Our Call of Duty Blackout guide contains everything we know so far about COD's Battle Royale mode, with details of the release date, weapons, maps and vehicles.
Plenty of publishers have had a crack at beating the likes of Fortnite and PUBG in the Battle Royale wars, but we reckon Activision's got something pretty special in its hands with the Blackout mode of COD: Black Ops 4.
Both the initial beta and the launch version of the game have delivered with the kind of polished gameplay you'd expect from a COD game, played out on an impressive map, with a generous collection of weapons and, of course, plenty of COD Perks to hoover up.
Some things don't change though, and so you can expect to go up against the usual mass pack of players to see who can emerge as the last person standing. You can also look forward to enjoying all this action on a map that pays tribute to some of the most famous moments from COD games of yesteryear.
Call of Duty meets Fortnite turns out to be quite a lot of fun, in other words!
To help you get ahead of the competition, we've put together a guide that contains all of the helpful articles we've created so far, and we'll be expanding on it considerably over time. As we create new guides for specific areas of the game, we'll keep adding links to them in the relevant sections.
UPDATE - 17TH OCTOBER 2018
We've just added in a huge chunk of tips covering every aspect of the game. You'll find them towards the bottom of this page, and we'll continue adding in new strategy tips over time.
Call of Duty Blackout Overview
Before we get into the meat of our guide, here’s all the information you need to know about Blackout.
- Treyarch’s official blurb states “Blackout is an experience unlike any other game or mode in Call of Duty history, where players will have to scavenge, strategise, compete and survive to win."
- It features the largest map that’s ever been built in Call of Duty. Described as 1,500 times bigger than Nuketown (take that with a pinch of salt...) it’s filled with fan-favourite locations that span the entire Black Ops franchise.
- You can play as classic characters spanning the history of the Black Ops series - even the Zombies Origins cast.
- There are a variety of biomes and zones, all with their own unique points of interest.
- You're able to dive into the water and engage in underwater combat as the situation demands.
- You can get airdrops which bring in extra powerful supplies.
- There's a grappling hook which can propel you to surfaces quickly. There's also a small slingshot which can be used to fire tripwires onto surfaces. You're also able to get your hands on clapping monkey grenades which, when thrown, will attract zombies to the area.
- Zombies spawn in certain locations across the map. Killing these powerful enemies can result in rare gear drops for your collection, and you can even net you a zombie-exclusive Ray Gun.
- There are many different player models and customisation options to help you stand out in battle.
- You can play in solo or an assortment of team modes.
COD Blackout Gameplay
We've already managed to put together a handful of useful guides based on the Blackout beta, but once the game goes live we'll have even more for you. For now, here are all of our most popular guides for getting stuck into the meta of Blackout's gameplay.
- How to Land Faster - Getting boots on the ground before the rest of the pack makes a huge difference to your early-game gearing. We'll walk you through the process step by step - COD: Blackout - How to land faster
- Perks - A new version of the Perks system is present and correct in Blackout. We've outlined all of the currently known Perks for you in one place - COD: Blackout - Best Perks guide
- Best Landing and Loot Spots - Certain spots on the map make prime targets for getting geared up fast. We've got you covered on that front - COD: Blackout - Best landing and loot spots
- Mystery Box Spawns and Locations - If you demolish enough zombies you'll cause a Mystery Box to spawn nearby. Our guide explains how to trigger these spawns and what's inside - COD: Blackout - Mystery Box spawns and locations
- Challenges - There are lots of challenges to work through in exchange for some tasty rewards. We've compiled a complete list covering each one in every category - COD: Blackout - Challenges list
- Dark Ops Challenges - If the regular challenges weren't enough for you, there are special Dark Ops Challenges spread across all Black Ops 4 game modes - COD: Blackout - Dark Ops Challenges guide
Here are all of our guides for playing in the specific game modes of COD: Blackout.
