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Best warzone loadouts: what are the best mid-season meta loadouts?

It's a new day on the island of Caldera, and for Warzone players all over the world. Start it off right with a shiny new meta loadout.

Warzone Pacific has received its first mid-season update, adding some spice to a meta we’ve all grown accustomed to, while addressing some of the game’s more busted weapons and attachment combos.

For those who have been playing Warzone consistently over the past few months, much of what you'll have experienced in the past will stay the same! The only major differences come in the form of buffs to weapon classes that weren’t performing so great.

We’ve seen a great levelling of the playing field when it comes to automatic weapons this update, with many of the assault rifles receiving recoil buffs as the Bren comes tumbling down off its perch.

That being said, for a few exceptional cases the nerf hammer has come down hard. Weapons that had previously caused some serious issues on Caldera - with the Bren LMG and the Akimbo Sawn-off shotguns standing out as the largest casualties of that.

As such, it’s important to stop and check to see if the weapons you were using before are still the best options available to you in the current iteration of Warzone. Who knows? Maybe a gun you hadn’t been giving enough love to has joined the pantheon of meta guns, and is worth dusting off.

If you own Vanguard, it’s a good idea to grind levels for a few select weapons in multiplayer matches or Zombies so they’re as strong as can be once you land in Caldera.

There won’t be one gun to rule them all, so there’s no pressure to pick some golden god gun. These guns are great, but Warzone is in an exciting wild-west period right now. Feel free to experiment!

It’s worth bearing in mind that this update is fresh out of Raven Software’s oven, so the community as a whole is sure to shift around to different weapons as their strengths are explored. The meta can shift around suddenly and drastically at any moment!

We’ll keep this page updated as the meta changes, so be sure to head back at a later date to make sure you’re ahead of the curve when it comes to packing the best guns.

What are loadouts in Call of Duty Warzone?

An intrinsic part of the Battle Royale genre is starting with nothing, and Call of Duty Warzone is no different.

As you glide down onto Caldera, you’ll have nothing but a pistol and your wits.

However, as the game progresses you’ll be able to pick up a customised loadout from an airdrop you call in yourself, or that’s randomly dropped somewhere across the map.

This will give you access to three perks of your choice, alongside decked out weapons of your choosing to help you fend off other players.

Bear in mind that these are the best loadouts for Warzone, not multiplayer matches, so there are a few questions you should keep in mind when building your personal loadout.

  • Are you playing solo, or as part of a team?
  • Are the other remaining players solo, or a team as well?
  • How long is left in the match, and what stage is the circle on?
  • What kind of loadout will be best suited to the locations the circle is forcing you into?

Regardless of how lucky you are, a well-built loadout is a far more consistent way of securing a Warzone win than relying on ground loot, and will allow you to perform at your best.

Where massive multiplayer Battle Royales like Warzone have a huge amount of randomness inherently in their design, pre-built loadouts provide the advantage of familiarity. So while obviously some loadout choices are stronger than others, being comfortable with your weapons of choice is key.

Warzone is a free-to-play game, but dedicated players who have been grinding out Vanguard, Cold War, and Modern warfare will have a huge advantage over other players in terms of loadout options available.

There’s no working around this reality, but hopefully you’ve spent the time leveling up in those games so you have as many choices as possible.

Beyond that, you may notice a running theme throughout the best loadouts: they usually have two primary weapons rather than a main weapon and a secondary.

There’s a good reason for that! The combination of a sniper and a mid-range AR or close range SMG has always been a far more powerful option than taking a classic sidearm. With Vanguard not really revolutionizing secondaires, this likely won’t change with Caldera’s launch.

Best Warzone Loadouts

Taking into account the opinions of top players, streamers, and the community at large, these are the best Warzone loadouts you can build.

For each loadout we’ll list the equipment necessary, the levels and requirements needed to unlock each part, as well as a description of why it’s the best in any given situation.

We’ll try to give a mix of suggestions for new players just starting out, intermediate players looking to step up to the next level, and top-tier picks that require the highest level gear.

Best loadout for Vanguard beginners - the best STG44 loadout, best MP40 loadout, and best PPSH loadout

Did you get Vanguard for Christmas? Congratulations! However, as you venture into Warzone for the first time you may be finding that you just can't find the perfect weapons to help you face off against more experienced players with decked-out loadouts.

While Caldera acts as somewhat of a fresh start for Warzone, chances are you’ll still get wrecked by longtime players as soon as you barely see them on the horizon.

