Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 tips and tricks to survive, level up, and dominate in all modes
Now that the new Call of Duty is out, there are probably a whole lot of offices and businesses that are missing employees due to a mysterious sicknesses. Call it the Call of Duty flu. The Call of duflu (trademark pending). If you are part of that contingent, we have a few Black Ops 3 tips and tricks to help you get started, and maybe keep you alive a little longer.
Some of these tips will be very basic, but sometimes the basics are a good place to start. We’ll update this list frequently, so check back often for more Black Ops 3 tips for all modes.
So check it out below, and if you have any Black Ops 3 tips or tricks you’d like to pass on, let us know in the comments below!
The Call of Duty campaigns are generally about as complex as walking in a single direction and shooting enemies that think popping their heads up and looking directly at you is wicked awesome strategy. Black Ops III is a little different though.
The missions are generally straightforward. You have objectives, you have enemies, you have bullets. Problem solved. Where things are a little different this time around is the inclusion of co-op.
The missions play out the same whether you are playing solo or as a team. To begin, you choose a character avatar. The choice really doesn’t matter, it’s entirely aesthetic. When you are playing, regardless of if you are in your own game or someone else’s, you will see your character in the cinematics, but that’s the only difference in how you look.
The missions typically feature you as part of an AI controlled team, and that team is always part of the missions – even when you are playing with friends. In other words, whether you are playing solo or with three other people, you will always have a fifth AI player. More importantly, that fifth player is the key to progression.
In the solo missions, you will typically have an objective to reach. If you get there before your AI companion, you’ll need to wait for them. In the co-op campaigns, you will still need to wait for the AI, but you’ll also need to wait for your whole team to rendezvous on the spot. It can be a little annoying if the team isn’t working together, so it helps to communicate with each other.
You may also want to beat the game on your own before jumping into a public game – the matchmaking places you randomly in the next available game (unless you select a specific mission, which can sometimes be tough to find), and it may be a mission ahead of where you are.
Once you are in the campaign, there isn’t much to say. It’s a shooting gallery – go nuts. How you approach it is up to you.
- Once you complete the campaign, you unlock “Nightmare,” which replaces enemies with zombies and new audio.
- To access the Dead Ops mode, access the data vault and look for the “S” logo. Highlight it and when the cursor disappears, hit the action button.
- When you are highlighting the “S” logo, you can hold down the shoulder buttons, then press the reload button, followed by the change weapons button to access the Data Vault.
- There’s no reason not to always have your tactical vision on.
- Always revive your teammates.
Safe House – Whether you are playing solo or co-op, missions begin in a central hub known as the Safe House. From there you can check stats of previous missions, collectibles you’ve found, and gather before a mission.
If you are with others, consider it an interactive lobby. Just remember that if you are playing co-op, you’ll need everyone to enter the briefing room to start the mission.
- The leveling system is separate from the multiplayer, and weapon unlocks are separate as well. On top of that, the weapons unlock at different levels than they do in the multiplayer. You can access the loadout in the Safe House.
- The Safe House also contains a separate VR Combat Simulation mode. Playing this is entirely optional, but you will earn campaign experience and unlock tokens.
- In the Safe House you can also choose your Cyber Core, which is essentially your special attack. Each of the three Cores offer their own abilities, and each ability is specific to either a human or a robot enemy. Ideally, your co-op team will mix and match these abilities, but you can go the entire game without using them if you choose.
- Cyber Rigs are unlockable abilities that are somewhat akin to perks. Equip the ones you like.
The Black Ops 3 multiplayer is once again the star of the show. Call of Duty has always lived and died based on the multiplayer mode, and Black Ops III is a return to form for the series.
Black Ops 3 introduces a few new moves and changes to the old formula, but it should be familiar to any long time fan of the series. There are a few things to know though, in order to keep that kill/death ratio favorable.
There’s really no fast way to earn Cryptokeys other than just playing well. The rewards are nice and add some depth to the customization options, but they don’t affect the gameplay. Consider them for what they are – a bonus, and nothing more.
To unlock your Cryptokeys, head to the Black Market from the main menu and cash them in.
