Call of Duty Warzone's Gulag is a curious mechanic that hasn't really been done in games before, and since there's no point of reference, a lot of gamers can have problems with it. If you're unfamiliar with Warzone's peculiar second-chance mechanic, it essentially allows you to respawn after death if you manage to come out top in a 1v1 fight in a separate, self-contained space from the rest of the map. If you're the sort of player that gets the itch to go and get revenge on players that finish you off in the main arena, the Gulag is your friend.
"I'm still learning the Gulag, myself, to be honest!" laughs Red Bull athlete Jukeyz when we ask him what his top tips for the intense arena battles are. In the Gulag, you and your chosen opponent will both be given the same loadout, and – in 15 seconds – you need to end up being victorious if you want to redeploy. It can be a tense and tricky environment... but Jukeyzis here to offer some pro tips.
Call of Duty Warzone: How to win in the Gulag
Stick to the walls: "I tend to stick to the sides, to be honest," explains Jukeyz. "If I'm fighting, I want to stick to the outside walls and the corners – I avoid the middle if I can. It's very open and you make yourself vulnerable." It's best to understand sightlines and try to clock your enemies before they clock you – otherwise it could all be over in seconds. "I peek in around corners and try to get shots on an enemy as soon as I see them, and that works best if you've got walls behind you, if possible."
Use your ears: "I know a lot of people like to rush in and be very aggressive, but I like to go slow and strategic and take my time," Jukeyz explains. "If you can sit in a corner and listen with a headset – really listen! – you can tell where they're coming from and if you should move to meet them or just wait and shoot when they turn up. If you get used to listening, you can play to where the enemy is going to be, rather than to where they've been."
Pre-aim is your friend: “Pre-aiming” is a handy technique in all parts of Warzone, but nowhere is it more helpful than in the Gulag. "In this game, when you're pre-aiming, you move quite quickly," says Jukeyz. "So in some situations, before you can even get your aim up, you're dead. So it's best to walk around pre-aiming – especially with the FFAR class where the Raider stock makes you faster than when you're walking! – and get ready to fire as soon as you see your enemy."
Use your grenades: "Just use your grenades, don't forget," Jukeyz reminds us. "I always use my equipment – because there's a wall on each side, if you hold your grenade for a bit and throw it, it'll either hit the wall or the corner and go off pretty quickly. If your enemy is in any corner, the grenade will bounce and hit them. If you hold it right and time it right you can flush enemies out of anywhere on the map, really." Even if you can't see the enemy, Jukeyz goes on to say, you'll be able to tell where they are once the grenade blows up: if they flee, you'll catch them, and if no-one appears, they're elsewhere. It's all valuable intel.
Communicate: "If you're teammate is in the Gulag, too, you can use them to call out to you – tell you what the other player is doing; if they're hiding, coming at you, or whatever else." It's not always possible to do this, of course, but if you happen to be sent to the confined arena with a buddy, make sure to help them out – and they'll be sure to do the same for you. "I was in a game recently where we were doing that, actually, and we managed to win after that!" recalls Jukeyz. So it's always worth communicating.
If you put all this into practice, you should start coming out of more engagements in the Gulag victorious, and give yourself more opportunity to get back out into the field and take the fight back to the team that eliminated you in the first place. These aren't hard and fast rules for engagements, but more like suggestions and tools to add to your skillset. Just bear the best advice in mind and you, too, may be dominating the battlefield like Jukeyz one day.