The Best Sub Machine Guns in Apex Legends – Best SMG List

Apex Legends Best SMG

There are a lot of options when fighting at close range in Apex Legends. Some players like the large single-shot damage of a shotgun, while others appreciate the ease with which a pistol handles. But there is something to be said about the sub machine gun, or SMG. These small weapons fire a high volume spray off bullets that can take down the toughest enemy up close. There are three options for SMGs, and Nerds and Scoundrels is here to break down your options with our Apex Legends Best SMG List.

See Also:
The Best Apex Legends Sniper Rifles
The Best Apex Legends Shotguns
The Best Apex Legends Pistols
The Best Apex Legends SMG
The Best Apex Legends Assault Rifle
The Best Apex Legends LMG

Apex Legends Best SMG List

There are three sub machine guns in Apex Legends:

  • Alternator
  • Prowler Burst PDW
  • R-99

The sub machine has its fans and its detractors. These weapons are typically the size of pistols but trade lower single-shot damage for much higher rate of fire. is the trade off worth? That’s really up to your personal preference.

One issue that all of the SMGs run into to a degree is the size of the mag. Given the high rate of fire, SMGs often feel like you are doing nothing but reloading. That said, there are accessories that allow you to extend your mag, and these go a long way in making the guns great.

3. Alternator

Apex Legends Best SMG

Twin-barrel Full-auto SMG
13 Bodyshot Damage
19 Headshot Damage
Available Slots: Barrel, Optic, Mag, Stock

At the bottom of the list is the Alternator. It’s not complete trash, but it’s not a strong weapon. It has a unusually low rate of fire for a sub machine gun, which only pulls the DPS down. It’s not all bad news as the gun is very accurate and stable, but that typically isn’t much comfort when you are doing less damage than everyone else. If you’ve got an Alternator, keep an eye open for an upgrade.

2. Prowler Burst PDW

Apex Legends best SMG

5-Round Burst SMG
14 Bodyshot Damage Per Bullet (70 if you hit with all 5 shots)
21 Headshot Damage Per Bullet (105 if you hit with all 5 shots)
Available Slots: Optic, Mag, Stock, Hop-Up

Easily the most unique of the sub machine gun category, the Prowler burst-fires 5 bullets at once. Unlike the Alternator which uses light rounds, the Prowler uses heavy rounds and has a 20 round magazine. Unfortunately, that’s one of this weapon’s biggest drawbacks given its burst fire ability. With burst fire, you’ll be required to reload this weapon after every four pulls of the trigger.

The good news is that if burst fire isn’t for you, you can turn it off with the right attachment. With the Selectfire Receiver, you can swap between burst mode and single shot mode. For many, enabling fire select is the best attachment available.

Either way, this gun has excellent damage potential at close range. You’ll need to deal with lower accuracy and stability to land those shots, though.

1. R-99

Apex Legends best smg

Rapid-Fire Automatic Fire SMG
12 Bodyshot Damage
18 Headshot Damage
Available Slots: Barrel, Optic, Mag, Stock

The R-99 is our favorite sub machine gun. The stats won’t overwhelm you, as it has the lowest bodyshot and headshot damage of any SMG. But the difference compared to the other guns is tiny, and the rate of fire for the R-99 is much higher. The end result? The R-99 has by far the most damage per second of any SMG.

The R-99 holds 18 rounds in the magazine and uses light rounds. Because of its high rate of fire, it’s not a bad ideal to include an extended mag as one of your four available slots.

This gun is at its best when you are nose to nose with baddies, as it is less accurate than other SMGs and requires most of a standard clip to drop someone with body damage. That said, if you are a good shot you can melt hostiles that make the mistake of getting up close with you. We like this gun a lot.

Nerds and Scoundrels

And that concludes our Apex Legends Best SMG List. Agree with our rankings for the best Apex Legends sub machine gun, or did we get it wrong? We want to hear from you either way! Let us know what you think in the comment section below. and don’t forget to check out the rest of our Apex Legends content here at Nerds and Scoundrels.

Travis Scoundrel

A life long gamer, Travis spends his time writing about and playing games when he's not suing people or hanging out with his family.

Travis Scoundrel
About Travis Scoundrel 272 Articles
A life long gamer, Travis spends his time writing about and playing games when he's not suing people or hanging out with his family.