Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Spec Ops Beginner's Guide
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare doesn't include a Zombies mode, unlike other recent games in the franchise, but it does have a cooperative option. Infinity Ward brings back the franchise's Special Ops mode, extending the story of the campaign with some missions you can play with as many as three squadmates. Both the Classic Spec Ops mode and the PlayStation 4-exclusive Survival mode will challenge you and your team in ways competitive multiplayer or the campaign won't, and you'll have to use all your Call of Duty skills to complete your missions.
The trouble with Spec Ops is that nothing about it is very clear. You'll get a briefing at the start of a mission, but figuring out what weapons to bring, what enemies you'll face, and what roles will serve you best takes playing--and failing. There are also a whole lot of mechanics and features in the mode that can help you complete your mission, if you know what they are. We've put together a list of tips and tricks that can help you succeed in Spec Ops--or at least die a little less often. Here's everything you need to know when you start out the mode.
The one thing that matters more than anything else in Spec Ops is staying with your team. Any time you wander off alone, you're likely to get shot down by enemies you can't see or deal with in time to stop them. That makes you a major liability for the rest of your squad, who are not only now short your gun and your abilities, but have to risk a second person to come save you--or try to brave the full minute it takes for you to respond. A lot of Spec Ops matches are lost as things fall apart because a lone wolf decided to try to take matters into their own hands. Stay with your team and support each other, and you'll get much further in any given operation.
Listen To Your Handlers
The voices on the radio aren't just laying out objectives or giving you tidbits of the story you're playing through in Spec Ops. They're also constantly updating you on the tactical situation by warning you when enemies are swarming in and what kind of baddies you can expect to deal with. When a fresh enemy wave comes in, your handlers will call it out, and hearing those mentions will help you prepare for what you're about to face. This is especially important toward the end of a Spec Ops mission, when the enemy starts to throw things like tanks and helicopters at you. Your handlers will notify you of those threats so you can avoid them, or more likely, take them down--but it's essential that you pay attention so you're not surprised.
Gear Up Before You Go
The "Munitions" menu on your loadout screen is an important one. Here you can use points you earn in Spec Ops missions to purchase things like ammo and armor crates or killstreaks to use along the way. Having the right killstreak at a key moment can turn a losing Spec Ops match into a winning one, but even if you don't have a super-strong killstreak unlocked or you can't afford it, you can still contribute a lot to the match with crates. It should be standard practice that you always bring ammo and armor crates along for a mission, because those upgrades will keep your team alive. Running out of bullets in the middle of a firefight pretty much always means defeat in Spec Ops, and armor in a tough battle can give you what you need to take down a Juggernaut or a chopper that would otherwise spell your doom. Make sure you always have crates, and deploy them when you have a tough fight, you have to hold a position, or at lulls during the mission so your team can enter their next encounter prepared.
Search For Crates On The Maps
You can only bring three crates with you from the Munitions screen (and fewer if you grab killstreaks), but it's possible to find crates in every Spec Ops mission as you move through an area. These are usually just off the beaten path and inside rooms near objectives. Check interiors and along the sides of the routes you need to take to reach your next big fight--you'll probably find crates. Picking up a crate lets you carry it with you to deploy for your team later, and you'll sometimes find killstreaks out in the wild as well. Make sure you're not leaving any critical items behind in Spec Ops, because you'll definitely need them later.
Know And Use Your Role
You're not just a standard soldier in Spec Ops. Before each match starts, you can use the Role screen to choose what part you'll play on your squad. Medics can revive teammates faster than other players, Heavy troopers get extra ammo for launchers and can dispatch armor, and Recon player can mark targets with drones. There are six roles in all and each has its particular upshots, so it's a good idea to have a variety on your squad so everyone can contribute differently. Even if you're not that coordinated with your teammates, though, knowing your character's capabilities and leaning into them can help you succeed in Spec Ops. If you're a medic, for instance, play like one--make use of your quicker revive times to keep your team healthy and allow other squaddies to fight while you save anyone who falls. When everyone is specialized on a squad, you'll be able to deal with tough threats more quickly and recover from emergencies that might otherwise result in failure.
