Warzone 2.0 Meta | The Best Guns In Season 1

For those who are hopping into Warzone 2 without Modern Warfare 2, we've provided an overview of the most important weapons to level up first. This is the Warzone 2 Season 1 meta.

This article is intended for Warzone-only players who have not been spending the last month grinding MW2. There are 51 weapons in MW2, and by extension Warzone 2, and because of how the new gunsmith works you basically need to level everything. But you simply won't have time for that if you don't own Modern Warfare 2. So you guys need to know what the best weapons are, and then you can at least get some viable loadouts built.

We're going to provide you with a full attachment setup guide for four weapons:

  • The best sniper for Warzone 2: Victus XMR
  • The best sniper support weapon for Warzone 2: M4
  • The best long-range AR for Warzone 2: Lachmann 556
  • The best SMG for Warzone 2: Fennec 45

In terms of equipment and perks, we think the best choice for both the sniper/sniper-support loadout and the long-range AR/SMG loadout will look the same: Stims, Semtex/Drill Charge, and the Specter Perk Package. Right, let's get to those weapon setups!

If you're a Warzone-only player that's starting to think buying a copy of MW2 might be worth it for the easier grind, we don't blame you, here's a link to buy MW2.

Warzone 2 Season 1 Meta | Best Sniper: Victus XMR

As you can see in our ranking of snipers in MW2, we thought the MCPR would slap in Warzone. Why? Well, thanks to testing done by TheTacticalBrit who experimented with using snipers against players with 250 health (the amount we expected pre-launch in WZ2).

The MCPR was the only sniper that could reliably one-shot-down targets at any range with a headshot in pre-launch testing. And as has been the case for over a year now, you need a sniper with long enough range to guarantee one-shot-down's, otherwise they're pointless, so the MCPR-300 seemed to be the obvious choice.

However, once Warzone 2 launched it became clear that the devs had deliberately robbed all snipers of the ability to one-shot down... but a very specific sniper rifle build is still able to: the Victus XMR with high explosive ammo. So, sorry for leading you guys a stray in our meta-prediction article, but the MCPR is actually a worthless piece of junk. You want to level the Victus XMR instead.

Here's the attachment setup we think is optimal:

Victus XMR setup
I love the FTAC Locus, but feel free to go with another optic of your choice. | © Activision


Unlock Requirements
Attachment Tuning
Barrel Mack 8 33.5Victus XMR to Level 3Aim Walking Speed (-0.03 lb) / Damage Range (+0.40 in)


VLK LZR 7MW STB 556 to Level 5Default


EBR-14 to Level 5

Aim Down Sight (-1.50 oz) / Far (-0.45 in)


XRK Rise

Victus XMR to Level 19Aim Down Sight (-4.00 oz) / Aiming Idle Stability (+2.40 in)
Ammunition.50 Cal ExplosiveSignal 50 to Level 23

Damage Range (+0.70 g) / Bullet Velocity (+9.00 gr)

With sniper rifles, we can always follow some basic rules when we're choosing attachments. We want to maximize bullet velocity, damage range and aim down sight speed, while sacrificing recoil control. The only exception in this build is that we're also taking high explosive ammunition, but we have to if we want to deal enough damage to one-shot down people.

For optics, we're loving the FTAC Locus SP, but there are literally hundreds of great options in Modern Warfare 2. You should choose whatever feels most comfortable to you, but we highly recommend an optic with variable zoom strength. This particular scope allows for variable zoom between 7x and 13x magnification strength. But why have we tuned it to be "further away", and what does that even mean?

Warzone 2 Season 1 Meta Optics
You can see above how the tuning impacts the sight picture; on the left with maximum "close" tuning, and on the right with maximum "far" tuning. | © Activision

With Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 we can tune attachments to get even more of a certain bonus from them. Of course, more of one thing means less of something else, but with snipers the right tradeoffs are obvious (you want better velocity and ADS, but recoil can be sacrificed etc.). However, one that's been confusing people is the tuning of optics, which can be made either "close" or "far".

When an optic is "close" it will literally appear bigger on your screen. Now this makes targets bigger, so it may be what you want, but it does also make the idle weapon sway seem more dramatic. Therefore, it's kind of your choice for optics: bigger targets but more visual recoil and sway, or less sway but smaller targets. Experiment with both in the Firing Range, but we preferred it slightly further away.

Warzone 2 Season 1 Meta | Best Sniper-Support: M4

In standard multiplayer the M4 is so strong that the pros are considering GA'ing the weapon before the 2023 CDL Season starts, but in Warzone then recoil is just too poor to use effectively at range. However, for a sniper-support role the M4 is pretty perfect as it's so good for the short to mid-range engagements.

The Kastov 762 is another very good assault rifle for this role, but as it's a later level unlock, we think the M4 is a more useful suggestion to most readers.

