This post was updated on .
This isn't finished. I'd rate overall progress at like 14%... Don't complain.
Forward:As I hope you know already, I play on the Xbox International servers. As such, my metagame exposure comes primarily from my personal gameplay on said server and because of this some information within this article may strike some players as odd or incorrect. Please keep in mind that I'm working with observations and analysis made on a specific server with its own specific metagame; any cross-server inconsistencies are a result of different metagames and should not be argued or debated for any reason whatsoever regardless of the validity of non-XBL-INT strategies, builds, weapon combos, or usage stats.
This is the Only Used (OU) Part Tier Listing. This list contains within all the parts that you'll ever use in a competitive setting. I intend to use this as a reference list for players looking to see which parts they should use. I'll go over all kinds of parts, from Weapons to AC Parts, and rank them based upon how good they are. Note that while you may have different opinions when it comes to part viability, I'm the one writing the guide. That said, I have a large amount of personal bias when it comes to some of the more top-tier gear items in ACVD, and I myself usually run lesser-used items just for a change of pace. I'll endeavor to keep my personal bias out of this guide for the most part, but under-utilized parts will be included simply because I run some weapons verbatim across multiple AC types and I'm still able to play at a high competitive level.
Anyways, Weapons will be listed as such:
Always Used - Weapons or Parts that see a lot more use than most other parts in the game. An AC would almost be inoperable without at least one or two of these parts.
Sash Pick - If I run it and think you should to, I'll list my notes in this color.
Well, let's begin.
Weapons (Handset)What good is an AC that can't smash your skull in, much less protect itself?
Always Used -
USG-11/H (AM/SGA-204) - If you want to run a shotgun, run this. It provides the greatest guarantee of Stagger over range, and it also has the highest pellet count of all the shotguns, making it deal the most total damage.
Zinnia (KURENAI mdl.2) - Very strong DPS shotgun. Good for UNACs and players alike, but has major range drawbacks. If you need some kind of close-up KE output, this is a great alternative to a Gatling gun purely because of its insane DPS potential. Keep in mind that when it is used outside of its effective range, damage output is pitiful.
Zapyatoi (AM/GGA-206) - This is the premier Gat to use. It has more ammo than you'll ever chew through, and speaking of chewing, this gun will chew through your AP very quickly if you're not careful. It's heavy and a little hard to accommodate on lighter builds, but it takes no skill to use and does not require any degree of AC specialization.
Lycaenid (AM/GGA-115) - This is a slightly lighter version of the Zap Gat. I see this used interchangeably with its second-gen brother whenever weight is a concern.
AU04 Kestrel - High-DPS Gatling Gun. Ammo count is very low for a Gat, but it has very high damage output. This weapon certainly won't singlehandedly kill an AC, but it contributes an overwhelming amount of firepower in a short amount of time. It isn't something you should use without another weapon to back it up, however.
Distel (AM/GGA-208) - Don't get me wrong, this Gat is nice, but there's not really any reason to use it over the Zap Gat unless weight is a concern.
Lowenzahn (AM/GGA-107) - This gun suffers the same fate as the Distel. It's outclassed by its peers but still has viability on lighter builds looking for consistent damage output.
Jesup (AM/RFA-222) - This is one of if not the best rifle in the game for general purpose use. It has good DPS, high Ammo, passable lock time, great muzzle (for a rifle) and per-shot damage can still take advantage of Armor Break. Two of these can chew through unresisted or Armor-Broken ACs very fast.
Lampourde (AM/RFB-215) - This was the go-to rifle of ACV, but with a nerf to its Muzzle Velocity stat, this gun just doesn't have that mid-range consistency that it used to. Don't discredit it too much, though; this rifle has the highest per-shot damage for its reload rate. The Lamp can do a surprising amount of damage to builds that don't meet the 1505 KE benchmark, and it is advisable that even though this weapon isn't the most-used rifle, it can still do a ton of damage very quickly if it isn't buffed out.
*Tansy (Au-B-A17) - This rifle needs more love. It's the best close-range KE beatstick in the game. It is highly improbable that this weapon will not hit effectively, and it has a tremendous damage output when paired with a high-stability arm. Still, its slower fire rate will discourage some players, and it isn't used nearly as often as other rifles or Gats when it comes to main KE damage output.
