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The best guns in Call of Duty: Warzone for Season 5

Since its release in 2020, Call of Duty: Warzone has captured the attention of over 100 million players, making it one of the most successful battle royale games to date. If you’ve played, you’ve probably learned that gaining a victory can be tough, especially if you’re struggling to find a weapon that suits you. Warzone is played way differently than Modern Warfare, Black Ops Cold War, or Vanguard‘s conventional multiplayer suite; the goal is to have a diverse loadout that is ideal for all situations and attempts to help you survive against 140-plus other players.

You’ll probably find some decent weapons along the way, but ideally, you should use your custom loadouts, which can be acquired via a Loadout Drop. These can be obtained by purchasing them from a Buy Station, giving you full access to your arsenal of custom guns and attachments.

To keep things fresh, Warzone developer Raven Software has made a habit of changing how many top weapons perform, meaning you can’t get used to the same options for too long. Now that Call of Duty: Vanguard has been integrated into Warzone, there’s certainly no shortage of weapons to choose from — in fact, there are over 160 weapons total. Here, we’ll go through the game’s best weapons, from the most versatile to the highest damage output, and their recommended attachments, accounting for any type of scenario you’ll encounter.

These are the best weapons in Call of Duty: Warzone during Season 5.

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Assault rifles

Automaton (VG)

The Automaton in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle MX Silencer
Barrel ZAC 600mm BFA
Optic G16 2.5x
Stock Anastasia Padded
Underbarrel M1930 Strife Angled
Magazine 6.5mm Sakura 75 Round Drums
Ammunition Lengthened
Rear Grip Polymer Grip
Perk Tight Grip
Perk 2 On-Hand

Since the Vanguard integration in December 2021, the Automaton has consistently drifted in and out of the meta. As of Season 5, this assault rifle is an excellent choice thanks to its fast time to kill (TTK), large magazine size, and relative ease of use. We highly recommend this weapon on Caldera, as its second damage drop-off has a fast TTK, allowing it to come out ahead of many top assault rifles. If you’re playing on smaller maps that typically offer shorter-range gunfights, it might be best to pick something else, but for battles at around 50 meters and beyond, the Automaton is an ideal choice.

Grau 5.56 (MW)

The Grau 5.56 in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Monolithic Suppressor
Barrel Tempus 26.4-inch
Optic VLK 3.0x Optic
Underbarrel Commando Foregrip
Magazine 60-Round Mags

The Grau 5.56 is back, baby! This weapon was popular during the Modern Warfare days but has since fallen out of the meta after Cold War and Vanguard were integrated. However, the Activision teams have buffed the Grau, and not only is it a viable choice, but it’s also easily one of the best options for long-range. For battles within the 50-meter range, the Grau has one of the best TTKs in the game, competing against the Automaton, STG44, and even the Vargo 52. It’s a low-recoil rifle that works for newcomers and veterans alike, perfect for players on smaller maps. It’s worth noting that Modern Warfare weapons are, by default, much slower than their counterparts from other games, but considering how well it performs in other categories, its movement penalties are worth dealing with.

KG M40 (VG)

The KG M40 in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle MX Silencer
Barrel Reisdorf 720mm Shrouded
Optic G16 2.5x
Stock VDD 22G Padded
Underbarrel M1930 Strife Angled
Magazine 8mm Klauser 60 Round Drums
Ammunition Lengthened
Rear Grip Grooved Grip
Perk Brace
Perk 2 Fully Loaded

The KG M40 was the long-range meta for a while, thanks to its competitive TTK and extreme ease of use. Now, the weapon’s TTK has been nerfed by a noticeable amount, allowing for other weapons to shine. Still, the KG M40 has virtually no recoil, making it a top choice, especially for newcomers. It doesn’t hit anywhere near as hard as other rifles, but considering its virtually non-existent recoil, you might actually perform better with this weapon than others. After all, it does no good to have lots of damage if you can’t land your shots. Now, the KG feels more balanced and is in line with other weapons in the same category.

