Modern Warfare's Realism ruleset is the best way to play team deathmatch

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s numerous multiplayer modes range from the intense 2v2 Gunfight to the massive 64-player Ground War. Tucked away behind the flashy tanks and conventional core modes is the Realism playlist, a set of rules that strips away all HUD and makes headshots a one-hit kill.

Realism is some of the best fun I’ve had in Modern Warfare’s multiplayer so far. Firefights are snappier and more lethal, which has the side effect of everyone playing more cautiously. I find myself sprinting less and relying more on hearing to detect threats before they appear. No HUD also means that keeping track of my remaining ammo is guesswork at best.

The match above was captured at the Modern Warfare review event. It was my first time trying out the mode, so it took a few deaths before I acclimated to a slower playstyle. Eventually, I go on a few streaks.

I do miss some on-screen prompts. It’d be nice to still see hit markers and navigate with the compass, though I’m very glad the minimap is invisible unless a UAV is active. The standard UI is way too busy thanks in large part to the minimap.

What’s nice about Realism is that it’s a ruleset that could theoretically be applied to any mode. We only played it with standard TDM, but I’d be awesome to see Realism open up in round-based modes like Gunfight and Cyber Attack. 

Check out the video above to see the Realism ruleset in action. Our Call of Duty: Modern Warfare review is coming soon.

Activision provided travel and accommodations for the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare review event. 

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.