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6 Things We Learned From Black Ops 4's Blackout Beta

The Call of Duty Blackout beta is in full swing on PS4 and coming to PC and Xbox One soon, so here's how to keep up.

The closed beta for Blackout--the battle royale mode for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4--is now available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. You can join by pre-ordering Black Ops 4, and the beta will remain live until September 17 at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET / 6 PM BST.

We've spent hours playing the Blackout closed beta, and after awhile we've noticed six features that you should pay attention to if you decide to jump in yourself. In the video above, Aaron walks you through them all and offers advice on how to stay alive in Call of Duty's new multiplayer mode.

The first thing you'll probably notice that differentiates Blackout from Fortnite, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and H1Z1: Battle Royale is the use of vertical space. Blackout has numerous locations where you can explore both below and high above the ground. You'll even find hidden item caches underwater, some of which contain powerful weapons and gear. For the best examples of how Blackout uses vertical space, head to Construction Site, Cargo Docks, or Factory. Be sure to bring a grappling hook or helicopter to take full advantage of these locations.

Blackout isn't strictly PvP like most other battle royale games; you'll have to contend with computer-controlled enemies too. In this case, Call of Duty's zombies roam certain areas of the map. Most are marked with a beam of light, but that's not the case for a few that patrol Asylum. Regardless, zombies hold powerful weapons and gear, like ray guns, so seeking them out and killing them for their loot isn't a waste of time or bullets. If buildings aren't yielding anything good, hunt down some undead.

In Blackout, guns and gear aren't the only things you'll find while scavenging, as Call of Duty adds special abilities to the battle royale formula. You can't hold many abilities at once, and each one is single-use and only lasts for a limited time, but they can provide phenomenal superpowered effects. We suggest picking up and immediately using every ability you find in the beta to get a feel for how each one works. Our personal favorite allows you to see weapons, items, and vehicles through walls so you don't have to go through a whole building to see what's inside.

You'll also notice Blackout takes a page out of Fortnite's book and implements special events that spice up each round between the firefights. Try them as you encounter them; it'll be good practice for Blackout's official release.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is launching on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on October 12.