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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Zombies tips and tricks

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 was the game that set the current state of Call of Duty in motion. Blackout mode was the franchise’s first take on battle royale and followed the cut-and-dried model laid out by Fortnite. Fast-forward to 2020 and everybody knows how popular Call of Duty: Warzone has become. While Black Ops 4 only dipped its toes in battle royale, it gave us some incredible zombie experiences, the likes of which we had never seen. Black Ops: Cold War picked up the mantle, but there’s something about fending off zombie hordes in ancient Aztec ruins that hits differently. Here are some helpful tips and tricks if you find yourself diving back into Zombie mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

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There are two separate campaigns split across three maps

The standard version of Black Ops 4 currently has three different Zombies maps to play, but these are split across two separate storylines, and each have their own loadouts. The maps “IX” and “Voyage of Despair” are part of one storyline, while the map “Blood of the Dead” is part of another. The perks, elixirs, and customization options you choose in one do not affect the other, so ensure you have everything you need for the current map before you enter a game.

Don’t forget to choose elixirs

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Black Ops 4 automatically equips your characters with four “elixirs” — special items that grant you unique abilities during a Zombies match. However, you aren’t stuck with the ones you’ve been given. In the bottom-left corner of the main Zombies menu, you’ll spot an option to buy new elixirs. Using the money you’ve earned from matches, you can purchase three random elixirs, which can then be swapped in for your current choices.

Experiment and find what works best for you, but do not use the “Anywhere But Here!” elixir if you’re playing with a group of humans. The elixir transports you to a random spot on the map, and this has the potential to completely separate you from your group, and can lead to a quick mission failure.

Spend points to open new areas ASAP

Each map starts you in a small area. Breaking out of that area is important. If you don’t explore the rest of the map, you’ll find yourself quickly outmatched by the hordes of zombies drawing near.

To remedy that, don’t immediately spend your points on new weapons. Instead, open up the doors located around the zone. These will lead to spots with better weapons and perk shrines, as well as more room to maneuver.

You’ll also see doors marked with a red rune. These can only be unlocked after completing a task. In the Voyage of Despair mission, you must recover an artifact at the other end of the Titanic to open this, for instance – once you do that, you’ll find even more powerful gear that can help you survive several more rounds.

Use bots. They are your friends

Official Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4 Zombies – Blood of the Dead Trailer

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 can be played completely solo without the assistance of any other teammates, but if you are knocked down during a match by yourself, you automatically lose. However, you can add up to three computer-controlled teammates to fight alongside you. At the lobby but before you begin the match, you should spot an option to add bots. You can hit it a few times to add more to your game, and doing so will give you a huge advantage.

Not only are bots able to revive you like a regular human player can, but they can also take far more damage and absolutely slaughter zombies. It feels a little like cheating, but zombies don’t exactly play fair.

Wait for ‘Max Ammo’ instead of buying ammo

The weapon purchase points located on the walls of each Zombies map also include the ability to purchase additional ammunition for a fee. If you’re in an absolute bind or you’re playing alone, you can spend some of your cash to refill your stock this way, but you’ll very rarely need to in a group. Killed zombies often drop the “Max Ammo” bonus reward, which instantly refills every players’ stock of ammunition in both their weapons.

Because of this, if your favorite weapon is looking low on ammunition, briefly switch to your backup and continue killing zombies as best you can. Before too long, someone on your team will get your ammunition fully refilled.

Don’t pick a bolt-action rifle. Do pick the SMG or Shotgun

Official Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4 Zombies – Chaos Story Trailer

In earlier rounds of Zombies, slow-firing weapons you’ll find on the wall can seem like a big upgrade from your initial revolver, but when you start facing numerous enemies at once, they become all but useless. Any assault rifle or submachine gun with a high rate of fire will serve you well, and for your secondary weapon, a shotgun is a great choice. You can quickly take out a few zombies with a single shell, particularly when they’re struggling to get through a boarded-up area.

Every character in Zombies also has access to a special “Wonder Weapon” that deals extreme damage and has special properties. You can swap them out regardless of which character you’re actually playing as in the mode, so experiment and find a few that you particularly like. For escaping a crowd of Zombies, two great choices are the Hammer of Valhalla and the Path of Sorrows. Both are melee weapons that deal a damaging strike in front of you, swinging from side to side to take out as many nearby enemies as possible.

Check behind you — right now

If you don’t know where the Zombies are in a given round, they’re probably right behind you. Seemingly without failure, zombies will appear and attack you as soon as your back is turned, so it’s important to regularly turn around just to ensure you aren’t being stealth-attacked by the undead. Failing to do this is the quickest way to be eliminated, which can lead to headaches – or worse – for the rest of your team.

Provided that you have enough firepower, you can avoid this by placing yourself against a corner of a room. This does open up the potential of being trapped, but you can usually use a Wonder Weapon to get out of a pinch.

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Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
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