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.
On this page:
What are the best new guns in Warzone after the Season 3 update?
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. Warzone has become its own beast at this point, and Season 3 has ditched the presence of Modern Warfare weapons entirely as loot (don’t worry, your loadouts still count!).
The update in December 2020, which reset the Season count in Warzone back to 1, marked a new foundation for Warzone with an array of additions and new weapon classes. Then, Season 2 Reloaded was present all the way from late February to April. And now Season 3 has officially kicked things off with several balance updates and new weapons.
The regular Verdansk map got nuked at the end of Season 2, and players were teleported back to 1984. This brought a new gulag as well as several new points of interest, including under-the-map sections being used by cheaters (luckily, players have already assumed the task of hunting them down).
As players continue finding new secrets and camping spots, weapons are already quite different compared to the past season. The FFAR 1 was particularly nerfed, seeing its damage, range, and ADS speed decreased. But the AK-47 has gained popularity again after a recoil update. The Groza, AUG, and M16 all saw tweaks as well, but the latter is still rather powerful, with the Bullfrog taking the SMG category by a stride. In addition, the PPSh 41 and Swiss K31 are the latest to join the roster.
As usual, we recommend equipping Overkill so you can carry two primary weapons at once to make the most out of your battle royale expeditions.
Best Assault Rifle in Warzone recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: AK-47 (Cold War)
How to unlock the AK-47: Reach Character Level 7 (in Black Ops: Cold War or Warzone)
Despite the nerfs throughout April, the FFAR 1 was our favourite choice for the past season. Sadly, it was only a matter of time until we saw further tweaks to it, decreasing its appeal considerably. But the good news is that the AK-47 has regained its place.
It always carried a low time to kill thanks to its damage, joined by a quick ADS time and decent range for both mid to long distance targets. A recent update has fixed its recoil making it much less erratic, which makes this not just a viable, but rather preferable choice in this weapon category.
We recommend adding an optic as soon as possible, as well as increasing its magazine size to make the most of it.
Best Sniper Rifle in Warzone recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: HDR
How to unlock the HDR: Reach Character Level 11 (in Modern Warfare or Warzone)
Sniper Rifles are still at their best when you only have to land one shot, at least in our opinion. While the AX-50 used to be our favourite throughout Season 1, the HDR has become our go-to pick.
If bullet drop tends to be a worry for you, don’t fret, since the HDR is particularly good at landing long-range shots without having to spend precious time mapping the distance in your head.
In the worst case scenario, failing a headshot will annihilate the other player’s armor and deal quite a bit of damage in the process, which sets the HDR as a great option amongst the rest.
Best Marksman Rifle in Warzone recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: KAR98K
How to unlock the KAR98K: Reach Character Level 33 (in Modern Warfare or Warzone)
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. Even now in Season 2, the weapon hasn’t received any nerfs, so it still retains the same range, damage, and accuracy from the first Season, as well as its mobility.
We highly recommend opting for this if you’re used to Sniper Rifles, since this weapon works best when you’re aiming for headshots. Its biggest advantage comes down to its ADS speed (aim down sight), which is unparalleled compared to Snipers.
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)
The AUG withheld its place throughout most of the duration of Season 2, but the Season 3 balance patch increased its time between bursts by 33 per cent, as well as lowering its neck damage multiplier. The M16, whilst also affected by similar changes, doesn’t see a drastic change in the battlefield.
The time between bursts was only increased by 10 per cent in comparison, and it remains super fast still. Paired with its short time to kill, the M16 is the best tactical rifle during the start of the season. Just make sure to increase its magazine capacity and focus on attachments that decrease its overall ADS time and sprint speed to further enhance its qualities.
If you want to get the most out of the weapon, our best M16 loadout recommendation can help.
Best Shotgun in Warzone recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: JAK-12
How to unlock the JAK-12: Get 3 Hipfire Kills using Shotguns in 7 different matches
Shotguns have been all over the place in terms of preference for Warzone. The Gallo was a reliable option in the previous season, but it can’t quite compare to the Streetsweeper and the JAK-12. Amongst these two, we always opt for the lethal Hipfire of the JAK.
If you ask us, shotguns in Warzone are at their best when you don’t have to worry about aiming down the sight to land a headshot, especially when you have to stop mid-sprint to defend yourself.
But when it comes to close quarter encounters, this is the one for you.
Best SMG in Warzone recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: Bullfrog
How to unlock the Bullfrog: Reach Character Level 43
This weapon category remains as popular as ever, which means that the meta is always changing due to constant revisions. The MAC-10 has seen a decrease in maximum damage, increasing the time to kill up to about 10% according to developer Raven.
Our past favourite, the LC10, gained more bullet velocity and has been exempt from nerfs for the time being. But amidst the two emerges the Bullfrog, which you’ll find quite frequently in Warzone.
Assault rifles such as the AK-47 might be dominant in their category, but this particular SMG serves as a jack of all trades. ADS time is lighting fast, and whilst reload time can be a bit slow, you really won’t have to worry too much thanks to the short time to kill and magazine capacity. When paired up with the right attachments, it becomes a solid choice all around, making it the best SMG to pick in the current meta.
If you want to get the most out of the weapon, our best Bullfrog loadout recommendation can help.
Best LMG in Warzone recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: Bruen Mk9
How to unlock the Bruen Mk9: Get 3 Kills when the enemy is near smoke using an LMG in 15 different matches
Light machine guns aren’t exactly the most popular choice when it comes to the current meta, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid them. On the contrary, if you don’t mind the lower movement speed, the amount of bullets per clip is still a fearful advantage to have.
The Bruen Mk9 has been the best in all regards during our playtime. It carries everything we love from LMGs but with added mobility and a far better accuracy than we’re used to.
Mods can help to amplify this both with the Mk9 and others in the category, but having a set advantage from the get-go makes this an unbeatable option.
Best Launcher in Warzone recommendation
Best weapon recommendation: JOKR
How to unlock the JOKR: Reach Character Level 35 (in Modern Warfare or Warzone)
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.
Best Melee weapon in Warzone recommendation
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)
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.