Nikita AVT (VG)

The Nikita AVT in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Mercury Silencer
Barrel
Kovalevskaya 546mm Sniper
Optic
Slate Reflector
Stock
ZAC Padded
Underbarrel
m1930 Strife Angled
Magazine
6.5mm Sakura 60 Round Drums
Ammunition
Hollow Point
Rear Grip
Taped Grip
Perk 
Perfectionist
Perk 2
On-Hand

Following the Nikita AVT’s addition in 2022, players were slow to gravitate toward it. This assault rifle was always viable, but now, thanks to some nerfs across other weapons, the Nikita can shine — but this time as a sniper support, rather than as a long-range weapon. If you build it to prioritize movement speed and aim down sights (ADS) times, you’ll excel with this rifle, working best alongside a sniper. Many of the weapon’s attachments that boost its movement speed and other close-range factors have been buffed, so it’s best to utilize it almost like an SMG rather than an assault rifle. Its TTKs aren’t the best in the game, but you’d be surprised just how well the Nikita performs within 30 meters or so. You’ll likely get the most out of this weapon on smaller maps such as Fortune’s Keep or Rebirth Island, so keep that in mind as you create your loadouts.

STG44 (VG)

The STG44 in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle MX Silencer
Barrel
VDD 760mm 05B
Optic
G16 2.5x
Stock
VDD 34S Weighted
Underbarrel
M1941 Hand Stop
Magazine
7.62 Gorenko 50 Round Mags
Ammunition
Lengthened
Rear Grip
Hatched Grip
Perk 
Sleight of Hand
Perk 2
On-Hand

The great thing about the STG44 is that it’s a laser beam, meaning you shouldn’t have any trouble controlling it, thanks to its low recoil. It’s always been easy to control, but now that many powerful rifles have received nerfs in recent weeks, the STG is far more viable in terms of TTK, especially within 40 meters, according to TrueGameData.

Speaking of TTKs, the STG44 is comparable to the KG M40 in terms of how fast it kills, within 33 meters or so. After that, the STG44 actually comes out ahead of the KG M40, so you’ll want to choose based on your playstyle and map. But the main thing you need to be aware of is that the KG M40 is widely regarded as being easier to control than the STG — not by much, but enough to make a slight difference, especially at over 100 meters away. Ultimately, these two weapons are similar statistically but feel different overall. Try both out and see which one feels best.

Vargo 52 (CW)

The Vargo 52 in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle GRU Suppressor
Barrel 18.6-inch Task Force
Optic Axial Arms 3x
Underbarrel Spetsnaz Grip
Magazine Spetsnaz 60 Rnd

The best thing about the Vargo 52 is its versatility — you can build it for long-range or as a sniper support weapon. When it comes to TTKs, it falls somewhere between the XM4 and the AK-47 (CW), making it a top choice depending on your skill level. Thanks to the weapon’s higher fire rate of 791RPM, it works much better as sniper support than the AK-47 (CW), which is certainly worth considering when picking a weapon.

However, the sweet spot for the Vargo 52 is at midrange, somewhere around 25 meters or so. At this range, it overtakes weapons like the FARA 83, AMAX, and XM4, depending on where your shots land. In short, this weapon works well in many situations and is competitive against many top assault rifles depending on the situation.

Volkssturmgewehr (VG)

The Volkssturmgewehr in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Recoil Booster
Barrel
Krausnick 428mm 05V
Optic
Slate Reflector
Stock
Reisdorf 22V Adjustable
Underbarrel
m1930 Strife Angled
Magazine
8mm Kurz 60 Round Drums
Ammunition
Subsonic
Rear Grip
Grooved Grip
Perk 
Gung-Ho
Perk 2
On-Hand

The other main weapon to keep your eye on is the Volkssturmgewehr, which falls into the assault rifle category but excels in close to midrange battles. Much like the Nikita AVT, you’ll want to build the Volk to prioritize ADS times and movement speed with a fast time to kill (TTK). Within 40 meters, the Volk actually outclasses the Nikita, making it a great choice depending on your playstyle. One thing about this particular build is that it utilizes the Gung-Ho Perk, which allows you to hip-fire while sprinting. This could be the difference between winning and losing a gunfight but will only work effectively if you’re up close. You can certainly use the Volk as a traditional, long-range rifle, but if that’s what you’re going for, we recommend either the KG M40 or the Automaton.

