Call of Duty: Black Ops II multiplayer Everything you need to know about playing online

Call of Duty: Black Ops II has made some significant changes to the series extremely popular multiplayer. The loadout system has been revised, killstreaks have undergone a major overhaul, and there are even more options in terms of customization and game modes. In fact, so much has changed that it can be tough to keep track of what developer, Treyarch, has been up to.

Thats why weve gathered up the most important details on Black Ops IIs multiplayer and put it all in one place.

The Pick 10 loadout system brings more individuality to customization

Now that the loadout system relies on points instead of filling equipment slots, the feature opens up a whole new world of personal customization. Dont like carrying a secondary weapon? Well, dont. Toss it out and use that point for an extra lethal grenade, or attachment. Heck, you arent even required to carry a primary weapon anymore. Instead you can load up on Wild Cards and perks, grab the first dropped rifle you find in-game, and own the opposition as a souped up soldier.

The game modes give more options for every skill level

The game modes break up into four sections, each catering to different preferences. Core contains the standard match types like: team deathmatch, demolition, search and destroy, capture-the-flag, and the new Hardpoint mode. Party Games holds the old wager match game types from the first Black Ops, like One in the Chamber, Gun Game, Sharpshooter, and Sticks and Stones. Combat Training lets beginners ease into multiplayer by mixing other newbies with bots and have them compete in the standard matches. Then there are custom matches

Custom games are more customizable

The custom games options are more robust in Black Ops 2. Players will be able to edit a variety of options in every game type and change the rules of the matches. You can build your own default custom classes that everyone in the game are required to use. You can restrict which items are allowed to be selected for loadouts. Bots can be dropped into a game, and you can even modify the Pick 10 loadout system by inflating the number of loadout points available to a maximum of seventeen or dropping it down to three total points.

Hardpoint matches bring king-of-the-hill to multiplayer

Black Ops 2s new multiplayer mode, Hardpoint, is similar to the previous titles Headquarters mode. All players on two teams converge on one small location of the map. Small rooms, or portions of the map will be highlighted, to which players standing within the limits of the hardpoint will score points for the team. Take a look at the new mode for yourself in the gameplay clip below.

Challenges reward those who branch out

Challenges are back to help encourage players to stray away from their typical routine and try something a little bit different. This time, in Black Ops II, when you complete a challenge (or set of challenges) you could earn not only some bonus experience toward your next multiplayer level, but a new visual customization option for your character.

Aesthetic character customization is more robust

Once you complete a few challenges, you can unlock visual options that can distinguish yourself from the rest of the Black Ops 2 online community. Playercards will be editable, complete with a 32 layer emblem editor and more than 150 unlockable backgrounds.

Weapons can also get new looks, including various reticle designs and camouflages. Some of them even stretch beyond military designs. For instance, gold colored camos will be making a return, and one reticle is nicknamed The Steve, and is in the shape of a handlebar mustache.

Everything can be recorded and shared

For those who want to go all out and make detailed multiplayer videos have more editing options in Black Ops 2s Theater mode. Some of the new features include: the ability to bookmark significant moments in-game, a dolly camera that can be attached to objects like Score Streak vehicles and rockets, recent victories are easier to find, and community functionality--like up/down voting--has been added.

Also, those who dont want to spend their time editing video can use the Highlight Reel feature. Just switch it on, and it will automatically create an edited film with your best accomplishments from a match.

and you can make your own commentary

Any saved match can be viewed and commented on using Blops 2s shoutcasting feature, Codcasting. This allows a spectator to view the match through a unique interface with access to picture-in-picture mode, scoreboards, player perspectives, and map overviews.

Another way to use the Codcasting feature is to go back and analyze more experienced players strategies, or see what mistakes you made and how to improve from your recent matches.

Prestige doesnt mean youre starting over anymore

Prestige is being handled a bit differently in Blops 2. Setting back your multiplayer level will no longer completely reset everything youve accomplishedweapon experience and challenge progress will not disappear. Also, each time you Prestige, you will receive a reward in the form of a permanent unlock, which is spent with a Prestige token, and a choice between unlocking an extra create-a-class slot, the ability to completely reset your stats, and refunding your unlock tokens (essentially respeccing, for you RPG buffs).

Lorenzo Veloria

Many years ago, Lorenzo Veloria was a Senior Editor here at GamesRadar+ helping to shape content strategy. Since then, Lorenzo has shifted his attention to Future Plc's broader video game portfolio, working as a Senior Brand Marketing Manager to oversee the development of advertising pitches and marketing strategies for the department. He might not have all that much time to write about games anymore, but he's still focused on making sure the latest and greatest end up in front of your eyes one way or another.