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Call of Duty®: Black Ops Cold War Map Intel: Overview and Tips for All Locales at Launch

  • BOCW

Get to know the basic intel and advanced tips for all 12 maps: Alpine, Armada Strike (6v6), Armada (Combined Arms), Cartel, Checkmate, Crossroads Strike (6v6), Crossroads (Combined Arms), Garrison, Miami, Moscow, Ruka, and Satellite.

Call of Duty®: Black Ops Cold War Map Intel: Overview and Tips for All Locales at Launch

  • BOCW

Get to know the basic intel and advanced tips for all 12 maps: Alpine, Armada Strike (6v6), Armada (Combined Arms), Cartel, Checkmate, Crossroads Strike (6v6), Crossroads (Combined Arms), Garrison, Miami, Moscow, Ruka, and Satellite.

The Day One Black Ops Cold War Multiplayer offering is defined by a global fight across four continents and the North Atlantic Ocean. From a hidden training facility in East Germany and a Soviet ski resort to the streets of Miami and deserts of Angola, you’ll need to be prepared for a wide variety of combat scenarios across all operation sizes and types.

At launch, there are two massive maps available for Fireteam – Alpine and Ruka – as well as a full slate of small-to-medium maps for “core” 6v6 modes. Three of these maps – Armada, Cartel, and Crossroads – also have Combined Arms variants that expand their boundaries to fit 12v12 infantry and vehicle combat. Even more free maps will be incoming shortly after launch, including Nuketown ’84 on November 24th and a collection of new maps with Season One on December 10th.

Consider this a miniature atlas for every launch locale, complete with a basic description and three important tips to remember for each one.




Alpine is a Soviet ski patrol installation, featuring several slopes that cut from west to east in between and around hundreds of snowcapped trees. Your main vehicle of choice will be snowmobiles, though tanks and helicopters will occasionally spawn in as well.

Overlooking the slopes is the Chalet, an elaborate restaurant with an outdoor deck.  Head up the road to the north and you’ll find the Maintenance area, which includes three garage bays, two sets of three massive oil containers, and a large red building.

Take either of the slopes down the middle of the map and you’ll find the Ski Patrol building near dead center, complete with two additional cabins. There are also additional small shacks and cabins among the trees within the slopes toward the map’s outer limits.

North of all slopes is the First Aid Station, which is comprised of a small garage, two individual cabins, and one larger green building that operates as the clinic. Overlooking this station is the Medevac area, where you’ll find an open tarmac helipad and a hangar that acts as a storage facility.

The south side of the map comprises of two main areas. Up the slope are the Hillside Cabins, a trio of two-story domiciles situated near Dead Man’s Slope and its great view over the southern run. Further down toward the base is the Bathhouse – a massive single-room sauna with multiple hot tubs – which has a cobblestone staircase path that leads directly to the mountain’s base.

Base camp is where you’ll find the main Lodge, the largest structure on the map, with lavish bedrooms and an accessible roof, and the Pro Shop, a two-story building with massive windows for a near-360-degree view of the surrounding area. You’ll also find the Base Cabins surrounding a lake to the north and the swanky Base Suites west of the Lodge across a parking lot.


1.   Take the High Ground... Consider landing upslope when tackling objectives, as the natural height advantage could be useful when taking out squads.  Even if bomb sites are toward the mountain’s base, attacking from above could be a wiser strategy than working your way uphill.

2.   … but Loot Low. The mountain’s base is a high-risk, high-reward area given that the Lodge, Pro Shop, Base Cabins, and Suites are all great places to find Caches of items, including Uranium. However, since it’s a low-lying area, be wary of other squads coming downslope.

3.   Hidden in Plain Sight. While the slopes and roads offer the fastest routes from point-to-point, the woods in and around these areas could be great for flanking or more subtle movements. Combined with Perks like Cold Blooded, advancing through forested areas might be wise if enemy squads are locking down more open areas with aerial Scorestreaks and vehicles.




