The Thompson submachine gun is a submachine gun that is featured in every Call of Duty title set in World War II to date.

Call of Duty and United Offensive

This is the American's submachine gun of choice. It has a 30-round magazine and very manageable recoil, making it the weapon of choice for taking out enemies in close quarters and medium range. For enemies in medium range, burst fire them. Its rate of fire will ensure that a few rounds make it to the target before the fire key is released. Its rounds do enough damage to ensure that enemies will fall very quickly. Its iron sights are somewhat awkward to use at first, but remember that what the tip of the triangle has on top of it is where the bullets will hit. Starting with a ridiculous amount of starting ammo, saving and collecting is recommended.

Another thing that players should notice, is that the weapon is selected fire, rotating from Semi-auto to Full-auto.

Call of Duty: Finest Hour

In Call of Duty: Finest Hour, the Thompson has a 30 round magazine, and is available in most of the American missions, as well as being used by British Sgt. Dehart in the British North African campaign. It can kill an enemy in two to three shots.

It uses the fire sound from the PPSh-41. It uses the circular peep sight when aiming as opposed to the above "V-notch" that all other games use.

Call of Duty 2

The Thompson is considerably less effective in Call of Duty 2. Its magazine now has only 20 rounds, meaning that you'll have to reload a lot more often than before, due to the sped up rate of fire, and the selector switch for rate of fire no longer exists, which means players can only use a light tap on the button for semi-auto fire. Its recoil pattern has slightly changed, but most people won't notice it. It is still very powerful, but make sure to reload as often as possible. The Grease Gun's attributes are the same as those of the Thompson from Call of Duty 1, but with a reduced rate of fire. However, the Thompson is still very popular despite its reduced magazine size. The iron sight on this gun now has a circle hole in the middle instead of the triangle sight from Call of Duty 1, but still retain the similarities on aiming.

Call of Duty 2: Big Red One

In Call of Duty 2: Big Red One, the Thompson is used by a variety of American soldiers. The weapon is seen on all missions.

Call of Duty 3

The Thompson returns yet again as one of the main weapons of the American Forces. In the campaign it can be found around American dead bodies and in the hand of many American allies. In multiplayer, the Thompson is carried by the allies if the player chooses the Light Assault class. It is accurate at close to medium range and is very helpful in close quarters because of its light weight, high rate of fire, amazing power, and melee damage. It is once again shown with the inaccurate 20 round magazine and the standard M1A1 features. It is also notably featured in the trailer. Ammo for it is somewhat rare in mid-campaign missions, but there is plenty on the last mission, Chambois.

Call of Duty: Roads to Victory

In the PSP installment of the series the Thompson makes yet another apearance. It inflicts medium damage onto enemy troops, and is the starting weapon in most of the American missions.

Call of Duty: World at War

Single player

Often found around fallen Marines, it is a preferred weapon of Cpl. (later Sgt.) Roebuck when he is promoted to Sergeant and is one of the four weapons available to use and re-supply in the beginning of the level Breaking Point. Interestingly, even if the Marines used this weapon, it is often too rare to find while Arisakas, Type 100s, and M1 Garands usually rule the Pacific campaign missions. This is probably based on the fact that the Thompson was mostly used by NCOs. Because of the fairly low ammo and high rate of fire, the Thompson tends to run out of ammunition fairly quickly.


The Thompson has the same penetration as rifles, which is better than the other submachine guns. It is roughly equivalent to another submachine gun with Deep Impact on. It is exactly the same as the Type 100 but with a smaller magazine and better penetration through walls and wood covers.

The Thompson has an unusually high rate of fire, but not quite as fast as its real-life counterpart. The Thompson using Double Tap fires a twenty round stick magazine at approximately 00:01:65 seconds, (One-point-sixty five seconds). With the addition of the 40 round drum magazine, it can dump off all of its rounds at approximately 00:02:92.

