In Ghost Recon Wildlands, being precise and resourceful with the equipment you have at your disposal is paramount, and it’s especially important if you’re playing on one of the game’s harder difficulties.

In most cases, a few enemy rounds can mean your death or the death of a squad member very quickly. Regardless of how well-equipped you are for the combat situation at hand, that doesn’t necessarily mean a few extra weapons aren’t going to help you out. Since every weapon in Ghost Recon Wildlands is just as effective as the next — meaning they can all drop a hostile target with a perfectly executed headshot — you can use just about any weapon you prefer to hunt down members of the Santa Blanca cartel. However, some weapons in the game’s catalog are better at penetrating surfaces and doing damage from longer distances, and those can help you get a leg up on the competition.

While many of these performance bonuses are relatively subtle and can be modified onto other weapons using the customization options available in gunsmith, they can certainly help you on the battlefield provided your playstyle matches the advantages offered by each weapon. Here’s how to find some of the best weapons available early on in Ghost Recon Wildlands:

ACR

When you first get started in Ghost Recon Wildlands, you’ll be given a high-end version of the M4 carbine equipped with a very basic set of attachments: the P416. This rifle honestly isn’t too bad when it comes to clearing the Santa Blanca cartel out of the game’s initial few provinces, but if you’re looking for something with a bit more stopping power and accuracy in a better-looking package, the ACR is a weapon worth pursuing.

Classified as an assault rifle like the P416, the ACR can be found in a small coffee farmers’ village called La Loma in the Media Luna province to the north of the in-game map. The village is occupied by a small contingent of Unidad forces who can call in helicopter backup from the base up north, so it’s best to go into the base using stealth. Simply fly in low following the river from the southern end of the province and land on the side opposite the village to pick off the hostile Unidad forces one-by-one. Then, once you’re clear, head into the base and look for the ACR in a small cargo container on the far-left of the camp near a bunker.

Vector .45 ACP

While the Cold War classic MP5 you start the game off with is a solid weapon (provided you equip an extended magazine and scope), it lacks the high rate of fire and handling which you’ll need to silently roam around enemy territory to engage in close quarters combat. That’s where the Vector .45 ACP comes in: It has the highest rate of fire and noise reduction available in the game. While it only carries 15 rounds in the standard magazine, it can be upgraded using the extended magazine attachment found in-game, making it a miniature powerhouse.

Like the ACR, the Vector .45 ACP can be found in the Media Luna province located to the north of the in-game map. Instead of being hidden in a small local village, however, this weapon is in the heart of Unidad territory at F.B.B Buitre, a heavily fortified base used to deploy and refuel helicopter patrols. Early in the game, you won’t be able to take down the Unidad who occupy the base, so simply sneak in the side entrance from the main road and move south until you find the weapon in the armory. But be careful; one guard will be watching the entrance.

MSR

One of the most powerful sniper rifles available in Ghost Recon Wildlands, the MSR is a bolt-action rifle designed to take down targets from long distances with surgical precision. While big and bulky, the MSR can be used to drop targets from nearly a mile away, provided you lead them appropriately or stop some of the cartel’s most heavily armored soldiers with a single round. Best of all, it’s quite fun to retrieve.

Located in the Choza Padre Mine to the far west of the Montuyoc province, the MSR is very well guarded by military forces armed with an APC, minigun emplacements, and helicopters which you’ll have to eliminate quietly to access the mine with minimal resistance. Head in over the hill from the south and clear the camp quietly, then look for the entrance to the mine at the base of the hill. Once inside, deal with the forces occupying the tunnels and proceed down the first one on your left to find the weapon crate with the MSR inside.

Mk249

One of the most compact light machine guns available in Ghost Recon Wildlands, the Mk249 is a belt-fed weapon built on an M4 lower receiver with a 150-round magazine. This little guy can put down a lot of suppressing fire to keep hostiles behind cover while your squadmates push their position. But, it can be quite deadly if fired in bursts to prevent the recoil from kicking in too much. Either way, it’s an easy weapon to retrieve with the best range available in-game for a light machine gun.

To add the Mk249 to your personal weapons collection you’ll have to venture to the Malca province located at the south of the map. Once you’ve crossed into it, head towards the small lake at the very bottom surrounded by railroad tracks. There, you should find a small outpost to the north of the sheep-breeders village Icoya occupied by members of the Santa Blanca cartel. Clear them out and you’ll find the Mk249 sitting in a weapon crate right next to the railroad tracks.

Photos via Nicholas Bashore, Ubisoft

Nicholas is a writer and content creator in Knoxville. He frequently covers video games and other consumer electronics. When he's not writing for Inverse, you can usually find him tweeting about Star Wars or streaming on Twitch.

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