The Finals best weapons tier list – best guns in Season 3, ranked

The Finals best weapons tier list – best guns in Season 3, ranked
Jack Webb Updated on by

Video Gamer is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices subject to change. Learn more

If you play The Finals, you likely already have a favourite class and a weapon that goes along with it. But we all know that patches change things, buffing and nerfing guns, until you feel pressured to play the “best” one. With a tier list, you can make snappy decisions based on weapon performance, though there’s nothing wrong with playing your favourites. Some of the best players are able to play any weapon and get results.

✓ At a glance

Our S-tier picks for Season 3 are:

  • Sword (Light)
  • Throwing Knives (Light)
  • XP-54 SMG (Light)
  • V9S Pistol (Light)
  • Flamethrower (Heavy)
  • R.357 Revolver (Medium)
  • SA1216 Shotgun (Heavy)
  • Recurve Bow (Light)

The Finals Season 3 – best weapons tier list

Ranked from S-tier down to D-tier, there are many weapons to pick in the game. Season 3 added three brand new weapons as well, one for each build. You should often look for ways to complement your team’s composition and the map and mode you’re playing. Even in that equation, some weapons will perform better than others, which is where a tier list comes in handy. We enjoyed our time at a hands-on preview of Season 3 and got to see how Embark Studios has slightly tweaked some of its weapons.

Our Season 3 rankings have changed a bit compared to Season 2. Some weapons have received substantial buffs – looking at you, Throwing Knives. Others have fallen out of fashion, like KS-23. Then there’s the question of where the new weapons slot in. Their current positions are liable to change while we play them more and learn new ways to use them.

WeaponBuildTier
SwordLightS
Throwing KnivesLightS
XP-54 SMGLightS
V9S pistolLightS
FlamethrowerHeavyS
R.357 revolverMediumS
SA1216 shotgunHeavyS
Recurve BowLightS
FAMAS burst rifleMediumA
SH1900 shotgunLightA
AKM assault rifleMediumA
Lewis Gun LMGHeavyA
SpearHeavyA
FCAR assault rifleMediumA
Model 1887 shotgunMediumA
M60 LMGHeavyB
M11 SMGLightB
SR-84 sniperLightB
CL-40 grenade launcherMediumB
Dual BladesMediumB
93R auto pistolLightB
KS-23 shotgunHeavyC
SledgehammerHeavyC
LH1 battle rifleLightC
MGL32 grenade launcherHeavyD
Riot ShieldMediumD
DaggerLightD

The Finals season 3 – S-tier weapons

When it comes to S-tier weapons, we’re talking about the best weapons in The Finals. Each build has at least one S-tier weapon we recommend using on them. If you happen to dislike the weapon we’ve chosen, perhaps give it another try or use a substitute. There’s no wrong way to play or enjoy these guns.

Sword (Light)

Melee weapons are surprisingly decent in The Finals, letting you kill enemies extremely quickly. The problem is getting close enough to use it, but with enough stealth, you will see great success. Naturally, bringing a sword to a gunfight will have varying degrees of success, so make sure you adapt your playstyle. Light Build’s Sword is exceptional at quickly killing targets, with animation cancel combos that can double-tap Medium, and even Heavy Builds.

Throwing Knives (Light)

Throwing Knives have recently received a huge package of buffs. They received a damage boost, but that’s nothing compared to the attack speed that they can now perform. The knives went from a slow lacklustre weapon that demanded exquisite precision, to gatling-guns of bladed fury. In the hands of a quick, precise player, Throwing Knives are now a nightmare to deal with.

XP-54 SMG (Light)

The XP-54 is simply the upgraded version of the M11 default gun the Light build gets access to, making it better in every single way. This little SMG has a ton of fire rate and a decent mag size for a small gun, so long as you don’t spray all your bullets away in the first instance. It has great damage and the speed of the gun is the main selling point for it, letting you laser foes if you can control your accuracy.

V9S pistol (Light)

Arguably the best gun for the Light Build Contestants, the V9S silenced pistol is extremely devastating with its damage, rate of fire, and accuracy. The point of the Light Build is effectively to be a glass canon, letting you run in there and deal as much damage as possible and then get out. You can shoot it fast and the reload is quick, giving you plenty of time to get kills and safely reload.

