Aliens: Fireteam Elite weapons tier list

The best guns to deal with those pesky xenomorphs in Cold Iron's co-op shooter

aliens fireteam weapons 300x300 1

Update: September 13. Hello, Craig here from WePC here. I have updated this tier list to reflect our ever-changing opinions on the game’s weapons, now that we have our favourite weapons levelled up, and claimed the weapons only accessible in Hidden Caches, etc. Also, we have had a chance to play the new weapons that dropped in the Season 1 update, launching with the new Phalanx class.

Sadly, no independently targeting particle-beam phalanx exists in Aliens: Fireteam Elite. Contrary to the dropship ordinance Private Hudson boasted about in the Aliens movie, the game also lacks tactical smart-missiles, sonic electronic ballbreakers, nukes, knives, and sharp sticks. But, coming hard on the heels of the Back 4 Blood beta, the latest co-op shooter does come fitted with Pulse Rifles, shotguns, and plenty of other weapons inspired by the classic Aliens movie franchise. The question is, which Aliens: Fireteam weapons are the best for mowing down those alien hordes? Read our Aliens: Fireteam tier list to find out…

Aliens: Fireteam Classes

There are four types of weapon to consider in Aliens Fireteam: Rifle, Heavy, Handgun and CQW (Close Quarter Weapon). Each class of Marine can carry up to two (with a standard sidearm), but they cannot be of the same type.

When selecting the right weapons, as well as taking into account personal playstyle, you should think about weapons (and abilities) that allow you to be effective regardless of the situation. For the Technician, for example, while it may seem that they are limited to short-range (CQW) and lighter (handgun) weapons, this is made up for to a degree by being able to deploy a Sentry Turret. For every other class, the Pulse Rifle (or one of its variants) is a versatile pick that allows you to select a more specialist second weapon, or one that is able to deliver high levels of Weak Point Damage (ie. good against Aliens like Guards and Praetorians). This thinking has informed our tier list to some degree. 

 

Class Primary Weapon Secondary Weapon Kit Abilities
Gunner (assault) Rifle  CQW  Overclock, Frag Grenade
Demolisher (heavy) Rifle  Heavy  Micro Rockets, Blastwave
Technician (engineer) Handgun  CQW  Sentry Turret, Charged Coils
Doc (medic) Rifle  Handgun Trauma Station, Combat Stims
Recon (scout) CQW Rifle PUPS, Support Drone
Phalanx CQW Handgun Shield, Shock Pulse, Bulwark (passive)

Be aware that the following list of the best weapons for Aliens: Fireteam Elite does take into account Weapon XP, Perks, Consumables, and Weapon attachments (aka mods) such as optics, muzzles, barrels, armatures, and magazines on the odd occasion. However, our tier list is based mainly on weapon stats, and our hard-fought experience of using each weapon during extensive co-operative playtesting. As we continue to put the current and any new weapons through their paces, or whenever the game is updated, we’ll be sure to make our Aliens: Fireteam Elite weapons tier list even more badass. Enjoy!

On a final note, some weapons are immediately made better or worse when playing in co-op, rather than with Alpha and Beta AI synths. The reason why is because some weapons have some obvious weaknesses, which are easily mitigated by the strength of other weapons. For example, the basic flamethrower is incredibly powerful at incinerating Xeno waves, but it can take a lot longer to kill Synthetics and Praetorians. However, if your flamethrower-wielder pairs with a Technician and said flamethrower user positions in range of deployed Charged Coils that help slow incoming baddies, then the weapon is immediately better.

S-tier Aliens Fireteam weapons

aliens fireteam pulse rifle

M41A2 Pulse Rifle (Rifle)

The classic Colonial Marine Pulse Rifle is your standard-issue weapon for four of the five combat classes in Aliens Fireteam. There’s a very good reason for that – it’s perfect for almost any situation. The Pulse Rifle has good magazine capacity, meaning you can take out seven or eight Xenos before you need to reload, plus it can hit hard at any range. It’s important to aim for those weak points for maximum effectiveness, and the iconic underslung grenade launcher would be a handy alt-fire to have, but otherwise, the Pulse Rifle is a great starting Aliens Fireteam weapon that’s difficult to upgrade from – effective and supremely versatile. For these reasons, we reckon that the M41A2 is one of the best guns in Aliens Fireteam. In some instances, the Burst Rifle is better, but that is only in co-op situations where you need dedicated Weak Point accuracy when an ally is using weapons like the flamethrower or grenade launcher.

