How loadouts work in Black Ops Cold War Zombies

Liam Mackay

In Black Ops Cold War, players will bring their loadouts to Zombies mode for the first time.

Progression across multiplayer and Zombies is unified, meaning playing either mode will help you rank up and unlock weapons and other items for use in Zombies, multiplayer, and Warzone.

Treyarch recently released details on how Zombies will play in Black Ops Cold War. This detailed how the new custom loadout system will work, which will be further explained here.

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Custom Weapons

In order to start the action early in Zombies, players will be able to bring one of their own weapons with them. This will level the weapon up in the same way that playing multiplayer with it will.

There is currently no word on if Weapon Blueprints, first implemented in Modern Warfare, will be brought into Zombies. With a unified progression system, it is likely that players can bring their purchased items into Zombies with them.

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Treyarch has confirmed that custom loadouts won’t affect the gameplay of Zombies very much. Upgrading and unlocking new weapons throughout a game of Zombies is a staple for the mode, so the team has carefully considered how loadouts will affect this.

Loadouts are simplified in Zombies. Players load in with a weapon of their choosing with two attachments and a field upgrade. Compared to weapons and items found later in the round, the loadout will be underpowered. They are just starting weapons.

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As the rounds progress, loadout weapons will become less effective at killing zombies. At this point, players have the choice to upgrade their loadout weapon or trade it out for a higher rarity weapon.

Weapon Rarities

There are five tiers of weapon rarity: Common/Loadout, Uncommon, Rare, Epic and Legendary.

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Weapon damage increases for each rarity. For example, an Uncommon weapon deals 50% more damage than a loadout weapon, and a Legendary weapon deals roughly 300% more damage and comes with eight attachments.

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Buying weapons from walls and the Mystery Box both make a return. When buying your favorite weapon from a wall, it comes with a randomized attachment. Chances of receiving a high-rarity weapon also increase as the rounds progress.

With the rarity tier system, if you unlock a strong weapon early, there is now a reason to return to the mystery box. If you unlock an Epic weapon in an early round, it is worth revisiting the box again later to try and roll the Legendary version of that weapon.

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Kevin Drew, Treyarch’s Lead Zombies System Designer, said: “I’ve been playing Zombies for 10 years and this is the most excited I’ve ever been when opening the Mystery Box.”

Field Upgrades

Field Upgrades have also made a return in Black Ops Cold War, and are also used in Zombies.

They have been balanced to provide “a welcome power spike as part of the core combat loop without making players OP in the process.”

Field Upgrades confirmed to be in the game at launch are:

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  • Frost Blast –Create a frigid blast of wind that deals frost damage and slows enemies caught inside of it. Slowed enemies take additional damage.
  • Healing Aura – Summon beams of energy down on yourself and allies to instantly heal to full health.
  • Energy Mine – Create a mine of pure energy that detonates on proximity of enemies, dealing explosive damage.
  • Ring of Fire – Create a ring of ethereal fire that boosts damage for you and allies. Normal enemies who enter gain a burning effect that deals fire damage. Lasts 15 seconds.
  • Aether Shroud – Phase into the Dark Aether for 5 seconds becoming hidden from enemy detection.

Source: Treyarch

About The Author

Liam is CharlieIntel's Editor who focuses on Call of Duty but also plays lots of fantasy RPGs or anything else in his massive gaming backlog. After graduating in Journalism from Edinburgh Napier University, Liam freelanced in games journalism before joining CharlieIntel in November 2020. You can contact Liam at [email protected].