The best assault rifles in Warzone are weapons that excel in many situations, offering plenty of ways to secure eliminations, especially from afar.
The assault rifle meta changes frequently, with the top choices shifting every few months or so.
Devastating at both mid and long range, as well as versatile enough adapt to different situations with ease, this weapon category continues to reign in popularity and will likely remain as-is for the foreseeable future.
That being said, while there is a lengthy list of options to choose from, not all of them are particularly striking. As of Season 3, the assault rifle meta has shifted slightly, but following a massive update on 4th May, changed things up substantially.
Note: With the arrival of Warzone Season 4 in June 2022 and balance changes since, this page is due an update. Until then, the vast majority of advice here will still apply - but know one or two things may differ once we've fully assessed the update.
This page will cover our best assault rifle tier list and the best assault rifles in Warzone so you can conquer in battle royale with efficiency and style.
If you're after recommendations for other guns, our list of best weapons in Warzone can help.
Warzone best Assault Rifle tier list: What is the best assault rifle in Warzone?
Ever since Black Ops Cold War and Vanguard weapons were integrated into Warzone, most of the viable options that came from Modern Warfare were pushed down the ladder. That doesn't mean Modern Warfare weapons should be avoided at all costs, but there's a clear difference in quality when compared to the newer weapons.
Our ranking focuses on assault rifles that deal high damage, have low recoil, and enough ammo for you to secure multiple eliminations before having to reload.
In short, the XM4 (Cold War) is now the best Assault Rifle in Warzone. That said, it's worth noting while we're ranking the following weapons, they all stand out for a reason, and that it comes down to preference and skill level.
You can go for the highest ranked option or find an alternative that maybe you weren't considering before to vary your loadouts and experiment with new options.
Typically, the higher damage weapons are more difficult to control, while the rifles that are easy to control often deal less damage.
Here is our Warzone best assault rifle tier list, from most to least recommended:
What's changed during Season 3's 4th May update? The Cold War AK-47 has finally been replaced by the XM4, an assault rifle that was always an excellent choice.
The AK-47 is still a top-tier weapon, but the 4th May update nerfed the weapon, making it ever-so-slightly worse. Beyond that, the XM4, Automaton, STG44, and Volk all received buffs as part of the 4th May update.
The Modern Warfare AS Val is now outclassed by the likes of the AS44, while the Vargo 52 has climbed to the top of the list. Meanwhile, Season 3's new addition, the Nikita AVT, doesn't make a dent.
For the most part, a lot has changed after the start of Season 3, as many weapons have shifted around the meta list, meaning you’ll likely need to change up your custom classes.
Best Assault Rifles in Warzone
Now that the ranking has been settled, let's dive into each one of the contenders in detail from least to most recommended, with details about each weapon's quirks, strengths, and weaknesses.
13. Cooper Carbine - Vanguard
Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to the Cooper Carbine. While many of the best assault rifles are known for their versatility, the Cooper Carbine is one of the best examples of this.
You can build this weapon to excel up close like an SMG, but since it's an assault rifle, it'll always perform well from afar, giving you the best of both worlds.
Or you can specifically use attachments that boost its performance from afar, which almost feels overpowered thanks to how easy it is to control. This is a weapon that just feels good to use.
Interestingly, the 4th May update actually buffed this weapon, but despite this, many other assault rifles were buffed as well, bringing the Cooper down to the bottom of the list. Still, it’s a top choice.
If you're interested in knowing what the right attachments for this weapon are, make sure to visit our Cooper Carbine loadout page for all the details.
12. Volkssturmgewehr - Vanguard
We love the Volkssturmgewehr (say that five times fast) due to its effectiveness as a sniper support weapon. This means it holds its own up close, but also works well at mid-range. You can, of course, build this weapon to prioritize either close-range or long-range battles, too.
The nice thing is that even if you focus on fast ADS speeds and mobility, the Volk is still highly accurate, thanks to its assault rifle properties. Don't skip using this one.
The Volk also enjoyed a slight buff to its damage range on 4th May, which is a nice touch.
11. Grau 5.56 - Modern Warfare
Seeing the Grau 5.56 back at the top of the assault rifle list is reminiscent of the summer of 2020. This is an old Modern Warfare classic that has always been favored due to its low recoil and effectiveness at long-range.
It doesn't hit as hard, but the trade off is that it has virtually no recoil, which is great for newcomers looking to get into Warzone.
Another perk of the Grau is that its iron sights are actually great, meaning you can skip using an optic in favor of a different attachment. Even though newer weapons have better TTKs, the Grau is still worth checking out.
The 4th May update didn’t actually change this weapon, but since other rifles were buffed, the Grau was also bumped down a couple notches.
10. AS44 - Vanguard
As part of the 4th May update, the AS44 received a buff to its initial recoil, fixing one of its worst problems. Beyond that, its damage range was boosted, making it slightly more effective from afar.
This weapon also works better with the Kovalevskaya 615mm Barrel, now with improved damage range, as well.
The benefit of the AS44 is its versatility, as it’s deadly up close and at mid-range. For best results, we recommend using it as a sniper support weapon.
9. EM2 - Cold War
The EM2 in Warzone was introduced in 2021 as an assault rifle with a focus on firepower. It comes built with a low-zoom optic from the get-go, and its stats compensate for its slow fire rate by having a decent damage range.
As a member of the Cold War weapons roster, the EM2 presents itself with a distinct look in comparison, as well as a promising potential hiding under the muzzle. With the right attachments, this can easily be unveiled, turning it into an excellent option for your Warzone needs.
The 4th May update actually nerfed this weapon slightly, reducing its damage up close and from afar. Despite this, it still packs a punch and makes the list, despite being a higher skill rifle.
