Black Ops: Dominate Your Opponents Multiplayer Guide
by: Lynda Mc Donald
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/18/2012
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Everything you need to know in order to play well in Black Ops Multiplayer. Learn how to choose the right weapon, equipment and perks and keep your killstreaks going.
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So you thought Modern Warfare 2 was a challenge? And if you didn’t play Modern Warfare 2 at all you probably feel like you’ve been thrown in at the deep end right now. Since so many people have now been playing Call of Duty online for years Treyarch decided to throw in a lifeline for those who are struggling – Combat Training.
Getting the balance right on Combat Training can be tough. Play on recruit the whole time and you won’t learn anything – in fact you could end up making yourself an easier target online, assuming your prey will act like Recruit bots and run out in the open constantly, pausing for long periods while aiming at you. But, on the other hand, if you decide to try Veteran from the get go you may find yourself very disheartened and frustrated seeing as the bots know exactly where you are at all times and aim before you even turn a corner.
The best approach, especially for those that have never played Call of Duty before is to start out on Recruit simply to get used to the killstreaks. Yes it will be laughably easy and sometimes a little boring but you will become so used to earning high range killstreaks and can train yourself not to panic when you get them, like a lot of people do. Becoming familiar with getting high killstreaks is important - if you want to maintain a killstreak in Black Ops’ Multiplayer you need to keep cool – if you lose your head and start shooting all around frantically looking for the next kill to get your next killstreak you will most probably die.
Now for the balance; I think everyone needs to try Combat Training on Veteran at least once. It is the ultimate challenge – imagine every player on the map is on the opposite team and they always know where you are. You might find yourself getting slaughtered again and again, but with some practice you should be able to take a few bots down with you. Getting a high killstreak on Veteran is very difficult but so satisfying. There is one problem with training yourself using Veteran Combat Training though – the bots generally do the same thing over and over; they come find you and shoot at you. In the online multiplayer your rival may be smart enough to lay in wait for you in a spot you’ve been frequenting, maybe even try to lure you into a trap with a few stray shots – basically they will try to outsmart you. Combat Training in Veteran mode is definitely worth trying but don’t let it rewire your playing style too much.
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Killstreaks have never been more difficult to get in a Call of Duty Game – We’ve gone from some players regularly getting a killstreak of 25 and using a nuke to end the game to getting an 11 killstreak being immensely difficult.
Black Ops multiplayer has learned a lot from Modern Warfare 2 – firstly kills gained by a killstreak don’t count towards the next one. For example if you get a killstreak of 5 and use an airstrike any kills you get in the airstrike will not count towards the next killstreak reward. If you want to go for a higher killstreak you need to kill another player in person – with your weapon of choice, be it knife or gun. This system has made Black Ops’ multiplayer a lot more fair – in Modern Warfare 2 killstreaks could be stacked meaning that if you happened to get lucky and the helicopter you called in killed a bunch of people you probably found yourself a few kills away from the coveted Nuke.
Like I noted previously - in order to get a higher killstreak you need to keep a cool head. Like all Call of Duty games Black Ops multiplayer is very fast-paced so engaging the enemy head-on in a hurry to rack up some kills will most likely get you killed.
Knowing your enemies position is a big advantage, and knowing which direction they are going in is even better. In order to play well you need to do what the Combat Training bots can’t – outsmart your enemy. They are your prey and you are hunting them so act like it! Find out where players are camping, what direction they tend to run after they spawn, outsmart them, trap them and most importantly don’t rush them! Rushing a group of enemies only works in Black Ops if
1. They are completely unaware of your presence and under no circumstances expect an attack from the direction you are coming from or
2. You are intending on swooping in like a silent assassin using a silenced weapon, a knife and Ghost Pro.
If you rush an enemy team head-on you might get lucky and take most of them down with you but nine times out of ten you will be killed as soon as one of them spots you.
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One of the most important things to know about any Call of Duty game is the spawn points on each map; if you don’t know where your enemy is coming from you can’t defend yourself. As a general rule your enemies will usually spawn on the opposite side of the map to where your team is spawning e.g. if your spawn in at the bottom left of the map theres should be at the top right. Unlike every other Call of Duty multiplayer this rule does not hold true to Black Ops when you initially spawn in a map, in order to learn the initial spawn points for each map you must play them repeatedly.
