- "Semi-automatic. Integrated silencer with highest ammo capacity and rate of fire in its class."
- — Description.
The VKS makes only one appearance in the campaign. It can be found in the train station in the mission "Severed Ties".
Unlike sniper rifles from previous games, the Silencer does not make the rifle incapable of one-hit kills from the waist up. The VKS is unique in that unlike any other sniper rifle in the Call of Duty series, it has a slight damage drop-off over range. This means that the VKS will no longer be able to kill a full health target at long range in one shot unless they get a shot to the head, neck or upper torso, or hit the enemy with a Deadeye bullet.
The VKS has the highest firecap of all semi-automatic Sniper Rifles, and the largest magazine of all Sniper Rifles as well. These benefits make this sniper very user-friendly due to the ability to maintain persistent fire under suppression, but the aforementioned damage drop-off can be troublesome at times.
Extra Attachment should be avoided at all times while using this weapon, as only one mod attachment and one optical attachment can be placed on this weapon due to the integrated Silencer and the absence of underbarrel attachments. Due to the silencer giving players a permanent stealth advantage, perks such as Takedown and Off the Grid can be used to great benefit. Should a secondary be desired, it should most likely be silenced as well, so the odd moment where the player uses their secondary won't give up position to other players. Extended Mags increases the magazine size to a large 15 rounds, which is just three short of a regular Marksman Rifle magazine. However, the Armor-Piercing Rounds can be used well to rip through armored enemies, and to kill the Juggernauts with ease.
In hardcore game modes, the VKS becomes a very viable weapon, as it will always achieve one-shot kills, regardless of bullet placement and ballistic vests. It shines in Hardcore over other snipers due to the quieter firing sound, a large magazine, and higher RPM over other sniper rifles. These factors make the VKS possibly the best sniper rifle in hardcore variants.
There is a noticeable delay before the VKS is automatically reloaded when empty if the player is aiming down the scope, though not as much as the Lynx.
The VKS can be purchased in Extinction mode for $1500. It has the rare distinction of appearing on every map. On Awakening and Exodus, kills with the VKS count towards semi-automatic rifle challenges. On all maps, kills with the VKS count towards sniper rifle kill challenges.
The VKS is a very high damage per shot weapon that can be used to kill extremely distant targets. It is great for engaging Scorpions, which like to engage users from far away. The VKS also becomes very viable with the Sniper Deadeye upgrade, as it will always deal critical hits and net the users more money on a kill. The upgrade makes the VKS a great weapon to use against rhinos and other high health cryptids, as the VKS has an extremely large magazine and a good damage output. It is also a good weapon to use if using the Smaller Wallet relic, as the Sniper Deadeye will help counteract the reduced income. Being affected by Sniper Deadeye and usually being available very early on most maps, the VKS can often be crucial to help a player quickly make money and acquire additional resources in the early stages of the game.
The VKS' biggest weakness is that it handles very poorly overall. It reloads slowly, it aims slowly, and hip-fire is unusuable outside of if a Cryptid is right in a player's face.
Compared to the other sniper rifles available, the L115 and the USR, the VKS is semi-automatic, while the others are bolt-action, which may make the VKS a better choice in most situations, especially in Chaos Mode due to it being very fast-paced. However, the VKS is much less likely to get one shot kills compared to the bolt action sniper rifles, especially in solo play where one shot kills on Hunters and Scorpions are within the realm of possibility.
Although the VKS as a weapon can only equip the ARK or Extended Mags as attachments, interacting with Search Piles using the VKS is a bad idea, as the VKS can return any weapon attachment available in Extinction, even if it can't be used on the VKS. The vast majority of attachments cannot be used on the VKS, and it'll lead to the player receiving several attachments that they can't use, as well as attachments that other players do not want. It is especially a bad idea to search with the VKS if the player does not have the Master Scavenger upgrade, as the player cannot receive any relevant attachments for the VKS by searching on their own, needing the assistance of another player with Master Scavenger to receive an ARK or Extended Mags.
The VKS compares best to the MR-28, a Marksman Rifle which has very similar characteristics to the VKS. Both serve a similar role of a semi-automatic rifle that doesn't have a large ammo pool and both suffer from a strict firecap, but they possess some of the greatest per-shot damage of any weapon that isn't pump or bolt action. Compared to the MR-28, the VKS handles far worse due to far inferior hip-fire accuracy and aim speed, as well as the scope being quite ill-suited for close-quarters. The VKS is also less accurate due to heavier recoil and significantly larger idle sway. The VKS also has a much smaller range of available attachments, and gives more undesirable attachments than the MR-28 when searching with the VKS. However, the VKS can compensate for this with far superior long-range consistent damage, larger magazines, a larger ammo loadout, and best of all, being affected by Sniper Deadeye, giving the user much more money with each successful kill. It also costs less initially, able to be bought right away without any kills should the player have the Extra Cash upgrade, and the VKS is available on Mayday, Awakening, and Exodus, whereas the MR-28 is only available on Point of Contact and Nightfall.
- Point of Contact: Located in the first area on top of a rock. Located in the cabin area below the wooden balcony, almost directly below the Electric Fence unit.
- Nightfall: Located in the first area below the catwalk.
- Mayday: Located in the cargo area inside the side door area that lacks a schematic table.
- Awakening: Located in the first area on a cliff near a mushroom.
- Exodus: Located in the base area on the east side catwalk.
- The VKS' serial number is 0716-1974.
- There is "CHENKOVICSKY" and "Родина" (Russian for family) is written on the side of the VKS.
- The VKS had a different reticle before the game's release.
- In Extinction, the VKS appears to be lacking any sort of scope, but when purchased, it still has its standard scope.
- The back end of the scope is used as the inventory icon for the Variable Zoom attachment.
- The scope has the Russian Tula Arsenal logo of an arrow circumscribed by a star.