- Solo - Going it alone is a rewarding but intense way of playing COD: Blackout. We've put together a collection of tips to give you more of a fighting chance against the rest of the pack - COD: Blackout - Solo tips, tricks and strategy advice
- Duo - Teaming up with a buddy requires a very different mindset in Blackout. We've assembled a guide that explains how to work together more efficiently, and increase your odds of making the late-game - COD: Blackout - Duo tips, tricks and strategy advice
- Squads - Playing as a pack in Blackout requires even more coordination and cooperation. Here's what you need to know about making a virtue out of your bigger team size - COD: Blackout - Squad tips, tricks and strategy advice
COD Blackout Weapons
It should not come as a surprise to learn that there's a generous selection of weaponry to choose from in Blackout. In this section we're highlighting all of the guides you'll need to make smart choices when it comes to prioritising your offensive gear.
- Guns List - A complete overview of every single gun in the game. Have a browse and see what takes your fancy - COD: Blackout - Guns list
- Best Guns - Our pick of the very bust guns you can choose in the game. Have a read through this so you know what to discard, and what to keep hunting for - COD: Blackout - Best guns guide (PC, PS4, Xbox)
- Best DPI - By tightening up your mouse DPI and other settings you can gain a huge advantage. Our guide explains how to tweak your mouse settings to perfection - COD: Blackout - Best mouse DPI and sensitivity guide
- Sniper Guide - Sniping's tough in COD Blackout, but we've put together a guide that will help you get on top of your strategy nice and quickly - COD: Blackout - Sniper tips, tricks and strategy advice
- Ray Gun - The Ray Gun is one of the tastiest weapons in the game, but you're going to have to fight a tough pack of zombies to get your hands on it - COD: Blackout - How to get the Ray Gun
- Best Attachments - Choosing the right attachment can make a huge difference to your gameplay. We'll run you through the best of the bunch - COD: Blackout - Best attachment
COD Blackout Vehicles
Blackout isn't messing around with its map size, and so you'll be pleased to know there are a few ways to get about the map that don't involve sprinting from one zone to another on foot.
- Vehicles - Our guide to the vehicles in Blackout outlines all of the air, land and sea options you have at your disposal - COD: Blackout - Vehicles guide
COD Blackout Map
Blackout's map size is a pretty impressive thing to behold, with plenty of famous locations from the series' history. In this section you'll be able to access all of our growing guide content for getting to grips with your options on the ground.
- Map - Our core map guide which outlines all of the locations in Blackout, along with a little extra insight on what to expect if you choose to land at any one of them - COD: Blackout - Map guide
- Secrets and Easter Eggs - There are a few fascinating secrets that pay homage to COD's illustrious history. We've rounded them up in one place, and will add in new detail as further easter eggs are uncovered - COD: Blackout - Secrets and Easter Eggs
- Wingsuit - You can actually make use of your wingsuit while out and about on the map - with certain limitations. We've got a quick guide on how to pull this move on and make it work to your advantage - COD: Blackout - How to deploy and use your wingsuit
COD Blackout Special Events
If you've played any of the other Battle Royale games on the market, then you'll be familiar with the idea of limited time events, which shake the format up a little bit to stop things getting stale.
It seems as though Treyarch is going to follow suit with Blackout, as the beta testing also featured our first look at a special event for the game called Fast Collapse.
As new events are released, we'll add in links to our custom guides for coming out on top of each one.
- Fast Collapse - As the name suggests, the circle of danger closes faster in this limited time event. We've got some tips to help you survive the rush - COD: Blackout - Fast Collapse guide
COD Blackout Systems
Tweaking your system settings can give you a serious advantage in COD: Blackout, and in this section you'll be able to access all of our essential guides for optimising your experience:
- System Requirements - Treyarch has published the official minimum and recommended specs for Blackout. Find out how your rig stacks up here - COD: Blackout - System requirements (PC)
- Installation and Download Size - If you're curious about the installation size of Blackout and want to know how to download it to your platform, we've got a guide that covers everything - COD: Blackout - How to download and install (PS4, Xbox One and PC)
- FPS Settings - If you want to optimise your FPS performance without sacrificing too much eye candy, we've got you covered on that front - COD: Blackout - Best FPS settings guide
- Controls - Not sure what all the controls are? Our guide contains a list of all the controls for each platform - COD: Blackout - Controls for PC, PS4 and Xbox One
Landing and Looting Tips
Choosing the right landing spot so you can get quickly geared up is the crucial task in the early-game of Blackout.
