarkov to bring into your raids will be a key part of your success, and we've got all of the meta weapons right now in patch 0.14.11 for you to look over.

Unlike most other games, guns in Escape from Tarkov don't dictate the damage that you deal, instead determining the recoil and overall handling of your shots. Only certain weapons can take certain ammunition though, so creating the ideal pairing of gun and ammo is the key to achieving meta status in the game.

Thankfully, we've done all of the hard work for you below, so all you need to do now is continue reading to see our picks for the best guns and top meta weapons in Escape from Tarkov right now in patch 0.14.

What are the best guns in Escape from Tarkov in patch 0.14?

Below, you can find a selection of the best guns in Escape from Tarkov, ranging from sniper and marksman rifles to fully automatic assault rifles and SMGs:

  • Accuracy International AXMC .338 LM bolt-action sniper rifle
  • AS VAL 9x39 special assault rifle
  • Colt M4A1 5.56x45 assault rifle Carbine
  • Desert Tech MDR 7.62x51 assault rifle
  • DS Arms SA-58 7.62x51 assault rifle
  • FN P90 5.7x28 submachine gun
  • HK G28 7.62x51 marksman rifle
  • Remington R11 RSASS 7.62x51 marksman rifle
  • SIG MCX .300 Blackout assault rifle
  • SIG MCX SPEAR 6.8x51 assault rifle
  • SIG MPX 9x19 submachine gun
  • SWORD International Mk-18 LM marksman rifle
  • TDI KRISS Vector Gen.2 .45 ACP submachine gun

The meta weapons are constantly shifting in the game as ammunition and recoil are balanced, giving certain weapons a breath of life whereas others are somewhat left behind.

Recoil adjustments in patch 0.14 have made weapons much easier to control - especially at higher fire rates. This means that at this point, the M4A1 is arguably the best gun in the game.

This very much depends on the availability of ammo though, as that is predominantly what makes each weapon as deadly as they are.

Best assault rifles in Escape from Tarkov

  1. Colt M4A1 5.56x45
  2. SIG MCX SPEAR 6.8x51
  3. AS VAL 9x39
  4. SIG MCX .300 Blackout
  5. DS Arms SA-58 7.62x51
  6. Desert Tech MDR 7.62x51
  7. CMMG Mk47 Mutant 7.62x39

Colt M4A1 5.56x45

Image of the M4A1 in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Peacekeeper LL2 / Mechanic LL2 / Peacekeeper LL1 (Barter)
  • Meta ammo: 5.56x39mm M855A1

The M4A1 is well and truly back post-patch 0.14, and is our pick for the best assault rifle and overall weapon in the game.

It has an 800rpm rate of fire that rips through foes with the right ammo, securing one of the highest time to kills in the entire game without sacrificing too much on recoil.

While it did fall out of favour after the patch 12.12 recoil adjustments that favoured slower-firing weapons, the readjustment to recoil in patch 0.14 has brought it back to the top of the meta.

Its flexibility when it comes to modding is one of its biggest strengths, but it also means that the gun isn't the strongest in its stock variation. You'll need to invest a lot of rubles to make the gun truly meta, but it's more than worth it considering the overwhelmingly strong outcome.


Image of the SIG MCX SPEAR in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Peacekeeper LL4
  • Meta ammo: SIG HYBRID

Arriving with patch 0.14 is the SIG MCX SPEAR, and it's already one of the best weapons in the game, challenging the M4A1 at the top.

It fires at the same 800rpm as the M4, albeit with a bit more horizontal bounce when going full auto. Horizontal recoil is notoriously more difficult to control than vertical as it moves unpredictably, but here it should only mean that a few shots out of the thirty are out of your control.

By far the biggest benefit of the MCX SPEAR though is its bespoke ammunition. Despite only having two rounds available, both are extremely meta and among the best ammo in the entire game, carrying good penetration but exceptional damage to almost guarantee an easy kill.

This makes the MCX SPEAR an excellent weapon from a versatility perspective too, as it's equally as strong in single-fire as it is when fully automatic - letting you take down enemies at pretty much all ranges with ease.

AS VAL 9x39

Image of the AS VAL in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Prapor LL4
  • Meta ammo: 9x39mm SP-6 gs

The AS VAL holds a very special place in my heart, as its subsonic construction is simply so satisfying to use in-game. Opposing PMCs simply won't know what's hit them if you manage to get the jump, as the gun's naturally silent rounds are extremely deadly.

