Best Resident Evil 2 guns: how to find every weapon and upgrade in the game

The best Resident Evil 2 guns is a subjective question. It all depends on the character your playing, as Claire and Leon have different load outs, and whether you prefer power, precision, or plentiful ammo. Whatever you like, though, everyone wants to make sure they have all the Resident Evil 2 gun upgrades and ammo they can find - going up against some of the later bosses is a lot easier with certain things unlocked. Following our guide to all these Resident Evil 2 Remake extras means you won't miss out on any of the guns or upgrades in the game, and includes a tricky STARS badge puzzle you need to solve to find and fully upgrade the Lightning Hawk magnum and the MQ-11 submachine gun.

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Leon’s Weapons

Matilda

This is Leon’s standard issue pistol that you receive at the start of the game, so there’s no need to go searching for it. Reliable and powerful, this sidearm packs a punch and only gets better with the addition of upgrades like the gunstock, which gives Leon the ability to fire in three-shot bursts.

Upgrades

  • Extended Magazine: West Office, 1F, solve the two combination locks on Leon’s desk: Left is NED & Right is MRG
  • Gunstock:  Parking Garage, B1, examine the worn key found in a box in the nearby Firing Range, press to open car boot in the main parking area.
  • Muzzle break: Waiting Room, 2F, crack the safe behind the desk with the combination 6 Left, 2 Right, 11 Left 

W-870 Shotgun

A must for any Resident Evil game, if you want to pick up the shotgun you’re going to have to find the Weapon Locker Card in the 2F Art Room on the east side of the police station. Once you’ve found it, head to the Safety Deposit Room on the west side of the first floor and you can swipe it at the back of the room where you can see the W-870 behind a locked grate.

Upgrades

  • Long Barrel: found in Kendo’s Gun Shop when you leave the police department with Ada Wong and head to the sewer.
  • Stock: Upper Sewers, Treatment Pool Room in a safe on the right-hand side after you cross the bridge. The combination (2 Left, 12 Right, 8 Left) is etched in chalk on the right side of the safe.

Lightning Hawk

To acquire the super powerful Lightning Hawk magnum, you need the S.T.A.R.S. Badge, which can be examined and turned into a USB to open the Armory in the S.T.A.R.S. Office on the second floor of the police station. To find it, you have to pick up the book in the library, take it to the 2F Art Room on the east side of the police department, combine this with the arm and place it in the statue. This will drop a sceptre which can be examined, revealing a red jewel, which you later place into a special blue box which you find in the 1F Interrogation Room. Once you’ve got the badge, head back to the office and plug the USB in to access the Lightning Hawk in the Armory.

Upgrades

  • Long Barrel: In the Underground Facility, head all the way down the stairs and you will see a glass case. Change the USB back into a badge and slot it into the case to unlock this upgrade.
  • Red-dot Sight: Find the Hiding Place film roll in the Workroom in the Upper Sewers and use the T-Bar crank to get back to the Darkroom from the Sewers via the Underground Facility. Once developed, head to the S.T.A.R.S Office on the second floor and check the draw behind the desk on your left when you enter.

Chemical Thrower

The Chemical Thrower is an extremely powerful piece of kit that is useful for wiping out the terrifying swamp beasts in the viscera-lined sewers underneath Raccoon City. To find it head to the lowest point in the sewers, the Supplies Storage Room and solve the self-explanatory plug puzzle there to find the weapon on the wall in the final room. 

Upgrades

  • Regulator: Nap Room, Laboratory, use the Signal Modulator from the depths of the lab to kickstart the power in the room, and a door will open exposing this upgrade.

M19 (Leon 2nd play through only)

When you starts a 2nd scenario play through as Leon you'll start outside the Police Station and near a Guard Room. In there you'll find a M19 handgun. It's a slightly more powerful gun than your standard starter, Matilda, and uses .45 ACP rounds. 

Claire’s Weapons

SLS 60

The SLS 60 is Claire’s standard issue pistol that you receive at the start of the game. Underpowered but full of potential, this pistol is made much more useful when you pick up the reinforced frame upgrade, which allows you to load it with stronger ammo, turning it into a magnum-style sidearm.

Upgrades

  • Speed Loader: West Office, 1F, solve the two combination locks on Leon’s desk: Left is NED & Right is MRG
  • Reinforced Frame: Upper Sewers, Treatment Pool Room in a safe on the right-hand side after you cross the bridge. The combination (2 Left, 12 Right, 8 Left)  is etched in chalk on the right side of the safe.

JMB Hp3

This pistol is far more reliable than the SLS 60 and is a worthwhile pickup for your time prior to the Sewers during a play through of Claire's story. It also comes with a laser sight so, you know, it's way cooler than the other guns. You can find it in the Parking Garage, B1, by examining the worn key found in a box in the nearby Firing Range. Press A/X to press the button and open the police car boot in the main parking area.

Upgrades

  • High-Capacity Magazine: Safe, Waiting Room, 2F Police Station. Use the combination 6 Left, 2 Right, 11 Left 

Gm79 Grenade Launcher

The GM79 grenade launcher is Claire’s equivalent to Leon’s shotgun, To unlock the grenade launcher, pick up the Weapon Locker Card from the 2F Art Room on the east side of the police department and head to the Safety Deposit Room on the west side of the first floor. Swipe it at the back where you can see the GM79 behind a locked grate.

Upgrades

  • Shoulder Stock: Elevator Control Room, Police Station B1, in a locker in the room before the elevator to Chief Iron’s office, accessible from the Parking Garage.

MQ-11

To acquire Claire’s powerful sub machine gun, you need the S.T.A.R.S. Badge, which can be examined and turned into a USB to open the Armory in the S.T.A.R.S. Office on the second floor of the police station. To find it, you have to pick up the book in the Library, take it to the 2F Art Room on the east side of the police department, combine it with the arm and place it in the statue. It will drop a sceptre which can be examined and turned into a red jewel, which you later place into a box which you find in the 1F Interrogation Room. Once you’ve got the badge, head back to the office and plug the USB in to access the MQ-11.

Upgrades

  • Extended Magazine: Find the Hiding Place film roll in the Workroom in the Upper Sewers and use the T-Bar crank to get back to the Darkroom from the Sewers via the Underground Facility. Once developed, head to the S.T.A.R.S Office on the second floor and check the draw behind the desk on your left when you enter.
  • Silencer: In the Underground Facility, head all the way down the stairs and you will see a glass case. Change the USB back into a badge and slot it into the case to unlock this upgrade.

Spark Shot

The Spark Shot will shock and stun your enemies in place, making it an essential part of your arsenal when you’re trying to escape the chase of the Tyrant. You can find this piece of kit in the lowest point of the sewers, the (figure this out). Solve the self-explanatory plug puzzle there to find the weapon on the wall in the final room. 

Upgrades

  • High-Voltage Condenser: Nap Room, Laboratory, use the Signal Modulator from the depths of the lab to kickstart the power in the room, and a door will open exposing this upgrade.

Quickdraw Army (Claire 2nd play through only)

Starting a second play through as Claire will put the Quickdraw Army in the Guard Room you start near. It's a slightly more powerful handgun that uses .45 ACP ammo. Claire can also fan the hammer giving it a surprisingly fast rate of fire. That's great in a tight spot but it's a slow reload to maybe practice squeezing off single shots to make it go further. 

And if you want more on Resident Evil 2, why not read all about how the never released Resident Evil 1.5 survived 22 years to appear in the Resident Evil 2 remake?