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Call of Duty
- The classic Call of Duty Game Breaker is the PPSh-41; in the original, it had a huge 71-round magazine along with very friendly and predictable recoil and an excellent iron sight. Almost every later game tried to Nerf it somehow. For that matter, submachine guns in general have always been overpowered in the World War 2 CoD games, and the only truly noticeable nerfing any of them got was the Thompson's slight magazine reduction from 2 onward.
- CoD 1 also had the scoped Mosin-Nagant; while every other scoped rifle had to reload rounds one at a time, the Mosin-Nagant used a stripper clip whether scoped or not, giving Soviet snipers a huge advantage in multiplayer.
- Apart from the other broken scoped rifle, of course. The FG 42 in the original game was ridiculous; a selectable semi / full-auto high-damage weapon with an extremely accurate scope, it was a true do-everything gun with no meaningful weaknesses whatsoever.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Remastered)
- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has the grenade launcher: an attachment that can be used with any of the Assault Rifle-class weapons, is perfectly accurate, arcs over obstructions (which also handily lets it ignore the effects of cover), requires about ten seconds of practice to master, is an instant kill if you're anywhere near the impact, and you spawn with two rounds. There is no downside to using the "Noob Tube," and you essentially get not one but two free kills after every spawn.
- Due to an oversight, attaching the ACOG scope to the M40A3 sniper rifle increases its base damage from 70 to 75. While this may not sound like much, the damage multipliers on shots from sniper rifles are coded so that a player with the Stopping Power perk (which multiplies bullet damage by 1.4x) will deal 98 damage on a "bad" hit, like to a target's foot, barely letting them survive a single shot with the default 100 max health. As such, the M40A3 will literally be a 1-shot kill anywhere on the body unless your target has the Juggernaut perk to increase their max health, and even then a shot anywhere that's not a limb will still be an instant kill.
- Another oversight had the Skorpion's base damage unaffected by the suppressor attachment. This was bad enough in normal gameplay, where in close range it dealt 50 damage per bullet, but it was especially noticeable in Hardcore mode, where that damage is higher than the maximum health players are given, combined with the gun having practically no recoil for ranges where a single bullet won't do the trick. The weapon was universally banned from competitive-league games for this reason, even after it was patched.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
- The Model 1887 shotgun in Modern Warfare 2, prior to patching. It almost always instantly kills the target (even without Stopping Power), and can still hit at a long range despite the typical uselessness of shotguns in this series. Here's the real kicker: they can be dual-wielded. Infinity Ward themselves acknowledged the problem and issued a patch to "balance" it, drastically lowering its effective range.. Unfortunately the first patch only applied to its akimbo version, meaning a single 1887 is just as bad (or good, depending on what side of the weapon you're on) as it always was. Furthermore, using the Bling perk for two weapon attachments - Full Metal Jacket and Akimbo - would effectively give you the pre-patched version of the dual 1887s, as well as the increased penetration of FMJ. A second patch reduced this problem. A second, slightly-less-broken but still powerful shotgun is the starting SPAS-12, which due to a glitch has its maximum range fluctuate between normal shotgun range and the ranges of the submachine guns. Add Stopping Power and you've got guaranteed one-shot kills at distances other non-1887 shotguns could only dream to even register a light nicking with.
- Additionally, there's the M93 Raffica machine pistol, also known as the "Pocket M16". The game treats it as a pistol, meaning it gets swapped to very rapidly and, unlike the other machine pistols, can be used in Final Stand. However, it has insane damage ratings, dealing so much damage that on its own a full burst is only not instantly fatal at the most extreme ranges - and with Stopping Power, it kills in one burst even then. Unlike the one-burst-kill assault rifles, it can also be dual-wielded to great effect, which eliminates some of the potential at extreme range in exchange for doubled ammo, letting you spray bursts even longer.
- The UMP 45, unless a submachine gun is supposed to be able to kill a target in three bullets while silenced and still allow incredible mobility while running and aiming. Not to mention as well that its damage values and ranges are closer to those of the high-end assault rifles, so even at extreme ranges it'll only take one extra bullet to kill someone.
- Can't leave out the Noob Tube/One Man Army/Danger Close combination. The Grenade Launcher (or "Noob Tube") is, as in Call of Duty 4, very powerful. However, you only get two grenades from spawning. The One Man Army perk, in return for replacing that class's secondary weapon allows the player to switch between classes on the fly, including to the class they are switching from, with a full replenishment of all ammo to accompany the switch. This allows an infinite stream of grenades to toss with only a short delay in switching between classes. Danger Close deals more explosive damage with a larger area of effect. Worse is that, since the grenade launcher has reliable pinpoint accuracy, it was easy to fire into the sky at specific angles from certain spots on the map to hit the enemy on the entire opposite side of the map - objective-based modes like Domination became a joke because, barring being inside a big, sturdy building, the objectives would just explode every couple seconds, making it near-impossible to actually capture them. Alternatively, if you like having a secondary weapon, the Scavenger perk allows you to refill your ammo from dead opponents, including grenades - opponents you likely just killed with your grenade launcher. It got so bad that later games never had a perk even close to resembling One Man Army, and set it so Scavenger bags didn't drop from explosive kills or replenish grenade launcher rounds.
- Also notable is the G18 attached with Akimbo with the Steady Aim perk, allowing greater firing from the hip. Add Stopping Power and Scavenger and the player is given a nearly unending, highly-fatal bullet hose.
