Warzone best M16 loadout: Our M16 class setup recommendation and how to unlock the M16 explained
The M16 is one of the more accurate, deadlier rifles in Call of Duty: Warzone, now that it's made the jump to the battle royale game from Black Ops Cold War.
As a marksman rifle, the M16 fires in bursts of three rounds with one trigger pull. Because of this, it's a typically accurate rifle from range, while also potentially killing a target immediately if you can lock into the enemy's head.
The M16 isn't a particularly difficult weapon to unlock in either Black Ops Cold War or Warzone. If you've been using the weapon in the former game's multiplayer mode, you're almost guaranteed to unlock it as soon as you boot up Warzone thanks to its low unlock level in Treyarch's new game.
On this page, we'll be taking you through everything you need to know to get to grips with the M16, as well as everything you can do to maximise the weapon's potential in Call of Duty: Warzone. This includes the best M16 loadouts, the best M16 class, and much more besides.
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As well as our overall best Warzone weapons choices, if you're looking for other loadout recommendations, we have pages on the XM4, Krig 6, MP5, AUG, and for owners of the latest Call of Duty game, our picks for the best guns in Black Ops: Cold War.
How to unlock the M16 in Warzone
The M16 is unlocked pretty early on in the grand scheme of things in Call of Duty: Warzone. Now that the debut crossover season between Black Ops Cold War and Warzone has arrived, you'll unlock the M16 as soon as you hit level 10.
This is because it's the same level that you would unlock the M16 at in Black Ops Cold War. Activision has streamlined unlock levels for weapons between the two games, meaning that when you unlock a weapon in Black Ops Cold War, you'll also unlock it in Warzone.
M16 best loadout and attachments in Warzone
Below, you can find our list of the best attachments to equip with the M16 when taking it into battle in Call of Duty: Warzone.
- Flashguard 5.56 (Unlocks at level 11)
- 16.3 Rapid Fire (Unlocks at level 4)
- Visiontech 2x (Unlocks at level 2)
- Speed Tape (Unlocks at level 9)
- Infiltrator Grip (Unlocks at level 15)
Saying the M16's base stats make it a pretty slow weapon is a massive understatement. You'll find that when you first start using the rifle, it can take what feels like forever to actually pull it up, aim, and fire at an opponent. That's why most of the attachment picks above are aimed at significantly speeding up the weapon, whether that's in aim down sight time, sprint speed, or anything else.
Firstly, the M16 can be pretty difficult to control when you're firing off multiple bursts in very quick succession, so we really like the Flashguard 5.56 on the muzzle of the weapon. This conceals muzzle fire and increases the weapon's control statistic, but if you prefer to be stealthier at the cost of effective damage range, then the Suppressor is a great alternative choice.
We spoke about how slow the M16 can be, and that includes firing speed. The weapon's base stats really don't favour close to medium-range combat against rapid weapons like an MP7 or AK-47u, but you can give it an edge with the 16.3 Rapid Fire on the barrel. This greatly increases the fire rate of the M16 without incurring any stat penalties, which is why we prefer it over the 16.3 Titanium, which penalises the M16's effective damage range.
Next, the Visiontech 2x is a great optic for the M16, and it's one of the very first attachments you'll unlock for the weapon. Another choice like the Millstop Reflex or the Quickdot LED might be better suited to players who plan on getting up close and personal with the M16 in Call of Duty: Warzone, but the Visiontech strikes a great balance between close and mid range zoom.
The Speed Tape is an excellent choice for the rear grip slot of the M16. This attachment is only unlocked at weapon level nine, and increases the M16's aim down sight times, so you can pull the weapon up quicker when an enemy player gets the drop on you. If you're finding that getting hit by enemy fire tends to throw off your aim, consider switching this out for the Field Tape attachment.
Finally, the Infiltrator Grip is a great bonus for the M16 in the underbarrel attachment slot. This attachment gives a huge stat boost to the M16's mobility, and increases the weapon's movement speed, sprinting movement speed, and aim walking movement speed, so you're not stuck rooted to the spot while pinpointing a target. Again, if you're finding that the M16's recoil is a little too much to handle at times, don't be afraid to switch the Infiltrator Grip out for the standard Front Grip, which gives a nice boost to horizontal recoil control.
M16 best class setup in Warzone
In the full list below, you can find our picks of the best equipment items and Perks to work in tandem with the M16 in Warzone.
