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Warzone 2.0 best guns to use in Season 2's current meta

The best firepower to unlock in Warzone 2.0's second season.

Figuring out the best guns to use in Warzone 2.0 and understanding the meta is a key element to take note of as you’re playing across all its modes.

Since weapon unlocks have changed in both Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.0, much more investment across all weapons is now needed.

As such, you’ll want to know the best weapons to be hunting, levelling and customising to arm yourself on the battlefields of Al Mazrah.

On this page, we’ll be going over the best guns in Warzone 2.0 across all the primary weapon classes – with a few extra recommendations based on the past meta and unlock requirements.

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Cover image for YouTube videoCall of Duty: Warzone 2.0 - PS5 vs Xbox Series X/S - The DF Tech Review!
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 - PS5 vs Xbox Series X/S - The DF Tech Review!

What is the current meta and best guns in Warzone 2.0?

With the addition of new weapons, a slew of weapon balance changes and the release of the new 'Ashika Island' map arriving with the launch of Season 2, expect the meta to shift a little.

For example, in regards to the new weapons, not only is there the ISO Hemlock that features a unique trait in that it's able to take two alternate ammo types, there's also the Crossbow - currently locked until all of its 'Path of the Ronin' event challenges are complete.

The Crossbow unlocked via the Path of the Ronin event challenges.

Whilst the Crossbow is classed in-game as a Marksman Rifle, it has its own slew of unique attachments to unlock and equip, including custom bolt choices - whilst it may be timegated until all its challenges are available, this is one weapon that may shake up the meta once players unlock it.

Outside of the new weapons, there's still of course the selection of old, faithful and popular weapons unlocked early on such as the M4 assault rifle and SP-R 208 marksman rifle, with others like the FSS Hurricane submachine gun that, despite taking a little longer to earn, are still cropping up consistently.

However, with Season 2's balance patch, the addition of new weapons, and the complicated weapon and attachment unlock systems all new players have to work through, expect the meta to evolve and potentially remain in flux as the season progresses.

Best Assault Rifle in Warzone 2.0 recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: M4, Chimera or ISO Hemlock
How to unlock:M4 (Reach player level 4), Chimera (2 AR kills in 15 separate matches/DMZ extraction), ISO Hemlock (Sector B11 on Season 2 Battle Pass)

Acting as an all-round effective option, the M4 is an easy-to-access weapon available as soon as you unlock access to custom loadouts.

It’s a strong and versatile option, and an effective choice for all players.

Thanks to its robust nature, it’s a best-in-class assault rifle, providing strong stopping power with a high fire rate that, when paired with quick reactions and pinpoint accuracy, will allow you to dominate Battle Royale matches throughout Season 2.

The M4.

With such a direct and quick path to unlock, the M4 is most certainly a weapon you’ll want to be investing into and customising as you play.

Whilst the M4 is still the best choice for an assault rifle to use in Warzone 2.0, the M16 did recently receive a few buffs in the Season 1 launch patch, whilst the Kastov 762 is also becoming a popular choice worth keeping an eye on.

If you’re an owner of the Vault Edition of Modern Warfare 2, thanks to the included FJX Cinder Pack, you’ll instantly unlock a plethora of attachments to customise and enhance the M4 and M16 with.

Additionally, as an option available to every owner of the base Modern Warfare 2 game, if you complete the campaign, you’ll receive a blueprint of the M4, complete with various attachments from the offset – learn more about that in our campaign rewards explainer.

The 'Union Guard' M4 blueprint earnable via the Campaign.

If you’re looking for a strong loadout to pair with the M4, we have you covered – check out our guide on the best M4 build, covering the best attachments, perk package and more.

On the flipside, there's a couple of new assault rifles added to the game in Season 1 and Season 2's updates that have taken some players by storm.

On one hand, you've got the Chimera - alternatively called the 'Honey Badger' thanks to its Call of Duty: Ghosts counterpart - released with Season 1 Reloaded in December 2022, an assault rifle with a built-in suppressor suited very much to close-range combat.

The Chimera.

Its .300 BLK Subsonic ammo 'hide kill skulls from the enemy team' and 'features no visible tracers', a good pick for a more stealthy approach during Warzone matches, and allowing it to effectively hold six attachments rather than the usual five - though you're unable to customise its muzzle as a result.

