You’ve probably heard about Call of Duty: Warzone’s latest exploit. When Infinity Ward recently removed the damage falloff for the FR 5.56, it apparently accidentally applied this to its attachments too. The end result? A shotgun underbarrel attachment that always one-shots up to around 15 meters.
This has gone on to cause absolute chaos in Warzone as everyone is now running the FR 5.56 as a shotgun secondary. There’s simply no other gun that competes at close quarters. Not any of the submachine guns or even the actual primary shotguns can match up.
Although this was obviously unintended, it does bring an interesting topic to the table. To be frank, without its broken shotgun attachment, the FR 5.56 may be the worst primary weapon in Warzone. This can be put down to a couple of unfortunate characteristics the gun possesses.
The current state of the FR 5.56
The FR 5.56 is Modern Warfare‘s interpretation of the fan-favorite FAMAS. Just like the FAMAS, its a three-round burst assault rifle that has the potential to kill very quickly, but is punishing if you miss any shots. At least that’s the case in regular multiplayer.
However, in Warzone it doesn’t matter how accurate you are with the weapon. The FR 5.56 will always produce a sub-par time to kill against any enemy who has armor. Since the assault rifles outputs a flat 40 damage-per-shot without falloff, a single burst can do up to 120 damage. After a burst is complete, the FAMAS cannot fire another burst until its 225 ms burst delay is over.
This means that killing through either one or two armor plates will take between 417 and 484 ms. For comparison, the meta FAL manages 240 ms to kill, while even off-meta weapons like the AK-47 can do the same in just under 400 ms.
The burst delay issue is exemplified when going up against enemies with full health and armor. Here, the FR 5.56, without headshots, will require three separate bursts to secure a kill. In other words, that’s a time to kill of 834 ms. In that time a FAL user could have killed you two and a half times over.
The other problem the FAMAS has is that its effective range is nonexistent. In real life, the main advantage to burst fire is that it’s very easy to control recoil. Unfortunately, Warzone doesn’t subscribe to that vision. Due to the FR 5.56’s nasty vertical recoil within a burst, it’s practically impossible to hit all three shots at long range. Given the meta being automatic laser beam rifles and light machine guns, the FAMAS simply doesn’t stand a chance.
How to fix the FR 5.56
The way I see things, there are effectively two methods of fixing the FR 5.56. Which one Infinity Ward will opt for depends on its vision of how the gun should perform. Firstly, it could drastically shorten the burst delay to bring it in line with past Call of Duty games.
In Modern Warfare 2, the FAMAS has a burst delay of just 100 ms. Thanks to stopping power, this was fairly overpowered. There’s a serious argument that removing the burst delay could work in Warzone. With 100 ms shaved off, the FR 5.56’s time to kill would drop to 590 ms. This would bring it in line with the likes of the M4A1, RAM-7, and Kilo 141. It still wouldn’t be a very good long-range weapon, but the altered time to kill would make the FAMAS a viable close-mid range assault rifle.
As for the alternative, converting the FR 5.56 into a laser-accurate burst gun could work. For this, the FAMAS burst delay would remain unaltered. And instead, Infinity Ward could remove the recoil within each burst. This would still leave a sub-par theoretical time to kill but provide something more practical.
Think about the Grau meta. On paper, the Grau 5.56 isn’t a great gun since its three-plate time to kill of 640 ms is slow. However, thanks to its low recoil, the Grau a widely used gun since landing shots is easy to do. The FAMAS could fill a similar role.
The cons of both approaches
Shortening the burst delay would make the FAMAS more applicable in Warzone. Unfortunately, I fear that this approach could have some nasty side effects in multiplayer. When armor is taken out of the equation, the FR 5.56 has a time to kill of just 120 ms. This would make it among the the most lethal in Modern Warfare.
Currently, due to its long burst delay, requiring a second burst brings that time to kill all the way up to 345 ms. A third burst cripples the gun to a woeful 570 ms. In most gunfights, requiring more than one burst will get you killed. This is how Infinity Ward balances out its theoretical one-burst time to kill.
If you were to cut back the burst delay to just 100 ms, these numbers change to 120-240-360 ms. Although the three-burst time to kill is still fairly slow, this change actually leaves the two-burst time to kill in a very competitive state. Keep in mind these numbers aren’t even taking headshots into account.
As for the recoil change, this would likely work better but be much more situational. At the end of the day, even if the FR 5.56 had literally zero vertical recoil, you would still struggle to land all three shots on a moving target. This means for this change to have a real effect, Infinity Ward would have to also buff the rifle’s bullet velocity.
Giving any gun back-to-back buffs for damage falloff, recoil, and bullet velocity is a disaster waiting to happen. I fear that if all of these were implemented the FAMAS would end up being overwhelmingly strong in multiplayer.
And for Infinity Ward, that is the big challenge. How do you make the FR 5.56 viable in Warzone without ruining multiplayer? Honestly, I don’t have an answer to that question. And it’s precisely that issue that has likely prevented the FAMAS from receiving any intended notable buffs. Until Infinity Ward figures out a way around this dilemma, the FR 5.56 will likely remain a poor choice in Warzone.