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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

New Black Ops Cold War Zombies Info: Perks, Upgrades, Skill

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Treyarch has dropped a blog post on new info on Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies mode.

The info comes as we’ve got two weeks till launch on Friday, November 13.

Black Ops Cold War’s Zombies mode brings a lot of new innovations, alongside fan favorite features that combine to make it a new experience.

The blog post details Perks, Skills, Field Upgrades, Custom Loadouts, and more new features of the Zombies experience.

Get the full breakdown from the Treyarch developer blog:

PERKS AND SKILL TIERS

First, let’s take a look at Perks: specifically, which ones you’ll be able to collect and utilize at launch, how they work, and – for the first time in Zombies history – how to upgrade them.

On launch day, you’ll have six different Zombies Perks to crack open: Jugger-Nog, Quick Revive, Speed Cola, Stamin-Up, Deadshot Daiquiri, and an all-new Perk debuting in Black Ops Cold WarElemental Pop

Read on below for the full descriptions of each base-level Perk at launch:

  • Jugger-Nog: Increase maximum health by 50.
  • Quick Revive: Reduce the time it takes to regen to full health by 50%. Reduce the time it takes to revive an ally by 50%.
  • Speed Cola: Increase reload speed by 15%.
  • Stamin-Up: Increase run and sprint speed.
  • Deadshot Daiquiri: Aiming down sights moves to enemy critical location. Remove scope sway.
  • Elemental Pop: Every bullet has a small chance to apply a random base Ammo Mod effect.

While Zombies veterans will be familiar with the initial versions of most of our starting Perks, Elemental Pop is something different. As we hinted at in our Zombies Reveal Blog, this new Perk is all about Ammo Mods. With every shot fired while Elemental Pop is active, you’ll have a slight chance for a random base Ammo Mod to take effect against your target – an incredibly useful tool for when your back’s up against the wall.

But what happens when you want to take your Perks to the next level? That’s where our all-new Skill Tiers come in. In Black Ops Cold War Zombies, every Perk can be permanently upgraded up to three levels. Yes, you heard that right: permanently.

To upgrade your Perks, you’ll need to earn Raw Aetherium Crystals by reaching milestone rounds within the game, or through successful exfiltration. What’s more, you’ll be able to upgrade skills related to Field Upgrades, Ammo Mods, and Weapon Classes to help you stay alive even longer as you collect and invest more Aetherium Crystals. Over time, you’ll use these crystals to improve the tools in your arsenal, improving their damage and utility to help you reach higher rounds.

As an example, upgrading the Elemental Pop Perk to Tier III will grant the following effects:

  • Tier I – Equipment damage also has a small chance to apply a random base Ammo Mod effect.
  • Tier II – Reduce Ammo Mod cooldowns by 20%.
  • Tier III – When a random Ammo Mod is applied, it uses your current Skill Tier instead of the base.

Oh, and don’t worry… we’ll be introducing more Perks throughout our post-launch Seasons. No guesses!

WEAPON RARITIES

Perks are essential, but let’s be honest… survival in Zombies is all about the weapons. In previous iterations, too many Zombies players were left trying to figure out which weapons were the “top tier” for any given situation based on their Wall Buy prices, or by rolling them from the Mystery Box and hoping for the best. This time around, our new weapon rarity system gives every weapon a path to greatness. Here’s how.

Weapons come in five tiers of rarity: Common/LoadoutUncommonRareEpic, and Legendary. Each tier increases the damage done by those weapons, and will also determine how many randomized attachments will come along for the fight. For example, an Uncommon weapon will feature around a 50% damage boost over its Loadout version and comes with just two attachments, while the Legendary version kicks that up to roughly 300% damage and comes stacked with eight (!!) attachments.

“But how does this affect Wall Buys and the Mystery Box,” you ask? “Doesn’t this new system make those less effective,” you ask? Great questions. Fear not.

Weapon rarities make Wall Buys and the Mystery Box even more worthwhile in Black Ops Cold War by giving players more options in any given game. Buying your favorite weapon off the wall is now different every time with random attachments thrown into the mix, and the Mystery Box actually increases its odds of rolling high-rarity weapons as the rounds get higher.

This creates a new layer of strategy to keep in mind as the match goes on. What happens if you hit the jackpot on your first spin of the Mystery Box and get an Epic Magnum at Round 10, and then roll an Uncommon AK-74u on your very next spin? Let’s just say you’re more comfortable with SMGs, but you know your damage potential will become lower as a result of switching… which one do you keep?

Previously, if you found a strong weapon in the Mystery Box, you had very little motivation to return. Now, even if you roll a weapon that you’re happy with early in the game, you can return 10 Rounds later and try to roll the Legendary version. The Mystery Box also now includes Support items, such as the Sentry Turret and War Machine, which always come in handy.

