Titanfall Pilot Weapons Analysis and Ranking by ProxyDamage
So it’s been a week now, and after messing around with the different weapons and adding up some numbers from Symthic I figured I’d post my initial weapon analysis for whomever cares.
Bellow I included all main pilot weapons, arranged in “tiers” with an explanation of what makes them good/bad. Higher tier = generally better, but “lower tier” doesn’t necessarily mean “bad”. Within tiers there’s no specific order. Disclaimer: There’s a fair bit of qualitative appreciation in these analysis, based on personal experience and knowledge. “Your mileage may vary”.
The weapons in Tier 1 are the most solid all around. They feel good, play well, and their flaws are adequately compensated for their strengths. If there are to be balance patches, these should be the benchmark for the other weapons as they exactly what they’re supposed to. They work like they’re intended.
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first, shall we? The basic Assault Rifle, the good’ol “workhorse”, has been lauded as a fantastic weapon since day 1 of the beta for good reason. Good damage per bullet at any range, good rate of fire, good recoil and accuracy. It’s the game’s “Jack of all trades”. Sure, there are several weapons that are better at close range, and several weapons that are better at long range. In fact pretty much any other weapon in the game beats the carbine at something. However, the fact remains that the R-101 remains good at everything. From close range encounters to long range sniping it gives you a good fighting chance at everything. Even in the attachments this gun shows how malleable it is giving you the option of a bigger mag size or a silencer. This degree of adaptability is unparalleled among the other weapons, and makes the R-101 one of the best weapons to pick from. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with the basic assault rifle.
One of the most controversial weapons in the game with many calling for a nerf (unnecessarily in my opinion). In a game with the high mobility and fast pace of Titanfall you’ll inevitably spend a lot of time in relatively close range, which is exactly where the EVA-8 is the undisputed champion. “One shot one kill” is the name of the game. However, the gun does feature one of the slowest fire rates (not altogether too bad for a shotgun), meaning any miss can be catastrophic, and, given the spread, the most aggressive damage drop offs out of any weapon in the game. The end result is that while the shotgun is arguably the strongest close quarters weapon in the game, it does fall slightly behind most other options in the middle ground, and is practically useless at longer ranges. While this isn’t as monumental a drawback as one might initially consider, due to the high mobility and closer range nature of the game, it is a considerable factor which limits some of the routes the player can safely use through the maps to the more close quarter areas.
“Believe the hype” is the most often used sentence to describe this weapon, and I agree. The C.A.R. feels like a closer range version of the R-101. Trading some of the longer range capacity (with lower bullet damage at range and damage drop off range) for closer quarters firepower (higher bullet damage at close range, higher Rate of fire and both ADS and hip firing accuracy), including one of the best weapon attachments and trait synergies in the game – Counterweight and Run N’ Gun. Run N’ Gun is a pilot perk that means you can sprint full speed while hip firing pistols and SMGs. Counterweight is a weapon attachment that removes (entirely or almost?) the movement accuracy penalty for the C.A.R.. Given that the C.A.R. already has one of the most accurate hip fire spreads in the game (second only to the pistols and anti-titan weapons), this means that you have a high DPS close to medium range weapon that you can accurately hip fire full auto while sprinting at full speed. With the option to aim down the sights for some decent long range fire. It is that good.
The underrated monster. Trust me, I was as surprised when I realized it as you are now reading it. When open beta rolled around several people got to play around with the amped version of this gun via burn card to a resounding “Meh”. Even after launch the general consensus seems to be: “Not that good. Doesn’t fit the nature of Titanfall”. The Spitfire is commonly seen as one of the worst weapons in the game, and yet, here I stand telling you that not only is the LMG a good weapon, it is among the very best in the game! What would you say if I said there is a weapon out there that when compared to the R-101C it has not only higher damage at any range, but also less spread (both hip fire and ADS), the biggest magazine size in the game with a very decent reload speed, AND the single highest titan rodeo damage multiplier in the game. The Spitfire! The gun does have downsides, evidently, or it would be the best gun in the game by far. The first couple of shots do come with a significant kick which, while practically irrelevant at closer ranger, requires some getting used to at longer ranges. Additionally the fire rate, while very respectable for the high-powered bullets it spews, is among the slowest of the full auto weapons, which makes it far less adequate to players who prefer spraying. Finally, the weapon does lack in the “attachment” area. All you get to pick from is either more rodeo damage or more bullets. Both good, but somewhat unnecessary given that they’re simply emphasizing some of the already uncontested aspects of the weapon. That said, once you get used to its quirks it is a fantastically powerful thing.
