Top 10 Modern Warfare 2 & Warzone Weapons to Level Up Before MW3

Ready to conquer Modern Warfare 3? Level up these trusty Modern Warfare 2 & Warzone weapons and stay one step ahead of the competition.

Image via Activision.

If you want to slam the competition into the ground in Modern Warfare 3, these are the ten best Modern Warfare 2 & Warzone weapons you’ll need to max level in the coming weeks.

This is typically a desolate time in the Call of Duty release cycle. However, the new Carry Forward system is making that somewhat easier to bear. Instead of sitting on our heads and wishing the Modern Warfare 3 Open Beta was back, we can actually be proactive and set ourselves up for success.

The official Call of Duty blog confirms that returning players will pick up right where they left off with the MW2 weapons, so now is the perfect time to get back into the game and level up those handy meta favorites so we’ll have a leg up on the competition when the game drops.

Best MW2 & Warzone Weapons to Level Up Before MW3

Screenshot by Gamepur.

If you played Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer at any point this year, then you know how popular the Vaznev-9K is in this game. Infinity Ward did their best to nerf it to be comparable to other weapons in the class, but it’s still far and away the best SMG choice.

Modern Warfare 3’s Striker was electric on the first weekend of the Open Beta, but the second week brought a heavy enough nerf that I’d wager we’ll be dipping back into the MW2 weapon pool if there’s not another challenger in that weapon class.

Lachmann Sub (MP5)

Screenshot by Gamepur.

On the Warzone side, the Lachmann Sub absolutely dominated most of this release cycle. It’s an up-close monster, and while we haven’t seen much of Urzikstan, the developers have promised it’s denser than Al Mazrah, and to me, that sounds like the MP5’s prime territory.

If you’re more of an MP fan, try out this loadout and see how you like it. I’d expect the Vaznev to still be the better utility option, but I could absolutely see this gun dominating in Warzone (and on Rust.)

FJX Imperium (Intervention)

Screenshot by Gamepur.

What kind of list would this be if I didn’t include the reimagined Intervention from Modern Warfare 2 (2009?) If you only follow up on one of my suggestions, let it be this one. Not only is it thematically fitting to be hitting crane shots with an Intervention, but MW3’s beta didn’t have a bolt-action sniper available at all.

I’m sure that will be different in the final Modern Wafare 3 build, but then you’ll have to level that weapon up all the way. Save some time by getting this one maxed out and enjoy the sacred tradition of Highrise spawn sniping.


Screenshot by Gamepur.

Another staple of this cycle, the TAQ-56 has been ol’ reliable in Modern Warfare 2 all year long. Modern Warfare 3’s MCW was miles ahead of the competition in the beta, but it stands to reason that Sledgehammer Games might nerf it before release. If that comes to pass, then we’ll need another prime Assault Rifle ready to go.

I’ve spent countless hours using TAQ-56 in Ranked Play, and it’s probably my favorite AR since the Maddox in Black Ops 4. Ripping through lobbies with the base gun is easy enough, but the right tunings turn this bad boy into the ideal primary weapon.

Kastov 762

Screenshot by Gamepur.

The Kastov has been a second or third-tier option for me throughout this entire year. I’ve just never found the same success with it as I have the TAQ-56 or the Lachmann-556, but picking it up for some public matches during the Soul Capture event has made me a believer.

If you’re like me and you’re late to adapt to Kastov, I say pick it up and give it a shot while you work your way towards Ghoulie camo. You’ll definitely need some recoil control attachments, but once you get those online, it’s a satisfying change-of-pace gun.

SA-B 50

Screenshot by Gamepur.

Next on our list is the SA-B 50 Marksman Rifle. I’ll admit that there’s not much significance to this one, but it’s simply a ton of fun to use. I can’t predict what sniping will be like post-beta in MW3, but I know that the SA-B 50 made sniping feel refreshing for the first time since the Lockwood MK2/Kar-98K in Modern Warfare (2019).

There’s no better choice for flexible, snappy rifles, and it’s been carrying my enjoyment of Search & Destroy recently. You still get the occasional frustrating hitmaker, but landing a headshot feels just as good as ever.

ISO Hemlock

Screenshot by Gamepur.

Modern Warfare 2 is full of all-star Assault Rifles, and the ISO Hemlock is near the top of that list. One of a few ARs that were ranked as S-Tier in both MW2 and Warzone, according to WZRanked, the Hemlock would be the perfect successor to the MCW if the TAQ-56 isn’t your thing.

I think it’s the most versatile gun in the AR class, and I’ve had a lot of success with it in every mode that I’ve tried it in. Whether you play Resurgence, DMZ, or pubs, there’s not wrong way to use this gun. Low recoil, moderate damage, and tons of good Gunsmith options place it near the top of our best options.

Fennec 45

Screenshot by Gamepur.

The Fennec 45 has lived in the shadow of other SMGs for most of its existence. It got a little Warzone love in Season 05, but nothing much beyond that. This is the kind of gun that always has a comeback, though. It’s unbelievably fast and will dominate most SMGs up-close.

This one’s definitely a one-trick pony, but it does that trick well enough that you forget its a gimmick in the first place. Also, since Fennec 45 has lived in relative obscurity, I’d suspect not all that many people have made much progress with it at all. Take a risk and get all the attachments out of the way in case it becomes much more viable on Modern Warfare 3’s smaller-than-average maps.


Screenshot by Gamepur.

I may be an outcast on this one, but I still play with the 74u like it’s an SMG. I’ve spent the last year trying to accept that it’s an Assault Rifle, but it feels wrong, so I’ve stayed away from it for the majority of MW2. It’s still perfect, though, so this is my official encouragement for you to do better than me.

There’s no doubt that Kastov-74u absolutely shreds, and maybe you’ve already got it maxed out, but even just revisiting it and freshening up old attachments is a good idea before we make the transition to a whole new set of guns to experiment with.

Lockwood 300

Screenshot by Gamepur.

It pains me to add a shotgun to this list since Call of Duty never gets their balancing right, but the Lockwood 300’s Dual Action Trigger has made it an absolute beast. Knowing you only have one chance to land each kill is exhilarating, and the death that comes from this thing is an excellent source of dopamine.

Even if you’re not a fan of Shotguns, I still recommend you put together a class with this loadout and give it a run. It’s the most fun I’ve had using one since the Spas-12, and unless that glorious killing machine comes back next year, this could be the best we’ve got for another year.