As World War Z is focused almost entirely on combat, having access to a plethora of weapons and tools is necessary. And in this case the developers did they job properly, providing the players with various types of weaponry - shotguns, semi and fully-automatic rifles, pistols and even sniper rifles - as well as plenty of explosives and useful tools. From this chapter you will learn what are the weapons associated with different tiers and what firearms are the best in the game.
Note - weapons are divided into three tiers: Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3. The higher the tier, the more effective, in general, the weapon is. There are no melee weapons category in this chapter, as there is only one melee weapon in the game, the Machete.
In Tier 1 the players will mostly find the weapons that are the stating equipment of the classes, without unlocking any perks. Those are:
- Scout Rifle - the first semi-automatic rifle in the game. Slow firing but deadly in the hands of an experienced player. Effective at mid to long range.
- Compact SMG - the first SMG in the game, extremely effective against clusters of zombies at close distances, but the effectiveness of the weapon decreases as the distance to the foe increases.
- Shotgun - the starting weapon of several classes, like, for instance, the Hellraiser. An effective weapon to be used at close distance, especially against closely grouped enemies, as a single shell can damage or kill several enemies at once. Ineffective at longer distances.
- Pistol - one of the most useful weapons in the game, due to the Pistol having an in-built silencer, allowing the players to kill zombies without alerting nearby enemies. Effective at almost any distance.
- Machine Pistol - an automatic version of the pistol, lacking the silencer. The weakest of the Tier 1 weapon and one that no one should bother using, as there are more effective tools to start with.
Tier 2 contains weapons that are unlocked for specific classes through perks and can be found during missions. They are significantly more effective than Tier 1 weapons, especially when fully upgraded. The weapons of that tier are:
- Assault Rifle - the first assault rifle in the game. A weapon effective at all distances, against all foes, but not that useful against clusters of zombies do to slower rate of fire.
- Sporting Carbine - basically an enhanced version of the Scout Rifle, a semi-automatic rifle effective at mid and long ranges. Ineffective against clusters of zombies at close ranges due to slow rate of fire.
- SMG - the upgraded version of the Tier 1 Compact SMG. An extremely effective weapon for short and mid distances, capable of obliterating dozens of zombies in seconds due to high rate of fire. It becomes less effective as the distance increases.
- Combat Shotgun - a modified, more effective version of the Shotgun. Capable of dealing more damage due to high rate of fire, but ineffective at anything than short distance.
- Sniper Rifle - the first sniper rifle in the game. Extremely powerful at long distance, ineffective at short and mid ranges. A very situational weapon - if you have a good team that can protect you from zombies rushing your position, letting you focus on taking out distant enemies, it can be a valuable find.
- PDW - a peculiar fully-automatic secondary weapon, somewhat between a pistol and an SMG. PDW is more of a curiosity than a good gear - there are better weapons to choose from in the game.
- Compact Shotgun - another Tier 2 shotgun, focusing on slower rate of fire, but more damage per shot and higher accuracy, allowing the weapon to be more effective at longer distances.
This is the highest Tier of weapons in the game. Those weapons can only be found during missions, cannot be unlocked with perks and finding them is significantly harder than Tier 1 and 2 weapons. Tier 3 weapons are the most effective in the game and should be swapped once you run into them. The weapons of that tier are:
- Assault Carbine - the most powerful assault rifle in the game. Huge magazine, high rate of fire, good accuracy and high damage makes this weapon one of the best in the game.
- Battle Rifle - a more powerful version of the Sporting Carbine, a semi-automatic rifle. When it comes to pure damage output, there are only a few weapons in the game better than the Battle Rifle. The weapon is effective at all ranges but falls off a little in close combat due to lower rate of fire.
- Bullpup Rifle - another fully-automatic assault rifle in World War Z. When it comes to most of the stats, the Bullpup Rifle is less effective than the Assault Carbine, but it shines with Maximum Penetration - that stat is maxed-out from the beginning, making this weapon deadly against all foes in the game, allowing the players to fight effectively versus Bulls even if the foe's weak spots are not targeted.
- Advanced SMG - the most powerful SMG weapon in the game. Huge magazine, extremely high rate of fire and overall good accuracy and handling makes this weapon one of the best in the game. The only problem is the lack of penetration, although it can be enhanced with certain upgrades.