A newcomer for the Assault Rifle category however - added in Season 2 - is the ISO Hemlock.

This weapon boasts overall higher stats than the M4, and also comes with a unique feature that no other assault rifle has access to, that being the ability to pick between two different types of ammunition in the attachments screen.

What this means is that ballistics-wise, this gun can be suited to a greater variety of engagements and types of combat, something that might be especially useful in Warzone matches where you'll be fighting across longer distances, and a greater variety of combat scenarios.

For example, you could use 5.56 ammunition which has the choices of Frangible, Hollowpoint, Armor Piercing, and High Velocity, but alternatively, you could pick subsonic .300 BLK ammunition - which inherently hides enemy death markers on-kill, and has its own selection of ammo types such as Blackout, Armor Piercing, Frangible, Hollowpoint, and Overpressured +P.

The ISO Hemlock.

Thanks to this variety of options for ammunition types, you can more specifically tailor the ISO Hemlock to different engagements and playstyles, and whilst you have to use an attachment slot for that, unlike the Chimera you can actually equip your desired muzzle attachment, giving further flexibility to how you build the weapon.

Both the Chimera and ISO Hemlock have their pros and cons of course - and ultimately your preference will definitively decide which one you find most suitable for your playstyle and the combat situation - but they are admittedly weapons that take a little bit more investment to acquire, unlike the M4 which continues to be a solid, all-round option available right from the get-go.

Best Battle Rifle in Warzone 2.0 recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: FTac Recon
How to unlock FTac Recon: Reach Weapon Level 13 with the M4.

The FTac Recon is the strongest battle rifle available right now in Warzone 2.0.

Whilst the FTac Recon’s – admittedly limited – base mag size of 10 may seem off-putting, don't let that distract you from what is otherwise a very powerful battle rifle option.

When it comes to TTK (Time-To-Kill), you're looking at a two-shot kill in most engagements, so long as you're gunning for the chest and above, with headshots being a simple one-shot kill – make sure you've got an itchy trigger finger with this one, and you'll be tearing through other players with one of the strongest weapons available.

Should the mag size be an issue for you however, there is a 15 Round Mag option available – whilst not a massive increase, it should alleviate some ammo issues you may face, just be wary of the decreased reload speed.

The FTac Recon.

If the mag size isn't an issue for you though, the 5 Round Mag option is available and a few months ago received a buff to the weapon's mobility and handling when equipped – you just have to make sure you've got pinpoint accuracy or else you'll be reloading a lot!

Want to get the best out of the weapon? Our Modern Warfare 2 FTac Recon loadout can give you some ideas as to what could work in Warzone 2.0.

Much like the M4, if you're an owner of the Vault Edition of Modern Warfare 2, you'll have access to the FTac Recon immediately, along with all attachments from the M4 Platform – this includes the aforementioned smaller and larger mag options!

Best SMG in Warzone 2.0 recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: FSS Hurricane OR Lachmann Sub
How to unlock: FSS Hurricane (FTac Recon Weapon Level 16), Lachmann Sub (Lachmann-556 Weapon Level 12)

The Submachine Gun (SMG) space escalated quickly at the launch of Modern Warfare 2, but updates and balance passes since launch are keeping it in check.

There's a couple of solid options for SMGs right now: the FSS Hurricane - thanks to its solid range, recoil control, and large mag size - and the Lachmann Sub, a more snappy, mobile and close-quarters option.

If you haven't unlocked either of these yet - what else is there in this category? Previous contender VEL 46 might not be the best pick for Warzone 2.0, but it did receive a damage range increase in the Season 1 update, and with its ease of access being unlocked immeditely, it's not a bad pick to start out with.

The MP7 / VEL 46.

If you're an owner of the Modern Warfare 2 Vault Edition however, you'll be able to bypass the requirement of levelling multiple weapons and jump straight into using the FSS Hurricane!

The FSS Hurricane.

As for our other recommendation right now, known by many as the MP5, the Lachmann Sub does have a longer unlock process than the FSS Hurricane, but it's an SMG that can prove as an effective alternative to the Hurricane.

