The Most Approachable Warzone 2.0 Feature Makes It Less Fun
Make sniping fun again.
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 is undoubtedly a step back from its predecessor. While it includes a handful of engaging features, there’s no denying it lacks the quality-of-life systems the community has begged for since day one. The upcoming Season 2 aims to address many of these concerns, but one system that will likely get overlooked is sniping. In Warzone 2.0, you’re unable to earn a one-hit elimination with a sniper, making the weapon type largely useless. This needs to change with the upcoming Season 2, allowing snipers to finally serve a purpose again.
One-Hit Eliminations Are No More
It’s understandable that Activision removed the ability to earn a one-hit elimination to the head with a sniper in Warzone 2.0.
There’s something immensely frustrating about playing a battle royale match for 20+ minutes, only to get immediately eliminated from afar by an enemy sniper, leaving you no time to react. The lack of any one-hit snipers truly alleviated the stress of moving out of cover, especially during the late-game portions of a match. The problem? Snipers are useless now. Surely, making them unable to down an enemy in one shot isn’t the answer.
With the introduction of various armor vest sizes (one, two, and three), you actually can currently earn a one-hit elimination to anyone using a one or two-plate armor vest. But the upcoming Season 2 will completely remove smaller vests, in favor of three-plate vests by default, just like in the original game. While this is a nice feature that will even the playing field, it doesn’t bode well for sniping.
The original Warzone made sniping so much fun, as players could run around and pull off quick shots that always felt satisfying.
Warzone Had It Right
Balancing sniping in Warzone 2.0 is surely a difficult task, but Activision should look at the original Warzone to make this system fun again.
Sniping actually went through a substantial evolution in Warzone. For a huge portion of its life cycle, many snipers could earn a one-hit elimination at any distance. But then, an update in the spring of 2022 nerfed most snipers, especially lightweight options with fast aim-down sights (ADS) times. It disallowed lightweight snipers like the Kar98k and the Swiss K31 from earning one-hit eliminations past certain distances, bringing more balance to the meta. Heavier options like the HDR and ZRG remained untouched since they had slower mobility and ADS speeds.
This should be used as a starting point for balancing snipers in Warzone 2.0.
Warzone 2.0 could disallow lightweight snipers — such as the SP-R 208 and the LM-S — from earning one-hit knockdowns within a certain range, of around 60 meters or so. Then, it could take two shots to down an enemy past 60 meters with a lightweight rifle.
But heavy snipers such as the Signal 50 or Victus XMR should be able to earn a one-hit knockdown at all ranges. For balancing purposes, these heavy rifles could have much slower ADS times, slower fire rates, worse mobility, and longer reloads, giving them a fair place in the meta.
This would encourage players to utilize heavier snipers while rewarding those with accurate aim. Missing a shot would be heavily penalized, but it would be fair since you’d be able to pull off one-hit eliminations.
Likewise, only the most skilled players could excel with lightweight snipers, as you’d have to get much closer to take down opponents with just one shot. Once again, players with high accuracy and smart movement would be at an advantage, offering a satisfying risk/reward system the game currently lacks.
Part of the fun in Warzone 2.0 is experimenting with various weapons, so it’s a shame there are few reasons to use snipers and marksman rifles. Here’s hoping Activision balances sniping in Warzone 2.0 in the near future.