The best Grounded weapons will depend on whether you're in the early or late game, with available recipes and resources dictating what you can make and use. The best weapons in Grounded are also contextual - different bugs and boss fights have their own weaknesses and resistances, so choosing the right weapon can make a huge difference, even beyond the differences of tiers 1-3 (sometimes called weapon levels). For that reason, we've listed all the different options for the best weapons in Grounded below, broken up into weapon types and for both the early-and-late game. We've even covered how to unlock, craft and upgrade the weapons you need!
All Grounded's best weapons
Because Grounded weapons are best understood when broken into types, as mentioned above, we've done the same in how we've arranged them. Click below for what you need:
- Best Melee weapons
- Best Ranged weapons
- Best Busting weapons
- Best Chopping weapons
- Best Underwater weapons
There are definitely objects that can be used to damage enemies beyond these - such as shovels, torches and the Repair Tool - but they're not really meant to be used in this way except as a last resort. However, some tools - like the Busting hammers and Chopping axes - can work in both technical and terrifying situations, and are used to break through the defenses of certain enemies. We'll cover those as they come up - starting with basic bug-killing melee weapons.
Best melee weapons in Grounded
Don't just be offensive, protect yourself with the best armor in Grounded!
For players starting off, we recommend getting the Red Ant Club - probably the easiest Tier 2 weapon to get in the game. North of the Hedge is a small cave built into the brick wall - there's a rotten Red Ant Club in there that you can analyze and learn the recipe for a proper one.
For late game, your choices are probably either the Mint Mace, or the Club of the Mother Demon - but considering you have to kill the Grounded Broodmother to get that, we recommend the Mint Mace. It's still tough to reach, but it's not as much of a process, and the additional Minty Fresh damage doesn't hurt (well, not YOU, at least).
- Early game: Red Ant Club (Tier 2)
- How to unlock recipe: Brainpower level 5, or analyzing Red Ant Mandibles/Red Ant Parts/Rotten Ant Club
- Crafting recipe: Red Ant Parts (4), Crude Rope (2), Red Ant Mandibles (2)
- Late game: Mint Mace (Tier 3)
- How to unlock recipe: Purchased from BURG.L at the Oak Lab after giving him the Picnic Chip from the Picnic Table (requires you to find the Grounded Minotaur Maze Key). Costs 2500 Science.
- Crafting recipe: Mint Glob (5), Flower Petal (5), Tough Gunk (10)
Best ranged weapons in Grounded
For fighting at a distance - something we recommend in our Grounded tips page - players will inevitably start off with the Sprig Bow, as the other ranged weapons are incredibly hard to get - who wants to have to kill one of the Grounded Spiders early on? The Sprig Bow works well enough, and it's easy to make and use until you're ready to work up to something tougher.
Once you are ready though, it's time to upgrade - and we recommend the Crow Crossbow. Sure, it's slower to fire than the Insect Bow, but does a lot more damage - and if you're fighting from a distance, you probably have that little extra time to manage your shots.
For those wondering - no, there are no Tier 3 ranged weapons at time of writing, though you can make Arrows that are Tier 3.
- Early game: Sprig Bow (Tier 1)
- How to unlock recipe: Brainpower level 2, or analyzing Crude Rope/Gnat Fuzz
- Crafting recipe: Sprig (3), Gnat Fuzz (4), Crude Rope (2)
- Late game: Cross Crossbow (Tier 2)
- How to unlock recipe: Analyze Crow Feather Piece
- Crafting recipe: Crow Feather Piece (6), Acorn Shell (4), Silk Rope (4)
Best busting weapons in Grounded
Busting weapons in Grounded are actually meant to be tools used for breaking open certain rocks and rock-like substances, but they can also work on very specific enemies - for example, Ladybugs and robotic enemies both go down fast when you crack their shells with these hammers.
For early game, you don't have many options - the Pebblet Hammer is atrocious as a weapon, and the next step up is the Insect Hammer, which is more mid-game. You might have to go a little further afield to the Hedge to get the necessary ingredients, but it's worth it if you're ready to inflict some blunt force trauma.
The best busting weapon is the Black Ox Hammer - no debate required, there's only three Busting weapons and this one has the best stats with no drawbacks, doing double the damage of the Insect Hammer. Be warned - you'll have to kill at least one incredibly durable Black Ox Beetle to make them, and potentially more, based on drop rate.
