Call of Duty has definitely become one of the best FPS shooters of the generation with all sorts of features that each developer has added new features to raise the bar on what Call of Duty can do every year.

One of the most notable features of Call of Duty has been the killstreak systems for the games. So, how has the killstreak system changed in Call of Duty throughout the years? Let’s take a look

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Call of Duty 4 had the simplest implementation of killstreaks out of any Call of Duty game. Infinity Ward brought the simple 3-5-7 streak, which made CoD 4 feel like an overall balanced game.

The 3 kill streak was the UAV – a now common streak throughout Call of Duty. The 5 kill streak was an airstrike, and finally the 7 kill streak was a chopper.

This system evened the playing field for every players, and it allowed for a balanced experience as no one can have anything different than you.

Call of Duty: World at War

With World at War Treyarch continued the same 3-5-7 format, however, they changed what #5 and #7 were.

The 3 kill streak was called ‘Recon Plane’, which is identical to the UAV. The 5 kill streak was the Artillery, which was an airstrike that can target 8 different, player chosen, locations on the map. Finally, the 7 streak was the Dogs. This was the first Call of Duty game to add dogs as a streak that can be used in MP. This streak became a deadly advantage as the dogs really helped rack up kills for the team.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Infinity Ward went above and beyond with killstreak system in Modern Warfare 2. They added the ability for players to chose what three streaks they want to have. The game offered a 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 15, and a 25 killstreak. Out of those, you can have 3 enabled at one time.

This really changed the playing field for Call of Duty as fans had never experienced such choices when playing Call of Duty. Everyone’s main goal was to go for that 25, tactical nuke, streak which would end the game and result in the win for your team regardless of the game score. Tons of new strategies emerged as players tried to see the best way to get such streaks. Many fans, however, complained that the streaks were over done and the game lost it’s core Call of Duty experience.

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Treyarch took the same path Infinity Ward did with MW2 and added chose-able killstreaks. The game offered a 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 streak options. Treyarch added never before seen streaks like the Blackbird, which showed enemy’s precise locations on the map, and other streaks including dogs, a controllable RC-XD car, and new rocket options.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3


Infinity Ward took a whole new twist on streak system in MW3 and included the new ‘Strike Packages.’ There was the Assault Package, which was similar to previous games giving you the classic chopper gunners, missiles, and more. The second package was the Support Package, which introduced support-like streaks that help your team. The Support strike never reset itself, so if you died your streak still continued. The final package was the Specialist Package. This new package offered perks instead of a streak for specific point intervals you gained. It made it so that you could actually be a player (reaching 8+ kills) and have every perk enabled at one time. However, if you die, the streak resets. In the game, every action – killing a person, capturing the flag, planting the bomb, etc – would gain you one point.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II


Treyarch revamped the streak system entirely in Black Ops 2 and introduced the new ‘Scorestreak System.’ This system was different in that you had to gain a certain score in order to get a specific kill streak. Each streak had a minimum amount of score required to unlock. In game, getting kills gains you 50 points, and other objective things gains you points dependent upon its intensity.

What do you think Infinity Ward should do with Call of Duty: Ghosts and streaks? Which Call of Duty game had your favorite streaks?


    Back to COD4 style i think, it would suit the game more, seen as we are the underdogs now.


      agreed back to basics.

    • lolwut


      I never played COD4 when it was first out, I never found FPS appealing until someone made me try Black Ops but I have since gone back and tried MW2, WaW and COD4 and I must say COD4 has it best.

      I think the game has become too complex, you need five thousand counter measures for the five thousand play styles.

      I know I am in the minority, but I actually liked MW3’s point streak system. But I do feel it needs adjustments to take out some of the lethal streaks.

      I play the objective heavily, K/D doesn’t bother me, I play to win and if I die six times to cap the B flag so be it – so to have my streak continue after death was a great introduction and hopefully made others want to play objectively too.

      That said, of course the stealth bomber was too much.

