Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Blackout tips and tricks | Your guide to conquering CoD's Battle Royale

Tom Hoggins
Call of Duty Black Ops 4, including Battle Royale mode Blackout, is released on 12 October for PS4, Xbox One and PC

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which is out now on PS4, Xbox One and PC, is diving into the Battle Royale arena with Blackout, a military take on the popular mode made phenomenon by Fortnite.

A large group of players will be dropped onto the Blackout map, forced to scavenge for weapons as a circle encloses the combatants and forces them together. Last player standing wins.

Many Blackout players will likely be familiar with the Battle Royale format due to Fortnite or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but Call of Duty will bring its own sense of fast-paced combat to the mix. To get an edge on the Battle Royale battlefield, we spoke Dan Bunting, co-studio head of developer Treyarch to get his top tips on surviving your first drops into the fray.

What to do when you first drop into the Blackout map?

Find a weapon. Plain and simple. It doesn’t get much more complicated than that. The first thing you have to do is find a weapon. If you don’t, the guy next to you is going to find one first and that will be the end of the round for you. So find a weapon fast. From there try to move tactically and keep yourself clear of combat until you have enough equipment so you can defend against enemy attacks.

Where you land on the map could be the key to success in Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Blackout

Where should new players aim to land if they don’t want to get shot straight away?

Anywhere that’s not the center! The map has hotspots where players are likely to drop into. For new players who might be a bit more timed or hesitant to engage in combat right away, there are lots of little outposts; smaller clusters of houses and buildings. That’s a place you would want to drop because it’s less likely you are going to encounter the resistance right off the bat, but you should find enough gear to defend yourself if you need to.

What about skilled Blackout players that want to get into a scrap?

They should drop right in the middle at Firing Range and duke it out right off the bat. That’s a best-player-wins kind of engagement. There are tons of locations like Raid from Black Ops 2, which is a location lots of players like to jump into. Cargo Docks; a lot of players like to jump there. And there’s Nuketown Island, which is a total gamble, because a lot of players like to go there and it tends to be a very tense environment as you are talking about a lot of tight corridors, lots of indoor and outdoor spaces. A lot of times players can sneak up on you in that spot. It’s one of the most exciting places to jump, but you do so at your own risk.

The Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Blackout map

What is the best strategy for the circle in Blackout? Skirt around the edge, or stay in the middle?

I think there are conflicting opinions about the strategy. Some people like to get right in the middle of the circle as much as they can and just hold up in defence. Other players will skirt the edge to make sure they have their flanks covered. Both are viable strategies. I tend to like to hang around the edge of the circle a bit more. I think a lot of the time its harder to defend from a middle position, because you have a lot of combatants coming from all different angles. Flanking around the outside, you have fewer angles you have to defend.

Should players head straight for the zombie outposts in Blackout to grab the best loot?

It’s a lot of fun to fight zombies and they do drop loot and of course the mystery box is where you get some good stuff (such as the ray gun). The thing you have to watch out for is that if you are too busy fighting zombies you might get shot by a player unexpectedly. You always have to be on your toes in those areas.

Whatever your circle strategy in Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Blackout, you can get around on the game's myriad vehicles

In Blackout’s duos and squads, is it best to stick together or divide and conquer?

It really depends on the situation. A lot of times if you are not in combat you want to stick together so you can watch the different angles of approach. But when you engage in combat you want to spread out a little bit. Don’t get too far apart because you want to be able to revive your teammates, but if you’re all concentrated in one position you are much easier to shoot. You are like fish in a barrel there. So you want to spread out a little bit so you can encircle the enemy and attack them from different angles and confuse them.

What are the best equipment and weapon types to look out for in Blackout’s map?

Armour is always a necessity in the mode, you always want to get to the highest level armour you can. You can find level 1 or 2 armour in pretty much every location. Level 3 armour is much harder to come by but provides much extra protection and gives you headshot protection which the other levels don’t do.

You want to find armour and good guns. I like to find a mix of medium range and long range. An assault rifle and a sniper rifle tends to be my go-to. But it does depend as some players might want to be more aggressive and get in close with an SMG that can fire a lot of bullets really fast. So that depends on your playstyle.

What are your top overall tips and tricks to improve your Blackout skills?

Don’t be afraid to be aggressive. Most players who are timid tend to want to back off a lot. If you back off a lot. When you back off the more aggressive players are going to push in and put you on your back heel. That’s never a good position to be in. You want to be the person in there getting the first shots off, being aggressive and catching them by surprise.

That’s something to keep practicing and get good at. The best sort of practice is to drop in the hotspots. We call it hotdropping. So you want to hot drop over and over again, practice up as much as you can and try to get comfortable being aggressive against other players.

And if all else fails?

Just hide!

  • Call of Duty Black Ops 4 is released on 12 October for PS4, Xbox One and PC