After what has been the most successful mobile game launch in history, COD Mobile is faced with some controversy. Praised for its gameplay, content, and fair microtransactions, the mobile sensation has still managed to find the ire of the COD community. While the game’s Battle Pass is filled with rewards, there are a few pieces of content that caught people’s eyes. At Tier 100 of the Premium Pass, players found a particular weapon variant of the AK-47 that doesn’t quite match up with the original.
Game-altering weapons are no stranger to Call of Duty. In fact, all six previous titles have featured some kind of non-cosmetic weapon variant. While games like WWII and Infinite Warfare made it easy to obtain these weapons, they were still in the game nonetheless.
However, other titles, like Black Ops 3 and Advanced Warfare, didn’t take the route of Infinite Warfare. Instead, they included these variants in supply drops, which could be obtained through real-money purchases. Though play-time could yield you supply drops, it took an inordinate amount of time to earn them.
The community has made its position on this matter crystal clear. Weapon variants, whether it be of an existing weapon or entirely new weapon, should be accessible to all without having to spend any real-life money. Black Ops 3 had over 30 new weapons only available in supply drops. Advanced Warfare had hundreds of weapon variants in supply drops only. Black Ops 4 tried to emulate this practice but received immediate backlash.
Thanks to Reddit user BIH_AZRAEL, we got an up-close look at COD Mobile‘s weapon variants. As mentioned above, this particular AK-47 variant can be unlocked at Tier 100 of the $10 Premium Battle Pass.
As we can clearly see, the ‘Red Action’ variant increases weapon firing range. This means that this variant will kill quicker at a longer range than the base version of the AK-47. For an assault rifle, this is a pretty significant buff.
Also included within COD Mobile is a weapon variant of a sniper that can be found only in supply drops. This sniper, when it kills you, doesn’t reveal where you died on the mini-map. Staying off the enemy’s radar is huge with Call of Duty, so that’s also a big advantage.
While these weapon variants aren’t drastically different like the ones in Advanced Warfare, they are still concerning. Players can easily pay $100 to get the Red Action AK-47 and have a bigger advantage than other players. If a player can’t pay $10 for the Premium Pass, they don’t have the opportunity to receive this AK-47 variant.
COD Mobile is one of the only mobile multiplayer games to go this route. Both PUBG: Mobile and Fortnite are free-to-play like COD Mobile, but they only feature cosmetic items in their games. Why the developers at Tencent felt the need to include non-cosmetic items is unknown.
What do you think about weapon variants? Let us know, and keep up with Daily Esports for all COD Mobile coverage.
Joey Carr is a University of North Georgia Journalism graduate. He has 5+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including Dreamhack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.