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Dealing With Campers
Sitting in a dark corner, partially hidden by some nearby object patiently waiting for his next victim, or maybe he’s holed up in a frequently used room with a claymore at his back, drawing enemies in with gunfire. The Camper comes in many forms, none of them very popular. Despite the Call of Duty community’s very vocal hatred of this particular breed of player they seem to be endlessly multiplying.
Dealing with campers is difficult because their whole motive is to catch you off-guard, therefore you must be vigilante at all times, which is very difficult as we al have to let out guard down at some point.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that most campers are one trick ponies – once they’ve gotten a few kills in a particular area they will not be able to resist the urge to return to it. They may not return straight way, maybe wait in another area for a few kills, thinking that everyone will forget about their amazing hiding space where the picked off the majority of the enemy team, they are trying to lull you into a false sense of security before their next attack.
Be patient, wait for them to return to their hidey-hole. You’re supposed to hunting them, trying to outsmart them. Set up claymores near the entrance you think they camper is using. Occasionally throw a grenade or flashbomb at potential or previous camping spots, even if you only get a hit-marker you know they are in there at least.
The most important rule is never get angry and rush into their camping spot. Ok so he killed you the last three times you walked into the building – because he’s probably got his gun aimed directly at the entrance, going in there even faster than the last time will usually just get you killed quicker.
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There are times when I think that the equipment section in Black Ops’ multiplayer should be renamed ‘Campers Delight’. You want to set up a camera to watch the back entrance while you camp at the front one? Or how about a claymore to announce any visitors to you? Maybe you’d like a motion sensor that points out any enemies in the vicinity?
The positive side to campers using equipment is that they are basically making themselves a target if you have Hacker on, and most people do. Personally, if I’m playing and I see someone place a tiny little red motion sensor-shaped object or claymore down at the opposite side of the map just after the game has begun I thank the idiot for letting me know in advance. A large amount of campers rely on equipment and if you have the Hacker perk on you’re probably not going to get caught out by campers too easily.
Lot’s of non-campers use equipment too, but when they place a claymore down they are usually trying to either warn themselves of any incoming enemies from a certain direction or get an easy kill by placing it somewhere so sneaky (or blatantly obvious) that someone will run past it without realizing it.
Using claymores as a warning to yourself is a good tactic to have – when a claymore you have placed is set off you will hear it no matter how far away you are. A lot of people will assume that whoever set the claymore is nearby so if you come from an unexpected direction you can easily catch them off-guard.
Setting C4 down on an objective is a kinda sneaky but effective tactic. If you’re playing Domination and you hear A is being lost all you need to do is detonate your claymore and you’ve not just defended the objective but gotten a very satisfying kill or two. Don’t just throw a C4 down anywhere, especially near an objective, try make it inconspicuous if possible.
I haven’t come across that many players using the Radar Jammer – for one it gives your position away very easily if you don’t place it right. It works best in building with more than one floor so enemies can’t tell where it’s coming from exactly. The Jammer does have a pretty good perk though as a lot of players rely heavily on their radar, many good teams will descend into chaos when it’s gone. So if a player than depends on radar finds it being jammed they will often make have very poor judgement of where their target is, leaving you to surprise them. Better yet use it in an area with a few team mates, they never expect there to be more than one. The Jammer can also be used as a lure, as it is an indication that an enemy is using it for cover so most players will try find the source. You can twist this into a camping technique or you can be a real player and just revisit and hastily patrol and area for takers. It’s your call.
Using a camera spike is usually the biggest indication of camping. I have seen a lone sniper use it to watch his back, which does technically count as camping but in theory snipers have to be lone-wolves and need someone or something to watch their close-quarters while they are busy. Placing a camera spike near an objective can be very helpful, especially if you are communicating with your team as you can just let them know when enemies are near the objective. Unless an enemy has Hacker on they will rarely destroy the camera before you see them if you have it placed right. If they do manage to destroy it you still know where they are in general on the map.
Tactical insertions are not used a lot in Black Ops, and with good reason. They couldn’t be more obvious if they tried. Place it in a dark area – it lights it up, use it in broad daylight, now it’s a shining beacon for you enemies to gather to like moths to a flame. Most players aren’t going to just destroy it either. If you’ve just found someone’s exact spawn location you don’t destroy it you wait for them to spawn for a nice easy kill. I honestly don’t think I’ve found a good area for a Tactical Insertion on any of the Black Ops Maps yet, but by all means let me know if you have.
