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Call of Duty Cold War Zombies guide: everything you need to know

All the Cold War Zombies info you need.

The long-awaited return of Zombies mode in Call of Duty Cold War has a lot of fans excited. It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper Zombies mode, since the closest we had in Modern Warfare and Warzone was Zombie Royale. This time though, we’re back on the classic zombie hype, so here’s our guide on Zombies in Call of Duty Cold War.

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When is Cold War Zombies out?

If you’ve got Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, you’ll already have access to Cold War Zombies.

Cold War Zombies’ setting and story

Zombies lore is an absolute trip. In an alternate universe with all kinds of bizarre creatures and magic stuff going on, you can play as a ridiculous array of characters from historical figures like Fidel Castro and JFK to some bloke called ‘Billy Handsome’. The illuminati are also here, and Zombies crashed the Titanic.

So now you’re up to speed with the whole Zombies story, what’s next? Well, the ‘Dark Aether Story’ is the newest chapter in Call of Duty’s Zombies mode, and it’s set in the same time period as the rest of the game - the 1980s. You can see the reveal below.

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According to the devs, there’s a brand new story led by different characters. Of course, we aren’t saying goodbye to the Zombies of old - there’ll be throwbacks, lore, and references for the eagle-eyed amongst you. The characters at the end of Black Ops 4’s Zombies mode supposedly ended Zombies for good, sacrificing themselves in the process, but it turns out there was more to the story, as we return during the Cold War with Zombies as undead as ever.

You’ll be first thrown into Die Maschine. It’s a huge Nazi research facility for their evil plans, dubbed ‘Projekt Endstation’. It’s situated in Morasko, a small area in the district of Poznań, Poland. There’ll be an absolutely enormous amount of intel and story to find and uncover, and Die Maschine is only the first aspect of a larger Zombies story, so new maps will be added in time too.

What perks and skills are in Cold War Zombies?

Perks in Zombies. They’re iconic at this point. A boatload of the old favourites are here, as well as a new one making its debut in Cold War. You can obtain perks from the vending machines dotted around the map, and can upgrade them permanently with Rare Aetherium Crystals earned by completing special objectives in Zombies mode. Each perk has three upgrade tiers, so get collecting those crystals. More perks will be added in future updates of course, but the following are available immediately:

  • Jugger-Nog - Increase max health by 50
  • Quick Revive - Speeds up the time it takes to revive an ally and regen your health by 50%
  • Speed Cola - Increase reload speed by 15%
  • Stamin-Up - Increase movement speed
  • Deadshot Daiquiri - Removes scope sway and snaps to headshot/critical hit location on enemy when aiming down sights
  • Elemental Pop - Bullets have the chance to apply random Ammo Mod effects
  • Tombstone Soda - When downed, become a shadow in the Dark Aether armed with your weapons that can revive you. If your shadow loses all its health, you die.

Remember, all of these perks are the base levels. Each of them will require Rare Aetherium Crystals to upgrade them permanently for future runs.

Ammo Mods in Cold War Zombies

Different ammo types are available in Cold War Zombies. These are referred to in Cold War as Ammo Mods, and can be boosted by the upgraded Elemental Pop perk, which reduces Ammo Mod cooldowns and upgrades their skill tiers when you get it up to tier three.

The Ammo Mods were found by Reddit user Nanikos, and you can select any of them when you Pack-A-Punch your weapon. Here’s the Ammo Mods currently on offer:

  • Cryofreeze - slows enemies and deals frost damage
  • Dead Wire - stuns Zombies and deals electric damage
  • Napalm Blast - burns Zombies and deals fire damage
  • Brain Rot - turns a Zombie friendly

Cold War Zombies weapons and loadouts

You can bring a loadout into Zombies mode. That’s right, no more starting with a crap pistol, you can have a setup ready to rumble with cosmetics and whatever guns you want from the start. You can still pick the pistol, but you have much more freedom with how you choose to do things.

Of course, this is balanced to avoid it being overpowered. Loadouts are much simpler in Zombies compared to multiplayer. You get a single weapon and a field upgrade and that’s it. The weapon will have all its attachments, but it’ll be of ‘common’ rarity, meaning it’ll only be really useful in the first few rounds, after which you’ll have to find other, higher rarity weapons.

You can also upgrade the rarity of the weapon you’re already holding, so if you like your setup but fancy a bit more damage, that’s always an option.

What do field upgrades do?

Field upgrades in Zombies are very different to the ones in multiplayer. They are based in the Zombies Dark Aether universe, and give you a bit of extra oomph when fighting the undead. We expect new field upgrades to be added in future Zombies updates, but for the moment we’re expecting the following field upgrades to be available:

  • Frost Blast - slows and damages enemies inside a wind blast. Slowed enemies take more damage
  • Healing Aura - instantly heal your squad to full health
  • Energy Mine - place a mine that detonates when near enemies
  • Ring of Fire - increase damage for you and your squad, also burning enemies who come close, for 15 seconds
  • Aether Shroud - become hidden from enemies for five seconds

Scorestreaks in Cold War Zombies

That’s right, scorestreaks are here in Call of Duty Zombies. Earned from mystery boxes, supports give you goodies to help shred through the Zombie hordes without breaking a sweat. You’ll even be able to avoid damage and detection when using scorestreaks that take control away from you. What a delight. Here’s the initial supports in Cold War Zombies:

  • Combat Bow
  • Sentry Turret
  • War Machine
  • Chopper Gunner
  • Self Revive

Looting and crafting

Zombies will occasionally drop loot when you kill them. This includes salvage, armour, or equipment like flashbangs or frag grenades. You’ll be able to use a crafting table later on in the game to create resources from the salvage you collect.

Exfil from the map

You don’t always end the game with death in Cold War Zombies. Instead, you’ll have the option to exfil when things are getting dicey and gain extra rewards. What’s the catch? Well, you can’t just leave whenever you feel like it. Nope, you’ll have to survive another bout of ultra Zombie stress to get out of there.

You can exfil after round 10, and it’s available every five rounds from that point. Radio for the exfil in the starting area of the map and get your whole team to agree to it. The normal round ends, and you’re then tasked with reaching the exfil site on time. Get to the area, clear out the huge number of Zombies swarming you, and get onto the chopper, earning extra XP and Raw Aetherium Crystals.

Armour system

There’s an armour system in Zombies this time around. When you’re wearing armour, your damage is reduced per hit. It’s possible to upgrade armour after you get it too - there are two upgrades you can chuck onto it. Zombies will keep having their damage output increased, so you’ll really want to get your hands on the armour upgrades.

You can purchase armour with salvage, or occasionally find it dropped from enemies. Armour Shards are also dropped by dead Zombies, which heals your armour slightly, but it’s far from a reliable survival strategy - getting hit is still extremely bad news. You can repair armour with a Carpenter power-up as well.

Playable characters in Zombies

Unlike previous iterations of Zombies, in Call of Duty Cold War, you’ll be able to play as any operator you’ve unlocked in multiplayer mode. You’ll even have access to characters from the campaign, including Frank Woods.

The other characters playable are members of Requiem, Grigori Weaver’s task force responsible for investigating and stopping the weird phenomena plaguing the weird Nazi facility. You’ll meet a load of characters, some trustworthy, some not, from both Requiem and their Soviet counterparts, Omega. They’re also trying to study at the anomalies in the facility, and potentially harness them for their own benefit.

That’s all for our Cold War Zombies guide! What a journey. If you’re interested in other modes, check out our Cold War Warzone guide, or if you fancy playing with friends, have a look at our Call of Duty Cold War cross play and cross gen article.

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