‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’: Tips and tricks for surviving Blackout mode

Be the last player standing with our Call of Duty 4 Blackout mode survival tips

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 joins a growing list of shooters to embrace the battle royale format with its new mode, Blackout. Like other games in the genre, it has a deceptively simple premise: A large group of players drops onto a big island, and only one person or team can win. To increase the chances of survival, everyone must find weapons and equipment like body armor, first aid kits, grenades and more, by searching through various buildings as soon as they land.

Blackout tips and tricks

Blackout is a lot like other battle royale games, so if you’re a player of games like PUBG, H1Z1 or Fortnite, a lot of your skills and strategies are going to carry over. If you’re new to the genre or to Blackout’s take on it, there are things you’re going to need to know if you want to do well. We’ve put together some solid tips to help you take down other players and make the most out of your early matches, so you can work toward being the last player standing when the Blackout begins.

1. Loot and scoot

call of duty black ops 4 blackout beginners guide loot and scoot

One of the key strategies in battle royale games is to stay mobile — something players call “loot and scoot.” The idea is that you get into a building, grab everything you can, and keep moving. It’s true that you’re more vulnerable out in the open and that some players like to hole up in one of the first structures they come across, but high-level battle royale players know that you’re better off constantly improving your gear. The players who continue to loot buildings get better weapons, which makes them much more effective when they finally face against other players. If you want to win, you’re going to need to kill somebody eventually.

2. Close the door behind you

call of duty black ops 4 blackout beginners guide doors

A quick, largely reliable way to get a sense of buildings you should avoid (or maybe approach) is by noting whether their doors are open. All doors are closed at the start of a Blackout match, so if you see a building with a door open it means someone else has already been there — or might still be. By the same token, closing doors on the buildings you’re looting can make it tough for other players to track your movements, and give you a chance to ambush them if you hear them come in. As you get better at the game, you’ll likely worry less about doors and focus more on speed, but as you’re learning the ropes, stealth is a better strategy.

3. Keep an eye on the circle

call of duty black ops 4 blackout beginners guide avoid the circle

If you’re new to battle royale games, you’ll want to spend a minute familiarizing yourself with “the circle” and how it works. As a match continues in Blackout, the play area of the map will shrink in order to force players closer together and into battles. The game telegraphs when the circle is about to shrink, displaying where you need to go and when in order to avoid it. As the circle shrinks, the blue perimeter will travel across the map dealing damage to players caught within it. The damage is fairly minimal to start but increases over time, until it’s pretty much a death sentence.

It’s worth letting the circle hurt you a few times at different points during your early matches, so you know what to expect from it. There are going to be times when you get caught in the field or see an opportunity that’s outside the circle — like a vehicle, for example — and you’ll need to know if it’s worth the risk. Finally, note that other players are also trying to escape the circle too, which means you can predict where they might be coming from as it closes in.

4. Be quiet

call of duty black ops 4 blackout beginners guide minimize sound

The sound effects in Blackout aren’t as loud as other battle royale games, but you’ll still find yourself relying on them. In most encounters, you’ll hear people before you see them, and usually because they’re running around or firing their weapons. Listening carefully will give you the upper hand because it will help you narrow down where players are coming from.

Make sure to play with headphones on so you can hear clearly and accurately pinpoint the locations of other players. Try to minimize the amount of noise you make by only sprinting when necessary and firing your gun when you’re positive you can get a kill. Be careful about approaching buildings and giving yourself away to someone who might be inside listening for other players to kill.

5. Manage your inventory

call of duty black ops 4 blackout beginners guide don't pick up everything

When you pick up a weapon attachment that fits your current gun in Blackout, the game automatically attaches it — a welcomed improvement to the meticulous inventory management found in other battle royale games. Problems start to arise when you rack up on all kinds of scopes, magazines, and barrels for guns you don’t have in hopes of finding the weapon they belong to.

There’s going to be a lot of items you’ll want to hold on to but keep in mind that sorting through all that inventory later will leave you vulnerable. It’s better to figure out exactly which items you want to avoid picking up stuff that will just clog your inventory.

6. Use vehicles sparingly

call of duty black ops 4 blackout beginners guide vehicles

Getting around the Blackout map fast will keep you alive, especially when the circle starts to close in. Don’t be afraid to use vehicles for escaping to safety, getting the drop on other players, and keeping yourself in the safe zone.

Just keep in mind that vehicles are extremely loud, so every time you jump into one, you’re giving away your position to everyone in the area. Despite being fast and mobile, you’re still vulnerable to gunfire so prepare to avoid incoming shots with speed.

7. Use your perks

call of duty black ops 4 blackout beginners guide perks

The Perks that let players customize their abilities in Call of Duty games still exist in Blackout, but you don’t choose them at the start of a match — you find them in buildings just like weapons and other equipment. Perks do all kinds of things that include allowing you to see an enemy’s planted equipment, helping you move faster while crouched or prone, and cutting the time it takes to use healing items.

Don’t sleep on using perks; once you find them, don’t forget to use them. They last for a set period of time, and you will not want to deploy them in the heat of battle. Plus, if you fire up your perks, other players can’t take them if they defeat you.

