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Fortnite is filled with tons of weapons and items that you can use in fights to win battle royale matches. Of these, the SMGs are some of the most popular weapons around. This Fortnite submachine guns guide will go over every single one of the weapons that have been released in this category.
Our Fortnite submachine guns guide covers all of the weapons from across the three chapters that have been released so far. Given how vital SMGs are with players, there is a wide variety of them that Epic Games has released over the years.
Bottom Line Up Front
Fortnite SMGs are some of the essential weapons in the game, second only to assault rifles in terms of popularity. For the most part, an SMG is meant for closer fights in shorter ranges, but there is the possibility for other types of disputes as well. While most are fast-firing weapons for close range, some are good for longer spans, others are similar to pistols, and more are customizable. Here is the complete list of all of the SMGs ever released that we are going to cover in detail in this guide:
- Burst SMG
- Compact SMG
- Kymera Ray Gun
- Machine Pistol
- Makeshift SMG
- Primal SMG
- Rapid Fire SMG
- Stinger SMG
- Gunnar’s Stinger SMG
- Suppressed SMG
- Tactical SMG
- Zyg and Choppy’s Ray Gun
What Is a Fortnite SMG?
An SMG is a submachine gun, a minor form of a machine gun in a more compact form. As such, it lacks some of the power of a machine gun but exchanges that for speed and reliability up close. Most SMGs in Fortnite lack the ability for long-range but are unstoppable beasts in close range.
When it comes to up close and personal fights, the only two real options are the SMGs and shotguns. But for many players, including myself, shotguns are a bit too slow and unwieldy at times. As such, I and others prefer the SMG, which is fast and more reliable, in my opinion.
SMGs are exceedingly popular weapons, too, with many players using them at all times. I would even argue that, in terms of popularity, SMGs are either tied or second only to assault rifles. This is seen in the fact that Epic Games has supported the SMG weapon category extensively with many different options.
Since the beginning of the game, before even its first season in Chapter 1, Epic has been great about consistently releasing new SMGs, vaulting old ones (removing them), and occasionally bringing back fan-favorite versions.
Whenever you have an SMG gun that you are using in battle, one of the essential parts that you should know about is the ammo type. Fortnite is a battle royale survival game, so this means that you need to have enough gear to be able to survive in the matches that you do.
This includes not just picking up any SMGs that you find to use in combat but making sure that you have enough ammo to survive in fights as well. The ammo type used for the SMGs is usually light bullets. However, there are a couple of guns that are the exceptions to this rule.
Light bullets are exactly what they sound like: lighter bullets that are smaller and meant for smaller guns like submachine guns. Fortunately, light shots are some of the easiest to find in the game and one of the most common ammo types.
When it comes to looting SMGs and ammo, they are found everywhere. You can walk into a building or a named location and find SMGs just lying around on the floor. The better variants, though, like the rare and epic versions, will be in more inaccessible areas like supply drops and treasure chests.
For finding more ammo for your SMGs, you will need to open up ammo boxes. These are relatively common themselves and are found under staircases and in random buildings at points of interest. You can also loot ammo from new weapons that you find, as each gun comes with a few bullets on its own.
All SMGs Ever Released
13 SMGs in total have been released across the three chapters of Fortnite battle royale thus far. 13 may not sound like a lot, but that essentially equals out to a new variant of the weapon type coming out every other season of the game if not sooner than that.
As such, fans can look forward to new SMG versions pretty regularly. To help with the ever-growing list of submachine guns in Fortnite at this time, we are going to break down all of them. This way, you will be able to know exactly what you are getting into when these guns are inevitably unvaulted and brought back into a future season.
When it comes to the submachine guns in Fortnite, none should be talked about first, then the foundational SMG. This is your standard submachine gun and the one that has been in the battle royale game since almost the very beginning.
The original SMG is a powerful beast and the standard from which the other guns in the category have taken inspiration. It is the baseline version of the gun type, representing the core features of what makes an SMG an SMG. It has speed, decent recoil, and low individual bullet power but is powerful when shot quickly.
What is odd about the OG SMG is that it is not the first one in the category. That goes to the tactical that has been in the game since basically the start, and it would take some time before the regular SMG would appear. It did not come out in Fortnite until Chapter 1, Season 5.