M4 Sniper Support
The M4 is the meta in MW2 multiplayer, and we think it will be popular in Warzone 2 as well, but built as a sniper-support. | © Activision
SlotAttachment How To UnlockTuning
MuzzleHarbinger D20STB 556 to Level 18Recoil Smoothness Max (+1.40 oz) / Bullet Velocity Max (-1.00 in)


Cronen Mini ProExpedite 12 to Level 7

Your own discretion between close and far.

StockDemo Precision Elite FactoryM4 to Level 18 → 556 Icarus to Level 8Aim Down Sight Speed Max (-4.00 oz) / Aim Walking Speed Max (-2.40 in)
Rear GripPhantom GripM4 to Level 13 → FTAC Recon to Level 16 → FSS Hurricane to Level 12Recoil Steadiness Max (+1.00 oz) / Sprint To Fire Speed Max (-0.45in)
Magazine45 Round MagM4 to Level 5Default

Here's the M4's recoil pattern:

As you can see, the M4 is just not stable enough to be a ranged option, but within 30 meters its super strong. What we've done with attachments is bought ourselves a little bit more range, while mainly focusing on our mobility and handling speeds. And while there is a 60-round mag available, we don't want our sniper-support to ever get too slow and sluggish, so we've gone with the 45-rounder.

Warzone 2 Season 1 Meta | Best Long-Range AR: Lachmann 556

We've got a similar situation to the one we had with the MCPR-300 here. In MW2 the Lachmann 556 is fairly poor compared to other ARs, but it has specific traits that make it work well in Warzone 2.

A lot of the best testing on this weapon has been done by XclusiveAce, who reviewed the weapon as part of his Gun Guide series and discovered that it has the best damage at range and the lowest recoil. When we're talking about Warzone, range and recoil control are so much more important than they are in normal multiplayer, and so the Lachmann 556 actually comes out as the best AR in this environment.

Lachmann 556
The Lachmann is nothing special in multiplayer, but it's the only AR with good enough recoil control and range for Warzone 2. | © Activision
SlotAttachment How To UnlockTuning
MuzzleHarbinger D20STB 556 to Level 18Recoil Smoothness Max (+1.40 oz) / Bullet Velocity Max (+1.00 in)
Barrel15.9" Lachmann RAPPLachmann-762 to Level 3

Recoil Steadiness Max (+0.50 lb) / Damage Range Max (+0.38 in)

OpticSchlager 4xLachmann 762 to Level 15 → Lachman .556 to Level 12 → Lachmann Sub to Level 15 → RAPP H to Level 11Your own discretion between close and far, with Aim Down Sight Max (-3.00 oz)
StockLM-S Factory G79Lachmann-762 to Level 10Aim Down Sight Max (-4.00 oz) / Aiming Idle Stability Max (+2.35 in)
Magazine60 RoundM4 to Level 17Default

This is the recoil pattern for this thing at range:

The Lachmann 556 recoils straight upwards and then seems to stop moving altogether, and we found we were getting the same results in Ground War as well. This makes it by far one of the easiest ARs to control at range, and we've chosen attachments that try and boost that recoil control. However, don't expect anything like the kind of no-recoil / laser weapons we got during Vanguard.

Warzone 2 Season 1 Meta | Best SMG: Fennec 45

We're unsure how useful an SMG will be in Warzone 2 until a resurgence mode has been released, but if you're going to take one then it should be the Fennec 45. For the short range meta it's TrueGameData that seems to have done the most comprehensive testing, and as he makes clear, the Fennec is the standout winner.

The Fennec has an amazing rate of fire, solid handling stats and great damage. The only annoying thing is that you can't have even bigger mags, but the 45-rounder should be good enough for most situations.

Fennec 45 SMG
The Fennec has such a high rate fo fire that we can see most players loving it for Warzone 2. | © Activision
SlotAttachment How To UnlockTuning
BarrelFennec Covert ForceFennec 45 to Level 20Aim Walking Speed Max (-0.5 lb) / Damage Range Max (+0.40in)
LaserEXF SolarflareKastov 762 to Level 6


StockAgile Assault-7Get the VEL 46 to Level 2Aim Down Sight Max (-4.00 oz) / Aim Walking Speed Max (-2.40 in)
Rear GripFennec Rubber GripFennec 45 to Level 21Aim Down Sight Max (-1.00 oz) / Sprint To Fire Speed Max (-0.45 in)
MagazineFennec Mag 45Fennec 45 to Level 15Default

We're quite happy we could put this weapon together by only levelling two weapons.

And here is the recoil pattern:

The Fennec already has decent range, and good enough recoil control that we don't need to focus on it at all when adding attachments. Instead, we tried to improve the aim walking speed so that we could make the weapon more effective for strafing. You'll also notice we avoided an optic, because we don't mind the ironsight, but if you want to add a red dot then we recommend dropping the laser for it.

And there you have it folks, the Season 1 meta for Warzone 2. We keep this article live and update it regularly, so stay tuned.

What weapons will you be levelling first, and are we sleeping on anything? Maybe the RPK or one of the other LMGs?

But besides weapons, here's what else we have to enjoy in Season 1:

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