Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Weapon Tier List

By Cody Perez

January 4, 2020

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modern warfare weapon tier list

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has been out for some time now. It’s been months since the game released on PS4, Xbox One and PC, we’ve had plenty of time to scour through the various weapons in the game and use them in the several game modes. Now, it’s time to rank them in our Modern Warfare weapon tier list.

Modern Warfare Weapon Tier List Criteria

Currently, there around 30 or so different weapons that are in the game. There are even a few added since the game’s launch and the long-awaited release of Season 1. After all, the game didn’t come out with its first season but released it later.

When playing the online multiplayer game modes, there are many weapons to choose from that it can be a tough choice to make. Thankfully, that is where we come in. We spent enough time to determine what we think are definitively the best guns in the game.

To determine this, we have checked out each of the main guns from every category like assault rifles, sniper rifles and more to give you our Modern Warfare weapon tier list. It is a bit odd to compare something like the M4A1 rifle to the .725 shotgun as they serve very different purposes in the game.

Because of this, we are going over the various categories of weapons to give you the best (and worst). There are a lot of good options from each category. We’ll give you tidbits about each choice so you can know if it will fit your situation well.

To determine the best weapons in our Modern Warfare weapon tier list, we go over the overall power of the weapon in comparison to the other options in its category, how flexible it is in combat situations, how efficient the ammo is and more.

Without further ado, let’s go over our definitive Modern Warfare weapon tier list. We are beginning with, perhaps, the most important category of all: Assault rifles.

Weapon Tier List: Assault Rifles

modern warfare weapon tier list FAL

Assault rifles are some of the most common and essential weapons in any online first-person shooter game. They are the mid-range weapons that are versatile at being decent in just about every potential situation. That’s why players must understand the best and the worst of the bunch.

Beginning with the worst weapon in this group, there is the FAL. If you played the previous Call of Duty games, you might be disappointed to find that this weapon just isn’t a grand gesture like before. The damage and utility are poor, but you can make it a little better through equipment and other methods.

The second in this group is M13, an interesting one that is not nearly as powerful as it initially looks. In the game, this one is one of the fastest rates of fire for an assault rifle. However, the problem is that the damage associated with the rate is too low to make enough of a difference.

From there, we have the FR 5.56. It’s a good weapon like the rest of the ones in this category. The issue with this gun is that it can be your best friend or worst enemy, depending on your skill and playstyle. There are a lot of players who prefer single fire and that won’t work for this gun. It is meant to be used in burst fire and when done right, it can be devastating.

The fourth gun in this category is the Oden, which is another odd case in this weapon group. There is a lot to like about this gun, but then it is held down by some strange hiccups. It is excellent for single-shot players, but the skill required gives it a challenging entry point that would be difficult to overcome for many players.

Next up is the AK-47 and FN Scar 17, which are both great rifles that have some impressive utility. In the case of the AK-47, it is a classic weapon with some of the best damage in the category. The Scar is the one for players who want to have a longer distance than other rifles.

Topping the list, being overall the best in the category of already great guns, are the Kilo 141 and M4. The Kilo 141 is a great starter that gives you plenty of reason not to switch away. It has some strong stats while being easy enough for most players to pick up and handle well.

Even with nerfs and changes, the M4 remains the top tier assault rifle in the game. With the best consistent stats around, it is the all-around jack-of-all-trades rifle that is flexible at handling all sorts of combat situations.

Weapon Tier List: Sniper Rifles

Ah, sniper rifles. The category that is for a specific subset of players who prefer to take it quiet and slow from far away. It all starts with the worst of the bunch, Dragunov, a rifle that is still an okay one that is passable if you are looking for the semi-automatic action, but it has unfortunate damage.

HDR is a step up from the Dragunov in that it is the powerful sniper rifle that you would expect, but it is also just as slow. This keeps it from being as strong as it needs to be, especially when compared to the next sniper rifle on this list. That said, it is a good option if you have great aiming skills.

Finally, we have AX-50, which is the best sniper rifle and the one you should be using if you are going for this time of playstyle. It is that one shot, one kill that it should be while not being nearly as slow as the Dragunov. If you want to take out enemies without putting yourself into too much of a vulnerable position, this weapon is for you.

Weapon Tier List: Shotgun

modern warfare weapon tier list R9-0 Shotgun

When it comes to shotguns, there is a specific purpose that they play in this game. Like with previous games in the series, there are a lot of close combat maps in the game that are smaller in general. These are the maps where a shotgun does well. There are plenty of good options in the category.