      I’d like to see this for Ghosts:
      – Assault Package: 4-5 lethal kill streaks
      – Support Package: 4-5 non-lethal streaks

      No UAVs or CUAVs, including AUAV/Blackbird/VSAT for Assault and no lethals for Support.

      Something like:
      Predator/Hellstorm missile – 5 points
      Attack heli – 8 points
      Warthog or similar – 12 points
      Gunship/AC130/VTOL or similar – 15 points

      Support, does not reset on death:
      UAV – 4 points
      CUAV – 5 points
      SAM turret – 10 points
      Advanced UAV – 12 points

      • PuddingAuxRais1ns

        The problem with cod 4 is that the killstreaks were too easy to get. I think killstreaks should be fixed in a 4-7-10-15 pattern, and they should design killstreaks with strong player interaction. Ditch the aimbot style killstreaks such as the attack helicopter, pave lows, sentry guns, and hunter killer drones to name a few, and keep in killstreaks like the RC-XD and predator missiles that involve more player interaction but at the same time still feel rewarding to use. They should also bring back the specialist package as it really made you feel like the killstreak when you acheive the specialist bonus.

        • DanDustEmOff

          Player interaction requires you to be exposed. In games like ffa you do not have the time to control them.

        • yolo

          um no this would never work out

    • Shong

      How amazing would it be if there was a gamemode called “Classic” where the streaks are 3 (UAV), 5 (Airstrike), and 7 (Heli)?

      • lance

        There is!

        • James K

          In BO.

    • DanDustEmOff

      F that I want specialist back and the MOAB. I want class specific steaks to return too.

      • DarkSyde

        What if there was a different “MOAB” for each different strike package? Like a chopper gunner for assault, EMP for support, and MOAB for specialist. This would make the game intresting.

        • DanDustEmOff

          Nah MOAB’s for everyone. To be given a chopper gunner for a 25 kill gun streak is a bit crappy and the same with an EMP.

    • James Bond II

      I don’t think that would be received well because that would be taking away a staple customization option since mw2 (the past 4 CODs). They should have a game mode with the simple killstreaks.


    Cod4 style

  • Grant Cooper

    Target 8 different? I thought it was 3

    • Ravi Star

      It definitely was three. Could you imagine that artillery strike on eight points?

  • Back to Mw3Style support some one to his moab/nuke play with aussult and the specialist for the moab

    • Anonymous….

      Mw3 system is retarded…

      1. Support package was a bad idea,

      2. Spesialist is way to op

      3. Assault didn’t feel powerfull

      • Mitch

        1. IMO Support was a good idea, but it needs one of the two changes: rewards extremely high (UAV 8 points etc.) or you lose 1 point each death.
        2. True. I rather see them keep it at 3 rewards max.
        3. IMO it was good.

        • Anonymous….

          And with support they need to remove assault-streaks like stealthbomber etc…

          • Baldmanz_RAGE

            Agreed. Along with removing the stealth bomber the EMP should of been higher up on the list maybe even last. One of the things that killed playing MW3 for me was the fact that everyone and their mom was running Stealth Bomber and EMP. It was so annoying to have that crap going off every 30 seconds. Personally I think IW should either go back to basics with the 3-5-7 system or do what BO2 did with scorestreaks. Taking out Swarm of course. I never seen such a rage quitable killsteak like the Swarm is.

          • lolwut

            I feel the EMP is a support streak – it isn’t lethal and supports your entire team by disabling the other team’s ability to drop streaks.

            I think having it at 18 points was a good call too. If anything perhaps tweak the length of time it runs. BO2 EMP seems to run a lot shorter than MW3.

          • James Bond II

            After playing all the cods since cod 4, I don’t really want to go back to cod 4’s killstreak style because then the gameplay will feel the stale seeing the same thing repeatedly. They can do a fixed 3-5-7-9-12 system where you choose which kill streak to put into each category from a selected amount killstreaks. like for 3 kills you could choose uav, cuav, or a killstreak attachment. For 7 kills you get lightning strike, napalm strike, or a kill streak primary gun. It can open up more strategies with the gameplay. Now could see less things in the air.

