Ready or Not – 6 Reasons for a Reliable Sidearm

A Ready or Not Loadout Suggestion Guide.



Ready or Not does a great job at disregarding meta and letting players play the way they want to. I have played the game pretty extensively but all my guides are strictly preference and opinion and should be used as a guide line or starting point to your own personal play style.

6 Reasons for a Reliable Sidearm

Pistols are overlooked and most people pay little attention to which is in their load out or what attachments it has. This guide is not so much to tell you that you have to pay attention to this or that it matters so much but to remind people of the convenience in having a good versatile sidearm ready in times when you may not have normally considered it.

Primary Runs Out of Ammo

Arguably, a lot of the time people bring far more reserve ammo than they need. Typically 2-3 additional mags for your primary and 1-2 reserve clips for your side arm is more than enough ammo to get you through a mission. Those slots might be better suited for more armor or tactical so you can safely apprehend more suspects and avoid unnecessary gunfights.

That said, occasionally an unexpected tick or lone wolf situation might have you burn through your primary ammo reserve a little sooner than expected. This is where your sidearm comes into play, and you want to be sure that if your rifle or shotgun are out of the picture you want to have something manageable that can pack enough heat to comfortably get you to the end of the mission alive.

Honorable Mention: Reloading isn’t logical

I don’t consider this a full valid reason but I think it’s worth mentioning. Even if your primary has not yet run out of ammo, you may find yourself in a tight quarter gunfight with multiple hostile tangos and you run out of bullets. Yes you can run for cover and reload and yes you can even do a quick reload (which is strongly recommended) but if you don’t think about it or the situation just doesn’t feel safe it may be more practical to just deploy your sidearm to finish the job before switching back to your primary and reloading.

Pistol Is Your Primary

Pistol Primary builds are not utterly common as most people strongly prefer tearing terrorists apart with high caliber rounds. You may be running a pistol primary if A) You enjoy challenging yourself or B) you use an M32A1 as your primary (underrated in my opinion). of C) You are using a Shotgun primary but are trying to remain silent, you’ll break out the shotty when things get loud.

Other than those three reasons it doesn’t make an immense amount of sense to us e a pistol as your primary when you have a far more reliable and effective weapon system at hand. Its obvious that if you are going to run a Pistol as your primary weapon system your going to want something reliable with good control, damage, penetration, fire rate, mag size etc.

Your Using a Riot Shield

Even if you are not running a pistol primary build you may enjoy using a riot shield as your tactical, and rightfully so. Riot Shields are an excellent support item for your squad that will prevent certain death against psychotic active shooters. They also work great in hostage situations with a little gas in the mix.

Now, when you deploy your riot shield you are only allowed to use your sidearm. Since that is the case you want to be sure your sidearm is as accurate as possible because the shield forces you to gangster aim and it can get pretty janky. Make sure you have manageable recoil, a laser pointer for accuracy, and preferably a larger mag count.

Running Less Lethal

At this point in the game I run Less Lethal a lot more than I used to. I am one of the few players who loves going for perfect scores and I’ve played enough to respect a change of scenery in my load outs.

So if you are running less lethal it can be pretty dangerous and its advised to have a lethal sidearm just in case the subject refuses to comply…sometimes 100 pepper balls just inst enough to bring an armored assailant to compliance. Also, less lethal weapons have a tenancy to burn through ammo faster than lethal weapons …bringing us back to reason number one on this list.

Additionally, if for whatever reason you get separated from your group or your the last man (or woman) standing you probably don’t want to rely on a glorified air soft gun, especially when you get 2-3 tangos on their knees at the same time, there is no doubt one will get up and try to kill you while your securing another.

Close Quarter Operations

If you are running an SMG this probably isn’t that much of an issue, and sure certain rifles like the Arn are decent in close quarters but ultimately larger weapons will be significantly less functional in tight spaces.

Some spaces that come to mind are

  • Upstairs and attic in Park Homes
  • The shanty living spaces in Dealership
  • The Basement in Valley of the Dolls
  • The spiral staircase in Farm

They are just a few locations where deploying your sidearm will prove very effective. Is it possible to run these small areas with even the biggest weapons? Of course it is, and people do it all the damn time. At the very least, switching to your sidearm in times like these can help conserve primary ammo. Personal pref, I love the M11 Compact.

Tac Light

If you take full advantage of your Optic in all situations then a flashlight is acceptable on your primary. However, if you run canted sights more often than not like me, lasers are the dominant illumination choice for increased accuracy – removing a light source in needed situations. I only use my optic when im taking long range shots typically so I rely on my night vision alot.

Now most maps do not need NOGS or a constant light source. This is why I almost always put a flashlight on my sidearm. The only time I wouldn’t put a flashlight on my sidearm is if I was running pistol primary or riot shield where I want the increased accuracy in which case I apply a laser. But since pistols are often deployed in close quarter the added accuracy is hardly necessary.

Now when you find yourself in a dark hallway, closet, or oddly lighted room you can feel confident deploying your sidearm and tac light to see clearly and defend yourself.


So that wraps up 6 reasons why you may consider taking more time in customizing a decent sidearm. To me, every part of my kit matters and no load out is complete without the perfect pistol.

With over 400 hours in RoN I certainly like breaking down topics like this and hope to find time to write up some other guides. If you have any suggestions for this one please let me know or any ideas or interests in another form of guide let me know. I’m not the best or most thorough guide writer but I think I have plenty of wisdom to share and look forward to hearing yours as well!

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2704 Articles
My first game was Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot (PlayStation) back in 1996. And since then gaming has been my main hobby. I turned my passion for gaming into a job by starting my first geek blog in 2009. When I’m not working on the site, I play mostly on my PlayStation. But I also love outdoor activities and especially skiing.

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