Anthem’s Level-One Weapons Are Stronger Than Endgame Ones, Thanks To An Apparent Bug

Anthem’s Level-One Weapons Are Stronger Than Endgame Ones, Thanks To An Apparent Bug

An apparent bug in the new loot shooter Anthem has made beginner weapons just as powerful as the ones you’ll get in the final levels. In fact, players have discovered, the level-1 rifle might currently be the strongest gun in the game.

Earlier today, a player by the name of YeetLordSupreme shared a major discovery on the Anthem subreddit. It turned out that their level 1 Defender Rifle, the standard gun players start the game with, was killing enemies quicker than their hard-earned Level 45 masterwork Ralner’s Blaze rifle.

One bullet from the Ralner’s Blaze registered 1184 damage on a basic Scar enemy, while one bullet from the common Defender rifle only did 286, but it took six bullets to kill the Scar with the level 45 gun and only four to kill it with the Defender.

“I have tested this with various weapons and enemies, and while the numbers vary, the results are always the same: the level 1 defender rifle is by far the most effective weapon in my inventory,” they wrote. “It melts literally fucking everything!”

Gif: BeatPeet42, Reddit

Shortly afterward, a BioWare developer posted suggesting that it was a bug. “We’ll need to investigate this, scaling systems are supposed to allow low level players to play with high level players to be effective against high level enemies,” wrote Anthem’s technical design director, Brenon Holmes. “This is not intended, something ain’t right there…”

Anthem is a loot shooter where players spent the overwhelming majority of their time grinding through the same missions over and over again in the hopes of acquiring rarer and more powerful loot. Kill an enemy, get a better gun; kill a harder enemy, get an even better gun.

That’s the cycle at the heart of the Anthem, and other games like it including Destiny 2 and Warframe. If the better gun doesn’t actually do a better job of killing the harder enemy, the whole thing falls apart.

After YeetLordSupreme made their post, tons of other players have weighed in with their own experience and found similar results. More powerful guns do put up higher damage numbers, but those damage numbers don’t correlate to how many bullets it takes to kill an enemy.

It’s easy to test, since every time you make a new Javelin loadout the game automatically equips it with the standard-issue level 1 Defender rifle. Taking that and my level 45 Elemental Rage, I went out into free-play on the Grandmaster 1 difficulty to go look for some Scar.

Although my Elemental Rage has a base damage stat of 238 and was putting up damage numbers between 700-1,000, it took over a dozen shots with it to kill a regular Scar. My Defender with an 16 damage stat, however, killed them in only four shots, even while only posting damage numbers in the 200s.

I don’t have the highest damage guns in the game to compare it against, so I can’t say for certain whether the level 1 Defender is currently the most powerful gun in the game. What I can say is that something is definitely not right with how the game is calculating damage and enemy health.


  • “Anthem’s Level-One Weapon Is Stronger Than Endgame Ones, Thanks To An Apparent Bug”
    Just one weapon has the bug – don’t sensationalise…

    • actually the reddit thread has people testing level 1 abilities and other level 1 abilities and at least last looked cloudburst (colossus starter weapon) was also confirmed.

      that said this looks like a simple scaling issue so I can’t imagine it would take long to fix

  • …scaling systems are supposed to allow low level players to play with high level players to be effective against high level enemies…

    So, leveling up and getting rarer and more powerful weapons is just a waste of time then?

    • Could be a range of reasons this happens. For example, it may be that the weapon should scale to your level, and it isn’t being shown properly, in which case its merely a visual issue not showing the proper numbers. I don’t think its that by the way, just saying there are other possible reasons.

      Or it could be borked.

      Either way, players need to remember that EA can, and will, ban you for taking advantage of any in game bug, regardless of innocence.

      That’ll probably be the next story for this – player makes new javelin loadout, forgets to change out weapon, and goes through a stronghold. Then gets banned for cheating.

  • #BoycottAnthem already. If everyone stopped playing, it would send a pretty clear message to EA/Bioware that this-and countless other issues this incomplete game has, does not fly (pun intended). Unfortunately there are so many dead-inside sheep that persist wasting precious hours on this crap, and even forking over more money… You’re letting us all down and supporting greedy Corps that would invoice your corpse for DLC if it could.

    • Boycott… seriously, this is no different than Destiny or Diablo had on release. While its a fundamental issue in how games are developed today and their complexity… that a system that was asked for is player matchmaling and scaling createcan anomlous result. This is no different to any game… after 14 years WoW still has bugs like this.

      I just laugh at the Dire Ire has gotten, its on par with what Fallout 76 got and those are on opposite sides of the scale of launch issues… yet they get the same level of hate from people.

      Maybeyou should rate your level of hate from 1 to 10 on these gaming issues and ask yourself, did ypu really get hurt by this news.

  • I am pretty sure scaling enemies so you can play with your mates means that the only bug here was the one that let everyone know the system was a silly idea from the start.

    You can’t make a looter shooter both “hardcore” and accessible, one has to give in order for the other to be good.

    • I dunno, I’ve seen folks get the balance right.
      Warframe is a game I personally return to every few months and I can casually play and unlock a few things here or there as I go, or I can go full hardcore and choose to unlock everything with an unending cycle of grind, buying and selling.

      Of course in this instance, nah you’re dead on, pretty piss poor way of stuffing casual and hardcore players together.

  • I’m having a ton of fun with Anthem but as long as we’re asking, maybe they could take off those weird and annoying cloth covers most of the guns seem to have too.

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