Call of Duty®: Black Ops Cold War Beta: Weapon Overview [UPDATED]

Learn about how each weapon class can help you conquer Multiplayer during the Black Ops Cold War Beta.

Call of Duty®: Black Ops Cold War Beta: Weapon Overview [UPDATED]

Learn about how each weapon class can help you conquer Multiplayer during the Black Ops Cold War Beta.

A critical component of Call of Duty Multiplayer is its weapons. Each one can be instrumental to a team’s success, but only if the operator wielding it knows how to unleash its true potential.

In the Black Ops Cold War Beta, players will get a chance to sample each of the nine weapon classes across the primary and secondary weapons categories – still only a taste of what’s to come in the full game.

Each of these Gunsmith categories have their own strengths and weaknesses that are defined by four categories:

·      Firepower – How much and how fast a weapon deals damage against enemies and vehicles.

·      Speed – How much the weapon affects an Operator’s movement speed and ability to aim down sights.

·      Accuracy – How much recoil the weapon has, as well as its stability, and hipfire spread.

·      Ammo – How large a weapon’s magazine is and how fast an Operator can reload with it.

Here is where each weapon category shines through these statistics, starting with the first primary weapon category:

Assault Rifles

These fully-auto weapons are built for a variety of combat engagement scenarios. Damage output in this weapon class typically eliminates enemies in 4-5 shots and performs best at long-to-medium range.

Across the board, an assault rifle will have relatively balanced statistics, making it a great baseline for comparison against other primary weapon categories. With the right attachments, assault rifles can be customized to excel in close quarters or at a distance .

Within this category, the various assault rifles will often have certain stand-out stats that make them distinct within their weapon class. This distinction can clearly be seen in the assault rifles that can be unlocked during the first weekend: the XM4, AK-47, and Krig 6.

The XM4 boasts solid accuracy with great control and recoil statistics, and boasts a high fire rate. As a result, this weapon is a fine choice for players who like to put down rapid sustained fire against enemy infantry.

The second assault rifle, the AK-47, is the opposite: out of the three weapons, it has the best Firepower stat, as it deals the most damage per bullet against infantry and vehicles. This makes it great for versatile players who take a more methodical approach in how they fight the enemy team.

Players can also unlock the Krig 6, which adds a highly accurate choice to an already diverse assault rifle pool. While not as powerful as the AK-47, its incredible weapon control properties, especially when it comes to vertical recoil, make it the most accurate in the class. Consider building your loadout around the Krig 6 if you prefer not to wrestle with recoil after the first few shots, and want to provide accurate fire down-range against enemy Operators or vehicles.

Also check out the new QBZ-83 with the best Speed stats in its class. Players will have to learn to manage its recoil and wide hipfire spread to wield it effectively. Essentially, it’s built for a run-and-gun player who wants to move faster and be quicker on the draw than the average assault rifle user.


Submachine Guns

Submachine guns, or SMGs, are lightweight weapons well-suited for CQB engagements; consider these if you like to get close to opponents before firing, or on maps with tight interior spaces.

Typically, SMGs offer more speed and mobility than assault rifles, mainly due to their minor effect on movement, quicker aim down sight speed, and smaller hipfire spread. They also typically come with four magazines instead of an assault rifle’s standard three, as they will be expended quicker on average.

There are four SMGs are available to unlock. These include the Milano 821 and AK-74u, prime examples of highly mobile weapons that sit on the lower end of the category’s fire rate spectrum.

The Milano 821 boasts high damage per bullet and low recoil, all in a compact package. It also has a manageable hipfire spread and 32-capacity mag by default. This unique combination of strengths ups its stats across the board, making it a versatile weapon for a variety of play styles.

As for the AK-74u, it too boasts an impressive damage profile. It fits a similar role to the Milano 821 as a flex between the first two primary weapon categories, although it has a faster fire rate and less damage per bullet.

Also available is a unique three-round burst weapon which maximizes firepower, especially for those quick on the trigger.

Tactical Rifles

Tactical rifles are more similar to assault rifles in their design but have one key difference: unlike their fully-auto brethren, these rifles have burst or semi auto fire, meaning each pull of the trigger sends out only a few bullets or a single round rather than outputting sustained fire.

They also boast the highest muzzle velocity compared to other weapon categories on average. When you fire a tactical rifle, expect the bullet to reach its target faster than most other guns. There are two tactical rifles available in the Beta.

The Type 63 is a high-damage semi-auto rifle that can down an enemy with two headshots. In the hands of a true marksman, this weapon can pick off infantry at medium-to-long ranges. Those who also have a quick trigger finger could use it to get out of surprise encounters up-close without needing to switch to another weapon.

