Whether you love them or hate them – there’s no denying how influential Call of Duty’s killstreaks have been to the series’ overall success. After all, this ever-popular FPS wouldn’t be the same without these game-changing rewards. Join us as we take a look at a few of the very best.
Call of Duty’s killstreaks have been around ever since the first Modern Warfare hit our screens back in 2007, bringing with it new and exciting ways to dominate our opponents. Those that managed to get 3, 5, 7 kills without dying would be rewarded with enemy-spotting UAVs, deadly Airstrikes, and the game-changing attack Helicopter.
Of course, these killstreaks have gradually evolved over time, and players not only have a lot more choice over their well-earned prizes, they also have a great deal of control when using them out on the virtual battlefield. Here are a few of the best Call of Duty killstreaks ever.
1. Attack Dogs
These loyal canine companions have continued to prove popular ever since their first introduction to the iconic battlefields of World at War. These AI-controlled dogs race their way around the battlefield, chasing down any enemies that are unfortunate enough to get in their way. Even if your enemy manages to kill these toothy terrors, more will spawn until the killstreak timer eventually runs out.
If that wasn’t enough, it only takes a single bite from one of these vicious hounds to send you reeling back to the killcam screen. This killstreak is more reminiscent of a zombie horde and it’s one we still love using even to this day – after all, where would we be without man’s best friend?
2. Tactical Nuke
Modern Warfare 2 is remembered for its hilariously over tuned weapons, crazy killstreaks, and blistering fast combat. There’s certainly no denying that Infinity Ward brought out the big guns for Modern Warfare’s second outing.
This montage worthy killstreak was the pinnacle of one’s gaming career back in 2009 – in fact, we still fondly remember those sleepless nights of trying to get the 25 kills needed to launch this deadly rocket, only to fall just one kill short. However, the feeling of finally earning this game-winning streak is still unparalleled to this day. There really is nothing quite like ending a game this way.
While it may not be as flashy as the rest of the killstreaks on this list, Black Ops’ Blackbird proved to be a real nightmare. This all-seeing airship exposed every enemy on the map, providing realtime updates on player positions and even going as far as to show the direction they are facing.
To make matters even worse, the Blackbird couldn’t be shot down, and jamming perks like Ghost didn’t block its prying eyes either. Instead, the opposing team was simply forced to suffer as the map descended into a one-sided game of hide and seek. This airship certainly gives a new meaning to the phrase "Big Brother is watching you".
Now just the name of this streak is probably enough to tell you that you’re in for a bad time – unless you’re the one using it. These deadly drones fill the sky and begin hurtling their way down towards their victims at breakneck speed, instantly exploding upon impact and killing anyone that gets caught within the blast.
This deadly streak is like an airstrike on steroids, with each drone seeking out target after target. Black Ops 2’s Swarm was so oppressive that it wasn’t uncommon for players to leave the lobby to avoid being spawn killed for the next 45-seconds. As fun as this streak was to use, we can’t say we miss it all that much.
5. Chopper Gunner
The Chopper Gunner has always been one of the most reliable and highly effective killstreaks in Call of Duty and no list would be complete without it. Being able to dominate foes from above with high impact turret rounds and explosive missiles. Even though the Chopper Gunner can be taken down by conventional launcher fire, doing so can be incredibly difficult, especially when the pilot has their sights firmly locked on you.
As a result, it’s incredibly common for one team to end up forcing the other into one area of the map, gifting a bounty of kills for the pilot and their team. Using the Chopper Gunner has always been as satisfying as it is rewarding.
There’s a reason that the Call of Duty series continues to bring back this herculean suit time and time again. The Juggernaut is a killstreak that allows you to really get stuck into the action, putting you firmly on the frontlines as you slowly sweep the map in search of enemies. Your movement speed and vision may be a little hindered, but the time to kill and overall rush that comes from using this killstreak is fantastic.
The Juggernaut suit takes reduced damage from all weapons and ordnance, allowing you to shrug off damage while mowing down countless enemies with your trusty minigun. If your foes didn’t fear you before, then they certainly will when you don this suit.
7. Strike Team
There have been a number of gun-toting AI-controlled units that have appeared in Call of Duty, but the majority of them have either been inconsistent or downright useless. However, Black Ops 4’s Strike Team demonstrated just how powerful two AI companions can truly be. Both of these units have a huge amount of HP and take a great deal of punishment, forcing enemy players to either focus their resources towards shutting them down or hiding from their highly damaging rifles altogether. Once these two highly-skilled units have rappelled their way onto the map, there’s almost always going to be carnage.
These rolling balls of death had many players fearing for their lives in the futuristic battlefields of Black Ops 3. This streak could be deployed as soon as the player got 1300 points, making it one of the game’s more difficult streaks to get. However, the points required to unleash these robotic explosives were well worth the added hassle, especially when you consider how many kills they would often net you.
R.A.P.S. hunt down enemies and explode upon impact, instantly killing those that happen to get caught within the blasts radius. This futuristic streak was Black Ops 3’s answer to the series’ beloved attack dogs and while they lacked the overall fear factor, they did prove incredibly lethal.
Not only is flying around in your own little drone incredibly cool, it’s also a great way to boost those high kill counts. Infinite Warfare’s AP-3X was armed with two deadly machine guns and two rocket turrets, which allowed players to effectively zip around and deliver swift deaths to those that happen to get in the way.
Having a streak that is both agile and destructive is always going to be a popular pick, especially amongst those looking to wreak as much havoc as possible. Infinite Warfare may not have been the best Call of Duty title ever released, but we certainly had a lot of fun taking to the skies with the AP-3X.
10. Care Package
Now you may be wondering why we’ve added this rather mundane entry to our list of best killstreaks, but we do have a good reason for adding it. At its core, the Care Package is nothing more than a vessel – a gift from the skies above that allows any killstreak to be pulled from its confines. This killstreak is for those that like to play the odds as sometimes you may get lucky and pull out a Gunship or Juggernaut suit, while other times you may get stuck with a UAV or Shield Turret.
There’s also the adrenaline rush of trying to frantically open your well-earned prize before your enemies find you, which is then either followed by the pure joy of being rewarded with something amazing or the inevitable frustration of pulling yet another terrible streak. Love it or hate it, the humble Care Package remains an iconic Call of Duty killstreak.