Hello, this is XboxAhoy and this is the twenty-ninth episode of my Black Ops weapon guide.
In this episode we’re covering the FN FAL.
It’s a semi-automatic weapon, unlocked at level 32.
The FN FAL, or ‘Fusil Automatique Léger’ – which translates as Light Automatic Rifle – is a Belgian weapon, manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal.
It was first produced in 1953, and would become a definitive example of a post-war battle rifle, and the western counterpoint to the Soviet AKM.
The development of the FAL began in 1947, in the wake of World War 2 – with the increasing inadequacy of traditional bolt-action service rifles for infantry combat, and the advent of effective automatic rifles, such as the German Sturmgewehr 44 and Russian AK-47.
The era of the select-fire battle rifle had begun – a politically charged time, with former allied forces dividing Europe in two – North America and Western Europe forming the NATO alliance, and the Soviet Union and Eastern European states uniting under the Warsaw pact.
The FAL would be the cold war service rifle of choice for many NATO states – and would eventually be adopted by over 90 countries total, with 2 million units produced.
Such was its ubiquity, the FAL was nicknamed ‘the right arm of the free world’.
The FN FAL fires the NATO standard rifle cartridge – the 7.62×51mm.
Magazines are of a standard box type, and in Black Ops are available in both 20 and 30 round capacities.
Damage is high, similar to the M14 in that the FAL will kill in 2 bodyshots out to middle range – but lacking the slightly elevated headshot multiplier.
Rate of fire is semi-automatic, but is capped at 625 rounds per minute – faster fingers may hit this rate, but your shots will prove more effective if you fire more slowly, and allow the recoil to settle.
Recoil is moderate, with the weapon generally kicking upwards and – somewhat unusually – to the left.
Fire too quickly and the recoil is enough to foul your aim at a distance, so moderating your fire rate is wise to ensure accuracy.
At close range, recoil is less of a factor – so a faster rate of fire might be more prudent should your opponent be in the same room as you.
Aim time is standard for the assault rifle category, at 250 milliseconds.
Reloads are fairly average, at 2.5 seconds – but with the lower-than average magazine capacity, this may creep up on you if you’re not careful.
It’s worth noting that the FAL’s hipfire performance is the worst of all assault rifles – so it’s best to always aim down your sights, and ideally avoid close range encounters altogether.
The FAL has a full complement of attachments available – with Dual Mags available in place of the M14’s grip.
As a single shot weapon, precision is important – so the optical attachments are generally a pretty good choice.
The Red Dot Sight removes some of the occlusion of the iron sights, and the illuminated reticle will help improve contrast against your target, especially in dark areas.
The reflex sight is the same, with a slightly different appearance but very similar function.
These two sights are the most versatile option, suiting engagements at every distance.
The ACOG scope is quite well suited to the FAL, although will result in a slower aim time, increased recoil, and will decrease your effectiveness against close-range targets.
Still, if employed over long sightlines, the enhanced zoom and precision crosshairs can aid in picking off opponents at distances outside their effective range.
The Infrared scope is similar, although less versatile than the ACOG thanks to its higher magnification.
While it can help in identifying obscured enemies, it’s not particularly easy to use – and so the other sights are generally more useful.
Extended mags will grant you 30 rounds instead of the default 20 – this will delay your need to reload, but isn’t a major help to the FAL.
The weapon is best employed with careful, aimed shots – should you need more than 20 bullets in a single engagement it might be wise to slow your trigger finger and aim with greater care.
Dual mags grant a faster alternate reload, and increased starting supply – two useful traits with the weapon.
The faster alternate reload lessens the need for Sleight of Hand, and the extra mags will mean you can use the FAL in a prolonged defensive role without the need for Scavenger, or locating a replacement weapon.
The suppressor will keep you off the minimap when firing, but will reduce your weapon’s effective range.
This will mean you’ll need 3 hits to kill at medium ranges, and so only really suits smaller maps – or a more manoeuvrable loadout.