M37A3 Pump Shotgun (CQW)

aliens fireteam pump shotgun

Every bad-ass Colonial Marine likes to keep a shotgun handy for close encounters, and the M37A3 is one of the best there is. This is simply because pretty much every disadvantage we associate with shotguns is offset to some degree with this model. For example, its magazine capacity is poor, but the reload time is super fast (0.35 seconds per round) to make up for it. The first two levels of the M37’s provides an additional 10% reload time, so even that makes it better.  The 80 max ammo limit is a little stingy, for sure, but it beats the DT-57 Medved’s paltry 60 shots. Simply put, the M37A3 Pump Shotgun is the best scattergun in Aliens Fireteam. Sync this weapon up with a Gunner who pops their overcharge ability, and you can burst down Praetorians with delightful marine glee.

Kramer Assault Rifle (Rifle)

The Kramer Assault Rifle is a different beast from the Pulse Rifle. It has a slow rate of fire but hits like a truck and stumbles enemies much more than any other AR in the game. It is the sort of weapon that suits a Dem0lisher more than a Gunner. This is due to Demolishers being gods at clearing waves rather than destroying specials that have armor. Thus, the Kramer Assault Rifle is the weapon you switch to aim down sights and tear through those Weak Points. If you’re playing Gunner, you’re best sticking with the Pulse or Burst Rifle.

AM-16 Gruppa (Rifle)

The AM-16 Gruppa is a DMR that has a decent range, rate of fire, damage per round, and has equal Weak Point damage to the Pulse Rifle. If you would rather use a DMR over a Pulse Rifle, try unlocking the AM-16 through the RNG opportunities while playing the campaign. More specifically, this weapon can be great fun for the Recon class. By the way, the more you level it up[, the more you’ll get better handling and stability, allowing you to ram DMR rounds into various Xenos and Synths alike. Even better for the Gunner class.

Type 76 Auto Shotgun (CQW)

The Type 76 Shotgun is actually hilarious. It is the very definition of an auto shotgun, ramming Weyland-Yutani rounds into the face of all hostiles. Its damage is fairly low per round, but its rate of fire is incredible. If you really need to burst the big guys down with a CQW weapon this could be for you. However, we only recommend using this if you have a Gunner on your team. Pop that Overclock ability and your torrent of tungsten cannot be matched by any other weapon in the game. If you still need reliable CQW shotguns style weapons, the M37 remains the king. Be aware that you need to grind Hidden Caches to get this weapon.

X43 Barrage Flechette SMG (CQW)

The X43 is actually an incredible SMG. The weapon is more or less the same as the M39 Submachine Gun in its base stats, but carries a little more ammo, has a larger magazine size, but with less damage per shot. While the M39 is preferable as a basic SMG, it feels like you can do a lot more with the Flechette. Therefore, this is the only SMG we rank in the S Tier. Even so, the M37A3 Pump Shotgun is a much better option than the Flechette, unfortunately.

L33 Pike (Sniper)

The L33 Pike is a new weapon available for purchase in the req shop as of Season 1. The sniper is incredibly powerful, having even greater damage per round than any other sniper, (or gun in the game for that matter). To top it off, it gets 95 stability at three stars, easily making it a consistent weapon. If you want to absolutely cane any Weap Point in the game, this weapon is going to stand out. just bring a horde destroying class or weapon to ensure a Sniper’s weakness is covered. Otherwise sniping isn’t that great.

L59 Minigun

The L59 Minigun is the only real competitor to the smart gun. The minigun requires some windup before it gets accurate, but it makes it a great weapon for drilling targets at close range and at a distance. It also has a much higher damage per round than the Smartgun. The other positive is it is a heavy weapon that won’t blow up your allies (but it can still hurt allies caught in the suppression) This reason alone makes it much more interesting than the RPG launcher and Rocket Launcher sat in the tier(s) below.

A-tier Aliens Fireteam weapons

 

aliens weapons l36 halberd

L36 Halberd (Rifle)

There are two reasons why the L36 Halberd isn’t rated as an S-tier weapon: One is that it isn’t much different to the standard-issue Pulse Rifle you start the game with. It’s slightly more accurate, with a higher rate of fire. Against that, per shot damage is lower and both the magazine capacity and max ammo are reduced, which means running out of ammo is more of a danger. Essentially though, it’s a sidegrade. By the time you can access it, you should be well on your way to levelling your Pulse Rifle to be the better choice. Plus the M41A2 Pulse Rifle is so much more iconic – to look at and listen to. And it isn’t made by those evil bastards at Weyland-Yutani.

