Shotgun fans annoyed with Warzone’s close-range meta dominated by “broken” SMGs

Luca Di Marzo
Warzone Shotgun

Warzone players have voiced their frustration with the longstanding close-range meta dominated by SMGs, leaving no room for Shotgun viability.

Warzone’s Season 4 Reloaded update brought several buffs and nerfs to the battle royale, but while it altered the long-range meta dominated by the NZ-41, it did very little to impact the close-range meta.

For some time now, Vanguard SMGs have completely commanded the close-range meta with other viable options few and far between. Not only does this limit the opportunity to use Modern Warfare and Cold War SMGs, but it also limits the viability of Shotguns in Warzone.

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Modern Warfare Operator holding VLK Rogue ShotgunActivision

Vanguard SMGs like the Armaguerra 43, Marco 5, Type 100, and even the recently nerfed H4 Blixen are amongst Warzone’s top weapons in terms of popularity and K/D.

Even Warzone expert JGOD’s recent video highlighting Warzone Season 4 Reloaded close-range meta is almost exclusively dominated by Vanguard SMGs.

Players have picked up on this trend and voiced their frustration with Warzone’s close-range meta. The question many players seem to be asking is: why has there not been a consistent Shotgun in Warzone’s close-range meta for months on end?

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As this Reddit post explains, the entire shotgun class seems to continuously get neglected in favor of increasingly broken Vanguard SMGs.

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The comments showcase a healthy debate between players discussing the state of Shotguns in Warzone. The most convincing of the bunch summarizes a possible reason behind the notable absence: “Shotguns are always either totally broken or useless they are a plague to balance.”

They weren’t the only player to share a similar opinion: “Shotguns are impossible to balance well since they’re only useful if they can basically one-shot at close range, otherwise an SMG is pretty much always better.”

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Players seem to believe that the degree of difficulty involved in balancing Shotguns is what’s holding the weapon class back. It would be tough to justify a one-shot kill weapon capable of downing a player with a maximum health of 300.

Alternatively, one player gives the ideal example of what a balanced Shotgun felt like: “I would normally agree but the VLK pre-buff is a great example of a shotgun that was actually kinda decent but not OP.”

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While it seems like some players believe a middle ground is achievable, the majority of players are wary of repeating past mistakes: “Dude, you must’ve not been here during the whole doof-doof crisis, plus the JAK-12 and the Streetsweeper.”


For more, check out how Warzone players are also frustrated with skydiving gunfights and how they want a Modern Warfare exclusive LTM before Modern Warfare 2.

Image Credit: Activision

About The Author

Luca is a Senior Writer at CharlieIntel. An accomplished, writer with interests in sports and gaming alike, Luca is focused on Call of Duty and FIFA as a content creator. After earning his BA in English Literature at Concordia University, he began writing for Gamelevate, OddsShark, and H4X. Luca joined CharlieIntel in 2021. You can reach Luca at [email protected], or via his Twitter @TheLucaDiMarzo.