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I've been playing coop with a friend for a half about an hour. We both have levelled a little, but both can't figure out how to get our new weapons. Things are made worse by this:

  1. Change loadout screen hangs about only for 15 seconds
  2. Change loadout screen appears only on checkpoints
  3. The change loadout button (L by default) doesn't do anything

So we have only 15 seconds to figure it out. Can someone please explain how to switch to better weapons?

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You have to create loadouts if you want to have fully customized weapon packs. You should do this at the lobby - not between mission starts – Zero Stack Apr 9 '13 at 15:46
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You unlock new weapons and gear for your loadouts simply by playing and earning XP and gaining levels.

Weapon attachments for a particular weapon are unlocked by using that weapon and increasing its level.

Weapon mods are unlocked by using the decoder on the various storage items you earn from missions. They also often give you XP which will help with unlocking new gear faster.

You can unlock a second decoder for decoding multiple items at a time on the Far Cry Outpost website and the mobile app (in which you can play a puzzle minio-game to earn up to 5 decodable items per day.

As said above, you can only choose, not create/edit a loadout before or in between missions.

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