BLACKOUT ACADEMY – A Guide To All Things Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

This guide contains content found on 3rd party websites, with additions from our own community. We don’t take credit for the writing of these tips, we simply want to make it easy for you to find in one place.

Map and Traversal Tips

  • Nuketown Island’s Welcome to Nuketown sign shows the number of players on the island.
  • The Lighthouse has very, very noisy metal stairs. Be careful when traversing them.
  • When someone locks on to your vehicle, the alerts increase in speed as the missile approaches.
  • When underwater, you’ll begin to gasp for air, you have a little less than 2 seconds before you start taking a good amount of damage.
  • When swimming, you can press the sprint button and you soldier will put away their gun and swim faster.
  • Iron Lung is a great perk to use when traversing water, as it gives you a few extra seconds underwater before having to come up for breath, which could be a real lifesaver in hectic situations.
  • To get to a location faster, pitch your camera straight downwards until you get to 70 M/S, then, even if you pitch it fully up, you’ll still be going around 65 M/S, helps you get anywhere super fast.
  • Redeploy your wingsuit by sprinting off an edge and jumping and holding the jump button. Only works when high up, such as Lighthouse or Construction Site.
  • The blue beam on a building indicates zombies are present.
  • Every time a collapse happens the Zombies get a bit stronger!
  • It’s important to remember that doors will always be closed, so if you are approaching a building with an open door, chances are the place has already been looted and the enemy could still be inside. You can also use this method to your advantage by shutting doors as you enter, in hopes of catching enemies off guard when entering a seemly ‘non looted’ building.
  • Have enough bandages and medkits to last you ages? Try staying in the storm for a few moments during the later rounds of the game to pick off any unsuspecting players nearby.

General Gameplay Tips

  • Make looting on consoles so much easier by changing the Pick Up settings within the ‘Controls’ menu. Instead of having to hold the pick up button, simply select the option that will allow you to tap the button to pick up items off the ground. The only catch though, it will favor picking up items rather than reloading your weapon when placed in situations with items nearby on the ground.
  • Attach a Sensor Dart to your vehicles or even an RC-XD to create the ultimate portable UAV to seek out your opponents without having to give away your location.
  • Entice enemy players with traps by placing down popular weapons and attachments in easy to find locations. Simply watch and wait patiently for the right moment to strike when enemies fall for your trap.
  • Need extra space? Truck beds can store upwards of 20 items.
  • Always take into account – especially for those long distance shots – that your bullets will begin to lose speed and altitude over distance.
  • Don’t forget to use your perks!
  • The Skulker perk is great for traveling long distances or simply navigating populated areas as it allows you to move at sprinting speed while crouched, giving you that extra bit of much-needed protection.
  • Keep an eye out for special character items that will allow you to complete a set of specific tasks to unlock unique Blackout characters. These items can be found in Supply Drops, Supply Boxes, and even looted from Zombies and fallen players.
  • Trauma Kits are great for boosting your health to 200 before engaging in fights.
  • Unlike other Battle Royale games, Blackout allows you to heal while moving.
  • Always take cover when engaging with other enemy players.
  • Using the RC-XD is a great way to scope out your environment without having to give away your location. Using scoped weapons while taking cover is also a great way to spy on your opponents.
  • Receive early Supply Drops by shooting down incoming Supply Drop planes by using the rocket launcher to destroy the plane.
  • Sick and tired of rockets blowing up your vehicles and helicopters? Use a Trophy System on on your vehicle to prevent damage from any incoming rockets.
  • Always go prone while looting to prevent being caught off guard by enemy players.
  • Always utilize the map markers! Map markers are a great way to communicate with your teammates or to simply get your bearings.
  • If you’ve made it to the point in the game where the Safe Zone is quite small, do away with the magnified scopes, as their effectiveness is little to none when used in small areas.
  • The Bowie Knife can be found in several different locations in BlackoutEquipment Stashes, Zombie drops, and even as weapon pickups in randomized Zombie locations.

Loot Is Randomized, So Don’t Expect To Find The Same Weapons Every Time

You may want to think twice if you are planning on visiting the same location each and every time in hopes of receiving the same weapons. Treyarch has not only confirmed that weapons will spawn randomly across the map, but they will also not spawn in the same location every game.

So, don’t be afraid to spread out and try to find some different – more low-key – areas, as you may never know what you will find. 

Always Be Aware Of Your Surroundings, Especially When You Land

Much like Fortnite and PUBG, Blackout is no different when it comes to always keeping an eye on your surroundings, especially as you drop into the map.

By checking your surroundings just before you land, you will usually be able to gauge just how your first several minutes of the match will play out.

