Winning your first game of Call of Duty: Warzone, whether in solos or in a squad, is a journey. All Battle Royale titles offer a significant challenge to win since you have to outlast every other player on the server to be crowned the victor. Warzone is even more challenging than most BR games because it has up to 150 players in every match and a large number of those are very serious about Call of Duty.
Even for advanced players, being the last person standing isn’t easy and certainly can’t be taken for granted. So it's going to be a challenge landing that first win for players who are newer to Warzone. However, with some luck, the right strategy, and a little persistence, earning a win is definitely doable.
Here are some loadout suggestions and a roadmap to your in-game strategy that can help get you started on the path to securing your first Call of Duty: Warzone victory.
The best COD: Warzone loadouts
The first thing you need to get in order is your loadout.
While you won’t start a standard match with your full loadout, one of the best ways to get an upper hand in Warzone is to acquire a loadout drop. Not only will a loadout drop allow you to access your preferred weapons, attachments, and grenades, loadout drops are also the only way to get permanent perks in the game. Those perks are going to be awfully helpful for surviving the mid-game and ultimately clinching the victory.
Best weapon combos in Warzone
MP5 + M4A1
This loadout has been viable since Warzone’s release day but it has recently risen in the meta again after the January mid-season update. Between the M4A1 assault rifle and the shorter ranged MP5 Submachine Gun, this loadout covers all relevant ranges. Using the M4A1, you can fight at long and medium ranges with decent results, while the MP5 absolutely shreds enemies in close-quarters combat.
The ease of use for these weapons makes them great for winning your first Warzone game. Rather than worrying about controlling recoil, or hitting a difficult to land sniper shot, you can focus on your mechanics and map positioning and let your guns do their thing. The M4A1 can also use 60 round mags, which are useful if you are fighting multiple opponents.
Both of these weapons work well with silencers on them. While a suppressor will decrease your damage at range slightly, they are well worth having since staying off the minimap is very valuable in this game.
Kar98k + M4A1
For those who prefer to keep their targets at an arm's length, the Kar98k sniper rifle combined with the M4A1 is a great loadout combo as well. While you won’t have the power of an MP5 at short range, the M4A1 is actually a pretty reliable weapon even in CQB situations. With this loadout, you will sacrifice a little bit of your close-range effectiveness, in exchange for a sniper rifle that is capable of one-hit kills.
The Kar98k is arguably the best all-around sniper rifle in the game right now. It is capable of one-hit headshot kills and has a reasonably fast ADS time. While this weapon will take some getting used to, with a little practice and mastery of its bullet drop, the Kar98k is a weapon that you can rely on all the way to the end circle.
Most people run the monolithic suppressor on their Kar98k. You can add the stippled grip tape as well, to further increase the mobility and ADS time of this weapon.
Best perks in Warzone
Slot 1: E.O.D.
The E.O.D. perk reduces explosive and fire damage. It also resets the fuse on frag grenades when you pick them up if throwing grenades back is your thing. Grenades are pretty effective in Warzone, so having a perk that will help reduce their effectiveness is definitely desirable. This is particularly true in 2021 since the RPG-7 launcher has become a more popular loadout option in recent months.
Slot 2: Ghost
Intelligence is everything in this game. Selecting the ghost perk helps keep you off the minimap while enemies are using UAVs and heartbeat monitors. UAVs are an affordable purchase even in the early game, and it seems like everyone is running a heartbeat monitor nowadays. So selecting the ghost perk can go a long way to keeping you safe and stealthy.
Slot 3: Amped
The amped perk lets you swap between your weapons more quickly. This perk is essential in Warzone because of how fast-paced many fights are. Amped helps you be more responsive and can definitely be the difference between life or death in a game like Warzone.
Best equipment in Warzone
The heartbeat sensor lets you detect enemies through walls, giving you an upper hand in the fight. While many Warzone players run ghost to prevent heartbeat sensors from locating them, it is still one of the best pieces of equipment in the game for detecting all the players who don’t use the ghost perk.
The proximity mine is a great tool for all stages of the game. The mine is best used to cover an entryway, so it can help you stay safe while you loot or bunker down. The mine might kill or seriously damage an enemy who triggers it. Even if it doesn’t deal damage to an enemy, it will at least let you know that they are coming.
Where to drop in
Now that you have your loadout all ready to go, it’s time to drop into a game.
Ideally, you want to drop in a place where you will find a decent amount of cash, weapons, and ammo, but without dropping into too hot of a location. It is difficult to drop into a major location like the Superstore and get out safely. If you are gunning for your first win, you will want to choose a safer drop spot.
A few good options for drop locations include the surrounding buildings around the TV station, the buildings between the military base and the qaurry, and finally the hospital.
It’s often a good idea to drop near a named location, but on the outskirts of it. There are typically buildings with decent loot and significant cash on the edges of named areas, and there is less contention for those goods. Often you won’t even have to kill anyone after dropping in these locations. At most, you might face off against one or two enemies.
Another useful tip for avoiding early game damage is to drop later in the plane’s flight path. The majority of players drop out of the Warzone plane within the first half of its run. If you wait until the second half, you will be less likely to run into large groups of enemies which translates directly into a better chance of survival.
What to do in the early game
Once you are on the ground, your first priority is to get weapons, ammo, and armor. However, the primary goal of your early game is to acquire enough money that you can purchase your loadout drop. Sometimes you will get lucky and find a loadout drop from someone else that you can use, but this is risky since many players and teams will camp loadout drops looking for free kills.
Once you have the money to get your loadout drop, take your loadout and start thinking about where you want to move within the first circle. If you can get your loadout drop early and are able to acquire full armor and ammo, you can consider your early game work a success.
How to survive the mid-game
The mid-game strategy is all about moving from cover to cover in the most strategic manner possible. Patience and caution are your friends at this stage of the mid-game. During the first few circles, you should only move when absolutely necessary and you should always have a specific plan of where you are moving to.
Running around the map shooting everything that moves is a fun way to play Call of Duty, but isn’t a successful way to win your first match of Warzone. If you are trying to pick up your first win, chances are you are a mid-tier player, so you should play more conservatively and rely on tactics to gain the upper hand. This does not mean you shouldn’t take fights, you should just take only favorable fights if you can.
From an economic perspective, during the mid-game you should try to purchase a gas mask and a self-revive kit since both of those pieces of utility can make a big difference in the final fights. Money becomes more scarce after the early game, so you may have to complete some assignments or hunt down an enemy squad to fund your purchase of those endgame goods.
How to clinch the victory
Assuming you survive the mid-game unscathed, you will reach the final few circles. Competition in the end game is all about map control. The squad that controls the best position is going to be able to dictate the encounters. So think carefully about where you want to position yourself as the final circles close in.
Securing a win will look different every time since the final circle can end up anywhere on the map. Regardless of where the final circle ends up, there isn’t much strategy left beyond hunt and kill. This is by far the most high-pressure situation there is in the game, as the approaching gas forces players into conflict with one another.
In the end, you are going to have to earn your victory by winning a good, old-fashioned Call of Duty gunfight. Don’t forget to use all the utility you accrued throughout the game to give yourself the upper hand. Most people will lose in several final circles before finally earning their first win, but if you are persistent and don’t give up you will eventually claim that sweet victory.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.