Where Do I Drop?
It’s the first decision you’ll make and an important one. The map is huge, traversing it takes time and – in Blackout – time is always a factor. The answer to this question depends on a few things. Are you playing Solos, Duos, or Quads? Do you want to go for high quality loot from the jump? Do you want a lot of enemies or a few? Marked areas have a tendency to be slightly more crowded at the beginning of a match. You’ll find similar competition around Zombies locations with all players looking to score from the Mystery Box or find Zombies weapons. Whereas smaller houses, campsites and trailers in wooded and unmarked areas have the potential to have fewer people, but fewer weapons. This makes them less than ideal when you're dropping in with a teammate or three who also need to loot up.
If you want to increase your odds at scoring a good loadout from the jump, drop into a Zombies location. You will likely encounter a number of foes early, but it sets a nice tone for the match and leaves you plenty of enemies to loot. Get some action under your belt and score the goods from the Mystery Box or maybe pick up the infamous Ray Gun from a fallen zombie.
If you want action from the beginning, wingsuit to a marked area; Firing Range and Nuketown Island are both pretty popular. You’ll get some confidence from taking down opponents early and you’ll have an area’s worth of loot all to yourself or for your team.
However, if you prefer a bit of quiet while looting up, look for buildings in unmarked areas to infiltrate first. Less populated areas tend to leave fewer quantities of loot, but keep in mind, loot spawns are randomized. Be mindful that if you are in a squad, dropping in a smaller area means there may not be enough loot to go around.
The best way to tell how isolated you are when entering a match is to simply look around. If you want to drop into an area hot with immediate action? Follow the bright red wingsuit flares and watch for parachutes. Want to keep it stealthy early on? Avoid ‘em and stock up on loot slowly around the edges of the action.
Whatever option you choose keep your guard up and pick up a weapon first, you never know who is dropping with you.
What gear do I keep? What gear to I drop?
If you don’t feel comfortable with a certain weapon, leave it be. If you just seem to have a feel for the ICR-7? There’s your answer. Generally speaking, it’s better to have a weapon than bringing your fists to a gunfight. Regardless, some helpful questions to ask yourself: are you playing Solos, Duos, or Quads – do you have someone watching your six, or are you running on your own? What is your play style – are you a distance player, or are you a bigger fan of tight engagements, or do you like to play them both? If you have the luxury of choosing. . .
Remember: the Blackout map is big, which means there’s a higher likelihood for long range engagements than in your standard Multiplayer match. To be prepared for these long-distance duels, you’ll want to consider a weapon that can go the distance. Sniper Rifles are great, but if that’s not your bag, an LMG or Tactical Rifle with a decent Scope will serve you nicely. If you’re not feeling any of those options, you'd be wise to get your Assault Rifle or SMG a Scope and the Long Barrel attachment. These won’t drastically alter their stats, but they could be enough to extend their range and visibility.
As is always the case, there are general ideas to keep in mind while looting your way through Blackout.
First off, picking up as much health and the best armor you can find is never a bad thing. After all, winning usually means taking a bullet or two. Or 12. But, afterwards you've gotta heal up and prep for the next engagement. Armor allows you to take a few extra hits, and health allows you to heal up after a nasty encounter. You never know how much time there’ll be between fights, so stocking up on health is extremely useful. First Aid is nice. Med Kits are better. Trauma Kits are best. To the question of “When should I use them?” As soon as the coast is clear after a skirmish. Or as soon as you can make it to cover in the middle of one. Remember you can heal while running or riding in a vehicle. So if you need it, heal up and be ready to get back into the fight.
These are just the first, and fairly important, of many decision points you’ll encounter during the course of any Blackout match. Keep an eye out for a continuation of this series on Blackout Decision Points for the tough choices you make as your Blackout match gets into the later rounds.