The best gun to use in Apex Legends is usually the one you’re most comfortable with. But if you find yourself on the receiving end of some poor results, it might be time to widen your weapon pool and use some of the best guns in the game, like the pros do in the Apex Legends Global Series.
While there’s a general consensus that there are many viable guns in Apex and that the R-301, Flatline, CAR SMG, and the G7 Scout all performed relatively evenly, that hasn’t been the case in Split Two. Instead, a new weapon has completely taken over, currently leading every single region in kills and all but one in total damage dealt.
No, it’s not the new and flashy Nemesis Burst AR. Instead, it’s an old favorite returning to the spotlight: the R-99.
The R-99 was Apex‘s original SMG king, winning over players early on in the game’s lifespan with its incredibly fast fire rate and ability to take out opponents in the blink of an eye. But it lost ground over the years to assault rifles like the R-301, and then eventually to the CAR SMG. The CAR featured a similar time-to-kill (TTK) as the R-99, but it had bigger magazines and was more flexible than the R-99 with its ability to be either a light or a heavy ammo weapon.
Season 16 changed all that, though. The CAR was given a slight nerf, losing one bullet in its base and extended magazines, and the R-99 received a buff that at first glance, looked smaller than it turned out to be. Its damage was buffed by exactly one damage per bullet, from 11 to 12.
The rest, as they say, is history. Not only did the new and improved R-99 clearly outstrip the CAR in the SMG wars, but it even surpassed the Nemesis, which many thought was completely overtuned when it first entered the game.
The proof is in the ALGS numbers. According to Apex Legends Status (ALS), the R-99 has registered the most kills in ALGS Split Two in every single region. In fact, in most regions, it’s more than 100 kills ahead of its closest competitor (usually the CAR or the Nemesis). The same is true of its damage stats, perhaps surprising given how valuable longer-range weapons have become in Apex. In four out of five ALGS regions, the R-99 is about 20,000 damage or more ahead of its next closest competitor in terms of total damage output. For reference, guns like the Rampage, EVA-8, and Sentinel haven’t even managed to crack 20,000 damage in any of those regions. For that matter, the Triple Take has managed to put up only 9,607 damage combined across all regions in Split Two.
The only region where the R-99 isn’t putting up the most damage of any weapon? APAC North, which has had only one match day being played so far. From that one series of play, the R-99 still got the most kills and had to settle for second place in damage to the Charge Rifle.
With phenomenal TTK and a relatively easy recoil pattern to control for both close- and mid-range engagements, the R-99 has quickly become the weapon of choice for the pros. It’s also worth noting that the increase in controller players in pro play over the last couple of years probably plays into the gun’s popularity, although it’s not uncommon to see mouse and keyboard users still pick the gun up, too.
Just because ImperialHal can shoot an R-99 clip halfway across the map for 175 damage doesn’t mean that the average player can, sure. But part of a pro’s job is finding the weapons that will most easily and consistently win them games. And if that’s true, the numbers are clear: leave the shotguns in the dirt. You should be picking up the R-99.