Want to learn which is the best SMG in Warzone? SMGs often play a key role in your Warzone loadouts. Paired with Assault Rifles and Snipers, you’ll be using submachine guns a whole lot in your Warzone adventures for close-quarters combat.
This Best SMG in Warzone guide will walk you through every SMG in the game, and help you build a better loadout.
The best SMG in Warzone
The best SMG in Warzone Season 5 is the OTs 9, though it's a close competition. The Cold War SMGs have largely taken over, but a few Modern Warfare options remain strong. The OTs 9, however, will drop enemies faster than any other SMG from either game. It has limitations, but this is the best overall SMG in Warzone right now.
Here's the best SMG in Warzone:
- OTs 9
- MP5 (Cold War)
- MP5 (MW)
- Nail Gun
- Milano 821
- AUG (MW)
- KSP 45
- PP19 Bizon
- Striker 45
Now, let’s go through all the SMGs in Warzone from best to worst. This’ll be fun!
OTs 9 - Best SMG in Warzone Season 5
Everything around the OTs 9 just keeps getting nerfed. When it released in Season 4, the general consensus on the OTs 9 was that its 40 round maximum magazine size was going to hold it out of the top tier outside of Solos. In Season 5 though, its damage just stands out too much to ignore. You’re going to melt enemies with the OTs 9, at a rate no other SMG can keep up with.
While the OTs 9’s range is pretty limited, it is unparalleled in close quarters. Movement speed is king in close-range Warzone fights, and you can easily stack tons of it on the OTs 9. With all that mobility and close-range damage, there’s just no competition. The OTs 9 is the best SMG in Warzone Season 5. the OTs 9 is the best SMG in Warzone Season 5.
If you want to try out this tiny terror, check out our guide to the best OTs 9 loadout in Warzone Season 5.
MP5 (Cold War)
Now that its older brother has caught the nerf bat, the Cold War version of the MP5 is the superior sibling once again. The higher rate of fire on the CW MP5 will make the TTK better than the MW version if you hit a few limb and stomach shots. In most fights, you probably will.
Additionally, Cold War guns have vastly superior mobility to their Modern Warfare counterparts across the board. That’s true in this case too. You’re going to move much quicker with the Cold War MP5, and that will make the difference in a fight more often than a marginal difference in best-case TTK. This is the better MP5 for Season 5.
If you enjoy the Cold War MP5, head over to our guide to the best Cold War MP5 loadout!
The MAC-10 has been nerfed a few times now, but it's still a great SMG in Warzone Season 5. It has great mobility, a ludicrous rate of fire, and manageable recoil. While it no longer has exceptional time-to-kill at any range, the MAC-10 still just feels really good. If the MAC-10 is a comfort pick for you, don’t be afraid to keep on using it.
Comfort is really the MAC-10's biggest boon. It is easier to use and more forgiving than the MP5 and OTs 9. The recoil is low, and the larger magazine will help you fend off multiple foes. There's something to be said for that ease of use. The Krig 6 has been the most-picked Assault Rifle for over a month now because its just so easy to use compared to more powerful options. The MAC-10 fits that same mold for the SMG category.
Check out our best MAC-10 loadout guide for more tips and advice!
On paper, the full-auto version of the Tec-9 looks very powerful. It has excellent time-to-kill and is made fairly forgiving by its sky-high rate of fire. The only thing that makes it tough to evaluate is the unusual selection of attachments. Is there any use for the semi-auto or burst-fire versions? Will the lack of Agency Suppressor hold the Tec-9 back at all? Time will tell, but for now, the answer looks simple. Don’t sweat the lack of Agency. Just slap on a Full Auto Repeater and go wild.
The other fire modes are interesting, but it will be tough to compete with Full Auto. Burst-fire's time-to-kill math does not look favorable, but semi-auto has potential. If you want a unique sniper support SMG, a semi-atumoatic Tec-9 loadout might be worth a shot. Still, the Full Auto repeater will be the safest bet for most players.
