Doing well in Warzone is often about making the most out of what you can find on the field. But with the ability to recover or purchase your loadout, one of the best ways to gain an advantage over the competition is to grab your curated selection of guns and perks.
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 has a ton of guns. Like, a lot. There’s nothing wrong with picking one that looks, sounds, and feels great for your personal playing style, but with the game having been out for a little while, a specific meta is starting to emerge. Let’s jump into some of the best choices out there, broken down by category (I’ll also briefly cover how to get access to your loadout as well).
It doesn’t get any more steak and potatoes than an assault rifle in Warzone. While the trusty M4 is always a reliable and performant weapon, the TAQ-56 stuck out early on as one of the best assault rifles in Modern Warfare II.
You may prefer different attachments for different uses, but most assault rifles in Modern Warfare II benefit from prioritizing boosts to medium-range effectiveness. Sniper rifles, battle rifles, and marksman rifles will usually outpace an assault rifle at long distance, while SMGs are typically great for up-close engagements. Your mileage may vary, but here are some attachments to consider for the TAQ-56 assault rifle:
Muzzles: Harbinger D20 or Echoline GS-X
Barrels: 17.5 Tundra Pro Barrel
Underbarrel: FTAC Ripper 56 or Hellscream 40mm (for the lulz)
Ammo Type: High Velocity or Armor Piercing (pierces walls and is effective against vehicles. Does fuck-all against armor tho)
Magazine Size: 60 rounds
If you want to swap one of these out to gain an Optic, the Aim-OP V4 is a good choice. I personally prefer the Lonewolf, but that’s more of an aesthetic choice than a functional one.
And if the Taq V ain’t to your liking, you might also want to consider the M4, Kastov 762 or 74U. Folks out there also really like the Chimera, which you need to extract from Building 21 in the DMZ to obtain (good luck). I also like the STB 556 a fair bit.
SMGs put out a lot of bullets, and fast. Your running speed will usually be higher with one equipped as well, so having one of these will benefit you in more ways than just damage output.
While the FSS Hurricane and Vel 46 aren’t bad choices, when it comes to SMGs, the Fennec 45 is easily one of the best in Warzone 2. It’s not uncommon to find these on enemies, kitted out to an extreme degree for good reason: It fires bullets real-fuckin’-fast™ and feels damn stable while doing so.
Here are some attachments to consider for the Fennec 45:
Optic: Cronen Mini Pro or SZ Holotherm
Muzzles: XTEN RR-40 or Singuard MKV
Barrels: Covert Force or ZLR 16.5 Ignition Barrel
Underbarrels: FSS Skarkfin 90 or Agent Grip
Magazine Size: 45 rounds
And if the Fennec isn’t your cup of high-bullet-output tea, you may wish to consider the Vaznev-9K.
I expect opinions on this to diverge more than any other category on this list. Sniper rifles are a little rare out there in Al Mazrah, particularly for Warzone 2.0 proper which tends to see fights break out at close enough distances that a sniper would be somewhat of a disadvantage. In the DMZ, however, they’re often indispensably valuable.
Warzone 2.0 has a nice selection of sniper rifles which some might say don’t differ a whole lot between each other. For the most part, you can rely on powerful, bolt-action rifles doing substantial damage and frequently downing enemies with a single hit. But that Signal-50’s semi-auto rate of fire is hard to argue with. The Victus XMR has lately emerged as the go-to sniper rifle. If you struggle to land solid shots, one at a time, however, you might want to fall back on the Signal-50 for its higher rate of fire.
Here’re some great attachments choices for the Victus XMR:
Muzzles: Bruen Counter-Ops Muzzle or Bruen Agent 90 Silencer (reduced damage, but no negative to ADS speed)
Barrel: Mack 8 33.5 Super Barrel
Stock: XRK Rise 50 or FTAC Homeland
Ammo Type: 50 Caliber High Velocity
Guard: Corvus Responder
The RPK sometimes feels like a damn Swiss Army knife. With high damage, fast rate of fire, and a decent-sized magazine that reloads nearly as quickly as an assault rifle, the slow-ass reload rates of other LMGs like the Rapp H or Sakin MG38 are left in the dust by this one clear standout. The RPK isn’t just one of the best LMGs, it’s one of the best guns in the game.
And though we’re talking about the battle royale, here’s a quick tip for DMZ: If you’re low on weapons, securing an RPK is your first objective. Most enemies tend to have them, and having a stash of these to fall back on when your insured weapon is on cooldown can help you build some momentum in the next deployment. Have I told you about my personal lord and savior, DMZ, yet? By the way, extraction shooters are amazing, in case you didn’t know.
Back to Warzone. Here are some great attachment choices for the RPK:
Optics: Aim-OP V4 or SZ Vortex-90
Muzzles: Polarfire-S or Zulu-60
Stock: Heavy Support
Underbarrels: FTAC Ripper or VX Pineapple
Rear Grips: Demo-X2 or Ivanov ST-70 Grip
Right now the Warzone meta centers around assault rifles, SMGs, and that darn RPK. Unless you’re going for some counter-cultural personal expression or are trying a new experimental build, everything listed above is likely your best choice when curating a loadout. But let’s consider a few alternatives if what I’ve mentioned so far isn’t to your liking.
Battle Rifles: Taq-V, FTAC Recon. (Some people like the SO-14. I fell off this in favor of the other two listed here).
Marksman Rifles: EBR-14, TAQ-M
Shotguns: LOL None.Season 01 Reloaded nerfed Shotguns pretty badly. The Bryson 800 is probably the best of these right now, but you’re better off just ignoring this category for now.
