10 Best Modern Warfare Series Killstreaks, Ranked

Top Modern Warfare Series Killstreak

Killstreaks are practically synonymous with the Call of Duty franchise, as are its perks, and Create-A-Class mechanics. They can either turn the tide of battle on the enemy team or provide support to the entire team. The challenge, of course, is staying alive long enough to earn these rewards for use in your match. Assuming you do, another added thrill is finding a spot on the map to lay low while you summon your hard-earned prize.

What Are The Best Killstreaks From The Modern Warfare Games?

Killstreaks across the Modern Warfare series come in many shapes and forms. Some rewards are instantaneous while others are gloriously lengthy. What’s more is that killstreaks cater to a variety of playstyles, whether slow and steady or overtly aggressive. In this list, we’re ranking the best Modern Warfare series killstreaks.

10. UAV

Top Modern Warfare Series Killstreak

The UAV is both a Modern Warfare series, and Call of Duty series, mainstay. Chances are someone on the team has this killstreak equipped. The minimap will occasionally ping the locations of the enemy team as red dots on the map, even when they haven’t fired their weapon, and tends to last 30 seconds.

Of course, enemy players with certain perks such as UAV Jammer, Ghost, or Cold-Blooded can counteract this killstreak. The UAV is an optimal way to figure out spawns and one of the best Modern Warfare series killstreaks. 

9. Predator Missile | Cruise Missile

Top Modern Warfare Series Killstreak

The Predator Missile initially debuted in Modern Warfare 2 (2009) and is a fun, low cost, killstreak at five kills (six in MWII). The Predator Missile, or Cruise Missile, as it’s known in the more recent Modern Warfare games, allows players to control a remote launched missile with boost capabilities.

Exhilaration stems from having to make a choice the moment you’re in control. Do you go for a guaranteed kill or do you head for a spawn point and attempt a multi-kill? Nonetheless, it’s terribly fun to rain on someone’s parade with just the right amount of timing and dexterity.

8. Care Package

Top Modern Warfare Series Killstreak

At a glance, the Care Package may not seem like a big deal. Like the Predator Missile, the Care Package first dropped on Modern Warfare 2 (2009). Players can have a single, random killstreak dropped on the map at a location of their choosing.

Interestingly, in each Modern Warfare game, the higher the killstreak cost is the lower the percentage that a Care Package will contain that killstreak. That said, it’s entirely possible to get a Chopper Gunner, Gunship, or Juggernaut, though it’s more likely you’ll resupply with additional ammo or receive a UAV/Counter UAV.

7. Emergency Airdrop

Top Modern Warfare Series Killstreak

What’s better than receiving one random killstreak from the sky? That would be receiving three random killstreaks. The Emergency Airdrop can either be much needed relief for a team falling behind on the objective, or a real pain for a dominated enemy team.

Better collect them fast though, as they’re as much a benefit to your enemy’s team if they collect them first. Hilariously, if a falling Care Package lands on an enemy player, it counts as a kill while landing on a teammate records a mistake.

6. Harrier Strike | VTOL Jet

Top Modern Warfare Series Killstreak

Calling in a VTOL Jet, or Harrier Strike, causes an airstrike along a predetermined path to take effect. The jet will then remain in place to provide air support until it’s either shot down or its time limit expires. It’s altogether satisfying to successfully take down the enemy team in the initial strafe run. The remaining air support just adds insult to injury.

This killstreak can stack and it’s possible to earn another high-tier killstreak such as a Chopper Gunner. Special mention needs to go to the VTOL incarnation of the killstreak. The VTOL Jet can receive change of direction on the map even after being deployed. It’s one of the best Modern Warfare series killstreaks.

5. Juggernaut

Top Modern Warfare Series Killstreak

The Juggernaut killstreak rewards players with assault gear that includes heavy-duty armor, a minigun, a revolver, a smoke grenade, and a frag grenade (the latter three in the case of MW3). The Juggernaut killstreak is known for its extraordinary ability to absorb damage and its resiliency to weapon fire and other killstreaks.

It does come with a cost, however, and mobility suffers the most. Still, the incomparable firepower is worth the investment if you manage to carry your streak this far. Additionally, taking out a Juggernaut in the more recent Modern Warfare games will have it drop the minigun, making it available for pickup.

4. Advanced UAV

Top Modern Warfare Series Killstreak

The Advanced UAV migrated to the Modern Warfare series in MW3 (2011). It’s one of the best Modern Warfare series killstreaks for the sheer fact of how useful it is. The Advanced UAV will reveal all enemy players on the minimap in real-time (with the exception of MW3 2011), also showing the direction they’re actively facing.

In Modern Warfare (2019) any enemy players with the Ghost perk enabled will instead display on the minimap as a red dot. The Advanced UAV practically makes you feel like your teammates are the attack dogs being sicced on the enemy team.

3. Chopper Gunner

Chopper Gunner Killstreak

The Chopper Gunner killstreak goes all the way back to the original Modern Warfare 2. Calling this killstreak in puts players in the pilot’s seat of a helicopter with an armed turret. It’s definitely a menacing good time raining hellfire on the opposing team for about a solid minute. Its use in MW2 and MW3 happens along a predetermined path and players have to make most of the direction that’s out of their control.

Special mention has to go to the recent iterations of the Chopper Gunner which also includes hydra rockets, thermal imaging, and the fact you can control the direction of the chopper. The Chopper Gunner is regarded as one of the best Modern Warfare series killstreaks and it deserves that distinction.

2. AC-130 | Gunship

AC-130 Killstreak

The AC-130 killstreak, or Gunship as it’s currently known, is as much a beast now as it was in 2009. Thanks to three interchangeable cannons, the Gunship is easily one of the best Modern Warfare series killstreaks due to how deadly it is. Early versions of the killstreak feature a howitzer cannon that boasts a huge blast radius. The most recent versions of the killstreak now use laser-tracking missiles, similar to the Reaper killstreak from MW3 (2011).

Additionally, thanks to its high elevation in the air and deployable flares, the Gunship can be quite difficult to take down from the ground and impossible to hit with conventional weapon fire. Although players may concentrate more on the enemy team as cannon fodder, the Gunship has the added bonus of easily destroying enemy killstreaks like Chopper Gunners and VTOL Jets.

1. Tactical Nuke

Tactical Nuke Killlstreak

It’s all over for any team once the Tactical Nuke is called in. While equivalents like the M.O.A.B. from MW3 are also fantastic and challenging (requiring gun kills only) the Tactical Nuke means domination and finality. It’s the measure of skill or, heck, sheer luck, for obtaining so many consecutive kills in a match. For players able to deploy a Tactical Nuke, there’s nothing quite like that macabre satisfaction once the battlefield is decimated by your hand.

By this point Call of Duty is as much praised for its pulse-pounding, thrilling moments as it is for inciting absolute rage in its low moments. The Tactical Nuke is an extension of those feelings and the Call of Duty experience. It’s absolutely one of the best Modern Warfare series killstreaks.

What’s your favorite killstreak from the Modern Warfare games? Let us know in the comments below! Additionally, see our list of Every Call of Duty Game, Ranked.