Every multiplayer mode in CoD: Black Ops Cold War

Black Ops Cold War gameplayActivision

Black Ops Cold War features a mix of classic Call of Duty modes alongside some brand new multiplayer playlists. Here’s a complete overview of every single mode in Treyarch’s latest release.

Whether you’re a CoD veteran well versed in every core mode, or a newcomer just dropping in for the first time, everyone could do with a crash course before booting up Black Ops Cold War.

Regardless of your experience, Treyarch’s new title comes with fresh playlists, new objectives, and unique ways to play. If you’re more of a slayer, deathmatch modes are for you. If you prefer to play alongside a huge team in bigger gunfights, Black Ops Cold War has you covered as well.

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There’s plenty to see and do, with playlists catering to everyone’s preferences. If you’re not sure where to start though, fear not. Below is a complete rundown of every multiplayer mode the 2020 release has to offer.

Team Deathmatch

Black Ops Cold War multiplayer gameplayActivision
Team Deathmatch functions just the same as it has in previous years.

First up is the classic deathmatch playlist. Small teams fight across a wide array of maps with one focus: tallying up as many kills as possible. There are two ways to win in this classic mode. If you reach the target number of kills with your team, you’ll be crowned victorious.

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The mode comes with a 10-minute time limit, however. So if your team is leading when the clock runs out, you’ll also be handed a win. 

Kill Confirmed

Black Ops Cold War multiplayer gameplayActivision
Killing enemies will drop tags in their place for you to collect.

If you’re familiar with Team Deathmatch, you’ll feel right at home here. Kill Confirmed follows the same basic formula with one key twist. Once you’ve secured a kill, Dog Tags will appear over the body of your target.

Collecting these Tags is the name of the game. Your kills simply won’t count unless your team is grabbing every Red Tag on the map. Keep an eye out for Blue tags as well though. If an ally falls right next to you, claiming their Tag will deny the enemy team from racking up more points.

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Black Ops Cold War DominationActivision
Capturing flags is key if you’re looking to win in Domination.

This mode has been a staple in the CoD series as one of the most popular objective-based playlists. While kills are still valuable, they won’t earn you any points here. Domination is all about securing flags and controlling the map.

Three flags are scattered across every map. One will be close to your spawn location, another close to the opposing team’s spawn, and the final flag somewhere towards the middle. Standing in range of these flags will immediately begin the capture process. This can be sped up with more allies standing around the objective.

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For each flag you control, points will accumulate every few seconds. With just one flag, your progress will tick up much slower than if all three flags were under your control.

Black Ops Cold War breaks the mode into two halves. The first team to secure 100 points will end the first half in the lead. Whichever team reaches 200 points first will be crowned the overall winner. 


Black Ops Cold War gameplayActivision
Work together and capture the hill to rack up points in Hardpoint.

Rather than teams controlling various objectives, Hardpoint has both sides focusing on a single capture point. A Hardpoint – otherwise referred to as a “hill” – will rotate every 60 seconds through a set number of spots across the map.

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Staying inside of the hill without enemies nearby will start tallying up points. Each second that goes by with your team in control will award a single point. Progress will be halted if you leave the hill or if an opposing player contests the objective.

Knowing the next Hardpoint location is absolutely vital. If you can rotate faster than your enemies, gaining control of the objective right out of the gate should be a breeze. The first team to reach 250 points will be the winner.

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Black Ops Cold War gameplayActivision
It’s all or nothing in Free-for-All as you take on other solo players.

Looking for a simple mode to shoot without having to think about objectives? Free-for-All is the mode for you. This playlist follows the exact same layout at regular deathmatch, just without any teammates by your side. 

You’ll be going it alone against other solo players, so expect fast-paced action from the jump. This mode comes with a set time limit, so maintaining a lead is important as always. You can close things out early, however, if you reach the set number of kills.

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Search and Destroy

Black Ops Cold War gameplayActivision
Every life is vital in the round-based SnD mode.

Another staple of the CoD franchise, Search and Destroy – or SnD – is a round-based game mode. Teams will take turns attacking and defending two bomb sites spread across the map. 

Attackers have to plant a bomb while defenders aim to keep the two sites clear. If the explosive goes down, defenders have a brief window to defuse it before the detonation.

