Figuring out the best guns to use in Warzone 2.0 and understanding the meta is a key element to take note of as you’re playing across all its modes.
Since weapon unlocks have changed in both Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.0, much more investment across all weapons is now needed.
As such, you’ll want to know the best weapons to be hunting, leveling and customizing to arm yourself on the battlefields of Al Mazrah.
On this page, we’ll be going over the best guns in Warzone 2.0 across all the primary weapon classes – with a few extra recommendations based on the past meta and unlock requirements.
On this page:
What is the current meta and best guns in Warzone 2.0?
Even though Warzone 2.0 is still very new, a meta is quickly forming.
This is particularly due to the popularity and effectiveness of weapons unlocked early such as the M4 assault rifle and SP-R 208 marksman rifle.
Others, such as the FSS Hurricane submachine gun take a little bit more time to earn, yet are still making waves with their popularity.
However, it’s still early days, and with the complicated weapon and attachment unlock systems, on top of the addition of new weapons thrown into the mix from Season 1 and the new Battle Pass launch, the meta is still in flux.
Best Assault Rifle in Warzone 2.0 recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: M4
How to unlock M4: Reach player level 4 (access to custom loadouts)
Acting as an all-round effective option, the M4 is an easy-to-access weapon available as soon as you unlock access to custom loadouts.
It’s a strong and versatile option, and an effective choice for all players.
Thanks to its robust nature, it’s a best-in-class assault rifle, providing strong stopping power with a high fire rate that, when paired with quick reactions and pinpoint accuracy, will allow you to dominate Battle Royale matches throughout Season 1.
With such a direct and quick path to unlock, the M4 is most certainly a weapon you’ll want to be investing in and customizing as you play.
Whilst the M4 is still the best choice for an assault rifle to use in Warzone 2.0, the M16 did recently receive a few buffs in the Season 1 launch patch, whilst the Kastov 762 is also becoming a popular choice worth keeping an eye on.
If you’re an owner of the Vault Edition of Modern Warfare 2, thanks to the included FJX Cinder Pack, you’ll instantly unlock a plethora of attachments to customize and enhance the M4 and M16 with.
Additionally, as an option available to every owner of the base Modern Warfare 2 game, if you complete the campaign, you’ll receive a blueprint of the M4, complete with various attachments from the offset – learn more about that in our campaign rewards explainer .
If you’re looking for a strong loadout to pair with the M4, we have you covered – check out our guide on the best M4 build, covering the best attachments, perk package and more.
Best Battle Rifle in Warzone 2.0 recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: FTAC Recon
How to unlock FTAC Recon: Reach weapon level 13 with the M4.
The FTAC Recon is the strongest battle rifle available right now in Warzone 2.0.
Whilst the FTAC Recon’s – admittedly limited – base mag size of 10 may seem off-putting, don’t let that distract you from what is otherwise a very powerful battle rifle option.
When it comes to TTK (Time-To-Kill), you’re looking at a two-shot kill in most engagements, as long as you’re gunning for the chest and above, with headshots being a simple one-shot kill – make sure you’ve got an itchy trigger finger with this one, and you’ll be tearing through other players with one of the strongest weapons available.
Should the mag size be an issue for you however, there is a 15 Round Mag option available – whilst not a massive increase, it should alleviate some ammo issues you may face, just be wary of the decreased reload speed.
If the mag size isn’t an issue for you though, the 5 Round Mag option is available and recently just received a buff to the weapon’s mobility and handling when equipped – you just have to make sure you’ve got pinpoint accuracy or else you’ll be reloading a lot!
Want to get the best out of the weapon? Our Modern Warfare 2 FTAC Recon loadout can give you some ideas as to what could work in Warzone 2.0.
Much like the M4, if you’re an owner of the Vault Edition of Modern Warfare 2, you’ll have access to the FTAC Recon immediately, along with all attachments from the M4 Platform – this includes the aforementioned smaller and larger mag options!
Best SMG in Warzone 2.0 recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: FSS Hurricane
How to unlock: FSS Hurricane (FTAC Recon weapon level 16)
The Submachine Gun (SMG) space escalated quickly at the launch of Modern Warfare 2, but thanks to Season 1’s balance patch and a settling meta, there’s one that’s come out on top.
The strongest option for SMGs right now is the FSS Hurricanethanks to its solid range, recoil control, and large mag size.
In fact – thanks to Season 1’s balance patch – it’s become even stronger, with buffs to ADS movement speed, headshot damage and far damage range.
If you haven’t unlocked the FFS Hurricane yet – what else is there in this category? Previous contender VEL 46 might not be the best pick for Warzone 2.0, but it too received a damage range increase, so who knows how this will pan out compared to the Hurricane in the long run.
Since the VEL 46 is unlocked so early on too – unlike the FSS Hurricane that, unless you’re an owner of the Modern Warfare 2 Vault Edition, requires multiple weapons to be leveled – it might still be worth a spin!
Season 1 did introduce a new SMG – the BAS-P – which hasn’t quite made the rounds just yet, but it’s possible as the season progresses, it’ll begin to gain traction amongst the community.
Until that day comes though, the FSS Hurricane is a great shout – be sure to keep checking back here though as we’ll be updating this list if a new SMG champion rises.
Best Shotgun in Warzone 2.0 recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: Expedite 12
How to unlock Expedite 12: Reach player level 9
The Expedite 12 is the strongest Shotgun in Warzone 2.0’s Season 1 meta.
