Black Ops Cold War Zombies Outbreak Guide

by in Call of Duty | Feb, 25th 2021

Zombies will never be the same in the Call of Duty franchise with the Black Ops Cold War Outbreak Zombies game mode. It is coming soon in Season 2, and we have everything you need to know about this new mode from the different objectives, rewards, and more. 

Black Ops Cold War Outbreak Zombies Is Here in Season 2

With the start of the second season of content in Black Ops Cold War, the new Outbreak Zombies mode is also here to give players something new to do. Season 2 is looking to match the first season in terms of content, but there is one thing that it is improving on: Zombies.

One of the most complicated issues with the game at launch was that it had one of the most underwhelming amount of content that we have seen in a Zombies mode in years for the Call of Duty franchise. This was remedied eventually in Season 1 with the release of Firebase Z, but that came late. 

Surprisingly, Treyarch is already giving us more Zombies content not too long after releasing that map. And better yet, it is coming more timely and with a massive amount of content unlike anything else in the series. 

Players will be able to check out the Black Ops Cold War Outbreak Zombies mode when it drops with the launch of Season 2 on Feb. 25, which is this week at the time of writing this. By the time you read this, the mode will likely already be available. Here is everything that you need to know about Outbreak to get ready for this new Zombies experience. 

Operation Threshold Explained

Before Outbreak, the two maps were known as Die Maschine and Firebase Z, and the Black Ops Cold War Outbreak Zombies mode is formally known as Operation Threshold. That is the mission that you will be embarking on that will continue the story from Firebase Z’s events. 

This third mission is quite unlike other missions in numerous ways, beginning with the fact that it has multiple locations. The locations that you will be able to visit are related to another game mode entirely: Fireteam. Fireteam Dirty Bomb is the biggest (in terms of player count) game mode in Cold War to date. 

This massive open-world game mode takes some cues from the similarly large mode in Modern Warfare and has a whopping 40 players here that makes it much larger than what you would find in even Combined Arms. There are 10 teams of four players each in that mode. 

This means that the maps are much larger than you would expect. There are three in this mode to date, with one more coming in Season 2. What Outbreak does that make it related to this mode is taking some of those locations from Fireteam Dirty Bomb and using them for Zombies. 

In Operation Threshold, players will be going to Ruka, Alpine, and the new location that is coming out in Season 2: Golova for the new Outbreak game mode. Yes, all three very large maps will be used for this Zombies experience, but not in the way that you would think.

It would be awesome if you had 10 teams of four players trying to complete Zombies objectives together or against one another on these massive maps, but that is not the case, sadly. Instead, it is like the other Zombies modes you know and love with only four players per match.

That means that your squad of four players will have the entirety of these three maps to yourselves, one location at a time. There is a lot of exploration and open-world antics that you will discover in this game mode that will make it feel different from anything else in Zombies’ history.

A normal match of Outbreak will begin with the player jumping into one of these three regions with their teammates, their custom weapon that can carry over from multiplayer, and the field upgrade of their choosing. You will have a waypoint pointing you to the main objective of the Requiem group. 

But there are no set paths that will take you to this objective, and you are free to explore or do whatever you would like in the mode. You can take your time, go around the map, use vehicles, explore, do random encounter events, or activate one of the trials to do some extra challenging content. 

In the end, though, the goal of your mission is to make it to the primary objective and complete it. If you fail this mission, you will face a game over for this run of Outbreak, so you must come back around to this at some point and complete it. 

Defend and Escort Explained

But the unique thing about the Black Ops Cold War Outbreak Zombies mode is that you will not have the same experience in every match you do. There are five different types of primary missions that you will be given in the mode, and they each have different objectives and difficulties involved.

Of the five different missions in Black Ops Cold War Outbreak Zombies, the first is the Defend one. In Defend, your job is to get a fully intact sample of the Requiem group’s genetic code and defend the machine while it uploads this data. 