There are only a few options, but they are pretty good nonetheless. Even the worst of the bunch, the R9-0, isn’t nearly as bad as you might expect. With some attachments, it is a decent choice, but if you are looking for a shotgun, the rest of the group outpaces this weapon by a large margin.

The Model 680 is the most basic shotgun that you can find in the game. It is the pump shotgun that has the rate of fire, speed and power that you would expect. In this way, it is a good option for picking out enemies close to you quickly, but it doesn’t do a whole lot more beyond that.

Origin 12, on the other hand, is the automatic shotgun that will serve fast-paced players well. Fast and packing a punch; this gun blasts someone in the face before they realize what just happened. The issue is the awful range that keeps it from being the top pick.

That top placement goes to none other than the .725, a shotgun loved and hated in the community. Nerfs have been coming out left and right for this weapon, but that still hasn’t stopped it from being a beast of a weapon for your loadout.

It has a powerful one shot, one kill mentality to it. It has an impressive range for a shotgun. It doesn’t have the sniper rifle capability anymore (thankfully), but it is still a force to be reckoned with when it comes to even mid-range fighting.

Weapon Tier List: Marksman Rifles

modern warfare weapon tier list M14 EBR

Marksman rifles aren’t for everyone, but they are the guns that you want to pick if you’re looking for a solid mix between the utility of an assault rifle without having to commit to the powerful punch of a sniper rifle fully. As such, this category is one of the smaller ones in the game.

It all starts with the worst of the bunch: the EBR-14. We highly suggest you ignore and pick something else instead of this marksman rifle. It introduces you to the marksman style, but it is too lame to give players a reason to stick around.

You’re better off picking something like the Kar98K, which is a good marksman rifle. It opts for the more sniper rifle playstyle and is the typical one-shot kill that you would expect from that group. At the same time, it is more versatile at close and mid-range. If the one bullet design isn’t your thing, there is one more weapon that is better.

The MK2 Carbine stands out as the best in the bunch for the marksman rifles. It takes the balanced nature of the category and best represents it. With some tweaking, you can easily make this the one shotgun that the other sniper rifles are. At the same time, you can make it a faster, single-shot assault rifle-like experience.

Weapon Tier List: SMG

modern warfare weapon tier list MP5

The SMG weapon class is one of the largest ones in the whole game. It is for good reason as there is a fair bit of variety and great weapons that you’ll find here. We are focusing on those at the bottom and top of the tier list.

At the bottom, you will find the Uzi and the AUG, which might be surprising. There is no bad SMG, unlike other classes where there are some lacking guns. In the case of the AUG, it is an SMG that is an assault rifle in disguise with the right build.

In that case, though, you might be better off just getting an AR. As for the Uzi, this is the standard jack-of-all-trades SMG that you are likely familiar with already. It is a great secondary weapon, but it shouldn’t be your go-to since it doesn’t excel at any particular action.

For a wonderful SMG in this list, pick either the MP7 or the MP5. In the case of the MP7, it is the final SMG in the progression system, which makes it difficult to switch to since you might already be sold on one of the others.

However, it is a nice one anyways that only gets better with more equipment and attachments. If you want the best in the class earlier on, grab the MP5. It is the best example of what an SMG can and should be.

The MP5 is a fast, powerful submachine gun with some decent range. It is good enough that you could easily make it your main weapon of choice in the game. With some of the attachments, it only gets better. It can all be accomplished much faster than with the MP7.

Weapon Tier List: LMG

modern warfare weapon tier list PKM

Light machine guns are the powerhouses that have a ton of rounds with a rapid rate of fire that matches it. However, the first entry on the list, L87, is a terrible example of that type of gameplay. It has cruddy power, speed and a general lack of ammo that is supposedly made up by the range but that isn’t worth it honestly.

MG34 is a little bit better than L87, but it is still an unfortunate use of the LMG category. It packs a punch, but it is not super fast. It doesn’t contain a lot of rounds, still lacking a good portion of what an LMG is supposed to have.

Only the top two picks for the light machine gun class are the ones that you should consider using. They are practically in a tie to which is the best for the class. M91 is the first of the two. The stats between this weapon and the PKM are very similar.

What it comes down to is if you prefer the difference between the strength of the M91 at the cost of it being a little bit unwieldy to use, especially at longer ranges. On the other hand, the PKM is an all-around balanced LMG that is not as powerful but is still a great representation of the class.

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