Arms Race weapon tier list discussion

I didn’t like Arms Race at first, I thought it was a stupid addition to the game. After playing it more I come to find I actually enjoy it. Go figure.

Anyway, I wanted to make a post to talk about what are the best guns to use for Arms Race (or playing the game Arms Race style with no mayhem/skill points/action skills/Guardian rank). It’s interesting to me that removing what are the core components of the game completely change the value of some of the gear.

For example I found the absolute best shotguns to be Jakob’s Scatterguns. Why? Well they tend to be very powerful and deal a lot of crit damage. They also reload 1 bullet at a time, which is IMMENSELY valuable if you go into FFYL as you can just spam shots to get up. They are also no ammo hogs like some other shotguns. By far the most useful weapon you can find in Arms Race. Rarity almost doesn’t matter either, I look for damage, pellet count, and anoints like 300/90 or 25/50. Get a good Scattergun and an absorb shield and you can solo the entirety of Arms Race.

After that, Tediore SMGs would be my next pick for top tier. They are insta-kills on most enemies even heavies. I found a Sureshot++, white, that just destroyed everything it hit the first time every time. Just breezed through the content with this.

Atals N System/Q System are really good too. Along with a lot of COV heavies.

What gear have you found to be the best for Arms Race? Let’s exclude legendaries, since in most cases they will straight outperform everything and also because that’s basically the normal game anyway.


Not all Tediores are created equal Sureshot++ is basically the best one you can get. Many of them are lackluster.

Personally my most reliable basic weapon in AR are Blasters. Another always reliable white is the AX pistols. Most of the snipers are good or any masher as well. I find most weapons are viable just depends on your style what type of weapon feel you are comfortable with really. I tend to avoid using the Tediores because I just don’t like them. Pretty much any legendary weapon you might find will feel really good and shine even the ones lackluster in main game.

Finding any tracker nade is good, and OGT anoint is great to have and pretty common. Looking for artifacts that have decent passives too.

I think my favorite run was a purple MuckaMuck with a re-reouter. My easiest run had to be the one where I got a Maggie out of the gate lol.


A shame they are so frigging useless in the main game

Loved this in BL2

I wish I coukd remember the name of the Launcher, but it was a COV one that shot almost like a flame thrower, but the burn was corrosive. It was white too.

Anyway, it just melted the boss and his annoying miniature creature that constantly spawns in when he was in his last phase.

In addition to what others have mentioned, I’ve found some Dahl White pistols to be good when you start off or are getting started in your first couple of drops.

I still freaking hate Arms Race, but I need to get the shottie.

Yea I found Transfusion Tracker to be the absolute best because it does a lot of easy damage and increases your survivability 10 fold.

Yea I found this too I think it was Chucka, but I can’t exactly remember. Mine was rad type. Only thing I noticed was it eats ammo really fast, but as a boss killer it’s probably the best to use.

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Yep! The Chucka! Good call. :+1:

Maliwan pistols and any tediore are my go to. Usually try to find a 25% bonus damage on grenade throw for the boss.

U Rad anoints are handy as hell too

300/90 annoint is really useful as well. You can 1 or 2 shot most enemies depending on the gun you get.

Yea I say 300/90 is the best one to get at the moment.

But what’s interesting is that some that are normally garbage are now pretty solid. 25/50 and Kill stacking anoints are actually good finds.

Consecutive hits I would say is best on any elemental weapon.

I also found multi-ammo jakobs shotties pretty strong, even at white quality. Otherwise, I find myself not really using Jakobs. Pistols reload too much, so do snipers, and baddies still survive. I like fast snipers more, like dahl and hyperion (although I don’t snipe a lot). Haven’t gotten around to trying assault rifles yet.

Tediore is obviously a gg. Some modules aren’t that great, but only a minority.
I’d also put anything incendiary high on the list. Enemies are largely flesh-based, and shields can be punched through almost as fast as switching/loading another weapon.
Hyperion is also good, especially shotguns. The personal shield is a big plus in arms race.
I’d put COV fairly high, too. Solid damage, can just switch weapons instead of reloading.
Shoutout also to vladof heavies, my favorite type of heavy weapon besides Atlas launchers.

I had 2 runs where a Front Loader dropped and I was able to run Urad on a tediore shotgun. That was pretty sweet haha

I’m particularly fond of anything Dahl makes. Doesn’t matter the rarity or weapon type, I will rock a Dahl in at least 1 of my weapon slots. Just love the way those guns handle. <3


I’ve probably done about 30 runs through so far and I had no idea that the annoints on the weapons actually applied in the arms race.

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Q-system since those carried me through my first play through of the main campaign. Love them.

Atlas pistols. Not sure of the name, but not the one that shoots rockets.

Most Dahl weapons. Full auto any, some semi-auto pistols/ar’s

I like Jakobs and Hyperion shotguns too, if not for the damage then for the knockdown effect.

Maliwan pistols, if they roll good parts, can kill anything including the boss in seconds. Plus they are a godsend against spiderants.
Atlas weapons can shoot behind corners and can help push through enemies that would be too tough for other early guns.
Mirv or homing Tediore are beasts.

They do it’s just majority of them require an action skill to activate.

Stuff like 300/90, 25/50, and consecutive hits work just fine though.

I think it’s either AX7 or AX19, but yes I found one of these earlier and it was a very good weapon.

Still doesn’t beat Tediore Sureshot++ pistol. If you find one that explodes on impact with a MIRV unit it can solo the boss in about 2 minutes.

For guns, tediore pistols, smgs, and shotguns and jacobs shotguns and AR’s seem to get the job done on regular enemies. For the end boss, I am finding decent weapons with the matching element works best, especially maliwan.

For shields, I favor any shield that drops health thingies as staying alive is the goal, after all.

For grenades, transfusion.

I like to collect as much gear as possible and sell it, then check out vendor machines before the boss fight for any decent shield or grenade mod.

I too first poo poo’d the arms race idea but am enjoying it. It is really making me pay attention to being a better player, to taking cover, ensuring my shield recharges before coming out from behind cover, etc.


Tediore shotguns are good damagewise, but RIP ammo. The homing sureshot and keenfires are the BIS there (MIRV if you can find one).

I’ve had some Jacobs Calpeen snipers that would 1 shot trash mobs and 2 shot badasses if you got a solid crit from them. Sniperwise those are good plus the ASP and Muckamuck are good too.

I’ve had good luck with Torgue AR’s and Shotties. Bangsticks and floggers in particular, but only with the right rolls on them. Also some of the Torgue pistols are decent, pocket rocket and dukes come to mind. Just have to lead your shots better with the slower projectiles.

I just found this in Arms Race

And this thing carried me the entire time. I did like 4 chest locations, 3 drops, and 3 or 4 vendors and then almost oneshot the boss.

It spawned with barrel for child grenades and then the homing module. You could throw it, it explodes and the child grenades home in on an enemy. By far the best weapon I’ve come across in Arms Race.

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