The best Saints Row weapons to buy and use

Saints Row Friendly Fire gun shop machine pistol smg menu
(Image credit: Deep Silver)

There are many Saints Row weapons available, so picking the best ones to add to your arsenal will save you wasting cash on inferior shooters so you can invest that money elsewhere. There are seven separate weapon categories in Saints Row, in addition to using your bare fists, which means there's a broad range of tools to fight with – but crucially you can only hold one weapon at a time for each category, so it's best to assemble a well-rounded loadout that will get you through any combat situation. To help you with this, I've put together the details on how to get weapons in the first place, along with a list of what I think the best Saints Row weapons are in each category.

How to get weapons in Saints Row

(Image: © Deep Silver)

Weapons can be unlocked in two ways in Saints Row: buying them at stores or unlocking them through missions. When you gain the freedom to roam the open world of Santo Ileso, you can visit Friendly Fire weapon stores to spend your cash on melee weapons, firearms, and ammunition. Make sure you know how to fast travel in Saints Row so that you can get to stores easily.

Weapons can be bought for low prices in the hundreds, or in the tens of thousands of dollars at the upper end. As you level up, you’ll also unlock upgrades for your weapons that boost all the stats in one go, but these can only be bought at shops and have certain Saints Row XP level requirements, so make sure you check in regularly! All these weapons and upgrades can be costly, so make sure you've got plenty of Saints Row money spend on upgrading your arsenal.

Saints Row Friendly Fire gun shop kobra pistol menu

(Image credit: Deep Silver)

As you play through Saints Row missions, you also can unlock unique weapons, some of which are incredibly powerful, while others are very stupid. For example, you can get a hard-hitting sniper rifle for completing one story mission, a rocket launcher for completing another, or a foam dart revolver for completing a ridiculous role-playing mission as part of one of the Saints Row Ventures. There sadly isn't an app for changing your weapons around like there is for changing your Saints Row appearance, so you'll need to visit a weapons cache or a Friendly Fire store to rearm.

The best weapons in Saints Row

Saints Row Idols gang shootout

(Image credit: Deep Silver)

Saints Row has lots of weapons to choose from across seven categories, and I advise that you try out a variety of them to see which ones suit you as personal preference and playstyle are big factors in determining your loadout - your chosen Saints Row Skills may also affect which weapons you prefer. With that said, there are some weapons that definitely deserve your attention which we’ve listed below:

  • Best Melee weapon: Axe – The Axe is a great choice for a melee weapon in Saints Row due to its decent damage and bleed properties. Once you’ve unlocked its Bloodsucker Signature Ability, you’ll gain a small amount of health with each hit you score, so the more damage you do, the more you’ll heal. However, in truth the melee weapons of Saints Row are all fairly similar. A blunt weapon that’s good against shields, such as the Sledgehammer, will be a good alternative.
  • Best Pistol: KA-1 Kobra – This is the default sidearm in Saints Row and it’s definitely a good one to keep using and upgrade. As an all-rounder pistol, it does almost everything quite well, outputting solid damage with good range and accuracy. Get its Aim High Signature Ability and you’ll be able to minimize the problems caused by its smaller magazine.
  • Best SMG: Machine Pistol SMG – As a compact SMG that handles nicely with solid stats, the Machine Pistol is one the best weapons in Saints Row for close combat. It also has the bonus of being incredibly cheap, making it a good SMG option for beginners. With the Splattergun Signature Ability, your shots will deal minor splash damage, allowing you to hit multiple enemies if they’re clustered together.
  • Best Rifle: K-8 Krukov AR – The Krukov is your starting assault rifle in Saints Row and clearly takes some cues from the AK-47 as it’s a no-frills, basic assault rifle that packs a punch. Up close, it deals good damage and can get through armored foes quite well, but you’ll need to use short, controlled bursts to hit any targets at significant range. It also has a great Signature Ability in the form of Johnny Fuse, which causes your Takedown cooldown to decrease, the longer your killstreak is with the Krukov, making for a nice combat loop that keeps you healed up.
  • Best Shotgun: Police Shotgun – A lot of the Saints Row shotguns feel quite specialized, proving effective in limited ways, but the Police Shotgun feels like the most standard shotgun out of the lot, but that makes it a great choice. It offers decent damage without sacrificing too much range, unlike the Sawed-Off Shotgun or Ultimax Shotgun, and handles nicely with low recoil and a good reload speed. Get the Flechette Shells Signature Ability to add extra bleed damage to those Police Shotgun shots.
  • Best Big Gun: RPG Launcher – You’ll get the RPG Launcher after completing the Be Your Own Boss mission, which ends with you firing an infinite-ammo RPG on the roof of car. Unfortunately, the RPG Launcher does not have infinite ammo but does have the same top-tier, explosive, vehicle-busting powers, making the RPG Launcher one to have in your weapon menu ready to draw and fire.
  • Best Special weapon: TOGO-13 Sniper Rifle – unlocked after completing the Drawing Heat mission (which unlocks after buying three ventures and assembling your crew), the TOGO is a massive, punchy sniper rifle with great accuracy. If you favor ranged firefights, you’ll want to equip this weapon for your special slot to deliver high damage from afar.

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Will Sawyer
Guides Writer

Will Sawyer is a guides writer at GamesRadar+ who works with the rest of the guides team to give readers great information and advice on the best items, how to complete a particular challenge, or where to go in some of the biggest video games. Will joined the GameRadar+ team in August 2021 and has written about service titles, including Fortnite, Destiny 2, and Warzone, as well as some of the biggest releases like Halo Infinite, Elden Ring, and God of War Ragnarok.