Based in the Ural Mountain region of the western Soviet Union, Ruka is a Spetsnaz GRU training compound situated on both sides of a creek that runs through a dense forest. Operators will make use of an abundance of military motorbikes to get across the map, with the occasional helicopter spawning in to provide some serious vehicular firepower to any Fireteam match.

Starting at dead center on the creek’s North side, you’ll find the Base Headquarters. This large, two-story building can’t be missed with the hammer and sickle painted on its roof, and giant flag flying up front.

Cross the bridge and you’ll find yourself outside the main Barracks. Overlooking this trio of living quarters these is the harrowing Obstacle Course, while two Officer’s Quarters – a pair of long vibrant blue cabins – sit east of both points of interest. Directly across the road from the Officer’s Quarters is the Radio Tower, an area that has three small one-room structures with lockers and phone lines.

A clearing to the south holds the Missile Silos. Part of the nation’s massive stockpile of sites, all four of these individual silos are thankfully closed, with the only open structures being a handful of green tents, auxiliary buildings, and an inoperable elevator platform behind double doors at the center.

Due to a railroad that usually runs through the map’s northeast area, there is a large wooden Train Trestle that marks Ruka’s easternmost point of interest, which ultimately leads to a Cargo Platform as one heads from east to west along the track. Here you’ll find a few metal shacks, as well as the start of a long winding hillside road that leads through the Mobile ICBM Site northwest of the Base Headquarters, which spills out onto the main roadway before a massive Gorge further west.

The map’s westernmost point of interest is the Creek Dacha, a mock homestead fabricated for breach-and-clear training. South of here is the Old Farm, featuring an elevated cabin and a small barn as viable interior combat spaces.


1.   Open Season. Compared to Alpine, Ruka’s dirty bomb locations skew slightly towards “open” areas with nothing but blue sky above. It might be a good idea to bring a Launcher as a Secondary to deal with aerial threats or ground vehicles when reaching more accessible locations like the Train Trestle or Gorge.

2.   Battling through the Base. If you want to use close-quarters weapons on Ruka, try focusing efforts toward the main training ground, including the Base Headquarters. Alternatively, these weapons can do well in fights within the Dacha, Old Farm, and Cargo Platform, but might be out of their element in places like the Missile Silos or the Gorge.

3.   Hidden in Plain Sight. Keep a sharp lookout for item Caches scattered throughout the map. Find them and your squad could come out armed to the teeth with Uranium, Armor Plates, and Scorestreaks.


Core and Combined Arms



East and West collide on the open seas in a top-secret mission that will tip the scale of the Cold War. Inspired by a real-life event – Project Azorian – CIA-JSCO and Soviet forces converge to recover a sunken prototype nuclear Soviet submarine from the ocean floor.

For core game modes, squads will start on either end of the main ship, with the CIA near the Auxiliary Bridge at the bow and the Spetsnaz close to the Machine Shop at the stern. From here, Operators can weave through open shipping containers, sealed crates, oil barrels, and various equipment pieces on the Upper Deck before the path across the ship splits in two.

Sliding down to the Lower Deck is the fastest way to the other Upper Deck Side and has bridge access to the central Submarine. One could also get here by using rappel lines in front of the Auxiliary Bridge or Machine Shop, or by diving off the Upper Deck into the water below. Make sure to not hit the metal hull on the way down.

Alternatively, the higher route cuts through either the portside Galley or atop – or through, in Combined Arms – the Crew’s Quarters on starboard, with either side providing access to the central Control Room. Here, there are windows out to port, stern, and submarine below the ship, with two rappel lines offering direct access onto the watercraft and the ocean below.

In 6v6 battles, Armada offers a more compact experience to get players into the action even faster. In 12v12 Combined Arms, the map expands to include both a U.S. and a Soviet Union frigate that act as initial spawn points. A few other smaller ships can also be found between these vessels, including an American cruiser near its fellow warship and a Soviet vessel in distress. For drivable vehicles, you’re able to use nimble Wakerunners or Gunboats, which include powerful machine turrets that can rip through fellow watercraft, or even whole squads.


