The R-97 is a compact submachine gun that excels in close-quarters combat due to its high fire rate and magazine size. It has the fastest fire rate out of all primary weapons; this, coupled with its large magazine size make it perfect for clearing entire squads in confined spaces. Despite this, it has very low damage output per shot, taking 5 to 6 shots to take down Pilots. Its very short effective range and high weapon kick make it ill suited for combat beyond the shortest of ranges, although burst firing can improve accuracy, the low damage often makes this negligible. Rodeo damage is extremely impressive with the R-97 (second only to the LMG) meaning it can serve an anti-titan role very well. It is possible that the R-97 seen in Titanfall 1 is the "A1" variant mentioned in concept art for Titanfall 2.
This weapon is unlocked at level 6 and is the first item unlocked that is not available by default.
Large magazine capacity
Extremely high rate of fire; excels in close quarters, kills fast
Weak shot-for-shot damage output
Limited effective range; outclassed by carbine and rifles
Shot for shot, the R-97 Compact SMG has the lowest damage output of all the primary weapons. But what it lacks in damage output it more than makes up for in its impressive rate of fire. The weapon's blistering cyclic rate makes it an extremely formidable weapon in close-quarter encounters, easily mowing down pilots and AI alike. However, go easy on the trigger. The high rate of fire results in extreme recoil, making it difficult to keep the weapon on-target. Compensate for muzzle climb by firing in short bursts, particularly when engaging targets beyond 15–20 meters.
The R-97 is most effective against pilots at close range, where its high rate of fire gives the shooter an edge over their opponents. While this SMG doesn’t kill as fast as the EVA-8 Shotgun, its high rate of fire and 40-round magazine capacity makes it a true contender at close range. As a result, look to engage enemy pilots in buildings, alleys, and other cramped environments where you can take advantage of the weapon’s strengths. Likewise, avoid open areas where this SMG is easily outclassed by most of the other primary weapons.
This SMG is an absolute minion killer, perfect for wiping out squads of Grunts and Spectres. Look for newly arrived drop pods, then rush in for the kill. At close range the R-97 is an effective hip fire weapon, allowing you to spray targets with decent accuracy. But at ranges beyond 10 meters, always aim down the weapon's sights. While ammo conservation shouldn't be much of a concern with this weapon, you can always drop enemies faster with headshots.
Equip the HCOG as soon as it's available, as it offers faster target acquisition than the standard iron sights. When it comes to mods, it depends on what kind of game you want to play. The Extended Magazine offers an extra 10 rounds per magazine, leading to less-frequent reloads. Scatterfire takes the weapon's rate of fire to a whole new level, allowing the SMG to pump out lethal amounts of lead in a flash, at the cost of extremely fast ammo consumption and more frequent reloads. Or if you want to take a stealthy approach, opt for the Suppressor to remain hidden on the mini-map.
The R97-CN (Colonial Navy) was developed by Lastimosa Armory as a close-quarters battle weapon. An upgrade to the popular R97-A1, the CN model was developed with the aid of the IMC Colonial Navy Boarding Party in deep space raid operations. The base platform was too flimsy and cumbersome to be used in tight quarters, so the engineers upgraded most of the R97's exterior housing and internal working components to operate in low vaccuum environments.
Elite Pilots have adopted this weapon as a reliable CQB SMG. Tried and true, this weapon unleashes a wall of lead at 700RPM. Its firing range is effective at 100 metres with a muzzle velocity of 800 m/s and has a muzzle energy of 510j in 9.78 m/s^2 standard gravity. A requirement of the IMC's notorious Pilot Selection Course is for a candidate to use an R97-CN to shoot a 10 cm grouping at 25m on full autom after a 20 km run.
It appears to be based on the same platform as the R-101C Carbine assault rifle. This is likely a nod to early days of Titanfall's development, where the R-101C was planned to be a fully modular and customizable weapon.