Call of Duty: Warzone wastes little time in getting you into its particular, Modern Warfare-flavored take on a battle royale game. As the Call of Duty franchise’s second crack at the popular genre following Black Ops 4’s Blackout, Warzone is a considerably more refined and squad-focused take–though, there now is an option to play Solo. That said, though Warzone still features all the familiar mechanics and moments of intense action you’d expect from a battle royale game, the mode introduces some surprising and somewhat unnerving twists to the formula to keep in mind.
In this quick guide, we’ve broken down some essential survival tips. From making smart choices with your minimal resources, being more of a team player, to learning how to fight dirty in the gulag; there’s a lot to take in during your first rounds in the Verdansk map, and we’re here to help.
1. Survival Is Essential (Don’t Give Up)
As obvious of a tip this may seem, Warzone takes a slightly different approach to the loop of running, gunning, and quitting to join another game after getting gunned down. Between the Gulag system and the ample Buy stations scattered around the map, there are lots of chances for your squad to get back to fighting strength, and possibly make a tremendous comeback. While other squad-focused battle royale games inspire feelings of dread and aimlessness after your teammates have been wiped, you still have a decent shot at reviving them if you have the cash and can manage to evade danger–provided they haven’t quit the game. Compared to other BR games, it’s pretty easy to get teammates back in Warzone–but you can’t do that if you’re dead. So stay focused and calm, even when the odds are against you.
2. Enjoy Your Stay In The Gulag
Modern Warfare’s most significant addition to the battle royale framework is the Gulag, a prison you’re dragged to after suffering a defeat in the match. After a few moments in prison, you’ll get matched up with another player for a one-on-one Gunfight match, where you’re given a random loadout of weapons and thrown into a fight together in the prison’s showers. Surrounding you are other players in the rafters egging you on, and they can even pelt you with rocks, which can add to the unnerving scenario. The winner of that fight will be redeployed back to the current match near their teammates, while the other is free to spectate, wait to be revived by a teammate, or quit out to try again in another match.
Essentially, the Gulag gives you an automatic second chance at redemption, provided you’ve got the skills and cunning to survive the prison’s trial. This limbo state is essentially a make or break moment for the match, allowing every player a shot at coming back into the match on their own terms. It’s also a noticeably different pace compared to the more reserved and patience pace of battle royale. In the Gulag, you’re rewarded for being crafty, using the environment to sneak up on your enemy. So as soon as you enter the prison, make sure to show everyone who’s boss in order to survive.
3. Use That Ping
If you’ve played Apex Legends, Fortnite, or any other modern shooter, then you know how essential the ping system is. It allows you to easily mark a location on the map, a spot in your field of vision, weapons, and of course, enemies in the distance. Warzone has a useful ping system, allowing you to easily communicate with your teammates even if you’re not using voice chat to talk with them. The ping system contextually marks items you focus on, and double-tapping it allows you to indicate active hot-zones and locations where some action is about to go down. Even if you’re talking with your teammates or playing with friends, get used to using the ping system extensively.
4. Don’t Forget To Mount Your Weapon
Warzone’s tutorial does a good job of teaching you the absolute basics, including one aspect you’ll be familiar with if you’ve played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: the ability to mount your weapon. This involves using an object nearby to steady your weapon, reducing the amount of recoil you have to compensate for when firing your gun. Understandably, this can be easy to forget in the middle of combat. While there are certainly times that it’s better to maintain your mobility, the ability to fire accurately can mean the difference between life and death in certain engagements. Try to make use of this early and often as you begin playing Warzone so that you can build muscle memory rather than allowing this ability to become an afterthought.
5. Always Pick Up Bounty And Scavenger Contracts
Contracts are side-objectives you and your squad can pick up in the field to earn some extra cash and resources. They are a fun wrinkle to Warzone’s take on battle royale, but it’s essential you don’t allow them to become a distraction–you don’t want to find yourself outside the ring or leaving yourself vulnerable to complete one. That said, there are undeniable benefits to picking up contracts that should not be ignored. Scavenger contracts will reward you for opening a series of supply boxes, but even if you don’t have the opportunity to collect all three, picking up the contract will still direct you to a cache containing money and loot. As such, if you’re light on cash or gear, a Scavenger contract will guide you right to where you want to go.
