One of my favorite activities in Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0 is leveling up guns, which unlocks new modifications and cosmetics. I may get knocked out early in a battle royale or struggle to stay on top during a team deathmatch, but at least the one triple kill I did pull off will count toward a cool new skin or something. And with each gun having different challenges and skins to unlock, there’s always something to be working toward.
The M4 is one of the most popular firearms in the game. And like all the others, it comes with a host of challenges both common and unique that you must complete to unlock its eight unique camos. Each camo is locked behind a set of challenges which you can just jump in and try to knock out one-by-one. But with the right playstyle and gun modifications, you can make a hell of a lot more progress in way less time.
This guide will walk you through the main camo challenges for the M4 and will suggest a number of tips for modifications and strategies to tackle the more challenging ones, like getting 15 kills from behind with the M4 for the New Urban camo.
If Call of Duty’s less-than-helpful menu UI and enormous weapon customization challenges have you intimidated, check out our primer on CoD’s weapon loadout and modification system. Up to speed? Then let’s get started completing all those M4 camo challenges.
Whether you’re a Warzone-only player or a regular in Modern Warfare II’s multiplayer, know that gun progression is shared across all game modes. So while some game types might make certain challenges go by more quickly, you’re free to enjoy the ones that suit your style best. That said, Modern Warfare II’s regular multiplayer (which, unlike Warzone, is not free) is probably your best bet, as you’ll clock more time with your chosen gun and most modes have respawn. In contrast, Warzone and DMZ can be tough modes to knock out challenges in given how brief any given match is and the fact that you’re not always guaranteed to get your weapon of choice.
The M4 (and more or less any gun in Call of Duty) has eight camos which you can unlock. Four ask you to use the M4 in a variety of ways, while the others will task you with unlocking other camos for other guns in addition to more weapon-specific challenges. We could write a damn book on all the guns and each one’s set of challenges, but know that generally speaking, all the tips here for the M4 will apply in one way or another to other gun challenges, which you’ll need to do a bunch of to unlock all of the completionist camos anyway. I’ll point out that stuff as we go.
The M4’s eight unlockable camos divide up into roughly two camps, with the following requirements:
M4 Base Camos
- Scales: Get the M4 to Level 2 and get 50 kills with the M4
- Desert Hybrid: Get the M4 to Level 8 and get 50 kills while ADS with the M4
- Dark Leaves: Get the M4 to Level 13 and get 10 double kills with the M4
- New Urban: Get 15 kills from behind with the M4
As you can see, these camo challenges all center on the M4—though these camos can be applied to other guns once you unlock them. (Hey, Halo Infinite, are you paying attention?) But beyond those, you also have the completionist camos, which are as follows:
M4 Completionist Camos
- Gold: Complete all M4 base camo challenges and get 10 triple kills with the M4
- Platinum: Complete eight gold camo challenges with assault rifles and get 25 longshot kills with the M4
- Polyatomic: Complete 51 platinum challenges and get 25 headshot kills with the M4
- Orion: Complete 51 polyatomic challenges
Requirements for Platinum, Polyatomic, and Orion require you to complete challenges for other weapons, so maxing out your M4 will require using a variety of arms. But worry not, many of the principles shared here for the M4 will apply to other guns.
The nature of a battle royale means that your time spent fighting (and with specific guns) is often much shorter and sometimes up to luck and situations you can’t possibly predict or control. And even then the window of opportunity to pull off those method-specific kill counts is extremely narrow. Your best bet with every camo challenge, by and large, is to jump into Modern Warfare II’s multiplayer, which costs $70 (mutliplayer’s worth it if you ask me, campaign not so much).
If you don’t wish to splash out $70 for a vidya game (or just can’t quit Warzone), then A, I have some bad news for you and B, there are a few things you can do in the battle royale to maximize your time with the gun you’re actively leveling up and are seeking out specific camo challenges for. Just know that MWII’s multi is your best bet.
To start, you need to make sure your Warzone loadout includes the M4. You select that in the Weapons tab in Warzone’s specific menu settings. If you don’t have the M4 in your Warzone loadout, you’ll need to rely on RNG to find one. I shouldn’t need to spell out why that’s less than ideal for challenges that require you to get kills with a specific gun.
There are three ways to get your loadout in Warzone:
- Buy your primary loadout weapon (which should be the M4 in this case) from a Buy Station for $5,000 dollars
- Grab your loadout from a cleared stronghold
- Grab your loadout from a loadout drop
As you can see, all of these require you to risk your life just to get the gun you need to then continue to get kills with. Cross that second one off the list right away, as you’ll have to go in to clear bots and potentially other players to get to the end of a stronghold.. There’s a good chance you’ll be tossed out of the game before you even get to the loadout container.
You can also wait for a loadout drop. But, similar to the issue with strongholds, every player on the map is going to be heading for this, so you may not even get a couple of shots off with your preferred weapon, assuming you even get that far.