Later up the progression path, players can unlock the three-round burst M16.

There is a slightly pronounced delay between bursts that manages recoil control, which increases this weapon’s already excellent accuracy. A well-aimed single burst of bullets can down an enemy player, making this weapon highly lethal in the hands of players who fire with precision.


Light Machine Guns

Light machine guns, or LMGs for short, are regarded as the heavyweights among primary weapons.

On paper, they have the best ammo stat on average out of the four categories, with highest capacity magazines by default and through attachments. In practice, these weapons are superb in outputting suppressing fire at all ranges and dealing damage to enemy vehicles and Scorestreaks.

While their bulky design and larger magazines result in lower mobility, some players who prefer more tactical or support roles may not mind a more methodical pace. Alternatively, because any weapon can be fired out of a vehicle, an LMG could be an effective asset in vehicle vs. vehicle combat.

Even though LMGs can be useful in any mode, you may find them more useful in larger Multiplayer experiences like Combined Arms and Fireteam modes, where vehicles and Scorestreaks can be more prevalent.

Toward the end of the Beta’s progression path, players can unlock the RPD, which provides a slight departure from the typical high-mag LMG. Because of its lightweight design, the RPD has a better Speed stat and a more favorable hipfire spread. In other words, it could be better for LMG users who want a more mobile weapon, even if it means sacrificing a bit of recoil control.

Sniper Rifles

Out of every weapon in the game, sniper rifles are best in class when it comes to firepower due to their sheer damage and range statistics. They are capable of dealing one-shot eliminations at impressive ranges and will be deadly in the right hands.

Making the most out of this weapon class means precisely hitting your target, as one-shot elimination damage can only be done to specific body parts on an enemy Operator. This category has access to the most powerful magnification optics in the game, and an Operator may need to hold their breath to get a steady, precise shot on their target.

Sniper rifles have varying rechamber times which can make players vulnerable if they miss their shot. So, that one shot may be the difference between life and death.

One sniper rifle option is the Pelington 703. A bolt-action rifle, the Pelington 703 can deal a one-shot elimination by hitting an opponent’s head or upper chest. It has a quicker than average aim down sights (ADS) time and minimal “idle sway,” e.g. when the scope moves around while aiming.

However, if a marksman needs a more powerful sniper rifle than the Pelington 703, they could opt for the LW3 - Tundra, which can drop enemies with a single shot to the head, upper chest, or shoulders.

Secondary Weapons


Otherwise known as “sidearms,” pistols can provide an accurate backup option in close-range situations.

Pistols are among the most versatile secondary weapons in the field given their lightweight design. Much like an SMG, which chambers similar-sized ammunition, a pistol’s effective range usually spans out to about 20 meters, and has a high rate of fire compared to other weaponry.

Typically, a pistol is semi-automatic, meaning that one pull of the trigger will fire one bullet. The first of these is the 1911.

Chambered in high stopping power ammunition, the 1911 packs a surprisingly powerful punch in a small package and comes with a default eight-round magazine that can easily be extended into double digits. Throw in some stellar accuracy and solid speed, and it becomes no shock that the outstanding 1911 is considered a standard-issue secondary.

The 1911 is rivaled in damage per bullet only by an old reliable double-action revolver that chambers a more powerful cartridge. In practice, the revolver has higher damage against enemies and vehicles than the 1911, but in exchange has a slower fire rate, making it a preferred sidearm for sharpshooting gunslingers who know they won’t miss their mark.

You can also unlock a three-round burst pistol. Clocking in with the largest default magazine in its class, this sidearm has a fast cyclical rate of fire with a short time between bursts, similar to the M16 tactical rifle. This pistol may not stretch far out of its effective range, but within a dozen meters, it can shred through the opposition with quick follow-up shots.



Like pistols, shotguns are more effective against enemy Operators at close range, using shells instead of bullets. A typical weapon fires a single projectile forward, and a shotgun sends a burst of smaller pellets out towards its target. Due to pellet spread, shotguns have the shortest effective range out of all weapon classes but deal the most damage within only a half-dozen meters.

The first shotgun to inspect is the Hauer 77. This hand-loaded, pump-action weapon can dish out a one-shot elimination at extreme close ranges, making it the ultimate CQB weapon against individual hostile forces. While the weapon’s rate of fire and reload speed aren’t the highest, the potential for a one-shot elimination makes it a tantalizing secondary weapon option, especially in buildings with tight corridors and smaller rooms.