To quote Treyarch’s Lead Zombies Systems Designer, Kevin Drew: “I’ve been playing Zombies for 10 years and this is the most excited I’ve ever been when opening the Mystery Box.”

CUSTOM LOADOUTS

Because we’re bringing everything together to unify progression across Multiplayer and Zombies in Black Ops Cold War, this was the team’s first chance to fully deliver custom loadouts in Zombies. First and foremost, empowering players to bring all of their unlocked weapons and cosmetics into Zombies takes the action up a notch and gets everyone into higher rounds faster. This gives players more freedom to play their way – especially for those who want to get a better feel for how much fun Zombies can be after the first few rounds.

Loadouts don’t change the classic Zombies formula as much as you might think, however. If starting out with a classic 1911 pistol is your jam, go for it! The design team carefully considered how loadouts would affect weapon progression gameplay, and as such, loadouts in Zombies are simplified compared to those in Multiplayer.

You can only bring in a single weapon and a Field Upgrade with your Zombies loadout. Furthermore, that single weapon will have its attachments and cosmetics, but it will be the lowest rarity available (Common). This means your starting weapon won’t be very effective at killing zombies after a handful of early rounds, and you’ll still need to get out there and find other weapons quickly. You can also upgrade the rarity of your loadout weapon in-game – or any weapon, for that matter – so you can keep your customized loadout weapon into higher rounds, if that’s more your style.

FIELD UPGRADES

Field Upgrades in Zombies are entirely different from those found in Multiplayer, and for good reason. These are tools designed to fit the narrative of Black Ops Cold War’s Dark Aether story, and provide a welcome power spike as part of the core combat loop without making players OP in the process.

Zombies Field Upgrades available at launch include:

  • Frost Blast –Create a frigid blast of wind that deals frost damage and slows enemies caught inside of it. Slowed enemies take additional damage.
  • Healing Aura – Summon beams of energy down on yourself and allies to instantly heal to full health.
  • Energy Mine – Create a mine of pure energy that detonates on proximity of enemies, dealing explosive damage.
  • Ring of Fire – Create a ring of ethereal fire that boosts damage for you and allies. Normal enemies who enter gain a burning effect that deals fire damage. Lasts 15 seconds.
  • Aether Shroud – Phase into the Dark Aether for 5 seconds becoming hidden from enemy detection.

The design of these Field Upgrades take inspiration from several action-based abilities in previous Zombies games, including certain Gobblegums, Elixirs, and even some non-passive Perks. Each one is balanced with an appropriate number of zombie kills required to charge it. For example, Healing Aura has the upgraded ability to revive players in the map remotely, but requires double the kills to charge than an offensive-based Field Upgrade, such as Energy Mine.

When you load into a match, you’re going to want to have one of these Field Upgrades unlocked in your custom loadout and ready to charge up. Coordinate with the rest of your team before a match to make sure you’ve got a good balance of offensive, defensive, and support Field Upgrades to help everyone survive as long as possible.

ARMOR AND SALVAGE

Replacing the crafted shield of previous Zombies experiences, Armor provides a 360-degree layer of protection from the armies of the undead. Armor can be found as a Rare drop from enemies or purchased using Salvage. When worn, it will mitigate a portion of incoming damage – every hit will still deal damage – but its durability is limited.

Although Armor is partially repaired by picking up the occasional Armor Shard dropped from certain enemies, it’s a finite resource and you’ll find yourself vulnerable again once you run out of Salvage to repair it. You can also fully repair Armor by picking up a Carpenter Power-Up.

Armor can also be upgraded two additional levels, increasing its damage mitigation and durability. You’re going to need it as rounds progress, because zombies grow stronger every round! Remember, even when paired with an upgraded Jugger-Nog Perk, no amount of Armor can save you if you find yourself overrun… especially as rounds get higher and the challenge increases.

SUPPORT/SCORESTREAKS

We’ve wanted to bring Scorestreaks to Zombies for a long time, and now that player progression is unified across modes, there’s never been a better opportunity! While certain Zombies maps have included some variants of these in in the past, the new Dark Aether narrative offered the perfect chance to finally carry over some of the militarized versions into Zombies to raise the stakes even higher. 

Sometimes you just need a little extra power to get out of a tight spot, and that’s where Support comes into play. At launch, the available Support selection will include:

  • Combat Bow
  • Sentry Turret
  • War Machine
  • Chopper Gunner
  • Self-Revive

Keep an eye out for one of these to pop out of the Mystery Box, if you’re lucky! And for those curious about how calling in a Chopper Gunner works without being instantly ripped to shreds by zombies while you’re controlling it: any Support that takes perspective away from your character will temporarily make you immune to damage and ignored by enemies while it’s deployed. This ensures that parties of one can make use of Support in solo games, as well.

