Modern Warfare 2's beginner sniper rifle is a one-shot laser beam

call of duty spr 208
(Image credit: Activision)

Infinity Ward would have us believe that history is written by the victors, but the resurgent dominance of the SPR-208 marksman rifle in Modern Warfare 2 shows that history is more prone to repetition. The Warzone 1.0 bolt-action death machine is back with a vengeance in Modern Warfare 2, and it’s the same beast all over again. Dealing instant death has rarely felt easier in Call of Duty. 

Chalk it up to a cocktail of cerebral palsy and apathy, but I’ve never been able to get a handle on sniping in multiplayer FPSes. That’s why I was floored the first time I took the SPR-208 for a spin in Ground War, consistently racking up four to five kills, at any distance, per life. For a guy with a pretty unimpressive 1.25 K/D average, the SPR-208’s performance is striking. 

The environments that the SPR-208 excels in aren’t just limited to the wide-open maps of Ground War and Invasion, though that’s where it’s performing best—you're bound to see a few show up in every 6v6 match right now.

Lots of sniper rifles are capable of one-shot-kills, but the SPR is unique in that it's easy to get (unlocks at level 7), aims quickly with zero attachments, and has a crystal clear ironsight that questions the need for a scope at all. The dismal state of shotguns has further elevated the SPR-208 as a no-brainer pick for those running the Overkill perk (carry two primary weapons). If you came to Modern Warfare 2 for nostalgia reasons, you're in luck, because it feels like 2009 again.

Specifically, the SPR-208 feels a lot like the dominant Intervention sniper rifle from the bygone days of the original Modern Warfare 2, unfairly gifted with the handling of a Kar-98k. It’s a marksman rifle only theoretically—at close ranges, it’s only marginally difficult to land a torso shot for an instant kill, and when tuned up with the proper attachments, the SPR-208 can excel at almost any range.

What makes this so surprising is that the SPR-208 was a mid-game addition to Modern Warfare 2019 & Warzone 1.0, and was subject to a significant nerf not long after. Users of the Call of Duty subreddit have already taken heed of the bolt-action Death Star:

  • "This is the best gun in the game right now. Just absolutely insane. — Smitty00
  • "This gun is making my hardpoint matches so boring, every team seems to have 4 players using it and all they do is hold down lanes on maps, so boring." — Funnellboi
  • "I wish all SP-R 208 users a very pleasant you hurt my feelings" — ANZAC3RAR
  • "Scope needs to be mandatory on some of these guns, man." — RIPBlueRaven

With some players calling for the outright removal of sniper rifles from Ground War & Invasion modes, it’s clear that Infinity Ward has a bit of a sniper conundrum. Call of Duty has always maintained a laissez-faire attitude toward game balance, but even the invisible hand has to show itself once in a while. As fun as it is, take it from someone whose aiming hand is permanently disabled—the SPR-208 is overtuned, and I’ve got the kills to prove it. 

Nova Smith
Contributing Writer

Nova Smith is a freelance writer based out of Alberta, Canada. Nova's grab bag of non-gaming interests and passions includes Japanese mecha anime, miniature painting, as well as history, literature, and classical music. Nova also moonlights as a bureaucrat and amateur historian.