Best Warzone loadouts for the new meta game – how to dominate Call of Duty Battle Royale

By Sherif Saed
24 April 2020 10:17 GMT

Creating perfect loadouts has always been a core pursuit for Call of Duty players. The desire to min-max, however, has never been more important than it is today with Warzone battle royale. So here’s how we tune our best Warzone loadouts to take home the crown.

If you’re unfamiliar, all players in Warzone BR are able to call in their multiplayer loadouts for use during the match. They can also pick them up from one of the airdrops that come in throughout a match. The result is the same: you get three whole perks, as well as two decked out weapons.

Apart from being the only way to get three perks in Warzone, an optimal loadout also ensures you have the tools you need to be ready for the final circles, taking RNG out of the equation.

Best Warzone loadouts

Before we get to our recommendations, it’s worth keeping in mind that some of the weapons and attachments we’ve chosen may not be immediately available to all players. Although Warzone is free-to-play, those of us who have been playing Modern Warfare since launch have an advantage in the number of available options. There’s no getting around this fact, but hopefully you made enough progress thus far to mitigate some of it.

Beyond that, you may notice a running theme with our favourite loadouts: they usually have two primary weapons rather than a main weapon and a secondary. That is because sniping is very powerful in Warzone thanks to boosted headshot damage. A single shot to the head from either of the two bolt-action sniper rifles will down any player, regardless of how much armour they have.

The first section of this piece covers the go-to picks for everyday games, whereas the second part focuses on the more interesting, advanced loadouts that sprung up since launch. Click here to skip to new meta loadouts.

With all that said, let’s jump in!

Easy mode

The M4A1 assault rifle and the HDR sniper rifle are both early unlocks in your career progression. They also happen to make a killer combo in Warzone. The M4 is perhaps the most versatile weapon in Warzone (and Modern Warfare). It excels at close range with decent damage, and its low recoil makes it a breeze to control in long-range engagements.

For this loadout, we’ll be setting up the M4 for long-range effectiveness without neglecting close-range performance. Go with this:

  • Integral Hybrid scope.
  • Stock M16 Grenadier barrel.
  • Monolithic Suppressor.
  • 50-round Mag.
  • Stippled Grip Tape rear grip.

This setup offers plenty of ammo while ensuring low enough ADS speeds, and the hybrid scope allows you to quickly switch between close and longer-range threats as they appear. Most of these attachments are fairly early unlocks, too.

Now for the HDR sniper rifle. First, we’ll need the Overkill perk (column two) equipped so that we could bring two primary weapons. By default, a stock HDR is already an excellent long-range weapon. You’re likely not going to have too many attachments unlocked for it from the off, so feel free to use it as is. When you level it up a bit, we recommend this setup:

  • Thermal Sniper scope.
  • 26.9” HDR Pro barrel.
  • Lightweight Suppressor.
  • Presence of Mind perk.
  • FTAC Stalker Scout stock.

Presence of Mind lets you hold your breath for much longer, which will help you land those one-shot headshots. The Thermal scope is essential for quickly scanning for targets, but you can switch it for a regular sniper scope if you don’t like the thermal image.

It’s also worth noting that players using the Cold-Blooded perk won’t show up on Thermal scopes. In either case, your scope glint will be visible to enemies (this is true for all sights above 4x), so best not linger too long while you’re scoping. If you must get rid of the scope glint, you can go with the Scout Combat or VLK scopes, but those obviously offer much lower zoom.

For perks, we’ll go with Cold-Blooded to avoid showing up on Thermal scopes, Overkill is a must as we mentioned above, and Amped in column three to increase weapon swap speed between both our primaries. Lethal and tactical grenades can be anything you like.

There’s one other way you could further tweak this loadout, assuming you’re confident in your sniping skills. The M4 setup we noted above is meant for mid to long-range, but you can go with the setup below to create a close-range laser beam:

  • 1mW Laser.
  • FSS 11.5” Commando barrel.
  • Lightweight Suppressor.
  • Sleight of Hand perk.
  • 50-round Mag.

You won’t need a scope for this one, since it’s only meant for close-range combat. The iron sights on the M4 are very clear, regardless.