- When you’re in the Chinook waiting to drop, pull up the map and place a marker where you’re planning to land. This way you’ll be able to track your chosen location more easily when soaring through the sky.
- It’s important that you land as fast as possible to gain an advantage over your opponents. To do this, you don’t want to dive bomb directly over your landing spot, but actually glide to your location. We’ve put together a how to land faster page which’ll explain this method in greater detail, and it’s well worth a read to get looted before your enemies!
- If you spy a number of enemies flying towards your landing spot, don’t flake out at the last minute, as this is more likely to get you killed. Instead, commit to landing fast and sprinting to the loot before they do. If you know other players are going to be nearby, this means you need to prioritise finding a weapon at all costs - and before they can...
- Choose your landing spots wisely as they’ll largely determine the outcome of the match. Go for somewhere notoriously populated to practice your aim and get geared up - if you emerge alive - or aim for a quieter spot if you want less noise and more time to get into the game itself. Our best landing and loot spots will give you a better idea of where to hit the ground running.
Once you're on the ground, it's all about tracking down the weapons, armour and items that you need to survive through the mid and late stages of a Blackout round.
- Any weapon will do when you’re in a landing location filled with enemies. Just grab anything at all and then scavenge for more.
- When looting, prioritise the kind of weapons and healing items that’ll come in handy throughout the match. Generally speaking, you’ll want a mid to long-range weapon, a short-range option, as well as a decent number of health and armour items.
- When it comes to looting in general, you are much more likely to find items and weapons inside buildings, rather than out in the open. Make sure you thoroughly ransack each building you come to to make sure you've got the very best loot from each spot. Only move on when you're sure the area's clear.
- Make sure you’re not wasting the consumable perks that are found amongst all the loot on the floor. Try and avoid stashing them away in your inventory and just use them as soon as you're either in - or about to enter - an engagement. For a complete overview of all the perks and their benefits in Blackout, our Perks list page is definitely worth a read.
- You can only carry so much loot in COD Blackout, so getting hold of a backpack as quickly as possible is a very good idea. Once you've snaffled one of these, you'll be able to carry a total of ten inventory items, rather than just five.
Zombies are very much present in COD Blackout. If you can both locate and destroy these creatures, you'll have th chance to bag some extremely powerful gear.
- Head to certain areas of the map and you’ll encounter waves of zombies. Kill them and you may stumble into some of the rarest weapons and items in the game, as well as the coveted Mystery Box which’ll supply you with a random item too. Our Mystery Box guide is worth a glance if you’re after all their locations, and are curious as to what these zombies have to offer.
- Be careful when taking on zombies as they’ve got a lot of health and are capable of dishing out a lot of damage too.
- Cover - any kind of cover - is your ever-present friend in Blackout. Minimise the amount of time you spend out in the open, as this is the easiest way for the other players to pick you off. You've no idea who's hiding around the next corner - or sniping from far away - so use every bit of cover you can find and always be thinking of your next escape route.
- Although certain areas are popular for getting geared up (and have an overall higher density of loot on offer), keep in mind that Treyarch has confirmed that weapon spawns are random. You won't find them in the same place each game.
- Supply Drops are present and correct in the game, just as they are in every other Battle Royale. They typically contain much better loot than you'll find lying around on the ground, but keep in mind that they will attract the attention of many other players. Don't expect to loot them without a fight.
- Once the end-game approaches, try to stay out of the open as much as possible. You can't build yourself a protective structure - unlike in Fortnite - but if you can get into cover when the final minutes roll around, you'll be in a position to strike against those who haven't been able to do the same.
- Don't forget that you can still make use of your wingsuit after landing on the map. If you run and then jump from a sufficiently tall building, you'll be able to glide your way to the ground and potentially escape a lethal firefight. Have a look at our article on how to deploy and use your wingsuit for more detail.
