World War Z Wiki
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A plethora of different weapons for survivors to choose and take

"Sounds like M-16s." Tashaun

There are a variety of weapons available for the survivors to find and use in World War Z.

Most weapons can be found scattered around the environment. Look around for them if you are low on ammo or want a stronger gun.

Overview

Weapon Slots

The majority of the weapons found will fall into three main slots: primary, secondary, and heavy. Each one fulfills different roles and the amount of time spent using each will vary throughout a game, whether you are hunting zekes or enemy survivors.

Primary

Primary weapons are what players will be using the most throughout the game. They typically have the most ammo carried and deliver plenty of damage for the most consistent and reliable performance in every situation.

Secondary

Secondary weapons are used mainly as a backup weapon. Given that most secondaries pale in comparison to a primary, they will often be used as a fallback for when survivors run out of primary ammo or if primary ammo needs to be conserved. A select few secondaries can also act as a utility. Secondaries are also a great stealth option given that the stock weapon most survivors are equipped with comes with a silencer.

Heavy

Heavy weapons are some of the strongest weapons available. With the huge amounts of damage that they can deliver, they are usually reserved for use against large zeke swarms, although they are also used in occasion to kill very tough special zombies. What they make up in strength is compensated by their short life span. Apart from having a limited amount of ammunition, heavy weapon ammo cannot be replenished either. Once used up, they are discarded and have to be replaced.

Weapon Tiers

Weapons are assigned a tier, with higher tiers generally performing better in combat than the previous tiers, though this is not always the case. Tier levels appear as white bars, with the number of bars that are filled white indicating their level number. Primary and secondary weapons can be classified as either Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III. In the case of heavy weapons, they are technically classified as Tier V, as shown by the five yellow bars.

Curiously, this leaves a gap within the tier system with Tier IV, which does not exist.

Weapon Versions

In Co-op Campaign, primaries and secondaries can level up with enough experience. Leveling up allows you to unlock progressively better versions of the same weapon which must be bought using Supplies. You cannot level up a weapon further and unlock newer versions of that weapon until you buy one of the previously unlocked weapons. Some weapon unlocks can be bought with Challenge Coins while a few require reaching some sort of requirement before they can be unlocked. A number of weapons are also part of weapon bundle packs offered through DLC.

Experience Points

Listed below is a table for the amount of experience players can earn for killing an enemy with a weapon that can be leveled up. Apart from Rat Packs, headshot kills adds an additional 2 XP to the regular amount of XP earned.

Zeke + Zombified Survivor/Soldier Lurker Gasbag Bull Screamer Infector Bomber Rat Packs Booster
1 XP 11 XP 11 XP 11 XP 11 XP 11 XP 11 XP 22 XP 11 XP

Weapon Level Cost

Listed below is a table of prices for purchasing a version of a weapon at that level. This applies to both the main and alternate branch of upgrades if they have them. Most weapons go up to level five and the price to unlock the next version with Supplies remain the same for all. If a weapon does not have a weapon version to unlock at that level, the other level prices remain unaffected.

Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
150 Credit icon.png 500 Credit icon.png 750 Credit icon.png 1000 Credit icon.png

Silenced Weapons

Most weapons can be upgraded to have a suppressor attached to them. The suppressor makes a weapon silent, meaning the bullets fired will not cause nearby idle zekes to immediately get up from the sound. It also avoids alerting a horde of zekes to appear. It is important that at least one silent weapon is carried by everyone as alerting the masses early in a game, means having to deal with more problems that could have been avoided entirely. Learn to avoid confrontation and pick off enemies from a safe distance using whatever silenced weapon you are carrying. Most survivors start with a secondary that is already equipped with a suppressor, so use it to avoid needless fighting. In the harder difficulties, where zekes appear in even greater numbers and deal more damage per hit, the last thing you want to do is blindly run around guns blazing. It is not only the most idiotic thing you can do for yourself, but also your team. By not practicing stealth during the moments where zekes do not seem to be aware of your presence, you end up putting everyone at unnecessary risk.

Melee Weapons

All survivors carry a melee weapon with them. Melee weapons are used mostly as a last resort, for ammo conservation, or to deliver a melee finisher. If survivors run out of ammo, this will become their only weapon to kill enemies. They also push enemies who are very close back a bit in a small radius around them. Melee weapons do not break, meaning they have infinite use, but their use is balanced out by the survivor's fatigue bar which affects their targeting ability and how fast they can swing their weapon. Relying too much on your melee weapon can leave you vulnerable when surrounded.

Excluding the default melee weapon, when swung enough times, survivors will perform a signature strike. A signature strike is an attack that usually has a special effect dependent on the melee weapon's stats. A signature strike is always accompanied by a red streak that trails behind the weapon as it is swung.