Similarly, a Bounty contract will alert you to the general location of a foe you need to hunt down. Do so successfully, and you’ll be rewarded. But even if you have no intention of completing the contract–say, if you’re low on armor or ammo–having the general location of an enemy (or potentially an enemy squad) can help you avoid combat altogether.
6. Go For Loadouts
If you’re not reviving your squad and have some cash to spare, you want to try to purchase a loadout pack whenever you can. Buying a loadout drop allows you to call down your personal, customized loadout from the rest of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s standard multiplayer modes. If you’ve put in the time and unlocked guns with attachments, it means you can bring in the best, most useful guns available in Warzone, without having to run around looting buildings and making yourself vulnerable.
The real benefit of getting your custom loadout in Warzone is the perks. Warzone players don’t start with multiplayer perks in a match, but if you can get your loadout into the game, you also get its perks, which have a lot of benefits in Warzone, like increasing your revive speed or making you sprint faster. Not every perk is handy, so it pays to build a Warzone loadout and have it ready to go. But amping up your speed or making Killstreaks cheaper to purchase in Warzone can give you a big advantage in battle, even if you get stuck with guns that aren’t your favorites. When a loadout drops onto the map, it’s visible to everyone, which means that going after another player’s package is usually worth the risk. The prizes can be worth it, especially when you feel you’ve gotten a poor gearset as you’re roaming the map.
7. Keep Track Of The Redeployment Flares
Between the Gulag and purchasing redeployments, a lot of players can rejoin Warzone matches even though they’ve been eliminated. But to make sure your teammates second or even third chances aren’t in vain, you’ll need to keep an eye out for their signal flares that shoot way up into the sky and glow brightly upon their redeployment. Flares often launch from the Buy stations where a squad can bring their teammate into the game, and when a flare gets launched, it means two things: a player is dropping back into the game with next to nothing on that spot, and a shorthanded squad is waiting nearby for a teammate to return.
As you can guess, these signals flares will be visible to all players. It’s up to you to figure out the best time to use them, as aggressive players can use flares as a guide to get the drop on weak teams and knock them out of the game. On the other hand, if you want to be cautious, flares are often a good indication of where not to go, since you know players will be waiting nearby–and the flare could draw other teams looking for an opportunistic attack. Either way, flares can give you a lot of information, so keep an eye out for them.
8. Be Smart With Your Cash
While out in the field and taking on different contracts, you’ll be able to collect cash for your soldier. This currency can purchase new equipment from the many shops scattered across the map. These shops include Rare- and Epic-level support items and weapons, which can come in clutch during a fight. With all that said, you’re much better off saving up your currency for when you feel you’ll need it most. Along with purchasing items, cash can be invested in redeploying downed squadmates. What’s interesting about the redeploy option is that it can still revive players who have fallen in battle after escaping the Gulag, giving them yet another chance at fighting in the current battle. Since every member of a squad has their pool of cash, you’ll want to make sure you still have enough money in your reserves in case a squadmate suffers an untimely fate.
9. Be A Team Player And Share The Wealth
Making sure you’re as well-equipped as you can be is a key part of any battle royale game, but since Warzone is about squads of three, you also want your teammates to be in good shape. Each player in Warzone gathers cash separately, so when you’re thinking about potentially hitting a Buy station, it’s usually best to pool your squad’s resources together. Collecting money can be somewhat slow for a single person, but a whole team can combine their funds, and between two or three of you, you’ll often find you can afford things like loadouts or squad redeployments without too much effort.
This also extends to gear and other items on the field. One big thing to keep an eye on is armor, which can be the deciding factor in a gunfight. You can equip three pieces of armor on yourself at any given time, but you can carry up to five pieces. Having a couple of spare pieces of armor can help you if you get into trouble, but if your teammates are low, the better plan might be to share them. You can quickly pull up your inventory with Down on the D-Pad or TAB on PC, then highlight an item and drop it for a teammate. That includes armor pieces, which can help bring your squad up to full strength quickly–especially if someone died and had to be redeployed.
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