Best weapons to use in Black Ops Cold War: full Season 1 tier list - Dexerto
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Best weapons to use in Black Ops Cold War: full Season 1 tier list

Published: 30/Dec/2020 2:30 Updated: 12/Mar/2021 15:46

by Brad Norton


With over 30 weapons to choose from in Black Ops Cold War, there’s just as much variety as any previous Call of Duty title. But which guns are the most powerful among the competitive and casual community? Find out which ones you should be using with our ultimate tier list.

Black Ops Cold War is well into the thick of things with Season One, so players have plenty of time to figure out the meta. From the most popular guns to niche picks with some surprising power behind them, we’ve gone through and ranked every single weapon in the game.


Early buffs and nerfs have already seen a number of weapons change place among the rankings. Rest assured, with every balance update we’ll be editing our list to reflect all the latest changes so you’re never left behind.

If you wish to increase your KDA and overall success in Black Ops Cold War multiplayer, then be sure to check out our list of the best weapons below. You might even find a new weapon you’ve yet to try. 


AK-74u – Submachine Gun (Unlocked at Level 19)

AK-74u in Black Ops Cold War's Gunsmith
The AK-74u is a good bet for strongest SMG in the game.

While the MP5 dominated the early weeks of Black Ops Cold War, significant nerfs to its damage range meant other SMGs had time to come to the forefront. The AK-74u is now arguably the strongest SMG in the game.


It’s high bullet velocity and damage output allow you to get shots off quickly, while a 40 round mag attachment ensures you can stay in the action for longer. Pair these with only modest recoil, and it’s easy to see why this is one of the best SMGs in the current build of BOCW. From professional matches to casual lobbies, expect to see this SMG more than any other in the game.

AK-47 – Assault Rifle (Unlocked at Level 7)

AK-47 Black Ops Cold War
Activision / Treyarch
The AK-47 continues to prove incredibly popular amongst the CoD community.

Following the nerf to the AUG and the FFAR 1, this reliable old rifle has grown to be one of the strongest in all of BOCW. The slower rate of fire can make it rather unwieldy when compared to the other assault rifles on the list, but its high damage output gives it the edge.


While past iterations of the AK-47 have been unusable because of significant recoil, this one is incredibly balanced, and talented players will be able to control it at even longer ranges. You might be occasionally outgunned by a Tactical Rifle but, for the most part, you’ll be able to compete with just about any opponent.

MAC-10 – Submachine Gun (Available in the Season One Battle Pass)

Black Ops Cold War Gunsmith
Activision / Treyarch
The MAC-10 has quickly emerged as one of the strongest SMGs in BOCW.

Since its arrival in Season One, the MAC-10 has become one of the most competitive SMGs in the game. It boasts a ridiculous rate of fire, allowing you to knock down foes in the blink of an eye. Combined with high damage output and fast movement speeds, it’s a monstrous weapon in the right hands.


It can be easily unlocked through the Season One Battle Pass, meaning that anyone can grab it and start leveling it up. Don’t expect to be able to control its recoil all too well though. This weapon is all about running and gunning with attachments focused on rapid combat.

Krig 6 – Assault Rifle (Unlocked at Level 16)

Krig 6 in BOCW's Gunsmith
Activision / Treyarch
The Krig is now one of BOCW’s most powerful ARs.

Up next is the Krig 6. Like the AK-74u, this has risen to prominence off the back of nerfs to other ARs and Tactical Rifles. The Krig’s strength is in its damage and fire rate. While its recoil is moderate it is very predictable and vertical, meaning it is far easier than some other guns to overcome and compensate for.


Another weakness of the Krig is its iron sights, which are pretty poor. However, throwing a Microflex or Millstop sight on it should negate most of these issues.

Gallo SA12 – Shotgun (Unlocked at Level 34)

Gallo SA12 Black Ops Cold War
Activision / Treyarch
The Gallo SA12 is a bit too Brecci like in BOCW.

The return of shotguns as secondaries has given players the chance to unleash a flurry of buckshot rounds in close-quarters fights. Not only does the Gallo SA12 (SPAS-12) look incredibly cool, it’s also an absolute monster on the game’s more urban maps. While the Gallo SA12 may not have the one-shot potential of the Hauer 77, the gun’s high rate of fire more than makes up for this. 

Tapping the trigger will allow you to constantly pepper your target with high burst rounds, dropping them within seconds. The hipfire of this shotgun is also incredibly accurate, so you don’t even need to waste time aiming down sights. Simply find a nice choke point on a map and begin farming kills whenever any players dare to enter your view.

LW3 – Tundra – Sniper Rifle (Unlocked at Level 25)

Black Ops Cold War Gunsmith
The LW3 – Tundra is the go-to Sniper Rifle in BOCW.

The LW3-Tundra quickly locked in its spot as the fan-favorite Sniper for the year. Being a bolt-action rifle, each hit is deadly with the potential to one-shot enemies from the chest-up. It’ll feel familiar in the hands of CoD veterans, being in-line with other bolt-action picks from previous years.

With an abundance of attachments to unlock, you can fine-tune the weapon with faster scope speeds, bigger mags, and everything in between. If you’re looking to snipe in BOCW, you can’t look past this early unlock.


  • M16 – Tactical Rifle (Unlocked at Level 10)
  • XM4 – Assault Rifle (Unlocked at Level 4)
  • 1911 – Pistol (Unlocked at Level 4)
  • Stoner 63 – Light Machine Gun (Unlocked at Level 4)
  • MP5 – Submachine Gun (Unlocked at Level 4)
  • Pelington 703 – Sniper Rifle (Unlocked at Level 4)


  • Groza – Assault Rifle (Available in the Season One Battle Pass)
  • Milano 821 – Submachine Gun (Unlocked at Level 13)
  • FFAR 1 – Assault Rifle (Unlocked at Level 40)
  • AUG – Tactical Rifle (Unlocked at Level 28)
  • Diamatti – Diamatti (Unlocked at Level 49)
  • DMR 14 – Tactical Rifle (Unlocked at Level 49)
  • M60 – Light Machine Gun (Unlocked at Level 46)


  • QBZ – Assault Rifle (Unlocked at Level 31)
  • KSP 45 – Submachine Gun (Unlocked at level 37)
  • Bullfrog – Submachine Gun (Unlocked at Level 43)
  • Type 63 – Tactical Rifle (Unlocked at Level 4)
  • RPD – Light Machine Gun (Unlocked at Level 22)
  • Hauer 77 – Shotgun (Unlocked at Level 7)


  • Magnum – Pistol (Unlocked at Level 31)
  • M79 – Special Weapon | Grenade Launcher (Unlocked at Level 52)
  • M60 – Light Machine Gun (Unlocked at Level 46)
  • M82 – Sniper Rifle (Unlocked at Level 55)
  • Streetsweeper – Shotgun (Available in the Season One Battle Pass)
  • Cigma 2 – Rocket Launcher (Unlocked at Level 4)
  • RPG-7 – Rocket Launcher (Unlocked at Level 40)

So there you have it, these are the best guns to use in Black Ops Cold War.  If you want to keep updated with all the latest Call of Duty news and updates, then follow us over on @DexertoIntel.