Weapons in this tier are still solid, but, unlike the previous tier, have downsides which generally weigh a little heavier than their benefits. Can easily be bumped into Tier 1 with a minor tweak, or even for user preference.
Titanfall’s sniper rifle of choice. One of the highest damage per shot of any weapon and no damage fall off guarantee a 2 shot kill on the body, and 1 shot kill in the head at any range. Given the weapon’s high rate of fire for a sniper rifle, doubling that of the Shotgun’s, and almost entire lack of spread while sighted, this weapon can be quite lethal in the right hands. However impressive, the weapon’s downsides are quickly noticeable as well. First of all I made the argument earlier that several weapons weren’t significantly harmed by the lack of long range fighting capacity, because Titanfall is a game that’s focused on high mobility and close to medium ranged fighting. The inverse, the lack of close range potential, however, is a bit more painful to deal with. Being a sniper rifle the Longbow not only lacks a hip fire crosshair, which evidently makes hip firing fairly less accurate without a lot of practice, but also features very high hip fire spread and recoil, superior to even the Shotgun’s. Additionally, the Longbow lacks any kind of short range sight options (such as iron sights or HCOG). While the weapon’s high damage does mean it retains its “2 body shot kill” trait at any range landing those shots at close range with the DMR can be more trouble than it’s worth. This isn’t to say that the weapon is by any means bad. Two quick body shots killing any pilot at any range is still a pretty good offer. In the hands of a very accurate player the Longbow can be very threatening. However the lack of closer range tools can be quite a hassle, particularly when this game’s combat seems to lean so heavily on closer quarters combat. If you’re looking to be a sniper in this game, this is as good an offer as you’re going to get.
Smart Pistol MK5
If there is a weapon that not only matches, but in fact surpasses, the EVA-8 Shotgun in terms of controversy it is the Smart Pistol. Let’s be honest, an in-built aimbot is hardly a good concept for a multiplayer shooter weapon. However, game design theories aside, this list is about how the weapon performs in-game. A weapon with an in-built aimbot can be a terrifying thing to balance, but I believe this is as balanced as the weapon’s ever going to get. Fortunately it’s a bit lower on the power curve rather than high. While the gun does seem ridiculously overpower at first glance, to new players, the fact of the matter is that the time it takes to lock on to a target is generally higher than most guns take to kill in the same situation. That said, there is value in a gun that simply does not miss and almost entirely eliminates human error. Additionally, it is a very reliable weapon even without the lock on mechanic. While it does have a relatively slow rate of fire and magazine size, it features no damage fall off with fairly high bullet damage and high hip fire accuracy. Not bad, given that the primary feature of the weapon is the lock-in.
Weapons under this classification are weapons that, despite having their strengths and weaknesses, generally fall short of other comparable options. It’s not that these weapons are useless by themselves, but simply that you generally have better options for the same role.
This gun is comparable in almost everything to the R-101C Carbine, which is a tall order. The difference being that it technically boosts higher fire power (more damage per bullet and higher fire rate) in return for a less controllable fire mode – 3-round burst fire. The problem is that the apparent advantages aren’t actually that significant. Sure, the Hemlok does more damage per bullet… Except it takes the same number of bullets to kill a target. It only makes a difference if the target is damage and falls within the extra damage range, which is a fairly limited advantage to say the least. Sure, it technically has higher fire rate… But it’s only a 15% bonus, which is made even less significant given that it’s attached to the 3-round burst fire mode. Being that this weapon is equal in every other respect to the R-101C, the fairly limited advantages just aren’t significant enough to give up the ability to control your fire rate at will. It feels like this weapon should require one less bullet than the R-101C to justify the fire mode limitation, or a significantly higher accuracy, but it does neither. As such, I can only recommend this weapon instead of the R-101C if you absolutely love burst fire.