It comes in many different variants ranging from a common rarity that is easy to find to the legendary version that has more overall damage and is much harder to get. The original SMG is nothing too special in general but is considered the jack-of-all-trades, able to do everything that the other SMGs can do but not specializing in any one area.
Next up in the list of SMGs that have been in Fortnite in the past we have the burst SMG. This is a fan favorite in the group but was only available in the game for a very short period. It came out during Chapter 1 in the ninth season of Fortnite but was removed in the middle of Season 10.
While the burst SMG had a pretty short lifecycle in the game, it did leave its mark as one of the most unique additions in the submachine gun category. Unlike the other guns in the category, it does not fire all of its bullets in quick succession but fires a handful of them at once.
How it works is that holding down the trigger will shoot out four bullets one after another in quick burst sections, instead of seemingly infinite bullets in a row. The trade-off is that these bullets are fairly accurate and they deal some serious damage compared to the usual SMG rounds.
Furthermore, the burst SMG’s accuracy was not just great for short-range but it made this weapon excellent for slightly longer-range fights as well. While certainly no AR, the burst SMG was at least useful enough that players could use this gun in a few more situations than the average SMG.
Another favorite in the crowd of SMGs and one of my go-to SMGs when it was around is the compact SMG. What is notable about this weapon is that it is compact and small, making it more of a portable and handheld gun than the other beefier SMGs out there.
The compact SMG was smaller in size and this greatly affected its stats at the same time. What made it different from the usual SMG was that it would be meant for closer range fights only but had some serious damage that was amplified by the insanely fast firing rate that it had. While not the fastest in the group, it was among the best at the time.
The compact SMG was a bit hard to wield at times when it was continuously fired in longer gunfights but, if you were able to control it well, it could be a valuable asset that could outrank other guns in its category at times.
The compact SMG first arrived in Chapter 1, Season 5, and had its reign in the game for a good while. It would be vaulted occasionally and then return, ultimately being vaulted for seemingly good in Chapter 2, Season 3. It has been quite some time since its last inclusion in Fortnite so here’s hoping that it comes back shortly.
Kymera Ray Gun
Another favorite of mine is the Kymera Ray Gun, which just so happens to be one of the newest on this list at the same time. The Kymera Ray Gun was first introduced to Fortnite players in Chapter 2, Season 7 and that was the only season ever that it was featured in.
Come Season 8, the final season of that particular chapter, and it was already removed from the game with no signs of returning anytime soon. What was special about the Ray Gun was that it was a laser gun that had a continuous beam of laser that you could shoot at enemies that would not stop until you made it (or it overheated).
The Ray Gun was a very special weapon and one that I loved in Season 7 as my favorite at that time. This was also because it functioned uniquely in that it had unlimited ammo. You never had to worry about picking up more bullets in battle with this gun so long as you made sure not to let it overheat from use for too long.
The only way to get the Kymera Ray Gun was pretty interesting, too, as it required you to visit the alien spaceships that were around the island in Season 7 or to take one off of the bodies of the trespasser alien NPC enemies.
When you first hear the name “machine pistol”, you likely do not think of an SMG. It would make sense if you thought of this weapon in Fortnite as a pistol since it is literally in the name. However, what is weird about this gun is that it is called a pistol but is technically categorized as an SMG.
The machine pistol is essentially the famous Uzi but in Fortnite form. It is a smaller weapon that has a fast firing speed and is capable of devastating enemies quickly. It also had a solid range at the same time, letting you have a decent bit of wiggle room when it came to attacking enemies from afar compared to most SMGs.
The machine pistol was a strange gun in that it had a trouble lifecycle leading up to its eventual arrival in the battle royale game. It was first shown in the backend of the game by leakers in Fortnite Chapter 1, Season 7 but it would be several more seasons until the gun was released.
It did not truly, officially release (outside of unwanted leak moments) until Chapter 2, Season 5 and it would, again, not be in the game for too long. This continued season after season, including Season 8 until the most recent Chapter 3, Season 1 where it has finally made its true long-term debut. Its speed and range have proved too powerful, though, leading to some nerfs over time.
