FATALITY! COD: Modern Warfare Finishing Moves Tips

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a brutal game, both figuratively and literally. But what pushes that from the average to epic levels is the flourish that comes with completing finishing moves. Just like the Fatalities that are the hallmark of the Mortal Kombat franchise of games, Finishing Moves in Modern Warfare are non-essential.

A kill is a kill, regardless if you do it using a knife or a gun, and whether it’s done from close or long range. However, and again like the MK Fatalities, Finishing Moves add a finality and a level of satisfaction when you pull it off. Think of it as adding insult to injury. It’s like an exclamation point to the statement you just made!

Krueger TakeDown Finishing Move CODMW
Kreuger's Take Down is the poster boy of COD: Modern Warfare Finishing Moves.

Let’s take look at how to accomplish these Finishing Moves in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and tips on how to best take advantage of them!

Equipping and Doing Finishing Moves

Finishing Moves have been added to the Modern Warfare, Warzone, and Black Ops Cold War iterations of Call of Duty (aka COD), and it is likely to be a fixture in the future installments. Every named character in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has a Finishing Move. Generic Operators do not have Finishing Moves.

First, make sure that your Operator has a Finishing Move equipped. Go to the Operator’s menu. Check the Customize menu. There should be a tab for Finishing Moves.

Reckoner Legendary Finishing Move CODMW
Check the Operator Menu and choose the Finishing Move desired.

Just choose the Finishing Move you want and it will be the one the Operator uses. The good news is all of them are executed (pun intended) in pretty much the same manner. Just follow these basic principles:

  1. Sneak up undetected as close to being behind an enemy as you can.
  2. On your controller, press and hold down the melee button.
  3. You will know it triggered a finishing move when it shifts to 3rd person and an animation begins.
Azur Clubbed Finishing Move CODMW
Stealthily approach your enemy from behind to do a Finishing Move!

It seems relatively simple enough, and it is. However, there are some caveats:

  1. While the animation for the Finishing Move is running, your Operator is vulnerable from another attack that you might not be aware of. It is actually possible to fail a Finishing Move even if the animation has already started if your Operator is killed while it is in progress.
  2. The environment can mess up the Finishing move execution (i.e. a box just beyond your peripheral vision that prevents it from being completed due to the collision mechanics).
  3. You only have 1 or 2 seconds to execute a Finishing Move. If it gets interrupted, either by the target or someone else, it is likely the window of opportunity is missed.
  4. If you don’t hold down the melee button at just the right interval, the Operator may just perform a slashing or swinging attack.

Like with anything, this takes practice. The more you do a Finishing Move, the more comfortable you will be with the timing and spatial awareness needed to perform it successfully.

Base Finishing Moves

The following is a list of the base Finishing Moves that every character comes with by default. These are the names of the moves and which character has it.

Name of Move Character
Achilles Heel Wyatt
Axe You Nicely Alice
Axe and Receive Raines
Baton Dispatch Charly
Cranial Carnage Otter
Death Pirouette Rodion
Disable and Decimate Domino
Disable and Kill Azur
Disdainful Destruction Golem
Face the End Minotaur
Foul Play Syd
Hatchet Hitman D-Day
Head to Head Bale
Hobble and Slay Yegor
Infiltration Grinch
Knee Deep Zane
Pierce the Jug Coalition Mil-Sim
Riot Control Thorne
Shanks A Lot Allegiance Mil-Sim
Slideshot Ghost
Take Down Krueger
D-Day Hatchet Hitman Finishing Move CODMW
D-Day comes with the base Hatchet Hitman Finishing Move.

Finishing Moves

These are special Finishing Moves for COD: Modern Warfare that can either be the base for a few Operators, but most are acquired through bundles and Battle Passes.