- The combination of three perks: Marathon (lets you sprint infinitely), Commando (allows you to instantly lunge forward a ridiculous distance when using the knife), and Lightweight (increases movement speed). Combine with the Tactical Knife attachment (which lets you carry your knife alongside your pistol to significantly shorten the delay after knifing someone), and there will always be someone running at inhuman speed and stabbing people from across the room for one-hit kills every time. The worst part is these three perks are unlocked by default. Upgrade them and you're even more nimble, being able to climb obstacles faster, bring weapons back up from sprinting quicker, and not take any falling damage.
- As overpowered as it, it isn't as broken as it used to be. Holding a Care Package marker (or a Sentry Gun/Emergency Airdrop marker, but everyone used Care Package because it's only four kills) would grant a speed increase that would stack with Lightweight. Effectively, you'd run at roughly 200% speed with the ability to slide ten to fifteen feet towards someone for an instant kill with a knife; lunging also grants invincibility frames if your opponent doesn't shoot fast enough. To top it off, as you're running so damn fast, on everyone else's screens you'd be crouching while running so you're even harder to kill. Then add the above-mentioned UMP45 to the 'knife class', and you get a class that can not only sprint indefinitely at higher than normal speeds and lunge across rooms for instant knife kills, but that is also a credible threat at range.
- The chopper gunner can also be seen as quite overpowered as it lets you easily spawn trap opponents, leaving them easy prey in most maps (some maps with high cover, such as Skidrow, Karachi and Invasion, prevent this).
- AC-130 can do this, too, but typically doesn't have equal killing potential because it has to reload. The trade-off is that the AC-130 is significantly harder to shoot down than a Chopper Gunner - it has two sets of flares meaning a lock-on launcher needs three shots to take it down (meaning a single player simply can't do it in one life even if it doesn't notice and kill them the first time they try to lock on), and while the dumb-fire RPG-7 or a Predator missile can take it out in one shot, that requires whatever sacrifices need to be made to get the RPG-7 to shoot in the general direction you tell it to or somehow managing to get enough kills for a Predator while that AC-130 is busy murdering you and your entire team every time you poke your head out of a building. Basically, nothing is going to cut the rampage short save the gunner getting bored.
- Prior to patching, the Javelin missile launcher had this reputation. Before the patch, the Javelin could be used to get revenge kills using a glitch causing the Javelin to launch into the ground immediately upon death, killing anyone within 20 yards. Paired with Danger Close, it was essentially Martyrdom on steroids. It got so commonplace as an annoying troll maneuver that Xbox Live and PlayStation Network actually issued account suspensions to people who were reported for using the glitch.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
- Modern Warfare 3 raised the bar with SMGs; particularly the PP90M-1 and MP7. The former had incredibly fast fire rates and could hold a massive 54 rounds with Extended Mags, becoming a proverbial bullet hose (note its nickname was the 'Super Soaker' or 'Water Pistol gun'; the latter had virtually no recoil, and the recoil it did have was easily mitigated. It was common to see players being sniped by a no-recoil silenced MP7.
- Another class of weapon that was game-breaking was the Machine Pistols. MW2 had overpowered Secondaries in the Shotguns, but MW3 pushed the bar up a few notches with their machine pistols. Being able to have what amounted to free Overkill meant that players very rarely took any other secondaries, save for the occasional anti-aircraft launcher. FMG-9s were the worst of the four in terms of balance. Having the same fire rate, range and capacity as the aforementioned PP90-M1 was bad enough, the only saving grace being its insane kick and lesser mag capacity; but the Game-Breaker was when it was used akimbo alongside Steady Aim. Having two submachine gun-class weapons hipfired meant players could essentially use them as a primary weapon out to a middle distance, the output more than making up for the range drop. It was so bad, the gun was nerfed multiple times over the course of the game's lifespan, but even despite these it's still pretty much just as bad as it was at release. All of the other machine pistols are insanely good as well, with fire rates, recoil, and damage values equaling the best primary SMGs, with the only other one getting any sort of nerf being the returning G18, with a reduced capacity from MW2 alongside worse sights and slightly more wild recoil (which you won't have to deal with if you run them Akimbo) - as mentioned, it's essentially the Overkill perk from CoD4 for free.
- Two weapons were broken by design: the Type-95 and the Mk 14; the former had the highest automatic damage in-game, albeit in a 3-round burst, but the bursts occurred so fast that it was a non-issue, and it was also incredibly accurate. The latter had players take advantage of the lack of firecap to use a modded 'turbo' controller to have full-auto versions that were incredibly accurate and powerful.
Call of Duty: Ghosts
- Call of Duty: Ghosts had integrated attachments, meaning certain guns had traits that were automatic, meaning you could potentially have 4 attachments on a single gun. Of note was the integrated suppressor, which gave certain weapons unmatched playability, as they were always silenced, and could run 3 attachments over the standard 2, gaining an edge over non-integrated weapons. The Honey Badger was the most prevalent, being the go-to weapon for most players when starting a new character, given it also unlocked the majority of stealth perks for no cost, making a very powerful class available from the get-go.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
- Infinite Warfare introduces Gun Perks, which are buffs included with weapon variants (acquired through Supply Crates). The Epic rarity is special in that all its perks are unique to a specific gun, denoted by unique appearance (and in very rare cases, two will share the same perk). The other tiers (Common, Rare, Legendary) have their own perks, which are more spread out across guns.
- The "Twinsanity" gun perk gives you two of the weapon, wielded akimbo. This doesn't sound like much, but in this game only pistols (and one shotgun) can be wielded akimbo. Twinsanity is a perk found on the "Gemini" Epic variant HVR, a submachine gun, and the "Fury" variant Auger, a minigun (note also that Twinsanity does not affect your mobility whatsoever). While the Auger cannot be spun up, it has a high maximum fire rate and Twinsanity lets it chew through enemies like never before. Combined with the Merc's Man-at-Arms trait (weapons don't impact your movement speed) and/or the Gung-Ho perk (shoot and use equipment while sprinting) and you can mow down enemies at a speed that other LMGs can only dream of.
