Call of Duty Warzone tips and tricks: Essential hints to dominate the COD battle royale

Call of Duty Warzone is free for all PlayStation, Xbox and PC gamers. Here’s our handy guide on how to ensure you get the most from it.

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Warzone has been a phenomenon over the last few years, exploding Call of Duty’s relevance out from just multiplayer into the booming world of battle royales.

We’ve dropped more times than we can count into Al Mazrah, Vondel and Ashika Island, practising and squadding up to figure out some useful strategies and tips that you can take into your own sessions. Say it quietly, we even win a few games. So, here are our top tips for becoming a better COD Warzone player.

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1. Check the map before you drop

Your choice of landing zone is a key variable at the start of a match. The second you see that cutscene of the plane starting up, you can bring up the map screen for your match and see where the shrinking gas circle will start. That can help you to gain a sense of where people are more likely to land, and where you’ll have to aim as it shrinks.

It’s important that, as your confidence grows, you tailor your tactics on this front. If you don’t fancy yourself in chaotic gunfights, maybe go more remote in order to get some solid equipment. Alternatively, go for the “trial by fire” approach and train yourself in fighting by seeking out crowded areas like the ever-popular Observatory in Al Mazrah. It’s up to you, but make sure you do pick a spot as a squad.

2. Pop and cut your chute to drop more quickly

Pretty much the minute the first version of Warzone went live, players figured out a cheeky way to get a bit of a headstart in a match. As you drop from the plane over the map, you can pop your parachute whenever you like to glide down more slowly. What people realised, though, is that you can actually cut your cord to dive again and re-pop your parachute as many times as you like. Now most players use that to their advantage.

As you fall, popping your chute and then cutting the cords gives you a short speed boost, and throws you forward more aggressively, letting you cover ground more quickly to get to your chosen landing zone.

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3. Don’t hoard your cash

Warzone has a cash economy at its heart. You’ll collect money as you run around and earn more for completing contracts (more on those later). In some matches, you’ll hardly find any, while in others you’ll be swimming in the stuff soon enough. Either way, be sure not to sit on your cash too long.

In the battle royale modes, there are no bonuses for keeping hold of cash, so it’s really only there for you to use at the Buy Stations marked on your map. These let you buy a selection of killstreaks like UAVs, as well as more armour plates and weapons. Our advice would be to be proactive in buying these rewards – you can’t take the money with you, after all, and a well-timed UAV could win you a gunfight really easily.

That said, if your teammates are dying a lot, you might want to keep hold of $4,000 to buy them back in, should they fail to win their redemptive Gulag fight.

4. Loadout drops are risky

Cash is important, then, but when you hit up a Buy Station it might be worth knowing what your priority should be. As we said, killstreaks can be a huge help, but the absolute top priority in your squad should be kitting yourself out with loadouts.

These are like slipping on a glove in this context, letting you get in the groove with a gun you’re comfortable with, and all of the best players use it to dominate. Follow suit, if you can!

In terms of full loadouts with perks, you can now buy loadout drops again, with prices as follows:

  • Solos – $8,000
  • Duos – $12,000 ($6,000 per Player)
  • Trios – $16,000 ($5,300 per Player)
  • Quads – $20,000 ($5,000 per Player)

You can also get your loadout through the airdrops that arrive midway through a game. These are fiercely contested, though, since the boxes now work for any and all squads.

5. Choose custom perks

Loadouts also let you experiment with perk packages, too. This used to be restrictive but is now pretty free to edit.

We’d highly recommend running with a perk package that includes Fast Hands, which will make weapon swapping and reloading quicker.

In fact, our recommended perk package is as follows:

  • Overkill, Double Time, Fast Hands, Ghost

That will give you plenty of upsides, including two custom guns and being hidden from UAVs – something that always used to be impossible at the same time.

If you’re getting a second loadout later in the game, you can swap out Overkill for Battle Hardened to get more protection from flashbangs and stuns, or Bomb Squad to up your resistance to explosions.

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6. Tweak your settings

Whether you’re on PC or console, there are some basic settings that you can tweak to help you perform better on Warzone 2.0 if you’re starting out.

Making sure you like your controller or mouse sensitivity is a big one to nail down, and we’re a big fan of having an ADS multiplier on – this means that the game reduces or increases your sensitivity when you’re aiming down your weapon’s sites, making it easier to track a target at distance.

