Medal of Honor: Warfighter is a first-person shooter and the sequel to the series’ 2010 reboot Medal of Honor. The single-player portion starts with the characters Voodoo, Mother, and Preacher — the latter controlled by the player — all three returning from the previous game as they take on a mission in Karachi, Afghanistan. They are U.S. Navy SEALs and what starts out as a simple demolition job, goes wrong when the truck contains the explosive PETN substance and blows up the docks almost entirely. After the debriefing by Dusty, also returning from the previous game and now their handler, Voodoo is assigned to Task Force Mako, along with the DEVGRU operative Stump, while Mother and Preacher return to the scene to investigate the dock yard incident. Instead of a larger battle, the game offers missions in different parts of the world woven together by the story about tracing the origin of the PETN substance. The player either gets to control Stump working together with Voodoo in Task Force Mako, or Preacher who teams up with Mother—bringing back the amount of playable character to two instead of four compared to the previous game. The story takes the Tier 1 operators to locations such as Modagishu (Somalia), Isabela City (Philippines), Yemen, Sarajevo, and Croatia. Some of these are inspired by real events such as pirate attacks in Somalia and floods in the Philippines. Between missions cut-scenes show the soldiers’ lives back home and how their families handle it.
Gameplay mechanics are largely identical compared to the previous game. The game runs on a new engine and actions such as asking for ammo, leaning, peaking and sliding have been moved over, in addition to new elements such as dynamic door breaching and micro destruction of the environment. Objectives are shown in the top left corner and targets are shown on-screen with the remaining distance. Starting weapons can be swapped with those from fallen enemies and there is a sniping system that involves holding breath to steady the aim. All-out action is mixed with a stealthier approach and silent kills. The player also gets to plant charges and remote control a ground drone with guns. Missions are entirely linear and are only completed when all objectives are met and the proposed path is followed. There is also a mission where Preacher gets to drive a car through Karachi in pursuit of a suspect. Weapons include handguns, assault rifles, carbines and PDWs, light machine guns, shotguns, sniper rifles, anti-tank weaponry, explosives and grenades, grenade launchers and melee weapons.
The multiplayer part is organized as a global war based around 10 countries and 12 factions. Each faction has different abilities, perks, secondary weapons and grenades, and they are based around six classes: assault, demolitions, heavy gunner, point man, sniper, and spec ops—each with a separate unlock rank. Certain perks become available when people work together as a team through the Fire Team mechanic. It is a type of buddy system where the other player is constantly highlighted and can provide health and ammunition. Support actions make a return and now provide helicopters, weapons, unmanned aircraft and other equipment. Weapons can be customized to a large extent based on weapon type (some need to be unlocked), optics, barrel assembly, muzzle, receiver group, magazine style, and paint jobs. Game modes include the returning Domination-type mode Sector Control, Team Assault as regular team deathmatch, Real Ops (lots of options and HUD elements are disabled for more realism), Combat Mission (clear five consecutive bases or prevent it from happening). New to the series is Hotpot where a number of bomb sites need to be defended or attacked. Up to 20 players can compete simultaneously (not in all game modes), four less compared to the previous game.