Budget domination

The AUG SMG is one of the most consistent and stable weapons in Warzone. It sits in a nice middle ground between close-range dominance and mid-range recoil control. We’re talking about the 5.56 Nato conversion here, of course, which essentially turns the AUG into an assault rifle. For this, we’ll be setting up the AUG for maximum ammo and effectiveness in close to medium-range.

Go with this:

  • Forge Tac CQB Comb stock.
  • 407mm Extended Barrel.
  • Tactical Suppressor.
  • Stippled Grip Tape.
  • 5.56 NATO 60-round Drums.

This setup maintains the AUG’s SMG advantage and inches it closer to assault rifle damage and range territory. As an added bonus, the AUG will continue to use SMG ammo in Warzone despite the 5.56 conversion.

For this class, our secondary will be doing most of the heavy-lifting at range. We’re once again going with the Overkill perk. This time, we picked the Dragunov marksman rifle, a powerful, easy-to-use DMR that can down players in three-four shots. Here’s the setup we recommend:

  • FTAC Hunter-Scout stock.
  • Thermal Sniper scope.
  • Monolithic Suppressor.
  • 15-round Mags.
  • Fully Loaded perk.

Fully Loaded can be switched for an under-barrel attachment if you prefer, but we like it because it ensures the Dragunov spawns with maximum ammo when you pick up that loadout. Marksman rifles don’t typically have a lot of reserve ammo, which is where Fully Loaded can really help.

Our perk setup from the previous class stands, so Cold-Blooded, Overkill, and Amped are the go-to. Once again, feel free to pick the lethals and tacticals you’re comfortable with.

The cheese

This next class setup is admittedly a bit corny, but nothing is too cheap if it’s part of the game. You may scoff at it, but you can bet someone out there will make use of it.

In Warzone, riot shields are exactly as annoying as they are in multiplayer. A shield will always block damage from all areas it covers, which is most of a player’s back where it’s stowed. You can equip it if you’re pushing a dangerous area to prevent damage from the front. You can even do this while crouched. While this slows you down, it makes you essentially untouchable from the front, and will force opponents to scramble in the middle of a firefight.

Shields do not break, no matter how many rounds get fired at it. An effective way to kill a shield user is to use C4 or a Semtex (sticky grenade), but explosives are rare in Warzone so this may not always be an option. You can also try setting the area around them on fire using a Molotov or a Thermite, or find a way to deal some AoE damage using a rocket launcher – so long as it’s not a direct hit to the shield.

Shields are also helpful when squad mates all stack up behind the carrier when pushing buildings, so they could come in handy when storming a camping spot. Even in long-range engagements, looking through the window of a shield lets you survey the area without worrying about snipers.

We’re going to rely on the services of the AUG here again using the same loadout we recommended above:

  • Forge Tac CQB Comb stock.
  • 407mm Extended Barrel.
  • Tactical Suppressor.
  • Stippled Grip Tape.
  • 5.56 NATO 60-round Drums.

For this class, we’ll also tune our perks, lethal and tactical for maximum bullshittery. We’ll run with the Double Time perk, since you’ll be doing a lot of running as a shield user to re-position and avoid getting flanked, the Overkill perk, and Amped to speed up swapping speed between the shield and your primary.

For lethals, we’ll go with a Throwing Knife, because they’re fast to throw and can down a player pushing you in a pinch, as well as a Heartbeat Sensor in the tactical slot. Cold-Blooded players won’t show up on it, but it’s incredibly useful when knowing where campers are and combos nicely with the shield when fighting indoors.

The reliable

The Grau 5.56 is one of the Season 2 Battle Pass reward weapons. It’s unlocked fairly early at tier 15, regardless of whether or not you own the pass. The Grau is essentially a more accurate M4 that’s better at range, but sacrifices close-range effectiveness a bit.

We’ll set this up for mostly mid-range engagements. Our attachments mainly help with recoil and sway, but this setup can also be used for close range with the hit of a button. Just be mindful that ADS speeds won’t be the best here. Go with this:

  • Integral Hybrid optic.
  • FSS 26.4” Archangel barrel.
  • Tactical Suppressor.
  • Commando Foregrip.
  • Cronen Sniper Elite rear grip.

