How to get better at Call of Duty

Struggling with a less than perfect K/D or have a pretty embarrassing Win/Loss ratio? I will share with you the tips and tricks I have learnt along my many years of playing Call of Duty online.

Don't be a noob!
Don’t be a noob!

Why I’m qualified to give advice Firstly, I am not a professional gamer and would never claim to be, neither am I an active player anymore. So why listen to me? Well, the formula for being a good Call of Duty player has been pretty consistent throughout the years and I have been relatively successful in topping a few leaderboards throughout the times I was active. I first played Call of Duty when I bought CoD 2 many years ago and thought it was thoroughly enjoyable experience on veteran. I spent many hours perfecting my routes in the game and experimenting with different weapons. It would be a further 4 years until I played another Call of Duty with such purpose in the form of Black Ops. The years in between I had been exclusively playing my beloved Halo online and after the disappointment of Reach I made the switch. I had been ranked Top 5 in the world for Halo 2 before leaderboards were pulled and eased to a 50 in Halo 3. Black Ops drew me in because it had actual leaderboards based on skill in the form of PPM, I didn’t particularly like Call of Duty at the time but I bought the game to solely challenge my skills and to see if my skills translated well from Halo on the world level.

excuse the schoolboy gamertag
excuse the schoolboy gamertag

In Black Ops I exclusively played Team Deathmatch for a week until I learnt the game, and then I moved on to Free For All as I believe that this is the only true way of finding out how good you really are. Within a week of the switch I was weekly world number 1 where I stayed for a further 8 weeks in a row at the beginning of January until I finally got bored of the game and moved back to Halo Reach. I was a Top 4 Free for All player for a month or so in this too (according to HaloTracker). I had also been ranked weekly number 1 in Gears Of War, although I don’t find this relevant as it was based on a system similar to Call of Duty where leaderboards were based on total points, rather than skill. I didn’t put the time and dedication in to top the leaderboard of any game since although my K/D and W/L has been as good as ever but having a child has limited my time these days. Anyway, if you’re still reading you may want me to shut up and share some of what I know, so here goes. Gaming Equipment If you’re going to make it to the top you’ll need a decent headset and peripherals. This is to give you the advantage over most as some people don’t use a mic and some don’t use control pad add-ons. A decent headset could be the difference between winning and losing, You can hear footsteps, listen for shots and call out your team mates. All of these are crucial to victory. I have compiled a list of the best headsets within certain price ranges. Xbox One  Little choice at the minute but more coming soon. $149 – Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven: Premium Xbox One Surround Sound Gaming Headset Xbox 360  $0-$50 – Turtle Beach Ear Force X12 Gaming Headset and Amplified Stereo Sound – Xbox 360 $50-$100 – Thrustmaster Y-250CPX Wired Gaming Headset for PC/PS3/PS4/Xbox 360 $100 + Tritton Warhead 7.1 Dolby Wireless Surround Headset – Xbox 360 PS4/PS3 Labelled these together as they should work on both. $0-$50 – Gioteck EX05 Multi-format Headset for PS3, Xbox 360,PC, & Mac $50-$100 – Turtle Beach Ear Force PX22 Amplified Universal Gaming Headset – Playstation 3 $100 + ASTRO Gaming Neon Color Series A40 Headset Kit (Orange) I would consider some worthy extras such as Kontrol Freeks FPS thumb grips. If you haven’t already tried them then do so, your game will improve tenfold.  Lastly I wouldn’t be without SquidGrips, you won’t ever go back to a normal pad once you’ve had this on. They’re basically a rubberized grip which fits on to your pad, sounds simple enough but it’s really solved my sweaty hand syndrome which led to my pad becoming slippy. Do not use the middle of the map This is a simple one really. If you travel the outskirts of the map then you are less likely to be killed by unseen bullets. If you are in the middle of the map you are usually exposed, you may have a 360 view of the map and feel like it’s where the action is but running in is a recipe for disaster. The only time I’d recommend this is when you’re playing Free for All and are behind near the end of the game, occasionally it can be heroic but long term your K/D will suffer. A lot of the spawn points are located on the edges of the map, if you run a circle around the map you can only get killed from behind and can pick up easy spawn kills. Make sure you are as light as possible if you use this tactic and don’t carry a clumsy rocket launcher with you or something similar. The other advantage is the positioning of cover on the outside of the map, usually buildings and walls will provide good cover for you using this tactic. It has been extremely effective for me for a number of years. Speed is key Call of Duty is not like Halo, if you get shot first you have little or no chance of making a comeback. You have to work on your reflexes and use the lightest and quickest set up possible. When running a light set up you must use a perk that allows you to remain relatively steady, whilst does not compromise your speed. Try to keep opponents at a range which is short to mid-range and use an SMG as your primary. You can effectively evade snipers by not running into the open, try to keep cover around the outskirts of the map like I mention above and weave in and around cover picking off players. Do not camp or keep running in to hotspot areas There is absolutely no use in camping, you may think you are benefiting your team if you go a weedy 5-0 but really you are contributing little. I have also seen people use similar tactics in a free for all game which I can only assume is servicing their K/D. Similarly, do not run into map hotspots trying to kill these campers. Usually there is a certain point in a map that players believe will give them an advantage and will camp waiting for others to join them. Do not give them this satisfaction, embroiling in combat in such instances will lead to a 50/50 encounter which is a position you should never aim for. Campers can be frustrating and snipers even more so but unless they are ruining you then they can be left alone. Communicate and work as a team Obvious this doesn’t apply in certain solo game modes but when you can use your mic use it. Do not use party chat, it ruins the game experience for everyone if no-one is talking who is fully capable of talking. This is something which is very overlooked, having people spot where players are relay this information to you can be vital, especially when the other team may be doing so. Knowing where the other team are or where your team mates are is probably one of the most vital aspects of becoming successful at Call of Duty, you may even make some friends along the way! Know the spawn points