With other SMGs like the Vaznev-9K, Minibak and Fennec 45 each getting various damage nerfs in the Season 2 balance patch, it just opens up even more opportunity for weapons like the FSS Hurricane and Lachmann Sub to shine.

Each have their pros and cons, but you can't go wrong with either options ultimately, though as Season 2 progresses, it's possible that by the halfway mark, the Lachmann will take the top spot as the go-to SMG.

Best Shotgun in Warzone 2.0 recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: Expedite 12 OR KV Broadside
How to unlock: Expedite 12 (Player Level 9), KV Broadside (Sector B4 on Season 2 Battle Pass)

The Expedite 12 and KB Broadside are the two strongest shotguns in Season 2's meta.

Starting off with the Expedite 12, an option available rather early on - just by reaching Player Level 9 - even whilst the Bryson 800 is a great starter shotgun and available a few levels beforehand, the Expedite 12 provides similar power, but boasts additional range and a faster fire rate.

Going from the Bryson 800 to the Expedite, you’ll no doubt notice the increase in fire rate that makes it feel a lot snappier, and incredibly handy if you miss your first shot.

And if its fire rate isn’t enough for you, with the Expedite L-Bolt attachment – unlocked at Weapon Level 2 – you can increase the fire rate even further!

The Expedite 12.

When it comes to range, the Expedite 12 is able to hit and eliminate enemies from a pretty extensive range – in combination with the fast fire rate, should your first shot not kill an enemy, you’ll be able to easily fire off a second – or third – to quickly finish them off before they react.

It’s a weapon that works well on its own, but is especially effective as a backup primary weapon when using the Overkill perk, helping you cover multiple ranges in combat.

Overall, particularly with Overkill equipped, the Expedite 12 is a shotgun worth using, and most definitely a solid and reliable, close quarters option to have on-hand.

The KV Broadside.

If that doesn't take your fancy - either because you want to try something new, or need something a little bit more wild when it comes to the fire rate - look no further than the newly-released KV Broadside shotgun, acquired from the Season 2 Battle Pass.

Whilst it's comparable stat-wise to the Expedite 12 when looking in-game, the KV Broadside boasts a higher fire rate, and its magazine can be customisable - this means that you can hold up to 25 rounds per mag, whereas the Expedite 12 is capped at 7, so if you're looking to really go in for some close-quarters, guns blazing spray n' pray action, you might want to set your sights on the KV Broadside, unlocked from Sector B4 in the Season 2 Battle Pass.

Best LMG in Warzone 2.0 recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: 556 Icarus, RAPP H or RPK
How to unlock: 556 Icarus (M4 Weapon Level 18), RAPP H (Lachmann-556 Weapon Level 16), RPK (Kastov 762 Weapon Level 16)

Light Machine Guns (LMGs) don't often populate the Call of Duty meta, and their usability is rather niche – however, with their extended ammo supplies, it's a category worth setting your sights on during Warzone matches, even if it's not a weapon type you typically use.

If you're looking for a specific LMG to try out in Al Mazrah, the 556 Icarus and RAPP H are where you’ll want to look.

The RAPP H’s standout feature is its high rate of fire, paired with impressive accuracy and stability, whereas the 556 Icarus provides a little bit more mobility, allowing you to move around a bit quicker than with other LMGs.

The 556 Icarus.

Both LMGs are on the lower end of magazine sizes – sitting at 75 each – but there’s still more than enough rounds here to rack up several kills before needing to reload – just be ready to hold your position when you do need to swap mags!

As a bonus, the 556 Icarus is available to use much earlier than the RAPP H, making it a more appealing and accessible option.

Both require a bit of grinding, but since the 556 Icarus is acquired via the M4 Platform – the first Platform you’ll have access to – you’ll be able to start working your way towards it early on.

If you own the Vault Edition of Modern Warfare 2 however, it’s unlocked instantly, along with all that Platform’s attachments too.

The RAPP H.

In terms of the RAPP H though, it’s a similar process to the 556 Icarus, but with the added grind of an extra weapon to level which you can only start the process of after reaching player level 16.

Another popular choice that's been making the rounds over time is the RPK.

The RPK.

Unlocked by levelling the Kastov 762 to Level 16, the RPK is an incredibly solid choice for Warzone, accompanied with similar ammo totals as the RAPP H and 556 Icarus – though 75 rounds short and a reduced fire rate overall – but it still packs a punch.

