Attachments in Modern Warfare 2 are something of a mixed bag.

With nearly every attachment in this year’s Call of Duty slowing aim down sights speed as a tradeoff, some players have argued that weapons actually perform better with fewer attachments.

But some guns could still use some help in taming their unwieldy recoil. Unfortunately, the confusing pros and cons listed in the game’s UI don’t immediately make it clear which are the best attachments to choose.

Instead of a single recoil control perk, the game refers to recoil stability, recoil steadiness, and recoil smoothness.

What’s the difference? Here’s a look at what they all do so you know which attachments to pick.

Best attachments: Recoil steadiness vs stabilization vs smoothness

Recoil steadiness

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 best attachments recoil control
Credit: TheXclusiveAce

Recoil steadiness helps control recoil across the board, reducing the magnitude of vertical and horizontal recoil, according to testing by TheXclusiveAce.

This means the recoil pattern should deviate less from where you want it to go, while also helping keep the spray pattern in a straighter line.

Recoil stabilization

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Recoil Stabilization
Credit: TheXclusiveAce

Recoil stabilization mainly reduces side-to-side bounce, keeping your spray pattern straighter on average. However, the overall benefit is not as pronounced as that of recoil steadiness, so attachments that offer the latter may still be a better choice.

Recoil smoothness

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Recoil Smoothness
Credit: TheXclusiveAce

Recoil smoothness is a bonus commonly associated with suppressor attachments. It doesn’t appear to change the spray pattern dramatically, nor does it offer any improvements in visual recoil reduction.

This is probably the most inconsequential statistic of the lot, and you don’t need to assign it too much weight when deciding which attachments to use.

Vertical recoil control

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Horizontal Recoil Control
Credit: TheXclusiveAce

Vertical recoil control does exactly what its name says — it reduces the vertical kick of your weapon, compressing the recoil pattern from the top so you have to pull down less.

Having said that, it may not be the best fit for guns with high side-to-side sway.

Horizontal recoil control

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Horizontal Recoil Control
Credit: TheXclusiveAce

Horizontal recoil control focuses on reining in the side-to-side bounce of your spray when firing, straightening out your firing pattern.

It is best suited for guns that actually have high sway.

Recoil control

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Recoil control
Credit: TheXclusiveAce

The generic recoil bonus works very similarly to recoil steadiness. It reins in both vertical and horizontal recoil, making the overall spray pattern far more predictable and easy to control.

In practice, this means less kick and sway, and an easier time hitting small targets, such as an opponent’s head in a window.

READ MORE: The best guns to dominate the early meta in Modern Warfare II