One of my favorite seasons competitively in Fortnite was Chapter 2, Season 6, which was the Primal season. The Primal season introduced crafting into Fortnite battle royale hugely and one of the best examples of this was the makeshift SMG gun.
The makeshift SMG was an otherwise unassuming gun that is about as basic as it gets. Think of it as like the standard submachine gun but a little less accurate and not as useful. That said, the value in this weapon was not in what it was able to do immediately but what it could do under the right circumstances.
You see, the makeshift SMG was the base gun that you could easily find around the island and its true purpose was upgrading. By upgrading it, you could get the standard SMG or the primal SMG (more on this one in a moment).
It just took a few crafting materials and you would be able to turn this gun into whatever you needed in each match.
Speaking of the primal SMG, it also arrived and was only available in the same Season 6 as the makeshift SMG. It was common enough to find on the map but it was much easier to just get a makeshift SMG and then convert it into a primal one using a few animal bone materials.
The primal SMG was a step up from the makeshift version but it was not for everyone, including me. This is because the primal was only useful in short-range with its powerful speed and damage. However, this came at the cost of some seriously hardcore recoil and accuracy problems.
This made the primal SMG not too useful except in particularly close fights and even then for certain players. Otherwise, it was much better to just use the other SMG variants in the game. However, there is still nothing like this strong and unique submachine gun to this day so it has its fair share of fans.
Rapid Fire SMG
Another one of the best SMGs in the history of Fortnite is the rapid-fire one. The rapid-fire SMG is notable for being one of the more difficult weapons in the category to master but is well worth the effort. This is because the rapid-fire SMG might be the strongest in its class.
This is due to the well, rapid, nature of the SMG, allowing it to shoot at a much quicker speed than just about any other gun in its category. This speed is impressive when coupled with the damage that it can output in such a short period.
The catch is that the rapid-fire SMG only has so many bullets in a clip before you have to reload. Furthermore, it is not great at longer ranges so it is mainly just an excellent choice when it comes to the close-range fights that you engage in.
The rapid-fire SMG came out in Chapter 2 and was a staple in that particular chapter for many seasons, only being unvaulted finally once the third chapter of the game began in late 2021.
When it comes to the stinger SMG, it is one of the newest in the game, only being just introduced in Chapter 3, Season 1. Though it has not been out for too long at this point, it is already rather popular in the metagame for the battle royale title right now.
It is similar in some ways to the rapid-fire SMG, which is likely the cause for why the previous entry on this list was removed, but it has its unique quirks at the same time. The stinger is known for its speed as well but is also more reliable and accurate at longer ranges.
Gunnar’s Stinger SMG
In Fortnite, there are mythic variants, which are even more powerful and rare than the legendary ones. In the case of the stinger, there is a mythic version of it that is better that is known as Gunnar’s Stinger SMG. This gun is largely similar to its original counterpart but with a few notable changes.
For one, there is the fact that the Gunnar version is a bit more powerful damage-wise but there is a trade-off that you should know about. While it is stronger, it is also a bit harder to control in longer fights, making it difficult to keep up with sometimes for some players in mid-range.
When it comes to acquiring Gunnar’s Stinger SMG in Fortnite, there is only one way to do it at this time outside of taking it from another player. You will need to track down the optional Gunnar NPC enemy and take him out, which will cause him to drop his mythic weapon for you to pick up and use.
One of the original SMGs in the entire game was the suppressed submachine gun. There is a lot to love about this gun besides just the long history that it has in the title. For one, this is because it is in the beloved category of suppressed weapons that are favorites for players.
The suppressed SMG is largely similar to the baseline SMG that you can find in the game but with a couple of neat differences. For one, there is the fact that it is one of the better guns in the category at mid-range fights, putting it slightly more on par with the assault rifles out there.
Another key change is that the suppressed SMG is, well, suppressed. With the suppression added to this variant, this means that it will not give away your position the way that every single other gun in the category. You are free to fire as much as you want without showing up on the compass radar or making too much noise for enemies.
This version of the SMG has been in the game for a very long time, before even the start of the first season, and was available throughout most of Chapter 2 as well. However, it is no longer in the game at this time.
