Skip to main content

A decade after Modern Warfare 2, the tactical nuke returns in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare


The tactical nuke is back in Call of Duty after a decade missing in action - and players are now getting a clear show of it via the Modern Warfare beta.

First, some background. The tactical nuke was a killstreak in 2009's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. In Modern Warfare 2, the tactical nuke required 25 consecutive kills. It was the hardest to obtain in the game, but it was worth it - once triggered, the tactical nuke calls in a nuclear warhead that explodes, engulfing the entire battlefield in white light. The upshot: everyone dies. The result is a win for the player who called in the tactical nuke and their team - no matter the current score. Here's how it looked:

Watch on YouTube

Now Modern Warfare is in beta, and the 32v32 Ground War mode is playable, we've got a few good shots of how the tactical nuke looks in a big battlefield.

It's worth noting Modern Warfare's tactical nuke works in much the same way here as it did in Modern Warfare 2. It ends the round no matter the score and results in a win for the team the player was on. But it now requires a whopping 30 consecutive kills, making it even harder to obtain. Oh, and kills gained via killstreaks do not count, so get practicing with your gun of choice.

Now, onto the action. After the player punches a nuclear code into a touchpad, the 10-second countdown alarm pops up at the top of the screen and, once it reaches zero, we see the warhead fall from the sky onto the map. Then there's the explosion, a little mushroom cloud and a rush of light and dust. Below are two clips, courtesy of the appropriately named redditor WalkingNukes, who calls in the tactical nuke, and redditor SimpleBeings, who gives us the best seats in the house to view the blast.

Ground War Nuke XD from r/modernwarfare
A good view of a tactical nuke from r/modernwarfare

If there's one criticism, it's the announcer doesn't seem too bothered by the incoming nuke. After he declares "tactical nuke incoming!" he continues to call out killstreaks and other player actions, seemingly oblivious to how little they now matter. No one cares hostiles are taking delta, mate. We're all about to be fried by a nuke.

Still, it's a super cool visual effect - and a rare one. I very much doubt I'll ever call in a tactical nuke, but I suspect I'll be on the receiving end of a few.

Read this next