- Early game: Insect Hammer (Tier 2)
- How to unlock recipe: Brainpower level 6, or analyzing Berry Leather/Boiling Gland
- Crafting recipe: Sprig (3), Gnat Fuzz (4), Crude Rope (2)
- Late game: Black Ox Hammer (Tier 3)
- How to unlock recipe: Brainpower level 13, or analyzing Black Ox Horn
- Crafting recipe: Black Ox Horn (1), Black Ox Part (5), Pupa Leather (2)
Best chopping weapons in Grounded
Like the busting hammers, chopping axes don't really have a lot of options, as you're supposed to use them on objects for resource harvesting and the occasional weakness exploit. Again, there's only three axes in the game, and the worst of them - the Pebblet Axe, shown above - is unusable in a combat context. Make one, of course, but for an actual chopping weapon, players in the early game should head for the Insect Axe, a Tier 2 tool that'll require some work. If you really want an in-depth explainer on how to get one, our Grounded Axe level 2 guide will explain it clearly.
For the late game, take the final option - the Termite Axe. It's fast-hitting with decent enough damage, and will cut through any substance that axes can cut. Just get ready to kill some termites to earn it first, which are found in the Grounded Upper Yard to the West of the Shed (effectively the upper left corner of the whole map).
- Early game: Insect Axe (Tier 2)
- How to unlock recipe: Brainpower level 6, or analyzing Bombardier Part/Ladybug Head/Silk Rope
- Crafting recipe: Ladybug Head (1), Bombardier Part (3), Silk Rope (4)
- Late game: Termite Axe (Tier 3)
- How to unlock recipe: Brainpower level 12, or analyzing Termite Chompers/Termite Part
- Crafting recipe: Termite Chompers (2), Termite Part (3), Tough Gunk (4)
Best Underwater weapons in Grounded
If you're diving into the Koi Pond or other subaquatic areas, you'll need weapons designed for fighting there - specifically the special underwater daggers and tridents. There's three variations of underwater weapon at time of writing with the Grounded 1.0 full release, one of which is solely for combat purposes. If you're still getting your feet wet in the shallows, build a Pebblet Dagger - it's not great, but the next stage up requires you to kill one of the Diving Bell Spiders, which is going to be more of a mid-to-late game thing.
However, once you do kill one, you unlock the Bone Dagger and Bone Trident - the latter of which is far better for actual underwater combat. It's expensive to make, so we don't recommend using it as a throwing weapon unless you're especially flush with resources, but it'll help you hold off the pond's deadliest foes for at least a little while. Of course, it's not as mechanically useful as the Dagger, which can be used to cut and harvest tier 2 materials, but it's certainly superior in actual subaquatic combat.
- Early game: Pebblet Dagger (Tier 1)
- How to unlock recipe: Brainpower level 4, or analyzing Lilypad Wax
- Crafting recipe: Pebblet (2), Crude Rope (3), Lilypad Wax (2)
- Late game: Bone Trident (Tier 2)
- How to unlock recipe: Analyze Diving Bell Spider Chunk
- Crafting recipe: Sunken Bone (3), Diving Bell Spider Chunk (3), Silk Rope (3)
How to upgrade weapons in Grounded
If you have a weapon and aren't ready to swap it out for an entirely new model yet, it can be upgraded to boost certain stats. The process for this goes as follows:
- Find BURG.L in the Oak Lab
- Buy the Smithing Station upgrade from BURG.L for 100 Science.
- Build the Smithing Station at your base. It requires: Tough Nugget (1), Style Nugget (1), Crude Rope (4) and Sap (2).
- Using the Smithing Station will allow you to spend Tough Nuggets and various "Globs" in your inventory to upgrade weapons you own (you can also upgrade armor with Style Nuggets).
Upgrading weapons at Smithing Stations requires a constant supply of Tough Nuggets (which you'll also need for the recipe). These can be found in nodes across the map, usually underground, but you'll need the Insect Hammer or Black Ox Hammer to break them open. Once you get the Black Anthill Chip, bring it back to BURGL and buy it from the computer, you'll be able to craft them in an Oven.
You can also create Globs of Mint, Sour, Salty and Spicy by heading to the Sandbox and obtaining the BURGL chip there, then buying "Advanced Smithing: Flavored Globs" from the terminal. These allow for elemental upgrades - so now your weapons can do the associated element on top of their regular damage. Sour hammer, anybody? It's also true that certain weapons, like the Sour Battle-Ax found in the Grounded ORC secret lab, require Globs to be crafted in the first place.
Combat and weapon tips
Combat in Grounded can be pretty cutthroat, especially if you're not prepared. Here's some basic advice for dealing with deadly bugs.
- Run away if you're in danger - better to flee than die.
- Your attacks do escalating damage as you get through the three-hit combo - the final strike does about three or four times the damage of the first one.
- Remember to block whatever attacks you can, it's much easier than dodging.
- Keep an eye on weapon and armor durability.
- Make sure all your best weapons and gear are ready in the quick-select wheel.
- Scan enemies and check creature cards with the PEEP.R to see their weaknesses and strengths.