In the base game, all the melee weapons are one-handed, and there is no difference in how they function, meaning the choice of weapon is purely cosmetic. In the Aftermath game expansion, the different melee weapons that can be unlocked or purchased are separated into three categories: light, medium, and heavy. In addition, each weapon other than the starting Machete has one or more perks specific to that weapon, so players should always choose another melee weapon over the Machete if they are playing with the expansion.

Light Melee Weapons

Light melee weapons are dual wielded, attack quickly and give you more melee stamina to do more attacks, but each attack does less damage. They have the smallest push cone out of all the melee weapons.

Medium Melee Weapons

Medium melee weapons are one-handed and have balanced stats across the board. All the melee weapons from the base game fall into this category.

Heavy Melee Weapons

Heavy melee weapons are two-handed, do more damage per attack and can hit two targets per swing, but their attacks are slow. They also have the largest push cone.

Equipment

Players are provided with equipment that is dictated by the class they choose to play as. Equipment can be replenished by collecting equipment bags. Some of the class' perks can change the type of equipment you use given that the class chosen has more than one option to choose from. Not all of these equipment items can be considered weapons in the traditional sense as some are used, sometimes exclusively, for support purposes only.

Defense Systems

Finally, there are defense kits containing special defense systems that can be of great help during a zombie swarm. While powerful, these specially-created weapons must be set up in a predetermined location in an area that is going to face large waves of undead. Choose the location of a defense system carefully and wisely as once it is placed down, it cannot be moved elsewhere. Much like heavy weapons, these defense systems have unmatched power/durability but once they are used up, they are unable to be recovered.

Tier I.jpg Tier I Weapons:

Primary

Scout Rifle Lv 1 Icon.jpg

Compact SMG Lv 1 Icon.jpg

Shotgun Lv 1 Icon.jpg

Secondary

Pistol Lv 1 Icon.jpg

Machine Pistol Lv 1 Icon.jpg

Secondary (Cannot be upgraded)

Flaregun Icon.jpg

Tier II.jpg Tier II Weapons:

Primary

Assault Rifle Lv 1 Icon.jpg

Sporting Carbine Lv 1 Icon.jpg

Secondary

Tier III.jpg Tier III Weapons:

Primary

Secondary

Grenade Launcher Lv 1 Icon.jpg

Melee Weapons:

*See Melee Weapon page.

Light Melee Weapon

Medium Melee Weapon

Machete Icon.jpg

Wakizashi Icon.jpg

Lobo Icon.jpg

Tomahawk Icon.jpg

Hammer Icon.jpg

Fire Axe Icon.jpg

Heavy Melee Weapon

Tier V.jpg Heavy Weapons:

*See Heavy Weapons page.

Payload Rifle Icon.jpg

RPG Launcher Icon.jpg

Machinegun Icon.jpg

  • MGL (Hailstorm MGL)

MGL Icon.jpg

Heavy Assault Shotgun Icon.jpg

Chainsaw Icon.jpg

Flamethrower Icon.jpg

Equipment:

*See Equipment page.

Frag Grenade Icon.jpg

Masking Gas Grenade Icon.jpg

Molotov Cocktail Icon.jpg

C4 Icon.jpg

Claymore Mine Icon.jpg

Supply Bag Icon.jpg

Stun Gun Icon.jpg

Stim Pistol Icon.jpg

Quadrocopter Icon.jpg

  • Mobile Shield

Defense Systems

*See Defense Systems page.

         Automatic Turret Icon.jpg

         Barbed Wire Icon.jpg

         Fence Icon.jpg

         High Voltage Grid Icon.jpg

         Mortar Icon.jpg

         Stationary Machinegun Icon.jpg

Notes

  • All firearms and heavy weapons have a general or generic name that briefly describes the kind of weapon it is. Their lore/real name appears on the activity feed whenever you pick it up. Viewing a weapon in weapon customization or the weapon's page of the Collection will also show the pair of names.
    • Melee weapons change the real name whenever a different one is chosen in customization but always keeps the same generic name of "Melee Weapon."
    • All types of equipment do not have other names, though a few have shortened names that can be seen when approaching an equipment bag or looking at the activity feed after refilling the equipment.
    • Defense systems do not have any other names too. However, a few will display a shortened version of their name when approaching a spot where they can be placed.
  • Oddly, the Flaregun, Machinegun, and Stationary Machinegun all conjoin the word "gun" together with the previous word. However, the Stun Gun equipment is exempt from this naming convention.

Trivia

  • Practically all of the actual names for the Tier I, II, III, and heavy weapons is either an alteration of an existing name for a real world weapon model or a made-up one. Almost all of the guns are designed and largely based off their real-life counterpart (with more than a couple including elements from different guns as well), but the specific names for them were lightly changed, likely to avoid trademark infringement.
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