The recent recoil changes have properly thrust this weapon back into the meta though, and it's truly become one of the strongest guns you can run in your raids. Unlike before, its high fire rate is a blessing, as I find the gun to be more than manageable from a recoil perspective, leaving an incredibly high time to kill.

Its only downside is the size of the magazines, as that caps out at 30-rounders. This isn't enough of a problem to stop you from running the weapon, but these are incredibly expensive even when you reach Prapor LL4, and can sometimes leave you in a pinch compared to other weapons' 45 or 60-round mags.

SP-6 from Prapor LL4 is your best ammo option, but you could also opt for the PAB-9, which offers five less penetration but has a 200-round craft at Workbench L3.

SIG MCX .300 Blackout

Image of the SIG MCX .300 Blackout in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Skier LL3
  • Meta ammo: .300 Blackout CBJ

Continuing in the trend of high fire rate assault rifles is the MCX .300 Blackout, which for the first time in Tarkov history has actually been a central part of the meta thanks to the recoil adjustments.

I've always found that the MCX .300 has been relatively underrated by the Tarkov community, as its fast fire rate and strong ammo have made it consistently a great option. I love using it on maps with tight spaces, like Reserve's D2 or if I'm hitting Resort on Shoreline, as it very much excels in the chaos of CQB.

The availability and relatively low price of .300 Blackout CBJ makes it even stronger too, as the 58 damage and 43 penetration round is only $5 at Peacekeeper LL4, letting you tear through Class 5 and stand a decent chance against the rare Class 6 kits too.

Furthermore, the MCX is perhaps the ideal meta choice for players who have just hit the flea market and want to compete with super-geared players, as you can buy .300 Blackout CBJ on the flea market - albeit for one of the highest price-per-rounds that you'll find.

DS Arms SA-58 7.62x51

Image of the SA-58 in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Peacekeeper LL3 (BEL), Peacekeeper LL4, Mechanic LL4
  • Meta ammo: 7.62x51mm M62 Tracer

You'll start to notice a pattern here, as most of the best weapons in patch 0.14 are guns that were hypothetically great before but let down by their poor recoil. There is perhaps no greater redemption than the SA-58 though, which was previously left in the F-tier but now has surged to the top of the meta.

It's remarkable how much of a difference there is with the SA-58, as the recoil is more than manageable right now, which makes the high-powered ammo even stronger.

Perhaps the best part of the SA-58 though is the potential for 50-round drum magazines, which are unbelievably strong when packed with a round as powerful as 7.62x51 M61, for example. The fact that these take up only two slots puts the cherry on the cake too - so don't be surprised if you run into a lot of SA-58s in your raids from now on.

Desert Tech MDR 7.62x51

Image of the 7.62 MDR in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Peacekeeper LL4 (after completing Wet Job - Part 4)
  • Meta ammo: 7.62x51mm M62 Tracer

Remaining strong is the Desert Tech MDR 7.62x51 - the older (and much stronger) brother of its 5.56 variant. The strength of the MDR lies both within its high-power ammo and its straightforward build, which lets you spend less time in the menus and more time in your raids.

The MDR has an incredibly low base recoil because it doesn't have a detachable stock, which means that most recoil-reducing attachments in the game aren't as effective. Thus, pretty much all you need to do is whack on one of the best sights, a suppressor if you want to stay silent, and a foregrip for ergonomics and you're good to go.

While 7.62x51 has had some major nerfs in terms of availability in recent patches - meaning that the top two rounds (M993 and M61) are pretty much unobtainable - M62 Tracer and M80 are still extremely strong when fired at full speed, especially with the armour rework too.

CMMG Mk47 Mutant 7.62x39

Image of the Mk47 Mutant in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Skier LL4 (after completing Bullshit)
  • Meta ammo: 7.62x39mm BP

The Mk47 Mutant quickly became the king of Tarkov after the 12.12 recoil changes, and with the availability of 7.62x39mm BP ammo, it showed no signs of stopping. The gun was (and still is) incredibly easy to control, and rips through Class 5 armour with ease.

What has hampered the gun in recent times though is the slower 650rpm and the fact that it's much more difficult to get your hands on any of the best ammo. You can craft 90 rounds of BP from Workbench L3 (albeit with a seven-hour wait), or you can pick up PP from Prapor LL4 which starts to struggle a bit with Class 5 and above.

Once the weapon's in your hands with the right ammo though you'll be set - giving you the freedom to let this mutant monster roam free.