To make sure you’re not wasting your time with substandard time-to-kill weapons, and losing fights you had no right losing, you need to make sure your shots are on target and not flying wide.

This means an assault rifle with easy to handle recoil, good range, and high damage is what we really want from a beginners’ primary.

Primary: STG44

  • Muzzle: F8 stabilizer,
  • Barrel: VDD 760mm 05B
  • Optic: Slate Reflector
  • Stock: VDD Weighted
  • Underbarrel: m3 ready grip
  • Magazine: .30 Russian short
  • Ammo Type: lengthened
  • Rear Grip: stippled grip
  • Perk: Vital Proficiency
  • Perk 2: on-hand kit

The STG44 fits the bill here, and with this build becomes a very easy assault rifle to use, without much recoil and an easy to control spray.

The real star of the show comes from the Vital Proficiency, which expands the critical hit area to include enemies’ torsos which drastically increases your time to kill.

With this as your primary, you’ll look to stay at medium to long range. The damage dropoff isn’t that significant on this, so you won’t have to worry about staying in an optimal range.

Not to mention the STG got a nice recoil buff with the mid-season update making it better than ever. Even moreso than before, the STG44 is a fantastic option for new players and those experienced on Caldera alike.

But what if a fight is way closer than that? That’s when the MP40, a SMG secondary taken with the Overkill perk, comes into play.

Secondary: MP40

  • Muzzle: Recoil Booster
  • Barrel: Krausnick 317MM 04B
  • Optic: Slate Reflector
  • Stock: Krausnick 33M Folding
  • Underbarrel: Carver Foregrip
  • Magazine: 9MM 64 Round Drums
  • Ammo Type: Lengthened
  • Rear Grip: Stippled Grip
  • Perk: Brace
  • Perk 2: Quick

The MP40 is a fairly decent SMG with good damage and a mag size, and is more than able to take out enemies quickly with the right attachments.

What we’ve picked allows you to take on enemies that are both in your face, or at somewhat of a distance away, so you’ll never be in a bad spot if you swap out to this in the middle of an extended fight.

Now the MP40 did recieve a slight nerf with the mid-season update, reducing its effective range, but it is still a brilliant weapon when you need to get up close and personal.

Both of these weapons are unlocked very early on in Call of Duty Vanguard, so you don’t have to invest a huge amount of time unlocking them before you can pull the out in Vanguard. They also both perform well without optimal attachments, so you won’t feel totally useless as you level them up.

If you’ve spent a decent chunk of time in Vanguard already, but still aren’t super confident in what guns to use, the PPSH is a great altenative option for the MP40.

Best PPSH Loadout

  • Muzzle: Mercury Silencer
  • Barrel: ZAC 300MM
  • Optic: Slate Reflector
  • Stock: Empress Custom
  • Underbarrel: SMLE Pistol Grip
  • Magazine: .7.62 Gorenko 71
  • Ammo Type: Hollow Point
  • Rear Grip: Rubber Grip
  • Perk: Tight Grip
  • Perk 2:Quick

When things do get close and personal, such as when you’re pushing an enemy with broken armour, the PPSH steps up as another easy to use option.

With an incredibly high fire rate, this gun melts through other players at close range. Use it when aiming down sights isn’t your best option to fend of those trying to catch you inside a building or melee you down.

With the attachments above, the accuracy of the PPSH and the speed at which you can dish out damage is enhanced. There’s no better SMG for newer players caught in close combat engagements.

For your perks, Double Time is your best bet. Mobility is so important in this game, and especially with how big the new map of Caldera is, you’ll want to be able to maneuver your way around quickly. On top of that, being able to quickly run down enemies you hurt is a key requirement for any good loadout.

Overkill is a must-take perk for the second slot, as having two primary weapons available makes you deadly regardless of the range you find yourself at. Having an AR / Sniper plus a close range primary like an SMG or a specially built AR has been the standard for a while for good reason!

Finally, Amped in the perk 3 slot, which provides fast reloads and weapon swaps, is crucial for duels between players. Whoever can reload first, or swap over to another weapon first, in a firefight between two players is often the winner if it drags on.

For new players, the best lethal may well be the molotov cocktail. Not only is it good at burning through enemy plates and forcing them to reposition, it can punish players who drive around in vehicles all game (something that can be pesky to deal with as a new player).

Since stun grenades have been nerfed into the ground on Caldera, it’s a good idea to take the newly improved decoy grenades! Not only can these let you get a jump on other players, you can use it both offensively and defensively. Super versatile, and easy to use.