There are different locations for the machine that you need to defend from the undead, and there will be different strategies for each of them. Some will have you wanting to use vehicles in the more outdoor locations or taking advantage of chokepoints in more congested areas. Defend it until it is ready. 

The second objective that you might get is the Escort one. In this one, you have a situation where there are some rovers used to detect portals. You need to make sure in this one that the rover objective gets through to the portal in one piece. It will be of the utmost importance that you have your team surround the rover and protect it at all costs. 

Retrieve, Eliminate, and Holdout Explained

The third mission type you might get in the Black Ops Cold War Outbreak Zombies mode is Retrieve. This one is all about retrieving some specific items. There will be two Aether harvesting units somewhere on the map. You need to take the canisters from them to the rockets nearby.

The good thing about this particular game mode that makes it somewhat easier is that the rockets are pretty close by. The bad thing, though, is what happens to the player who carries these canisters. They will not be able to use weapons, equipment and walk a little slower.

The one benefit is that the player will have a field upgrade that will knock down the nearby undead but best used as a last resort. Otherwise, the other three players should be picking up the pace and making sure they can take those items to the rockets. 

The fourth one is Eliminate. This one has a simple name and a simple objective: eliminate the high-value target. These elite enemies will need to be found across the dimensions and then take it out. The problem is that it has waves of enemies protecting it, which means you will have to either take out the waves or damage the high-value target enough first.

And last but not least, there is the Holdout mission type. This one is all about an unstable crystal that is on the map. It needs to be destroyed by using some explosives. Your job isn’t to activate the explosives but go into the crystal and hold off against the zombies until the explosions go off. 

This is what you know from Zombies maps from before. It is the classic gameplay of boarding up windows, defending points, and just trying to survive for as long as possible. Holdout is, by and large, the traditional Zombies gameplay that you know and love. 

So, while you will likely not be able to select which mission type you get, this at least means that players will be able to have the chance of getting that classic Zombies gameplay in this new mode to appeal to those who don’t like this rapid departure from the Zombies we know and love. 

The Beacon and New Outbreak Meta

Doing the mission that you are tasked with within the match you are doing is not the end of everything for that round unless you want it to be. After completing your primary mission, you and your teammates will have some hard choices to make for what comes next. 

After the mission, a beacon will appear. Players will have to move towards that location somewhere on the map. There are no set paths here, either, so feel free to find the safest (or most action-packed) route to get to the beacon for the next part of the match. 

Activating the beacon will give you the option of doing some standard Zombies upgrades like using the crafting table, doing the Pack-a-Punch, etc., and then you have to choose here. You have to choose to end the match early and get your hard-earned rewards for completing the primary mission or keep going. 

If you keep going, you will take a little trip through a portal to one of the other maps in the Ural Mountains for a brand new mission to do. Each trip you make through the portal will amplify the rewards you can get, but it will also make the undead horde much more lethal. 

But if you choose to leave the match early, instead, you will have to make the standard last stand that you would expect from other exfils on the other two Zombies maps. You will have to get to the zone, eliminate the hostiles, and board the helicopter to get out of there and reap your rewards. 

How to Play Zombies Outbreak Early

If you are reading this post before the launch of Season 2, this part is just for you. There is a way to play the new Zombies Outbreak game mode and the various maps before it releases. This even includes the brand new Fireteam map Golova that isn’t even out yet. 

To do so, you need to make sure that you have put your game into the offline mode where you are not connected to the internet at all on whatever platform you are on. Then you are going to want to do a custom offline Zombies match by creating a lobby there.

Here, you have tons of options for what you will want to pick for your match, like different settings and maps, and we are receiving reports and have even seen clips of people being able to select the new Outbreak mode this way. Through this method, you will be able to play the new game mode a day early. 

This is especially important since the PlayStation players have a little bit of a time advantage on this mode’s other platforms this week. Just keep in mind that you will have to play it offline this way so, unless you want to play it alone, you’ll need to hook up another controller or two for some splitscreen gameplay. 


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