Best submachine guns in Escape from Tarkov

  1. HK MP7A2 4.6x30
  2. FN P90 5.7x28
  3. SIG MPX 9x19
  4. TDI KRISS Vector Gen.2 .45 ACP

HK MP7A2 4.6x30

Image of the MP7A2 in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Peacekeeper LL4 (Barter), Flea Market
  • Meta ammo: 4.6x30mm AP SX

The HK MP7A2 undeniably takes the top spot when it comes to the best SMGs in Escape from Tarkov, boasting a fast fire rate, strong ammo, and controllable recoil.

Simply put, the best way to describe the MP7A2 is that it's just great to use, and is definitely the most reliable option when it comes to submachine guns. Of course, like most SMGs, it'll struggle at longer ranges, but it's still strong at medium distances and an absolute demon up close.

The benefit of the A2 over the A1 version is the ability to add a foregrip to dampen the recoil even further, letting you ensure that as many of the 950 rounds per minute are on target. Any PMC caught in this weapon's crossfire won't be too happy either, as the meta AP SX round boasts a mighty 53 penetration to tear through even Class 6 armour.

You'll have to wait 10 hours to craft this at Workbench L3 though, so make sure to use the slightly less great FMJ SX rounds at 40 pen in the meantime.

FN P90 5.7x28

Image of the P90 in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Peacekeeper LL3
  • Meta ammo: 5.7x28mm SS190

The P90 has become one of my favourite weapons to run in the 0.14 wipe, especially as it's one of the best guns in the game for solo players. There's nothing worse than coming up against a multi-man squad as a solo and not having the capacity to take them all down, so the P90's default 50-round mags are extremely handy in these situations.

Its 900rpm fire rate makes it a monster in all situations, and while it quite quite manage the laser-esque recoil of weapons like the MPX, the ammo more than makes up for this. SS190 at Peacekeeper LL4 is one of the strongest rounds in the game even beyond the relatively weak SMG offerings, and scales exceptionally well into the endgame.

At the base of it all though, the P90 is just an incredibly fun weapon to use. It's super easy to mod, and slapping just a suppressor on this gun gives you everything you'll ever need in a close quarters fight.

SIG MPX 9x19

Image of the MPX in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Peacekeeper LL2
  • Meta ammo: 9x19 AP 6.3

9mm SMGs like the MPX have struggled to keep up with the meta in recent patches due to the relative weakness of the available ammo, but the armour hitbox changes have made the calibre a lot more viable. Not only has the head hitbox been extended - giving greater benefit to accurate shooters, but there are also so many more places that your bullets can penetrate now due to the way that soft armour works.

Anything around the main front and back plates is very much fair game - and you can even take your chances with the plates themselves if you're using AP 6.3 or PBP. However, you'll hopefully not need to rely on any bullet penetration though, as the almost non-existent recoil of the MPX will allow you to laser straight onto your opponents head for an easy kill.

TDI KRISS Vector Gen.2 .45 ACP

Image of the Vector .45 in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Skier LL3 (after completing Friend From the West - Part 2)
  • Meta ammo: .45 ACP AP

The sight of a KRISS Vector .45 will strike fear into pretty much every Tarkov player, as the gun shares the highest fire rate in the entire game at 1,100rpm while using the incredibly strong .45 ACP rounds.

18 rounds every single second are fired out of this gun, and with the potential for each round to deal 66 damage and 38 penetration, you can see why the gun is so feared. The main thing holding it back though is the (understandably) higher recoil, bright muzzle flash, and the fact it can only use 30-round mags.

This means that you burn through an entire magazine in less than two seconds, and that'll also set you back around 26,000₽ per mag on just ammo alone. If money is no issue, then by all means go for it, but there's probably a reason why you tend to see the SR-2M and MP7A2 more in your raids.

Best marksman rifles in Escape from Tarkov

  1. Sword International Mk-18 .338 LM
  2. Remington R11 RSASS 7.62x51
  3. HK G28 7.62x51

Sword International Mk-18 .338 LM

Image of the Mk-18 in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Jaeger LL4 (after completing Hunter)
  • Meta ammo: .338 Lapua Magnum FMJ

It feels a bit like cheating to put the Mk-18 here, as it is probably the best weapon that you'll never use due to how difficult it is to get and how expensive (or unobtainable) its best ammo is.

To even purchase this weapon you'll need to reach Jaeger LL4 and then complete the Hunter task, which requires you to kill the Woods scav boss Shturman 20 times, which most players won't even scratch.

