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How to Play Cold War Multiplayer Modes

Jalen Lopez

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War includes several classic game modes that fans expect in each title. These include casual modes such as Team Deathmatch and Free For All and more competitive modes like Domination and Hardpoint are also included.

Cold War features classic CoD game modes and new experiences for players to enjoy. (Photo courtesy Activision)

Cold War features classic CoD game modes and new experiences for players to enjoy. (Photo courtesy Activision)

Cold War also features two new game modes for players to enjoy: VIP Escort and Fireteam: Ditry Bomb. VIP Escort designates one player as the “VIP,” and their team must escort them to the extraction zone while the other team tries to eliminate them. Fireteam: Dirty Bomb sets ten teams against each other as they fight to detonate dirty bombs around the map. Cold War also marks the return of Control, a game mode featured in Black Ops 4 that sets two teams against one another as they fight for control over two objectives with limited lives.

Each game mode in Cold War is fun and exciting and offers a unique experience. Here is a breakdown of each mode and what you should know before trying them out. And make sure you have the best gaming controllers to rack up the KD.

Team Deathmatch

Team Deathmatch is a classic game mode where each team races to secure a certain number of kills by eliminating enemy players. The classic game mode has made an appearance in every Call of Duty title and is one of the least complex game modes in Cold War.

Each kill awards a point to a player’s team, and each death awards a point to the opposing team. There is no other objective in Team Deathmatch besides eliminating the enemy team, and each player has unlimited respawns.

This is the perfect game mode for players looking for a relaxed experience or testing new classes without jumping into an objective-based mode.

Kill Confirmed

Kill Confirmed is similar to Team Deathmatch but adds a twist on the standard mode. Each time a player is killed, they drop a dog tag that must be collected to earn points. Each team must collect a certain amount of dog tags to win, and the other team can stall their process by collecting their teammate’s dog tags.

Many players prefer Kill Confirmed because the matches typically last longer than Team Deathmatch because players must collect tags. It is also a nice change of pace without straying too far from the non-objective based mode.

Kill Confirmed is an excellent choice for players trying to unlock weapon camos or attachments without worrying about capturing or completing objectives.

Free For All

Cold War Free for All

Free For All removes the team system and makes every player an enemy. Players must eliminate enemies to earn points as they race to hit the score limit. This is a fun and challenging mode as there is no team to rely on in tough situations.

This game mode is not ideal for players trying to rank up quickly or grind weapon camos. You will likely die more often in Free For All as everyone is an enemy, and it is tough to win matches. However, Free For All is a fun game mode for solo players looking for a challenge.


Domination is a class game mode where teams fight for control of three objectives around the map. There are typically two objectives that serve as each team’s home flag and one objective in the center that is continuously contested.

Players must stand near each objective for 10 seconds to secure it for their team. The objective will reward teams with points periodically as long as they maintain control. Controlling more objectives will earn points faster, so it is always important to secure at least two flags.

It is possible to secure all three flags in Domination at once, but this is not recommended. Teams will spawn on either side of the map based on the other team’s location. A team that pushes into the enemy spawn will eventually flip spawns and allow the enemy to capture their home flag.

If this happens, players must secure the other home flag to maintain control of two objectives on the map. Each team will constantly lose and control objectives throughout a Domination map, so do not be discouraged if you lose an objective.

This objective-based game mode has been in the competitive rotation in several professional Call of Duty seasons as it is exciting to play and watch.


Hardpoint requires teams to control an area on the map that rotates every 60 seconds. One player must remain in the designated area for their team to earn points, and enemies can prevent points from being earned by also standing in the objective area.

Controlling a Hardpoint is difficult as each team is fighting for the same location at once. Teams will often spam lethal and tactical equipment before pushing a Hardpoint to distract or damage the players in the Hardpoint.

Teamwork is vital in Hardpoint as players must work together to capture the Hardpoint and prevent enemies from taking it. The best strategy is to have a couple of players in the Hardpoint while the rest of the team eliminates enemies before reaching the designated area.

Knowing rotations for each Hardpoint location is also essential. At least one player should rotate to the next Hardpoint to immediately control it and earn points. Cold War highlights the next Hardpoint when ten seconds are remaining on the current hill, but it is best to memorize each map’s rotations.

The Trophy System in Cold War is one of the best Field Upgrades to have equipped in Hardpoint as it destroys several tactical or lethal grenades before they detonate. Players can also place a Field Mic to identify track enemies in the immediate area.