The MP7 is in a great spot right now in Warzone. It had some competitors nerfed down to its level back in Season 4, and currently has one of the best close range times-to-kill in the SMG category. Its damage falls off pretty hard at extreme (for SMGs) range, but it still makes a solid sniper support. This gun is really, really strong inside of about 15 metres, though. If you haven’t used this Modern Warfare classic in a while, now is the time.
If you haven't picked this weapon up in a while, get a refresher with our guide to the best MP7 loadouts.
The AK74u is in line to be a great sniper support SMG in Warzone Season 5. Its close-range damage output is on the low end, but it holds up very nicely at mid to long-range. It isn’t as fast or flexible as some of its competitors in that category, but with such strong headshot damage, it doesn’t have to be. If you find your old sniper support Assault Rifle builds are letting you down, give the AK74u a try.
Sniper support SMGs in general look very tantalizing in Warzone Season 5. Assault Rifles have repeatedly had their close-range and mid-range damage nerfed, so sniper support AR builds have a harder time dueling SMGs. A properly built AK74u will beat Assault Rifle users up close and out to mid-range. Beyond that, your Swiss K31 or Kar98k will make short work of long-range AR users.
Make the most of this beast with our guide to spec'ing out the best AK74u loadout.
MP5 (Modern Warfare)
The Modern Warfare MP5 finally caught a nerf in the first week of Season 5, but it’s still pretty darn good. It won’t shred quite as consistently as it once did, but if you’re hitting chest shots this classic still puts in work. If you really love the Modern Warfare MP5, there’s no reason to abandon it now.
The Modern Warfare MP5 can't keep up with the Cold War MP5's movement speed, but it can achieve excellent hipfire spread. If you prefer a hipfire-based playstlyle, the Modern Warfare SMGs can still excel, and the MP5 is one of the best ones.
Check out our best MP5 loadout guide for more details.
The Bullfrog is a higher-skill SMG, but a very strong one if your aim is on point. If you're landing only body shots, it will lag behind other SMGs. However, the Bullfrog has higher headshot damage than nearly all other SMGs. If you can drill a couple of headshots, the Bullfrog starts to feel incredibly powerful.
In the hands of a skilled player, the Bullfrog is one of the best two or three SMGs in Warzone Season 5. The 85 round magazine makes it easy to take on multiple enemies at once, and that headshot damage is just such a huge boost in the right hands. The only reason we've ranked it here is the skill requirement.
Check out our guide for the full rundown on building the best Bullfrog loadout.
The CX-9 isn’t quite the monster the OTs 9 is, but it’s very solid. It competes more with the MAC-10 in time-to-kill. The MAC-10 has much better peak mobility, but the CX-9 has slightly better mid-range damage. Plus, it can acheive the same excellent hipfire as the MP5 and other MW SMGs. We wouldn’t call it top tier but the CX-9 is still a superb SMG. Plus, it looks really cool. It's worth a shot for that alone.
If you need a build for this new Modern Warfare weapon, check out our guide to the best CX-9 loadout in Warzone.
The PPSh has always had great range and mobility, and makes a surprisingly strong sniper support. It's really just rock-solid in every respect, and the 71 round magazine can give you an edge in hectic fights. It may not have many other standout traits, but nothing about the PPSh is bad.
Its best role is probably as a more flexibile alternative to the AK74u. The giant magazine will keep you from getting caught reloading. Plus, the higher rate of fire and lack of dependance on headshots makes it much more forgiving. The PPSh may not be top tier, but it's definitely good.
Check out our guide to the best PPSh loadouts to take advantage of its strengths.
Submachine Gun is an... interesting way to describe a Nail Gun, but that’s how Warzone classifies this specialty weapon. The Nail Gun was nerfed after a brief reign of terror but remains a powerful option at close range if you can hit some headshots. Beyond that, the damage falls off fast. If you have the accuracy though, the Nail Gun can still dominate.