Power slide – The ability to slide is the new norm in the COD franchise. It replaces, and seemingly ends the days of the dolphin flop, plus the power slide is an essential move to utilize. Simply sprint and hit the prone button and you’ll slide. Use it often.
You can’t just slide into a group of enemies and dodge bullets, but it is a good way to escape fire and quickly get from one place to another.
Thrust jump – Black Ops III features a double jump, but it is nothing like the jump in Advanced Warfare. It’s a slight boost that will help you get to higher ledges; it also makes you a clay pigeon if you do it in an open area. Like running on walls, it is a functional addition rather than a tactical one.
Wall running – Running on the walls is a big part of the game, but not an essential one. You will often find a pathway on the edges that you can use to cut through a big chunk of territory, but there is a balance. While someone is wall running, they are extremely vulnerable.
One of the biggest changes to the Black Ops III multiplayer is the addition of specialist. There are nine in total, and each one offers two special attacks. Some are offensive, some are passive. Some help the team, others are specifically for the player. A good mix of specialist on a team is great, but play to your strengths. If you play competitively though, plan accordingly.
In order to activate each specialists’ ability, you need to fill the gauge in the lower right corner. To do this, you just need to earn points in a match – kills, assists, capturing flags, planting bombs, etc., etc. Even if you are having a bad game, you should be able to have this ability open up a few times a game.
The more you play with a single specialist, the more customization options you unlock. These are just for aesthetic purposes, but they help to customize your avatar.
- Specialist attacks are good offensive tools, but they aren’t unbeatable. You can be killed while launching them.
Weapons and Scorestreaks
There are plenty of ideas on weapons and which to choose, but in the end it really comes down to personal preference. On top of that, there are always going to be balance issues that will be changed through patches.
The most common weapon classes used are assault weapons and SMGs. In Black Ops II, SMGs were arguably the most used weapon amongst the pros – and there are good reasons for this – but stick with what you are comfortable with.
Try out several options though, and don’t rely on any single weapon. If you want to take a few rounds trying weapons out, just unequip a secondary and when you see a weapon from a fallen friend or foe lying around, grab it.
Don’t choose your weapon based on stats – or at least not entirely. The stats give you a hint of what the weapons are capable of, but they don’t tell the whole picture. There are also things like recoil to consider, which make the stats less accurate.
Experiment with your scorestreaks. If you aren’t getting the top streaks, don’t bother trying for them – choose something lower you can access. If you want to try out the top level streaks, try the care package.
- Regardless of your weapon, holding down the trigger on an automatic weapon will hurt your chances thanks to recoil. Either get in close and spray the target, or train yourself to fire in bursts.
- Everyone will start with UAVs, so equip a launcher early on to earn points (and help your team).
- The Seraph specialist helps you earn streaks faster.
- Use your unlocks wisely. Don’t spend one just because you can.
- When you have a weapon you like, keep using it until you unlock all the add-ons. They can make a huge difference.
- Drop a secondary weapon if you want to load up on attachments and perks.
- It is always faster to switch to your second weapon than to reload – even with dual mags.
- Always use your scorestreaks, even if the game is about to end. The points will help.
(See the “General Tips” section for more multiplayer tips)
The Black Ops 3 zombies mode is similar to previous zombie modes, but bigger – much bigger.
The core mechanics remain the same. You have a team of up to four, and you earn cash by killing zombies. That cash in turn can be used to open doors and purchase things, like weapons and perks. You then face wave after wave of zombies, and you play until your team dies and can’t be revived. You will also find instakills and refill random drops that you should use strategically.
As with the last few zombie modes, there is also a lot of teamwork required to really exploit the mode. And more than that, it requires a lot of experimentation – so much that the there are likely secrets in this version of zombies that won’t be discovered for a long, long time.
Another new addition is the ability to transform into the Beast. As the Beast you can unlock hidden areas and collect items for the ritual. Ideally you should do this with minimal resistance. Kneecap the final zombie, have someone lead them around, and let the Beast do its work.
There are currently two maps – Shadows of Evil and the Giant. They each have the same fundamentals, but they have a different setting and different secrets. In either map, there is a certain amount of memorization, especially when it comes to what enemies attack on what waves. Preparing properly makes all the difference, and if you are new to the mode joining an experienced crew, let them know you are new and be willing to take instruction.
