We’ve got the best loadouts for short, mid and long range players; which weapons, perks, attachments and exo abilities do you need?
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare multiplayer guide – best loadout
The secret to improving your combat effectiveness in any shooter is picking the right tools for the job. There’s no sense in running with a shotgun if you feel more comfortable with a long range weapon, just like snipers wouldn’t equip something that boosts their point blank damage.
In Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, developer Sledgehammer Games has opted for an expanded version of Treyarch’s Pick Ten class format that offers players 13 points to spend on gear. How you move and attack in the game should ultimately inform how you use that allowance, and this is what we’ll be covering in today’s guide.
If you need advice on Advanced Warfare’s exo abilities, check out our detailed guide here.
For shotgun, SMG and short-range players
The key to being an effective shotgun or SMG handler is speed as these are historically lighter weapons than assault guns, sniper rifles and LMGs. That boost will enable players to get the drop on opponents by sprinting around routes looking for kills, rather than hanging back and picking out targets at distance.
Because these are close quarter weapons, you will fare better with stealth or speed perks equipped, as these will allow you to gain ground on enemies with less chance of detection. On the Perk 1 slot you could opt for Lightweight to speed up your movement, or Low Profile to render yourself invisible to UAVs, Tracking Rounds and the Exo Ping radar skill.
Bear in mind that you can spend an additional Pick 13 point to use the Greed Wildcards, which let you use two skills from the same Perk tier simultaneously. Using both Lightweight and Low Profile at the same time will make you a concealed killing machine. The Perk 2 slot is a matter of opinion however, as it’s full of shotgun-friendly options.
Peripherals expands your radar field, which can be great for plotting your routes wisely and to avoid running into any red dots, while Cold-Blooded renders you invisible to thermal and Target Enhancer scopes, Threat Grenades and removes your name from above your head. This is a great way of confusing troops as you charge towards them, as it may take them a moment to recognise you as foe, not friend. Avatars also won’t shout out when they see you. You can also use the Exo Overclock ability to gain a temporary speed boost or Mute Device to silence your footsteps.
Finally, Blast Suppressor ensures that whenever you use an Exo suit skill, it won’t cause you to flash up on the mini-map. A few of these Perks are transferable to other play styles and a few will get mentioned later on in this guide, but for shotgun and SMG fans, they are ideal. Fans of the latter might want to throw in Scavenger to help them restock their high rate of fire weapons to avoid clips running dry.
In attachments, you should consider Advanced Rifling to increase your shotgun’s range, while Extended Mags is great for SMGs, particularly those with a high rate of fire. Foregrips are also advisable for often shaky, unwieldy sub machine guns, along with Laser Sight for improved hip accuracy when going toe-to-toe with a rival.
For assault rifle, LMG and mid-to-long range players
Assault Rifles are interesting as they can prove effective at all ranges, with the stable, three-round burst ARX-160 working particularly well over distance. The four-round burst IMR – on the other hand, has more of a violent kick. Damage carries further at long range when using an LMG, but what they boast in stopping power, they lose in slow ADS and encumbering players with slowed movement.
Stealth is an important factor in Advanced Warfare, seeing as your Exo suit skills give away your position, and there are more ways to be seen thanks to the game’s increased emphasis on elevation and manoeuvrability. Silencers are always a great option for assault rifles, but they will stunt your damage over distance, but when combined with Perks like Low Profile, Cold-Blooded and Blast Suppressor, you increase your chances of getting the drop on opponents.
Those running either assault rifles or LMGs at short-to-mid range should consider improving their ADS time using a Quickdraw Grip, which is unlocked by scoring a number of headshots with your chosen weapon. As a rule of thumb, you should always raise your aim when going around any corner, but this device will make sure you get your sights up faster to respond to unexpected threats.
But if you find yourself toe-to-toe with another player, there’s absolutely no point in going ADS, because they’ll kill you before you get a chance to aim. Instead, just hipfire and nine times out of ten you’ll emerge the victor. You can improve your chances using the Laser Sight attachment, which improves your hip spread. This is a must-have for LMGs, as they take ages to aim.
Foregrips also work well on erratic LMGs, which turns them into the faster cousin of sniper rifles, while rapid fire on either weapon class will enable you to tear through threats with ease at the cost of stability. There are also a range of scopes to choose from, which enhance ADS by a variety of zoom factors. Experiment on the firing range to determine which scope – or even just iron sights, works best for you.
For sniper rifle and long-range players
Sniper rifles are tricky to learn if you haven’t had much experience with them in shooters, but with all classes there are some preferred add-ons and abilities that can help make your life easier. Concealment is key here, and what better way to remain hidden when lining up that sweet kill than the Exo Cloak ability, which renders you transparent for a short while? Use is sparingly however, and remember the cloak drops each time you fire.
Threat grenades are new to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and can be useful in revealing enemies through walls – painting them a vivid red on your screen so you can track their movements. The Low Profile and Blast Suppressor perks will keep you hidden, while Fast Hands is ideal for switching to your secondary when forced into close combat. Consider running the Overkill Wildcard to allow yourself a second primary weapon.
The guns themselves must be carefully considered. Choose the MORS bolt-action railgun, and you will likely own any target from any range with a chest shot or higher. Hit below the chest and you’ll merely wing them. Chances are by the time you’ve prepared your next shot your victim will already have fled and recuperated. Accuracy is crucial when using bolt-action weapons.
If you’re unsure of your abilities, a semi-automatic sniper rifle like the Lynx or NA-45 will allow you the chance to crack off a quick follow-up shot to finish the job.
Whichever sniper rifle you choose, scoping is a vital component in your success. Like assault rifles and LMGs before them, these rifles offer a variety of zoom lenses that you should try out on the range before taking them into a fight. Thermal is a great choice on low visibility maps where there is rain or darkness, while variable scopes give you better control of your zoom.
Everyone has their own preferred loadout in shooters, but these are some tried and tested rules that have endured throughout the Call of Duty series and into Advanced Warfare. Let us know below if you have your own preference.