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Name of Move How to Acquire
1, 2, 3 Base for Alex
Belly Flop Bundle Ghost Pack: Oil Rig
Between The Ribs Bundle Deathbringer
Brass Boxer Bundle Emerald Ranger
Brass Tactics Bundle Mother Russia
Brassed Off Bundle Lone Marauder
Brick by Brick Base for Lerch
Carver Iskra Operator Bundle
Chest Pains Base for Mara
Close and Personal Bundle Night Operations
Clubbed Bundle Arms Dealer
Cold Blooded Bundle Nightstalker
Counterplay Bundle The Huntsman
Deft Dispatch Bundle Battle-Ready
Do The Spadework Base for Nikolai
Down to Size Bundle Out in the Bush
Electrifying End Bundle Full Metal
Face the Adze Bundle WMD
First Degree Bundle Amphibious
Go Clubbing Bundle The Unseen
Grave Digger Bundle The Bodyguard
Herding Season One Battle Pass Tier 100 Operator Mission (3/4)
Hold This Bundle Enlisted
Ice Breaker Bundle Cleanup Crew
Ice To Meet You Bundle Gaz Operator Bundle
Icy Veins Bundle Air Assault
Join the Club Bundle Cloak And Dagger
Knife To Meet You Bundle Mad Chemist
Laid To Rest Bundle Urban Avenger
Leg Sweep Bundle Tactical Human IV
Lined Up Bundle Infiltrator
Lose By A Neck Base for Farah
Mace to the Face Bundle Mace Operator Bundle
Martial Law Bundle Heavy Hitter
Misdirection Bundle Chill Confirmed
Payback Pre-order a digital copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (Universal)
Pew Pew Pew Bundle Fourth of July Pack (Universal)
Pinned Bundle Guerrilla
Precision Point Bundle Tactical Human III
Queen of Spades Bundle Mara: Kawaii Cat
Run Through Bundle Mace: Guns Blazing
Say Watt Bundle Cold Blood
Sick 'Em Bundle Talon Operator Bundle
Slice and Dice Bundle Ronin Operator Bundle
Spine Snapper Bundle The Texan
Staying Frosty Base for Price
Step Aside Bundle Sgt. Griggs Operator Bundle
Stick 'n' Knife Bundle Outback Relief
Take a Bow Bundle Velikan Operator Bundle
The Fix Nikto Operator Bundle
Trick Shot Bundle Stone Warrior
Turnover Bundle Tactical Human II
Walk Into It Bundle Snow Cover
Wall Breaker Bundle Close Quarters
Mara Herding Finishing Move CODMW
Herding is an Epic Finishing Move!

Legendary Finishing Moves

This list is for Legendary Finishing Moves in COD: Modern Warfare that can only be acquired through Battle Passes and bundles. These are Universal, meaning they can be equipped on any Operator in the game.

Name of Move How to Acquire
Bush League Battle Pass Season Four Tier 19
Chip Shot Bundle Lumber tactical
Crick in The Neck Bundle Pyromaniac
Edward Battle Pass Season Six Tier 18
Fangs Out Bundle Arachnid
Gutted Bundle The Kodiak
Hellhound Bundle Undead Forces
Hello Stranger Bundle Ghost Pack: Contingency
Low Rise Bundle Asanbosam
Nevermore Battle Pass Season Five Tier 20
Perforate Bundle Lights Out
Riley Battle Pass Season Three Tier 20
Sasquatch Bundle Wendigo
Snafu Bundle Roze Operator Bundle
Spin Cycle Bundle Covert Operations
Sputnik Bundle Nikto: Take No Prisoners
Three Strikes Bundle Wasteland
Toto Bundle Mara: No Place Like Home
Tuco Bundle Morte Operator Bundle
Watch This Battle Pass Season Two Tier 100
Nevermore Legendary Finishing Move CODMW
Nevermore requires Battle Pass Season Five Tier 20!

Tips to Execute Modern Warfare Finishing Moves

Performing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Finishing Moves use the same command parameters, there are useful perks and situational awareness tips that can improve your chances. These can help you to consistently accomplish them:

  • Remember that there is a distance required. If you are too far, it will not trigger a Finishing Move. An arm’s length is the rough benchmark.
  • Ghost Perk. Get it. It makes the Operator virtually invisible to most detection like Sensors, Drones, Snapshot grenades, and UAVs. This improves your ability to sneak behind the enemy.
  • Grab Dead Silence. This Field Upgrade improves your Operator’s move speed and completely silences your footsteps. Note, however, that this is only good for one kill.

These can help enhance your ability to do Finishing Moves. But ultimately, it’s your skill and experience with using them that makes the most difference. Practice makes perfect!

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.