*Sash Pick - Tansy is horrible on low-firing-stability arms, and usually a Gat is a better choice. However, there are no better options when it comes to reliable KE coverage, and Tansy will hit many Heavies, Mids, HRJs, Light Quads, LWs, LRJs, and CE Tanks harder than you'd expect given the fire rate. I run at least one of these on almost every one of my ACs.
Tournesol (AM/RFB-219) - While not a very good weapon for conventional combat, this rifle really shines up-close. Combined with a USG, this rifle can prove to be the most effective tool for mobile close-range combat because of its low lock time, good damage output, and relatively good range. However, it provides no practical coverage on its own and doesn't offer much offensive presence. Still, it puts out a lot of bullets, and utterly obliterates opponents when dealing effective damage, making it good for fighting light ACs weak to USGs.
*Calendula (Au-B-A04) - This rifle has a rather high lock time, but it functions like a miniature Tansy. Calendula may not have the fire rate of the Jesup, nor the raw power of the Tansy, but it offers middle-of-the-road coverage and DPS. It cannot truly be classified as a DPS weapon, however, as its fire rate is lacking. It can provide much-needed situational coverage when employed against Light Quads, and 1600+ KE damage goes a long way in thinning out AP numbers.
*Sash Pick - Calendula (or as I call it, Kaldentula) provides a good mix of per-shot damage as well as DPS. It sucks at doing both, but it's the mix that I like. This weapon works like a Tansy for builds that don't have great Firing Stability, but still need coverage against some of the heavier threats out there. Calendula hits a wide range of builds, despite not having a very impressive attack stat. I use it particularly to hit Light Quads, because Calendula provides more DPS than Tansy but still hits over most Light Quad Defense-Thresholds.
SNIPER RIFLE(Please keep in mind that most if not all snipers usually require Dual Subcomputer shoulder units for competitive use.)
Zlatko (KURETAKE mdl.2) - This is probably the best sniper in the game. It does a horrifically high amount of damage and has the muzzle velocity to make its shots hit. This weapon also has a rather low lock time, and it can even be blue-locked to an acceptable degree. This weapon is incredibly dangerous and two of them backed buy Dual Subcomputers can be obnoxiously hard to deal with... they'll also kill you in about ten shots. The only downside is the rather lengthy reload time, but that isn't much of a factor considering the behavior of a sniping AC. However, pay attention to the weapon's ammo count. 38 shots go unexpectedly quickly if not all of them are hitting their mark.
*Cycad (AM/SRA-133) - The Cycad offers a very well-rounded approach to sniping, and can be used as a mid-ranged DPS weapon in a pinch. This weapon has a great lock time (for a sniper rifle) and deals reasonable damage with a good reload rate to boot. Keep in mind that some tunes of this weapon are totally ineffective for sniping, as they do not pack any punch whatsoever.
*Sash Pick - Cycads can be run with only a single sub. Only do this if you don't expect the enemy to snipe as well, because you won't hit them for shit if they're good and you won't trade favorably either. Discrediting the Cycad on the grounds of its counter-sniping capabilities would be an error, because a Quality Build running a single sub can use one of these with little drawback. It provides great utility on builds that don't especially need any KE output, or those ACs running Dual BR.
Seidenbaum (AM/SRA-217) - Seidenbaums typically fill the middle-ground sniper role, as they deal good damage and have a good lock time. Their reload isn't that bad, and they have quite a bit of ammo. This sniper rifle has very good range, and as such it is effective out to quite some distance. Remember, though, that its muzzle velocity isn't extraordinary, so some of your more extreme shots may go astray.
HEAT HOWITZER(I can't advise using Heat Howies competitively unless you have a lot of practice with them and can accurately predict enemy movement.)
Svetlyak (Abridged: Svet. Au-F-K16) - A solid Heat Howitzer for Howitzer Combat. The Svet boasts high ammo, high damage, and a good shot count. This weapon is easily at the top of its class.
