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Warzone Season 3 sniper changes see the return of the HDR

Call of Duty Warzone's Season 3 update has created a big shift in the sniper meta, with two of the battle royale's best guns falling in popularity

Warzone sniper meta season 3: a split image of two Warzone operators wielding snipers. One is firing from the hip while the other is aiming down the scope

Call of Duty Warzone Season 3 could be one of the battle royale’s biggest and most memorable seasons ever – and not just because Kong and Godzilla are going to be stomping around Caldera. The Warzone Season 3 sniper changes that have been made by Raven Software were meant to cause a significant meta shift, and the effects are already being felt less than a week into the new season.

The Swiss K31 and the Kar98k from Modern Warfare had both been staple parts of the Warzone meta for many months, and for sniping enthusiasts, having any gun other than one of these two in your loadout was not advised. However, that certainly isn’t the case any more.

According to usage stats from WZ Ranked, the pick rates for the Swiss and the Kar98k have both plummeted since the Season 3 update went live. Both guns had pick rates hovering around the 7% mark, however that has been slashed. The Kar98k now has a pick rate of 3.6% (still making it the eighth most popular gun in players’ loadouts) while the Swiss has tumbled to 2.3%.

With both these guns falling down the pecking order, and the sniper changes buffing some underused weapons, there is actually a new top dog in the sniper meta: the HDR. This Modern Warfare sniper was a joy to use in the first few seasons of the battle royale, but became less popular as more long-range options were added to the game. Before Season 3, the HDR was hovering around the 1% mark for pick rates – today, it is the most popular sniper in players’ loadouts with a pick rate of over 4%.

The AX-50, which similarly to the HDR was placed in the category of snipers that can still one-shot kill at any range, has also seen its usage increase to 2.6%, which is currently more than the Swiss.

While the Kar98k and the Swiss still have their uses, those that enjoy long-range sniping are turning away from them after several months of them being two of the best Warzone guns. With the HDR and AX-50 on the up, it’s feeling like the early Verdansk days all over again.