1.   Submerge and Subdue. The deep Atlantic Ocean adds plenty of depth to flanking strategies, allowing Operators to dive below the surface and emerge on the other side of the ship. Try doing this if you aren’t finding success on the decks, but remember to occasionally come up for air before you face an unfortunate end.

2.   Central Control. Although the Auxiliary Bridge and Machine Shop can command the ship’s front and back respectively, snipers might want to focus on gaining control of the Control Room. Its central location and numerous sightlines can be used to command action on nearly all levels, making it a strong power position in any game mode.

3.   Ziplines vs. Rappel Lines. In Combined Arms, there are several ziplines that span from ship to ship. Use these for fast non-vehicle travel between zones, and remember that unlike rappel lines, you can defend yourself while using ziplines by aiming and firing your weapons.




Deep in the jungles of Nicaragua, the leader of an infamous Central American cartel has struck a nefarious deal with Perseus. The DGI have been tasked at protecting this invaluable asset to the Soviets for Western Hemisphere operations as a CIA task force arrives to sweep the compound for evidence and take out a high-value target.

CIA operators will be airlifted in, and will land on the west side of the map, which features a banana farm and the cartel kingpin’s home. Meanwhile, DGI forces will come from an eastern checkpoint with a makeshift Camp area and Housing due south.

The map can be broken up into three routes with interwoven paths connecting them together. The northern side is the most natural of the three, with a long Lower Riverbed broken up by massive rocks that can be used as potential cover.

On the other side is the Hangar, a quasi-storage facility for contraband that has an elevated break room within its western portion, two side entrances to the east, including one in the back with a tiny room used for counting and safeguarding cash, and a large opening that leads to the mid-map area of the drug farm.

There, you’ll find rows of coca plants and a large flatbed in the Upper Crops area. A Watchtower at dead center offers the most commanding views, while two Overwatch points – one on the eastern Cartel side and one on the western Garden side – can be used as counter positions, or to pick off Operators on either end of the Upper Crops or Main Road below. This road separates the Upper and Lower Crops, with the latter crop section offering multiple overlook points onto the Lower Riverbed.

The map adds the use of Dirt Bikes in 12 v12 combat. Use these to get across the compound quicker, especially through the Main Road and Lower Riverbed routes.


1.   Mow ‘em Down. Advance through the mid-map coca plants while throwing lethal and tactical equipment to weaken players among the plants. Or use the Tracker perk to have hostiles appear on your whole team’s mini-map if you’re aiming at them, making them easier to spot and subdue.

2.   Watch the Tower. A ladder is the only way up the map’s central Watchtower, which can easily house an Operator hell-bent on earning Scorestreaks. If an enemy is taking up position here, and they can defend against equipment with a Trophy System, try firing up at them from the Lower Crops or Riverbed.

3.   Road and Crop Blocks. Dirt Bikes aren’t going to slice through the north Hangar route in Combined Arms, so prepare to duck behind cover on clearer routes through the Main Road, Upper Crops, and Lower Riverbed areas. If you’d rather tackle these vehicles head-on, try placing Proximity Mines on these routes, or even within the Crops, for a chance at destroying them should they accidentally run over this Field Upgrade.




At a pivotal route to Afghanistan deep in Uzbekistan, a large Soviet military convoy comprised of mobile ICBM launchers and important cargo is intercepted by NATO forces. Given the amount of top-secret intel on board, a Spetsnaz squad is here to defend it from an MI6 Squadron tasked with intercepting the information and necessary supplies that could bolster the Soviet’s defenses.

The 6v6-sized version of this map includes the Annex and Munitions Storage buildings, which are connected via skybridge. North of these structures is a paved road obstructed by a large tank, while due south is a route comprised of cart tracks, large and small containers, as well as part of a massive Frozen Lake. Only the Annex’s garage door opens out to this path, while the Munitions Storage building has an open door leading to an alley between the two main areas.

