The Call of Duty franchise has had a rich history with perks. Perks are abilities you can include in loadouts to give you an edge in fights. Each loadout supports three perks and they can only be used in Warzone once you have purchased a Loadout Drop Marker from a Buy Station.
Keep in mind that some perks are locked behind level unlocks, so you’ll have to rank up before getting access to many of them referenced in this guide. For example, the perk 3 Tracker doesn’t unlock until level 51.
The blue perks tend to be support perks that partner well with your more powerful red perks. Rather than directly getting you kills, these perks give you the tools to win gunfights or escape from them. The weapon you use will also greatly impact the usefulness of each perk in this category.
What to use
In Warzone the strongest blue perk is undoubtedly Cold-Blooded. This perk has two major benefits, both of which are top-tier. Firstly, it keeps you off enemy thermal optics making it harder for teams to scout your location. Secondly, it prevents High Alert from triggering when you’re aiming at enemy players. This is extremely strong when partnered with sniper rifles and DMRs, which can one-shot enemies before they even know where you are.
The one-time Cold-Blooded may not be your best option is if you enjoy fast-paced SMG and assault rifle-oriented playstyles. In this instance, staying hidden isn’t overly important since squads will quickly figure out your location once you open fire. Instead, you’ll want to use either Double Time or Quick Fix.
Double Time can be considered a watered-down version of the Lightweight perk from the previous Call of Duty games. Instead of allowing you to sprint without tiring, it doubles your tactical sprint duration and improves crouch movement speed by 30%. This is great if you find yourself caught out by the zone and need to move quickly. Although predicting the zone, using vehicles or landing closer to the middle of the circle, are all better alternatives.
With Quick Fix, your health regeneration will trigger instantly upon either getting a kill or capturing an objective. The latter isn’t overly useful in Warzone, but the former can set up huge plays if you’re confident in your mechanics. Rather than having to waste a stim or wait for the five-second health regen delay, you can take a second gunfight faster. Keep in mind, though, that this only affects health and not armor.
What to avoid
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of Perk 1 is Kill Chain, which my testing suggests does very little. It’s supposed to increase your odds of finding killstreaks in supply boxes, but I didn’t get any across multiple games. Even though the idea of getting a UAV or Cluster Strike without resorting to Buy Stations sounds appealing, it doesn’t occur often enough to justify a whole perk slot.
I have seen a few content creators dabble with Scavenger, but my opinion is that its best to avoid it. Scavenger’s ability to collect all ammo types from dead bodies is nice, but ammo itself is hardly scarce in Warzone. If you get a kill on someone, there’s a good chance they will have the ammo you need on them anyway. Dedicating an entire perk slot to marginally improve these odds isn’t worthwhile.
Potentially the worst perk in its slot is bizarrely one of standard multiplayer’s best. EOD greatly decreases the damage you take from all non-killstreak explosive damage. But while there are situations where players will try to flush you out with C4 and grenades, they are few and far between in Warzone. If they buffed EOD to resist killstreaks, too, I could see it having a niche role for the late game. In its current state, however, it is completely outclassed by other options.
The red perk is your powerhouse slot that will often be centric to both your playstyle and entire loadout. They offer very strong abilities that directly tie into how you take fights and the likelihood of winning them. The perk 2 category also offers plenty of counter-play options to shutdown other perks.
What to use
Across just about every Call of Duty game ever released there has been a common trait: the perk that makes you immune to UAVs is usually the best — Warzone is no different. The Ghost perk not only keeps you off the radar, but also makes you undetectable by Heartbeat Sensors. As they are the best tactical equipment in the game, you can expect a lot of players to use them. Having a perk that completely shuts down the majority of useful scouting methods is hard to compete with.
Unfortunately, Ghost isn’t as good as it probably should be. Its description claims you are “undetectable by Radar Drones,” but this isn’t true in Warzone. Although enemies won’t be able to mark you with the drone’s spotting feature, they will still be able to fly above and then manually ping you instead.
If you can’t stay off the map, then your next best option is to at least know when someone has you in their sights. The High Alert perk is currently a respectable choice. When it triggers and the outside of your screen lights up, you can just serpentine instinctively to make you a harder-to-hit target. However, anyone using Cold-Blooded will not trigger this warning. Once Cold-Blooded becomes more popular as players get savvier, expect High Alert to become less viable.
