Scorestreaks Pt 1
Killstreaks are no more! Rather than string together successive kills to earn your killstreak rewards, BLOPS2 has changed its system so that you get your UAVs by earning points. Generally speaking, this is going to feel pretty similar, since most of your points are likely to come from killing opponents, but will also let you earn your scorestreaks by performing alternate actions, like wounding an enemy that’s later killed by a teammate, planting bombs on objectives, and so on. In practice this may make it slightly tougher to bust out the lowest streak rewards (you might not earn the 350-point UAV for killing three enemies, for instance), but overall it should reward players who contribute to their team’s success in ways other than simply stringing together headshots. And if you like headshots, then you’ll still earn plenty of points to spend!
Here’s a look-see at the various streaks that are available to you.
UAV (350 Points): A critical tool, the UAV will highlight enemy positions on your and all of your teammates’ minimap every three seconds or so for around 30 seconds. Knowledge is power, and UAV scanning is an integral part of any player’s arsenal. The UAV isn’t necessarily a mandatory streak to have in your toolkit (in well-populated games other players will often be popping UAVs for your to utilize), but it’s almost always going to be the best choice for your first streak slot.
A large part of that is that you earn 10 points every time a teammate gets a kill while your UAV is active. That’s not a huge amount of points, but earning them will propel you towards the next scorestreak at absolutely no cost or risk to yourself, as well as earning you experience towards your next level.
The UAV has some mild drawbacks, of course: it can’t tell you the elevation of an enemy relative to you, and it refreshes slowly enough that fast-moving enemies will sometimes be far from their ping location by the time you round the corner to meet them. Focusing on your minimap too much will also distract your eye from your environment, especially if you’re sitting close to a PC screen while you play. But those are all fairly mild problems when you’re talking about a bread-and-butter streak skill.
RC-XD (450 Points): A remote-controlled car packed with explosives. This is a speedy little device that will often let you sneak up to an enemy, or hopefully multiple enemies, and detonate it for massive damage. The car can be destroyed with gunfire, and there is a time limit to how long you can control it, but it will help you scout around objective points if you’re worried about charging in blind. It’s tricky to use effectively, but it’s cheap enough that you might want to practice using it.
The RC-XD is small enough to escape detection by many enemies who are focusing on full-sized opponents.
While you control the RC-XD, your body does remain on the battlefield and you can be shot by opposing players, so try to duck behind some low cover or remain near a friendly spawn point to avoid being taken out while your body’s defenseless. A quick enemy can run away from your car before it detonates, so do your best to wheel around and approach an enemy from the rear.
An audio warning plays to both sides when an RC-XD is deployed, so if you hear that an enemy has put one out, start watching your feet.
Hunter-Killer (525 Points): A cheap streak that’s unlocked when you start to play, the Hunter-Killer is a fully-automatic small drone that seeks out a nearby target when you launch it and detonates, killing anything in the vicinity. If it doesn’t find an enemy immediately, it’ll fly higher and begin scanning the battlefield, looking for a target. It doesn’t always net you a kill, but it’s such an easy tool to use that it’s always worth considering bringing along if you don’t want to opt for a more expensive streak, or one that requires a lot of input.
The H-K isn’t an automatic kill, unfortunately, even on busier maps. While it moves speedily, it will also usually start its attack run at an angle, meaning that an aware player will be able to spot it and dive behind nearby tall cover to force it to impact a building. That said, these come out often enough, and are so small compared to most other aerial streaks, that most players won’t be scanning the skies for them when they have more pressing concerns, like an entire team of enemies looking to shoot them in the face.
This is a bad thing to see.
The Hunter-Killer will also attempt to ram enemy aerial units, like UAVs and Counter-UAVs. It will destroy most simple aircraft, and will use up flare charges on the more advanced aircraft that you’re up against. Handy if you’re not using a stinger.