It's also joint-highest when it comes to recoil control, sitting alongside the 556 Icarus, however it's got better handling, range, reload speed and damage output, key elements that will help keep you in the fight during Warzone matches.

Definitely keep your eye on this one, as it might be one to build a loadout for as the meta continues to evolve in the weeks and months ahead.

Best Marksman Rifle in Warzone 2.0 recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: SP-R 208
How to unlock SP-R 208: Reach Player Level 7.

Living in its own lane by being a highly customisable, sniper rifle-like weapon, the SP-R 208 is Warzone 2.0’s best marksman rifle right now.

Without the inclusion of a scope from the outset, and packing high damage per shot that can easily result in a one-shot kill when landing rounds in the chest and above, it’s a rifle that is just as effective at medium range as it can be at long range, with the ability to lean into that later via long-zoom scopes and other range and bullet velocity-boosting attachments.

The SP-R 208.

If you prefer its closer-range advantages and want to lean into that playstyle, by levelling other weapons, you can unlock various short to medium-range scopes for the gun as well.

Much like in Modern Warfare 2, the SP-R 208 has proven to be an early game favourite during Season 1 despite a nerf to the flinch received when being shot.

There are other effective options for marksman rifles too such as the EBR-14, a semi-automatic rifle that'll take a couple of shots to the chest to kill, but the SP-R still remains king.

One to watch out for once it becomes available through its timegated 'Path of the Ronin' challenges is the Crossbow.

The Crossbow.

Featuring its own suite of unlockable attachments - and essentially a different type of weapon compared to the usual firearms found in this category - the Crossbow may well become the dominant leader once players get their hands on it, especially with a variety of custom bolt types available, including 'Brightblaze' Thermite, 'Blastcap' timed-explosive, and 'FTac Caustic' tear gas cannister bolts.

Each of these bolt types have their own pros and cons and specific use-case scenarios, but with Overkill equipped, a Crossbow in your backpack may become vital for certain build and playstyles once it becomes available.

The EBR-14.

The release of Warzone 2.0 is here! If you want to put together a strong arsenal, we explain the Warzone 2.0 best guns, plus how to forge a solid M4 loadout, Kastov 762 loadout, FSS Hurricane loadout, FTAC Recon loadout, VEL 46 loadout, Lachmann Sub loadout, Victus XMR loadout, SP-R 208 loadout and M16 loadout. Elsewhere, we have explainers on Season 2 Battle Pass skins and blueprints, AQ Soldiers, contextual tap and how to unlock Operators.


Best Sniper Rifle in Warzone 2.0 recommendation

Best weapon recommendation: Signal 50 or Victus XMR
How to unlock: Signal 50 (Reach Player Level 44), Victus XMR (Season 1 Battle Pass)

Sniping has often been quitely popular in Call of Duty multiplayer, and it seems with Warzone 2.0 that’s no different, with a couple of options presenting themselves depending on your overall progress.

If you're just starting out, the MCPR-300 is a decent option, available to use as soon as you reach Player Level 4, its ease of access bolstering an already strong choice for sniper rifles.

On the other hand, if you're in the higher ranks, the Signal 50 is a great pick, unlocked when you hit Player Level 44.

Alternatively, the Victus XMR – added as an unlock via the Season 1 Battle Pass – is another very strong option.

The Victus XMR.

Compared to the other two sniper rifles in the game, these are much easier and simpler to unlock, letting you play how you want without requiring the usage of a single weapon.

For example, the LA-B 330 and SP-X 80 snipers both require a chain of weapons to be levelled, beginning with the SP-R 208 marksman rifle – a weapon in another class entirely.

The Signal 50.

With that in mind, whether you're just starting out or are in the higher ranks, you've got a few options – the MCPR-300 is great for ease of access, the Signal 50 has a high damage out with the best overall stats of any sniper, whilst the Season 1 addition of Victus XMR is a solid long-range option with the highest damage of any sniper in the game right now.

All in all, our absolute best pick would be the Signal 50, simply because from a high-level view, it's the most consistent and best all-round sniper available, essentially besting all other snipers with its stats, bar a couple of minor differences.

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