It's more than worth it if you do manage it though, as even the second-best ammo - FMJ - deals 47 damage with an utterly staggering 122 damage. This means that one hit to the thorax will likely kill most players wearing Class 5 armour and below within certain ranges, making this deadly in pretty much any scenario.

It also houses .338 Lapua Magnum AP, which is hands down the best ammo in the game at 115 damage and 79 penetration, but it's only found in raids and thus is rarely ever seen. If you do manage to find it though, you're near enough guaranteed a one-hit kill on pretty much any player you face at most ranges - if you hit your shot, of course.

Remington R11 RSASS 7.62x51

Image of the RSASS in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Peacekeeper LL4 (after completing Wet Job - Part 5)
  • Meta ammo: 7.62x51mm M62 Tracer

The RSASS is the go-to DMR in the game and for good reason too, as it provides fantastic accuracy, decent ergonomics, and minimal recoil in single-fire mode.

Previously it was seen as relatively redundant compared to the M1A or SR-25, as both offered nearly the same performance much earlier on and for a lower cost. However, with all three guns around the same point in terms of acquisition now, it is the RSASS' superior return to centre time that surges it beyond the rest and into the meta.

Furthermore, from a rather subjective point of view, it's also one of the better-looking weapons in the game, which only makes you more confident when you're taking it into your next raid.

HK G28 7.62x51

Image of the HK G28 in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Jaeger LL4 (after completing Shooter Born in Heaven), Peacekeeper LL3 (Barter)
  • Meta ammo: 7.62x51mm M62 Tracer

The HK G28 is somewhat similar to the RSASS in that they both run on the 7.62 NATO platform, but the G28 suffers from a higher price point and a slightly worse MOA.

Where it shines though is in its comparatively low weight, letting you stay scoped in for longer periods of time and aim down sights with greater urgency. This almost favours the G28 as a DMR/sniper hybrid despite its 1.18 MOA, as you can really hold angles while having the speed to deal with enemies up close too.

If you are opting for a longer-range playstyle though we'd maybe recommend saving up some M61 instead of the more accessible M62 Tracer, as the last thing you want is green lines revealing your location to everyone on the map.

Best bolt-action sniper rifles in Escape from Tarkov

  1. Accuracy International AXMC .338 LM
  2. Lobaev Arms DVL-10 7.62x51

Accuracy International AXMC .338 LM

Image of the AXMC in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Jaeger LL4 (after completing Hunting Trip)
  • Meta ammo: .338 Lapua Magnum FMJ

The AXMC falls much in the same category as the aforementioned Mk-18, only this time you're getting a super accurate bolt-action sniper as opposed to a semi-automatic DMR.

Boasting the highest accuracy in the entire game with an MOA of 0.37, the AMXC is a monster at hitting shots over long distances, and the .338 rounds will make sure that every shot counts too.

One of the biggest downsides of most snipers is that hitting headshots can become troublesome over super long range, as a round's penetration and damage values drop over distance which can sometimes fail to kill a player if they've got a Class 4 helmet on.

This is not a problem with .338, as even the FMJ rounds will maintain a high enough damage and penetration value to drop players wearing Class 4 (and even Class 5 in most cases) in a single thorax or head hit.

This is a much more cost-effective weapon compared to the Mk-18 too, as you're naturally firing fewer shots - and you thankfully only have to kill Shturman once instead of 20 times to unlock it too.

The only downside of the weapon is its dreadful ergonomics, which often drop to a single point with the right attachments. This means that you're not able to stay scoped for too long without burning through stamina, but you shouldn't need to with the one-shot potential.

Lobaev Arms DVL-10 7.62x51

Image of the DVL-10 in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Skier LL3 (after completing Long Road), Skier LL4 (Barter)
  • Meta ammo: 7.62x51mm M62 Tracer

While certainly not as good as the AXMC, the DVL-10 is definitely the best 'normal' sniper rifle to use in the game, giving you the second-best accuracy stat alongside a super lightweight build.

My favourite combo is to pair this weapon with the 500mm barrel, as it has an integrated suppressor that is just so much fun to use. This has a minimal ergonomics cost compared to most suppressors, meaning that you can maintain stamina and not feel too sluggish when firing.

While there are downsides to using the M62 Tracer rounds, they can actually be helpful for long-range sniping as they show you how far you might have missed. This is especially helpful when considering bullet drop, as you can't always get your zeroing as accurate as possible.