If you find that you are not alone, and other players are landing in the same area as yourself, you will know that your first course of action will be finding a weapon as soon as possible, no matter what it may be as your fists will simply not do. Once you have a weapon, begin to slowly pick off each of the surrounding players one by one.

However, if you are lucky enough, you may just find that you have the area completely to yourself and can begin the looting process of finding the best weapons and perks without having to worry about players seeking you out.

Avoid Open Areas At All Cost When Searching For Loot

In order to have even the slightest chance of winning, you will always want to ensure that you aren’t landing with other people and always have a building to gather loot from.

Head Towards That Bright Blue Beam Of Light In The Sky For The Chance At Rare Loot

If you’re a fan of Call of Duty’s Zombies mode, then you’ll be all too familiar with that giant blue beam of light in the sky, as it marks the location of a mystery box. Unfortunately, accessing the mystery boxes won’t be easy, as it will not only be targeted by countless groups of players, but it will also be guarded by a horde of zombies – which won’t be easy to defeat.

Although the mystery box works a little different in Blackout – you aren’t required to pay to open the box – you will still be granted a number of high-end items such as tier three armor and a rather decent weapon that will usually be equip with some of the best attachments available. You may also be lucky enough to get your hands on the infamous Ray Gun, Zweihander, or even the Cymbal Monkey.

In most cases, the mystery box will spawn randomly across the map, however, I have witnessed in several situations the box first spawning in the area surrounding the Asylum.  

Backpacks Are Extremely Helpful

Apart from picking up a weapon, finding a backpack should always be among some of your highest priorities when you first land. What makes a backpack so helpful is that it allows you to increase how many items you can carry from the default of five to a maximum of 10 items at one time.

Avoid Engaging In Combat Unless You Have Armor Equipped

One of the biggest mistakes that many players make in Blackout is engaging in combat without any armor equipped. There are currently three different tires of armor available for players to find across the map, however, the higher the tier of armor, the harder it will be to find.

Whether it’s the lowest tier or the highest, wearing armor will be vital to your success, as it not only increases your chances of winning, but it also allows you to take more calculated risks when facing an opponent as you can take more damage.

Healing Is Crucial To Your Survival

Healing is one of the most crucial aspects of Blackout as if you don’t heal, you simply won’t survive. With an all-new starting health of 150, players will need to find items that will allow them to restore their health after taking damage. There are currently three different items that can be used in Blackout to restore your health.  

  • First Aids can be applied very quickly and heal 25 health. These are the most common healing items available and can stack five of them in one inventory slot. 
  • Med Kits heal 50 health but take longer than first aids.
  • Trauma Kits can heal you up to 200 health (which is 50 health more than what you can normally have). These kits aren’t as common and can unfortunately not be stacked, as each kit requires a separate slot in your inventory.

You will always want to make sure you have first aids equipped during fights, as they provide the fastest healing time when engaging enemies.

Long Range Weapons Are A Must

The map in Blackout is the biggest map yet in COD so having long-range weapons are key. Make sure to have long-range optics as well such as the 3x scope and sniper scope. 

With the ability to carry two weapons at once, you should always consider carrying a sniper when possible for those long-range situations that could potentially get you that victory.

Your Wingsuit Can Get You Out Of Some Sticky Situations

Your wingsuit will stay with you throughout the entire match and can be used to jump out of helicopters safely and even to base jump off the likes of the Hydro Dam when things get sticky

Always Attach Silencers When Possible

Silencers are great for engaging enemies without audibly revealing your location to the entire map. If you happen to find one, always attach it your weapons.

Always Pick The Right Throwable For The Right Situation

There are a ton of throwables that you can loot but make sure to equip the right one for the right situation. (i.e 9 bang flash bangs to breach and clear and molotovs to force out campers)

Flashbangs are EXTREMELY effective for surprising enemies. Hold R1 (or cook the flashbang) for longer flashbang duration. 

Special Weapons and Equipment Can Be A Complete Game Changer

A major feature that many players seem to be overlooking in Blackout is the specialist items, as they can be very useful for getting out of messy situations.

Currently one of the best items you can pick up in the game is the Recon Car, which looks very similar to the RC-XD. However, there is one catch, this one doesn’t explode. If you’re stuck in a rather messy situation, the Recon Car can be used to scope out a location in order to find where your opponents are hiding without risking your location or even your life.

Ruins’ grappling gun is also another key item that should definitely be utilized, as escaping from enemy fire or simply traversing the environment, the grappling gun is a great weapon that can be used in many different situations.

The best thing about all of these weapons though is that you don’t need to be playing a specific specialist to get your hands on the items, as anyone can freely pick them up in Blackout without any special requirements.

