Looking for some Cold War Outbreak tips? Since Treyarch’s latest zombies mode isn’t quite like anything else we’ve seen in the series before, I wouldn’t blame you if you do. Outbreak’s open-ended maps give you a lot of breathing room to make your own decisions; Where to explore, when to progress, and whether you should stick with what you’ve got, or twist, is totally up to you and your team.
But first, the basics: in Outbreak, you (solo or as a squad of up to four) are dropped in the zombie-infested Ural Mountains to facilitate a series of otherworldly experiments. In other words, you’ll be gearing up, completing objectives in progressively challenging environments, and, naturally, dispatching many, many undead—hopefully for good this time.
You can spend as much time as you like in each area, which is a refreshing change of pace, but it also means that you and your team have a lot of decisions to make. So I’m here with this Call of Duty: Cold War Outbreak tips guide to help you make the choices you need to get in and out with your rewards intact.
Cold War Outbreak guide: 6 tips to help you survive
Play with friends
While this is the case for most multiplayer games, it’s especially so in Outbreak. Having multiple co-op companions there to warn you about a zombie coming up behind you, and with varied loadouts to assist with Outbreak’s different objectives, is always useful—it also makes the first couple of worlds a bit more entertaining.
As I’ll go into in another tip, it’s worth it to spend as much time as possible on each world doing as many activities and getting as much good gear and points as you can. And if you’ve played an FPS or two before, the first two maps shouldn’t present much of a challenge. Of course you can still practice solo and put a podcast on in the background at these points, but playing with friends over Discord is nice and relaxed. Well, at least before things get challenging later on.
Take Your Time
So, as I was saying, don’t feel pressured into leaving the map you’re on. Technically all you need to do to progress and warp to the next map is complete the main objectives (marked by a star on your HUD). But rather than making a beeline for the exit, be sure to tick off as many side objectives as you can.
See the sights, feed dead zombies to a dragon, open loot chests wailing an unsettling child’s laughter. The more objectives you tick off, the more upgrade materials, points, and gear upgrades you’ll have. It’s worth reiterating that there’s no time limit in Outbreak, so there’s no reason not to ensure you’re as powerful as you possibly can be before moving on. When, in a later map, you’re about to be overwhelmed by zombies, plague-ridden dogs, and floating, electrified Tempests, past you will be grateful for it.
Clear zombies with vehicles, but not too much
Naturally, when the ground you’re covering is packed to the rafters with zombies, vehicles aren’t just good for getting from A to B. That said, if you do decide to rack up loads of points by mashing zombies with the wheels of your jeep, keep an eye on the white bar that appears just below the centre of your screen—that’s your car’s durability. The more zombies you decorate your windscreen with, the less health your vehicle will have.
Losing your vehicle will be a bigger issue in tougher maps, but your lack of a time limit in earlier rounds makes it more of an inconvenience, really. If your car has gone kaput, look out for jump pads (indicated by an upward-facing arrow on your map) to traverse the map easily, and maybe pick up some essence floating in the sky, too.
Should you exfil or warp?
Here’s one of the biggest choices you’ll need to make is at the end of each map: exfil or warp? Taking place at the end of each round, this is where things get interesting. Either you initiate exfil to keep your rewards or warp to a harder map. The thing is, if you’re defeated before you can exfil, you’ll lose everything.
It’s always tempting to take your chance in the next round, but carefully consider how well your squad coped in the map you’re about to leave. Did you breeze through, or were you often on the cusp of life and death? If you’re closer to the latter, you should probably think about sticking with what you’ve got.
Either way, before you can even make your decision, you need to race to the exfil location and finish off the zombies there. Note that you don’t need to kill every zombie on the way, and the quicker you get there the more time you have to get rid of the undead you actually need to kill. This is when vehicles and jump pads come in handy.
Get as many points as you can
Just like in standard Zombies, amassing points is essential in Outbreak. When it comes to the late game, you’ll need points to Pack-A-Punch your weapons, buy perks, and more, so thankfully there are loads of ways to get them.
There are plenty of ways to optimise your points gathering. First, melee zombies when it’s safe to do so; the 35 points over the standard 25 points-per-kill is a nice bonus, but not worth getting overrun for. You can also get extra points for long-range kills and stuns. Completing objectives and opening loot chests are also solid point earners. Try not to miss any along the way to make sure you’ve got the currency to spend beefing up your soldier.
Prioritise LMGs and shotguns
In most cases, I’ve found LMGs like the Stoner 63 to be very effective in Outbreak. They’re especially good at eliminating lots of weaker enemies quickly, and Outbreak’s open worlds often give you the space to pick them off from longer distances. The fact that you don’t need to reload as often is nice, too, as long as you’re careful to reload at the right time when it comes to it.
Equally, it’s always worth having a decent shotgun in your loadout. The Gallo SA 12’s fire rate and stopping power makes it a great pick, but assault rifles like the Krig-6 and M16 are also very dependable. But if you’re really lucky and pick up the Ray Gun Wonder Weapon from a Mystery Box—and you have the materials to fully upgrade it—your time in the Ural Mountains will be much simpler.