M41A3 Burst Rifle (Rifle)

While technically an upgrade from the standard Marine issue Pulse Rifle, the M41A3 Burst Rifle does less damage per round, has less ammo capacity, and does lower critical damage. Those bursts are handy for taking down your standard Xenomorphs, but you really want to be able to control the amount of rounds you can fire, which makes the Burst Rifle pretty much a downgrade, despite the increased accuracy and stability. However, if you need to be more precise with your assault rifles, the Burst Rifle can be a better option than the Pulse Rifle. In fact, we recommend it if you have a Demolisher on your team who is burning or blowing up the baddies.

aliens fireteam m39 smg

M39 Submachine Gun (CQW)

Not every class can equip a Pulse Rifle, which makes the M39 a useful alternative for those that want to swap out their close-quarter weapon for something with a little more range and versatility. Next to Pulse Rifle, the M39 Submachine Gun comes off second best in almost every department. However, the Pulse Rifle’s rate of fire and damage capability gives the weapon a serious advantage. If you find that a shotgun limits your options too much, then you should seriously consider the M39 instead. It packs a hell of a punch.

LEM MP11 Stormsurge (CQW)

The Stormsurge is a burst fire SMG, making it a decent area control weapon that won’t have you blitzing through ammo, unlike its SMG companions. We don’t really rate the SMGs all that much in Aliens, but if you do like SMGs or would prefer better control over your aim, the Stormsurge is worthy of your grinding efforts. On a final note, this SMG has a slightly higher stumble chance compared to the other SMGs. Again, this is all preference, as an SMG CQB weapon is all about how you would prefer to kill enemies close quarters for the Technician or Gunner.

aliens weapons heirloom standoff shotgun

Heirloom Standoff (CQW)

This is basically Hicks’ shotgun from the Aliens movie, which makes it very desirable – and why it’s only currently available as part of the Endeavor Veteran Pack (also included in the Deluxe Edition). It’s a very fine weapon indeed, but is to the S-tier M37A3 Pump Shotgun what the L36 Halberd is to the Pulse Rifle: better in some ways, worse in others. Less damage, magazine capacity and max ammo, with a faster firing rate and reload speed. It’s a tough call between the two shotguns, but we’re inclined to stick to the one that saves you ten bucks. If you have got it, by all means, use it.

Kramer .50 Magnum (Handgun)

The Kramer is the first handgun available for the Technician. While the weapon is very good, the Twinhammer is a purchasable, hard-hitting Magnum-esque handgun that is arguably better. The Twinhammer does what the Kramer is designed to do, albeit with two rounds. The Kramer .50 has an excellent range for a handgun, high critical (Weak Point) damage, and high single-shot damage – which adds up to a weapon that can one-shot quite a few alien drones before the big boys come along. It is worth mentioning that Kramer is by far the best handgun for stumbling enemies and dealing damage to weak points.

M42A2 Scout Rifle (Rifle)

This is the single-shot variant of the Pulse Rifle. The scout rifle substitutes rate of fire, mag capacity and max ammo with high accuracy. Not to mention its damage-per-shot is almost on a par with the X46 sniper rifle – with a critical hit that is the equal of it. If you are a high precision player that’s confident in your ability to one-shot Xenos in their weakest points, and you don’t want the hassle of a scoped weapon, the Scout Rifle is an excellent choice.

Twinhammer (Handgun)

As already mentioned, the Twinhammer is a close alternative to the Kramer .50 cal. The Twinhammer has slightly less weak point damage and range, but its burst allows it to output more damage than the Kramer. If you need to burst baddies at close range and their weak point aren’t in plain sight, the Twinhammer wins. Again, the handgun is just a preference, so go with whatever.

aliens fireteam volcan

OCAP-91 Volcan (Heavy)

A flame unit can make short work of any enemy and make them think twice about attacking, but the weapon has two major disadvantages. One is its very short range and fire rate, meaning you can squirt through fuel before you know it. The second problem is that players tend to go a bit crazy with them, sending flame all over the place and lighting up the map so that it’s hard to tell what’s going on. The flame effects are a sight to behold and do obscene amounts of damage to all Aliens, but if you have a flamethrower on your team who refuses to relinquish their primary weapon, make sure they show a bit of discipline in close encounters, rather than adopting a spray and pray strategy that is likely to get the team disorientated and likely killed. If you can mitigate its weaknesses or be a bit more mellow in your gas-guzzling, then this is a clear A-tier weapon. Just don’t get your allies killed with friendly fire, please.

