Want to learn which is the best SMG in Warzone Caldera? 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 Caldera
The best SMG in Warzone is the Welgun, though it's a close competition. This mid-season 1 addition has astoundingly low recoil, to the point it can afford more damage-boosting attachments than any other SMG while maintaining easily controllable recoil. With the right build, it is a deadly combination of powerful and relatively easy to use. Several other options crack the top tier too. We'll walk you through each in detail below.
Here's the best SMG in Warzone Caldera:
- OTs 9
- PPSh (VG)
- MP5 (Cold War)
- Owen Gun
- MP5 (MW)
- PPSh (CW)
- Nail Gun
- Type 100
- Milano 821
- AUG (MW)
- KSP 45
- PP19 Bizon
- Striker 45
Now, let’s go through all the SMGs in Warzone from best to worst.
Welgun - Best SMG in Warzone Pacific
The Welgun has outstanding flexibility, made possible by very low base recoil. In the stock configuration, its time-to-kill (TTK) is pretty slow. However, you’ll have no issues at all hitting your shots, making it very consistent. Things get interesting once you start adding on attachments. Many Vanguard weapons have muzzle and barrel options that boost rate of fire at the cost of recoil control. All of them have higher-damage magazine conversions with similar recoil drawbacks. Stacking these attachments makes the TTK look great on paper, but in practice, the massive recoil increases spoil the fun. The Welgun is the exception, able to stack two fire-rate boosters with a high-damage magazine to achieve best-in-class TTKs at recoil levels you can still manage. That makes it the best SMG in Warzone.
Of course, you’ll need the right build to pull this off, so check out our guide to the best Welgun Warzone loadout for more.
If you were to ask players to design an SMG’s attachment list without knowing the base stats of the gun, they would probably come up with something pretty close to the M1912. You can tweak it for buzzsaw fire rates, damage and stability at range, or unreal hipfire accuracy. Oh, and it has a best-in-class 100 round magazine available. The M1912 is primed for excellence before you even glance at its base stats, which are also excellent. It will drop enemies as fast as any other SMG in the game. This is the best SMG in Warzone right now. Even if it sees significant nerfs, the M1912 will be relevant for a long time.
To get familiar with this present and future top tier, check out our guide to the best M1912 loadout in Warzone.
When it released in Cold War 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. Over the following seasons, the script flipped completely. The OTs 9 melts enemies at a rate very few other SMGs can keep up with. The damage is just so high that most players will gladly trade a larger mag for it.
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, the OTs 9 dominates. If you want to try out this tiny terror, check out our guide to the best OTs 9 loadout in Warzone.
The Vanguard edition of the PPSh performs a lot differently from its Cold War cousin. This is a more close-range weapon that feels more like an OTs 9 with a much, much bigger magazine. It won’t melt enemies quite as fast as the peak OTs, but it certainly drops them very quickly. The Vanguard PPSh is also a bit bouncier than the Cold War version and lacks the signature Cold War attachments that multiplicatively stack movement speed. It is an all-around less user-friendly weapon that nonetheless has superior damage in capable hands. Give this top-tier SMG a shot and you’re sure to dominate; just don’t expect it to feel overly familiar.
MP5 (Cold War)
The MP5s are the only SMGs that can truly keep up with the OTs 9 in time-to-kill. Both are very strong, but the Cold War MP5 wins out because of attachments. Cold War introduced so many ways to add mobility to your weapons that Modern Warfare guns now struggle to keep up.
The Cold War MP5 is uniquely primed to take advantage of this. It has best-in-class damage, high but manageable recoil, and a larger magazine than the OTs 9. Packing all the speed of Cold War attachments onto such a high-damage SMG makes for a phenomenal weapon.
If you enjoy the Cold War MP5, head over to our guide to the best Cold War MP5 loadout!
The Bullfrog is an easy to use SMG that can really excel in the hands of a skilled, knowledgeable player. Of course you already have the skill covered, so let us help you with the knowledge. The Bullfrog's recoil pattern is much smoother than the MP5 and OTs 9, which makes it very easy to stay on target with. Add in an 85 round magazine, and it's a very spray-friendly weapon.
Now, here's the secret; the Bullfrog has one of the highest headshot multipliers in the SMG category. Body damage is not a strong suit, but with one or two headshots the Bullfrog's time-to-kill gets very close to the MP5 and OTs 9. With such a linear recoil pattern, a skilled player can make that happen on a consistent basis while taking advantage of peripheral benefits like the giant magazine.
Check out our guide for the full rundown on building the best Bullfrog loadout in Warzone.
