Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Blackout Tips and Tricks to Help You Stand Out in a Crowd
For beginners looking to try out the new Call of Duty Battle Royale mode, we have a few Black Ops 4 Blackout tips and tricks.
For the first time in Call of Duty history, but something like the 23rd time in the game mode’s history, a huge group of new players are just coming to discover the joys of a mode where you start with nothing, face off against dozens of enemies, and try to find weapons to kill opponents before a circle kills everyone. Black Op 4 is the first game in the COD series to adopt the popular Battle Royale game mode, but given its popularity across multiple titles and platforms, it probably won’t be the last.
But while it might be easy to jump into a Blackout match, playing and winning are two wildly different things.
On paper, everyone has an even chance. Each of the up to 100 players begins a round with nothing. There are no better weapons, attachments, or perks to pre-load as you parachute into the map so it’s anyone’s game. In theory.
In reality, there is a very different style and mindset to a Battle Royale mode than other games, including COD’s own multiplayer. There are tactics and different strategies that work for different players and others that are unique to a certain style, but we have a few general Blackout tips and tricks to get you going.
If you’ve never played a Battle Royale mode, the idea is simple enough. You and dozens of other players are all dropped into a huge, but essentially enclosed area, and you’ll start with nothing. You’ll need to find weapons and equipment, and avoid the “storm,” the ever-shrinking outer area of the game that drives players into a randomly chosen center area.
The object is to survive until the end, and you’ll only have one life to do it. You can jump into a game solo – which features up to 88 players – or try the duo and squad modes that feature 100 players. And at the core of it all, you have the COD gameplay.
As you explore, you’ll find a large assortment of weapons, perks, healing objects, and equipment. It’s all random, so you’ll want to quickly grab what you can to protect yourself before you start plotting out your long-term gameplan. You’ll also find vehicles, cliffs you can jump off, and even the odd zombie to contend with.
No two games are identical. Go in with a plan and prepare for that plan to quickly go to hell.
- The total number of players could jump up to 115 in a future update.
- While it is a Battle Royale mode, it’s still a COD game. Treat it like such. Look for cover, aim for headshots, and try to avoid wide open areas.
Health & Armor
Like in the multiplayer mode, health does not regenerate – you’ll need to restore it manually. But unlike the multiplayer version where your health regeneration option comes back after a brief cooldown, in Blackout you’ll need to collect the healing items. Some are better than others, but they will keep you alive. First Aid offers 25 health, Med Kits offer 50, and Trauma Kits heal up to 200 (50 over the normal max). The more powerful the health kit, the longer it takes to use.
You’ll also find three levels of armor scattered throughout the map – level one armor is relatively common and offers light protection, level two less so and gives moderate defense, and level three armor is exceedingly rare but will save you from headshots. Unless you are left with no choice, you should try to stay out of a firefight unless you have at least level one armor.
- Level three armor is the only way to offer any protection for your head.
- You may never stumble upon level three armor, but you may find it in a supply crate or a supply drop.
- Don’t hesitate to use a Trauma Kit to extend your maximum health above the normal level of 150.
- Always have a health kit of some kind equipped.
- If you are trapped outside the safe circle and the storm begins to damage you, you can continually use health kits until you reach safety (or die).
- You can heal while you sprint, so take advantage if you find yourself wounded and in the open.
Blackout has its own level progression system, completely separate from the other game modes. It also functions differently than the others. You won’t unlock items like in the multiplayer, but you can unlock characters to play as in the game – but it won’t be easy or fast. Thankfully, the levels don’t really matter all that much.
If you want to earn the game’s experience points, aka “merits,” you have two options: get kills or finish as one of the top players in a match. Ideally, you’ll want to do both. For each kill, you’ll earn 10 merits. Placing in the top 15 in a solo game, top 10 in duos, or top five in squads will earn you 50 merits – the higher you finish the more points you’ll earn. Win a match in any mode and you’ll earn 100 (at least).
If you are having troubles getting kills and you want to level up, you can try to stay stealth and hope to survive until the end without risking yourself in combat. If you die before you reach that point without a kill though, you’ll earn nothing (and have wasted your time hiding). Alternatively, if you are just working on leveling up, you can try to land in a group of people and score quick kills. You may earn some merits, but you’ll probably be out quickly.
You can also complete challenges and Dark Objects. The challenges can be viewed in the menu, but you’ll need to track them manually. Dark Objects only reveal themselves after you’ve completed them and tend to be obscure things, like dunking a ball on a basketball court or hitting a bullseye from 90 feet at the firing range.
- There are tiers of challenges, with higher tiered challenges offering better rewards.
- Challenges are easier – and sometimes only possible – if you are in a squad or duo.
- The max level/echelon and the level you can prestige is 80. You’ll need 44,200 merits to hit reach that point.
- You’ll receive unlock rewards at levels 20, 40, 60, 80, and 80+ (prestige).
Blackout’s map is huge. According to one developer, it is 1,500x bigger than Nuketown, and it encompasses a handful of familiar multiplayer maps scattered around the area. It’s big enough that you can easily find yourself having to run several minutes to get to a safe area away from the storm – but everyone else will be heading to that same area, so “safe” may not tbe applicable.
When you begin, you can airdrop anywhere you want, but the map will soon begin to contract as the storm forces you into smaller and smaller areas. The final area is chosen at random and changes every match, so unless you get lucky with where you drop, be prepared to move. If you are caught in the storm you can continue to use healing items until you are safe, but the damage you’ll take is severe.
After what is essentially a free-roam loading screen, the game will begin with you on a helicopter. When you hit the map you can see what direction the helicopters are heading, and you can set a waypoint if you want to give yourself – or your teammates – an objective to run for. From here you’ll only have a few seconds to determine a strategy.
