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The best weapons in the Resident Evil 4 remake, and which to upgrade first

If you thought the W-870 shotgun was good, just wait

A vendor standing in front of a number of guns in Resident Evil 4 Remake Image: Capcom via Polygon
Russ Frushtick is the director of special projects, and he has been covering the world of video games and technology for over 15 years. He co-founded Polygon in 2012.

As in the original, the Resident Evil 4 remake is packed full of guns that are fully upgradable, assuming you’ve enough currency. That may leave you with a question: Which should you be upgrading first, and which are the best guns for each category? We’ll cover which gun you should be using for your pistol, rifle, shotgun, and magnum.

Just a note: While you may be encouraged to hold off on upgrades until you get the gun you’re going to stick with for the rest of the game, you should know that you’ll earn back a good chunk of your investment on guns you’ve upgraded if you sell them back to the mysterious vendor. So there’s no major harm in dropping a few upgrades into the starting handgun or shotgun. Just don’t get too attached!

The best handgun in the Resident Evil 4 remake

The Red9 handgun in the Resident Evil 4 remake Image: Capcom via Polygon

Fans of the original Resident Evil 4 probably remember the Red9. This absurdly powerful handgun ran circles around the rest of the handgun arsenal. While it isn’t quite the beast that it once was, the Red9 is still our pick for the best handgun in the game, assuming you’ve got the space for it.

Here’s a guide on where to find the Red9 for free, though if you miss its first appearance, the vendor will eventually start selling it in Chapter 5.

The remake removes the red dot sight from many of the guns in Resident Evil 4, the Red9 included. Without it, the accuracy definitely takes a bit of a dip. You can patch up this gun’s recoil and accuracy with an attachable stock, but that’ll make it take up 10 full slots in your inventory.

Despite that, because of its high damage-per-shot and versatility, you can’t go wrong with the Red9. If you’ve looking to save a little space, the Blacktail handgun (which unlocks from the vendor once you reach the Castle) is nearly as good, takes up just 4 slots, and has a much higher rate of fire.

The best shotgun in the Resident Evil 4 remake

The Riot Gun in the Resident Evil 4 remake Image: Capcom via Polygon

There’s some debate on which shotgun is the best option in Resident Evil 4, and that debate continues with this remake. Our pick: the Riot Gun. It offers more range and accuracy than the other two shotguns, while nearly matching the weighty 20.2 damage that the starting shotgun is capable of reaching.

The Riot Gun is available from the vendor once you reach the Castle. You should use the starting W-870 shotgun until then, but feel free to sell it off once the Riot Gun becomes available.

The last shotgun, the Stryker, is not a bad pick since it doesn’t require getting the expensive exclusive perk to get the damage up pretty high. But its terrible range and accuracy limits it to extremely close encounters, so bear that in mind.

The best rifle in the Resident Evil 4 remake

The stingray rifle in the Resident Evil 4 remake Image: Capcom via Polygon

You’ll find your first rifle early on in the Resident Evil 4 remake, the first time you encounter the vendor. Immediately buy that starting rifle from him, along with the scope he gives you for the purchase. There’s not a driving need to upgrade it, but it will be tremendously useful throughout the Village chapters of the game.

That said, the SR M1903 is not the best rifle in the game (though it does deal the most damage). The honor goes to the Stingray, a semi-automatic sniper rifle that becomes available from the vendor in the Castle. While its damage isn’t as high as the bolt action variant, the Stingray’s ability to fire off multiple shots in a row without unscoping is crucial for the middle and end of the Resident Evil 4 remake.

Just a note, there is another rifle in this game: the CQBR Assault Rifle. This gun is fully automatic, in contrast to the other rifles, but because rifle ammo is so limited throughout Resident Evil 4, we can’t recommend it.

The best SMG in the Resident Evil 4 remake

The TMP in Resident Evil 4 Image: Capcom via Polygon

There are just two SMGs in the Resident Evil 4 remake. You’ll find the TMP very early, whereas the LE 5 SMG is available more than halfway into the game. If you’re looking to fully invest in one of these guns, we’d recommend the TMP. The damage isn’t isn’t great and the accuracy needs the help of a stock, but if you’re clearing lots of weaker enemies, it’s not a bad option.

When fully upgraded it becomes pretty powerful, but you won’t have enough money for that until very late into the game. If you’re not going to invest in it, feel free to switch immediately to the LE 5 SMG when you find that in the laboratory.

That said, you can also just skip the SMGs entirely, and just focus on your handgun, shotgun, and rifle, which can cover your midrange, short-range and long-range needs.

The best magnum in the Resident Evil 4 remake

The Killer7 magnum in the Resident Evil 4 remake Image: Capcom via Polygon

The original Resident Evil 4 had an obvious answer to the question of which was the best magnum: the Broken Butterfly. Even in the remake, this gun still hits like a truck. But it no longer has a laser sight in the remake, and hitting your target at any sort of range is now nearly impossible unless you’re standing completely still.

Therefore we’d recommend the Killer7, which deals about half the damage per shot, but is able to fire piercing rounds and, better still, comes with a laser sight by default.

You’ll find the Killer7 at the vendor, very late into Resident Evil 4, in the game’s final chapters. But given that magnum ammo is so hard to come by, you’re not really missing out by not having it earlier. We’d recommend saving any magnum ammo you find for later sequences, which definitely benefit from having a high-impact solution on-hand.

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