Call of Duty: Mobile has an official release date, and it’s coming out for iOS and Android phones on October 1 for all but a few countries (except China, Vietnam and Belgium).
The free-to-play, multiplayer-only title shrinks the typical modern Call of Duty shooter experience down to smartphone level, with abbreviated controls and features that preserve the feel of the FPS franchise.
To that end, plenty of classic maps like Nuketown and Crash are ported over to CoD: Mobile, as are multiplayer modes like Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy and Free-For-All. The result of this effort is that the guns, pace of combat, and combat flow are pretty faithfully reproduced for the smaller screens.
TechRadar got an early look at CoD: Mobile back at E3 2019, and the game felt so familiar that we felt anyone who’d played a game in the series would have little trouble adjusting to mobile gameplay – and would have an advantage over Call of Duty newbies.
That extends to the game’s battle royale mode, adapted from the console Call of Duty’s Blackout mode – but played on a huge map stitched together from a bunch of well-known maps in the CoD series. Plus, of course, a bevy of weapons and vehicles from the franchise.
What makes a mobile Call of Duty
Obviously, there’s a big difference between playing a shooter on the latest consoles or PC and playing on a smartphone. Call of Duty: Mobile has a few control options to make the transition easier, like an optional auto-shoot mode that pulls the trigger for you the moment you line up a crosshair over an enemy. You can also customize the HUD to clear up the clutter.
Those mobile-friendly options aren’t surprising additions: Tencent’s Timi studio developed CoD: Mobile in partnership with Activision. TiMi had previously made one of the PUBG versions available in China as well as the blockbuster smartphone MOBA, Arena of Valor/Honor of Kings.
The game will launch with a slew of multiplayer modes and Battle Royale - and while the press release didn’t mention it, we did see hints of a franchise-favorite Zombies mode when we tested the game at E3 2019.
Given some of the YouTube videos purporting to show early footage of the mode in CoD: Mobile, and its wild popularity across the series, we’d be surprised if it wasn’t part of the game. But given additional modes, content, time-limited events and playlists will be added “on a regular basis,” per the press release, we’ll just have to wait and see.
- See our list of best gaming phones to rock with Call of Duty: Mobile
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David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.