Written By: Steve Vegvari
The competitive multiplayer of Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 brings back the class-based Specialists from Black Ops 3. Some of the Specialists are returning favourites from the 2015 title, while others are brand new. The new Specialists are a welcomed addition as they plug the holes some players found during the Black Ops 3 circuit.
Each Specialist is fully customizable down to the weapons, and perks, etc. However, at the core, Specialists hold their unique ability that can make all the difference on the field. With ten to choose from, it may come down to experimenting with each one to find the best class that suits your playstyle.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 offers the Specialist HQ which acts as a tutorial for each Specialist. The tutorials usually run anywhere between 15-20 minutes long and teach the player the ins and outs of the Specialists equipment and ability.
You can always commit time to the Specialist HQ. Instead, we have created a cheat-sheet so you can narrow down your choices and get a competitive advantage a bit quicker. The Specialists in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 essentially boil down to three classifications; offence, defence, and support.
Depending on the game mode you and your squad are playing, each Specialist holds their own advantages and disadvantages. We’ll go over some standout classes in each main category and discuss what they bring to the table.
Prophet is a great Specialist for run-and-gun players. Both his equipment and Specialist ability are focused on getting you in front of the action. First up is his Seeker bot. Once deployed it will chase down the closest enemy and apply a stun. This will allow you to run up and easily take down the enemy with little to no hassle.
Prophet’s ability is his Tempest Rifle. Similar to the Seeker, the Tempest shoots stun round capable of stunning the enemy you shot, as well as enemies within close proximity. Once shot will stun and take them to the ground. Shooting each enemy with additional Tempest rounds will kill the enemy.
Next, we have Firebreak. Firebreak is perfect selection when you want to be the one to push into enemy territory. Firebreak’s Reactor Core is a risk/reward piece of equipment. Deploying it will allow Firebreak to deal radiation damage to opponents, even if they are behind a wall. You will notice that a bar appears on the screen each time you use it. If the bar fills up into the red zone, you will begin to take damage yourself.
When storming the gates into the enemy’s side of the map, Firebreak’s Purifier aka his flamethrower is a great piece of equipment. The Purifier has a great amount of range meaning you could potentially hit two or three enemies at once. The capacity of each use is limited, so the Purifier is best used in bursts as it does not take much to bring down an opponent.
Nomad is another strong choice for run-and-gun players. He is a good all around Specialist with some strong perks. First off, his Mesh Mine equipment acts as a tripwire explosive, which is perfect for setting up in one location and pushing into another.
His ability is the fan favourite K-9 unit. Once triggered, the K-9 will target up to three enemies and deliver one-hit kills to each of them. Nomad’s strengths lie in low-maintenance abilities that do not require a whole lot of precision.
Ruin is a traversal-focused Specialist. He is equipped with a Grapple Gun capable of out-maneuvering other players by shooting his grapple vertically or horizontally. The grapple will also allow Ruin to forget about using the stairs and take the quicker route to higher ground.
When Ruin activates his ability, he delivers his powerful Grav Slam. Jumping into the air, Ruin will cause a large amount of damage to any enemy within a certain area of effect.
Battery is a powerhouse. Few Specialists offer equipment that feels as rewarding as Battery. Her secondary equipment is a lethal cluster grenade that will stick to any surface (yes, even enemies). When the grenades explode, smaller grenades will ricochet and explode once again.
Battery’s Specialist ability is another lethal weapon –– a grenade launcher. Aptly named the War Machine, Battery receives six high-powered grenades that explode upon enemy impact. If shot into a wall or other surface, the grenade will separate into small explosions. War Machine is best shot into a choke point or objective as your team pushes into enemy territory.
If you enjoy playing with a defensive-focused class, there a couple Specialists that fit the bill. Both offer unique abilities that benefit both the frontline run-and-gunners and the players that are a bit more calculated.
Ajax is the brick wall for you and your teammates. He is best used on the frontlines when pushing into enemy spawn points or contesting objectives. His equipment is the 9-bang that when cooked for longer, will stun enemies in a greater radius.
Ajax’s ability is a fortified Ballistic Shield. The shield can be used to cover Ajax as he maneuvers the map, but at a cost of mobility. Ajax is able to bring the shield closer to his body and position a pistol through a small hole. This will cover Ajax’s front, but reduce his accuracy greatly as you will lose the ability to use sights.
Torque, on the other hand, is best utilized when defending objectives or creating choke points. Torque will lay down a line of barbed wire, capable of blocking off a doorway, or tight quarters. While the barbed wire can be destroyed, it has a good amount of fortitude before breaking.
Torque’s Specialist ability is a powerful barricade capable of dealing damage to opponents while slowing down enemy movement when they cross the barricade’s area-of-effect.
If you don’t mind taking the backseat and letting your teammates get their hands dirty, support Specialists should be your goto.
Recon is a phenomenal choice as he is essentially a walking UAV. Both his equipment and specialist ability enable him to ping opponent locations on the minimap for you and your teammates. Recon’s Vision Pulse will also highlight enemies through walls.
Crash is a bit of a mixed bag. His equipment is an Assault Pack which drops ammo and provides bonus scores when used on opponents, which will help speed up Scorestreaks. Crash’s Tak-5 ability drops health and boosts max health, which depending on the game mode could be useful. However, in fast-paced modes like TDM or Kill Confirmed, players may not find much of an advantage.
Finally, Seraph is an excellent class for players that enjoy sticking to the back and observing the state of the match. Seraph can drop a beacon which acts as a redeploy zone for teammates. On top of that, Seraph’s ability is a powerful revolver that is packed with high-calibre rounds, able to knock down any player with health boosts.
There you have it. Of the ten Specialists available, I believe Treyarch has created a class for every kind of player. As mentioned, depending on the game mode, the Specialists have their pros and cons. Picking out two or three that really speak to you to learn their roles will be your first step in dominating the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 multiplayer.
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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.