The new LAPA has some huge potential but is just a touch too inconsistent to be a locked-and-loaded top tier SMG. Like the Bullfrog, it has massive headshot damage, and bonus neck damage that is nearly as high. However, its base configuration rate of fire is fairly low, and its stomach and limb damage are similarly lackluster. You can compensate for that somewhat with the LAPA’s unique barrels, which alter damage and rate of fire. The default barrel and Rifled Barrel look best. Regardless of barrel choice, if you’re a skilled, accurate player the LAPA shreds. For those with sufficient skill, the LAPA is one of the best SMGs for Verdansk and Rebirth Island.
If you’re curious about how to unlock and build out the LAPA, visit our guide to the best LAPA loadouts in Warzone.
The MAC-10 has been nerfed a few times now, but it's still a great SMG in Warzone. 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 was the most-picked AR for over a month because it's 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 is the safest bet for most players.
To get the best build for this unusual weapon, visit our guide to the best Tec-9 loadout in Warzone.
MP5 (Modern Warfare)
The Modern Warfare MP5 finally caught a nerf in late 2021, 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. This is the only Modern Warfare SMG that can match the OTs 9's damage, and is a fantastic option despite its shortcomings.
Check out our best MP5 loadout guide for more details.
The MP40 is the new crop of SMGs’ closest comparison to the Krig 6. I know the Krig 6 is an Assault Rifle but bear with me. The MP40 has a lower rate of fire that leads to middle-of-the-road time-to-kill relative to most SMGs. However, with an appropriate loadout, it’s just so darn easy to use. You can tune this thing down to minimum recoil while boasting great strafe speeds that make for comfortable fights. The MP40 is just a smooth ride, and will likely become a long-term comfort pick for many players.
If you need a build, visit our guide to the best MP40 loadouts.
The Owen Gun is one of those weapons that is perhaps a bit too skill dependant, even for the best players. This slow-firing, high-damage SMG has absolutely monster headshot damage and will drop enemies faster than nearly anything else in Warzone with enough well-placed shots. However, with such a low rate of fire, it performs really poorly if you are hitting the extremities. In most fights, even a good player is going to end up landing a good chunk of their shots on the arms or legs. Ultimately, it leaves the gun feeling a bit uneven. Its average time-to-kill is good-to-great, but its worst case is outright bad. Solid range helps, but unless you have excellent aim you may find the Owen Gun wanting.
The MP7 is in a great spot right now in Warzone. It had some competitors nerfed down to its level back in mid-2021, 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. 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 the Warzone meta. 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.
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 headshot dependance make it much more forgiving. The PPSh may not be top tier, but it's very, very good.
Check out our guide to the best PPSh loadouts to take advantage of its strengths.
Damage nerfs elsewhere have brough the Modern Warfare AUG back into the meta, though it's still a bit of a pain to use at times. The AUG has absolutely brutal handling, with one of the slowest ADS speeds in the category. However, its damage with the 5.56 conversion magazine is incredible. It can hang with the OTs 9 and the two MP5s while boasting better range. Use it as a sniper support to mitigate the handling issues and the AUG can be an excellent weapon for Warzone, particularly on Caldera.
If the handling doesn't scare you though, check out our guide to building the best AUG Warzone 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 launch iteration of the Sten feels like a more polarized version of the Bullfrog. As you may have seen elsewhere in this guide, the Bullfrog is known for great headshot damage that makes it a high-floor, sky-high-ceiling SMG. The Sten feels like it should be in the same boat, but its other damage multipliers are just very poor. While one of the highest move speed coefficients in the game certainly helps the feel of the gun, it otherwise feels hard to justify over a Bullfrog. If you need a Bullfrog replacement in Vanguard-only modes, the Sten is worth a look. Otherwise, wait for a buff.
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 Type 100 is in need of some love in the damage department, despite an almost immediate buff post-Caldera launch. The gun has excellent peripheral stats. It handles smoothly with low recoil, great movement speed, and fantastic range. It just really doesn’t do enough damage to make those traits worth much. As it stands, the Type 100 is one of the slowest-killing SMGs in Warzone under all circumstances. The comfortable user experience makes it far from the worst, but it's by no means a meta weapon right now.
The Type 100 is at least usable though, so see our best Type 100 loadout guide if you want to give it a shot.
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.
The poor, poor Milano didn’t deserve this. This SMG went from the dumpster to the top of the mountain in Summer 2021, but a stealth nerf tested and confirmed by premiere stats guru TrueGameData obliterated the Milano’s damage a few months later. Its niche has now been completely swallowed by stronger SMG.
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 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 top-tiers.
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 over the Summer 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 the current Warzone meta though, they sure aren't worse by much. If you aren’t attached to your LC10, I really recommend 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 mid-2021, but I really don’t think it was enough to matter. There are better options in nearly all situations right now. There's just nothing the Uzi does well.
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%|
|LAPA||49 | 33 | 31 | 31||3-5 | 4-6 | 5-8 | 6-10||700||30||2.10s||190ms||101%|
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! For comprehensive loadout ideas, check out our guide to the best loadouts in Warzone, or our Warzone weapons tier list.