          • SGUINESS

            Stealth bomber should of never been in support to start with.

          • Alex | FamousIsLIVE

            It’s crazy how something went from being earned with 10+ kills in a row, to being given to you 2-3 times a game.

        • James Bond II

          The support problem is that people spammed uav and ballistic vest. The streaks for support should start at 6 or 8 because it never decreases when you die. Support was too enticing, Specialist divided any type of team play, and assault was not worth it because the awards didn’t justify the risks. It was flawed because nothing was equal about these packages. Either start from the ground up or revamp the packages to something completely different.

      • you have a point about aussult not powerful and that stealthbomber from support wich one you want back ?

      • SGUINESS

        specialist (correct spelling) was the dogs.

  • Fetterlein

    mw2 was the best in my opinion. but i want all that money/codpoints that black ops 1 had;)

    • Jesse

      good times. also with the wager matches, so you could set in your money. That was nice!

    • James Bond II

      What mw2 did right to me was not the killstreaks in my opinion, but making memorable maps done right. The kill streaks were too op, but if they upped the required kills needed and lower the killstreaks’ damage and/or time on map the game’s streaks would had been better.

  • Anonymous….


  • Bigi345

    The streaks needs to be scorestreaks. I love how you can get streaks by capturing objectives instead of just killing people. I rarely got to a 7 killstreak

    • Maztho

      In MW3 you can earn 1 streak point by capturing, planting, etc… Not only by kills.

      • Mitch

        True. But in BO2 you get more points for capturing objectives than for kills, and you get bonus score when killing while playing the objective.

        • Bigi345

          That’s what i would like to see. The scorestreaks is something awesome and new improve on it don’t go back to killstreaks. Killstreaks is a system where only slayer get the rewards. Though, if you disagree with me here’s an idea Make Choose-able types of streaks people who wants scorestreaks can stick with scorestreaks (like me), people that want killstreaks can stick with killstreaks

      • Bigi345

        i never did play MW3

  • kirbaaaay

    You said UAV is one of the most common kill/score streaks in Call of Duty now, but you forgot to say the same about the airstrike and helicopter.

  • Mitch

    IMO I would love to see a combination between CoD 4 (3-5-7) and BO2 (score instead of pure kills, score doesn’t stack as much). I would maybe make it 400-600-800 to reduce spam.

  • Oscar

    No way should call of duty ghosts be like MW3, oh my god, its was horrible, back forward, next thing back then forward, to pick each thing, black op 2 layout was all there infront of you.

  • Ray’

    Score streaks definitely my favorite, encouraging people to actually play the objective, I enjoyed specialist as well though

  • Ray’

    COD 4 may have been good at the time, but going back and playing it now feels way too easy, you can get your 7 kills, die and then call in the chopper, then just camp in the corner as the chopper gets enough kills to earn you another chopper

  • David Morgan

    I really, really hope kill streaks return.

  • dsav555

    MW3’s concept was flawed, but you forgot to mention the biggest part of MW3’s streaks! The fact that you could have different streak sets assigned to different classes. That’s what made MW3’s the best, even if the Stealth Bomber was beyond OP.

    • David Morgan

      Yes! Totally agree, I loved being able to assign different streaks to different class load outs, it just made sense.

    • PuddingAuxRais1ns

      I agree. I don’t understand why 3arc didn’t implement this in BO2

      • James K

        David claimed that it wouldn’t work with pick 10 system.

        • MeisseN

          The question is, why can’t it work with Pick 10?
          Pick 10 = Primary + pri attachment + Secondary + sec attachment + lethal + 2x tactical + 3 perks. Treyarch basically removed the restrictions of taking equipments, but why did that affect the scorestreaks

        • SGUINESS

          he’s full it.

        • OscarTheTitan

          It really didn’t make sense. The scorestreaks don’t use a pick-ten point anyways so what’s the problem in making one for each class? I think they just couldn’t be bothered. Or they ran out of time.