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Perks should always be used together to create a specific class. Don’t just keep putting on the same perks with different weapons try to create classes to use in different situations.
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Lightweight – Move Faster. This is more noticeable with lighter weapons, using an SMG you will feel like you can outrun your team (and enemies). Definitely best used with a rush class.
Lightweight Pro –No fall damage. If you are alsready speeding around with an SMG not sustaining fall damage is very helpful, especially to escape enemies as they probably won’t be able to follow you.
Scavenger – Pick up more ammo and grenades from scavenger bags. Very important if you are using an SMG at all or an assault rifle if you regularly rack up a lot of kills. Running out of ammo can be very problematic depending on your situation at the time.
Scavenger Pro – Double starting ammo. You can now pick up tactical grenades from scavenger bags. This is useful for almost every class. There is never a downside to having more ammo.
Ghost – Spy Planes can’t see you. Ghost is a must have for any stealth class. As I mentioned before a surprising amount of players depend on their radar so if you’re not on it you have a pretty good chance of surprising them. Try not to be too careless with this though as you still show up on motion sensors.
Ghost Pro – Aircraft and sentry guns can’t see you. A red crosshair will no longer appear on you when an enemy targets you, either will you name. If you have a silenced weapon and Hacker Pro you are now only noticeable in plain sight. The ultimate addition to an assassin class.
Flak Jacket – Reduced explosive damage. Very helpful for objective based games if you are planning on actually taking objectives. When enemies hear they are losing a position their first instinct is to bombard it with grenades so they don’t have to go directly there themselves. Surviving these grenades gives you more time to capture before they realize.
Flak Jacket Pro – You no longer sustain damage from fire and can throw back enemy grenades. This might not seem as useful as some of the other perks but if you do get it have it set up on a class for when you are playing Domination and the other team seems to have unlimited grenades. I have played a few games when the enemy was constantly calling in napalm strikes to stop us from getting to the objective. Having Flak Jacket Pro in that instance would have been a life saver.
Hardline – Reduces kills needed for a killstreak by one. e.g. a three killstreak for a spy plane now only needs two kills. Most people only use this is they are having a very hard time getting killstreaks or playing with a team. Needing only two kills to get a spy plane can mean that there is almost constantly a spy plane in the air even if they player is not doing well.
Hardline Pro – You get to ‘re-roll’ a carepackage. For instance if a carepackage lands and you are near enough it will prompt you to press a button to try again. This is only very useful f you are always calling in care packages. If a while team has the carepackage killstreak on and one person has hardline pro there is a good possibility of you getting at least a couple of good killstreaks out of it.
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Hardened – Increased bullet penetration. A lot of people thinks this also means increased bullet damage. It does not. It only means you have deeper impact against obstacles. Very useful for dealing with campers.
Hardened Pro – Increased damger to sentry turrets and aircraft. Not one of the most helpful pro perks.
Scout – Hold your breath longer while aiming. Specifically for snipers although the pro version isn’t.
Scout Pro – Change weapons faster. This will allow you to changer your weapons faster than it takes to reload most guns. I have seen players using Scout Pro online effectively by just dropping picking up another primary weapon instead of their secondary. They don’t reload when in combat they just switch weapons almost instantly.
Steady Aim – Increases hip fire accuracy. Almost all guns can benefit from this perk, especially anything being dualled because dualling weapons really reduces accuracy.
Steady Aim Pro – Faster ADS after sprinting faster recovery after using the knife. Couple this with Lightweight and you can rush in with a knife and SMG as you please. pretty fast.
Sleight of Hand – Faster Reload. A must have if you are using an LMG. Sleight of Hand can really be used with any of the weapons available in Black Ops because any time spent reloading leaves you as a target.
Sleight of Hand Pro – Faster ADS. Just as Sleight of Hand in a generally helpful perk so is the pro version. Being able to aim faster gives you an edge on your opponents.
Warlord – Have two attachments on your primary weapon. Stealth classes benefit the most from this as they need a silencer but may also want another attachment.
