A headshot is a term that describes when a person is hit in the head with a projectile. With any projectile other than explosives and direct impact grenades, headshots generally deal more damage than shots to any other part of the body, usually resulting in high damage if not an instant kill. However, with some guns there is no advantage when shooting someone in the head. However, while some guns may offer no advantage when getting a headshot, those weapons often still have headshot challenges that they need to get in order to unlock a camouflage. This can result in deliberatley going for a headshots on a weapon that they are otherwise pointless with. In addition, a headshot will deny the player the use of either Last Stand or Second Chance, and if a headshot is performed on a player in Last Stand/Second Chance earns an Execution bonus in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. With an explosive weapon, direct hits to any part of the body will instantly kill, therefore, aiming for the head is unnecessary. However, the head is a difficult target to hit, requiring careful aim. The torso presents a larger target than the head, but deals less damage as a result. If a person is shot in the head, there will be blood splatter on a nearby wall. In multiplayer, headshots are shown by a special icon in the killfeed. Most of the time you can see blood coming out of the opposite side of the bullet entry and landing on a object. A sound of a bullet 'ping' can be heard immediately after a headshot is achieved in multiplayer in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and all games after.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
In Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, headshots provide a modifier to weapon damage. For the most part, the modifier to a weapon's damage is 1.4x. The only exceptions are sniper rifles, which have x1.5 multipliers to the head, shotguns, which have 1.0x multipliers to the head, and the M14, which has a 1.5x multiplier to the head.
Call of Duty: World at War
Unlike in Call of Duty 4, headshot multipliers differ. Shotguns have a 1x multiplier, all other weapons excluding scoped bolt actions have 1.4x, and unscoped bolt actions have 2x. The expert challenges just give experience, not camouflage patterns. A ding noise would sound if you have scored a headshot on an enemy.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Headshots in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 work similarly to Call of Duty 4, with the return of gun camouflage unlocks. The primary differences are the addition of the Urban and Fall camouflage patterns and the addition of the Prestige Mode Headshot challenges, which in turn unlock additional Playercard. When a player gets a headshot they are awarded with 50 additional XP, or 500 additional XP in Search and Destroy. It is possible to get a headshot using the Predator Missile, Grenade Launcher and Rocket Launchers. When achieved with the Predator the rocket will stop dead and fall to the ground, where it will eventually disappear.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
The headshot icon returns in Call of Duty: Black Ops. If the player hits their opponent in the head, but does not kill them, the bullet will still make the sound as if the player had killed the enemy with a headshot. Score multipliers are also present, with 1.4x multipliers with most weapons. In addition, the message "Boom, Headshot!" appears, making reference to the iconic line from FPS Doug.
Headshots can also be counted on the leaderboard in a multiplayer Zombies match. Headshots are worth 100 points. There is an 30G achievement/silver trophy for Map Pack 2 in Call of Duty: World at War called "Deadhead," which is awarded for getting 150 headshots in one game of Zombies.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Headshots appear in Black Ops 2 as the first few camo challenges for Assault Rifles, Submachine Guns, Light Machine Guns, and Pistols. The player is required to get a number of headshots to unlock the first 9 camouflages, with up to 100 headshots total.
- Headshots will result in a 'Headshot Cam' heading over the Kill Cam rather than a normal 'Kill Cam' in Modern Warfare 2 and Modern Warfare 3.