Thanks to a faster fire rate, even while the Bryson 800 is a great starter shotgun – available as soon as you unlock custom loadouts – the Expedite 12 provides similar power, but boasts additional range and a faster fire rate.
Going from the Bryson 800 to the Expedite, you’ll no doubt notice the increase in fire rate that makes it feel a lot snappier, and incredibly handy if you miss your first shot.
And if its fire rate isn’t enough for you, with the Expedite L-Bolt attachment – unlocked at weapon level 2 – you can increase the fire rate even further for some truly wild spray n’ pray action!
When it comes to range, the Expedite 12 is able to hit and eliminate enemies from a pretty extensive range – in combination with the fast fire rate, should your first shot not kill an enemy, you’ll be able to easily fire off a second – or third – to quickly finish them off before they react.
It’s a weapon that works well on its own, but is especially effective as a backup primary weapon when using the Overkill perk, helping you cover multiple ranges in combat.
Overall, particularly with Overkill equipped, the Expedite 12 is a shotgun worth using, and most definitely a solid and reliable, close quarters option to have on-hand.
Best LMG in Warzone 2.0 recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: 556 Icarus or RAPP H
How to unlock: 556 Icarus (M4 weapon level 18), RAPP H (Lachmann-556 weapon level 16)
Light Machine Guns (LMGs) don’t often populate the Call of Duty meta, and their usability is rather niche – however, with their extended ammo supplies, it might be a category to set your sights on during Warzone matches, even if it’s not a weapon type you typically use.
If you’re looking for a specific LMG to try out in Al Mazrah, the 556 Icarus and RAPP H are where you’ll want to set your sights.
The RAPP H‘s standout feature is its high rate of fire, paired with impressive accuracy and stability, whereas the 556 Icarus provides a little bit more mobility, allowing you to move around a bit quicker than with other LMGs.
Both LMGs are on the lower end of magazine sizes – sitting at 75 each – but there’s still more than enough rounds here to rack up several kills before needing to reload – just be ready to hold your position when you do need to swap mags!
As a bonus, the 556 Icarus is available to use much earlier than the RAPP H, making it a more appealing and accessible option.
Both require a bit of grinding, but since the 556 Icarus is acquired via the M4 Platform – the first Platform you’ll have access to – you’ll be able to start working your way towards it early on.
If you own the Vault Edition of Modern Warfare 2 however, it’s unlocked instantly, along with all that Platform’s attachments too.
In terms of the RAPP H though, it’s a similar process to the 556 Icarus, but with the added grind of an extra weapon to level which you can only start the process of after reaching player level 16.
Best Marksman Rifle in Warzone 2.0 recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: SP-R 208
How to unlock SP-R 208: Reach player level 7.
Living in its own lane by being a highly customizable, sniper rifle-like weapon, the SP-R 208 is Warzone 2.0’s best marksman rifle right now.
Without the inclusion of a scope from the outset, and packing high damage per shot that can easily result in a one-shot kill when landing rounds in the chest and above, it’s a rifle that is just as effective at medium range as it can be at long range, with the ability to lean into that later via long-zoom scopes and other range and bullet velocity-boosting attachments.
If you prefer its closer-range advantages and want to lean into that playstyle, by leveling other weapons, you can unlock various short to medium-range scopes for the gun as well.
Much like in Modern Warfare 2, the SP-R 208 has proven to be an early game favorite during Season 1 despite a nerf to the flinch received when being shot.
There are other effective options for marksman rifles too such as the EBR-14, a semi-automatic rifle that’ll take a couple of shots to the chest to kill, but the SP-R still remains king.
The release of Warzone 2.0 is here! If you want to put together a strong arsenal, we explain the Warzone 2.0 best guns, plus how to forge a solid M4 loadout, Kastov 762 loadout, SP-R 208 loadout and M16 loadout. Elsewhere, we have explainers on Season 1 Battle Pass skins and blueprints, AQ Soldiers, contextual tap and how to unlock Operators.
Best Sniper Rifle in Warzone 2.0 recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: MCPR-300
How to unlock MCPR-300: Reach player level 4 (access to custom loadouts)
Sniping has often been a popular, yet niche aspect in Call of Duty’s multiplayer, and it seems with Warzone 2.0 that’s no different, with the MCPR-300 being a standout option for the best sniper rifle to use in Season 1.
Unlike the other sniper rifles in the game, the MCPR-300 is available to use as soon as custom loadouts are unlocked at level 4, making it not only a strong option to choose, but also one that has a high ease of access.
The other four snipers available all require some form of grinding – the Signal 50 is unlocked at player level 44, the LA-B 330 and SP-X 80 are unlocked by leveling the SP-R 208 marksman rifle, and the Victus XMR – added in Season 1 – is acquired via the new Battle Pass system, needing a minimum of 20 battle tokens to reach.
Before Season 1 in Modern Warfare 2, the MCPR-300 had both the highest base mag size and damage of any sniper in the game – however, with the addition of the Victus XMR, it has now fallen to second place when it comes to damage .
As such, whilst the base stats of snipers haven’t been touched at Season 1’s launch, it’s entirely possible that the Victus XMR will edge ahead in popularity as more players get their hands on it – we recommend you keep an eye on it as the the season progresses and don’t hesitate to try it out yourself once you unlock it.