- The Karma-45 "Deimos" and its Berserker gun perk. While it requires you to reach level 50 with Blood Anvil mission team to be unlocked, it is a fitting reward; getting a kill with it makes the fire rate skyrocket for a short time, and it also greatly reduces hip spread and recoil. With enough enemies close by, it's completely possible to wipe out the entire enemy team.
- The R.A.W. light machine gun, with the right attachments, it is a devastating weapon, again, thanks to the Merc's Man-at-Arms trait, which grants maximum ammunition and allows for fast movement, it becomes very powerful for campaign and multiplayer.
- The "Ghost" perk returns with almost the same functionality as it did in the Black Ops games. Players utilizing this Tier 1 perk do not appear on the enemy mini-map when enemy UAVs are active or radar pings are used, provided they are sprinting, using a Scorestreak or defusing/planting a bomb. However, Ghost becomes invaluable in multiplayer when its effects are stronger than the other perks in its "Blue" category, particularly the "Recon" perknote , because a Ghost-equipped player calling in a friendly UAV remains invisible to Recon-equipped enemy players.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)
- The M4A1 is a textbook example of a weapon that can do literally everything. It has high accuracy, great damage output, long range, and a high fire rate. It is the single most "balanced" weapon in the entire game, which in turn also makes it one of the most overpowered. And on top of that, you can add attachments and weapon perks to it that make it even stronger. Despite several patches allowing more specialized assault rifles to shine alongside it, the M4A1 still remains a powerful contender due to just how insanely versatile it is.
- The XRK M4A1 Blueprint, which can be obtained through purchasing the game digitally, comes with an integrally-suppressed barrel, a hybrid sight, a commando foregrip, a laser sight and the M16 stock. Both the hybrid sight and the barrel attachment are supposed to be late game attachments unlocked by using the gun long enough. What makes it gamebreaking is that you can use the blueprint right at early game. The hybrid sight allows you to deal with enemies in both mid-range and close range. The improved underbarrel, foregrip and stock boost its already high accuracy and reduce its recoil significantly. And the laser sight itself can be swapped out for FMJ ammunition or any other weapon perk, further improving the weapon's effectiveness. Thanks to its sheer flexibility, along with the fact that the M4A1 is the second assault rifle you can unlock at low level, allowing you to customize it right at early game, the XRK M4 is going to be one of best early game weapons, if not the most used weapon for people who have purchased the game digitally.
- Normally, the AK-47 is a decent weapon that can compete with most LMGs. But by equipping the 5.45x39mm 30-Round Magazine ammo conversion, you have just trnsformed it into the AK-74u, an Assault Rifle/SMG hybrid that, thanks to a recent significant buff to its damage and range profile, is now a terrifying competitor to the M4A1 in terms of versatility. Its recoil pattern is now even easier to control than the normal AK-47, with virtually no downsides to it in terms of damage and range profiles. Although slower than the M4A1 in terms of mobility, it can potentially kill even faster with the same amount of consistency.
- The RAM-7 (TAR-21) Assault Rifle is widely considered to be the second coming of the pre-patch M4A1. It is much faster than the M4A1, almost blisteringly so, shredding through enemies in split-seconds. The only downside to it is a very difficult recoil pattern to control, but this can be mitigated with the right attachments.
- The MP5 for a submachine gun example. Unlocked at the semi-early level 12, it is one of those SMGs that you'd see used against you constantly in multiplayer, due to its practically non-existent recoil and good damage. While there are other SMGs that do its job better at either long-range or up close, the MP5 shines the most due to its ease of use and versatility. Unfortunately for those who dislike being killed by it over and over again. While the MP5 has eventually received a damage range nerf, it's still a versatile submachine gun.
- The MP7 is no slouch for a submachine gun either. It was the single best submachine gun in the beta, which resulted in them nerfing it, and it's still an amazing alternative to the MP5. While it may lack the simplicity of the MP5, it is extremely versatile and can be kitted for a number of different playstyles. By comparison, it's as much of a glorified bullet hose as the P90, with even more controllable recoil and very fast mobility potential. It's so good at consistently landing shots that it was removed as a common drop weapon in Warzone due to its incredible power in the early stages of a match. It is still a common weapon retrieved in loadout drops simply for just how fast it can mow people down.
- Remember the Olympia from Black Ops 1? Say hello to its nightmarish counterpart: the 725. It's an Olympia...with the range of a pre-patch Model 1887 (from Modern Warfare 2 incarnation) and the damage output of a SPAS-12 (also from Modern Warfare 2 incarnation). Watch in abject horror and despair as you magically get killed in a single shot from 20-30 meters away, by a shotgun. Think you can challenge it at close range with an SMG? Nope! Its spread seems to ALWAYS result in a one-shot kill even at mid-range. Even better? You can put Slug rounds and a Choke on this thing, increasing its already-insane range even further. It quickly became the single most common weapon in the game, alongside the M4A1. Some people even use BOTH on the same class, thanks to the Overkill perk, turning them into killing machines at every range imaginable. The 725 is so broken, mind-boggling, and rage-inducing that the resulting backlash from the community caused Infinity Ward to tone it down thrice. And it's STILL considered vastly superior to every other shotgun in the game.
- Despite unlocking at the slightly-mid-game rank 17, the 725 double-barreled shotgun offers a package of obscene damage per shot, seemingly random shot cone that's infuriatingly cheap to be playing against, and extremely-high accuracy and range. Short-Range Shotgun rules clearly do not apply here, as players wielding it could just zip around the map and hipfire at the first vaguely man-shaped thing they see and still get a kill. Seriously, when you're consistently getting Longshots and Headshots with a shotgun in this series, against enemies who are on the fringes of your field of view, you're looking at a prime candidate for the Nerf bat, which did come as part of Patch 1.06.
