Warzone best weapons explained: Our best assault rifle, sniper rifle, shotgun, SMG and LMG weapon recommendations

The best weapons you should aim for in multiplayer.

Learning the best guns in Warzone is difficult with an ever-shifting meta and the introduction of weapons from new Call of Duty games - such as Cold War: Black Ops in late 2020 - shaking up the roster.

There's a huge number of Warzone weapons now available, and though every has their favourites, there are definitely winners and losers among the list.

Choosing the right weapon can give you a huge advantage over other players, and if you then learn to control their recoil and offset their idiosyncrasies, then you'll be unstoppable.

We've been out there in Verdansk messing around with everything we could get our hands on, allowing us to present the best weapons in Warzone, category by category.

Note: This page is only up to date for the end of Season 1, so some suggestions might be out of date. However, unlike other shooters, the Call of Duty meta tends to shift a little slower - so recommendations on this page are likely to still be good choices. If you want to read up on Season 2's new additions in the meantime, we have dedicated pages for the FARA 83 and LC10.

On this page:

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Warzone - Season One Deep Dive

If you're looking for loadout recommendations for Cold War weapons, we have pages on the AUG, XM4, Krig 6, MP5 and M16.

What are the best new guns in Warzone after the Cold War update?

Note: This page is only up to date for the end of Season 1, so some suggestions might be out of date. However, unlike other shooters, the Call of Duty meta tends to shift a little slower - so recommendations on this page are likely to still be good choices. If you want to read up on Season 2's new additions in the meantime, we have dedicated pages for the FARA 83 and LC10.

It used to be that you could just visit our list of the best guns in Modern Warfare to also learn what's the best in Warzone, but times have changed. In fact, Warzone is rapidly becoming its own beast, and that means that even our best Black Ops Cold War guns picks won't necessarily help you out here - since the truth is Warzone offers the best of both.

The update in December 2020, which reset the Season count in Warzone back to 1, is probably the biggest one yet. This has made for some interesting new additions to each weapon class in addition to a couple of brand-new weapon classes as well.

warzone_best_weapon_3

While the meta in terms of gun choice is the most varied it's ever been, the main Verdansk map hasn't changed, so you're still going to be at your best with a midrange weapon most of the time. That means Modern Warfare's Grau 5.56 is still an all-round stellar choice, for those wanting to be ready for any situation.

If you prefer something a little different you can do a lot of damage with Black Ops - Cold War's M16 too. Either way though, you're still probably going to want to be rocking the Overkill for the ability to weird two primary weapons.

Best Assault Rifle in Warzone recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: Grau 5.56
How to unlock the Grau 5.56: Eliminate five players with an assault rifle in a minute, 25 times (in Modern Warfare or Warzone)

warzone_best_weapon_grau556

The Grau 5.56 remains probably the most reliable and flexible weapon in Warzone. It's just incredibly well-rounded, and while there are certainly some excellent new Assault Rifles like the FFAR, nothing does quite as well as the Grau 5.56.

The mix of accuracy, power, fire rate, and mobility means you can use it at any range with good results. While it might be outclassed by specialised weapons like a Sniper Rifle or an SMG, nothing is more reliable than this in a pinch.

If want to get the most out of the weapon, our best Grau loadout recommendation can help.

Best Sniper Rifle in Warzone recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: AX-50
How to unlock the AX-50: Reach Character Level 37 (in Modern Warfare or Warzone)

warzone_best_weapon_ax50

Sniper Rifles are still at their best when you only have to land one shot, at least in our opinion. While there are a few weapons that fit the bill in Warzone now, our favourite remains the AX-50.

It's still a one-hit kill if you're a good enough shot, and it remains more mobile than most of its competitors, which makes it perfect for a proper sniper who likes to shoot once and move onto the next hiding spot before making another kill.

Best Marksman Rifle in Warzone recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: KAR98K
How to unlock the KAR98K: Reach Character Level 33 (in Modern Warfare or Warzone)

warzone_best_weapon_kar98k

The Marksman Rifles can often end up feeling a bit like a diet Sniper Rifle, but thanks to constant tweaks throughout Warzone's existence the KAR87K can almost rival them.

It's got an obscene range, damage, and accuracy, and you don't even lose that much in the way of mobility in exchange for all of that. It's got one hell of a punch, and the bullets move at a decent speed as well, just make sure you've got a good aim if you're going to use it as you'll need to land your shots in the head.

