In case you haven't played video games in the last two decades, Call of Duty is a first-person shooter with a substantial team-based component. Call of Duty has had several huge successes over the years (games like Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops are classics), and Activision has now brought that tried-and-true formula to mobile.
Released in the U.S. in October 2019, Call of Duty: Mobile is exactly what it sounds like — a Call of Duty game that's designed for mobile platforms like Android and iOS. It has all of the core CoD components you'd expect these days, including fast-paced multiplayer, zombies, and battle royale. Did we mention that you get all of this for free?
Whether you're a Call of Duty pro or are just getting into the franchise, here's everything you need to know about Call of Duty: Mobile!
Season 4 has arrived
Call of Duty: Mobile regularly gets new "seasons" that usher in additional characters, maps, and a new Battle Pass. The current season right now is Season 4: Disavowed, and it was released to everyone on February 29, 2020.
One of the biggest highlights of Disavowed is Cage, which is the first original map to debut on CoD: Mobile. It also introduces Soap as a playable character and adds the new H.I.V.E. operator skill that allows you to launch multiple proximity mines that release nano drones to attack your enemies.
With the new Battle Pass, you'll be able to collect the colorful MacTavish skin for the AK117, Urban Tracker character, and plenty of CoD Points, crates, etc. You can obtain some rewards with the free version of the Battle Pass, but to unlock all of the rewards, you'll need to spend 560 CoD Points for the Premium Pass.
There are three different game modes to play
Call of Duty: Mobile is a single game you install on your phone, but it has three distinctly different modes that shake things up — Multiplayer, Zombies, and Battle Royale.
This is the classic Call of Duty that you know and love. In this mode, you get together in 5v5 teams and duke it out in a variety of game modes. There's a collection of Core modes that are always available, and these include Frontline, Team Deathmatch, Hardpoint, Search & Destroy, Domination, Free For All, and Practice vs. AI.
You'll also find a collection of Featured game modes, which are offered for a limited time and get changed weekly. Some highlights include Snipers Only, One Shot One Kill, Prop Hunt, and Gun Game.
Zombies has been a staple of the Call of Duty franchise ever since 2008's World at War, and as expected, it returns in CoD: Mobile. However, it's a bit different than the Zombies you might be used to.
A Survival mode is still available for you to take on endless waves of the undead, but if you want to spruce up your zombie killing with a bit more variety, you'll also find a new Raid mode where you unlock new areas as you progress throughout the game. Work your way up to a final boss that needs to be defeated.
Finally, we have Battle Royale. Call of Duty: Mobile's take on BR pits 100 players against each other and is timed to last for about 15 minutes per match. You can play solo, team up with a friend for duos, or get a four-person squad together. You also get the option to play in first or third-person, each of which gives the gameplay a distinctly different feeling.
This is a completely different map that's separate from Blackout and Warzone, so don't expect to be a pro at this just because you've sunk hours into those other Call of Duty battle royale modes.
Touchscreen or controller — the choice is yours
Playing a multiplayer FPS on mobile is a challenge. Having enough real estate to see all the controls needed to play, and the actual combat is a balancing act that some games don't get right. To combat that, Call of Duty: Mobile has two different control modes: Simple Mode, and Advanced Mode.
Simple Mode is a significant departure from the way you would typically play CoD on a console. Instead of having a dedicated firing button, your gun fires when you point the target reticle at the enemy. This might sound like a huge advantage, but it isn't. The firing accuracy goes out of the window in this mode, and you rush through ammo at top speed.
The advantage is you can move and look around much more quickly without having to worry about tapping the screen to get your gun to fire. After all, there are no shoulder buttons on a smartphone, so you only have your thumbs to work with. There's also a setting to limit the distance that auto-aim happens when firing from the hip. You don't want to be wasting shotgun shells when the enemy is too far away.
Advanced Mode offers a more console feeling experience. Activision has thought about the need for your controls to be movable, which is excellent. Almost every part of your heads up display (HUD) is movable and allows you to get the most important buttons directly under your thumbs. This mode also has an actual fire button, which is pretty important, and the game offers a tremendous amount of control over the sensitivity of your character.
Fine-tuning these details will likely be your life's work while you are playing Call of Duty: Mobile. The difference between a win and a loss could be how quickly you can aim down sights.
Using a Bluetooth controller
Call of Duty: Mobile's two touchscreen modes are among the best out there for a mobile shooter, but if you want to take things to the next level, you can play the game with your favorite Bluetooth controller.
