Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Weapons Tier List 2021

by in Call of Duty | May, 24th 2021

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War is nearing the start of its fourth season of content when writing this, which means that the game is nearing the end of its content as only six seasons have been promised. With that, it is time for the updated Call of Duty Cold War weapons tier list 2021. 

Call of Duty Cold War Weapons Tier List 2021

Before we get (official) news on the next Call of Duty game in the series, it is worth taking one more look at the current meta of the latest game, Black Ops Cold War. The fifth main entry in the series that put Treyarch on the map is a game that has truly gone back to the franchise’s roots. 

The feel, updated look, and general setting all lend themselves well to the idea that this is a modern take on Call of Duty once with Black Ops 1 and 2. Over the three seasons that have happened thus far, many new weapons have been released to join the massive roster of guns. 

From assault rifles to SMGs to sniper rifles and everything in between, there are so many different options for your arsenal regarding Black Ops Cold War. This game has justified weapon categories that weren’t even viable in recent games, like sniper rifles and tactical rifles. 

This has led to a diverse metagame (outside of League Play) where you can freely select the weapons you like and not feel punished for that being the case. If you love to snipe and are good at it, you can certainly do that (and in ranked no less!), but if you want more of a crazy long-range LMG that you do not have to worry about reloading there’s that, too. 

To help with this, though, I have come up with the Call of Duty Cold War weapons tier list 2021. This is an updated version of the original tier list that I did last year after the launch of the game and its first season of content. Now that we have several months behind us, that list is not exactly on point anymore. 

Some parts still stick true, like I’m still a fan of the XM4, but if you would like to use the XM4 in League Play, for instance, you may find that it would be a bit harder these days with its decently rigid meta. However, that is not the case in normal multiplayer, where the XM4 and any other weapon are viable with talent and experience behind it. 

For every weapon category out there, here is our updated Call of Duty Cold War weapons tier list 2021 through the end of Season 3 and how the weapons feel at this time. I’m confident that this current meta will only shift some in the future, so most of these weapons will largely remain the same from here on out. 

Assault Rifles Tier List 2021

We must start with one of the most important categories on the Call of Duty Cold War weapons list: the assault rifle category. Much of what I will reference in the first two categories have to do with League Play and what the pros are using, so it is worth noting that ARs are more viable here than they were in previous games. 

When it comes to the king of the crop in the AR list, it is no doubt the Krig 6 these days. An unbelievably accurate, longer-range rifle is the must-have for ranked players and those who wish to play like the pros. The goal here is headshots. You will have a quick but reliable source of accurate kills. 

The Krig might not be for everyone, though, and that is understandable. The next best weapon would be the XM4, bumped down from its previous point of winning. The original AR you get is the most versatile weapon in the bunch and a great place to start. It can be what you want it to be (long-range, shorter range, huge magazine), which is a wonderful point. 

The AK-47 is the next weapon on this list and a surprising jump from its previous place, in my opinion. This weapon is much more valid these days as a weapon, but it has its issues still. When it comes down to the AK line, there is another weapon I would always recommend over it, but it still has excellent damage in the AR category that is a great asset. 

Following up after would be the QBZ-83. Perhaps the unique feeling weapon in this category, the QBZ, is most definitely not for everyone (including me). Still, in the right hands, it can be devastating with the few people I see using it being the top player in their ranked matches (because of their expertise with it). 

After that, the next three weapons are pretty close, in my opinion, but I’ve found that all can be great for certain players. I would say that the FARA 83 is next as a great long-range weapon like the Krig 6. Another contender is the FFAR 1, a fairly standard AR but not bad at all. And then there is the Groza, which I’m not a fan of, but could be great for a mix of an AR and SMG. 

SMG Tier List

When it comes to playing seriously in League Play and otherwise, your options come pretty much down to three choices: assault rifles, SMGs, and sniper rifles. If you’re a sniper, you already know that, but everyone else needs to pick between the AR and SMG, depending on your preference. 

At the top of the SMG chain is one of the best weapons in the game: the AK-74u. If you remotely like the AK-47, you will probably love this weapon and perhaps even do better with it. It has a very good range for an SMG, quick fire, and the ability to mostly go toe-to-toe with ARs and usually beat them in close to mid-range; there’s a reason it’s what the pros use.

Then there is the LC-10. While not my cup of tea, this one is a versatile and very AR-like SMG. It is fast but has an impressive range, but some recoil can take some getting used to. In the right hands, this will dominate the AK-74u almost always, but it is not for everyone again. 

