Whether you're new to Call of Duty: Warzone or a veteran when it comes to Activision's headliner multiplayer battle royale, you're going to want to make sure you can harvest those wins and slaying those opponents with ease. To that end, there's one crucial skill you may want to familiarise yourself with: gatekeeping. Red Bull athlete Jukeyz explains the concept, why it's so important to the game, and what you can do to make the technique work for you.
"The biggest panic I've had recently at a pro level is being trapped by gatekeeping," Jukeyz tells us. "When all the best players in the world are in the same lobby, you're constantly worried about gatekeeping – it's a fight, and if you get too aggressive, it only takes one good team to get into a building and gatekeep you. It's the biggest worry at a pro level."
With that in mind, here's everything you need to know about gatekeeping in Call of Duty: Warzone.
What is gatekeeping?
"Gatekeeping, basically, is the term you use for keeping people out of the circle as it gets smaller," explains Jukeyz. "If you're rotating around the map as the circle gets smaller and you know a team is in a building, for example, they can keep you out and gatekeep you. The point of gatekeeping is keeping players outside of the zone out: if the circle is getting smaller and you're already in a place, you have the advantage and can keep them out – whether they know you're there or not, it's going to be harder for them to get into the smaller circle."
Gatekeeping, as Jukeyz goes on to explain, puts a lot of pressure on a team caught short as the circle starts to contract. Typically, a team trying to get into the inner-most location of a shrinking zone won't be able to pinpoint a defending team's location exactly – which makes it even more stressful to avoid being damaged by the Circle Collapse. "If a team outside the zone, that wants to come in through a chokepoint defended by another team who isn't going to let them... that's gatekepping, basically."
Do you need to gatekeep in order to win?
"You don't have to do it, but it's a good it's a good play if the situation works out right and things line up for you," says Jukeyz. "It gets you kills! It can take beginner players to another level, for sure. If you're a player that isn't even getting one, two or three eliminations per game, it's absolutely worth doing it."
Jukeyz recommends fresher players prioritise gatekeeping just one team, for example, in a game of Warzone: this can result in some surefire eliminations, and some precious XP for anyone trying to climb the Battle Pass ladder and get some unlocks in any given season. "You don't need to do it in order to win, but it's definitely going to be helpful if you want to get better at the game."
Gatekeeping: Top tips for defenders
Set up: It can be difficult to get yourself positioned and lined up for a good gatekeeping opportunity, so it's all about staying vigilant and looking at the map to understand what's going to happen in the next few in-game moments at any given time. "If you want to gatekeep a team, you need to draw them to you," says Jukeyz. "If the circle's coming in within 20 seconds and you know there's a team in a building nearby, just wait that 20 seconds out and if the circle comes to you – perfect." It's even handier if you spot a team outside the circle as it draws in on you: it gives you time to get set up properly. "See where the zone changes to, be patient, and respond properly."
Weapons: "Make sure you've got an AR, it's that simple," says Jukeyz. "It doesn't matter what particular weapon you have, but you need to make sure you have an assault rifle of some kind." Jukeyz notes that because of the rate of fire, range, and general reliability of ARs in Warzone generally, they should be able to deal with any threats and help you wipe out any teams you're funneling into your killing floor.
Vehicles: "If there's a vehicle nearby the opposing team, blow it up!" says Jukeyz. "Make sure you destroy it so the other team doesn't have any way of getting out, other than just running across the open space." Vehicles can undo all your hard planning; if an enemy team gets into one, it gives them carte blanche to bypass your defences and make a messy counterattack – pushing your back to the circle. And you don't want that.
Gatekeeping: Top tips for attackers
Smoke: "There's a lot of counters to deal with people that are holed up and gatekeeping you, but the first one that comes to mind is smoke," Jukeyz explains. "People can smoke, and they can run in under the cover of the smoke to get away without being shot. If a team does that, the defenders have no option other than wait to see if they come out the other side, really. They could use Thermals to detect them, but nobody really uses that."
Snipers: "If you know a team is planning to gatekeep you, a sniper can be really useful. You can get back, knock a teammate on the defending side, and force that team to break formation to pick up their mate." Poking holes in the defences of a team that's gatekeeping you can be a handy tactic, and one that gives you enough time to break through a defensive line without being gunned down immediately.
Jukeyz concludes with one final tip – though it's up to you whether or not you want to try it yourself.... "If all that fails," he suggests after running down his top tips, " you can always just slide your head off: try and get in close, running into a gatekeeping team, whilst sliding might work... but you also might just get shot instantly". Good to know!