Top 5 Tips for the Call of Duty: Black Ops III Beta

Specialists approach.

73 Comments

The Call of Duty: Black Ops III multiplayer beta is upon us, and with it, a chance to practice before the shooter's full release later this year. The beta is strictly for PS4 users at the moment, and from today until Sunday, Aug. 23, players who pre-ordered have a handful of maps, weapons, and new abilities to experiment with. Players on Xbox One and PC will get their chance with the game from Aug. 26-30.

Below, we've outlined tips we found helpful during our time with the beta. There's more to discover, and Black Ops III's full release will have its own learning curve. But the following five tips are a good foundation to start with.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Learn the Specialist Abilities

The most notable change to the Call of Duty multiplayer formula is the Specialist system. It dictates what super ability you'll have throughout the match, and some of them have the potential to shift momentum in your favor.

There will eventually be nine options to choose from, but for the purposes of the beta, four are available right from the start, with two unlockable specialists for later ranks. Each of the specialists has two abilities to choose from, and only one can be active at a time. It's worth spending your first few Unlock Tokens on these abilities, as they're the biggest iteration the beta has to show, and worth examining.

And seeing as how this is a beta, it's worth exploring every class before Call of Duty: Black Ops III's full Nov. 6 launch. Knowing the intricacies of the Outrider's Sparrow longbow, Battery's War Machine grenade launcher, or Prophet's Glitch ability is paramount for offensive pushes. A thorough knowledge of the abilities is also useful when it comes to defense--seeing your body coated in a red haze means a nearby Outrider just used its Vision Pulse ability, and it knows exactly where you are. And running headfirst into a Ruin isn't advisable, as it might activate its Gravity Spikes leaping ability at any moment.

Lastly, knowing each class will be helpful when Black Ops III introduces the Specialist Draft system. Before competitive matches, players take turns selecting their abilities. When each one is taken, the system locks it, ensuring that no one else can use that option. But in the beta, that system isn't present, and you have the chance to experiment in any way you see fit.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Practice Traversals

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare introduced traversal mechanics, with wall runs, double jumps, and power slides allowing for a variety of ways to maneuver through maps. While Black Ops III's movement is slower than Advanced Warfare's--and not as shifty--it still plays a major part in multiplayer matches.

Double jumps are crucial in crossing gaps, reaching rooftops, and surprising enemies from above. I also used the power slide often--it helped me escape death several times, and cutting corners at such a fast pace was more than enough to get an angle on opponents. Wall runs weren't extremely useful during my first few hours with the beta, but I did witness some skilled players scoring kills while dashing across flat planes.

And these traversal mechanics aren't just useful on a moment-to-moment basis. They also allow you to navigate maps with more creative methods. Take the map Hunted, for example: There are varying sight lines and myriad tight corners in this area, but also inventive ways to take advantage of them. In one instance, I double jumped onto a bridge, wall ran across the gap below, power slid to avoid enemy fire, double jumped through a waterfall, and swam underwater into the bottom floor of a nearby building. I then had the drop on an unsuspecting enemy. This may sound complicated, but the controls are fluid and accessible, and they're worth learning before Black Ops III's full release.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Change Elevation

Like the maps in Advanced Warfare, those of Black Ops III have much more verticality than earlier Call of Duty entries. There are rooftops to climb, pits to jump across, and buildings with more than two floors.

I died numerous times because I rounded a corner, expecting an enemy to face me head-on. But seconds later, the opponent got the drop on me with a shotgun, or finished me off from a rooftop perch. It's worth keeping your head up in Black Ops III, and the beta is a great opportunity to form that habit.

On the offensive side of things: use the verticality to your advantage. Scale rooftops, drop down for kills, escape with a power slide and subsequent wall-run. Changing your elevation is key to navigation and escape, but also for setting up kills and dropping into opponents' blind spots.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Keep Moving

This is a staple of Call of Duty games, but it rings true more than ever with Black Ops III. With more movement options, Specialist abilities, and avenues of approach from every angle, staying still is likely to get you killed before you rack up any higher score-streaks.

If you prefer close range tactics, and getting up close to your opponents, constant movement will help you account for enemy Specialist abilities. Sprinting away from groups helps you avoid the Tempest's chain lightning; instant deaths from the Seraph's Annihilator revolver; and a barrage of grenades from the Battery's War Machine grenade launcher.

Whether you prefer close-quarters combat in the center of the map, long-range shots from the perimeter, or any combination or iteration of both, Black Ops III's maps are designed to support constant movement, and deter prolonged camping.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Know Your Play Style

Now more than ever, Call of Duty gives you opportunities to tailor your classes. The Specialists lend additional layers to customization, and loadouts cater to multifarious attack plans.

If you're the kind of player who sprints head-on into the battle, try combining the Glitch ability with a shotgun. If you don't get the kill right away, the teleporting power lets you start over from a few feet behind, and take the time to line up a new shot when the enemy is least expecting it. Add the Fast Hands perk, and you'll be equipped for any indoor firefight.

If you're the kind of player who prefers stealth, and waiting for the right time to strike during Hardcore game modes, try the Outrider. Her Vision Pulse ability is crucial for revealing nearby enemies through walls. Supplement that power with the Blind Eye perk (which hides you from enemy UAV scans) and Hard Wired (which increases the reliability of your electronics, while decreasing the enemy's), and you'll be able to hide in plain sight.

Create-a-Class options have always been a great way to mold Call of Duty to fit your taste. But the added layer of Specialist characters creates even more unique opportunities to balance or supplement your preferred modus operandi. And the beta is a great opportunity to experiment.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy


Mike Mahardy on Google+

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 73 comments about this story