Weapons and equipment are everything in a Call of Duty game. Well, maybe not everything, as skills and game-sense also count for a lot, but one cannot deny the importance of the arsenal the game provides.
Black Ops 3 combines futuristic warfare with familiar first-person shooter mechanics, and the same pretty much applies to the large set of weapons available in the game.
Black Ops 3 Best Weapons, Attachments and Equipment
Each weapon, attachment, and equipment is different from the other, and it’s usually up to the player which one suits their needs.
Nevertheless, it’s never too bad to get yourself educated with the huge set of arsenal in the game. This guide will cover Primary Weapons, Secondary Weapons, Attachments, Lethal Weaponry, Tactical Items and more.
Assault Rifles are the standard of infantry warfare, offering great balance of power, range, and accuracy that attracts just about everyone. They are highly customizable for both short and long ranged combat in Black Ops 3.
The versatility of Assault Rifles is counter-balanced by the lack of specialization. Such weapons tend to work best in medium range, and although they can be used in both long and short ranges, they aren’t as effective as specialized close or long range weapons.
Another downside to the Assault Rifles is relatively reduced mobility.
This is a well-rounded assault rifle that is inspired by the infamous AK-47. It has a three-shot kill potential at short to medium ranges, and is a fully automatic weapon with moderate recoil.
Adding CQC attachments can make this weapon perform exceptionally well at close-quarters, provided you can handle the recoil.
The HVK-30 is an assault rifle that sacrifices damage for high-fire rate.
Adding Rate of Fire perks like Rapid Fire and High Caliber can make this weapon perform better as far as kill effectiveness is concerned.
The weapon’s higher fire rate also harms its long-ranged effectiveness slightly, so make sure to fire in bursts.
The ICR-1 is not as powerful as the KN-44, nor does it have the rapid fire-rate of the HVK-30, but it does have incredible accuracy thanks to a surprisingly stable recoil. This makes the ICR-1 an excellent choice for medium to long ranged, especially with the Grip attachment.
The Man-O-War is a powerful, high damage fully automatic assault rifle with a slow fire-rate. It has the ability to kill with three shots at a long distance, but is almost completely ineffective at close-range, especially when against an SMG equipped enemy.
The recoil is quite high, but it’s predictable and in one direction, making it easy to adjust once you’ve got the hang of the weapon.
The XR-2 is a fully-automatic three-round burst assault rifle. It’s one of the coolest looking weapons in the game, but its effectiveness is primarily restricted to long range due to the burst.
The XR-2 deals high damage, capable of killing opponents with a single burst at long range.
The recoil on the XR-2 can be challenging to counter as it is both left and right. This though is compensated with increased maneuverability compared to other ARs, as well as quicker reload speeds.
The M8A7 is a four-round semi-auto burst rifle with a high cycling rate of fire and almost no recoil. Its incredible accuracy allows players to kill any stationary opponent from distance with a single burst.
The weapon is an excellent substitute for sniper rifles, especially against stationary targets at a distance.
The Sheiva is a powerful marksman Assault Rifle that can kill enemies with two shots. It’s essentially a cut-down sniper rifle. Adding a High Caliber attachment can make this weapon powerful enough to kill with a single headshot.
The counter-balance of the Sheiva’s immense power is its handling. It’s heavy, slow, with lethargic reloads, and has a considerable recoil. Just make sure your enemies are at a tolerable range when you use this weapon.
Light Machine Guns (LMGs)
LMGs are powerful, heavy automatic weapons with high-capacity magazines, high damage, and excellent penetration.
They are excellent ‘siege’ infantry weapons, ideal for suppressing enemies and killing through walls, but are extremely heavy, with slow handling, poor hip-fire accuracy, and large reload times.
The BRM is a fully-automatic, powerful LMG that can kill with three shots at very long range. Despite being an LMG, its recoil is still largely manageable, allowing you to get shots on target reliably.
The BRM excels at medium to long range, but is extremely ineffective against SMGs due to its weight and poor hip-fire accuracy.
This beastly weapon has a very high rate of fire, but pays by requiring extra shots to kill. With the high-rate of fire is also a significantly larger recoil, and a smaller magazine size than the BRM.
Unlike the BRM, the Dingo is actually very good at short to medium range instead of long-range due to its high fire-rate.
The Dredge is a six-round auto-burst machine gun with an automatic burst cycle. Within each burst, the fire rate is very high, but its vertical recoil makes the weapon difficult to master.
Once you learn how to manage the muzzle climb, the Dredge can become an extremely reliable killing machine.
The Gorgon is the hardest hitting automatic in the game. It can kill with two shots even at extremely long range, and tends to remain its pinpoint accuracy due to its low fire-rate. It’s an extremely heavy weapon, and a great substitute for sniper rifles.
The low fire-rate is its biggest downside, and makes it practically useless at CQC when up against Assault Rifles and SMGs.
