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MG42 Heavy Machine Gun Team
Axis mg42 heavy machine gun
Army Wehrmacht
Role Heavy Anti-Infantry
Men per Squad 3
Unit Cost 250Icon Manpower Small 250
3Icon PopCap Small 3
Upkeep per Minute -1.344Icon Manpower Small −1.344 (per man)
-4.032Icon Manpower Small −4.032 (full squad)
Prereq. None
Produced By Wehrmacht Quarters
Cost to Reinforce 41Icon Manpower Small 41
1Icon PopCap Small 1
Health per Man 55Icon Health Small 55
Infantry Type Infantry
Basic Weapon 1x MG42
2x MP40 Sub-Machine Gun
Max. Speed 3 m/s
Abilities (3)
Ability Field Medical Kit
Medical Kit
  • The entire squad will slowly heal.
  • Can only be used in friendly territory
  • Costs 30Icon Munitions Small 30 to activate
  • Duration: 60 seconds
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds
  • Requires researching Escalate to Skirmish Phase from the Reich Headquarters
  • Replaced with Field Medical Kit after Escalate to Battle Phase is researched

Ability Field Medical Kit
Field Medical Kit
  • The entire squad will slowly heal.
  • Can be used anywhere
  • Costs 30Icon Munitions Small 30 to activate
  • Duration: 60 seconds
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds
  • Requires researching Escalate to Battle Phase from the Reich Headquarters
  • Replaces Medical Kit

Ability Upgrade To Barracks
Upgrade to Barracks
  • Turns a neutral building into a Forward Barracks that can reinforce infantry units and (potentially) produce new units.
  • Requires the unit to garrison the target structure.
  • Requires the target structure to be inside captured and connected territory.
  • Costs 260Icon Manpower Small 260
  • Takes 30 seconds to complete

The MG 42 Heavy Machine Gun Team, or just MG42, is a Weapon Team in Company of Heroes. It is trained by the Wehrmacht and produced in the Wehrmacht Quarters.


The MG42 is one of the most famous weapons of the second world war for good reason- it is a relatively light Machine Gun able to output an incredibly high volume of fire in a short time. It is simple, man-portable, and a dangerous weapon to any unarmored target.

In Company of Heroes, the MG42 Team is the earliest weapon team a Wehrmacht player has access to in a normal game, consisting of 3 men- a gunner, a spotter, and an Unteroffizer commanding the other two men. While in real life they'd be specialists, in game all members of the squad use and support the MG42 in equal measure. If the Gunner is killed, another member of the team will take over as the new Gunner.

The Gunner manages the weapon, setting it up to fire and packing it up to move (a process which takes a few seconds), and firing it when it's set up. The two other men, beyond providing backup to take over the gun, use MP40s for some additional damage and to hold off any enemy Infantry that tries to approach from the flanks.

Given this and the cone of fire in front of the weapon, the MG42 is by nature a predominantly defensive weapon. It is not impossible or even rare to see an MG42 setting up in an offensive battle to temporarily fire on enemies before packing up in advancing- however, an MG42 Team is in its element when an enemy runs into an MG42's line of fire which has already been set up, especially in areas where it can fire at or near its maximum range. When used in this manner, the MG42 is bar none the best defense against Infantry in the game and is only beaten against recon vehicles by an ambushing Pak 38.

The MG42 Team will also act intelligently inside of buildings and emplacements, moving the weapon to any firing position from which enemies approach, which takes less time than it would to pick up and re-position the gun, making MG42 Teams among the best units with which to garrison. The additional cover and ability to upgrade to a Forward Headquarters are further benefits to the squad's ability to hold neutral buildings.

With the ability to control even large swarms of enemy infantry with suppression, denying their movement, forcing them to retreat or deal with the squad, the MG42 Team is one of the Wehrmacht's signature units, present in games with the same sort of consistency as a standard Infantry squad.


Maschinengewehr 42[]

The MG42 itself is the focus of the whole squad and has a maximum range of 45 meters, even outranging the primary weapon of most vehicles. Mounted on a tripod and fed with a belt, it is more threatening than the version seen in most of its other incarnations in the game.