Jewelwood (SHIRANAMI mdl.2) - This Howie is highly accurate, but has a low ammo count. Its damage is also lackluster, and though it has nice muzzle and fire rate, it just doesn't compare favorably to the Svet. If you're an OG, run Jewelwood, because though they take more skill to use, they're like Sniper-Howies, not to mention classics from ACV.
Au-F-S03 and *Au-F-U21 - I'll group these two together since there isn't much distinction. These weapons are very difficult for a human to use effectively, but they are devastating when wielded by a UNAC. Their low damage, low shot count, poor spread, and low ammo make them very unattractive for use by human players.
*Sash Pick I prefer the U21 on my UNACs. It has a bit more power at the cost of ROF. This thing has considerable CE DPS when it hits reliably, which is easy for a UNAC to pull off. Ideally, one of these will shred a Metaweight Heavy or a Light Tank in relatively short order, and even an unlucky Mid or Light. I wouldn't rely too much on these things though, they're quirky (but they obliterate groundwalkers).
Cercis (AM/BRA-125) - This BR is very versatile, and can occupy many roles depending on how it has been tuned. Power Variant can smash some heavyweights, Accuracy Variant will pin down even the fastest Lightweights, and Rapid-Fire Variants will chew up Mids in short order. However, mixed tunings can typically be more effective at a larger variety of tasks, and the popular "2 Power 1 Accuracy" Cercis is quite likely the most used Battle Rifle. I shouldn't really have to go more in-depth than that, this weapon is just wickedly good.
Strekoza (Au-C-B19) - The Strekoza boasts an unbelieveably high per-shot damage, making it the premier CE coverage weapon. Once again, "2 Power 1 Accuracy" tunes are the most common, and coming in at 2400 attack power, there's not a lot in the game that can take Strekoza shots. Two of these at full power will roast a medium or heavy AC in about ten shots, and the only thing holding this weapon's power-tuned variants back is its slightly undesirable muzzle velocity and lock time. Accuracy Tunes still have very high attack power and much better lock and muzzle, so those variants see a lot of use as well. Really, when it comes to Streks, you aren't talking about the weapon, just the tune. Power Strek is a totally different animal compared to Accuracy Strek. Either way, you'll be seeing these about as much as Cercis.
*Au-C-H22 - The 3BR. This gun is good with a full power tune, providing a very strong burst of damage out to mid-range. However, it is held back by its muzzle velocity somewhat. Don't let that fool you though, this gun can rack up a lot of damage very, very fast. The 3BR has great coverage, coming in at just over 2000 CE damage, not to mention it shoots three rounds at once, boosting its damage output to 7k-ish per trigger-pull. This gun isn't all that good when it's resisted though, so be careful of what you shoot it at. Still, when this weapon is effective, it does a huge amount of damage in an instant, making it great for mobile combat. This weapon also has a very low lock time for a BR, and as such, it finds its way onto a wide range of ACs. Builds with good firing stability can make the most out of this weapon at max power, but if you want to hit Mids and Lights for a shitload of damage, the Accuracy and Balanced tunes of the 3BR are surprisingly effective. The only drawback of this weapon is its high weight, which limits the range of ACs that can comfortably accommodate the 3BR.
*Sash Pick I really, really, really like the 3BR for cover-to-cover combat on my heavyweights. It has so much potential for burst damage that it easily lets me trade favorably with other builds running similar weapons. As an added bonus, the 3BR tracks for the entirety of the burst; your shots will get increasingly accurate towards the end of the burst as additional corrective aiming kicks in. This means you can blue-lock it. Since I can't blue-lock the ACVD Strekoza like I could the ACV Strekoza, this weapon finds a place right alongside the Tansy on most of my ACs.
UBR-05/R (ARAGANE mdl.2) - This gun obliterates things. It has great attack power, great muzzle velocity, great fire rate, and rather good range. The only downside is its abysmal lock time, but don't let that confuse you; this weapon is a very potent addition to Sniper ACs that are already running Dual Subs. The UBR provides a sickeningly high damage output only rivaled by the Strekoza. Sadly, this weapon is really only held back by the need for subcomputers that its lock time is responsible for. Two of these can rough up almost any AC very quickly, but they fall short when it comes to hitting Quads, HRJs, and even some Tanks. The UBR can be used to good effect regardless of firing stability, but the requirement of Dual subcomputers is restrictive, as much so as the weapon's weight.
