Welcome To Blackout

More players than ever. 14 marked areas. 1 winner. It’s the biggest battle in Call of Duty history.

by Call of Duty Staff on October 12, 2018

The wait is over. It’s real Blackout hours: Battle Royale, the Black Ops way.

Wingsuited players descend from an aerial transport streaking across the map. Once you hit the ground, your mission is simple: be the last player, Duo or Quad alive. The goal is a simple one, but it’s far from easy. First, you drop in with your fists and nothing else. You’ll have to scavenge for a weapon to defend yourself. Second, as time goes by, the area of combat shrinks. A smaller combat area means more engagements.

That’s the game in a nutshell. Making it to the end takes a heavy dose of skill, tactics, communication (if you’re a Duo or Quad) and a bit of luck. You’re overwhelmed with options each time you drop in. Every match plays out in its own unique way. You can only anticipate so much because the number of variables are much greater than in standard Multiplayer.

With that in mind, here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re dropping into Blackout for the first time.

#1 – Keep an eye on enemies dropping near you.
As you descend from the sky in your wingsuit, it’s time to think about what comes next. Mainly, you have to answer this question: how hot is the area I’m about to land in? Knowing the answer gives you an idea of what your first 30-60 seconds on the ground will look like. If you see five enemies all descending around you, you’ll likely have to reckon with them soon after your feet hit the ground. If you see that nobody’s around, you can focus on scavenging for the best possible loot without immediate concern for getting jumped. Keeping aware of who drops near you is a good habit to form to make sure you last long enough to collect enough loot to properly defend yourself.

#2 – When scavenging for loot, look inside buildings.
From the charred cul-de-sac of Nuketown Island to the palatial villas of Estates, there’s loot to be scooped everywhere. And finding the best loot goes a long way to giving you the best chance possible to be the last player alive. While you can find loot lying around an open area, you’re much more likely to find concentrated amounts inside buildings. Make sure you explore the ground of every floor, room, closet, basement and roof. Every nook can potentially house a game-changing piece of Equipment, like a Grapple Gun or that scope your Titan’s been wanting.

#3 – Cover. Cover. Cover.
So, this map is big. Extremely big. In fact, when you’re in the right area, it can feel downright lonely. Don’t let that size fool you into thinking sprinting out into the open for long distances is a good idea. Any time you can move under the cover of vegetation, a building or simply a shadow, you absolutely should. Why? Because you only have your own perspective. A well-hidden sniper could be lurking just out of your view, or simply be well-hidden. Additionally, vehicles like tactical raft, ATVs, trucks and helicopters can cover ground in seconds and if you’re uncovered, you’re a dead duck. Even if you think there’s nobody around, a helicopter with three players hanging off the side can swoop over the house you just left and, your odds just went from “good” to “you’re dead now”. With all the freedom of movement and varied terrain, surprises like that are common. While getting acclimated to Blackout, it’s wise to stick to covered areas as much as possible and exercise some caution. In short, look (and listen) before you leap.

#4 – Intel is your best friend.
You’re battling a lot of enemies and, frankly, that’s a lot of people to keep track of. Well, alright, you probably don’t need to keep track of them all, but intelligence wins wars and it can win Blackout matches, too. Gathering intel on nearby enemies is essential and there are a few ways to do it. The easiest way? Use a scoped weapon to get a closer view of a distant area. It’s not the most detailed intel you can gather, but it’ll give you a decent baseline of what’s around. For a more up close and personal look at your surroundings, the Recon Car has you covered. In Multiplayer, you send this little guy at enemies to blow them up. But, in Blackout, it’s purely a reconnaissance tool. Guide this speedy, durable, remote-controlled car into buildings, ascend stairs and into enemy encampments and get a full, ground-up view of what your opponents are up to. For an extra bit of intel, have one of your teammates fire a Sensor Dart onto the Recon Car for some mini-map painting to go along with your video feed.

#5 – Pick your battles.
A hallmark of Call of Duty® throughout the years has been the intense gunplay. Frequent, frenetic gun fights are a cornerstone of Domination, Hardpoint and most other modes. Now, in Blackout you can still experience something like that if you choose. However, taking unnecessary risks isn't a great survival strategy in a game where death = game over. Plus, with such a large map, you now have a viable alternative to a gun fight: run away. If that sounds too cowardly, consider it a ‘tactical retreat’ or ‘advanced avoidance maneuver.’ However you refer to it, this mode often gives you the opportunity to choose your battles and the best players choose them wisely. If you see a quad roaming an area and three of your teammates are dead, how good are your odds if you sprint towards them guns-blazing? Independent of context, we’d say not fantastic. Particularly when the combat zone is still large, you usually have the space to avoid lopsided engagements. There’s no shame in sizing up a situation and beating feet in the opposite direction. It’s tactical, which is a cool way of saying “I ran away because I’m smart.” Regardless of your preferred methods, the goal is always survival. You've only got one life: use it wisely.

One of the truly exciting aspects of Blackout is that – regardless of how consistent you are in your approach – every single match plays out differently.

With such a large map and tons of constantly changing variables (like random zombies that drop loot -- seriously), your experience promises to be a unique one every time you drop in.

These five tips are simply guidance; thought-starters to get you acclimated to your new Blackout surroundings. Once you have a few matches under your belt, you’ll without a doubt have your own set of guidelines and learnings to apply. You’ll quickly figure out areas where you excel and what works best for you in your quest for victory.

So, get out there, build up your Blackout IQ and you’ll be basking in the glory of Battle Royale victory in no time.