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The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The subject of this article appeared in Zombies mode The subject of this article appears in Call of Duty: Strike Team
For a similarly named weapon, see Ballista EM3.

"Bolt-action sniper rifle. Deadly from the chest up, with faster handling speeds."
— Description.

The Ballista is a bolt-action sniper rifle featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Call of Duty: Strike Team. It was first seen in the Multiplayer reveal trailer for Black Ops II. In Strike Team, it is automatically given a Suppressor.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II


The Ballista is unlocked at the start of "Fallen Angel". It can also be found in "Cordis Die".


The Ballista is the sniper rifle with the fastest scope-in time at 0.35 seconds (versus the 0.40 of the other rifles). The Ballista is also the only sniper rifle to use the iron sights, through an attachment. Being a bolt-action sniper rifle, it is most comparable to the DSR 50, but trades off lower damage and multipliers for a faster fire rate, slightly faster aim down sights time, faster movement when scoped (44% as opposed to 40%), a minutely faster movement speed (96% as opposed to the other sniper rifles' 95%), lower sway, and two more rounds in the magazine. Unlike the other sniper rifles, however, crouching or going prone will not decrease sway.

The damage multipliers of this weapon allow for a one-hit-kill anywhere from the head and shoulders down to the upper and middle torso. The suppressor is a viable attachment if the player prefers stealth as it will give the player more silent shots and less muzzle flash (however, the bullet trail is still present), in addition to not showing up on enemy radar when firing, with the cost of slightly lower damage multipliers, meaning the lower arms and middle torso are no longer one-hit-kill areas.

The Iron Sights attachment offers a choice for those who enjoy an aggressive role in sniping, as it is far more suited to close-quarters gameplay than the scoped counterpart. There is very little sway with this option, and even if taking a long shot cannot be avoided the player keeps his ability to hold his breath whilst aiming, for more accurate fire.

After the patch 1.13, the rate of fire of Ballista was reduced from 51 RPM to 47 RPM.



A Ballista with the Iron Sight attachment appears in the Zombies map Origins available off the wall for 500 points or can be dug up with a Shovel. It performs similarly to the Kar98k in that it is relatively effective on early rounds, but on later rounds the player will need to score a headshot to kill a Zombie. It is a one-hit-kill by headshot up until and including Round 6. However, during Round 6, zombies will walk around headless for a short duration after being shot and will continue to chase the player. When Pack-a-Punched it becomes the Infused Arbalest. It comes equipped with a 10-round magazine, more reserve ammo, and an ACOG Sight attachment, although it can be Pack-a-Punched again to remove the ACOG Sight and replace it with Iron Sights. In this upgraded form the Ballista is much more effective, remaining a one-shot headshot kill until approximately round 30, even without Double Tap II.

Ballista vs Infused Arbalest

Ballista Infused Arbalest
Ballista Iron Sight BOII.png Ballista Upgraded BO2.png
Damage 150 400-200
Fire mode Bolt-action Bolt-action
Rate of fire 51 RPM 51 RPM
Magazine size 8 10
Max ammo 64+8 120+10
Extras Higher magazine capacity, more ammo, higher damage
Possible Attachments ACOG Sight, Iron Sight


For camouflage images, see Ballista/Camouflage.
For attachments images, see Ballista/Attachments.


Call of Duty: Black Ops II

  • The bubble in the scope's spirit level will respond to most character actions including running and reloading, but does not respond when the player character lowers their weapon in the campaign.
  • The Ballista uses .338 Lapua Magnum rounds, according to the Ballistics CPU, and the magazine.
  • The text "Made by Hobo Commando MP, in Bavaria, Germany" can be seen on the magazine and with minuscule writing on the upper-right facing side of the receiver.
  • "Royce & Wesley" can be seen written on the scope.
  • The Ballista's serial number is "00040212".
  • If the Iron Sight is selected as an attachment, "RS" can be seen written on the rear sight.
  • Just like other sniper rifles in multiplayer, the Ballista has an unusable, folded bipod.
  • It still shoot at 51 RPM on the Wii U Multiplayer version, since there is no update to decrease that fire rate.
  • The Ballista's stock is foldable, the character unfolds it when the weapon is first picked up or if equipped on a class at the start of a match, unless the Laser Sight is attached on the gun.
  • Prior to a patch, it was possible to equip a Ballistics CPU and Iron Sight attachment at the same time, using Call of Duty ELITE class customization functionality. This caused the scope itself to fail to render, resulting in a floating CPU and tuning knob, or the iron sight to appear inside the scope's view, or a high zoom on the iron sight.