Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War safehouse puzzles guide

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Safehouse Puzzles Guide
(Image credit: Activision)

In between missions in the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War campaign, you’ll find yourself up against a series of tricky puzzles that can give you access to special side missions, arcade machines and terminals that all give a wider context to the game’s narrative, or provide a fun aside from the chaos.

As well as unlocking the secret inventory, we’re going to run through how you can decrypt the floppy disk and review the right suspects to complete the Operation Red Circus and Operation Chaos missions. 

All three of these puzzles require a decent amount of legwork, with maths and critical thinking skills in demand. Luckily for you, we’re going to show you how to make each of these tasks trivial, using the evidence gathered from the game’s main missions.

How to unlock the inventory in Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War 

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Safehouse Puzzles Guide

(Image credit: Activision)

The first task you can complete when you start the campaign is unlocking the inventory. When you assume control in the CIA Safehouse, look around for little clipboards containing newspaper articles and records. 

You should be able to find a Dallas News Article, a Warren Commission Piece and a Clinical Record. On each of these clipboards will be two highlighted numbers. Note them down on a piece of paper and then head to the inventory door, which is left of Lazar and has its own clipboard. On there it will tell you what order you need to enter the numbers.

In our case, we had six, three from the Dallas article, 2, two from Warren and 1,1, from the Autopsy Report. The inventory clipboard told us that the order was Clinical, Warren and Dallas, so the final input was 1,1,2,2,6,3. Get inside and have fun with the arcade machine and terminal.

Operation Chaos: how to decrypt the Floppy Disk

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Safehouse Puzzles Guide

(Image credit: Activision)

Once you’ve picked up every piece of evidence from the main missions using our handy evidence guide, you need to cross-reference all of the evidence that you’ve found to unravel the code to decrypt the floppy disk at the evidence board.

If you look at the front page of the newspaper, you’ll get a place name from the letters highlighted in red. Ours was New York, which corresponded to the numbers 4,0,1,6 on the Numbers Station Broadcast.

Then you need to open up the Coded Message, and you’ll see two question marks. The red and blue numbers follow a code, and you have to figure out what the answer is based on your personalized message sheet. In our case, the blue numbers were ascending in fours, 44,48,52,?,60, so our blue number was 56. We then looked at the Numbers Station Broadcast again, and Boise was marked with the numbers 7,4,5,6, so I realised that the red number we needed was 74. 

With that, we had the codes 4,0,1,6,7,4,5,6, so we inputted 4016 in the first prompt and then Boise (not 7456!) to unlock the floppy disk and access the mission with all the information necessary.

How to review suspects and complete Operation Red Circus

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Safehouse Puzzles Guide

(Image credit: Activision)

Once you’ve picked up all of the Operation Red Circus evidence using our handy guide, you can now choose the option to ‘review suspects’ and figure out the identity of the spies within the spy ring. What you have to do is cross-reference the information from the ledger with the rest of the evidence at your disposal.

In our case, we can use the example of the Bearded Lady, who’d been sent 15k by the ringleader in Austria on 1/8/81. She then attended a vote in parliament France 1/21/90. We tagged this to one of the female operatives in the suspect list who had corresponding dates.

You’re looking for the dates to line up but you can also check the middle piece of evidence for the pronouns of the operatives. Watch for when they say he or she to get an idea of the gender of the spies if it isn’t explicitly stated in their codename. 

Jordan Oloman

Jordan Oloman is a journalist and documentarian with experience across the pop culture/tech spectrum writing reported features, reviews. news, guides, op-eds and more for a wide variety of outlets. He is also an affiliate streamer on Twitch and have previous experience in scriptwriting, podcasting, game consultation and creating video content.