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The Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Blackout Beta Field Manual

The Black Ops 4 Blackout Beta is live on September 10, and here’s your guide to the action . . .

By Foxhound-Pro on September 7, 2018
Moderator

The Blackout Beta . . . it’s time.

For PlayStation 4 players, it all kicks off on Monday, September 10th at 10a PST. The action opens up for Xbox One and PC a few days later on September 14th, and then it goes wide to all players on the PC on September 15th. The Beta ends for everyone on Monday, September 17 at 10am PST.

No matter when you’re dropping in, you’re going to need to know what to do when you get there . . . and that’s where we come in.

In advance of the Blackout Beta, we figured that it would be worth giving you a primer on what Blackout is all about. So, we’ve assembled your Blackout Field Manual here, giving you insight into how you can increase your chances to be the last-man-standing.

Besides, if you get the most out of your Blackout experience, it will only fine-tune the feedback that you have to offer, and that’s going to make for a better experience for everyone, which is why we’re all here in the first place.

Blackout is the Black Ops universe brought to life in a battle royale mode, set in the biggest Call of Duty map ever made – it’s also just the start. We’re going to support this game for the long haul and we intend to evolve Blackout over time. We plan on doing that with you, and that process starts on Monday.

This is going to be an amazing journey. So, get ready, throw on your Wingsuit and let’s get going. Here’s what you need to know…

Out of the Gate:
The Blackout Beta features three ways to play: Solos, Duos, and Quads, and will host games up to 80 players at this critical Beta phase. Whether you play on your own, with a friend, or your whole squad, the game mechanics are the same, but the strategies will widely vary. By default, the game will attempt to fill your squad up with other folks looking to play, but you can disable if you prefer to play solo.

To get the most out of your Beta experience, here are a few tips . . .

How to Win – Battle Royale: A Basic Overview
Blackout is a battle royale game mode. The last person (or team) standing wins the game.

Survive to the end as the play space gets smaller and smaller over time. We call this the collapse. The collapse forces players and teams into increasingly smaller play spaces, thus creating intense battles.

Always remember, the game is not over if a teammate is eliminated. Keep fighting until the bitter (or bitter-sweet) end.

You have one life and will not respawn, so make it count.

Getting You In-Game ASAP
The Blackout Beta will toss you into the level even before the game officially starts. This pre-game lobby is called the Drop Zone. Here you can learn the map and try out some weapons and understanding of the game systems and mechanics. But note, once the match begins, you won’t bring any of the weapons or equipment used in the Drop Zone with you into the match.

Once a number of players have joined the lobby a countdown clock will start and then it’s time to get down to the business.

Getting Around

Infiltration
Blackout begins with all players in a transport helicopter that flies across the map in a randomly chosen straight line – you choose when to jump.

Navigating the drop process is done with the Wingsuit.

You can point in the general direction, but for extra speed and distance, fall straight toward down for maximum speed. Since you are using a Wingsuit you are effectively a wing. The more airflow over that wing; the better you can fly. Let it soar…

When you get close to the ground, your parachute will automatically deploy. Use it to slow your momentum. All the information you need to become a wingsuit master is indicated in the game HUD. You can monitor your overall momentum and see where the parachute will deploy as you approach the ground.

Base-Jumping
The Wingsuit stays with you after your initial Infiltration into the map and can be re-deployed. We call it base jumping. You can base-jump by sprinting towards your desired location and then press and hold the JUMP button. You will not re-deploy the parachute when base-jumping and are unlikely to receive fall damage under normal circumstances.

Vehicles
The Blackout Beta features four vehicles for additional mobility in game:

  • ATV – Holds a max of two people and has off-roading capability with medium speed.
  • Cargo Truck – One driver with room for others in the truck bed. It has limited off-roading capability and limited speed. Use the Cargo Truck to store weapons and other Items for your late game push to victory.
  • Tactical Raft – This boat fits two comfortably but can pack in quite a few if you don’t mind getting cozy. The raft is a great way to navigate the abundant water in Blackout.
  • Light Helicopter – a Helicopter that holds a max of four passengers and the pilot. This aircraft will start to malfunction in the late states of the game and is very susceptible to lock-on Missile Launchers, but is by far the fastest way to get from point A to point B.