Doing this makes CoD: Mobile feel even more like traditional Call of Duty, because as good as the touchscreen controls are, there's just no replacing a physical controller for quick response times and agile movements.
12 maps are currently available
If you've ever played Call of Duty, you will know at least some of the maps Activision is offering for CoD Mobile. One of my personal favorites, all the way back from Modern Warfare: Black Ops, is called Nuketown. It's a tiny little map with only a few long lines of sight. Everything about this map is fast-paced and messy, just the way I like it.
In fact, almost all of the maps in Call of Duty: Mobile are from past CoD titles. There are currently 12 to choose from, including:
- Firing Range
Cage is the first original map to hit Call of Duty: Mobile, offering a small urban environment with lots of opportunities for close-quarters fights and plenty of options to flank your opponents.
Customization is huge in CoD: Mobile
Being able to customize your character's inventory has been a staple of the game for many years. Customization is front and center in Call of Duty: Mobile, so without further ado, here's what you can expect in these regards.
This one seems fairly obvious. Throughout the game, you can choose between several different guns, one in the primary position and one in the secondary. These guns also have modifications slots to add better scopes and the like. In the standard Call of Duty, there is a considerable amount of variation in the type of guns and their modifications, and that carries over wonderfully to Mobile. There is also a section specifically for grenades. Some will be damage dealing, others suppression, and you can choose them as you go.
Weapons level up as you use them, allowing you to add up to five different attachments — laser sights, extended mags, and foregrips are common — making your guns more accurate or faster to aim. This can gain you a significant advantage on the battlefield if used correctly.
Perks are character abilities that make you better at things. They are almost always passive, buffing you behind the scenes, and they increase some stat or the other. One example, called Ghost, hides you from an enemy UAV — one of the scorestreaks you can get — which is extremely helpful if you like to sneak up on people and get all shotgun-y.
You get three different perks to use in one loadout, and they can significantly change your play style. If you like using the shotgun mentioned above, then mixing Ghost and Fast Recover — your health regenerates faster — is going to make you a machine in close combat. You can get in, kill, then heal as you run to the next victim.
You get one of this per loadout, and it comes in the form of a powerful weapon that activates on a timer. You may want to unpack a colossal minigun to lay down cover fire, or get up close and personal with a flamethrower. Either of these and more are available for you to choose from. You are only able to use it once or twice a match, though, so use them sparingly. The flamethrower is brutal by the way; I've been using it a lot on hijack, and in close quarters it's devastating.
Scorestreaks — formally Killstreaks — are fantastic bonuses you get for doing well. On the loadout screen, you get to choose what happens when you reach specific scores and what abilities you can activate when that happens.
The most common, and usually one of the easiest to earn, is the UAV. This scorestreak allows you and all your teammates to see where every enemy is on the minimap. Combined with other, higher-powered scorestreaks, the UAV can be incredibly effective.
Other notable scorestreaks include the Precision Missile, Stealth Chopper, and XS1 Goliath armor that turns you into a killing machine.
The last thing to choose in your loadout is what you look like as you run around the map. While Call of Duty: Mobile doesn't have a massive range of customization for this — you won't be changing the shape of your eyebrows or the pointedness of your chin — it does allow you to play as some of the most iconic soldiers in Call of Duty history.
Characters like John "Soap" MacTavish, and David "Section" Mason, were the main characters back in the day when story modes actually mattered in multiplayer games. It's great to see these characters coming to life again, and I hope they bring even more into the mobile game as it becomes more popular. This is another way Activision has monetized the game, as you can get these characters in the loot boxes.
Yes, you'll have to deal with in-app purchases
If you want to support Activision and spend some real money in Call of Duty: Mobile, you can. The primary in-game currency is CoD Points, and this allows you to buy loot boxes and levels in the Premium Pass.
You can purchase weapons and other cosmetic items individually, some of which can be bought with CoD Points while others use another currency — Credits.
CoD Points can only be acquired by spending real money, whereas Credits are earned through your gameplay. If you want to purchase CoD Points, you can do so in the following amounts:
- 80 CoD Points — $0.99
- 400 CoD Points — $4.99
- 800 CoD Points — $9.99
- 2000 CoD Points — $24.99
- 4000 CoD Points — $49.99
- 8000 CoD Points — $99.99
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