The Best SMGs in Vanguard

So, what are the best SMGs in Vanguard? We've got a complete tier list with all available submachine guns in Call of Duty: Vanguard right now!

Vanguard Best SM Gs
What are the best SMGs in CoD: Vanguard? | © Activision

Call of Duty: Vanguard brought us a ton of great weapons, including some very nice period-correct SMGs (yeah, we know the attachments aren't accurate, but still). We fell in love with some of these guns when we were testing the multiplayer in the Open Vanguard Beta, but now the game has been out for some months, we've had ample opportunity to dive in and properly test all of the weapons in the game for you. Here, we're defining which SMG is the best in Vanguard, and ranking all of them in descending order from worst to best. We already came up with the best Vanguard loadouts in general, but now it's time we get into more detail, and talk about SMGs in particular.

The rich tapestry of CoD is composed of many a weapon type, so we'll rank all the guns from each weapon category separately from worst to best for you. If you're looking for the best Vanguard weapon in a specific category, we've got you covered. We already covered the best ARs, LMGs, DMRs, Sniper Rifles and Shotguns for you, today, though, we're continuing with SMGs.

Our Call of Duty: Vanguard SMG Tier List

10. Owen Gun

Vanguard owen gun
The Owen Gun doesn't particularly excel at anything. | © Activision

The Owen Gun is a strange SMG. It has a much lower rate of fire than other SMGs, and a ridiculous top-loading magazine. It does have good accuracy and decent range, but SMGs don't really need that. In close combat, where we require SMGs to dominate, the Owens is simple outclassed by other SMGs which are faster and more mobile. So the Owen Gun isn't useless, its only problem is that its strengths lie at a range where assault rifles are much better. Still, you can have a lot of fun with this Owen Gun setup and loadout.

9. H4 Blixen

Vanguard Blixen unlock and loadout
Looks weird and sadly is way better in Warzone than in Vanguard. | © Activision

The H4 Blixen packs a punch, but it's slow as hell compared to most other SMGs, which just doesn't make it very good for multiplayer. However, the weapon has just been added, and we are always ready to change our minds if it does become meta. Thanks to its good range, however, it is actually top 5 material in Warzone. Here is our best H4 Blixen setup.

8. Armaguerra 43

Armaguerra 43 Loadout
A pretty solid SMG. | © Activision

The Armaguerra 43 is a really good SMG that was introduced with Vanguard Season 2: Reloaded. It is sitting somewhere between an AR and an SMG, but also has a really good rate of fire. Chose the right attachments for more range, bullet velocity and recoil control, and you are good to go on all distances or go with a full close range build, focused on hip fire accuracy. Here is our best Armaguerra Warzone loadout.

7. Sten

Sten Main
The Sten has one little trick, otherwise it's just not as good as the other SMGs. | © Activision

Like most WWII guns, the Sten will be familiar to most gamers. The British SMG is widely known for the magazine, that sticks out the left side of the gun instead of being loaded from the bottom. In Vanguard, the Sten is a bit of a pea-shooter. But it can excel in one specific area, because the Sten has access to Gung-ho. The Gung-ho perk allows you to sprint while firing, couple this with the Sten's outstanding hip-fire accuracy, and you've got yourself an incredible weapon for lighting-fast rotations, and hip-fire engagements. The enemy won't know what hit them. This really is the only thing the Sten is good for, though, so if that's not your playstyle, keep reading. We've got a full loadout for you here.

6. M1928

M1928 Main
The iconic Tommy Gun is especially awesome in CQC situations. | © Activision

The M1928 is probably better known as the Tommy Gun. The iconic WWII weapon comes with a huge magazine and a really high rate of fire. As you would expect, the tradeoff is pretty bad recoil once more, but if you play the M1928 close range – as you are supposed to – it totally shreds. However, the SMG is not versatile at all, it is strictly short-range, since the damage drop off after about 20 meters is punishing, so keep that in mind when choosing your attachments. If it is built the correct way, it is the ultimate CQC gun, that can take out a bunch of people in a second without having to reload almost ever.

You want to hear the weapon sounds and see the reload animations? We got you:

Ok enough of that, let's get back to the best SMGs in Vanguard and continue with our place number four.

5. PPSH-41

PPSH 41 Vanguard
The PPSH-41 shreds in Vanguard. | © Activision

At first, the PPSH-41 is very difficult to control due to its high rate of fire – extreme rate of fire always comes with nasty recoil. But the right attachments, however, we get the recoil under control and also manage to improve the range, which makes the PPSH-41 a true beast. Because that high rate of fire produces a wild TTK, especially when we can aim for head and chest. Just test our best PPSH-41 setup and loadout in Vanguard right now, and you'll see what we mean. Although a recent nerf to the weapon, in Warzone, has made it more of a Vanguard exclusive.

4. Welgun

Welgun Vanguard
One of the best SMGs. | © Activision

The Welgun only came into the game with the Season 1 Mid-Season Update, and it sits right at number 4 on our list of the best SMGs. Why? Because, like the MP-40, it is very versatile. It's mobile, still has damn good damage, and can be equipped with a 45-round magazine that also increases damage. Without a damage increase, you can even carry a 64-round magazine. With the right attachments, the Welgun is incredibly strong at the moment, and we really hope that it won't be nerfed too soon. Until then, here is the best Welgun Vanguard setup for you.

3. Type 100

Vanguard type 100
The Type 100 SMG has some great blueprints available already. | © Activision

The Type 100 seemed poor at first, but with Gung-ho and the best setup possible, it's creeping into the Vanguard and Warzone meta. The Type 100 has everything you want from an SMG in mobility and handling, plus some good range and crucially, access to the broken Gung-ho perk. Its only downfall is the somewhat lacking damage, but it's TTK is still easily fast enough to be viable.

2. Marco 5

Marco 5 loadout
Eine verdammt starke MP. | © Activision

The Marco 5 really took off in Warzone, where it was the absolute meta until a recent nerf. Thanks to a special movement build, you could run faster with it than with any other gun in the game. Even after the last nerf in Season 4: Reloaded, the Marco 5 is still a very strong MP that you should definitely try out. Here is our best Marco 5 setup.

1. MP-40

MP40 Main
The MP-40 is really versatile and the best SMG in Vanguard. | © Activision

Another WWII weapon everyone should have seen before. The German MP-40 is by far the most versatile and strongest SMG in Call of Duty: Vanguard. It basically is the MP5 (Modern Warfare and Black Ops Cold War) of Vanguard – easy to control, good range for an SMG, higher damage per bullet than the other SMGs. The fire rate is lower than for the Sten and M1928, but it is way more accurate and can not only be played on close range, but actually does pretty good on almost every multiplayer map (except Red Star, which is huge). Think of it like the missing link between SMGs and assault rifles. With the right setup, the MP-40 boasts a very short TTK and can be used in almost every situation you can think of. If you want the best and most versatile SMG in Vanguard, look no further, the MP-40 is the king of submachine guns.

With Vanguard out and killing it, these are all the SMGs available at launch. Now, of course, we will update this article as new seasons and updates bring new weapons to the game. From our perspective, though, we are pretty happy with the current selection of SMGs in the game right now, with even the worst having at least something to offer. Anyway, these were the best SMGs in Call of Duty: Vanguard, and of course, we are also providing rankings for all the other weapon categories in Vanguard. Until then, make sure to check out our best Vanguard Loadouts, and if you prefer playing Warzone, we also have the best Warzone guns right here for you.