Make sure to use the best weapons for each Hardpoint. Some will have long lines of sight appropriate for assault or marksman rifles, but others are better suited for SMGs. Professional teams run a mix of assault rifles and SMGs, so it best to follow suit in your matches.

Search and Destroy

Cold War Search and Destroy

Search and Destroy is an iconic game mode that requires teams to destroy or protect two bombs on the map. Each player only has one life, so the stakes are high in this exciting mode.

The attacking team can pick up the bomb in their spawn and carry it to one of the bombsites. If a player dies while carrying the bomb, it will remain on their bodies and can be picked up. Make sure to not die in enemy territory with the bomb as it will make it difficult for your team to recover it.

Once the bomb is planted, the defending team has 45 seconds to defuse it before it detonates. The attacking team must prevent them from defusing the bomb, or they lose the round. Defusing the bomb takes a few seconds, so defenders must secure the site with enough time left to defuse.

Expect a much slower pace when playing Search and Destroy as most players are more cautious when moving around. It is possible to rush enemies who are not expecting a rush, but this is a risky strategy. Players will also plant the bomb in specific locations that can be covered from specific spots, so remember to note where the bomb is planted.


Control was first featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and returns in Cold War. The game mode requires one team to defend two areas of the map that the other team must capture. Each team has a limit of 30 lives and must protect the objectives until the enemy’s lives are depleted or capture the objectives. Attackers must also secure one area within a minute and 30 seconds, or they lose the round. Players win the match by winning three rounds.

The attacking team must capture both objectives to win the round and before their lives are depleted. Each objective is captured in segments and can be captured faster with more players on the objective, similarly to Domination. Players have 90 seconds to secure at least one location and receive more time after capturing an area.

The life limit for both teams prevents players from continuously running into an objective to take or defend it. It is best to work with your team and use your lives conservatively to avoid an early defeat.



Hardcore modes add a unique twist on standard game modes by lowering health and removing the majority of the HUD. Players only need one or two shots to die in Hardcore, which is a stark contrast from the traditional Core modes.

Cold War features Hardcore versions of Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed, Domination, Free For all, and Search and Destroy. These game modes feature the same rule sets as their Core counterparts but also feature the Hardcore health system and limited HUD.

Hardcore mode is significantly different than Core modes and is often jarring for first-time players. The shorter time to kill in Hardcore makes it difficult to survive but does make it easier to eliminate enemy players. The gameplay is also slower than in Core game modes as most players meticulously move around the map to avoid being an easy kill.

Players trying to complete all camo challenges should use the Hardcore modes for harder weapons such as handguns. Most weapons are viable in Hardcore thanks to the unique health system, so don’t be surprised to see an assortment of weapons.

Fireteam: Dirty Bomb

Fireteam: Dirty Bomb is a new mode introduced in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Ten teams of four must fight to collect uranium and to detonate dirty bombs around the map. The first team to reach 500 points wins and earns points by depositing uranium, detonating bombs, and eliminating other players.

Fireteam: Dirty Bomb is an excellent middle ground between the traditional multiplayer experience and Call of Duty: Warzone. Players parachute into the map at the beginning of each map and can choose to spawn on their teammates or parachute again when they die.

Players must work together with their teams to gather uranium and detonate bombs that release a toxic gas that spreads across the map. It is crucial to avoid the radioactive gas as it slowly impedes and eventually kills players.

Fireteam: will receive other modes besides Dirty Bomb in the future, but Dirty Bomb is a fun and exciting experience that every player should try.

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VIP Escort

VIP Escort is another new mode introduced in Cold War that is similar to Search and Destroy but adds a few exciting twists. One player is designated as the VIP, and their teammates must escort them to one of two extraction zones. The other team must kill the VIP before they escape to win the round.

Players only have one life in VIP Escort, but they are knocked down instead of immediately killed. This allows teammates to revive them for a short period before they are eliminated from the round. Reviving teammates is a great way to keep the odds even, but make sure there are no enemies around before helping a teammate.

The VIP does not have access to their loadout but does have access to a silenced 1911 handgun. They also can call in a Spy Plane to help keep track of enemies as they push towards an extraction zone. Extracting as the VIP takes a few seconds, so make sure to defend your VIP from enemies.

Don’t be afraid to try new modes that you’ve never played before. Each one is easy to learn and fun to play.

Jalen Lopez

Jalen Lopez

Jalen has been destroying noobs for almost as long as he could read. When not working full time in marketing, Jalen is combining his passions of gaming and writing as an esports writer.

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