Care Package (525 Points): Another Call of Duty standard, the Care Package will drop a large box on the battlefield, which you can then interact with to loot a random (other) streak reward. You roll the dice here, since the rewards are generally of a low quality (UAVs, Counter-UAVs, and the like), but occasionally you can net something more exotic and rare, especially if you’re using the Engineer perk to re-roll your selections when you get something commonplace. You have a small chance to loot pretty much any streak that’s available in the game, so you will occasionally find yourself picking up a VTOL or Swarm or another extremely nasty item. As such, this is a great choice if you want to explore some of the higher-end streaks but are wary of earning 1900 straight points.
Recommendation: don’t stand here.
The downside of a Care Package is that it does take a bit of time to arrive and requires you to interact with it to net your reward, so you’ll want to ensure there aren’t any enemies in the immediate vicinity when you pop it. The Care Package can kill enemies (or friends) that it drops onto, though, so you will occasionally get a kill as well as a new streak out of it.
Counter-UAV (600 Points): Where the UAV is important to feed your team information, the Counter-UAV will eliminate that same information from your opponents, shutting down their minimaps and ensuring that they can’t get a bead on you with UAVs or by seeing your location when you fire. You can still be seen visually, of course, but most other methods of detection will be rendered moot while the CUAV is up. You also get the 10 point rewards for kills while the CUAV is active, as you would with a normal UAV. The CUAV is also one of the only ways to counteract the rare but powerful Orbital VSAT streak.
A great streak for almost any situation. If you do manage to obtain the Counter-UAV, it’s often best to simply wait for an opponent to pop their UAV before triggering it. You can use it any time, to good effect, but countering an opponent’s streak reward is an added bonus.
Guardian (650 Points): This neat little streak plops down an immobile device that sends out a stream of electrical energy in an arc in front of it. The effects of this are pretty nasty: players caught in it will effectively be concussed, damaged, and unable to engage in combat while they remain in the beam, and prolonged exposure will eventually kill them, assuming you don’t gun them down first.
The Guardian is best used in choke points, as its range is not unlimited and leaving it in the open will expose it to gunfire. If you can find a cramped space to place it (the interior of a shipping container on the Cargo map, say), you can set up an angle on the doorway, then crouch down to pick off the easy kills when anyone steps through the door. Alternately, you can use the Guardian to cover your rear while you fire from a window, and of course it’s perfect for objective defense, especially if you can plant it close enough to an objective to stun any would-be bombers.
The angle of effect on the Guardian is pretty substantial, including an upward degree of arc that will cover most exterior windows on upper floors if you place it on the ground outside. For instance, if you’re on Nuketown 2025 and happen to place a Guardian near one of the buses facing one of the home exteriors, the Guardian will cover both the doorway leading to the central area and the window above it. Locking down two target areas like this will double the effectiveness of your Guardian, but note that when targeting a Guardian towards a door, there’ll be a telltale shimmer that will warn experienced players away from going through it.
If you see this tell-tale shimmering in front of you, find another way to move forward.
The best part is that the Guardian doesn’t affect yourself or your teammates, so it’s effectively risk-free. You can also pick up and move a Guardian that you’ve planted if you like. A handy tool for players that enjoy strategic decision-making in combat.
Hellstorm Missile (700 Points): You take control of this guided missile from a fair height, giving you a chance to scout the battlefield below you as it descends. As it descends, you can either choose to keep it as a single missile for massive damage to an outdoor area (you can even attempt to angle it into a doorway, but this can be tricky), or you can opt to split it into multiple warheads which will seek out and destroy any enemy targets that you’ve locked onto.
Two modes to choose from, both resulting in a lot of damage. This is a great streak to choose for objective-based game modes, since you’ll often be sure to have a number of enemies in a small area. You can also use it to destroy pesky Guardians or Sentry Guns that are locking down your team.
The Hellstorm can result in a lot of kills for a relatively cheap scorestreak.
Lightning Strike (750 Points): The Lightning Strike calls down a series of three carpet bombing runs on three different parts of the map. (Well, technically, you can call them all down on the same area, but that’s probably overkill.) You’re gonna rack up a bunch of kills if you target these strikes outdoors, so pick wide-open areas (or objectives, of course) and watch your points go crazy.
Lightning will strike you often if you’re fighting competent opponents. Get indoors if you can!