There are five types of weapons that are meant to be used in different situations. Sniper rifles are perfect for long-range engagement, and SMG’s dominate in close-quarter gunfights. However, not every weapon in each category is effective or useful, so knowing which one is the most consistent is essential.
Here is a breakdown of every weapon in Cold War, how they rank compared to other options, and which gun you should be using in matches.
Be sure to check out the Weapons Tier list for Call of Duty: Vanguard.
Cold War Assault Rifle Tier List
S Tier – Krig 6
The Krig 6 is arguably the best assault rifle in Cold War and is a precise option at almost all ranges. Professional players have designated the Krig 6 as one of the preferred assault rifles alongside the AK-47.
The Krig 6 has less damage than other assault rifles like the AK-47 or the FFAR 1, but it makes up for this drawback with its accuracy and forgiving recoil. The recoil can almost be completely negated with the right attachments, making it perfect for players who have a tough time learning recoil patterns or controlling sprays.
Professional players will often run seven attachments on the weapon, but most players are not competing in intense high-level matches. Customize the Krig 6 to your playstyle and dominate opponents with a strong assault rifle.
S Tier – AK-47
The AK-47 was overlooked at the beginning of the Cold War season, but its high damage output makes it a decent choice in most situations. However, the high recoil does take a bit of getting used to, but players who take the time to learn the weapon will not be disappointed.
The AK-47 can hold its own with other powerful Assualt Rifles and is deadly at mid-to-long ranges. Attachments can help negate the recoil, and players can customize the weapon to be better at close ranges or deadly at long distances.
A Tier – XM4
The XM4 is an effective all-around rifle suitable for almost any situation. But it does not excel in any particular area, so high-skilled players should look at better options.
This does not mean the XM4 cannot get the job done; it just means you might be slightly out-gunned by a fully equipped Krig 6 or AK-47.
A Tier – Fara 83
The Fara 83 is an assault rifle that punches above its weight class when it comes to range. Players can easily eliminate enemies from a distance with this weapon, especially if they can control its recoil. There are several attachments that improve the Fara 83’s range and accuracy, so consider this an option for your Cold War and Warzone classes.
B Tier – Qbz-83
The QBZ-83 is an assault rifle that can be customized for close-quarter situations, but it does excel at much else. Feel free to use this weapon for fun, but players trying to win are better off choosing another option.
B Tier – Groza
The Groza has been a decent weapon since it debuted in Cold War. But it has never been the go-to assault rifle. Updates introduced in Season 4 do make it a slightly more viable weapon in medium to long-range engagements. This weapon will unlikely be your best option in League Play, but it is still a fun gun to use in regular matches.
C Tier – FFAR 1
The FFAR 1 outshined every assault rifle when Cold War was released but has been severely nerfed. The gun now has intense recoil that is tough to control, especially before attachments that lower the recoil are unlocked. The FFAR 1 still deals significant damage, but the recoil makes it a much less viable weapon.
C Tier – C58
The C58 holds a special place when compared to the other assault rifles available in Cold War. It has a high damage output at close ranges, but it also fires much slower than other guns in its class. It also has a lower movement speed, meaning it is not ideal for run and gun players. But if you are set on the high damage output, make sure you experiment with attachments to improve its performance.
Cold War SMG Tier List
S Tier – AK-74u
The AK-74u is currently one of the best weapons in Cold War. The small weapon packs a massive punch with the correct attachments, and aggressive players should be using this gun.
The MP5 originally overshadowed the AK-74u, but several nerfs to the MP5 made it less effective and a slightly less viable option. The gun has a high damage output and bullet velocity and can take down enemies easily.
Players can add extended magazines to dish out more damage before reloading, and the gun has a low skill ceiling as its recoil is relatively forgiving. The AK-74u is used in professional matches, which indicates that it is one of the best weapons if professional players are using it.
S Tier – LC10
The LC10 has earned its spot as one of the best SMGs in Cold War. Season 4 made SMG’s more viable with buffs, and the LC10 is hands down one of the best weapons around. Players can make it even better with certain attachments, so experiment with attachments that improve the aspects of the gun you struggle with, like recoil or optics.
S Tier – PPSh-41
The PPSH-41 should be familiar to veteran Call of Duty players. This iconic weapon has appeared in several previous titles and is just as good in Cold War. The PPSH-41 appeared in season 3 and has carved a space for itself as one of the best submachine guns in Cold War.
