In the campaign only, it is possible for the player to fire multiple rockets at once, by simply entering ADS and pressing the hold breath button. A number next to the sight will rotate, indicating how many rockets will be fired.
The Grim Reaper can either lock onto killstreaks or be free-fired.
The Grim Reaper is extremely powerful on a per-rocket basis. Each explosion has an explosive radius of 6.4 meters. Unlike other rocket launchers, the Grim Reaper has absolutely no damage drop-off in the explosive radius, dealing 150 damage throughout the entire area of the explosion. This is a great bonus that the Grim Reaper has, as it means that players do not need to be precise to kill opponents. The high damage per rocket works the other way, though, as the player will instantly die if caught in a rocket's explosion, and as such, users need Flak Jacket to stop an accidental blowing up. So long as the enemy is not using Flak Jacket, any player caught in the blast radius of a Grim Reaper rocket will die. Direct hits will deal 500 damage, killing a Flak Jacket user.
The Grim Reaper is unique among launchers in that it's semi-automatic. This is one of the Grim Reaper's greatest features. Thanks to the fact that the Grim Reaper is not a single-shot weapon, the Grim Reaper can fire at a rate of 125 RPM. This is a slow rate of fire overall, but bear in mind that this is a rocket launcher, where a single rocket can kill multiple opponents. This rate of fire makes dealing with Flak Jacket users hilariously easy, as follow up shots can be dispensed rapidly to overwhelm those using Flak Jacket.
The Grim Reaper's accuracy is good. The Grim Reaper has a round optical sight that acts as the aiming apparatus. While this sight is clear, it is mounted on the left side of the launcher, and the launcher itself can obscure the view to the right of the sight while aiming. The Grim Reaper has heavy upwards recoil per shot, but due to the enormous 2500 centerspeed and slow rate of fire, recoil is a complete non-factor on the Grim Reaper.
The Grim Reaper, as expected, has some of the worst handling characteristics in the game. Users move at a lethargic 80% of the base speed, and strafe at a mere 40% of the base speed. The Grim Reaper cannot be hip-fired, and trying to do so will instead raise the sights to fire a shot. Aiming down the sight is a painful endeavour, taking 500 milliseconds to perform. The Grim Reaper has one of the longest reload times in the game as well, taking 6.85 seconds to perform a reload. Thankfully, a Reload Cancel can be performed at 4.25 seconds. This is easily one of the worst reload speeds in the game, and users will be left very vulnerable when reloading. Sleight of Hand is extremely helpful, as it can make the reload potentially take only 2.12 seconds to perform with proper reload cancelling.
Easily the Grim Reaper's biggest asset is a very large rocket capacity, carrying four rockets. The starting ammo loadout is also enormous for a rocket launcher, at twelve rockets total. The starting ammo loadout cannot be increased throught the use of Scavenger Pro, a trait unique to the Grim Reaper among launchers. Despite this limitation, the Grim Reaper far and away has the largest starting ammo loadout of any rocket launcher in the game, carrying sextuple the starting ammo loadout of a regular Launcher.
Like with the Death Machine, the Grim Reaper isn't officially deployed until the user fires a single rocket. Once that happens, the Grim Reaper is officially deployed, and the announcer will declare to both teams of the Grim Reaper's presence. Because of this, try not to accidentally fire any rockets, and instead only fire the first shot when truly ready. During this state of deployment, should the user die, the Grim Reaper will be permanently lost, regardless of if there was ammo remaining in the launcher to use. Switching away from the Grim Reaper when it is deployed will also discard the Grim Reaper. This is in stark contrast to how the War Machine and Death Machine function in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, two similar scorestreaks that act in a man-portable manner, as either of those two socrestreaks are only officially discarded when they run out of ammo.
If the player is anticipating on using the Grim Reaper, it's advised that the player switch to a class that has Flak Jacket and Sleight of Hand Pro on it before deploying the Grim Reaper. Sleight of Hand Pro heavily improves the Grim Reaper's sluggish handling, as the aim down sight time and reload speeds are drastically improved, two handling characteristics that are embarrassingly slow. Flak Jacket allows the user to fire the Grim Reaper close reltive to the user's body, something that otherwise can't be done without killing the user.
The Grim Reaper has ammo to spare, and as such, the Grim Reaper is best used by using multiple rockets against an opponent. This maximizes the potential to get kills, and this needs to be done against Flak Jacket users. One of the key selling points of the Grim Reaper is that it can defeat Flak Jacket users one on one, as three well-aimed rockets should be enough to kill a Flak Jacket user. Users should not worry about being efficient with the Grim Reaper. The Grim Reaper has a ton of ammo, and dying once means the Grim Reaper will be discarded. The user's focus should remain on staying alive and eliminating any and all opponents one sees.
Although the Grim Reaper can be used in an anti-aircraft role, one shouldn't primarily use the Grim reaper in this manner. No killstreak in Black Ops requires more than two rockets to be destroyed, meaning that any one killstreak can be destroyed just by using a Strela-3. If wanting to use the Grim Reaper in an anti-aircraft role, one should only employ it in this regard if there are several aerial killstreaks, such as multiple Spy Planes, Counter-Spy Planes, and an Attack Helicopter all in the air at once. The Grim Reaper may have the ammo to spare to use it in this manner, but going after aerial killstreaks leaves the player very vulnerable, something that needs to be avoided when using the Grim Reaper, since one death with the Grim Reaper deployed means the launcher is gone for the rest of the match, with little chance of getting another one.
Overall, the Grim Reaper is one of the best items that can be obtained from the Care Package. In terms of killing potential, the Grim Reaper's potential is sky high. Typically, one with Hardline Pro shouldn't want to re-roll if the initial Care Package gives a Grim Reaper.
- In the World Premiere trailer, the Grim Reaper had a different reticle.
- Prior to a patch, a notification appeared to all players in a multiplayer match stating "Grim Reaper Equipped". After the patch, the notification now only appears to the team of the player who acquired the Grim Reaper.
- Although it functions as "Semi-Automatic", within the weapon script it is referred as "Stack Fire".