The PSG1 is a "Classified" weapon, unlocked for purchase after the WA2000 and L96A1 are purchased. Although each shot causes a high recoil, the PSG1 has the fastest scope reset speed, or center speed, of any sniper rifle in Call of Duty: Black Ops. Also, the recoil predictably kicks in one direction, similar to the L96A1, unlike the other semi-auto sniper rifles.

The PSG1 will kill with 1 shot to the stomach, chest, neck or head.

Like most sniper rifles, the PSG1 has a small magazine, causing frequent reloads. Extended Mags and/or Sleight of Hand can be helpful. The PSG1 scope uses a reticle with relatively thick cross-hairs. This weapon is effective in Hardcore gametypes, as it still retains a one-hit kill ability even with a suppressor attached.

Even though it is semi-automatic it is not recommended to mash the trigger as the recoil will make follow up shots miss. It is best to treat the sniper rifle as a bolt action and wait a little before shooting again.