The best weapons in Call of Duty: Warzone for season 1

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 in attempts to help you survive against over 140+ 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 163 weapons total. Here, we’ll go through some of 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.

Recommended reading

Assault Rifles

AK-47 (CW)

AK-47 (CW) in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle GRU Suppressor
Barrel 20″ Spetsnaz RPK Barrel
Optic Axial Arms 3x
Underbarrel Spetsnaz Grip
Magazine Bakelite 60 Rnd

Kicking off our list is the Cold War version of the AK-47. This has a tremendously fast time to kill (TTK) and is much easier to use than it used to be, thanks to recent updates. The nice thing about the AK-47 (CW) is that it shoots slowly, meaning you can get away with using a smaller magazine size. Though, most players will opt to run the 60 round magazine size with it.

The AK-47 is an excellent weapon for skilled players who want to be aggressive while ensuring mobility and aim down sights (ADS) speeds aren’t penalized much. This weapon isn’t as easy to use as the Krig or the Grau 5.56, but its TTKs make up for it. It’s best to practice with this weapon on Rebirth Island since most of your engagements will be within 100 meters, meaning recoil won’t be as much of an issue.

C58

C58 in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Agency Suppressor
Barrel 18.5″ Task Force
Optic Axial Arms 3x
Underbarrel Field Agent Grip
Magazine 45 Rnd Drum

The C58 is similar to the AK-47 (CW) in that it hits like a truck, but is slightly easier to control, making it an appealing choice. Its recoil isn’t as manageable as Krig 6 or the QBZ-83, but given how powerful the C58 is, we highly recommend it. This is a great weapon to use if you’re familiar with controlling mild recoil and want some extra oomph. In this case, you can get away with using the 45 Rnd Drum instead of a larger magazine since the C58 shoots a little slower, allowing you to maximize the potential of each bullet.

Some newcomers might be turned off by the more powerful weapons like the EM2 or AK-47 due to their recoil, so the C58 is a great middle-of-the-road option that can be mastered without having to spend too much time. We also appreciate the C58’s ADS speeds, reload times, and movement speed — all of which compete nicely against the other top-tier assault rifles.

Cooper Carbine

Cooper Carbine in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Recoil Booster
Barrel 14″ Gracey Rapid
Optic MK. 8 Reflector
Stock Removed Stock
Underbarrel m1941 Hand Stop
Magazine 9mm 60 Round Drums
Ammunition Compressed Rounds
Rear Grip Polymer Grip
Perk Vital
Perk 2 Fully Loaded

The Cooper Carbine is unique in that it’s an assault rifle, but it’s best used as an SMG. Sure, you can deck it out for range — and we recommend trying that — but the best way to use the Cooper Carbine is as a close-range SMG, prioritizing speed, ADS speeds, and fire rate. The nice thing is that even if you do build it for close quarters, it still excels at mid-range since it’s an assault rifle, making this the perfect sniper support weapon.

Raven Software has nerfed the Cooper Carbine, but it remains a top choice due to its accuracy, TTK, and versatility, all of which are key when selecting a weapon for Warzone. If the above build is too hard to control, we advise swapping a few attachments for recoil stabilization so it’s easier to control. Though, if you play often, you’ll likely have no trouble controlling the SMG version of the Cooper Carbine, especially if you only use it up close.

EM2

The EM2 in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Agency Suppressor
Barrel 27.4-inch Ranger
Optic Axial Arms 3x
Underbarrel Field Agent Grip
Ammunition 40 Rnd

Hands down, the king of assault rifles right now is the EM2, at least when measuring TTKs. It kills dramatically faster than most of the assault rifles in the game but is even harder to control than the FARA 83 — again, showing Raven Software’s commitment to balance. This weapon has a few quirks we should mention, such as its slow rate of fire and heavy handling. In many ways, the EM2 feels like an LMG, which might be a turn-off to some.

Though, if you build the weapon appropriately, you can significantly improve its mobility and handling. One thing we highly advise is to use a different optic than the default option. This scope has comically slow aim down sights (ADS) speeds and will almost certainly get you killed in the heat of battle. If you equip the Field Agent Grip and Agency Suppressor, you’ll have a much easier time controlling this weapon. In addition, stick with the 40 Rnd to reduce your ADS times (as opposed to the 50 Rnd), as the weapon fires slowly enough to justify having a smaller magazine size.