Supply Drops and Hidden Stashes Are Great For Receiving Rare Loot

Supply drops and Stashes are a great way to pick up rare weapons, additional ammunition, health kits, armor, gear, and even specialist items.

Supply Stashes are hidden crates that can often be found within buildings, all across the map.

Supply Drops, on the other hand, are air-dropped crates that will often contain some rather juicy loot, however, it will usually be targeted by a number of players, so be cautious when approaching them.

It is also worth noting that when interacting with both Supply Drops and Stashes, you are vulnerable to enemy attacks, so make sure you scope out the area before rushing in.

Blackout Is All About That Cover

Don’t be fooled, Blackout is not like Fortnite, you cannot build to save yourself from incoming enemy fire. For that reason, Blackout is all about that cover. With such a large map and so much area to cover, it is easy to think that just because you haven’t seen an enemy in quite some time that you are safe to go out into the open. That is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in Blackout as you may never know where your opponents may be lurking, as a well-covered sniper will be almost impossible to spot from a distance.

If you do need to travel in open areas, it is always best that you move between trees, buildings and even shadows as anything to throw off your position will be an advantage.

As you are getting accustomed to Blackouts gameplay style, it is highly recommended that you stick to covered areas as much as possible while you are learning.

Play The Waiting Game And Don’t Be Fooled Into Giving Up Your Position

If your nearing that victory, don’t be tempted to go out into the open in hopes of hunting down your opponents. With such a large area to cover, the later stages of the game will usually play fairly slowly, so it’s important that you play the waiting game.

Simply stick to the inside of buildings and camp your way to victory as you wait for a visual on your opponents – yes, we know, camping is frowned upon, but sometimes you have to swoop to desperate measures if you want that win.

The Best Tips For Destroying Your Opponents In The New Heist Game Mode

  • Much like most strategical game modes in Call of Duty, communication is vital to your team’s success in the Heist.
  • Stick together with your teammates and ensure that your loadouts compliment one another, especially when it comes to selecting your equipment.
  • Take it slow and don’t rush the cash bag. Hang back and take out your enemies one by one for the best results.
  • Purchasing Body Armor is a must, as protection from those extra few shots could be the difference between winning and losing a round.
  • Try to save your initial $500 for Round 2, as chances are most of your opponents will be using their pistols during the first round too.
  • When spending your cash, make sure you consider all possible options. If you don’t want to spend your cash on an item that you will not use, save it for the later rounds to make those rather expensive upgrades much more affordable. 
  • Ammunition and Health are key to surviving each round, especially since both supplies are very limited and hard to come by. For this reason, ensure that you always pick up any Health and Ammo stashes that you may find scattered across the map.
  • With no respawns allowed during each round, ensuring that you always have at least one health pack on you at once can be vital to your team’s success. 
  • Unless additional Ammo is purchased in the loadout, each round you will only be provided with one magazine for your weapon, making those additional Ammo packs essential.

Memorize Each Map & Know The Best Areas To Take Down Enemies

Whether it is the narrow pathways that lead you through coffee shops and delis in Seaside, the large centralized hangar at the launch facility in Payload, or the narrow water channel that winds through the center of Contraband, each of the fourteen maps all have two very prominent features –  close quarter combat and centralized areas that are often the focal point of the action.

When you first start to play, it is important to scope out and analyze each map as it is a key component to succeeding in the Call of Duty series. Knowing where each focal point of action takes place – such as the shopping lane that leads to the Church in Seaside – while also discovering key areas that can potentially help you take out enemies from afar or even flank them in populated areas, can seriously give you the upper hand over your opponents. 

Taking this tip into consideration when selecting a Specialist can also significantly benefit your team and even your own kill count. When analyzing the maps, you’ll find that each map is designed specifically to utilize your Specialist abilities.  

  • Seaside: Recon’s Sensor Dart can be utilized by your team to help locate enemies throughout the tight confines of the city as you fight amongst a range of shops and narrow streets.
  • Contraband: The stack of supply crates sitting on top of the centralized bridge are ideal for Ruin’s Grapple Gun and Grav Slam abilities, as his 1-2 punch can easily clear the entire center of the bridge.
  • Payload: The large hangar featured in Payload is a major focal point of action, however, with limited entrances, Torque’s Barricade and Razor Wire act as great enemy deterrents, and are especially useful when protecting areas in objective modes.
  • Frequency: Full of tight corners and confined spaces, Nomad’s K-9 Unit and Mesh Mine abilities thrive on this particular map and can easily take down enemies as they navigate the close quarters.
  • Gridlock: Tight corners and limited cover makes Ajax the ideal Specialist for this map. With medium-to-close range gunfights, Ajax’s Ballistic Shield and 9-Bang abilities can come in handy when trying to push into some rather dangerous situations.
  • Hacienda: Unlike other maps, you’ll quickly come to find that Hacienda’s action isn’t just centralized to the courtyard of the large Spanish two-story villa, but instead spread across the maps three rather distinct routes. Whether it’s navigating along the tight corners of the pool, flanking opponents through the lined vineyard, or taking advantage of those elevated positions and long spacious corridors, Hacienda is the perfect map to breakout those medium-to-long distance weapons. Utilizing Firebreak’s Reactor Core and Purifier and/or Battery’s Cluster Grenade and War Machine, you’ll find that these two Specialists really thrive in Hacienda.