Lotus (AM/BRA-224) - The Cercis pretty much made off with all of the Lotus' old stats. The Lotus in ACVD is essentially the Cercis of ACV; meaning it has a longer lock time, longer reload time, and less damage. However, this doesn't mean the Lotus isn't good, it just has a niche role as a LW and MW-slaying weapon due to its outstanding muzzle velocity. Accuracy Variants of this weapon work best for the purpose of killing lighter ACs, but a good old "2 Power 1 Accuracy" tune will do everything that Cercis does... but worse.
*Podenka (Au-C-B07) - This weapon functions like a less-powerful, less-reliable Strekoza. It still boasts a good degree of attack power, however, as well as a quicker rate of fire and slightly faster lock time. Regretably, the Podenka has a lower muzzle velocity than the Strekoza, so it can be hard to get the most out of the weapon outside of close-range engagements. That aside, the Podenka can be used more easily with a full Power tune than the Strekoza, albeit easier still with a subcomputer. Podenkas accompanied by a subcomputer can deal a massive amount of damage, though they are easily dodged when outside of their effective range and their supply of ammo goes relatively quickly.
*Sash Pick This gun, your Light Quad. Seriously, I fight so many damn Sawa Quads that I run Calendula and Podenka to just get effective quasi-DPS on the damn things. I wouldn't recommend it without at least one Subcomputer, but the Power-tuned Podenka does a surprising amount of damage on a large quantity of the metagame. It functions as a good coverage weapon for times when I find myself close to the enemy, and it serves as a passable option for dealing with Tanks and Heavies. I have to say that you can't rely on the Podenka as your main source of damage, however; this gun is just situational coverage and DPS.
HEAT MACHINEGUN(Note: I'm really not qualified to talk about non-power-spec CEMGs. I know that people love their Rapid-Fire tunes with some of these weapons, but I play a Heavyweight and am rarely affected by the difference.)
AU24 Kayak - Oh man the Kayak! This is a great weapon for DPS, but its primary role is providing coverage against unprepared Mids and most Lights/LRJs. The Kayak's strength comes from its light weight, moderately high CE attack power, and great fire rate. Among other things, it has great handling traits, most notably a good muzzle velocity. The reason people run this weapon is because it has little impact on the AC itself, unlike BRs, which while Battle Rifles do hit lighter ACs especially hard, the Kayak doesn't require subcomputers to be effective, and it has much higher DPS than the average BR, though BRs will hit harder. This weapon is only held back by its attack power, in the grand scheme of things, but it should be known that pairing this weapon with anything that induces armor break is a great way to improve the Kayak's coverage and versatility.
Au-V-M05 - This weapon is used almost interchangeably with the Kayak; it deals a little bit less damage but has more ammo, a slightly faster fire rate, and noticeably better handling characteristics with the exception of its less-than-optimal muzzle velocity. Anything that can be said about the Kayak can be said about this weapon as well when it comes to capabilities. I have no preference between the M05 and the Kayak, but the M05 does lose out on dealing effective damage more frequently than the Kayak, which can be a factor.
AU25 Kalong - This gun isn't quite as good as the Kayak and the M05, but it has its uses. The Kalong boasts a higher attack power than either weapon, and that's about it. It can be used to get key effective damage on some mids and other lighter builds, but otherwise it doesn't have enough damage output to be classified as a truly great weapon. Though the Kalong's fire rate leaves a little to be desired, it derives more benefit from high firing-stability builds than the other two main CEMGs/HMGs
Mahaon (Au-M-R31) - This weapon doesn't see a lot of use anymore. It's the strongest pulse gun by far but it functions less like a shotgun and more like a melee weapon due to a nerf to its accuracy. I wouldn't recommend using the Mahaon anyways because innately speaking you'll have to get close to do damage with this weapon and the targets you'll want to hit with a pulse gun typically make themselves very hard to get close to.
