Trickshots, Nukes, and You

Content Warning: A lot of Call of Duty players are terrible people, so you might hear some players talking like bigots. I tried to select videos which have no commentary, or which have safe voice chat, but I can’t be 100% sure since some of these are long as hell.

So I have a confession: I like Call of Duty.

One of the things I like most about Call of Duty, actually, is that you can find a lot of “holy shit look at this sick play!” videos floating out there on the internet. From 100-kill games to ridiculous knife throws, there’s such a large community that anything is possible.

Not many people enjoy these videos, though, and undoubtedly part of it is because there’s no context whatsoever. All you get is dubstep, some goofy huge gun, something that happens lightning quick, and then a lot of screaming. Not exactly intelligible. To help, here’s is a friendly guide to each type of MLGxXxSICKxXxTRIXxXx, and why doing it is impressive.


Quickscoping is one of those weird quirks of Call of Duty that is rarely present in other games, but which Call of Duty players swear (both fealty and curse) by.

It’s actually pretty simple. The first few frames a sniper rifle is aimed, it has perfect accuracy and will guaranteed hit the dead center of your screen. Combine this was varying levels of auto-aim, and you can scope, fire the moment you the aim transition finishes, and get a perfectly accurate shot that tracks to enemies near the center of your screen.

Naturally, a lot of people hate this. It’s of debatable use on PC – you have to be extremely good at aiming to make use of it, since the auto-aim on PC is not present if you use a mouse – but it’s the only way to effectively get sniper kills on console.

Related: This is also how you use the AWP in Counter-Strike.


There’s another type of video that people make with sniper rifles. These videos are incomprehensible to most – including me, somebody who has spent thousands of hours in Call of Duty over the years – but they have a dedicated community nonetheless.

Trickshots are the act of finishing a round, usually of Search and Destroy, by getting the most ridiculous noscoped sniper kill possible. For reference, sniper rifles are very, very inaccurate when noscoped; it’s nearly impossible to hit somebody with an noscoped shot unless they are so close you could take the other grizzled soldier in your arms and give him a hairy no homo man kiss.

What makes these shots ridiculous? Well, first add some rotations like you’re Tony Hawk doing a sick trick off a huge vert. Then, do a bunch of animation canceling to rapidly switch weapons , prime grenades, or otherwise make it clear you’re going through some really convoluted hand movements. Then, jump off a ledge. Then, get a noscope kill, and fall to your death.

You may think this sort of ridiculousness is impossible without being a bonafide cheating dickweed. But you’d be wrong, because there are lots – and I do mean lots – of trickshot videos. The one above is just a taste.

Related: Getting multiple enemy kills in one sniper shot is also sometimes referred to as a “trickshot”.

Knife Throws

Starting with Modern Warfare 2, every single Call of Duty game has had some kind of throwable (like a grenade) lethal that kills in a single hit anywhere on the body. These throwing knives, or hatchets, or whatever, are extremely difficult to hit with under normal circumstances.

So naturally there are videos of people getting cross-map kills with them.

It’s important to note that throwing knives ricochet off of objects, so it is very possible, and usually likely, that a cross-map throw hits some wall, bounces off, and flies into some poor schmuck’s shoe right as he spawns. The best videos often incorporate this, and include ridiculous ricochets such as off of killstreaks (like helicopters). The perils of being a soldier in The FutureWar™ I suppose.


In Modern Warfare 2, Infinity Ward introduced a new mechanic: the tactical nuke. If a player goes on a 25-kill streak, without dying, with all of those kills coming from the player (as opposed to a killstreak like the helicopter), they earn a killstreak which kills every player on the map and immediately ends the game as a victory for the player’s team.

This devastating killstreak was toned down a bit in later releases, but there are a few rules every game follows to get the nuke:

  • You must earn at least 25 kills, sometimes more.
  • The nuke kills every enemy on the map.
  • After use, the nuke permanently changes the skybox and color of the map; usually to a green or yellow hue.

In Advanced Warfare, it was a DNA-seeking virus bomb; in Black Ops 2, it was a swarm of explosive drones; and in Infinite Warfare, it is a massive spaceship annihilating the map with a huge laser. Each game has a different kind of nuke, but they all do the same thing: kill everything.

Usually these videos involve players playing on Hardcore – where it’s easier to kill players and thus easier to get a solid streak going if you position well – or knife-only challenges. I prefer knife-only.

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