R-97 Compact SMG
I actually struggled with this weapon’s classification for a fair bit. Due to the ridiculously high fire rate with Scatterfire this is a fairly solid gun to use in close quarters, as it mows down targets extremely fast… Sure it has extremely limited fighting capacity at range, but it’s excellent at short range. But therein lies the problem: It’s encroaching on Shotgun territory, and the R97 simply cannot compete with the EVA-8 for the title of “Close Quarters Champion”. The C.A.R. SMG justifies its slight inferiority to the Shotgun in close combat due to the high mobility provided by Counterweight and decent long range capacity… The R97 has neither. In fact, if you strip the R97 of Scatterfire it can’t even compete with the C.A.R. in close range DPS, let alone the EVA-8… Even with it, it loses, but the higher fire rate can justify the slight DPS loss. It also burns through ammo faster, forcing more reloads… At the end of the day there isn’t much of a reason to pick the R-97 over either the Shotgun or the C.A.R..
A “precision assault rifle”. This gun is supposed to fill the gap between the R-101C and the Longbow-DMR. A more long range, precision oriented assault rifle. And therein the problems start. The R-101C is already a fairly competent long range assault rifle… Therefore, one expects a weapon that is superior to the Carbine at long range, at least competent at closer ranges… Unfortunately the G2A4 is neither. While the G2A4 has considerably higher bullet damage on paper it suffers from the same issue as the Hemlok – it only matters when the enemy is already damaged. In practice is takes only one less bullet to kill than the R-101C at any range… Except the Carbine is fully automatic and has almost twice the fire rate. Additionally, while the G2A4 has considerably less spread, it has considerably higher recoil… Even with the Match Trigger attachment the recoil is so high that it makes firing at full speed inefficient. The end result is a gun that is awkward, unwieldy and slow, and effectively inferior to R-101C as a rifle, and to the Longbow as a sniper. Feels like the weapon requires a significant reduction in recoil, and perhaps a small boost to damage (even if only at long range), before it can be what it aims to be.
The negatives greatly outweigh the positives. Needs significant help.
Anyone that has ever played Counter-Strike at a serious level will have “AWP”-related flashbacks at the idea of a sniper rifle that one-hit kills with a shot anywhere in the body. Unfortunately for the Kraber this isn’t Counter-Strike, and an AWP this is not. While this sniper does feature the highest damage per shot in the game it also features the slowest refire rate, thanks to the appallingly slow bolt-action, the only non-hitscan “bullet” in the game, no hip-fire crosshair (like the DMR), an atrocious hip fire spread, and an enormous, screen filling, model. In a game like Titanfall with this high level of mobility and lethality, a weapon that is this slow and limited simply won’t do. Not only is this one of the harder weapons to hit with at long range due to the non-hitscan projectile, but if you miss roughly any gun in the game gets enough time to kill you or simply walk away due to the atrocious bolt loading speed. It’s also a gun with practically 0 close range capacity, especially since this game does not allow for quick scoping. The funny thing about this gun is that a potentially viable version of it exists in the game: The amped version. That’s right, while most amped guns are intentionally overpowered, the amped Kraber is merely usable. It features explosive shots (like the 40mm cannon, although with less radius and damage, evidently) to compensate for the extremely slow reload and non-hitscan bullets, and a significantly faster refire rate (although still slow compared to most weapons). Even then it’s not fantastic, because it’s still a sniper in a high mobility, close to medium range focused game, but at least it would justify its existence. As is there isn’t really much of a reason to pick the Kraber-AP.
And there ya go folks, my analysis/ranking/tier list of the weapons as they stand. If people enjoy this I might do one for Titan weapons as well.
Cheers.Other Titanfall Articles
Titanfall Burn Card Strategy Guide
Titanfall Regeneration Challenges Tips
Titanfall Longbow DMR Sniper’s Guide
Titanfall Strategy and Teamwork Guide
Titanfall Gooser Challenge Tips
Titanfall Pilot Weapons Analysis and Ranking
Titanfall Advanced Tips
Titanfall Life of a Grunt
Titanfall Beginner’s Guide and Tips
Titanfall Generations Prestige System Info
Titanfall Burn Cards List