How to Figure Out the Code for Cold War’s Floppy Disk

by in Call of Duty | Apr, 28th 2021

For players who want to experience all the content Cold War’s campaign offers, one of the side missions, Operation Chaos, requires the protagonist Bell to decrypt a floppy disk that hides crucial information to the side mission’s success. To do this, information needs to be gathered from missions during the campaign, which through some puzzle solving, aids in the code for the Cold War floppy disk.

Finding the Evidence

Evidence in Call of Duty Cold War functions similarly to intel from Modern Warfare, in which pieces of evidence will be lying around the level in certain campaign missions which the player can pick up. This evidence is required to prepare for the side mission Operation Chaos and, in turn, provides clues to decrypt Cold War’s illusive floppy disk. To find these pieces of evidence, here are their locations.

The Coded Message

The coded message is fairly simple to obtain and is crucial to decrypting the Cold War floppy disk. During the first campaign mission, Nowhere Left to Run, after the player catches up to the character Qasim, they can interrogate him. When Qasim reveals that Arash is meeting with someone at the Trabzon airfield in Turkey, do not throw him off the roof. Instead, ask him who Arash meeting with. This will give you the coded message, which you can look at while in the safehouse.

Numbers Station Broadcast

Obtaining the numbers station broadcast is not as straightforward as the last piece of evidence. During the 5th campaign mission, Brick in the Wall, Bell is asked to save a captive by the name of Richter. The game will show you his location, and in doing so, gives the player an option in either setting him free or killing him as the person who asked Bell doesn’t want their group’s secrets revealed.

When the player reaches the area where Richter is held, the piece of evidence is on the table to the right of him. Picking it up will give you access to the second piece of the puzzle to decrypt the floppy disk. 

Front Page of the Observer

The final piece of evidence required is the front page of a newspaper called “The Observer” and like the last two pieces, is absolutely crucial to cracking the code behind the Cold War floppy disk. In the 6th campaign mission, Redlight, Greenlight, Woods and Bell will stumble upon a Russian shooting range, which is modeled exactly after a U.S. town. Inside the town, the piece of evidence is on the wall inside the bar. This piece of evidence should be easy to find, but it does not come in the form of a newspaper on the wall. Instead, it appears as a map. The player should have taken pictures already with the camera. To obtain the newspaper’s front page, the player has to take a picture of the map again.

Decrypting the Floppy Disk

It’s time to get down to brass tacks. If the player has obtained all necessary evidence mentioned earlier, they should decrypt the floppy disk without any issues. The answer to the code is not the same for every player, as the puzzle is randomized, however the way to solve the puzzle can be explained.

Coded Message

Decrypting the coded message may seem complicated at first, but as it turns out, it is not as hard as it seems. The paper provided by the game gives the player a set of red numbers and a set of blue numbers. Both colors should be focused on individually. For starters, separate the red and blue numbers into their separate groups.

For example, let’s say that the red numbers are: 33, ?, 36, 39, and 43

And the blue numbers are 27, 32, 37, ?, and 47.

The player’s objective is to find out what the missing numbers are, and the key to solving this puzzle is that each set of numbers follow a pattern. Finding out what that pattern is will give the player the answer. 

For the red numbers in the example, one can deduce that the difference between 36 and 39 is three, but the difference between 39 and 43 is four. This leads to the answer that the number increases by one for every number. Going by that logic, the numbers should go as follows 33, 34, 36, 39, 43. 

The player should then write down 34 somewhere and continue onto the blue numbers. For the blue numbers, but since it’s random, it can change for every player. The difference between 27 and 32 is five. Checking for the difference between 32 and 37 is also five. Adding five to 37 would add to 42, and adding five to 42 would give the player 47. 

Therefore, the number combination would be 27, 32, 37, 42, 47.

The player should then take their red and blue numbers and combine them. For example, the number would be 3442. Keep that number combination written down, as it’s important to crack the code.

Front Page of the Observer

Cracking the code to the front page of the observer is fairly easy. When looking at the newspaper, wait a few seconds, as some letters on the headline will turn to the color red. The player should then write down all the letters colored red. 

The letters may not mean anything at the moment, but the letters will become the name of a city if unscrambled. Write down the city that the newspaper shows, and take it to the final piece of evidence.

Numbers Station Broadcast

The numbers station broadcast will already hold the answers to the floppy disk code. The player has to find them. Checking the solution to the coded message, the player should find the name of a town that corresponds to the numbers given from it. Write down the name of the town the coded message connects to. 

For the newspaper, find the town that the scrambled letters spell out and jot down the four-digit code connected to the town from the newspaper. 

Once the new town and four-digit code have been obtained, it’s time to crack the code on the Cold War floppy disk finally. 

The Floppy Disk

Interacting with the computer tied to the floppy disk, the computer asks the player for the passphrase. The passphrase being the new town that was connected to the missing numbers from the coded message. 

The second thing that the computer needs is a code. This four-digit code should be the four numbers attached to the town from the newspaper. 

Entering both correctly will grant access to the computer, allowing Bell to view the files and fully prepare for Operation Chaos.

Rewards for Cracking the Code

Upon correctly decrypting the floppy disk, the player should receive an achievement rewarding them for their decrypting skills. Aside from that, this allows the player to complete the side mission Operation Chaos while fully prepared. 

While this is not needed to complete the game, and the player can start and finish Operation Chaos without the contents of the floppy disk, doing so will change the ending monologue of the game. If done in conjunction with preparing for and completing Operation Red Circus, this will give the player the best ending in the game if the player decides to make the right choices during the mission Identity Crisis.


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