- The nerf increased its damage falloff and widened the shot spread, making it a two-shot kill at medium range and virtually peanuts from then on out, though players still find it to be hilariously overtuned and on a good day it's still incredibly easy to chain kills and Longshots with it, thus rendering all of its camos challenges virtually trivial. It's so broken that it was nerfed again within a week, with Patch 1.08 further reducing its effective range, though it still remains a Weapon of Choice for campers which, let's be honest, are everywhere in this game.
- To drive home how utterly broken the 725 is, a third nerf was hastily rolled out with a hotfix to Patch 1.08 that still somehow failed to address its lethality at range. All the nerf seemed to have accomplished is forcing some players to switch back to the default barrel to regain some ranged damage, as the reduction was quite minimal in the grand scope of things.
- And then a fourth nerf is rolled out to reduce the damage range of the sawed-off barrel, but also increases the close range damage.
- The Model 680 (Remington 870 MCS) was originally considered a decent shotgun, but outclassed by the 725. This changed when a patch introduced four new ammo conversions to it, and now it is widely considered to be the best shotgun in the game after the 725 got nerfed. How? 3 words: Dragon's Breath Rounds. Yes, you can now turn your Model 680 into the dreaded MOG-12 from Black Ops 4. If your enemy doesn't have E.O.D equipped, a single scrape from your new incendiary shells will guarantee instant death. On top of this, you can equip a version of the ammo conversion that only permits you 6 rounds, but instead of loading each shot you get the bonus of having a magazine for quick reload times, and your speed while moving and aiming down your sights is increased dramatically. It is entirely possible to dominate small maps with this gun, more than the 725 ever could.
- Even if you don't use the Dragon's Breath, 680 itself is also a powerhouse in its own right as a long range weapon while aiming down the sight. Simply use the XRK 30.0 Sport Barrel and the FSS Maruader suppressor to extend its damage range and you basically get a shotgun with the range of an assault rifle, fully capable of delivering One-Hit Kill from a far distance.
- The .357 Magnum revolver gains its game breaker chop with its Snake Shot ammo, basically turning it into a pistol-sized shotgun akin to Executioner from Black Ops 2 with the power of pre-patch 725. Due to being a revolver, it has more mobility, lighter, and can load 6 rounds. And then there's the option to combine it with the Akimbo weapon perk, which allows you to dual wield two Snake Shot .357 Magnum revolvers. Even if you don't plan to use the Snake Shot ammo, you can convert it into a Sniper Pistol thanks to the stock, long barrel and scope attachments it comes with.
- Akimbo Snake Shot got so bad that the combination ended up being nerfed to the point of borderline worthlessness. Before being patched, Akimbo Snake Shot completely dominated Warzone as the sidearm of choice. There was virtually no need for anything else, not even an RPG, because it was not only fast due to being a pistol, but its damage and accuracy were utterly ridiculous. This thing could beat out every single other weapon at close-to-mid range.
- The Renetti (Beretta M9A3) pistol introduced in Season 3 has started to become the definitive pistol of choice for many players, outclassing even the .357 Magnum and the .50 GS (Desert Eagle) and even M17 (P320). While it have the damage and range profile of any low caliber pistols like the aforementioned M17, you can convert it into a 3-round burst pistol, essentially turning it into the M93 Raffica from Modern Warfare 2. Attach a larger magazine to it and attachments that increase its aim down sight speed and stability, and you have the pistol equivalent of the FR 5.56 (FAMAS). Even worse? Like all pistols, you can unlock Akimbo for it, and it's even more accurate and damaging than Akimbo Snake Shot Magnums. The burst mod and Akimbo were both smacked hard by the Nerf bat during a mid-season patch. Putting on the burst mod reduced the gun's base damage and effective range. Combining the burst mod AND Akimbo together (Akimbo without burst mod is unaltered) dropped the damage and range even further.
- The lethal combination of Riot Shield, Combat Knife, Throwing Knife, Double Time, Restock, Shrapnel and Dead Silence can make a melee only class actually viable, especially in Free For All, where all players fight on their own and most of the fights are 1 vs. 1 fights. Unlike the Mw2 counterpart, bullets don't leave scratches on the shield and blur the user's vision, eliminating one of the greatest weaknesses of the Riot Shield. You can also combine Riot Shield and Throwing Knife to land a surprise range attack, killing your enemy in one hit with the throwing knife. And thanks to the Restock and Shrapnel perks, you spawn with two knifes by default and it replenishes overtime, eliminating the need of finding and retrieving your throwing knives. Should you want to land a quick melee attack, you can switch to Combat Knife, which also kills your enemy in one hit and grants you a faster moving speed. Last but not least, while Dead Silence is meant to be used for silencing your footsteps, it also boosts your running speed. Combing that with the Combat Knife, and you can now chase after your hapless victims and stab them in the throat. The end result can basically be described as a Dark Souls knight invading the world of Call of Duty and single-handedly massacring modern day soldiers with nothing but a sword and shield.
- The Throwing Knife itself also overrides the Pistol Whip melee animation into a knifing attack, meaning that as long as you have at least one throwing knife in your inventory, you can still go for a knife melee attack without using the Combat Knife, which works well with lightweight weapons such as submachine guns, handguns and the aforementioned 357 magnum revolver.