Best OTs 9 Warzone Loadout

  • GRU Suppressor
  • 8.1" Task Force
  • Serpent Wrap
  • VDV 40 Rnd Fast Mag
  • KGB Skeletal Stock

One of the more contemporary guns on this list, the OTs 9 has been a favoured choice ever since it was added back in July. The reason why it has remained so popular? The OTs 9 likely has the fastest time-to-kill of all the SMGs.

Those who give the gun a glance may be concerned with its small magazine size, but due to this high damage output and how accurate it is when hipfire, you’ll be blowing through other players in close range fights long before it becomes too big of an issue.

Our build is focused on enhancing these strengths, keeping you mobile and accurate in tight spaces where the OTs 9 shines.

The only thing you want to be careful of is running in outnumbered. The OTs 9 is great for wiping out a single player, but two or more may land you without bullets or a way out.

Best Swiss K31 Warzone Loadout

  • 24.9" Combat Recon
  • SWAT 5mw Laser Sight
  • Serpent Grip
  • GRU Suppressor
  • Bruiser Grip

Even with the addition of several new sniper rifles with Vanguard, the Swiss K31 is unmatched by most other rifles out there, save for the Kar98k.

The reason being is the same thing that made it so powerful in season 6 of Verdansk, a slew of buffs to Cold War snipers and the Swiss in particular that affected its aim-down-sight speed, flinch resistance, and stability.

These changes remain untouched in Caldera, meaning the Swiss K31 will remain an easy to use sniper for aggressive players looking to quickly break armour or pick off players from a distance.

The war between the Swiss and the Kar98k lives on with Caldera’s launch, but if you aren’t feeling comfortable with the feel of the Kar then the Swiss is a fantastic alternative. It’s more than able to carry you to the final circles once you get a hang of it.

You will want to pair this sniper with strong close range option, be it an assault rifle or a SMG like the Ots 9 mentioned above. If an AR is more your jam, then the Cold War AK-47 is a brilliant option that remains strong on Caldera. Speaking of which...

Best Kar98k and Cold War AK-47 Warzone loadouts

Best Kar98k Warzone loadouts

  • Monolithic Suppressor
  • Singuard Custom 27.6"
  • Tac Laser
  • Sniper Scope
  • FTAC Sport Comb

Snipers got huge buffs back in Verdansk Season 4 and Season 6 which can still be felt today across the board. Every weapon in that category became substantially better, being able to take out players far quicker than before especially with long range headshots.

There is perhaps no better benefactor of these buffs than the Kar98k, which has arguably remain king of the weapon class ever since. If you can work your away around the skill barrier it has, then you can easily become a menace in Warzone lobbies.

The attachments listed above will go a long way towards making you you get the most out of this devastating primary, but you should as always pair this with a complementary secondary weapon to handle fights up close.

At this point, the AK-47 added with Call of Duty Cold War has become a staple partner to the Kar98k, as it has remained a super strong close range weapon you can quickly switch to.

It has gained a reputation as the best assault rifle, and this doesn’t seem like it will change too much with the addition of Vanguard weapons to player’s arsenals. It’s an easy weapon to use, and with the right attachments is a great pick for any player.

Best Cold War AK-47 Loadout

  • GRU Suppressor
  • 20" Spetsnaz RPK Barrel
  • Spetsnaz Grip
  • Axial Arms 3x
  • 45 Rnd
  • Best EM2 Warzone Loadout
  • Agency Suppressor
  • 25.8" Task Force
  • Field Agent Grip
  • Axial Arms 3x
  • 40 Rnd

Best EM2 Warzone Loadout

  • Agency Suppressor
  • 25.8" Task Force
  • Field Agent Grip
  • Axial Arms 3x
  • 40 Rnd

Far and away one of the most beloved guns in recent memory, the EM2 is a powerhouse at long range with an easy to control recoil pattern and high damage output.

With the attachments listed above, the EM2 is built to dominate fights across vast areas that can be found throughout Caldera. However, it’s also quite versatile, so you can tweak it and still get good results.

It does have a slower rate of fire than other meta Assault Rifles, but if you can land your shots this gun is a beast regardless of the situation.