If you haven't unlocked this unusual armament yet, check out our handy guide on how to unlock the Nail Gun in Warzone.
The ISO has never been very good in Warzone, but a slight buff has at least made it not terrible. There’s no range at which the ISO excels, and it won’t have the mobility to keep up with Cold War SMGs. If you’ve been bummed about this weapon’s poor fortunes since its release though, now is the time to give it a shot.
I do personally like the feel of the gun, so check out our full best ISO loadout guide if you want to try it yourself.
The fast-firing Fennec looks incredible on paper but is held back by magazine capacity and bullet velocity. The 40-round magazine empties in a flash. Combine that with erratic recoil and slow-moving bullets, and it’s just really tricky to get enough hits on an enemy past close range. Even if you are inside 10 metres, the Fennec still drops targets slower than an MP5.
If you want to give this off-meta pick a try, visit our guide to the best Fennec loadout in Warzone Season 5.
The poor, poor Milano didn’t deserve this. This SMG went from the dumpster to the top of the mountain in Season 4, but a stealth nerf tested and confirmed by premiere stats guru TrueGameData obliterated the Milano’s damage. Its niche has now been completely swallowed by stronger SMGs in Season 5.
If you still want to run the Milano, you should take advantage of its extemely low recoil. This is a very easy to use SMG. Unfortunately, there are similarly easy to use weapons that deal much more damage.
If you missed the wave and want to try to recapture the magic, visit our best Milano 821 loadout.
The Modern Warfare AUG is still solid but has been power-crept out of the meta in Warzone. A slight buff in Season 4 Reloaded helped, but not enough. Its base 9mm version has respectable time-to-kill, but gets held back by limited range and a 32 round magazine. The 5.56 conversion is actually very competitive in damage, yet unfortunately comes with one of the worst ADS times in the SMG class. Sluggish handling really limits the AUG’s competitiveness and makes it feel clunkier than an SMG should.
If the handling doesn't scare you though, check out our guide to building the best AUG Warzone loadout.
The P90 is one of a few Modern Warfare SMGs that feels abandoned by the high-mobility meta. This unique-looking bullpup is a laser with a time-to-kill that isn't terrible, but it isn't good either. It’s just hard to justify using a close-range SMG with worse TTK and movement speed than its competitors. Again, as with other Modern Warfare guns, you can build for some great hipfire, and you won't need a magazine attachment. No matter how you build it though, the P90 won't keep up with the competition.
Burst guns, man. From the Call of Duty 4 M16 to the Modern Warfare (2019) FR 5.56, it seems these weapons are either incredible or awful. The KSP is, tragically, not very good. Much like the Bullfrog, it gets a big boost if you can drill headshots. On a burst SMG though, that’s a big ask. You can make it good with great aim, but most players are better off avoiding this one.
The Bizon is not in a very good spot right now. It competes very directly with its Cold War counterpart, the Bullfrog, and categorically loses. Damage is worse, mobility is worse, and even the magazine is one round smaller. There’s just no reason at all to use the Bizon over the Bullfrog in Warzone.
The LC10 already had subpar time-to-kill at every range, and further nerfs really did not help. This is a low recoil, easy-to-use gun, and if you like the feel there are worse options out there. In Warzone Season 5 though, they sure aren't worse by much. If you aren’t attached to your LC10, I really recommend you avoid you move on for now. It just flat-out takes too long to kill.
Check out our best LC10 loadout guide for tips on how to kit this thing out too.
The Uzi has been one of the worst SMGs in Warzone for a very long time. It had its long-range damage buffed slightly in Season 4 Reloaded, but I really don’t think it’s enough to matter. There are better options in nearly all situations right now.
The Striker-45 is a long-time member of the “Did they make this gun terrible on purpose?” tier. It's modestly competitive for about a five-meter stretch around 30 meters out but is otherwise much worse than nearly every other option in every other situation. Headshots help, but not enough on something with a fire rate this low. Don't use the Striker 45 unless you're looking to intentionally hinder yourself.
