Black Ops Cold War’s multiplayer offering features many different and dangerous maps for players to compete on. To try and ascertain their quality, we’ve decided to place them in a tier system and rank them in order from worst to best.
Despite initially only launching with eight normal maps (discounting Fireteam maps), Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War now contains 23 exciting 6v6 options to house skirmishes.
Each map generally has something that makes it unique, for better or for worse, and we’ve done our best to break each one down and rank them in ascending order and tier them too.
Be sure to check out our complete Black Ops Cold War map guides with must-have tips for the maps in the game.
CoD: Black Ops Cold War: map tier list
We’re going to take a moment to assign each of Cold War’s maps an official tier before we place them in order. There’s plenty to chew on here, but which are the cream of the crop?
Just to explain the system:
- S-Tier maps are the top-of-the-line powerhouses
- A-Tier are amazing
- B-Tier maps are just missing something
- C-Tier ones are not worth your time
Here is our official tier list of all of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s maps:
- S-Tier: Crossroads, Diesel, Moscow, Nuketown ’84, Raid, The Pines, Standoff, Yamantau, Hijacked, Echelon, The Slums, Rush
- A-Tier: Checkmate, Collateral, Miami Strike, Zoo
- B-Tier: Apocalypse, Armada, Express, Satellite, Garrison
- C-Tier: Cartel, Miami
#23 – Miami
Miami actually has some decent spots on it and some thumping music from its nightclub, but its lack of visibility is something that simply cannot be overlooked.
It’s also extremely open, far too large for 6v6 with plenty of unused space and locations that kind of just hit a weird dead-end.
#22 – Cartel
Cartel, with or without its giant bushes, is really missing something. Again, it feels too big and empty with most games take place in a big ring around the middle of the map, and it does sadly contain the hellish eyesores that plague most games.
For that reason, it has to remain low on the list, even with its Season 2 makeover.
#21 – Armada
The idea of Armada is probably a little better than its actual execution. It definitely has plenty of fun moments (especially skirmishes under the ship), but it’s too easy for people in the middle section to trap the other team in their spawn.
We think having three mini-ships side-by-side that all connect to each other could’ve made for some incredible sniping battles and great maneuverability.
#20 – Satellite
There’s something about Satellite we can’t quite put our finger on that stops it from being better. Like Armada, it suffers from “middle domination,” and the openness of previous entries on this list.
If you have the middle, it’s fantastic, if you don’t, you’re in trouble. However, Satellite is a cunning little web of intertwining mini-channels that does provide you with options and has an interesting side channel in the desert. Although, spawn camping is sadly rife on Satellite.
#19 – Apocalypse
Apocalypse joined during the big Season 2 update. Playing off the season’s narrative themes, Apocalypse is set somewhere in a jungle, and its design is centered around mid-to-long-range fights.
It’s far too easy to be spawn-trapped with Apocalypse and there seem to be no mid-range fights. You either exit a doorway, turn a corner or stare down a channel, and that’s it. There was potential here.
#18 – Express
A fan-favorite going at least one more round in a Call of Duty game. Let’s be fair, it carries a lot of nostalgia given that it came from the terrific Black Ops II, but it’s not the most amazing map the franchise has produced.
The novelty of the occasional speeding train is always hilarious if it hits someone, but it just feels like a really enclosed map with no middle channel. Walkway fights are fun, as are battles in the waiting area, but Express isn’t as creative as later entries on this list.
#17 – Garrison
A very Call of Duty-style map with a big warehouse featuring tanks everywhere.
All three channels are viable options with the whole map being used at all times. It’s not spectacular, but it’s not bad either – maybe a bit generic. Also, you can practically see each spawn from either end, leading to a lot of annoying camping and stagnant games – especially Kill Confirmed.
#16 – Zoo
Zoo arrived as part of the Season 5 Reloaded update, and it is a surprising inclusion, to say the least. Zoo has always had a certain charm to it, not least because of the zoo aesthetic, but that didn’t necessarily make it a great map.
There isn’t an obvious flaw with Zoo, it’s just another map that we’d file under “average Call of Duty” map. The monorail track is also a spot that is equally wonderful if you own it, and frustrating if you don’t.
#15 – Miami Strike
After taking the criticism for Miami on board, Treyarch did try and rectify this by identifying its flaws and making a much better version of the map.
It’s smaller, which allows for more frequent engagements, and its daytime aesthetic makes it a lot easier to see people. Its design choices perhaps hold it back as the action regularly just sticks to the outer parts of the map, and it feels just a bit too cluttered and clunky with vehicles and obstacles randomly strewn about haphazardly.
#14 – Collateral
Collateral is a mixture of vintage CoD and the ugly side of some of Modern Warfare 2019’s often-criticized map design.
The size feels spot-on for what it is, and there’s some great accessibility in and out of buildings making for fun standoffs. But there’s perhaps too much emphasis on buildings, making you feel quite exposed down the flanks, and utterly helpless in the middle of the map.
The large degree of buildings and openings, combined with the empty space in the middle of the map, makes for a lot of camping on both sides.
#13 – Checkmate
Again, it bears a striking resemblance to Garrison (maybe too much) in that you’re in a gigantic hangar. Only this time there’s a lengthy plane plonked right in the middle of it.
