Ghost Recon Online Tips: Assault Rifle Upgrades

Big thanks to [NJP] Highpants for inspiring this article and supplying tips and the iron-sight images.

Congrats! After weeks of grinding the tens of thousands of RP’s to buy that dream Assault Rifle, you finally get to use it in game. What? You’re disappointed that it’s not the mass fragging machine you thought it was.  Well, before you sell it (for much, much less than you bought it), try kitting it out with upgrades. If you do, you might find that your appreciation of the weapon will significantly improve.

Some weapons like the AR 21 C and the F2000 have significant drawbacks that can actually be fixed somewhat by upgrades. For the AR 21C, its low controllability can become nearly manageable with a Muzzle Brake. As for the F2000, its atrocious Ready time can be improved significantly by adding a Grip.

Here then are some very subjective tips on Assault Rifle Upgrades. Remember to make your own choices based on your play style.


Upgrading your default sight can alter the following parameters:

Field of view (FOV)

The 1x Premium sights are excellent for close quarter or mid range fighting.

The  F2000 AR, for example, comes with a narrow 1x Full Tube Reflex sight as default. Fighting close or medium quarters with this sight becomes nearly impossible if you are ADS’d with this weapon (i.e., scoped or zoomed in) as the narrow sight limits the FOV drastically. There is a massive improvement going from the default sight to the Premium 1x Reflex sight and the weapon also seems to magically become more controllable.

If you have the SV version of any of the family of AR’s, the 3.5x scopes are adequate for long range fights and are passable at mid range, but become unusable at close quarters.

For example, I chose the 3.5x on my M16 SV. I’ve tried the 4x SUSAT but it is much too cumbersome to use at anything but long range.

Ready Time

Choosing a high magnification sight can significantly increase the gun’s ready time. For example, the Mk 16 SV’s ready time goes from 0.65 sec to 0.75 sec when going from the default iron sight to the 4x SUSAT medium range sight.

Iron Sight vs. Scope

In general, adding a scope or reflex sight will increase ready time anywhere between 0.04 to 0.10 seconds.

For many close quarter/run’n’gun-style players, the first thing on the must-do list once you have bought your weapon is to remove its sight to improve ready time. You can do this by hitting the “Upgrade” button on the gun and the hit the “X” button, thus deleting the sight.  The increased ready time boost may not seem like much, but in a competitive setting, those 0.04 seconds are the difference between life and death.

The VSS guns are definitely much better weapons without their restrictive default scope and thus I would highly recommend going to iron sights on them. On some weapons, iron sights can actually be detrimental. [NJP] Highpants points out that the iron sights on the Mk 16’s are tricky to use because they are too large and can obscure the target — a fact that is particular to the Mk 16, but not true on other AR’s (see pics below).

SAR Iron sight

As Val Iron sight

F2000 Iron sight

AR-21 Iron sight


ACR C Iron sight


Many of the basic (non specialized) AR’s can be upgraded with extended magazines. If your AR comes with the extended mag…buy it. In all cases, going to the extended mag is a no-brainer given that it does not seem to affect your reload time. This fact is not true on LMG’s where going to canister extended mags significantly lengthens the reload. The extra rounds are in many cases life savers in this game. In some cases, the extended mag is even contentious. For example, the SAR is considered an OP AR simply because of the 40 round extended mag (30 default), not because of its high Damage per second (DPS) rating.


In most cases, AR’s come with a default Flash Suppressor. The suppressor eliminates most of the most flash during firing and provides some stabilization of the gun, improving control. Removing the default suppressor reduces Control and the muzzle flash now can be so intense it will obscure targets. Muzzle flash makes it especially difficult to see on high fire rate weapons.

Typically, you can buy a more expensive Flash Suppressor which completely eliminates the flash with a marginal improvement in controllability.

In lieu of a Suppressor, a Muzzle Brake can provide a much larger improvement in control This is particularly true on the AR 21 C where it more than doubles the controllability. The down side is that the muzzle flash is not attenuated.  With some practice, you can overcome the flashes, and the induced-epileptic fit the pulsating light bursts will cause and you should still be able to track your target. I would recommend a Muzzle Brake on all low to medium fire rate weapons.

Silencers improve accuracy and control at the expense of damage rate. The quieter gun is also less of a beacon as the enemy team might focus more on your teammates booming shot gun than your little pew-pew stick.


Most base guns in each AR family can be upgraded with a Grip. A grip will significantly reduce recoil (increases Control) at the expense of accuracy. The controllability of the F2000, for example, is only 22 without the grip but nearly doubles to 39 with one. The increase is peculiar to the F2000, other guns see less of an increase in Control, but anything that decreases recoil in this game should be bought. Upgrading to a Grip is a no brainer.

Magnum Ammo

At 200 RP, 120 rounds of Magnum Ammo seems a tad overpriced. The sad truth is that many top players are using Magnum rounds to penetrate through stacked insert armor. For those of you on a budget, you might want to select Magnum Ammo for limited, but critical stages in a battle. For example, you might want to use Magnum Ammo when fighting for Point C in a Conquest match. Point C is the first objective point in the center of every Conquest map and its loss is typically unrecoverable. It is therefore unsurprising to see the top players loading Magnum rounds during the beginning of the match.

Even limiting Magnum to only one point, you can run through 120 rounds rather quickly if you have a 900 rpm fire rate. For that reason, if you are on a budget, you might only want to consider using them on SV variants in short bursts at mid-range