Warzone tips: 10 things to know before you play

Warzone tips – view on masked shooters with weapons drawn
(Image credit: Activision)

If you’re looking for some brilliant Warzone tips to get yourself up to speed before the game relaunches, you’ve come to the right place. For newbies and veterans alike, things get pretty confusing on Caldera when the bullets start flying. 

The fundamental rules of Warzone aren't set to change, even after the release of its sibling Warzone 2. Master the basics early on and you will be in much better shape to take on both battle royale games fresh from the Call of Duty universe.

As Warzone has evolved over the years, the meta has changed rapidly. Things have definitely gotten more varied, so there are now many valid ways to win a match. Whether it's getting kills, hunting down special loot drops, or sneaking around with gear that lets you survive the gas, you'll want to know the key strategies.

In this guide, you'll find 10 tried and tested tips for Warzone Caldera. They include basics (like using the Ping system) to more advanced aspects of play such as taking on contracts. 

Here's how to get the upper hand in Warzone and secure wins with ease.

Warzone tips: 10 essential tips to get better at the game

Warzone tips: pinging

Warzone tips - pinging in-game is displayed

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes / Activision)

Warzone takes a page out of Apex Legends’ book, by replicating Respawn’s excellent Ping system. This lets you identify loot, locations, and enemy positions with the touch of a button – like on-demand sonar.

It makes it much easier to coordinate strategies within your squad, and you should be pinging often. Don’t forget to double-tap the Ping button to instantly notify your squad of an enemy presence, too – you’d be surprised how handy it can be just to give a rough idea of where another squad is lurking.

Warzone tips: split the cash

a pile of cash ready for the taking

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes / Activision)

In the bottom left of your screen in Warzone, your teammates' status is shown, along with how much cash they’re holding.

That’s handy because if you’ve been eliminated you’ll be relying on them to buy you a redeployment from the nearest Buy Station (a spot for buying upgrades or special features with the cash you earn from kills). That’s a lot easier if they have plenty of currency, so be sure to share around the cash with them as you loot.

In fact, you can drop cash directly from your inventory to ensure everyone has enough for emergencies: consider it a rainy day fund.

Warzone tips: bargain hunting

a buy station ready for use

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes / Activision)

Cash is plentiful in Warzone, which is just as well, as there’s plenty you can spend it on.

While you can pick up killstreaks – more on those later – you can also buy items like armor plating and self-revives at Buy Stations. At certain points in the game, these kinds of items are actually discounted, helping your money go further. 

Just remember that Buy Stations are hotspots for enemy activity – and are likely to attract camping snipers in the area – so make sure to stay sharp.

Warzone tips: killstreaks aren't killstreaks

the contents of a buy station

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes / Activision)

‘Killstreak’ is a bit of a misnomer in Warzone, since you don’t earn killstreaks by slaying enemies. That said, you can loot unused ones from fallen foes, and nothing says irony like dropping a cluster strike on the team that saved their hard-earned cash for it.

Killstreaks are devastating in late-game scenarios because of their relatively small areas of impact. The UAV is restricted to a 100m radius, while the cluster and precision strikes rely on unsuspecting enemies being in a tight final circle.

Others like the war machine or combat bow are super powered weapons but only show up as loot, instead of being purchased.

Warzone tips: suit up and protect yourself

an armor plate ready to be picked up

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes / Activision)

Unlike other battle royale titles, armor isn’t made up of helmets or vests. Instead, players accrue plates which can be inserted manually into the standard vest.

Players can equip three plates, boosting health from 100HP to 250HP, but they can hold five plates in total. This means you can recover from broken armor yourself, or pass it to a friend.

When firing at an enemy’s body, an armor icon will appear when they’re protected, before a ‘cracking sound’ signifies that it has been broken.

The general rule of thumb is to aim for the head, of course, but be sure to keep an eye out for the telltale hit-marker that suggests your opponent could take a clip or two before they go down.

Wondering about health items? Unlike Blackout, there aren’t any. In Warzone, health regenerates when you’re out of combat, just like in campaign or multiplayer modes.

Warzone tips: beware of vehicles

a vehicle driving in the sand

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes / Activision)

Warzone offers plenty of options for getting around, but all come with one sizeable disadvantage – they’re loud. If you’re driving an ATV, a truck, or especially a helicopter, you’ll be a prime target for snipers and rocket launchers.

With that in mind, try to park up at the edge of play zones to avoid barreling straight into the crossfire of multiple squads congregating towards the epicenter.

If you are desperate for a vehicle, they tend to always spawn in the same locations – so after a few matches, you’ll likely know where to find one.

Warzone tips: soldier of fortune

a contract ready to be picked up

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes / Activision)

Contracts are a new addition to the battle royale genre and offer randomized objectives within a match.

They’re shown on your map, and come in three flavors. There’s Bounty, which designates an enemy as a priority target; Scavenger, which denotes specific crates to open for supplies; and Recon, which tasks you with defending a certain area à la Domination.

Rewards include bonus cash, extra experience towards your Battle Pass, and upgraded loot, too.

They also offer a fun new way to play, pushing players out of their comfort zones. Just remember, a squad can only have one active contract at a time, so you’ll all want to work towards the objective.

Warzone tips: don't get too attached

a named weapon on the ground

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes / Activision)

Whereas much of the fun of PUBG and Apex Legends is slotting attachments into the guns you have, Warzone surprisingly goes the way of Fortnite. Looted weapons don’t come with any attachments or scopes, which can be jarring at first.

Dig a little deeper though, and you’ll find named weapons. These are taken from the Gunsmith’s options in the main multiplayer mode of Modern Warfare and offer fixed attachment setups for weapons. So, while your base assault rifle may not offer a great deal of utility at range, you’ll be able to swap it out for an all-singing, all-dancing variant – if you find it.

These can be found in supply crates or as rewards for the Contracts we mentioned earlier, but you can also pick attachments for whichever gun is in your Custom Loadout.

These loadouts can be purchased from Buy Stations and will drop onto the map like care packages – so pray no one sees it crash to Earth before you get your hands on your beloved shotgun.

Supply Crates also make a sound when you’re near, a lot like Fortnite’s Treasure Chests but a lot less obvious. Keep your ear to the ground.

Warzone tips: death is not defeat

One of the major deviations of Warzone from the battle royale formula is that it offers you a second chance after death – if you can earn it.

Death on the battlefield puts you into the Gulag, a prison where you’ll go one-on-one with another inmate and the winner will earn their freedom (which in this case means redeploying to the main Battle Royale, without loot and armor).

There is more than one Gulag, and while it’s all very macabre, we’ve seen players take to throwing rocks to distract those fighting and swing the result. 

Warzone tips: load up

Loadout screen showing an assault rifle lying on a bench

(Image credit: Activision)

While the floor loot you find scattered around will protect you in the early game, your first goal should be a loadout.

This one is all about cold, hard cash – and you’ll want to loot quickly to get to $10,000, which is how much a loadout drop will cost you. The team with the fastest loadout drops are at a big advantage, getting their hands on their personal comfort picks early. This makes landing in hotspots where you’re likely to find a larger amount of currency a priority.

Contracts also offer a steady cash increase, so if you find one it can jump you to getting those drops faster.

Lloyd Coombes
Freelancer & Podcaster

Lloyd Coombes is a freelance tech and fitness writer for TechRadar. He's an expert in all things Apple as well as Computer and Gaming tech, with previous works published on TopTenReviews, Space.com, and Live Science. You'll find him regularly testing the latest MacBook or iPhone, but he spends most of his time writing about video games at Dexerto.

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