There are many ways to play Metal Gear Solid 5. Players could use stealth to avoid confrontation. Players can also forgo stealth and go into situations guns blazing. To facilitate whatever play-style a player might choose, there are numerous weapons at their disposal. This game has pistols, submachine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, and rocket launchers.
Most of these weapon types have multiple varieties. As with every game similar to Metal Gear Solid 5, not all weapons are created equal. Granted, a player’s choice of play-style will make some weapons more useful than others, but in general, the weapons below are the best in the game. This list will include weapons from Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain.
10 AM D114-9
The AM D-114-9 is a pistol that uses high caliber bullets. Pistols, in games like Metal Gear Solid 5, are not very popular weapons. This is mostly due to their lack of stopping power and inability to pierce a target’s armor. The AM D114-9 gets rid of these problems; it hits hard and can penetrate some armor – notably helmets. This makes the AM D114-9 a smart choice for any player’s secondary weapon, regardless of their choice of play-style. This weapon can be fitted with a suppressor if the player wishes to be stealthy. Extended clips are also available for the AM D114-9 as an upgrade.
9 G44 Bullpup Assault Rifle
This is arguably the best assault rifle in the game. It does the most damage out of any gun in the assault rifle category, and its impact force equal to the other top tier assault rifles. Its range isn’t the best; there is one assault rifle with a better range, but that submachine gun does far less damage than the G44. The G44 also has an impressive rate of fire. This gun is made even deadlier with the drum magazine. This may not be the best choice for stealthy players, but for all others this is an excellent choice for primary your weapon.
8 S1000 Air-S
There are shotguns that do more damage and have a greater range than the S1000 Air-S, but none are as good. Sometimes it’s not all about the maximum damage a weapon can deal. For starters, this weapon can be silenced. Adding a silencer makes this a lot more practical for stealthy players.
However, the best aspect of the S1000 Air-S is its Air Shock stun feature. With this a player can stun a target no matter where you’re aiming – body, head, hand, or big toe. There are quite a few players who use this as their primary weapon throughout 99% of the game.
7 Brennan LRS-46
Metal Gear Solid 5, both Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain, has a ton of sniper rifles to choose from. They come in all shapes and sizes, silenced and non-silenced, and bolt-action and semiautomatic. The Brennan LRS-46 is the heavy hitter among the available sniper rifles – at least among the non-FOB missions. It is a bolt action rifle. This means it has a slower fire rate, but this is mitigated by the seriously lethal amount of damage this weapon can deliver. This weapon is also capable of penetrating the strongest armor. Even thin concrete barriers cannot offer protection against this weapon.
6 AM-MRS-73 NL
This sniper rifle is the best choice for non-lethal, stealthy take-downs. This gun fires tranquilizer ammunition at great range. As a tranq gun, it doesn’t have the range or power of the Brennan LRS-46; however, it’s not fair to compare the two since they are designed for different purposes. The AM-MRS-73 NL has some armor-piercing capabilities as well – something not usually found in a tranq gun. It, of course, doesn’t have the power to pierce thin concrete barriers like the Brennan. It can pierce thin metal barriers though, like the kind you’d find in body armor.
Submachine guns are for specific purposes – namely, settings where the range will be medium to short, and more firepower than a pistol is required. In situations like this a submachine gun is preferable, and the best submachine gun in Metal Gear Solid 5 is the Macht-37. All submachine guns deal about the same damage and have about the same impact force.
This brings the decision of which submachine gun is best down to something else besides damage, range, or lethal and non-lethal. In this case, the deciding factor is upgradability. The Macht-37 is immensely upgradable; a good load-out for this gun is a longer barrel, a suppressor, a better stock, and a 3x or 4x powered scope.
4 HAIL MGR-4
Some weapons are way more fun to use than others – and in that regard, the HAIL MGR-4 grenade launcher is a blast. The MGR-4 is a magazine-fed semiautomatic grenade launcher with a 3x Rangefinding Scope. The magazine allows the MGR-4 to be fired faster than all the other grenade launchers except the RGL-220 (which has an identical rate of fire); though the MGR-4 can be reloaded much faster. The MGR-4 is also tied with one other grenade launcher for the most damaging – the DGL-103 LB. However, the MGR-4’s rate of fire is over twice that of the DGL-103.
3 CGM 25
Sometimes a grenade launcher just doesn’t provide enough of a boom. In that scenario, you’ll want the CGM 25 rocket launcher. First, this rocket launcher has an auto-lock homing feature – making it a “fire-and-forget” weapon. Second, this weapon fires multiple missiles; when fully upgraded this weapon is capable of firing four missiles at once. This makes it possible to clear an entire area of hostiles with one pull of the trigger. There are rocket launchers that deal more damage, but not to multiple targets spread out over a wide area. This weapon is definitely not ideal for a stealthy play-style though.
2 Stun Arm
There are a few different types of bionic arms in the game, and while the Rocket Arm is popular, the Stun Arm is easily the best. This bionic arm allows Snake to deliver a powerful electric shock to enemies. When fully upgraded it allows Snake to summon a bolt of lightning like Thor. The lightning bolt is capable of downing a group of enemies with one shot. Having problems with the Man on Fire? The Stun Arm can bring him down in seconds. This weapon also allows Snake to capture small outposts with only a single bolt. The Stun Arm is almost a cheat-mode.
1 Water Pistol
You’re not going to win any shoot-outs with the Water Pistol, and if this list was about the most damaging weapons in Metal Gear Solid 5 it wouldn’t have made the list. This list is for the best weapons though, and the Water Pistol is one of the best. This weapon is just what it sounds like – a toy gun that shoots water. This seemingly innocent gun can temporarily stun a target and allow for an easy take-down. The Water Pistol is also completely silent, even more so than a silenced firearm. Last, but not least, the Water Pistol can disable electronic devices. It also never runs out of ammo.
Next: Metal Gear Solid: 5 Things About The Series That Has Changed (& 5 Ways The Series Has Stayed The Same)
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Graduate of Sam Houston State University — Class of 2011
B.A. in History, minored in Political Science
I have lived in the Houston TX area my whole life; love the winters…hate the summers. I have conducted scholarly research on, and written about, the use of ballooning for reconnaissance purposes during the U.S. Civil War, tort reform, voter initiatives and referendums, the formation of civilization, Ancient Rome, Mesopotamia, and the major religions. I am also an avid gamer and have researched the history of electronic entertainment extensively.
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