While it doesn’t quite have the same long tail that its sequel has, Grand Theft Auto IV is still an incredible game that arguably laid the foundation for the future of the franchise. With both an incredible single-player campaign (featuring what many fans consider to be the best narrative in the series) and two massive DLC expansions in the form of The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, there’s a massive amount of worthwhile content available for anyone who purchases the GTA IV: Complete Edition. Committing crimes and causing mayhem in the reimagined Liberty City still holds up as a blast more than a decade later, and part of that enduring appeal comes from the game’s many great weapons.
Across both the main game and the two expansions there are a total of 17 different weapons. These range anywhere from simple fists and melee weapons all the way to high-powered sniper rifles and rocket launchers. Thanks to the new aiming and cover mechanics implemented in GTA IV (and even further iterated on and improved in GTA V) nearly every weapon in the game has some value depending on the situation in which it’s being used. These 10 weapons are the absolute best possible choices for any combat scenario.
10. Baseball Bat
At the end of the day, sometimes all you need in Grand Theft Auto is a solid, dependable melee weapon. The series has plenty of excellent entries that fit the melee weapon category, and even going bare-handed and engaging in fisticuffs is a valid approach, but few melee weapons match the sheer blunt force of Grand Theft Auto IV‘s baseball bat. Since first appearing in Grand Theft Auo III, the baseball bat has been a staple of the series’ weapon options. It’s appearance in GTAIV is perhaps the best of the bunch, continuing the upgrade to aluminum that first arrived with San Andreas. Sure, Niko is more than capable at doling out punishment with his hands, but that satisfying “thunk” of taking down opponents with the bat is hard to beat.
In terms of its utility in the game, the baseball bat can be bought right from the beginning of the game and comes at a price of only $5. What it lacks in power and range it more than makes up for in its intimidation factor. After all, there’s a reason that the weapon appears in every Grand Theft Auto game since the series transitioned to 3D.
9. Combat Shotgun
If it weren’t for the fact that so many of the firearms that players can acquire in GTA IV are extremely potent, the combat shotgun would be much higher up on this list. As it stands, it’s still one of the better close-range options to use when you need to clear out a room of enemies quickly. Sure, there are other shotguns on this list that edge out the competition ever so slightly, but the combat shotgun is likely one of the first very powerful weapons that players will be taking with them on missions (or just out into the streets to cause mayhem). Although the base price of the firearm is a little steep at $2500, players that take the time to befriend Little Jacob can acquire it for much cheaper at $1500.
What the combat shotgun lacks in accuracy and pure damage output it makes up for in its fire rate and ammo capacity. With 10 rounds in the chamber in a relatively fast fire rate, players can make quick work of enemies in close-quarters encounters. A great weapon for staying behind cover and popping out at the right moment to take out an approaching threat.
8. AK-47 Assault Rifle
The AK-47 appears in nearly every video game that has shooting mechanics for a reason. One of the most iconic and recognizable weapons in the world, the AK-47 assault rifle can count itself as one of the most dependable armaments, in Grand Theft Auto IV or otherwise. Part of the rifle’s appeal comes from its real-world popularity and functionality, and its video game version is no different. Before players can get their hands on an arguably better assault rifle, the AK-47 will likely serve as the go-to mid-range automatic weapon in any player’s arsenal.
In terms of damage output, this rifle triples the damage numbers of the combat shotgun, quickly establishing itself as the superior option for either close-range or mid-range encounters. Additionally, with a notoriously fast fire rate, player’s can simply “spray and pray” to clear out entire rooms of enemies. Thanks to the targeting mechanics present in GTA IV, the AK-47 is an extremely effective and poweful weapon when using burst fire from behind cover.
7. AA-12 Automatic Shotgun
What’s better than a shotgun? Why, an automatic shotgun of course. The AA-12 can absolutely obliterate the opposition, and once players can acquire it they should absolutely spend the cash to do so. This behemoth can quickly fire off its 20 round capacity in more time than it takes to say “put your hands up”, making it one of the deadliest weapons in the game once it’s obtainable. Even better, the price of the weapon belies its power and utility in combat, making it an absolute bargain comparitavely.
Similar to other shotguns, the automatic shotgun has poor range, making it better suited to close-range encounters and rushing in. Still, when those situations present themselves, you would be hard-pressed to find a better shotgun (but, full disclosure, there is one). When you factor in that the AA-12 can be outfitted with explosive shells, you take what’s already an incredible shotgun and transform it into a de facto grenade launcher.