Your best bet is to buy your primary gun from a Buy Station, so you’ll need to have some cash at the ready.
While it seems everyone’s caught on to this, which I’ll happily take credit for pointing out, hitting the safe-cracking contracts is one of the fastest ways to get cash in Warzone. On top of that, those challenges are often clustered together. Knock out one or two of those and you’ll have enough to buy your primary weapon and then some.
Ready to kill some online randos? Good, because that’s what you’ll need to do 50 times to unlock the first M4 camo: scales. Your best bet here is to jump into a multiplayer mode like Ground War to maximize your kill count potential. And honestly? This is kinda true for all the challenges asking for high kill counts. Not only is Ground War a bit longer than a regular 6v6 match, but it has more people and hence more opportunities to get more kills. Also, some challenges will stack with other challenges, so you can easily multitask here. Getting X kills while aiming down sights (ADS) will also juice challenges that ask for kills.
The next camo, Desert Hybrid (we’re going clockwise around the four options here), requires you to get 50 kills while aiming down sights. If you have some modifications unlocked, however, you can make this easier. The faster you can pull that gun up to your face to fire off rounds, the sooner you’ll complete this challenge.
The Gunsmith does a fairly good job of letting you know which modifications improve what stats. As you’ll see, a lot of them actually make ADS speed worse. In fact, nearly every scope or sight modification will decrease your ADS speed. Also, while it does seem to affect Daily Challenges, you cannot unlock skins with ADS requirements by mounting.
- 11.5” T-H4 Barrel
- Tempus Trench Pro
- 7.5” Tempus Firebrand
- Schlager Peq Box IV
- Corio Laz-44 V3
- FSS Ole-V Laser
- Canted Vibro-Dot 7
- Tempus P80 Strike Stock
- Demo D50 Buffer Tube
- Xten Grip
- Phantom Grip
In general you want to be boosting your Handling stat for the highest ADS speeds, but note that if you go too far in this direction, you risk aiming stability. It’s a give and take, but having a faster ADS means that you’ll be getting ADS kills more often.
The next base camo is Dark Leaves. Here we need to get 10 double kills. There are a few ways you may wish to go about this. To up your chances of mulitkills, equip the 45 round magazine. The larger your mag, the better your odds of mowing down multiple players in one go. Also, I recommend prioritizing aiming stability so you can keep your aim straight while picking off multiple foes in a crowd. The key stats you’ll want to watch out for here are recoil control and aiming stability. That said, modifications like the Demo D50 Buffer Tube might boost your hip recoil control, but have negative effects on aiming stability. Weigh what options make the most sense for you.
You may also wish to play 6v6 as opposed to Ground War when attempting to get multiple double kills. Domination is also a slightly better game mode for this, I’ve found, as multiple people are likely to be bunched up in a zone they’re trying to take. The odds of folks being grouped up together is greater in this mode. In Warzone, you’ll want to play teams modes. But weren’t you listening a moment ago? The regular multiplayer is your best bet for camo challenges.
- 14” Carbine Shroud (Recoil Control)
- 11.5” T-H4 Barrel (Hip Recoil Control)
- 11.5” Carbine Shroud (hip fire and regular recoil control)
- 7.5” Tempest Firebrand (hip fire recoil only)
Nearly all underbarrel attachments will boost your accuracy in one way or another. You may also wish to consider the Corvus Masterkey shotgun attachment and SPW 40mm grenade launcher, as those can fell enemies swiftly.
- SZ 1MW Peq (Aiming Stability)
- Corio Laz-44 3 (Aiming Stability)
- FSS Ole-V Laser (Aiming Stability)
- Canted Vibro-Dot 7 (Aiming Stability)
- 1MW Laser Box (Hip Fire Recoil Control)
- Stovl DR Laser Box (Hip Recoil Control)
- Corvus Peq Beam-5 (Hip Recoil Control)
- FTAC Grimline Laser (Hip Recoil Control)
- DXS Flash 90 (Aiming Stability)
- Demo Precision Elite Factory (Aiming Stability and Recoil Control)
- Corio Precio Factory (Aiming Stability and Recoil Control)
- Demo D50 Buffer Tube (Hip Recoil Control)
- Sakin ZX Grip
- Support CP90 Grip
Next up is New Urban. This one’s challenge is fun: Get 15 kills from behind with the M4. I’d avoid Ground War for this one and stick to 6v6 modes. Placement is more important than weapon stats here, but you might have some luck with suppressed muzzle attachments. As video game logic goes, however, suppressors lower your damage output, so you might not want to go down this route.
That said, here are the sound-suppressed attachments for the M4:
- Echoline GS-X
- Harbinger D20
- FSS Covert V
- Silentfire XG6
- Gauge-9 Mono
You may also wish to try out the Cold-Blooded perk, which will make you undetectable against AI systems, thermal optics, tactical cameras, recon drones, and spotter scopes. Ghost is a good ultimate perk for this as well. Tracker, which shows you the footprints of an enemy, may also help you sneak up to get a few lethal shots.