- The Kali Sticks, introduced in Season 4, are a variation of the Combat Knife that don't have the ability to kill in one hit. However, that doesn't matter, because not only can it get kills quickly with only two hits, but the range in which it activates is equivalent to how far the knife lunge went in past games, essentially giving you the Commando perk from Modern Warfare 2 all over again. Run it with the aforementioned Knife loadout, but replace Shrapnel with Tune Up and you can run around virtually uncontested, leaving your enemies very little time to react as you swiftly beat them into the pavement.
- Reverse Boosting, a deliberate act of getting killed and losing matches over and over again for a lower K/D ratio to abuse the Skilled-Based Matchmaking system (which matches players through K/D ratio and match records instead of player level) has become a popular strategy for players troubled by being pitted against arbitrarily high-level experienced player even though they're still in early game, especially in Gunfight Tournament, where even a LV30-40 players have a high chance to be pitted against LV130-150 players. Reverse Boosting has almost become the only way for low-level players to compete against other players within the same league as them. On the flip side, some high-level players also exploit the system in order to curbstomp low-level players who truly can't perform well...
- The Holger-26 added in Season One is, for all intents and purposes, an assault rifle with a starting 100-round drum. It being classed as an LMG is merely an afterthought. Furthermore, it's a glorified assault rifle with good stats and a giant magazine for the player to run about hosing everybody to death, while not being burdened by the lower mobility, firing, reloading, and aiming speed of an actual LMG. And it can be converted into an actual assault rifle, should the player so choose. Very soon after Season One dropped, it and the RAM-7 became some of the most-used weapons in the game. In fact, it functioning like an Assault Rifle makes a lot of sense when you realize it's actually the G36C, a longtime staple and fan-favorite weapon of the series.
- Cargo Trucks are probably one of the deadliest weapons in Warzone. They have tons of health so they're pretty much tanks. Pretty much the only way to counter them is with an RPG or some other explosive. The truck spam got so bad in solos that they were eventually entirely removed from that mode.
- The AUG submachine gun is normally a very strong submachine gun in Multiplayer, but isn't that great in Warzone. The AUG A3 on the other hand, AKA the AUG with the 5.56 NATO ammo conversion, stands alone above all other fully automatic weapons as the best of their kind in Warzone, even outclassing well-rounded weapons like the M4A1. It turns the gun into an Assault Rifle/SMG hybrid with amazing range, good accuracy, and manageable recoil for spraying. In addition, the AUG comes with its own special optical attachment: an Integral 3.0x Scope which offers a very clean and clear view in comparison to the standard VLK 3.0x Scope and even the Merc Thermal Scope. Alternatively, the AUG can become a hipfire powerhouse by using the 5mW Laser, Merc Foregrip, Compensator and 5.56 NATO ammo Drum Mag, dominating close-quarters battle by eschewing the need of aiming down the sight while pinning down your enemies with laser-accuracy hipfire before they can aim.
- The Grau 5.56 (SIG-552) assault rifle, introduced in Season 2, is a strong weapon in Multiplayer already, but it becomes an absolute terror in Warzone, where it is steadily beginning to overshadow even the common M4A1 as the best fully automatic assault rifle in the mode. While it lacks the damage output of the M4, it more than makes up for it in terms of speed, range, and accuracy. What truly sets the Grau apart from other fully automatic assault rifles is the Archangel barrel. In addition to providing the usual benefits of a long barrel, the Archangel barrel also changes the Grau's iron sights into what are unquestionably the best iron sights in the entire game. The view is so clear that you can both see enemies and potentially pick them off at ridiculous ranges. In a mode where most weapons have to sacrifice either precision or speed, the Grau does not. You can completely forego optics on it in order to round it out completely, all while making enemies think you're literally cheating when you're able to pick them off at distances usually common for 3.0x and up zoomed scopes...with just the iron sights.
- The Bruen Mk9, better known to series veterans as the M249 SAW. If you think the Holger is good, the Bruen is even better. It too is an AR/LMG hybrid, but unlike the Holger it has an ammo reduction conversion that not only grants it similar advantages, but also a higher ammo count at 60 compared to the Holger's 30. So now you have an assault rifle with not only the damage and range of an LMG, but also the ammo capacity. And it just so happens that the Bruen's damage and range are on par with the PKM.
- The CR-56 AMAX, introduced in Season 4, marks the first instance of a Black Ops weapon crossing over into the world of Modern Warfare: the fan-favorite Galil, albeit in the modernized ACE form. And it brings all the power it has in those games with it. It's good enough to outclass even the mighty AK-47 and the AK-74u variation. Armed with damage and range on par with the AK, but even more controllable recoil, it is steadily becoming more and more of a popular choice in both Multiplayer and Warzone to challenge faster assault rifles like the M4 and the Grau.
- Imagine if the MP7 had even faster handling and its fire rate was jacked up almost to the point of the Wildfire Operator Mod for the Spitfire in Black Ops 4, with the ability to massively reduce its recoil. Such a weapon exists, and its name is the Fennec, better known as the KRISS Vector from Modern Warfare 2. This thing melts anyone unlucky enough to be in close quarters, even shotgun wielders. It too is becoming a popular choice in Warzone. Not as a primary, mind you, but as a secondary with Overkill, serving as a replacement for Akimbo Snake Shots and Burst Fire Renettis.
Call of Duty: World at War
- The Rifle Grenades in Call of Duty: World at War. They're pretty much accurate rocket launchers. If one uses them, they will be hated.