STG44

STG44 in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Recommended Loadout:

Muzzle Mercury Silencer
Barrel VDD 760mm 05B
Optic G16 2.5x
Stock VDD 27 Precision
Underbarrel Carver Foregrip
Magazine 8mm Kurz 60 Round Drums
Ammunition Lengthened
Rear Grip Polymer Grip
Perk Vital
Perk 2 Fully Loaded

The STG44 is one of the most used Vanguard assault rifles and for good reason: It’s available by default, has competitive TTKs, and has high accuracy — great for players of all skill levels. This is sort of like the Grau 5.56 from Modern Warfare, or the Krig 6 from Cold War in that it doesn’t hit the hardest but is easiest to control. The build listed above focuses on recoil control and stabilization while ensuring bullet velocity is as high as possible. This is ideal for long-range engagements, which are common on Caldera.

The great thing about the STG44 is that you can build it in a variety of ways, even decking it out to feel like an SMG. If you’re super skilled, you can even swap over to the .30 Russian Short 45 Round Mag, which lowers recoil control but increases damage. Either way, the STG44 is a top choice for all players.

SMGs

MP5 (CW)

MP5 (CW) in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Sound Suppressor
Laser Tiger Team Spotlight
Optic Microflex LED
Stock Raider Stock
Magazine Salvo 50 Rnd Fast Mag

Ah, the classic MP5. The Cold War version has gone in and out of the game’s meta, but has always been good. Now, due to a nerf to the previous top dog — the OTs 9 — the MP5 (CW) has reclaimed its position at the top spot. This is because the MP5 (CW) has excellent TTKs, even if it isn’t super easy to use.

That’s why you should stick with the MP5 within 10 meters to ensure its high recoil doesn’t negatively impact you much. This weapon has high mobility, high damage, and is overall a blast to use. You can also build it to excel at mid-range, but we’d recommend avoiding that, and instead, equipping attachments suited for close-quarters engagements.

MP40

MP40 in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Recoil Booster
Barrel Krausnick 317mm 04B
Optic Slate Reflector
Stock Removed Stock
Underbarrel Mark IV Skeletal
Magazine 7.62 Gorenko 45 Round Mags
Ammunition Hollow Point
Rear Grip Polymer Grip
Perk Momentum
Perk 2 Quick

The MP40 is the quintessential Vanguard SMG, boasting fast TTKs, high mobility, and overall ease of use. This weapon is the king of SMGs right now, as many aggressive players have grown fond of its fast fire rate and other close-range benefits. With this build, the MP40 is set up to focus on a run and gun playstyle, with lightweight mobility, and quick ADS speeds. This will allow you to easily start shooting your opponents before they even know what hit them.

As with many Vanguard weapons, you can go in a totally different direction with the attachment setup, instead opting for recoil control for mid-range battles. Though, we think the MP40 is at its best when used up close. Still, try out a variety of loadouts and see what works best for you.

OTs 9

The OTs 9 in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle GRU Suppressor
Barrel 8.1-inch Task Force
Laser Tiger Team Spotlight
Stock KGB Skeletal Stock
Ammunition VDV 40 Round Fast Mag

Our last SMG pick is the OTs 9, a weapon that easily outclasses every other option in the game — at least within 8 meters or so. The OTs 9 is one of the best close-quarters weapons, allowing you to take down your opponents faster than any other SMG, as long as you’re within a few meters. It has low enough recoil when used up close that it’s easy to use while allowing you to wipe the floor quickly with your opponents.

But surely a weapon this good has its downsides, right? Well, the OTs 9 is practically useless past 15 meters, and its recoil past that range becomes high enough to make it hard to use. The other major flaw is that it has a low ammo capacity of 40, meaning you likely won’t be able to take on more than two opponents at a time with it. To help mitigate this flaw, we advise using the VDV 40 Round Fast Mag, which gives you faster reload times. Despite its downsides, it’s well worth trying, thanks to its extremely fast TTK up close.

PPSh-41 (CW)

The PPSh-41 in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Sound Suppressor
Barrel 15.7-inch Task Force
Stock Raider Stock
Underbarrel Spetsnaz Grip
Ammunition Spetsnaz 71 Rnd Drum

Kicking off our SMG recommendations is the PPSh-41, a great all-around option that works well in many scenarios. It doesn’t have the best TTKs up close, but it’s a tremendous weapon to use past 17 meters or so. Typically, SMGs are far less effective past 15 meters, but this is where the PPSh shines. With that in mind, this is a good weapon to use as sniper support or alongside a long-range assault rifle like the Krig 6.

The best thing about the PPSh-41 is its massive magazine potential of 71. This is enough to wipe a full squad before needing to reload, which is major. Despite being physically larger (especially with that huge ammo drum), the PPSh has fantastic ADS speeds and mobility, coming in line with the best SMGs in the game. The PPSh-41 is continuously slept on and is still worth trying out during season 1.

