Black Ops 4 Guide: Tips For Playing Multiplayer, Blackout, Zombies
By Matt Espineli on
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 is a dedicated multiplayer game--there's no single-player campaign in sight. Classic modes like multiplayer and zombies remain but replacing the single-player campaign this year is none other than Blackout, a battle royale mode where up to 100 players fight to come out on top. Every part of Black Ops 4 is designed to throw you into heated competitive matches against other players.
These multiplayer modes may be a tad overwhelming for both returning players and newcomers. After all, the game sort of just throws you into the menu screen without much explanation of each or insight towards what's new. To prepare you for the challenges that lie ahead, we've gathered 17 tips that should help you across all three of Black Ops 4's major multiplayer modes.
If you're looking for more guides, be sure to check out feature highlighting Blackout tips you should know before starting, as well as our Blackout character unlock guide. You can also read our informative feature that details Black Ops 4 as a whole in all of its modes. For folks more curious about how Blackout compares to Fortnite and PUBG, check out our in-depth comparison feature.
In the meantime, how are you enjoying Black Ops 4? Got any tips that you don't see here? Let us know in the comments below.
Multiplayer: Focus On The Objective! (Unless Team Deathmatch)
For veteran Call of Duty players, sticking to the objective in an objective-focused mode should be obvious. But for newcomers jumping in for the first time, this might not be clear, especially if they haven't played Call of Duty or are more familiar with the series' older entries. Black Ops 4 introduces far more objective-focused modes than ever before, so unless you're playing Team Deathmatch, you want to assist your squadmates in claiming flags in Domination, holding control points in Control, and collecting as many dog tags as you can in Kill Confirmed. You'll naturally earn your team points as you support them in these modes and focus on the objective at hand, so don't get too hung up on your kill count.
Multiplayer: Give Yourself Time To Heal
The biggest change to Black Ops 4 is non-regenerating health. If you want to recover health, you need to use Stim-Shots to recover, which is mapped to L1/LB. It takes a few seconds to administer, so take extra care to pull back or find cover away from your current firefight when in the red. You also can't shoot while using the Stim-Shot, so make sure you're not putting yourself in harm's way by walking around a blind corner or into a wide-open space.
Multiplayer: Be Careful Of The Time To Kill
Speaking of health, Black Ops 4 increases the amount of HP players have, which in turn increases the time to kill. Be sure that you have ample time to kill an opposing player and try not to take unnecessary risks. Take note of their health and avoid sprinting around corners, as this will reduce your ability to aim after spotting them.
Multiplayer: Invest In What You Want
When you first start playing matches, don't be careless with your weapon loadouts. It's essential to decide early on which types of weapons and equipment you want to invest in, as you'll want the stuff you use the most to be at a high level when you inevitably unlock the ability to create your own class. Stick with leveling up weapons that suit your playstyle the most, or else you'll be spending extra hours reconfiguring your loadout on account of your lack of focus.
Also, make note of your shortcomings. Once you unlock Create-a-Class and gain access to the Pick 10 system--which allots you a specific amount of points to create a customized loadout--you'll want to start customizing your weapons and equipment further to make up for what you lack in.
Multiplayer: Spend Wisely In Heist Mode
In Heist mode, it's best to save your initial $500 for the second round. When you're spending cash, try to consider whether or not you'll use an item. It's best to save expensive upgrades for later rounds when you've got more cash. To save on spending money in subsequent rounds, be on the lookout for ammo and health pickups scattered across the map.
Out of all the possible purchasing options, make sure that you're always buying body armor. With no respawns during each round, the few extra shots of protection it offers can make all the difference.
Blackout: Stick The Landing
Getting to the ground first is one of the most important things you need to master. You'll start the match in a helicopter that flies across the island. Like other battle royale games, the way to drop down precisely where you want--and quickly--is to tradeoff between speed and distance. When you exit the helicopter, head straight down. You know you're reaching max speed when your character's arms tuck in. The right side of screen shows both your speed in meters per second and downward facing arrows. You want to hit three down triangles and then start flying up and down in long, wave-shaped movements towards your chosen landing zone.
Blackout: Landing Zone Tips
Landing in remote places is a huge gamble but doing so in a small unmarked village can be even worse than a larger area. If a team has landed before you, then you have nowhere to run. Larger areas may attract more players but typically have more buildings to explore. It's also easier to an untouched building to loot equipment. A great example of this is landing at Turbine, where there are several large warehouses. However, certain areas, such as Firing Range and Nuketown Island, attract an especially large number of players. Don't go there unless you're confident in your skills.