  • Justin

    stay with the bo2 scorestreaks… prevents campers bc its not about getting kills ists about running around the map and playing the objective

    • MeisseN

      But still people camp 🙁

      • Justin

        Well then dont play TDM……play hardpoint – AKA best gamemode in cod

        • MeisseN

          It’s fun but can’t do without Flak or Mask lol

          • Justin

            i dont use tac mask in hardpoint…….i use flak….if u dont want campers and want competition play league play

  • Sandwich man

    It would be cool if there was a ”secret” killstreak in each map, example you’re in a map that is a jungle then when you have your 25 kill streak you unlock for example many wild animals that attack the other team, or example you’re in a city and the hidden killstreak is a gas attack upon the city, each map has it own hidden killstreak.

    • BLBooger

      I like this idea, however it has to be logical from an army standpoint. The gas attack could happen, however I don’t think the wild animals would. You could have like mercanaries or indigenous people attack out of the forests. And I think that if it did a break to a cinematic scene that everyone playing saw of your killstreak coming out, it would be awesome

      • Sandwich man

        yeah, but there must be a rapport between the map and the killstreak

      • James Bond II

        They can do a gas for the jungle that destroy the trees and they fall down and can kill players and the area where the gas drops will kill players who are too close similar to being near the guardian.

    • jordanxbrookes

      Wow, you were right, kind of.

  • Sonic

    Black Ops 1 style with Classic Team Deathmatch playlist 🙂

  • What i want

    Back to cod 4 i dont want overpowered killstreaks

  • Andrew Sanghera

    Why doesn’t Activision use some of the millions of dollars the make from Call Of Duty and go but some people from DICE? That would hurt Battlefield and help Call Of Duty. The guys from DICE could help make the next Call Of Duty Engine much better.

    • okwwwwwwwww

      so your basically saying hire some DICE employees and make cod like bf? lol no just no

      • James K

        It doesn’t have to be like that. A little direction pointing and the next call of duty game will feel like a call of duty game.

      • James Bond II

        Its not bad to use similar design choices that work for one game and see how you can alter it to work for COD.

    • James K

      A few former DICE employees did migrate to work for Activision. However, even if Activision did that plan, there are talented developers in the field eager to take over their jobs. With a little training, that plan would all be for naught.

  • Thoughtful Discourse

    I think that the MW3 feature of being able to assign streaks to specific classes was the best and needs to come back. Other than that I would like to see streaks that are more useful/ utility based rather than just killing streaks.

    Things the the blackbird/ orbital v-sat, and the missile turret need to come back but also knew things. I’ve always wanted COD to have an equipment that could be called in that would allow you to edit guns in game. So when you unlock something and throw it on your gun if you don’t like it you can just remove it. But most importantly NO NUKE OR MOAB!

    • lolwut

      Yes! I hope this returns!

      Being able to set streaks to a class meant that if the opposing team were playing in a certain style you could use your class that can best counter their play style not only with the perks or equipment in that class but also the streaks.

      So if they keep spamming the UAV then you use your class with the CUAV streak on it.

    • Ravi Star

      I agree but I have no qualms with the MOAB. It’s hard to get and rarely even seen. I like having something like that to work for, it makes me play better.

  • Sal

    Besides CoD4. I think Blops2 take on kill streaks is second best, but the fact you can equip any streak in any combination(this being the first CoD to do that) they should’ve held back some of the super streaks. Overall in the right direction.

    Blops2 brought a lot of original ideas to the old formula. It’s just with all the quickscoping, head glitching built maps and lag makes it a tough game to deal with.

    If you think about it, every CoD game always seems to be capable of being the best CoD with a few problems royally messing up the game.

    For me, I think Blops2 had the best chance of being the best CoD over any other CoD…but again, lazy poor choices.

    Off topic but why can’t they come and out a directly say why they don’t reduce quickscoping. Be mature and professional about it and argue your case. I am willing to hear what they have to say.

    • James K

      Treyarch tried to hinder quickscoping in BO by making your shots accurate only by holding your breath. If you’re scope in and your crosshairs are on a target, you can still miss your shot because of the random factor. Feedback wasn’t that positive and ultimately Treyarch reverted the change in a patch.