LOOT AND CRAFTING

It pays to stay resourceful during an undead invasion. In Black Ops Cold War Zombies, every zombie has a small chance of dropping resources including Salvage, Armor, and even lethal and tactical equipment. The tougher the enemy, the better the loot.

As you unlock equipment and Scorestreaks through standard player progression, that content will become available at the crafting table in-game and can be crafted using resources. Rarity is also assigned to loot based on its effectiveness; for example, a Frag Grenade is considered Uncommon loot, whereas the Cymbal Monkey is a Rare drop.

OPTIONAL EXFIL

Why die if you don’t have to? With the new option to exfil from the map when your squad can’t last much longer, you can roll the dice and try to survive long enough to escape with some extra rewards… but it won’t be easy.

Starting at the end of Round 10 and every five rounds after, you’ll have an option to use a radio in the starting area of the map to call in Exfil. In a co-op game, a majority of the players must vote to initiate exfiltration.

Once triggered, the normal round will end, and you’ll be given a new objective to reach the exfil site within a specific time limit. At this point, zombies will begin to flood the area in a last-ditch effort to stop your squad in its tracks. Once you reach the site, a helicopter will fly in and hover above until the zone is cleared before it can land. If you manage to make it onto the chopper, you’ll escape with some bonus XP and the chance to earn Raw Aetherium Crystals. Risk versus reward!

PING SYSTEM

For the first time, we’re bringing a locational Ping system to Zombies players! This will function the same way it does in Black Ops Cold War’sMultiplayer, activated by pressing d-pad left on controllers and [Z] on keyboards by default.

Whether you’re marking the next door you need a friend to open, pointing out the Pack-a-Punch machine to a first-timer, or pinging the latest location of the Mystery Box for your squad, we think this feature brings a huge quality-of-life improvement to Black Ops Zombies players.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Black Ops Cold War players want to see an Olympics-inspired weapon

Black Ops Cold War players have suggested Treyarch add a brand-new Olympics-themed weapon to celebrate the worldwide competition.

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Cold War Stone Operator with Olympics logo

With the Olympics in full swing, Black Ops Cold War players have suggested Treyarch add some in-game items to celebrate the competition, namely a brand-new weapon.

After being postponed, Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics has finally begun. Call of Duty often releases items and hosts events to tie in with worldwide competitions and celebrations, such as 2020’s Games of Summer event and the soccer skins for the Euros.

A Black Ops Cold War fan has suggested that a new Olympics-inspired weapon would be the perfect fit for Call of Duty, and players are loving the idea.

Nail Gun in Black Ops Cold War Season 4

Alongside the realistic firearms that make up Call of Duty’s arsenal, there are also some weird and wacky additions. For example, Cold War and Warzone Season 4 added a Nail Gun to take down your opponents with.

Reddit user bobbobaran suggested that the Biathlon Rifle should be added to the game to celebrate the Olympics. Although not the military-grade tool that CoD fans are used to, it’s no stranger than a Nail Gun.

The Biathlon Rifle is an ultra-lightweight bolt action rifle that’s used for target shooting in both the Summer and Winter Olympics. It fires .22LR rounds which are extremely common and used in a wide variety of weapons. While not as powerful as the ZRG 20mm, for example, Treyarch can adjust the stats to make it competitive.

Olympian Tina Bachmann using Biathlon Rifle

Players were unsure what category this Olympics weapon could fall into – Special Weapon, Tactical Rifle, or Sniper Rifle? This would all depend on how it would be balanced. It could work as both a fast-firing quickscoping machine or a highly accurate long-range sniper.

Will we ever see the Biathlon Rifle in Call of Duty? It’s impossible to say. But at the very least, it could become a Blueprint for one of the existing Sniper Rifles.

For more Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, check out everything we know about the upcoming Season 5 update.

Image Credit: Activision / ZZDD & Norway World via Wikimedia Commons

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Best QBZ-83 loadout for Black Ops Cold War Season 4

Lightweight and compact, the QBZ 83 is one of Cold War Season 4’s most understated weapons with the right loadout & attachments.

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Player using the QBZ 83 in Cold War

Season 4 of Black Ops Cold War has seen a number of weapons come to the forefront, and with the right attachments and perks, the QBZ-83 Assault Rifle can potentially hold its own.

Throughout the lifespan of Cold War, incredible weapons like the XM4, MP5, and AK-74u have dominated the meta, with many opting to use them over any other gun in the game.

Other guns have come into the fold to further broaden horizons with the outrageously powerful LC10 making a strong case for being the meta gun. With the right loadout and class setup, the QBZ can be the perfect gun for players looking to take on enemies at range, without sacrificing the ability to move around the map at speed.

Here’s everything you need to turn the QBZ-83 into a devasting weapon in your arsenal.