Using this, you’ll be surprised how consistently accurate you are at range while remaining decent whenever you get pushed. We’re not picking Overkill this time, so you’re free to equip any secondary here. We recommend the M19. It’s a fast-firing, accurate pistol. If you go with the M19, pick these attachments:

  • Cronen LP945 Mini Reflect sight.
  • 1mW Laser.
  • XRK L Super barrel.
  • Monolithic Suppressor.
  • Lightweight Trigger action.

For perks, it’s once again another one for Cold-Blooded, and we’re going with Ghost in column two – to stay off UAV scans – and Amped for perk three. You may be wondering why we picked Amped if we’re not using a heavy secondary, and that’s because the idea is to drop your sidearm ASAP for another, more powerful weapon.

That choice is ultimately up to you. You could go for a world spawn P90 or MP7 for maximum close-range effectiveness, or pick a dead player’s sniper or marksman rifle. Either way, Amped is the way to go.

The best of both worlds

The FAL is one of those weapons people tend to sleep on. In the right hands, it can slay in mid-range and double as a budget DMR long-range. With this loadout, we’ll try to get the best of both worlds. Set it up like this:

  • VLK 3.0x optic.
  • XRK Marksman barrel.
  • Monolithic Suppressor.
  • Marc Foregrip.
  • 24-round Mag.

The VLK has a slight ADS penalty, and it splits the difference between strictly close-range sights and the more high-powered scopes. You can go with a hybrid, if you like, but the VLK works just fine. We added in a Merc Foregrip to help with the recoil, because you’ll need to be accurate to hit follow-up shots. This is admittedly a higher-skill weapon compared to the M4, but spending the time to master it is worth it.

For the secondary, we’ll go with a shotgun of your choice. We recommend the R9-0 because of its fast fire rate and double-barrel design. It’s devastating in close range, but not really anywhere else. Pull it out when you absolutely need it.

Once again, we’re using Cold-Blooded, Overkill, and Amped for perks. This particular loadout just demands a Heartbeat Sensor, especially since your shotgun will make it easy to clear those buildings. But to do that well, you first need to know where they’re camping, which the Heartbeat Sensor will help with.

The sensor is a not a fool-proof system, so just because nobody shows up on it, doesn’t mean you’re on your own. Listen for footsteps and try to predict where they’ll be. When it comes down to it, no automatic weapon will be able to beat your shotgun in CQC. You can pick any lethal for this class, but you can’t go wrong with a well-cooked grenade.

Call of Duty: Warzone has been out for a little over a month now. Five weeks may not seem like a long time, but it’s more than enough for the metagame to shift and evolve.

The initial set of recommended Warzone loadouts at the top of the page are as valid today as they were when we wrote them. None of the weapons or equipment were nerfed, for instance. That said, we’ve since spent much longer playing Warzone BR and it gave us an appreciation for these alternate, equally valid options.

In the loadouts below, we’re going to go with a few unusual setups that take advantage of certain perks, as well as some designed to set you up pretty well for specific situations. If you’ve been playing Warzone BR for a while, too, and would like to experiment a little or explore angles not covered by your M4 or Grau loadouts, the sections below are for you.

More Warzone loadouts for the new meta

RPG spam

As much as it pains me to admit, the RPG is a very effective weapon in Warzone. Even setting aside how it compares to other launchers, the RPG deals great splash damage that makes it ideal in clearing buildings, or just softening up groups of enemies before a push.

It’s also fantastic at taking out vehicles – a menace in Warzone. I would even argue that it’s more useful than a sniper rifle in most situations, since you don’t need to be accurate with it.

Sure, you won’t be able to challenge hill campers at extreme ranges, but you’re better off finding cover at that point. For all other situations, a couple of those rockets will fluster your enemies and force them to move, potentially giving up a power position.

The RPG is the essential pick for this loadout, and the choice of a primary is ultimately up to you. We recommend something that works well in medium range, since you can always blast targets that get close with a few rockets before switching to your primary.

