Call of Duty: Black Ops multiplayer quick start guide

Wager Matches

In Wager Matches, you ante up to get into a match and the top three finishers win CP. No XP is awarded to anyone in Wager Matches. There are four Wager Match types, and no custom classes or weapons are allowed. Each plays very differently, and you’ll likely prefer one strongly over the others. The great thing is that they’re diverse enough that you’re bound to enjoy at least one of them.


Everyone has the same weapon, which changes randomly every 45 seconds. As you rack up consecutive kills, you earn perks that last until you’re killed. Sharpshooter matches reward adaptability, since you never know what’s coming next.

Gun Game

Win by getting a kill with each of the 20 weapons in the game. Everyone starts with the pistol and works their way through the preset list of weapons (inevitably stalling at whatever weapon they suck most at.) Getting killed with a melee attack sets you back one weapon.

Sticks and Stones

Crossbows, Ballistic Knives and Tomahawks only. Plays like Free-for-All, but hitting someone with a Tomahawk bankrupts them of points. The Tomahawks make this game wildly unpredictable; a couple of well-placed Tomahawks in the closing moments of the match can instantly rearrange the leaderboard. You’ll either love it or hate it.

One in the Chamber

You have a pistol with one bullet, a knife, and three lives. When you kill someone, you get an extra bullet. Play it stealthy and don’t take any chances to get ahead in this mode. Far and away the most hardcore of the Wager Matches, and another divisive “love it or hate it” scenario.

The Wager Match arena is set up like a casino, segregated by how much you want to risk. Ante Up is like nickel slots: low buy-in and equally trivial rewards, so you can relax and have a goofabout with your buddies. For Weekend Warrior matches, buy in is 1,000 CP per match, but rewards are scaled up relatively. Finally, the High Roller area has an insanely high buy-in at 10,000 CP. As if that weren’t nerve-racking enough, the match type is selected randomly.

Above: Sweet Wager Match, bro

Strictly for the hardcore

Does it all sound a bit fluffy to you? Then you’ll enjoy the inclusion of Barebones and Hardcore modes. This is the serious side of multiplayer, the polar opposite of the more frivolous (gimmicky?) Wager Matches. Barebones removes all perks, killstreaks, attachments, equipment and contracts from play. Hardcore removes most of the HUD, increases bullet damage, and turns friendly fire on. If you’re playing Barebones and Hardcore, you’re probably not too worried about saving up to buy all the frou-frou shit you can’t use anyway. Still, you do earn both XP and CP in these modes.

Above: Barebones removes a few key elements from the game 

Combat Training

In the Combat Training mode, you can practice with friends to hone your skills in Free-for-all and Team Deathmatch games. You can play against bots of adjustable difficulty on any of the 14 multiplayer maps. Jump in if you need some practice, but be warned: Combat Training has its own separate-but-equal leveling system, so you won’t be able to carry over unlocks or purchases to public matches.

Above: Use Combat Training to learn your way around in a low-pressure setting


In your Combat Record, you’ll find a wealth of data about your multiplayer performance. Charts and graphs track your career while heat maps glow with your kills and deaths. It’s all right there in the game, no need to create an account or visit an external website. You can even track your Wager earnings and losses to see if your degenerate gambling addiction is paying off or costing you big time.

Above: Las Vegas should come with one of these


  • jaketheripper666 - December 20, 2010 2:17 a.m.

  • GammaGames - December 5, 2010 2:26 a.m.

    My favorite wager mode by far is One in the Chamber. Im pretty good at it, and get first most of the time. People don't like playing with me so they normally leave after like 5 matches. I jsut figured something out in OitC, you get infinite sprint! I was chasing this guy and his fireds where telling him to run for his life(they where dead and watching my person)
  • civver - November 21, 2010 10:48 p.m.

    Some of this advice isn't so enlightening. The Nova Gas may be good, but you only get one of those. Better to get the drop on 2 enemies with the Concussion grenades. And I'll have to express my disapproval at encouraging the purchase and usage of the annoying RC-XD. Far better to help the team and yourself by sticking with the Spy Plane. Instead of sitting in a corner, more points can be had by going around and shooting people with foreknowledge of their location.
  • CJ5950 - November 12, 2010 9:29 p.m.

  • NightCrawler_358 - November 11, 2010 10:35 p.m.

    You know this is actually cool looking. at least Treyarch is doing unique things for a change. The CP is a clever game changing idea, and I like the new art style. Its a little more CG-ish, and it reminds me of Borderlands, just not as drastic.
  • husk94 - November 11, 2010 7:15 p.m.

    don't encourage rc spam.............
  • EDfromRED - November 11, 2010 5:05 p.m.

    Thank you very much for the excellent tips! I sent a link along to all my friends who are playing Black Ops. I was a tad intimidated faced with all the new modes and options, but now look forward to racking up the kills : )
  • jhastings21 - November 11, 2010 2:21 p.m.

    i bought the black ops hardened edition and some one told me that the medal that comes with the game if you take the foam out of the plastic case there is a serial number mine says A3 is that true?
  • NanoElite666 - November 11, 2010 6:30 a.m.

    So there's Pentagon Zombies, the original four Classic Nazi Zombies maps in one of the fancier editions (I'm not really sure on the details of this one yet), AND a whole new Nazi Zombie map? That's a lot of zombies to shoot up.
  • gangjute8 - November 11, 2010 3:33 a.m.

    I am addicted to One in the Chamber. It's so intense...
  • SeattleSound - November 11, 2010 12:52 a.m.

    Glorified version of a pellet gun
  • Ell223 - November 11, 2010 12:02 a.m.

    I tell you what is annoying. When you're winning at One in the Chamber, and everybody else leaves and makes you lose your connection and thus your earnings.
  • Twizinator - November 10, 2010 11:43 p.m.

    Stupid Amazon hasn't delivered my Prestige Edition yet. I was supposed to get it on release!
  • redoralivedemtion - November 10, 2010 10:26 p.m.

    the game looks awesome my friends are awesome hopefully I get it from them captcha:Evolu expetter uh oooookay
  • Cleanser247 - November 10, 2010 10:26 p.m.

    I'm picking Black-Ops up tonight!

Showing 1-15 of 15 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000