Napa (NIODORI mdl.3) - The Napa isn't a bad weapon, it just isn't used much if at all. The Napa boasts a larger shot count than the Mahaon, as well as a quicker rate of fire and slightly less drain, but that's about it. This weapon used to be very dangerous, but given the state of the game in ACVD, there's really no reason to run this gun.
AU31 Kingfisher - This weapon is basically a more specialized Napa. It doesn't deal quite as much damage but it drains much more, locks slower, and happens to fire eight rounds instead of six. That's all this gun has going for it, to be honest. Again, you're not going to get close enough to hit much with it, and if you do, the damage you deal won't be anything but mediocre.
AU40 Knuckle - The Knuckle is technically a very terrifying weapon once you equip a pair of EN Amps. Otherwise, this gun doesn't have much going for it. It's basically a hyper Napa, dealing more damage and firing eight rounds like the Kingfisher, but otherwise it has horrible handling characteristics and EN drain befitting a Karasawa-class weapon. The only time this weapon really sees use is as either an Accuracy-spec'd CQC-deterrent or on an ultralight AC with dual EN Amplifiers. Even then, this weapon isn't very consistent. Still, it has the potential to completely obliterate an AC if most of its shots hit the target. However, you're better off using a real Melee weapon.
Arachide (HATSUKARI mdl.2) - The Arachide is what people refer to when they say the ever-popular acronym, PMG. It doesn't really shine as much as it used to back in ACV, but this weapon has its uses in ACVD. Despite being the most buffed-out weapon in all of 5th Gen Armored Core, the Arachide isn't seen as frequently as you'd expect. However, don't let its usage fool you; the Arachide will cut through AP numbers like a flaming chainsaw through a down pillow. This effect occurs whenever the target AC does not have 834+ TE. You probably now realize why almost everyone's AC has about that much TE defense if you didn't know the reason already. Due to the widespread counter-armament against the Arachide, this weapon is no longer a staple on most ACs. Still, the classic PMG does a horrific amount of damage to just about everything, with the only drawbacks being its relatively short range and penalizing EN Drain during sustained fire. It also has a hard time hitting faster ACs, but this is remedied by a bit of positioning in conjunction with the weapon's rather scary explosive traits. Using a high firing stability AC will tighten up the weapon's spread, but often times the lower-stability Arms will make better use of a PMG due to their lower static EN Drain.
Modesto (HATSUKARI mdl.1) - This weapon is basically a PMG for people that prefer better handling traits and are willing to lose a bit of damage output. Though mostly inferior to the Arachide, this weapon has an even spookier explosive element to it. You'll have to weigh the benefits and the drawbacks for yourself, as I have no evidence whatsoever pointing to either PMG being the "better" one to use. The Arachide just sees more usage than the Modesto, that's how it is.
UPG-27/E (Au-N-C85) - This weapon is both utterly terrifying and a total paper tiger simultaneously. If you don't know what you're doing, this weapon won't hurt anyone but yourself. If you know how to use it, you'll be destroying things quicker than a PMG would dream of ever doing to someone. However, the Plasma Gun has serious drawbacks, notably its very low muzzle velocity and slow lock time. While the 27/E is honestly very devastating if you use it right, it has almost the same drawbacks as the Pulse Guns; you need to be very, very close for this weapon to do much of anything. That or your opponent has to be virtually motionless. The conditions that need to be met for this weapon to do much of anything are so restrictive that you're better off using a more reliable source of TE damage.
LASER RIFLE(Laser Rifles defy description. They're so common and so hilariously meta that I feel like offering anything more than rudimentary explanation would be an insult to my mental capacity.)
X000 KARASAWA - How could anyone not see this coming? If you don't know what a 'Sawa does, you're looking in the wrong place. Just go play multiplayer for a few hours and you'll understand.
KRSW (Au-L-K29) - Wasn't this one an obvious choice too? Please refer to the Karasawa's notes for this one, but remember that the KRSW is also capable of DPS.
Au-L-K37 - Hey look, the 12Shot. This weapon is about as prevalent as the other two weapons in the Karasawa family. It's almost a hybrid between the Karasawa's sheer power and the KRSW's handling traits. Once again, if you're having trouble understanding what this weapon does, go play multiplayer.
