Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare set the roadmap for every subsequent launch in the series. It’s thanks to Call of Duty 4 that we have many series mainstays such as killstreaks, classes, weapon attachments, and a plethora of game types to play across a variety of memorable maps. Alongside these usual suspects are Call of Duty perks. As the years come and go, these elements sometimes carry into the next successor to the franchise or are reworked and shaped into a similar form, though not always for the better.
What are the worst perks in Call of Duty?
If it doesn’t have perks, it’s not a Call of Duty game. Perks act as gameplay modifiers with the capacity to make one’s Call of Duty experience more strategic or simply more fun. Among the modifiers it’s possible to reload faster, pick up additional ammo from fallen enemies, sprint longer distances without tiring, or silence one’s footsteps. That’s not a bad collection of perks. Mixing and matching them together into your loadout is part of the enjoyment. However, with so many Call of Duty games there’s certainly some real bad perks out there. In this list, we’re ranking the ten worst Call of Duty perks.
The benefit to the Hardline perk is that it makes all killstreak rewards cost one less kill. For example, if a UAV requires a player to obtain three kills they’ll be awarded their killstreak. Hardline brings the kill requirement down to two. Sounds like a good idea on paper, especially if you’re a skilled player. While Hardline is not the absolute worst perk on the list, you still sacrifice this perk slot for something that can be more beneficial. It’s not bad to speed up the process in getting higher-tier killstreaks, but if you’ve got low-tier killstreaks in your loadout then Hardline is practically useless.
Dead Silence is not completely terrible as a whole. We’re looking at the versions of the perk from the original Modern Warfare trilogy. It’s quite a beneficial perk, all things considered. Dead Silence will dampen the sound of a player’s footsteps considerably, to a certain degree. Additionally, the perk will allow players to be completely silent when going prone, moving while aiming down sight, and while crouch walking.
Sounds like a perfect perk. However, the issue with Dead Silence are the noises that don’t go hidden. Players with a good headset can still hear you approaching. Rustling through grass will still have an audible cue. Plus, be careful when chasing down your target when vaulting from a high position. The crunch sound of your avatar’s bones doesn’t get any softer and your element of surprise gets thrown out the window.
8. Strong Arm
It’s debatable whether or not the Strong Arm perk is worth adding to your loadout. After all, something more beneficial can always take the spot. Looking back at Call of Duty: Ghosts, Strong Arm has the ability to allow the player to throw their equipment farther. What’s more is that the perk will decrease the cook time of frag grenades, and any thrown back enemy frags get their timer reset. The main reason that the Strong Arm perk is not worth it in Ghosts, is that jumping while throwing your equipment achieves the same result without the perk equipped. At least the Modern Warfare II variant of the perk gives you a preview of your trajectory but Strong Arm is still one of the worst Call of Duty perks there is.
Admittedly, the Scrambler perk from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 doesn’t sound too bad. The purpose of the perk is to hide your presence from the enemy on the minimap. Meaning, when Scrambler is equipped in your loadout, enemy players will notice their minimap begin to distort, or “scramble”, when they’re close in proximity to your location. Ironically, what makes the perk useful is also its own undoing. In essence, by jamming your enemy’s minimap, and thus “disappearing” from sight, you’re also giving away your position. Enemy player’s need only listen closely to locate your position, or wait for you to come out of hiding. It’s a risky game of cat and mouse and it may not always go in your favor.
6. Double Tap
Looking back at the Double Tap perk from Call of Duty: World at War and Call of Duty: Black Ops you can do better with this perk slot. Double Tap will increase the fire rate of your weapon to a certain percentage. The perk feels useful at first glance. In fact, when it comes to World at War, Double Tap seems like overkill with that game’s time to kill. With that said, the Double Tap perk’s greatest setback is how quickly you’ll burn through your ammo reserves. The added kick to your weapon’s hip and/or aim down sight fire also suffers. The increase to fire rate doesn’t seem worth the hit to your accuracy.
Truthfully, a lot of the perks shown on this list have appeal in some way or another. Such is the case of One Man Army from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Infinity Ward, at some point, must have figured this perk would be a fan favorite. In fact, One Man Army is a favorite, but for the wrong reasons. The problem is when a good idea like class swapping mid-match is exploited and subsequently abused. The ire of this perk can be summed up with five simple words: One Man Army Noob Tubes. Still not rectified to this day, the One Man Army and grenade launcher exploit from MW2 remains Call of Duty’s “say hello to my little friend” themed pain in the butt.
You may have forgotten the Shades perk as this one goes all the way back to Call of Duty: World at War. Having played the game you may recall the use of signal flares. They’re throwable equipment designed to impede enemy vision by producing an intense white glare on the screen. The Shades perk will counteract Signal Flares by dampening the intensity of the blinding light. That’s quite all there is to it. Aside from that, players with Shades equipped will also have their avatar decked out in a pair of spiffy sunglasses. In truth, it’s one of the worst Call of Duty perks there is and it should have been as useful as Gas Mask counteracts Tabun Gas grenades.
Going back to the golden era of Call of Duty online multiplayer mayhem, it’s heavily debated what insights more rage. Does a downed enemy in a prone stance who manages to kill you sting more than one that drops a live grenade on death? No matter, nothing is quite like the satisfaction of out maneuvering and defeating your opponent in close quarters than to have your parade rained on by a dropped grenade. Martyrdom has to be one of the worst Call of Duty perks ever implemented into the series. We still don’t know what feels worse: succumbing to the grenade itself, or the desperate, hopeless scramble to get out of the blast radius before your killstreak comes crashing to a halt in agony?
There is a clear winner for one of the worst Call of Duty perks that costs you everything. Bitter, seething anger and thin lipped curses are the product of any player made victim to a once believed defeated enemy. Whether you call it Last Stand, Second Chance, or Survivor, the torture is equally potent. You know exactly what these perks have in common and, chances are, you’ve encountered someone in matchmaking with the perk equipped. One of the absolute worst feelings in any Call of Duty game is going on one of your best killstreaks only to be taken out by someone dropping into prone in a last ditch effort to stop you. Come to think of it, Extended Mags doesn’t sound so bad an attachment.
Without a doubt, the worst Call of Duty perk on this list goes to Eavesdrop from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Don’t mistake this with the SitRep perk from Modern Warfare 2, which makes enemy footsteps much more audible. No, the Eavesdrop perk allows the player to, you guessed it, eavesdrop on the enemy team’s voice chat. The catch is that you’ve got to be in close proximity to enemy players in order for the perk to kick in. What makes Eavesdrop practically useless is that it’s totally dependent on whether the enemy team is using mics, much less whether they even decide to communicate at all.