Like the AUX cord on a road trip, Call of Duty: Warzone’s footstep audio is a major issue within the community. Following Season 5’s update, those controversial audio cues appear to have received a secret buff in addition to the one listed in patch notes.
The audio in Warzone has been a discussion point since day one and developers at Infinity Ward have looked to improve sonic cues on various occasions.
Each engagement is inherently vital in a battle royale, as a player’s life holds greater value when respawning is a much greater ordeal than in multiplayer. But it’s hard to start an engagement off on the right foot, so to speak when you struggle to hear your enemies stomping around.
In the Season 5 update, they experimented with nerfing how easily footsteps are muffled by crouch-walking. And, apparently, they have also secretly adjusted occlusion as well (making enemies easier to hear through closed windows or walls).
WARZONE HAS FOOTSTEPS NOW 😀
— SOLTEK 🔥 Dreams come true (@SoltekGG) August 5, 2020
The Season 5 patch notes indicated that there is a brief decay period when transitioning from heavy to lighter footsteps (e.g. from sprinting to walking or crouch-walking), but YouTuber ‘XclusiveAce’ has also discovered an adjustment to occlusion that makes it significantly easier to hear enemies through surfaces.
After confirming the change mentioned by patch notes, XclusiveAce uses an earlier video from JackFrags that experimented widely with Warzone’s audio cues to address a hidden adjustment to occlusion.
In a test of footstep audio, it is revealed that, behind a closed window, approaching footsteps can now be heard at around double the distance from before and much more clearly as they get nearer.
(Segment begins at 10:25 mark)
Afterwards, he compares footstep audio approaching the window when it is closed and when it is broken, revealing that there is still, reasonably, greater clarity when the window is open. But, unlike earlier, the difference isn’t drastic.
These should be welcome adjustments for Warzone, as the Dead Silence Field Upgrade or a slow crouch-walk ought to be the only ways for an enemy to sneak up with absolute stealth. But, as of yet, it is unclear that they have perfected audio consistency and playerbase reactions have been mixed.
As noted in complaints on social media, some people remain dissatisfied with the game’s audio and Season 5’s adjustments seem to have had no effect for them. It is entirely unclear whether or not that will change as players get more time in the new season, but at least there are some changes to monitor.
Hopefully, this is a step in the right direction.