To Infinite and beyond
After 13 years, the Duty that never stops Calling (even though you’ve almost certainly blocked its number by now) is heading into space and boy does it look good.
However, just because you’re now playing among the stars doesn’t mean this is the same old game you’ve been shooting your way through for more than a decade - Infinity Ward has transformed CoD, and it’s exactly what the series needed.
From the basic speed of movement to the Combat Rigs system, TechRadar has emptied many a clip into the ranks of the game’s online pantheon and brought you 10 tips to have you racking up XP and glory in no time.
1. Never, ever slow down
Much like one of this year’s other great shooters, Titanfall 2, Infinite Warfare is no place for campers and static plays. Especially in the fast paced world of the title’s online multiplayer, Infinite Warfare is all about laying waste to your opponents at speed, changing direction and movement like a murderous version of The Flash.
You have a jet pack (this is space, after all) at your disposal, so use this to give you an extra boost when leaping out of a firefight and into safety. You can also wall-run, so use that boost to throw your foes off at the last moment, as well as slide, making you a far smaller target.
2. There is no ‘best’ Combat Rig
To spice things up for this year’s CoD, Infinity Ward has created six separate classes that offer different styles of play that suit certain modes and their objectives. Since such a system requires a distinct sense of balance, no one Combat Rig towers above the others, with each one working in a rock/paper/scissors relationship with the others.
For instance, the Stryker class is all about dominating an area with explosives and projectiles, so base your loadout on this one if you’re playing something like Domination or Capture the Flag.
Merc is a heavy infantry class, so use it for contesting areas thick with enemy players. FTL is all about speed, so try this one out in the likes of Kill Confirmed. Synthetic is for gadget lovers, making it something of a wild card on the field. Finally, Phantom offers your standard sniping and stealth package.
3. Find the right Combat Rig and Perk combo
Much like Call of Dutys of the past, Infinite Warfare’s online component is full to the brim with Perks, a series of special abilities that enhance how you play throughout a given match.
Since the game is now based around the five classes and the different Traits (unique attributes) that each one possesses, finding the right combo of Perks will change how you play forever.
For instance, why not try the heavy-hitting Merc Rig and pair it up with the zippy Momentum Perk that increases your basic speed of movement? Equip a decent shotgun and you can now use that power without sacrificing too much manoeuvrability. Start experimenting and see what combos work in a given mode or playlist.
4. Don’t waste your Keys
Almost every Call of Duty in recent times has come complete with a form of currency to earn when playing online and Infinite Warfare is no exception. Alongside the usual font of XP, the game employs a system called Keys that serve as tokens for unlocking Supply Drops. Supply Drops contain three useful yet random items, so they’re basically Infinite Warfare’s version of loot.
You get these keys from levelling up, but it’s easy to blow them early on just to try and get yourself ahead. Don’t be tempted to do this!
Instead, bank them up and use them much further down the line to unlock useful Combat Rig items and game-changing guns such as Prototype Weapons.
5. Seek out those Prototypes
Hands down, the most powerful guns in the game are Prototype Weapons, but as you might expect they’re not particularly easy to find. Much like the legendary melee weapons you can unlock and build in Battlefield 1, they’re just as hard to find as those in DICE’s excellent military shooter.
There are four types of Prototype Weapons - Common, Rare, Legendary and Epic in Infinite Warfare and you can unlock them in two ways. You can either use Keys to potentially find parts in Supply Drops or you can build them using the other main currency in the game - Salvage.
6. Salvage equals crafting
For the first time in the series’ history, Call of Duty has a crafting system. Well, kind of. While it doesn't expect you to build your own settlement a la Fallout 4, the latest CoD does expect you to use its new crafting resource, Salvage, to create new weapons to get that edge in multiplayer.
Salvage comes from either burning duplicate items found in Supply Drops and through ranking up and playing multiplayer. To craft a weapon, you’ll need to have enough Salvage banked, have unlocked a weapon’s given base model (since all Prototypes are variants of existing weapons) and have access to the Prototype Lab section found in the multiplayer menus.
7. Play smart to earn Salvage
As we mentioned earlier, Salvage can be either earned through natural play or via burning duplicate items found through Supply Drops. Since Keys are finite, Supply Drops aren’t the most bountiful way to earn this crafting resource so earning it through completing matches is the the quickest way to farm it.
If you want to start banking Salvage like a pro, try raising the status of the Mission Team you’re by performing well in matches or completing Challenges (since there are so many Challenges, these are a brilliant way to farm). Salvage is scales, so the higher your rank, the more you earn.
8. Wall-runs and slides are overrated
While the latest Call of Duty does share the wall-running and knee-sliding mechanics of the recently released Titanfall 2 from Respawn, the two games take a very different approach and the end result transforms how you use each one in multiplayer.
Unlike Titanfall 2’s acrobatics, which are faster than simply running on the ground, there’s an odd pause after you slide that can often leave you exposed - so try only sliding short distances directly into cover.
Wall-running also feels a tad slow so be sure to leap between walls quickly to maintain momentum and use your Thrust Jump to reach distance ledges and platforms.
9. Don’t stop firing when you cook a grenade
Did you know you can now lob a grenade with your character’s left hand while still firing with your right? This might seem like a tiny change, but it’s already had a huge effect on how players utilise grenades in multiplayer. For a start, it removes the age-old frustration of having to break your own offensive fire to introduce an explosive into the mix, while also enabling you to cover yourself without being left exposed.
We found holding R1/RB to cook a regular grenade for around one to two seconds while still covering ourselves gave us enough time to throw it exactly when and how we wanted. It does take a little multitasking so practice it out before employing it in a heated exchange.
10. Balance those loadout points
The points system, first introduced way back when in Black Ops 2, is alive and well in Infinite Warfare, and knowing how to work within it is the first battle of multiplayer. When you start playing, you only have ten points to play with - this basically means you can carry ten items ranging from primary weapons to gadgets.
Our advice here is pretty simple, but it’s served us well so far: avoid overdoing the attachments on one weapon and only include items you really need, such as Seeker grenades or a sight that suits the weapon selected.