Resident Evil 2 – Weapon’s Guide

Learn all the Ins and Outs of all Weapons in the Game.

Other RE2 Guides:

Chances for Critical Hits

All credit goes to Choco Logical!

The Screenshot below shows what a 100% Critical Headshot will do to a Zombie.
But how is this achieved, and what are the chances?
Before we dive into all the different Weapons, we have to understand how Critical Hits work in this game first.

Resident Evil 2 - Weapon's Guide

Critical Hits always do more Damage than normal ones, so they’re far more effective to use.
You can perform one by shooting or knifing an enemies Weakspot, such as:

  • The heads of Zombies, Cerberus, Licker, Tyrant (Mr.X).
  • The Eye on any G mutation, be it Birkin or the Sewer Monsters.
  • The glowing balls on Ivy Mutations.
  • Super Tyrant’s Heart.

But a Critical Hit never does a set amount of Damage, but instead the Damage is randomly generated. Shooting a certain spot on a Zombie’s head will not alter your chances on a 100% Critical, unlike some rumors state.

The 100% Critical Hit that blows up Zombie Heads is only guaranteed by one single Weapon, but we will get into that down at the Weapon Statistics.

Weapon Statistics

Resident Evil 2 - Weapon's Guide

Now that we got Critical Hit Chances out of the way, it is time to see how all the different Weapons behave. Every Weapon has a certain amount of Base Damage, and this Value does not change. Let’s categorize the Weapons from weakest to strongest first…

Low Damage 

Almost all of the Handguns do the same amount of Base Damage and use the same ammo type (9mm), but there are big Differences in how their Critical Hit Chances vary.

  • Samurai Edge Base Model (S Rank Reward, Endless Ammo).

This Handgun is a Lifesafer for Difficulties such as Hardcore, and gives you more Headroom for Speedruns. However, this Handgun does not only cause minimal Damage, but it’s Critical Hit Chances are by far the lowest out of all Projectile Weapons in the Game. It is best to target the Arms and Legs of Zombies, or to finish certain enemy types of after causing enough damage with other Weapons.

  • Matilda, Matilda Fully Upgraded, Samurai Edge Chris, Samurai Edge Jill, Samurai Edge Wesker, SLS 60, JMB Hp3.

These Handguns are a step-up from the Samurai Edge Base Model in Terms of both Base Damage and Critical Hit Chances. However, among these Handguns, the Critical Hit Chances still vary. Both Matilda versions will cause the least amount of Damage while also being rather low on the Criticals, being almost identical to the three DLC Samurai Edges of the STARS Members. Among the SLS 60 and the JMB Hp3, there is a trade-off. While the SLS 60 has a higher Base Damage, the Critical Chances for the JMB Hp3 are much higher in comparison. Both Weapons have a higher Base Damage compared to all the other Handguns above.

Moderate Damage

Mostly the .45 Caliber Handfire Weapons, with both higher Base Damage and much higher Critical Chances. A huge Improvement upon the weaker Weapons for sure.

  • M19, Action Army, SLS 60 .45 Upgrade

All of these will cause your regular Zombies to stagger more often, while Limbs and Heads will more easily give way and come loose. Apart from the SLS 60 Upgrade, both the M19 and Action Army can only be accessed in Scenario B, the Second Run for either Character.

  • Shotgun (no upgrades)

As Unfortunate as this may seem, the Shotgun has a relatively low Base Damage very identical to those of the .45 caliber Handguns. However, the Critical Hit Chances of the unmodified Shotgun are beyond 50% at all times, which can be very effective when used correctly. The Shotgun also has a higher Chance to Stagger certain enemy types such as Ivy, Zombie or Cerberus. Unfortunately, a Licker will not be impressed by an unmodified Shotgun.

  • Uzi, Uzi Modified

With a Base Damage somewhere between the .45 Calibers and 9mm Handguns, the Uzi’s Critical Chances are sitting somewhere between 50% and 35%, giving the player a slightly higher Chance on Criticals than what .45 Calibers can offer, but being less prone to cause Staggering on enemies. The Rate of Fire also improves the Critical Chances. (Highly Effective in Bossfights from my own Experience).

High Damage

These Weapons have a high enough Base Damage to kill many enemy types in one or two hits, while also offering very High Critical Chances well beyond 80%.

  • Shotgun, fully Upgraded

With the fully upgraded Shotgun, your chances to blow Zombie Heads to pieces is sitting well at 90% and possibly even higher. Not very effective against Bosses, this Weapon is best used to remove any Obstacles on your way with ease and swiftness. Just do not forget to get close before firing.

  • Grenade Launcher, GL Modified

The Grenade Launcher causes huge amounts of Base Damage, be it a Zombie or a Boss you’re shooting at. For Maximum Damage, hit an enemy with the Acid Round before setting them on fire. Extremely effective against all kinds of enemy types. Use Fire Rounds on Ivy’s for high effectivity.

Highest Damage

The Only 100% Critical Hit Chance Weapon with 100% Base Damage.

This Weapon will destroy any Zombie head upon a hit, and most likely kill anything else with minimum shots fired.

  • Lightning Hawk, Lightning Hawk Upgraded

This Weapon is only accessable for Leon, and is already the strongest Weapon in this List without its Upgrade. The Upgrade will raise its Damage Level beyond 100% and will come in handy for Bosses. Use this as a last resort on normal enemy types, this Weapon is most effective in Boss Fights. Always target weakspots for maximum profit.

End Notes

This List will hopefully give you an Insight on which Weapons to use on which enemy types, and when. Defensive Items, Rocket Launcher, Gatling Gun, Flamethrower and Pulse Rifle are not included, as both the Flamethrower and Pulse Rifle do minimal damage and almost never cause Stagger on the weakest enemy types. Flamethrower comes in handy for Ivy’s while playing as Leon. The Pulse Rifle is a waste of inventory space, even with its Upgrade its practically useless as of right now.

Always keep at least two Defensive Items in your inventory at all times, as they will safe you from instant death animations certain enemy types have, such as Ivy and Tyrant.

Always keep in mind that avoiding enemies and conserving ammo is the way to go. Know your enemy, know your weapons, know your environment, and you should be able to survive this Nightmare.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13981 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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