Vehicles are an ideal option to move quickly from one location to another when the collapse is closing in or to pursue or flee enemies.

Building Your Loadout – Collecting and Managing Items

Getting Equipped

Most Items in Blackout need to be equipped to be used. Find what you can and get started.

By default, you can equip these items without any cost to your 5 Inventory slots:

  • 2 Weapons
  • 1 Health Item
  • 1 Armor Item
  • 1 Backpack
  • Equipment Item
  • About 200 of each Ammo type.

You can carry additional Health and Equipment in your Inventory, but not Weapons or Armor.

Managing Inventory
Items are managed two primary ways:

The Inventory Menu allows you to manage everything you have. You can consume Perks, drop Items for teammates, equip Attachments, and more.

The Quick Inventory Menu will appear the first time you have something that you can Interact with in your Inventory. The goal of the Quick Inventory menu is to allow you to quickly change what you have in your Inventory for what you have Equipped.

  • You can change the type of Health item will be used when you heal
  • Activate a Perk Consumable
  • … and even change out Attachments on your weapons

 
The Quick Inventory is great when you are under pressure. Close the Quick Inventory when finished by using D-Pad Down.

Items in the world can often be equipped immediately without using either Inventory menu. For example, if you are looking at an attachment, the default action will be to equip it on the gun you are holding in your hands if that weapon supports that attachment. The secondary action, if your Inventory is not full, will be to add it to your Inventory space.

Additionally, Items will be auto-equipped in the order they were picked up. If the first Equipment you pick up happens to be a Frag grenade and the second Equipment you grab is a Concussion grenade, you will auto-equip the Concussion grenades when you use all the Frag grenades.

Item types of Blackout

Weapons
In Blackout, weapons are found in various locations across the map: pistols, submachine guns, assault rifles, shotguns, tactical and sniper rifles, as well as the rare rocket launcher are available. You can carry a max of two weapons at any time.

You may even find a rare weapon that comes with the best attachments for that weapon already equipped. You can field strip it if you like, or even share with a teammate.

Attachments
How many and what type of Attachments are available depend on the weapon. Some attachments only work with certain weapons and not every weapon supports all attachments. For example, SMGs do not support long range scopes.

While attachments equipped to a weapon do not take up a slot in your Inventory, unequipped attachments will.

Ammo
Every weapon has an Ammo type associated with it. You can keep track on the Inventory Menu display. Ammo does not consume Inventory space, but there is a limit on how much Ammo of each type you can carry.

Ammo is found in the world like all other game Items.

Weapons and the Ammo they use play a big role in how far and how fast the bullet will travel.

Watch the tracers that come in most Ammo types to learn how to compensate for ballistics over long ranges. You may have to slightly lead a moving target and will often have to aim higher.

Although still very much a work in progress for this Beta, and not final, the Scopes and the Optics within them can help you compensate.

Armor
In Blackout, you can carry and equip one piece of Armor at a time. Three levels of Armor can be found in the world. Each offers increased protection, but is also harder to find.

Wearing Armor allows you to take calculated risks; however, if you are going up against another armored opponent, proceed wisely as it will take more than the usual number of shots to down them.

Backpack
If you find a Backpack, you can expand how much you can carry from the default of five to a maximum of 10 items at a time.

The Backpack is the first storage Item type, but it certainly won’t be the last.

Equipment
To round out your loadout, you can equip tactical and lethal grenades or common equipment like Trophy systems.

Specialist-based equipment and Items, while much harder to find in general, are also available in Blackout. Equipment such as Razor Wire, Mesh Mines, and Sensor Darts do not require a specific character to equip and use. Whether used in isolation or together, you can set up the ultimate trap for the opposition or give yourself excellent situational awareness.

Health
All players start the match with 150 health. You must find Items that allow you to heal. There are three such Items in the beta that allow you to restore health after taking damage:

  • First Aid – Restores small amounts of health very quickly. This is the most common and you can stack five of them in one Inventory slot.
  • Med Kit – Restores a bit more health but does so a bit more slowly.
  • Trauma Kit – Restores the most amount of Health and provides an extra +50 health beyond the max. You cannot stack Trauma Kits. Each requires a slot in your Inventory.