Perks in Warzone 2.0 come in curated selections, meaning you can’t choose them a la carte. Here are four perk packages you should consider, with different advantages for each.
Recon: Double Time, Tracker, Focus, Birdseye
Great for: Moving fast, keeping your aim on point under pressure, and gathering intel on your enemies
Things can get quite hot in Warzone. The Recon perk package will help you move faster with Double Time, spot enemy footprints with Tracker, avoid flinching when aiming at enemies with Focus, and Birdseye will reveal enemy locations and the direction they’re facing on the mini-map whenever you call up a UAV.
Specter: Double Time, Tracker, Spotter, Ghost
Great for: Moving fast, spying on enemies, and laying low
Specter is similar to Recon in that it has Double Time and Tracker, but it adds Spotter for locating enemy equipment, and Ghost, making you invisible to UAVs, Portable Radars, and even that darn Heartbeat Sensor. That last perk kinda makes Specter a must-have.
Vanguard: Double Time, Bomb Squad, Resupply, High Alert
Great for: Moving fast, reducing explosion damage, extra lethal equipment, and supernatural senses
Vanguard also comes with Double Time, so you’ll have your speed to rely on. You’ll also be able to move with less concern for explosions, as Bomb Squad will reduce damage from any non-Killstreak explosive. Resupply will help you stay stocked on lethal equipment, but High Alert is the real appeal of Vanguard as it will let you know when you’ve been spotted by an enemy you can’t see. If you value your privacy, grab this one for sure.
Weapon Specialist: Overkill, Strong Arm, Spotter, Survivor
Great for: Carrying two primary weapons, throwing grenades more accurately, and staying alive
If you want your loadout to come with two assault rifles, an assault rifle and an SMG, an RPK and a sniper, or just about any combo of two primary weapons, look no further than the Weapon Specialist perk package. Overkill lets you slot two primaries into your loadout, and that’s by and large the main appeal here. But having the ability to accurately throw grenades, spot enemy equipment, and ping foes who down you (very handy for duos, trios, and quads) isn’t bad either.
Choosing the best tactical equipment in Warzone is often a matter of playing to the strengths of your playstyle. Also, in Warzone (as well as DMZ), tactical equipment might be something you frequently change up as you find new stuff on the map.
If you like to play it safe and keep some distance between you and other players, consider the Spotter Scope or Heartbeat Sensor.
Both Warzone and DMZ take place on a biiiig map. The Spotter Scope (essential in DMZ, imho) will help you spot potential danger ahead or behind you, while the Heartbeat Sensor is pretty handy when clearing a building. Watch the battery life on the Heartbeat Sensor, however, that thing evaporates quicker than a Steam Deck running Cyberpunk 2077.
Stims can save your life when you’re out of armor.
You’ll go into Warzone with two-plate armor vests (in DMZ you default to just one, which is even deadlier). Stims can often mean the difference between life and death as they’ll quickly juice your health back up. If you ask me, I save Stims for recovery on the battlefield, but you might decide to toss it in your loadout if you find you like to advance on an enemy even after your plates are broken.
Flash, Stun, Tear Gas and Smoke grenades are versatile and effective.
Want to piss off an advancing enemy who looks armed to the teeth? Blind ‘em with a flash grenade. Stun grenades can achieve similar results. Tear gas is also an effective way to screw with an enemy, exposing precious seconds of vulnerability. But if you want to vanish quickly, a big ploom of smoke can be very advantageous.
And if you’re a DMZ fan, I recommend saving more than a few Smoke grenades to spam the chopper when you’re exfiltrating. It’s a great way to obscure your location at a distance and confuse foes rushing the chopper. Be warned, however, thermal scopes (which include the Spotter Scope and Recon Drone) can see through that smoke.
Field upgrades don’t just give you an advantage, they can help your whole team. But they’re not a part of your loadout in Warzone (though they are in DMZ). You’ll have to find them on the field or grab ‘em at a Buy Station. Packing or finding a Munitions Box or Armor Box is one of the best options. Revive Pistols will also save you or a friendly if they’ve been downed, keeping you in the fight and out of the Gulag.
Beyond that, Battle Rage ain’t a bad choice if you like to get in people’s faces, and it pairs well with a high-output SMG like the Fennec 45.
I am personally a huge fan of the Recon Drone. In DMZ, at least, I’m never without it. In Warzone things might border too close to constant chaos for a Recon Drone to be of use, but it is a quick and effective way to get a bird’s eye perspective on what’s around you, following you, or just up ahead.
Inflatable Decoys can be hilarious when used well, but they take up a slot that might be better filled by other Field Upgrades mentioned here.
Jeez this game has a lot of stuff you can find and use. You’ll spawn in on Warzone with a scrawny little pistol, so you’ll need to get that loadout from a few different places.
If you clear out an AI Stronghold, you’ll find a chest where you can acquire your loadout. Alternatively, you can wait until the announcer calls out random supply drops—but be warned, everyone will be gunning for those. You can now, thankfully, also buy your loadout via a Loadout Drop Grenade. This was added (back) into the game recently, and according to Raven Software might be subject to some changes and alterations.
Here’s the price breakdown for loadout drop grenades according to squad player counts:
- Solos: $8,000
- Duos: $16,000
- Trios: $24,000
- Quads: $32,000
Once you have one of these, you can just toss it out and wait for your Loadout to drop from the sky, ready to equip and slaughter the opposition with.
Like many battle royales, smart, in-the-moment decision making is just as essential as any weapon in the game. The weapon choices here will help you find the right loadout for your playstyle. I can’t help you with the exploding helicopters though.