After that, we come to the MP5. Originally my SMG of choice in Cold War, the MP5 has not changed much, but that has left it behind some other weapons. It is a strong weapon with unbelievable killing speed up close, but you need attachments to bring out the best these days. 

After that, we come to the PPSh-41. This newest weapon is gaining ground and slowly getting more popular as it goes on. It is a fairly standard SMG but one with little weaknesses up close. It is fast, moderately strong, and accurate enough in close range. 

From there, we come to the Bullfrog, another niche SMG but one that, similar to the QBZ, can be amazing in the right hands. I rarely see it, but every time I do in ranked play, that person is likely at the top, unlike some of the other uncommon choices you will see. It is close to an AR but with the speed that is devastating with the right skill. 

The last few SMGs are also pretty close to one another, in my opinion, but all are reliable with practice and skill. The KSP 45 is another more uncommon pick, but one that can be crazy good. The burst fire is unbelievable if you master it and one of the few options of its kind in this category. 

Then there is the MAC-10 and Milano 821. The latter is nothing special, but the MAC-10 is perhaps the fastest in the category even after nerfs, but the recoil and handling are a bit unwieldy. The MAC-10 could be unbeatable in close range for the right person, but it is not super reliable. 

Sniper Rifles

After that, we have our sniper rifles category. If you like sniping, you’re in the right game and place. First up is the LW3 Tundra. It is once again the tried and true showstopper that is for sniper enthusiasts. It fits nicely as a balance in the category, with just the right amount of speed and power. 

Next up, though, is the latest entry in the Swiss K31. It is fast and still powerful, built for the players who are quick and accurate. In those hands, this will be the unbeatable sniper rifle that will be frustrating teams everywhere. 

After that, the sniper rifles kind of get into a middle ground where it depends on your style. I would put the ZRG 20mm next as it is the most powerful around and capable of great damage, both to players and vehicles. Then the Pelington 703 for the slower but methodical players. And lastly, the M82, which is nothing special at all. 

Tactical Rifles

From here, we have mainly Call of Duty Cold War weapons that are unavailable in League Play, so you can pick whatever you are good at, but there are some notes worth keeping in mind. First up in the tactical rifles, we have the AUG. If you want burst, this is the weapon to get, which is all I have to say about that. 

Next up would be the CARV.2, the latest tactical rifle on the list. If you want a faster tactical rifle closer to an AR than a sniper, this is the gun to get with fast speeds and still really strong bullets. After these two weapons, the other three get pretty close to one another, in my opinion. 

The M16 does stand out some for being a powerful burst rifle, but these days, it is all about the AUG if you want that. Meanwhile, the Type 63 and DMR 14 are about equal to me as slower, more sniper-like rifles that are powerful, but I would rather pick up an LW3 at that point. 


It is sad that we still only have three options in the shotgun section, but here we are. The Streetsweeper reigns supreme in this category as the fastest and most reliable. You do not even need that much accuracy as you can quickly devastate your opponent in close range with powerful shots. 

Next up is the Gallo SA12, a bit slower but one that is more powerful in turn. Again, you only need some accuracy in close range, but you can still do well with this weapon. From there, it comes down to the Hauer 77. It is sad that we only have one true pump shotgun like this one in the game. 

But the Hauer 77 is decent enough for this category. While it could be better, those players who like a well-placed single shot up close that is guaranteed to make it hurt the enemy, this is the shotgun for you. Otherwise, stick to the Streetsweeper. 


The LMG is due for a new addition at some point because, honestly, the guns that are here aren’t great. The top of the line is still the default in the Stoner 63. If you want that long-range, heavy-duty gunnery, this is the one to use, and it is not worth checking out the others. The RPD and M60 are fine, but the accuracy and sometimes recoil hold them back. 


Unfortunately, the pistol options are a bit limited in Cold War, lame for League Players who are limited to them or a melee weapon. The best of the bunch is the Diamatti, a quick burst pistol that is a great companion for finishing the job when you run out of ammo with your primary. 

The next one is the latest addition: the AMP63. Somewhere between a machine pistol and an SMG, this is a fast weapon that is great players who do not like the accuracy needed to use the Diamatti. It can be a solid secondary SMG replacement if you are an AR player or sniper. 

After that, we have the Magnum and 1911. The former is for a select group of players who have unmatched accuracy who will dominate over the other pistols, but that is not for most players. And then there is the default 1911, which I’ve seen some interesting players do well with in the past, but they are few and far between. This is not Halo here, so you are better off with one of the other pistols usually than this uninspiring semi-auto handgun.


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