To Hunt Showdown‘s credit, every item in the game’s sprawling arsenal is useful and competitive. Some are just dramatically more useful and competitive, leaving a few outliers as undesirable, last resort choices. Here are some tips to help you use the worst weapons in Hunt Showdown effectively.
While the base Crossbow and Shotbolt variant are powerful both for PvP and PvE, the Explosive is kind of an acquired taste. OK, I am being nice. The Explosive is universally considered to be one of the worst Hunt Showdown weapons, period. Its bolts fly in a heavy arc which makes landing hits difficult, and you actually need to land headshots because a direct hit to the body does not kill full health hunters. To make things worse, the Explosive comes with only 9 reserve bolts – fewest of all Crossbows – and they are non-recoverable, and decidedly not silent.
So, how and why do you use this thing? For starters, make sure your hunter has Bolt Thrower – this trait cuts the reload time by around 60%. Also mind the trajectory of your bolts, and practice firing over obstacles. The bolt arc, while inconvenient, allows you to hit enemies behind low cover. If you like using the Bomb Lance, consider it as practice for the Explosive, since their projectiles fly in the same arc.
As for the why, there are a couple of valid reasons to use a Crossbow Explosive. The weapon’s damage is low, but consistent across a decent AOE, and you can absolutely kill hunters with indirect hits, as long as they’ve been softened first. It also notably creates noise in the spot it’s fired into, but not the spot you fire from, and you can use it for misdirection. If you see a distant compound you have no interest in, fire a bolt there; any hunters near the area of the explosion will spend some time looking for the source, while you move on in peace.
Finally, unlike almost all other weapons in Hunt Showdown, this one detonates barrels on impact, so you can occasionally surprise people with a double explosion. It also destroys doors with a single shot, allowing you to breach buildings from unexpected angles, although there will be zero element of surprise to your entry.
In trios, one player could safely bring a Crossbow Explosive as a pressure weapon, to flush hunters out of cover and finish them off. It’s also just very fun to use, which is a completely valid reason to use it in my book.
Nagant M1895 Silencer and Winfield M1873C Silencer
The silenced Nagant is the weakest pistol in Hunt Showdown, and on paper one of the worst weapons. However, that’s because it is more of a tool than a weapon, and once you start looking at it as such you will recognize its value. The Mosquito can be used to silence horses, light up chicken and dog pens, blow up lanterns and barrels, and harass hunters and disorient them – all without revealing your location.
With headshots, the Nagant Silencer can drop hives and grunts almost completely noiselessly. Also, if you see an Immolator in the distance, it’s usually worth it to ping it once and move on – it will aggro, potentially drawing the attention of nearby hunters, and it will eventually die on its own.
The Silencer also performs surprisingly well when fanned, due to minimal recoil and possibly the fastest fan speed in the game. Tapping the trigger produces a 2-shot burst, which works beautifully in close range.
The silenced Winnie shares the same bad reputation as the Mosquito, and fulfills the same role. It takes up a big slot, but comes with better stats and more ammo to make up for it. With Levering it makes a good anti-boss weapon, and a decent ambush rifle.
Bornheim no. 3 and variants
This may be a contentious opinion, but some players – myself included – find the Bornheim and its variants to have way too many drawbacks for their price range, especially considering the Nagant Officer is in the game. While this pistol is not necessarily the worst in Hunt Showdown, there are so many other weapons that do more for a fraction of the cost.
The Bornheim fires compact bullets which do the same damage as the Derringer (yes). Even at zero range it takes 3 or more bodyshots to drop players, and the base Bornheim only holds 6 rounds in the mag – and that is if you chamber an extra round. This brings up another mechanical problem with the gun: without the Bulletgrubber talent, it loses ammo every time you do a partial reload, and it comes with only 10 rounds in reserve. This pile of inconvenience comes with a $200 to $300 price tag, depending on the model.
If you do want to use it – even just for the fun of it, which I will never judge you for – the main advice would be to play to the Bornheim’s one strength, and only fire it in point-blank and near point-blank range, aiming for the head. Its puny damage makes it nearly impossible to kill with it otherwise. For your sidearm take a full-sized Winfield rifle to draw ammo from, and to have a long range option.
I would seriously advise against the variants for this gun. The Extended Bornheim gives you a 30% bigger magazine for a 30% higher cost, but you completely lose the fast reload. The Match gives you a more stable aim, but guess what: you’re not supposed to be aiming or shooting at distance with this thing, so there’s barely a point to the upgrade.