We’re going with the trusty Grau 5.56 because it continues to be very powerful in Warzone, slightly edging out the M4A1 at range. Pick these attachments:

  • Integral Hybrid optic.
  • FSS 26.4” Archangel barrel.
  • Tactical Suppressor.
  • 50-round mag.
  • Commando Foregrip.

We’re not taking the standard Cold-Blooded route here because let’s face it, someone spamming rockets won’t have to worry about their heat signature.

Instead, we’ll pick EOD for Perk 1 to reduce the damage of explosives fired at us (and our own), Ghost for Perk 2, and Amped in the third slot to speed up the RPG reload and swap speeds. For our lethal, we’ll pick the C4 for even more explosive damage, and the indispensable Heartbeat Sensor as a Tactical.

If you feel a little more adventurous, you can switch up the RPG for a PILA. It has slower ADS and reload speeds compared to the RPG, but it can lock onto vehicles. It’s better at taking them out as a result, especially helicopters. The PILA can also fire without the need of a lock-on, so you can use it as an RPG in close range, just know that you won’t be able to spam it quite the same way.

Fully Loaded

This loadout is specifically designed for those times when you come out of the Gulag late into the game and immediately hit a Loadout Drop. As you probably know by now, loadout weapons only spawn with enough ammo for one magazine. You’ve no doubt been in situations where you thought you’re ready for a fight, only to run out of ammo midway through and sour your Gulag win.

Fully Loaded is the weapon perk this whole loadout relies on. It ensures the gun it’s attached to spawns with all of its maximum possible ammo. It’s just like picking a loadout, and immediately hitting an ammo box.

We recommend permanently dedicating a custom slot to a Fully Loaded loadout. It’s going to save your butt in those late-game re-spawns. The choice of primary and secondary here should ultimately be up to you, but we have some recommendations regardless.

The Grau 5.56 is our pick once again. Our usual setup is the one we’ll be using again here, with one exception: replacing the 50-round mag with Fully Loaded.

  • Integral Hybrid optic.
  • FSS 26.4” Archangel barrel.
  • Tactical Suppressor.
  • Commando Foregrip.
  • Fully Loaded perk.

If you have the burst Renetti unlocked, you can use that as a secondary (more on that below). If not, the M19 remains a top sidearm.

  • 1mW Laser.
  • XRK L Super barrel.
  • Monolithic Suppressor.
  • Lightweight Trigger.
  • Fully Loaded perk.

We’ll go with EOD in Perk 1. Though it may be tempting to go with Overkill in Perk 2, we’ll instead pick Ghost to stay off the UAV scans. You can always pick up a good secondary along the way, particularly since you’ll be able to challenge and take out other players immediately after picking your loadout. This is also the reason we’re going to keep Amped in Perk 3.

How to get Akimbo pistols in Warzone

Akimbo Snake Shot

There was a time when having two primary weapons was considered essential in Warzone. This remains true, but discovering the power of Akimbo pistols has greatly reduced the need for a solid primary in the second slot.

Before we get on, keep in mind that Akimbo is a weapon perk that requires completing certain challenges before it’s unlocked. It’s a bit of a grind, but it’s worth it. Now, onto the setups.

There are two sidearms in particular that make for ideal Akimbo candidates. Both are pistols that deal massive damage in close range, more than any of the other Akimbo options.

We’ll start off with the Akimbo Snake Shot .357. The Snake Shot is an ammo conversion for the .357 that turns it into a mini-shotgun. Having two small shotguns at your disposal that can be spammed in close-range will make you forget about the MP7 and all the other fast-firing SMGs.

Assuming you have both the Akimbo perk and the Snake Shot unlocked, go with this setup:

  • Akimbo perk.
  • Snake Shot ammo.
  • Lightweight Trigger.
  • 1mW Laser.
  • Silverfield Ordnance barrel.

These selections ensure maximum hip fire accuracy without slowing down your movement speed, or cutting down on range too much. It’s a good balance. You can also aim down sights, of course, such as when climbing ladders, but the Akimbo Snake Shot is best fired from the hip.