      After that incident, cod developers recognized quickscoping as part of the game, part of the community, not an abuse of a mechanic like Treyarch once believed. Before the release of MW3, Former IW Creative Strategist Robert Bowling said in an interview that it’s one the elements that make the Modern Warfare series ( I should add the call of duty series) unique.

      Before the release of BO2, David Vonderhaar came out and had a discussion about sniping and quickscoping. After typing out about some details about the sniping mechanics, he close out by saying he wanted a balance between sniping and quickscoping to which each side is “equally pissed off”.

      The reason why Treyarch and the rest of the cod developers don’t want to reduce or remove quickscoping is because they view it as part of the game.

      • Sal

        Was quickscoping in World at War? Only CoD I have never played.

        I get that it is part of the game but I feel like QSing is so OP in Blops2 then in any other CoD.

        It was a pain in the ass in MW3 but no where near as crazy as it is in Blops2.

        Part of the game or not…they can at least nerf it to some extent. Have it there but not as easy as it is now.

        In your opinion, how much of the community do you think accepts quickscoping and is not bothered by it.

        • James K

          I haven’t played it either( I started at Black Ops) but there’s a youtube video of someone quickscoping in the game.

          Ah good news for you, the DSR-50 and the Ballista got their firing rate reduced so the overall, it would be more disadvantageous for a quickscoper to engage multiple enemies*.

          Personally, people who have no issue with quickscoping are a slight minority. It’s hard not to cringe when you’re instantly shut because you bump into a quickscoper. Also, you have the stereotypical points that associate quickscopers with being kids or suck at the game.

          This Drif0r video below is one example of a vocal community being split over the issue quickscoping.

  • Jose Martin Gonzalez

    Strike packages were a good idea, if done right. They just need rebalancing

  • marco

    pointstreaks like mw3 was really good i wont care if they do old style either i just want a good game im a huge fan of cod since cod 4 and BO2 was the worst ever

  • Siftblade of Rivia

    BO2 was the best. I play the objective, KD doesn’t matter. In other games, such as MW3, BO1, MW2, people camped the objectives for kills. Nobody collected dog tags, and mostly campers got high score streaks. In BO2, I can finally get high score streaks by capturing the flags in Domination. Especially on Nuketown. Just rush for B and you gt 200 points everytime you kill someone while capturing. I get my VSAT in the first 1-3 minutes of the game if I do good. Hopefully Treyarch keeps this system in their next game if Ghosts doesn’t have it.

  • Ryan Merrifield

    Personally, I was all for the simple 3-5-7 killstreaks until Black Ops 2 came out. Treyarch, to me at least, got it right. Scorestreaks are the optimal way to balance the killstreak system.

    For instance, there was always the big debate about whether killstreaks should stack after MW2, and it wound up not being that way in Black Ops. Now as usual this tore apart the community, but Scorestreaks I’m convinced are the answer.

    Now, Scorestreaks stack, but the score is adjusted so we aren’t running around MW2 style having your Harrier and Chopper Gunner doing all of your work towards the nuke. Scorestreaks also do a great job encouraging teamplay, as seen when you cap the B flag, secure the hardpoint, shoot down the stealth chopper, or capture the flag. All of these examples give you at least 4-5 times the amount of score as a kill would give. In all, I think Treyarch has a winning and balanced formula with Scorestreaks (But if Scorestreks don’t make it, I wouldn’t be too mad to see the 3-5-7 streak format return).

  • DominatorGaming5

    I think they should go with mw3 system but tweek it to where its more balanced.

  • mr.bloodthirtysgaming

    thats easy, they are going to take the mw3 and the black ops 2 idea and convert them in to one idea, instead of a pick ten, they are going to use a pick 10, 11, and 12. considering that 10 is support, 11 is assault and 12 is specialist class. I can see them doing this for ghost.

  • NiftyGam3r

    I like the way killstreaks/ scorestreaks were presented in bo1 & bo2. Didnt really like mw3’s look and the custom class was a bit confusing for a 1st time player.

