What is ‘snaking’ in Modern Warfare 2? Controversial CDL tactic explained

WZ2 character crouched behind roadbockActivision

Call of Duty players, especially those who watch the Call of Duty League in Modern Warfare 2, may have come across the term ‘snaking’. But what does it mean, how is it done and why is it so controversial in the CDL?

Every year multiple weapons, equipment, and scorestreaks that are technically allowed under the CDL’s ruleset are GA’d. These gentlemen’s agreements mean that CoD pros agree not to use them on the basis they are not competitively viable, either because they are imbalanced or unpredictable. 

However, that’s more difficult to do when the controversial tactic is a movement trick. That’s where ‘snaking’ comes in.

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‘Snaking’ in CoD explained 

Snaking is a movement tactic that is possible in Call of Duty games, especially those developed by Infinity Ward (hence why it has reemerged as a major topic in Modern Warfare 2). However, it is generally achievable in most CoD titles. 

It refers to players positioning themselves behind an object on a map and switching between prone and crouching positions very quickly. The player’s movement is thus comparable to a snake; where the tactic gets its name.

This allows snaking players to peek above the object providing them cover, gaining intel on enemies. They are also able to spring up and fire rapidly using the intel they have acquired, as demonstrated in this ranked play clip from CDL pros Cellium and Skyz.

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Why is ‘snaking’ controversial in the CDL? 

You may be wondering why it’s an issue if it just refers to players using the game’s movement mechanics to their advantage.

When pros are snaking – because of how quickly it is performed and the object obscuring the player – they are very difficult to hit. From their perspective though, it’s fairly easy to see over the cover and spring up suddenly.

It’s therefore considered overpowered, with pros using the tactic at a huge advantage over opponents pushing their position. That’s why many feel it should be stopped in competitive CoD, due to it being an unbalanced mechanic.

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Is snaking allowed in MW2? 

Yes, snaking is allowed, but it won’t make you the most popular player in the world if you’re keen to use it in your ranked matches.

We have seen developers make alterations to CoD games’ movement systems in an effort to weaken snaking, but it’s incredibly difficult to do so. For example, in Black Ops Cold War, a delay was implemented to slow the movement between standing and prone positions. 

It’s also up for discussion whether a game’s entire movement system should be tweaked based on an issue that is most hotly debated in the professional community, and not among casual players. 

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Lesser-skilled players struggle to adjust their character’s position nearly quick enough to snake and it can take real practice to master. 

If you’re new to competitive CoD, you can expect the snaking debate to drag on into future events and titles.