Best Tactical Rifle in Warzone recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: M16
How to unlock the M16: Reach Character Level 10 (in Black Ops: Cold War or Warzone)

warzone_best_weapon_m16

The Tactical Rifles are all new to Warzone thanks to the Black Ops Cold War weapons being folded into the battle royale mode. They offer a different experience to the Marksman Rifles and Assault Rifles thanks to them firing in bursts, and the M16 is the best of the bunch by a fair bit.

It has all of the hallmarks of the kind of weapon that is likely to get nerfed at some point in the future, but the pure power of each hit plus the ease of use and accuracy make it a titan in Warzone where you're likely to be fighting over longer distances while on the move.

If want to get the most out of the weapon, our best M16 loadout recommendation can help.

Best Shotgun in Warzone recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: R9-0
How to unlock the R9-0: Automatically unlocked (in Modern Warfare and Warzone)

warzone_best_weapon_r90

Look, setting stuff on fire is fun (digitally) and while the R9-0 is good on its own, you'll want to make sure it's in one of your loadouts and fitted with the Dragon's Breath Rounds attachment to get the most out of this shotgun.

You can unlock these by getting ten kills while sliding with the weapon. They basically mean that the already powerful punch of each blast also causes extra damage over time thanks to the fire they inflict. It's just a lot of damage to deal with, and very few opponents will survive that.

Best SMG in Warzone recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: MP5 (Cold War)
How to unlock the MP5: Automatically unlocked (in Black Ops: Cold War and Warzone)

warzone_best_weapon_mp5cw

We stuck to our guns a lot with the SMG in Warzone, but despite the MP5s exceptional performance throughout the game's existence, it's time for a new king. That's right, make way MP5 (MW), it's time to let in the new ruler, the MP5 (CW).

Look, it's stupid, we know it is, but the Cold War variant of the MP5 has a slightly higher fire rate than the modern version of the weapon, and that just makes it more deadly, which is kind of the point of a gun. So, if you're after a good time and the chance to fight up close without equal, then this is the one you want.

If want to get the most out of the weapon, our best MP5 loadout recommendation can help.

Best LMG in Warzone recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: Stoner 63
How to unlock the Stoner 63: Automatically unlocked (in Black Ops: Cold War or Warzone)

warzone_best_weapon_stoner63

The Stoner, contrary to popular stereotypes, does an awful lot of work in Warzone. It has one of the most obnoxiously high damage outputs in the game, and the fire rate barely takes a hit. While the recoil pattern can be a pain to get used to, it's worth it for the sheer hell this can unleash.

Just keep in mind that it is an LMG, so you're going to be a little slower when using this than you would be with most other weapons. That being said, if you can fire enough bullets at the enemy it probably won't matter.

Best Launcher in Warzone recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: JOKR
How to unlock the JOKR: Reach Character Level 35 (in Modern Warfare or Warzone)

warzone_best_weapon_jokr

The JOKR is good at one thing, and that's killing vehicles. That makes it perfect for taking down killstreak rewards or anything else that's silly enough to be armoured.

What's better is that the lock-on function is exceptional, and if you've got something in your sights and decide to fire this at them then they're probably going down at that point. It's not a very subtle weapon, but sometimes you should shout about what you're good at.


Season 2 has arrived! Read up on the Warzone patch notes, the Warzone Season 2 Battle Pass - which introduces the LC10 and FARA 83 - and Warzone map changes for what's new. Elsewhere, we have recommendations for the best Warzone weapons and explainers on the best FFAR 1 loadout, best MAC-10 loadout, best AUG loadout, best Krig 6 loadout, best MP5 loadout, best M16 loadout and best XM4 loadout.


Best Melee weapon in Warzone

Best weapon recommendation: Dual Kodachi
How to unlock the Dual Kodachi: Using the Knife, get 3 kills while behind the enemy in 15 matches (in Modern Warfare or Warzone)

warzone_best_weapon_kodachi

Don't use melee weapons in Warzone; there's a reason people say never top bring a knife to a gunfight. Although, you're bringing two knives, and they've got a better range than the normal knife, so maybe it'll actually help your chances?

While we don't recommend using melee weapons in Warzone, sometimes you can't help it. We're a big fan of the Dual Kodachi because of the reach, but also because it makes us feel like ninjas, and ninjas are cool.

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Jason Coles

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