Best Machine Pistol Warzone Loadout

  • Muzzle: M1929 Silencer
  • Barrel: VDD 140mm HE
  • Optic: Slate Reflector
  • Trigger Action: Rapid Action
  • Magazine: 7.62 Gorenko 40 Round Mags
  • Ammunition: Incendiary
  • Rear Grip: Grooved Grip
  • Perk: Akimbo
  • Perk 2: Surplus

Whereas the majority of fantastic new guns added with Vanguard’s integration are primary weapons - specifically assault rifles and SMGs - there is one exception. Akimbo Machine Pistols.

When used with the proper loadout, these guns melt through players at close range. This is largely thanks to the Akimbo perk alongside Incendiary rounds, which boost the damage significantly.

To help control the guns, Grooved Grips and the VDD 140mm HE are paramount. With all the above attachments, you’ll be able to decimate anyone who gets close to you. The Akimbo Machine Pistols are amazing close quarters weapons and great guns for pushing injured players.

Best AMAX Warzone loadout

  • Monolithic Suppressor
  • XRK Zodiac S440
  • Commando Foregrip
  • VLK 3x Optic
  • 45 Round Mags

Even if it’s not quite the king of the jungle like it used to be, the AMAX is still without a doubt one of the best assault rifles in the game. Even when compared to the AK-47 or the EM2.

It does require some mastery of its recoil pattern, which can be a pain to control early on, but if you can do so this gun will take you far in Warzone matches.

With this build, your best bet is to pair it with an SMG secondary to better deal with up close engagements. With that, you’ll have a well rounded loadout that’s powerful in any situation.

Best BAR Warzone loadout

  • Muzzle: Mercury Silencer
  • Barrel: Cooper 21″ Scythe
  • Optic: MK 3 Sunfilter
  • Stock: Cooper SP
  • Underbarrel: M1941 Hand Stop
  • Magazine: .50 BMG 30 Round Mags
  • Ammo Type: Lengthened
  • Rear Grip: Fabric Grip
  • Perk 1: Sleight of Hand
  • Perk 2: Fully Loaded

The BAR is a fantastic assault rifle for those able to hit their shots consistently. Even with the perfect attachments, the slow fire rate means you’ve got to make every hit count in a firefight, making this a great weapon only for the more skilled portion of Warzone’s playerbase.

If you meet that requirement, this build makes the BAR even stronger. Since aspects of the gun like rate of fire and movement speed aren’t too important, we pump up the damage making each of the bullets you land even stronger.

In addition, the large magazine size this loadout provides allows you to take on extended fights without having to reload too quickly. In short, it’s a powerful gun in both solo lobbies and quads. A perfect “one AR fits all” for the talented player.

The BAR got buffs to some of its attachments - those being the mercury silencer and MX silencer. If you’re a fan of this gun, you’ve got nothing to worry about going into the second-half of season one - the BAR still slaps!

Best Combat Shotgun Warzone loadout

  • Muzzle: M97 Full Choke
  • Barrel: Sawed-off
  • Optic: G16 2.5x
  • Stock: CGC 2M Wire
  • Underbarrel: SMLE Pistol Grip
  • Magazine: 16 Gauge 10 Round Drums
  • Ammo Type: Packed Powder
  • Rear Grip: Fabric Rear Grip
  • Perk: Sleight of Hand
  • Perk 2: Fully Loaded

Confession time. When Caldera first launched we didn’t see the merit of a Vanguard shotgun - or any shotgun for that matter. However, now that some time has passed it’s clear that the Combat Shotgun is a force of nature in close quarters fights, at times better than the MP40 or other high rate of fire SMGS.

For this loadout, you want to widen the spread of your pellets to make sure you’re hitting as much of your target as possible when you’re right up in their face. As such, the M97 full choke and Sawed-off Barrel attachments are borderline necessities to get the most out of this gun.

To help stabilise this beast of a gun, you’ll want to pick up the SMLE Pistol Grip and Fabric Rear grip, otherwise any shot after your first is going to fly wide.

Finally, Packed Powder adds that extra oomph to your shots that you need to take enemies down quickly. With all of the above equipped, you’ll be able to decimate other players in super close quarters fights. Just be sure to stick to that range, as this gun is practically useless in the open jungle of Caldera.

Best DP27 Warzone loadout

  • Muzzle: recoil Booster
  • Barrel: Kovalevskaya 604MM
  • Optic: Monocular Reflector
  • Stock: ZAC S2M
  • Underbarrel: Heavy Foregrip
  • Magazine: 7.62x54MMR 105 Round Pans
  • Ammo Type: Lengthened
  • Rear Grip: Stippled Grip
  • Perk: Hardscope
  • Perk 2: Fully Loaded

The trusty dinner plate! This gun help its own against many of the assault rifles that dominated Vanguard, and like the MG82 will likely be a powerful option for those who want to veer away from the typical Warzone picks.

