Let the warfare begin

Call of Duty: Mordern Warfare 2 just hit stores, and it's nothing short of amazing. In addition to a captivating single-player campaign and numerous Spec Ops missions, Modern Warfare 2 also has some of the best competitive multiplayer you'll find, complete with perks, new weapons and more. To help you get the most out of your online experience, here are some tips that will help you kill fools and rise up the leaderboards.

Communication is key


It's vital that you work alongside your team to get the most kills. Otherwise, you'll run around like loose cannons, trying to rack up points while your more organized opponents hunt you down.

You'll have a few seconds before the start of each match to figure things out. See if you can formulate a group plan with the leader of the team, or someone with a higher rank than you. If they don't provide any ideas (or just want to go out and kill, as numerous players do), keep a close tab on your teammates' actions. Watch where they go and what they do, and maybe stick with one of them to provide backup. If you lose sight of them, don't worry. Your HUD shows where your teammates are throughout the match, so you can help someone that's down for the count or in the middle of an ambush.

Most importantly, don't shoot your teammates. Friendly fire is not the way to go in Modern Warfare 2. One death can make all the difference between a win and loss.

Learn the maps

You'll eventually get lost while exploring a map for the first time. That's completely acceptable, no matter what teammates say. If you have a free moment, don't be afraid to look around. Check out high spots that are perfect for snipers. Look for little hiding spots where you can perch and wait for some poor sucker to pass by. These maps, expertly designed by Infinity Ward, are meant to be taken advantage of, and not just mere background settings for you to spill blood in. Learn the maps and, in time, you'll use them to your advantage.

We strongly suggest jumping into several private matches with friends. That way, you're free to explore without the threat of death.

Find a weapon that suits you

If there's one thing you'll grow to love, it's the cache of weapons at your disposal. Each class has specific guns, such as the Barrel M107 sniper rifle (perfect for those long-range kills) or the Stinger missile launcher. If you really want to see which suits you, give each class a try. Some prefer staying silent and getting kills from afar on unsuspecting prey, while others dive face-first into the action and take out soldiers with an assault rifle or combat knife.

Don't overlook the power of your pistol, though. If your gun is out of ammo or you don't have time to do a quick reload, a quick button press instantly whips it out, letting you squeeze off a few shots before the enemy can react. (Note: not all classes have the handgun.)

As for unlocking all of the weapons, just keep chipping away. As you progress, you'll unlock a whole arsenal of classes, along with being able to customize your own. Soon enough, you'll be an effective killing machine, with your favorite guns within reach.

Embrace your perks (Regular and Pro)

As you create your class, you'll want to know what perks work best for you. There are three perk slots available, with each one offering something that serves a purpose in combat. In perk slot 1, for example, you can use the Bling to add two attachments to your primary weapons, or try your luck with Sleight of Hand, which gives you faster reloading. Perk slot 2 gives you advantages, such as Hardline (needing one less death to establish a Killstreak) and Lightweight (which makes you go faster). Perk Slot 3 lets you pick from a number of abilities, including Ninja (which makes you invisible to heartbeat sensors) and Last Stand (where you can survive a few more seconds in combat while incapacitated, something you can't do in the original Modern Warfare).

Here's a combination that works for us. Perk slot 1 has Marathon, which gives you unlimited sprinting. This is ideal if you're avoiding snipers or catching up to a slower opponent. Cold-Blooded is best for perk slot 2, as you're unnoticed by UAV, air support, sentry guns and thermal. (This is a major plus against competitive players who like to set traps.) Finally, in perk slot 3, we suggest Commando, which gives you increased distance on melee attacks.

Another plus to Modern Warfare 2 is being able to upgrade these perks to Pro. You'll need to complete the separate challenge for each perk to receive these abilities, but it's certainly worth it. What's cool about these pro perks is they work alongside your previously working perks, rather than replacing them. So, for instance, Sleight of Hand gives you faster reloading. With pro, you have accelerated aiming, so you don't take so long pointing your sights on an enemy. Go with the Pro.


Killstreak rewards

Similar to the first Modern Warfare, you'll gain several bonuses depending on your number of kills. Three uninterrupted kills in a row grants you access to the UAV, which temporarily shows you enemy positions on a map. This is a fine tool for "sniffing" out snipers and soldiers.

The higher the Killstreak, the greater the reward. Four earns you a care package with weapon reloads and a possible random Killstreak. Five gives you access to a Sentry gun and/or a Predator missile to kill enemies from the air, and it keeps getting better.

Go above ten and the rewards really pay off. A Chopper Gunner comes swooping in, shooting enemies from the sky if they're not under cover. Fifteen gives you an EMP that disables enemy electronics entirely, making thermal scopes and red dot sights completely useless. The EMP is also important for taking enemies out of the air, such as a helicopter or a Predator drone.

The best reward, obviously, comes at 25 kills: the Tactical Nuke. If your team faces an attack from one of these, forget it. The match is over. But just remember that Killstreak rewards can be used defensively just as they can offensively. Missiles can blow planes out of the air, EMPs can shut down most electrical weapons (including the nuke) and UAV jammers can hide your soldiers' locations. Keep building up your kills and you'll reap these rewards soon enough.

Stay low and move quickly

Obviously, with a game as competitive as Modern Warfare 2, this is basic advice: keep moving. You've got snipers everywhere, ready to pick off whatever enters their crosshairs with a simple headshot. To avoid getting killed, make sure you stay low and out of the open as much as possible. Find a hiding spot and plot your next move, and don't do it in the middle of an open area.

Keeping up speed also gives you a chance of survival against ground forces. Soldiers will constantly be on the prowl, looking for targets to put in their sights. If you stay in one place too long, you'll be easy to spot, even if they're not using the UAV.

Don't get frustrated

Last but not least, if you become frustrated that it's taking too long to reach Class 4 (which opens up Create a Class), don't be. Everyone starts at Class 1 (especially since Infinity Ward reset the servers this morning), so you're in good company. Keep up the pace and you'll rack up kills and rewards in no time.


See you online.