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COD Vanguard SMG tier list - Every submachine gun ranked from best to worst

We rank all the submachine gun (SMG) options at the launch of COD Vanguard from best to worst, taking initial impressions and stats into consideration.
The release of Call of Duty: Vanguard brings an action-packed single-player campaign taking gamers back to the World War II era, zombies, 16 multiplayer maps and more. It is filled to the brim with content, but arguably the most important aspect of any Call of Duty title is its weapons. There are over three dozen weapons in COD Vanguard featuring various types, and in this guide, we look at the best submachine gun (SMG) options at launch.

SMGs have been a staple category in every COD title, catering to those who love to stay on the move and mow their enemies down with a hailstorm of bullets. In our tier list, we rank all the SMGs currently in COD Vanguard from best to worst, taking both early impressions and stats into consideration.

COD Vanguard SMG tier list

Submachine guns are the kings of close-quarters combat, offering great mobility, rapid-firing rates and decent damage output. 

Following the COD Vanguard beta, the developers didn't make specific balance changes to weapons. They did, however, reduce the effective range of most submachine guns, as the weapons were overperforming at range.

Description of the tiers

COD Vanguard call of duty SMG tier list best worst submachine guns MP40 Sten Owen Gun Type 100 PPSH-41
A visual representation of how our tier lists work. (Picture: Tiermaker)
  • S-Tier: The best of the best SMG in COD Vanguard at launch. With a great loadout, this SMG can be considered overpowered.
  • A-Tier: While not quite worthy of a seat at the top table, they are still absolute shredders and more than capable of domination with a good gunsmith loadout.
  • B-Tier: In the right hand, and with the right attachments, these SMGs can still bop. Just make sure you know what you're doing with them.
  • C-Tier: Viable in certain situations and with the perfect loadout, this SMG can still do some decent damage to the enemy lines.
  • D-Tier: The trash tier, reserved for the worst SMG in COD Vanguard that you should probably just stay away from.

Vanguard Submachine gun tier list

There are a total of six (6) submachine guns in COD Vanguard at launch. 

While we endeavour to always have our tier lists as accurate as possible, keep in mind that these tier lists aren't an exact science and COD Vanguard is a newly-released title, which means the meta is still forming.

S-Tier SMG:

COD Vanguard call of duty SMG tier list best worst submachine guns MP40 Sten Owen Gun Type 100 PPSH-41
The MP-40 is one of the best weapons in Vanguard. (Picture: Activision)
  • MP-40

The MP-40 can be considered not only the best SMG in COD Vanguard at launch but also one of the best weapons in the game, period. 

it is well balanced, offering a lot of speed, decent accuracy, and a whole lot of firepower. This is also the first SMG players have access to, and you will be hard-pressed to find any gun more suited for close-range and in some instances, even medium-range combat.

A-Tier SMGs:

COD Vanguard call of duty SMG tier list best worst submachine guns MP40 Sten Owen Gun Type 100 PPSH-41
The M1928 aka the Tommy gun is a fan-favourite. (Picture: Activision)
  • M1928
  • Owen Gun

Who doesn't love a Tommy gun? That's the M1928, just by the way, and it has one of the highest rates of fire in COD Vanguard. Couple the high rate of fire with good control, and the M1928 can shred at close-range but don't try to take on snipers.

The Owen Gun is comparable to the Milano in Warzone. It is a highly-flexible weapon with a great range and one of the fastest time-to-kill in the game. So why doesn't it make it to the S-tier? Well, it has a massive mag on the right side of a player's screen, which can obscure vision in certain situations. 

B-Tier SMG:

COD Vanguard call of duty SMG tier list best worst submachine guns MP40 Sten Owen Gun Type 100 PPSH-41
The PPSh-41 can be unlocked at level 51. (Picture: Activision)
  • PPSh-41

The PPSh-41 barely misses out on the A-Tier thanks to its solid effective damage range and fairly manageable recoil but it simply doesn't sing like the A or S-tier options.

C-Tier SMG:

COD Vanguard call of duty SMG tier list best worst submachine guns MP40 Sten Owen Gun Type 100 PPSH-41
The Type 100 lags behind most other SMGs at COD Vanguard's launch. (Picture: Activision)
  • Type 100

Unlocked at level 39, the Type 100 isn't one of the best SMGs in COD Vanguard at launch. This Japanese submachine gun does do well at longer ranges but can't really stand up to the damage dished out by SMGs higher up on the list.

D-Tier SMG:

COD Vanguard call of duty SMG tier list best worst submachine guns MP40 Sten Owen Gun Type 100 PPSH-41
Unlocked at level 10, the Sten isn't a great SMG for COD Vanguard players at launch. (Picture: Activision)
  • Sten

The Sten is the first SMG that COD Vanguard players will be able to unlock (at level 10) as we suggest you just keep playing with the MP-40 at this point or find the absolutely perfect loadout to make the Sten work. The Sten has low damage output and control, unfortunately.

So there you have it, all the SMGs in COD Vanguard, ranked from best to worst so you can get an early edge over the competition.

Disagree with our tier list? We don't care! Check out our assault rifle, LMG, sniper and shotgun tier lists to be even more disappointed.

Don't forget to check out our dedicated Call of Duty section for Vanguard news, loadouts, tier lists, leaks and much more.

Featured image courtesy of Activision.