If you're interested in knowing what the right attachments for this weapon are, visit our EM2 loadout page for all the details.
8. Automaton - Vanguard
The Automaton has drifted in and out of the meta since its inclusion in Warzone, but as of Season 2, this assault rifle came back in the mix. This is due to its large magazine size and relative ease of use, especially at mid-range.
Now, as of Season 3, the weapon remains popular, as players have begun gravitating towards its large magazine sizes and ease of use.
The recoil can be a lot to deal with at first, but if you deck it out appropriately and learn to pull back on the stick when firing, you'll do well with this weapon.
Newcomers might opt for a different weapon but once you get comfortable with recoil control, the Automaton is a solid choice with competitive TTKs.
If you're interested in knowing what the right attachments for this weapon are, make sure to visit our Automaton loadout page for all the details.
7. CR-56 AMAX - Modern Warfare
In 2021, the CR-56 AMAX absolutely dominated the assault rifle meta, but later become overshadowed by Cold War and Vanguard weapons.
Now, as of the Season 3 update, the AMAX is back at the top, boasting some of the fastest TTKs in the entire game.
With this being a Modern Warfare rifle, it does have some downsides, such as slower mobility, and fewer attachment slots, but it makes up for it in power and ease of use.
Make sure you equip the VLK 3.0x Optic for a clean sight, along with the 45 Round Mags to ensure you have plenty of ammo.
If you're interested in knowing what the right attachments for this weapon are, make sure to visit our CR-56 AMAX loadout page for all the details.
6. FARA 83 - Cold War
The FARA 83 in Warzone has regained its popularity after the balance updates in 2021. It was slightly nerfed on a few occasions, but it still remains a viable assault rifle that has lots to offer.
First, it can have up to 60 rounds in its magazine, which is an improvement over the AMAX, for example, which only carries 45 rounds instead. It has easy-to-control recoil, a fast time to kill, and just overall decent stats that make it stand out amidst many others.
Once again, the FARA wasn’t actually touched on 4th May, but since other weapons were altered, this one has a chance to shine even brighter.
If you're interested in knowing what the right attachments for this weapon are, visit our FARA 83 loadout page for all the details.
5. Vargo 52 - Cold War
The Vargo 52 is interesting because it’s a Cold War weapon that was added in 2022, over a year after that game’s release.
It was always decent, but thanks to some balancing changes to other competitors, the Vargo 52 has quietly found its place as one of the best assault rifles in the game.
This is due to its high power, relatively easy-to-control recoil, and effectiveness at mid to long range. The main thing to consider with this weapon is that it does have a significant damage drop off at around 26 meters or so, but even still, it packs a serious punch as of the 4th May update.
Still, it remains competitive amongst some of the best in the game as of Season 3.
4. C58 - Cold War
The C58 was introduced at the start of Season 4 in 2021 as an interesting competitor in its field. It presented itself with a slower rate of fire compared to others in this tier list, but this was compensated by tonnes of damage and a fairly decent recoil.
While you might want to go for a different option if you'd like a rifle that feels more lightweight, the C58 is all about long distances, though this does come with some slower mobility. Even after the nerfs in 2021, it has maintained its position as one of the best options out there.
If you're interested in knowing what the right attachments for this weapon are, make sure to visit our C58 loadout page for all the details.
3. STG44 - Vanguard
Players have gravitated towards the STG44 thanks to its ease of use, competitive damage, and low recoil. It doesn't hit the hardest, but considering just how accurate this weapon is, you'll likely do well with it.
Thanks to the 4th May update, this weapon is absolutely at the top of the meta, as it received substantial buffs all around. Many of the weapon’s attachments are more useful now, and the STG44’s damage has been increased across many ranges.
Thanks to the recent Season 3 update, this weapon is far more viable now.
You can actually build the STG44 for long-range and even mid-range, making it feel more like an SMG. Slap on the Incendiary Ammunition when decking it out for close-quarters, and you'll be practically unstoppable. Still, this weapon shines the brightest from afar.
2. AK-47 - Cold War
The Cold War AK-47 in Warzone had lost popularity over time due to its fairly high recoil, but the balance updates throughout 2021 finally adjusted it, granting the weapon a long-awaited return to the top leagues.
This assault rifle is devastating across short to long ranges, depending on the attachments that you go for. Thanks to its fast time to kill that is no longer affected by an unfair recoil, and a particularly speedy nature compared to similar weapons, you can't go wrong with it.
The 4th May update slightly nerfed this weapon, causing it to drop down to second place, but that doesn’t mean you should skip using it.
The AK-47 is one of the best in the roster to conquer in Warzone. If you want to learn more about the best attachments for it, we recommend visiting our AK-47 loadout page.
Warzone Season 5 is almost here! If you want to learn more about firepower from previously, we explain the best Welgun loadout, best Cooper Carbine loadout, best Gorenko Anti-Tank Rifle loadout, best STG44 loadout, best MP40 loadout, best Automaton loadout, best BAR loadout, best Combat Shotgun loadout, best Type 100 loadout, and best Kar98k loadouts.
1. XM4 - Cold War
The XM4 is an often underlooked but still powerful assault rifle from Black Ops: Cold War. Its area of expertise lies medium to long range, and it can carry up to a 60 round mag, which is a nice bonus to have.
Though, you can deck it out to only have 45 rounds to preserve aim down sights speeds.
It might be the starting assault rifle in Cold War, but don't let this dissuade you from using the XM4. It serves a multi-purpose and its strengths make it viable in most situations.
Following the 4th May update, the XM4 is now the best assault rifle in Warzone.
After recommendations for other categories? Our list of best Warzone weapons can help.