Below is a comprehensive stat table for Warzone's many SMGs to contextualize our list. The shots-to-kill includes best and worst case shots required for various enemy health breakpoints. We also have handling stats to give you a complete picture of each weapon.
|Name||Damage||Shots To Kill||RPM||Mag||Reload||ADS||Move %|
|AUG||49 | 34 | 34 | 30||3-5 | 4-7 | 5-9 | 6-11||739||25||2.21s||238ms||97%|
|P90||40 | 25 | 25 | 22||3-8 | 4-12 | 5-16 | 7-20||905||50||2.78s||196ms||96%|
|MP5||49 | 34 | 34 | 30||3-6 | 4-9 | 5-12 | 6-15||798||30||2.79s||200ms||100%|
|Uzi||55 | 34 | 34 | 30||2-6 | 3-9 | 4-12 | 5-15||603||32||2.30s||163ms||99%|
|Bizon||55 | 34 | 34 | 34||2-6 | 3-8 | 4-11 | 5-14||654||64||2.11s||225ms||96%|
|MP7||40 | 25 | 25 | 22||3-8 | 4-11 | 5-15 | 7-18||950||40||1.97s||196ms||99%|
|Striker 45||55 | 34 | 34 | 30||2-6 | 3-9 | 4-12 | 5-15||605||25||1.70s||192ms||97%|
|Fennec||40 | 24 | 24 | 21||3-8 | 4-12 | 5-16 | 7-20||1085||25||2.36s||208ms||97%|
|ISO||36 | 25 | 25 | 22||3-6 | 5-9 | 6-12 | 7-14||882||20||2.23s||196ms||97%|
|MP5 (Cold War)||44 | 31 | 31 | 27||3-5 | 4-7 | 5-10 | 6-13||854||30||2.48s||200ms||99%|
|Milano 821||49 | 43 | 39 | 36||3-4 | 4-5 | 5-7 | 6-9||576||32||2.37s||163ms||100%|
|AK-74u||49 | 34 | 31 | 31||3-5 | 4-8 | 5-10 | 6-13||696||30||2.52s||229ms||99%|
|KSP 45||62 | 40 | 40 | 40||2-4 | 3-7 | 4-9 | 4-12||510||30||2.40s||200ms||99%|
|Bullfrog||46 | 31 | 31 | 27||3-6 | 4-9 | 5-12 | 6-14||751||50||2.34s||200ms||99%|
|MAC-10||27 | 23 | 23 | 20||4-6 | 5-9 | 7-12 | 9-15||1118||32||2.00s||167ms||101%|
|LC10||41 | 27 | 27 | 24||3-5 | 4-7 | 5-10 | 6-13||800||34||2.2s||192ms||96%|
|Nail Gun||66 | 46 | 46 | 46||2-3 | 3-4 | 4-6 | 5-7||515||20||2.38s||229ms||100%|
|PPSh||33 | 26 | 26 | 23||3-5 | 4-8 | 6-10 | 7-11||904||32||1.98s||172ms||100%|
|OTs 9||45 | 34 | 34 | 30||3-6 | 4-9 | 5-12 | 6-14||855||20||??s||??ms||100%|
|CX-9||34 | 24 | 24 | 21||3-5 | 5-8 | 6-10 | 8-12||1036||20||1.98||179ms||101%|
|Tec-9||79 | 53 | 49 | 49||2-3 | 2-4 | 3-5 | 4-6||424||20||1.64s||217ms||100%|
And there you have it! Hopefully now you're a master of the SMG arsenal, and you're ready to put your newfound knowledge to the test. In case you need something to pair your SMG with, give our guide to the best Assault Rifles in Warzone a look! If you're an LMG fan, Season 5 is great for LMGs too. Check out our guide to the best LMGs in Warzone for more.