What’s the best weapon? It depends - on what you are playing and what heroes you are playing with.
My preference if all weapons are at the same rarity / level and if there are no specific bonuses for a particular weapon:
|Tournament||SMG or Looper depending on starting perks or Hero *1|
|Weekday Daily elemental events||SMG *1|
|Weekend Boss fight||Plasma|
|Jetpack Heart Hunt||Plasma|
|Endless Boss event||SMG|
|Titan||SMG (will outperform Looper even at 1 level lower rarity)|
*1: For some heroes the Looper can be better than the SMG, see details in Looper section below
Why the Smart Minigun is generally the best:
- Because the game is biased towards fast guns
- Because Homing is a very useful perk - your spread shots and bouncy shots. both of which are more common than average so you are likely to get them in a run, are going to hit more often if you have Homing
- On Endless runs (inc Dark Castle) Super Homing is a very important perk and your chances of getting it are much higher when you start with Homing.
- Sustained Fire is a useful starting perk although you may need to adjust your play style to try to stay still for longer to really benefit from it
About the Looper
- The weakened shots of Piercing and Boomerang work better with proc’ing random hero perks (Jackbot, Fursus, Mortis for sure, haven’t fully tested all the Premium heroes), so that’s why it’s still the best pick for Jackbot farming, and if you are using one of those heroes you might be better off using the Looper than the SMG
- It’s still a fast-firing gun (only the Smart Minigun and Auto Handgun are faster) so still benefits a lot from the game’s bias towards fast guns
- Built-in piercing and boomerang (until you get bouncy) - especially helpful to clear mobs, more so when stacked with perks like Ice/Improved Ice, Zap and/or Shrapnel - all of them do the same damage even with a shot weakened by piercing and boomerang/bouncy (details) and you would have to be quite unlucky to not get any of them in a run
- Built-in piercing makes it easier to get Ghost in runs where it is available, but Ghost without Superhoming (or Supermagnetism) is rather useless, and SMG is preferred to Looper because it’s easier to get Piercing than it is to get Homing.
**Why Plasma for the weekend boss fight and Jetpack Heart Hunt **
- When it comes to bosses, the Plasma does more dps because there are no mobs to take Indirect damage (however, for the endless Boss the SMG is still better because you really need Focus shots for that event and that works much better with the SMG than the Plasma)
- For jetpack, the ideal scenario is to pick off enemies one by one to collect the hearts. The plasma blast can kill nearby enemies, but that’s OK as they are still close enough to collect the heart. (With the SMG, you can’t make use of Sustained Fire as you have to move around a lot, and homing doesn’t help that much. The Looper’s piercing and boomerang mean you are hitting other enemies further away, which makes it harder to collect Hearts)
- The Plasma is also useful for Endless Waves, because the enemies appear in a cluster, so almost all of them take collateral damage from the blast
- Some people seem to find the Gemini Laser useful. I think it’s a fun gun to play with but the laser link tends to disappear with homing (a perk I value even more than multishot) - maybe a totally different perk build would work . Also the laser link doesn’t proc’ passive skills so that’s a disadvantage with Jackbot, Mortis, Frostina, Arctor, Fursus, and Prospero.
- For the daily gun dungeons, the best gun would be the gun with the bonus if you had all of them at the same level. But it isn’t worthwhile to invest in the Blaster / Laser Rifle just to make it easier to get more of them. So just use your main gun for those 2 events - they are still worth playing for the rainbow/upgrade material even if you don’t care about the weapon drops.
If you can afford a Premium weapon
I recommend the Smart Minigun. Note that “afford” is not only the cost of unlocking the weapon - unless you use Gun Kits (from the Super Battle Pass or purchased) it’s going to be hard to fuse up as fast as the free guns (where most weeks you can get a rare and uncommon from the gun dungeons)
I would recommend the SMG even if you already have the Looper
If you can’t afford a Premium weapon
- New players: Focus on the Plasma Cannon as your main weapon; but in the meantime fuse up the autogun as well. You can scrap the Blaster and Laser Rifle (see also the Scrapping guide). As you progress, your Gear mastery permanent upgrade will increase, you will unlock more perks that work better with the Autogun (Zap, Ice and their improved versions) and you will acquire more heroes who will proc better with the autogun - so at some point it will make sense to invest in levelling up the Autogun and switch to it (except for the runs where the Plasma is anyway better) - use the Damage Simulator to estimate before busting your coins.
- If you’ve already invested in the autogun, or already have heroes who proc better with the autogun, focus on the Autogun as the main. In the meantime fuse up the Plasma Cannon and scrap the Blaster and Laser Rifle. You will have to check on the Damage Simulator to see if it’s worth spending coins on the Plasma before you max out the Autogun.
- Note that without the coins bonuses from the battlepass it will be very difficult to develop more than 1 gun. Even with it, manage your coin spend (see Best way to spend coins) so upgrading your main weapon doesn’t stall because you busted coins on a secondary gun.