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9 Ways To Be More Competitive in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4: Blackout

© Joab Gilroy
By Joab Gilroy
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is kicking ass at the moment, and their Battle Royale mode Blackout is a big reason why. Here are our tips on how to dominate your opponents.
Faster paced than PUBG, more tactical than Fortnite, Blackout feels like the perfect middle ground between the two. The fact that you can get games quickly and easily in Australia because they didn't mess up the matchmaking only to then refuse to fix it for eight months (blaming an entire region for your mistake along the way) makes it super satisfying to play, too.
As a massive Battle Royale fan, I've already poured hours into Blackout. I've already got enough wins to earn Not A Fluke — some of them thanks to my input, some of them in spite of my screw-ups — and I'm here to share my tips with you.

Setting the Scene

Adjust your settings first. Set your Map to 'Square' straight up. The circular map rotates depending on the direction you're facing, which is disorienting in the heat of battle, but the square minimap always has North to the top.
If you want to make a quick callout in the heat of battle, the square mini-map lets you quickly give an indication — "shooter is South West in the trees" — while you get in cover. Once in cover, you can use the radial dial at the top of the screen to give finer details — "they are at 201, behind the closest tree".
If you're on PC, bump your FOV up as well. Jack it all the way up to 120, or as high as you can handle if you suffer from motion sickness. Blackout is a game where information is king, so a higher FOV might be the thing that saves you when other players are sneaking up on you.

Chute me, Dragon!

The map in Blackout isn't small, but it's not huge either. You can drop at any point of the map from the helicopter start, no matter what, provided you do it correctly. Here's how.
Jump, immediately point yourself straight down and press W. On the right hand side of the screen there's an altimeter which tells you how fast you're dropping. Once you are dropping at 65m/s, flatten out your dive by looking up and in the direction of your target location. Stay as flat as possible and you'll reach any location. Easy peasy.
Sprint and jump off any platform that is high enough and you can wingsuit, by the way. High enough is, from my experimentation, about five storeys up. Jump any lower than that and you'll crater. Higher, though, and if you press and hold jump again you will glide to ground. You have to make sure you jump off the ledge though. Vault or simply walk off, and you will die.
On PC, you can press Numpad 3 and you will Wingsuit from any height -- but you have to be sprinting and jumping first.

Be Aggressive. B. E. Aggressive.

Blackout is a fast paced game, and you're better off taking advantage of it. The slow play might work in PUBG, but it's difficult to pull off in Blackout. Treat it more like Fortnite, minus all the stairs.
With weapons like the 9Bang and Cluster Grenade, and items like the Grappling hook, it's super easy to press the advantage. A quick tip for the grappling hook though — unless you're trying to gain height, grapple a little short of your intended target. If you're using the item to fling yourself along the ground quickly, you'll notice you have momentum when you reach your destination. Aim short, and that momentum should carry you to where you want to be.
If you absolutely have to pitch a tent and camp it up, take advantage of items like the Barricade and Razor Wire. The Barricade — if you haven't used it in regular multiplayer — slows enemy movement down and damages them. The Razor Wire does the same. The downside to both is that they're pretty visible, and the Barricade makes a bunch of noise.

Sensor This!

Teamwork is critical in Quads mode for Blackout
Teamwork is critical in Quads mode for Blackout
If you're camping it up, drop a sensor dart on your location and you'll be able to see players on the minimap in a large radius. They show up as red pings, with the sensor acting like a mini UAV. The sensor detonates after a time — it's not permanent — so it's important to time it well.
Generally you want to pop it as late as possible. If players are running up to your building, pull the trigger, but otherwise if you can hold onto it until later circles you'll find yourself with a huge advantage.
It can be used offensively as well. If you're heading towards a building in the late game, drop a sensor on it and you'll be able to get a rough idea of what's going inside super quick.
If you want to get super cheeky, you can put a sensor dart on something mobile. Drop it on a Quad bike or a RC Car, and you'll have a sensor dart that you can take with you. The RC Car strategy only really works in Duos or Quads, though.
With the netcode being like it is — at the moment anyway — peeker's advantage is a real thing, and aggressive plays take full advantage of this thanks to the high mobility in Black Ops 4.

Get to the choppa!

The helicopters that spawn on the ground in Blackout are noob bait. Flying around in one early on is a fantastic way to find yourself searching for a new game, your entire squad exploded out of the air.
But if you're careful, it's the quickest way to get back into the circle. Fly low to the ground — just above the treetops, if you can manage — when you're heading over hilly areas. If a rocket locks on and fires at you, the trees can provide a bit of cover. You'll survive a single rocket, so you just need to break contact for a little while.
When you enter flat open fields, fly as high as you can. And get ready to jump the moment the game tells you about incoming fire. You'll auto-wingsuit when you bail from the chopper provided you're high enough up, and you're definitely going to want to bail out of the helicopter.
Battle Royale games are all about positioning, and the chopper can absolutely set you up with perfect positioning. In most cases, the risk will outweigh the reward though, so take care when getting to the chopper.

Perking Up

On top of weapons, the ground is also littered with Perk boxes, and in Blackout these can 100% hand you a victory. There's a trick to balancing inventory management when you're collecting them, because they take one slot a piece, but once you have the Backpack you should prioritise finding a perk like Perception or Dead Silence when you can.
If you can find a Looter early, it's worth popping immediately — it will help you find Armour and Backpacks, which can elude you if you're unlucky. Better still, supply drops spawn on the map, and Looter will highlight those as well. Engineer can help you locate a vehicle, but it's also useful to scope out any nearby Supply Drops or Mesh Mines.
Brawler is garbage, and it's not worth grabbing. The time you spend picking it up and then activating it is time you could better spend finding a gun.

On the outside looking in

In PUBG, holding the centre of the circle can be critical to success. You see it all the time in Pro games — after looting they'll find a compound off-centre and they will do their best to hold it against any attackers.
But as we mentioned already, Blackout favours the attacker. And that goes, in many cases, for compounds in the centre of the circle. Because games go so much faster in Blackout, you're actually better off sticking around the edges of the circle. Rushing the middle will force you into a bunch of firefights, and you'll struggle to replenish your resources — ammo, health and armour — because the central position will make it hard to loot dead bodies.
Sticking to the outside and moving in allows you to go on the offensive in these engagements, and will provide you with a lot more success down the track.

Dawn of the Dead

The giant blue pillars of light you might have seen are the locations of Zombie crates — special boxes that act like Supply drops, with a twist. Before you can open them, you need to kill between 10 - 20 zombies that spawn in nearby.
Killing zombies means shooting, which means making a lot of noise and expending a bunch of ammo. The ammunition is fine — if everything works out, you'll get more ammo from the crate. But making noise can draw the attention of other players, and that's not something you want. They might come to see if they can clean up the remains of a battle, or they might just be hunting for action in general. Either way, if you're trying to win, that's not ideal.
With that in mind, you should head to the Zombie spawn locations early in the game and try to get it done first thing. Head to one of the Zombie spawn locations, get some guns quick and then kill the zombies when they spawn. If you do it early enough, other players will still be looting and you'll get a free crate.
Look for the blue pillars of light to find Zombie Crates
Look for the blue pillars of light to find Zombie Crates
If other people land with you, however, you should deal with them as a priority.

The Worst Estate?

Imagine dropping at Tilted, except there's less loot and less cover. It's a bad idea.
Say no to Estate.