Sub-machine Guns (SMGs)
SMGs have traditionally occupied the CQC role in Call of Duty, and largely retain it in Black Ops 3. They grant the highest mobility out of any weapon category, and have very high rate of fire, fast reload times, and very accurate hip-fire accuracy.
The biggest downside to SMGs though is long-range. They have a significant damage fall-off at range that often make them weaker than pistols. Their high rate of fire can also be difficult to manage, as it requires reloading quite often.
The all-around performing, lightweight and moderate-firing Kuda is arguably the strongest SMG at short range in the game, as it has a three-shot kill potential, and maintains a four-shot kill potential at medium range.
The moderate-firing rate makes Kuda an easily controllable weapon. However, due to this reason, it can be out-done by other more rapid-firing SMGs at close range, which means that Kuda often remains second-best at close-range, and optimum at medium-ish range.
This awesome looking SMG has the best accuracy in the class, making it more than viable for mid-ranged combat. Its stability, particularly with the Grip attachment, make it a weapon of choice for many SMG enthusiasts.
It does pay for its accuracy with its kill-times, but players who are good at staying mobile and moving from cover to cover would thrive with this weapon.
The small, light-weight Vesper has the fastest fire rate in the class. It’s practically a bullet hose and has the best kill-time at close range. It suffers greatly at medium range though, and the biggest issue with the weapon is the requirement to reload very frequently.
Attaching a suppressor with this weapon and using it in closed maps is a good way to maximize its strengths.
The VMP is a more grounded version of the Vesper, with a stronger damage output but a lower firing rate. It also has a significantly smaller magazine size, making frequent reloads a real issue.
The strong recoil makes it a poor weapon at medium to long range, but its excellent hip-fire and sheer stopping power make it an asset in CQC.
The Weevil is a highly balanced SMG weapon, being a jack-of-all trades in the SMG class. It’s still more intense than the Kuda or Razorback, but it doesn’t have the tendency to go out of control at medium or long range like the Vesper and VMP.
The Weevil’s best attribute is its large magazine, which can allow you to engage multiple targets without the need to reload as frequently as the Vesper or VMP.
The Pharo takes inspiration from the infamous Uzi, with a similar form-factor and performance. However, unlike the Uzi, it has a four-round auto-burst instead of being full-automatic.
The damage and accuracy of the weapon is fairly reliable, and has good kill-times even at a distance.
Shotguns are specialized close-quarter combat weapons with one-shot kills, high mobility, and excellent handling. They are however completely restricted to combat at arm’s length, and practically useless at any other range.
Shotguns tend to reward high-risk, in-your-face gameplay, so emphasizing on sneaking and creating a build that encourages stealth is the right way to go if you want to use one.
The Haymaker 12 is a bullet hose of a shotgun that trades of lethality for excessively easy usage. The weapon requires absolutely no training or practice to use, as its fully-automatic function and fast fire rate make it easy for you to drop enemies quickly.
The KRM-262 is more or less a conventional pump-action shotgun. It has a one-hit kill against enemies at arm’s length. It pays for its power and ease of use by having the largest spread, and hence the lowest reliable range for one-shot kills.
Unlike the other shotguns, the KRM-262 is reloaded one slug at a time. This can be both beneficial and harmful; the benefit comes from the ability to cancel the reload, while the downside is that it takes a long time to get the weapon fully reloaded in one go.
This is a level-action shotgun that has a highly accurate buckshot spread that is extremely effective while aiming down the sight. This weapon has the best range out of any shotgun.
The 205 Brecci is a semi-auto shotgun with a high damage and decent range. It’s a mix between the KRM-262 and the Argus, giving high power with good range.
There are two kind of first-person shooter players: those who love sniper rifles, and those who don’t know how to use them.
Sniper Rifles are iconic, specialist weapons that tend to have a slightly larger learning curve than other weapons, as they require patience, precision, and good awareness.
They have one-shot capability at extremely long range, allowing you to effectively engage enemies outside the ranges of almost any other weapon. However, they perform very poorly at CQC.
The Drakon is inspired by the Russian Dragnov sniper rifle. It is a semi-auto rifle with a one-hit kill to the upper chest and above. It is also the fastest firing sniper, but has the weakest damage profile, meaning a shot to the limbs or lower torso won’t get you much.
Despite this, the high rate of fire make the Drakon ideal for aggressive snipers who enjoy suppressing enemies.
Everybody loves bolt-action rifles, and Locus is one of them. Despite being a bolt-action rifle, it’s the fastest handling of the lot, making it the quickest to use in a shoot-and-move combo.
If you’re a mobile, competitive sniper, this weapon will ideally suit your needs the most. Generally, the Locus is the weapon-of-choice for competitive players for its high mobility, accuracy, and power.
The P-06 doesn’t look anything like a sniper, and it doesn’t quite function like one. The burst-fire sniper requires a charging shot, meaning it’s a poor choice for rapid mobile sniping.
However, it only requires one of the three shots per burst to score a kill, making it a great weapon for newbies at long range.
The SVG-100 is the slowest sniper of them all, with a large aim-down-the-sight time.
