Best Weapons in Rise of the Ronin

Rise of the Ronin weapons
(Image credit: Koei Tecmo)

The best Rise of the Ronin weapons and guns are something you'll get asked early on, with the choice to pick your primary weapon from a series of options. First of all, don't worry - you're not locked into this choice for long and will get to swap out your weapons across the game, but it's worth understanding what weapons are a priority pick and which ones will serve you best across the game.

Of course, it's worth being clear that the difference between weapon types isn't massive - none of these are so bad or good that we consider them "the right option" - and it's also worth establishing that the weapon options you're given in training aren't the full amount of weapons you can expect, as later on you'll find new weapon types like Bayonets, Sabres and Oxtail Blades - to mention all the guns and firearms. Still, we'll cover all the main details below, with our guide to the best weapons in Rise of the Ronin.

What are the best weapons in Rise of the Ronin?

Rise of the Ronin weapons

(Image credit: Koei Tecmo)

Having played Rise of the Ronin and tested all the weapon types, it's our firm belief that the ability to strike fast is better than the ability to land high-damage hits. Fast reactions, quick attacks, and the ability to move in an instant are all important in Rise of the Ronin, so weapons with rapid attack patterns are better than those that hit slowly and heavily. For that reason, players who want to have the best chance should choose the following, regardless of which Rise of the Ronin class they've chosen.

  • Paired Swords
  • Katanas
  • Sabres (not available in tutorial)
  • Oxtail Blades (not available in tutorial)

Of course, this is a very general rule with a lot of nuance to it. For one thing, different weapons have different styles and stances, so you might unlock an greatsword with one of the faster-striking Rise of the Ronin Combat Styles that makes it a little more viable. However, largely speaking it's the four weapons above that have the sleekest, swiftest attack patterns. It's totally possible to cut through enemies using big heavy weapons, but it's generally more challenging and has a higher skill ceiling.

It's also important to say that we're talking about the broad weapon types here - the randomised element and individual progression means it's entirely possible that you might get a really good weapon that's particularly suited to your build and playstyle, or just has meaningfully higher stats than everything else you've picked up, regardless of optimised weapon type. Test everything you have and make sure you're not overlooking anything.

Best guns and sub-weapons in Rise of the Ronin

Rise of the Ronin weapons

(Image credit: Koei Tecmo)

Beyond the primary weapons in Rise of Ronin, players can also have two different sub-weapons equipped, including different gun types. Having tested them all, I would recommend equipping the following two as a default:

  • Slot 1: Rifle
  • Slot 2: Revolver

The reasoning for these choices is fairly simple - the revolver is great in combat, a quick-draw weapon that can do decent damage and set up lethal finishers (if you buy the Revolver Critical Hit skill), and matches the quick-attack demands we mentioned previously. You can draw and fire it in a flash, weaving ranged combat into your combos nicely.

Then there's the Rifle, which is the real standout, capable of killing most enemies with a single headshot (as elaborated on in our Rise of the Ronin tips and tricks page). The supposed downside is that it's loud - allegedly giving it limited use in stealth as a sniper - but frankly we found that quality was very exaggerated, the actual noise not alerting anybody who probably wasn't going to spot you anyway. A good marksman can also get some use out of it mid-combat, though keep in mind that many enemies will attempt to block the shots - if you're shooting in combat, it's the revolver that's your best option.

© GamesRadar+. Not to be reproduced without permission

Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.