- Perk 1: Kill Chain (Unlocks at level 34)
- Perk 2: Overkill (Unlocks at level 8)
- Perk 3: Tracker (Unlocks at level 51)
- Secondary: MP5 (Unlocks at level 12)
- Tactical: Stim (Unlocks at level 47)
- Lethal: Claymore (Unlocks at level 1)
To kick things off, the Kill Chain Perk basically works a treat for any custom class in Call of Duty: Warzone, because it gives a significant boost to your chances of finding a Killstreak in a Supply Box. If you're the sort of player that loves rifling through houses and buildings to uncover precious Supply Boxes, then this is the Perk for you.
Next, you'll want the Overkill Perk in slot two. If we're being totally honest, the M16 isn't suited to close quarters combat in any scenario, and you're nearly always going to lose in a straight gunfight against someone with an SMG. Taking the Overkill Perk lets you equip a primary weapon in your secondary weapon slot, so take the Black Ops Cold War MP5 as your backup weapon for tight scenarios. For the best attachments to get the most out the SMG, head over to our Warzone MP5 page for more.
Rounding out the Perks in this custom class is the Tracker in slot three. This Perk lets you pinpoint and follow the footprints that enemy combatants leave behind, while also hiding death markers from other players when you kill an enemy, so the opposing squad isn't breathing down your neck as soon as you've downed their friend.
The Stim might take you a fair while to unlock at player level 47, but it's well worth the time and effort. Using this item immediately replenishes your health, meaning you can be back up and fighting from the brink of death in a second. If you're not yet at level 47, consider taking the Heartbeat Sensor in your tactical slot instead, as it pinpoints enemy locations within a 50-meter radius.
Finally, the Claymore is a solid pick to complement the M16, and it's unlocked from the moment you first start playing Call of Duty: Warzone. This item uses a tripwire to detonate upon any enemy players getting too close, meaning it's the perfect option for protecting yourself when you're hunkered down in one location.
If you need a hand with Modern Warfare weapons in Warzone, you can read how to get the best Grau loadout, best MP7 loadout, best Kilo loadout, best M4A1 loadout and the best M13 loadout.
The Best M16 Warzone Loadout To Use In Season 5
Season 5 Reloaded of Warzone is underway and there are very few weapons that are capable of competing with the M16 tactical rifle, despite Raven Software's best efforts to nerf it!
In 1983, the US Marine Corps adopted the M16A2 rifle with the US Army adopting it three years later.
It fires an improved 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge and features a newer adjustable rear sight, case deflector, heavy barrel, improved handguard, pistol grip and buttstock; as well as a semi-auto and three-round burst fire selector.
In this guide, find the best attachments to use and the best loadout!
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M16 Warzone Loadout
The M16 in Black Ops Cold War quickly became a part of the multiplayer metagame thanks to its incredible damage at all ranges, low levels of recoil and limitless customisation options to suit all styles of play.
In Warzone, the M16 is still a favourite due to its sheer versatility whether it’s in a close-range skirmish or a long-distance duel across the Verdansk rooftops.
With many attachments to equip to the M16, what are the best to use in Warzone?
M16 Warzone Best Attachments
- Agency Silencer (Muzzle)
- 15.9" Strike Team (Barrel)
- Axial Arms 3x (Optic)
- Salvo 60 RND Fast Mag (Ammunition)
- Bruiser Grip (Underbarrel)
Selecting this combination of attachments provides a significant improvement in mobility which makes the M16 much easier to control in close-range scenarios.
The barrel improves damage to such a level that a couple of bursts will remove any armour and the second will eliminate them regardless of range.
There are plenty of scopes to select for the M16 but in order to make use of the additional damage range, we selected the Axial Arms 3x for a crystal-clear view of any opponents attempting to pick you off from afar.
M16 Warzone Class
- FTAC 225mm Dominator (Barrel)
- 5mW Laser (Laser)
- FTAC Vagrant (Stock)
- FTAC Elite ISO Grip (Rear Grip)
- Merc Foregrip (Underbarrel)
The time between bursts can hinder the M16 when trying to score a kill at close-range which is why we have chosen the ISO as our secondary weapon.
Armed with a ferociously fast fire rate, a quick spray with the ISO is more than capable of dealing with any opponents that think they can take you on.
- Semtex (Lethal)
- Heartbeat Sensor (Tactical)
Entering a building with no idea as to what could be inside is one of the riskiest strategies in Warzone. The Semtex and Heartbeat Sensor make a perfect combination to make sure you can get inside without being caught out by anyone hiding in a corner.
Throw the Semtex in through a window to clear out one of the rooms before pulling out the Heartbeat Sensor to double-check the area is clear before entering.
- EOD (Perk 1)
- Overkill (Perk 2)
- Battle Hardened (Perk 3)
This may be a generic Perk combination but it is extremely effective.
