An Apex Legends player showed a rather simple, but informative graph on weapon use in-game. But based on the title, it's based on personal games, "Me and my friends have been keeping track of the weapons used against us. I was planning on collecting more data, buts it’s pretty clear what the most used weapon is. (We are between gold and plat)."
So this isn't an algorithm taking data from thousands of games across the globe, but a personal data collection. That means it's limited to the ranked system meaning the games were taken between gold and platinum, and there could have been errors in the data collection.
Nonetheless, the graph is clear.
The R-301 is the most chosen weapon in all phases of the game meaning, players will pick it up if they see it, and while it will go down a bit as the game goes along, it's the most used weapon in the final minutes of the game. And the C.A.R. SMG is the second most used weapon in every phase. This makes sense as both weapons have a large enough clip to chip away an enemy's shield and knock them. And with the movement speed and shield swapping, having a high rate of fire that can handle medium-to-long-range fights is crucial.
While a few of the comments were praising the organization of the data, others commented on the current state of the game, "I said this before and I'll say it again. This is the consequence of removing the only other two viable weapons that can be used off the ground without attachments comfortably. Flatline went to the replicator and received a minor nerf while the Volt went to the CP. That only leaves the R301 as the single viable gun off the ground that can be used up to late game."
"Havoc needs turbo. Alternator and R99 falls off after mid game. Prowler is only viable at point blank without select fire. Hemlok and CAR needs a purple barrel to be able to comfortably used at medium range and has a steeper learning curve. RE45 needs whammy point but falls out of use late game because everyone is likely running red armor already. Whoever decides on these stupid recent changes needs to re-evaluate what they did. Do feel free to correct me if you disagree."
While some of the thoughts may cause division amongst the player base. Most do think some of the more viable weapons were put in the Replicator or care packages. This makes only a few weapons viable from the floor loot. Whatever you may think, it's clear that Respawn needs to shake up the weapon meta.