Another week, another battle royale. Yes, Call of Duty: Warzone is a standalone free-to-play experience building off the back of the franchise’s first attempt at the genre in Black Ops 4.
After installing the whopping 80 - 100GB install (for those that already have Modern Warfare downloaded it’s closer to 20GB), it’s easy to get familiar with the setup for anyone that has jumped into a battle royale this generation.
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However, Call of Duty: Warzone changes quite a few elements up from the typical battle royale formula. More so, the game has already done gangbusters, being downloaded more than six million times in 24 hours. That’s more than double what Apex Legends achieved during the same amount of time.
So, for anyone looking to join the party and wants to get to grips with the shooter, we’ve put together a handy beginner’s guide that’ll make you feel like Captain Price on entry… rather than ending up in the Gulag within minutes.
Know the basics of Battle Royale
First thing to be aware of is that Warzone features two modes, with the aforementioned Battle Royale headlining the release. Here, 150 players drop onto a map and in teams of three fight it out for survival while an ever-enclosing ring (this time gas) pushes participants together. If killed, users are sent to the Gulag before being given a chance to return to the battlefield in a one-on-one fight against an enemy. Lose this, and you are out for good. Note: Players can only be sent to the Gulag once.
Fight for cash in Plunder
The second mode available is Plunder which again in trios sees teams collecting cash with the first group to reach $1 million crowned champions. To claim the currency, helicopters and portable deposit balloons must be used, while the squads carrying the largest amount of cash are circled with a big red money bag symbol on the map. If killed, players are respawned but will drop any hard-earned money.
Master vehicular warfare
Scattered across Verdansk are numerous vehicles to take advantage of. Most notably, because of the huge scale of the map, players will need to make use of these machines for traversal – especially with the gas cloud looming. Vehicles found in-game include: ATV, Cargo Truck, SUV, Tactical Rover and Helicopter.
Furthermore, these uses of transport can be handy for a quick escape from any hairy situations as well as for running over/kamikazeing opponents.
Learn the TAC Map
The TAC map is peppered with places of interest, vehicles, contracts, squad whereabouts and more. It’s imperative that you understand the meanings of each so you don’t have to rely on the legend throughout.
Completing the introductory tutorial that the game encourages you to run through is a good start, but taking a minute to read through everything and make sure it all makes sense can go a long way. We know how tempting it can be to go in all guns and blazing, but for those looking to make it to the end, the TAC Map can be vital.
Learn to Ping
Similar to Apex Legends, Warzone features a Ping system to make teammates aware of surroundings, albeit a much more stripped back one that focuses on the essentials. While it may not be as expansive as its competitors, using the Ping system is necessary to get a rhythm going if you want any chance of making it down to the final few. Spotting an enemy or making comrades aware of a weapon are useful, but strategizing and positioning correctly is what makes a winner.
When deployed, players need to release their parachute before they hit the ground or can face an early (and slightly embarrassing) death. Sometimes, if unprompted the shoot will open automatically before impact, though other times we’ve found it won’t. Possibly a bug that needs looking at however in the meantime, learn how close you need to be to the ground before pulling your shoot as well as how to quickly get the ground before the competition.
Take to the skies
Additionally, while we’re on the topic of aerial tactics, one thing worth being aware of is that combat begins as soon as you dive out of the plane. If players ‘cut the rope’ (let go of their shoot) early, your soldier brings up their weapon, allowing for some cheeky shots all while plummeting. Not only is this a smart way to start off the match, but it can also lead to some spectacular kills – see below.
ahaaa why is this a thing? @CallofDuty #warzone pic.twitter.com/H1BpL2OUT5March 11, 2020
Have patience in the Gulag
The Gulag is an interesting choice that differs Call of Duty’s take on battle royale, giving everyone a second chance to return to the fight. Going mano-a-mano against a competitor in a last gasp attempt and outsmarting opponents is the key to victory here.
Since you’re contained in a small jail cell with identical weapons, being in the Gulag can often be a very western scenario that comes down to who has the best reactions. Alternatively, as both troopers’ race towards one another for freedom, it can serve just as well to breathe and wait for the enemy to come your line of sight. Then, take ‘em down.