* Crew: One
* Length: 8.85 m (29 ft 0.5 in)
* Wingspan: 10.58 m (34 ft 8.5 in)
* Height: 3.49 m (11 ft 5 in)
* Wing area: 16.82 m² (181.04 ft²
* Empty weight: 2,491 kg (5,492 lb)
* Max takeoff weight: 2,930 kg (6,460 lb)
* Powerplant: 1× Alfa Romeo R.A.1000 RC.41 liquid-cooled supercharged inverted V-12, 1,075 hp (802 kW) at 2,500 rpm for takeoff
* Maximum speed: 600 km/h (324 knots, 372 mph) at 5,600 m (18,370 ft)
* Range: 765 km (413 nm, 475 mi)
* Service ceiling: 11,500 m (37,730 ft)
* Rate of climb: 18.1 m/s (3,563 ft/min)
* 2x 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns in the engine cowling, 360 rounds/gun
* 2x 7.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns in the wings, 500 rounds/gun
* 2x 50, 100, or 160 kg (110, 220, or 350 lb) bombs
* 2x 100 liter (26.4 US gallon) drop tanks
Macchis equipped all the premier fighter wings (Stormo): 1, 4 and 51. Although deployed in mid-1941, the C.202 didn't see action until later that fall, when several Macchis fought against British Hurricanes over Malta.
In the afternoon, 30 September 1941, three Macchis of 4° Stormo intercepted one of the frequent incursions made by Hurricanes, over Comiso airfield in Sicily. Lt. Lintern from Sottotenente Frigerio, was downed and bailed out. 
On 26 November 1941, in Operation Crusader, 19 Macchis of 9° Gruppo, 4° Stormo were sent to Africa, in response to the British offensive. Guided by Capt. Larsimont (97ma Squadriglia) and Viglione Borghese (96ma), ten of these Italian fighters flew at 5,000 m and defeated a force of Hurricane Mk IIs of 229 and 238 Sqdns. Both the Italian leaders were hit by the Hurricanes, but returned to base in Martuba. Three British fighters were shot down and another crashed while landing. One pilot was killed, and two returned to their base at Tobruk, one of them riding an Italian tank found in the desert. The Italians claimed eight victories, and the British two (which matched Italian fighters losses). Congratulations were sent by Marshall Bastico to the Macchi pilots.
During 1942, Bf-109s and Macchi C.202s fought Allied air forces in the skies of North Africa. At the time of Rommel's offensive on Tobruk, 5 'Squadra aerea' ("aviation corps"), based in North Africa, had 3 wings of Macchi: 1° had 47 C.202s (40 serviceable), 2° had 63 C.200s (52) while 4° had 57(47). This, coupled with the 32 Cant Z.1007s, was one of the most powerful fighter forces that the Italians fielded in the war, and comprised almost a tenth of the overall Folgore production. In the meanwhile, some Macchi fighters were sent to the USSR to supplement the obsolete C.200s. Many were also employed in attacks on Malta, gaining an initial advantage (together with Bf-109s) over the Hurricanes stationed there. In spring 1942, the carrier USS Wasp delivered the first Spitfires to Malta, and the Axis' air-superiority started to shift in favour of the Allies. C.202s were also involved in Operation Harpoon, encountering Sea Hurricanes. At the end of the year, the growing strength of the Allied forces was irresistible, and after the defeat in the skies over Malta as well as El-Alamein, the last operational Axis units lost their air superiority in the Mediterranean.
The Macchis continued fighting while retreating to Tunisia, and then, in the defense of Sicily, Sardinia and Italy, against an increasingly stronger foe. One notable action was experienced by the Macchis of two groups which landed at Korba airfield from Italy. Forced to concentrate 40 C.202s (both 7imo and 16imo, 54° Stormo) on a Tunisian airfield, on 8 May 1943, almost all the C.202s were destroyed on the ground by marauding Spitfires. A contemporary photo showed over a dozen Macchi C.202s (1% of the total built in 1940-44) in an abandoned airfield, damaged beyond repair by air attacks or dismantled to support the last few operating fighters. Because no transport aircraft were available, every surviving fighter taking off the day after, had two men inside, a pilot and a mechanic. Only a few aircraft (five of 7mo and six of 16mo) were repaired by 10 May 1943 and escaped to Italy. At least one, manned by Lt. Lombardo, was destroyed and the two men inside were wounded after crash-landing on a beach near Reggio Calabria.
The rest of the C.202s fought to defend Sicily, Sardinia and Naples. Results were poor, and the C.202s were replaced as soon as possible by Bf-109s, C.205s and G.55s. Several C.202s had also served with the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force, and some were transformed into C.205s. Other served as trainers in the RSI and Luftwaffe. C.202s had been ordered by Switzerland, but none were delivered although several examples were delivered to the Croatia Legion. 
After the bombing of Macchi Industries (1944), the combat career of the C.202 and C.205 was nearly over. After the war, however, some aircraft that had survived along with newly manufactured C.205s or as C.202 transformations were sent to Egypt. In total, 42 C.205s were sent, but the 31 made from C.202s were armed with only two Breda machine guns. Some of these aircraft fought against Israel, and were in service until 1951.
The Italian aircraft industry produced around 1,200 C.202s, in 11 series between 1941 and 1943. Of these, Macchi produced 392, the rest being supplied by production lines at Breda and SAI Ambrosini.