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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II tips and tricks for multiplayer

Now that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is here, millions of players have jumped into multiplayer across Team Deathmatch, Ground War, and the new Invasion mode. Despite being part of a long-running series, Modern Warfare II is quite different from its predecessors in terms of the way it feels — making it tricky to get used to.

The most notable change from previous installments is Modern Warfare II’s pacing, which is much slower than before. This can cause lots of trouble, especially if you’re a series veteran, as you can’t play Modern Warfare II like other popular entries.

With that in mind, these are some tips and tricks to help you come out on top in Modern Warfare II’s multiplayer mode.

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Win those 1v1 gunfights

You need to be aware of how to win 1v1 gunfights more consistently because this is key to leveling up faster and earning more victories. There are lots of factors to consider when challenging players, such as your weapon and its aim down sights (ADS) speed, along with the attachments and your position.

For instance, if you’re running out in an open field, there’s a chance an enemy onlooker is already aiming at you with a long-range weapon, so if you have a close-range SMG, you might as well not even try to challenge this enemy. Likewise, if you’re running down a hallway while carrying an assault rifle and you come across an opponent with an SMG, you’ll have trouble winning that gunfight as well.

So, the main idea is to first pick your battles accordingly. Once you’re confident you’ll have a chance at winning a gunfight, we highly recommend aiming directly for your opponent’s chest. This way, your weapon will actually kick up when they hit you — because of flinch — and you’ll actually connect with their head, allowing you to take them down quicker. The other main component to winning more gunfights is to hip-fire at your opponents while aiming down sights. This way, you can pull off a shot or two before you’re fully aimed at your opponent.

In addition, using tricks like jump-shotting or drop-shotting can throw off your opponents in close-range 1v1 battles.

Get your loadouts sorted

The STB 556 in Modern Warfare II.

Loadouts work differently in Modern Warfare II than in previous entries. This is because many attachments have more penalizing downsides, meaning you have to take more into consideration when building your weapons. For example, if you’re building an assault rifle for the best recoil control possible, you will severely hurt the weapon’s ADS times. Each recoil control attachment you add to the weapon stacks against its ADS times, which can make the weapon practically useless in most situations aside from long-range. On top of that, if you attempt to compensate by adding attachments that help ADS times, you’ll then hurt your aiming stability.

Bottom line? You don’t always need to fill all five attachment slots when building a weapon. Sometimes, a weapon will actually perform better overall with only three attachments rather than five. Of course, there’s certainly nuance to this, but take a look at how a weapon feels and adjust accordingly if something is off. Oftentimes, the solution is as simple as dropping an attachment.

Play less aggressively

The major takeaway with Modern Warfare II is that you can’t play it as aggressively as other CoD games. This is because the time to kill (TTK) is tremendously fast, while many of the game’s animations are much slower. So, you might struggle to compete against players who are scoped in, watching a busy area. Instead, try to play a hybrid of the two. You can run around to busy locations, but instead of blazing through a high-traffic area, perhaps overlooking that spot to catch players as they run by will lead to more success. Then, move back to another area — rinse and repeat.

Switch to Scorestreaks

The Scorestreaks page in Modern Warfare II.

There really is no reason to use Killstreaks in Modern Warfare II. Thankfully, the game gives you the option to switch between the two from within the Weapons menu, so do be sure to take a look at that before you dive into a match. The reason Scorestreaks are better is that they essentially feature the same requirements as Killstreaks, but there are numerous ways to earn additional scores during a match.

For instance, a UAV requires four kills or a 500 score (which is exactly equal to earning four kills since eliminations are worth 125 points). But there is a slew of other ways to earn score, such as defending a capture point, avenging a teammate, or securing a long shot. So, since there are literally no penalties for using Scorestreaks, we recommend swapping away from Killstreaks ASAP.

Play Ground War to grind XP

Players around a tank in Modern Warfare II.

We go into more detail about XP farming in a dedicated guide, but the main thing you should be aware of is that Ground War is one of the best methods for leveling up your weapons fast. This is because you can get into a tank and use it to eliminate players and capture points, which all give XP to whichever weapon you have equipped.

If Ground War isn’t your style, we recommend Kill Confirmed, as it’s also a fast way to earn XP if you prioritize collecting dog tags.

Adjust your settings

Controller menu in Modern Warfare II.

Finally, we highly suggest making sure your settings are adjusted before you hop into a game. We go into further detail in our console settings guide, so be sure to check it out to see our recommendations. The main things you should change are your sensitivity settings, along with certain graphics and interface options.

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