The best weapons in GTA Online for range, speed, power, and more

If you want to rise through the ranks, you’ll need the best GTA Online weapons to get the job done.

What that weapon looks like depends on your playstyle and current rank in the game thanks to how weapons unlock. However, we’ve put together a list of some of the top weapons you can get to match nearly style and situation.

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Where to get weapons in GTA Online

Almost every weapon you come across in GTA Online comes from the Ammu-Nation gun store. A few, such as the Stone Hatchet, unlock through completing challenges, but most of them require you to attain specific rank levels and shell out some of your cash.

The best GTA Online weapon for convenience: AP Pistol

One of GTA Online’s most versatile weapons is the Armor Piercing (AP) Pistol, a sidearm that packs a much deadlier punch than you might think. The AP Pistol is fully automatic and, even with nerfs, can take out tough opponents and vehicles alike. Best of all, it’s one of just a few weapons you can fire out a car window.

How to unlock AP Pistol GTA Online

The AP Pistol unlocks at rank 33 and costs $5,000.

The best GTA Online weapon for speed: Special Carbine or Advanced Rifle

This one’s a bit of a tossup and depends on preference. The Special Carbine is essential for newcomers since it unlocks at rank 1, even though it’s a bit more expensive than some other assault rifles. It boasts excellent accuracy at short and long range, plus impressive firepower and rate of fire. Its opponent is the Advanced Rifle. Upgrade it to the Mk II version for an even more powerful weapon.

The Advanced Rifle is slightly faster and stronger at the cost of being slightly worse at distance shots. You can modify that with a scope, of course, but the Special Carbine works with a larger ammo magazine mod than the Advanced Rifle. Again, it depends on what you’re looking for.

How to unlock Special Carbine in GTA Online

As mentioned, this one unlocks at rank 1, and it’ll cost you $14,750.

How to unlock Advanced Rifle in GTA Online

The Advanced Rifle will unlock at rank 70 and costs slightly less: $14,250.

The best GTA Online weapon for power: Assault Shotgun

There’s not much contest for this one. The Assault Shotgun destroys enemies at close range, almost literally. It’s fully automatic and fires up to eight rounds before you need to reload. This one’s more of a force of nature than a weapon.

How to unlock Assault Shotgun in GTA Online

Reach rank 37 and then buy the Assault Shotgun for $10,000

The best GTA Online weapon for range: Heavy Sniper

The Heavy Sniper and its upgraded form take the crown for best long-range weapon in GTA thanks to its sheer power. The Heavy Sniper can dispatch foes with one bullet with a base damage of 216, assuming your aim is good, and can even take helicopters out of the sky with the right ammo. The downside is its lack of customization compared to even basic sniper rifles, including no option for a silencer. Accuracy and strength are a fair trade, however.

How to get Heavy Sniper in GTA Online

This one unlocks at rank 90 and costs $38,150.

The best GTA Online thrown weapon: Sticky Bomb

The Sticky Bomb is a universal favorite thanks to its versatility. The Sticky Bomb sticks to objects and people, as the name suggests, and you can detonate it at will. That makes it handy for sneak attacks or even just to get yourself out of a… sticky… situation up close. They only come in singles, though, so make sure to set some cash aside for a few.

How to get Sticky Bomb in GTA Online

Sticky Bombs unlock at rank 19 and cost $600 apiece.

The best GTA Online weapon for melee: Stone Hatchet

The Stone Hatchet deals heavy damage, but that’s not what makes this weapon special. After defeating an enemy with it, you’re mostly invincible for 12 seconds, and the timer resets after every kill. It’s an invaluable weapon and only costs your time to unlock.

How to get Stone Hatchet in GTA Online

Maude sends a message asking you to complete five bounties for her. Do that, and the game points you toward the Stone Hatchet location. If you manage to kill 25 enemies with it, you’ll complete the Stone Hatchet challenge, earn $250,000, and even unlock the weapon in Red Dead Redemption 2, assuming you still play it.

If you’re looking for more ways to improve your game, check out our other GTA Online coverage, including: