The best M4 loadouts for Warzone 2 and Modern Warfare 2

call of duty: modern warfare 2
(Image credit: Activision)

A staple of “Operator” culture, the M4 platform represents a uniquely American militaria aesthetic that has defined the visual style of Call of Duty: Warzone 2 and the Modern Warfare remakes. A shortened assault rifle that dispenses equal doses of liberalism and 5.56 NATO, the M4 shines as a jack-of-all-trades frame that benefits from both maximalist and minimalist approaches.

Win more Warzone 2

warzone 2 battle pass explained

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Warzone 2 loadouts: Best guns
Warzone 2 DMZ: New mode guide
Warzone 2 unhinged: Hectic BRs
Warzone 2 perks: Perk packages
Warzone 2 contracts: Turn it in
Warzone 2 cash: Make bank

While it’s never been a favorite weapon of mine in any game’s arsenal (that honor belongs to the people’s weapon, the AK-47), Modern Warfare 2’s Gunsmith has made its royalty-free take on the Global North’s workhorse almost as versatile as its real-world counterpart. If you scored Modern Warfare 2’s Vault Edition, you’ve already got access to variant M4 frames and a bevy of attachments.

This loadout guide will cover some of the best approaches to kitting out your M4 for long-range skirmishes in Warzone 2 to the close-quarters mayhem of 6v6 multiplayer. Here’s how I’ve gotten the most out of it.

The best M4 loadouts for Warzone 2 and Modern Warfare

M4: The stealthy flanker

warzone 2 loadouts

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)
  • Muzzle: Echoline GS-X 
  • Barrel: 11.5” T-H4 Barrel 
  • Optic: N/A
  • Stock: Demo D50 Buffer Barrel
  • Ammo Type: Overpressured 5.56
  • Lethal: Drill Charge
  • Tactical: Flashbang
  • Rear Grip: Phantom Grip 
  • Perk package: Specter (Warzone)

Want to run the FSS Hurricane but hate the long reload time? This super lightweight loadout emphasizes flexibility at close range with a stripped-down M4 emphasizing stealth and aim-down-sights speed at the cost of recoil and handling. The Overpressured ammunition makes this thing kick like a horse—the recoil here is so intense that a headshot is all but guaranteed when letting off a short burst aimed at center mass. It won't do much at range in Warzone 2 or Ground War, but it's a worthy backup for when the circle shrinks. The silencer and stealth perks help with flanking, clearing buildings, and discretely tagging vehicles with drill charges. Avoid lanes with open sightlines, buildings and alleys are your best friends here.

M16: Burst sniper

warzone 2 loadouts

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)
  • Muzzle: X-TEN HAVOC 90 
  • Barrel: 11.5” Carbine Shroud
  • Optic: N/A
  • Stock: N/A
  • Underbarrel: FTAC Ripper 56
  • Lethal: Proximity Mine
  • Tactical: Stim
  • Perk package: Commando (Warzone)

A historically finicky rifle that’s even more finicky here, the M16 has a steeper learning curve than other assault rifles. You're better off with one of its other M4 cousins in most situations, but if you have a taste for burst-fire, the M16 is viable. Stacking attachments that mitigate only the horizontal recoil gives you a gun that reliably travels upwards when firing bursts. Combined with excellent single-fire performance, the M16 has situational performance more in line with a battle rifle. Combat at range means that elevated positions are your friend, so use the Proximity Mine to grab easy kills on stairways or keep a heartbeat sensor handy for flankers. 

Like its real-life counterpart, it’s not winning anyone any wars, but even this shadow of MW3’s most busted assault rifle can still perform in the right hands. Ditch the sub-par FTAC RECON and run this classic instead.

556 Icarus: The LMG assault rifle

warzone 2 loadouts

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)
  • Muzzle: Echoline GS-X 
  • Barrel: FTac SB
  • Optic: Cronen Mini Red Dot
  • Stock: Ravage-8
  • Underbarrel: Operator Foregrip
  • Ammo Type: Overpressured 5.56
  • Rear Grip: Phantom Grip 
  • Lethal: Semtex
  • Tactical: Stim
  • Perk package: Vanguard (Warzone)

This generalist LMG build combines the handling of an assault rifle with the capacity and damage of a machine gun. The Icarus is a belt-fed nightmare that specializes in shredding through infantry at close to medium range. LMG’s massively benefit from being mounted on medium height cover, but a vertical grip allows for a more mobile play style as well. A suppressed barrel will also help negate the punishing sniper fire longer bursts will draw, and the hollow-point ammo can paralyze targets before they can return fire. I’ve had some great games running Bomb Squad, Resupply, and Bird’s Eye, allowing me to play more aggressively, shrugging off small arms fire and fast-balling tear gas grenades while maintaining the situational awareness that an LMG demands. 

FSS Hurricane: The closer

warzone 2 loadouts

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)
  • Barrel: FSS Cannonade 16”
  • Optic: Corvus Sol-76
  • Stock: Ravage-8
  • Underbarrel: FTAC Ripper 56
  • Lethal: Frag Grenade
  • Tactical: Flashbang
  • Perk Package: Scout (Warzone)

The bastard child of the P90 and M4, I’ve been running a refit of the Hurricane that boosts accuracy, range, and damage—essentially running it as an M4 with a free 50-round mag. That boost to capacity sounds negligible at first, but not having to reload as often has saved my skin more times than I can count, as the 60-round mag on the M4 has significant drawbacks in terms of weapons handling. This gun’s flexible enough to work in any class setup, and I’ve found it useful bringing it along with a Sniper Rifle in games of Battle Royale, Ground War, and Invasion. 

FTAC Recon: The poker

warzone 2 loadouts

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)
  • Barrel: 419MM EXF Barrel
  • Optic: SZ LONEWOLF Optic
  • Stock: Demo Demo Precision Elite Factory
  • Underbarrel: FTAC Ripper 56 
  • Magazine: 15 Round Mag
  • Lethal: Claymore
  • Tactical: Stim
  • Perk Package: Commando (Warzone)

A rare case where weapon handling is largely irrelevant, the FTAC RECON benefits from boosting range and accuracy as much as possible. Ditching the puny 10-round mag for the 15-round version has given me a fighting chance against groups of two to three players at any range, and the SZ Lonewolf’s wide viewing angle is a great compromise between medium and short-range scopes. Never switch this thing to full-auto unless absolutely necessary—the FTAC RECON rewards patient select-fire play at range. Perks emphasizing accuracy and survivability will do wonders in supporting a rear guard playstyle. I’ve had a lot of fun setting up kill zones in spaces that attract habitual flankers. 

As a militaria enthusiast and recovering airsoft player (pray for me), Modern Warfare 2’s Gunsmith system has been a joy to play around with. Hopefully the above loadouts are able to serve as inspiration for your own class setups.