Flamethrower (Heavy)

Being burned alive by a Heavy with a flamethrower is extremely upsetting, except when you’re the one doing the burning. The Flamethrower is a devastating weapon in The Finals, letting you burn away Goo, set areas on fire, and deal damage over time to your enemies.

R.357 revolver (Medium)

If you’re feeling fancy, the R 357 revolver is an incredibly strong gun that only the Medium Build characters can use. You can take out an enemy with three shots if you get them in the head, but you need to work on your accuracy and timing. If you’ve got a good eye and can take your shots without pressure, the revolver will be one of the best guns for you in The Finals.

SA1216 shotgun (Heavy)

What’s better than a normal shotgun? An automatic shotgun. The SA1216 has a generous mag size of 16 and considerable damage. This shotgun is one of the best to use as a Heavy, and with recent changes, it greatly outpaces its competition when it comes to shotguns.

Recurve Bow (Light)

Recurve Bow is the latest weapon added to the Light Build’s arsenal at the start of Season 3. It’s already proving to be one of the most versatile weapons in the game. Silent and deadly, it can score massive hits from both long and medium-range. There’s a learning curve to how it operates when firing, but its deadliness can’t be denied. Being a very new weapon, its position could fluctuate as players learn to play it.

The Finals season 3 – A-tier weapons

A-tier weapons are viable in a lot of situations, but they fall short of being S-tier over small differences in power or usability. Let’s take a look at what comes in this rank and our reasons why.

FAMAS burst rifle (Medium)

The FAMAS is another excellent rifle option for the Medium build. Introduced in Season 2, it is to the FCAR, providing a slightly different shooting pattern. It is burst fire, but this means direct hits will be even more devastating.

SH1900 Shotgun (Light)

For you sneaky Light players, few guns are better than the SH1900 double-barreled shotgun. At close range, this gun is devastating and can blow you away in just two shots if they both land. It can be a gamble since the pellets are fairly small, but when they land and you see your foe’s HP melt before your eyes, you’ll be glad you grabbed it. It is perfectly paired with the Stealth specialisation, letting you go invisible and then surprise enemies with a double tap to the back.

AKM (Medium)

This AR is the default gun for the Medium Build and it does a great job to begin with. It is standard in every single way, not shining in any particular area and being fairly hard to handle at medium to long range. However, when you learn the spray pattern, its large magazine and devastating power can win you many firefights.

Lewis Gun LMG (Heavy)

The Lewis Gun and the M60 LMG may seem interchangeable. But there are a couple of differences that you need to bear in mind. This weapon trades the large magazine size of the M60 for higher damage and range. It’s got enough ammo to knock out multiple opponents in a single clip. Pair that with higher damage and steady recoil and you’ve got a Heavy weapon that’s a step above the standard M60. It suits most playstyles as well.

Spear (Heavy)

The Spear is a brand new Heavy weapon added in Season 3. Notably, it’s a melee weapon, so you will have to get close and personal to use it. Spear’s default attacks are devastating from up close. However, its alternate attack has a huge downside. While very strong when it hits, the spinning animation takes several seconds and cannot be cancelled. That practically leaves you open – and we know what one or two seconds mean in a fast-paced FPS game.

FCAR assault rifle (Medium)

The FCAR is a solid all-rounder gun, and the Medium Builds get to take full advantage of it. It does have a smaller magazine than AKM, but you can fire it single-tap for when you need accuracy or you can let it go full auto if you’re in a tight spot. But miss enough shots and you’ll be forced to reload in the middle of a firefight. The damage is good, and it is easy enough to get headshots with the assault rifle. It does struggle to make a dent in Heavy Contestants, but you can almost always outrange them and take them out easily.

Model 1887 shotgun (Medium)

As far as this shotgun goes, it is a fairly decent pick. It is the only shotty that Mediums can use and is surprisingly versatile. Thanks to its slow reload speed, you must time your shots well and have more patience, but each direct hit is both damaging and satisfying in equal measure.

The Finals season 3 – B-tier weapons

As we move down the tiers, we’re seeing weapons that are still viable, but they aren’t optimal picks.

M60 LMG (Heavy)

The M60 is the default gun for the Heavy, which means you will have it unlocked from the start and you don’t need to use any VRs to get it. It’s a standard light machine gun, with a generous clip size for everyone who likes to spray and pray. The best thing about the M60 is it’s reliable, while you do have some better options, we think the M60 will cover all your bases and then some.