M12 RPG Launcher (Heavy)

The M12 is a rocket launcher alternative. The key difference is that the M12 is a single shot RPG, but it reloads insanely quickly and deals significantly more damage per warhead. Furthermore, the upgrades on the M13 allow its explosion size to increase, along with a chance to deal Thermal damage at max rank. Once you get this leveled up it is by far better than the M12A1, but like all Demolisher weapons, don’t go and kill your teammates, please. All Demolisher weapons feel like C Tier weapons otherwise.

Twilight V.4 (Rifle)

The Twilight V.4 is the first DMR you get, which is quite nice for a low-level Gunner or Recon class. However, if you manage to get yourself the AM-16 Gruppa, then this weapon is immediately sub-optimal. We consider it an A Tier because it is still fairly well rounded, so don’t be afraid of using it if you have a weapon that can deal with enemies that enter your kill zone.

Type 21 Tactical Shotgun (CQW)

The Type 21 Shotgun is a very good shotgun that you get early on. It is better than the M37 in ammo count and in terms of reloading – rather than loading individual slugs, you load a magazine, making it better in higher pressure situations. However, its downside is that its damage and Weak Point is not as good. This is the deal-breaker for harder levels, especially when you have the M37 and the Auto Shotgun that will annihilate enemies much more quickly. Although, if you like this weapon, it won’t bar you from climbing to Insane difficulty.

B-tier Aliens Fireteam weapons

aliens fireteam smartgun

L56A3 Smartgun (Heavy)

The M56 Smartgun is of course the weapon made famous by Drake and Vasquez in the Aliens movie. This later variant in the Alien timeline isn’t quite as bulky, but neither does it have the same ammo capacity. Even so, its accuracy (thanks to automatic targeting) and stability (thanks to the weapon’s hip-mounted arm) make it a great support weapon that is highly effective against mid-range targets. Try to conserve ammo against long-range and high-armor targets as the damage falloff and poor Weak Point Damage capabilities of the Smartgun are very noticeable and you’ll just tear through those ammo reserves too quickly. Stick to the cannon fodder – Runners and Drones – and you’ll do just fine. Even then, the flamethrowers seem much more effective at that job.

M94 Impact Grenade (Heavy)

Able to put out more sustained damage over a shorter range, the M94 Impact Grenade launcher would be a useful alternative for a Rocket Launcher, but that generally higher DPS comes at a cost: Like a flamethrower unit, in the wrong hands a grenade launcher can be a liability, as fresh recruits tend to just spam their surroundings with explosive ordinance. Even without friendly fire, it can be very disorientating, in spite of the weapon’s effectiveness in dealing with waves of Xenomorphs that are fast closing in on your position. Thankfully the team can mitigate against the weapons concussive effects by making use of cover. Use fire and explosions responsibly, people. You may as well just use the rocket launcher as it outclasses this Aliens fireteam weapon with ease. 

Type 78 Burst Pistol (Handgun)

The Type 78 is the sort of Handgun that a Doc would like. The class is limited to either a AR or DMR as primary, but their second option is Handguns. Since your primary weapons will likely have decent Weak Point and range, you’ll want a short-range spray pistol that will peel for you. If you manage to get lucky and loot a Type 78, then this burst pistol will be good for those close range niche situations. It is certainly more reliable than the Rapid Responder anyway.

Type 95 Combat Pistol (Handgun)

Now that we are once again talking preference, the Type 95 is a decent alternative to the 78. The reason why is its spray-and-pray 22 magazine size pistol that does decent damage. If you can aim, the Type 95 will work for you, but if you like that precision burst Weak Point gameplay, go with the 78 Burst (if you loot it).

X46 Ballista Flechette Rifle (Rifle)

The X46 is probably the first sniper rifle you will unlock in Fireteam Elite, and it has all the features and limitations you’d expect: very high damage and accuracy, at the cost of a slow firing rate and poor magazine capacity. To be fair, reload times and ammunition supply are surprisingly generous, which gives the X46 some versatility over the other sniper rifles in the game. This makes it the better choice for general combat situations, but the problem with the X46 is common to all sniper rifles in Aliens Fireteam – they just don’t have the capacity for high kill rates, which are necessary to complete your mission. 

