Black Ops 4 Patch Notes, Weapon Balancing (AR Buffs, SMG Nerfs), Specialist Tuning

Black Ops 4 October 30 Update

The first major weapon balancing update is out for Call of Duty Black Ops 4 multiplayer. The main feature of the update is the weapon balancing aspect. Previously majority of players were staying away from the SMGs for the more favorable assault rifles and light machine guns. Another problem was that only one of the 4 snipers was viable in core game play.

Balancing and quality of game improvements:

Assault Rifle Changes:

  • We’re dialing back some previous buffs to Assault Rifles to help close the gap in effectiveness between ARs and SMGs, allowing SMGs to be more effective at firing on the move.
  • Slight reduction to ADS move speed for all Assault Rifles.
  • Slight reduction to ADS-in transition speed for all Assault Rifles.
  • ICR-7
    • Reduced headshot damage.
    • Slight reduction to reload speed.
    • Reduced close-range headshot damage.
    • Damage now falls off sooner.
    • High Caliber: Reduced headshot multiplier, eliminating the possibility of a 3-hit kill.

Sub Machine Gun Changes:

  • Mobility is the primary strength of SMGs, speeding across the map to engage or disengage quickly. Some of the close-range SMGs were performing quite well, while others struggled to compete with the rest of the category. This week’s balancing pass levels the playing field between SMGs.
  • MX9
    • Extended all damage ranges.
    • High Caliber: Reduced headshot multiplier, eliminating the possibility of a 4-hit kill.
  • Cordite
    • Extended all damage ranges.
    • Belt-Feed Operator Mod: Increased overheat rate.
  • GKS
    • Quad Shot Operator Mod: Slight time increase in between bursts.
  • Saug 9mm
    • Dual Wield Operator Mod: Reduced hip-fire accuracy.

Tactical Rifle Changes:

  • We’ve buffed the ABR to be more competitive with the other Tactical Rifles, while stepping down its Operator Mod to keep it from becoming a crutch Attachment. The Swordfish received some Attachment adjustments, as well.
  • ABR 223
    • Extended maximum damage range.
    • Repeater Operator Mod: Now takes longer to accelerate fire rate.
    • Stock: Slight reduction in movement speed bonus.
    • Laser Sight & Laser Sight II: Improved hip-fire accuracy.
  • Swordfish
    • High Caliber: Reduced headshot multiplier, eliminating the possibility of a 3-hit kill.
    • Penta Burst Operator Mod: Reduced extra granted clip-size.

Sniper Rifle Changes:

  • The other Sniper Rifles needed help to fight King Paladin. We’re giving these rifles reduced idle sway and upping their damage to help finish off wounded targets more consistently.
  • Removed turn sway when aiming down sights on all Sniper Rifles to better ensure the weapon reticle stays centered when turning.
  • Paladin HB50
    • High Caliber II: Hitting the lower torso on a full Tak-5-boosted enemy will no longer be a 1-hit kill.
    • FMJ II: Improved damage against Scorestreaks.
    • Stabilizer II: Player can now hold breath sooner after the previous hold breath.
  • Outlaw
    • Improved base damage from 110 to 130.
    • Reduced idle sway.
    • Increased base movement speed.
    • Stock: Slight increase in ADS movement speed bonus.
  • SDM
    • Increased clip size from 10 to 12.
    • Reduced idle sway.
  • Koshka
    • Improved Damage from 120 to 140.
    • Stock: Slight increase in ADS movement speed bonus.

Light Machine Gun Changes:

  • Titan
    • Reduced headshot damage.
    • Reduced hip-fire accuracy.
    • Stock: Reduced ADS movement speed bonus.
  • VKM 750
    • Reduced movement speed while firing.
    • Reduced damage slightly.
    • Fat Barrel Operator Mod: Reduced bullet tracer size.
  • Hades
    • Cross Bar Operator Mod: Reduced movement speed and accuracy.
    • Steady Grip: Improved recoil mitigation.

Shotgun Changes:

  • This weapon class is close to where we want it, with only a couple of specific Attachments performing better than intended. Shotguns in Black Ops 4 play a different role than in past Call of Duty titles, and those who have practiced cat-and-mouse gameplay can be highly effective with them.
  • MOG 12
    • Choked Barrel: 1-hit-kill range reduced.
    • Dragon’s Breath Operator Mod: Resolved an issue where the Dragon’s Breath occasionally triggered incorrect visual and sound FX on targets.
  • SG12
    • Strobe Light Operator Mod: Addressed an issue with the Strobe Light where it would remain on after death.
    • Live update coming soon to reduce the range at which the Strobe Light interferes with enemy aim.

Attachment Changes (All Weapons):

  • Grip II
    • Reduced ADS flinch mitigation.
  • Suppressor
    • Reduced damage falloff ranges.
  • Holographic Sight Optic
    • Reduced ADS recoil.
  • Dual Zoom Optic
    • Reduced ADS recoil.
  • Recon Optic
    • Reduced ADS recoil.
  • ELO Optic
    • Slightly increased ADS recoil.

Specialist Changes:

  • Ajax
    • We’re providing more strategic options to counteract Ballistic Shield, and to help ensure the Shield isn’t activated too often in the same game.
    • Explosives now apply partial damage to the front of a deployed Ballistic Shield user.
    • Ballistic Shield now takes longer to earn.
  • Nomad
    • We want to encourage Nomad to work more closely with his K9-Unit to maximize effectiveness.
    • Reduced K9-Unit health by 10%.
  • Crash
    • While we’re happy that our Support Specialist is so popular, he was a bit too effective as a Scorestreak farmer.
    • Reduced “Teammate Used Pack” score event from +50 to +25.
  • Firebreak
    • Purifier has been restored to its former glory.
    • Increased Purifier flame damage to be a guaranteed eventual kill against a player who doesn’t have Tactical Mask equipped.
  • Recon
    • Intelligence wins wars, and Recon is living proof. We have intelligence that Recon’s intelligence is too good, so we’re re-classifying some of his sources.
    • Reduced Sensor Dart duration.
    • Resolved an issue where voiceover would incorrectly state that the player’s Sensor Dart was destroyed.
  • Torque
    • Many in the community have embraced Torque with inventive playstyles, though he’s still struggling on a broader scale. We bolstered the effectiveness of his Barricade to ensure he stays relevant in team compositions.
    • Increased earn rate for Barricade.
    • Increased hit points for Barricade.
    • Addressed an issue that prevented TAACOM from telling the player that their Barricade was taking damage.
  • Prophet
    • Prophet’s Tempest needed an upgrade to stand a chance of competing with the rest of the Specialists.
    • Greatly increased Tempest projectile speed.
    • Slightly increased Tempest chain distance.
    • Resolved an issue where being hit by an explosive charge would disable the Tempest charge, preventing further arcing.

Gear Changes:

  • Stim Shot
    • Increased time to fully heal the player.
  • Armor
    • Resolved an issue where Armor protected from more damage than intended when hitting areas of the body that have damage multipliers, such as the head or upper chest. This primarily affects weapons with chest modifiers, such as Sniper Rifles or weapons with High Caliber II.
  • Acoustic Sensor
    • Reduced the range at which sprinting enemies are detected.

Perk Changes:

  • Dead Silence
    • Reduced player movement volume and distance that players equipped with Dead Silence can be heard by enemies. The intention for Dead Silence is not to be completely silent, but also not to allow enemies to hear your movement from longer distances.
  • Engineer
    • Extraction helicopter in Heist will no longer be highlighted by the Engineer Perk.


Cord is a full stack web developer by day and gamer by night. Since the early 2000's Cord has been following the competitive FPS gaming community.