Action in the plane is generally 50/50, and it’s all-around the plane where the best action takes place with around its make or break choke points. Cover is placed strategically enough so that you can have tense ‘peak’ fights at a decent distance.
#12 – Hijacked
The big remake that kicked off Season 4, Hijacked is quite iconic, and it’s good to welcome it back. Each game takes place on a luxury yacht, and the setting is unmistakable and superb.
Cold War doesn’t completely mesh with Hijacked though, as there seems to be more spawn-trapping than ever, particularly if you utilize the top of the middle section. If you can maintain your base and standing in the game, then the end-to-end action feels fun and more controlled than other smaller maps.
#11 – Rush
All-in-all, Rush is pretty fun and has some decent personality. This Black Ops II remake features a pretty cool aesthetic in being a paintball park, and the splatters of paint only add to its charm.
It just feels like Rush could be more as it’s clearly dominated by one channel. The indoor paintball arena is a blast, and you can get some sudden encounters in the shop attached to it. The middle section feels uninspired and blase, and the other feels too cramped.
#10 – Echelon
Season 5 launched with a brand new map in Echelon, and whilst it doesn’t quite hit the supreme heights of The Pines or Yamantau, Echelon is distinctive enough to warrant a higher spot.
It has good flanking options, a solid middle area that teams can fight over from multiple entrance points, and the map rewards players that go that little bit further out of the way to find the right route.
#9 – Moscow
Wherever you spawn in Moscow, it always feels like there are umpteen ways to go. There are multiple hot areas for combat including the golden statue, the escalators, and outside with the opposing windows. It’s a great map that is equally liberating.
It also received a much-needed downsizing that helped to tighten it up and improve the spawn locations.
#8 – Nuketown ’84
What hasn’t been said about Nuketown already? It’s fast, it’s frantic, lesser-skilled players can achieve high kill counts, and it’s just fun chaos.
The broken spawns are always the biggest sore point with Nuketown, but on a map this small and iconic, it’s to be expected and easy to dismiss.
#7 – The Slums
Black Ops II continued to assert its authority in Black Ops Cold War with yet another returning fan-favorite map. It has now featured in Black Ops II, IIII, IIII, COD Mobile, and now Cold War.
There’s a good reason for this as it oozes ‘Call of Duty,’ with its various routes and paths to take. There isn’t one way that’s bad, and you really can approach The Slums in any way you want. It’s terrific for objective-based game modes like Domination and Capture the Flag, and will be enjoyed by many in Cold War.
#6 – Diesel
Diesel manages to capture lots of the brilliance of Nuketown, makes the map a bit bigger, and closes off the spawn points a bit more – it works tremendously.
One of the two Season 3 launch maps, Diesel works around the simple theme of a gas station and manages to work enough routes into its limited space to be endlessly versatile. It doesn’t cordon off areas so viciously as Miami Strike does, for instance.
There doesn’t feel like any wasted space, and its uniqueness is highlighted by the fact you can effortless have 2v2 and 6v6 matches on it with no issue.
#5 – Standoff
Another classic map, another great time to be had. The unusual, yet intriguing charm about Standoff is its zig-zagging lanes.
It’s got several interesting corners that make for some animated encounters with pro-like jumps around the corner needed. The tank makes for a great obstacle and it has just the right amount of clutter.
Standoff still remains a Call of Duty great, and we’re more than happy to see it back in Black Ops Cold War.
#4 – Raid
It might speak volumes to people that two of the top four are remakes, but what remakes they are!
Raid is aesthetically pleasing across the whole map, it’s extremely well-designed and it’s generally fair. You will rarely find someone dominate Raid as it’s rife with tight corners and many duels that can go either way.
It’s also hilarious that as one of CoD’s best-ever maps, it actually makes very little sense.
#3 – Yamantau
It goes to show that no matter how late into a game if the dev team puts enough hard work and creativity into a map, they can still create a work of art.
Firstly, Yamantau’s main middle room manages to be accessible from every single direction (upper and lower floor too) and sets up cagey contests, putting the player on edge. This produces magic confrontations and keeps you on your toes. The cliffside channel is a lot of fun too with accidental deaths aplenty.
Yamantau already has the feel of a map that will feature in future CoD games.
#2 – Crossroads
Just missing out on victory is Crossroads. This map is simply fantastic and a delight that dominates nearly every map vote.
The cover feels perfect and the environment is highly volatile, making for fun, high-scoring games. The one drawback is how exposed the C Flag spawn is – people can spawn two or three times without getting a chance to blink. Spawns have proven to be a regular complaint in Cold War, and Crossroads is as guilty of this as any map.
#1 – The Pines
One of the newest, original Call of Duty maps also happens to be the best that Black Ops Cold War has to offer. We can find no faults with this homage to a classic film. It’s just so well-balanced and interesting.
Whether you’re fighting through all the different shops and maintenance areas or engaging in some dangerous dining duels, The Pines is an intricately designed masterpiece.
That completes our list. These are the best maps in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War ranked. Be sure to check out the best guns in Cold War too!
Image Credit: Activision / Treyarch
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