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Black Ops: Cold War best guns explained - Our best assault rifle, sniper rifle, shotgun, SMG and LMG weapon recommendations

The best weapons you should aim for in multiplayer.

If you want to give yourself in every firefight, then you're going to want to know what the Black Ops Cold War best guns are.

While any weapon can be lethal in the right hands, it always helps to know which weapons are at the front of the pack.

It may feel like an unfair advantage, but it's just playing smarter, not harder.

Unlike the M4A1 in the early days of Modern Warfare, there doesn't appear to be one best weapon to rule them all - at least not yet.

So, if you want to make sure you have the best weapon in Black Ops Cold War in your hands at all times - no matter what category you like to use, whether it's assault rifles to sniper rifles and shotguns - then this page can help.

Note: This page is only up to date for the end of Season 1, so some suggestions might be out of date.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.

On this page:

Digital Foundry provides a technical analysis of the Black Ops: Cold War beta.Watch on YouTube

If you need more help with Black Ops: Cold War, we have pages on completing Operation Red Circus and Operation Chaos, and finding Redlight, Greenlight Photo Intel locations in the campaign.

Best Assault Rifle in Black Ops Cold War recommendation: Krig 6

How to unlock the Krig 6: Reach Character Level 16

The Krig 6 is excellent in nearly every situation. It's an easy to control weapon with a good balance between fire rate and firepower that is best at medium range, but is still more than powerful enough to take out foes at long or close range too.

The best thing about the Krig 6 is that you won't need to practice for hours to learn to control the recoil. It's an incredibly intuitive weapon, and if you're running around with this as your main weapon, then you're giving yourself a good chance in every fight.

Best Sniper Rifle in Black Ops Cold War recommendation: Pelington 703

How to unlock the Pelington 703: Already unlocked

The power in any sniper rifle lies in whether or not it can take an enemy down in one hit. While the Pelington 703 isn't the only one capable of this in Black Ops Cold War, it is our favourite one.

This bolt-action sniper rifle will make a mockery of any opponent at long-range, and if you're a big fan of lining up a perfect shot before making a fool of whoever you're pointing your barrel at. You'll have to keep an eye on your ammo, but when one shit kills nearly anything, it's not a big issue.

Best Tactical Rifle in Black Ops Cold War recommendation: M16

How to unlock the M16: Reach Character Level 10

If you do enjoy playing the master sharpshooter, then you might be tempted to forego a sniper rifle in favour of the M16 tactical rifle. Honestly, we can't blame you for wanting to do so either given how absurd this weapon is.

While the M16 uses a burst fire instead of full auto, all that really means is that you'll have to hit the trigger a couple more times.

If you can get used to the recoil pattern of this and land a couple of bursts into an enemy's head, then you'll take them down in an instant. It's absurdly good, and if you're fighting at a medium-long range, then there's no better weapon.

Best Shotgun in Black Ops Cold War recommendation: Gallo SA12

How to unlock the Gallo SA12: Reach Character Level 34

Shotguns are generally all about close-range combat and firing wild from the hip. However, the Gallo SA12 is good enough that its effective range almost extends far further than you'd expect.

As a semi-auto shotgun, all you really need to do is fire a couple of times and whatever's in your crosshairs is going to regret being there. Each shot packs in an impressive amount of damage, but the power in this weapon comes from how quickly you can fire it. This is the perfect weapon for any situation where you find yourself inside a building.

Best SMG in Black Ops Cold War recommendation: MP5

How to unlock the MP5: Already unlocked

The MP5 was one of the best Modern Warfare weapons around, and it's still an incredible SMG in Black Ops Cold War too.

It retains its relatively balanced stats and is a powerhouse at close-range as a result. It's not bad at medium ranges either, but we recommend you keep this one for when fights are close and personal. It can be a little unwieldy, but with a little bit of practice, you should be able to control the recoil with no issues at all.

Best LMG in Black Ops Cold War recommendation: M60

How to unlock the MM60: Reach Character Level 46

LMGs should be powerful, sluggish, and capable of taking down anything if you can control them. The M60 perfectly represents this ethos, and it packs more firepower than seems fair.

As long as you don't mind walking at a snail's pace, the M60 might be your favourite weapon in the game. It has absurd firepower, accuracy, and a sizeable magazine as well. This makes it great for medium and long-range battles, and as long as you remember to put it away when you want to move, you'll dominate the battlefield.

Best Launcher in Black Ops Cold War recommendation: Cigma 2

How to unlock the Cigma 2: Already unlocked

Being able to lock-on to the plethora of planes and helicopters you're going to find littering the skies of Black Ops Cold War is a blessing.

The Cigma 2 isn't a particularly fast weapon, but it gets the job done if you're trying to take out another player's perk. Just keep in mind that you're not going to have much ammo for it, so use it sparingly and keep an eye on your surroundings before pulling it out because it'll take a while to use.

Best Pistol in Black Ops Cold War recommendation: Magnum

How to unlock the Magnum: Reach Character Level 31

Generally speaking, you're not really going to be using your Pistol in any situation. In fact, we recommend taking either a launcher or a shotgun instead of one.

However, if you just can't get enough of the little guns, then the Magnum could well be the gun for you. While it lacks the firing rate of the other options in this class, it packs a massive amount of damage into each shot, and that makes it an excellent weapon for finishing off foes when all else fails.

If you need more help with Black Ops: Cold War, we have pages on completing Operation Red Circus and Operation Chaos, and finding Redlight, Greenlight Photo Intel locations in the campaign.