Type 88 Heavy Assault Rifle

The Type 88 Heavy Assault is a bit underwhelming. The weapons is the strongest damage per round AR, but everything else is;t that great. The beauty of it is that you can mod it however you like. However, it still doesn’t feel like the Kramer, Pule or Burst rifle. If you like the heavy feeling or the Type 88, especially with the Gunner active ability making it incredibly strong you should go for it. But it feels more effective to play any of the aforementioned rifles over it.

M12A1 Rocket Launcher (Heavy)

Able to fire three high-damage rockets in under four seconds, the M12A1 Rocket Launcher can literally tear an entire wave of Aliens limb from acid-bloodied limb. This gives you enough time to reload before the next one hoves into view. Don’t be surprised if Prowler and Warrior Aliens walk through the carnage relatively unscathed as the M12A1 has relatively poor Weak Point Damage, but it’s a great alternative to the L56A3 Smartgun as it’s able to do much the same job, but at a greater range. 

Sniper Rifle Aliens Fireteam Elite

M42A3 Sniper Rifle (Rifle)

The M42A3 is the only bolt action sniper in the game. The weapon does incredible damage, especially to Weak Points, but its zoom in, lack of rounds, bolt action rate of fire and general map design makes it fairly niche in its usage. We recommend using a DMR over this, but if you find a level with really long angles and a lack of flanking opportunities, give it ago. Please bring a decent PDW though when the enemies get close.

Type 99 Incinerator (CQW)

The Type 99 Incinerator is a pocket-sized Volcan. As we already mentioned, flamethrowers are great at mowing down hordes at close range, albeit with a few more notable weaknesses than SMGs or shotguns. However, if you get in the same situations as the Volcan, this weapon will work wonders. Do note its damage is, ammo count and magazine size are much lower than the Volcan. If you like flamethrowers, this might be fun for a while, but SMGs and shotguns are much more effective, in our humble opinion.

Kramer Short-barrel (Handgun)

In some situations, this nifty shotty pistol is one of the greatest lifesavers. It does decent damage, but the selling point is its 50% stagger chance. This could save your life in some more niche settings, but it is not really a playstyle we think is that viable.

C-tier Aliens Fireteam weapons

aliens weapons rapid responder

Rapid Responder (Handgun)

The Rapid Responder is listed as a riot gun, which would appear to be some kind of shotgun-pistol. That sounds good on paper, but the weapons has limited use in a typical encounter with Xenos or Synths. Its range, accuracy, and stability are all poor, and its regular and Weak Point damage is low. That is not a good combination to have for any weapons. The only reason you might want to consider arming yourself with a Rapid Responder is if you’re playing as a Doc and you feel that you absolutely must have something that feels like a shotgun to compliment your Rifle. Go ahead, but you’ll regret it.

DT-57 Medved (CQW)

This close-quarter weapon (CQW) is essentially a sawn-off shotgun, and while it looks and feels more bad-ass than the standard-issue M37A3 Pump Shotgun, it’s second-best in almost every respect. It has slightly improved accuracy and a marginally better firing rate. But, in terms of damage, ammo capacity, and reload speed, it’s totally outgunned by the M37A3. It has 25% less max ammo, 75% less magazine capacity and it takes almost three times longer to reload. Avoid.

 

aliens weapons m10 auto pistol

M10 Auto Pistol (Handgun)

The thing about the Aliens universe, as we learnt from watching Lt. Gorman’s demise, is that if you have to rely on a handgun, you are probably screwed. This one is a little more effective than your general issue sidearm, as it spits bullets. However, despite a high rate of fire, decent magazine capacity and reload time, the M10 Auto Pistol has a pretty terrible range and if you are surrounded, you’ll be overrun before you reload a new clip. Better instead to pick a handgun with stopping power and leave the automatic fire to someone with a bigger gun.

M95 Grenade Launcher

To be honest, the grenade launcher matches up with the Volcan quite well, with its bonus of doing weak point damage. However, it is a less effective Rocket Launcher for nuking hordes of Xenos. However, if you like this weapon, go for it, but know that its upgrades are lacklustre especially compared to the M12 RPG.

N79 Eva Lazer

The N79 Lazer is a rather weird weapon. You fire high powered lasers at the target to melt them. While it does a huge burst, the overheat is less effective than having a chunky magazine for horde control and is less effective when you know the Kramer is a trusty handgun. It does get better with levels and mods, but for harder difficulties, it is not an old reliable. It could be a good fun to mess around in Horde mode though.

 

If you have a favorite Aliens Fireteam weapon that you think we’ve ranked unfairly, nuke the site in the comments below. It’s the only way to be sure.