Mode Spotlight: Sticks and Stones –What you need to know as it returns to Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4

The party game mode made famous in the original Black Ops is back. If you need a refresher, read on before having some fun.

by James Mattone on July 15, 2019

Making its grand return in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is Sticks and Stones, a game mode designed for fun with friends with the added bonus of “humiliating” your opponents.

Sticks and Stones originated in Call of Duty: Black Ops, and has been a fan-favorite mode ever since. Here’s our breakdown and some tips to take into the lobby before you try it out for yourself:

Rules of the Road

First and foremost, there is no Create-A-Class. Players are outfitted with a Reaver C86 crossbow, the Ballistic Knife, and a Combat Axe to dispose of their enemies. Also, Stick and Stones is a Free-For-All-style game mode that is similar to Gun Game and One in the Chamber.

Unlike a normal game of Free-For-All, winning Sticks and Stones requires earning the most points, rather than having the most kills. Earning a kill with either the Ballistic Knife or crossbow is worth 100 points. While you may need a certain amount of points to win, consider using the weapon that will secure the kill. Because you get no points for missing a target with the Combat Axe which might have been better suited for the explosive power of the crossbow.  

Then there is the great equalizer: The Combat Axe. While it only nets you 50 points per kill – the least out of any method –it bankrupts the opponent you take down, making them lose all their points in one swift chop.

Ultimately, the player with the most points wins, which means bankrupting someone can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

In order to assist you in eliminating enemies a UAV will periodically sweep across the map reveal the location of opponents. For those looking to bankrupt the leading player, they will be marked with a gold dot instead of a red dot on the UAV, so you can go out and hunt.

Tips and Tricks for Sticks and Stones

With those tools in your arsenal, playing Sticks and Stones may be a bit different than the usual Public playlist.

The first aspect of the game that needs to be accounted for is physics. This is usually something to consider in Blackout, as bullet drop becomes a factor at the longer distances. But when it comes to firing a Ballistic Knife and throwing a Combat Axe, both will travel in an arc to the target. In addition, gravity bears on all three weapons, so take in account drop-off when aiming, particularly at targets further away.

In other words, when trying to hit someone from down range, aim a little bit higher than usual to account for gravity.

Furthermore even if you’re trying to dodge a knife or an axe,, it’s probably a good idea to consider constant movement. Standing still can make you an easier target. Plus, if you are moving around, you might find enemies quicker which can help you get to necessary amount of points faster.

Other than that, there’s one big, huge, giant, massive piece of advice we have to give for this game mode, and it’s only two words:

Have fun!

Hop into a match of Sticks and Stones and prepare yourself for a great time. We’ll see you online.


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