If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Warzone 2.0 M16 loadout, best class build and how to unlock the M16

How best to build the M16.

The M16 is an assault rifle in Warzone 2.0.

The M16 in Warzone 2.0 is a three-round burst rifle that features a high Time to Kill (TTK), most effective when gunning for the chest and above.

With its effectiveness and mid-long range combat scenarios, it’s a versatile weapon, one that’ll be suited for many kinds of engagements during your time on Al Mazrah.

This page explains how to unlock the M16 in Warzone 2.0, as well as our recommendations for the best M16 build to take on your enemies.

On this page:

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Last-Gen - Can PS4/PS4 Pro & Xbox One/X Deliver 60fps?

How to unlock the M16 in Warzone 2.0

Unlocking weapons in Warzone 2.0 is similar to Modern Warfare 2, and as such, different from previous titles.

Several weapons, such as the M16, are now unlocked by using and levelling weapons within families known as 'Platforms'.

In the M16's case, you have to use the 556 Icarus until it reaches level 12. To unlock the Icarus to do this, you need to level the M4 to level 15. Quite the process!

Once unlocked, you'll be ready to start levelling the M16 to open up its customisation options - it's best to use the M16 for a few matches to level it up and unlock its attachment slots.

It's worth noting - many attachments are unlocked by levelling other weapons, both in and outside of the M4 Platform.

Additionally, if you own the Vault Edition of Modern Warfare 2, you actually have a head start on this process thanks to the FJX Cinder Pack – with this pack, you'll have access to all the attachments and weapons unlocked within the M4 Platform.

Warzone 2.0 M16 best loadout and attachments

With the M16 being a mid-long range weapon, the goal of our recommended M16 build is to bolster its sightline-dominant strengths.

Below is our recommended M16 build for Warzone 2.0:

  • Optic: SZ SRO-7 (Unlocks at M16 Lv. 11) / Hybrid Firepoint (Unlocks at Lachmann-762 Lv. 14)
  • Stock: Corio Precio Factory (Unlocks at M4 Lv. 7)
  • Rear Grip: XTEN Grip (Unlocks at M4 Lv. 16)
  • Underbarrel: VX Pineapple (Unlocks at 556 Icarus Lv. 14)
  • Ammunition: 5.56 Frangible (Unlocks at Lachmann-556 Lv. 8) / 5.56 Armor Piercing (Unlocks at M4 Lv. 9) / Magazine: 45-Round Mag (Unlocks at M4 Lv. 5)

For optics, we're pointing you toward a couple of options: the SZ SRO-7 is best for long-range engagements, especially where there's cover and corners to mount for extra stability, whereas the Hybrid Firepoint is tailored to a mix of encounters, particularly effective if you're changing sightlines a lot since you're able to toggle between close-range and long-range options on the fly.

When it comes to the stock, there's a couple of options: the Corio Precio Factory is a good shout when it comes to longer sightlines thanks to its aim stability and recoil control bonuses. It does affect mobility however, but that's where our alternative comes in.

Sacrificing some weapon stability for several buffs to aim, sprint, crouch movement, and aim down sight (ADS) speed, the Ravage-8 is the perfect opposite, a good alternative choice for mobile playstyles.

For rear grip, the XTEN Grip is handy thanks to its bonuses to ADS and sprint-to-fire speed. If paired with the aforementioned Corio Precio Factory stock, you'll be able to offset this grip's reduced recoil control, or you can double up on mobility if paired with the Ordnance Ravage-8.

Being able to mount a wall for an attack isn't always an option, but with the underbarrel VX Pineapple, you'll have increased control over the M16's recoil. This is especially useful when paired with longer range scopes, where the gun's kick is even more noticeable.

In terms of our recommended fifth and final attachment, we're looking at the ammmunition or magazine slots – since you're likely going to be gunning down more enemies at range, potentially those that are in cover, 5.56 Frangible rounds are a good shout, since they temporarily delay an enemy's healing capability.

As an effective alternative, you could opt for 5.56 Armor Piercing rounds for their bonus bullet penetration and extra damage against vehicles – something that's a lot more common in Warzone 2.0.

If you'd prefer to up your ammo rather than boost aspects of the M16's ballistics, you could insted take the 45-Round Mag in the Magazine slot – whilst it'd impede movement and overall handling speed, having extended reserves with 15 rounds extra per mag helps not only for larger game modes, but also passive play.

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 1 Battle Pass skins and blueprints, AQ Soldiers, contextual tap and how to unlock Operators.

Warzone 2.0 M16 best class build, perks package and equipment

Here are the recommended perks and equipment to make the best M16 class build in Warzone 2.0:

  • Perk Package: Vanguard (Unlocks at Lv. 1)
  • Secondary: .50 GS (Unlocks at Lv. 13) / X13 Auto (Unlocks at X12 Lv. 10)
  • Lethal: Semtex (Unlocks at Lv. 20)
  • Tactical: Shock Stick (Unlocks at Lv. 1) / Spotter Scope (Unlocks at Lv. 1)

For the Perk Package of this class, we're recommending you pick Vanguard, granting you the perks Double Time, Bomb Squad, Resupply and High Alert.

Whilst the M16's attachment lineup is focused on bolstering its stability and making it more effective at longer ranges, moving between sightlines is going to be a necessity as the circle closes during Warzone matches, so the doubled tactical sprint duration and increased crouch movement speed provided by Double Time is an essential boost to have.

For the second perk in this package, Bomb Squad will help keeping you grounded and alive in desired vantage points thanks to its reduction in the damage you'll take player-initiated explosions. It also resets the fuse on live grenades when you pick them up, letting you return to sender with a good ol' nade toss.

Speaking of grenades, the third perk in this premade selection, Resupply, is going to grant you an additional lethal grenade from the getgo, and provide a constantly regenrating 30-second timer to regain your lethal and tactical equipment.

For the 'Ultimate Perk', High Alert is what you'll be getting, notifying you of when enemies spot you, having you and your squad covered by any players who might have the drop on you.

For your secondary weapon, whilst there's always the choice of snagging any gun of your choosing off the ground, you could either pick the .50 GS or X13 Auto handguns – the former hits harder, but the latter gives you a bit more flexibility when it comes to a backup with a faster fire rate.

For your lethal, Semtex is one we found paired well with the M16 - sticking enemies with grenades is not only satisfying, but also allows for greater intentionality compared to a typical Frag Grenade, which often rolls or bounces away etc. resulting in a missed kill.

An effective pairing for Semtex in the Tactical slot is the Shock Stick, which sticks to surfaces, electrocutes enemies, and destroys equipment.

They're good for catching oncoming enemies off guard for a quick ambush, or opening them up for a sweet, sticky Semtex kill.

That said, you could instead swap out the Shock Stick and instead go for the Spotter Scope, allowing you to spot and mark enemies from a distance – thanks to its ability to toggle between a standard and thermal imaging mode, you'll be able to provide reconnaissance, or just better pinpoint enemy locations.

Since a goal of this loadout was to be flexible at varying ranges, there's more freedom whereby you can tailor and enhance each aspect of it to your liking, so don't hesitate to mix and match with the various options available.

Be sure to check out our other guides such as our recommended M4 build for Warzone 2.0, or have a look at our Modern Warfare 2 best guns guide listing various weapons you might want to test out in Warzone 2.0!

About the Author
Josh Mckenna avatar

Josh Mckenna


Eurogamer.net logo

Buy things with globes on them

And other lovely Eurogamer merch in our official store!

Explore our store
Eurogamer.net Merch