Blackout: Wingsuit Essentials
When you jump out of the helicopter, you'll use your wingsuit to land. You might not know, however, that it can be deployed at any time during a match. It's useful to do so when jumping off tall places, such as the Dam or Lighthouse. This is helpful in making a hasty escape when things go south. You can deploy the wingsuit by running and then holding the jump button.
Blackout: Avoid Buildings In The Final Circle (Unless You Got A Trophy System)
Don't hide in buildings during the final moments of a match when the battle area is at its smallest; you're likely to get killed by grenades, cluster bombs, or any other explosive throwables. Though, if you have the trusty Trophy System, you can just zap any incoming explosive right out of the air. Regardless, it's a good rule of thumb to avoid camping out in buildings during this moment of the match.
Blackout: Use Vehicles Wisely
Blackout has a good mix of transportation options. There are helicopters, boats, ATVs, and heavy trucks. But be careful; driving these noisy vehicles can give away your location, especially as the map shrinks over the course of the match. Also, you're a prime target for anyone with Hellion Salvo rocket launcher since it also locks onto vehicles.
Helicopters are incredibly useful if you need to get to a safety zone quickly. There are several scattered across the map; a few places to find them are the Construction Site, Turbine, Factory, Firing Range, and Cargo Docks.
Blackout: Support And Scavenge
When playing in a squad, Blackout has plenty of options available for you to help out your team, such as sharing ammo with teammates from the inventory menu. Some actions in the game can even be performed without fully going into your menus. You can use the D-pad to scroll through a downed enemy's inventory, and with a single button press you can equip a weapon attachment from the ground without going into your inventory.
Zombies: Keep An Eye Out For Parts
Always be on the lookout for parts, which can be used at workbenches to construct useful weapons and equipment. In IX, these parts build the Acid Trap, the Bull Shield, and the Death of Orion, while in Voyage of Despair, they're used to create the Riot Shield and the Distillation Kit. In Blood of the Dead, the parts create a Special Shield. Unfortunately, parts don't have set locations where you can find them, as they randomly spawn in different areas of the map.
Zombies: Ship Maps in Voyage of Despair
In Voyage of Despair, pay close attention to the ship maps strewn about each area. You can use them to get better acquainted with your surroundings, as well as find specific rooms in the ship.
Zombies: The Sentinel Artifact in Voyage of Despair
Typically, in Zombie mode you often need to flip a switch in order to open up closed-off areas of the map. But in Voyage of Despair, this is facilitated by finding the Sentinel Artifact, which is located on the ship's Poop Deck. Obtaining the Sentinel Artifact also unlocks special portals you can use to warp to different areas of the ship.
Zombies: Where To Find Pack-A-Punches
The Pack-a-Punch is a handy station you can use to increase the power of your weapons. In Voyage of Despair, you can only access it once you've activated four stone altars scattered across the map. You can find these stations in the following locations:
- Poop Deck
- Engine Room
- Lower Grand Staircase
- Cargo Hold
The Pack-a-Punch shifts locations from one stone station to the next in Voyage of Despair. But don't worry, if you arrive at the wrong one, you'll be told exactly which stone station is housing the Pack-a-Punch.
In IX, the Pack-a-Punch is unlocked by activating gongs to spawn zombie champions that you must defeat. Killing them rewards you their heads, which you take to a circular room in the colosseum's underground sections called The Temple. Sticking the four zombie champion heads to the center altar unlocks the Pack-a-Punch. The gongs are found in the following locations:
- Ra Altar room
- Danu Altar room
- Odin Altar room
- Zeus Altar room
The Pack-A-Punch in the Blood of the Dead is unlocked by picking up the Warden's Key and crafting the Spectral Shield. You use the weapon to charge the voltage conductors on the roof of the prison, which unlocks the Pack-a-Punch.
Zombies: Use Red Valves To Drain The Water In Voyage of Despair
When exploring the lower regions of the ship, keep an eye out for red valves. You can use these to drain the water, making it easier to navigate.
As stated, workbenches are used to create special weapons and equipment. Regardless of which map you play, always be on the lookout for workbenches. They often lead to the creation of weapons and items that will often lead you to success.
IX only has one workbench, which you use to craft the Brazen Bull and is located in The Pit. In Voyage of Despair, there are a total of two workbenches. The Poop Deck workbench is used to create the Riot Shield, a useful defensive item that allows you to defend yourself from both the front and rear. The Engine Room workbench is used to create the Distillation Kit--an item that allows you to craft new ammo types for the incredibly powerful Kraken, which you get after defending and opening the map's special chest. Lastly, the workbenches in Blood of the Dead craft the Spectral Shield; they're located in the Docks and the Cell Block Third Floor.