Your guide to the ‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’ multiplayer
Now that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has been released, many of you have probably abandoned at least a few of your responsibilities and sacrificed several hours to the game. With that in mind, we have a few multiplayer Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare tips and tricks to help get you started.
These tips are meant to act as a primer as much as anything. With games like COD, the multiplayer quickly takes on a life of its own. One day players will be using assault rifles, then next they may find a way to get more out of a shotgun. Riot shields may suddenly be popular, and SMGs might be everywhere. Multiplayer games ebb and flow, and a solid strategy one day will be moot the next, as soon as players find a way to counteract it.
With that in mind, here are a few tips. We’ll continue to update the post as the game evolves, and please let us know any strategies of your own in the comments below.
Start at the beginning
If you are just trying out the game for the first time, attempting to jump into the multiplayer right off the bat will give you a warning message suggesting that you should play the single player campaign first.
Take the advice.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is a different type of game from its predecessors. Sure, it has far more in common with the previous iterations than not, but there are a few fundamental changes in the way the game moves. Learning these changes will make all the difference in your multiplayer success.
To begin with, the exosuit adds more than just a few new moves, it alters the way the game flows. You don’t just double jump to reach high ground, you jump to get new angles on enemies, or cover large chunks of the map quickly. It isn’t a reinvention of the multiplayer, but it is significantly different.
Consider the single player a lengthy, action packed tutorial starring Kevin Spacey channeling his House of Cards character, Frank Underwood. The campaign will also introduce you to all the weapons in a competition-free environment. It’s worth the time it’ll take, and the story is entertaining enough to keep you invested. It will also help you fine-tune your aim. Hit markers return, and one “X” marks a kill while two marks a headshot. Adjust your aim as needed. The markers are the same in the multiplayer, so train yourself to see them.
If you don’t have the patience for the full campaign (you can beat it in around six hours), at least play through the first few missions. The introductory mission is specifically meant to show off the exosuit, while the next highlights the weapons, grenades, and general weapon systems. You can burn through it in 30 minutes or so, and it will help prepare you for the competitive side of things.
Learn the maps
In previous COD games, it was important to learn the hiding spots and know where enemies may be, but in Advanced Warfare you need to learn the accessibility of the maps. Thanks to the double jump ability, think of the maps as cubes rather than planes. You’ll need to think vertically and move up and down, as much as forward and back.
There’s another reason to take your time regarding the maps – they are big and can be bland. In previous COD games you could navigate by obvious landmarks. If a teammate shouts “There’s an enemy by the rocket!”, you know where to go. On the other hand, if you hear someone shout “There’s someone by the building with the… paint on it!”, the vagueness is deafening.
Advanced Warfare is designed for play, not aesthetics. The first few times you move through a map, the odds are you will get lost and find yourself running in circles. Learn the maps.
There’s an easy way to do this. Simply start a “Private Match,” then choose “Game Setup.” Pick the map you want and start it with no bots. You’ll have the freedom to roam around unencumbered. Spend a couple minutes in each map when you have the time, and you’ll find you have a huge advantage – or at least you’ll level the playing field against people that have been at it for a while.
There are also “Dynamic Events” that spring up throughout some of the maps, like the tidal wave that crashes into the coast underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. If you are caught unaware by these events, you will die.
Each COD developer likes to put its own stamp on the franchise’s signature loadout selection. Sometimes they create a setup from scratch, sometimes they improve the existing loadouts. Sledgehammer did a bit of both with the “Pick 13.”
What you can equip is based on a point value, with 13 points being the max. Each slot you fill costs one point, and that includes everything from weapons to perks – nothing longtime fans haven’t seen before – with the exception of the killstreaks (more on that below). There are some advantages to this style, but it really is more a matter of customizing to your preferences than gaining an advantage. There are some things to keep in mind that may help you out though, especially in the early rounds.
When you first start up, you may just want to use one of the pre-loaded classes – you’ll have more options available to you. Once you hit level 17, you should have enough items to set yourself up how you like, for the most part. At 17, you unlock a several things, including the ability to carry multiple perks. Until then, you’re a bit bare.
Speaking of new unlocks, don’t forget about the shooting range options. Between matches you can create a new class, then jump into the range (the button changes based on platform, but it’s a button hit and you’re there). You can try out your newly unlocked weapons, attachments, and just kill time between matches.
One of the big changes to Advanced Warfare is the ability to free up loadout spots by taking less – or no – killstreaks (more accurately – but less traditionally – known as scorestreaks). And let’s be honest, in the early rounds you’ll probably not have a lot of need for that third killstreak, and maybe not even a second. Lose it and take an extra perk, weapon, or something similar.
Another major change is that killstreaks can be upgraded, in a way. You can add up to two enhancements to each killstreak, but they will cost you. Each enhancement increases the point score you need to earn that streak in the game. So if a killstreak would normally cost 400 points – which you earn through kills, assists, and completing objectives – you could equip two improvements, which you then raise the cost to 500, for example.
Keep that in mind when you are setting your class up, and consider what you want from your killstreaks. If you are working with a team, you can also assign different streaks to different members. Coordinate and assign roles to team members, freeing up spots on your loadout. Equip a UAV and make it an orbital UAV for 700 points. Focus on that while others worry about air strikes, turrets, etc.
In order to receive a supply drop, you need to complete challenges. These challenges are all over the board, but you will earn supply drops just through playing. You can go out of your way to try to complete the challenges for the drops, but don’t worry too much about it at first, especially since the contents of the drop are random. It’s essentially Call of Duty’s answer to a loot drop.
