The numbers are in: Don't put too many attachments on your Modern Warfare 2 guns

The Naked Gun is a great movie. Is it also a great approach to kitting out your weapons in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2? According to some players, the answer is "yes," and a new video shared by CoD YouTuber TheXclusiveAce does a nice job of explaining why.

Attachments are essentially upgrades that you can attach to your firearm of choice—hence the name—that will impact its performance in one way or another: Sights, grips, suppressors, and that sort of thing. The maximum number of attachment slots on a weapon in Modern Warfare 2 is five, and conventional videogame wisdom states that if you got 'em, you should use 'em.

But some players are finding the opposite to be true in Modern Warfare 2. The reason, as TheXclusiveAce explains, is that most attachments in the game have both benefits and drawbacks—and most of the drawbacks are focused on three "incredibly important stats," those being aim-down-sights time, aiming stability, and recoil control.

Simply put, if you add an attachment that boosts one of those three characteristics, the other two are going to suffer to an extent that will more than likely outweigh any benefit. Tradeoffs are a routine part of CoD's Gunsmith experience but the current attachment designs mean "you're not really gaining any ground" by loading up your weapon.

"Even if you try to stack and balance these attachments with each other, you're often not going to be ending up with a net positive result with all of those attachments," TheXclusiveAce said.

The solution, according to Ace, isn't to eschew attachments entirely, but to be selective—and to let go of the instinctive impulse to load up. "Don't feel like you need to fill all five attachment slots on every setup that you make," he said. "Oftentimes your gun is going to be better by only filing two or three of those slots."

The video features a few side-by-side comparisons showing the impact of attachments on ADS time and stability, and it really is quite stark. I was a little bit taken aback when TheXclusiveAce said that increasing ADS time from 240ms to 400ms makes aiming down sights "essentially useless"—it takes me more than 400ms to decide which button I want to click—but it's undeniably a substantial increase and especially impactful in a game where fights are usually decided by who gets on-target first. The change from base to minimum aiming stability is also obvious.

(Image credit: TheXclusiveAce (YouTube))

Naturally, there are exceptions to the rule. Some attachments, like an early recoil-stabilizing grip that works on most guns, have no drawbacks, so there's no reason not to use them, and others have clear and obvious benefits that can't be overlooked no matter their downsides: Larger magazines means more bullets, for instance, and as my dear old daddy used to say, "More bullets is good bullets." 

It's also possible that your play style simply invalidates any concerns about the negative impact of attachments. You don't need to worry about aiming down sights quickly if your plan is to bullet-hose every slightest little bit of movement you see.

The situation may change as Modern Warfare 2 continues to evolve, and Infinity Ward adjusts the stats on guns and attachments. For now, though, it seems clear that for most players, moderation really is the key.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.