Best Cold War Season 4 QBZ-83 attachments

QBZ 83 in Black Ops Cold War gunsmith
  • Muzzle: Muzzle Brake 5.56
  • Barrel: 13.7″ Cavalry Lancer
  • Underbarrel: Foregrip
  • Handle: Quickdraw Handle
  • Stock: Tactical Stock

Pairing the Muzzle Brake 5.56 with the Foregrip is important for control, as this will reduce both the horizontal and vertical recoil and make it much easier to hit your shots.

With the QBZ-83 acting as a mobile AR, the Quickdraw Handle will be the perfect accessory to help you aim down sights quickly while you’re rotating around the map.

Finally, once you’ve found your target and started to fire, you’ll want to be able to keep your crosshairs on your enemy while you shoot. This is where the Tactical Stock comes in, as it improves the stability of the weapon.

Best perks to use with Cold War Season 4’s QBZ-83

Tactical Mask perk
  • Perk 1: Tactical Mask
  • Perk 2: Scavenger
  • Perk 3: Ghost

Tactical Mask is a must in Black Ops Cold War, and with the QBZ-83 allowing you to move around the map faster than other Assault Rifle players, you’ll likely find yourself in the middle of stuns and flashes fairly regularly.

Scavenger is useful to keep your ammo replenished as the QBZ-83 has one of the faster rates of fire in its class, while Ghost will keep you hidden from enemies’ pesky UAVs.

How to unlock the QBZ-83 in Cold War Season 4

qbz-83 being held up in the air

If you want to have a go with the QBZ-83, then you’ll simply need to reach Level 31, and it will become yours to equip.

Once you’ve done that, then you can go about unlocking every single attachment for it to equip the right ones for the job.

Best alternatives to Cold War’s QBZ-83 SMG

qbz-83 gunsmith options

If you’ve experimented and feel like the QBZ-83 isn’t for you after all, then there are perfectly acceptable replacements should you need them.

The Swiss K31 is fun for quickscoping, the KSP 45 is a weapon reborn in Cold War, and the Krig 6 remains a veritable destroyer of CoD lobbies.


That’s the QBZ-83 sorted for you in Black Ops Cold War’s multiplayer. Also, see our tier list of every weapon in Black Ops Cold War to see where we rank them all, and if you enjoy battle royale, then check out our ranking of every Warzone weapon.

Image Credits: Activision / Treyarch

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

JGOD explains which Warzone barrels you should be using for Cold War Assault Rifles

Call of Duty YouTuber JGOD has delved into the different Warzone barrel options for Cold War ARs and explains which ones you should be using.

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jgod in warzone with cold war ARs

Each weapon in Call of Duty: Warzone has many different barrels to apply, and CoD guru JGOD has specifically targeted the Cold War Assault Rifles and explained which barrels are better suited.

Creating a loadout and picking the right attachments for your weapon can sometimes be an arduous chore. You immediately doubt your selections, second-guess the choices you’ve made, and it creates a negative bubble for each match of Warzone you use it and don’t win your 1v1s.

Barrels are probably the most selected attachment for every weapon as their effects are significant. Cold War‘s Assault Rifles have had a big bearing on the way Warzone plays and its meta, and JGOD has picked the best barrels and explained which ones work best.

krig 6 assault rifle

Going through the different barrels, JGOD believes that two barrels are head and shoulders above the rest – the 18.7″ Ranger and the 18.5″ Task Force.

He refers to the Ranger as “barrel 4” and the Task Force as “barrel 6.” He says: “Essentially, the choice, almost always, for weapons that are long-range comes down to whether or not you want to use the fourth barrel or the sixth barrel.”

To fully demonstrate the different effects of each, JGOD set foot into Warzone’s currently broken Plunder mode to test them all.

He used the good ol’ garage doors to show side-by-side examples of barrel 4 and barrel 6 on each gun. Through methodical testing, we saw the difference between the barrels on the Krig, QBZ, XM4, AK-47, FFAR, Groza, FARA, and C58.

JGOD comparing AR barrels in Warzone

These were JGOD’s favored barrels for each gun:

  • Krig 6: Barrel 4
  • QBZ-83: Barrel 6
  • XM4: Barrel 6
  • AK-47: Either
  • FFAR-1: Either
  • Groza: Barrel 6
  • FARA 83: Barrel 6
  • C58: Either

It’s quite obvious that the 18.5″ Task Force is the preferred barrel for these weapons, and for any where it’s too close to call, you might be better off conducting your own tests to see which feels better.

With Warzone Season 4 very much giving players a healthy amount of balanced Assault Rifles to choose from, it might be well worth trying out some of the above barrels.

Also, check out when the next Double XP Event is in Warzone and Cold War.

Image Credit: Activision / Raven Software

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