All platforms can now edit their field of view, too – you should definitely increase it from the default of 90 to let you see a lot more of the world at a glance, a huge competitive advantage. We like to play on 109 FOV but it’s a matter of taste.

Turning off all in-game music can be a huge help, too – the stressful music that comes in during endgame circles is a distraction that can obscure footsteps and other key audio, so bin it off entirely for total focus.

7. Pick up contracts whenever you can

If you’re daunted by the chunky price tag of a primary weapon, there are some good ways to earn cash and loot while you move around the map – contracts. These are marked out for you, and fall into a number of types: Bounties, Safecracker, Scavenger, Secure Intel, and Most Wanted.

Bounties mark out one player on the map for you, in a radius that gets smaller as you get closer to them, giving you a set amount of time to locate and kill him or her, and rewarding you if they die. Usefully, if you take out a bounty and someone else kills that player, you’ll still get a smaller reward. There’s no downside to picking one of these up – it’ll tell you where a player is and you get XP just for starting it.

Safecracker contracts mark out a selection of safes for you to find and blast open, with solid loot in them and a cash reward when you finish the set. Again, these are no-brainers, although they’re very popular targets at the start of matches.

Scavenger tasks you with finding and opening three marked loot boxes for guaranteed rewards, and seems to only be live on Ashika Island’s smaller playing field.

Secure Intel, meanwhile, points you towards a piece of intel to broadcast. They require you to stay still for a little while, sometimes out in the open. They’ll tell you where the circle will next close, though, as a huge tactical benefit, and are favourites for experienced players, since you can stack that information up if you move quickly.

Most Wanted is a double-edged sword. You’re marked as a target for everyone on the map, for three minutes, but if you survive that time limit not only do you get a cash reward, any dead teammates instantly drop back into the game, whether they’re in the gulag or spectating.

The final word, though, is that these contracts aren’t just good for loot and money – they also give you a short-term objective to aim for, and are a great way of making a match feel more structured and less like guesswork. Frankly, blazing out in a game where you ticked off a couple of contracts is more fun than hiding in one place for 20 minutes and then dying.

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We keep mentioning squads, and while you can play Warzone 2.0 in Solos mode, the aim is clearly still for most players to join a squad in the main battle royale mode. We’d encourage you to think tactically as a squad, therefore. If you’re sat with full armour and three spare plates, while your squadmates are down to nothing, drop some plates for them to pick up.

The same goes for cash and ammo – it’s often the case that only by pooling your cash can a loadout marker be bought, for example. This will encourage more selfless play in the long run.

9. Ping everything

Just like every other battle royale game since Apex Legends came out, Warzone 2.0 has a ping system to let you communicate with your squaddies. It lets you show them what you’re looking at or where you’re aiming. This is an easy tip, but use it all the time, whenever you can, and map it to a button you’re comfortable with to make that easier. The more information you share, the further your squad will go.

Thankfully, Warzone 2.0’s pings recently got upgraded to be a lot clearer, making them an essential tool once again.

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10. Get creative with equipment

There’s also a range of field equipment that you can find around the map as you go, which can help you out in a pinch. Whether it’s a deployable bit of cover to block an enemy’s sightline, a drill charge to flush out a player holding a room, or more, there are a lot of ways these can help.

One fun tactic that was quickly discovered involves the field drone you can find. If you use the drone, and a teammate has C4 equipped, they can actually drop the C4 on the drone to turn it into a miniaturised, mobile bomb.

11. Exploit the Gulag

One of the most refreshing parts of Warzone 2.0 is that death doesn’t have to be the end at all. Firstly, unless you die right near the end of the game, after your first death you’ll be sent to the Gulag, a jail where you’ll await a one-on-one gunfight to earn free re-entry to the battlefield.

If two of your squad go to the Gulag at once, though, you could be able to help each other out. Often our teammate has been able to give us callouts while they watched our gunfight, helping us to win then getting back into the game. Take every advantage you can get – and hoover up cash from the arena’s floor if you have a chance.

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12. Play DMZ for a change of pace

Of course, Warzone isn’t just pure battle royale – there’s also DMZ, a totally different style of mode that sees you dropping into Al Mazrah with objectives to complete before making your way to an extraction point.