Speaking of the OG SMGs out there, one should not forget the first of its name: the tactical SMG. Before even the base SMG came out, there was the tactical variant that players have been able to use for such a long time. It is very similar to its base version but with a single main difference.
The tactical SMG is for those players who like a little bit more range to their fighting. As such, this version of the gun will allow you to fire from farther away than most SMGs out there with a more reliable control at the same time. The tactical SMG has been a go-to for many players since the beginning of Fortnite.
Unfortunately, it is not in the game anymore as of Chapter 2, Season 5. However, it has been almost five seasons since it last appeared so we expect its overdue return anytime soon.
Zyg and Choppy’s Ray Gun
Last but not least, we have the mythic variant of the Ray Gun known as Zyg and Choppy’s Ray Gun. It is very similar to the original Ray Gun, right down to only being available in Season 7, and having infinite ammo. You are only able to fire it for some time before it will overheat, though, so you need to be careful.
The main draw of the mythic Zyg and Choppy’s Ray Gun version is that it has the fastest firing speed out of any gun in Fortnite to date. The only way that players were able to get this overpowered SMG was to take out the Zyg and Choppy NPC enemy at Retail Row while in a match in Season 7. There are no signs currently of it ever returning to the game in the future.
Question: Are submachine guns good in Fortnite?
Answer: This will come down to each player and their particular preferences when it comes to Fortnite battle royale. I think, overall, there is no denying that SMGs are good, if not great, weapons to use in Fortnite. I would honestly say that they are even amazing and must-haves in some cases.
SMGs are the second-most important weapons in the entire game, in my opinion, so they are good weapons to have in combat. To answer this question, I would say that SMGs are more than good (they’re great!) and you would have a hard time finding weapons that are better at close-quarter fights.
Question: What is the best Fortnite SMG?
Answer: This is another question that comes down to each person’s preference in the end. Some players will think one SMG gun type is better than all of the rest while others might think another one is better. This is because the SMGs are varied enough that you can find some great ones out there for each playstyle.
That said, my pick for the best Fortnite SMG has to go to the Ray Gun, which is a bit of an odd answer for sure. This is because the Ray Gun, as I mentioned in the above guide, is a weird pick to be considered among the ranks of submachine guns. It is an SMG, technically, but I don’t see it that way.
If you ignore the Ray Gun for a moment, I would give the pick to the compact SMG or the rapid-fire SMG. Both of these guns are built for emphasizing the speed of the SMG in close quarters sessions and they are almost unmatched when it comes to these fights. It helps, too, that they do a great job when it comes to accuracy and recoil so that they are easy to use and devastating in close combat situations.
Question: Is an SMG better than a shotgun in Fortnite?
Answer: Truthfully, the short answer to this question, in my opinion, is yes, the SMG is better than a shotgun in most situations. However, it is a complicated answer that takes a bit of explanation. It ultimately depends on the scenario and there are some situations where a shotgun will be better while, in other moments, the SMG will be the better gun.
Part of this comes down to whoever gets the first shot out. Almost always in close combat, the winner of the fight will be the first to shoot first. Unless they miss for some reason or do not strike in the right way, they are almost guaranteed to win since you can defeat an enemy so quickly with an SMG or shotgun.
When it is more of an even scenario where both players know where the other person is and starts attacking them, it is more complicated. I think the SMG can win simply because it is the faster weapon, which makes it easier to control and a bit more forgiving. Shotguns, on the other hand, are mostly unwieldy and hard to use.
That said, there are some shotguns like the tactical and auto that is very easy to use in battle and I think can triumph over most SMGs any day. In the end, though, it will come down to what weapon you are using, specifically, and who you are up against. In most cases, I would put the SMG on top, though.
The Fortnite submachine guns guide is but one slice of the battle royale formula. SMGs are a major part of the game but they are only a single weapon category among the many that exist in the game. After all, there are still assault rifles, snipers, pistols, explosives, and many more that are in the game.
If you would like to find out more about the various other weapons and categories of offensive items in Fortnite, be sure to check out our full Fortnite weapons guide. This guide will let you know about all of the weapon categories in the game, including some of the different variants within them. This is a great way to broaden your horizons and find out more about weapons you might want to use in Fortnite.
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