theHunter: Call of the Wild Best Rifle & Guns For Each Animal

Last Updated on January 1, 2024 by Samuel Franklin

Finding the best rifle in theHunter: Call of the Wild for each animal is a common new player challenge with over 50 guns available that need to be tailored to your specific hunt. Further complicated by the different weapon types (rifles, handguns, shotguns and bows) and attachments available knowing the best guns to unlock and upgrade can also save significant in-game money.

This guide details the theHunter: Call of the Wild best guns with a focus on the best rifles given these are a staple option to successful hunts. These weapon recommendations also go beyond just the most powerful to ensure that players at all points of game progression, animal class level and non-DLC hunters have a perfect weapon. Drawing from my extensive COTW game knowledge hunting both diamond trophies and rare animal furs I include both summary and detailed information for all hunting skill levels.

Table of Contents:
Best Guns Overview
Best Guns Detail

theHunter: Call of the Wild Best Weapons & Best Rifles Overview

Below is a quick reference to my recommended best weapons in COTW and includes the weapon type, applicable animal class, where it is available from and important considerations or alternatives. These best rifles have been selected based on the following factors:

  • Availability: Base game weapons that do not require DLC allows players to be a competitive hunter without relying on additional game purchases.
  • In Game Cost: Weapons in theHunter: Call of the Wild are expensive and by utilising options that are cheap or even free from the start players can minimise the need to farm money.
  • Number of Shots: Having the flexibility of follow up shots is particularly useful for newer players that that might lack experience, weapon upgrades or skills to make hunting easier. While some of the strongest weapon choices are single shot weapons this often needs to be balanced against the flexibility of follow up shots based on your preferences and skill level.
  • Maximum Effective Range: Long ranged weapons make hunting easier as your target is less likely to identify you and escape which makes them better options.
  • Other Weapon Stats: Weapon stats such as weight, accuracy, recoil and reload are also important to optimise for. Weight impacts your ability to build a hunting loadout while better accuracy, recoil and reload statistics can improve your hunting success rate.
  • Class Diversity: With animals ranging from class 1 to class 9 weapons that have a wider spread of classes help to develop the best loadout available. The best weapon choices have ammunition that can be effective against many class options as this not only saves money on purchasing different weapons and attachments but also improves your skill level with a smaller pool of guns for better hunts.
Weapon Type Class Available From Notes
Virant .22LR Express Rifle 1 Weapon Pack 1
Cacciatore 12G Shotgun 1 – 8 Base Game ($48k) The free Caversham Steward 12G is an alternative shotgun (and great low class weapon in general) until you can afford this option.
Ranger .243 Rifle 2 – 6 Base Game (Free) A fantastic initial money making tool as this is a free weapon and has a free ammunition option.
ZARZA-10 .308 Rifle 4 – 8 Modern Rifle Pack
Rhino 454 Handgun 4 – 9 Base Game ($48k)
Malmer 7mm Magnum Rifle 4 – 9 Hunter Power Pack DLC The 7mm Regent Magnum can serve as a non DLC alternative at $36k although has a smaller magazine size of 1 instead of 3.
.300 Canning Magnum Frontier Rifle 7 – 9 Yukon Valley DLC

theHunter: Call of the Wild Best Weapons Detail

Below I detail the reasons for my recommendations and expand on how to best use these rifles for success or find a suitable alternative if you don’t have the necessary DLC.


Cacciatore 12G

Shotguns have an important place in the Call of the Wild game meta given they are a flexible option that supports ammunition for anywhere between class 1 and 8. While they don’t quite have the accuracy of a rifle that can make them troubling to use for trophy hunts they are consistent and reliable for hunting nearly every potential animal in the game. When combined with a scope (Meridian 1-4×20 Shotgun Scope) this weapon becomes even more deadly as it can be effective up to 75m with a 6 magazine capacity that allows for follow up shots. The major weakness of this shotgun is the money investment required to reach this effective point although the free starting shotgun (Caversham Steward 12G) is surprisingly effective with similar ammo options although a smaller magazine size of 2.


Rhino 454

The only handgun worth considering in theHunter: Call of the Wild with a 5 magazine capacity that is effective between class 4 and 9 that gives it good flexibility for the size of the weapon although lacks the range of the higher powered rifles. If players are interested in trying the handgun archetype then the free to use 10mm Davani can be a good training tool with its 15 magazine capacity before you splash the cash on this expensive handgun.


Virant .22LR Express

A COTW community favourite this .22 rifle is only effective at class 1 but is the absolute best option when hunting smaller animals. This can only be obtained through Weapon Pack 1 which provides players with a consistent large magazine capacity option (10) that means you can generally shoot multiple targets before they escape. The additional range compared to your other class 1 weapon options which are primarily bows and shotguns is also particularly useful in hunts.


Ranger .243

Focused on the 2-6 class range this weapon is one that players start the base game with and even comes with a free ammunition option (soft point) that makes it one of the best rifles for money making as you are reducing your total hunt costs. When money isn’t your focus players will want to load up on the paid ammunition options to ensure they achieve higher penetration values for important hunts.


ZARZA-10 .308

This .308 weapon option is the best rifle in its class but does require the Modern Rifle Pack to be purchased first. With great range and a 5 magazine players have all the tools necessary for the harders that make this a staple rifle for many players in the Call of the Wild community. While there are many great rifles that fill a similar role in the 4-8 class range the only reasonable option for non DLC gamers is the .270 Huntsman which is available for $12k in the base game.


Malmer 7mm Magnum

This weapon covers the 4-9 range and is available in the Hunter Power Pack DLC as a bolt action rifle with a magazine size of 3. This weapon can comfortably be used at some of the longest hunting ranges available in theHunter: Call of the Wild to ensure you never miss an animal that catches your attention. If players are opting to play without DLC the 7mm Regent Magnum provides similar levels of functionality and is available for $36k to purchase although is a single shot only so players will be punished if they lack precession given the long reload time means follow up shots are impossible.

.300 Canning Magnum Frontier

Last but not least on this list of theHunter: Call of the Wild best rifle options this weapon is for only the highest of classes with a 7-9 range for an initial buy price of $75k and expensive ammunition options. With the base game lacking any notable alternative your second best option is the Tsurugi LRR .338 in the Hunter Power Pack DLC which might be tempting given it also contains the powerful 7mm Magnum noted above.

Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms.

theHunter: Call of the Wild was Sam’s first trek into the hunting genre after acquiring the game for free during an Epic Games promotion. Impressed by the realism of the experience he has since explored all of the reserves to unlock everything that this vast adventure has to offer and now considers himself a master of the wilderness after hundreds of successful money making hunts. Now a veteran tracker Sam is currently attempting to achieve all the diamond trophies in Call of the Wild from small to large targets one map at a time.

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