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Aliens: Dark Descent — Best Weapons Tier List

Equip your team with the best weapons using our tier list guide for Aliens: Dark Descent.

There are over a dozen weapons in Aliens: Dark Descent that can be used either in primary, secondary, or special roles. Some weapons are restricted to a certain class and rank, while others can be used by anyone. Most of the weapons can only be purchased in the Workshop, but a few starting weapons are completely free. Our guide will provide you with a tier list of the best weapons in Aliens: Dark Descent, including how to unlock them.

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Aliens Dark Descent: S-Tier Weapons

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XM99A Phased Plasma Pulse Rifle

  • Type: Primary Weapon
  • Unlocked by: Any Class Level 10 (300 Materials)

The Phased Plasma Rifle is the best weapon in the game in terms of damage and ammo duration. Its only drawback is its lack of burst damage, which is slightly lower than that of the Smartgun. Other than that, this rifle would be the best choice for almost any class except Gunner.

I’d also purchase the XM99A Rifle specifically for the Overloaded Plasma Beam ability, which can come in clutch when you need it most. It’s expensive and you’d have to wait to be able to purchase it at the Workshop, but don’t miss it once you get the opportunity.

M56 Smartgun

  • Type: Primary Weapon
  • Unlocked by: Gunner Class Level 3 (100 Materials)

As I already mentioned, the Smartgun has the highest burst damage in the game, which also makes it the best early-game weapon since you can already purchase it at level three. You can already use it as a Rookie, but I strongly suggest upgrading from Rookie to Gunner, as this will increase the damage output by 50%.

Unlike the Plasma Rifle, the Smartgun has no associated skill, but it’ll serve you well up until you reach level ten and get that XM99A model. But before that point, equip your Gunner with High Impact Rounds and watch Xenomorphs burst into acid.

M41AE3 Heavy Pulse Rifle

  • Type: Primary Weapon
  • Unlocked by: Any Class Level 5 (200 Materials)

Heavy Pulse Rifle can be placed somewhere in between the Plasma Rifle and Smartgun. It’s not as DPS-heavy as the Plasma Rifle, but it has a longer burst duration than the Smartgun. Just a solid alternative weapon to both of those.

Combine it with the Flamethrower to get even more DPS. You could also use Flame Barriers, and finish off the surviving monsters with the Heavy Rifle. This combo and strategy have worked fantastically in so many missions.

Aliens Dark Descent: A-Tier Weapons

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M39-U Submachine Gun

  • Type: Secondary Weapon
  • Unlocked by: Any Class Level 6 (200 Materials)

The SMG is the strongest secondary weapon in Aliens: Dark Descent. It can’t compare to any of the primary weapons, but it has the highest DPS and burst duration among all other secondary guns in the game.

Note that Gunners can use an SMG with a Tripod, thus increasing its DPS significantly.

M42A3 Sniper Rifle

  • Type: Special Weapon
  • Unlocked by: Recon Class Level 3 (100 Materials)

If you get yourself a Sniper Rifle as a Recon, then be sure to purchase the Silencer so you won’t alert any of the Hive members while shooting the drones.

This kind of setup is very useful on higher difficulties, especially if you have Xenomorph Aggressiveness cranked up. Staying silent and out of sight will greatly benefit your game plan, even if you have only one Recon with a Sniper Rifle on your squad.

Aliens Dark Descent: B-Tier Weapons

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M5 RPG Launcher

  • Type: Special Weapon
  • Unlocked by: Any Class Level 6 (200 Materials)

The RPG Launcher may not be everybody’s cup of tea, and it’s certainly not useful in every situation, but when it comes to eliminating the strongest Xenomorphs or dealing with annoying bosses, nothing will do the job as well as this special weapon.

The good thing is that it can be used by any class in an equal fashion, so you could equip it into the slot of any ally that doesn’t carry much. So when you need it, the RPG Launcher will be there to take down the biggest bug.

GEM-80 Mine

  • Type: Special Weapon
  • Unlocked by: Any Class Level 2 (100 Materials)

Unfortunately, many players ignore landmines. You shouldn’t. Landmines can be used to a great extent in Aliens: Dark Descent, although they’re not the strongest weapons in the game by any means.

Here are a few points that might change your mind when it comes to landmines:

  • You can use them as early as Mission 1 to defend your front and rear positions from sudden attacks.
  • Landmines don’t explode on their own but require command points, which is good for crowd control.
  • Landmines can deal with drones in a single explosion, so they’re highly effective in that regard.
  • Mines are completely ignored and don’t trigger any sort of detection.

Those are the best weapons in Aliens: Dark Descent. Stay tuned for more Aliens: Dark Descent tips and tricks articles right here.


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Serhii Patskan
Serhii is the Writer at GameSkinny. He's been writing for GameSkinny since 2015. Before that, he's been writing for various outlets and playing video games, which eventually turned into a passion. The video games that have contributed the most to his enthusiasm for writing about this industry are Magic: The Gathering, Dark Souls, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.