Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
The Barrett .50cal appears as one of the three semi-automatic sniper rifles in game. Although only available to use once in single player, the Barrett .50cal is seen in F.N.G, on the weapons rack, along with all the other weapons in game. It is then seen again in One Shot, One Kill, as a mounted weapon used to shoot Imran Zakhaev. This Barrett .50cal has a variable zoom feature, meaning that the player can adjust the zoom, to help with the assassination. It also has unlimited ammo, very little recoil, and no scope sway. This is the only time it is usable in the campaign.
In multiplayer, the Barrett .50cal is unlocked at level 49. Like all sniper rifles, it can use an ACOG Scope attachment and cannot accept a silencer in-game. It is tied with the Dragunov and R700 without Stopping Power. If Stopping Power is used, it can take out a player using Juggernaut in one hit if shot in the chest, neck, or head. The Barrett also has the highest penetration of all the weapons in game.
However, the Barrett .50cal also has a few disadvantages. One of them is that the sound made upon firing is loud and distinctive and can give away the user's position. Also, it has very high recoil, but it always travels in the same direction, and the reticule quickly resets back on the initial point of aim. A good way to compensate for its high recoil is to treat it as a bolt-action rifle, and only fire when it has returned to its original position. Because of its very high damage, firing rapidly with this gun is not usually necessary - although it can be used as a last-resort in close quarters.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
The Barrett .50cal is almost completely unchanged from Call of Duty 4, with the exceptions of new attachments and a redesigned scope. The only notable change from Call of Duty 4 is that the Barrett .50 cal, along with all the other sniper rifles, now have full mobility, as well as SMGs. In addition, it is the first sniper rifle available to the player, while in Call of Duty 4 it is the last.
The Barrett .50 cal can be found five times in the single player campaign. On one occasion, it is found in the missions S.S.D.D, Of Their Own Accord (although it is mounted with a thermal scope), Contingency and Loose Ends. The only major differences from campaign to multiplayer are that the Barrett has a more realistic level of recoil, and a fairly low firecap in campaign.
In multiplayer, the Barrett is unlocked at Level 3 as part of the "Scout Sniper" default class. It is capable of firing faster than its sight can settle. Firing too quickly makes the Barrett .50cal difficult to use, due to the high recoil. This problem is easily mitigated by simply slowing the rate of fire and only firing when the recoil has settled. This requires great concentration, as inexperienced players tend to fire too fast. However, the ability to fire so fast can be an advantage in close quarters when there is no time to switch to a secondary and the player is forced to fire their sniper rifle from the hip. The Barrett is most praised for its ability to deliver one hit kills with a high rate of fire.
In comparison to its closest rival, the Intervention, this weapon does the exact same damage, but it is statistically better in many aspects. The rate of fire is faster, even when taking recoil into account. It also has double the magazine capacity (or 5 rounds more if both weapons are to have Extended Mags) and less sway while breathing, which makes it steady faster when the player begins to hold their breath. No-scoping is also made easier by the Barrett's semi-automatic capabilities, making it more effective in close quarters combat. However, the Intervention's lower rate of fire can help players who find it difficult to take their time with the Barrett, or any other semi-automatic sniper rifle.
One flaw of the Barrett is that its recoil kicks the gun up and to the right so much that the shooter momentarily loses sight of their target. Since the ACOG zooms in less when looking down the sight, it is easier to follow an enemy after firing with it than with a standard sniper scope, but in many situations the decreased zoom and inability to steady the scope makes it less than practical.
The Barrett is a relatively good candidate to use with a Silencer and Stopping Power, as the player can kill a target with a single shot to the chest, neck, or head. However, the Barrett's high recoil can make it difficult for the shooter to land a second shot if the first shot does not kill. Without Stopping Power, the Barrett is a bad candidate for a silencer because all snipers require two shots to kill when using a silencer without Stopping Power unless on Hardcore.
- The Barrett .50cal has the same reload animation and firing sound in both Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
- In Modern Warfare 2, The Barrett .50cal has a Mr.Yuk sticker on the lens cap although it can be difficult to see it at first. You will not be able to see it if you have a different scope attached. It is one of two weapons to have a Mr. Yuk sticker on it, the other being the WA2000.
- In Modern Warfare 2 Challenge screen, the Barrett .50cal is first on the Sniper Rifle list, while on the Create-a-Class it comes after the Intervention.
- In the mission Of Their Own Accord, The Barrett .50cal has unlimited ammo.
- Though it is an anti-material rifle, it does not go through the armor of a BTR-80 nor is it able to shoot down a Mi-28 helicopter on the same mission.
- In Modern Warfare 2, the .50cal is the first sniper rifle unlocked, while in Call Of Duty 4 it is the last.
- The Barrett .50cal makes the most noise of any non-launcher weapon in the game.
- There is a graphics glitch with the Barrett where the player's hand goes through the folded-up bipod and holds the synthetic stock.