Call of Duty's Blackout mode isn't easy to get to grips with at all, with every game proving to be both a harsh challenge and a learning experience. With every kill, death, loss and victory you'll learn more and get better, but these 5 tips will help you to climb that mountain faster and achieve your first Victory. These tips are most suited to Solo play, but they'll definitely help you and your teammates if you're playing Duos or Quads.
Know your drop zone
Blackout has a huge map packed full of different areas, both the big named areas and smaller clusters of houses and garages. Regardless of where you drop, you should know your location like the back of your hand. You'll see many popular streamers dropping into hot spot locations like Firing Range and leaving with half a dozen kills, but you shouldn't feel pressured to be landing in locations like these all the time, infact if you're struggling to improve in the game mode it is often better to land at a quieter location. Unnamed clusters of houses can easily provide you with two guns and a few meds, whereas quieter but still fairly busy locations like Estates, Fracking Tower, Array etc can provide the middle ground of plenty of loot, but also early-game firefights.
The main point that will help you improve is knowing exactly where you're landing, what your first steps are, and what the area can provide for you. You should always be landing with a clear plan and a distinct knowledge of your starting area to be successful. Just by knowing what you're doing and what is around you, it will be much easier to improve your success in the early game and be able to set yourself up for success.
Secure the Area
So you've landed, what should you be doing? The last section mentioned having a plan and that is the absolute most important thing to have when you land. Getting a gun should always be your first priority, regardless of what it is. Even if you pick up the Mozu, probably one of the worst weapons in Blackout, it is better than being empty handed. This means that if you land on a roof and someone else does too, and they manage to get a gun first, you need to get out of there immediately. Don't worry about losing health by jumping off the roof, its better than dying and being sent to the killcam screen.
If you do happen to find a gun first though, securing the area is the next priority. Trying to loot and gear up without knowing who or what is around you is extremely dangerous and is often an easy way to get killed. When you've grabbed a weapon, you don't have much to lose at all so you can afford to be very aggressive, within reason. You should of course make sure you're not trying to fight outside of your range, you won't do well at long range with an SMG or Pistol, and if someone is quite far away it can often be better to avoid shooting them and to let them leave the area, or wait until there is a better opportunity to engage them. However, anyone in your immediate vicinity or anyone nearby that could pose a problem in the near future should be dealt with as fast as possible, especially in named locations like Array and Firing Range. This isn't much of a problem if you're landing at a smaller unnamed location, but it is worth taking a moment to survey your surroundings to make sure nobody is sneaking around.
Working the Circle
Knowing how to move around the circle is incredibly important and can definitely increase your success rates greatly.
Firstly, you should always try to work your way towards the thin side of the circle, within reason. Being on the thick side of the circle means you will have a much longer distance to run, meaning more potential danger from other players, as you will have to focus on running rather than looking out for enemies. Being on the thin side of the circle also means the circle will close slower for you, allowing you to take more time to pick off stragglers.
It is also important to try to get an idea of where people will be coming from according to the position of the circle and the flight path of the helicopters you drop from. If the flight path runs across the far west side of the map and the first circle is on the East side of the map, then a lot of people will be moving west to east. You can use this information to predict player movement, allowing you to prioritize checking areas that would be more populated from the safety of the circle.
Perk Priority & Usage
Blackout has many perks that do many different things, and it is easy to get overburdened with all the different choices. Below is a list ranking all of the perks in the game in terms of how useful they are. Afterwards, we'll list at what stage in the game you should be aiming to use them.
Top Tier: Skulker, Reinforced, Medic, Dead Silence, Awareness, Paranoia
Middle Tier: Looter, Consumer, Engineer
Bottom Tier: Brawler, Outlander, Squad Link, Iron Lungs
And next, when you should aim to use them:
Never: Brawler, Iron Lungs, Squad Link
Niche: Outlander, Looter
Straight Away: Skulker, Paranoia (sometimes), Awareness (sometimes), Consumer, Engineer
End Game: Paranoia, Awareness, Dead Silence, Reinforced, Medic (sometimes)
Certain perks like Paranoia, Awareness, Dead Silence, Medic etc are very much up to personal situation when it comes to when you should use them. If you're surrounded by enemies and you're trying to listen for people coming to you, it can be beneficial to use Paranoia or Awareness then rather than saving it. Dead Silence can also be good to use straight away if you're pushing through a populated area, or you're trying to stay undetected in a busy location. It is very much down to personal situation for perks like these, though they are extremely powerful perks and can be very useful to have in the final circles.
Prioritizing your usage of meds is another important thing that can literally mean the difference between life and death. Different situations call for different meds, so lets take a look at when you should be using the different healing items in the game.
Bandages heal 25 health each and you can carry a maximum of 10 per stack. These are great for healing damage less than 25 and healing if you find yourself being damaged by the circle. These are a backup healing method that should be used as a last resort. It is not recommended to carry more than 1 stack of Bandages.
Medkits are the bread and butter of healing. Each Medkit heals 50 health, and you can carry a maximum of 5 per stack. These should be used as your main healing item, as they are common and also very effective. They only take marginally longer to use than a Bandage but heal double the amount, thus they should be used to heal any damage over 40. Medkits are your main healing option and should be bound to your healing button at all times, unless you're being damaged by the circle or you need a large panic heal.
This is the big boy of healing items. The Trauma Kit will always heal you to 200 health regardless of your current health, whether you're at 199 or 1 hp. Trauma Kits should be used immediately when found to ensure a little bit of added safety, and when combined with armour are great for tanking damage. Trauma Kits do not stack and can only be carried as individual items. If you have already used a Trauma Kit and you find another, it is a great idea to keep hold of it for later on. It can be very beneficial to have a full heal to 200hp on hand at any time, and the Trauma Kit can also be used as a large panic heal, should you find yourself in a particularly unfavourable situation.
BONUS: Fast Drop
As a bonus point, there is a specific way you should be dropping onto the map to be the first to land. Unless where you want to go is the complete other side of the map, you should always immediately jump out of the helicopter and dive straight down until you reach 70m/s. At that point, you should pull up and level out, meaning you have only lost a small amount of height yet you are gliding at roughly 67m/s, making sure you are travelling as fast as possible towards your destination.
Hopefully with these tips you've learned something new that you're ready to use in Blackout. Stay tuned to Keengamer for more guides, walkthroughs, reviews and news for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and all of your favourite games.