Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has changed the battle royale battlefield with its take on the formula: Blackout. Veterans of the battle royale genre are all diving over to experience a polished, triple-A experience, and even some battle royale novices are joining the fight. If you’re new to Blackout, or just looking to tighten up your game, we’ve got some killer tips to help you win more matches in Blackout.
Where to drop
Knowing where to drop in Blackout is likely going to be the biggest hurdle at the very beginning of a match. There are several big-target locations to drop, all drawing a lot of players, but also some minor areas that offer size-appropriate gear. For the first few matches, it can be a good idea to go for a long-range drop away from the main flight path.
While in the staging area, taking the time to inspect the map can result in better drop choices. Look along the line of where the helicopters will be flying and then see if there are any big-ticket drop points perpendicular to the trajectory. If a location looks to be too far away, try to increase your speed by dropping straight down for a few seconds, and then level out.
As you improve at looting and understanding the layout of the Blackout map, step up your game and begin dropping where other players go. Engaging in fights immediately is an excellent way of learning how the various weapons and mechanics work.
Out of all of the possible tips you could get for winning more Blackout matches, the ultimate one is to stay frosty. Staying frosty means Stay Alert. Pay attention to your surroundings, look for doors that might be open or windows that are broken, and of course, listen out for footsteps and gunshots that will alert you to someone nearby. There are a lot of clues and details that you can use to better pick a path to your next target or even get the jump on another player, the trick is to look and listen. No matter where you go in Blackout, always keep an ear out for footsteps or the shattering of glass and always look for things that look out of place.
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One of the biggest assets you have in a match of Blackout are the perks scattered around the map. These little protective briefcases offer you various short-term abilities that will drastically improve how you find gear, interact with other players, and even how quickly you heal.
The question most players will have is when to use these perks, whether to wait for an opportune time or use them immediately. The answer to this depends entirely on the perk that is picked up and what is happening around you at the moment. For the most part, activating an item straight away is perfectly fine, as it takes up precious inventory space. However, a perk like Outlander, which reduces damage and makes you run faster in the Collapse, is useful in the late-game where spending time in the Collapse can be a tactical decision.
To figure out whether a perk should be used or saved until later, read its effect and then apply it to your immediate situation and where you will be in the next two to three minutes. If the perk will help you within the next short while, use it immediately. If it isn’t going to assist you immediately or even in the final moments, leave it on the ground.
As we touched on above in the perk section, managing your inventory is critical to a smooth experience. There’s nothing worse than trying to quickly loot a health item or pick up a gun only to discover you don’t have enough room in your utility belt (or your backpack).
Taking the time to check your inventory and get rid of anything you don’t need (like spare scopes and attachments that don’t fit) will leave you in a position with room to pick up something worthwhile. At the beginning of a match, it can be easy to stock up on several attachments and then forget about them as you move toward the next circle. A good strategy is to take a few seconds, equip as many attachments as possible, and then drop everything else.
Read the circle
It goes by many different names, some call it the blue zone, others call it the storm, but every battle royale has it in common: the circle. The ever-shrinking area of play will force players to move closer together, resulting in more battles and deaths. Like death and taxes, the circle cannot be ignore and it will come for everyone sooner or later, but those players who work with it and follow its rules will be better off.
The best rule when dealing with the Collapse (Blackout’s circle) is applicable to every single battle royale game: stick to the smaller side. As the Collapse closes in toward the next circle, each side will reach the circle at the same time, which means the area with the biggest gap will be travelling faster than the section with the smallest gap. By sticking to the small side, players will have more time to reposition and will be able to avoid getting hit by a fast-moving wall of death. It can certainly lead to a moment of panic when the sound of the Collapse begins – it’s fast becoming one of the most iconic sounds of Call of Duty after all.
Blackout has taken the battle royale genre to new levels, but claiming wins will mean you have to take it to the next level as well. Keep these tips in mind next time you drop into a game and hopefully those victories will become a frequent occurrence. The only question now is where can the battle royale genre go now that Blackout has offered such a polished experience?