I have bad news: That “quickly” is relative. That’s because the completionist camos will. take. time. With the exception of the gold camo, the completionist camos will require you to complete related challenges with other weapons. But let’s talk about gold for a second, because its requirement tasks you with getting a triple kill 10 times.
In general, I recommend sticking to the principles I outlined for the Dark Leaves camo. Prioritize aiming stability and stick to 6v6 modes in which people are likely to be grouped together. I also recommend the Quick Fix ultimate perk, as this will juice your health after you kill enemies, which can mean the difference between a double kill and a triple one. Focus is a good bonus perk, as you’ll reduce flinching when aiming down sights (handy if you’re shooting into a crowd that’s returning fire).
The Platinum camo requires you to unlock additional gold challenges with other assault rifles. We’ll talk about those in a moment (but consider equipping the Overkill perk to carry two assault rifles at once and up your chances of getting multiple challenges wrapped in a single match). The secondary objective for Platinum asks you to get 25 longshot kills with the M4.
You’ll need to be at least 38 meters away from someone to get this, and your kill indicator will say “Longshot” with the distance listed if you do it correctly. I highly recommend jumping into Ground War for this challenge, as you’ll have more space and distance to cover. But you’ll also want to prioritize a few stats and modifications to turn the M4 into more of a long range weapon. Prioritizing recoil control and aiming stability (as would make sense for the Dark Leaves camo) also isn’t a bad idea. You may also wish to switch to single-shot mode when firing over a long distance.
- Hightower 20” Barrel
- 419mm EXF Barrel
These don’t boost the Damage Range stat, but they’ll let you see further away. Anything that boosts visibility with a “Magnification” pro is a good choice. But fair warning: In my experience the M4, though versatile, has a limited range at which the gun is arguably viable. I don’t like to go above 5.0x magnification with it, as the gun will struggle to live up to the visibility such a scope will get you.
Optimizing the M4 for Longshot kills is usually a balance between recoil and damage range.
The Polyatomic camo will ask you to grab 51 (count ‘em!) Platinum camo challenges with any other gun. But you also need to get 25 headshot kills with the M4. Combine the recommendations for other camo challenges listed above, since optimizing for headshots will require a balance of accuracy, recoil control, ADS speed, and optics. I like Red Dot optics for headshots, as well as the SZ Lonewolf Optic.
Sadly, Modern Warfare II doesn’t show any name or icon above enemy heads. That means you’ll just need to practice aiming high and not missing. Parking yourself in a good camping spot that lets you look down on enemies isn’t a bad way to get headshots, however.
You’ll have to put some time in with guns other than the M4 in order to unlock these camos. Apply all the general practices I’ve mentioned in this guide while kitting out these guns. Here are a few weapons you should consider taking for a spin:
For assault rifles, the Taq 56 is a popular choice, as is the Kastov 762 (I can’t get enough of the reload animation on that one). Also, get out there with the STB 556 and equip it with the FTAC FB20 barrel, RF Crown 50, TL40 Fire Drake, SZ Lonewolf Optic, and Schlager TTF3 Riser, as this will give you a gun very close to the main assault rifle from Killzone (my inability to get over Killzone is between me and my therapist, thank you very much).
For battle rifles, the FTAC Recon and Lachmann-762 are common choices and worth unlocking some camo for. When it comes to spray-n-pray SMGs, try out the Vel 46, Lachmann Sub, and the one-and-only FSS Hurricane. For shotguns, start off with the Bryson 800 and move on to the Lockwood 300 as soon as you can. Expedite 12 loadouts also aren’t bad. For the LMGs, give the RPK a good spin, then check out the Rapp H (that gun is a fucking monster, by the way).
The Lockwood MK2, SA-B 50, and EBR-14 are good marksman rifles to work on. Signal 50 and MCPR-300 are go-tos for snipers. The Basilisk is a great handgun to level up. For launchers, the JOKR remains a favorite, so it’s not a bad one to unlock and start working on.
You’ll likely have to dip into more guns than this in order to complete these challenges, but starting with these weapons for each category is a great place to start.
Once you wrap these challenges up in order to unlock all the completionist camos for the M4, you can then check out the mastery requirements. These mostly amount to getting tons of kills with a specific completionist camo unlocked. But by the time you’re working on these for the M4, you’ll have a ton of other cosmetics unlocked for other guns.
Camo challenges are a great way to focus on improving your game without worrying about needing to be the sweatiest, meta-bound player out there. MWII is a truly rewarding and engaging multiplayer shooter and having these level paths to follow means that you can focus on your own progress at a pace you’re comfortable with. And that beats obsessing over your KD ratio to the exclusion of everything else.
Get some kills, kit out your guns, and have fun with all the pretty, pretty colorways you’ll start gaining access to.
Update 02/23/2023: Issued a correction to the M4's longshot kill range.