Reviving Downed Teammates Is Essential
When all four players on your squad are downed, you'll fail your Spec Ops mission and get stuck restarting from your last major checkpoint. Failure can be a serious setback, but any time a teammate falls in battle, another teammate can revive them. If you don't, that member of your team will bleed out after a short time, and you'll have to wait a full minute for them to return to the battlefield. You don't have to be a medic to save another member of your squad, but your revives will be slower. Still, in most cases, it's possible to get a revive done without getting killed for it, and it's always worth trying to save a squadmate rather than letting them bleed out. You can also give yourself an edge in reviving by equipping the riot shield as part of your loadout, which will protect you from fire to your back while you're helping up a teammate.
A smart team sticks together so that revives are as easy as possible, and stays on top of them to keep their squad as close to full strength as possible at all times. If you get downed in battle, try to help your team revive you by shooting nearby enemies with your pistol and crawling behind cover. Getting out of harm's way can make getting to you easier, which will help get you back into the action faster.
Stay Out Of The Open, But Keep Moving Forward
There are enemies everywhere in Spec Ops, often spawning in on the sides of or behind your position. Especially when the fighting gets heavy, you need to stay in cover almost constantly. Avoid crossing open ground whenever possible, and when you do have to move, run quickly to another cover position to keep yourself from getting killed along the way. Tactical sprint is your friend in these situations: Double-tap the sprint button and you'll get a bigger boost of speed that can help you get to cover quickly.
You'll need to stay behind cover as much as you can, but stay in one place too long and you're very likely to be overrun. Unless you're defending a fixed position, try to keep pushing forward to your next goal. It'll largely help keep enemies off your back, and allow you to hit checkpoints and lulls between attacks.
Build A Spec Ops Loadout
Custom loadouts are a big part of the Modern Warfare experience, and not every gun, perk, or piece of equipment is right for every situation. Just like you should make a loadout that works for you in NVG and another that's better for Team Deathmatch, you should consider your loadout for specific Spec Ops missions as well. For example, launchers have some very different uses in Spec Ops--some missions include attack helicopters that can absolutely ravage your team, and if nobody brings an anti-vehicle weapon, you're going to have a bad time. Smoke grenades might not have the greatest utility in a lot of multiplayer matches, but in Spec Ops they can be very helpful in allowing you to change positions or in giving you a chance to deal with one group of enemies while another can't see you. You'll probably have to do some experimentation with each Spec Ops mission and operation to figure out what works and what doesn't, since each one includes different elements. But don't sleep on messing with your loadout and trying new approaches.
Once you go loud in a lot of Spec Ops missions, things get hairy. Enemies pour in from all sides and you're almost always taking fire and forced into cover. But charging into the middle of every enemy base and unloading on everyone you see isn't the only approach you can take in most Spec Ops missions. It's actually possible to take a stealthy tack in most missions, at least at the start. Keeping yourself under the radar can allow you to reach objectives much more easily than if you go loud in all situations. Using suppressors and sniper rifles can help, as can keeping a low profile and staying out of sight. Eventually, enemies will likely catch on and you'll find yourself in an all-out battle, but delaying that situation can greatly increase your chances of success.
Use Your Active Ability--But Save It For Emergencies
Each of the character roles in Spec Ops comes with a passive ability and an active ability, and each of the active abilities is extremely useful. The Heavy role can instantly deck out their whole team with armor; the Medic can revive three fallen teammates at once, whether they're nearby or not. Each of the abilities has a specific use case, and each one can save your bacon under the right circumstances. The trouble is, active abilities take a long time to recharge. They're best saved for key moments and emergencies, because once you use them, you're not going to have them back for a while. Don't forget that your active ability is an option, because it's extremely useful, but make sure you don't waste it, too.