What if hide-and-go-seek was done the Call of Duty way?
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 now has Prop Hunt, a fun party mode that is a true test of keen eyesight, map knowledge, and outmaneuvering the world’s toughest players… as a cardboard box, light pole, trash can, or another inanimate object.
In Prop Hunt, two teams alternate between being the Props or the Hunters every round. A round ends once all the Props are found and destroyed, or at least one Prop survives until the end of the time limit. There are multiple rounds in a typical game of Prop Hunt, so just like in the schoolyard, everyone gets a chance to both hide and seek.
Veterans of the franchise may already know how Prop Hunt works, but for those experiencing it for the first time – or those wanting a quick refresher – here are a few tips:
As a Prop, you have one job and one job only:
Don’t get caught.
Props are tailored for the map that Prop Hunt is being played on. Upon spawning in, you’ll be given a Prop to hide as and a few seconds to scoot around the map in order to find a hiding spot. After this head start, the Hunters are released, and all Props make a loud whistle every 20 seconds.
Of course, this emission draws attention to your location, and may especially give it away thanks to Treyarch’s sound design: a Hunter with good enough hearing should be able to tell the direction of the whistle in-game, which gives him or her a big hint as to where you’re hiding.
Props unfortunately do not receive weapons. They do, however, have a few tools to help in hiding effectively:
Decoys: These are literal copies of the current Prop that you are. Like finding a suitable hiding location, the art of placing decoys is something one should consider mastering. If you’re struggling to find a way to use these useful distractions, think about where Hunters may expect to find a Prop hiding and consider placing a decoy there. They may be distracted long enough for you to escape… or run down the clock in a game’s final moments.
Another important tool is the ability to change shape; if you don’t like the current Prop you inhabit, just press the button prompt on screen and switch to another one. However, bear in mind that you can only change Props a limited number of times per round, so use these changes wisely.
Outside of shapeshifting at the start of or during a match, what other times may it be useful to change Props? Often in Prop Hunt, the Hunters will catch on to what Props and decoys look like. In other words, if your prop (e.g. a trash can) is running all over the place and has had every decoy of it blown to shreds, there’s a good chance the enemy team will be extra skeptical of anything resembling a waste bin.
During the round, when no enemies are nearby, it can be a good idea to switch props and move to a new hiding spot. Furthermore, for those seeking higher scores, not all props are sized equally; bigger props stick out more than smaller ones but are rewarded with an increased score for survivability.
Finally, Props have the ability to concuss Hunters. In doing so, it buys the Prop a bit of time to run away while the enemy regains his or her senses. It’s a good idea to think about using these in emergency situations when death is imminent, lest you become a pile of scrap materials.
Being a Prop is one large risk-versus-reward decision. Do you stick with one object and the same hiding location? Or do you become the most aggressive piece of scenery in the world, laying decoys and using the whole map to hide?
All we know is to be one with your Prop: Have some confidence, get stealthy, and hide like a champion!
As a Hunter, your job is to destroy every Prop to win the round.
These Props are far from the breakaway glass, smoke, and mirrors seen on the silver screen. Each hiding player has a bit of health to work with, so it may take a few bullets to eliminate a pesky Prop.
Knowing that Props may set up decoys, don’t worry about hitting them. A decoy has less health than an actual Prop, so it doesn’t waste too much time knocking one out. Not only that, but it may give a clue to what the enemy players are hiding as… If they did not already shapeshift into something else, that is.
With all this said, turning every object on the map into swiss cheese may not be the best idea, as it can run down the clock and provides an audiovisual warning to the actual Props who are hiding.
As a hunter, it may be wise to rely on raw map knowledge. Knowing what objects are usually on the map and their locations is a tough exercise to take, but one that may seriously help in truly mastering Prop Hunt…
Or, you can just listen for the whistling noises that Props make every 30 seconds
If you can, crank up those headphones, monitor, or TV a little louder, and listen for that whistle. The whistle’s loudness is a clue to how close a Prop is, and the sound’s direction may pinpoint where the Prop may be lurking.
Essentially, some keys to becoming an exceptional Hunter are patience, good map knowledge, and even being a good Prop. It takes a good Prop hider to know where a Prop may hide, after all.
Most importantly, the biggest tip we can give for Prop Hunt is to have fun. This game mode is meant to be a wild and wacky tangent from a traditional Call of Duty match, so grab a few friends, drop into the playlist, and have yourself a ball… or a bicycle… or a trash can….