EOD and Battle Hardened give you increased resistance to explosives, flash, and stun grenades while Overkill allows you to create a loadout perfect for every situation imaginable.
Best M16 loadout and class setup in Warzone
The M16 Tactical Rifle is a 3-round burst fire weapon, meaning a lot of people slept on it when it was first introduced into Warzone. However, I’ve recently found that this gun absolutely shreds. Its potential to kill in just a couple bursts is absolutely brutal, so without further ado, here's the best M16 loadout in Warzone.
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How to unlock the M16 in Warzone
Unlocking the M16 won’t take long at all, and you might already have it available if you’ve been playing Warzone for a while. All you need to do is rank up to level 10, either in Cold War, Warzone, or both. By logging in with the same account, you’ll be able to carry over your progress and unlocks from each game and use your M16 with all the bells and whistles you’ve already gained.
Best M16 loadout in Warzone
The M16 is a brutal gun when it comes to damage. Here, I’ve put together a couple loadouts and attachment combinations to help you get the best out of the M16, including a mid-range assault build and a close-quarters build to rival SMGs. If you hit your shots right, you can kill an enemy in just two bursts with this brilliant weapon, so take your pick.
Best midrange M16 loadout in Warzone
For me, this is the single best M16 loadout in Warzone. It’s got that sweet suppressor, great range values, and brutal damage if you hit your shots. I put on some attachments to better the gun’s recoil properties too, since as a burst weapon you’ll want to be hitting all 3 shots before moving on.
- Muzzle: Agency Silencer (Level 46)
- Barrel: 20.5” Task Force (Level 48)
- Optic: Axial Arms 3x (Level 12)
- Underbarrel: SFOD Speedgrip (Level 50)
- Ammunition: Salvo 60 Rnd Fast Mag (Level 51)
The Agency Silencer is a must-have in Warzone. Chuck it on your gun and watch your enemies frantically look around to find out where you’re blasting them from. Staying off the radar is essential, and will often give you the time and space you need to snatch victory from imminent failure.
As is often the case with assault-style classes, the longest barrel is the one I’ve picked. The 20.5” Task Force barrel increases your damage range, essential for holding on to your damage in Warzone firefights. It doesn’t harm the gun’s mobility either.
I like the Axial Arms 3x optic, but for this ranged class, you might prefer the Visiontech 2x. It’s a very subjective category though - pick whichever optic looks best for you.
For your underbarrel, I recommend the SFOD Speedgrip. It reduces your movement speed, but also makes you sprint faster which I’d say compensates nicely. The main joy of this grip is the horizontal recoil reduction, making it far easier to stay on target for entire bursts.
Last up? Boost that ammo capacity up. The Salvo 60 Rnd Fast Mag allows you to keep pushing lead down-range whilst not having to wait too long in between loads. It’s a great boost to have, giving you the option to push when your enemy has to stop and reload.Looking for more Warzone guides?
Best close-range M16 loadout in Warzone
If you want a slightly more close-up option, the M16 can be decked out to absolutely shred enemies with speed and precision, two-bursting them at a ludicrous pace. Here’s a great close-up loadout, best paired with an LMG or sniper. It still works at medium ranges too, so see how it feels in comparison to the other loadout:
- Muzzle: Agency Silencer (Level 46)
- Barrel: 15.9” Strike Team (Level 21)
- Optic: Visiontech 2.0 (Level 2)
- Underbarrel: Bruiser Grip (Level 33)
- Ammunition: 45 Rnd (Level 8)
I’ll explain the unique differences in this class so you can jump straight in if it’s for you. The silencer and optic are the same, but we’re switching up the other three slots.
The 15.9” Strike Team barrel has a hidden boost to your bullet velocity which is super nice for hitting moving targets, and also increases your fire rate to increase damage per second and speed up your time-to-kill.
Ammo-wise, this one doesn’t need that 60-round big boy. You should be killing quicker and with more accuracy at the ranges this build operates at, so the 45 Rnd is great here. Finally, the Bruiser Grip has a great deal of hidden recoil control that helps big time with hitting all three shots of the burst. The melee speed is handy too in a tight spot!
When you’re using Overkill, a MAC 10, or LC10 can work wonders with the M16. Alternatively, you can whack out a sniper rifle like the HDR if you’re more nervous about your ranges.
Without Overkill, you’ll probably want to get Ghost on your class. A Diamatti can be a decent secondary, or you could be your team’s designated JOKR-wielder to absolutely wreck enemy vehicles.
