Outbreak Zombies mode in Cold War Season 2: how it works, new Crystals, more

Tanner Pierce

After originally announcing it during the Season 2 reveal, Treyarch have finally released Black Ops Cold War’s brand-new Outbreak mode, bringing a large-scale experience to the game’s Zombies mode, which is something that its never done before. 

If you’re a fan of Black Ops Cold War Zombies and you’ve been hoping for something more to sink your teeth into then Treyarch’s got you covered.

The developers have finally pulled released the brand new Outbreak mode in Black Ops Cold War during the game’s second season.

From how the new mode works and what your objectives are, here’s everything there is to know about Outbreak.

How Outbreak mode works

Outbreak brings large-scale conflict to the Zombies experience.

Your objective is simple: rather than the normal round-based gameplay featured in Die Maschine, Firebase Z, and literally every other Zombies map throughout Black Ops history, you’ll instead be tasked with completing challenges/objectives in the Ural Mountains (which appears to be the Fireteam maps from multiplayer).

Once a new objective is done, players have the choice of either extracting out of the area, similar to the feature in the other BOCW Zombies maps, or picking up another objective, which will then teleport you to another region in the Ural Mountains (aka another Fireteam map).

There are five objectives in total that players can get:


This objective is pretty simple: you’ll have to go to a location and defend a device while the Zombie horde surrounds you, similar to the Aether Reactors in Firebase Z.

These devices can be located in a variety of places on the map, including outdoors, in large spaces, and indoors, in more close-quarters situations.


Another self-explanatory objective is Escort. Like the name implies, players will be tasked with escorting a rover from one section of the map to another, keeping Zombies at bay in the process.

This is a relatively slow-moving vehicle that you’ll need to protect along the way. Be sure to stick closeby so that Zombies don’t take it out of commission.

Players are tasked with five objectives in Outbreak.


With this objective, players have to take Aether Crystals to a set of nearby rockets, which will extract them out of the map.

Players carrying the crystals are unable to use their weapons and they’re slower than normal, so teammates have to protect the player carrying them as much as possible.


For this objective, players have to find “elite” enemies known as HVTs and either eliminate them or focus on the normal Zombies long-enough for the HVT to be transported away.


This objective might be “the most familiar” for normal Zombies players. With it, players are tasked with going into a closed-off section, hunkering down, and taking out the undead as quickly as they can.

If you fail any of these objectives, you’ll automatically lose the match, which makes the extraction feature so important.

New Aetherium Crystals

Players have two new types of crystals to get their hands on in Outbreak.

As previously announced, Outbreak introduces two new forms of Aetherium Crystals for players to get their hands on.

The first is Refined Aetherium Crystals, which can be used to upgrade your skills to Tier IV, while the other is Flawless Aetherium Crystals, which are used to upgrade skills to Tier V.

Players are still able to use Raw Aetherium Crystals to upgrade their skills, weapons, and more from Tier I to III.

New Vehicles

Players also have access to new vehicles within Outbreak mode.

To help complete the objectives around the Ural Mountains, players can find two brand-new vehicles to try out. The first is Sedan, a four-passenger care to help you move around the Outbreak mode a little bit easier.

The second is a Light Truck. This is another four-passenger vehicle that packs a bigger punch.

Both vehicles are available within Outbreak at launch.

New Field Upgrade and Ammo Mod

A new Field Upgrade called Frenzied Guard attracts Zombies to you for a short amount of time.

Beyond the huge Outbreak mode, players also have a couple of new items to try out in both the aforementioned large-scale mode and the standard Zombies experience on Die Maschine, Firebase Z, and future maps.

The first is a brand-new Field Upgrade called Frenzied Guard, which essentially allows you to attract Zombies to only yourself for a short amount of time and only your armor will be affected, allowing other players some time to breathe.

In addition, players also have a new Ammo Mod to try out in the form of Shatter Blast. This one’s pretty simple: while active, your bullets also deal explosive damage, which Treyarch said is designed to help take down larger targets.

Other items and additions

New items like the Death Machine scorestreak and more are available to players within the Zombies mode.

While the Death Machine scorestreak has been added to the standard multiplayer mode, it also makes an appearance in Zombies as well, as a utility that players are able to use in Die Maschine, Firebase Z and the new Outbreak mode.

Like every other scorestreak within BOCW Zombies, it’s available to buy with parts from crafting tables located around each map.

Of course, the season’s new weapons are also available to use in the undead mode at launch, including the FARA 83 AR and the LC10 SMG, while the other weapons like the R1 Shadowhunter crossbow and the ZRG 20mm will more than likely be available once they’re added to the game mid-season.