The best SMG Guide to compete and dominate the competition. Learn about the choice of weapons, their attachments, scopes and pure stats.

Overview of SMGs in Apex

The Apex would not be complete without it’s incredible and iconic SMG class weapons like the Prowler, Alternator, R-99, and Volt. In Apex Legends, SMG’s are typically used and excel at close to mid quarters combat. Although they lack in damage compared to other weapon classes, SMG’s are the kings of melting people with their insane fire rate.

Each SMG is incredibly powerful and unique in its own way. The Alternator, R-99, Prowler, and Volt SMG are all in good spots right now and are each great weapons to pick up. SMG’s in Apex either have 3 or 4 possible attachments: a stock that reduces ADS, deploy time, reload speed and aim drift, an extended magazine, optics and a barrel stabilizer which reduces recoil.

In terms of optics, the possible options for the SMGs in Apex are:

  • 1x Holo
  • 1x HCOG “Classic.”
  • 2x HCOG “Bruiser.”
  • 1x-2x Variable Holo
  • 1x Digital Threat

SMG’s are a heavy contender for the most common type of weapon seen during a match. Their close range potential is almost unmatched, as the time to kill (TTK) for SMGs are some of the fastest in the game. Similar to shotguns, you typically pair SMGs in 1 of 2 ways. First is the ‘aggression’ loadout, where you pair your favorite SMG with a shotgun or a wingman, and staying within close range causing havoc in the face of the enemy. On the other hand, you can pair an SMG with a mid to long range weapon like a sniper or assault rife to make up for the lack of range that the SMG provides.

Our personal favorite is the R99 paired with a Flatline. This combo works well because the R99 has one of the fastest TTK’s of the SMGs and the Flatline is a great weapon that can also put in work at all ranges with the right attachments (typically a 3x ACOG optics).

Alternator SMG

Weapon type Fire RateMagazine CapacityReload time Recoil PatternDamage (Head/body)
Care Package 600 RMP272.01Vertical16 (22 w Shield)/24 (34 w Shield)

Prowler Burst PDW

Weapon type Fire RateMagazine Capacity Reload time Recoil Pattern Damage (Head/body)
Heavy697RMP20/25/30/352.6Vertical, then curve left14/21

R-99 SMG

Weapon type Fire RateMagazine Capacity Reload time Recoil Pattern Damage (Head/body)
Light1,080 RMP20/22/24/272.45Vertical + curve left11/17

Volt SMG

Weapon type Fire RateMagazine Capacity Reload time Recoil Pattern Damage (Head/body)
Energy720 RMP19/21/23/262.25Vertical + hook left15/23

Alternator SMG Overview

Alternator SMG
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The Alternator has taken its rightful place in S-tier Apex Legends’ best guns list in the current meta. With its move into the care package, the SMG became one of the best in the Outlands. The Apex Alternator is now an excellent substitute for the any mid to close range weapon if you get the chance to see it. It shreds through enemies with its high damage, increased shield damage and ease of control.

The Alternator is a supply drop weapon, and so you can’t find it as ground loot. But if you manage to find it in a drop, you need to thank the Apex gods. It comes already kitted with a Gold Barrel Stabilizer, a Gold Extended Light Mag, a Gold Stock, a 1x digital threat, and Disruptor rounds. The only attachment you can change are the optics, however you rarely need to.


  • An easy to control recoil
  • A compact hipfire spread
  • A strong DPS against shields
  • Highest damage of all the SMGs


  • Low fire rate compared to other SMG
  • Because it is a Care Package weapon, it has limited ammo

The Alternator is an amazing gun for close and mid range combat, as it has an incredibly accurate hipfire and a clean reticle. Due to the its exclusivity to the care package, most players will see this weapon towards the late game. But if you can manage to find it in a care package, your wining odds shoot up like crazy.

Prowler Burst PDW Overview

Prowler Burst PDW
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The Prowler Burst PDW is a superb SMG and is currently the only burst fire SMG in Apex. It features a high rate of fire and holds 20 rounds at base level. The pellets deal relatively low damage but together in the 5 round burst, it deals tons of damage.

Although the Prowler doesn’t have as many attachment options as its fellow SMG brethren, it is still one of the best SMGs in the game. The Prowler doesn’t have an barrel attachment option, but it still has great hipfire and a ton of damage output through its burst. Before its nerf, the Prowler was easily an S-tier weapon, but with the slight damage reduction it received, it was bumped down but still an amazing pick.


  • A high DPS
  • An easy to control recoil
  • Tight hipfire spread
  • Heavy ammo slow


  • Burst fire, which can be challenging to get used to
  • lack of barrel stabilizer

Due to its accuracy, it is a superb SMG at both mid and close range. Its five-round burst deals a total of 70 damage, which can easily win trades. Additionally, the hipfire is tight, which means most of the time, you don’t even need to ADS. This works especially well on controller as aim assist helps track opponents further, so most of the time you will be hitting your full spread.

R-99 SMG Overview

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The R-99 SMG is, and has been a top-tier weapon in Apex Legends since the start of Apex. It’s an excellent and viable choice in almost every loadout. The R-99 is an amazing weapon due to its simplicity in its features. It is the classic SMG: insanely fast fire rate but at the cost of damage.

Its major drawback is that the recoil is a bit difficult to control. This is due to its insane fire rate, as each each bullet has its own recoil, and so it adds up. Therefore, if you can minimize this, the R-99 is a deadly close-range weapon that melts through anyone. The Apex Legends SMG Guide is here to help you master it. Typically, attachments like a barrel mod to help with the recoil reduction. Additionally, an sight also does wonders in terms of helping with aiming and managing the recoil.


  • Insanely fast fire rate
  • A very high DPS with full mag
  • Surplus of light ammo


  • High recoil
  • Low Damage per bull

While it can take time to master the R-99’s recoil, and various attachments can help. The R99 is not the best at mid to long range engagements, so focus on moving into range before firing. This means that it’s better to use your secondary weapon at far range as you get closer to your foe.

Volt SMG Overview

Volt SMG Apex
image credit: Dot Esports

The last SMG on the Apex Legends SMG guide is the Volt SMG. The nerf to the bullet damage of the Volt came in February 2021 but despite this, it remains a solid pick in the SMG category. When the R99 was in the care package, the Volt took its place as the most popular SMG. At the time, it also got the name “Discount R99”, as it shared a lot of the same features as the R99.

The Volt SMG Apex is quite similar to the R99, but is more capable of mid range engagements. With a relatively fast fire rate, an easy recoil to control and low bullet drop, the Volt is a great SMG to pick up. A good understanding of the damage profile helps you secure more kills and provides the knowledge to counter it. The fire rate and easy recoil make the Volt a worthy find when playing.


  • A low projectile drop
  • A good performance at medium-range
  • A fast projectile speed


  • An average hipfire accuracy
  • Energy Ammo can be difficult to find compared to light Rounds

The Volt SMG Apex requires energy ammo, and typically energy ammo tends to be more scarce than other ammo types. To make the most of its limited ammo supply, you’ll need to make your shots count and be aggressive when looting. The Volt’s recoil can make it hard to land mid-range body shots, but poking with pauses in your shots can really do you wonders when trading at this distance.