Best Vanguard Weapons: Top-Tier ARs, SMGs, Shotguns, and More

Up your loadout game with the best weapons in Call of Duty: Vanguard.

by Elliott Gatica
Call of Duty: Vanguard

The multiplayer aspect of Call of Duty: Vanguard is definitely going to be where most players will be sinking their time into. It’ll be a very populous place where people of all skill levels will take their loadouts to fight the competition. Just like any other game, this has been forming a meta in terms of what is feasible and what isn’t.

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We all like to win and score those awesome killstreaks. So, to make that task a little easier, we’re listing the best Vanguard Weapons, ranging from each type so they can suit your playstyle, but give you a competitive edge.

The top tier weapons in Call of Duty: Vanguard

Assault Rifles:



This standard-issue assault rifle is good right out of the box. You’ll earn this right as you hit Multiplayer level 4 (Lance Corporal). If you are just starting out, the STG44 won’t have much to attach at first and it’ll still be good.

A gun that doesn’t require attachments to be good is a force to be reckoned with. It has surprisingly low and manageable recoil. Despite its mid-range accuracy, it can almost be used at all ranges. It will, however, not be ideal for close-quarters situations, especially if you decide to fire at the hip. The STG44 might also be one of the best weapons in Vanguard.



You won’t be able to get this weapon until level 25, but this one definitely packs a punch if you are the marksman. This is still an assault rifle, but it is optimally used for long-range engagements.

If you can customize this weapon with parts that increase the accuracy and handling, you can essentially mow down people before they can even see you. Since it has higher caliber rounds as opposed to more traditional assault rifles, this gun will have a noticeably longer reload speed than the rest. That can be mitigated with a Sleight of Hand proficiency.




The MP-40 was one of the top-tier weapons in Vanguard in the beta periods as well as the full release. It’s another standard-issue gun you get once you unlock customization at level 4. The gun is proficient at close and middle-range combat, especially due to the fact that it has manageable recoil and fast stats across the board.

With the right setup focusing on ADS speed, reload speed, and handling, you can take down an opponent with proper aim. You won’t even have to worry about the gun’s kickback. It’s supposed to be an SMG but feels like it can be up there in terms of lethality with many of the assault rifles in Call of Duty: Vanguard.

Type 100


This is also a later-level gun in the game. You won’t be able to unlock it until you hit level 39, but this SMG with the side stock is a beast of a weapon. The Type 100 can stand on its own, but with attachments, it can rival the firepower of the MP40.

You’d ideally want to put in attachments that increase your overall mobility with the weapon. If you want to go for hip-firing, you can. You can also create a build for it similarly to the MP40 where you prioritize fast aiming and mitigating recoil.


Combat Shotgun


The Combat Shotgun is hands down the best shotgun in Call of Duty: Vanguard. It takes me back to the days of Modern Warfare 2’s SPAS-12. It basically is the World War II variant of it, being a pump shotgun, requiring each shell to be reloaded one by one.

This is the best hip firing weapon for close range encounters. Adding on to its potential, you should build this around hip firing and tighter bullet spread. It doesn’t matter if you get all the penalties for ADS. Shotguns aren’t meant to be used for long ranged engagements.




For those who played World at War, this beast of an LMG can suppress opponents from pretty long ranges. It has a starting mag count of 63, which is more than enough to pop a few kills or at least get people to stop shooting at you.

Of course, since it is an LMG, the biggest downsides are its recoil and long reload speed. Those can be mostly mitigated by either going all in with a larger magazine and eliminating the need to reload after every kill and engagement. Six or more seconds in a Call of Duty match is the difference between life and death, so it’s really a tradeoff and appealing to more methodical approaches.

Marksman Rifles:

M1 Garand


Luckily if you are a lower level player and like a more precision-based approach to combat, the M1 Garand has a high mix of lethality and versatility because of its pinpoint accuracy and range potential. However, since it is a semi-auto weapon, you will feel the impact of missed shots.

You’ll have to be a really good shot to make the most out of this weapon or any weapon from this class. It’ll also have a low magazine count, so you will have to manage your ammo economy much more carefully. If you do use this weapon, build it similarly to the Bar assault rifle. They’re somewhat in the same region in terms of damage potential, but this is a semi-auto compared to the automatic Bar.

Sniper Rifles:



If you are the ultimate shot and one shot is all you need, the KAR98K is for you. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get it until hitting level 43, but rightfully so. This gun may not be like the Barret .50 Cal from earlier games, but it’s close to it. Pair any attachments to this gun to your liking, but you should increase the firepower with the 8MM Klauser mag at all times.

Call of Duty: Vanguard is out now for PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series S/X, and PC via To check out additional content for the game, click here.

- This article was updated on November 5th, 2021

About The Author

Elliott is a passionate gamer who has dipped his feet into basically every genre there is. He has a soft spot for fighters, shooters, and action RPGs though. Catch him throwing hands once the new iterations of Tekken, Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat come out.