8. Use tools and traps

call of duty black ops 4 blackout beginners guide grapple gun equipment

Special equipment is also available in Blackout. These include items such as barricades and mines that you can deploy as traps. These can give you an edge over the competition. The grappling hook gun, for example, can help you zip across short distances and onto rooftops. High ground gives you a significant advantage in firefights, providing an opportunity to ambush players hiding out in buildings since many won’t expect an attack coming from the roof as opposed to the ground floor.

9. Avoid the zombies

call of duty black ops 4 blackout beginners guide zombies

Blackout adds Call of Duty flare by adding zombies. You won’t necessarily run into them super often, but they can throw a kink in your attempts to stay alive and come out on top. If you see a zombie in Blackout, avoid shooting it. There’s no benefit to doing it and you’ll more than likely give away your position and risk getting taken out. If you have to deal with zombies to save your own life, that’s one thing, but if you can escape, go with that option instead.

10. Use your wingsuit

call of duty black ops 4 blackout beginners guide wingsuit

When you first enter the battle zone in Blackout, you’ll jump from a helicopter, using a wingsuit and parachute to land at your desired location. But this isn’t the only time you can use the wingsuit — it’s still accessible but only if you’re high enough to deploy it. Spring and jump from a high place, holding the jump button to deploy your wings.

This will allow you to glide a short distance. This can be useful when you need to escape a deadly situation or avoid taking fall damage. It can also provide you with a few seconds of camouflage. Note that you need to be very high to have enough time to deploy the wingsuit, so make sure you’re jumping from a tall building or out of a helicopter.

11. Learn from losing

call of duty black ops 4 blackout beginners guide learn the ropes by dying

Blackout includes two really useful elements right out of the gate: Killcams and the ability to spectate other players. Watch both, because the best way to learn and get good at Blackout is to try things, die, and see how other people do things. It’s actually a decent strategy to start your first few games jumping into the most populous areas you can, in order to learn how to contend with players quickly.

Knowing which guns you like and which you don’t will help you prioritize your pickups, and getting experience with how each gun shoots in various situations — close range, long range, from the hip and down the sights — will help you win battles later. Spend some time dying to see how things feel, and watch the people who kill you to learn their tricks.

Product Review

'Black Ops 4' learns a few new tricks, but it's Call of Duty to the core

Despite nods to hero-based tactical gameplay, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s multiplayer feels as stable as ever -- even as the game trades in its story-driven campaign for the new Blackout mode.

From Blackout to Zombies, here's everything we know about 'Black Ops 4'

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 arrives on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 12. Here's everything you need to know about the game, including info on multiplayer, Zombies, Blackout, and Signature Weapons.

Get funky and launch rockets at enemies in ‘Fortnite’ update 6.02

Epic Games has added a new limited-time Disco Domination mode to Fortnite. The mode sees two teams face off in a dance battle on the battle royale map. A new rocket launcher was also added.

Get caught up on all things 'Fallout 76,' including when the beta starts

Bethesda's Fallout 76 takes the open world series in a new direction. With an emphasis on co-op, survival, and rebuilding a broken world, Fallout 76 will be the largest and most challenging game in the franchise yet.

W. Virginia isn’t for mutants, but its tourism board doesn’t mind if you think so

Bethesda and the state of West Virginia are partnering on a new tourism program intended to bring Fallout 76 fans to the state. Vault Boy sightings have been recorded across West Virginia already.

GameStop manager marks ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ launch by mimicking cover art

To celebrate the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, GameStop stores held midnight launch events across the United States. One manager even cosplayed as the cover star from the game, complete with an accurate haircut.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

Here’s our guide on how to get ‘Fortnite’ on your Android device

'Fortnite: Battle Royale' is one of the biggest games in the world right now, and it's finally on Android, even if getting set up is a bit long-winded. Here's how to play 'Fortnite: Battle Royale' on an Android device.

Put your iPad Pro to the test with these great games

Did you recently purchase a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, or are you enjoying the 12.9-inch version? If so, we've rounded up a few of the best iPad Pro games currently available on Apple's mobile platform.

Open-world video games are getting too big for their own good

As technology has progressed, open-world video games have grown increasingly bigger. What seems like a universal positive has shown problems preventing the genre from truly moving forward, however.
Product Review

The Oculus Rift is cheaper, the Vive Pro is better. Is the original Vive still worth it?

The Oculus Rift may have brought virtual reality into the public eye, but HTC’s Vive, built in partnership with Valve, does it better. Does the Vive still represent the true future of virtual reality, or are there better competitors on…

As deaf gamers speak up, game studios are finally listening to those who can’t

Using social media, personal blogs and Twitch, a small group of deaf and hard-of-hearing players have been working to make their voices heard and improve accessibility in the gaming industry.

Nvidia is slowly rolling out its next generation of GPUs. Here's what you need to know about them

Nvidia's new RTX 2000 series graphics cards are impressive pieces of hardware, with some amazing advancements and some rather high price tags to match. Here's everything you need to know about Nvidia's new top-tier cards.