It’s got a lot more AI enemies to contend with, and gives you a different set of priorities, making it a really fun way to switch things up if you’re struggling with Battle Royale.

13. Try out Resurgence

With Season 2 and the arrival of a new map, Ashika Island, a fan-favourite game mode returned – Resurgence.

This quick-fire mode sees players returning to the battlefield after a countdown if they die, one that goes quicker if their squadmates get kills. It’s frenetic and fast-paced and offers a much quicker and more action-packed option for shorter gaming sessions.

Now we’ve got an even newer map, Vondel, and it’s perfect for Resurgence, with really urban combat and loads of out-play opportunities.

14. Vary your squad size

Since the first game’s launch, there have been plenty of changes to playlists in Warzone already – we’ve got a Solos mode, if you fancy taking on Al Mazrah on your lonesome, and the launch of (the original) Season 3 saw the addition of Quads, raising your squad size to four. That’s perfect if you were always excluding a mate to get down to a three-man squad.

Still, though, if you don’t have four people and don’t want a random in your team, you could always change your Squad Fill settings to make sure that it’s just your friends, and take your chances with a smaller squad. It’s a disadvantage, for sure, but it can be fun to see how your tactics have to change under duress.

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15. Watch for flares

You might not have realised it, but there are two situations in Warzone 2.0’s Battle Royale mode that send up a signal flare into the sky for nearby players to see. One is starting to broadcast at an Intel contract point, which sends up a white flare, while the other is buying back a squadmate, which sends up a red flare.

Keep an eye out for these signals as you move around the map, and you could get the drop on a team camping at a capture point or waiting for an unlooted squadmate to return to the fray.

16. Vary where you drop

It’s tempting and easy to find a couple of spots in Al Mazrah where you love to drop, whether because they’re generally isolated or loot-laden, but fight the urge to return to them too often. You’ll improve more quickly, and learn the map much faster if you switch up your drop points and occasionally go for locations you know will be busier. It’ll also change the rhythm of your play session, which we think is a good thing.

17. Beware the gas mask

As you enter the endgame of a match, a popular and powerful tactic is to hug the gas ring’s outer edge as it closes, picking off fleeing targets and staying just ahead of it yourself. This basically requires you to have a gas mask, so that you’re less at risk yourself, but be aware that the mask’s on-off animations can be disruptive (although they’re being slowly fixed bit by bit)

The first time it happens to you, it’ll ruin your day, but your character pulling the mask on and off can interrupt your firing and reduce you to useless hip fire for a couple of seconds at key moments, so be sure to plan for it. It’s not necessarily something you’ll ever be able to reliably control, but if you learn to expect the disruption you’ll at least stop being quite so annoyed by it.

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18. Look out for in-match events

The first Warzone used in-game events during matches to swap the pace up. There were plenty of possible events, but it would seem the list has slimmed down hugely for Warzone 2.0

So far, we’ve only seen a few events in our matches – namely the ones below.

  • Jailbreak: Everyone who’s eliminated respawns by airdrop – whether they’ve lost in the Gulag or are waiting for a fight.
  • Fire Sale: Buy stations suddenly get heavy discounts on many items, are restocked, and buying back fallen squadmates becomes way cheaper for the 60-second duration.
  • Occupation Scan: This sends out a wave of tracking signals around the map – when it goes live you have to either go prone or be underwater to avoid broadcasting your location to everyone.

You might count the loadout drops that come in during every match, too. For now, though, these are the only big random variables you need to consider (as far as we know).

19. Don’t lose hope

It might sound a bit trite, but we really mean it. Whether you’ve never won a game or haven’t for weeks, keep playing sensibly and making tactical decisions and the wins will come at some point. They won’t always happen how you think, either – we always remember one game back in Verdansk, coming off a hot streak of losses. We died early, got through the Gulag without any opponent after an anxious two-minute wait, dropped near the final circle with no gun and hid for five minutes before sneaking in, picking up a single SMG and firing three shots to finish off the last player standing, who never even saw us.

One kill, a lot of tension, and a huge slice of fortune, and we’re back in win-town. Warzone is a game of skill laced with a lot of luck and situational awareness, so don’t be disheartened if you’re on a bad run, basically.