Catch up to veteran Call of Duty players with our 'Infinite Warfare' beginner's guide

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Activision
Call of Duty has been around for more than a decade, but the series’ core multiplayer experience has gone through some intense changes in its last few iterations. The new Call of Duty has abandoned a lot of its slower, more tactical gameplay in favor of wall-runs, double-jumps, and fast slides to pick up the pace. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare builds on many of these changes, making more important than ever to update your skill-set.

If you keep finding yourself getting blown away by laser guns and deadly space-age robots in the multiplayer trenches of Infinite Warfare, try deploying these tips to bring yourself back down to Earth.

Actually, go slow

Here’s the thing about Infinite Warfare: it feels like you should be running your ass off at all times. After all, you can move pretty fast — you can run on walls, you can slide into combat, and you’ve got your jump jetpack that lets you fly a little through the air. Instead of walking through Call of Duty maps, checking corners and sticking with teammates like in older games in the series, the impulse now is to charge straight into battle with all your cool new tricks.

Except you shouldn’t do that. Infinite Warfare has all the new moves of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, but they are layered on top of lot of old CoD trappings. Running across walls doesn’t make you bulletproof, so you will still die very quickly when someone starts shooting you. Getting shot will cause your aim to buck around crazily, making it hard to respond to incoming danger.

The fact is, when you sprint, wall-run, and double-jump, you’re actually very vulnerable. So while it’s tempting to zip around maps trying to find the next battle, don’t do it. Instead, take a page from older Call of Duty: move slower, keep to cover, and try to minimize chances for someone to shoot you in the back.

In Infinite Warfare, the first to see their opponent is usually the winner in most fights. Rely on outsmarting other players over relying on twitch reflexes, and minimize the time you spend out in the open as much as you can.

Use your space-moves to flank, not attack

While Infinite Warfare’s running-and-gunning capabilities often leave you very vulnerable, but your space moves can get you to handy places, often behind enemies and off the beaten path. Call of Duty players can get a lot done with positional advantage — having high ground, long sight lines and cover — and your cool moves let you create opportunities to get the jump on the other team.

COD Infinite Warfare Multiplayer

Even in close combat, moving in unpredictable way can be the difference between life and death. The occasional double-jump might save your life in a battle by confusing an opponent if you have the time. Sliding through doorways or around corners is a great way to make yourself a smaller target, but you should employ those moves strategically. Stay out of the open and catch people when they are in the open.

The fastest gun in space

Some of the weapons in Infinite Warfare fire crazy fast, and the quicker they can dump bullets into enemies, the quicker those enemies go down. Though many players prefer to aim down-sights when engaging an opponent, the speed with which you can kill or be killed in Infinite Warfare (the “time to kill” or “TTK” for players in the know) is so fast that the fraction of a second wasted in bringing your gun up to your face can often cost you a battle.

A good place to start for dealing with that is to find a gun that fires fast and get comfortable using it. Having the edge in TTK can mean more battles won. Similarly, Infinite Warfare is a game where shooting from the hip in an emergency situation can be more effective than in previous titles, especially when you happen on an enemy at close quarters. Get out of the habit of stopping to aim unless you have to, because you might kill your opponent so fast, you realize you didn’t need additional accuracy.

Don’t be afraid to mix things up

There are an insane number of guns, attachments, “payloads,” “rigs,” explosives, scorestreaks, perks and abilities on offer in Infinite Warfare’s multiplayer. The “Pick 10” system from the last few Call of Duty games is back, allowing you to customize your loadout by allocating 10 “points” worth of gear, rather than using a specific set of loadout options. That means if you ditch your grenade, you can add another weapon attachment, or an additional perk. Leave your secondary weapon behind, and you can stock up on extra explosives. There are a whole lot of possibilities, and a huge number of options to unlock along the way.

COD Infinite Warfare Multiplayer

With so much stuff available, customization can get daunting, but it is essential to Infinite Warfare success. You can build your very own perfect loadout, whether it’s heavy on perks, guns, explosives, or what have you. The only thing it takes is time to figure out what loadout structures work for how you play, then hone them to your perfect experience. If you don’t like how things have been working out for you on the battlefield, try moving some items around.

Earn prototype weapons

A big new addition to the Infinite Warfare multiplayer model is “prototype weapons,” which you can unlock over time by completing mission objectives you get from various multiplayer factions (don’t worry if that sounds confusing. You’ll understand when you play thanks to a quick in-game tutorial explaining what the factions do). Those goals — which involve things like getting kill streaks, racking up kills with particular weapons, and other in-game milestones — unlock new skins and weapons, including special weapons called prototypes.

Prototypes are special guns for multiplayer that have their own unique pros and cons. For example: An automatic pistol that fires a full magazine of bullets with one pull of the trigger. Like the rest of the customization in the game, prototypes can mean the difference in your play style. Some are also pretty rare and offer you capabilities you’d never otherwise receive, so it’s worth investing in the system.

You can also craft prototype using “salvage,” which is earned by scrapping customization options you don’t want, and by earning keys to open “supply drops.”

Save your keys

Similar to games like Overwatch and Gears of War 4, Infinite Warfare’s supply drop system allows players to trade in-game currency for a box of randomly selected loot. Many of items found in drops are cosmetic alterations of weapons — but some are slightly tweaked, better versions of the standard guns. So there’s a benefit in caring about those supply drops.

COD Infinite Warfare Multiplayer

While that sounds tempting, you’re better off holding onto your keys for a bit. Resist the temptation to spend them on common supply drops, or to burn them while you’re at low levels. Instead, wait till you’ve unlocked some stuff and raised your level, as you’ll be able to use (and understand the benefits of) your new guns sooner. Make those keys count.

Throw grenades while firing

Here’s a big, useful change to how Call of Duty usually works: you throw grenades with your left hand and fire your gun with your right. That means you can do both at once, or, more specifically, you can “cook” a grenade — press and hold the trigger for a few seconds before throwing a grenade, so enemies can’t run before it explodes — while you’re still shooting your gun. It’s a little change, but one that makes you less vulnerable while throwing grenades, and allows you to use them more effectively once the fighting has started. You probably won’t be constantly whipping grenades at enemies while shooting them, but at least practice using the capability so that you don’t stop firing to throw: Despite what we said about not relying on twitch-reflexes, Call of Duty rely on muscle memory, and you’ll want to re-train your brain to take advantage of the change.

Let the deaths roll off you

Even if you’re a seasoned Call of Duty player, you might find yourself getting decimated in multiplayer from time to time. Infinite Warfare feels like it has a tougher learning curve than previous titles in the series. Deaths come faster, the maps are more maze-like and looping, players get behind you more often, and weapons feel different from CoD’s of the past. It’s going to take a while to get used to it.

COD Infinite Warfare Multiplayer

Do your best to minimize deaths by playing smart — don’t rush into unknown areas or active gunfights, avoid wandering into easy ambush points, and don’t stray too far from your teammates. But also realize that you’re likely going to die a lot. It might take a bit to get comfortable enough with Infinite Warfare to be a real competitor. Call of Duty games are extremely popular; you can stand to relax, ease into it, and learn to be good, since there will be players filling up matches for at least the next year. Take your time, try to watch and learn from other good players, and avoid getting too frustrated.

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