Out of the three initial Combined Arms maps, Crossroads is by far the largest, expanding to over quadruple the size of its 6v6 version for 12v12 play with tanks and snowmobiles included. MI6 operatives will infiltrate from the Annex and Munitions Depot side, while Spetsnaz members will start from the other end of the Frozen Lake that contains a Fuel Depot building.

Immediately, you’ll notice machine gun turrets in both the Annex and Munitions Storage that aim out over the lake, as well as a Checkpoint building south of the Munitions Depot. From here, you can start advancing east either on the main road, which wraps around the Frozen Lake, or head through the Boreal Forest, where there is plenty of natural cover and a Radio Tower. Keep moving through the trees and you’ll come to a massive chasm with a rickety bridge spanning across it.

On the other side is a great overlook point onto the Frozen Lake, where a Radar Station sits in its center. The lake’s north side is a long cliff path that had a rail line cutting through it, but now has the remains of a train crash strewn across the Train Bridge and only offers an incredible vista out over the lake.


1.   No Cold Shoulder for Close-Quarters. Small in size, Crossroad’s 6v6 version is conducive to CQB weapons like SMGs and shotguns, especially when fighting in either building. Snipers may want to stick to the south route over the lake, or swap to a tactical rifle or assault rifle and dominate action between the structures.

2.    Snowy Sightlines in Combined Arms. Alternatively, if you play the Combined Arms version of Crossroads, it’s a phenomenal map for sniping. Try taking a position up on the northern cliffs, the Fuel Depot, or any of the western buildings to get some great sightlines over large portions of the map. Or head to the East Boreal Forest to find some snowbanks and ridges for a more secluded sniping spot.

3.   Don’t Look Down. Another Combined Arms tip involves using the Boreal Forest and the bridge to avoid the tanks and snowmobiles that will rule the Frozen Lake and roads and flanking around the map. Crossing the bridge is risky, as it’s both out in the open and has an instant death zone through the chasm below. But if all action is focused to the north, taking this route could easily get you behind enemy lines.




In Miami’s famed South Beach neighborhood, home to posh hotels and neon-clad clubs, a prison transport bus holding one of Perseus’ allies was ambushed by hired DGI forces at the intersection of Ocean Drive and 3rd Street. Barreling through the neighborhood in an unmarked van, CIA special forces arrive at the scene to eliminate remaining DGI agents, hoping to find any clues to Perseus’ whereabouts in the process.

Fighting will take place on Ocean Drive, and on the beach itself, which makes up the entirety of the map’s northern lane with a Catamaran stranded outside a tourist watering hole.

Wrapping around the wooden bar will bring you to the luxurious Pool area of the Blackwood Hotel. Here, there’s a suite that looks out onto Ocean Drive all the way across to the Visitor’s Center with a walkway leading from this room to the Lobby and a set of staircases.

Across the bend of 3rd Street and Ocean Drive past the docks is the Paramour, another hotel with two accessible floors and its own balcony suite that looks out onto 3rd Street. The hotel has its own parking structure, which links a small park adjacent to the docks with a seedy Back Alley.

To get back to Ocean Drive from here, you have a few options: advance up the stairs and past the Paramour’s bar and suite; hop over a small wall; cut through the Evermore Hotel next to it; or continue straight down the alley past an opening to the Albatross complex.


1.   The Heat is on the Street (or the Beach). Long, uninterrupted sightlines stretch far out over the Beach and Ocean Drive. Bring a long-range weapon to deal with snipers or stick close to the buildings to avoid staying out in the open for too long.

2.   Traffic at the Intersection. Especially in objective game modes, the intersection of Ocean Drive and 3rd Street is primed for chaotic combat, seeing how it’s in the crosshairs of several sniping spots and hotel entries. Best not stay here too long, but if you must, use whatever is left of the vehicles as cover.

3.   Cannonball! The pool is open at the Blackwood, and while the hotel is deep within one of the initial infiltration zones, it can be used to cause trouble for the enemy team. Try ducking underwater to throw off enemy fire and test out the diving board to see if it still has some spring to it.