SMGs

Armaguerra (VG)

The Armaguerra 43 in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Recoil Booster
Barrel Botti 315mm CII
Optic Slate Reflector
Stock Imerito SA Folding
Underbarrel Mark VI Skeletal
Magazine 9mm Kurz 72 Round Mags
Ammunition Subsonic
Rear Grip Taped Grip
Perk Vital
Perk 2 Quick

For close-range weapons, TTK is the most important stat, and while the Armaguerra 43 isn’t the best in this regard, it does shine in other ways. For starters, it offers fast aim down sights (ADS) movement speed, allowing you to get around quickly while scoped in. Up close, this is huge and could be a deal-breaker in certain scenarios. It also has a competitive TTK that allows you to win most of your gunfights up close against many other SMGs. You’ll have a more difficult time using this weapon past 15 meters, but as long as you stick to fights within that distance, you’ll do well with the Armaguerra. The other major factor is that the Arma uses a large 72-round magazine, making it far more practical, especially in larger team modes.

H4 Blixen (VG)

The H4 Blixen in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Recoil Booster
Barrel Bergstrom 17 F3
Optic Slate Reflector
Stock Removed Stock
Underbarrel Mark VI Skeletal
Magazine 7.62 Gorenko 54 Round Mag
Ammunition Subsonic
Rear Grip Taped Grip
Perk Fleet
Perk 2 Quick

When it comes to versatile SMGs, the H4 Blixen is at the top of the list since it excels in many categories. It works well at midrange, and if you use the Bergstrom 17 F3 Barrel, you’ll find it much easier to hit your shots from afar, as it provides a boost to bullet velocity. This weapon doesn’t compete against the Type 100 or Marco 5 up close, but in practically every other situation, the H4 Blixen is fantastic, with great TTKs, mobility, and relative ease of use. We highly suggest using this weapon, especially as sniper support. It also offers many different magazine sizes that you can change depending on the mode you’re playing. For instance, the 7.62 Gorenko 36 Round Mags work best in smaller team modes, but for Trios and Quads, we advise the larger, 54 Round Mags.

PPSh-41 (VG)

The PPSh-41 in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Recoil Booster
Barrel
Empress 140mm Rapid
Optic Slate Reflector
Stock Kovalevskaya Skeletal
Underbarrel Mark VI Skeletal
Magazine 8mm Nambu 71 Round Drum
Ammunition Hollow Point
Rear Grip Taped Grip
Perk Tight Grip
Perk 2 Quick

The Vanguard PPSh-41 used to be the best SMG in the game but fell out of the meta after a series of nerfs. Now it’s back, thanks to a major buff to one of its attachments that actually improves its performance overall. This weapon has a tremendously fast fire rate, making it more forgiving if you miss a few shots here and there, especially with its large 71-round mag size. Do make sure you equip the Hollow Point Ammunition type for increased limb damage, which could impact TTK depending on where else your shots land. Overall, the PPSh-41 is a practical choice that competes against the H4 Blixen, Armaguerra 43, and the RA 225.

Type 100 (VG)

The Type 100 in Warzone

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Recoil Booster
Barrel Warubachi 134mm Rapid
Optic Slate Reflector
Stock Warubachi Skeletal
Underbarrel M1941 hand Stop
Magazine .30 Russian Short 36 Round Mags
Ammunition Hollow Point
Rear Grip Stippled Grip
Perk Gung-ho
Perk 2 Quick

The Type 100 is secretly the best SMG in the game in terms of TTK. That doesn’t mean you’ll always achieve that fast TTK since the best build does have a lot of recoil, but if you’re in close proximity to your target, the weapon should be easy enough to control. With this build, we advise using the Recoil Booster to improve the weapon’s fire rate. This does increase the recoil (hence the name), but the TTK will improve. The other key to this build is the Gung-Ho Perk, which allows you to hip-fire while sprinting.

This is huge, as it’ll allow you to start shooting an enemy first. The main strategy is to sprint, begin hip firing at the opponent, and then aim down sights as you fire. By the time you’ve aimed down sights, the enemy will already be damaged, allowing you to finish them off quickly. The Hollow Point rounds absolutely help as well, though only for close-quarters battles. We wouldn’t recommend engaging with enemies past 12 meters or so with this build. The other main thing to consider is that the small 38-round mags are tough to use in larger team modes, so you’ll need to be good at maneuvering in and out of cover to reload.