Players can overwhelm multiple enemies at once with the PPSH-41’s high rate of fire. It also has a high damage output and excellent accuracy. Consider this weapon if you are looking for a fresh, fun SMG.
A Tier – MP5
The MP5 was one of the best guns in Cold War shortly after the game launched, but it has since been replaced with better options. It is still a solid choice at lower levels, but it’s best to replace it when better options are unlocked.
B Tier – Milano 821
The Milano 821 is the Cold War version of the Uzi and is a decent SMG. The gun is not as powerful or effective as the Ak-74u but can still dominate at close ranges.
B Tier Mac-10
The Mac-10 is a fun, small SMG, but it is not as powerful as other available options. When the weapon first released in Season 1, it quickly became the best SMG around. But the gun was eventually nerfed, causing it to dip in popularity.
This does not mean the MAC-10 is useless. It just needs extra love from attachments to get back to its dominant form. If you take the time to unlock the right attachments for the MAC-10, it is still a solid choice.
C Tier – KSP 45
The KSP 45 is a burst-fire SMG that is a mediocre choice in most situations. Players can customize the gun to make it more effective, but you’re better off picking a better option.
D Tier – Bullfrog
The Bullfrog is a fun SMG that holds 50 bullets by default, which means players can unleash dozens of bullets on their enemies. The weapon also has relatively low recoil and is a solid choice when taking objectives.
The gun is not as viable or powerful as other SMG’s, but it is still fun and easy to use in games.
Cold War Tactical Rifle Tier List
A Tier – AUG
The AUG was originally one of the best weapons in Cold War and dominated in the first few weeks of release. The gun could kill enemies in two bursts at long ranges, but it was eventually nerfed to balance gameplay.
The AUG may no longer be the best gun in Cold War, but it is still a viable choice for most gunfights. The default scope gives enough magnification for most situations, but players can add a different sight if needed.
Remember to fire the weapon in bursts to control the recoil and avoid taking gunfights against SMG’s up close.
B Tier – CARV .2
The CARV.2 first appeared in Season 3 and was a welcome addition for fans who missed the tactical rifle meta. It is by no means one of the best weapons in Cold War, but dedicated tactical rifle fans can make it a powerful tool with the right attachments. Consider swapping the barrel for another option to help make up for the nerfs to burst fire weapons.
B Tier – M16
The M16 is another powerful Marksman Rifle that is almost as good as the AUG but slightly less viable.
The main difference between the two weapons is the time between each burst. The AUG is slightly faster but also has a more substantial recoil. Players who want a weapon with less recoil should try the M16 as they will not at a significant advantage.
C Tier – DMR 14
The DMR 14 is a semi-automatic Marksman Rifle that can quickly eliminate enemies but is slightly outmatched by other weapons in multiplayer. However, the gun is very popular in Call of Duty: Warzone and is still a viable choice for fans of the battle royale.
D Tier – Type 63
The Type 63 is an okay weapon that is currently the least viable Marksman Rifle. It pales compared to the M16 and AUG and is less useful than the DMR 14.
Cold War LMG Tier List
S Tier – MG 82
Cold War players looking for an introduction to this bulky weapon type should consider the MG 82. This weapon is a fresh addition in Season 4 and has a high rate of fire, large magazine capacity, and slightly more mobility than other LMGs. The high rate of damage also makes it an excellent choice for players who want to deal with enemies quickly and efficiently.
A Tier – Stoner 63
The Stoner 63 is one of the most popular LMG’s. It can deal massive damage quickly without slowing down players too much. It also has incredible accuracy for being an LMG, making it a solid choice for players who can compensate for the recoil.
Players who don’t mind sitting in one spot and covering their teammates should consider the Stoner 63.
B Tier – RPD
The RPD is a mediocre LMG that can kill enemies, but you’re better off using the Stoner 63.
C Tier – M60
The M60 is a large and bulky LMG that severely limits movement. This powerful weapon can quickly eliminate enemies, but players trying to stay competitive should consider other options.
Cold War Sniper Rifle Tier List
S Tier LW3 – Tundra
The LW3 Tundra is currently the best sniper rifle in Cold War, and players who want to kill enemies from a distance should use this weapon. The LW3 can one-shot enemies from the chest up and is deadly in the hands of a talented player.
