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How to decode the Black Ops Cold war floppy disk and complete Operation Chaos

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
(Image credit: Activision)

So, you want to know how to decode the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold war floppy disk and complete Operation Chaos, do ya? Well, you've come to the right place. The '80s espionage game has a few side mission puzzles that require you to do some serious spy work, and Operation Chaos is a pretty difficult one.

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CIA operative Russell Adler and his covert team are trying to track down Perseus, a Soviet spy who has had his hand in quite a few global cookie jars. There are two side missions that will help you take down some of his allies, and Operation Chaos is the more difficult of the two.

Operation Chaos tasks you with finding Robert Aldrich, a CIA officer who defected to the Soviet side and is setting up a sleeper cell within the US. In order to finish the mission, you'll have to do some legwork throughout the main campaign missions and collect pieces of evidence that will help you solve a numerical puzzle that will decrypt a floppy disc. If you miss any of the pieces of evidence detailed below, remember that you can go back and replay every mission before you start the final one, so don't fret.

Without further adieu here's how  to decode the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War floppy disk and complete Operation Chaos.

WARNING: Spoilers for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War beyond this point.

Where to find the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Operation Chaos evidence

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

(Image credit: Activision)

There are three pieces of evidence you'll need to find that will help you decrypt the floppy disc, and they're scattered throughout three different missions. Here are the three pieces of evidence and where to find them. 

  • A Coded Message: You'll get this from Quasim at the end of the first mission, Nowhere to Run - if you don't throw him over the edge. Interrogate him and get him to tell you more about Arash, and you'll get this piece of evidence.
  • Numbers Station Broadcast: During the Brick in the Wall mission, there's an option to free an informant that helped get you information about the Soviet spies. Sneak over to where he's being held inside a warehouse, dispose of the guards, and you'll find an audio reel lying on the table. It's literally got Operation Chaos written on it, you can't miss it.
  • Front page of The Observer newspaper: There's a fake bar inside the weird American town the Soviets built inside of a base during the Redlight, Greenlight mission. Upstairs is the last piece of evidence - the front page of The Observer. 

How to get the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Operation Chaos code and passphrase

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

(Image credit: Activision)

Now that you've got all three pieces of evidence, you'll need to use them to obtain both a code and a passphrase that will decrypt the floppy disk. It seems like every player will get a different solution to this puzzle, so you'll need to do a bit of leg work on your own. As you can see from my screenshot, I had not gotten the final piece of evidence at this point, and so I'm missing some important numbers in A Coded Message. Don't worry, as you'll have the full set of numbers as long as you get all three pieces of evidence.

Put on your listening ears and get ready to do some math. Here's how to get the passphrase and the code. 

  • Passphrase: Open A Coded Message and examine the piece of paper. You'll notice there's a sequence of red and blue numbers and letters, with a single horizontal line filled with just numbers and question marks. The red numbers and blue numbers follow a pattern, and you'll have to figure out what that pattern is in order to figure out what numbers are missing. Everyone's pattern is different, so prepare for some math. Once you've figured out which numbers are missing, you'll get a four-digit sequence that corresponds with a city on the Numbers Station Broadcast. That city is your passphrase.
  • Code: Examine the Front Page of the Observer, which will have a random selection of letters written in red (these letters are different for each player). If you check out the Numbers Station Broadcast again, one of the locations can be spelled out from the jumbled red letters on the newspaper. Figure out what city you have, then get the corresponding city code from the Numbers Station Broadcast. That's your code.

How to decode the Black Ops Cold war floppy disk and complete Operation Chaos

All you need to do now is select "Decrypt Floppy Disk" and input your code and passphrase from the puzzles you solved. If you did it right, you'll crack the code, decrypt the floppy disk, and get the information you need for Operation Chaos. 

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.