Perks are also a major part of the zombie mode. Each player can carry four perks at once. The choices come down to preference, but you can’t go wrong with Quick-Revive. You will also be able to choose another perk of sorts, known as Gobblegum. You can choose this before the start of a match; once the match starts you’ll need to find the Gobblegum machine to purchase it. The machines don’t always work though.
We’ll add more tips to this section in the future, but we have a few general tips, including a secret or two.
- Do what you can to earn cash, including keeping zombies alive for as long as possible. Let them break in, take them out, repair the wall, and let the next zombie break in so you can repair it.
- Choose a weapon you can purchase early that you’ll be ok keeping for a while. Earning cash at the early waves is tough, so spend it wisely.
- Keep the last zombie alive as long as possible. Take out their legs so they crawl, and have one person lead it around while your teammates explore and prepare.
- Stay together. If one person wanders off and gets killed, the others will be forced to revive them or let them die and respawn weaker than before.
- Power-ups appear at random, but you should coordinate when to you use them. For example, you won’t want to grab the refill until everyone has reloaded.
- Mystery Boxes are a great way to get a special weapon, but focus on wall weapons at first. Find one you’re comfortable with, and save the cash for other things.
Like all recent Call of Duty titles, Activision has a full compliment of DLC planned for Black Ops III. As has become the standard, there will be four DLC drops, each containing new multiplayer maps, almost certainly new zombie content, and probably some new customizable content too. There may be more included with each drop, but nothing has been confirmed.
The Black Ops III Season Pass is available now for $50.
All systems will receive the new content, but unlike previous iterations, a recent deal between Sony and Activision means the DLC will appear on the Sony family of consoles first. Exact dates haven’t been given, but if the Sony deal is similar to the former Microsoft deal, the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 will receive the new content roughly one month before PC and Xbox gamers.
Videogamesblogger.com has a tentative release schedule. The dates aren’t confirmed, but they are based on previous COD DLC releases, and are likely very close to the final dates.
- DLC Map Pack #1 Release Date on PS4: Tuesday, January 26th 2016.
- DLC Map Pack #1 Release Date on Xbox One & PC: Thursday, February 25th 2016.
- DLC Map Pack #2 Release Date on PS4: Tuesday, March 29th 2016.
- DLC Map Pack #2 Release Date on Xbox One & PC: Thursday, April 28th 2016.
- DLC Map Pack #3 Release Date on PS4: Tuesday, May 31st 2016.
- DLC Map Pack #3 Release Date on Xbox One & PC: Thursday, June 30th 2016.
- DLC Map Pack #4 Release Date on PS4: Tuesday, August 2nd 2016.
- DLC Map Pack #4 Release Date on Xbox One & PC: Thursday, September 1st 2016.
We will update this section with more news when it is available.
- The map “Nuketown” is now available for free on all patforms.
- Link your account. You can earn loyalty rewards – they aren’t major, but they are worth the free signup.
- There are hidden objectives in the MP known as Dark Ops. These earn you calling cards and other rewards.
- There have been some server issues since launch, but they tend to go away after a few minutes.
- If you are having trouble connecting with a particular friend, check your NAT setting. An “Open” setting will let you play with anyone, while “Medium” and “Strict” are problematic, and generally can’t play together. Reset your modem, and if that doesn’t work, forward your ports (which you should do anyway).
- Melee attacks have been nerfed – it takes two to kill an uninjured enemy.
- Learn the maps. Learn the maps. Learn the maps.
- Try the freerun mode to get used to the movements before you try multiplayer. If you want to warm up before a match, this is also a great way to prepare.
- Don’t hesitate to swim to keep out of sight, but be prepared to see other people underwater.
- Stick together. It is always easier to kill a person with two guns rather than one.
- The maximum multiplayer level you can reach is 55.
- Domination is a great way to earn points quickly, especially if you are struggling to get kills. Capture points and enjoy the points.
- There is a Doctor Who-ish Easter egg in the Mp map, “Nuk3town.” To activate it, you need to shoot the arms off of all the deactivated robots in under two minutes – you can do this in private match. (Or you can watch it here.)
Do you have any Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments below!
Call of Duty: Black Ops III is available now on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.