Written By: Steve Vegvari
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode has been steadily gaining notoriety and praise amongst the Call of Duty community. Like a best-of compilation, Blackout stitches together some of the most iconic multiplayer maps of the Black Ops franchise and delivers a high-octane Battle Royale experience.
As each match begins, 88 players fly above the map via multiple helicopters. As with any Battle Royale title, there is one question on everyone’s mind –– Where are we dropping?
There are 14 iconic named-locations within the Blackout map. Fans of the long-running Black Ops series will be quick to point out some of their favourite locations. Each is expanded in some way with new interiors to explore, and more rooms to discover. With so many locations and pressure mounting, you and your team must choose a destination and claim ownership ahead of the other players.
Blackout mode incorporates a lot of RNG and random loot drops within each location. That being said, there are some clear winners for gathering as much loot as possible during the initial moments. There are also some ideal spots to hunker down as the circle closes in.
Located in the north-west of the Blackout map is Construction Site. While the zone is a high-traffic area due to the amount of loot located within, the rewards are well worth the effort as long as you have an unbroken line of communication with your team.
Construction Site is made up of a high-story building under construction. Even in the case where a large number of players land in the area, many floors separate the action. Construction Site can house a lot of players, but due to its verticality, you have to very high chance of going unnoticed.
Each floor of the building contains a ton of loot. In many cases your team will not be able to scavenge the entire area before the collapse begins to close in –– that’s how big it is!
There is also a very good chance of a helicopter spawn near the north end of the site. Great for loot, great for getting your hands dirty. Certainly not the most ideal spot during Solos.
One of my personal favourite spots to land is the zombie-infested Asylum. Asylum offers a high-risk high-reward experience for players brave enough to drop in the area. Asylum has an excellent chance of spawning AI zombies, similar to the ones you’d find in the acclaimed Zombie mode.
Killing zombies will net you some rare and powerful loot. Stating the obvious though, your gunshots will often ring out in the surrounding area and may attract other players looking to take out some preoccupied players. Kill enough zombies, and a small boss zombie will appear. Kill it and you’ll be rewarded with some serious loot.
As long as you can grab some effective weapons early on, the zombies themselves should not prove to be an issue. Stay aware of your surrounding and be on the lookout for Mystery Box spawns as you continue to kill your undead foes.
Located south of Construction Site is an unnamed location made up of six isolated houses. Each house has a garage, main floor, and second floor. This area is more quiet in comparison to the locations above.
As you begin to become comfortable with the layout of the houses, a run through will take only a couple minutes. While these houses won’t net you the prime loot some of the other locations will, the risk of other players dropping with you is lower.
Due to the location of these houses, you are also able to keep tabs on both the Construction Site and Array, which is located south. Being in a more secrete location enables you to keep an eye on high-traffic areas without drawing unwanted attention.
I’ve put the Train Station here on this list for one particular reason. And it is this train.
Whether you are playing Solo, Duos, or Quad, this train is a goldmine for loot. In any event, where you are able to land in the area and not worry about other players, this train offers a ton of loot at no expense of time.
Keep your head down and if possible, do a full front to back run of the train. While spamming the “pick up” button, pick up everything and anything. Chances are you will walk away with enough loot to get you through the early stages of the match.
The other areas of Train Station are pretty lacklustre and do not offer rewards comparable to this particular train. If you are missing anything crucial, such as armour, merely explore the rest of the area.
Another hotbed for activity. Players are obviously drawn to one of the most iconic maps of the Black Ops franchise. That being said, with a good team, Nuketown Island is a fantastic spot to drop and offers some unique aspects to the area.
One of the biggest oversights I have seen during my experiences in Blackout is how many players disregard the underground bunker. Travelling down a small pipe in the ground will reveal a bunker system below the town.
While the ground level of Nuketown has its fair share of loot, the bunker is prime real estate as it forces players into close combat in the event of coming across an opponent.
Along with the bunker, Nuketown Island has a population ticker. The ticker will show how many players are in Nuketown and will change in real time. Does it read five when you’re playing quads? Better be on the lookout for some lone wolf.
Nuketown Island also spawns a helicopter and frequently a military truck. Because of the seclusion, getting in an escape vehicle is sometimes the only way to outrun the collapse.
Finally, Firing Range has stuck out as a secure landing spot. Firing Range is a bit more condensed in size compared to the other named locations on the map. However, due to its size, players can sweep the area in very little time.
If other players do drop with your team, Firing Range has many small building to group up in and force your opponents into close quarter combat. Once the area is clear, Firing Range is in the centre of a lot of open fields. Meaning you or your team can scout out the area and get the drop on any unsuspecting players.
Be sure to check the areas outside and on top of some of the smaller buildings. There are loot spawns everywhere.
Everyone’s experiences will be different. That being said, these are a few drop locations that I believe offer the right balance of loot and enemy engagements. Most of these locations will not be a walk in the park. Chances are you will not always be the only player/team to drop during a match.
With enough coordination, you’ll be able to live through those first engagements and start thinking about your next steps. Setting yourself up for success during those first few minutes will have a lasting impact when you have your sights set on winning a Blackout match.
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About The Author: Steve Vegvari
Steve is based in Toronto, Ontario. His enthusiasm and adoration of the video game industry go back to the days of SNES. Find him on Twitter and join in on the escapades.