If you want to get kills, jump into a crowded area and accelerate toward the ground as quickly as possible, then look for a gun. If you want to try to wait out others, aim for an area where you don’t see many people jumping, then try to glide even further out and find weapons and equipment.
When you hit the ground, you may see a blue light reaching into the sky. If you’ve played a COD Zombies mode, you may be familiar with this. If you track down the source of the light, you’ll find a mystery box – a random weapon generator that can offer you some incredibly powerful weapons – but you’ll need to fight off zombies while you wait for it to reset between distributing weapons. You’ll also have to watch out for other players.
- The mystery box’s location is random, but the asylum and graveyard are both high probability locations.
- If you head for the mystery box and are attacked by zombies, you can find cymbal monkeys nearby to help distract them.
- If you parachute out and accelerate/dive straight down, when you are about 2/3 the way down if you pull up and let your wingsuit take over you can cross huge distances quickly. It takes practice though.
- Aim for water near land. When you are about to hit the water, if you time it right your parachute will only open for a moment and you’ll be on land faster than anyone else.
- If you land on an elevated area with a cliff or drop off, you can jump and reactivate your chute by holding the jump button down.
Perks & Equipment
Throughout the map, you’ll find perks and equipment scattered around. At first, ignore the perks and grab a weapon. Once you are armed, you can begin to grab everything, but you’ll quickly hit an inventory limit. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a backpack early on that will double your inventory – they are fairly common. If so, grab everything and find a place you are secure to go through what you picked up.
At first, the perks will be hard to tell apart. There’s no easy way around this, you’ll just need to learn the names of the perks and know what they each do at a glance. The alternative is reading the descriptions of each one in the menu, which leaves you vulnerable. Because of this, it’s easy to ignore the perks at first, but that could be a mistake
There are two strategies with perks – use them right away or save them until it’s closer to the end of the match. If you use them right away, you will at least guarantee you are getting the benefits of the perk. They stack though, so if you can save several of them and use them all at the same time, you will find yourself almost super powered.
You will also find standard equipment like frag grenades and flashbangs, alongside specialist gear like barricades and grapple guns that are a little rarer. Make sure to equip them and use them as needed.
- The recon dart is one of the most useful pieces of equipment you can find. If you are in a safe area where you aren’t worried about the storm, you will have a huge advantage thanks to your mini-UAV. Just make sure others don’t see it or you’ll potentially give yourself away.
- The trophy system is a decent find if you are making a stand, but it will give away your location if enemies see it.
- You can deploy a trophy system on a vehicle and drive around with it, mostly preventing you from catching a deadly, stray missile or grenade.
- Get used to using the quick menu – it will save your life.
The Right Weapons
When you hit the ground in Blackout, your first goal should be to find a gun – any gun. You may not want to up against someone with a rifle when all you have is, say, a handgun, but it’s better than nothing. Once you have a weapon or two you feel comfortable with, you can get picky.
There’s no right or wrong weapon to have in Blackout, but midrange weapons like SMGs will be less effective given the size of the maps. A sniper rifle will give you a huge advantage, and after that, it’s up to you as to what you want to carry with it. Rifles will give you flexibility, while shotguns can help if you plan to make a stand in an enclosed area. It’s really down to preference.
Once you have a weapon or two you like, start looking for attachments to go with it. Attach them on the fly to improve your weapon, then detach them when you have a moment of safety and reequip them on weapons you want them on. They won’t take up space when attached, but they will if you add them to your inventory.
- Pick up all the ammo you can find – it doesn’t count against your inventory and if you need to switch weapons you’ll be better prepared.
- If you don’t have armor and your opponent does, you can get the jump on them and still lose a gunfight.
- Missile launchers are not all that effective against players, but they will destroy vehicles efficiently enough – often with you in them if you aren’t paying attention.
- The mystery box contains weapons you won’t find anywhere else like the Ray Gun, along with fully loaded guns with full attachments. The box disappears quickly though.
- Silencers are rare and can make a huge difference.
You can unlock characters to use in the game, but it isn’t easy. A few you can earn by reaching certain progression levels, but most require a very obscure set of actions – if you’ve played the zombies modes and completed some of the most complicated challenges, you’ll have an idea what you’re in for.
There are dozens of characters you can unlock, including Blackout, multiplayer, and zombie mode characters. Each one requires a unique set of requirements.
- Reddit has an ongoing thread dedicated to unlocking each character.
General Blackout Tips and Tricks
- If you go to the settings, you can change the way you pick up items so you can grab things with a button press rather than holding the button down. It seems like a minor change, but it will make the game much easier.
- Melee is weaker in Blackout than in multiplayer – it takes multiple hits to kill someone.
- You can change the shape of your minimap in the settings if you like.
- Killing zombies earns you nothing and lets enemies know where you are.
- Given that the maps are bigger than anything in multiplayer – bullets lose speed and damage over distance.
- An announcer will tell you when a supply drop is coming, but you’ll still need to listen for the plane and spot the drop – then fight off anyone else that saw it.
- Loot is random, so don’t expect to find the same gear in the same place in another match.
- You can shoot down a supply drop plane with a missile launcher – the drop will come down near where the plane was destroyed.
- Use RC-XDs as scouts to find enemies.
- The Skulker perk will help you move quickly while crouched, making it an excellent perk.
- Helicopters are great for getting around, but also make you an easy target.
- Zombies get stronger with each collapse.
- The Nuketown section of the map has a sign on it that tells you the number of players.
- When you gasp for air while underwater, you have two seconds before you start taking damage.