The Absolute Best Weapons in 'Gears of War'

Because destroying hordes of Locust and enemy players requires only the best.

Gears of War stands the test of time as one of the most memorable franchises on Xbox, filled with conflict seeped in human emotion. Originally released nearly a decade ago on Xbox 360, Gears of War has branched through two console generations with an excellent approach to storytelling and a fantastic arsenal of weaponry to back it up.

From the iconic Lancer to the fast-firing Snug pistol; every weapon in Gears of War is a deadly killing machine provided they’re used properly — and come next Tuesday, many will be returning with the release of Gears of War 4. Here’s some of our favorite weapons from the entire franchise.

5. The Boomshot

The Boomshot is a single-shot, pump-action grenade launcher typically used by Locust hordes. Wielded in the field by Boomers who love nothing more than shouting, “Boom!” in an ominous voice, the weapon fires a delayed explosive shell followed by a series of smaller shells that create a series of secondary explosions around the target area. Since the weapon had a hefty size to it, the iron sights didn’t work well, but what it lacks in accuracy it more than makes up for in pure stopping power.

In multiplayer, this weapon was often used after downing a player with another weapon in order to kill those teammates rushing to revive their fallen comrade. If angled properly, it could also eliminate players behind cover as well thanks to the secondary explosion.

4. The Longshot

Created by the Coalition of Ordered Governments during the Pendulum Wars, the Longshot is, as the name sort of name sort of implies, a powerful sniper rifle that can down targets from a fairly long range. Originally, the weapon was used to counter the UIR Markza Rifle and give the COG Gears a ranged weapon, but ended up sticking around for nearly 17 years following Emergence Day.

Despite being a single-shot weapon, the Longshot is an absolute powerhouse in the Gears of War franchise capable of decapitating an enemy with a single, well-placed shot. In multiplayer, it served as an excellent counter to the Torque Bow or Hammer of Dawn as well — often before users could pop off a charged shot of the latter two. Did we mention it had a fantastic, swing-the-hammer execution as well? Classic.

3. The Hammer of Dawn

Nearly every video game franchise has their ultimate power weapon. Whether they be energy swords or machine guns, none will ever come close to the energy beam from the Hammer of Dawn. This Imulsion-powered orbital platform was capable of firing a beamed laser which could destroy large ships within seconds. Even though it was created before the Locusted attacked, it was a key tool used to keep humanity alive long enough to win the war.

The laser beam is directed by a portable targeting system and can be utilized continuously provided it has a clear line-of-sight with the target. Despite taking a little bit of time to lock on, the Hammer of Dawn was an extremely powerful tool in multiplayer as well — allowing players to systematically eliminate entire teams entrenched behind cover if timed properly.

2. The Gnasher Shotgun

This short-barreled, level-action beauty has been the backbone of close quarters combat in the Gears of War franchise. Used by the COG Gears, this shotgun fired 12-guage buckshot rounds in a cone-shaped pattern that often took down average enemies in a single shot. The Gnasher could also be used at range too, although it was a little less effective, to eliminate enemies with a few extra shots.

The Gnasher was an absolute workhorse in multiplayer as well, being the go-to weapon for every player in close quarters combat. If used properly, players could take down an entire enemy team with a few rounds thanks to its extremely high damage and quick reload.

1. The Lancer

It’s no secret that the Lancer is one of the most recognizable weapons in the Gears of War franchise and the entire video game industry. Designed by Adam Fenix during the first year of the Locust War, the new version of the Lancer was an assault rifle with a large magazine and a chainsaw bayonet for sawing through enemies in close quarters combat. Originally, the chainsaw was actually meant for utility purposes — but once the COG Gears got their hands on it, they found it was a little more useful for cutting through hordes of Locust on the front lines.

In competitive multiplayer, the Lancer is the staple starting weapon capable of laying down fire at medium range, but it almost always is outdone by the various power weapons scattered about the map. But that didn’t stop players from having fun with chainsaw duels and cutting each other to pieces when the timing was right.

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