— In-game description
The MG 42 is the second unlockable medium machine gun, and is the final unlock for the Support kit overall, available from rank 20.
Along with the VGO, the weapon is classified as a "Close Range MMG", characterised by a fast fire rate and high initial damage which drops off sharply over distance. The MG 42 possesses the highest rate of fire amongst all fully automatic weapons at 981 RPM, which can be bolstered to 1200 rpm when using the Light Bolt specialization. As such it has one of the shortest times-to-kill of both the Medium and Light machine guns, killing in four bodyshots out to 10m, which suddenly drops to six at just 20m, and ten bullets at max range. Similarly unparalleled is its levels of recoil, being very difficult to control unless used in short bursts or when aided by the Recoil Buffer specialization, on top of having the highest per-shot recoil in class. Furthermore, its accuracy and control in hip fire is the lowest possible, statistically.
As with all other Medium Machine Guns, the MG 42 is best used defensively, where its high rate of fire can have rapid, deadly effect against exposed infantry. Its inability to use Iron Sights when not supported by a Bipod, and abysmal controllability when hip fired, makes the MG 42 generally unsuitable for offensive, shoot-on-the-move playstyles, except at extremely close quarters where accuracy is effectively guaranteed.
The MG 42's impressive fire rate can deplete the default belt of 50 rounds, without overheating, in just three seconds. Combat sustainability can be improved with the 250 round Extended Belt Specialization, which is incompatible with the Light Bolt and leaves the weapon prone to overheating after an uninterrupted 50 round burst. Chrome lining increases this limit to 100 rounds, while Flashless Propellant assists in target acquisition and concealment by reducing muzzle report. Its last two upgrades are Incendiary Bullets, which improves damage versus aircraft by 100%, effectively deterring fast moving aircraft through its high fire rate, and Quick Reload, which improves the reload speed by 15% - a safe choice for the drawn out reloading process of belt-fed weapons. The Rank 1 option of Recoil Buffer is also particularly compelling, as on this weapon it offers one of the highest percentage reduction in vertical recoil, from 1.313 to 1.050.