- The MP40 was laughably overpowered as well. Coupled with dual mags, and using the Stopping Power and Steady Aim perks virtually guarantees you'll slaughter the enemy.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
- Some of the more controversial game-breakers in the series are found in Call of Duty: Black Ops. The Famas and its expy, the AUG, are both hated and loved for their insane rate of fire (second only to the G11 within its bursts), powerful damage (second only to the Stoner 63 as far as full-auto DPS is concerned), and high accuracy. The AK-74u with the Rapid Fire attachment also gets a lot of approval and disapproval. Although it gets some extra recoil (countered by the also common Grip attachment), its rate of fire is increased to a rate that competes with the Famas and AUG, essentially making it a lighter but slightly weaker version of them. What makes the Famas, AUG, and AK-74u so controversial is the fact that they're unlocked rather early (14, 17, and 26), so higher level players generally don't have the upper hand just because they're at a higher level, which was considered to be one of the problems with the aforementioned Akimbo Model 1887s.
- A fun experiment is to go into a game lobby and to examine the statistics of all of the players there, and to count the number of people who the two guns they've been killed the most with are the Famas and AK-74u. Hint: It'll probably be much easier to count the people who haven't been killed most by those two guns. The AUG usually competes for the third spot with the Galil, which doesn't have quite as fast a rate of fire as it but competes with less recoil and a slightly higher mag capacity.
- Prior to Black Ops, nothing in the franchise had the tactical ability of the Motion Sensor. Acting as a mini-UAV, the Motion Sensor would give away the position of an enemy if they were close enough, making for easy kills. Combine a motion sensor with the AUG or Famas (or any other overpowered gun, for that matter), and you have a camper's dream machine. The only way to counter the Motion Sensor was if you equipped Hacker Pro, and even then there is no guarantee that the camper won't end up killing you (especially if they use a Famas or another overpowered gun).
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
- On the perks front, Black Ops II had Lightweight, a.k.a. "Crackhead Pro", where players moved so fast that they could dart around the corner and kill you before you even saw them. Because of the power of this perk, 3 perks became the go-to class: Lightweight (faster movement and no damage from falls), Toughness (flinch much less when shot) and Dexterity (faster movement over obstacles, recovery from melee, and aiming from a sprint). This combo was so powerful, it became virtually impossible to play well without them, and worst of all, like the game-breaking perks of MW2 they were all the default perks.
- On the weapons front, the Target Finder became this for many players. It highlighted anyone without Cold-Blooded with a targeting diamond, and was more used than the Thermal Scope because it allowed for an immense amount of peripheral vision, no filter making it difficult to discern the background, and quicker aiming time, especially with the new Quickdraw attachment. This was most used in tandem with the below two.
- The LMGs received a massive buff in this game. Not only were the majority of them incredibly accurate, but the ability to use 3 attachments at once allowed for the ever hated Grip/Target Finder/Suppressor LMG combination.
- The scorestreak system itself was a gamebreaker, as unlike in previous games, after you acquired your third streak it would wrap back around and let you get them all again. This meant that players on a decent streak could get amazing scores, while their opponents couldn't do anything but die repeatedly to drones, aircraft and remote guns. It was all too common to see players get 100+ kills in a game and have a VSAT, Dogs and a Swarm endlessly looping.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III
- Black Ops III's War Machine, if not already OP in multiplayer, is even more broken in Campaign. Unlocked at Level 15 (about 70% through the Campaign if you are playing on Hardened or above and ignoring the Combat Immersion training simulation), it comes as a secondary weapon, with 8 shots in the cylinder and 8 in reserve. Unlike the previous iteration of the War Machine in Black Ops 2, Black Ops 3's War Machine shoots a grenade which, upon hitting a surface, releases three small balls in a large spread that do a small hop and then cause a massive explosion. With the War Machine, all you have to do is find cover, shoot above the cover at varying angles, and in no time everyone on the other side of that cover is dead. What makes it broken, however is its semi-automatic fire rate, and doubled with the fact that it does 3x the damage if your target is in close range. Top it all off with the fact that most boss enemies (like the P.A.W.W.S) can be taken out in four shots, which roughly amounts to about 1.5 seconds. And to end it off, if you have the Copycat tac-rig equipped, have fun getting infinite ammo every 2 seconds.
- The BlackCell rocket launcher in multiplayer. It comes with four rockets, can lock onto targets (all Scorestreaks and the Safeguard robot) quickly, and due to its quick reload, is able to be spammed repeatedly at targets. Many players have found it frustrating that their high-tier Scorestreaks are destroyed as soon as they enter the battlefield especially if the BlackCell user is equipped with the Engineer perk, which lets them see enemy scorestreaks on the mini-map. The BlackCell is also capable of direct-impact killing enemy players caught between the launcher user and ground targets (ground-deployed Scorestreaks and the Safeguard robot). As a result, the launcher's reload speed was nerfed while scorestreak health was increased.
- The "Holy Trinity" of submachine guns in the game, aka the Kuda, VMP and Vesper. Each has their own quirks, but each absolutely dominates the field in their own special way, even against assault rifles. The Kuda is an all around submachine gun that is good at range and in close quarters, with good accuracy and damage. The VMP has a beefy 40 round magazine to start, a high fire rate and excellent damage, meaning it will win in most toe to toe engagements. The Vesper has a 30 round magazine like the Kuda, but has an obscene fire rate, making it unmatched in close quarters. Add in the Fast Mag or Extended Mag attachments, and its nigh unbeatable. It's not unusual to see games dominated by someone using one of these three guns, usually with a 2.00 or more kill/death ratio. As a result, all of the submachine guns were stealth nerfed in a patch with the Vesper getting the absolute worst of it. This video sums up the dire situation the submachine gun class is now facing.
- The P-06 burst sniper rifle has extremely high penetration power, making it a force to be reckoned with if FMJ is attached. On a more general note, snipers have ZERO penalty from suppressors in this game, in contrast to the range/damage penalty of other games, so you could get shot through a wall and not even know where the shooter came from!