The other shotgun available during the Beta typically doesn’t drop an enemy in one shot, it is a reliable semi-automatic weapon with a tighter pellet spread. Consider this shotgun a fantastic spray-and-pray tool when fighting indoors or at crucial chokepoints where enemies will have to bunch up to get by.


This secondary weapon category isn’t built for accuracy. Rather, the Launcher class, a collection of tools that fire explosive rounds, are best used against enemy equipment, vehicles, or Scorestreaks. Alternatively, you can free-fire certain launchers at groups of enemies with explosive results.

Launchers don’t have an “effective range” per se, but they do deal splash damage. If you’re too close to the launcher’s blast radius, it can compromise your Operator’s health or even prove fatal.

Players will have access to a single launcher that has “lock-on” fire-and-forget and free-fire capabilities.

For “lock-on” shots, aim down its sights at an enemy Scorestreak or vehicle until a small reticle appears over it. Once the reticle changes color and the launcher emits a beeping noise, you can fire a rocket out of the launcher and “forget it,” as it will track down the target until it explodes or is redirected by flares.

Alternatively, this weapon can be free-fired to combat infantry or deal with targets on the ground, such as stationary vehicles or equipment.

Or, you can try the RPG, an unguided missile-like projectile with a less predictable flight path outside a few dozen meters. Despite its potential accuracy concerns at long distances, an RPG will deal great damage to enemy vehicles, Scorestreaks, equipment, and even groups of infantry within a small blast radius.



Melee weapons are non-projectile weapons that eliminate enemies with one hit in extremely close ranges.

In the Beta, this category is defined by one deadly, bladed weapon: the Knife. Just a single slice can down an enemy Operator, which flips the term “bringing a knife to a gunfight” on its head.

And because the Knife does not leave any visible red dot pings on the mini-map whenever it is swung, it can be considered the ultimate choice for stealth-based encounters, including when players want to flank behind enemy lines to disrupt the flow of combat.

No matter what weapon you use, it’s up to you, the Operator, to use it effectively. Try to explore every weapon within the Black Ops Cold War Beta to find what works for you and experiment in Gunsmith to craft your perfect tool of destruction. You may find the perfect gun and attachment setup that’ll be instrumental in earning those high-end Scorestreaks, destroying the enemy team’s vehicles, equipment, and Scorestreaks, or better yet, leading the squad to a well-deserved victory.

Earn an SMG Weapon Blueprint for Reaching Level 10

All players who reach Level 10 within the Beta will receive the “Mutual Animosity” SMG Weapon Blueprint at launch in the full Black Ops Cold War game. This Blueprint comes pre-equipped with four attachments for a versatile stealth SMG build, and could be a mainstay in your arsenal across all game modes.

A Weapon Blueprint is a variant of a weapon family within the game, complete with its own unique name and cosmetic differences.  Weapon Blueprints may also come pre-equipped with attachments, allowing you to use them on that specific weapon without needing to level it up to unlock those attachments organically. These attachments can be swapped out in favor of other attachments earned by levelling up the weapon normally.

Pre-Order Now on Digital and get Early Access

Pre-order customers can secure early access to the Open Beta* and receive instant rewards like the Woods Operator Pack** for immediate use in Modern Warfare® and Warzone™.

Multiple options for the game are available to choose from, including the Standard Edition, Cross-Gen Bundle Edition or Ultimate Edition. All digital editions come with access to early access to this Open Beta.

Pre-order now on the game’s official website, while also checking out which edition is right for you in this detailed blog.

Stay Connected to Additional Intel

Be sure to check back here at the Activision Games Blog daily for the latest information on the Beta and Black Ops Cold War as its launch on November 13th approaches. Also, be sure to visit Treyarch’s Blog for more Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War announcements and content.

Follow @CallofDuty and @Treyarch on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for additional information. 

Pre-orders at participating retailers are available now, or at

Execute the mission.


*Actual platform availability and launch date(s) of MP Beta subject to change. See for more details.  Minimum Open Beta duration is 2 days. Limited time only, while Early Access Beta Codes last, at participating retailers. Internet connection required. Online multiplayer subscription may be required.

**Call of Duty: Modern Warfare / Call of Duty: Warzone on pre-order platform required to redeem Woods Operator and Blueprint.  Sold/downloaded separately.  Must be redeemed by Nov. 13, 2021.

For more information on Call of Duty®: Black Ops Cold War, check out: and follow @Treyarch, @RavenSoftware, and @CallofDuty on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. 

© 2020 Activision Publishing, Inc. ACTIVISION, CALL OF DUTY, CALL OF DUTY BLACK OPS, CALL OF DUTY WARZONE, MODERN WARFARE, and WARZONE are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc.

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