In SnD, you only have one life in each round. If you get knocked down, there’s no getting back in the fight until the round is over. Each round has a quick time limit of just 90 seconds with the first team to win four rounds coming away as the winner.

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Black Ops Cold War gameplayActivision
Control is back for the second time in CoD history.

A relatively new mode, Control has only appeared in one CoD game prior to Black Ops Cold War. Treyarch’s Black Ops 4 introduced the round-based mode and it’s back in the exact same form this time around. 

90 seconds are on the clock as teams look to attack and defend two capture points on the map. If you’re on the attacking side, it’s your job to push into the objectives, clear enemies out, and stay put until it’s captured.

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Securing one of the locations will add time to your clock so that you can focus on the other. If both sites can be captured, your team will win that particular round before swapping sides. 

On defense, your goal is to eliminate aggressive players and keep them off the two objectives. This means you’ll need to split your team so that defenders have their sights on both locations, rather than stacking a single point. Holding off the enemy team for the time limit will win you the round. The first to three overall rounds will win the match.

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VIP Escort

Black Ops Cold War gameplayActivision
One player will be chosen at random as the VIP.

An entirely new mode for Black Ops Cold War, VIP Escort makes one player on your team a higher-value target. In this round-based mode, one team will load into the map with a randomly assigned VIP. This player must be protected at all costs and as the name implies, they must be escorted through the map.

VIPs have to make it to one of two exfil sites on the map. If they make it here unscathed, it’ll secure a round win for your team. Another way of claiming a round is to simply wipe out all opposing players as you drop in with a single life each time. Different to SnD, however, you can be revived in VIP Escort after you’ve been knocked down.

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If you’re on the side without a VIP, your goal is to stop the enemy VIP at all costs. Other opposing players are obviously important to consider, but your primary focus should always be the VIP. Work together to prevent them from reaching an exfil site. The first team to claim three rounds will be the overall match-winner.

Combined Arms: Assault

Black Ops Cold War gameplayActivision
Vehicles are scattered all across the map in Combined Arms game modes.

If big team battles are more your style, Combined Arms will be right up your alley. Instead of the traditional Ground War, bigger team-based modes have been split into the Combined Arms variety. 

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Assault drops you into 12v12 action with a single neutral capture point in the middle of the map. If you rush to claim it first, it will then spawn a new capture point further towards the opposing team’s base. The overall objective is to capture every point on the way to claiming the enemy base. 

Games can be over in barely a few minutes if you rush each phase, while other games can last a good while if it’s a back and forth affair. If games go too long, however, overtime will kick-off. The first team to capture a single neutral point in overtime will be crowned the winner.

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Combined Arms: Domination

Black Ops Cold War gameplayActivision
There will be more flags than usual depending on the map you load into.

Another 12v12 mode, Combined Arms: Domination ramps things up from the standard version of the mode. Instead of playing on typical multiplayer maps, you’ll be dropped into bigger battlefields with an abundance of vehicles. 

In line with the bigger nature of the mode, many more flags are scattered across the map as opposed to the typical three. You’ll be in this mode for longer than normal as well, as teams will have to claim 400 points in order to win.

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Fireteam: Dirty Bomb

Black Ops Cold War gameplayActivision
Dirty Bomb is the biggest multiplayer mode available at launch.

The largest scale multiplayer mode available in Black Ops Cold War, Fireteam: Dirty Bomb is a brand new experience for 40 players. 10 unique teams of four are placed around the biggest maps in the game with multiple unique objectives to focus on.

Uranium is everything in Dirty Bomb. Opening chests and killing enemies will drop Uranium for you to collect. Once you’re maxed out, you’ll need to deposit it all into the closest bomb site. With enough loaded in, the Dirty Bomb will cause a wave of radiation to spread across the map, wiping out any players caught in the radius.

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As you collect Uranium, knock down enemies, and detonate bomb sites, your team will rack up points. The first squad to hit the point total will walk away as the overall winner.


Black Ops Cold War Season 1Treyarch
The Season One roadmap revealed Gunfight is on the way.

Making its return from Modern Warfare, Gunfight will soon be in Black Ops Cold War for a new take on 2v2 action. This tight-knit mode has Duos battling it out in round-based combat on some of the smallest maps in CoD history.

Just two kills are needed to claim and round and get through to the next. However, guns swap every two rounds, so you’ll need to be a master of every class.

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