Warlord Pro – Start each game with one more tactical and lethal grenade. Always helpful but not the most useful pro perk.
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Tactical Mask – Protection Against Nova Gas. Since Nova Gas is not very common this is rarely useful.
Tactical Mask Pro – Reduces the flashbangs and concussion grenades. Shows you the position of a flashed/stunned enemy. This can be quiet useful if you find yourself getting overwhelmed with tactical grenades but having Tactical Mask on long enough to complete the pro challenges feels like giving up a perk.
Marathon – Run for longer. Very helpful with any sort of rush class.
Marathon Pro – Unlimited Sprint. Use this with Lightweight to play capture the flag. The downside to this pro perk is that you can become accustomed to not having to stop sprinting which is really frustrating when you change classes.
Ninja – Move almost silently. Important for stealth classes, and some rush classes.
Ninja Pro – Move with complete silence. Enemies’ movements are louder. The complete silence can make a huge difference if you are playing against someone with a gaming headset that is basing their actions mostly on sound. Making enemy movement louder is only helpful if you yourself have a gaming headset. For stealth classes this is still an important pro perk.
Second Chance – Instead of dying you go prone with your pistol for ten seconds or until shot. This really comes down to luck most of the time. Personally I would rather just respawn because I never seem to get the kills.
Second Chance Pro – You stay prone and revivable for longer. A lot of people gave up using this shortly after Black Ops was released because most players did not know that you did not have to have Second Chance on yourself to revive someone. If you use this a lot while playing with people you don’t know you could find yourself getting frustrated at teammates needfulness. Using this with a team you know can mean a lot of quick revivals.
Hacker – Allows you to see enemy equipment and highlights them in red. I think this is one of the most useful perks to have because it effectively points out an enemy's position to you and alerts you to traps.
Hacker Pro – Sabotage enemy carepackages and no longer show up on motion sensors. Not showing up on a motion sensor is a big deal because the players who use them are almost completely dependent on them. Sabotaging carepackages can get you a lot of kills since players will almost always run towards them, however some players have begun to notice that a sabotaged carepackage changes color slightly. Most don’t though.
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Making the correct weapon choice depends on a few different factors
The approach you plan on taking e.g. direct, silent, from a distance etc.
Your play style – players who tend to rush should use SMGs or rapid-firing Assault Rifles. Players who tend to “spray ‘n’ pray" should be trying to use an LMG with large magazines for less reloading.
What your enemies expect – you can learn to use their expectations against them with practice.
Most players find their ‘perfect weapon’ and try to use it in every game then get frustrated as they keep getting killed. A good player has a favourite weapon but is also able to adapt their weapon choice to the situation at hand. Some players love to use sniper rifles and will try to snipe on any map. Certain maps have been designed specifically to force players intp close-quarters meaning that using a sniper in that map will probably just get you killed, or that you just can’t find anyone to snipe. SMGs and most Assault Rifles are the best choice for fighting up-close.
LMGs are not as popular in Black Ops as they were in previous Call of Duty games. LMGs have huge magazines allowing you to shoot for a long period withoug having to reload. Being accurate with an LMG can be hard because you will subconsiously use more bullets because you know you can, this leads you to spraying any area you think an enemy may be. This is not a bad tactic if your bullets can penetrate a wall.
Using an LMG close-up requires some skill and luck because a lot of the time you will have died before you have had the chance to aim - an LMG is very heavy. Bursting into a small area filled with enemies spraying will almost certainly result in your death but you are also very likely to take someone down with you.
Assault Rifles are the most used weapon type in every Call of Duty game. They are good for both long and short range and most of them don’t have very mush kickback making them very accurate. In most situatuions you can’t go wrong with an assault rife.
Snipers can sometimes be campers, simply because they need to keep themselves covered while they are aiming. Being a good sniper is all about patience and distance. The farther away you are from the combat the more people you can take out before they realise, and if you pick a good spot you can even take out people on their way to exact their revenge. Sniping can be satisfying, and sometimes necessary if you are repeatedly being killed by a sniper from a distance
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All images are screenshots from Call of Duty Black Ops.
This four-part guide to Call of Duty Black Ops multiplayer will cover everything you want to know about the game's online component. Everything is covered, from the COD Bucks and weapons and perks, all the way to overviews of each map and challenge.