- Assault Shotgun - the best shotgun and one of the best weapons in the game. The Assault Shotgun deals insanely high damage from shorter distances, has large clip and maxed-out penetration. With upgrades the weapon's power is enhanced to absurdly high level, allowing it to be effective at mid-range as well.
- Crossbow - another peculiar weapon. In capable hands it can be the best weapon in the game, due to the Crossbow firing explosive bolts - capable of taking out multiple enemies with a single bolt. On the other hand the weapon has slow rate of fire and long reload time, making it ineffective against larger groups of foes.
Heavy weapons function outside of tiers. Those are placed in the heavy weapon slot of the character and their ammo cannot be replenished - once they are used up, the weapon is thrown away. For that very reason, heavy weapons are the most powerful in the game, allowing the players to either mow down huge groups of zombies or take out powerful foes, like the Bull, with a single shot. The available heavy weapons are:
- Hailstorm MGL and Thumper GL - two types of grenade launchers. The Hailstorm MGL has higher rate of fire and magazine size, but lower damage and area of effect than the Thumper MGL. Weapons effective against clusters of enemies.
- Revolver Casull 6 - a powerful 6-shot revolver, capable of taking out most zombies in one shot and deal heavy damage to the Bull, even against protected areas.
- MAG 5 Machinegun - a heavy machinegun, a mobile variant of the turrets that can be set up as defenses. Firing explosive rounds, capable of mowing down dozens of zombies in seconds. The weapon, however, tends to overheat, forcing the user to pause in-between series.
- Taiga-12 Heavy Assault Shotgun - a modified version of the Assault Shotgun, with almost the same stats, but with a higher clip size. Effective at close range.
- SchreiTech Forrest Warrior Chainsaw - the only melee weapon in the game that can be picked up. The Chainsaw, obviously, is only effective at melee range, but can take out multiple enemies with a single swing.
- Payload Rifle - marked in the game as a Sniper Rifle, but calling it artillery would be more accurate. The weapon fires explosive bullets, capable of taking out multiple enemies with a single shot and killing instantly almost all enemies in the game. When it comes to pure power, the weapon is second only to the Rocket Launcher.
- RPGL4 Rocket Launcher - the most powerful weapon in World War Z, dealing absurdly high damage to everything in a large area of effect. Once a rocket is fired, all foes in the location of the impact will be dead, be it a regular zombie or a Bull. The only downside is the fact that the weapon has only 1 "bullet".
Aside from weapons, all classes have access to various types of equipment, in most cases class-specific. Those are:
- Frag Grenade - the most typical piece of equipment, unique to the Gunslinger class. Deals high area of effect damage.
- Masking Gas Grenade - a special type of grenade unique to the Fixer class. By default, the grenade causes allies standing inside the gas to become invisible to the enemies, but with upgrades it can become deadly to zombies or even replenish ammo of allies.
- Molotov Cocktail - a well-known improvised explosive, setting the area and enemies in it on fire, dealing damage and preventing the enemies - as well as special types - from moving. A good crowd control tool.
- C4 - a remotely controlled explosive, unique to the Hellraiser, that can be detonated at any time. Perfect during zombie swarms to protect key areas.
- Claymore Mine - a proximity mine that detonates once an enemy approaches it, extremely useful during zombie swarms. This tool is unique to the Hellraiser and Exterminator classes.
- Supply Bag - an item unique to the Fixer class. Once set up, allies interacting with it can supply themselves with explosive ammo, dealing significantly increased damage to enemies.
- Stun Gun - an item unique to the Slasher class. The Stun Gun fires electrodes that stun and deal damage to the target and nearby enemies. Extremely effective crowd control tool, especially against Bulls.
- Stim Pistol - an item unique to the Medic class. The Stim Pistol fires a booster shot that gives a temporary health boost to the ally (or the Medic himself). With upgrades the Stim Pistol becomes more effective.
Best weapons in the game?
Weapon selection is, in general, highly subjective and it all depends on the class and the playstyle of the player, but there are some tools in World War Z that are clearly more effective than others. When it comes to Tier 2 weapons, the Assault Rifle and Sporting Carbine are the ones that shine the most. In Tier 3, the Crossbow is arguably the best choice, but it requires practice and can be ineffective at closer ranges. When it comes to the Heavy Weapons, the choice is quite simple - pick anything you stumble upon. If there is a surplus of Heavy Weapons, the RPGL4 Rocket Launcher is always the choice to go for.