6. PSG-1 Combat Sniper
Sniper rifles are a staple of any game with shooting mechanics, and for good reason. They’re the perfect type of firearm for anyone who wishes to stay out of harms way while carefully and precisely taking out targets. Sniper rifles have always been a great option in Grand Theft Auto games, but one of the best of the bunch is the combat sniper from Grand Theft Auto IV. Not only does this rifle come equipped with a high-power scope allowing Niko to stay well out of his enemies’ line of sight, its semi-automatic fire rate allows for players to quickly eliminate threats from a distance before needing to engage in a long reload animation typical of the rifle type.
At $8500, that firepower and firing speed comes at a hefty price, but it’s one that’s well worth it. Especially when getting into the latter missions of Grand Theft Auto IV‘s campaign, there are several opportunities to attack from afar that make the combat sniper an absolute must-have. Additionally, at 75 attack power, it deals some of the most profound damage of any weapon in the game per-shot.
5. Silenced P90 Assault SMG
There may be a better SMG on this list, but the P90 is a great alternative that features compatibility with a supressor and an extremely fast fire rate. Many gamers were first acquainted with the P90 from its inclusion in the Nintendo 64 classic 007 Goldeneye, and in the 10 years between that game’s release and Grand Theft Auto IV, the weapon lost none of its potency. It’s not cheap, and it does have the downside of having a fire rate that outpaces its ammo capacity, but if you’re fully-stocked on SMG ammo it’s a great weapon to have in the arsenal, no matter the type of encounter.
In terms of its damage, it actually does as much per-shot as the automatic shotgun while having significantly better accuracy and fire rate. If it weren’t for the MP-10 being arguably the best weapon in the game, the P90 would absolutely land higher on this list.
4. Automatic 9mm
One thing that we haven’t mentioned yet is the need for a weapon to be versatile. In Grand Theft Auto games, players will be spending plenty of time driving around in stolen cars. It’s in the title of the game. Weapons don’t just need to be viable on-foot, they also need to have utility when behind the wheel of a car. You never know when a car chase or police pursuit will require you to quickly engage with Grand Theft Auto IV‘s drive-by mechanic, and for that particular purpose there are few guns better than the automatic 9mm.
For starters, this weapon is much cheaper than the average SMG that can also be used in vehicular combat, coming in at a reasonable $500. It has decent firepower, coming in just a few points lower than the P90 SMG and at a fraction of the cost, and fires at the same rate. In terms of being able to quickly dispatch a tailing vehicle by eliminating its driver or deflating its tires, the automatic 9mm is one of the best choices available.
3. Striker Assault Shotgun (Street Sweeper)
As we get into the top three weapons on this list, it almost goes without saying that each of these firearms are arguably interchangeable depending on the situation you find yourself in. The assault shotgun gets its appearance and stats from the real-world Striker, aka the “Street Sweeper”. This heavy-duty shotgun features both an automatic fire rate and an 8 round clip that can be quickly emptied at close-range to instantly take out virtually any target. Like other shotguns on this list, it has poor range, but it features great attack power and fire rate to help compensate.
Although players can purchase the Striker for a reasonable $3500, it can also be gained from completing 40 Gang Wars activities in The Lost and Damned expansion. Once that’s complete, players will have a Striker waiting for them at each of their safehouses, and no one on the receiving end of it is safe from its absolute destructive fury.
2. MP-10 Submachine Gun
With a greater fire-rate than every other SMG and a reasonably sized clip, the MP-10 is potentially the best and most versatile weapon in the game. While we have to give the number one spot to a different weapon based on its sheer utility and power in missions, the MP-10 SMG is undoubtedly one of the best firearms to always have in your possession when working the streets of Liberty City. Similar to the automatic 9mm, this weapon isn’t just great in on-foot encounters, it’s practically essential for in-vehicle combat as well.
Beyond its strong damage output and competitive fire rate and capacity, the MP-10 has some of the best accuracy of any non-sniper rifle gun in the game. If players are wanting to land headshots on enemies, both this gun and the number one entry on this list are two of the best possible options.
1. M4 Carbine Rifle
In terms of the imagery players associate with Grand Theft Auto IV, few gameplay screenshots are as iconic as those featuring Niko Bellic with his M4 carbine rifle. Almost as if the developers themselves were trying to drop hints to the player, this gun is far and away the best weapon available in Grand Theft Auto IV. Even once players find weapons with greater firepower or cooler gimmicks, it’s just hard to beat the all-around balance and utility of the M4.
This rifle is great no matter which range enemies are at, being just as viable in up-close encounters as it is in ranged engagements. Further, it’s more powerful than any shotgun in the game while also having infinitely better accuracy and ammo capacity, making it the perfect gun to take for the long-haul before needing to reload. Taking down rival gang members, robbing banks, or antagonizing law enforcement, any activity in GTA IV isn’t complete without the M4 in your backpack.