EA’s online shooter Anthem is building a reputation for featuring some pretty perplexing bugs, and the latest discovery from the game’s intrepid community may be the best one yet. As discovered by Reddit user YeetLordSupreme, the game’s level one firearms — the most basic and supposedly weakest weapons in the game — are not just competitive with Anthem’s best items, but in some cases even better.
Yes, that’s right: the best guns in the game are the ones you start out with, regardless of what damage numbers you’re seeing on the screen. YeetLordSupreme did numerous tests tracking the numbers of bullets required to best foes in the highest levels of Anthem’s endgame portion, using both a level one gun and level 45 masterworked items — supposedly the best available. In some cases, he found the level one guns would drop enemies faster than the level 45 guns.
The issue is a known bug; Brenon Holmes, BioWare’s technical design director, and Andrew Johnson, the game’s community lead, confirmed as much in a Reddit thread. Here’s the official statement from Johnson:
Hey everyone — thanks for the feedback on this. I have confirmed with the team that this is in fact a bug related specifically to the default items on a loadout in combination with higher level gear you have equipped. It’s not functioning as intended and the team is working on it for an upcoming fix.
Earlier in the thread, Holmes suggested that the level-scaling system designed to let lower-level players in Anthem play alongside their higher-level friends might be the culprit. It’s unclear if that’s the case, as Johnson’s statement seems to suggest it’s more narrow than that; restricted specifically to when you’re using basic weapons with a much more advanced and leveled armor loadout. But there is a chance the scaling system could be involved, adding a damage multiplier to the level one weapons that was never designed to be combined with a late-game setup.
Either way, the Reddit thread is rife with speculation around the “true” meaning of in-game damage numbers, and skepticism around other tricks developers may be using to signal power levels and other attributes in role-playing titles like these.
Many participants seem to think BioWare is simply lying about how powerful any given player or gun is, and is instead adjusting everything in Anthem using some inscrutable, behind-the-scenes algorithm. It’s good to know that’s not the case, but you might want to go farm some level one guns or take some out of your trusty vault before BioWare fixes the bug.
After all, they’re the strongest weapons the game has to offer right now.