If you can get close, you can do incredible damage with a silent FAL – but you should take care to avoid direct confrontation.
The underslung weapons are all present, with few surprises: the underslung grenade launcher is useful for clearing points or for finishing off enemies around corners, but isn’t worth the attachment slot.
The Masterkey is sometimes useful, given that the FAL is less effective up close – but does require Steady Aim in your second perk slot for maximum effectiveness.
The flamethrower is similar, offering a more forgiving solution to close range firefights – but beware those using Flak Jacket Pro.
Our class with the FN FAL is focussed on vigilance: controlling sightlines and maintaining a radar advantage over the opposing team.
We’ll be pairing two attachments – firstly, Dual Mags, for both the extra starting ammo supply, and faster alternate reload – and secondly, either the Red Dot or Reflex sight for pinpoint precision upon distant targets.
For our perks, we’ll be assembling a set that lend themselves to the FN FAL’s core strength – quick 2-shot kills at a middle to long range.
Keeping the enemy at an arms reach will help us avoid direct close range firefights, where a semi-automatic weapon will leave you vulnerable.
Our first perk, Hardline – when paired with the Spy Plane and Counter Spy Plane – will help ensure that you and your team have a near-constant radar advantage.
By keeping one eye on the radar you’ll be able to anticipate likely enemy engagements, and take up firing positions that will give you and your rifle a distinct advantage.
Our second perk, Warlord, will allow you to choose two attachments instead of one for a truly custom loadout.
Pairing Dual Mags with an optic is only one option – alternatively you could add the suppressor with either Dual Mags or the red dot, depending on your preference.
Warlord Pro is also useful for increasing your supply of grenades – 2 lethal grenades and 3 tactical will come in useful on longer streaks.
Our final perk adds a degree of resilience to any defensive class, and is especially useful for those weapons that demand precision.
Tactical Mask will protect you from Nova Gas – and if you can bear to unlock it – Tac Mask Pro will lessen the effects of both flash and concussion grenades, which is very useful.
For your lethal grenades, Frags are perhaps the most versatile – in that you can cook them for near instant detonation near your target, or bounce them around corners to tackle hidden enemies.
Concussion grenades are a good fit for your tactical slot, as they will slow enemies and inhibit their ability to aim – very useful for preventing incoming foes from getting too close.
Equipping a claymore is a similarly wise defensive move, allowing you to cover an otherwise unguarded entrance to your firing location, and focus more on your sights than on the risk of ambush.
For your secondary – a pistol is essential. With the poor hipfire performance of the FAL, the nimbler sidearm will prove more reliable up close.
The CZ-75 with extended mags is my go-to – otherwise, consider the Python for a similar close-range damage profile to the FAL, but with far better close quarter handling characteristics.
The FN FAL is a devastatingly powerful assault rifle that rewards those who can handle a semi-automatic weapon.
Only the M14 bests the FAL’s damage per shot in the assault rifle category – and in most circumstances the FAL will kill just as quickly.
Recoil is generally pretty easy to handle, too – boasting a lower degree of kick than the M14, even if it is a little more inconsistent.
The semi-automatic fire mode will limit your effectiveness up close – even with the high damage, it’s difficult to accurately direct fire upon a close-range assailant.
This weakness means you have to be mindful of your positioning, and take advantage of cover points to ensure you can place your shots accurately without interruption.
If you fire from the open, a mid-ranged enemy with an automatic assault rifle may very well be able to press their advantage.
Nevertheless, with vigilance as your watchword and in adopting a prepared position – the FN FAL will truly shine.
As long as your shots are accurate, you’ll make short work of the enemy – killing in two shots where your opponent may need 4 or 5.
The right arm of the free world’s enduring popularity is testament… to FN brilliance.
Thanks for watching, this has been XboxAhoy.
Join me for the next Black Ops Weapon Guide, when I’ll be covering the MPL.
Until then, farewell.