Modern Warfare’s excellent Gunsmith system received a complete overhaul in Modern Warfare 2, and not necessarily in a good way.

Its predecessor gave each weapon and its attachments its own leveling progression — to unlock all the attachments for a certain gun, all you had to do was level up that gun. Things aren’t quite as straightforward in Modern Warfare 2.

While the reworked Gunsmith is supposed to reduce repetitiveness, according to Infinity Ward, the developer may have inadvertently made it an even more arduous process to unlock the attachments you want.

Here’s what you need to know to make sense of the new Gunsmith.

What you need to know about Modern Warfare 2’s Gunsmith

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Gunsmith M4 weapons platform
Screenshot by Koh Wanzi/ONE Esports

The new Gunsmith 2.0 now groups weapons into families called “platforms.” Each platform is comprised of different receivers, where each receiver is actually a completely different gun.

For instance, the M4 weapons platform has five receivers: the base M4 assault rifle, the 556 Icarus light machine gun, the FTAC Recon battle rifle, the FSS Hurricane submachine gun, and the M16 assault rifle. You’ll notice that each weapon also appears to sit in a completely different category, and yet they are all part of the same M4 platform.

“Changing a weapon’s receiver completely alters what the weapon is. It’s considered a new weapon when building a loadout, but it still lives within the same weapons platform,” said Infinity Ward.

Each receiver will also show up in its designated weapon category on the loadout screen.

On top of that, weapons in the same platform now share certain attachments. This is the part where the changes are supposed to help the grind feel less tedious.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 M4 attachments
Screenshot by Koh Wanzi/ONE Esports

When you unlock platform-specific attachments, every single gun in that platform will be able to use those attachments, so you don’t have to unlock them again when leveling up a new gun. Elsewhere, there are also universal attachments that can be used across all weapons platforms.

Platform-specific attachments include barrels, stocks, rear grips, and magazines, while universal attachments include the muzzle, underbarrel, ammunition, laser, and optic.

The upside is that you will never have to unlock the same attachment twice. However, it also means that you may end up having to level a weapon you don’t want to play — sometimes in a completely different class — in order to get the attachment you want.

To put things in perspective, if you want the SZ Sigma-V red dot optic for your assault rifle, you need to level the X12 pistol to level four.

Unlocking individual weapons is also not just a matter of moving up the military ranks. At launch, there are a total of 33 unique weapons platforms available to unlock through the 55 military ranks. Each one contains up to six weapons — to obtain these additional weapons, you need to level up specific weapons within a platform.

The Lachmann Sub, the game’s version of the MP5 and one of the best weapons for close-quarters combat, can only be accessed by first leveling the Lachmann-762 battle rifle to level 13, then leveling the Lachmann-556 assault rifle to level 12.

For better or worse, the new system encourages players to spend time with a wider variety of weapons. This means you’ll be venturing outside your comfort zone in the early days of the game, as you work to unlock the best attachments for each weapon.

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