Best weapons in Anthem: how to build the strongest loadout

Image credit: BioWare/EA

When it comes to the best weapons in Anthem, you’re pretty spoiled for choice. However, you’ll quickly notice that this is largely due to the fact that weapons scale, and while it may seem like there are loads at first, lots of weapons are just upgraded versions of early-game variants of the same gun. 

Still, you’ve got a really diverse pool of weapons to draw from, especially given the fact that each Javelin has its own specific playstyle. While Rangers, Interceptors, and Storms can use almost every weapon in the game - with the exception of heavy weapons, which can only be wielded by the mighty Colossus - the Colossus tends to favor big guns. By that, we mean they won’t even consider holding something small and weak like a machine pistol.

In order to make our weapons guide as all-encompassing as possible, we’ve compiled a list of the best gun in every weapons category. We’ve also taken the liberty to discuss which Javelin and playstyle each specific gun will work best with, as there’s no point in you playing a Storm with a machine pistol if you’re going to be hovering miles above the fighting below. So, without further ado, here are the best guns in each weapon category in Anthem.

Best Assault Rifle: Ralner’s Blaze (Hammerhead)

Without a shadow of a doubt, the Ralner’s Blaze is the best assault rifle in Anthem. This is the strongest version of the Hammerhead, which you have access to early on and can upgrade as you progress through the game. 

The Ralner’s Blaze hits harder than any other assault rifle in Anthem, and it has a pretty decent feel to boot. Also, fully-upgraded guns in Anthem have their own unique perks. In the case of the Ralner’s Blaze, you’ll start to ignite enemies when you’re on a hit streak. Definitely nothing to scoff at.

Assault Rifles work best with Rangers, as they’re the Javelin that most resembles a traditional soldier class. Running a Ralner’s Blaze Ranger will allow you to play what’s probably the most balanced and accessible playstyle in the game. Also, thanks to Bulwark Point - which creates a shield for you and your team - and Muster Point - which increases damage within that shield - you’ll be able to wreak absolute havoc on enemies in an area of your choosing. Anthem is very ability-oriented, but if you really want to play shooter-style, this is the gun and class for you.

Best Heavy Pistol: Avenging Herald (Blastback)

The Avenging Herald truly is in a class of its own. An upgraded version of the Blastback pistol, the Herald packs a serious punch.  

Thanks to its perk, Raptor’s Deadeye, the Avenging Herald makes a great addition to all Javelin builds - except for Colossuses, who wouldn’t be caught dead with a gun as puny as this. Raptor’s Deadeye increases your damage output by 200% while hovering, so in a game in which you hover pretty regularly, that’s not a bad perk. In fact, it’s a fantastic one.

This makes a closer-playing Storm build viable, while also giving the Interceptor the ability to make space when it gets low on health. As for Rangers, there’s no harm in using this as a close-quarters gun to complement the range of your assault rifle. The Avenging Herald is as solid a gun as any, and is the only real contender for best heavy pistol in Anthem. 

Best Shotgun in Anthem: Rolling Carnage (Vengeance)

Let’s just say that the Rolling Carnage is probably the most aptly-named gun in the entire game. A Legendary shotgun, the Rolling Carnage is the most powerful version of the Vengeance shotgun you start out with. 

The Rolling Carnage’s perk is called Scout’s Advantage, and it nets you a temporary damage buff after dashing. This is a real run-and-gun bulldozer, and it can be wielded by the ferocious Colossus, allowing you to pave the way to victory with the brute force of a Krogan. Wait, wrong BioWare game…

On the contrary, shotguns work incredibly well with Interceptors. Because your entire playstyle revolves around close combat, you can fuse your melee Double Daggers with wild shotgun barrages. The damage potential here is through the roof, and it’s a very stylish way to represent Fort Tarsis on the field. Your enemies will quake in their boots, or whatever it is they wear on their feet.

Best Sniper Rifle: Wyvern Blitz (Deadeye)

It’s about time Storm-mains got some love on this list. The strongest variant of the Deadeye sniper rifle, the Wyvern Blitz does catastrophic amounts of damage in exchange for a pretty low fire rate. But, if you’re accurate, that’s a trade-off you should be willing to make.

Raptor’s Sense increases the damage you deal against enemy weak points by a colossal 40%, so you really should be taking time to line up your shots as well as you can. With the Storm Javelin’s ability to hover almost indefinitely, you can get pretty crafty with your airborne-equivalent of a crow’s nest, and you can find some very nice defensive angles to work with. 

While sniper rifles can be used by other Javelins, this is best for a Storm, as it will allow you the ability to pick off specific targets from a distance while you’re performing your role of crowd control. 

Best Marksman Rifle: Thunderbolt of Yvenia (Scout)

A worthy substitute for an assault rifle, the Thunderbolt of Yvenia is your top-tier variant of the Scout marksman rifle. “Thunderbolt” might seem a little hyperbolic at first, but we can assure you - this gun earned its name.

Although its perk isn’t named like some of the other ones are, the Yvenia of Thunderbolt actually has a 33% chance to deal electric damage on top of its base bullet damage with every hit. There is literally a one-in-three chance that you will electrocute your enemies with your metal slugs.

Marksman rifles offer a little more range than assault rifles, but we prefer the latter. If you’re an accurate, patient type, the Thunderbolt could be the gun you’re looking for. However, we’ve found that it’s not quite as versatile as the Ralner’s Blaze, so there’s very little incentive to use it when you have other gun classes available

Best Light Machine Gun: Artinia’s Gambit (Relentless)

The Artinia’s Gambit - the most powerful version of the Relentless - is probably the most balanced LMG in Anthem, being both accurate and heavy-hitting. It also has a decent RPM, which is a real game-changer in terms of light machine guns. Some of the other guns deal more damage per bullet, sure, but their sluggish slugging really affects their feel.

As for its perk, the Artinia’s Gambit detonates a massive AoE explosion in the surrounding area when you reload. Reloading is supposed to make you vulnerable! Somehow we love reloading now.

Anyway, this is a really solid gun and one you should seriously consider crafting if you haven’t yet found one while exploring. Colossus and Ranger players will adore this trailblazing bulldozer of a weapon.

Best Machine Pistol: Vessa’s Surprise (Hailstorm)

The Vessa’s Surprise is wild. A fully-upgraded Hailstorm, this is a gun you’ll want your Interceptor to be familiar with.

It’s very inaccurate - actually, it’s the most inaccurate machine pistol - but you shouldn’t really be far away from the action if you’re playing as an Interceptor anyway. Like the Rolling Carnage, this gun complements a melee build beautifully, allowing you to unleash quickfire rounds in between punches. 

Also, you get a whopping 25% extra ammo after a successful melee attack, so using this gun to close the distance between you and an enemy will essentially have you raining an infinite barrage of bullets down on your enemies at all times. It’s just an endless stream of slugs and punches. 

(Image credits: BioWare/EA)

Cian Maher

Cian Maher is the associate Editor at TheGamer. He is a freelance reporter with work in The Guardian, The Washington Post, Techradar, The Irish Times, The Verge, VICE, WIRED, Ars Technica, MTV, Eurogamer, VG247, Polygon, GameSpot, Rock Paper Shotgun, IGN, Variety, Red Bull, Gamasutra, PC Gamer, SYFY, and more. First Class Honours BA in English Studies from Trinity College Dublin.