As spectacular as Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare‘s single-player campaign is, multiplayer is a huge draw for millions of people. There’s a good reason for that: It’s fantastic. But it can also be daunting for new players to jump into a game against seasoned veterans and prestiged players. Fortunately, we’re here to help, with eight simple tips to help you get a jump-start on your online Call of Duty career.
Do pick the right tool for the job.
One thing you’ll learn after enough time online is that some weapons are great for some game types, and some are so very not. Shotguns, for example, can be a great benefit in the crazy scrims around the flags in Momentum. But in, say, Search and Destroy, a longer-range, more precise weapon can be much more beneficial. Generally speaking, the faster-paced the match, the more helpful close-ranged weapons like shottys and SMGs will be, and vice versa. One other note: Make sure you check out the Scorestreak modules. Several of the Scorestreak rewards can be customized so that you keep your progress toward them, even after you die! This is an enormous benefit to new players, who are less likely to rack up the necessary points in a single life.
But don’t use a custom loadout right off the bat.
When you first launch into Advanced Warfare‘s multiplayer, you’ll see the Create a Class option and probably want to set up your own custom character. But hold off for a bit; the preset loadouts boast gear that you actually haven’t unlocked yet, making it much easier to do well as a newbie. Even better: Playing with these loadouts still lets you unlock the attachments and higher-level gear that allows you to set up a devastating kit in Create a Class.
Do trade Supply Drop gear for experience.
Periodically during play, you’ll receive a Supply Drop. These gifts from the gaming gods are random packs of new gear and/or bonuses, ranging from simple cosmetic upgrades to modified versions of stock weapons. They come in different levels of rarity, and here’s the fantastic thing: You can trade them in for experience points. The more rare the equipment, the more XP you get for trading it in. The XP is fixed – either 500, 1000, or 2000 XP depending on the level – which means that it’ll be worth less toward your level progression as you move up the ranks. So, don’t be too precious with those fancy helmets and such. At the start, you’ll get a lot more benefit from the XP.
But don’t be too hasty to dump weapons.
There’s one big exception here: weapons. Often, you’ll get a weapon in a Supply Drop that you either can’t use yet, or don’t expect to. But be very careful before trading these in; often, you’ll find that the modified weapon is a pretty significant improvement from the stock version. If it’s a weapon type you simply never use, you may find it more helpful to trade it for XP. But even then, you’re probably better off hanging onto it for awhile, just to be sure.
Do make an effort to trick out your favorite weapons.
Attachments in Advanced Warfare make weapons more powerful – sometimes dramatically so. A thermal scope on a long-range rifle can be devastating in strategic game types, for example, and a stabilizing grip on an SMG can work wonders at close range. Each attachment has specific challenges you’ll need to complete before it’s unlocked: get a certain number of kills while aiming down the sights, say, or get a certain number of headshots. Pay attention to the requirements for each attachment, and your progress toward completing them. Knowing what you’re close to unlocking helps you keep moving forward in the quest to trick out your gear.
But don’t obsess about every weapon.
There are so many weapons in the game, though, that there’s a real danger of losing focus – leaving you with an arsenal of half-assed gear with nothing really outstanding in its field. Find a weapon that works for you (the Firing Range is fantastic for this) and stick with it until you’ve tricked it out to your satisfaction.
Do choose your match type based on your goals.
Tying in with the previous point, you’ll find that certain game types favor certain types of progression. Momentum and Free-for-All, for example, tend to feature loads of kills, but not necessarily loads of XP. Fast-paced, many-death modes like those are great for unlocking weapon attachments. But if you’re looking to level up your character, you need the extra XP that more strategic modes like Domination and Capture the Flag provide. Completing objectives in these modes offers healthy chunks of XP in addition to the standard points awarded for straight kills. Kill Confirmed is a nice middle-of-the-road choice for new players, since you get points for your own kills, points for picking up the tags of your kills, and points for picking up the tags of other players’ kills. That way, you can still make a difference even if you’re having a bad targeting day.
But don’t neglect the other match types!
Advanced Warfare has a huge range of multiplayer games, and they’re all pretty much awesome. Some are blazingly fast, and some are slow and methodical. Some are huge, and some are intimate. Make sure you try them all! And a special note here: Even as a new player, don’t be too intimidated by “Hardcore” modes. The lack of radar and increased damage may make things a little more challenging for you, but don’t forget that they make things more challenging for your enemy, too. And the tougher damage model can be an unexpected benefit for players who haven’t yet progressed beyond the “spray and pray” stage. You might find that you end up with more kills than in other game types.
Of course, there’s no one correct way to play Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. If you want to try out your own strategies, the game is available now on Xbox One and Xbox 360.