Getting Started in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Zombies

Surviving the undead across four adventures can be a blast either by yourself, or with some friends. Here are a few survival tips for diving into this deep, story-driven experience.

by James Mattone on November 05, 2018

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 takes players into the bone-chilling epic story of the Zombies universe with plenty of mystery, supernatural intrigue, and hordes upon hordes of the living dead. Right now, you can dive into three unique experiences within this game mode: IX, Voyage of Despair, and Blood of the Dead. And if you picked up any of the editions with the Black Ops Pass, you can add Classified to the mix.

Take a deep breath, steel yourself, and face the undead head-on.

Play the Tutorials

Should this be your first time playing Zombies, we highly recommend diving into both Tutorials.

The basic and advanced Tutorials are available from the main menu via the Select Map/Mode button. Here, you can learn everything from how to kill Zombies to navigating the new features included in Black Ops 4’s Zombies mode. This knowledge buff is well worth your time, for both newbies and veterans alike.

Dip Your Feet in the Beginners Playlist

At Level 1, your Public Playlists include the Beginners Playlist. Here, you get a few things that are meant to ease the whole experience, such as “gentler” Zombies and increased health.

Like the Tutorials, this playlist is meant to help newer players and provide a casual experience. Should you like this style of play but are past level 20, you can select the “Casual” difficulty setting and play a Solo or Private Match.

Deciding What Map to Play On

Black Ops 4 provides players with the most Zombies experiences at launch, each with plenty of undead secrets to unlock. While we recommend playing all of them to get a personal feel for each one, here’s an idea of what each one offers:


"Transported across the Millennia, Scarlett, Diego, Bruno and Shaw find themselves caught up in a sinister ritual, where they are thrust into brutal gladiatorial combat against waves of unnatural enemies that stand between them and the High Priest of Chaos...”

Fight in an ancient coliseum against zombie Tigers, Undead Gladiators, and the massive Blightfathers to get closer to the mysterious High Priest.

This is also the map featured in the Beginners playlist, should you take our advice and play a few games in that playlist first, this is what you will encounter.

Voyage of Despair

"Four intrepid adventurers board the RMS Titanic to pull off a daring heist involving a mysterious artifact. Little do Scarlett Rhodes, Diego Necalli, Bruno Delacroix and Stanton Shaw suspect that a giant iceberg will be the least of their problems..."

Set on the RMS Titanic, our heroes must retrieve the Sentinel Artifact and revert the ship’s passengers back to human form. Of course, because it’s the Titanic, you’ll also need to pump water out of the ship by draining it from the Cargo Hold and Boiler Room. Otherwise, you might face a cold, watery, zombie-filled grave.

Blood of the Dead

"In their mission to "secure a better tomorrow", Richtofen, Dempsey, Takeo and Nikolai journey to a secret laboratory beneath the iconic Alcatraz, where they realize that the future they sought to secure is now in serious jeopardy..."

Set on Alcatraz Island, this re-imagined version of the Black Ops II Zombies adventure Mob of the Dead expands the story and features the original heroes of the Zombies storyline. 


"Mankind must put an end to war - or war will put an end to mankind. (JFK, 1961)"

A re-imagined version of the Black Ops Zombies map Five, our heroes must investigate the Pentagon and find the “Cold War Remedy” known as the Project Skadi Prototype.

Classified is available through the Black Ops Pass.

Load Out Before You Roll Out

As you level up in Zombies, you will unlock create-a-class options that you can equip before you load into every game. These options include Perks, Elixirs, Talismans, and Weapons.

Perks are items that can be bought in-game to give your character specific boosts. These boosts include Stamin-Up, which increases movement and sprint speed as well as regenerates stamina faster. Each of the perks are put in a pre-determined location on the map and can be purchased with points.

The last perk in create-a-class gets a special Modifier, which gives a special modifier to that perk. For example, when placed in the last slot in create-a-class, the Stamin-Up perk also gives you unlimited sprint and the ability to fire weapons while sprinting.

Elixirs and Talismans are limited use benefits that can be crafted in the Laboratory with Nebulium Plasma, which is earned while playing Zombies. Elixirs are activated via the D-pad on console controllers, and Talismans directly modify your character by giving you permanent benefits for that game, such as starting the match with a specific weapon or perk.

Weapons are broken up into three sections. The first is Equipment, which are items that reload over time like Frag grenades. The second is your Special Weapon; this also charges over time and can deal a great amount of damage to tons of Zombies. The final section is the Starting Weapon, or the weapon you have when spawning into the game.

Your Starting Weapon, as well as all weapons available on the walls in-game, including most Mystery Box weapons, can be outfitted with attachments via the Armory tab. More weapons can be customized as you rank up, and attachments for specific weapons can be unlocked by earning kills with that particular weapon.

Communication is Key

Zombies is a team effort: up to four players can team up to fight the undead, and public matches automatically fill lobbies with four players.

Your team might have trouble surviving the undead for long without knowing what each other is doing. One suggestion is to come up with a strategy in the pre-game lobby before readying up and continuing to communicate clearly (and nicely!) with your fellow survivors while playing. This can be talking to each other about opening doors, killing the last zombie in a round, or completing the step to unlock a hidden area or weapon.

Alternatively, solo players can load up a private game with up to three AI characters to get some practice in. This will allow you to play with a full squad, so not only will you be able to have some backup, you can enjoy the incredible dialogue that these characters have throughout their adventures.

Find Some Friends

Public Matches automatically put you in a lobby with three other players, but sometimes, you might want to head into a fight with the undead alongside your best friends. Load into a private game and party up with your buddies, and you can spend day and night battling the undead together.

Whether it’s in a public match, in a private game with a full party from around the world, or on a local server for a late-night LAN session, Zombies is thoroughly enjoyable with a full squad – search for those ever-elusive Easter Eggs hidden throughout the adventures.

Now that you have an idea of what you need to survive against the undead hordes, get out there, load up some Zombies, and enjoy hours of endless mysteries and survival, all for the fate of the universe!

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