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

call of duty spr 208
(Image credit: Activision)
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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 (opens in new tab). 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), 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.