Recommended weapons for new players
- Learn to use the knife, particularly on downed enemies. Shoot single enemies in the knees/legs to get them on the ground. Practice running up and knifing them. This can save a ton of ammo early on when you need it.
Some posters will recommend head/knee shots to set up kicks in crowds. If you're good enough to do this, it's great. If not, it isn't.
- Don't waste a single peseta on any weapon you're not going to keep to the end of the game. You can't afford it.
- Capacity upgrades refill the magazine of a weapon. So does the Exclusive upgrade. This is how you can buy ammo from the Merchant. Don't do those upgrades unless the weapon is empty or nearly so.
- Obsessively collect treasures: buy the maps and check them often!
The Blacktail is great for newbies. Fires fast, hits hard, holds a lot of ammo, aims quickly, reloads quickly. That means it's much more forgiving of mistakes. Upgrades to be a hard-hitting weapon with 4.5 dmg per shot. It's first available at the Castle.
I used to like pointing at an enemy and holding down the shoot button for autofire. That dealt with him while I tried to figure out what was going on.
The Red 9 is steadier, with the stock it's very steady. But it fires slowly, doesn't hold much ammo, reloads slowly, and doesn't aim as fast. It eventually upgrades to 6.5 damage per shot, which is more than the starting shotgun. It's what I use these days, now that I know what's going to happen before it starts, and can finally aim in a hurry.
Get all 15 targets for the Punisher at 1.1 dmg. Sell the starting handgun then and switch to the Punisher. When you get the Blacktail/Red 9 (whichever you prefer), sell the Punisher.
The shotgun is only useful at very close range. It's good for groups/knockdown. Don't waste shells on anything else. If it's on the ground, knife it or shoot it with the handgun.
I use the found early shotgun until the Striker is available. One or two capacity upgrades to buy shells from the Merchant.
The Striker is small and holds a lot of shells. Great damage, too. No contest. Not available until mid game.
Cheap, tons of cheap ammo upgrades, fires fast, accurate, large capacity from the start. Lots of preset ammo. Cheap and lots of ammo. What's not to like?
Great for single shots that don't need damage, like head/knee shots, exploding barrels, bird's nests, spinels, dynamite, pocket watches, hanging lamps, Ganados on the edge of dropoffs, etc. etc. Once it's at 100 capacity and 1 dmg it's an awesome emergency weapon.
Lets play Resident Evil 4 part 44 (Pro mode) by Snareplayer921 www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcqBEaC2voQ&t=8m0s
150 rounds in one long fifteen-second burst.
Magnums penetrate shields and enemies. Learn to take advantage of this.
The Broken Butterfly will be available for free. Buy the treasure maps and constantly check them to get this weapon. Lots of capacity upgrades to buy ammo. The exclusive upgrade does 50 damage per shot.
The Killer 7 isn't available until very late, and isn't free.
The early bolt-action rifle is a one hit kill with headshots vs a certain kind of very troublesome enemy. It's slow, but you shouldn't be wasting rifle ammo anyway. The exclusive upgrade does 30 dmd per shot. Doesn't take up nearly as much room as the semi-auto rifle.
The semi-auto rifle is much larger, aims and fires much more quickly, and is more expensive.
Those may not be the best weapons for you, depending, but they can get you through the game pretty well.
Other experienced players will probably be posting with alternatives and good arguments for them. Read them and make up your own mind.