Best M16 loadout with Perks and Equipment
To run your M16 to the best possible effect, you’ll want to get the right Perks and Equipment on the class. Thankfully, you shouldn’t struggle too much with this - I have a go-to setup that hardly ever fails:
- Perk 1: EOD
- Perk 2: Overkill/Ghost
- Perk 3: Amped
- Lethal: C4
- Tactical: Heartbeat Sensor
EOD is the perfect counter to your irritating foes blasting you with C4 and RPGs all the blooming time. Tank a bit more damage and you’ll be able to win a load of fights you otherwise would’ve lost. I’ve already explained why both Overkill and Ghost are so vital, but Amped is a stranger pick. I love it because it speeds up your weapon swap speed big-time, making it way faster than reloading and offers the chance to finish off enemies by shaving off those all-important split seconds.
When it comes to equipment, it’s all pretty simple. C4 can blow up vehicles, which can sometimes give you a mega-satisfying instant team wipe, and a Heartbeat Sensor lights up enemies who don’t have Ghost like a christmas tree, making them easy to find and pick off.
That’s all you need to know about the M16 in Warzone! For more Warzone guides, check out our tips on all the Warzone War Tracks, as well as a guide on the new best FARA 83 loadout for Warzone.
Warzone best M16 loadout options: Two-burst your enemies like a pro
The best Warzone best M16 loadout will give you a real edge in a fight and we have some good options here. It's always been a good Call of Duty gun and in Warzone the M16 burst fire ability creates a powerful choice that's also highly accurate. With the right attachments you can drop enemies with two bursts if you land them both. It means the right M16 loadout can create a powerful weapon close up and at a surprising range thanks to the measured firing rate that tightens up the spread over distance in a way full auto will never manage. It can absolutely dominate enemies in Call of Duty Warzone and because of that we've put together a list of some of the Warzone best M16 loadout options here for you to make use of.
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Warzone best M16 loadout: Medium to close range combat, and stealth
- Muzzle: Agency Silencer
- Barrel: 16.3” Titanium
- Optic: Hawksmoor
- Ammunition: 45 Rnd
- Rear Grip: Airborne Elastic Wrap
While the M16 is best used in long range scenarios, you’ll find that it can still be effective at medium - and even close range - encounters. It’s a lot harder to use like this, but if you’re an aggressive player who likes to sneak up and take enemies out up close, you’ll likely enjoy this class.
For starters, the Agency Silencer is a must. Not only does this keep you off the radar when firing, but it also improves your vertical recoil control, which is ideal in any situation. The key to this class is the 16.3” Titanium Barrel. It vastly increases the rate of fire, and trust us, you’re going to need the boost when battling out up close.
Since the iron sights aren’t the best, we recommend sticking with something like the Hawksmoor Optic so you can line up your shot easier. In Warzone, it can sometimes take a while to eliminate your opponent, even if all your shots connect. With this particular setup, you can actually down your enemy in two bursts if you get headshots, but regardless, we still advise to use the 45 Rnd Magazine just in case. This will ensure you’ve got plenty of ammo in your clip to get multiple kills at once. To finish things off, stick with the Airborne Elastic Wrap Rear Grip for a huge boost to your aim down sights (ADS) speed. This also allows you to aim while going prone - perfect for “drop shotting.”
For a secondary, it’s best to use something that compliments the M16 like a shotgun or akimbo .357 magnums. If you’re sticking up close, it might not be a bad idea to use the new sledgehammer or other melee weapon.
Warzone best M16 loadout: Long range combat
- Barrel: 20.5” Task Force
- Optic: Visiontech 2x
- Underbarrel: Field Agent Foregrip
- Ammunition: 45 Rnd
- Rear Grip: Airborne Elastic Wrap
Despite how effective the class above is, the M16 is a behemoth of a weapon when used at long range. If you play your cards right, you can eliminate your enemies in just two bursts, as long as your opponent is within a certain range and you’ve got the right attachments.
With this class, switch to the 20.5” Task Force Barrel to increase your damage range, overall damage, and bullet velocity. This is key to getting those two-burst eliminations from afar. It will make your weapon’s rate of fire slightly slower, but at medium to long range, it won’t matter much since you’ll be taking down your foes with ease.
With this being a weapon primarily used at long range, we advise using an Optic like the Visiontech 2x to get a better view of your enemies. Then, equip the Field Agent Foregrip to improve your vertical and horizontal recoil control. This, again, is very important when trying to pull off long range kills. Stick with the 45 Rnd Magazine for the reasons listed above, as well as the Airborne Elastic Wrap.
For a secondary, it’s highly recommended to use some sort of SMG like the Mac 10 or MP5. This class is built for long range encounters, but in Warzone, you’ll want all your bases covered for any situation.
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