PPSh-41 (VG)

PPSh-41 in Call of Duty: Vanguard.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Recoil Booster
Barrel ZAC 300mm
Optic Slate Reflector
Stock Removed Stock
Underbarrel m1941 Hand Stop
Magazine 7.62mm Gorenko 71 Round Mags
Ammunition Hollow Point
Rear Grip Fabric Grip
Perk Fleet
Perk 2 Quick

As we’ve grown used to by now, Warzone has another duplicate weapon — this time, the PPSh-41 from Vanguard. Despite sharing the same name, the Vanguard version is quite different from the Cold War PPSh, though both are excellent. In this case, the Vanguard version has a much faster fire rate, allowing it to excel more up close, which — for some players — is ideal. It actually has a faster TTK than the Cold War PPSh up to 11 meters, so if you’re wanting a wild close-range SMG, we highly suggest it.

Keep in mind, the PPSh-41 (VG) has a noticeable amount of recoil and may be harder to control. If so, you might want to use the Cold War PPSh instead. The build above is more so meant for close quarters, with an emphasis on mobility. Both options are fantastic. It just depends on your skill and play style.

Shotguns

Gallo SA12

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. 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

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.

LMGs

Bren

Bren in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Mercury Silencer
Barrel Queen’s 705mm Royal
Optic M38/Slate 2.5x Custom
Stock Hockenson Sp2B
Underbarrel M1941 Hand Stop
Magazine 6.5 Sakura 40 Round Mags
Ammunition Lengthened
Rear Grip Polymer Grip
Perk Tight Grip
Perk 2 Fully Loaded

When it comes to Vanguard weapons, the Bren is at the top of the list in terms of long-range automatic firearms. Though it’s an LMG, which makes it a little slow and clunky, you can actually build it to be a little more lightweight, making it feel more like an assault rifle. The main reason to use the Bren is that it’s highly accurate, with low recoil and competitive TTKs, even up close.

This weapon might take a little bit to get used to since it’s not great when you don’t have the best attachments unlocked. But once you’ve got it leveled up, it’s a beast of a weapon. In fact, Raven will likely nerf the Bren’s recoil, though, at this point, it still remains at the top of its class. Give it a try before it’s nerfed!

MG 82

MG 82 in Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Agency Suppressor Agency Suppressor
Barrel 16.4″ Task Force
Optic Axial Arms 3x
Stock Raider Stock
Underbarrel Field Agent GRip

Hands down, the MG 82 has one of the best TTKs in the entire game. In fact, past seven meters or so, it outranks the AK-47 (CW) and the OTs 9, making it a top choice. The problem is that it’s not the easiest weapon to use and has slow mobility due to it being an LMG. Still, you can deck it out in a variety of ways to make up for most of its shortcomings.

The build described above is more so meant for mid to long-range and works well for players who know how to control recoil. This will stabilize its recoil as much as possible while ensuring it works well from afar. As a tip, we advise pulling back hard on the stick to keep it steady. Do keep in mind, you can build this weapon for close quarters as well, which works great on Rebirth Island. Either way, the MG 82 is an absolute beast if you know how to use it.

Marksman Rifles/Snipers

Kar98k

The Kar98k in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle Monolithic Suppressor
Barrel Singuard Custom 21.2-inch
Laser Tac Laser
Optic Sniper Scope
Rear grip Stippled Grip Tape

In Warzone, being able to take out enemies from afar quickly is ideal, and that’s where the Kar98k comes into play. This sniper is meant to be used much more aggressively than something like the HDR and works great in fast-paced engagements. The Kar doesn’t have the range of the slower, heavier snipers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t secure long-range eliminations from hundreds of meters away with it.

The main reason the Kar is so useful is that it features high damage and fast ADS speeds, meaning you can quickly scope in, pull off the shot, and adjust if need be. It’s deadly accurate and can be fired off quickly, making it one of the best snipers in the game — especially for aggressive players. It’s recommended to couple this weapon with a close-range firearm, like an SMG or shotgun.

Swiss K31

The Swiss K31 in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Recommended loadout:

Muzzle GRU Suppressor
Barrel 24.9-inch Combat Recon
Laser SWAT 5mW Laser Sight
Ammunition Vandal Speed Loader
Rear Grip Serpent Grip

The Swiss K31 is virtually identical to the Kar9k. However, the Swiss is slightly slower but deals more damage to the chest, so it warrants your attention, for sure. Pretty much everything we explained about the Kar98k applies to the Swiss. It has fast ADS speeds, is lightweight, and is great for aggressive players. One of the other upsides to using the Swiss K31 is that it has a built-in sniper scope (as opposed to the Kar). Because of this, you essentially have an extra attachment slot to use, which could give it the upper hand against the Kar.

In this case, we like using the Vandal Speed Loader, which grants you significantly faster reload times. Being able to reload quickly could save your life, so we suggest giving this attachment a try when using the Swiss. Ultimately, the Swiss and Kar are both fantastic. Which one you end up leaning towards will come down to slight differences and personal preference.

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