Weapons, Armour and Healing Tips
The bread and butter of your survival tools are the weapons, armour and healing items that are sprinkled generously across the Blackout map.
- It’s absolutely essential that you’re packing a mid to long-range weapon and a short-range option too. We’d recommend an Assault Rifle or Tactical Rifle, paired with either a Shotgun or Submachine Gun.
- Remember that weapons in Blackout are affected by bullet drop, unlike the traditional COD experience you’re probably used to. This means you’ve got to take into account distance when taking on enemies from afar.
- Sniper Rifles are well worth picking up if you’re after a weapon that can drop enemies at long ranges. The Paladin’s a real favourite of ours, but be warned that missing a shot could cost you. Take your time between shots for maximum efficiency.
- Make sure you’re picking up scopes as they’re extremely useful for long-range engagements and can save you from terrible iron sights!
- Many of the Assault Rifles and Submachine Guns in the game are well-balanced, so it's more or less what you're comfortable with that'll make the difference. With this said, there are clearly some weapons that are easier to handle than others. We've put together a best weapons page which'll give you a much clearer picture of the weapons you'll want to seek out!
- As there are no head defensive items in Blackout, headshots are an incredibly effective strategy and you should look for them at all opportunities. As a sniper, of course, you should be taking your time to line these up just right. You have the intel advantage, after all.
- If you've a scope on you, make use of it to check out the surrounding area while you're in cover, and before you go out exploring further. A quick sweep of the mid to long-range environment may well highlight trouble ahead of you. Knowledge is power!
- Silencers are incredibly useful in Blackout, as they allow you to do your work while minimising the attention you draw to yourself. If you find one, make sure you take some time out to attach it to your weapon of choice.
- Grenades are great for flushing out enemies holed up in a strong position. Chuck one at their feet, watch them sprint away and then drop them.
- Don’t be afraid to horde a tonne of healing items as they always come in useful when you need to top your health up. You never know when you might need them!
- There are three different healing items currently in the game: First Aid Kits, Med Kits and Trauma Kits. First Aids are quicker to apply than Med Kits and you should always have a stack of these about you. Note that Trauma Kits do the most healing, but you can't stack them in your inventory which makes them a bit of a luxury item if you find one.
- When you’re healing up, ensure that you’re in a safe position to do so. If you’re in the middle of a firefight and haven’t got anywhere particularly well-sheltered to turn to, try your best to stay on the move as you heal.
- The Trauma Kit is the strongest healing item in Blackout and heals you to max health plus a bonus 50 hit points. If you’ve got one spare when you’re nearing a fight, it’s worth popping it for the extra health buffer.
- If you'd like more information on the healing options in the game, have a look through our how to heal yourself in COD Blackout page.
- Shoot someone with armour equipped and a little armour icon will appear alongside your hitmarker.
- Armour’s a must-have as it can tank a load of damage for you, and to the point where it can take an opponent a full magazine to eliminate you.
- You should try to avoid combat as much as possible until you have at least a little of your own equipped. If you go up defenseless against another opponent wearing armour, you are at a huge disadvantage in the engagement.
Settings, System Requirements and Mouse Sensitivity
There's no substitute for experience when it comes to winning Blackout, but there are some important changes you can make to your system to increase your odds of winning.
- For those on PC, you’ll want to make sure that your graphics settings are set up so you can play Blackout with buttery smooth settings. Our best FPS settings guide has you covered on this front.
- If you’re experiencing a few hitches and stutters when playing Blackout, or if it’s not performing well at all, it may be that your PC isn’t quite up to scratch. Check our System Requirements page and see if your system fits the bill.
- Finally, it’s important that you’ve got your mouse sensitivity sorted with a DPI you feel totally comfortable with. This’ll make it much easier to not only aim at enemies, but turning and moving around the map will also feel more intuitive too. We've got a best mouse DPI and sensitivity guide for you if you'd like to do a bit of fine-tuning.