Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 added a new specialist to the game known as Zero. This specialist release now gives players 11 total to choose from meaning that no matter what play style you enjoy there is a specialist for you.
Zero is one of, if not the, most nuanced specialist in the game. While you may have fun using her as a beginner there are many other specialists that are better for newer players. If you’re just getting into Black Ops 4 now you may want to check out our full specialist guide and select one from that list instead.
If however you have been playing the game and feel like you could use a breath of fresh air, or are looking to help turn your game knowledge into victories, this is the specialist for you. Zero is essentially a counter specialist, meaning that to use her as effectively as possible you have to have considerable game knowledge.
Zero thrives on frustrating opponents as both her special issue equipment and weapon can be used to effectively counter other specialists and players that are beginning to take over the game.
We can begin with her special issue equipment, an EMP Disruptor. This functions similar to a standard frag grenade but without doing any damage. Instead, it does what the name suggests and disrupts enemies and equipment within an 18 Meter radius and also works through walls.
Some of these effects can be minute. For example temporarily removing Red Dot’s from scopes, laser sights and turning off HUD’s for a short time meaning players cannot see their mini-map, ammo count, or score-streak meter.
Other effects make a larger impact however. Players also cannot use their specialist ability or summon score-streaks while Disrupted, although they can still heal and reload normally. Players that have been disrupted will suffer these effects for 5 seconds or until they are killed, whichever comes first.
To avoid suffering this fate players can equip the Tactical Mask as one of their perks. Doing so makes you completely immune to the minor effects of the EMP although you still will not be able to call in score-streaks or your specialist equipment/ weapon for the next few seconds.
The grenade doesn’t just affect players however, it also can interact with both equipment and score-streaks. The EMP Disruptor can disable Torque’s Barricade damage output and completely destroys his razor wire as well as other equipment such as Crash’s assault pack, Seraph’s tac-deploy beacon, Nomad’s razor wire, Prophet’s seeker mine and Recon’s sensor dart. It also works against Firebreak when using reactor core by shutting it down so that he cannot do damage.
The Disruptor can also destroy a trophy system as long there is no direct line of sight, as if there is, the Trophy system will destroy the EMP. To take out a trophy system throw the grenade behind a nearby wall or cover so that the trophy system can’t work its magic.
The EMP also works on a few select scorestreaks. Sentry guns are rendered useless for the rest of their life as they will never begin to fire again after they have been hit by an EMP while Drone Squads are destroyed completely. A Mantis hit by the Disruptor will be immobilized for a few seconds however it does resume normal functioning after the 5 second window.
That pretty much covers all of the effects of Zero’s special issue equipment so we can now focus on her special weapon, the Ice Pick.
The Ice Pick allows Zero to hack all opposing players and also has interesting effects with active score-streaks and equipment enabling Zero to take control of some and completely destroy others.
To be clear “Hacking” opposing equipment and score-streaks means that your team takes control of that specific item. This means that timing is truly everything with this Weapon as you gain maximum value by reversing some of the more powerful things in the game and allowing your team to use them to their advantage instead of allowing the enemy team to control them.
Starting with the effects on other players, using the Ice Pick is similar to using the EMP Disruptor but does have a two key differences. Instead of completely disabling information for health bars and the mini-map it scrambles these areas of the heads up display. Players will notice their health is constantly changing which can lead them to believe they are taking damage. Their mini-map and radar will be populated with enemy blips that are not actually there. These effects can cause confusion and disorient players for longer than the EMP Disruptor totaling 30 seconds instead of 5.
Just as with the EMP disruptor the player effects are less significant than the potential interactions with other equipment and score-streaks that are currently active. Zero can hack, effectively taking control of, multiple pieces of specialist equipment. The Trophy System, Sensor Dart, Seeker Mine, Mesh Mine, Assault Pack and Barricade are all hackable while the Ice Pick will completely destroy an opposing Tac-Deploy Beacon.
Score-streaks are also fair game for Zero as the Dart, RCXD, Sniper Nests, Threshers, Gunships and Mantis are destroyed when the Ice Pick is timed properly. Strike Teams can also be destroyed however the hack must be completed before they leave their Helicopter; once they are on the ground and in play the Ice Pick has no effect on them. Meanwhile UAV, Counter UAV, Care Packages, Sentry Guns, Drone Squads and Attack Choppers will be hacked turning them into your team’s score-streaks instead.
Having explained all of the various effects of Zero’s load-out it should now be apparent why this specialist is harder to use than others. Knowing exactly when and how to use the EMP Disruptor and Ice Pick can completely negate components of your opponents strategy and even turn it against them. Misusing these items opens windows for your opponent to utilize their weapons and score-streaks to their full capabilities and will render significantly lackluster results.
When playing against Zero it is critical to keep track of when they will have these items available to them. You want to avoid stacking multiple pieces of equipment in the same vicinity and call in score-streaks only one at a time or when you know Zero is still charging her equipment and weaponry. Otherwise things can go very badly for you extremely quickly.
Zero is ultimately one of the most unique and interesting specialists currently available in Black Ops 4 so we hope this knowledge will help you utilize her more effectively and play around her more successfully. Remember when Zero is in the game, timing is everything. Can you master the art?