Axis and Allies can use the same guns in Call of Duty: WWII multiplayer

Just like Call of Duty: World at War, Call of Duty: WWII won't divide army-appropriate weapons between multiplayer sides. The German army can spawn with M1 Garands just as the Allies can spawn with German firearms.

This wasn't always the case in Call of Duty. In the original CoD, the American and German teams had access to different weapons: An M1 Garand vs a Kar98k, for example. But developer Sledgehammer is keeping things perfectly even this time, even if it means Axis soldiers toting around Allied weapons, and vice versa.

"There's a lot of design considerations that come into something like that," principal multiplayer designer Sean Soucy told PC Gamer today at E3. "We wanted to make sure that players have, you know, Call of Duty players are used to having access to their array of gear, their array of weapons." 

Sledgehammer's view seems to be that losing access to your favorite kit because you've spawned on a different team would be too disruptive. And players do become attached to their gear, especially in CoD, where asymmetrical team equipment hasn't existed for years. Thematically, though, it is a little jarring. When you hear the distinctive ping of an M1 Garand, you aren't sure whether it's a friend or foe who just spent their rifle.

If there is an in-fiction justification for why both sides are using each other's weapons, it's that "from World War 2 history, there are instances of captured enemy equipment ... In war, you've got to do what you've got to do." And as usual, it is possible to pick up other players' dropped weapons in CoD:WWII.

Though teams remain symmetrical in CoD:WWII, there are changes to multiplayer character progression. Rather than the 'create-a-class' system, players will join 'Divisions,' each with "specific division training and division weapon skills." 

The five Divisions are: Infantry, Airborne, Mountain, Armored, and Expeditionary. Each has its analogue in a typical CoD playstyle. The Expeditionary Division wields shotguns and tactical grenades, the Airborne Division totes SMGs, the Mountain Division snipes, Armored are your LMG support players, and the Infantry Division are classic run-and-gun riflemen.

The new system represents an overhaul of Call of Duty's create-a-class system. You're not locked to one Division, and while Perks are gone, they've been replaced with Division Training.  "Divisional training is unique to the division while basic trainings can be used by any division," a COD:WWII representative told us via email. "Weapons are not constrained. Any division can use any weapon class." 

Someone has posted a collection of Division loadouts, and we can confirm that this is what the screen looks like.

Also new is Headquarters, a 48-player lobby where players (in their Allied forms) can hang out and challenge each other to 1v1 matches—see a screenshot of that above. We've confirmed that this feature will come to the PC version.

More about Call of Duty: WWII's multiplayer maps and modes has been revealed on the official site. We've had a chance to play it on the E3 2017 show floor, and will have some impressions posted soon.

For more E3 stories, pop over here to see a rundown of the biggest news stories so far.

Evan Lahti
Global Editor-in-Chief

Evan's a hardcore FPS enthusiast who joined PC Gamer in 2008. After an era spent publishing reviews, news, and cover features, he now oversees editorial operations for PC Gamer worldwide, including setting policy, training, and editing stories written by the wider team. His most-played FPSes are CS:GO, Team Fortress 2, Team Fortress Classic, Rainbow Six Siege, and Arma 2. His first multiplayer FPS was Quake 2, played on serial LAN in his uncle's basement, the ideal conditions for instilling a lifelong fondness for fragging. Evan also leads production of the PC Gaming Show, the annual E3 showcase event dedicated to PC gaming.