I don’t tend to opt for Hardline, but the perk is a decent option for anyone who likes to rely on Buy Stations over looting. It cuts the price of everything by 25%. That means powerful killstreaks like the UAV drop from $4000 to $3000. Equally, you could buy a five-set of armor for as little as $1125. This can make the difference in the late game if having Hardline enables your team to be armored up and have several game-winning killstreaks.
What to avoid
Many newer players have a habit of throwing Overkill on since it seems strong in theory. After all, why wouldn’t you want a second primary weapon rather than being forced to use a pistol? But this idea is based on assumptions that don’t tend to end up being true.
For one, you can just pick up another primary. Sure it won’t be quite as good as your custom loadout, but several common finds such as the MP7, M13, and R9-0 shotgun are perfectly serviceable alternatives. Even better, you can just buy two loadouts. At just $6000, getting enough money for two loadouts as a squad is not overly difficult. By purchasing multiple loadouts, you can keep Overkill’s sole benefit of having two custom primary weapons without giving up the superior Ghost, High Alert, or Hardline.
While there’s at least an argument for Overkill, both Restock and Pointman are beyond redemption. For Restock, its issue is simple: having your equipment recharge every 50 seconds just isn’t that useful. Outside of niche bunkering tactics, which tend to fail anyway since the zone will force you out, lethal equipment isn’t good enough to justify an entire perk being dedicated to it. It’s similar reasoning as to why I don’t recommend running EOD, either.
Pointman is a little more complicated. On paper, it sounds amazing. When you complete missions found on the map, all of your team receive bonus payouts. Here’s the thing: if you’re going to be an objective-focused player, you’ll be wealthy anyway. Missions pay out well with or without this perk, so you’re better off just picking Hardline and buying more equipment. It’s nice that your teammates benefit from this as well, but unless cash becomes harder to acquire this is never going to be a good choice.
Finally, you get to pick one of the yellow perks. These tend to be the weakest of the three, and focus on offering quality of life improvements and situational utility more so than anything else. Despite this, there are some good choices that can make the Warzone experience flow a little better for you and your team.
What to use
I know I said most of the yellow perks aren’t overly strong, but there is one exception. In Warzone, the Tune-Up perk is way too good to overlook. A straight 25% improvement to all revive speed can be the difference between winning or losing. Not only does this let you pick up teammates faster, but it also applies to Self-revive. Considering Self-revive should be a go-to purchase in most of your games, having a perk that makes it even better is an obvious plus.
If you fancy something a little different, I’d recommend looking at either Tracker or Amped. Amped improves both your weapon swap time, launcher reload speed, and how fast you can use lethal equipment. The latter two are just decent quality of life improvements, but the primary weapon swap speed buff is surprisingly strong. You’ll be running two primaries in most of your games, so being able to switch faster than an opponent might just give you the edge in winning a gunfight.
As for Tracker, it’s a little situational which I don’t like, but when it works, it really works. Tracker shows nearby enemy movement by having them leave footprints on the floor. By following these footprints you can usually figure out exactly where someone is. Unfortunately, there is a hefty downside to running Tracker. It only tracks an enemy’s footsteps for their last few seconds of movement. In other words, if a team runs into a building out of your sight and sits there long enough, Tracker won’t help you.
What to avoid
Let’s just get the easiest perk out of the way first. Battle Hardened is useless, helping you maybe once every 20 games. Having resistance to flashes, stuns, EMP grenades, snapshots and gas grenades might sound okay, but it’s not. None of these are nearly used enough to justify dedicating an entire perk slot to countering them. Even if you do choose to, the stun grenade still leaves you unable to turn around quickly for almost three seconds. Besides, most good players will be using Heartbeat Sensors anyway.
You could debate that Spotter’s ability to highlight vehicles at a distance is useful, but it’s honestly unnecessary. Nearby active enemy vehicles are already marked bright red on your map, so it’s hard to lose sight of them with even an ounce of awareness. It does also let you see enemy equipment through walls, but you can usually guess where a team is with the Heartbeat Sensor. Still, I will admit that hacking an enemy claymore through a door and then having them run into it is hilarious. So I guess Spotter makes for a passable troll perk if nothing else.
Last and probably least is Shrapnel, a complete throwaway of your third perk slot. Seriously, don’t use this. Getting a second piece of lethal equipment is not particularly great since you can literally just loot more off of the ground. If you are struggling to find some and it’s centric to your play style, just buy a Munitions Box. They’re pricey, but it’s still better value than using this.
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