On the East German side of Berlin, a hangar is home to a hidden Perseus training facility, which was built for special forces to practice an assassination mission against the President of the United States. With the West German BND dispatched on behalf of NATO to shut down this compound, the East German HVA is prepared to defend it and ensure this key practice ground isn’t compromised.

This rectangular map has both squads start on either side of the hangar, with the Plane used for practice runs diagonally sitting dead center. A wooden staircase on both ends of the removed fuselage leads up to a replica of the airliner, complete with a main office, conference room, and general seating area. The Plane’s wings can be accessed via large open holes in the fuselage and include crate stacks for cover on its western side.

Before reaching the Plane, each initial spawn area includes two lookout points over mid-map. The hangar’s west side contains a more traditional cardboard room and watchtower, while the east side’s perches are made up of the plane’s Section and Tail.

Besides weaving around and even under the plane on the Hangar floor, one could take a narrow route around the Containers in its northernmost area, or duck into the large Armory or Docks areas that make up the southern path across the Hangar.


1.    Brace for Impact. No matter the mode, action will often funnel toward the Plane’s fuselage. Consider focusing your Field Upgrades around this area, such as a Proximity Mine between rooms or a Field Mic underneath the Plane to capture movement above.

2.   Angled Attack. All four perches around the Hangar have their own unique sightlines across the map, with containers and the Plane itself obstructing otherwise clear views. Try moving between them as action shifts around the hangar, making sure to check the wings for more aggressive players who want to counter-play these obvious sniping spots.

3.   Aerial Maneuvers. Because this map is held exclusively “indoors,” aerial Scorestreaks will have to be angled through the hangar’s openings in order to have any effect. This may lead you to load up on ground and weapon-based Scorestreaks, but if you have great aim, you could easily surprise the enemy squad by threading the needle with a Cruise Missile.




A joint military exercise within NATO goes awry in Hanover, West Germany, as Perseus gave the HVA the green light to make a statement against their opposition. Rolling up to the checkpoint on a light tank, a BND fireteam was already well-prepared for a live fire exercise, but now must fight their eastern adversaries to ensure this tank factory continues to strengthen NATO’s front-line defenses.

Starting on the west Docks, where HVA forces will initially infiltrate from, an Operator can either cut north through the Tire Shredder and Radar station, head straight into a Spare Parts room that leads out to the Radar area or to the Main Floor, or roll south to the large Tank Wash lot outside the Main Floor.

The largest and busiest area of Garrison, the Main Floor includes an Operations room with a skybridge that spans over a tank conveyor belt and ends at a Walkway to the HVAC room.  This room contains a small drop that reveals a hidden Crawlspace, which spills out to the Main Floor’s west side. Another tight space is a Trench that runs underneath two tanks, accessible via small ladders on either side of the conveyor belt.

Outside the Main Floor to the east is the Front Gate where the BND tank crashed through. Elsewhere on this side of the map is a square Fueling Building and a raised platform that houses the Generators and Shop areas.


1.   Smoke Out the Crawlspace. Close-quarters players are likely to take advantage of the Crawlspace and Trench paths, given that they are partially hidden and force combat into a confined space. If you’d rather not fight fire with fire, use tactical and lethal grenades instead to force these enemies out into more open space.

2.   Pivot to Mid-Range. With long sightlines few and far between on this map, snipers may want to come prepared with alternative loadouts that either include a low-magnification optic on their sniper rifle or one that uses another type of rifle altogether. If you’re not using a CQB weapon on this map, try to keep your distance from corners and entryways, save for the two massive openings used by the tank conveyor belt.

3.   Don’t Look Up. The main building’s roof is in complete tatters, turning this otherwise closed space into a hotbed for aerial Scorestreak fire. Those about to face these threats should opt to hide in other structures, such as the HVAC and Garrison, or take to the Crawlspace and Trench in a worst-case scenario.



