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Call of Duty Cold War Outbreak walkthrough and tips

Outbreak tips and tricks.

The new Outbreak mode in Call of Duty Cold War Zombies is a strange one at first. Played on giant maps, the vibe is very different from what you’re used to when it comes to Zombies mode. You’ll be dealing with sidequests, world levels, and a whole different style of play, so read on for a walkthrough on how to play Outbreak in Call of Duty Cold War Zombies.

On this page:

Cover image for YouTube video

How to do sidequests in Outbreak

Outbreak has the option to do sidequests and gain rewards to help you progress more quickly. These sidequests can be seen on the map with various icons, including a dragon icon which has you activate a pillar and kill zombies in a ring of fire to ‘feed’ a mechanical dragon. Once the dragon is full up, it’ll take off into the sky, giving you a big ol’ golden loot chest to ransack.

You can get some really sweet rewards from here too, including but not limited to:

  • Salvage
  • Perks
  • Weapons
  • Equipment
  • Killstreaks

The higher your world level is, the rarer your rewards are likely to be too. It is still possible to get legendary rewards early on if you’re lucky though!

Other sidequests include a little lightning bolt icon on the map, which just chucks you up against a bunch of zombies along with some special zombies like Manglers and Mimics, much like the quest indicated by a pile of skulls.

I’d suggest taking on as many sidequests as possible before moving on, at least in the first few worlds.

How to Pack-A-Punch in Outbreak

Pack-A-Punching your weapons is easy peasy in Outbreak. All you have to do is check your map for the Pack-A-Punch machine icon. It’ll be on every single map, so just have a look around - I’ve even circled it in pink below for you! Of course, it’ll be in a different location on every map area.

The Pack-A-Punch machine is circled on the Outbreak map

It costs the same amount to buff your weapons as in normal Zombies mode:

  • Level 1: 5000 Points
  • Level 2: 15,000 Points
  • Level 2: 30,000 Points
  • Ammo mods: 2000 Points

Where to get perks in Outbreak

The simplest way to get your perks, from Jugger-Nog to Speed Cola, is to just buy them from Der Wunderfizz machine. Read on to learn how to farm points in Outbreak mode, and check out the screenshot below to see what the perk machine looks like on your map.

Der Wunderfizz machine is circled on an Outbreak map

You can also earn perks as a reward from completing trials and sidequests. It’s pretty doable too - just head over to the aforementioned map markers and spend the 500 point entry fee before getting started and completing your objective. Perks are sometimes rewarded as sidequest loot, or as a legendary trial bonus.

How to farm points in Outbreak

There are all kinds of ways to gain points in Outbreak mode. Firstly, head into as many buildings as possible and ransack them for loot chests and whatever else you can find. Loot chests will be denoted by a little musical lick and a childish laugh sound, so keep an ear out for that to make sure you don’t miss a single one.

Another way to earn points is simply killing zombies. You only get 25 points per zombie kill (35 for critical or melee kills), but they add up and you’ll be killing the undead as you do other stuff anyway.

Purple crystals can be found around the map, and you can smash them to gain salvage, points, ammo, and sometimes even weapons. They’re pretty easy to spot - they look just like the screenshot below.

A glowing purple crystal shines in Outbreak mode, and contains rewards if smashed.

Zombie essence is what ‘points’ are sometimes referred to in game, and it can be found all over the place. You’ll see it in small vials, pictured below.

A vial of zombie essence points sits on the ground in Outbreak mode.

I found them in many places throughout the map, from next to crafting tables to just sitting on a plank of wood outside. They’ll usually give you 100 points a pop, but sometimes you’ll get even more with bigger canisters.

You can also find these essence vials after jumping off of jump pads, which cost 500 a jump, but you can both fast-travel and gain points from doing this. You’ll see vials in midair, and these give you 500 points each, meaning you can parachute around for free and even make money by jumping if you can reach them and plan ahead.

Another way to find points is using dark aether orbs, notified by a little ball thing on the map. If you find one of these (they look a bit like dark aether portals from other maps), shoot it up, It’ll drop you some points, and you then have to follow it a couple times, shoot it again, and you’ll be rewarded with a big batch of free points.

Of course, a final way to earn points is undertaking trials. The trial machine is marked clearly on the map as a rectangle with two circles in the top half, and you get 5 whole minutes to complete these. At any level, you have the opportunity to earn points, with more points available with higher rarity rewards, obviously capping off at Legendary.

Miniboss zombie weaknesses in Outbreak

In Outbreak, you’ll come up against a bunch of big, bad zombie types. You’ve probably come up against most of them in Die Maschine and Firebase Z, so you’ll know how they work. However, what you might not know is the specific weaknesses that’ll help with the big bad zombies. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Mangler: Weak to Napalm Burst ammo, as well as arm shots
  • Megaton: Weak to Dead Wire electric bullets, so upgrade yourself at the Pack-A-Punch machine
  • Mimics: Weak to Brain Rot poison damage
  • Tempest: Teleports around you and disables vehicles, so target them at the beginning of a fight
  • Krasny Soldat: This new big baddie is weak to Shatter Blast ammo

How to get wonder weapons and ray guns in Outbreak

In Outbreak, you actually can get the fancy D.I.E. weapons, as well as the RAI K-84 Ray Rifle. All you need to do is open chests around the map. It sounds simple, but there are certain factors that increase your likelihood of getting your fancy weapons. You can also earn legendary weapons by killing minibosses, so check out our tips above to make that a bit easier.

  • The later you are in-game, the more likely you are to gain rarer rewards
  • Bigger chests have a higher chance of getting fancy guns
  • Golden chests have the highest chance of rare loot, so complete as many sidequests as you can

How to advance in Outbreak

So, you’ve finally got to grips with this weird new zombie-infested world. Now, here’s how to make progress in it.

All you need to do is head to the star symbol on the map when you’re ready to move on. There are a few different main missions you’ll have to do, but just fight off the zombies and you’ll be alright - especially if you’ve prepared.

The missions include getting trapped in a room and having to survive for a few minutes, escorting a payload to an aether portal, and taking down a super high-health boss enemy.

That’s all you need to know about Outbreak mode in Zombies! Keep on ranking up and entering the Anomalies when they open, and you should start to see results when it comes to which rounds you can reach! Of course, you can always exfil if you want to get out of there. For more zombies help, check out our guide for the best Cold War Zombies loadout, as well as advice on how to do the easter egg on Firebase Z.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

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About the Author
James Law avatar

James Law

Former Guides Writer

James was part of Rock Paper Shotgun's guides team from 2020-2021, bringing his expert knowledge about FPS games, Hearthstone, Path Of Exile and more from his time at Metabomb. He's also a dab hand at Hitman 3, and making his own jam - things which may or may not be related to one another.