Select A Specialist And Learn How To Best Use Their Abilities

When selecting a Specialist, the first things that usually come to mind are how you can best provide assistance to your team and win the match. However, little do you realize just how powerful Specialists can n be when their abilities are combined into one almost unstoppable force.

One thing that should be noted though before creating a class is that Special Issue Equipment doesn’t cost you a single point in the Pick-10 system. This is why Special Issue has become one of the most popular pieces of Equipment amongst the community.

With 10 Specialists available to choose from throughout the game, here are several Specialist combos that will help you and your teammates dominate on the battlefield.

Ajax & Ruin

  • Ajax and Ruin are the perfect combination for those tricky objective modes, as enemies will often know exactly where you are coming from and will be well prepared. In order to break their defenses, Ajax’s Ballistic Shield can help create a cover and path for your team. As the enemies focus their attention on Ajax’s shield, Ruin can use this distraction by Grappling into the center of the objective and unleashing his Grav Slam ability upon the unsuspecting enemies. 

Crash, Torque, & Firebreak

  • Crash, Torque, and Firebreak seem like quite the unlikely trio, however, when used correctly with the right communication, their defense will challenge even the most skilled players. When playing in Objective Modes, Torque is a vital asset to the team as his Barricade and Razor Wire can be used to cover narrow pathways and entrances while also providing much-needed cover. As your team continues to defend your objective, Crash will act as the teams very own personal medic, providing the necessary heals and much-needed ammo.This is where Firebreak comes in, as his Reactor Core and Purifier abilities make him a deadly weapon when confined to small areas. As enemies suffer from the emitted radiation field, the lethal flamethrower will finish off any remaining enemies in the area.

Battery & Recon

  • There is nothing worse than not know where your enemies are, this is why Recon is a vital part to any team. Recon’s Sensor Dart reveals all enemies within a set proximity, making it a must-have ability when working in close quarters. Once Recon can unleash his Vision Pulse, all team members will now have eyes on all enemies. This is when Battery gets to shine, as his Cluster Grenade and War Machine abilities can devastate teams – especially when there are multiple enemies in one area as he releases a flurry of grenades.

Play To Your Weapons Strengths & Learn Their Unique Traits

Unlike previous years, this time around Treyarch has used a rather different strategy when designing weapons for Blacks Ops 4, as all weapons are now considered unique. Each weapon has a specific profile that it will follow, along with a specific set of attachments that will be unique to that particular weapon.

  • In order to successfully master each weapon, it is highly recommended that you use each weapon exactly how they are intended to be used. If a weapon is good at medium-to-long distances, stick to these ranges.
  • One of the biggest weapon mechanic changes to occur in Black Ops 4 is how weapon recoil is now handled. Taking a much more tactical approach, each weapon will now behave the same way every time you fire, as the newly designed Predictive Recoil System now adds predictable recoil patterns to all weapons
  • Instead of being completely random, bullets will now travel in a variety of specific and pre-determined directions. Not only will this allow you to better control your weapons when firing, it can also act as a major reward to those that take the time to master each weapon and their specific recoil patterns.
  • Among the changes that were made to the gun mechanics, players will also notice that weapons will now work on a Ballistics System. It is important to note that unlike previous games in the series, bullets will now take time to travel to the target, rather than just impacting immediately.
  • You may also want to think twice before attaching a suppressor to your weapon, as this time around, the suppressor is much more of a flanker’s tool. Playing into the newly redesigned Fog of War mini map system, the suppressor is now recognized on the mini map when firing at enemies who have you within their line of sight.  

