Vehicles play an extremely important role in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s battle royale mode, Blackout; after all, your two feet can only get you so far on the main map. Here’s a quick primer on how to get around the map after dropping in:
The Tactical Raft can skip across the water with enough space for an entire Quad squad aboard.
That full team can position one player on the boat’s stern, port, and starboard (that’s back, left and right for the non-seafarers) while the captain tames the vessel at the aft.
Be careful traversing in a raft though; there aren’t any walls in this seafaring craft. That means a Quad rolling down the river might be spotted by enemies on the banks. With that said, if you or your Quad-mates see opponents while zipping along the waves take aim and see if you can take out a few.
In Solo games, just be aware that enemies can (and will) check the waters for loud, buzzing Tactical Rafts to get a sitting duck on the water.
The Tactical Raft’s big brother, the PBR packs a powerful punch thanks to a mounted heavy weapon on the port of this patrol boat.
This weapon is capable of downing a helicopter, land vehicle, or enemy boat with enough time and accuracy. Accuracy, actually, is the biggest key to finding success with the PBR; there are no fancy scopes nor lock-on features like a Hellion Salvo launcher, so the PBR is only as powerful as the gunner behind it.
The back of the PBR is fairly roomy for the squad to move around and dodge any incoming bullets or find the best spot to fire on enemies. The walls of the boat also provide cover, so you can opt to stop and engage with enemies if you choose. If things get too hairy reposition the turret gun for better accuracy or consider zipping down the waterway to take another approach.
Noise wise, the PBR’s engine is louder than that of a Tactical Raft, which may further draw in attackers to your position. Fortunately, the reinforced steel, especially in the gunner seat, is capable of taking more than a few bullets… and that heavy mounted gun can rip through those pesky snipers with precise aim.
The ATV is an open quad bike that comes with a passenger seat on the caboose.
The wheels on the ATV make driving through all terrain types relatively straightforward. Furthermore, its size allows the driver to weave through the forests, bounce over desert hills, and even squeeze through some of the largest buildings on the main map.
A main concern with the ATV is the noise that it produces; drop this thing in the middle of the city, and the whole block will know you have a new toy. There isn’t that much cover on this vehicle either, which makes the passenger on the back the designated defender.
In Solo games, hopping on an ATV is a risk-reward decision. Driving this quad through the map will let you get to a safe zone faster, but it will draw enemies to your position as if you were an ice cream truck parked on a beach in July.
Rev up the engine on the recently released Motorcycle, which comes with a sidecar so you can carry a buddy along for a cruise across the map.
Like the ATV, this open-top vehicle makes plenty of noise, so be aware that enemies may clue into the roar of the motor and be drawn towards it. However, should you bring along a friend who would be riding shotgun in the sidecar, they are able to fend off threats to you and your chopper with any weapon of their choosing.
And, in the worst-case scenario, this bad boy can rip up the mean streets of Blackout with its breakneck speed… Just be careful when making a turn at this pace, lest you get a bit of road rash.
Want to out-muscle your opponents in a drag race to the center of the circle? Well, the Muscle Car can help with that.
A convertible with attitude, the Muscle Car rides exactly how you would expect: high speed and heavy handling. While not as nimble as the ATV, the Muscle Car can rip up the main roads of Blackout as if it were a street race.
Speaking of street races, if you give the turn stick a hard yank, you can pull of a drift-worthy power slide. This can come in handy when evasive maneuvers are necessary. This convertible doesn’t have a retractable roof, so you’ll have to be wary of any potential gunfire.
If you have some buddies, they can ride shotgun or in the back with whatever weapon they want to fend off those who want to stop your joyride through Blackout. It also has a dashboard GPS too!
Want something roomy that provides full coverage? Find yourself an SUV on the map, and traversing the lands of Blackout with the whole crew will be faster and potentially safer for everyone.
By design, the SUV offers plenty more protection against the elements than the convertible Muscle Car and the ATV. However, it’s also a bit bigger, which makes it a bigger target to anyone looking to take it down.
Like the other land vehicles before it, use the SUV wisely in Blackout. Enemies will hear the hum of this engine from a distance, so either use it sparingly when approaching high-traffic areas on the map or get ready to make some roadkill.
Speaking of roadkill, the ARAV is a bulky three-seater with a mounted machine gun up top.
Fast, bulky, and equipped with that turret, the ARAV can be a great tool for breaching enemy defenses, especially with another passenger sitting shotgun to provide suppressing fire.
The ARAV can be effective when used with a duo (one driver and one gunner) or with a third person riding shotgun, but unfortunately, one person out of a Quad will be left out. Should you find an ARAV, communicate with the entire team to figure out how that fourth player can help or get around the map alongside this bulky beast… Lest they become the odd one out and remember it for the rest of the session.
Last, but certainly not least out of the land vehicles, the Cargo Truck can fit the entire Quad and then some… At the cost of being the slowest vehicle and a massive target.
What some may not realize about the Cargo Truck is that it can hold weapons, ammo, and equipment, acting as a mobile stash for all the loot you can fit. After finding a Cargo Truck, it doesn’t hurt to bring it along and use it as storage for extra perks, such as Dead Silence, and Equipment, like the Sensor Dart and Trophy System, for use in the late game.
This aerial vehicle is rare in Blackout, but can be a powerful transportation tool capable of hovering across the map in no time. Five players can ride in addition to the pilot. They can choose to fire from above or jump out of the helicopter to attack players on the ground or identify enemy positions.
Helicopters are also fairly loud, and it’s pretty hard to hide one in the sky. That makes these birds the most likely to see a Hellion Salvo rocket directed right towards it.
When flying around with a Light Helicopter, listen closely for anyone trying to shoot you out of the sky. It’s perfectly okay to bail out of a helicopter and drop down below if you’ve overstayed your welcome in the skies… And don’t worry about that chopper crashing down to earth as long as you aren’t in it, you still have a chance to survive to the final collapse.
Currently exclusive to Blackout’s Ground War mode, the Attack Helicopter is like the Light Helicopter… Except that it has two turrets. Outfitted for a pilot and three passengers, this bird is definitely one of prey, as those two turrets can rain down fire on any vehicle or player in its path.
In Ground War, this chopper can impact the massive team fight that is inevitable at the end of game, as those gunners can pick out and pick off enemy forces while those on the ground deal with combat in closer quarters.
It also makes it even more of a target than its lighter cousin; be very wary when piloting this thing above the Blackout map, because most likely, there will be a player (or two… or five) with a rocket launcher ready for the hunt.
Hoofing it: Your Own Two Feet
Wait, I thought we were talking about vehicles here!
Yes, those are included in “modes of transportation,” but so is walking, running, and swimming.
There are several benefits to not using a vehicle in Blackout; namely, you traverse the map at a quieter (if slower) pace.
That is one severely-underrated benefit to not taking a vehicle, and for those wishing for the most stealth travel the perk Dead Silence further hushes footsteps. An enemy will hear the roar of an engine from a much greater distance than the crunch of your boots, especially if you are walking, crouch-walking, or moving prone.
Plus, not having a vehicle can put you in a position to trip up those on heavy machinery. The Hellion Salvo is an obvious example, but explosive equipment can also be very effective on vehicles.
Cluster Grenades can be stuck onto nearly anything, and the Trip Mines can also be useful tools when used with a bit of creativity. LMG weapons also have a boost against vehicles, so find a Titan or Hades if you are trying to shoot a vehicle off the road or out of the sky.
Yes, you may not be able to fly by the entire map in 30 seconds flat on your feet, but not having a vehicle isn’t so bad… If you use it to your advantage.