Shotguns

Gallo SA12 (CW)

The Gallo SA12 in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Agency Choke
Barrel 21.4-inch Reinforced Heavy
Laser Ember Sighting Point
Stock No Stock
Ammunition STANAG 12 Rnd Tube

Speaking of close-quarters, let’s touch on a weapon category that is often overlooked: shotguns. Since shotguns are only useful at around 8 meters or so, many players opt against using them, which is understandable, but if you play your cards right, you can become unstoppable with the right setup. Following a buff to many shotguns during Season 4 Reloaded, there are several options you’ll want to be aware of. Arguably the best option in the game is the Gallo SA12. It’s tough to measure TTKs with a shotgun, but based on our testing, you can down a player in as low as two shots depending on proximity (and how much armor they have equipped).

Aside from the high damage potential, shotguns are great because they’re primarily fired from the hip, as opposed to aiming down sights. This means you can start dealing damage to your opponents first since your pellets will come out faster. The Gallo SA12 is the best option for longer ranges — of around 10 meters or so. Even though a maximum of 12 pellets doesn’t sound like much, you’d be surprised how much damage you can deal with that amount.

JAK-12 (MW)

The JAK-12 in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle FORGE TAC Marauder
Barrel ZLR J-3600 Torrent
Laser 5mW Laser
Ammunition 20 Round Drum Mags
Perk Frangible — Disabling

If you’re new to using shotguns, there’s one more recommendation you might want to try. The JAK-12 is our second choice in the shotgun category due to it being fully automatic. This means you can simply hold down the trigger to fire off a consistent stream of pellets. Up close, this is absolutely devastating, even though each pellet doesn’t deal as much damage as the Gallo SA12. If you’re within 5 meters or so, the JAK-12 pretty much beats anything else, so it’s at least worth trying out.

One thing to note is that we advise using the Frangible — Disabling Perk on this weapon, which slows your foes’ running speed when you deal damage to them with the JAK. This allows you to close the gap faster, potentially leading to an easier elimination.

VLK Rogue (MW)

The VLK Rogue in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle
M97 Full Choke
Barrel
16-inch Warlord
Laser 5mW Laser
Underbarrel
XRK ReliaGrip
Ammunition
8-R Dragon’s Breath

As of Season 4 Reloaded, the VLK Rogue has become a devastating option in the shotgun category. In fact, some say it’s overpowered, though it’s unclear if it’ll get nerfed. With this build, the main goal is to dish out as much damage as possible, and depending on your distance to your target, you’re able to down a player in only two shots. This shotgun beats many of the top SMGs up close and even does damage over time thanks to the Dragon’s Breath rounds. The thing is — you need to be close to maximize effectiveness, which isn’t always practical, but as long as you only engage within 10 meters, you’ll likely win more gunfights, even if your opponents see you first.

LMGs

Bruen Mk9 (MW)

The Bruen Mk9 in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Monolithic Suppressor
Barrel XRK Summit 26.8-inch
Laser Tac Laser
Optic VLK 3.0x Optic
Magazine 60 Round Mags

If you’re someone who still wants to rock Modern Warfare weapons, you should absolutely be using the Bruen Mk9. This is an LMG, so it will definitely hinder your mobility and ADS speeds, but it makes up for that thanks to its competitive TTK and low recoil. Even though many weapons on this list have low recoil and fast TTKs, there’s still room for experimentation due to how each weapon feels — and when it comes to the Bruen, it certainly has its own distinct feel that has resonated with the community over the years. It’s statistically worse than many of the newer weapons, but again, if you like how it handles, you’ll likely be able to compete.

UGM-8 (VG)

The UGM-8 in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle MX Silencer
Barrel Bernard XL214 736mm
Optic G16 2.5x
Stock Romuald TAC YR
Underbarrel Carver Foregrip
Magazine 6.5mm Sakura 125 Round Box
Ammunition Lengthened
Rear Grip Hatched Grip
Perk  Surveil
Perk 2 On-Hand

The UGM-8 launched during Season 4 and was hands-down the very best in the game. It caught a bit of a nerf recently, but even still, we highly recommend using it from afar. It has everything going for it: the fastest TTKs, manageable recoil, and massive magazine size, and it can even compete in terms of ADS speeds if you use the right attachments. At this point, its burst barrel isn’t as viable anymore, but we do still recommend using the Bernard XL214 736mm, keeping it a fully auto weapon. In terms of TTK, it’s noticeably faster than the Grau 5.56, though with the UGM-8 being an LMG, its slower mobility balances it against other long-range rifles.