The gun does have a slightly long reload time, but attachments can lower the time between shots.
S Tier – Swiss K31
The Swiss K31 has become one of the best sniper rifles in Cold War. The weapon debuted in season 4 and quickly became a fan favorite thanks to its impressive ADS speed. This makes it an excellent choice for players who want to quick scope. The weapon’s high damage output and range make it an excellent choice for traditional sniping as well.
A Tier – ZRG 20mm
The ZRG 20mm is a unique sniper rifle in appearance and functionality. This sniper rifle has a high rate of fire, quick ADS speed, and incredible bullet velocity. This makes it an excellent choice for Warzone as it can hold its own against other snipers at long ranges. Players can fine-tune their attachments to make the gun even deadlier. Take advantage of its ADS and don’t be afraid to challenge enemies up close and personal.
A Tier – Pelington 703
The Pelington 703 is another powerful sniper rifle, but many consider it slightly less viable than the LW3. The Pelingtion is also a bolt-action rifle but is not a one-shot kill above the waist like the LW3. This weapon does fire faster, but anyone looking for stopping power should consider other options.
B Tier – M82
The M82 is currently the only semi-automatic sniper rifle in Cold War and is much less useful than the bol action options. The gun does have an improved fire rate but also has the slowest aim-down sights time of any sniper rifle.
Players trying to finish challenges will have to use this weapon, but players looking for a viable sniper rifle won’t find it here.
Cold War Shotgun Tier List
S Tier – Gallo SA12
The Gallo SA12 allows players to overwhelm enemies in close-quarter fights and can help players hold positions with ease. It does not have the stopping power of other shotguns, but its high fire rate compensates for this setback.
A Tier – Hauer 77
Players looking for a one-shot kill at close-range will find it in the Hauer, but it is not effective in most situations. The Hauer is a pump-action shotgun with a slow fire rate that is not suited for engaging multiple enemies. If you’re set on using a shotgun, use the Gallo.
B Tier – Streetsweeper
The Streetsweeper has the highest fire rate of any shotgun and a large ammo count but is still a weapon most players should avoid. This weapon does not have the stopping power of the two other available shotguns and will be more frustrating than effective.
Cold War Pistol Tier List
S Tier – 1911
The 1911 is a classic pistol that has appeared in multiple Call of Duty titles. The trusty sidearm is a reliable choice in Cold war and can kill enemies in a few shots but will have trouble competing with primary weapons.
Consider the 1911 a solid choice as a secondary, but don’t expect it to win every battle.
A Tier – Diamatti
The Diamatti is the only burst-fire pistol in Cold War and is currently the only pistol approved by professional players. The gun can keep players safe if they run out of ammo, as using a pistol is always faster than reloading.
A Tier – AMP63
The AMA3 is an excellent choice for players that prefer a sidearm instead of a second primary weapon. This leaves the secondary perk slot open, which allows players to further improve their loadout. The AMA3 also received a buff in season 4, improving its damage output and making it easier to take out enemies. This weapon is still outmatched by regular guns, but consider testing it out in Warzone or multiplayer.
B Tier – Magnum
The Magnum is a massive handgun with high damage output and enormous recoil. Players who want a powerful secondary weapon can use the Magnum, but the recoil makes it tough and challenging to use.
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Special weapons and Launchers
A tier – R1 Shadow Hunter
The R1 Shadow Hunter almost guarantees a one-shot kill anywhere on the body. But it does require players to hit their shot and does not leave much room for error. This special weapon does not have many attachment options, but it is still a fun weapon to have fun with in online matches.
C Tier- Ballistic Knife
The Ballistic Knife is a fun novelty weapon that can kill enemies with one hit. But it is almost always outmatched by an actual weapon, so consider using a traditional secondary instead.
The M79 is a grenade launcher that shoots one projectile at a time. This can kill enemies in one hit, but the slow reload and awkward aiming of the weapon make it more of a gimmick than a viable choice.
Cigma 2 and RPG-7
Both launchers are designed to take out enemy aircraft and vehicles. They can damage enemies but are tough to aim and have a significantly long reload. It is not recommended to run around with a launcher as your primary weapon in matches.