M11 SMG (Light)

The M11 SMG is essentially a worse version of the XP-54 for the Light Build. Since this is the default gun you can get a bunch of mileage from it, but you should think about swapping to the XP-54 as soon as you can for better damage, range, and accuracy. While this weapon has a better rate of fire and mag size, it is outclassed by the balanced XP-54.

SR-84 sniper (Light)

This sniper rifle is the only such weapon in the game, and it is a default weapon for the Light Build. This gun is devastating at range, but that doesn’t help when most of the fighting in The Finals takes place in cramped indoor areas nine times out of ten. In perfect conditions, this weapon would do a great job if you’ve got the accuracy to back it up. Even then, you will need to get headshots to see substantial damage numbers. Overall, it is lacking and doesn’t perform very well in most situations, except on select few maps.

CL-40 grenade launcher (Medium)

One of the better things about The Finals in general is the destructible arenas you fight in. Anything that helps you change the landscape to your advantage – and lets you deal respectable damage – sets itself apart as a useful weapon. The CL40 grenade launcher is exactly this, and it will let you level buildings and enemies in equal measure. However, you have to remember to account for the grenade drop and bounce while firing this weapon, meaning that it takes some practice to get the best results.

Dual Blades (Medium)

Dual Blades, represented by a pair of katanas, are a brand-new weapon for the Medium Build, added with Season 3. They represent a more aggressive melee option for the class, with slashing attacks that can do some serious damage when they hit. Their alternative can minimize damage and deflect bullets, though it leaves you open from the sides and back. In practice, blades are situational at best, especially considering that most Mediums prefer to slot into a more supportive role.

93R pistol (Light)

Added in Season 2, this burst-fire pistol is a deadly addition to the Light Build’s arsenal. This pistol, unsilenced and different to the VS9, fires in 3-round bursts and is ideal for close to medium-range engagements. The burst fire is excellent if you hit all your shots, so you should definitely play around with this gun. It tends to fall by the wayside when compared to much stronger options at Light Build’s disposal.

The Finals season 3 – C-tier weapons

Our picks for the C-tier weapons are based on what are largely duplicate weapons that are worse versions of guns that exist or don’t do much to improve your Build’s playstyle or role.

KS-23 shotgun (Heavy)

KS-23 was added in Season 2 as an alternative shotgun option for the Heavy Build. It excels at blasting through arena environments, but not much else. In every other way, the automatic variant is simply better. The rate of fire is subpar and the damage is decent, but very scattered. Take this gun only if you plan heavy arena remodelling projects.

Sledgehammer (Heavy)

The Sledgehammer, like many other melee weapons, is often outclassed by guns in The Finals. The Heavy Build shouldn’t bother with this, since the trade-off is not worth your while in any situation. But it’s still a potential pick for players who like to alter terrain without resorting to explosives. And if you manage to get a hit up close, you can cause some serious damage.

LH1 battle rifle (Light)

LH1 is a bolt-action rifle that can’t seem to find its niche in Light Build loadouts. If you’re gunning for long-range, the sniper is better. For medium range, any SMG or pistol is a better option. Simply put, LH1 is outclassed across every metric and would need serious buffs or a rework to perform better.

The Finals season 3 – D-tier weapons

D-tier weapons represent a mismatch for their class or role, something that you should always look to avoid. They may be severely underpowered, making it more difficult to perform well in matches if you choose them.

MGL32 grenade launcher (Heavy)

The MGL32 grenade launcher is somehow worse than the CL-40 and while this one can cause some destruction, the MGL is lacking in so many ways. For you Heavy Build out there, pick anything but this unless you want to destroy things.

Riot Shield (Medium)

The Riot Shield, while able to block and keep you from harm, isn’t necessary. This should be a Gadget rather than a weapon since you can be removed so easily if you’re trying to use it to block. If you’re using it to attack, you’ll be even more out of luck.

Dagger (Light)

The Dagger is a microcosm of every downside for a melee weapon in the game. The main issue is that even if you use it the way it’s intended – for stealth and getting a stabbing instakill – its windup takes so long, that your target will move away by the time you’re ready. Unless you’re trying to challenge yourself, the Dagger is, unfortunately, simply useless.