Well, for now I see three main contenders: Neutron Gun, Utensil Poker and Corn Shotgun.
So far, Corn Shotgun is probably the best starting weapon because it pretty much doesn’t overheat and it’s currently one of the cheapest weapons, unlike the other two.
Utensil Poker is just the best weapon in the game and there’s no denying that.
However, Neutron Gun still has it’s uses. Because its fire is more focused it is actually better against mini-bosses than Utensil Poker. Though it definitely suffers from its overheat rate.
The rest are, well…
Ion Blaster is cool, but ultimately useless since we have Utensil Poker.
Laser Cannon could compete with Corn Shotgun if it didn’t overheat so fast.
Lightning Fryer and Plasma Rifle are okay, I guess. But having to use manual fire with a weapon that fires a continuous beam just doesn’t feel right to me.
Positron Stream is just a worse Plasma Rifle.
Photon Swarm is quite decent but it overheats quickly and isn’t very focused.
Vulcan Chaingun is obsoleted by Boron Railgun. Boron Railgun is obsoleted by Hypergun. Riddler is “meh”.
And, well, I think I noticed some sort of a pattern.
If you look at the damage per second values for all weapons in Revenge of the Yolk (by multiplying their damage per volley by their automatic fire rate), you’ll notice that (at 20) none of them differ from one another by more than 3890,5 damage per second (which, if you use manual fire rate, stands at a whopping 12405 damage per second).
This is just a theory, but I think this is what happened:
It seems like all weapons were actually balanced based on their automatic fire rate.
And that convention was abandoned when new weapons were added in later episodes.
I’d like to point out that all the weapons which are currently the worst ones (Vulcan Chaingun (which IA apparently now want to redesign/rebalance), Boron Railgun, Positron Stream, Riddler) would be perfectly acceptable if manual fire wasn’t a thing in the first place.
I know this is pretty much beyond saving now without making major, probably not-worth-the-effort changes, but it just doesn’t feel right to me.
Oof. Well that’s a point gone adrift, ain’t it?