The RPD in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2handles very similarly to how it does in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, although it has slightly lower rate of fire in this installment. It is unlocked at Level 4 (Private First Class) and has Grip, Red Dot Sight, Silencer, ACOG Scope, FMJ, Holographic Sight, Heartbeat Sensor, Thermal Scope and Extended Mags attachments available. A notable difference, like with most firearms in the game, is that the ACOG no longer sways. A rail has also been added which is not seen in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The RPD benefits greatly from the Bling perk, which allows players some flexibility in their attachment choices. Bling is useful for all LMGs due to their large ammo capacity and magazines, making sleight of hand and scavenger redundant, and the RPD is no exception to this. ACOG and Thermal Scope have their obvious benefits, allowing players to perform an 'Over watch' role and provide longer-range fire support in most situations. Due to the incredibly clear iron sights, an interesting choice is the Heartbeat Sensor which allows the player a fairly clear view of the sensor even while aiming down the sights.
Stopping Power and FMJ are advised for a player going for a loud and all out attack class with a similarly powerful secondary weapon. With Stopping Power Pro, great iron sights and a grip the RPD can accurately and easily (before it gets off a second scan of the area) shoot down UAVs when going full auto, if the player has a clear line of sight on the aircraft (doesn't require the ACOG Scope, though a Silencer can help avoid appearing on the radar when firing). Attaching FMJ with the RPD can yield multi-kills as increasing the penetration can also increase the penetration through enemy players, though it does not increase the base damage. Un-silenced with Stopping Power, the RPD delivers two-hit kills anywhere to the body, unless shooting through a surface or against an opponent with Painkiller. The gun can be a surprisingly good stealth LMG with a Silencer, especially in Hardcore where it can deliver one-shot kills at any distance without stopping power, while carrying 100 rounds of ammunition, this makes it very difficult for the player to run out of ammunition before the player dies, or the game ends, however the effectiveness of a silencer in hardcore is limited, due to the lack of radar. The RPD also has very high bullet penetration, just like the AK-47 in this game; this makes it much easier for the RPD to get penetration kills quickly due to the high damage even without Stopping Power. An experienced player can unlock Extended Mags in a few days, or even a few hours of consistent use. Using extended magazines with One Man Army pro can be very effective, as it allows for 18 seconds of continuous firing followed by a 4 second class swap, very useful when suppression is needed. The lack of accuracy without the grip can be easily compensated for at range by firing off 2 round taps, as the weapon is a 2 hit kill at any range with stopping power.
The RPD has the 2nd highest damage output per second due to the high capacity magazines, but falls short to the L86 LSW due to the lower rate of fire. The RPD's one major disadvantage is its reload time. It takes approximately 10 seconds to reload the RPD, the same reload time as the MG4. In this time, the player could fire off almost 2 magazines with the AUG HBAR.
To mitigate the slow reload, there are a few options available. Sleight of Hand is a great option to counteract the slow reload, not only due to speeding up the reload but also decreasing the sighting time with the Pro version. One Man Army Pro is actually faster than reloading the RPD while replenishing both ammo and equipment. The Extended Mags attachment places all of the ammunition into a single drum, and makes One Man Army or Scavenger needed if the player wishes to reload (One Man Army is faster, making Scavenger less useful), however usually not necessary. When using Extended Mags, do not use Sleight of Hand. The player should instead consider using One Man Army, Bling or Marathon for the long run. A Grip is an optional attachment that also works well with an optic and Bling (for example, Red Dot Sight w/ Grip).