[Top 10] Escape From Tarkov Best Weapons That Are Powerful

The imagery from the game's launcher which features two PMCs of opposing factions.
Two PMC operatives prep for combat.

    In Escape from Tarkov, a perfect blend between FPS and survival, you have one main objective: get out alive. While it may seem easy, especially if, like myself, you’re a weathered veteran of one or both genres, escaping Tarkov with your life will often take more than just losing your dignity along the way. In order to evade bands of ruthless mercenaries and maybe even grab some loot in the process, you will have to be fully equipped with the best arsenal around. That being said, here are 10 of the best performing weapons you can find in Escape from Tarkov.


10. SVD-S 7.62X54R Sniper Rifle

SVD Sniper Rifle

      The SVD is a DMR (Designated Marksman Rifle)/Sniper Rifle hybrid, and packs one hell of a punch if you’re the mid/long-range type. The rifle uses the same ammunition as the now-infamous Mosin, a bolt-action sniper rifle that itself does plenty of work. What makes the SVD stand out though is that it can shoot these same high-caliber rounds in a semi-automatic fashion.

        The SVD’s more modernized design allows for it to be fully modded if necessary, granting even more options for usage, depending on your preferences. The gun is even so powerful, that one of the game’s several AI Bosses, Shturman, uses it as his chosen weapon. Needless to say, the SVD is one long-range killer that you do not want to be on the receiving end of.

    SVD Key Points:

  • 900-meter effective range (Sniper Rifle Equivalent)
  • Modifications allowing for either long, mid, or even close-range use
  • High caliber bullets that can instantly kill enemies if placed correctly
  • Options for 20 round magazines, creating more room for scav massacre


9.  Springfield Armory M1A 7.62x51 carbine

Springfield Armory M1A

        Next on the list is another one of our trusty DMRs - the M1A. Similar to the SVD, the M1A is a heavy-duty marksman rifle that is most lethal on the longer end of the mid-range group, with an effective range clocking in slightly under that of the SVD. The base ergonomics are actually lower on the M1A as well, but this bad boy has something that number 10 doesn’t: 7.62x51 NATO rounds. 

    7.62x51 M61 is notably one of the most lethal rounds in the game, and the stats back that up. While there is one round from each of the aforementioned calibers above M61 statistically (7.62x51 M993 & 7.62x39 7N37), neither of those are purchasable on the game’s dynamic trader market, making M61 the most viable and practical round of choice. That being said, the fact that the M1A can pump out M61s or similar rounds at a firing rate of 700 RPM makes it obvious to include in the conversation of top guns.

    M1A Key Points:

  • 700-meter effective range
  • A vast array of modification options, much more customizable than any competition
  • High-penetration M61 round which is consistently available in-game


8. TDI Kriss Vector Gen.2  9x19 Submachine Gun

9x19 Vector

        Entering into the world of close-ranged combat requires a few must-uses - one of them being the recently added 9x19 Kriss Vector. Released with the game’s late-2020 12.9 updates, the Vector (as well as its cousin of the same name chambered in .45 ACP) were initially met with mixed reviews. However, as their time in the game has progressed, it’s become clear that they are both more than capable of shredding opponents, at lightning-fast speeds too.

    The 9x19 Vector stands out from the other SMGs, as well as from its .45 variant, for a variety of reasons. The 9x19 variant features a perfect balance of affordable-yet-deadly ammunition, a high fire rate, and strong recoil control. Despite being middle-range on the fire rate totem pole amongst other SMGs in the game, the 9x19 Vector has one of the best ratios between base recoil and fire rate, making it effective in more situations than just barrel-stuffing a clueless player right in front of you. With the Vector on your side, you might start to think that size may not really matter after all.

    9x19 Vector Key Points:

  • Lower fire rate than .45 Vector, but better recoil/fire-rate ratio, and more control
  • Largest clip size = 50 round drum, rather than 30 rd. mag for the .45
  • More available modding options in almost every attachment slot


7. Desert Tech MDR 5.56x45 Assault Rifle

5.56x45 DT MDR      

    Transferring calibers brings us to the first of the Desert Tech twins - the 5.56x45 MDR. Shooting 5.56, which is a high-penetration round, you will not find much trouble when running into heavily armored baddies. The premier round here is M995, which warrants the second-highest penetration rating out of all assault-rifle rounds (excluding 7.62x51.) 

    With the combination of M995 and strong base ergonomics and recoil statistics, the MDR is the ideal assault rifle to be used in many different scenarios, including some mid to long-range engagements if modded correctly.

5.56x45 MDR Key Points: 

  • Strong combination of recoil, fire rate, and bullet damage
  • More versatile at range than its competitors, including the other MDR


6.  Desert Tech MDR 7.62x51 Assault Rifle

7.62x51 DT MDR       

After learning more about the M1A and other powerful guns in Tarkov which can shoot sniper rounds at a heightened fire rate, the question often arises: what’s better than this? Well, in this case, the DT MDR is the answer. Just like the M1A, this MDR variant is chambered in 7.62x51 rounds, so you can get all of that M61 goodness, in a fully automatic fashion.

        Given the vast power that this gun holds, it should come as no surprise that you’ll feel an increase in recoil, but that can easily be negated by the gun’s compatibility with many standard attachments and other mounts. These traits make the 7.62x51 MDR a top choice for effectively dropping bodies in close mid-range combat.

    7.62x51 MDR Key Points:

  • Strong, sniper-caliber rounds at a fully-automatic speed
  • Affordable and readily available attachment options and ammunitions
  • Relatively lightweight given its damage output


5. FN P90 5.7x28 submachine gun

FN P90 submachine gun

       Another devastating firearm in the SMG department is the P90. This gun has become widely popular for its slim build and relatively low base vertical recoil statistics. Additionally, the gun uses 5.7x28 rounds (also used by the pistol which shares its caliber’s name) which include the fabled SS190, which features the second-highest penetration rating out of all rounds from a pool of 9x19 and 5.7. 