When set up, the MG42 has an arc, visible if you hold right-click to position the unit, about 45 degrees left and right from the weapon itself. The gun rotates fairly quickly, so as long as the target is in range, the MG42 will nearly immediately fire upon it, though it may encounter difficulty while trying to switch between a target that's at an extreme side of its firing arc to another on the other extreme side.

The MG42 fires in 2 to 2.5 second bursts. Each burst fires between 32 and 40 rounds. After 5 such bursts, weapon has to be reloaded, which takes roughly 7 seconds. Each hit inflicts 7 points of damage. Accuracy is low, as expected of a weapon with such a high fire rate- around 25% at most ranges, though dramatically increasing to up to 60% in close quarters, shredding enemy Infantry who tread too close to the weapon.

Ultimately, the MG42's greatest upside is suppression- enemies will almost instantly hit the ground when an MG42 starts firing, making it hard for them to move or fight back, and putting them at risk of being Pinned, which makes them very easy to kill. Even with that being said, the MG42 is still dangerous in terms of raw damage, simply given the fact that it has so many chances to hit, many shots, even inaccurate, will land. Jeeps and Bren Carriers in particular are surprisingly easy fodder for the MG42, and they will be quickly scrapped if they stay in its firing range for any amount of time.

The MG42's largest downside is a near lack of penetration power. It can only damage completely or nearly unarmored targets, making it an ineffective weapon against most vehicles or structures, and far less effective shooting into a building than from it. It does not even have the luxury of armor-piercing rounds that the US equivalent does.

If an MG42 Team is killed while deployed outside of a building, they will drop their MG42 and it will be able to be picked up by other units, both friendly and enemy, which will create a new MG42 Team based on the squad that crews the weapon.

Maschinenpistole 40 Sub-Machine Gun[]

The MP40s used by the additional squad members of the MG42 Team are, as with most other weapon teams, light deterrence weapons that offer little in combat. They do low damage with low accuracy and an average fire rate, and simply serve to protect the MG42's flanks and deal some small additional damage to an enemy.

Do not assume these are as strong as the MP40s wielded by the Volksgrenadiers. They are the same MP40s used by Pioneers, so even in close combat, they do very little damage and will only be able to kill a severely wounded unit or one that has no serious capability to fight back.


The MG42 HMG Team has no unique abilities and simply has the same abilities as all Wehrmacht infantry units do- the ability to use Medical Kids and upgrade neutral buildings to Forward Headquarters.

Ability Field Medical Kit Medical Kit[]

  • Requires escalation to skirmish phase
  • Costs 30Icon Munitions Small 30
  • Activation: Immediate
  • Duration: 60 seconds

This medical kit allows Infantry to recover health on the battlefield. It is initially restricted to friendly territory, but with the Escalation to Battle Phase upgrade, it is upgraded to the Field Medical Kit, allowing it to be used anywhere on the map.

Each soldier of the squad recovers 72Icon Health Small 72 health points per minute when this ability is active. This comes at the cost of move speed, slowing the unit down for 18 seconds- however, given the nature of the MG42 team, this malus rarely impacts this unit in any significant way.

Ability Upgrade To Barracks Upgrade to Forward Headquarters[]

  • Costs 260Icon Manpower Small 260
  • Requires the MG42 HMG Team to garrison a neutral structure.
  • Requires the garrisoned structure to be inside captured and connected territory.
  • Activation: Through the Garrisoned Structure's menu.
  • Takes 30 seconds to complete

When a MG42 HMG Team enters a neutral structure that's inside captured and connected territory, this ability appears in that structure's menu. Activating this ability begins a 30-second upgrade period, at the end of which the building will be converted into a Forward Headquarters.

A Forward Headquarters allows units to be constructed and reinforced just like a base building. They can produce units seen in this chart, once the corresponding base building is built:

Existing Base Structure Unit Production Unlocked
Wehrmacht Headquarters Pioneer Squad
Wehrmacht Quarters Volksgrenadier Squad
MG42 Heavy Machine Gun Team
Krieg Barracks Gr. 34 8cm Mortar Team
Grenadier Squad
Pak 38 50mm Anti Tank Gun
Panzer Command Knight's Cross Holders

This will cost as many resources and take as long as from the base building, and the completed unit appears next to the Forward HQ.