Don’t Forget To Pick Up Weapons & Utilize Crash’s Ammo Pack

  • Stuck searching for ammo after lengthy kill-streaks? Try picking up the weapons of fallen enemy opponents to gain a nicely well-loaded weapon.
  • Alternatively, if you would prefer to use your own loadout, try using the Scavenger Perk which will replenish ammo from fallen players.
  • Picking up weapons from fallen opponents is also a great tip for anyone running a loadout with a sniper or shotgun and would prefer a secondary weapon other than a pistol. 
  • When it comes to support Specialists, Crash has some of the best weapons and abilities that your team should take full advantage over. By utilizing Crash’s Ammo Pack, you will not only receive additional ammunition, but you’ll also receive 25 extra score points for each enemy killed with that particular mag. The player responsible for using Crash will also receive 50 additional score points per player that uses the Ammo Pack, along with 25 points for each enemy killed with the additional ammunition.

Select Your Attachments Carefully & Don’t Forget To Apply Your Operator Mods

As we have learned already, the weapons within Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 are more unique than ever before, not only do they have their own Attachment tree, but many will also have the ability to add Operator Mods.

  • Operator Mods are unique attachments that are specific to each weapon. Such an example can be seen with the Vapr-XKG, as the Operator Mod attaches a knife to the end of your weapon, essentially turning it into a Bayonet. When attaching the Mod to a Spitfire, the weapon will receive a substantially increased fire rate.
  • In order to attach an Operator Mod, you will need to equip the Primary or Secondary Operator Mod Wildcard. Be prepared though, as the Wildcard will cost one Pick-10 point, along with another two for the Operator Mod.
  • When selecting attachments for your weapons, it is also important that you take into account the weapons overall profile and trait, as you will want to ensure that the weapon is being used how it was intended and to its highest potential. 

Equipment Is Now Rechargeable

Unlike previous games in the Call of Duty series, Blacks Ops 4 has a rather unique approach to Equipment – they are all rechargeable. Each item of Equipment can be used multiple times should you stay alive long enough. However, the only catch is that some items take much longer to recharge than others.

The Pick-10 system also returns in Black Ops 4, allowing players to choose from a total of 10 different items within their loadout. However, Special Issue Equipment is not bound by this system, as it does not count towards the Pick-10 total.

At the time of writing, it seems to be a general consensus amongst the Call of Duty community that the best use of the Equipment slot – during the first 25 levels – is Special Issue as it utilities the unique Equipment that is assigned to each Specialist.

  • Special Issue – Unique equipment assigned to each Specialist.
  • Trophy System – Destroy enemy lethals, tacticals, and explosives within 10-meters. High velocity missiles have a chance to penetrate this system.
  • Concussion – Disorients enemies and slows movement.
  • Molotov – Explodes on impact. Spreading flames over a small area.
  • Frag – Explodes after a short fuse. Can be cooked by holding (Equipment button).
  • Combat Axe – Retrievable axe that kills instantly on impact.

Selecting The Right Gear Can Be A Complete Lifesaver

Gear, which could be best described as a fourth perk, gives the player the option to choose from five different game-altering items. From increased body protection, instant healing, and easier to hear enemy movement, it is safe to say that Gear, at times, can be a complete lifesaver.

While all Gear options provide the player with quite a substantial advantage, there are three particular options that really give you an edge over your opponents – Stim Shot, Equipment Charge, and Body Armor.

  • Stim Shot – Is best used by those with an aggressive playing style and enjoy a bit of action, as the instant healing ability and faster recharge time can really come in handy.
  • Equipment Charge  – Those that enjoy a faster style of gameplay will definitely enjoy this Gear, as it charges Specialist weapons and equipment much faster than the standard recharge time.
  • Body Armor – When it comes to extra protection, Body Armor is the ideal piece of Gear for those that enjoy rushing or simply lying low. Protection from those extra few shots can really alter your playing style.

The Best Ways To Rank Up Fast In The Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Multiplayer

Let’s face it, nobody wants to spend countless hours grinding away at levels, especially when there are much better solutions to gaining faster XP. 

  • Medals are arguably one of the fastest ways to earn XP in Black Ops 4. Simply put, medals are an in-game achievement that is unlocked upon completing a specific task. Whether its seeking revenge on an enemy, blowing up enemies with your RC-XD, delivering first blood, or even scoring a victory, players can expect to receive upwards of 500 XP per medal. 
 Team deathmatch often being a fun way to earn those rather impressive kill counts, Hardpoint and Domination have proven to be the fastest XP earning game modes available. These modes will not only earn you XP for killing enemies, but you’ll also be awarded bonus XP for capturing the objectives. 
  • Black Ops 4 is all about those getting kill assists, and while they may not be as glamorous as straight up kills, they do provide you with a rather substantial amount of XP that can quickly add up.
  • Using the likes of Recon’s Sensor Dart and Vision Pulse abilities will often earn you bonus XP when spotting incoming enemies.