However, it is also the most powerful sniper of them all, capable of a one-shot kill anywhere above the hips. This rifle encourages low mobility and patience from very long distances.
Pistols act as side-arms in Call of Duty games, and Black Ops 3 is no exception. They have superb handling, fast switching, and great movement speeds, but have very little effectiveness at medium or long range.
You’re also forced to make a choice between ammo capacity and lethality, so they can never give you the ‘full package.’
This is a fully-automatic machine pistol with a medium fire rate and modest damage. It’s essentially a ‘pocket SMG,’ though you shouldn’t be using it as an SMG substitute at all.
The semi-auto MR6 has the strongest damage in the class of weapons, with a decent magazine size and better range than other pistols. Up close though, it lacks the accuracy to be truly effective.
The RK5 is a three-round burst pistol with a fast cycle rate. It’s a quick-firing, quick killing weapon that can kill with one-burst at short ranges. However, it has awful magazine capacity, so if you miss a couple of times, you’re in trouble.
Launchers are specialized equipment that are primarily used for destroying enemy scorestreak equipment.
The BlackCell is the first of the two models. It carries four rounds and gives you more destruction, but lacks the ability to free-fire, making in an opportunistic weapon.
The XM-53 has more firing capability, and can be used to siege rooms or blow up players near objectives.
In Black Ops 3, Attachments play an extremely important role in customizing your build. Attachments generally tend to have much greater impact on both the looks of your weapon and the performance than previous CoD games.
Each attachment requires one of your Pick 10 points. Under normal circumstances each gun can take one optical sight, two primary attachments for primaries, and one secondary attachment.
However, you can add an extra attachment past the normal limit if you have the Primary and Secondary Gunfighter wildcards.
Simple red-dot sight that provides fast ADS and clear view of the target. Use this on weapons with obscuring iron-sights.
The basic optical sight that offers a small zoom that can increase the effective sight range of Assault Rifles.
The Varix 3 is an enhanced optical sight that gives you the ability to toggle between different zoom levels.
The Thermal scope is a powerful optic that highlights targets in brighter colors against dim background, making it easier to spot them in the target.
The BOA 3 sight is an object analyzer that illuminates red when an enemy is in the frame, or blue when it is a friendly.
The ELO is an iron sight with a floating point illuminate reticle.
Weapon attachment that greatly reduces your ADS speed significantly. Useful with Assault Rifles and SMGs for CQC.
Kills muzzle flash and suppresses weapon sound, preventing you from being spotted on the minimap when firing.
Greatly reduces recoil when aiming down the sight.
This attachment for pistols and Assault Rifles increases the headshot damage bonus, making the weapon more lethal.
This attachment allows one to move faster while aiming, and is more useful for LMGs and Assault Rifles.
The Laser sight tightens hip-fire spread, making it very effective when used with SMGs and shotguns.
The FMJ attachment greatly boosts the penetration power of your shots, reducing damage fall-off when shooting through objects. This allows you to get kills through walls more easily.
This simple yet effective attachment allows you to reload more quickly. This is especially useful with SMGs to prevent frequent reload interruptions.
Extended Mag increases your magazine capacity, and is highly effective when used with SMGs.
A longer barrel gives a slight increase in the effective range of your weapon, and also reduces damage fall-off. This is useful with Assault Rifles.
Rapid Fire gives a small increase in the fire-rate of your weapon. It’s especially useful with the Razorback and certain Assault Rifles.
The Ballistics CPU reduces the idle weapon sway when aiming down the sight, and is very useful with sniper rifles.
Lethal equipment is essential explosives and other gear that you can use in battle.
The C4 is a manually detonated explosive that can be placed, then exploded when required by double-tapping Reload.
The Combat Axe is a specialized throwable weapon that can be retrieved. It causes instant death on impact.
The standard fragmentation grenade that explodes after a short fuse. It can also be cooked while holding.
These are essentially ‘sticky’ frag grenades that stick to surfaces or enemies before detonating.
Thermite is an explosive that behaves like an incendiary grenade. It creates an AoE where it explodes that can quickly kill players that run through the flames.
This proximity mine launches into the air before detonating. It can be thrown to stick to any surface. It tends to cause a narrow cone explosive, so it is best used on walls for area denial.
The Black Hat is an anti-scorestreak tool that can be used to disable enemy equipment. It’s a good substitute for the XM-53 and other anti-equipment tools in the game.
Equipment that is hacked with this tool comes under your control.
This support weapon disorients enemies and slows their movement, much like a Stun Grenade.
Electromagnetic Pulse grenades disrupt electronic systems and equipment within their blast radius. The enemy who is hit by an EMP also suffers a loss of their HUD temporarily and cannot activate streaks or equipment.
This grenade blinds enemies and impairs hearing if an enemy is facing towards it. The closer the enemy to the blast, the more severe the effect.
This is a triggered proximity mine that electrocutes and stuns nearby enemies, temporarily paralyzing them. The stun effect is more powerful than the one from concussion, but is very short-lived.