  • Big Pow

    i like the bo2 system. It don’t only reward slayers but it also rewards objective players which is a great innovation! all the other cods all people cared about was their KD and getting kills but in bo2 they implemented the scorestreak system so people can play the objective FTW! makes the game more interesting!

  • Koolcull

    Score streaks points streaks whatever.. As long as in non objective game modes like TDm and free for all we have normal kill streaks. It’s sooooo hard to get streaks in bo2 tdm because there’s no objective. Also arms race was a huge fail it shud be 125 score per kill no more no less.I think the devs should pay more attention to their most played game mode. Trey arch could care less because they want people to play obj game modes to get them into Mlg.hope fully iw will do the right thing,

  • Walter Iego

    I´d rather there where no killstreaks at all.

    • Ravi Star

      That’s why they have the barebones mode. Which always seems the most unpopulated

  • DanDustEmOff

    Sorry to disagree with the article, CoD 4 was not balanced at all. It was a great game and many things but balanced was not one of them.

    Martyrdom, Juggernaut, 3 frags, M16 rds I could go on.

  • josh

    good luck getting a nuke with that killstreak layout in mw2 lol. But anyways, they should bring back mw2 killstreaks or even the basic ones from cod 4 but I haven’t played that game so im not really sure. PLEASE NO SUPPORT OR SPECIALIST.

  • Mecha75

    I liked the MW3 format. Change up some of the assault streaks. Change support so that it is points based like BO2 and resets on death with no lethal (except bobby trapped care package). Specialist just needs to run to 10 kills before going super sayan god mode.

  • Ravi Star

    COD 4 had a cool system but it would feel pretty stripped down at this point. They should have the killstreak system similar to MW3 but with a separate game mode for a stripped down 3/5/7 streak mode like the original MW for the people that want that.

  • Guest

    Keep the score system from BO2 because it’s just about perfect. Simplify the number of streaks available down to the 5-10 range, keep specialist, and add something else, something new and cool.

  • lance

    I want mw3’s system! That was awesome. If your not good at getting killstreaks you had a support option with killstreaks that stayed after death and specialist for perks and assualt for regular streaks!

  • Mike Jones

    Call of Duty has definitely become one of the best FPS shooters of the generation….this is where i stop reading….

  • Siftblade of Rivia

    Nice new layout.

  • MeisseN

    I personally like COD4’s and BO2’s, the former being so balanced and classic and the latter requiring more teamwork and PTFO

    MW3’s Support package is a “rewarding bad players” stuff and the game suffers from UAV spam. You can get a 4-20 and still call in UAV, which is nonsense.

  • T’Jay Grimmie

    I think they should take it back to the CoD 4, WaW days and keep it
    simple but go beyond 3,5,7… Something like, 3 (UAV), 5 (Artillery
    Strike), 7 (Attack Helicopter), 9 (Stealth Bomber), 12 (AC130)… And
    possibly a M.O.A.B ‘Nuke’ at 30 Kills (MUST BE A GUN STREAK).

  • Dm327

    Black ops 2

  • Tyrant Era

    I think they should go back to mw3 style streaks including specialist

  • xx420xx

    this isnt news

    • MeisseN

      And it’s classified as Editorials, encouraging people to share their feelings about the streak systems.

      CharlieINTEL has pretty much everything about CoD, which makes me love it.

  • Cell

    MW3 Killstreak style is the best. #theend

  • I really like the scorestreak system from BO2 as it seems to make the most sense as opposed to only rewarding kills, but I do think we may have too many choices (some of which are unbalanced). Let’s be honest, some are hardly ever used too. I also didn’t mind some of the setup from MW3 where you could have specialist, and support as well. So I guess I’d like to see a mixture of BO2 and MW3 but with slightly fewer options.

  • MW3 score streak system, But with non-lethal Killstreaks for the support strike package (Also no EMP). The rest was balanced and had the most options to date.

  • Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

    I just love to wreck havoc on the enemy team so black ops 2 streaks were the best.. So many deadly streaks its awesome.