Best shotguns in Escape from Tarkov

  1. MP-133 12ga pump-action
  2. Benelli M3 Super 90 dual-mode 12ga

MP-133 12ga pump-action

Image of the MP-133 in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Jaeger LL1
  • Meta ammo: 12/70mm Flechette

When it comes to shotguns you really can't get much better than the basics, and the MP-133 really shines despite being available from the get-go.

It's remarkably cheap, can be kitted out with a flashlight and laser, and unleashes hell on anyone unlucky to stand within 15m of the barrel. While you could go for the Saiga-12 instead - I actually prefer the pellet-loaded MP-133 over the Saiga's magazines as it costs less and takes up much less space. The reload time is, of course, much slower, but it's a compromise I'm willing to make.

Pop some Flechette or Magnum Buckshot in this weapon and fire away, you'd be surprised at how often you win out against even the most geared chads.

Benelli M3 Super 90 dual-mode 12ga

Image of the Super 90 in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Jaeger LL2 (after completing The Survivalist Path - Wounded Beast)
  • Meta ammo: 12/70mm Flechette

I very much have a soft spot for the Super 90, as its dual function lets me feel far more intentional in my actions as I switch between the two depending on the situation.

It might largely be placebo, but I find this weapon to be one of the most effective shotguns at range when using the pump action - especially when paired with AP-20 slugs. It has a versatility that most shotguns can't really offer, which is why I so often find myself gravitating towards it for any shotgun raids outside of Factory.

Best pistols in Escape from Tarkov

  1. Serdyukov SR-1MP Gyurza 9x21
  2. FN Five-seveN MK2 5.7x28

Serdyukov SR-1MP Gyurza 9x21

Image of the SR-1MP in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Prapor LL3
  • Meta ammo: 9x21mm BT gzh

Pistols are very much down to personal preference, but there are two that stand head and shoulders above the rest, with the first being the Serdyukov SR-1MP.

Colloquially known as the shrimp, this sidearm is deadly and can more than handle itself in a close-quarters gunfight. It serves as the perfect companion to any sniper rifle, giving you the flexibility to take down any rushing foe, and saves you the money and weight of bringing another primary gun.

It uses the excellent 9x21mm rounds that deal high damage and decent penetration - but you'll always want to aim for the head anyway to ensure that the threat is neutralised as quickly as possible.

FN Five-seveN MK2 5.7x28

Image of the Five-seveN in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

  • How to get: Peacekeeper LL2 (after completing Revision - Lighthouse), Peacekeeper LL3
  • Meta ammo: 5.7x28mm SS190

The alternative to the SR-1MP is the Five-seveN, which once again serves as an excellent secondary when you're sniping or using a gun with low-capacity magazines.

The 5.7x28mm rounds are equally capable, with SS190 emerging as the best option if you're looking for maximum damage and penetration. While the SR-1MP has slightly better accuracy, the Five-seveN has two extra rounds in the magazine which could make all the difference in those do-or-die moments.

What is the best early wipe weapon in Escape from Tarkov?

The best early wipe weapon you can buy from LL1 Traders in patch 0.14 is the Steyr AUG A1 5.56x45 assault rifle, which can be purchased at Peacekeeper LL1 for $577.

Image of the AUG inspect animation in Escape from Tarkov
Click to enlarge

While this price is quite steep, you don't need to do anything to the weapon after you've bought it, and it comes with a foregrip and an optic too. The included sight definitely isn't one of the best sights in the game, but it is more than usable after the adjustments in patch 0.14 - making this an excellent choice in the early wipe stages.

An alternative is the ever-reliable AKS-74U, which remains one of the strongest weapons in the early stages and is super cheap to use too. This is perhaps better in the long run considering the LL1 ammo for 5.45x39mm compared to the AUG's 5.56x45, but it is very much up to personal preference and the availability of rounds for you at the time of use.

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So, that completes our Escape from Tarkov best guns list, going over every top-tier weapon in the game at the current patch 0.14.11. 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.

Check out our Escape from Tarkov homepage for more guides, including all of the best settings to improve your FPS, and a comparison of the different night vision goggles you can use.

Harry is a Guides Writer at GGRecon, having completed a Masters of Research degree in Film Studies. Previously a freelance writer for PCGamesN, The Loadout, and Red Bull Gaming, he loves playing a wide variety of games from the Souls series to JRPGs, Counter-Strike, and EA FC. When not playing or writing about games and hardware, you're likely to find him watching football or listening to Madonna and Kate Bush.

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