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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has 51 weapons, and more will likely be added to the game via future updates. Just because the game has over 50 ways to kill opponents, though, doesn’t mean players can use all of those guns right out of the gate.
If you visit the Gunsmith tab in the Multiplayer Loadout menu as soon as you hop into Modern Warfare 2‘s multiplayer mode, you’ll will find that there are only a few weapons at your disposal. Those include the M4 assault rifle, the VEL 46 SMG, and the MCPR-300 sniper rifle. That selection is paltry compared to the game’s full arsenal, and players will initially need to tolerate that scant selection until they play the game a bit and eventually get to the good stuff.
In order to unlock every gun (and most other items) in Modern Warfare 2, players first need to level up. For some weapons, such as the TAQ-56 assault rifle and the Lockwood 300 shotgun, that level-up process applies to a player’s account rank (Ranks 19 and 36 for these weapons, respectively). Just keep entering matches as normal and you will reach those milestones. In order to actually know which ranks unlock which guns, though, you have to scroll over your firearm of choice while in the Gunsmith menu. There, the game will list the answer to most of your “how to unlock” questions underneath the weapon’s name and description. Many of the game’s guns can be unlocked by completing the prerequisites listed in that area.
Not all gun unlocks are quite that easy, though. Some weapons form the basis of what Modern Warfare 2 calls “Platforms.” Although, gamers who have been around the block a few times know them better as tech trees (or, in this case, weapon trees). In order to unlock some of those firearms, you need to prove your prowess with one Platform by leveling it up a bit.
In order to check which weapon Platforms are linked to which restricted items, simply scroll over to any item and select “Weapon Progression” (which is found right above a gun’s stats). This option opens a tab that shows how each weapon is connected. For instance, the TAQ-56 assault rifle forms the basis of the Tactique Verte Platform, which includes the TAQ-V battle rifle and the TAQ-M marksman rifle. In order to wield these weapons, you have to brandish the TAQ-56 until it reaches Levels 11 and 20, respectively. Not all weapon trees are as simple as the Tactique Verte Platform, though.
The M4 tree, for instance, includes five guns: the M4 assault rifle, FTAC Recon battle rifle, 556 Icarus LMG, FSS Hurricane SMG, and M16 assault rifle. The FTAC Recon and 556 Icarus are easy enough since you only need to level up the M4 to rank 13 and 18, respectively, but the FSS Hurricane and M16 are larger time sinks. In order to unlock those weapons, you need to also level up the FTAC Recon and 556 Icarus to Levels 16 and 13, again respectively. And before you ask, yes, Modern Warfare 2 includes plenty of weapons that only be unlocked by leveling up items that are hidden behind rank grind walls of their own. The STB 556 assault rifle and X12 handgun are two such pieces of equipment.
Like cosmetics, unlocking weapons in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 costs time instead of money, and not all of them are acquired by simply engaging in multiplayer matches. While virtually every gun in the game is viable in combat, in order to acquire your favorites from previous games, you might have to slog through a few firearms that you may or may not be a fan of.