When you first dive into the Zombies menu in Black Ops 4, the buffet of systems, weapons, elixirs, and just stuff is overwhelming. There’s a lot more to the mode than simply blasting zombies in the head with a revolver, so here’s some tips to get you started.
Don’t forget about your equipment
Zombies comes off as a relatively straightforward wave-based mode, so some players might forget that you have access to special Elixirs, explosive equipment like grenades, and even an ultimate ability. Generally, it’s best to save these resources for hectic moments, as all of these abilities have substantial cooldowns. Think strategically, because the right Elixir at the right moment makes all the difference.
Find the Pack-a-Punch machine
Maybe you can make your way without it through dozens of rounds if you’re truly elite, but for most of us, the bonus-bestowing Pack-a-Punch machine is going to be key to your survival. The technique used to unlock it varies from map to map, but if you scour the environment for interactive objects, you’ll eventually piece it together. For example, on the colosseum-style IX map, you need to ring gongs in each of the four towers to summon special zombie types, kill them, and put their decapitated heads on an altar in the crypts beneath the towers to summon the machine. These souped-up undead are no joke, so make sure you’ve adequately prepared before you whack the gong.
Proper preparation is essential
Unlike previous incarnations of Zombies, the decisions you make in the menu outside of the game has a tremendous effect on your run. In particular, your choice of class and the Elixirs you take can make or break your playstyle, along with your ultimate ability. For example, the “classic” green Elixirs you start the game with never run out, but the rest of them must be crafted using the Laboratory option in the menu, along with single-use Talismans. If you’re truly serious about a run after warming up with a few, make sure you load up with your best Elixirs, or you’ll end up wasting them.
Pay attention to your surroundings
The maps for Zombies are chock-full of optional objectives and side missions that can help you get that much farther, so keep your eyes peeled. For example, if you cut the banners in the opening moments of the IX map, the gods assign you specific challenges that reward you with better weapons and gear, as well as the ability to bring yourself back up from a downed state. More than that, however, knowing the layout of the maps will get you out of many tough situations. Most of the best weapons in IX are located far away from the central colosseum, but that sort of open area is the best terrain for dealing with particularly tough or quick foes, especially the vicious tigers, so make sure to move around intelligently, or you’ll soon find yourself on your back.