A CIA safe house in the heart of the U.S.S.R. has been compromised, prompting a Spetsnaz death squad to converge on its location. With crucial NATO intel and CIA operatives in danger of being handed over to the KGB, a CIA-JSOC team is dispatched to the scene, where initial reports suggest it has already gone hot with firefights breaking out on the streets.

Moscow is based around its Metro station; marble floors are seen throughout this complex, with a major monument to a Soviet leader dominating the center of its main hall. A golden bust can also be found up set of Escalators to the north.

The CIA-JSOC team starts on the west plaza, which has a Library that looks out on a Fountain to the north and a large Bank that leads to the main Boulevard. This north road takes operators around the Hotel and a Globe monument all the way to the KGB’s initial infiltration zone, which has Apartments that look out over the Globe’s courtyard and a Police Station.

Heading north from here will take you to the metro’s Lobby; go through it or exit north to a small concrete walkway, where you’ll reach the Memorial outside the Elevators area before reaching the Fountain and Library.


1.   Standoff at the Station. In most modes of play, the Metro will feature plenty of action. If you’re stuck in the middle of an intense firefight, use the massive central monument as cover, since it offers plenty of protection from any of the four main entry points.

2.   A Convenient Place for a Window. Within the Office of the Hotel is a small window for a single Operator to squeeze through. This could be a great flank route for someone coming off the Boulevard, or as an opening for an equipment piece that could catch an enemy by surprise.

3.   Escalated Combat. The Escalator side of the Metro can often be used to flank squads pushing in from the westside Hotel. If you can’t counter this by locking down the map’s northern route, try placing a Field Mic near this area to know when an enemy is coming for a flank. Or, learn how to throw equipment pieces up through the narrow gap between the ceiling and the Escalators themselves.




A KH-9 American-made satellite has been downed in the middle of an Angolan Desert. Soviet-hired DGI forces were tasked at salvaging this machine due to the sensitive intel it holds, but as they arrive, NATO’s MI6 squadron is here to interfere and recovering the satellite for their top ally.

Satellite is the only map to not use any buildings in its design, opting instead to structure itself around natural hills, rocky cliffs, dry riverbeds, and caves.

The only manmade object here is the broken remains of the Satellite, which is located at the map’s center propped up on a large hill. A squad that controls this area will have incredible views out to the Dunes and Slot Canyons, along with being directly above the low-lying West Riverbed route.

Those who want to avoid the Satellite entirely can head for the Dunes, which have its own Wreckage at the center. Along with a few additional satellite parts, cargo, and a broken truck, the main source of cover here will be a few rocks and the hills of sand.

Either initial infiltration location – the Cliffs for MI6 due west and the Base Camp for the DGI in the east – have plenty of depth to them, which makes them prime for flanking or setting up a defense against an aggressive squad holding the Dunes or Satellite locations.


1.   A Natural in Close Combat. Shotguns, SMGs, and other tools for close-range combat find more success in and around the cave systems and the Satellite. Given that there are plenty of open sightlines for all weapon types to take advantage of, it’s best to stick close to these structures and move between cover rather than challenge enemies outside your weapon’s effective range.

2.   Death Among the Dunes. Snipers and other long-range weaponry are not only great for combat within the Dunes areas, but also from the Dunes over to the Satellite. Should the enemy team have a lockdown on that busy central area, take to the Dunes and find those angles to turn the tide for the rest of the squad.

3.   Sun, Sand, and Scorestreaks. A lack of buildings makes Satellite an incredible map for aerial Scorestreaks. Don’t want to deal with a potential onslaught of these powerful attacks? Ensure you have a launcher equipped for dealing with helicopters and planes and consider using the Air Patrol Scorestreak to completely shut down the skies when the enemy is starting to dominate.


This wraps up a general overview of every map available at launch. More detailed breakdowns are to come as more locales are introduced to Black Ops Cold War. But for now, this intel should prepare you and your squad for the next operation.


We’ll see you online.

Execute the mission.


For more information on Call of Duty®: Black Ops Cold War, check out: and follow @Treyarch, @RavenSoftware, and @CallofDuty on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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