- While the Specialist weapons in general are intentional game breakers in the right hands, some are far and away stronger than the others.
- The Reaper's Scythe, a minigun that folds out of his arm. Not only is it insanely accurate and extremely lethal, but this thing can utterly wreck scorestreaks. Even a poor player can easily get quad kills without much trouble when using it and a good player can wreck an entire team twice over. The only balancing factor is that it is the slowest charging special in the game.
- Firebreak's Purifier is so insanely overpowered that it's ridiculous. Unlike the Scythe where getting a kill requires a few seconds of aiming, a player using the Purifier only has to graze a player with the flame and it's an automatic kill. It's not unheard of Purifier users to set their sensitivity to insane levels, run into a room filled with enemies, spin around really fast and come out with 7 or 8 kills. Facing a Purifier user at mid-range or closer is absolute suicide, as most of the time the player cannot do enough damage in the time before the flame kills them. Oftentimes, even if you kill them first, the flames will graze you enough for them to pull a Taking You with Me.
- Battery's War Machine, as above, is your average Noob Tube taken Up to Eleven, being easy to aim, spam, and able to decimate entire rooms with its grenades, whether it's a direct impact or from a split grenade. Flak Jacket only protects against the latter.
- Ruin's Gravity Spikes comes out fast and has a deceptively large range. It's slightly mitigated by the fact that it can be interrupted by killing the player in midair, as well as the fact that many players telegraph when they're going to use it by boosting as high as they can before they land, in an effort to make themselves harder to hit but leaving them open to attack longer.
- Spectre's Ripper is basically Modern Warfare 2's Commando lunge all over again. It also has an insanely fast recharge timer.
- Prophet's Tempest. You will learn to fear its distinctive zapping sound. Anyone hit with its beam will be instantly killed before you can say "FUCK!" And if there are many players grouped together, that's bad news, since the beam can spread and chain targets.
- A later update added a 10th specialist to the game, Blackjack. When he gets a kill, he can obtain the specialist weapon of the person he killed, and swap between different ones. If that's not bad enough, it only takes 5 kills, which means you would have Purifiers dominating a whole entire team on the second round of a game of Search and Destroy. And if the person who is playing Blackjack is a very good player, he could get a Game-Breaking weapon every 45 seconds. Compare that to other Specialists, which can take up to a couple minutes minimum to acquire their abilities. He is balanced by only having 60 minutes of in-game time to play as him, and the fact that you can only unlock him by using "Blackjack Tokens", which are obtained by doing very difficult weekly challenges. Still, a whole team of Blackjacks can absolutely break the meta.
- Surely topping the list is the Power Core scorestreak. It will outright destroy all enemy scorestreaks as well as enemy placed equipment like mines, hive pods, etc. and preventing enemy players from using scorestreaks or specialist weapons/abilities (though you can keep using already-deployed ones.) It also lasts a crazy long time, is incredibly durable, and is immune to EMP grenades. Naturally, this means having a power core out makes working your way up to another power core ridiculously easy. If you don't have it, you're not beating the guy who does; it's that simple.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
- The Maddox RFB assault rifle is quickly shaping up to be one of the best weapons in the game. It is highly accurate and has an incredibly fast fire rate, meaning that it completely dominates anywhere from close to mid-range, even beating out sub machine guns. Its real power, however, comes in just how versatile an attachment pool it has. The Maddox has not one, not two, but THREE sets of attachments that have a "II" variation that can stack on top of the original to make it even stronger. The most prominent of these, however, is Quickdraw II. Quickdraw I lets you aim down your sights faster. Quickdraw II decreases that time even further and increases your field of view so you can spot more enemies and target them easier. Quickdraw II with the Gung-Ho perk allows you to aim down your sights instantaneously, meaning you will always be ready for any sort of engagement and have pinpoint accuracy all the time. It's also one of the few assault rifles to have the Stock attachment, which makes you move faster while aiming down your sights.
- The Paladin HB50 sniper rifle has proven itself to be one of the most powerful sniper rifles in COD history, rivaling the likes of the M40A3 and the Intervention/S-TAC Aggressor from Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2, respectively. At first, it seems like your standard issue bolt-action sniper rifle...until you level it up and unlock High Caliber II. High Caliber increases your headshot damage and applies it to the shoulders up. High Caliber II applies it to the legs up. One shot anywhere except the feet results in instant death for any unlucky player caught in the middle of the Paladin's scope. You can also stack the Stabilizer attachment, which reduces your idle sway while scoped. Now, you don't even have to hold your breath while firing. Simply point, click, and watch those heads roll.
- Gung-Ho was originally only somewhat useful in Black Ops 3. In this game, however, it not only reduces your sprint recovery time, but also allows you to aim down your sights significantly faster, essentially breaking the sprint out time. It's practically the only Tier 2 perk worth using in comparison to everything else in that category.
- The specialists make a return, and they've brought brand-new equipment with them that put anything else in COD history to shame.
- Ajax is equipped with the 9-Bang, a chargeable grenade that's a hellish fusion of the Concussion and Flashbang. At full charge, it flashes any enemies in its radius 9 times, blinding and stunning them for an absurdly long time, guaranteeing free kills. Not only will enemies be unable to see, but they also cannot shoot, heal, or use equipment until the blindness completely wears off. To make matters worse, his Specialist Weapon is a riot shield combined with a machine pistol. Not only can he fire while holding up his shield, he can also charge up a 9-Bang and throw it as well.
- Battery and her War Machine return, but this time she comes equipped with the Cluster Grenade, a Semtex that explodes into a bunch of smaller grenades that deal the same amount of damage.
