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The 5 Must-Upgrade Weapons in Resident Evil 4

With so many options, which should you prioritize?

Originally Published: 
Resident Evil 4 Remake
Capcom / Lais Borges

The Resident Evil 4 remake gives you plenty of weapons to combat the maddening horrors you’ll face, but some are certainly better than others. It’s a grueling game, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the series or survival-horror games in general, meaning it’s best to come prepared. At the start of the game, it’s tempting to pour all your currency into each firearm you find, but it’s actually better to prioritize a handful of weapons, instead, allowing you to maximize your arsenal effectively. But which weapons should you prioritize upgrading first, and which should you skip?

5. Combat Knife

While the Combat Knife isn’t the best weapon in the game or even the best melee option, we still recommend pouring your resources into it. This is because you’ll often find yourself with little to no ammo during certain segments, meaning you’ll have to rely on your Combat Knife to get by. Make sure you increase its durability and power as much as you can to get the most out of this weapon. We also recommend selling it for the Primal Knife eventually, but until then, stick with the Combat Knife.

Where to find: Available at the start of the game by default.

4. W-870 Shotgun

The W-870 Shotgun is found at the start of the game.


Sort of like the previous entry, the W-870 Shotgun isn’t technically the best, but it’s certainly a good use of your currency to upgrade it as much as possible. The first half of the game can be extremely difficult, and having an upgraded shotgun for the close range will serve you well. If you’re a skilled player, you might be able to preserve your currency for the Riot Gun, which is available from the Merchant in the Castle — but for most players, it’s best to pour upgrades into the starting W-870 Shotgun, which is extremely powerful when you max out its stats.

Where to find: In the Village Square at the start of the game. It’s on the second floor of the third house on the left. You’ll find it mounted on the wall upstairs.

3. Stingray

The Stingray is the best long-range option.


When it comes to power, it’s hard to overlook the Stingray, a semi-auto rifle. It doesn’t hit as hard as the SR M1903 starter rifle, but the Stingray’s fast rate of fire makes up for that. It’s great for spamming enemies from afar, which will come in handy during the Castle sections of the game. Make sure you upgrade its power and its fire rate to maximize your damage per second. Likewise, we recommend using a scope to help you land your shots easier.

Where to find: Buy from the Merchant for 30,000 pesetas.

2. Bolt Thrower

Since ammo is so scarce, the Bolt Thrower is actually a great choice, as it allows you to retrieve your bolts from downed enemies. At first, this weapon isn’t very powerful, but it becomes highly effective if you max out its upgrades. You will probably not want to use this as a main weapon, but instead as a backup, just in case you run out of ammo. There were several times that we were glad to have an upgraded Bolt Thrower, even more so when using its mines.

Where to find: Buy from the Merchant for 10,000 pesetas.

1. Red9 Pistol

The best handgun is the Red9, as it deals lots of damage and is easy to use.


There are so many handguns to choose from in Resident Evil 4, but our top pick is the Red9 Pistol. This is because it offers tremendous power and is relatively easy to use after upgrading it. We highly suggest pumping your pesetas into this weapon’s magazine size and power, which will allow you to continuously dish out lots of damage throughout the game.

Where to find: This is found at the shipwreck in the middle of the Lake after you take out the Del Lago boss. Alternatively, you can trade the Merchant nine spinels to acquire this weapon starting in chapter 5.

What to Skip

Before getting into specifics, we first recommend figuring out your play style to determine which weapons to skip. If you’re someone who prefers close quarters, it might make sense to pick certain handguns or shotguns, while avoiding some of the automatic weapons like the CQBR Assault Rifle.

Having said that, there are a couple of weapons we recommend skipping such as the Broken Butterfly, Matilda, and even the TMP. These weapons aren’t bad, but there are much better options and more effective uses of your pesetas. Resident Evil 4 remake is all about managing your resources and money, so you’ll need to be deliberate with the weapons you choose to upgrade.

Later on, you might gain access to the Rocket Launcher, which will no doubt let you blast through your foes. But until then, you’ll need to focus on a select few weapons to get you through the game.

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