In multiplayer, the Thompson is the first submachine gun unlocked and has manageable recoil. It is an overall decent weapon with high damage and a high fire rate, not to mention the recoil is quite controllable unlike the high kick of the MP40. This makes it more effective at longer ranges. The Thompson is good for close to mid range combat where all SMGs excel in, with some differences between each. The weapon's biggest flaw is its small magazine, which causes frequent reloading and prevents the user from "spraying and praying" as effectively. However, this can be remedied by the Round Drum attachment (Marksman III) which doubles the magazine size and starting ammo count at the cost of a longer reload. The iron sights are quite easy to use. It is a perfect standard weapon for starting off and due to the shortage of SMGs in the game, it can be seen frequently. It is important to note that since the majority of new players will have this weapon, Bandolier may not be needed since ammo can be picked up from dead players.

The Thompson's reload time suffers more from the Round Drum attachment than any other SMG, although it is still probably the most useful attachment unless stealth is required, in which case a Silencer should be used. The Aperture Sight can be useful for long range fighting but increases the visible recoil substantially. A very effective class combination is the Thompson with a Round Drum, Stopping Power (or Sleight of Hand if Round Drum isn't unlocked), and any third perk. Although the perks are largely personal choice, Bandolier is very useful due to the high rate of fire, as is Steady Aim, as you will waste less ammo. This is very effective at close to medium range and can even be used effectively by experienced players at long ranged, as burst fire can control the recoil and single shots on rifle range. Another option to boost the effectiveness of the Round Drum is the Double Tap perk, which increases the already high rate of fire, negates the need for stopping power, and remedies the ammunition issue.

The iron sights might be difficult for first timers but are effective when mastered. While the Type 100's sights are the same style as the Thompson's, the Thompson's sights are larger. Overall it is a good choice for players who likes CQC and medium range.

Nazi Zombies

The Thompson appears in all Nazi Zombie levels, both off the wall and from the Mystery Box. It can be bought for 1200 points, and ammo costs 600 points. It is a good weapon, especially in the early to mid rounds, due to its good accuracy and fire rate. In higher rounds it loses it's effectiveness quickly, and requires lots of ammo to take down a single Zombie.

On Der Riese, it can be upgraded to the "Gibs-o-Matic", giving it a larger ammo capacity and more power. Even after the upgrade, ammo reserves may become problematic in the higher rounds. It is relatively ineffective unless going for the head in later rounds. Although, the Thompson is capable of an extrordinary amount of headshots.

Call of Duty: World at War: Final Fronts

Although rarely seen in this game, it seems to have lowered its power by a strong point.

Call of Duty World at War (DS)

The Thompson appears in the Nintendo DS version of Call of Duty: World at War as one of the five submachine guns available for use. Like most weapons featured in Nintendo DS games, there are a few similarities and differences between the DS version and the console version of the weapon. The first similarity would be the general appearance of the gun, even with a similar looking compensator. Another similarity would be the irons sights, though they offer a better peripheral view at the cost of being less pin point accurate. Unlike most depictions of the weapon in the Call of Duty series, this version of the Thompson is fitted with the historically accurate 30 round magazine. Even more similar to the real life counterpart, it has much higher recoil and stopping power.

In single player, the Thompson is found in every American mission as a starting weapon or being used by allies. The only exception would be On the Water, which is a vehicle based level. The Thompson is well rounded weapon, killing in three shots at any range, moderate but manageable recoil, a moderate reload time, and a decent magazine size of 30 rounds. Despite the good qualities, it is beaten by the Type 100 as it has a higher rate of fire and ammunition for it is more common, at the cost of higher recoil.

In multiplayer the Thompson is the only SMG available to the Americans if the Allied faction is chosen. As with all weapons in multiplayer, its power is reduced, taking four shots to kill, as opposed to three. Luckily, it has still retained the steady damage at all ranges, like its single player variant. Due to these traits, it is a moderately encountered weapon. It can be effectively used in close quarters, as its recoil will push the players aim upward towards the head, where damage is increased. Its use in long range combat is also manageable, as long as the player burst-fires or uses the weapon like it's semiautomatic.


  • On the Nintendo Wii version of Call of Duty: World at War, the Thompson's empty-reload animation is the same as its mid-magazine reloading animation. Adding a Round Drum fixes it. The Gewehr 43 also has the same issue, but only when it is equipped with a Silencer, so it is backwards.


Call of Duty: World at War Thompson gameplay.


  1. Call of Duty: Finest Hour instruction booklet, page 18.
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