Nuketown is great for easy spawn kills
Nuketown is great for easy spawn kills

So after playing the game for a while you will have a fair idea where you are spawning on certain levels. Maps like Nuketown are notoriously easy for pouncing on the spawn, remember to stay a distance away from the spawn area otherwise they won’t spawn there. If I take Nuketown as an example, you could stay inside either of the houses on the lower levels and simply wait for an opponent to spawn in the back garden. They would spawn either side of the fence so it’s usually two easy kills if you keep your distance. Remember after every kill make sure that nobody is behind you or anywhere near you. Radar is key here. I have gone 30-0 several times by using this method. Other maps follow the same tactic, just locate a spawn hotspot and stay far enough away to let them spawn in and you can surprise them with an instant death. Use killstreaks wisely

The attack helicopter guarantees extra free kills
The attack helicopter guarantees extra free kills

It goes without saying that in Call of Duty killstreaks are vital to success. Knowing when to use them and which ones can cause major headaches though. I usually set up a UAV as it’s fairly easy to get and is one of the most effective tools in your weaponry when using tactics I’ve outlined above. The second one I would use is a standard attack helicopter, this is mainly because it requires a low amount of kills and is usually reliable for at least 5 extra kills. The 3rd I mix and match, if I feel confident I will go for something that requires a high amount of kills and will guarantee huge kills. Otherwise I will use counter UAV, which is neglected by a lot of other people. Staying invisible against good players will see your deaths decrease significantly. Stay away from care packages, I know they could potentially reap high rewards but thieves are rampant and it will not only waste time but put a huge X on your head. Choose multiple loadouts for different scenarios This is another one that gets neglected. Yes, it’s important to have a gameplan but what if it’s going horribly wrong and you have no 2nd option? Fill all available slots with useful weapons in different situations, don’t just leave them as the default ones. Sometimes even a different weapon in the same class can make all the difference. As a base line put in a shotgun, sniper and assault rifle as well as your SMG. If someone is running similar tactics to you then it’s handy to rival that with a different approach.  A good example would be when everyone is using short range weapons, counter this by keeping a distance and using a longer ranged weapon such as an assault rifle. Obviously, each Call of Duty game is similar but not exactly the same. If you follow these guidelines it will improve your game but is not a guaranteed win. You must master the tactics I’ve outlined and it will come in time. I wish you every success, future champ.


2 thoughts on “How to get better at Call of Duty”

  1. Could definitely use some updated strategies from the new maps (lots of altitude changes and larger maps) which leads me to saying an SMG isn’t always going to be your best option anymore. Even with accuracy attachments, the distance at which you see your enemies is going to be at the outer limits of SMG accuracy. I personally prefer assault rifles because of this, and with the implementation of Marksman rifles to the weapon system, the assault rifles are probably the most middle ground-do-it-all weapons of the game now.

    1. You’re probably right, this wasn’t a map specific guide but should of been titled ‘How to be good at Call of Duty Free for All’. Free for All maps are small in comparison and of course this isn’t a set way of playing for every map or game mode. I’ve just stuck with the exact same set-up and style for many years and it’s been effective. We all play the game in different ways, that’s the great thing about it. Thanks for the input!

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