After earning a supply drop, you’ll need to open it after the match to claim your items. These items come in three varieties based on rarity: Enlisted, Professional, and Elite. These items can be aesthetic or usable, and you can also sell most of them for experience – the rarer the item, the more experience you receive.
The gear you earn is easy to sell, the weapons are more based on personal preference. Clothing is always just cosmetic, so unless you really like the look of the new gear you received, you’ll get more use out of selling it.
Each of the rare weapons you receive has pros and cons (along with a unique name). Some will feature attachments you may not have unlocked yet, and those attachments won’t count against the Pick 13; some will have improved stats over the stock version of the weapons; some will have decreased stats. Most will contain a combination of the three. Keep an eye on the stats, and decide if the weapon’s augmented stats work for you.
You will also stumble across the occasional “Reinforcements.” These are augmenters that add a limited time benefit for a single game. Double XP seems to be a fairly common reinforcement. You’ll find it, use it, and forget it since you don’t have any control over when you use it.
New Game Modes
If you are having a rough time in some of the traditional game modes like Team Deathmatch and Kill Confirmed, try the new modes. They are designed in a way that makes them unique to Advanced Warfare, as opposed to Call of Duty. They couldn’t exist in the previous COD games without some significant changes. Try them and hopefully you’ll find your groove.
Uplink – The first of the two modes is a bit like Halo’s oddball. Players on each team attempt to capture the “satellite drone” (aka the ball), and then carry or throw it through the uplink station, aka the goal. While carrying the ball, you can’t fire your weapon, leaving you defenseless. You can throw the ball at an opponent though, and if you hit them, they will suddenly find themselves carrying it, unable to fire. It’s a useful technique. And it’s kind of funny.
The trick here is to constantly keep moving if you are going for the ball. If you have it, trying for the goal solo is daring, to say the least. You could also call it borderline suicidal. All it takes is one quick opponent on defense to riddle your helpless body with bullets. Stick with your team and score when the opening arises. Don’t forget you can throw the ball too.
Momentum – Consider it domination, but meaner. Each match features five flags; both teams start with control of two flags, with one flag starting as neutral. The first team to capture all five flags wins the match. If all five flags aren’t controlled within the time limit, the match goes to overtime, where the first team to capture three flags wins. And there’s a catch.
The more kills your team records, the more momentum you earn. The more momentum you earn, the faster you capture the flags. When you capture a flag, it opens up the next flag location. If the opposing team captures that flag, it then reverts to the previous. So if Team Alpha captures Flags A, B, and C, but team beta captures D, it then goes back to C. From there it goes to B or D, depending on who captures the flag. So if a team gets on a roll, with the momentum factored in, the game can be finished in no time at all. If you are on the receiving end of a beating, make a stand at the last flag and stick it out until overtime wipes it all clean.
If you can get your team talking, and if you can learn the flag locations, send one person to either potential flag location while your teammates fight it out for control of the active flag location. There is a “wait” time between flag appearances, but the head start could make all the difference – especially in overtime.
Combat Readiness Program
Advanced Warfare features the return of bot play. Choose the “Combat Readiness Program” and it will throw you into a random map. From there you compete against your own high scores as much as against people or bots. Be wary of this mode though, especially when you are just learning the game.
This mode actually features a mixture of humans and bots, but it masks identities and doesn’t offer killcams, so you won’t know who is who. You also won’t earn XP, and you can only choose from a handful of pre-selected loadouts. This mode is not a new version of “Squads” from Ghosts, it is a light practice at best.
The bots are basically just targets that shoot back. They react in ways that are roughly human-like, but they aren’t quite as… well, spastic. The bot practice is a good way to warm up for a real game, but it can actually screw you up until you are used to the way real people move in the games, which is far more unpredictable. It’s a good tool to use, but don’t rely on it.
Go Old School
It’s a fun distraction, but little more. If you are spending all your times in this lobby, Advanced Warfare might not be the game for you.
Campers Get Stitches
Call of Duty has a long and notorious history with campers – people that don’t move much during the game – which can grind the game to a halt. Advanced Warfare still has a touch of that, but if you aren’t moving moving much, you are missing the point of the new enhancements.
Advanced Warfare is designed to be a fast paced game. The community may choose otherwise in the months to come, but the movement system encourages constant motion. Sprinting is a standard option, of course, but practice doing a quick jump, then hit sprint. It will propel you forward and allow you to cover ground faster than you could otherwise. It also make you harder to hit.
Learn this move, then adapt it to jump sideways and backwards quickly, and Advanced Warfare becomes a different type game from its predecessors altogether. Once you get the hang of it, you can pull off crazy evades, and occasionally even jump behind an opponent that is about to shoot you in the back.
More Call of Duty Advanced Warfare tips and tricks coming soon
We’ll have more tips and tricks in the weeks to come, but hopefully these are a few that will get you going. This post will be updated frequently, so check back often. And in the meantime, if you have any Call of Duty Advanced Warfare tips and tricks of your own, let us know in the comments below. We’ll also update this post and create others when the Season Pass begins to release content.
We’ll add some notes about the eSports section of the game soon, as the new professional competitions expand.
Check back for our guide on Exo Challenges, coming soon.
This guide was written using the Xbox One version of the game. If you have any tips specific to other platforms, please let us know!