- Prophet has the Seeker Mine, a small little drone he can toss out that searches for a target and automatically locks on to them. If it touches them, they get electrocuted and cannot move until it runs out of power, or until they pull out the taser cord if they have Tactical Mask equipped. He recharges this ability very fast, and also gains his new and improved Tempest very fast as well if he gets on a good kill streak. The Tempest no longer kills in one shot, but it is much more accurate now and stuns whatever it shoots at for far longer than the Seeker Mine. And the current still passes on to any nearby enemies.
- Zero can throw EMP Grenades with a comically large radius. This can completely disable or outright destroy certain hazards, like a Torque's Guardian or Nomad's Mesh Mines. However, her most infuriating aspect is her Specialist Weapon, the Ice Pick. It's the Black Hat from Black Ops 2, but on a much grander scale. Any sort of map hazard or specialist item currently in play immediately switches control to Zero's team. Any and all enemy Scorestreaks switch control to Zero's team. All enemy Specialists can no longer use their equipment or abilities until the effects of Zero's hacking finally wear off. The only way to make this go slightly faster is by having Tactical Mask equipped.
- With the release of the DLC weapons, the base game's weapons became more and more obsolete:
- The KAP 45 is the best pistol in the game, thanks to its gigantic 20 round mag (only the Garrison can get more than that) and its massive rate of fire. Not to mention with Grip, it has ZERO recoil.
- The Rampage full auto shotgun is this years Haymaker: low damage high ROF, it was originally billed as an ADS shotgun, until the meta discovered how good it was in conjunction with Gung-Ho.
- The Argus returns from BO3, and makes the MOG look like a pea shooter. Better one-shot potential, better mag size, mag reload, range and rate of fire. Basically, anything the MOG was good for, the Argus does better. Granted when ADSing you need to actually aim but still...
- The Daemon SMG is one of the most powerful guns in the game, even being a burst weapon, because it has no burst delay. It has an insane ROF, brilliant hipfire and clean ironsights.
- The Switchblade SMG does what most of the others do, only better. Better accuracy, larger mag, better ROF, the list goes on. Aside from outliers like the Spitfire for ROF and the Cordite for ammo, it is easily the best full auto SMG in the game.
- The SWAT AR is one of the best all rounders in the game, suitable for short range, long range and anything in between. Its effective range is such that you need a similarly OP weapon just to compete.
- The Peacekeeper is on par with the Maddox for Rate of Fire, and has a very strong TTK.
- The Tigershark LMG may have the lowest ammo pool of the LMGs, but it has amazing accuracy and mobility traits to make up for it. Think AR with LMG damage.
- The Stingray makes the Augur obsolete. Period. The base gun has a faster TTK, has better range and is a 2 shot burst which kills in 3 shots. Combined with great hipfire and it is already a monster. Then add in the Operator Mod, which moves this from OP to Godly, turning the shots into explosive rounds, which kill in 2 shots. Four nerfs later and it is still OP.
- The M16 returns to the series, still as strong as ever. Clearer irons than the ABR, better fire rate and damage, the only downside is the lack of Mod for it.
- The Vendetta sniper makes the SDM look like child's play; 3 shot kill, but with automatic 1 hit headshots. And it has the fire rate of classic DMR-class weapons like the FAL.
- The Locus returns from the prior game, and bests the Paladin in almost all categories. Repeat, the Paladin. You may weep now.
- Actually, no. The Havalina AA50 will make you weep. Semi Auto, fast fire rate and one shot potential to the nuts with High Cal 2... The only balancing thing is the manual reload of each 50. cal bullet, but a Speed Loader remedies that. A fully kitted AA50 will tear through teams faster than a knife through whipped cream.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
- Assault Rifles gained a massive buff over earlier series counterparts in Advanced Warfare due in part to the game's more mobile gameplay. Thus, having six guns with minimal recoil and consistent damage output makes them the go-to weapons in Mulitplayer.
- Snipers were broken for a whole other reason: due to the incredible amount of lag in the opening few weeks of the game's lifespan, two of the guns became so overused to the point entire lobbies of players were using them. The main contenders being the MORS and Atlas 20mm, the former for being a single shot with great handling, the latter for being a One-Hit Kill almost anywhere at the expense of no hipfire. Except the MORS had an insanely quick ADS time, and the Atlas could break its no-hipfire coding via quickscoping.
- Supply Drops give both cosmetic rewards and weapon variants. The latter is a major factor, as many of the strongest gun variants, which are the source of the above gamebreaking weapons, are classed in the Elite category. This turns the Supply Drops into a Luck-Based Mission to find one of these Elite guns to even stand a chance of competing.
- Prior to its nerf, the EM1 Laser Rifle was also this, thanks to its insane accuracy and rate of fire plus unlimited ammo. The only thing keeping it down is the overheating after firing for some time, but there's an upgrade for that. Adding salt to the wound is the weapon has a fast rate of fire based on the frames per second of the game (Meaning the weapon will fire faster or slower depending on your frame rate) and getting a buff in a patch. Thankfully, its fire rate was lowered.
Call of Duty: WWII
- WWII's first big game-breaker is the inclusion of Contracts, time-limited challenges with rewards. Originally, it only rewarded XP, but after the Winter Siege event the majority changed to Rare Supply Drops. The majority of the time, there is one contract that will reward you with a bribe, once per month, while the remainder reset each day. A savvy player can obtain multiple drops a day for easy challenges, adding up to maybe 30 drops a week for minimal effort.
- Originally, the BAR and FG42 were insanely overpowered compared to all other weapons for their sheer killing potential. Both had the fortune of being two-hit headshots with High Caliber, and with the right attachments could utterly destroy opponents out to any conceivable range; great hipfire, making close range a non issue; and mid range was a piece of cake. Both were utterly nerfed into a shadow of their former selves.