Secondary Weapons are weapons that take up the secondary weapon slot in the inventory. Originally, secondary weapons provided players with the ability to quickly swap weapons in case one ran out of ammo or ended up in a firefight while reloading, but recent installments give the player more flexibility in customizing their class to fulfill more roles in combat.
Call of Duty and Call of Duty: United Offensive permitted the player to carry two primary weapons and a pistol sidearm. Beginning with Call of Duty 2, players could only carry two weapons of any kind. Since the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the secondary weapon category provides multiple types of weapons instead of only handguns. Types of secondary weapons include:
- Launchers, such as the RPG-7 or BlackCell
- Handguns, such as the Desert Eagle or Kendall 44
- Machine Pistols, such as the MP9 or G18
- Special Weapons, such as the Crossbow or Ballistic Knife
- Melee Weapons (stand-alone ones), such as the Combat Knife or Brass Knuckles
- Additionally, shotguns are used as secondary weapons in Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops 4, and Black Ops Cold War, as well as in the campaign mode of Infinite Warfare. This also applies to submachine guns and heavies in Infinite Warfare's campaign.
In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the One Man Army perk takes up the secondary weapon slot.
To use the secondary, the player simply has to swap from the primary weapon using the Swap Weapons button. The speed of the swap ranges from each classification of Secondary Weapon, Pistols being the fastest and Launchers being the slowest. Each Secondary also has its own amount of Attachments (excluding Launchers and Specials) and usage, such as the G18 being used in typical Sniper Classes in case an unwelcome guest decides to attempt an ambush, or the AA-12 can be used to quickly make haste and wipe a room out to capture an objective.
Before Black Ops II, Secondary weapons did not have challenges that require other attachments, like getting the Holographic Sight from sixty Red Dot Sight kills, nor did they have mastery. This made them a little less useful when wanting to get experience, but they were still very useful.
- Swapping to a secondary doesn't increase movement speed, so if the player wants to use a weapon such as a handgun with Tactical Knife for speed knifing, it is suggested to use a high maneuverability Primary Weapon, such as an SMG. An exception to this is Black Ops, Black Ops II, and Infinite Warfare in which weapons only affect movement speed it is being used by the player.