The LMG has a massive magazine, so you’ll always have plenty of shots available before you need to reload this giant gun. It‘s also very easy to control for an LMG, which paired with good damage makes this weapon a powerful pick for Warzone.

It’s all about boosting the fire rate of the DP 27 with this loadout. The Recoil Booster and Kovalevskaya 604MM go a long way in doing this, allowing this gun to absolutely melt other players.

To balance out the added recoil, you have the Stippled Grip and ZAC S2M stock. You don’t want this weapon to become uncontrollable, and this pair helps ensure that doesn’t happen.

With these attachments locked in, you’ll have no problem setting up shop anywhere on Caldera and blowing holes through anyone who comes your way. Just be sure to watch that reload time, as you may get caught with your pants down if you're not careful.

Best Automaton Warzone loadout

  • Muzzle: Mercury Silencer
  • Barrel: ZAC 600mm BFA
  • Optic: G16 2.5x
  • Stock: Anastasia Padded
  • Underbarrel: Carver Foregrip
  • Magazine: 6.5mm Sakura 75 Round Drum
  • Ammunition: Lengthened
  • Rear Grip: Pine Tar Grip
  • Perk: Frenzy
  • Perk 2: Fully Loaded

The Automaton is the perfect assault rifle for those who have invested a decent chunk of time into Vanguard, and provides consistent results thanks to just how smooth it is to use. The Automaton above all is a decent AR for those who don’t want to deal with ay additional hurdles and problems.

It packs a decent punch as a base gun, but with the above attachments it really can hold its own against any other primary out there.

Accuracy is key for those looking to make Automaton an easy-to-use Warzone weapon. The stock, barrel, and grip all go great lengths to help make this gun more accurate. Without them, the Automaton becomes a touch harder to control in longer distance fights.

Other incredibly important additions here come from the perks. Fully Loaded means that ammo problems become a thing of the past once you’ve picked up your loadout, whereas Frenzy allows you to quickly dash between firefights.

The Automaton received similar reductions in recoil, making it easier to handle especially at longer distances. Also, the barrel attachment it uses also earned itself some additional recoil reduction, so if you’ve taken the time to level this gun up you should be smiling pretty hard right now.

Pair this with an SMG or another assault rifle specifically built for close range and you’re good to go.

Best Welgun Warzone loadout

  • Muzzle: Recoil Booster,
  • Barrel: Gawain Short
  • Optic: Slate Reflector
  • Stock: Removed Stock
  • Underbarrel: M1941 Hand Stop
  • Magazine:9mm 64 Round Mags
  • Ammo Type: Incendiary
  • Rear Grip: Polymer Grip
  • Perk: Frenzy
  • Perk 2: Quick

The Welgun - a newly added SMG with the Warzone mid-season update - may have come out of nowhere and blew the doors off the hinges overnight. The MP40 was vibing-out up until this point, comfortably the best SMG in the game, but that’s now up for discussion thanks to this rowdy new contender.

With the combination of attachments available to the Welgun, the SMG is able to bust through enemies’ health bars in no time at all, granted that those shots are able to land consistently around the torso of the target.

If you can hit these shots accurately in intense close range fights, then the damage you’re able to pull off may very well make this gun more effective than the MP40. For a breakdown on the numbers, youtuber JGOD has released a detailed video going through all the intricacies of why the Welgun is so good, which we have linked to below.

Activision Blizzard, the publishers of Call of Duty Warzone, are currently in the middle of a legal battle against the State of California over widespread harassment, following reports of rampant sexual miscoonduct in the workplace. CEO Bobby Kotick previously stated that there would be a zero tolerance policy for those found to be guilty of such misconduct, before allegations of his own misconduct were revealed by the Wall Street Journal.

Recently, Bobby Kotick has discussed potentially stepping down if he cannot fix these issues present within Activision Blizzard. Since the lawsuit started, Activision has been sued by shareholders for allegedly hiding the investigation into the company, had sponsors pull out from Overwatch and Call of Duty Leagues, and been called out by other industry giants such as PlayStation boss Jim Ryan.

For more guides on great guns in Call of Duty, check out our best Vanguard guns page, as well as a breakdown of everything that has come with Caldera’s launch.

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