Akimbo burst Renetti

There’a also a similar setup you can create with the recently added Renetti pistol. It’s unlocked at level 16 of the Season 3 Battle Pass, completely free. The Renetti has a burst-fire mod that makes it borderline broken when paired with the Akimbo perk. This is what we’ll be going with:

  • Akimbo perk.
  • Mk3 Burst Mod barrel.
  • Lightweight Trigger.
  • 21-round Mags.
  • 1mW laser.

Just like the Snake Shot, the Akimbo burst Renetti is designed for close-range dominance, most effective when hip-fired.

You’re free to pick any primary you like, since the sidearm is the focus of the Akimbo classes. That said, we have a great idea for a primary here. Seeing as our Akimbo will decimate anything that gets close, we’re going with a sniper rifle for medium and long range. We’ll set up our sniper a little differently, though.

The AX-50 is our pick because of its faster ADS speed and fire rate compared to the HDR. Keep in mind, this setup is not meant to challenge snipers with extreme magnifying optics, it’s designed to be used sort of like an AR. We suggest this setup:

  • Cronen C480 Pro optic.
  • 17.0” Factory barrel.
  • Lightweight Suppressor.
  • 9-round Mags.
  • Stippled Grip Tape.

Given the close-quarters nature of Akimbo classes, our Perk setup will maximise survivability in those areas, and boost our ability to track targets that try to flee.

EOD is our first choice, to sustain more explosive damage – plenty of which will be coming your way the closer you try to get to your targets. Ghost keeps us off the minimap, so it stays. For Perk 3, we’ll pick Tracker to see enemy footprints. Tracker pairs really well with Akimbo pistols because it lets you get all up in their grill and leaves little room for them to retreat and re-armour.

Finally, C4 stays as our Lethal, and Heartbeat Sensor is a good choice for a Tactical. You may also want to switch the sensor up for a stun, which helps when you’re pushing campers with Akimbo but is obviously more situational.


We decided to end with this one because it’s not the most competitive loadout out there. Though it is effective, it requires a certain play style you may not always want to follow. Pick this when you’re in the mood for goofing around, because boy is it a good time.

Although the JOKR is our launcher secondary, we’re going to treat it as a primary. The JOKR is essentially the Javelin you may be familiar with from other games. However, unlike most games, you can lock on to pretty much anything – it doesn’t have to be a player or a vehicle. This makes it indispensable in dealing with rooftop campers, like the ones who frequent downtown buildings. It’s also great for ruining the day of players who love to drive in circles around one another in Solos.

You can essentially treat JOKR rockets like mini Cluster Strikes. Lock on to the bottom floor of a building, and the rocket will land at the top, taking out enemies on that rooftop – a hard counter to Stadium campers. Lock onto a vehicle, and the splash damage will be enough to also destroy any vehicles or players close by.

The only downside to the JOKR is that the rocket travel speed is noticeably slow, so you’ll have to anticipate enemy movement rather than react like you could with an RPG. But when it hits, your enemies will be taken out without warning. You can even use its alternate thermal view to find targets if you can’t see anyone to hit.

Ideally, the JOKR should be doing all the work, but we have an idea for a good pairing in the assault rifle department. You know, for when you actually decide to stop the funny business and start dumping.

The M13 is an easy-to-use laser with a great rate of fire that makes it a solid choice for close to medium range. This setup brings out its best qualities:

  • VLK 3.0x optic.
  • Tempus Marksman barrel.
  • Stippled Grip Tape.
  • 60-round Mags.
  • Command Foregrip.

For perks, we’ll go with EOD, Ghost and Amped. C4 and Heartbeat Sensor also stay as Lethal/Tactical.

Bonus tip

A final, incredibly useful thing to know is that you should always have more than a single loadout saved in your custom classes. Just like the Fully Loaded loadout, you should always have at least one loadout with Ghost.

Assuming you have the cash/time to pick up two loadouts, call in your Overkill loadout first, then call in/pick up another with Ghost. Once you get the new, Ghost-equipped loadout, go back and manually pick up the weapons you just dropped from the Overkill loadout.

That way, you get the best of both worlds: a stealthy class with Ghost, and the added benefit of having two primary weapons. In multiplayer, this would be impossible, but not in Warzone.

For more helpful tips like that, we have a list full of them for Warzone.

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