While the Call of Duty formula is pretty set in stone after nearly two decades of iteration, Modern Warfare II does mix up the mechanics in a few places. One of those is how perks function. Rather than being selectable in groups of three that are always active, they now come in four packages, with the most powerful coming online as a match progresses. Whether it was a necessary change is up for debate, but this is the system we have now, and this guide is about the best choices for optimal gameplay.
The best Perks to use in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II
Your Perk selection in Modern Warfare II will ultimately come down to your preferred playstyle, with rushers who bounce around the map needing something different than passive players who want to be more tactical. There are, however, some best choices regardless of what you’re after, and we’ll be covering those Perks here. For easy access to later-game perks listed here, check out the Assault default Package.
Best Perks for Passive Gameplay
You start every match with both your Base Perks active, so choosing the right two is crucial. For passive players, survivability and ease of holding down a position are the highest priorities, so these are the options you should focus on.
- Battle Hardened: Special grenades — flashes, stuns, and the like — are very strong in Modern Warfare II, and Battle Hardened significantly reduces their effects. Other players are bound to use them to stuff you out of your favorite spots, so any advantage against them is nice to have.
- Bomb Squad: Explosives, like Special grenades, are particularly powerful in MWII, and while Bomb Squad doesn’t protect as well as Flak Jacket in Treyarch games, you will survive in at least a few situations with this perk than without it.
- Scavenger: No matter how good your shot or well-protected your position is, you won’t be fighting anyone without ammo. Scavenger helps solve that problem, with every slain enemy dropping an ammo pouch.
Best Bonus Perks
- Resupply: With this Perk active, you’ll almost always have access to your Tactical and Lethal Equipment, as it refreshes every 25 seconds. Plus, you start with an extra Lethal option, making watching your pack with Proximity Mines or Claymores easy.
- Cold Blooded: You won’t be hiding from UAVs with this perk, but it keeps you from being detected by almost everything else, including AI targeting, thermal, High Alert, Recon Drones, Spotter Scopes, Tactical Cameras, and more.
- Hardline: Sad though it is that you only get one set of streaks per life; Hardline cuts your streak requirement by about 20% on both the Kill and Scorestreak tracks.
Best Ultimate Perks
- High Alert: High Alert activates whenever an enemy not immediately on your screen can see or target you. A yellow flash will appear on your screen, showing their relative direction when they’re either to your side or behind you. This is good for keeping watch on your back and staying one step ahead of the rushers.
- Ghost: UAVs are a constant in a standard MWII match, and Ghost keeps you off the radar entirely, whether one of them is up or not. That makes it great for sticking to an area without giving away your precise location.
- Quick Fix: Not as immediately useful as either Ghost or High Alert, Quick Fix’s ability to instantly start your healing after a kill means you’ll almost always be ready for a new fight. The longer you spend in one area, the more likely people are to come after you, so staying at 100% can be a game changer.
Best Perks for rushing gameplay
There’s quite a bit of overlap between a passive Perk loadout and a rushing one. Some additional considerations for faster-pace players and some passive Perks don’t really apply. That doesn’t mean rushers can’t use the Perk Packages outline above, but they’re not as immediately viable.
Best Base Perks
In addition to Battle Hardened, Bomb Squad, and Scavenger, rushers can use the next perk in their loadout.
- Overkill: You’ll be sacrificing either survivability or weapon uptime, but Overkill gives you the ability to have a weapon ready for both close and long-range engagements, ensuring you’re never caught off guard.
Best Bonus Perks
In addition to Resupply, Cold Blooded, or Hardline, we recommend you consider the following perk.
- Fast Hands: There are some long reloads in Modern Warfare II, and Fast Hands shortens them, makes swapping weapons faster, and increases the speed of throwing Equipment. Hardline and Cold-Blooded are probably better options, but if your ultimate goal is to go fast, there’s no other choice.
Best Ultimate Perk
In addition to Ghost and Quick Fix, consider the perk below in your Ultimate Slot for one reason.
- Overclock: Reducing your Field Upgrade cooldown doesn’t seem as helpful as either UAV invisibility or instant healing; once you unlock Dead Silence, having the almost constant ability to silence your footsteps is hard to pass up.