*Aulnee (WAKAKUSA mdl.2) - Uhm, this weapon is just really good. Yeah. That's sorta all you need to know. It behaves like a KRSW but is extremely lightweight. The Aulnee is statistically inferior to the KRSW in almost every way other than muzzle velocity, reload time, and weight and drain, but that's what counts. The Aulnee is devastating in certain circumstances, and it's also highly portable, meaning that many Lightweight ACs can afford to carry one. The Aulnee is especially common as a backup (or even a primary accompaniment) to Sniper Rifles on faster ACs, such as Single Sub Quality Builds or LW Snipers.
*Sash Pick I was using this gun before it was cool. Fuck off. ;)
*ULR-09/R (MURASAKI mdl.3) - This gun is murderously effective at a close range. Tap fire away.
*Sash Pick I was using this gun before it was cool, too. Fuck off. ;)
ULR-22/R (AM/LRA-229) - This weapon is largely the same as the 09/R, but offers an approach more akin to "Quantity over Quality", hitting harder and more frequently but oftentimes not at full power and leaving a little to be desired when it comes to muzzle velocity.
BLADE(There are not choices when it comes to Physical Blades. You run Murakumo or you don't 'Kumo at all.)
MURAKUMO - Wow isn't this obvious? If you're serious about blading, you're going to be running this weapon with an accuracy tune. I won't explain everything that the 'Kumo can do, but two of these on a decent build will fuck up half a team easily. Using Dual Kumo isn't easy, but it provides appalling results.
HEAT PILE(Piles aren't my specialty and they never were. They're less-used melee weapons but they're still common choices for those who want to punch in some skulls.)
Mifeng (Au-R-F19) - Most often this weapon is a One-Shot Kill. You have two shots with it, but 5 with Dual Ammo Mags. If you're piling, you're running Mifengs. There's nothing special about these, just point them towards the enemy and pull the trigger. If their AC comes into the Mifeng's hitbox, they're dead.
LASER BLADE(Laser Blades are always assumed to be used with Dual Amps on quicker, dedicated Melee Builds.)
ULB-13/H (KAGIROI mdl.2) - This is the E-Z mode Blade. It's got all the stats you need to net easy kills with Laser Blades.
DALIA (Au-Q-D68) - This blade deals more damage than the ULB, but at the cost of slightly worse handling traits. Some players prefer this weapon to the ULB, but it normally comes down to personal choice rather than actual viability.
AUTO CANNON(There's only one Autocannon whose use can be statistically justified.)
Calebasse (AM/ACA-218) - This is the only competitive Autocannon. When people say Autocannons they mean Calebasses.
KO-9K2 (Au-G-C19) - Best cannon is best cannon. Ammo is a bit of a drawback but if you run into a Cannon tank chances are they're running these.
AU07 Knocker - The Knocker is a weird weapon. It's a Cannon that behaves like a Rifle. That's all there is to it. Two of these can stunlock, but good luck getting that to work with any consistency. It's still a fun weapon to use, and it works like a KE version of a Heat Cannon in certain circumstances. Blue-Locking with this weapon is possible, but rather unlikely given its muzzle velocity.
Estragon (HAYASAME mdl.2) - This weapon is actually rather terrifying, but far from top-tier. The charge time and EN Drain are obvious drawbacks, but it basically functions like a Cannon that doesn't require subcomputers.
Gerbera (HAYASAME mdl.1) - This weapon functions very similarly to the Estragon, but with a bit less power and with a bit better handling characteristics. It doesn't have quite the same muzzle velocity, however, so the Gerbera won't reach out to the range that the Estragon will.
Always Used - Fuck it I'm tired and this is getting to be a chore.
Always Used -
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Notes: Jeez. Let me take a break.
Light can be just as blinding as Darkness. Bring some Sunglasses.
i use the new compact gats for its low ammo capacity. with a high firing rate, i can easily discard this gun at midgame and transition to a highboosting(scan mode) approach/evade tactic at late games
Light shines the brightest
At the heart of darkness
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