Marksman rifles

M1 Garand (VG)

The M1 Garand in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle MX Silencer
Barrel Cooper 25-inch Custom
Optic G16 2.5x
Stock Chariot S3 TC
Underbarrel Carver Foregrip
Magazine .30-06 30 Round Mags
Ammunition Lengthened
Rear Grip Stippled Grip
Perk  Hardscope
Perk 2 On-Hand

Marksman rifles caught a huge buff during Season 5, due in part to them now using assault rifle ammo rather than sniper rounds. This means you’ll have an easier time keeping your marksman rifles full of ammo, which helps in terms of practicality. Currently, the M1 Garand is a top choice, particularly because it’s easy to stay on target. The weapon also does not have any damage drop-offs, meaning it’s highly effective at all ranges, which comes in handy the farther you are from your target (especially compared to other rifles). Its semi-auto fire style might not be for you, but if you have a fast trigger finger, we highly recommend using the M1 Garand.

Kar98k (MW)

The Kar98k in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Monolithic Suppressor
Barrel Singuard Custom 27.6-inch
Laser Tac Laser
Optic Sniper Scope
Stock Sport Comb FTAC

Now that lightweight snipers have a 40% flinch reduction, they’re far more viable. Specifically, the Kar98k from Modern Warfare is back, and although it doesn’t one-hit kill to the head at any range, it’s still effective within 48 meters or so. This still makes it viable on smaller maps, and if you know how to use it, you can even excel with it on Caldera. Just don’t expect to take out enemies from hundreds of meters away with only one shot. Still, its fast ADS times, lightweight mobility, and ease of use give it an edge against other long-range weapons.

Sniper rifles

3-Line Rifle (VG)

The 3-Line Rifle in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Mercury Silencer
Barrel Empress 514mm F01
Optic ZF4 3.5x Rifle Scope
Stock ZAC Custom MZ
Underbarrel Mark VI Skeletal
Magazine .30-06 20 Round Mags
Ammunition Lengthened
Rear Grip Leather Grip
Perk  Silent Focus
Perk 2 On-Hand

The 3-Line Rifle is the new best aggressive sniper following recent nerfs. As you might be aware, Marksman Rifles like the Swiss, Kar, and the SP-R 208 were all nerfed, disallowing them from getting one-hit eliminations to the head past a certain point. This means they’ve become less viable, especially on Caldera, which usually has massive long-distance battles. All of that is to say that the 3-Line Rifle is the new king of fast-paced, aggressive snipers, offering competitive ADS times (almost on par with the Marksman Rifles pre-nerf) while still able to get one-hit kills to the head at any range. It won’t feel as snappy as the Swiss or Kar, but it’s close enough, making it a top choice for aggressive snipers. Give it a try!

ZRG 20mm (CW)

ZRG 20mm in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Wrapped Suppressor
Barrel 43.9-inch Combat Recon
Laser SWAT 5mw Laser Sight
Magazine Salvo 6 Rnd Fast Mag
Rear Grip Airborne Elastic Wrap

As part of the season 3 update, all the lightweight snipers were nerfed, removing the ability to earn a one-shot elimination to the head within certain distances. While these weapons — such as the Kar98k (MW), the Swiss K31, and SP-R 208 — are still viable within specific parameters, long-range engagements now require the use of heavier snipers if you want to down a player in one shot. For this, we highly recommend the ZRG 20mm, a Cold War sniper that has always been good, it just lacked the mobility benefits of the aforementioned lightweight rifles.

The ZRG can down an enemy player with one shot to the head at any distance. You can also deck it out to improve its ADS speeds, which will make the weapon feel snappier, competing admirably against the likes of the Kar98k and Swiss. It’s certainly a tradeoff when using this weapon, as it has slower ADS speeds and overall mobility, but when battling against an enemy sniper using one of the lightweight options, you’ll win your gunfights if you have an accurate aim.

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