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.
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
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