        As has proven to be a common distinction in the past, SS190 is also the highest performing round that can be easily bought, rather than having to be found in-game. The high fire rate mixed with low recoil and armor-piercing rounds solidifies that you will want to be the one holding the P90 rather than holding its bullets in your gut, in any scenario. Personally, if I’m going to Factory and I know I really can’t afford to die, the P90 is always in my first weapon slot.

    P90 Key Points:

  • Uses SS190, which is high-performing and can be bought on the market
  • All attachments and mods are sold through a licensed in-game trader
  • High fire rate without losing points in the recoil section



4. FN Scar-H 7.62X51 Assault rifle

FN Scar-H 7.62x51

            The Scar-H, which has been a cult classic amongst FPS and shooter fans for years (I loved it in COD: Black Ops 2), has just recently made its triumphant entry to the world of Tarkov with the 12.12 patch, which came on December 12th, 2021. While both the 5.56x45 and 7.65x51 variants have been making ripples in the EFT community, the 7.62 variant has been receiving especially high praise. 

    Like many of its colleagues of the same caliber, the Scar-H suffers from incredibly high recoil but seems to show more promise for effective use at a high range than others like the aforementioned 7.62 MDR. Coming into the game fully compatible with many popular attachments, the Scar’s long body allows for versatility of use, and with late-game attachments will help you put an end to anybody’s plans, regardless of their intentions.

7.62x51 Scar-H Key Points:

  • High recoil, but can be balanced out with strong attachments
  • Use of powerful M61 rounds at all ranges, possibly even in bursts from long-range


3. HK-416A5 5.56x45 Assault Rifle

HK-416A5 Assault Rifle

       The HK-416, more commonly just referred to as “HK”, is a very popular and very effective assault rifle that has been in the conversation of best weapons in Tarkov for quite some time. Even as many guns have come and go in popularity and viability, there still hasn’t been a time in EFT when you wouldn’t see the HK consistently in any highlight video you may lay your eyes on.

    Using the same 5.56 caliber as the MDR which is lower on the list, the HK features peak modification potential, with many different choices to choose from, which has allowed players to maximize its utility. When fully modded, the HK is hard to beat as its opponent, and will easily rest in all of your favorite player’s top five lists. 

HK-416 Key Points:

  • Maximum modding potential, allowing for extremely high ergonomics and low recoil
  • Easily available high-penetration ammunition
  • Found on many AI and as loot in-game, making assembling the kit easier
  • Unmatched performance at all ranges


2. CMMG Mk47 Mutant 7.62x39 assault rifle

MK47 Mutant 7.62x39

    One of the only weapons that can come close to matching the HK’s optimization is another new kid on the block - the MK47 Mutant. This monster is chambered in 7.62x39, the first one of its kind on this list. Before June of 2021, this caliber was only used by some AK variants, which, while popular, were not fast-firing enough to be considered ‘great’. As you will see when you use it, though, the Mutant has risen to the occasion and makes great use of the legendary BP round to absolutely tear through any and everything, of all armor classes.

    The only thing stopping BP before was its exclusivity to relatively primal weapons, but you will see once you use it that the Mutant’s fire rate and improved ergonomics make it one of the deadliest in the game. Since it was released this summer, it has easily become my favorite gun in the game, and many players have suffered before me with the Mutant in my hand.

Mk47 Mutant Key Points:

  • Best-in-class modding comparable to the HK
  • Maximizes the potential of the 7.62x39 BP round
  • High ergonomics at most all ranges


1. SWORD International Mk-18 .338 LM marksman rifle

The MK-18 .338 LM Marksman Rifle

What… what’s that? Do you also hear the angels singing, or is that just me? If you do, it’s because your PMC has also just received a giant round of .338 Lapua Magnum straight to, well… anywhere on their body.

         It’s no exaggeration for me to say that the Mk-18 .338 is the final boss of Escape from Tarkov, for both its victims and sometimes the user. This giant rifle is the only one of its kind in the game, and the rounds it deals out are no joke. .338 LM AP has the highest penetration of any round in the game, and will instantly kill a majority of the opponents you will find if hit in the chest or head. 

    Along with this sheer power, of course, is one of the highest recoil stats in the game, and even with heavy modification, the Mk-18 is a pain to handle, in or out of combat. While it is not the most efficient or viable weapon in the game, and the individual bullets can sometimes cost more alone than entire guns, it is by FAR the most powerful. I would strongly recommend you try shooting (not getting shot by) this gun at least once in your Tarkov career,


That being said, these are the 10 most powerful weapons in EFT. Speaking from experience, I’ve used every gun on this list at least a few times, and, while the stats are impressive, they all speak for themselves and perform in their respective ideal scenarios. While most times, viability and power go hand in hand, there are scenarios (like with the .338 Mk-18) when it’s not the smartest to use the strongest weapon.

    Nonetheless, I strongly recommend trying all of these out, and if you already have, try revisiting them. After all, as illustrated by this list, the climate within EFT is always changing, and guns that were HOT two patches ago may be NOTs before you know it. Now get out there and shed some shells!





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A lifelong gamer, dungeon master, and dweller of the unknown, using words as the fuel and breathing fire unto his torch to light the way for all gamers, worldwide.
Gamer Since: 2005
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Super Smash Bros: Ultimate
Top 3 Favorite Games:DOTA 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Sid Meier's Civilization V: Brave New World

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