A Forward HQ will not be able to operate in neutral or enemy territory, however, the building will still be owned by the Wehrmacht, and must be captured like a strategic point or entirely demolished to return to neutral status. If the associated point is re-captured, the building will function once again.

The MG42 Team is an excellent unit for constructing a Forward HQ, being able to defend it from Infantry and cover units being spawned or reinforced. At least one team should be present in any building you choose to convert to a Forward HQ.


MG42 Teams gain veterancy through Support Team Veterancy Upgrades, which are available at the Kampfkraft Center. These upgrades are cumulative and apply to both new and existing units. If another Wehrmacht unit recrews an abandoned MG42, they will use these bonuses.

No Veterancy:
  • Unit is at normal combat efficiency.
Level 1 Veterancy:
  • Accuracy increased by 25%,
  • Reload reduced by 25%.
Level 2 Veterancy:
Level 3 Veterancy:
  • Sight Radius + 15.

Veterancy 1 and 2 are very strong and obviously useful upgrades for the MG42 team, and given their potency and the unit's common use, a Wehrmacht commander should strongly consider upgrading to Support Veterancy 2 in almost every game. Veterancy 3, however, is a very niche benefit, and upgrading to Vet 3 for MG42s alone is generally not a worthwhile investment.


  • An MG42 works best when supported. Standard Infantry squads and Snipers can easily and quickly kill pinned units, Mortar Teams have easy shots on less mobile targets, and can protect the MG42 in kind, and recon vehicles can see flank attempts coming and help the MG42 perform at max range without veterancy. AT Guns are protected from enemy Infantry and can deal with vehicles the MG42 can't.
  • Keep your MG42 Teams as far away from the battle as they can possibly be. Enemies at the very edge of the MG's firing range will be suppressed all the same and be unable to fight back in any meaningful way.
  • Use as much of the firing cone as you can. MG42s can't fire through most obstacles and, obviously, any part of the cone off of the map entirely is wasted. In addition, using the MG42 in a place where it can only fire at short range gives the enemy some room to use grenades or other abilities to take them out.
  • Don't try to micromanage your MG42 excessively- if a target you selected to attack retreats, the MG42 may pack up to try and follow them, which may ruin a fight. Instead of manually attacking, simply set them up and let them fire on their own instead. When you do order them to attack a specific target in range, immediately also use the stop command to prevent them from chasing the target.
  • While garrisoned buildings are great for the MG42, take special care that they aren't in a place where they'll often be attacked by multiple angles. The MG takes 3 seconds to reposition in buildings, opening it up to enemy attacks.
  • Pack up your MG42 if you think the squad is doomed and you can't recrew the weapon yourself. An MG42 falling into allied hands is bad news- especially into the hands of the British, who, aside from one rarely-seen unit, have no portable infantry MG themselves.


The MG42 Team's members themselves are not impressive by any means- they're relatively weak compared to most regular Infantry, and can be taken out with little effort (if you manage to fire on them at all), especially if they're not in heavy cover or a building. In particular, any Infantry squad can quickly kill a MG42 Team if they attack from the flanks and stay out of the line of fire of the MG42 itself.

In addition, the MG42 is absolutely useless against any sort of armored vehicle. It's barely able to penetrate Halftrack or Armored Car armor and takes several minutes of uninterrupted fire to do appreciable damage to either. Even an unupgraded Greyhound can casually approach an MG42 from the front and take it out before it can respond.

Mortars and Snipers are particularly deadly to an MG42 Team- Mortars can kill the generally static unit well beyond their fire range or from behind obstacles. Snipers can also outrange the gun, and simply pick off the team one by one. Both are common sights on the battlefield, and any permanent MG42 setup must account for both of these units.


On unit creation :

On unit selection :

On unit selection under attack :

On (attack) move order :

On move order under attack :

On attack order :

On capture order :

On under attack report :