Comparing two of the most commonly used assault rifles in PUBG, which is better and why? Here's the stat breakdown and some personal perspective.

Comparing two of the most commonly used assault rifles in PUBG, which is better and why? Here's the stat breakdown and some personal perspective.

One question inevitably comes up for every new player in PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS as they explore a decrepit building and loot the environment. They’ll stumble upon the dead body of another player who happens to be holding a high-powered M16A4 — but across the same room is a similarly high-powered SCAR-L.

These two guns are among the best assault rifles in the game… But which do you choose? After spending some personal time with each of these weapons, I’d say I’m qualified to help you make an informed decision about which one is better for your PUBG play experience. 

Let’s break it down.

PUBG: The M16A4 vs. The SCAR-L

Cold Hard Stats

First things first, let’s compare the stats for each weapon and see how they measure up. Both these assault rifles have a power rating of 37 — which means they should both be able to kill your opponent with one to two headshots (depending on the enemy’s helmet) or three to four body shots (depending on their armor). 

But things start changing with the range rating. The M16A4 has the upper hand here, with a range rating of 62. The SCAR-L’s range rating of 54 is actually the lowest of any assault rifle in the game so far. 

The SCAR-L however comes out ahead ever so slightly in stability, with a rating of 32. Meanwhile the M16A4 only clocks in at a 27 stability rating.

And last but not least, the M16A4 also has a better firing rate — sitting at 81 as opposed to the SCAR-L’s 71.

So if it’s just stats that you’re interested in, the M16A4 is the winner here. But there’s a lot more to consider before we can really decide which rifle is better for playing.

Ammo, Firing Modes, & Attachments

Both these rifles use 5.56mm ammo, which is fairly common to find in the game. Both rifles also have 30 round magazines, and a number of magazine attachments that range from extended magazines to quick draw magazines — or even the best of both worlds in an extended quick draw magazine if you’re lucky enough to find one. 

Both rifles allow for an immense amount of customization options as well, particularly with muzzle mounts such as flash hiders, suppressors, and compensators. You’ll also be able to keep your eye on the task at hand with both rifles, as they each have a number of sight options — holographic sights, red dot sights, 2x scope, 4x scope, 8x scope, and 15x scopes for those extreme long distances.

How you can keep the SCAR-L more steady with a number of fore-grip options, with vertical fore-grips and angled fore-grips. The only key difference in customization between the two is that the M16A4 is compatible with a tactical stock of any kind or fore-grips.

But despite all these similarities, there’s an important difference in their firing modes that you’ll want to take in to consideration. The M16A4 has both a semi-automatic single fire and burst fire options, whereas the SCAR-L has single shot and full auto options. So your personal play style will really influence which one suits you better. 

With that in mind, let’s talk about my own experience with each weapon in the frenetic action of PUBG.

Personal Play Experience

When it comes to the hard cold stats of it all, the M16A4 has the clear (yet slight) advantage in overall stat ratings. So one would just assume the M16A4 is the clear better weapon. But I disagree.

After spending hours in the game, I had plenty of time to fiddle with both weapons. And for me personally, deciding which weapon really was the best came down to one clear and distinct factor: preference for the SCAR-L’s full auto mode over the M16A4’s burst fire.

Despite the slightly better stats of the M16A4, it’s burst fire capabilities are really sort of a crutch. In my experience at mid-to-long range, both weapons are perfectly capable of effective kills in the single shot firing mode, with the M16A4 taking a slight edge. But in close-to-mid-range combat, I’ll take the SCAR-L’s full auto fire over the M16A4’s burst fire any day of the week.

Let me paint a situation to explain why: you’re scavenging through a seemingly abandoned house, when you suddenly hear footsteps upstairs. You’re without any side arm or shotgun — all you have with you is a SCAR-L. Expecting the worse, you immediately switch the weapon into full auto, and head up the stairs. You turn the corner to find another player within a few meters of you who has just turned a different corner to find you there. Both of you don’t have any kind of head wear or vests on. Unlike you, they’re equipped with the M16A4. 

In that space of time, which can be less then a second, you both react and pull the trigger. With the SCAR-L, you have the ability to unload that entire 30-round magazine in a matter of seconds. Considering it only takes one good bullet to the dome to send the enemy’s ass packing back to the main menu, the SCAR-L has thirty potential opportunities to achieve this while in full auto. The M16A4 and its burst fire simply doesn’t.

Verdict: The SCAR-L

There aren’t many differences between the SCAR-L and the M16A4, outside of their divergent firing modes. So which is “better” really comes down to how you choose to play the game and the combat situations that you most often find yourself in. The M16A4 might have a slight edge in stats, but that advantage won’t serve you well if it doesn’t really vibe with your play style. If you ask me, though, the SCAR-L will be the better pick in most situations.

Which of these two deadly assault rifles would you pick? Let us know down in the comments below. And if you need more help navigating the dangerous PUBG battleground, check out our other guides:

About the author

Dan Roemer

I'm now over at Destructoid! But, if you've stumbled on this profile, know that it was my humble written beginnings.