 
In order to heal in Blackout, you must hold the heal button. If you or a teammate is downed, an icon will appear over the player and in the team widget that appears in the left corner of your HUD.

Perk Consumables
How many Perks you have in Blackout is limited only by your Inventory space and what you can find in the world. In this context, consumables mean the effects of the Perk do not start until you activate that Perk.

How long it takes to activate a Perk and how long the effects last are shown on the HUD and in the Inventory menu and depends entirely on how powerful the Perk is.

Pick up new and familiar perks in Blackout and experiment to figure out which ones ultimately work for your playstyle and game strategy.

 

Special Items
Blackout features a few special Items that can be game changers if you are able to find one. One example is the Recon Car.

The Recon Car looks very similar to a RC-XD, but with one major difference – it doesn’t explode. The Recon Car acts as portable intelligence so that you can scope out a location before moving in or find the hiding spots of your opponents before you rush and attack. The Recon Car does not explode and can travel a limited distance while maintaining visibility, but if you find one pick it up and use it to gather some locational intelligence on the opposition.

Some Multiplayer Specialists equipment and weapons are also available in Blackout. Try out the Grapple Gun, the Sensor Dart, or the Mesh Mines to name a few. In Blackout, any character can use any Item.

Supply Drops & Stashes

Although not the only place, the best place to find rare and special Items are in Supply Drops and Supply Stashes.

Supply Stashes are hidden crates that can be found in multiple locations. Supply Drops are air-dropped crates.

Be aware that when interacting with a Supply Stash or Supply Drop, you are vulnerable to attacks and most likely exposed. Have teammates cover you while you scavenge for supplies or make sure you clear an area before you collect.

Zombies

Never. Forget. The. Zombies.

Zombies spawn at locations marked with the light from the Mystery Supply Stash. Zombies and Mystery box stashes are likely to contain uniquely Zombies Items like a Ray Gun and a Cymbal Monkey, to name a couple.

That’s all we can say at this time.

Map

Blackout takes place on the largest map we’ve ever made.

  • Long-time multiplayer fans looking to drop somewhere familiar may want to check out the Estates. Estates includes fully playable and expanded versions of Stronghold and Raid. Maybe you would prefer to go to the Firing Range where you might be able to squeeze in a little practice session once you clear the place out.
  • For Zombies fans, the Lighthouse, the boxing ring inside of Rivertown, Asylum with its nearby graveyard will prove tempting. Don’t. Forget. The. Zombies.
  • Nuketown Island is a fun place to explore for fans of both Multiplayer and Zombies, offering a little something for both, and something entirely new as well.
  • Construction Site and others offer entirely new experiences to master.

 
If you like to loot in peace, drop hot and survive the initial carnage, or something in-between ---Blackout offers a wide variety of destinations for you to explore and gear up.

 

Feedback

We want to know your thoughts on issues across the board, and we will do our best to acknowledge and address them.

We are dedicated to hearing and responding to the community’s thoughts to deliver a fun battle royale experience that builds upon the years of Black Ops history.

Here’s how you can share your feedback with us:

  • Twitter (@Treyarch): Our Community and Live Ops teams will be watching our social channels throughout the Beta and we want to get your thoughts on everything regarding gameplay and particularly any issues and bugs that may arise. Please tag your feedback with #BO4Beta to make it easier to find.
  • Twitter (@ATVI Assist): If you have a specific technical issue, tweet @ATVIAssist. Tweeting at @ATVIAssist and Treyarch should cover all your bases…tag your tweets with #BO4Beta.
  • Reddit: Our Community and Live Ops teams will also scour Reddit, so feel free to add your comments to the r/BlackOps4 subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Blackops4/
  • Console: Depending on the technical issue, you may be given the opportunity to “report a problem” directly on your console. If that happens, please do so, as it helps us track down the source of any issues.
  • Survey: After you’ve played the Beta, you will be given the opportunity to provide us with direct feedback through a survey.


Check back with the studio’s social channels throughout the Beta as we will proactively post updates and respond to community feedback regularly.

Also, we want to celebrate the fun of Blackout. If you want the world to see some epic Blackout plays, upload your clips to Twitter or Instagram using #CODTopPlays for a chance to be featured.

We are so excited this Beta is finally starting and hope you have fun playing – see you online!

Treyarch